Friendship time with quilting friends,a trip to Whiskey Hill, in Hubbard, Oregon and the Zion Mennonite Quilt Workshop.
The Zion Mennonite Quilt Workshop, as the members prefer to call it, is really a lovely little quilt show, combined with helpful hand quilters and wonderful advice as well as wonderful quilts.
You have the chance to see some lovely vintage quilts with great charm, as well as more modern ones. And the ladies of the church cook up and serve a wonderful home cooked meal for the cost of a simple donation.
There are wonderful vintage quilts mixed in with new and often even quite modern ones.
And there is the absolute charm of seeing some of the older Mennonite quilters still hand quilting and teaching others their special techniques after all of their years of making quilts and quilting.
And I really love knowing that this was the original group of Mennonite women quilters who first worked with Gwen Marston, decades ago, and taught her to quilt. She has written about them in one of her books and described their skill and their patience.
Back then it was all with simply drawn pencil on cardboard templates and they have boxes and boxes of them, still. We are welcomed to trace as many as we want, but it is, of course, the fun of just seeing these vintage pieces that is the most fun.
The same is true of the quilts. One from 1917 with a later dated of 1957 added. I wondered out loud one year......"I wonder if it took the quilter that long to hand quilt and finish it?' and a stranger next to me answers..'it would have taken me a heck of a lot longer than that!"
My friends and I wandered the rows looking at the older quilts mixed in with the newer ones, with old sock monkeys, and simple yo you dolls, sitting in vintage strollers and high chairs while modern lamb toys and a teddy bear cozy up to other pieces.
The merging of the old and the new is reflected in all of our faces. In a visit from 2007, there was a beautiful Mennonite woman hand quilting in her traditional sheer bonnet, while the middle aged in quilted jackets and vests, merged with the new young quilters and the tiny tots played with scrap fabrics on the long tables.
And there are always quilters hand quilting, drawing templates, or making hand sewn blocks. And this visit, I actually visited with a quilter using a modern plastic template as she graciously showed me how she used different colored pencils to trace her lines..changing colors as needed in order for them to show up.
The wonderful church ladies always proved a home made lunch...soup, bread, a dessert, and drinks. And all donations go to their mission in Bolivia. A wonderful way to have a simple but nutritious lunch and do good at the same time.
An during extra fun years, we find quilters from our Mid-Valley Quilt Guild group from Salem, to sit a spell and enjoy a nice lunch, a cup of tea, and relaxing conversation.
And then it's time, to stretch our legs, and discover a few more quilts or perhaps a technique table and sharing of tips, that we hadn't discovered yet!
She was stuffed, too! Literally!!
Oh no! Don't look Edith, Dorothy, Little Nell, Ping, Pia, Matilda and Penelope!
...my original prose/poem about our adventures in 2007
Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey from Alaska to Oregon with thousands of free Quilting, Sewing, and Crafting Patterns and Tutorials. Help change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!