No one knows where the Maryland Star
quilt pattern originated. Katie Stoltzfus of Country Lane Quilts feels
that a quilter from the state of Maryland must have created the design,
but she is not certain. The Maryland Star is distinguishable
because of the small star pattern within the large star that makes up the
central motif and is a pieced, patchwork quilt.
At Country Lane Quilts all of the work is
done in the homes of local ladies and all the quilting is done by hand.
The quilters are paid by the number of yards of thread used, with a queen
size quilt taking close to 400 yards of thread. If all the hours spent on
the production of a quilt were counted and paid at minimum wage, the price
of any hand-made quilt would be thousands of dollars!
Such a figure may baffle your mind, but a
great deal of work is involved. The first step, choosing the fabric, can
be quite a chore in itself. Colors and patterns must be coordinated for
the final piece to turn out so beautiful. Second, all the quilt pieces
must be cut, then sewn together on a sewing machine. Once this piecing is
finished, the ladies stencil a quilt design on the fabric, then cut the
lining and batting to fit the quilt top.
These three layers (quilt top, lining and
batting) are then stretched on a frame and hand-quilted together (usually
by one lady). Finally the edges are trimmed and the binding is sewn onto
the quilt before the finished product is ready to grace a bed or wall.
To take a closer look at such wonderful
works of art, visit Katie at her shop, Country
Lane Quilts, on South Groffdale Road (1 mile south of Rt. 23), located
right on an Amish farm. Browse through the quilts, pillows, quillows and
wallhangings, to find just the right pattern and colors, or even have a
quilt specially made-to-order. The shop is open Monday through Saturday,
but is CLOSED Sunday. For more information, call 717-656-8476.