Seeing plenty in Sisters, OR

Metal Horses adorn a field outside Sisters, OR
Metal Horses adorn a field outside Sisters, OR

Three more weeks behind me.  Two on the road and one heading up a community festival.  This time, travel was to Oregon and Northern California.  These were family visits combined with some much needed R&R.

Me outside The Stitchin Post, Sisters, Oregon during the Outdoor Quilt Festival

Welcome to Sisters, Oregon!   It just was entirely coincidence that a family reunion taking place over the second weekend in July just so happened to be but 30 minutes from Sisters, Oregon.  I have to admit that I was completely out of touch with the Internationally acclaimed Outdoor Quilt Festival that takes over this town for just one day.  Talk about luck.

My sister in law…the amazingly talented Bari invited myself and my Mom up for the show and I was so thrilled to have such a diversion.  So many quilts to see.  So many stores to pop in to, so much to do I can hardly believe that it only happens for one day once a year!

The Gee's Bend quilters sign their award winning books outside The Stitching Post

The big highlight for me was meeting the Gee’s Bend quilters.  I bought both of their books and all the ladies had signed them.  I just find their stories so wonderful.  And oh what they can do with worn out work clothes and denim!

DSCF5187If you are not familiar with the Gee’s Bend quilters and their quilts and quilting/graphic style I would encourage you to check out this npr clip.  Just quickly browsing through the books my immediate first reaction is amazement.  I just can’t imagine the poverty these families have lived through.

The other reaction I have is joy.  Despite the circumstances these women found immeasurable joy through their expression in the quilting.  Materials came from everything they could find and use.  And nothing was random, although it might look like it for some of the designs, there was purpose in everything they did.  I think this is what attracts us to these quilts.  We are drawn into their stories and can share the appreciation we all have for creating something beautiful.

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Besides the Gee’s Bend encounter I just couldn’t get enough of seeing the entire town covered in quilts.  Every store in town had quilts hanging from every possible place imaginable.

I tried to figure out the order of things…there was one but only having a day to try and figure it all out I just stood back and enjoyed being able to completely absorb the moment.

I looked forward to turning the next corner wondering what I would see.

July 046 This was main street.  As you can see there was a lot of people.  The streets are closed to traffic and everyone just wanders about.  The only downside that day was the temperature was getting very very hot.  Although we are at about 3,500 feet in altitude the high desert gets downright miserable about 2:00pm in the afternoon.  I think the temperature reached about 95F.  There was a wildfire reported to still be uncontained nearby on a mountain called Black Butte.

July 009We stayed for only a short visit.  I bought plenty and snapped enough inspirational photos for years to come.  The next week I’d find myself chasing a few waterfalls…