The Day in the Life of an Amish Quilter (part 1)
Life for the Amish quilter in general is not easy. Without benefiting from the modern conveniences that we all take for granted, such as electricity, automobiles, and telephones, the Amish choose to shun these technologies in order to live a simpler life. However, a simpler life does not mean an easier life. Imagine, for a moment, what it might be like to live your life without televisions, radios, video games, computers, cell phones, cars, central heating and air, interior electric lighting, microwaves, dishwashers, hair dryers, curling irons, or any electricity whatsoever. To most people today, this would seem like an impossible task. While some Amish communities do use generators or natural gas to power some of their household appliances, it's just not the same as having a whole house full of electric powered devices. If you think about it, our modern lives have become dependent upon our modern conveniences, things that the typical Amish family has no use of or experience with. Being an Amish woman today is perhaps doubly hard as they are responsible for everything from raising the children to keeping the home to providing additional income for the family and Amish community at large. Consider for a moment, what life must be like for an Amish woman and quilter today.
Life for an Amish quilter starts well before the sun comes up, usually around four or five o'clock in the morning. A few moments of quiet solitude are usually enjoyed before her family awakens and the day begins. She might start a fire to warm the home for the rest of the family or to prepare for cooking the morning meal. As the family arises, everyone does their morning chores, which can take about one to two hours every day. The Amish quilter might spend the morning doing the family's laundry and hanging it on clothes lines to dry in the open air as the sun rises. She then might tend to the family livestock by feeding the pigs and chickens, cleaning the pens, and gather any eggs or milk that might be needed for the morning meal. The Amish quilter then prepares breakfast, which usually consists of eggs, pancakes, fried potatoes, shoofly pie, canned fruit, milk, juice, and cereal. Before breakfast, however, the family is gathered together around the table and silent prayers are made. The Amish quilter and her husband will then discuss the chores and activities that must be done that day and may assign the children various tasks that will need to be taken care of when they arrive home from school. After breakfast, the Amish quilter prepares lunch for her husband and the children and they leave for work and school.
If there are older girls in the Amish quilter's home who have completed their studies, they will stay home and help with the chores that need to get done around the house. Otherwise, the Amish quilter is usually left alone for the rest of the morning. An Amish quilter is responsible for the cooking, cleaning, sewing, washing, gardening, and yard work around the home. After cleaning the kitchen following the morning meal, she might need to do some sewing or mending of clothes that her husband or children may need. Since the Amish generally don't buy clothes at a clothing store, the Amish quilter is usually an expert seamstress since she is responsible for the clothes her family wears. The Amish quilter might then head outside and tend to the family garden. This can include a variety of flowers, vegetables, and fruits that she grows during the spring and summer months in order to use for the family's daily meals or to be canned for use during the fall and winter months. In addition, the Amish quilter must mow the lawn using a push mower and pull the weeds that might be growing in and around the family home.
The Day in the Life of an Amish Quilter (part 2)