So, what time is it? It's time for an estimated 13,000-15,000 people (from all over the world!) to suddenly converge on the tiny town of Sisters, Oregon for the famous Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.
Sisters, Oregon is a very small 1880's styled 'Western' town in Central Oregon. It boasts a population of get this...about 1,460. And for one day in July...always the second Saturday of this month, up to 15,000 quilters swarm in and take over the town. Somewhere around 1,000 to 1,300 quilts are displayed,....on every single available surface that the eyes can see, and the hands can reach!
Everyone should go to this show...at least once.....and if you go back again, you know you're a dedicated quilter, or quilt lover; because the heat, the crowds and the traffic, make for a challenging experience in some ways. But for the rest of us...it's the most quilting fun we can have in a year!
I once overheard a lady from Canada describe it as being..." a once in a lifetime experience" and she also added that she "absolutely loved it!"
Normally, I come with an entourage of 'handlers' who keep me on track and in the right lines. Being severely directionally challenged, even my own husband is at a total loss for words as he watches me leave our car and head left ......when he has just finished telling me ...."Remember, you want to turn right to get to downtown Sisters."
Yep,.....I'm a challenge and it takes me a lot longer to find things on my own, without other quilters directing my traffic patterns. I did it just fine, last year...well, except for the one slightly disgruntled husband (mine, mentioned above) and his college roommate (who lives in Camp Sherman and who has often been our host along with his wonderful wife). The two men just could not seem to find me last year at our agreed up spot. Ok, so I was off by one side of a building and two streets. I was still there, patiently waiting! It's not my fault that men don't want to phone, and ask me for directions!!!
This year, I am hoping to be picked up and delivered.....at my doorstep...by my Portland quilting friend, Cher. She's dealt with my directional issues in the past. Last year, we went to Portland's Quilt Expo together. Afterwards, I needed to go to a niece's house in Beaverton in order to pick up my Alaskan sister-in-law, so she and I visit, her husband (my Praying for a Miracle brother) the one who survived the horrific brain seizures, and induced coma and was medvaced from Anchorage to Seattle, then eventually sent to Portland....three states and four hospitals over six months..and yes, I was by his side at all of them, in all of those places! No wonder, I get confused finding people, places, and things...my whole life has been like this!
So,that day, Cher told me to back my car up from her driveway and follow her and she would lead me out of her subdivision. Well, she turned right and well,you can guess it...I turned left. She ended up being a pilot car for my car and well can you guess what happened after that? Yep, I ended up going the wrong way again and she lost me, or I lost her.
So, off we will go...hopefully, me and my directional assistant..... to the fun, fun city of Sisters, Oregon and Jean and Valorie Wells' fabulous quilt shop The Stitchin' Post and all of the celebrity quilter sightings and all of the featured quilts such as the Stitchin' Post employee quilts, the local art association and the Make a Wish postcards, and of course the amazing, amazing Teacher's Tent!
The featured quilter who this year will our own blogging, and liberated folk quilter, Kristin Shields, and I can see from her blog that she has been very, very busy creating many more new quilts, hand dyed fabrics and other treats for sale, as well.
The people, the buildings, the entertainment, and most of all...the quilts! It is an amazing, amazing experience, each and every year and I for one just can't wait for the fun!
Now, let's hope Cher doesn't take back her offer to be my navigator...because I'm ready for those quilts and a lot of outdoor quilt sighting fun!
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: 2012
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: So Many Quilts to Want to Make!
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: Two Rivers
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: Small Wonders Abound
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: Wonders of All Kind
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: Rosalie Dace
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: Teacher's Tent
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: Peter and Wendy Quilts
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Shows: 2009 -2012
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 in her Liberated Quilting Challenge and make and donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!