What comes to your mind first when asked, "What is a hand-made craft
created by the Amish or Mennonite?" My mind focuses immediately on a
beautiful quilt made with care and patience out of soft cotton fabric
inspired by the colors of the rainbow or a beautiful wooden table rubbed
to a shiny sheen. I was not disappointed when I traveled throughout St.
Mary's and Charles counties on the lookout for hand-lettered wooden
signs proclaiming homemade crafts along the streets and highways.
I was fortunate enough to meet a Mennonite woman, Stephanie Horst, of
Mechanicsville, who has her own quilt and craft shop in a small building
behind her house.
She is the mother of eight children between the ages of seven and 20.
Stephanie was in the midst of her summer canning when I saw her shop
filled with 30 or more quilts of every size, color and pattern. The
"Double Wedding Ring" pattern is her most popular. She will also create
a custom quilt to your specifications and color choice. She makes shams
and pillows, denim aprons, potholders, traditional Amish dolls,
wall-hangings, wooden toys, sunbonnets, tea towels, decorated hats and
rag rugs. Stephanie uses a treadle sewing machine to sew clothes for her
family when not piecing her quilts. After a quilt is pieced by machine,
Stephanie's aunt quilts each by hand. Family is obviously very special
to Stephanie as she explains that all of her children help make the
crafts while her husband, Dennis, builds custom indoor furniture by
looking at pictures people bring to him. Customers will sometimes wait
nine months to two years in demand for his excellent craftsmanship.
Stephanie explains that she does most of her quilting, sewing, and
crafting during the fall, winter and early spring. This summer, as soon
as her canning is done, she will be gearing up to finish some quilts for
the 1st Annual Mennonite Quilt Auction on October 15 at Summerseat. Many
of her friends and relatives are also putting the finishing touches on
quilts and crafts for this brand new event to benefit Summerseat Farm.
After spending an enjoyable Saturday morning in Charlotte Hall at the
farmers markets, I drove down Thompson's Corner Road (Rt. 236) in search
of "The Quilt Shop." Magdalena Stoltzfus greeted me at the door to her
shop and happily showed me the beautiful quilts hanging around the room.
Magdalena machine pieces her quilts then with the help of her seven
daughters and many other family and friends, hand-quilts each work of
art. The patterns are varied: log cabin, double wedding ring, maple
leaf, and floral appliquéd flowers. There are wall-hangings and
crib-sized small quilts all the way up to king-sized quilts. She tries
to have about twelve large quilts on hand in the shop but the number
varies depending on the time of year and the supply from her community.
Many women use the money they earn from selling their quilts to help
with doctor bills in the family or just for some spending money of their
very own. The prices on the quilts start at $300 for a simple twin-sized
pattern or $500 for a king-sized quilt. The complexity of the piecing
and the intricacy of the hand-quilting may increase the price on any of
the quilts. As Magdalena explained, just the materials for a king-sized
quilt may run well over $200.
As soon as her peaches are canned, Magdalena will be working hard to get
some quilts ready for the 17th Annual Amish Quilt Auction held the
Saturday before Thanksgiving each year down the road from her. This
auction is well attended by people from all over the country. Over 100
big quilts will be auctioned off as well as many smaller quilts,
furniture, toys, and other crafts. The proceeds from many of the quilts
will go to help pay hospital bills for members of the Amish community.
Last year, between 800-900 people came to this event. It is definitely a
huge event in the Amish community and looked forward to all year long.
In my travels around Southern Maryland searching for Amish and Mennonite
handmade crafts, I discovered several "pockets" of shops. Friendship
School Road and Friendship Court in the Mechanicsville/Oakville area
boasted quilts, crafts, indoor furniture, cut flowers, and outdoor
furniture. Further over across Parsons Mill Road toward the Leonardtown/Loveville
area and along Rt. 247, there were gazebos and wishing wells, custom
furniture, cedar chests, chairs and tables, caning, and a large variety
craft shop featuring dried flower arrangements and rag rugs. Near
Chopticon High School, a custom mini barn shop offers both smaller sheds
and larger garages. Further north, off of Rt. 236 in Mechanicsville, I
found more custom furniture, cabinets, cedar chests and outdoor
If you are in search of beautiful handmade Amish or Mennonite crafts or
furniture, it would be fun to take a drive around the area to search out
those signs along the side of the road proclaiming the wares for sale.
You never know what treasure you might find, or the friend you might
meet in your search!
Where to go for Quilts and Crafts made by our Amish and Mennonite
In my travels around Southern Maryland, I have tried to stop in as many
shops as possible. But this list is by no means all of the area's Amish
and Mennonite crafts. Please keep in mind that most of these are closed
on Sundays and that although many are open the rest of the week,
occasionally they are closed when you drop by.
Quilts and Crafts
Quilts, Crafts, Rugs, Dolls, Jams, Jellies
41365 Friendship Ct., Mechanicsville
The Quilt Shop
28635 Thompson's Corner Rd., Mechanicsville
Handmade Crafts and Dried Flower Arrangements
Henry B. Stauffer
27990 Point Lookout Rd., Loveville
Grapevine wreaths, wall-hangings/ quilts, bonnets, rag rugs, aprons,
table runners, wooden toys, Amish dolls, baby clothes, baby wreath,
25028 Point Lookout Rd., Loveville
Aprons, sunbonnets, towels, greenery for Christmas-wreaths and
25661 Friendship School Rd., Mechanicsville
Hand quilts and binds already pieced quilt tops.
17th Annual Amish Quilt Auction
November 19, 9 AM until dusk
Thompson's Corner Rd., Mechanicsville
Over 100 large quilts, many smaller quilts, wall-hangings, furniture,
toys, crafts. Amish food will be available all day.
1st Annual Mennonite Quilt and Craft Auction
Saturday, October 15, 10 AM, preview at 9 AM
Proceeds to benefit Summerseat Farm and Animal Sanctuary
Quilts, wall-hangings, furniture, toys, decorative items, pumpkins and
mums. Food and beverages will be
available throughout the day. For more information, call 301-373-3573
Busy Corner Chair Shop
David Z. Stauffer
25725 Loveville Rd., Mechanicsville (Located on Rt. 247)
Specializes in tables and chairs. Also builds entertainment units,
bookcases, kids' tables and chairs, etc.
Harlen R. Martin
26606 Point Lookout Rd., Leonardtown
Custom made furniture and repairs. chests made of cedar, oak, cherry and
walnut (some in stock).
Fairhaven Rd., Mechanicsville
Custom Kitchen Cabinets
Custom Indoor Furniture
41365 Friendship Ct., Mechanicsville
John Stauffer and Stuart Martin
25150 Dove Point Lane, Leonardtown
Custom built gazebos and wishing wells.
Martin's Caning Service
26602 Point Lookout Rd., Leonardtown
Reed, Rush Cane: Focus on repairs and re-caning of chairs.
Martin's Mini Barns
Edward Lee Martin, Jr.
25141 Buggy Trail Way, Mechanicsville
Storage sheds and portable garages to fit your needs-all sizes and
Shady Lane Lawn Furniture
Ryceville Rd., Mechanicsville
All kinds of lawn furniture.
Yoder's Furniture Shops
9443 N. Ryceville Rd., Mechanicsville (Dixielyon Rd.)
Yoders 1- Media Centers, desks, dressers, chairs.
Yoders II- Bedroom suites, beds, and dressers.
Yoders III- Dining room furniture, cedar chests, corner cabinets, desks.
Zimmerman's Lawn Furniture
25757 Friendship School Rd., Mechanicsville
Picnic tables, swing sets, chairs, benches, gliders.
Craft Vendors at Charlotte Hall Library Farmer's
(Saturdays 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. April-October)
Craig and Cindy Bolen
Quillows, wall-hangings, aprons, towels, tote bags, lawn furniture as
well as seafood.
Barbara and Joyce Huber
Clothespin bags, aprons, dresses, hand towels, potholders, doillies,
pillows as well as baked goods.
301-290-1204 (phone in neighbor's chicken coop so may not answer.)
Candles, jellies, honey, baked goods.