The Pottinger Collection from the ISM visits QGIN

The October QGIN meeting was a presentation by Mary Jane Teeters-Eichacker on the Pottinger Collection at the ISM. Mary Jane is the Curator of Social History at the Indiana State Museum who curates the quilt exhibits (and so much more). The ISM’s collection contains over 700 quilts! Mary Jane’s presentation was Indiana Amish Quilters: The Pottinger Collection.

Mary Jane unwrapping a quilt from the archival storage.

David Pottinger kept detailed records of the quilts he collected and sewed muslin record labels onto the back of the quilts. Because of his detailed record keeping, it is the best documented Amish quilt collection in the world and makes the ISM’s collection prominent. Mr. Pottinger wrote a book about his collection: Quilts From the Indiana Amish: A Regional Collection in 1983. He collected in La Grange county in northeastern Indiana. The collection is the most comprehensive regional collection of Amish quilts.

Mary Jane showing a muslin label sewn on an Amish quilt by collector, David Pottinger.
Mary Jane showing a muslin label sewn on an Amish quilt by collector, David Pottinger.

Mary Jane described a common general “recipe” of Indiana Amish quilts which differs from the generally thought of Pennsylvania Amish quilts: pieced blocks on point with an inner and outer border of primarily solids. Many of contemporary Amish make quilts for sale and tend to be machine pieced and hand quilted in patterns they expect people will purchase.


Mary Jane brought two bow tie crib quilts to show. Both made by Lydia Miller (Mrs. Andy S. Miller) from Shipshewana in approximately 1915.



You can browse the ISM collection on their website I typed in quilt in the search box and it came up with 46 pages of entries! I’m going to have to take a closer look. I hope you do, too.  Maybe after the quilt show when I’m having quilt browsing withdrawals.

Here are some details of the hand quilting.

QGIN2468MillerPinkInt QGIN2467MillerBlueInt QGIN2466MillerBlueInt


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