Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

FONT & AUDIO

MORE STORIES


Starting Aug. 2, Aaron's quilts will be on display for the entire month and all proceeds will go to the Friends of the Wilsonville Library.

She'll often wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a new quilt.

Martha Aaron is deeply dedicated to her craft, so much so that she'll spend upwards of 70 hours on one — if it deserves the attention. COURTESY PHOTO: MARTHA AARON - Starting Aug. 2, Aaron's quilts will be on display for the entire month and all proceeds will go to the Friends of the Wilsonville Library.

She's been quilting for over 40 years now. Starting Aug. 2 and running through the end of the month, her work will be displayed at the Wilsonville Public Library. The quilts are available for purchase and all proceeds will go to the Friends of the Wilsonville Library.

Aaron said there's two sides of her brain. One is set aside for quilting. It's unlocked when she gets her hands on the colorful, patterned fabrics, some of which she's hung onto since the '90s.

"It's always been such a joy to just go to the other side of my brain," she said. "It's a wonderful, wonderful contrast."

Aaron said that for years, she almost couldn't talk when quilting. It was as if she was in a trance. Somebody would walk into the room and have to stop her completely to get her attention. But, approaching her fifth decade as a quilter, she's struck a balance. She'll listen to lectures or podcasts during her work now.

Starting when Aaron was around 7, her mother would cover the walls with her daughter's drawings. These days, Aaron's work space looks quite similar. When she begins a new project, she "auditions" fabrics, hanging them in various configurations to see how they mesh, before beginning the cutting process. COURTESY PHOTO: MARTHA AARON - Aaron has been quilting for over 40 years, although her first quilting class came just 15 years ago, she said.

"The joke among quilters is that we insulate the house with fabric," she said.

At times, she'll splurge on a fabric buying spree after extended periods without purchasing any. She calls them relapses.

Aaron is naturally drawn to color and complex patterns. She loves florals.

Over the years, she's learned to edit herself.

"I've learned to be a little bit more moderate, because it ends up looking like a mishmash," she said.

In a way, that's the beauty of it.

Aaron was born in upstate New York, grew up in Portland, and then departed for St. Louis, Missouri for college and later finished at Oregon State University. She served in the military following her undergrad years, but impressed with her math and physics knowledge — the other side of her brain — and was paid to go back to school. So came a degree in meteorology from Texas A&M and a stint at Oregon Health & Science University, for medical school. She would return to New York and spend time in both Wisconsin and Minnesota before settling in Wilsonville, where she's been ever since.

Her life has been a mishmash. Quilting lets her express that. COURTESY PHOTO: MARTHA AARON - Aaron said that for years, she almost couldn't talk when quilting. It was as if she was in a trance.

Like some of her other artistic interests, including cross-stitching and crochet, Aaron discovered quilting because it was what her friends — then at Oregon State — did. Looking back, she deems it positive peer pressure.

Much has changed since then. Rotary cutters have removed the need for as much direct work with her hands, allowing her to quilt on despite bouts of bursitis and arthritis as well as a carpal tunnel surgery.

Aaron's invested in enlightened self interest — an ethical philosophy in which those who act to further the interests of others ultimately serve their own self-interest. Through projects, such as her partnership with the library, she said she's hopeful she can "quilt it forward."


You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.


Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top