A Garden of Stitches

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I have always admired the Amish culture. Through my years as a nurse I have come to know many Amish folk and have learned to respect their gentle ways and simple life. I wish I had the will power to take up their lifestyle. Alas, I am an Englisher who loves my conveniences way too much to be successful at the kind of lifestyle change it would require to live what the Amish call the plain life, but what I see as a life focused on the things that really matter… God, family, home and hearth.

Ohio is the home of the largest Amish settlement in the world.  It’s located in Holmes County, a mere 90 minutes from our home. This is one of our favorite places to just spend a lazy day driving through the farms, visiting the bulk food places like The Ashery, and visiting every quilt and needlework store we can find. Where do we go? That’s a story for another blog someday soon. I’ll make a list and fill you in!

About 6 years ago we started and annual family tradition based around this area. Every year our entire family, all 9 of us, head to Holmes County the day before Thanksgiving. We shop, pet puppies, and eat. You just can’t beat the food in Holmes County! Our favorite place for home cookin’ is Der Dutchman, in Walnut Creek. If you are lucky and get a window table you can gaze out at the rolling farmlands as you eat.

Well, anyway, back to my point for this post… Yes, it does have one! It was on one of these trips that I found a cross stitch pattern that just captured my heart entitled “Simple Gifts” by a company called Told in a a Garden. Many of their amazing patterns are Amish themes, which fits right in with my passion for the Amish culture. I had seen their work before and wanted to stitch one, but they were all so beautiful I couldn’t choose! This pattern just called my name so I bought it and stashed it away for a future endeavor.

Over Christmas I pulled out the pattern from the depths of my stash and began. The detail is incredible. Each section held tiny discoveries that were pure joy to stitch. Today I pressed, folded and hung it in the living room. You can be sure I’ll be looking to do another one soon…. if I can just decide which one to tackle. Take a look at the link above and let me know your favorite!

Simple Gifts

Simple Gifts


3 thoughts on “A Garden of Stitches

  1. I have always loved Amish designs, especially their quilts in plain colours. And I still have the Amish plate you sent me all those years ago in my living room display cupboard! We also visited an Amish/Mennonite type restaurant when we were in Sarasota, but to be honest, didn’t much enjoy their food. X


  2. Great minds think alike, Anna Mary!

    I think I like the “Simple Gifts” pattern the best too, but I also really like “The Courting,” “Blueberry Homecoming,” “The Country Store,” and “Raspberry Homecoming” too.

    Your work is exquisite.


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