about the artist

The Textile Mill and Antique Quilts

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.


6 Responses to “The Textile Mill and Antique Quilts”

  1. Diane D. says:

    I have that book, Treasures in the Trunk – bought it many years ago. I’ve always loved that topmost red and white quilt – I think in the book they call it darting minnows.

  2. Those two windows on the top of the building in the first photo are such fun. I’ve never seen windows cocked like that.

  3. Kristin L says:

    Looks like you had a great field trip. The quilts are just wonderful.

  4. Judy says:

    Great field trip pics!
    I have several books about the quilts made during covered wagon trips to the west. I would love to see that exhibit,
    Love the sweater and yarn.


  5. dee says:

    Thanks for taking us along. The quilts are lovely but those coverlets in orange and blue were a special treat. We have some old coverlets here- they are blue and I had never seen any other color. Wonderful.

  6. Jeannie says:

    I love the yarn! Thanks! I was at the mill eons ago and I’m glad to see it is still as lovely. The quilts are beautiful. There is something about antique quilts that draw me in. I think it is the history they hold. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.