An American Experience in Quilt, community, and Craft

Non-Fiction - Home/Crafts
168 Pages
Reviewed on 03/13/2009
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

Author Jane Kirkpatrick wrote two series of books taking place in the Willamette Valley of Oregon during the 1800s. Aurora, a German Christian commune, existed at that time. The members worked together using their skills to survive.

Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, community, and Craft is a celebration of their lives and the artifacts they left behind. The skills and talent varied from quilts to furniture to numerous other items. This book is filled with photographs. I was particular impressed with the quilts, for each one tells a story. One of the quilts that caught my eye is a piece-appliquéd quilt. The background is brown and black with colorful appliquéd birds. This quilt seems to break the barriers that prevent friendships.

The hand-stitched samplers are beautiful. Needlework is quickly becoming a lost art. Few people in today’s world have the time or take the time to put needle and thread to fabric. Aurora: An American Experience in Quilt, community, and Craft is a book to be cherished. It is gift quality.

A. E. Hebbert

I hold in my hands the book that held me spellbound and kept me awake until 1:00 this morning. This treasure holds a fascinating story, circa the mid-1800's, complete with treasures from Oregon's Old Aurora Colony in the Willamette Valley.
Aurora is about the impact ordinary lives can make, with fascinating text. Kirkpatrick travels worldwide, telling stories, and she brings her excellent skills to this book. She also shares her research in the form of--
§ Unique and treasured quilt patterns
§ More than 100 photographs from 1850 to today
§ Cherished stories from Aurora descendants
§ Discoveries of fine crafts from the colony and private collections.
William Keil, called Dr. Keil, directed several communal colonies in the mid-1800s, including Aurora. Father of eight children, he built the utopian community of his dreams, where everyone contributed to the group's bank account and worked together for the common good. In Oregon, members sold fine tailored garments, wonderful quilts and other necessities to their neighbors after meeting their own needs. Keil treated illnesses with herbal remedies and led most of the group spiritually. He did allow different denominations, though, and appeared to be open to other ideas. However, he forbade at least one couple to marry, and they heeded his order.
With Aurora, you will find your imagination stirred, and a reminder that every daily task, love, aspiration and endeavor, matters.

Kirkpatrick is a native of Oregon, an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction books, and an international speaker. You will like Aurora.

Connie Y. Mishali

Aurora by Jane Kirkpatrick recounts the true story of a utopian commune established in the 1800s. The pioneers left their homes in Missouri to the Pacific Northwest under the societal and religious leadership of Wilhelm Keil. Jane Kirkpatrick's telling of the tale is supplemented with numerous historical pictures of the people and landscape - and their quilts that chronicled their history. If you love history, pioneer stories or quilting, this book is for you!

P. Harris

I live very near Aurora and bought this book for a friend as a gift, she was thrilled

K. Miller

My first thought was that I've only made 2 quilts myself, so wasn't really interested in the Aurora book...but...I DO read anything Jane Kirkpatrick writes, as she is my favorite author. I ordered it. WOW! What a great Christmas gift I gave myself today! It arrived & I cannot put it down. I've read all Jane's books, so this one in particular comes alive seeing photos, memorabilia, and all that is written. This is an excellent book & highly recommended. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I.