Creating Family Traditions in Owning an Amish Quilt (part 1)
In today's busy world, it seems as if family traditions have fallen by the wayside for many of us. Things that used to bind us together as members of the same family and handed down from generation to generation almost seem like the actions of a long forgotten era. Things like passing down treasured recipes, special holiday traditions, and sharing family history are slowly being forgotten and replaced with informality and a loosening of ties that have bound families together for millennia. Fortunately, all is not lost forever. Family traditions can be picked up and carried on to future generations with a little effort and a lot of determination by one or more members of the family. New traditions can be developed and passed on just as easily as old ones can be reenergized, practiced, and enjoyed by the whole family.
Some people may think that tradition is equal in meaning to 'old fashioned' and might not be embraced by the younger generations. While some family members might initially resist starting or reestablishing a family tradition, particularly teenagers, any type of family bonding activity will usually result in bringing the members of the family closer together. If you think about it, you probably have fond memories of a tradition your family used to participate in, but didn't really appreciate it at the time. Today, it probably reminds you of 'the good old days' and makes you yearn for something similar that you can share with your own children. In the years to come, your children will also look back upon the traditions you shared with them and remember them fondly, but where to begin?
When it comes to heritage and tradition, the Amish have cornered the market. They hold so dearly to their traditions and ways of simple living that their communities have changed little over the last hundred years or so. One of the most beautiful traditions the Amish have managed to pass down over the decades has been the tradition of the handmade Amish quilt. While the Amish didn't invent quilting, they certainly have perfected it and turned it into something that is an identifying feature that represents their culture, beliefs, and traditions. Using dark, bold colors to create unique geometric shapes and patterns, Amish quilts are considered to be some of the most beautiful and best made examples of traditional handmade quilting techniques around the world. Individual scraps of fabrics are stitched together by hand using precise and evenly spaced stitches to give the Amish quilt a uniform and finished look. After the design of the top sheet is completed, the Amish quilt is then placed on a large frame that stretches the piece out and the inside quilting layers and bottom sheet are attached. Often, all the women of the Amish community gather together in what is called a 'quilting bee' and they put the final piece together by stitching the quilted designs to create a beautiful Amish quilt.
Creating Family Traditions in Owning an Amish Quilt (part 2)