Although the market for new quilts grew out of outsider interest in old Amish quilts, the products sold in the Amish quilt industry were much more diverse, using new patterns, new materials, and new techniques. Amish quiltmakers were part of the growing “quilt revival” of the late 20th century and just like quilters outside the faith, accessed the published patterns, tools, and abundant fabric targeted at quilters.
Most Amish-made quilts sold in the shops featured contemporary designs that changed with interior decorating trends. Amish quilt designers kept up with these fashions by following industry publications and even attending trade shows. As one Amish businesswoman said, “We have to keep up with what colors are fashionable so we can make the changes from one year to the next.”
1. Unnamed Amish quiltmaker quoted in Ed Klimuska, “Tourist Business Changed the Way the Amish Make Money and Quilts,” in Lancaster County: Quilt Capital U.S.A. (Lancaster, PA: Lancaster New Era, 1987), 35–37.