Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community, and Craft (2008)

 

Aurora

A fantastic journey. A remarkable commitment. And a simple faith. Wrap yourself in a riveting American tale told in beautiful stitches and craft. Master storyteller Jane Kirkpatrick extols the beautiful treasures, unknown to a wider public, rediscovered in the Old Aurora Colony of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley. The people and legacy of Aurora, a utopian community founded in the mid-1800s, will stir your imagination, hopes, and dreams; and remind you that every life matters–every daily task, love, aspiration, and endeavor.

Quilt

Book Features

  • Unique and treasured quilt pattern variations
  • More than 100 photographs (many never-before published) from 1850 to today
  • Cherished stories from Aurora descendants
  • Discoveries of fine crafts from the Colony and private collections
  • With an introduction by renowned American Artist John Houser

QuiltCottage

A Christian Commune

German and Swiss emigrants – nearly 600 of them – established Aurora Colony and from 1856 to 1883 lived as a Christian communal society.  Unlike other Christian colonies that practiced celibacy, the Aurora colony carried out its Christian communal living by individuals and family groups. For more on the Aurora Colony visit their website.

OldAurora

Northwest Passages Interview

Northwest Passages: Jane Kirkpatrick
AIR DATE: Thursday, July 2nd 2009

Click here to listen.

 

Praise for Jane Kirkpatrick's Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community and Craft

“Like a master quilter, Jane Kirkpatrick has pieced together scraps of remembrances, letters, and artifacts into an intriguing history of a unique community defined by faith and craft. Quilters especially will enjoy her exploration of the domestic arts and how they enrich the lives of women, past and present.” –Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts novels

“Jane Kirkpatrick is a remarkable storyteller in her historical novels, but in Aurora, she lets the quilts and crafts tell the stories of a Christian communal settlement in nineteenth century Oregon. She became intimately familiar with these stories in her research for the Change and Cherish Historical Series. This book is a welcome addition, particularly for its photographs and related information, on the history of the Aurora Colony.” –James J. Kopp, board member of the Aurora Colony Historical Society and author of Eden within Eden: Oregon’s Utopian Heritage.

Aurora, brings a warm remembering of one man’s effort to establish a caring, sharing community. Jane Kirkpatrick’s writing honors the skills and connected lives of a group of people who created a neighborhood, impacting their entire region. Her story inspires the readers to hone their skills, simplify their lives, and serve others. The colorful pictures bring a by-gone era to life.” –Mary Tatem, author of the bestseller The Quilt of Life; and Beautiful Threads and The Quilt of Hope

“The Diamond Rule at Oregon’s 19th century Aurora Colony was that one should make life better for others. Using her extraordinary gift, Jane Kirkpatrick gives us a story of spirituality and creativity that enriches our lives. Through the agrarian colony’s crafts, especially its quilts, Jane recreates the lives of those pioneers who colonized the western wilderness in a spirit of perseverance, cooperation, and harmony.” –Sandra Dallas, author of Tallgrass and The Quilt That Walked to Golden

“Jane Kirkpatrick brings the Aurora Colony alive through words and pictures. Readers are immersed in the colonists’ culture and craft. We can’t help but admire how these men and women put beauty into even the most utilitarian objects.” –Judy Breneman, quilt historian and founder of www.womenfolk.com celebrating quilts and crafts

“A book on the quilt collection has been a longtime dream of those behind the Aurora Colony Museum. Now, with the skills of writer Jane Kirkpatrick; knowledge of curator Patrick Harris; and commitment of museum volunteers and members, this book is a reality. Enriched by the expanded focus of family, faith, and community, this project celebrates the same patient energy, perseverance, and cooperation the colonists demonstrated more than 100 years ago. Sehr Gut [very good]!” –Mary Bywater Cross, Oregon quilt historian and author of Quilts of the Oregon Trail

“Fascinating and memorable, Jane Kirkpatrick’s Aurora gives voice to the enduring spirit of our pioneer foremothers and the work of their hands. Anyone interested in our pioneer heritage will love this book. Quilt-lovers and historians will want to add it to their libraries.” –Stephanie Grace Whitson, author of Unbridled Dreams and A Hilltop in Tuscany; speaker, and quilt historian

“Do you often wonder what lasts after you’ve gone? Aurora, shares the legacy left by a creative community who crossed the Oregon Trail to live simply in a new land. These families were drawn together by faith, hard work, and service, as well as amazing fiber arts, crafts, and culinary delights. Delve into the beautifully-illustrated pages of this book and savor the quilts that tell a story not only of struggle and sacrifice, but also joy and journey. Then do the hard work of examining your own life and tell your own story, leaving a legacy of purpose and grace. Aurora is a reminder of what’s truly important–that, indeed, our lives are the stories others read first.” –Lucinda Secrest McDowell, author of Quilts from Heaven and Role of a Lifetime

 

 

Writer's Recollections

Aurora grew out of the research for my novels...but there was so much more to say about this invigorating colony and the museum that continues to honor it. And I could use pictures! The colonists loved color.

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Video- (Book Trailer) Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, Community and Craft

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