TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT KATIE’S WAY:
1. It’s very unusual for a young Amish woman to move away from her family to start a business, but Katie Miller is a strong-willed young woman determined to start a new life after the plans she’d made for her future disappeared when her fiancé jilted her.
2. Amish quilt shops are everywhere in areas which have a large Amish population. In most cases, they not only carry completed quilts, which they market primarily to the Englisch, including tourists, but also a line of fabrics and quilting supplies for the quilters in the community. They tend to be gathering places for women, as is the case with Katie’s quilt shop.
3. You may even find quilts for sale hanging on clotheslines or draped on porch railings of farmhouses, usually with a hand-lettered sign indicating “Quilts for Sale,” accompanied by another which says, “No Sunday Sales.” If you find a supposedly Amish shop doing business on a Sunday, you’ll find it’s not really Amish, but someone trying to cash in on the name.
4. Traditional Amish quilts, like the ones Katie makes to keep for her own family, are usually made with dark backgrounds and deep, saturated colors, because they are constructed with the leftover or worn out fabric from Amish clothing.
5. Traditional Amish, like Katie and her neighbor, Caleb, worship in homes every other Sunday, with every family in the church district taking a turn. This usually means that each family hosts worship once a year, a time for a week’s worth of cleaning that involves able-bodied family and friends!
6. At about sixteen, Amish youth enter a period of rumspringa, which translates to “running-around time.” Although this time is intended for young people to have a chance to find love within the Amish community, it’s not unheard-of for young people to flirt with an Englisch lifestyle, which Katie’s younger sister Rhoda has done and regretted.
7. Although gossip is considered a sin, in any close-knit community people take a great deal of interest in what their neighbors are doing. The Pennsylvania Dutch word for a gossip is a blabbermaul.
8. Amish businesses like Katie’s quilt shop are sometimes the targets of vandalism, just as isolated Amish homes are sometimes the targets of robbery. For the most part, the offenders feel they’ll get away with it because the Amish are reluctant to go to the police.
9. Many traditional Amish quilt patterns are mentioned in Katie’s Way, although Amish quilters sometimes use non-traditional designs and colors when they’re making quilts for sale.
10. Traditional designs include variations on geometric designs like the Four Patch, the Zig Zag, Squares in Bars, and the evocative Sunshine and Shadow, where traditional squares are laid out so that the color seems to ripple across the quilt the way clouds and sun send shadows across fields.
Read an excerpt of the book here.
For more information, visit Marta on the web at www.martaperry.com, on Facebook at Marta Perry Books, and check out her blog at www.booksbymartaperry.blogspot.com.