QV2016: Day 9: Amish country

28 10 2016

Today was spent in Lancaster County, PA. The group was divided in two, with Group A learning hand-quilting techniques from Lois, a Mennonite quilter at The Country Store in Intercourse, PA for the first half of the day, while Group B did an Amish farm and house tour. In the afternoon, we swapped activities.

I was in Group B. We started with a tour of a typical Amish house, learning about their history, some of their customs, their dress, their work practices, their dating practices, marriage and funeral practices, etc. It was really interesting. I think the most surprising thing I learned was that Amish women pin their clothes (e.g. aprons) together, and their prayer bonnets to their heads, with straight sewing pins!! Ouch!!! Buttons are considered ‘fancy’ for women, yet men’s trousers use buttons for the fly flap — that seemed a little inconsistent to me. Unmarried females wear white aprons, while married ones wear black; unmarried males are clean shaven, while married ones have beards, but never moustaches (something about the German soldiers from the 1600s who persecuted them for their religious beliefs having moustaches…). After seeing the house and hearing the history, we then travelled in a small bus around the countryside, viewing farms from a distance, and stopping in at a couple of places that sold things to the public — like quilts, and the OMG best-ever soft pretzel straight out of the oven I’ve ever eaten!!!!

After lunch, Group B met in The Country Store’s classroom, where Lois, a Mennonite, taught us hand-quilting techniques for several hours. What a lovely person she is! I always learn something from every class I do, even if the lesson is not to do that technique again, and so it was with hand quilting. Not my thing beforehand, and confirmed by actually doing it for a time. But I’m really glad I did it — first because we learned a bit more about Lois and the Mennonite beliefs, and because it was a good ‘bonding’ session with others in our group.

This evening we had dinner at a HUGE buffet restaurant that was full of large groups, many of whom were much much older than those in our group, who, with only a couple of exceptions, are no spring chickens ourselves.

Some of my photos from today (it rained most of the day, so it wasn’t a good day for taking photos); the rest are here (scroll down about 2/3 of the page): https://www.flickr.com/photos/rhondamadeit/sets/72157674088359351/page5

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