The Mariner’s Compass Quilt originates from one of the earliest quilt designs in America. The patchwork quilt pattern is composed of the thirty-two precise points of the compass, with the stars radiating from the center. Partial compasses surround the entire quilt and complement the pillow tuck. Hand-quilted with 334 yards of threads by one person to ensure even stitching, this quilt is initialed and dated and will have a 19 inch drop per side on a queen bed.
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.
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
Did you know?
For hundreds of years, a number of techniques have been produced to make it easier for quilters to sew multi-angled quilts together. One of these techniques is paper piecing, which is routinely applied to put together the challenging points of the Mariner's Compass quilts. Paper piecing, as it name implies, uses an unique paper pattern on top of which the material fragments are stitched. The pattern directs the needleworker to successfully stitch the pieces together so that the completed top will lay out flat. Strategies such as this are a fabulous help to our quilters!
Lone Star Quilt
We used one of the two quilts for our guest room.
October 13, 2018
I can’t begin to express our joy when we received our spin star quilt. It is absolutely gorgeous! Please forward our gratitude to Verna Miller for all the time and effort she put into making our beautiful quilt. We will cherish it always!
August 24, 2021
I have ordered from this place before and I am always happy when I receive the quilt I ordered. The quality of work is outstanding. The quick service cannot be matched. I will continue to order from you.
July 25, 2018
Log Cabin Lone Star Quilt
I really love this quilt. I have such a great appreciation for all the work that went into the making.
September 27, 2018
Fire Island Hosta Quilt
Yes we absolutely love our quilt and use it daily. It was bought as a Christmas present to ourselves.
September 22, 2018
This is the second quilt our family has purchased from your store since August. We remain amazed at the craftsmanship of the finished product. These are absolutely works of art. And to have them initialed/dated on the quilt itself means so much to us as well as knowing the name of the quilter. We will definitely recommend your shop to others that are looking for beautiful quality products.
I hand the privilege of contacting Family Farm Handcrafts inquiring about a King Size Quilt. I first talked with a young lady by the name of Regina , who went out of her way to help me, which encouraged me and I did not look any further on the web to purchase. A few days later, I had the privilege of talking with Katie, who , although she did not have what I was looking for In her shop, went out of her way to help me come up with The Spin Star Quilt, in the colors I was looking for and in no time, this beautiful quilt was on its way to my daughter, who absolutely loved the quilt! Not only was the quilt beautiful, the price was great also! I guarantee you if you are in the market for a beautiful Amish quilt, hand made and at a beautiful price, plus they have someone who can make curtains or valances to match, you will want to contact Katie at Family Farm Handcrafts in East Earl Pa, near Lancaster, Pa. God Bless You Katie and may your business prosper!
July 8, 2020
The BEST Quilts
We ordered a King Quilt for my daughter. It was one of the most beautiful quilts she has seen. We ordered this over the phone after seeing the pattern on the website. Very easy to order and have shipped. Thank you Kate for your expertise and kindness for what you have done for us.
September 27, 2021
Thanks! The quilt is gorgeous and we cherish it.
September 22, 2018
I love my new quilt. The colors are so pretty! Thank you all so much. I know there are a lot of hours spent on it. ?
January 2, 2019
I look forward to the next one.
Great I have a good working relationship with Kate. I’ve bought several quilts and throws from Family Farms and look forward to the next one expected in late Sept.
Dennis L Doucette
July 25, 2018
Beautiful Argyle Quilt
I ordered a Argyle quilt and I just got it today, it is more beautiful than in the picture I love this quilt!!. I will be putting this on my be right away I will treasure this quilt always it’s beautiful
Thanks for a speedy delivery
This quilt will keep me warm on these really cold nights.
January 8, 2021
Surf Song Quilt
September 22, 2018
Linking Hearts Quilt
We LOVE our quilt. What could be better than a hand-made heart quilt for Valentine’s Day. It will come out of the closet in a couple weeks or so and I’ll send a picture. Thanks.
September 25, 2018
King and Queen Quilts
I have purchased a king Mariner’s quilt and a queen Lob Cabin Lone Star Quilt and am looking at another king for my RV. I absolutely love them. They stand by their products as I had a problem after washing but they made it as perfect as when I first purchased. I would highly recommend them and all their beautiful works of art. Thank you.
September 14, 2021
Beauty and quality
I am overwhelmed at the quality and beauty of the cathedral window quilt. My mother made one in her later years before she died from COVID this last winter and although I am the oldest daughter, I gave that quilt to my younger sister as she wanted it so much. Although this quilt wasn’t made by my mother, it shows the same precision of stitching and great choices in fabric colors. When I look at it, I will be reminded of the tremendous effort of the quilter who made it for me and think of my mother too. Mother’s choice of colors are almost exactly the same as my new quilt which are lovely. Thanks for this gift and know that it will be valued by me now and other family in the future. Lynn Keene
June 29, 2021
I just couldn’t leave Pennsylvania’s Amish Country without taking home a hand-quilted quilt from Family Farm Quilts. I looked through at least 50 options before deciding on this gorgeous Surf Song design.
I think it’s absolutely perfect in every way! <3
April 25, 2019
Log Cabin Quilt
We absolutely LOVE our quilt!!! In fact, I have gone back to your site multiple times to see if I could find accent pillows and/or curtains to match!
September 23, 2018
Love my Purple Lone Star Quilt
I love my purple Lone Star Quilt…it was a big investment for me! I bought a Twin size that was listed as fitting a Queen and it did (using my ruffle). Thank you for having accurate measurements and good photos AND updated notes on availability. I found one a couple of years ago on another site out in PA and I ordered it and my card was charged. Then, I was called to say it wasn’t available and would be 6 months if I wanted it made. Your emails were great and was surprised by the fast delivery. PS. My grandma made lots of quilts – log cabin, lone star and many others about 25+ years ago….your quality is on par with hers.
August 11, 2020
Mariner’s Compass Quilt
September 23, 2018
My husband loves the ocean, we live 1 hour away, so I bought this quilt “for him”. Our bedroom has several nautical items in it and is painted a sea foam blue. We love it and we pray for the quilter of the Sailor’s compass quilt nightly.
September 23, 2018
I was racking my brain for a gift for my grandmother who needed some extra tlc. After coming up with the quilt idea I was thrilled to find what I was looking for on your site. Gram loves her special gift- thank you!
June 4, 2017
MASTER POSTMASTER IN MANDEVILLE, LA.
MASTER POSTMASTER IN MANDEVILLE, LA. 70448 JUST INFORMED ME THE SHIPPING NUMBER DOES NOT EXIST. I AM WONDERING IF I HAVE BEEN SCAMMED FOR 900.00.
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.