Category Archives: Sisters OR Outdoor Quilt Show

Memories of Sisters, Part 2 . . .

Free motion quilting is not a skill that comes easily to me. In fact, I really struggle with it. Because of that, I try to take at least one class a year from an expert. When I learned that Janet Fogg was teaching a day-long class called “Basic Drawing for Machine Quilters” during Quilter’s Affair, the week of classes leading up to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on the second Saturday in July, I jumped at the chance to register.

The best part was . . . we didn’t have to bring our machines!  We were asked to bring a sketchbook and a pen, plus a quilt top that we planned to quilt ourselves. Janet led us through a variety of drawing exercises, showing us how to build a simple quilt motif, build on it, travel with it, and transition to other quilting designs. We did that all morning, filling pages and pages in our sketchbooks with motifs and notes. She gave us a fantastic handout which included many of the motifs she has used on her own award-winning quilts.

practicing spirals in Janet’s class


In the afternoon, Janet treated us to a slideshow of her amazing quilts, all quilted freehand, and then we took turns displaying our own quilt tops, getting feedback from her and fellow students on ideas for quilting. I am really excited now about putting my classroom learning to the test at home.

On the day of the quilt show I took special notice of quilts that had been machine quilted freehand. Here are some closeups, starting with Janet’s own quilt, Hippo Love. (I neglected to get a photo of the entire quilt but you can see it on her website: )

detail of Hippo Love by Janet Fogg


detail, Hippo Love by Janet Fogg


detail, back of Hippo Love by Janet Fogg


detail, back of Hippo Love by Janet Fogg


Here are other examples of free motion quilting I admired:

quilting by Shireen’s Stitching


quilting by Shireen’s Stitching


quilting by Tammy Mac Arthur


Quilting by Loretta Orsborn


As you can see, the bar is set very high. Janet echoed the advice in every book I have on the subject: it takes a LOT of practice to become a proficient machine quilter. I’m on a road trip to California right now to visit my grandchildren, so all I can do is think about practicing. Does that count?




Posted in free motion quilting, Sisters OR Outdoor Quilt Show, update | 2 Comments

Memories of Sisters, Part 1. . .

I hardly know where to begin to tell you about my week in Sisters, Oregon, home of the largest outdoor quilt show in the world. This year the unthinkable happened on Saturday, July 14, the day of the show: a BIG rainstorm in the middle of the afternoon! This is the first time in the 37-year history of the show that rain has forced an early closure.

It was midafternoon before menacing clouds rolled in and the first few drops spattered on the ground. By the time the rain was falling in earnest, thousands of people in the streets had taken cover inside shops or bolted for their cars, and scores of volunteers had already taken down the quilts that were not under cover. Luckily, quilt lovers had most of the day to enjoy the 1400 or so quilts hanging outside buildings in this charming little town in Central Oregon.

One thing I really liked about the show this year was the mix of traditional and contemporary quilts. Here, in no particular order, is a sampling of the quilts that caught my eye.

New Directions, 40 x 54, by Vivienne Moore of Salem OR


Heirloom Stars, 84 x 84, by Frances Jagodzinski of Salem OR


Fall Colors, 74 x 96, by Kitty Amaral of Napa CA


Diamond Lil, 84 x 104, by Mary Parsons of Milwaukie OR


Cercles de Soleil, 55 x 70, by Barbara Cook of Yakima WA


Orange Delight, 73 x 73, by Susan Denton of Redmond OR


Friendship Village, 39 x 38, by Deb Soren of Salem OR


Touch of Green, 67 x 81, by Lillian Walter of Redwood City CA


Random Crossroads II, 60 x 70, by Patty Six of Santa Barbara CA


Red Wine in a Floral Arrangement, 65 x 85, by Nancy Fischer of Sunriver OR


Bird Bath, 46 x 60, by Michelle McMicken of Bend OR


Bird Bath, 54 x 60, by Ruth Fidino of Kennewick WA


Lady Liberty Does Laundry, 50 x 50, by Tammy Mac Arthur of Redmond OR


Ultra Veggie, 54 x 75, by Barbara Lowery of Bend OR


Fantastic, 60 x 77, by Lynn Christensen of Livingston TX



Deep Blue Seas, 69 x 88, by Terry Potter of Eugene OR


It started to rain just as I came upon the display of quilts by Portland Modern Quilt Guild members. I was able to snap just a few photos, including this one by Linda:

Reflections, 60 x 70, by Linda Nussbaum of Portland OR

. . . and this one by Gail:

Villa Villa Kula Quilt, 63 x 84, by Gail Weiss of Portland OR


The employees of the Stitchin’ Post had their own display, and here are two of my favorites:

Patchwork Sisters by Terri Kirchart of Sisters OR


Quilt Show in the Village by La Cressa Sherrer


In my next post, I’ll tell you a bit about the excellent class on creating quilting motifs that I took from Janet Fogg and show you some amazing machine quilting on quilts at the show. I’ll finish up the report of my wonderful week in Sisters with a recap of what I did (and didn’t) get accomplished. Thanks for visiting, and please check back!


Posted in Sisters OR Outdoor Quilt Show, update | 3 Comments