Jacques Légeret & Hans Zogg

Swiss journalist Jacques Légeret was “adopted” by an Old Order Amish family in 1986, with his wife and son. He lived with Amish families in Pennsylvania and Indiana for about 26 months over several trips. He thus had access to “hope chests“, wooden chests in which Amish women store their wedding quilts. His collection is what launched the European Patchwork Meeting. Author of three books on the Amish and their quilts, Jacques has presented his collection in various European museums; he is also known for his conferences which allow us to get a closer look at these atypical communities that intrigue us.

His meeting and friendship with Hans Zogg, another Swiss-German collector with a passion for quilts, led to the creation of an “Amish carriage” carrying a rare collection of quilts from these communities, of which they exhibit some of their favourites.

Hans Zogg was born in Zürich in 1946. As a mathematician and computer scientist, he has always been interested in different types of artistic expression and their sources of inspiration.
In 1983, through friends and exhibitions, he discovered the world of quilts. He was particularly fascinated by quilts, which, next to their craft perfection, emanate clarity, simplicity and strength. Hans Zogg regularly writes about different aspects of quilts in his newsletters.

Amish and Mennonite quilts: the fabric Waltz

It’s counter-intuitive to mention the Waltz when talking about a community which doesn’t dance, which forbids instrumental music, but whose members are great singers!

Having the privilege to dive into Amish cabinets and pull out the numerous pieces of fabric that were kept by Amish women – often for decades – and being able to spread them across the kitchen floor is a spectacular moment for an English guest, as the Amish like to call anybody who isn’t Amish!

All of these scraps of fabric, whether big or small, will end up in quilts following mysterious and traditional rules.

From Plain Quilts – one piece of fabric – to Nine Patch and Double Nine Patch quilts, as well as Double Irish Chain, Triple Irish Chain, Sunshine and Shadow, and last but not least, Log Cabin, etc., Amish quilts Waltz with fabric, but the Waltz always remains the same, well, almost… To the untrained eye, Amish quilts always appear to be identical, but like a tee in the spring is always the same – it’s the trunk – the branches, the leaves and the flowers are always new and different.

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