The Day in the Life of an Amish Quilter (part 2)
It is only after the household chores and yard work are done that the Amish quilter will take the time to work on her craft of quilting. While the husband is considered the head of the household and is responsible for the majority of money that comes into the home through farming, woodworking, construction, or other means of employment, Amish women are also expected to provide income to the family. This can come in the form of quilting, sewing, baking, cooking, or canning the fruit they grow in their gardens. These products are then sold in the local markets or through their own family run businesses. Only women who are particularly suited for and adept at the traditional methods of Amish quilting will choose quilting as their 'career.'
Because the Amish do not use electricity that comes from the city run power lines, much of the quilting they do is by hand. However, this does not mean that it is all done by hand. Many Amish quilters use treadle powered sewing machines or electric machines that have been retrofitted to use generator or gas power to piece their scraps of cloth together. The Amish quilter will spend the early hours of the afternoon cutting and piecing together her Amish quilt designs, usually to take advantage of the afternoon light. Most of the quilting an Amish quilter does is in the fall and winter months when there are less chores to do and the weather keeps them indoors. Amish quilters might also get together with the other women in the community and assemble their quilts together at a quilting bee. Individual top sheets that are done in the home usually are made during the colder fall and winter months, while the community quilting bees occur in the spring and summer months to complete the quilts as a group.
After the children return home from school and their husbands arrive home from work, the Amish quilter prepares the evening meal and completes any remain chores. At the dinner table, the family discusses the day's events and what has been accomplished. After the table has been cleared and the dishes put away, the Amish family will spend a quiet night at home reading under gas or propane fueled lamps or playing board games. The Amish quilter might spend some more time working on her Amish quilt or writing letters to distant relatives. Once the sun has gone down, the evening prayer is said and everyone gets ready for bed. The Amish quilter is the last to retire and will again be the first to arise the next day where it will all start over again in the same way it has for generations.
The Day in the Life of an Amish Quilter (part 1)