Lancaster Has Been Called America’s Quilt Capital
Amish women in Pennsylvania Dutch Country have been creating exquisite handmade quilts since the mid-1800s (and perhaps earlier). Partially born of of frugality, Amish-made homemade quilts serve a practical purpose, but also serve as a form of entertainment.
Groups of Amish and Mennonite women traditionally have gathered for a quilting bee which, in addition to being productive, is a time to visit with one another once their household duties have been completed.
More recently, what was once a 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,” often accompanied by “No Sunday sales.”
Many quilting events take place in the Lancaster County area each year. There are classes and seminars on quilt-making, on the history of quilts, and events at which quilting products and supplies are displayed and sold. In addition, homemade quilts are a popular item at the famous Mud Sales that take place throughout Lancaster County in late winter and early spring. See our Lancaster Events Calendar for more details.
For quilt-making supplies, see our Fabric Shops & Quilting Supplies page.