Feb 23, 2014

Zion Mennonite Quilt Show and a Cougar Sighting!


Friendship time with a dear quilting friend.... and a trip to Whiskey Hill, in Hubbard, Oregon.... and the Zion Mennonite Quilt Workshop.

The Zion Mennonite Quilt Workshop is really a lovely little quilt show, combined with lots of hand quilters and wonderful advice if you need, or ask for it. 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..."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!"

 Shown above:  a collage I made from a previous visit to the Zion Mennonite Quilt Workshop and more quilts and fun from a previous post.

My friend, Pat, 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.

This visit there were some of  the earlier quilters combined with newer ones just learning to hand quilt.

And there is always a 'Beginner's Table' where you feel comfortable sitting down and giving it a try with advice, if you want it! A place for everybody and every kind of quilt.  But Pat and I saw enough quilts with utility stitching to make me feel at home with my more clumsy and larger stitches, and gave her the courage to try her own hand at it on a beginner's table. She not only stayed on the line but I thought her stitches looked pretty good!

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 we found several ladies from our Mid-Valley Quilt Guild group from Salem, to enjoy a great lunch and nice conversation.

Then off to more adventures!With her GPS, and printed off Google Map directions, we set out to find a little quilt shop that moved out into the outskirts of Mollala, Oregon. As we went up into the beautifully forested hills with many twists and turns, a large 'cat' ran across the road in front of us.

We were driving on 'Wildcat' Road outside of the city of Mollala, so  I knew it wasn't a house cat..quite large, tawny colored, and with that beautiful rolling up and down gait you see on wild life shows.

The beautiful creature went into the forested meadow and posed and looked deep into my eyes. And just like my many deer sightings in our back yard under my prayer arch, it was magical!
I was too mesmerized to think to grab my phone/camera! But it was a rare event and they are seldom seen in Oregon. I quickly texted my husband and son, suspecting that they had probably never seen one in the wild in Oregon.

Off to the Canby Quilts and Fabric...in the outskirts of Mollala along our Wildcat Road and a lovely time, there as well. Sandy, the guilt shop owner, said that in all the years of living out there, they'd only seen one and that only a few times, so I was truly blessed to see one. It's hard knowing that the existence of one creatures requires the demise of others for survival, but such is life!

I bought an O'lipfa ruler that are so hard to find now, while Pat looked for backing fabric for a charitable donation she is working on. And before we left, Sandy told us to select something from her free goody basket!

A quilt show, a country drive with a cougar sighting, and a new ruler plus a free gift! And yes, I actually loved seeing the cougar the best..that's just how I am growing up as a wild woman who loves nature and wildcrafting and wild sightings of all kinds on my little island in Alaska.

(And later, my husband said that sightings were so rare, that frankly he doubted I'd even seen one. But after describing it to him, he knew that I had!) So great fun!

We were just glad to have seen a fun quilt show, had a nice lunch with new friends, and then visit this little quilt shop and one more closer into the town, itself. A good day and a bit of a miracle of nature combined!

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting, with small format art quilts, prayer flags, and comfort quilts for a variety of charitable programs. And best of all, sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join her and make and donate quilts to charitable causes.   Help us change the world, one little quilt, art quilt, and prayer flag at a time!


Mary Collier said...

Thanks for sharing the Zion Mennonite Quilt Show pictures. I have visited the show several times in the past and always enjoyed it.

Kitchener Quilter said...

Love seeing your photos from this Mennonite Quilt Show. Thanks for posting them. And your big cat sighting. How exciting.

Ruth said...

"Sandy the guilt shop owner" -oh, I laughed, because so often I feel guilty as I leave quilt shops, having left so many beautiful fabrics behind...

Karen H said...

What a wonderful outing - a great quilt show, shopping at a quilt shop and seeing the big cat! Thanks for sharing!

Cathy said...

Beautiful quilts. Thanks so much for sharing the photo's. Hugs

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your photos of the Zion Quilt Workshop. I'm headed there today for a fun day, getting my creative gene fix for the month.

I saw a coyote last week, in fact a pair of them, and they look more like dogs. I'm wondering if your sighting was of a bobcat rather than a coyote.