An Amish Diamond in a Square quilt

1920-1930, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
Embroidered to opposing backside corners: DF
Wool and cotton sateen with a red diamond on purple field, turquoise and green border and square, hand quilted in diamond crosshatching, open rose, feathers, feather wreaths and eight-point stars with blue cotton backing
78" H x 78" W

  • Provenance: Sale, Miller/Brown Gallery, San Francisco, CA, November 1, 1985
    The Collection of Cindy Tietze-Hodosh and Stuart Hodosh
  • Literature: Donald B. Kraybill et al., A Quiet Spirit: Amish Quilts from the Collection of Cindy Tietze & Stuart Hodosh, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1996, pg. 137, exhibited
  • Notes: One of the "Big Three" of Amish quilt design, Diamond in a Square with it's shockingly modern color scheme and arrangement, could be at home in a museum of Modern art as easily as on the bed of an Amish family. As Jonathan Holstein notes: "The Amish chose to use [the patchwork] method in a unique matter, building waves of color expanding from a single central square in alternating files of light and dark or hot and cool colors, the whole contained a strong frame, like a fusion chamber. These basic designs were rendered and overall format that was varied by using elements from a standard design kit that have these parts and particulars: The quilts were almost invariably more square than rectangular; there was always a central square field framed by wide borders, and often a thinner inner border in a contrasting color. The outer borders could be a continuous end of one color, or large square corner blocks in a contrasting color were added. A further optional refinement, when an inner border was used, was the placement of smaller blocks at its corners. All of the features noted here can be seen in the Diamond Quilt. (Holstein, "The Aesthetics of Amish Quilts," 90)
  • Condition: Overall good condition commensurate with age and use. An area of scattered staining to one edge, 7.5' L x 2.5' W. Backside with area of fade to one corner. Velcro tacking strip sewn to one edge.

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June 30, 2020 12:00 PM PDT
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