Quilting Among the Anabaptists
The three branches of the Anabaptists (a group that broke away from the Catholic church in the 16th century) are the Amish, the Hutterite, and the Mennonite. Large groups of Amish live in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. They worship in homes, use technology selectively, are largely a farming community and live by a principle called Gelassanheit, which teaches reservedness, quietness, and sobriety. Along with the Hutterites, the Amish live in small, well-ordered communities. Their name derives from Jacob Ammann, a leader of the 16th century.
Hutterites obtained their name from Jacob Hutter, an influential leader of theirs in the 16th century. They live in small colonies of 100 or so members, largely in the Dakota Territory and Canada. They don't wear watches, jewelry, or listen to television or radio. Vehicles and farm equipment are bought by the colony. The communities each have their own school which teaches from kindergarten through 8th grade. Similar to the Mennonites or the Amish, the Hutterites wear a distinctive, traditional dress. Women cover their hair. Men wear black hats. Hutterites, like the Amish, are farming communities.
Lisa Marie Stahl is a Hutterite who has written informative and colorful articles on Hutterite life; her columns "On Colony Life" originally appeared in the Great Falls Tribune, and are now available in a bound volume for $12. In this book, Stahl's experiences as a Hutterite living a communal, spiritual life are shared in loving and eloquent detail. She discusses and describes tasks in farming and home life, education, the ties of communal living, the trilingual language, significant events and other aspects of Hutterite life.
The Mennonites, neighbors to the Amish, settled in Ontario,Canada and Pennsylvania. Their name comes from a leader by the name of Menno Simons. Using electricity, driving automobiles, using telephones, and working for wages in the outside world set the Mennonites apart from the Hutterites and Amish. Mennonites with land farm and raise fruit. Today, 30 percent of Mennonites are landless and are living in poverty, struggling with issues of food, clothing, and shelter, not unlike many in the outside world.
Quilting: Mennonite quilts are largely composed of patchwork, though they also do applique. Quilts are used to commmemorate important events. During quilting sessions where a dozen or so Mennonite women gather, the women eat and share stories with each other of family and friends, a kind of "catch-up" time for all. Scraps of cloth are salvaged from old dresses and are stitched into traditional patterns such as log cabin and star over Texas.
Their are many separating beliefs within the three groups of Anabaptists which account for further divisions among them. The Hutterites have the Dariusleut, the Lehrerleut, and the Schmeideleut. Amish have divisions as follows: There are the Old Order Amish which are the largest group. Next are an offshoot of the Old Order which are the Schwarzentruber (the most conservative). The Andy Weaver Amish and the New Order Amish have about the same amount of members.
Mennonites are divided into the Old Order Mennonites and the Progressives. The Progressives own cars and telephones. There is also a division between the Swiss South German and the Dutch Russian Mennonites.
Search Amazon.com for quilting books: amazon.com carries over 1600 quilting book titles.
some quilting books currently carried by Amazon which focus on Amish-style quilting patterns and ideas:
Amish Quilting review: Amish weren't the first or earliest quilters (no one knows where quilting originated), but they are considered some of the most talented, with their quilt designs valued for their simple, bold designs and rich beauty of their solid colors. As such, they also bring in some of the highest prices of any kind of quilt, and are seen in the most prestigious musems and collections.In the Amish community, it was always known who made the quilt and when quilts were passed down in families as heirlooms or given to friends.
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