The Sailor’s Compass has three compasses radiating from the center to create a stunning focal point. Additional compass points around the edge add a complete look to the quilt and adorn the pillow head. The Sailor’s Compass quilt is hand-quilted with 253 yards of thread by one Amish or Mennonite woman to ensure uniform stitching. It is initialed and dated. On a queen-size mattress, this quilt will allow approximately 20 inches of drop per side.
Connecting the Past and Present: The Mariner’s Compass Quilts Legacy
The Mariner’s Compass quilt pattern has been known and loved among dedicated quilters, only the best of whom could manage the intricacies of stitching the precise points of the compass or star, as it was variously known. While most early quilts were simple, the Mariner’s Compass quilt was complex, and often was reserved for special occasions.
While other patterns may suggest a star pattern, the Mariner’s Compass name specifically refers to quilts in which the star radiates from a circular center. The roots of this pattern are hard to trace. Barbara Brackman writes of the many names used for this pattern, including The Explosion, the Merry Go Round, the Rolling Pinwheel, the Slashed Star–even Chips and Whetstones. Each name suggests what quilters saw as they stitched their quilt tops!
Quilt pattern books began to use the Mariner’s Compass name, widely accepted today, around the 1960s; its first published use was in 1929. Various historians, knowing the pattern’s popularity in the American northeast, have suggested that seafaring folk saw the compass rose on nautical maps and reproduced it on their blankets. The Pennsylvania Germans picked it up, adding brighter colors and patterns.
Mariner's Compass in a Wall Hanging
Red is a Classic Fit for Mariner's Compass
The Intricate Mariner's Compass
Homemade quilts combine the warmth of a bed cover with a unique story told by the quilters from Lancaster County, PA. Every homemade quilt is as unique as the family, busy mother or Amish ladies group who uses a needle and thimble to thread stitch on the quilt. Some quilts involve hundreds of hours and thousands of stitches to create a unique patchwork quilt that will last for generations.
Welcome to Family Farm Handcrafts! Quilt making is an iconic representation of the Amish way of life, where working with their hands is highly valued. All items in our store are hand-stitched or handmade.