By: Linda Boynton
Amish women are well known for their fine quilting. Due in large part to the isolation of the Amish from the mainstream of American society, Amish quilting developed into a unique art form. This isolation, necessary for the maintenance of traditional Amish values and lifestyle, has been reduced significantly since the 1940’s. Interestingly, the date of 1940 seems to be a cut-off date for collectors of Amish quilts – which signals a consensus that there has been a significant change in Amish quilting styles since that time. A great deal more interaction between the Amish and outsiders in recent years has resulted in great changes in Amish quilting practices. The cultural isolation desired by the Amish is increasingly being impacted by the tourism industry. The effect of tourism on Amish quilting is the focus of this paper.