In 1983, Brides magazine came to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to profile an old home renovation for a newly married couple. The magazine wanted a custom-made quilt in the photospread, and sought out the assistance of the Old Country Store, one of the largest fabric and quilt retail shops in the County. The manager, Rachel Pellman, and her colleague, Craig Heisey, created the pattern, drawing inspiration from the symbols frequently found on Pennsylvania German decorative arts of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Old Country Store began receiving frequent requests for its pattern, and eventually published the pattern and an accompanying how-to book. Many consumers wanted to buy Country Bride quilts and began asking for them at Lancaster County’s many quilt retail shops. Amish quiltmakers who supplied the county’s shops with quilts realized they needed to adopt the new trend. The Old Country Store published a series of patterns, including Country Lily, Country Love, and Country Songbird. The designs fit perfectly with the American Country aesthetic popular throughout the 1980s and 90s.
Craig N. Heisey, Rachel T Pellman, and Cheryl Benner
Reprinted by permission of Good Books, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.