Nine Patch

October, 2016

Nine Patch

Barbara Yoder (1885-1988)

Circa 1920
Weatherford, Oklahoma
Gift of the Robert & Ardis James Foundation, 2005.039.0005

“As in the community of quiltmakers at large, some individual Amish quiltmakers possessed distinct design skills that resulted in one-of-a-kind quilts. Barbara Yoder’s masterpiece, a striking variation of a Nine Patch which simultaneously forms a large bold X across the quilt’s surface, is just that type of quilt. Barbara, like many Midwestern Amish throughout the twentieth century, moved frequently—living in Indiana, Mississippi, Kansas and Oklahoma at different times in her life—as land, weather, money, family, and faith provided new opportunities and challenges. Yoder’s quilt was once part of the Esprit corporate collection.”
- “Amish Quilts and the Crafting of Diverse Traditions,” Guest curated by Janneken Smucker

According to her granddaughter-in-law, the quilt hung on walls in the family home. It now appears in “Amish Quilts and the Crafting of Diverse Traditions,” which will be on display at Quilt House October 7, 2016-January 25, 2017. This exhibitios showcases the diversity of past and present Amish quiltmaking, which may differ from the style audiences have come to know.

Amish quilts have often been referred to as “old dark quilts” by museum goers, and many collectors, curators, critics and dealers have called them “classic Amish quilts.” In fact, many Amish quiltmakers have made quilts that do not look distinctly Amish to outsiders. These less familiar quilts share much in common with the diverse quiltmaking traditions of dominant American culture, which grew out of 19th-and 20th-century industrialization and consumer culture.