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Two hidden valleys--one in Pennsylvania, the other in Virginia--held vibrant communities and quilting traditions during the closing years of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. How do the quilts compare, that the Amish and Mennonites made during their peak quiltmaking years in these tucked-away places? The Big Valley in Pennsylvania's Mifflin County was (and continues to be) the home of three Old Order Amish groups. The quilts from this Valley were made mostly from dress fabrics (solid colors without prints). They are strong and bold with occasional flashes of powerful color. Precisely pieced but more subdued quilts, filled with minutely stitched quilting, were made at the same time by the Mennonites of the Shenandoah Valley. Phyllis Pellman Good, curator of The People's Place Quilt Museum, offers historical background to the two valleys and their people, and insightful descriptions of the quilts they made.
Imagine raising six spirited kids on a grass farm. Today. Thatrsquo;ll test any mamarsquo;s strength. Dorcas Smucker and her brood live out their days in full view in this collection of musingspicking blueberries while watching for bears hoping for angels driving off the nearby freeway moving into the ldquo;thousandstory houserdquo; enduring 15yearold Mattrsquo;s lecture on respect while captive in the car. Then there was the fourweek road trip which Dorcas says ldquo;My sisterinlaw warned me would be like putting your whole family in a bathroom and staying there for three days.rdquo; Dorcas and her husband Paul are purposeful parents. But they arenrsquo;t perfect. Dorcas wonders if their marriage can endure when she and Paul canrsquo;t ever figure out what gifts to give each other. She tries to navigate her mild daughterrsquo;s development into a very certain self wondering ldquo;When do I give in and when do I stand firmrdquo;There are no recipes here. But there is story upon story. Dorcas has three daughters and three sons. And she has a voiceencouraging doubting entertaining but never taking herself too seriously. Often slightly offstride and with disarming humility Dorcas keeps finding resource in her life at home ldquo;Often the things we donrsquo;t know we need come into our lives without knocking.rdquo;
Buy Quilts From Two Valleys by Phyllis Pellman Good, Kate Woodford, Nabendu Chaki, Dhinaharan Nagamalai, Monique Jeanblanc & Meg Schnieder from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781561482863 & 1561482862
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