Monday, July 13, 2009

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2009


We had a blast at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show! I met Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston, Bonnie Hunter and Mary Lou Weidman. I was able to get into the Gee's Bend Lecture, Thursday night, and get the autographs of the fabulous Gee's Bend Quilters that are currently on tour and loved them and their unbelievable singing of gospel music at a moment's notice. I even have a video clip of them singing right before me as I had my Quilts of Gee's Bend book autographed, Saturday, in front of the The Stitchin' Post.


I met and visited with Freddy's husband, Neal, for quite a long while. Neal is not only handsome as all get out, but he was so much fun! He told me how he met Freddy canoeing on the Russian River. He was 13 and she was 12 and she spun circles around him! He also told ME that I was 'an amazing person', so I fell in love, instantly. I was honest and told Freddy, I was going to be her husband's next wife (shhhh...don't tell my current husband!)



I met the Gee's Bend ladies and visited with Florine Smith, a fabulous Gee's Bend quilter with a voice that 'can't make her doubt Jesus' for one minute! One of the seven ladies currently on tour (they take turns rotating a large number of well-known quilters, some sing, some don't...but I'd be willing to bet none of them doubt!) Their presence and their spirit is self-evident and they are a delight! ( see my sef-contained post: Gee's Bend Quilters Sing)

After after a year's search and emails to the fabulous and oh so talented, Queen Bonnie of Quiltville.....we arranged to meet her at a Sister's Park and with the rest of us, dog tired and bleary eyed , Cher spotted her in no time at all. (Of course, Cher waited until I desperately headed for the loo, and THEN she took the group over to Bonnie's picnic spot.... ;) But I managed to belatedly find my way to the group...and Bonnie was absolutely wonderful to us.



Bonnie was as nice as you could possibly imagine, slim, trim and quite beautiful. And she has unusual eyes that actually twinkle when you talk to her. And yes, I looked like I'd been up since 3:55 a.m. because I had! But I still know a twinkle when I see it!


And here we are, the three Quiltin' Jesters. It felt SO good to finally sit down and it was only 9:30 am (remember I go to bed with the owls and get up with the chickens ;)

Before meeting Cher and Doni at the Sisters Library, I drove into Sisters (from Camp Sherman where we were staying with some wonderful friends) and volunteered at 7 a.m. I simply walked up the wonderful lady in charge of the quilt hanging, and asked how I could help. My first task was delivering quilt location lists to the quilt show info booth...and boy, this is me we're talking about...the woman with the perfect sense of lack of direction!

I acted like I knew what I was doing and accomplished that task and others! Mostly, I stood around and told others when the quilts were straight or who needed another clothes pin ;)



I met Mary Lou Weidman (of the fabulous appliqued story quilts fame) and we talked quilt blogs for a bit as she posed for me with Freddy Moran and her husband, Neal. 'Could you please send me those photos" she asked...well, you better believe I can...out of focus or not, I took lots of them ;)


And on top of the meetings and greetings, the beautiful quilts covering every building in town, we also had a chance to see Oregon's two quilted cars in person!Look over my and Freddy's shoulders and there they are! Both cars are fully driveable, but as the quilt guild ownders say, something from the outside needs to press the velcro closed and they drive better in parades then over the Oregon Pass in a rain or snowstorm! (Quiltmobiles and Quilted Cars for more info)


What a day, three days, what a fun, fun time! Gee's Bend Lecture, Pine Needler's Quilt Show in Camp Sherman, Make a Wish Postcard Auction, Freddy and Gwen picnic and a show of their quilts ....plus the traveling Gee's Bend quilts....and to top it all off, we finally found the missing Bonnie Hunter!....good food, good music, great people and fabulous quilts!



And then... my on-the-spot volunteering before the show opened and the spotting of Magpie Sue's fabulous liberated house quilt block in the Quilt Block Contest near the end and oh, did I ever mention the The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show had a record breaking 1,300 quilts?!

So, ok....it was 90º, I had blisters, shin splints, charley horses in both legs, and I whined a lot. But boy did I have a good time!

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Free Gee's Bend Quilter's Pattern:

Loretta Pettway Bennett created a Pine Burr Quilt for the State of Alabama while participating in the Alabama State council on the Arts Foklife apprenticeship grogram. Loretta's mother, Quinnie Pettway, was one of the orginal Gee's Bend Quiltes and taught Loretta how to make it.

On March 11, 1997 it was officially designated as the "State Quilt" of Alabama.

PDF: Pine Burr Quilt Pattern by Loretta Pettway Bennett



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My Other Posts on the Show:
Free Give-Away: Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again posted 7/24/09

The Gee's Bend Quilters
Gee's Bend Quilters Sing
Sisters OR: The Little Town With a Big Heart
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2009


12 comments:

  1. What a fabulous time you had. So very happy to hear all that you accomplished in such a short time. Great pictures, good memories! Hugs, Finn

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  2. Michele, I'm so glad you had a good time. Those quilts look wonderful.

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  3. I am so jealous~ I'd do all of that despite the heat and the aches and pains too... it looks absolutely FANTASTIC!! I am so glad that you had so much fun and many happy meetings, at long last! Even the quilts look happy to be there.

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  4. It certainly does seem like a fabulous show - with beautiful quilts, and a chance to meet so many quilt icons.

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  5. Oh my gosh to read the story and soak it up. Then, just at the end you crack me up with this: "So, ok....it was 90º, I had blisters, shin splints, charley horses in both legs, and I whined a lot. And yeah, I'd say you had a good time ~ one to remember, blog about and share with your pals who think "Wow..." :)

    *karendianne.

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  6. I was so sorry to miss Sisters and the Gees Bend Quilters along with Freddy and Gwen. Your blog post was the next best thing. Thank you SO much!

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  7. Michele,
    What a fabulous journey you had- I am sure they loved you as much as you were impressed by them.
    It looks like a grand time was had by all-
    Thank you for taking so many wonderful pictures and sharing your story.
    Did you come home with new fabrics to add to your stash too? I bet that you came home inspired with lots of new ideas.
    I think the Gee Bend ladies are pretty amazing too - its wonderful that they are celebrating the contribution of all these wonderful quilters. What a show it must be to see - 1300 quilts is totally mind boggling!
    Have a nice evening and rest those feet and legs.
    Hugs,
    Anna

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  8. Thank you for such a complete report! It looks like you had a full day for sure, but every minute enjoyable. (At least it was only in the 90's - I've heard it's been well over 100 in previous years!)

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  9. Looks like you had a great time!! Thanks for the little video - I regret never having gone to see the Gee's Bend quilts when they were in DC. :>(

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  10. I just added your link to my blog at Marylouweidman.blogspot.com
    Thanks so much for adding the photos you took! What fun. I hadn't seen Freddy or Neal for awhile and it was wonderful reconnecting again.
    YOU ARE amazing!

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  11. Almost as good as being there! Especially since this way there were no blisters, shin spints, blisters, etc. ;O

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  12. I love this post about the Sisters, OR quilt show and have heard so much about it, do wish I could have attended and met up with all those smiling faces! Such beautiful quilts and unique ideas! WOW! What a fun time you had! Will be following your blog and hoping you'll come visit me to at Thegoodlifeatmyhouse.blogspot.com. I'm new to the blog world and love it!

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.