Old Aurora Colony 40th Annual Quilt Show

Quilt Show

Yesterday there were no workers in the house to work on the sewing room, and so I took the opportunity to attend the Old Aurora Colony 40th Annual Quilt Show in Aurora, Oregon.  The Aurora Colony was among the first of the settlers to come to Oregon with the expansion of the west to settlement.  Their Aurora Colony Museum and historical society is comprised of descendents of the original Aurora Colony, and the quilt show was held at the Aurora Colony Museum.  Aurora, Oregon, is only about half an hour from where I live, but this is the first time I've attended this show.  Indeed, it's only the first year that I've known about it.  It was quite a treat.

The show is held in a constellation of buildings.  The main building is the Old Ox Barn.

I could type out the history of these places and the quilts for you, but I'm just going to let you read it for yourself if you like.

The quilt show theme was "Seeing Red".  It featured a few modern-day creations, but mainly, it was made up of antique quilts.  I was delighted to see this Red Cross quilt first thing through the door.  Last year, a modern replica of this quilt was featured on the Run and Sew blog, with a link to the pattern.  I love red and white quilts

Here's the story behind this quilt.  It is nearly one hundred years old.

I wish this next one had been lit better, because it was difficult to get a good image of it.  It is a whole cloth redwork quilt.  I can only imagine the work that went into this.

Here is the information about it.

And here is a detail image.  Almost all of the quilts in the show were hand quilted.

This next one has an interesting, if long, story to go with it.

Here's a detail of the quilting.

And here's the story if you care to read it.

This one is pretty straight-forward and the history wasn't particularly remarkable.  It's a Barn Raising Log Cabin.  I like this configuration of the log cabin block.  This was one of the few modern-day creations, and it was machine quilted with an all over stipple.

To my mind, this next quilt was the most interesting of the show.  You'll have to read the history and look at the quilting detail to see what I mean.

Wouldn't it be interesting to know more about this quilt?  Look for the open scissors in this block.

Look for the hand with the script letter "Q".

Here's another hand with a script letter "B".

The show continued out into the courtyard of the constellation of buildings.  Here is the Old Ox Barn from the other side (on the left), as well as one of the residences toward the right side of the image.

This log cabin was the home of the Steinbach Family.  There were coffee and cookies as well as a resale shop in this building.

I really enjoyed the resale shop.  All of these items are donated and repurposed or resold at deep discounts. When I put my sewing room back together, I'm going to put a box of items together to donate to the Old Aurora Colony.  There were some real treasures in here.  I picked up a book of quilt labels for $2.00.

This was a small show and the $6 admission price therefore seemed a little steep.  The proceeds go to benefit the Old Aurora Colony, however, and so I didn't mind paying.  

Lucky me, however!  This is only my first quilt show for the week.  On Thursday, I'm going to attend the MQX West show, and I can't wait!  The quilting was superb at last year's show.  The more I learn about machine quilting, the more I appreciate good quilting when I see it.


So here's an update on the current two cats of the Three Cats Ranch.  Smitty has put on his big boy kitty pants and can now go out AND in through his kitty door.  This has been great for a number of reasons.  First, we don't have to leave the door open for him, so the bugs aren't flying in.  Second, because the bugs aren't flying in, he isn't jumping at our blinds trying to get them.  Third, because when he knows he is in control of his own in and out time, he doesn't stay out as long, and so doesn't stray so far from the house.  It's like the struggle to potty train a child.  I feel every bit as relieved that he's figured this out as I did when diapers became a thing of the past.

He's still very kittenish, however.  I'm guessing he's about 2/3 of his adult size.  He has this little toy you see in this picture.  It's essentially a feather boa on a stick.  He drags it around between his legs, but he's most in a zone when he drags it up onto our fleece blanket and kneads the blanket while holding the toy in his mouth.  See that faraway gaze in his eyes?  It's kitty ecstasy.

Gracie had her own favorite kitten toys, but she's much too sophisticated for that sort of thing now.  She just looks on in disgust.

But the weather has been crummy, and so Smitty hasn't wanted to go out much.  Sometimes it's necessary to take drastic measures to a) drive the cat crazy, and b) wear the cat out so he'll take a nap.  Enter the laser pointer.

With our wood floors, he slips and slides around, but he can run so fast!  Eventually, he's worn out and falls over in a panting heap.

And look at these two buddies.  They've made peace with one another at last.  Smitty is still a little overly rambunctious for Gracie at times, but he's learning the limits of her patience.  And she's learning to have more patience.  They regularly bump noses now and are able to share a lap in peace.


So I managed to get a little sewing done yesterday.  I started working on the final blocks of the Plain and Simple Amish sampler quilt I started back in January.  The last block is a paper-pieced basket.

There are seven of these.  Each is a different color combination, and they will finish at 7.5 inches each.  Now that I'm getting close to being ready to sew the blocks together, I needed to purchase some more Kona solids.  I've been working from fat quarters for the pieced blocks, but the final quilt has some larger pieces sewn into the quilt top.  And then of course there is the back.  The pattern suggests a dark olive green for the back, but I decided on a nice royal blue.  I'm looking forward to finishing these blocks and sewing the whole thing together.  This is one of the first quilts I put on my to-do list when I started quilting in 2008, and it is about to become a reality.

D-E Commitment

Today is a swimming day.  Yesterday was supposed to be a walking day, but the weather looks better for tomorrow.  I decided to put off my walking until Wednesday.  I figure having extra days in my week gives me some flexibility to move my exercise days around.

A few of you have asked me about my diet and exercise commitment.  I wanted to link up to this article I read about sticking with an exercise routine.  I liked this article, but here's the real takeaway:

Remember, health and wellness are extremely personal sciences. You'll be assaulted on all sides by articles, scams, self-help books, poorly-reported scientific studies, internet commenters, and more who all claim they know what will work for you—and it usually boils down to what worked for them (which is great!) or what they're willing to sell you (which is not so great.) Having an abundance of options isn't a bad thing, but remember who you're in this for.

I think that's very good advice.  I'm losing weight, and it's amazing what just a little bit of exercise has done for the way I feel, although my morning backache hasn't gone away yet.  My bug-a-boo is always going to be my love of baking and the resultant baked goods.  (See my post about the Apple Pie Bread I baked on Sunday.)  For now I'm going with the theory that it isn't realistic to think I'm going to give up baking and baked goods in the long run, and so I need to incorporate them into my diet and exercise commitment in a way that works for both of us (me and the baked goods).

If I'm going to bake and eat the spoils of my effort, then I'll have to keep up my commitment to exercise...and I'll have to discipline myself not to eat the entire loaf in one sitting.  If I can't do both of those two things, then I have two choices.  Give up on losing weight, or give up on baking.  Since I don't want to give up either, then it means I need to exercise.  These are the little arguments I have with myself when I try to think of reasons why exercise is impossible on any given day.  Today swimming.  Tomorrow walking.  The next day, the world!  Or, at the very least, the quilt show.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

Quilting Babcia said...

Thanks for sharing the Aurora quilt show - such interesting stories. I'd love to visit that little resale shop - hope it can find its way into the schedule soon. Gracie has that same look as our Shyloe, who is now about 16 years old. We don't have a kitten, but the somewhat younger 9-year old dog gives her fits at times, especially when he rolls over on her. They are true buds, however. Enjoy MQX!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Love the history and old quilts, thank you for sharing. Enjoy the MQX. Ah, kitty love!

Snoodles said...

Thanks so much for sharing the quilt show....almost as good as being there with you -- except if I really were there, you might offer me a piece of that apple bread! LOL
Adorable kitty pictures! I've had my Smitty "fix" for the day!

Rachel said...

Aurora was interesting! Thanks for sharing it. Enjoy MQX. Glad to see the kitty population is doing so well!

WoolenSails said...

What a wonderful place for a show, enjoyed going with you. Kitties love fleece, moki does the same thing, pure ecstasy;)


Rhonda said...

Thanks for taking us to the quilt show. Someday I'm going to make a two color quilt.

After reading about your lifestyle changes, I've decided I have to do something too. Last night I started exercising again......

Sheila said...

Thanks for sharing the quilt show with us. I love anything Red & White. I just finished the small R&W embroidered quilt "Reindeer Games" from the Attic Window Quilt Shop" blog. I wasn't sure how to do the quilting, but finally finished it with an all over machine stitch. It came out beautiful.

Love your kitties, Smitty always looks like he is up to no good and Gracie aways a lady!

Take care and have a great week!

Anonymous said...

What a great quilt show. Thanks for sharing that with us. I love your stories about Smitty and Gracie. I didn't know kittens had big boy pants, hehehehe. That was pretty cute. Enjoy the rest of your week.

Kate said...

Wonderful quilts with great stories, thanks for sharin the quilt show.

Love the lazer pointer exercise for Smitty, very creative.

Good for you sticking with your plan. We had our Safety and Health fair at work. I'm making a deal with Drama Teen so we can both get in some exercise as the weather gets colder.

SewCalGal said...

What a super fun quilt show. I love the red theme too. Thanks for sharing.

And, of course, I enjoy seeing what the four legged kids are up to too!


sew.darn.quilt said...

The history in those quilts makes me wonder what would those women think of how we quilt today. The options of fabric, design and the tools we have compared to back then.
Thank you for the the tour :)

Dana Gaffney said...

Congratulations to Smitty for learning the intricacies of the cat door, I remember literally crawling through the doggy door, in and out, to teach my dogs, I guess you can't do that with a kitty door.
I love a good mystery so here's my take on that quilt. An open hand with a heart in the palm is a symbol of friendship, the initials could be the friends she made through quilting and sewing, hence the scissors.

Teresa in Music City said...

Very interesting little show! I really loved reading about the Hawaiian quilt, and the quilting on the mystery quilt was so tiny!!! If I had to quilt like that for every quilt I made today, I wouldn't get very many quilts made in my lifetime :*)

Smitty is growing so much!!! He looks so long in the picture of him "catching" the light on the wall. We had some training to do with one of our cats when we put in the cat door too. One of them got it right away, the other was afraid it was going to cut her head off when she went through :*) And it is good to see that Gracie is finally accepting him. So much less stress for her!

I love the shine of those solids in that yummy purple block! Can't wait to see this quilt come together. I have an Amish I am planning, and actually hoping to start this month for my NewFO. But I don't have any of that luscious deep rich purple!

Thank you for sharing the link and info about exercise. Very good advice!!! I'm still not doing very well with this in any organized sort of way, which is a recipe for disaster of course. But after my company leaves this weekend my life can get back to normal (somewhat) and I can hopefully get back on track. I have been watching my portions and that's about the extent of my efforts :( I'm glad to see that you are being fair to yourself and realistic for your lifestyle. Who could resist Apple Pie Bread forever???

Junebug613 said...

I really do love how you take us along on your journeys! The quilts were lovely and I like the history too. We only seem to have a couple of quilt shows around here and they are always in the spring. I'm so glad that Smitty is such a happy boy and that he and Gracie are finally getting along better. I love watching my cats race around on our laminate wood floor. Sometimes they can't quite get traction when they start trying to run and it's like the cartoons when their legs go, but they aren't really moving...LOL. Best wishes on your continued efforts to diet and exercise.

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for taking us along to the quilt show - and now that you know about it, we can look forward to going there again! I like to read about the quilts in a show too - great idea to take pictures of those too.

Good on Smitty - out AND in of the kitty door! Wooohooo! I'm glad that Gracie & he are settling in now. Only thing better than a cat on your lap is two of them!

Celtic Thistle said...

I love reading about your travels, those red and white quilts were beautiful. Nice to have the history too.

Like your attitude to diet and exercise, sounds like you have got the balance just right.