Lancaster Has Been Called America’s Quilt Capital
Amish women Pennsylvania Dutch Country have been creating exquisite handmade quilts since the mid-1800’s (and some believe even earlier). Amish quilts are an expression of frugality. They not only serve a practical, functional purpose, but serve as a form of entertainment as well. Many times groups of Amish and Mennonite women gather for a quilting bee. The bee is a form of socialization and relaxation for these women. It’s a time when they can get together to visit and “catch up” with one another once their household duties have been completed.
More recently, this social gathering has turned into a business enterprise for many plain women. Cottage quilt industries are springing up throughout Lancaster County. Many Amish and Mennonite women have opened up small shops in their homes to subsidize the family’s income. A handmade sign, stating simply: “Quilts sold here.” No Sunday sales” announces that fact.
There are also several large quilting events that take place in the Lancaster County area each year. These events include classes and seminars on quilt-making, the history of quilts, and numerous displays of quilted products and supplies. In addition, homemade quilts are a popular sales item at the famous Mud Sales present throughout Lancaster. See our Lancaster Events Calendar for more details.
For quilt-making supplies, see our Fabric Shops & Quilting Supplies page.