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Amish Quilts ? A Dying American Art
Amish quilting has been a tradition for more than a century here in rural Pennsylvania. Amish women create quilts, often in groups called quilting bees. This "bee" affords them the opportunity to gather in a social setting as well as give a rare opportunity to be creative and expressive in a community that frowns on pride and fanciful possessions. Because the quilts are a functional creation for use in the home, the women are permitted to create these amazing pieces of art. They boldly experiment with contrasting colors, exquisite designs, and a variety of geometric shapes to create wonders that please the eye and bring delight to those who appreciate the complexity of the construction.
Since the Amish do not have electricity much of the stitching is done by hand or with the aid of a treadle machine. The designs of the quilt are pieced together from pieces of fabric cut into various shapes and then sewn into what will become the top of the quilt. When the top of the quilt is complete, the bottom fabric and batting are added and then quilted together with intricate stitching that form infinite numbers are patterns themselves. The quilt is then bound at the edges. This process can take weeks or even months depending on how many quilters are working on the quilt and how much time is afforded to the project, depending on the season in which it is being created. During harvest time, in addition to their busy household schedules of cooking three large meals, cleaning, raising the children, making the family's clothing, these women are often involved in working along the men to help in the harvest.
Today, however, I fear this wonderful tradition is becoming slowly a thing of the past. The young Amish women I have spoken with are becoming more involved in other areas of Amish life. In what I perceive as a type of women's movement in the community, many are learning the trades previously only taught to their young male counterparts. Many are learning carpentry and help their families crafting furniture and cabinetry. Some can be seen driving team of draft horses along with their fathers in the fields. Many are working in their family's stores, keeping books, ringing registers, selling the goods that they have to offer. They do not seem to have the interest in the "bees" as their mothers and grandmothers did since it seems to be increasingly accepted that they take a more active role in the family businesses.
There is also the ever present "English" world outside their community which offers constant shortcuts to the traditional Amish life. Recently, the big news in our little corner of the world was that a Wal-Mart was being constructed about 10 miles from our little community. When the store opened, I must say I was saddened, but not surprised to see in addition to the vast parking lot, there was a hitching post. What this meant to me was that the retail world was sending a special invitation to these simple folks to come and let us replace your century old traditions with a $69 mass produced factory bedspread. It makes sense for these women to accept this invitation. They have long days filled with countless tasks and here is an opportunity to send less money than they do on fabric and get a completed item and countless hours back!
To further my concern about this, I recently met an Amish gentleman at a local quilt sale. We began speaking as we both sell Amish quilts. I was surprised to learn he had traveled here to Lancaster from Ohio to buy quilts. When I inquired about this, as I know Ohio has a substantial Amish community, he replied that they aren't making many quilts there and he had better luck coming all the way to my neck of the woods to find them!! How long will it be until this happens in my community!
Well, that is all on this subject for now. I will close in saying that if you, the reader, own an Amish quilt, cherish it! You have a treasure that may someday soon become a rare commodity. If you do not, and you love art, find one! Support this artform before it is lost!
The Top Five Morgan Silver Dollars
Why waste everyone's time? Let's skip the appetizers and get to the meaty stuff right now: The Morgan silver dollars poised to increase the most in value in the years ahead are the 1895, 1892-CC, 1894, 1878-CC, and the 1883-CC. Pretty bold prediction, eh? At this point, the reader now has three options: (1) Stop reading and act upon this information, (2) Stop reading and get on with life, or (3) Continue on, evaluate the analytical approach to identify the "Top Five" Morgan dollars, and then implement a variation of (1) or (2) above. If you've gotten this far, we encourage you to continue on with option (3).
How to Make Quilted Silver Beads
After making the leaf bead, I was impressed with the detail made possible by the metal clay. Therefore, I decided to use the same technique but create a different look. When I finished making these beads, I thought they looked as though they had been "quilted." Before firing, each bead weighed about 5.43 grams. After firing, they are about 3.8 grams each. The size and weight of your beads may depend on how large you make them and the size of the straw that you use for creating the holes in the beads.
Tracing Your Family History
Let me say straight away that tracing your family ancestry is a great hobby but very addictive, so unless you want to get well and truly hooked, don't start.
A Brief History of Japanese Daruma Dolls
Daruma dolls are representations of the historical Indian priest Bodhidharma, a sage who traveled throughout Japan and China in the 5th or 6th century AD. Bodhidharma is credited with establishing Chan Buddhism in China and Zen Buddhism in Japan. Legend has it that Bodhidharma achieved enlightenment, or satori, following seven years of meditation either in a cave or as he was facing the wall of a room at the Shorinji Temple in China. During this time he moved neither his eyes nor his limbs. Legend has it that as a result of his inactivity Bodhidharma's limbs shriveled and fell off. Another legend relates that angry with the fact that he had fallen asleep during his meditation, Bodhidharma cut off his eyelids in a fit of anger. It is believed that the severed eyelids fell to the ground and sprouted into China's first green tea plants!
How to Value Your Jewelry at Home or Work
Many thanks for taking the time to read this compact jewelry article entitled 'How to Value your Jewelry at Home or Work'. You are about to discover the intricacies and formulas that highly qualified Gemologists and Valuers are using, right now, to evaluate and appraise gold, silver and platinum jewelry.
Woodworking Tools: Right Selection And Care Will Save You Money, Part 4
Woodworking: Tools Of The Trade, Part 4 - Tools For Shaping
Woodworking ? Creative, Relaxing and Timeless
The title reflects Woodworking as a hobby, not as a vocation. Vocational woodworking is pretty much the opposite of the adjectives in the title because of the intense pressure to produce quickly in order to make it pay the bills. So we'll stick with the hobby orientation for purposes of this article.
Aromatherapy Candles - How to Select the Right Scent
Feel sad, tired, or a little bit stressed? Something as simple as an aromatherapy candle could help you relax and feel happier. But not all scented candles have this effect. Let's find out how to select an aromatherapy candle that can lift your mood.
How To Create A Collage Journal
Creating a collage journal is a unique and fun way to personalize and enrich your journal. Making a collage journal is something that everyone can enjoy. If you are a visual artist, photographer, writer or just someone who wants to enhance your written journal, then creating a collage journal can be quite an adventure.
Antiques - The Modern Day Treasure Hunt
In today's world, everything that's old can be described as antiques and generally speaking that's quite true. A product is considered to be an antique if it is over a hundred years old or is rare enough to have some value. In other words, these are old items that are in limited supply.
Depression Glass Companies
Just before the advent of the Great Depression, more than a hundred companies manufactured glassware in the United States. At the end of the Depression, fewer than fifty percent of these companies remained in business. Of these companies, seven became major players in the production of Depression glass, and these seven companies utilized a little more than 90 patterns to decorate their wares. Indiana Glass, Hocking, Federal, U.S. Glass, Jeanette Glass, MacBeth-Evans, and Hazel-Atlas manufactured hundreds of thousands of pieces of this popular and inexpensive glass, creating a bright spot in the lives of everyday, working-class people during a grim epoch of American history.
From Clutter To Treasure: Re-use and Not Reject!
Make use of clutter to decorate your home! Sounds strange? Believe me its possible! While moving into my new house, I had to get rid of a lot of old pots, torn clothes, cracked dishes and chipped china. At my wit's end trying to figure a way out of the mess, it struck me that I could actually use a lot of these to make decorative accents for my new home.
Kona Cotton: The Quilters & Embroiderers Dream Fabric
What, Exactly, Is Kona Cotton? Kona(R) cotton is a premium, 100% cotton broadcloth from Robert Kaufman Fabrics in Los Angeles. The company introduced the fabric in the 1980's in response to the then rapidly emerging quilting industry, an interest that continues unabated today. It is a soft, light fabric, often called the 'Quilter's Cotton', that is also ideal for fine apparel such as children's clothing; soft, comfortable shirts; dresses; applique and home decorating. It has a 'meaty' hand, which means you can really feel the difference when you touch the fabric and that makes it a joy to work with. Warps. And Wefts, Too Kona cotton has a high 60 by 60 thread count. This means there are 60 warp threads and 60 weft threads per square inch of fabric. Until I did some research, I didn't know what warp and weft threads were. (I had never even heard the word 'weft'.) A warp thread is a support thread in the loom, long and strong and usually tied down onto the loom; a weft thread is passed back and forth between the warp threads to form cloth. It is that high thread count, all those warps and wefts playing together, that make Kona cotton a soft, light, yet very durable material; one of the best woven fabrics available for hand or machine quilting. Pre-use Care It's a good idea to launder the fabric to remove any sizing/finish before using it in your project. Treat it as you would any new 100% cotton fabric: Gentle wash, mild detergent, tumble dry low, remove promptly and iron. Expect about a 1-3% shrinkage. What About Color? Kona is available in plenty of colors, 170 solid colors according to the manufacturer's web site, RobertKaufman.com. And a quick search for 'hand dyed Kona cotton' will pop up vendors offering hundreds of colors and patterns of beautifully dyed Kona cotton fabric. But Aren't You an Embroiderer? Yes, I am a machine embroiderer and those same qualities that make Kona cotton ideal for quilting and sewing apply to machine embroidery, too. That meaty feel I mentioned makes it very easy to hoop and quick to stabilize. The push/pull factor is minimal and, best of all, the stitched out designs are gorgeous on it. Even though there a many cheaper fabrics, I test all my embroidery designs on Kona cotton and turn to it first for any finished embroidery project I have.
History of Kokeshi Wooden Dolls from Japan
Little is known of the early history of Kokeshi Japanese Wooden Dolls. One school of thought believes that Kokeshi dolls have their origins in the practice of spiritualist religion. Wooden dolls were thought to contain the spiritual essence of the dead and were often made for honorary remembrance.
The Theme and Title of Your New Scrapbook
The theme of your scrapbook can be simple or complex. Your theme could be a special event such as a birthday, a baby shower, a wedding, Christmas, or Halloween. Themes can also be personalized to the scrapbook recipient's special interests. Special interests themes include favorite colors, sports, favorite television programs, music, the outdoors, or cultural influences.
Puzzle Pieces, Sequins, and Rhine Stones in Your Scrapbooks
Puzzle pieces make playful embellishments and borders. Puzzle pieces give a creative and playful look to children's art and educational scrapbooks.
17 Tips For Getting Balloons to Last Longer in Hot Weather
In warm weather, latex balloons will typically only last outside for a day. As you know, sun, wind and heat will biodegrade the latex. With that said, however, there are tricks you can do to raise your odds of getting them to last more than a day outside.
Kids Crafts: Balloons, Bubbles & Balls #1
Craft: Colored Bubbles Activities: Flyswatter Bubbles, Cotton Ball Pickup, Balloon Water Fun Snack: Chewy Popcorn Balls Reading Selection: The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois
The Unusual Characteristics Of Reverse Painting
By stepping backwards in time one can discover an important part of art history associated with reverse painting on glass.It was an era that heralded the use of this art form 'en masse' during which people in communities could directly express in their own original way what they lived, perceived and felt in their own daily lives. Even to this day many artists who work on glass have been inspired through their links with furniture-making, glass production, the building trade, the teaching profession, or with farming and agriculture.
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