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Archive for November, 2011

The Textile Mill and Antique Quilts

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

I was impressed with how well maintained the Heritage Center is. It looked freshly painted. I love those slanted windows up at the top of the building. There is a self-guided tour of the woolen mill and an exhibit area. The rest of the building is devoted to offices and meeting and event rooms.

The old Dye House is a space now devoted to swanky events.

I was fascinated with the mill and the ability to get up close and personal with all the machinery. The mill closed in the early 60s and it is as if they shut things down and just left it.

This is a bin of roving before it goes to the carding machine.

It is then spun into yarns.

There was a long row of machines with yarn I am not sure what the function was.

I was fascinated with this large mechanical loom.

There were spindles of all sizes. I wanted to bring some home with me.

After our side trip in the mill, we finally got access to the quilt show in the gallery. One needed a key from the front desk in another building. The quilts are a collection of quilts made by women in the 1800’s who arrived here on the Oregon rail.

Between 1840 and 1870 thousands of women arrived in the Northwest by way of the Oregon Trail. Stored away for months in trunks specially built to protect them from the hazards of weather, rivers, fire and dust, heirloom quilts found new homes in Oregon. Guest curated by Mary Bywater Cross, renowned quilt historian, Treasures from the Trunkcexplores the inventiveness of these women, their eye for color and design, and the stories of where they came from, where they were going and what happened along the way.

Here are a few of my favorites from the exhibit.

The stitching on this is exquisite – both the applique and the quilting.

This was one of my favorites. Just love the color in this. Notice the orange which gives a nice pop to the design. Very nice quilting, too.

This is called a Wedding Dress quilt. It was common to use old clothing in quilts, which was done in this.

This quilt was quite something. It was constructed of silk taffeta. The outside edge was a ruffle.

This was a beautiful red and white quilt.


This log cabin quilt was an anomaly in that it was machine stitched and quilted.

This gorgeous Road to California blue and white quilt was one of the older quilts.

This was a beautiful and subtle Tree of Life signature quilt. The signatures were stitched so nicely, but in thread that matched the background so it is a surprise when you get close.

And, lastly, another red and white quilt with a Tulip pattern.

Much of the delight with this exhibit was reading the stories of each of the quilters.

We ended our day with a short visit and some fun at the Salem’s Riverfront  Carousel. The horses are lovingly hand carved and cared for by a group of volunteers. We got to meet and chat with a few of them.

We all got to ride one or two times. Here is our effervescent priest, Catherine, enjoying her second ride.

For Jeannie who wants to know what happened in the yarn shop. I was just going to browse – you know, look around and fondle yarn. Then, I saw this adorable sweater made up and hanging right in front of my eyes.

I was smitten. I had to get the pattern and some yarn to knit this. The photo from the book does not show the details very well. I bought the same yarn as the photo.

OK, I have rambled on long enough.


Salem Field Trip

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

I went on a field trip with a group from Trinity to the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, the state capitol. I went at the behest of a friend who organized it because we were to see an exhibit of quilts made by women who came to Oregon in the 1800s.

I am fairly new to Oregon so I am not very up on its history. The tour of the Heritage Center filled in some gaps in my  knowledge of Oregon history . I always thought that the first settlers came on the Oregon Trail in covered wagons! But, there were folks here before that who came to bring Christianity to the native Americans. They were not very successful, but they did send out the word that this would be a great place to live. The first settlers came on a boat that stopped in Hawaii on the way — I never did find out why? They brought lots of stuff on that boat, including the machinery needed to start a woolen mill and furniture and other household goods. The woolen mill stopped producing fabric in the early 60’s and was subsequently turned into a museum.

We first visited two of the oldest frame homes still existing in Oregon. They were the homes of the earliest settlers.

When first occupied, this did not have those lovely verandas or an indoor staircase. To get to the second floor living quarters, they climbed a ladder!! The photo up at the top is one of the bedrooms with an original sleigh bed brought on that ship to Oregon.

On the table in this room, you can see an original laptop.

As a former weaver, I was very taken with the gorgeous woven coverlets. Below is a coverlet using orange, blue and white. Where the blue and orange mix, it becomes brown! The photo below, shows a detail of another blue and orange quilt.


Here is a red coverlet.

Some of the beds had quilts.

And here is one thrown over a chair.

Here are some other nice shots of the interiors of the two houses we toured.

The crockery on this dry sick was wonderful.

One of the women in the group had an epiphany about why an iron is called an iron when she saw these.

Perched on a hill under some beautiful trees was the church.

These trees on the hill were awesome in stature and color. None of us knew what they are.


The pews in the church were purple. The docent said this was the original color – I love it.

We took a break for lunch in the mill cafe before continuing our tour. Each person’s tea came with a teapot and tea cozy.

The center has a wonderful yarn store where I got into a bit of trouble. More on this and the rest of the tour tomorrow.

This and That, Again

Monday, November 14th, 2011

So many things going on and thankfully, I am fighting back against a sinus infection. I was down most of the week-end with a horrible sinus headache. I am doing all the none antibiotic things I can, and it is working. Woo hoo. I had a very busy day catching up with stuff.

I went out yesterday and bought the lovely yarn up there. It is a merino wool/bamboo combo that is machine washable. I am making a sweater for the new baby. I wanted to do that green color, but couldn’t find the right yarn so that will have to wait. I love this heathery robin’s egg blue.

My new camera arrived today. When my brand new Nikon 3100 was stolen last spring, I didn’t get a new one because it was quite expensive and I thought I could get along with a cheaper camera for a bit so I bought a used Canon Rebel. I have had so much trouble photographing my quilts. I found a used Nikon 3100 for almost half the price of a new one plus they are buying my Rebel. It turned out to be a good deal. I used it for photos tonight, and I am so happy.

I had a lot of SDA work to do today, but I managed to sew 16 more disappearing nine patch blocks for Gwen’s quilt.

The Oregon art professor who led our critique session a few weeks ago, recommended the book Making Art by Terry Barrett. It is a college text and was quite expensive, so I hope to put it to good use!

I took these two photos with my iPhone on our walk this morning. We still have some great color, but the rain has arrived and so the leaves are falling. Can you see Mr C and Scooter in these photos?

A Fused Glass Quilt

Friday, November 11th, 2011

When the nine Twelves met in Houston, we exchanged some lovely gifts. It was so wonderful to bring them home with me to fondle and enjoy. Karen‘s husband, Ted, made each of us a fused glass plate which was inspired by one of our Twelve by Twelve quilts. Since they are very heavy, they were delivered or shipped to each of us. Karen brought mine to me a while ago when she was visiting Portland.

It was inspired by my mathematics themed quilt — Not  So Simple Geometry.

I keep mine in my dining room and you can see how beautifully it goes with the wall color. It is a lovely memory of the Twelve community. Thank you Ted and Karen.









Thursday, November 10th, 2011

I have a splitting headache. I think it is allergy related. We had to cancel our STASH outing today because Terry is sick and two are out of town and one has a brother visiting. I took a nice long walk with Scooter. It was a beautiful day, but I think there was one too many leaf blowers on our route.

I got some more work on the disappearing nine patch quilt for Gwen. I know that arranging those blocks to my satisfaction is going to be an exercise in futility.

I took some gorgeous photos of the fall color in my neighborhood, yesterday.


You can see the rest of them on my Flickr site. Just click on the photos on the sidebar.

I am going to put on my pj’s and call it a day.