Quilts in Sisters, OR

Last week was quilt week in Sisters, OR, culminating in the big outdoor quilt show Saturday.  I drove over Wednesday with sister-in-law LeeAnn and quilting buddy Cynthia for some workshops and some fun.  We stayed at Long Hollow Ranch about 12 miles outside of Sisters.  It’s an old farm converted to a B&B with the former stage coach stop made into the cottage and we quickly became the “cottage girls” to the nice owners Dick and Shirley.

Long Hollow stagecoach stop


After a good breakfast at 7:00 a.m. (!! mighty early for the “retired” among us) we took off for the first class.  Cynthia went for hand applique and LeeAnn and I opted for a workshop with the Gee’s Bend quilters.  It was really a romp with both China and Loretta Pettway helping the two of us.  We started with neat little piles of fabric and it turned into a free-for-all.


Each session starts and ends with a gospel song sung by the ladies that really rocked us–beautiful and heartfelt–these women were good-natured and patient and fun:

the ladies 2

I had this dorky idea of “fire and water” and stuck with it, though everybody wondered what I was thinking:


China at my machine

Loretta and me

Loretta and me holding some “fire and water.”  Friday LeeAnn and I took a class from Salem quilter Karla Alexander and here were my first three blocks:

my squares

and here is Karla showing us a quilt of hers:


Friday night we attended the last night picnic which was amazing–I think everybody in Sisters was helping  serve the 800+ quilters assembled in the park to eat and hear well known quilters Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran talk about their work.


After our last Long Hollow breakfast we took off for Sisters and the quilt show, stopping only for polka dots:

polka dots

we kind of did the girl equivalent of slashing our fingers and exchanging blood (like blood brothers, but ick!)–we went shopping and bought our “sisters scarves”:


at the quilt show

It’s a big retail moment for the town, but the quilts are everywhere making you kind of happy–these by Jean Wells.

We saw Gwen & Freddy signing books: (we learned Friday that they had collaborated on some 63 quilts in the years of their friendship)

Freddy and Gwen

and then we had to go look at some of their quilts close-up:

F&G 1F&G 2F&G 3

The staff of the Stitchin Post had their quilts on the side of the store:

stitchin post quilts

and here’s Gee’s Bend quilter Lucy Mingo with one of her beautiful quilts:

Lucy Mingo

Last stop was the quilt block contest where a lot of quilters (including me) had made a block.  They sent you squares of fabric and you could add two colors:

qb 1

qb 2

Mine is to the right of the chicken (I added turquoise and black) and I didn’t win, though keep in mind the theme was “Gee’s Bend”.

Off home exhausted and happy.


  1. This is a terrific piece – what a great time you three had. And OMG – the real Gee’s Bend quilters. That must have been pretty amazing. Great stuff, Bon.

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