Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Aurora Colony Quilt Show and Visit

The Aurora Colony is one of my favorite places to visit. It is a little town that calls to me and has captured my heart. I LOVE to visit Aurora and Jimmy and I are members of the historical society there. They have three special events there each year -spinning, a strawberry social and a quilt show! Guess which one I can't wait for every fall? Yes, the quilt show!!!

Let me tell you a bit about the Aurora Colony. Oregon is a young state and having visited New England this summer, one realizes what a baby it is compared to the founding states in our country. Maybe I'm drawn to Aurora because it's one of the oldest historical places to visit in Oregon. We don't have a Deerfield MA, a Sturbridge Village MA or even a New Salem IL out west! Ah, but we do have Aurora.

Aurora was a religious communal society that was actually a communal society that came from an existing communal society in Bethel, Missouri. It was composed of German and Swiss emigrants. I think my German heritage plays into my love of this historic place. The buildings are a fine example of German craftsmanship. Dr. William Keil was the leader of the colony that existed from 1856-1883. He brought his followers out west during the time of the Civil War, reconstruction and resettlement in our country. He ruled the colony and really made it a success. Not all agreed with his "rule" but the colony worked under his leadership. Although it was a religious commune, the community sold to those around them to help the colony financially and ran hotels for travelers in the area. They were known for their wonderful food! They were good neighbors and didn't lock themselves away from the "outside world". The colony did end when Dr Keil died and all the assets were divided among all the went on.

This was the 43rd annual quilt show at Aurora. Quilt where old and new quilts are hung in the museum for all to enjoy. Jimmy is standing by the quilt that is being raffled off this year. The theme from last year's show, which becomes this year's raffle quilt, was Aurora-New Beginnings. It was all done in the Log Cabin quilt block pattern. Volunteers hand quilt the quilt during the year. I think the applique work on this one is stunning. The quilt also celebrates the 160th anniversary of the colonists new adventure coming west on the Oregon Trail.

The quilt show is a blend of new and vintage quilts. The museum provides little tags telling you about each quilt. That really makes it fun to enjoy and know the history of the quilts in the show.

This was a vintage quilt made from old shirts and dresses. Quilters are amazing, especially when they couldn't run to the local fabric store to pick out their fabrics for that next quilt.

This is a new quilt. The little nine patches set on point are all cotton, but the flowers are finely sewn wool applique blocks. I loves this little quilt.

Here we have a 1930/40's applique quilt with wonderful hand quilting on the white fabric. I really enjoyed this quilt as I love the quilts from this time period.

Here is another example of a new quilt that is stunning. This quilter made all these hexies to frame the center appliqued flower bouquet. The card states that it took 3 years to make. I think it would have taken me about 30 years! So much handwork has gone into this one. This was my favorite contemporary new quilt.

Because the theme quilt was made of Log Cabin blocks, the show featured many vintage Log Cabin designed quilts. It's an easy pattern which is often done by beginners. When you turn the blocks, the overall design changes as you have a light and a dark side to each block. There are different names for the finished quilts, depending on how you turn the blocks.

This years's quilt is called....Home at Last-An Aurora Sampler. Here are some of the winners of the block contest. Some year I want to summit a block. Everyone is given one piece of fabric which becomes the focus fabric, so there is some sense of order to the quilt. I especially like the colors and the designs of this group. It's going to make a lovely quilt.

This is one of my favorite blocks from the competition. I just love it.

I wanted to show the raffle quilt again. Wouldn't you like to win this?

We wandered outside after viewing the quilts in the main building. Looks like fall...right?

This is one of the buildings that was moved to the site. It's one of Jimmy's favorite places when we visit.

I think it might be the cookies and cider and warm fire burning in the fireplace. It's so cozy and inviting.

While he enjoys the goodies and chatting with the volunteers, I like to shop the little store. It'a all donated goodies and the proceeds go to the museum...yes, a good excuse to shop! I always find great fat quarters.

After the treats and shopping, we went back outside and the curator, Patrick, took this picture of us. We don't often get a picture of the two of us, so this was pretty special. This is us!

And this is my Jimmy.....

There were more displays in the adjoining building with ladies spinning and knitting and doing old timey things!

This is another quilt on the quilt frame that the ladies are working on....ALL quilt blocks accepted for the competition made into quilts. Only the winning blocks go into the raffled quilt.

I always have to laugh at the outhouse. That's one thing I don't miss from the past. I hope you have enjoyed my post. If you ever come to Oregon, make sure you save time to visit Aurora!


All4 Barbie said...

Hello from Spain: Oregon is very cozy. Nice photos. I see it is a great destination. I love quilts. Keep in touch

Bernideen said...

So many beautiful quilts and such a wonderful event. I loved the history you shared as well.

mamasmercantile said...

What a great event and all those stunning quilts, a feast for the eyes. Such a great history as well. I loved the look of the shop, definitely my kind of shopping.

Debby Ray said...

What a wonderful place this is, Linda....somewhere I would certainly have enjoyed! Those quilts are amazing and thanks for the history lesson about Aurora! I hope your week is off to great start!