5 Quilt Shops in Ohio Amish Country (and What They Do)

Curious about the ancient tradition of Amish Quilting? Quilting in Amish communities has a rich history and a great story about how they got to where they are today!

A beautiful Amish quilt

By

Kyle Reyes

on

Jan 21, 2021

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Ohio has a large number of Amish communities, and its Amish country has thrived over the years. With their growth, they have opened a number of shops where they sell their handmade and homemade goods. All Amish goods are of exceptional quality, and their quilts are no exception! The Amish have quilted for over a century, and many communities have mastered their own personal technique in quilting to produce beautiful and artistic quilts. 

Interested in shopping for quilts in Amish country, Ohio? Read on for information about:

  • The history of Amish quilts and quilters
  • Why quilts are so popular to this day
  • 5 awesome quilt shops in Amish country

Amish Quilts

A store full of Amish quilts in Ohio
Amish Quilt stores are a great representation of the evolution of quilts and quilters in the Amish community. Image courtesy of Mercantile on Main.

An old and respectable pastime, quilting is a big part of Amish culture and community. Amish quilters are common within every community, and in Ohio’s Amish country, there are many quilt shops featuring beautiful, handwoven Amish quilts. The Amish culture is a very rich, unique culture, and their quilting through the years is a significant part of that. 

The usefulness of the quilt, in some respect, has enabled many Amish people to explore their creativity by making artistic designs on their quilts, and that combination of a quality quilt and a beautiful quilt has helped them become the commodity that they are today and has enabled many quilt shops to open up and do business in Ohio’s Amish country. 

History

The culture and history surrounding Amish quilt making are immense. Quilts are a practical way to create large and warm homemade coverings. For many years, the Amish made quilts from leftover fabrics, and they have continued the tradition to this day! Quilts have gone through trends mostly devoid of popular culture influences. Some core values of the Amish culture are humility, family, community, and separation from the outside world. They do not access the internet, many go without electricity, living off the land. 

As the Amish have lived for many generations in their communities, their quilts have changed and evolved with their culture. What were once mismatched pieces of leftover cloth have turned into beautiful pieces of art and expression, over the years. As time went on, quilting circles became social gatherings where Amish quilters, mostly women, would chat and enjoy each other’s company. This also united the quilters through multiple generations, with Amish women teaching the youth quilting techniques as well as other general life advice, such as how to care for a home and family. 

Why quilts?

Many Amish men and women are excellent at a craft. It may be woodworking, metalworking, or sewing, among many others. One important thing all of these have in common — they produce a practical good. In the beginning of the 20th century, cotton and fabric were much more expensive, so Amish women were limited in most cases to scraps of fabric unsuitable for clothing to create their quilts, which kept them warm in the winter months. 

Many Amish women tend gardens in the warm season, but they found they had extra time in the winter when their gardening work was on hiatus. In this extra time, with this extra fabric, Amish women many years ago started to sew quilts. The practicality of spending time creating a warm and beautiful bed covering made it so that quilting grew in popularity and has stayed a popular pastime in Amish country.  

What makes them unique

To this day, most Amish quilts are made by hand. Amish women are allowed to use a sewing machine, but only if it is powered by a treadle (foot power), battery, or diesel generator. Regardless of whether the quilt is made by hand stitching or with a machine, the quality and beauty of these quilts are unmatched

Many Amish women start sewing when they are very young, learning how to thread needles and do simple stitches. Through their childhood, they spend a lot of time sewing and learning how to sew progressively more complex patterns, as the Amish see quilting as an excellent pastime. As they get older and spend more and more time sewing, Amish women become masters at their craft. Their stitching is perfect, but it is more than just their skills that result in these beautiful and cozy pieces of art. 

The Amish stay disconnected from the larger world. Many do not have access to the internet or the power grid. They stay within their families and communities. This means they exist outside of popular culture, not keeping track of the fads and fashions of the day. Their quilt patterns have evolved within their own culture, from their unique perspectives. The patterns are beautiful, varied, and often the main creative outlet of Amish women. Amish quilts are a popular good that is sold by Amish communities, either directly from the community or from a quilt shop connected to an Amish community. 

Quilters in Amish Country, OH

While quilting may not be as popular as it was 50 years ago in the United States, it has remained an integral part of Amish culture and community. Quilters often gather to sew and create their quilts together, each working on an individual project or together on their quilt. These gatherings are relaxed and social, a time to catch up and enjoy one another’s company. 

Helping Hands Quilt Shop

Shop at Berlin, Ohio’s oldest quilt shop
The outside of an Amish quilt shop in Ohio
What are you waiting for? Drive over to Helping Hands Quilt Shop to explore Berlin’s finest Amish quilts! Image courtesy of Yelp.

4818 State Route 39 | Berlin | helpinghandsquilts.com

Helping Hands Quilt Shop is the original quilt shop in Berlin, Ohio. They proudly carry high-quality fabric, finished quilts, books on how to quilt, and sample patterns, among other quilting items. The staff there is exceptionally kind and willing to help you find the perfect quilt or start your own quilting journey.

If you have a quilt in progress or are looking to start one this shop is a great place to go! Their staff is happy to guide you through the next step or help you find the perfect fabric to complete the project you are working on. Everyone in the store has great knowledge and love for quilting, so you are in good hands! The quilts available at Helping Hands are a great embodiment of the Amish quilting traditions, and you can tell that these artistic quilts have a piece of the personality of the maker in them as well. 

“What a nice little shop. It has spacious Isles and a great selection of quilt fabric. I was able to find many things even though I am not a quilter but a lover of fabric. The prices are pretty good, lower than shops at home for some items, higher on others.” -- Yelp Review

Miller’s Dry Goods

A large Amish quilt shop that has the perfect selection of fabrics, quilts, and notions.
Hundreds of fabrics in an Amish quilt store
A peek at the selection of fabric at Miller’s Dry Goods. They have it all! Image courtesy of Yelp.

4500 State Route 557 | Millersburg | millersdrygoods.com

Started in 1965, Miller’s Dry Goods has seen great success, growing from a handful of fabrics and quilts in the family kitchen to occupying two buildings, filling them with experienced staff, homemade quilts, and thousands of bolts of fabric. This store is a must-see if you are into sewing, as they have a wide variety of hard-to-find fabrics as well as stock-standard ones. 

And the quilts at Miller’s Dry Goods are beautiful. They are full of amazing patterns, handmade with the Amish skill that makes them so beautiful. Miller’s Dry Goods is one of the biggest Amish quilt stores in Ohio, and it is a great place to stop if you are looking for a specific fabric or are interested in browsing their impressive selection of finished quilts. 

“Really nice and fun shop full of a ton of fabrics, notions, patterns and homemade products. They have 2 buildings, one with a mixture of homemade items upstairs and some fabric downstairs and another with 2 floors of just fabric. They have a lot of hard to find specialty fabric.” -- Yelp Review

Chestnut Ridge Sewing

Repairing and Selling Sewing Machines since 1985!

5079 Township Road 401 | Millersburg | chestnutridgesewing.com

In need of a top-of-the-line sewing machine? Chestnut Ridge Place is the place to go! Founded by Tom Beachy in 1985, Chestnut Ridge Sewing started out by repairing old sewing machines in his shed. News of his skill spread quickly and what started as a tiny business had grown so much that he moved to a larger building. Tom’s family joined in his business, and since then this Amish quilt shop has prospered and grown in Millersburg, Ohio. There are a lot of great quilt shops in Millersburg. If you are nearby, you should check them all out! 

Now, Chestnut Ridge Sewing offers fine repair services and sells excellent sewing machines. If you are in the market, this is a great place to go! 

Lone Star Quilt Shop

Look around this quaint Amish quilt store for beautiful, homemade quilts!
A few happy customers browsing Amish quilts in Ohio
Happy customers looking at the available quilts at Lone Star Quilt Shop. Every one is unique! Image courtesy of Visit Places

7700 County Road 77 | Millersburg | vizitplaces.com/lone-star-quilt-shop

Located in Amish country, Lone Star Quilt Shop is a great place to go for a unique selection of handmade quilts. For such a small store, there is a surprising amount of handmade goods. This is a very Amish quilt store with a super friendly staff that is excited to show you their quilts, and willing to tell you about the person who made them too! As all of these quilts are handmade in their community, you are purchasing a piece of their community when you purchase a quilt from Lone Star Quilt Shop. Your quilt was stitched and patterned and put together with care and joy by a member of Ohio’s Amish community.

Der Alte Quilt Shop

A Hidden Gem in Amish Country
The outside of a beautiful quilt store in Amish country, Ohio
Der Arle Quilt Shop is a great place to stop by when in Amish Country! Their store is homely and welcoming. Image courtesy of North American Shop Hop

3795 US 62 | Dundee

The Der Arlt Quilt Shop is located on US Route 62 and it’s owned by sisters Sara and Ruth Miller. Similar to Lone Star Quilt Shop, Der Arlt is a traditional Amish store. The sisters are very nice and happy to assist whether you are looking for a finished quilt, a bolt of fabric, or a notion. Der Arlt is located amidst large plots of farmland and has an absolutely amazing view. It is a calm store and a lovely place to visit in Amish country, Ohio. 

There are a few interesting pieces about this store. One is that it is a “green” shop, meaning it is not connected to the power grid. They have solar panels on the roof that power the lights on the interior, and they ask that you turn the lights off when you are not using them to examine the fabrics and quilts. 

They are also willing to custom make quilts and notions for you. If, when browsing, you don’t find exactly what you are looking for you can talk with the owners and ask for a custom piece. They are willing to quilt it for you! This takes time, of course, but all that means is you have another reason to visit Amish country in Ohio!

Planning a Trip to Amish Country, Ohio?

There are so many great Amish quilt shops to check out in Ohio. What’s awesome about the Amish quilt shops — each and every one has its own set of unique quilts, often created by a member of that community. What do you think of quilt shops in Ohio’s Amish Country? Let us know in the comments!

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