The day I received Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft my parents were here for a visit. Knowing my mom and her love for quilt and craft, I handed her the book to see if she might like glancing through it.
Off and on throughout the weekend she perused the book, gushed over the crafts, and shared the occasional interesting tidbit about the Aurora Colony established in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in the mid-1800’s. She liked the book so much I almost asked her to write a guest post right then!
In Aurora, author Jane Kirkpatrick has pieced together a gorgeous memoir of a little known facet of American history. The beauty of the photography is matched only by the beauty of the crafts created by the residents of the Aurora community. The story of the community’s origin and legacy is punctuated by vintage photographs in addition to the beautiful quilts and other creations such as their preferred blue paint, aptly named “Aurora blue”.
It’s an intriguing story and though Ms. Kirkpatrick’s emphasis is obviously on the quilt and craft aspect of the Aurora colony, I found myself wondering about the faith and community part. The colony began with a group of people moving from Missouri to Oregon to fashion for themselves a utopian community. The story is told of a young couple wanting to wed yet leader Keil refused to sanction the marriage. Thus they never married. And what about Dr. Keil? What kind of leader was he to have final say on who weds who? What made these colonists follow him across the country from Missouri to Oregon? Kirkpatrick keeps to the facts of the story; I wondered about all that lurked behind those facts, the rest of the story if you will.
Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft is a fascinating, beautiful look at an interesting piece of American history. Those of you, like my mom, enamored with quilt, craft, history, or all three, will no doubt find Aurora as compelling as my mom did.
P.S. For you quilters out there, two colony quilt patterns are included for you to replicate!
Wife and mother, Bible teacher and blogger, Lisa loves Jesus, coffee, dark chocolate and, of course, books. Read more of her reflections at Lisa writes….
Carrie, Reading to Know says
One of life’s goals: make a quilt.
But it requires more detail than I think I could ever apply. However, this book looks fun!
I just put this book on hold from my library. I am ashamed to say for the last five years I’ve lived 20 minutes away from Aurora and have never really visited there. I hope to rectify that this summer. I look forward to reading this book even though I don’t quilt. Thanks for the review.