For Amish women who ran households without high-wire electricity, the advent of easy care synthetic fabrics must have seemed a godsend. Once resilient synthetic fibers like polyester were widely available on the consumer market, Amish women made frequent use of them in both their families’ clothing and in their quilts, which many stitched using leftovers from dressmaking. Sunshine and Shadow, with its small squares, was ideally suited to using up these bits and pieces. Some Amish women loved the way shiny synthetic fabrics caught the light, especially when juxtaposed with other fabrics on a Sunshine and Shadow quilt. Collectors, on the other hand, seemed to despise synthetic fabrics in Amish quilts, and sought out 100% natural fibers, which fit better with their conception of the Amish aesthetic.

Pattern: 
Sunshine and Shadow
Maker: 
Maker unknown
Circa
1960
1980
Probably made in
Lancaster County
Pennsylvania
United States
84
83.5
IQSCM, Gift of the Robert and Ardis James Foundation
2016.030.0002