Major Collections


The Sara Miller Collection of Midwestern Amish Crib Quilts

The Sara Miller Collection of Midwestern Amish Crib Quilts

To view quilts from the Miller collection go to Search the Collections, scroll down to the IQSC Collection field and select " Sara Miller Collection" from the drop-down box.

Sara Miller of Kalona, Iowa, began collecting Amish crib quilts about 1985. Raised in an Amish household, Ms. Miller explains, "I didn't like the dark quilts when I was a child, but as an adult I wanted to know more about my heritage. I was drawn to quilts that reminded me of home."

In September, 2000, Sara Miller's collection of ninety Amish crib quilts was acquired by the International Quilt Study Center through the generous support of Robert and Ardis James, donors of the IQSC's initial collection of nearly 1000 quilts. The ninety Amish crib quilts, primarily from the Midwest, represent a significant area of Amish quilt tradition.

The collection encompasses numerous typical patterns found in Amish quilts including bars, nine-patch and whole-cloth patterns made in rich, dark colors, but also includes quilts with soft pastel colors made in the 1930s and 1940s. Many of the small quilts have intricate and carefully stitched quilting patterns very much like their larger counterparts.

Ms. Miller is pleased to have her collection become a part of the IQSC. "It really tugs when I look at pictures of the quilts - but I knew that it took a lot of space to store the quilts. I just knew it was time for the quilts to go to their new home. And I'm so pleased that the collection will be at the University of Nebraska where it can be shared."