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Kutztown Folk Festival Quilt Sale Reflects A Proud Heritage

The quilts at Kutztown Folk Festival Quilt Sale will reflect a Pennsylvania German tradition that is over 150 years old. The Quilt Sale at the Festival has grown to be the largest in the Nation – featuring over 2,000 local and regionally handmade quilts for sale.

How a practical covering made from left-over material evolved into a prized work of art is an interesting story and reflects a proud heritage. In the middle of the 19th century, Pennsylvania Dutch women got together for a social time that included sewing scraps of spare cloth together to make a blanket or cover. In those frugal days, people found a purpose for everything and nothing was wasted.

Over time, many colorful quilts were created and, as well as providing comfort and warmth, became tasteful decorations in Pennsylvania Dutch homes and, eventually, heirlooms passed through generations in families. The essence of creating quilts has changed very little since those early times. True Pennsylvania Dutch quilts are still hand-made, representing countless hours of dedicated work.

The quilts displayed and sold at the Kutztown Festival follow in this tradition. Local Mennonite and Amish women make most of the quilts. Each is a creation of its own and they are all beautiful. Quilts are accepted for the festival following a competitive juried process.

The Kutztown Folk Festival Quilt Sale has become famous across the Eastern United States. Now the largest quilt sales event in the nation, the show draws the attention of thousands of visitors each day at the Festival. Quilts from crib size to king size are available, and a knowledgeable sales staff is available to help visitors.

Practical hands-on opportunities for visitors to help create a quilt will be part of the fun at the festival. The visitors’ quilt is made one patch at a time and collectively represents the efforts of hundreds of visitors to the festival. The result will be the next years visitors’ quilt which will be on display with all of the other visitors’ quilts made in previous years. In addition, quilting demonstrations and quilting bees are held throughout the nine days of the festival.