As in the community of quiltmakers at large, some individual Amish quiltmakers possessed distinct design skills that resulted in one-of-a-kind masterpiece quilts. Barbara Yoder’s masterpiece, a striking variation of a Nine Patch which simultaneously forms a large bold X across the quilt’s surface, is just that type of quilt. Barbara, like many midwestern Amish throughout the twentieth century, moved frequently—living variously in Indiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Oklahoma—as land, weather, money, family, and faith provided new opportunities and challenges. Yoder’s quilt was once part of the Esprit corporate collection, and her granddaughter-in-law learned that it hung on the walls there. In correspondence with Esprit’s curator, she wrote, “She is not really your old-time hard-core Amish lady!” Her quilt says as much.
IQSCM, Gift of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation