Quilt, Sunshine and Shadow pattern

Maker: Amish maker

Date: ca. 1930

Geography: Probably made in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Wool and cotton

Dimensions: 81 x 76 1/2 in. (205.7 x 194.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Purchase, Eva Gebhard-Gourgaud Foundation Gift, 1973

Accession Number: 1973.94


The Sunshine and Shadow pattern is closely associated with the Lancaster County Pennsylvania Amish, one of the most conservative Amish communities. This pattern is made by sewing together small squares of fabric that have been arranged by color to form concentric rings of brightly colored diamonds. These are framed by a wide border, which is often anchored with large square corner blocks. The wide outer border is often stitched with traditional designs. The Sunshine and Shadow pattern may have grown out of the Center Diamond pattern around the turn of the twentieth century. It has often been interpreted outside of the Amish community as a representation of the Amish people's belief in life's balances.