Plain & Simple Quilts
Custom Hand Quilting
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If you love to quilt but hate to piece, we would be happy to piece a top for you in your size, pattern, and color preference. Since we design and build quilts from start to finish, we can make a quilt any way you wish. If you are ready to begin right away, take a look at our quilt tops. (The link will open a new page to our parent website; close it to return here.) You might find your next project among these tops currently in our inventory. Have a top that is too small to be functional for your bed size? We can add border fabrics to meet your size requirements. Even if you have a quilt that is not completed, we can finish it for you. Our expert Amish quilters are ready to turn your old or new quilt top into a cherished family heirloom.
Due to the variety of mattresses available today, it is important that you measure your bed to determine the size requirements. A cloth tape is recommended for this purpose.
We will need:
1) the width of the bed mattress measured side to side, 2) the drop (length you want the quilt to fall on each side of the mattress). Double the drop for one side and add the mattress width to arrive at the width of the quilt. 3) the mattress length (head to foot).
To use the quilt as a coverlet (for use with pillow shams), add a single drop measurement to the length of the mattress. The resulting number is the quilt length. For the over/under pillow tuck style quilt, add 10 inches to the quilt length above plus two drop measurements.
Our ready-made quilts (a window will open over this page) are representative of typical, traditional Amish quilt patterns and colors. If one of our ready-made quilts appeals to you, but is not featured in the size/color you are wanting, we can create it to your specifications. If you don't see the pattern you are wanting, we have 100's of quilt patterns in our archives. To obtain an estimate move to our Custom Ordering Page.
First: Determine the name of the quilt pattern. The name is helpful but not absolutely necessary. Our experienced staff can often determine the pattern name by your description. Many of the older, traditional quilt patterns are known commonly by several different names. In order to ensure that we understand precisely the pattern you are wanting, we will send a copy of the pattern as an email attachment for your approval.
Second: Tell us the dimensions of the mattress top, the width of the drops and how you intend to use the quilt: over the pillows or with shams.
Third: Advise the colors you want. If you are wanting a particular shade of a color, you will be asked to mail a paint chip, a swatch of fabric, a drapery tieback, etc., so we can be certain of an exact match. Often our customers will merely specify blue, rose, green, etc., without needing a precise color match. If this is your case, we have hundreds of bolts of fabric and years of experience in making pleasing color combinations. A grid of your quilt pattern will be made. Small swatches of the selected fabrics will be attached to your grid and mailed to you for your approval. Or, if you prefer, you may make your own fabric selections at your local fabric store. We will be pleased to provide you with the precise yardage requirements for each color change in your pattern, and also offer a "fabric credit" toward the cost of your custom quilt.
Grandmothers fan pattern made from using neckties.
Hand quilting takes considerable time; custom ordered quilts require a minimum of three months to complete. Email Lydia with your pattern name or a description if you don't know the name, and the precise quilt measurements. We will promptly respond by email with information on how your wishes can best be accomplished. Please take a moment to review our sales policy and payment option information.
Once we understand what your custom work entails, we will determine the costs involved and offer an estimate for your approval. Since we do not charge extra for custom orders, you may get a "ball park" figure for your custom quilt in your bed size by visiting our ready-made quilts (a window will open over this page). After you visit, just close the window to return to this page. If you would like to exchange ideas in a more personal way, we encourage you to call us at 931-840-5522.
Many of us that refer to ourselves as "quilters" are reluctant to admit that though we love to quilt, we hate to cut and piece the tops. We have several very talented Amish women who prefer to cut and piece rather than quilt. They welcome the challenge presented by an unfamiliar quilt pattern and the often confusing mathematics involved in adapting patterns to fit a particular bed size. Contact us, we will do the tedious work and leave the enjoyable, relaxing work of quilting to you. We are now offering quilt tops (the link opens a new page over this one) or quilt top kits that contain all the necessary materials to begin quilting as soon as your top arrives.
Email Lydia with the name of the quilt pattern you are wanting. If you have a pattern you haven't gotten around to making, she will give you our mailing address.
Many of the quilt tops we piece have the fabrics accompany the patterns, or if you prefer, we can supply fabrics for you in your color choice. Once we have your selected pattern, we will be happy to mail fabric swatches to you. Quilts and quilt tops are made to your specifications, so please double check to make sure the dimensions you are supplying are accurate.
Simple quilt patterns are charged at a flat rate of $26.00 per square yard for cutting and piecing, when the customer supplies the fabric. If our fabrics are preferred, we charge $32.50 per square yard for cutting and piecing services.
Intricate quilt patterns utilizing your fabrics are charged at the rate of $32.00 per square yard, or $37.50 per square yard using our fabrics. Please contact Lydia with your exact quilt top size and pattern name to obtain a price for cutting and piecing a top for you.
When a quilt top is made it is the intention of the person who created it that it be put into service. Many of you are the proud caretakers of quilt tops from a previous generation. These are the truest family treasures. Had they been completed immediately, they would long since be in shambles from harsh detergents and loving wear. These tops represent your families' very personal link to their ancestors.
Recently, we quilted a 120 year old top that was, for generations, passed along in a cedar chest. Now it proudly rests upon the bed of a relative, six generations removed from its creator.
We charge for only the actual services we perform. You choose how much or how little. For example, if you are having quilting done, your invoice would reflect only the quilting yardage stitched into your quilt. Our finishing services are offered as ala carte selections:
We can supply batting in your preference of 100% bonded cotton, 100% wool, bonded polyester or unbonded polyester. Cotton and wool both give a flatter, more antique appearance to your quilt and either is the batting of choice for antique quilt tops. Bonded polyester provides slightly more loft than cotton, but it is not appreciable. The unbonded polyester is the highest loft batting available for hand quilting. If you are wanting a "puffy" look, this would be the batting to accomplish that appearance. We purchase unbonded polyester batting in huge rolls and cut to the exact requirements for your quilt. Thus we are able to offer it at a price well below retailers. The cotton and bonded polyester batting comes to us cut and packaged by quilt sizes, just as you would purchase it. Consequently, we cannot compete with larger retailers, so our prices for the batting can run about $3.00 more then you may be able to acquire it locally. Our backing fabrics are high quality 100% cotton and cotton/polyester blends in solid colors. If you prefer a patterned backing, you will be asked to supply the materials. Please avoid sheeting fabric; the thread counts are too dense for hand quilting purposes.
Our 45" wide fabrics are billed at $6.50 per yard. The wider muslins vary in price by width. Whenever acceptable we try to use unpieced backing. However, muslin is not always a good match with the tops, then pieced backing is necessary. We carry 90", 108", 110", 118", and 120" whole cloth fabric in stark white, ivory and unbleached. The 90" fabric is also available in colors: rose, light blue, fushia, lavender, burgundy, dark purple, dark green, peach, black and Navy.
You are encouraged to provide your own backing and batting. If you choose to do this, we ask that you launder your backing fabric. Wash it in warm water, using a small amount of any detergent to remove fabric sizing, and allow for shrinkage and running of dyes prior to quilting. We do not launder backing fabrics, as we don't know if the fabrics used in the composition of the quilt top were laundered prior to application. If the backing fabric is pre-washed/pre-shrunk on a top that was not subjected to pre-shrinking, the backing and top will not shrink at the same rate and the top will be puckery. If you would like for us to supply the backing fabric, and pre-wash this, the charge for this additional service is $10.00. If you are sending a backing fabric that requires piecing of panels, this service is charged additionally at $10.00 per seam.
You may wish to have us prepare your quilt for the frame by basting the layers for the charge listed below. You can forgo this charge by doing the preparation for quilting. If this is your choice, we have no preference for pin or thread basting, whichever you prefer. We do ask that you do not use plastic staples to baste your quilt.
Crib Twin Full/Double Queen King $25.00 $35.00 $40.00 $45.00 $50.00
The marking fee covers the top, sashing strips, framing borders, and the quilt borders using pre-made stencils. Cross-hatching will add to the charges because this represents marking the quilt twice. For clients wanting free-hand designs, the quilt will need to be marked by the customer.
We have an extensive inventory of quilting stencils in our shop. We will carry several stencils with your top to the quilter, and she will have many of her own. All these are tried on the quilt until we come up with the perfect quilting stencils for your pattern. If you have particular quilting patterns you desire, you may suggest these, and we will do our best to accommodate your request. Should you feel it is imperative that a specific quilting pattern be worked into your quilt, we ask that you mark the top prior to mailing it to us, or include the stencils in your quilt packaging. You may specify pattern placement, i.e.: center medallion, rope, feathers, etc. If we do not have the perfect size for your quilt, we will hand make a stencil to fit, using mylar for making the templates. The charge by marking your quilt top is shown in the listing below.
Crib Twin Full/Double Queen King $25.00 $35.00 $40.00 $45.00 $50.00
As with all of our services, you may forego this charge by marking the quilt yourself before mailing. If you choose to mark your top, we strongly suggest that you do not use a water soluble marking pen as the ink in these are humidity sensitive and sometimes arrive with much of the marking having disappeared. Pencils specifically for quilting can be purchased at nearly any place fabrics are sold - gray is the most versatile. Please include any stencils you used in the marking of your quilt top in case any markings dust off during handling. Your stencils will be returned to you with your completed quilt.
Designs from kits or piecing instructions pamphlets will increase the costs for marking the quilt since we must first layout the stencil design on mylar and then cut out the templates. The templates are subsequently used to draw the designs on the quilt.
All marking is accomplished using proper quilting pencils. We do not launder your quilt after quilting to remove the marks since we do not know if the fabrics used in the tops were pre-washed to set the dyes and allow for shrinkage prior to quilting.
Our quilters follow the old 2" rule; they will put quilting every 2 inches. We refer to this as an old practice because it was a "hand quilting law" in the days before bonded battings. With the new battings, quilting every 2 inches is no longer necessary to keep the batting from shifting and clumping over time. Though the rules have changed, the Amish quilters are reluctant to change and will put quilting every two inches unless you request otherwise.
Our quilters cut their quilting thread in 36" lengths, and you will be charged for the actual yardages sewn into your quilt at $1.10 per yard.
Our quilters are 'all' experienced and accomplished. The majority are 8 stitch per inch quilters, with some exceeding this skill level. We do not use the quilting services of young girl's whose skill level is 6 stitches per inch. While everyone has to 'start somewhere', as the saying goes, we don't think they should be 'learning' on client quilts. It is our commitment to provide workmanship that honors the many hours of planning and piecing, to compliment and enhance the workmanship already present in the quilt top. Hand quilting should be more than adding thread to a quilt top, it should advance this art form while defining and adding character to the quilt.
If you prefer an expert level quilter, who consistently quilts at 10 stitches per inch, you will need to specify this when requesting an estimate. While your quilt top will be given to a single quilter, quilting is a social activity for Amish women.
This hand quilting represents only a few hours, at the most,of work by the 'guest' quilter. However, since this Amish practice results in a likelihood existing that someone else, other than your quilter, will put stitches in your quilting project, we cannot in good faith, assure that only one quilter will accomplish all the work start to finish. When we have a 'quilting bee' scenario, where many women over the span of several days will be quilting together, we first get the approval of the quilt top owner. In situations where a mother and daughter, or several daughters, quilt together, these 'helpers' are all accomplished quilters, working in the 8-9 stitch per inch range.
Whenever acceptable, we utilize the traditional Amish backing as binding method. If you are supplying the backing fabric, add an additional 8 inches to the width and length of your fabric requirements to allow for the excess backing material needed to bind. If you prefer binding strips, you may select to have us supply the binding fabric at $4.49 per running yard, or you may send the binding along with your quilt. There is no additional charge if you send the strips. However, if you are supplying only the fabric and our staff is to cut, press and apply the strips, this service is charged at $2.50 per running yard. Also, we do not bias cut binding strips, so if this is your preference, you will need to supply these to us. The charge for straight edge binding using the backing as binding method or your binding strips can be seen below. Charges for scallop-edged or jagged-edged' quilts requiring bias cut bindings are charged at $3.00 per commercially produced package. The labor for machine and then hand applying strips for these quilt edge configurations is double the prices noted below. Hand sewing of the hexagon edge of the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern quilt is triple the prices noted below. Prices will be charged as follows:
Crib Twin Full/Double Queen King $25.00 $35.00 $40.00 $45.00 $50.00
If you would like to save the cost of the binding service, we will return your quilt to you when the quilting is completed.
We offer estimates based on the average for a quilt of your specific dimensions, accomplished by an 8 stitch per inch quilter. When you are ready to obtain an estimate for our custom quilting services, please contact Lydia with the following information:
- the width and length measurement of your top
- the width of any borders that exceed 12 inches
- any of the particular ancillary services that you would like for us to perform for you
- your quilter's stitches per inch choice (if any). The average stitches per inch for our quilters is 8.
Though every attempt is made to offer an accurate estimate, custom quilting involves variables that are not known until the quilt is complete. While typically quilting yardages come in at or very near the estimate yardage, some top patterns require a particular approach to quilting which can increase quilting yardages. Any specific quilting instructions requested by the customer can also impact the final quilting yardages.