Book Review – Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

Since I’m away at Quilt Market this weekend, I thought it would be fun to share a book review with you! This is a tiny taste of what it’s like to be at market: checking out the new books, meeting some of the authors, and getting inspired to come home and sew. 🙂


Urban and Amish: Classic Quilts and Modern Updates is written by Myra Harder and published by Martingale/That Patchwork Place. (Yes, I’m a little bit biased towards Martingale since they are my publisher, too, so expect to see me sharing more of their awesome quilting books!)

All images are courtesy of Martingale. The beautiful photography is by Brent Kane.

The premise of the book is that the author starts with 8 traditional Amish designs and reinterprets them into a modern urban aesthetic, resulting in a total of 16 designs you will love to make. Here is just a sampling:

storm_at_seaOcean Waves, 71 1/2″ x 71 1/2″ – the Amish Version

modern_stormSouth Pacific, 88 1/2″ x 96 1/2″ – a Fresh Interpretation

In the two quilts above, I love how the block design is the same, yet the borders and choices of fabrics create a dramatically different result!

In the two quilts below, Myra has chosen to reinterpret one of the most traditional and beloved blocks into something a little more urban.

nine_patchAmish Nine Patch, 54 1/2″ x 65 1/2″

modern_9patchSouthern Comfort, 86″ x 107″

I think my favorite paring from the book is the classic trip around the world and a re-imagined trip to New York. The quilts are dramatically different, yet they share similar construction techniques.

trip_around_the_worldTrip Around the World, 60 1/2″ x 72 1/2″

new_yorkTrip to New York, 50 1/2″ x 71 1/2″

I think the possibilities with these quilts can go even further. I can just imagine making the “Amish” versions in print fabrics, and the “Urban” ones in more traditional colors. As with any Martingale book, Urban and Amish includes clear, concise directions with plenty of color diagrams to keep you organized.

Myra has even included a section about Amish vs. urban fabrics, plus snippets of inspiration for each quilt and a section on finishing in the back of the book. Urban and Amish runs a total of 80 pages and can be found on line from Amazon or Martingale, and hopefully at your favorite local quilt shop. Enjoy the eye candy!

7 thoughts on “Book Review – Urban and Amish by Myra Harder

  1. jess says:

    I’m surprised as the fabrics chose for some of the “urban” quilts use soft and quiet color schemes, which to me are less “urban” than the vibrant Amish colors. I like the premise, but for me, the examples dont really feel very “cutting edge contemporary” that I associate with the “Urban” aesthetic.

  2. AnnLouise Pugh says:

    Enjoy your market experience. I vended twice with Carol’s company Needlesongs. They were both memorable experiences…exhausting but memorable.

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