Three Friends and the Three Sisters
July 31, 2019
Last entry, I shared that Mr. K had checked off a bucket list item. This entry brings more bucket list fulfillment, this time for two of my friends and former co-workers from Michigan, who came out west to see the outdoor quilt show in Sisters, Oregon. We’d been talking about this even before I retired in 2015, and this year was the year the two of them made it happen.
Sisters is about a day’s drive from me, so I headed down on the day before the show. The first part of the drive was familiar, it being the same way we get to Portland, but then I branched off onto a non-interstate, which took me through unfamiliar terrain. I was fortunate to have good weather with good visibility, so I stopped at a pullout labeled “Mountain Identifier”. It was not as helpful a guide as I’d hoped; I think the peak off in the distance in the shot below is Mt. Hood, but it was hard to tell as the identifier plaque in the ground had no images or outlines to match up, just arrows and names and elevations.
As it turns out, one of my online friends from the daily photo group on Flickr now lives in Bend, about a half hour from Sisters, so I was able to meet up with her on this trip, too. We had a tasty dinner of small plates Friday night and documented that for the group with a pair of selfies (the rules of the group say we have to take our own photo of the day) in the sun outside the restaurant afterward. I liked the downtown area we were in, with so many buildings having interesting details like a swag of flowers with a K (for Karen, I assume!) in the center.
My friends from Michigan, Ona and Laurie, were in Sisters scoping things out while I was at dinner. We texted back and forth and settled on leaving their hotel (also in Bend) at 6:30. In the morning. This would get us to town in plenty of time to get a good parking space and eat breakfast before the show started, which is what the folks they’d talked to recommended. It’s no secret I’m not a morning person, but this was a very special occasion so I didn’t whine about that call time. It helps that in summer it gets light really early out here, so I knew I wouldn’t be waking up in the dark when one should be sleeping.
I did manage to make it on time the next morning and then we were off to Sisters, with one brief stop to take a photo of the Three Sisters mountains; if they’re out, you gotta take advantage of that opportunity. We pulled into town ahead of most of the crowd and got a parking spot right in town, no shuttle necessary. We were not the only ones with this idea; there was a waiting list at the restaurant for breakfast but we got in without too much delay. They were still hanging quilts for the show as we ate, which was fun to see.
They were still hanging quilts when we were done with breakfast, too, but the quilt shop was already open, so we popped in there.. I bought the first fabric I have in a long long while, along with a pattern called Painted Ladies (from Eye Candy Quilts); the store sample just said it was made my Edie and quilted by Laura, because apparently everyone’s on a first name basis in Sisters.
After our quilt shop stop, it was time to wander and look at as many quilts as we could. Most were hung on buildings, some on frames, some were in a big tent in the park, and one special exhibit was inside a gallery space. The outdoor conditions made for some challenging photography: sunlight and shadow on the same quilt, random breezes blowing the corners up, sun shining through the back so the seam allowances showed. What wasn’t a problem was the crowd. Yes, there were many many people there, but they were spread out over a very large area so it didn’t feel as busy as other big quilt shows I’ve been to sometimes got. That was a pleasant surprise.
There were lots of quilts that were my style: scrappy and colorful with straightforward piecing. There were fewer of what I think of as “show quilts”, the intricately appliqued and heavily quilted kind, perhaps because folks who’ve made them don’t want to have them hang outside. I took lots of photos (most of which I’m just keeping for my own reference rather than posting to Flickr like I did back in the day; I’m sure I can simply Google and look at other people’s pictures if I lose mine to hard drive failure or some such). Some themes emerged: there were lots of quilts made from a pattern called Gypsy Wife (I guess not everyone thinks this slur shouldn’t be used anymore), much Kaffe Fasset fabric, and several made for the same block of the month series (the quilt shown above is the one made by the designer of the pattern). Since I’ve been out of the fabric buying loop, I kept seeing cute prints I missed when they were released. Sure, I have plenty of cute prints in my stash, but still some of the ones I saw made me wish I had them, too. I was especially drawn to a pair of quilts featuring a monkey fabric, one in dark hues and one in lights.
I’m sure we didn’t see all the quilts, given that I came across a whole new to me section of them when I was making one last bathroom stop before we left, but we saw quite a lot of them and had a great day together. We stopped again to take photos of the Three Sisters on our way back to Bend and finished the day with a rest in the hotel then dinner at a brewery where I had a Marionberry Lavender Sour that was delicious. And not available in bottles at the store, sadly.
Sunday my friends continued their vacation and headed to Crater Lake, and I drove home, making a stop at both the Mountain Identifier spot I’d done on the way down and the Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint which I’d made a note to do on the return trip. There are mountain views here, too, but the main attraction here is a canyon. It was deep enough to give me butterflies, even from behind the barrier wall along the walkway.
Seeing this show has got me wanting to get serious about getting back to quilting. Yes, all my fabric is still in boxes I packed up before we moved out west. Well, most of it is; I bought a few pieces at the quilt shop when I got that pattern, so those are accessible. But I’ll have to find my tools and get my sewing machine serviced after it being idle for so long and set up a felt wall somewhere (once I find my felt) and it all starts to feel like too much when I get to thinking about it. It also starts to feel silly â€¦ I’ve got almost all of my time under my control now, so that I haven’t been using it to get my quilting stuff back in use must mean I haven’t made it a priority. That needs to change. How and when, I’m not sure yet. August is filled with travel, so doesn’t seem likely it’ll be then. But it will happen.
(Photo set from this trip is here.)