Destination Amish Quilt Country:

The Consumption of Quilts in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania


     Abstract: During the late twentieth century, visitors flocked to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, often with the goal of purchasing an Amish quilt. As fine art, souvenir, commodity and symbol, these Amish quilts played a significant role in attracting tourists-and consumers-to Lancaster County. Appealing to both consumers' taste for modern art and nostalgia for the perceived simplicity of the past, the market for antique and new Amish quilts helped establish Lancaster County as a quilt destination. Examination of primary historical sources-including tourist literature, popular books and magazine articles drawing attention to the Amish and their quilts, and advertisements marketing quilts for sale-reveals the extent to which quilts became part of Lancaster County's tourist and consumer lure.

     The 2005 official map and vacation guide to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, urges, "Face it, you'd love to own an authentic, handmade Amish quilt" (see Figure 1). These words, however, are almost unnecessary, as the guide's message is hardly subliminal. Page after page of the glossy brochure features the rich colors commonly found on antique Amish quilts. Each section, with headings such as "Your Grandmother's Kitchen" and "Historic Towns and Villages," highlights a traditional quilt pattern, using it in the graphic design of the page. The designer has subtly inserted lines of digitally created quilting stitches around boxes introducing various tourist attractions and amenities. This vacation guide's message is clear: Lancaster County equals quilts.[1] 

     Few cultural objects have become more closely associated with a geographic place than Amish quilts with Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, during the late twentieth century. Lancaster County's nickname, "The Garden Spot," coined before the American Revolution, signals both the county's fertile farmland and a prelapsarian pastoral ideal.[2]  Through its close association with this idyllic Garden Spot, the thriving Amish quilt industry has played a significant role in attracting tourists to the region. In recent decades, Lancaster County became a destination for people seeking Amish-made quilts as tangible goods that reflect consumer tastes for modern art and contemporary home fashions and that also appeal to a nostalgia for the perceived simplicity of a rural past.[3]  In short, Amish quilts-both antique and new-offered visitors the possibility of possessing a commodity from Lancaster County deeply imbued with a sense of nostalgia.


     The Amish began settling in southeastern Pennsylvania during the mid-eighteenth century. Emigrating from Germany and Switzerland to escape the religious persecution and economic hardships of Europe, Amish families established their North American settlements with a strict church discipline and a desire to be separate from the "world." In subsequent centuries, the Amish maintained this separation through their continued use of Pennsylvania German dialect, their distinctive style of plain dress, and their Ordnung-written and unwritten guidelines that, among other things, limit use of tractors, electricity, automobiles and telephones.

     Amish women in Lancaster County began making quilts in the mid-to-late nineteenth century, adopting and adapting the bedcovering style of their non-Amish neighbors. Unlike most nineteenth-century American quiltmakers who favored quilts pieced with lively printed calico fabrics, the Amish used only the same solid-colored fabrics used to sew their plain, "un-worldly" clothing. Perhaps as a symbolic means of maintaining their distance from the rest of society, these Amish quiltmakers adapted a center medallion quilt style, which had been out of fashion among most quiltmakers since the early nineteenth century. Distinct among all Amish communities, Lancaster County Amish quilts featured large fields of fabric in simple geometric patterns such as center diamond, center square and bars (see Figure 2).[4] 

     Figure 2: This bars quilt, the first Amish quilt owned by collectors Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof, is typical of Lancaster County Amish quilts made in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in its center-medallion format, solid-colored wool fabric, and simple graphic pattern. This quilt was the only Amish example displayed in the landmark 1971 Whitney Museum of American Art exhibition, "Abstract Design in American Quilts," which helped launch the quilt revival. Maker unknown, Lancaster County, circa 1890-1910. (Image courtesy of the International Quilt Study Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Jonathan Holstein Collection, 2003.003.0013).

A century after Amish quiltmakers began creating quilts, non-Amish art enthusiasts began to take notice of these utilitarian but beautifully designed and well-crafted bedcovers.


     Although outsider interest in Lancaster County's Old Order Amish population began around the turn of the twentieth century, a burgeoning tourism industry did not begin to take shape until after World War II. With the opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 1940, urbanites who yearned to experience a simpler past had easy access to "Amish Country." As local residents noted the surge in visitors who came to see their Amish neighbors, with their plain dress and buggies, the entrepreneurs among them began to establish amenities and attractions for tourists.[5]  The first Amish-themed tourist attraction, "The Amish Farm and House," opened along Route 30 in Lancaster County in 1955. The proprietor claimed that his staged Amish farmstead would educate visitors about Amish culture, something the Amish, in their desire to have minimal interaction with the "world," were unwilling to take on themselves.[6]  During a tour through the Amish Farm and House, visitors could learn about Amish customs, see the austere d‚cor, view examples of Amish clothing and briefly experience life without electricity and other modern conveniences.[7]  Throughout the 1950s, additional tourist attractions opened, companies published guidebooks and hotels offered bus tours through the Amish countryside.[8]  By 1965, nearly two million tourists visited Lancaster County annually.[9] 

     By the 1970s, Lancaster County's tourism industry was capitalizing on nostalgia in a significant way; its numerous romanticized portrayals of the Amish helped bring in $160 million in tourist business in 1974.[10]  Sites included an Amish-themed amusement park called Dutch Wonderland, and swanky resorts offering "Dutch Amish tours" and "gourmet dining."[11]  With three million tourists visiting over 240 tourist-related enterprises in 1974, the growing tourism industry in Lancaster County posed a threat to the Amish community on which it relied.[12] 

     The Amish population, other locals and academics studying the Amish all felt increasingly ambivalent toward the industry. Some regarded staged Amish-themed tourist attractions, while exploitative of the Amish population and often inaccurate, as essential for keeping tourists from encroaching directly on the community.[13]  Others viewed tourism in Lancaster County as dangerous to Amish society.[14]  Many Amish recognized that the materialistic world of tourism contrasted sharply with tenets of their faith, which emphasized humility and simplicity. Some Amish families migrated away from Lancaster County, but many found ways to exist peacefully in the tourism industry's shadow, often benefiting economically from its existence.[15]  While interest in the Amish preceded the fascination with Amish quilts, the quilt revival and the ensuing trade in Amish quilts invigorated the Lancaster County tourism industry in unforeseen ways.


     During the late 1960s and 1970s, several events and attitudes coalesced to create an upsurge of interest in quilts. Eventually referred to as a "quilt revival"-but simply tagged a "Craze for Quilts" in a 1972 Life magazine article-this newfound interest in quilts stemmed from feminism's interest in traditional women's arts, the back-to-the-land movement, the patriotic stirrings of the upcoming American bicentennial and a landmark museum exhibition that elevated quilts to the status of art.[16]  These overlapping influences together sowed the seeds of what would eventually result in a multimillion-dollar industry of creating, buying, collecting, exhibiting and preserving quilts.

     Feminists active during the late 1960s and the 1970s claimed quilts and other needlework as an important part of their cultural and artistic heritage. Feminist artists and art historians championed non-"high art" forms, including crafts such as quiltmaking.[17]  In a 1973 Feminist Art Journal article, "Quilts: The Great American Art," Pat Mainairdi posited that needlework was the "universal female art" and the "one art in which women controlled the education of their daughters." She theorized, "Quilts have been under-rated precisely for the same reasons that jazz, the great American music, was also for so long under-rated-because the 'wrong' people were making it."[18]  Prominent feminist artists Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro utilized needlework techniques in their work during the 1970s, embracing traditional female art while making political feminist statements with their iconography.[19] 

     Other Americans adopted quilts for different ideological reasons. Both the American bicentennial and the back-to-the-land movement prompted Americans to look to the imagined past for inspiration. Bicentennial celebrations included quiltmaking contests and quilt exhibitions, and sparked commemorative quiltmaking with patriotic themes, as well as general enthusiasm for what many considered a uniquely American art form.[20]  Nostalgia for the perceived simplicities of the past, combined with anxieties over a growing population and pollution, spurred an estimated one million Americans to move from metropolitan areas to rural areas in the late 1960s and 1970s. Quilts and other traditional crafts, as well as organic gardening and baking bread, fit neatly into the ideology espoused by the back-to-the-land movement.[21]  With notions of simplicity, patriotism and feminism feeding into popular American consciousness, it was no surprise that Americans eagerly welcomed a major quilt event.

     Perhaps the most significant impact on the revival of interest in quilts was the Whitney Museum of American Art's 1971 exhibition, "Abstract Design in American Quilts," that featured quilts in a context and format unfamiliar to most Americans. Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof, a young, well-connected couple with a growing quilt collection, curated the exhibition. Their interest in quilts stemmed from what they identified as quilts' aesthetic resemblance to modern art, including trends such as op art, minimalism, hard edge and color field painting. To emphasize these parallels, they hung quilts on walls, much like paintings. Upon first seeing one particular quilt, Holstein exclaimed enthusiastically: "that's what today's painting is about-that flat, spare design, the reductive sense of line and form."[22]  By exhibiting quilts on museum walls and using phrases such as "visual phenomena," "graphically interesting" and "painterly" in interviews and writings about quilts, Holstein and van der Hoof helped shift public perception of these homemade bedcovers from utilitarian craft to art objects.[23] 

     While crowds flocked to and critics raved about the Whitney show, its impact on the general public multiplied through subsequent publications and traveling versions of the exhibition. During the exhibition's run, other museums, including the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibitions Services (SITES), requested to borrow Holstein and van der Hoof's quilts for additional exhibitions. The SITES version, called "American Pieced Quilts," traveled to twenty-one regional museums, while additional assemblages of the couple's quilts hung at prominent museums such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and in major European venues as well. These traveling exhibitions combined with Holstein's 1973 monograph, The Pieced Quilt: An American Design Tradition, to portray quilts as art objects to a wide audience. [24] 

     The buzz about quilts spread through various publications, ranging from art critics' opinions in the New York press, to special interest stories in popular magazines. A prominent New York Times art critic, Hilton Kramer, praised the Whitney exhibition's "unusual visual pleasures."[25]  In 1972, House and Garden magazine declared a "craft comeback" and demonstrated how quilts could mingle with Navaho rugs, plants and basketry to create an interior design scheme.[26]  Pennsylvania German heritage enthusiasts proclaimed the "robust health" of regional quiltmaking traditions, while crediting the Whitney exhibit for allowing viewers to realize "how subtly ingenious some of the designs are."[27]  Life featured a seven-page photo spread under the heading "Craze for Quilts," explaining the "modern" appeal of quilts, as well as their traditional context.[28] 

     Meanwhile, Holstein and van der Hoof, as well as other collectors, discerned the particularly modern appeal of Amish quilts made in Lancaster County. The curators hung only one Lancaster County Amish quilt at the Whitney's "Abstract Design" exhibition, although Holstein later wished they had owned more and displayed additional examples (see Figure 2).[29]  Subsequent renditions of the exhibition did feature additional Amish quilts. Another couple, Faith and Stephen Brown, began buying Amish quilts after experiencing their "graphic power" at an exhibition of Holstein and van der Hoof's quilts at the Renwick Gallery in 1972.[30]  Holstein and van der Hoof focused their energies on building a collection of Amish quilts, with van der Hoof buying a home in Lancaster City for proximity to the quilt hunt.[31]  She was only one of many individuals drawn to this geographic region in search of Amish quilts.


     Through publicity generated by early 1970s quilt exhibitions, public interest in antique Lancaster County Amish quilts placed the county on the map as a destination to buy quilts.[32]  In the mid-1980s, a prominent figure in the quilt world would say, "They don't make the pilgrimages there for nothing. If you know about quilts, you know about Lancaster County."[33]  "Pickers," who hunted for quilts directly in the Amish community, sold their finds to New York City antiques dealers. As the buzz about Amish quilts increased, consumers could readily buy these newly elevated works of art directly from Amish families, out of the backs of trucks at county flea markets or in elite New York City galleries. According to Jonathan Holstein, "Amish quilts were assuming the status of cult objects."[34] 

     Inspired by exhibitions that featured quilts on museum walls, Amish quilt consumers imitated museum curators as they collected and displayed their acquisitions. After viewing the Whitney exhibition, Doug Tompkins, the founder of the Esprit clothing company, filled the brick walls of Esprit's corporate headquarters with Amish quilts, which he viewed as "masterpieces of design." Beginning in 1977, he encouraged the public to conduct self-guided tours through the office space to look at quilts, and even published a catalog of the collection.[35]  House and Garden magazine demonstrated that this same modern effect could be carried over in one's own home. Under the title, "Living with Art," the magazine showed images of Phyllis and Richard Haders's "modern, light-filled" city apartment, with Amish quilts hanging on the walls, much like in a gallery exhibition.[36]  Media attention directed at Amish quilts displayed in modern spaces continued to spread the word about quilts as art objects. As a Lancaster County antiques dealer said, "You can take an Amish quilt and put it with stainless steel or glass furniture and they look [sic] right at home."[37] 

     In the late 1970s and 1980s, magazine and newspaper articles suggested additional reasons to collect antique Amish quilts. One article recommended looking for Amish quilts at rural farm auctions, enabling consumers to experience Lancaster County's perceived simplicity while shopping for quilts.[38]  An anecdote in a 1982 Wall Street Journal article recounted that a New York city tax attorney purchased an Amish quilt in the late 1970s for what he viewed as the high price of $800. By 1982, the quilt was worth $3,000 to $5,000.[39]  Buying Amish quilts could be a leisurely part of a trip to the country, or it could be a savvy financial investment in Lancaster County's hottest commodity.

     Antiques dealers quickly capitalized on the prices consumers would pay for Amish quilts. In 1973, not long after the Whitney exhibition and others raised the nation's interest in quilts, a New York City antiques dealer, George Schoellkopf, unveiled an exhibition of fifty Amish quilts at his Madison Avenue gallery, with price tags ranging from $350 to $1,200. This price reflected not just the newfound status of Amish quilts as high art, but also the value placed on a romanticized creation from an idyllic past. "They all look like they were made by the light of the moon," Schoellkopf commented, perhaps alluding to both the quiltmakers' use of color and lack of electricity.[40]  An art critic found the quilts' "other-worldly" origins as well as their similarities to modern art significant.[41]  The modern aesthetic and the romanticized rural source combined to create a dual appeal that would send prices soaring. By 1988, dealers valued Lancaster Amish quilts around $6,000, with prices sometimes reaching $10,000.[42]  Contributing to this elevation in both price and appeal was a folio-sized coffee-table book picturing Lancaster County Amish quilts published in conjunction with a San Francisco exhibition. Robert Hughes, a prominent art critique, wrote an accompanying essay in which he referred to these quilts as "one of the finest aesthetic forms in America."[43] 

     Many dealers bought quilts in Lancaster County to resell in urban markets, eliminating the need for city buyers to go to the region themselves. Two prominent dealers, Joel and Kate Kopp, regularly returned from Lancaster County to New York with a station wagon full of quilts bought "in the field."[44]  In the early 1970s, dealers and collectors gathered at a Lancaster County Sunday market to buy quilts from pickers who purchased them across the countryside at farm sales and directly from families. Some pickers knocked on Amish doors in search of quilts, while others advertised in Amish newspapers such as The Budget.[45]  Rumors abounded about quilts stolen from Amish homes on Sunday mornings while families were away at church.[46] 

     Knowledge about this ugly side of the quilt market, as well as hopes of keeping the profits within the Amish community, prompted one Amish man, who chose to remain unnamed in a 1987 interview, to enter the quilt dealing business. Tired of outsiders knocking on his door looking for quilts, in 1981 this enterprising Amish man from eastern Lancaster County decided to sell old quilts from his community directly to New York City antiques dealers. After researching the desires of the quilt market by attending auctions and reading recently published books on Amish quilts, he began offering his friends and neighbors cash for family quilts. He packed these quilts in a suitcase, hopped on a train to New York and hailed a cab to Christie's, a major art auction house. As the New York quilt dealers learned of this Amish man, they began seeking him out. While New Yorkers supposedly mistook him for both a Hasidic Jew and a Catholic priest, to quilt dealers, he was an unmistakable link to valuable old quilts still in Amish homes. For the next several years, until these quilts became scarce, the Amish quilt dealer profited from growing interest in his community's quilts.[47] 

     Accompanying the developing market for quilts, local quilt-focused events began occurring in Lancaster County in the early 1970s. Tourists to the area engaged not only in the purchase of actual quilts, but also in what Heather Zeppel and C. Michael Hall call the "purchase of cultural experiences," such as exhibits and demonstrations.[48]  Lancaster's 1973 Heritage Antique Show featured local women "demonstrating the art of quilting."[49]  The 1978 Lancaster Summer Arts Festival's exhibit, "Quilts in the Garden Spot," displayed a number of local antique Amish quilts.[50]  In 1982 the Amish Farm and House advertised "quilting" as part of a visit to the site, allowing tourists to "quilt an inch" in an Amish-pieced quilt.[51]  As antique quilts became scarce and their prices rose, exhibits and demonstrations enabled visitors to purchase the cultural experience of Amish quilts, at a much lower price than that of an antique.

     Perhaps the most significant promotion of Amish quilts as a cultural experience came from an enterprising young Mennonite couple. As graduate students, Lancaster County natives Merle Good and Phyllis Pellman Good lived in New York City in the early 1970s, during the same time the Whitney exhibition helped launch quilts into the limelight. Concerned by inauthentic portrayals of Lancaster County's Amish and Mennonite population, the couple experimented with several means of telling their community's story in what they regarded as a more "authentic and home-grown" way.[52]  After producing theatrical performances and a motion picture set in Lancaster County, in 1976 the Goods founded "The People's Place" in the rural village of Intercourse. Billing the enterprise as "Lancaster County's Center for Amish and Mennonite Arts and Crafts," the Goods aimed to educate and entertain tourists to the region.[53]  Through the 1980s, the Goods expanded both the physical space and the retail offerings of People's Place by selling new quilts, furniture, pottery and books.[54]  Recognizing the loss of so many antique Amish quilts from the county, in 1988 the Goods established what they viewed as the "first permanent exhibit of Amish quilts."[55] 

     Their familiarity with the art world, the tourist market and the local community enabled the Goods to establish a destination gallery showcasing locally made antique Amish quilts while capitalizing on the millions of annual visitors to the region. One review of the People's Place inaugural quilt exhibit applauded the Goods' "sensitive approach and savvy foresight" as well as the museum's collection of quilts.[56]  The Goods promoted the museum and their quilt and fabric shop as "an oasis for lovers of quilts."[57]  Their shop also sold Amish quilt books and calendars published by the couple's publishing company, Good Books.[58]  Recognizing that quiltmakers constituted a significant body of quilt consumers, one reviewer wrote, "For quilters everywhere, Intercourse should be marked for a future visit."[59] 


     A growing interest in old Amish quilts may have established Lancaster County as a quilt destination, but the market for new Amish quilts, an outgrowth of the antique market, sustained this status. These new Amish quilts bore little resemblance to old Amish quilts. Thin wool quilts with large fields of solid fabrics in rich saturated colors were a thing of the past. Pastel, printed polyester blend fabrics, puffy batting and cheery floral patterns characterized the new quilts Amish women made to sell. These quiltmakers created contemporary rather than classic designs: "We have to keep up with what colors are fashionable so we can make the changes from one year to the next," said one Amish woman.[60] 

     Not only did these new quilts look different; the quiltmakers themselves were engaged in a different process. In the late nineteenth century and through much of the twentieth century, Amish women gathered together for quilting frolics, an event both social and productive, in which friends and family members sat around a frame to stitch the layers of a quilt together.[61]  Some Amish women continued to participate in this communal process when making quilts for their own families, but not when making quilts for the consumer market. Quilt shop owners felt that work from multiple hands might result in inconsistent stitch quality.[62]  Most quiltmakers were involved only in one step of the process, such as cutting fabric, piecing the top, quilting or sewing the binding onto the edges.[63]  Quiltmaking for the commercial market took on an assembly-line efficiency, more akin to the putting-out labor system than the ritualistic, communal endeavor behind the creation of older quilts.[64] 

     This shift toward commercial quiltmaking is just one example of changes in Amish society during the late twentieth century. Lancaster County's rapidly growing population and increasing commercial and industrial development contributed to a loss of farmland, directly affecting the Amish community. For the first time since their seventeenth-century beginnings, some Amish abandoned their agrarian tradition. Rather than migrate, subdivide farms or seek work outside their community, many Lancaster County Amish established small businesses, including machine shops, cabinet and furniture manufacturing, greenhouses, and quilt cottage industries and shops.[65]  Although a few Amish quilt shops operated prior to the upsurge of interest in Amish quilts in the 1970s and 1980s, these cottage industries flourished with increased attention, making and selling thousands of quilts each year.

     These Amish quilt businesses relied on the tourist industry. Although tourism may have encroached on Amish culture, according to one quiltmaker in 1987, "The quilt business makes the tourist situation a lot more tolerable. In every cloud there's a silver lining."[66]  Quiltmaking, once tied to family and home, now allowed Amish women to capitalize on the influx of tourists, whom many Amish otherwise considered a nuisance or worse.[67]  Many Amish proprietors of quilt shops actively promoted their businesses, often advertising in free newspapers targeted to tourists.[68]  In the early 1990s Susie Esh, an enterprising young Amish woman and proprietor of Hand Made Quilts and Crafts, even wrote a monthly column, "Quilts and Things," printed in a free tourist newspaper, Penn Dutch Traveler. She advised readers on buying Amish quilts, described products she sold and shared insights into the quiltmaking process.[69]  During the late 1980s and 1990s, Amish-run quilt shops increasingly advertised in the annual Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor's Bureau visitor's guide, indicating that these proprietors had joined the bureau and benefited from its promotional system.[70]  Perhaps inspired by the glossy quilt calendars published by Good Books, twelve Amish quilt proprietors teamed up to publish a 1996 calendar featuring images of new Amish quilts as well as small advertisements for each quilt shop.[71]  Using strategies such as these, Amish-operated quilt shops marketed themselves to tourists visiting the area. Such marketing became essential, since the Amish had competition.

     As Amish quilts gained popularity, non-Amish entrepreneurs also wanted a piece of the market. For several decades, tourist enterprises had actively promoted all sorts of Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch-themed consumer goods, including pretzels, hex signs, braided rugs and shoofly pies.[72]  With tourists increasingly spending their dollars on quilts, these attractions began highlighting quilts in their promotional materials. A shift in promotional language occurred, with advertisers specifically listing "quilts" instead of the more generic "PA Dutch Gifts" or "hand-crafts."[73]  In the annual guide published by the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, advertisers had space for only a few words, yet even tourist businesses that did not specialize in quilts, such as the Mill Bridge Village, found it to their advantage to highlight their quilt products in the small space allotted them.[74]  Quilts, including non-Amish-made quilts billed as Amish quilts, could be part of the tourist attraction.

     Sociologists G. Llewelyn Watson and Joseph P. Kopachevsky refer to this commercialized tourist experience as "trinketization," an apt description of the quilts and quilted objects sold at tourist attractions and gift shops. The Amish Barn Restaurant and Gift Shop promoted a free quilt giveaway in the 1993 visitor's guide.[75]  The Amish Farm and House marketed "beautiful quilts" for sale in its 1982 brochure. Interestingly, an earlier edition of their brochure did not mention quilts, but instead highlighted braided rugs, indicating this enterprise also hoped to cash in on the quilt revival.[76]  A 1992 New York Times article warned that some such Lancaster County "kitschy shops" in fact passed off foreign-manufactured imitations as locally-made quilts.[77]  This sort of fabricated tourist souvenir exemplifies the dramatic trickle-down effect that occurred after Amish quilts rose to high-art status.

     Although one antiques dealer noted that new Amish quilts are "for tourists who don't know better," the market for new quilts initially sprang out of interest in old quilts.[78]  Exhibitions and books featuring antique Lancaster County Amish quilts essentially created a brand name effect. One non-Amish quilt shop owner recalled a tourist begging, "Please tell me an Amish woman made it," before purchasing a quilt.[79]  This comment implies that to this consumer the most important aspect of the quilt was its Amish origin, rather than its design, material or color scheme.[80]  But some consumers initially attracted to the old Amish quilts wanted their purchase to look "Amish," with dark colors, wool fabrics and simple geometric designs, not just be Amish-made. Some Amish proprietors recognized this desire and advertised accordingly. For example, Hand Made Quilts & Crafts advertised "All Wool Wallhangings in Stock," to appeal to consumers familiar with old wool quilts who desired a smaller version to hang on a wall.[81]  Similarly, Country Barn Crafts announced, "We take orders for Amish Reproductions of Antique Quilts."[82]  Once antique Amish quilts reached peak prices, these less expensive replicas appealed to consumers who would not pay thousands of dollars for an antique.

     Like hunting for antique quilts, shopping for new Amish quilts could also be a leisurely tourist activity. Watson and Kopachevsky identify tourism as an aspect of consumer culture in which spending and consuming are integral to vacationing.[83]  Articles in the popular media encouraged purchasing a new Amish quilt as part of a fun tourist outing. For example, in 1992 under the heading "Shopper's World," The New York Times published an article advising readers on buying new Amish quilts, complete with a detailed map of eastern Lancaster County. The reporter urged, "For those with the time and the inclination, visiting farms where the quilts are made is the way to go," suggesting a visit to one of the many quilt shops operated out of Amish homes.[84]  Speaking of quilts, another writer suggested: "Although they're available in big city quilt shops, it's more fun to make the purchase a goal of a weekend trip to Amish country like Pennsylvania's Lancaster County."[85]  Other promotional materials mentioned auctions, such as the Gordonville Fire Sale, as events where tourists could buy quilts and view Amish culture.[86] 

     Indeed, consuming quilts was not only a fun activity, but it also allowed tourists to leave Lancaster County with a souvenir of the visit. One tourist newspaper encouraged just that, promising that buying an Amish quilt "will give you memories . . . that will last."[87]  Beverley Gordon hypothesizes that souvenirs, including local crafts, are reminders of the "non-ordinary experience" of the visit.[88]  In less theoretical ways, promoters of Lancaster County tourism attempted to make this same link. By describing quilts as intimately connected to spiritual aspects of Amish life, an article in Wilkum, a free tourist newspaper, implied that visitors could take home a sacred piece of Amish culture.[89]  Whether or not tourists recognized this connection, the symbolic function of consuming Amish quilts helped maintain both the lucrative antique market as well as the booming cottage industry producing new quilts.


     During the 1970s and 1980s, authors writing about Amish quilts frequently proffered common misconceptions about the objects and their makers. While much of this mythology stemmed from simple ignorance about Amish quiltmaking, these faulty understandings served to symbolically connect Amish quilts with a romanticized rural past.[90]  For example, a quilt dealer, Barbara Janos, wrote that Amish women made quilts from home-grown wool and dyed the cloth using berries, barks and roots found in the countryside.[91]  More recent scholarship indicates that Amish quiltmakers purchased fabric from traveling salesmen and mail-order catalogs, a fact that produces a much less pastoral image than shearing sheep and dyeing wool.[92]  In more subtle ways, other publications perpetuated a romanticized view of Amish quiltmaking. Articles overlaid images of richly colored antique quilts on black and white photos of Amish farmland.[93]  A National Geographic photo essay intimately tied quilts to the rural landscape by including images of a quilting frolic along with a barn raising and an aerial view of Lancaster County farmland.[94]  A Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts article about a visit to a Lancaster County Amish quiltmaker's home ended: "We left with a backward glance-feeling that in this corner of the world lots of things are still in place and people know what they are doing and, best of all, they are enjoying it."[95] 

     This observation was as much a commentary on contemporary mainstream culture as it was on the Amish world. The dissatisfaction with contemporary life that drove back-to-the-landers to the countryside urged others to purchase Amish quilts. Nostalgia manifested itself in both a visit to Lancaster County and in the purchase of an Amish quilt as a souvenir. As Beverley Gordon notes, a souvenir is a tangible reminder of an ephemeral experience that would otherwise be impossible to bring back to the mundane world of home.[96]  Amish quilts, then, served as a connection to this imagined rural world of the past. Consumers of quilts moved a step closer to this world, and in this sense, toward "Amish-ness," by owning a quilt.

     By taking Amish quilts out of Lancaster County and into urban and suburban homes, consumers also sought to capture Amish rural simplicity for their own world. Although collectors Phyllis and Richard Haders lived in a city apartment, they could emulate the Amish by decorating with Amish quilts.[97]  Another collector, Rebecca Haarer, said quilts connected her to the "grounded, solid, simple, contained" elements of Amish culture.[98] 

     Religious historian David Weaver-Zercher theorizes that Americans have embraced the Amish as a "saving remnant" because perceptions of the "exemplary style" of Amish living show the rest of society how far it has fallen.[99]  To take Weaver-Zercher's observation a step further, Amish quilts, then, represented part of this exemplary style. One magazine writer suggested, "In our busy world today it is not always possible to devote the time necessary to make a whole quilt, but we can still recreate the spirit of the Amish quilt by applying their techniques in the design of a wallhanging."[100]  This suggestion showed readers a way to connect their busy lives to the simpler ways of the past. Another author outlined a quilting project for children that emulated the techniques Amish "gross-mommies" used to teach their granddaughters quiltmaking skills.[101]  These projects showed ways to bring Amish-ness into one's home. By purchasing (or making) Amish quilts, collectors and tourists grasped for what they thought they had lost in their rush toward progress.[102] 

     Indeed, tourism promoters increasingly featured images of Amish quilts as stand-ins for Lancaster County's perceived rural simplicity. The 1991 guide from the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor's Bureau featured a quilt on its front cover with the caption: "Summer creates a patchwork quilt over the land as crops reach their peak."[103]  The Visitor's Bureau repeated the metaphor in its 1993 guide: "Their [Amish] hard work has helped make Lancaster County a garden spot-a patchwork quilt of beautifully tended farms that produce more food than any other non-irrigated county in North America."[104]  The quilt now had new meaning: it served as descriptor for all the good things Lancaster County had to offer. Lancaster County commissioners even used the metaphor to attract businesses to the area, describing the county as "a handwoven quilt of diversified strengths and traditions."[105]  The image worked so well that a local author used it in 1998 to describe the changes taking place in the rural community: "The relentless development pressures are fraying the Lancaster County patchwork quilt."[106]  Lancaster County no longer was a mere destination for Amish quilts. The quilt now symbolized Lancaster County.

     Increasingly, Lancaster County bore little resemblance to a mythologized rural past. Between 1965 and 1994, the county lost 1,500 of its 6,000 farms to development, with a significant area of land devoted instead to outlet shopping.[107]  Despite outlet shopping's contrast with the rural life, advertisers sought to maintain a connection, billing outlet shopping as "a day in the country," complete with "Pennsylvania Dutch frugality."[108]  A 1988 full-page ad in the Amish Country Journal beckoned tourists to "Outlet City" along Route 30, right across from the Amish Farm and House and Dutch Wonderland.[109]  In the face of this mass consumerism, perhaps visitors to Lancaster County purchased quilts as a grasp toward the authenticity and simplicity they came seeking. No doubt, they also shopped at outlet stores and went on rides at Dutch Wonderland, but the purchase of a quilt, a commodity tourists deemed authentically rural and Amish, may have been all the more appealing in the face of these other tourist activities.[110]  Quilts connected visitors to Lancaster County with the rural past they came looking for.


      At the turn of the millennium, few antique Amish quilts remained in Lancaster County. During the peak period of interest in antique Amish quilts, consumers swept thousands of quilts out of the region. The cottage industry system assured that despite liquidation of the county's old quilts, an ever-abundant supply of newly made Amish quilts could fill consumer demand. In addition, tourists could visit quilt exhibits, buy and read quilt books, and attend an annual festival called the Quilter's Heritage Celebration.

     In 2002, Lancaster County residents struck a deal with an early Amish quilt collector to secure the county's status as Amish quilt destination. For the sum of $1 million, Doug Tompkins, founder of Esprit, sold eighty-two antique Lancaster County Amish quilts to the Heritage Center of Lancaster County, a local history and culture museum.[111]  Two years later, with half the pledges coming from outside Lancaster, a successful fund-raising campaign paid off the loan used to buy the quilts. In April 2004 the Heritage Center opened the Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum in downtown Lancaster to showcase the quilts bought in the county thirty years prior.[112]  Locals declared the opening of the museum the "start of downtown revitalization" and expected to attract more than 55,000 visitors to the city that year, invigorating the region's tourism industry.[113]  In addition to viewing the historic quilts, visitors could purchase Amish-made reproductions of the museum pieces at the museum's gift shop.[114]  These quilts, unlike the contemporary calico quilts sold at numerous shops throughout Lancaster County, resembled the antique quilts that attracted so much attention for their resemblance to modern art. These souvenirs combined the aesthetic of the old quilts with the cottage industry production techniques of the new.

     Today visitors continue to go to Lancaster County in search of Amish quilts. The paradoxical appeal of antique Amish quilts-the modern aesthetic paired with the nostalgic connection to the rural past-complicates the dichotomy between old and new. Likewise, new Amish quilts designed with the tourist taste in mind, manufactured in a modern-day putting-out system, and sold by savvy Amish entrepreneurs, contradict the pastoral image of the Amish that most Americans imagine. "The Amish Quilt" may suggest pastoral simplicity, but it is not a simple entity.

[*] Janneken Smucker is a doctoral student in the History of American Civilization program at the University of Delaware. 1. Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, "Lancaster County: The Heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Official Map and Vacation Guide," 2005, in author's collection. Return to Text

[2] . David Walbert, Garden Spot: Lancaster County, the Old Order Amish, and the Selling of Rural America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 8, 15. Return to Text

[3] . Here I am drawing on the concept of nostalgia, as defined and critiqued by Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection, reprint ed. (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1993), 23. Return to Text

[4] . Patricia T. Herr, "Quilts within the Amish Culture," in A Quiet Spirit: Amish Quilts from the Collection of Cindy Tietze and Stuart Hodosh (Los Angeles: UCLA Museum of Cultural History, 1996), 47-49, 57. Quilt historians speculate that quilts made by Quaker or Welsh neighbors in Lancaster County may have inspired the adoption of this out-of-date style, although little evidence is available to confirm the stylistic origins of these quilts. While mainstream American quiltmakers and quiltmakers in other Amish communities utilize some of the same quilt patterns traditionally used by Lancaster County Amish women, quilts from this Amish community often have distinct characteristics, including a square format, wide borders, a center medallion format, large expanses of fabric and fine dress wool fabrics. For a geographic overview of Amish quiltmaking styles see Eve Wheatcroft Granick, The Amish Quilt (Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books, 1989), 75-153. Return to Text

[5] . For accounts of the emergence of the Lancaster County tourism industry see David Luthy, "The Origin and Growth of Amish Tourism," in The Amish Struggle with Modernity, ed. Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan (Hanover, N.H. and London: University Press of New England, 1994), 113-122; Walbert, Garden Spot, 67-100; David Weaver-Zercher, The Amish in the American Imagination (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 82-104. Return to Text

[6] . Weaver-Zercher, American Imagination, 92-93. Return to Text

[7] . Mindy Brandt and Thomas E. Gallagher, "Tourism and the Old Order Amish," Pennsylvania Folklife 43:2 (1993-1994), 73-74. Return to Text

[8] . Weaver-Zercher, American Imagination, 93-97. For examples of tourist brochures from this era, see Tourist Brochures of Lancaster County Collection, Lancaster County Historical Society [hereafter TBLCC]. Return to Text

[9] . Donald B. Kraybill, The Riddle of Amish Culture, rev. ed. (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 287. Return to Text

[10] . Roy C. Buck, "Boundary Maintenance Revisited: Tourist Experience in an Old Order Amish Community," Rural Sociology 43: 2 (1978), 222. Return to Text

[11] . "Down on the Farm," advertisement for Host Enterprises, The New York Times, Feb. 1, 1970, 10; Dutch Wonderland brochure, n.d., in TBLCC; The Amish Homestead brochure, n.d., in TBLCC. Return to Text

[12] . Buck, "Boundary Maintenance Revisited," 222. Return to Text

[13] . Roy C. Buck, "The Ubiquitous Tourist Brochure: Explorations in Its Intended and Unintended Use," Annals of Tourism Research 4:4 (1977), 206; Kraybill, Riddle, 289. Return to Text

[14] . Ann Geracimos, "Will Success Spoil Amishland?" The New York Times, Oct. 11, 1970, 1, 16; John A. Hostetler, Amish Society, 4th ed. (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 317. Return to Text

[15] . Kraybill, Riddle, 29, 292-294. Return to Text

[16] . For an account of the emergence of the quilt revival, see Janet Catherine Berlo, "'Acts of Pride, Desperation, and Necessity': Aesthetics, Social History, and American Quilts," in Wild by Design: Two Hundred Years of Innovation and Artistry in American Quilts, ed. Janet Catherine Berlo and Patricia Cox Crews (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003), 6-7; "Craze for Quilts," Life, May 5, 1972. Paralleling the upsurge of interest in quilts was increased interest in folk art in general. The Museum of American Folk Art opened in New York in 1961 and the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted a major folk art exhibition, "The Flowering of American Folk Art," in 1974. See Beatrix T. Rumford, "Uncommon Art of the Common People: A Review of Trends in the Collecting and Exhibiting of American Folk Art," in Perspectives on American Folk Art, ed. Ian M. G. Quimby and Scott T. Swank (Winterthur, Del.: Winterthur Museum, 1980), 51-52. Return to Text

[17] . Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard, "Introduction: Feminism and Art in the Twentieth Century," in The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s, History and Impact, ed. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1994), 10. Return to Text

[18] . Pat Mainardi, "Quilts: The Great American Art," Feminist Art Journal 2:1 (1973), 1, 22. Return to Text

[19] . Berlo, "Acts of Pride," 7-8. Return to Text

[20] . Ibid., 7; "The Bicentennial Quilt Boom," Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts 1976, 4, Christopher Gaines Memorial Library Collection, The Pennsylvania State University Special Collections Library {hereafter CGMLC], Box MGN 388.07. Return to Text

[21] . Eleanor Agnew, Back from the Land: How Young Americans Went to Nature in the 1970s, and Why They Came Back (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2004), 4-9, 47, 72, 84; Berlo, "Acts of Pride," 7; Jeffrey Jacob, New Pioneers: The Back-to-the-Land Movement and the Search for a Sustainable Future (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), 3, 29, 113. Return to Text

[22] . Grace Glueck, "They're Shoofly and Crazy, Man," The New York Times, July 27, 1971, D2. Return to Text

[23] . Ibid; Jonathan Holstein, "The Whitney and After. What's Happened to Quilts," The Clarion 11 (1986), 81. For an analysis of Jonathan Holstein and Gail van der Hoof's strategies for elevating quilts to high art form, see Karin Elizabeth Peterson, "Discourse and Display: The Modern Eye, Entrepreneurship, and the Cultural Transformation of the Patchwork Quilt," Sociological Perspectives 46:4 (2003), 461-490. Return to Text

[24] . Jonathan Holstein, Abstract Design in American Quilts: A Biography of an Exhibition (Louisville, Ky.: Kentucky Quilt Project, 1991), 51, 76; Jonathan Holstein, The Pieced Quilt: An American Design Tradition (New York: New York Graphic Society, 1973). Return to Text

[25] . Hilton Kramer, "Art: Quilts Find a Place at the Whitney," The New York Times, July 3, 1971, 22. Return to Text

[26] . "Craft Comeback, Folk Art, Decorative Inspiration: The All-American Patchwork Quilt," House and Garden, Oct. 1972, 114-117. Return to Text

[27] . Earl F. Robacker and Ada F. Robacker, "Quilting Traditions of the Dutch Country," Pennsylvania Folklife 21 (1972), 31, 34. Return to Text

[28] . "Craze for Quilts," 74-80. Return to Text

[29] . Holstein, "Whitney and After," 82. Return to Text

[30] . James Christen Steward, "Foreword," in Amish Quilts 1880-1940 from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Museum of Art, 2000), 6-7. Return to Text

[31] . Holstein, Abstract Design, 88-89. Return to Text

[32] . Although Lancaster County was the first Amish settlement to be inundated by both tourists and quilt consumers, tourism and quilt industries have sprung up in other Amish settlements in the Midwest such as Holmes County, Ohio, and LaGrange County, Ind. Return to Text

[33] . Shelly Zegart quoted in Ed Klimuska, "Collectors Pay Thousands for Local 'Folk Art' Antique Quilts," in Lancaster County: Quilt Capital USA (Lancaster, Pa.: Lancaster New Era, 1987), 2. Klimuska wrote a series of articles about Lancaster County and quilts during March 1987 for The Lancaster New Era. Later that year the newspaper reprinted the series as this compilation. Return to Text

[34] . Holstein, Abstract Design, 107. Return to Text

[35] . Julie Silber, The Esprit Quilt Collection (San Francisco: Esprit De Corp., 1985); Julie Silber, foreword to Amish: The Art of the Quilt (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), 7; Lita Solis-Cohen, "Heritage Center Museum Buys 82 Amish Quilts," Maine Antiques Digest, Aug. 2002, 11-A. Return to Text

[36] . "Living with Art," House and Garden, Oct. 1978, 142-143. Return to Text

[37] . Quoted in Ed Klimuska, "Old Amish Quilts: Why They Are Treasured as Art, How They Were Found and Sold," in Lancaster County: Quilt Capital U.S.A. (Lancaster, Pa.: Lancaster New Era, 1987), 10. Return to Text

[38] . Barbara S. Janos, "Collecting: Amish Quilts," House Beautiful, Mar. 1977, 28. Return to Text

[39] . Claudia Ricci, "Homespun Madness: Crazy Quilts Now Fetch Crazy Prices," The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 11, 1982, 1. Return to Text

[40] . Quoted in Rita Reif, "Antiques: Amish Quilts Abound," The New York Times, July 14, 1973, 22. Return to Text

[41] . Reif, "Amish Quilts Abound, 22. Return to Text

[42] . Frank Donegan, "Quiet Time for Quilts," Americana, Nov./Dec. 1988, 65-66; Klimuska, "Collector Pay Thousands," 3. Return to Text

[43] . Robert Hughes, "The Art of the Quilt," in Amish: The Art of the Quilt (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1990), 14. Return to Text

[44] . Holstein, Abstract Design, 88; Klimuska, "Old Amish Quilts," 9. Return to Text

[45] . Rebecca Haarer, "I Collect Quilts. They Collect Me," Festival Quarterly, Summer 1989, 8, CGMLC Box MGN 388.07; Holstein, Abstract Design, 79, 97; Klimuska, "Old Amish Quilts," 10. The Budget is a weekly national newspaper published in Sugarcreek, Ohio, and widely read in Amish communities across North America. Return to Text

[46] . Judy Kellar Fox, "Amish Quilts: Old Quilts and New, Both Part of the Amish Heritage, Are Found in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania," Fiberarts, Mar./Apr. 1993, 30; Klimuska, "Old Amish Quilts," 14. Return to Text

[47] . A Lancaster New Era reporter, Ed Klimuska, interviewed the Amish quilt dealer and many of his New York City clients for a 1987 article. At the man's request, Klimuska did not use his name.-Ed Klimuska, "Swanky New York Dealers Buy Precious Quilts from 'the Amish Connection,'" in Lancaster County: Quilt Capital U.S.A. (Lancaster, Pa.: Lancaster New Era, 1987), 17-21. Return to Text

[48] . Heather Zeppel and C. Michael Hall, "Arts and Heritage Tourism," in Special Interest Tourism, ed. Betty Weiler and Colin Michael Hall (London: Bellhaven Press, 1992), 50. Return to Text

[49] . "Heritage Antique Show May 11-13," Penn Dutch Traveler, May 3, 1973, 4, John A. Hostetler Papers, The Pennsylvania State University Special Collections Library [hereafter JHC], Box GST/AL06.23. Return to Text

[50] . S. B. Sherill, "Quilts," The Magazine Antiques, July 1978, 48. Return to Text

[51] . The Amish Farm and House Brochure, 1982, in TBLCC, Box MG-95. Return to Text

[52] . Phil Johnson Ruth, "Merle Good and Phyllis Pellman Good: 'Sort of a Business, Sort of the Church, Sort of the Arts,'" in Entrepreneurs in the Faith Community: Profiles of Mennonites in Business, ed. Calvin W. Redekop and Benjamin W. Redekop (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald Press, 1996), 226-234. Return to Text

[53] . People's Place Brochure, n.d., in TBLCC, Box MG-95. Return to Text

[54] . Ruth, "Merle Good and Phyllis Pellman Good," 234-235. Return to Text

[55] . Joseph J. Devanney, "A Home for Amish Quilts," Fiberarts, Mar./Apr. 1989, 7. Return to Text

[56] . Marie Shirer, "Lancaster County Celebrates Quilts," Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, July-August 1988, 27, in CGMLC, Box MGN 388.07. Return to Text

[57] . People's Place advertisement, Amish Country Journal, Oct. 27, 1988, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[58] . Good Books, established in 1979, is the imprint for some early Amish quilt books including, Rachel T. Pellman and Joanne Ranck, Quilts among the Plain People (Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books, 1981); and Rachel and Kenneth Pellman, The World of Amish Quilts (Intercourse, Pa.: Good Books, 1984). Return to Text

[59] . Devanney, "A Home for Amish Quilts," 7. Return to Text

[60] . 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), 36. According to Patricia Herr, Lancaster County Amish quiltmakers developed their own taste for lighter colored quilts as well, although they continued to refrain from using printed fabrics. Mothers typically provide their children with both a "light" quilt and a "dark" quilt when they leave home. See Herr, "Quilts within the Amish Culture," 63. Return to Text

[61] . Herr, "Quilts within the Amish Culture," 54-55. Return to Text

[62] . Ibid., 62. Return to Text

[63] . Carol Fish, "My Life and Quilted Times," Penn Dutch Traveler, Mar. 6, 1995, 1, 10, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03; Herr, "Quilts within the Amish Culture," 64; Ed Klimuska, "New Quilts: They Sell by Thousands, Make Work for Hundreds," in Lancaster County: Quilt Capital U.S.A. (Lancaster, Pa.: Lancaster New Era, 1987), 28. Return to Text

[64] . Donald B. Kraybill and Steven M. Nolt, Amish Enterprise: From Plows to Profits (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), 46. Return to Text

[65] . Ibid, 25-29, 31, 46. Return to Text

[66] . Klimuska, "New Quilts," 29. Return to Text

[67] . For Amish views on tourism see Kraybill, Riddle, 291-293. Return to Text

[68] . Such free tourist newspapers include Penn Dutch Traveler, Intercourse News, Wilkum: Your Guided Tour of Lancaster and Its Surroundings, and Amish Country Journal. Return to Text

[69] . Susie Esh's column appeared in the Penn Dutch Traveler during 1992-1993, and possibly longer. Susie Esh, "Quilts and Things," Penn Dutch Traveler, June 15, 1992; Susie Esh, "Quilts and Things," Penn Dutch Traveler, May 1993; Susie Esh, "Quilts and Things," Penn Dutch Traveler, Apr. 1992. Issues in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[70] . See various editions of the guide in TBLCC and GCMLC. Return to Text

[71] . "The Quilt Calendar, Classic Amish Edition," 1996, in CGMLC. Return to Text

[72] . For examples of these promotions, see TBLCC. Return to Text

[73] . I examined numerous brochures from TBLCC, CGMLC and JHC. Until the late 1970s, tourist attractions do not mention quilts in their promotional materials. They do often mention hand-crafts and Pennsylvania Dutch gifts. Return to Text

[74] . Pennsylvania Dutch Visitor's Bureau, Lancaster County Pennsylvania Things to See and Do, 1980, in TBLCC Box MG-95. Return to Text

[75] . G. Llewellyn Watson and Joseph P. Kopachevsky, "Interpretations of Tourism as Commodity," Annals of Tourism Research 21, no. 3 (1994): 652. Skiadas Brothers Enterprises ad in 1993 Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor's Bureau Visitor's Guide, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[76] . The Amish Farm and House Brochure, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03; The Amish Farm and House Brochure, 1965, in TBLCC Box MG-95. Return to Text

[77] . Roger Mummert, "A Cozy Amish Craft," The New York Times, Feb. 9, 1992, 6. Return to Text

[78] . Klimuska, "New Quilts," 27. Return to Text

[79] . Klimuska, "Collectors Pay Thousands," 4. Return to Text

[80] . Thomas J. Meyers and a student research team conducted interviews with tourists visiting Shipshewana, Ind., another tourist destination located in "Amish country." To the majority of tourists interviewed, the "made by the Amish" label was an important aspect of a purchase; a majority also indicated their willingness to pay more for authentically Amish products, as "Amish means quality and homemade." See Thomas J. Meyers, "Amish Tourism: 'Visiting Shipshewana is Better Than Going to the Mall,'" MQR 77 (Jan. 2003), 123. Return to Text

[81] . Advertisement for Hand Made Quilts and Crafts, in Penn Dutch Traveler, June 15, 1992, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[82] . Advertisement for Country Barn Crafts, in Intercourse News, Holiday/ Winter 1993, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[83] . Watson and Kopachevsky, "Tourism as Commodity," 650. Return to Text

[84] . Mummert, "A Cozy Amish Craft," 6. Return to Text

[85] . Barbara Brackman, "New Amish Quilts," Quilter's Newsletter Magazine, July-Aug. 1988, 46, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.07. Return to Text

[86] . "Amish and Scrap Quilts," Intercourse News, Apr. 10, 1995, 1, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03; Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lancaster County Free Map & Visitor's Guide, 1991, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[87] . "Amish Quilts: Gifts for Generations," Intercourse News, Holiday-Winter 1993, 1, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[88] . Beverley Gordon, "The Souvenir," Journal of Popular Culture 20 (1986): 135, 42-44. Return to Text

[89] . "Quilts Are Part of the Dutch Fabric," Wilkum: Your Guided Tour of Lancaster and Its Surroundings, Apr.-June 1990, 18, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[90] . Mythologized interpretations color not only Amish quilts, but all quilts. For a helpful examination of this phenomenon see Virginia Gunn, "From Myth to Maturity: The Evolution of Quilt Scholarship," in Uncoverings 1992, ed. Laurel Horton (San Francisco: American Quilt Study Group, 1993), 192-205. Return to Text

[91] . Janos, "Collecting: Amish Quilts," 24. Return to Text

[92] . Herr, "Quilts within the Amish Culture," 55-57. Return to Text

[93] . Fox, "Amish Quilts: Old Quilts and New," 28-29. Return to Text

[94] . Jerry Irwin and Douglas Lee, "The Plain People of Pennsylvania," National Geographic, Apr. 1984, 492-519. Return to Text

[95] . "The Amish World in Pennsylvania," Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts, no. 14 1979, in CGMLC. Return to Text

[96] . Gordon, "The Souvenir," 136; Stewart, On Longing, 140. For more on the "product symbolism" of tourist commodities see Watson and Kopachevsky, "Tourism as Commodity," 656. Return to Text

[97] . "Living with Art," 142-143. Return to Text

[98] . Haarer, "I Collect Quilts," 8. Although Haarer primarily collected quilts made by the Indiana Amish, her comments certainly apply to Lancaster County quilts as well. Return to Text

[99] . Weaver-Zercher, American Imagination, 185-189. Return to Text

[100] . Susan Wolf, "Amish Quilts Old & New," Quilt Almanac, 1982, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.07. Return to Text

[101] . Betty Kane, "Quilting with Children the Amish Way," Quilting USA, Feb. 1988, 20-23, in CGMLC, Box MGN 388.07. Return to Text

[102] . Marc A. Olshan, "What Good Are the Amish?" in The Amish Struggle with Modernity, ed. Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1994), 235. Return to Text

[103] . Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Lancaster County Free Map & Visitor's Guide, 1991, in CGMLC, Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[104] . Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Lancaster County Free Map and Visitor's Guide, 1993, in CGMLC, Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[105] . Lancaster County Commissioners, "Discover Lancaster County," 1998, in TBLCC, Box MG 95. Return to Text

[106] . Ed Klimuska, Lancaster County (Stillwater, Minn.: Voyageur Press, 1998), 14. Return to Text

[107] . Patrice Crowley, "The Sacrament Called Land," Country Journal, May/June 1994, 24, in CGMLC Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[108] . Lancaster County Outlet Shopping Guide, n.d., in TBLCC, Box MG 95. Return to Text

[109] . "Outlet City" advertisement in Amish Country Journal, Dec. 1, 1988, in CGMLC, Box MGN 388.03. Return to Text

[110] . For a discussion of authenticity, tourism and commodification, see Watson and Kopachevsky, "Tourism as Commodity," 651. Also see Meyers's observations about tourists' conflicting desires for authentic experiences and opportunities to shop as part of visits to Shipshewana. Meyers, "Amish Tourism," 115-116. Return to Text

[111] . Solis-Cohen, "Heritage Center," 11-A. Return to Text

[112] . Martha Raffaele, "Quilt Museum Celebrates Fabric of Amish History," Associate Press State and Local Wire, Apr. 1, 2004. Fifty percent of the funds came from outside of Lancaster.-Lita Solis-Cohen, "Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum is Open," Maine Antique Digest, Aug. 2004, 32-C. Return to Text

[113] . John M. Spidaliere, "Sunday Service (Quilt Museum to Lure Visitors)," The Lancaster New Era, Mar. 3, 2004, A-1. Return to Text

[114] . Susan Jurgelski, "It's Hip to Buy Squares," Ibid., Mar. 25, 2004, A-6. 212 The Mennonite Quarterly Review 213 Consumption of Amish Quilts in Lancaster County 185 MQR 80 (April 2006)