2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: A Photo Tour

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show: A Photo Tour

Well, Sisters’ main annual event — the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show — has come and gone, and what a show it was! Now in its 39th year, the onetime one-day festival has gradually evolved into an international quilting extravaganza — with with more than a week cram-packed with activities geared toward serious quilting enthusiasts. Its reach now even extends far beyond Sisters — with related quilting events in Black Butte Ranch, Bend and Redmond.

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

A colorful collection of greek keys, found in the courtyard beyond B.J.’s.

This year’s theme was “It Takes a Village,” and, when it comes to the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, it certainly did: According to the Bend Bulletin, the festival drew 10,000 to 12,500 quilt fans, relied on the help of more than 550 volunteers and had about a $1.7 million economic impact on Sisters.

Last Saturday, more than 1,400 quilts were on display in just about every nook and cranny of downtown Sisters. They blanketed shop exteriors from top to bottom, were clipped onto makeshift clotheslines in front and back yards, adorned the lawn of the Sisters School Administration building, hung alongside every type of fine art within Sisters’ many galleries, filled makeshift tents scattered around town, graced the walls of clothing boutiques and dining establishments alike. It was a quilters’ nirvana.

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Graphic lime green and an eye-popping pattern — a can’t-miss combo.

Even non-quilters like myself could appreciate the handiwork here (hey, in my youth, I was a fierce embroiderer). Although the festival officially ran from 9 am to 4 pm, the show was in full swing even earlier. I spoke to one gallery owner who arrived at her shop to set up at 7 a.m. — only to find folks lined up and waiting to get in. And contrary to common wisdom, this show isn’t strictly a tourist affair. The gallery owner said the majority of her early attendees were locals (even she was surprised).

By the way, this isn’t a show that can be experienced in an hour (plan at least three or four, if you go next year). The seemingly infinite possibilities — from intricate classic patterns to eye-popping optical illusions, from elaborately conceived landscape vistas to impressively life-like pet portraits, from large-scale to pocket-size — defy description. They keep you pressing ever onward, in search of one more “Wow!” just around the corner. Chances are, at this quilt show, you’ll find it.

Here’s a quick tour of the show, in pictures.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

The courtyard at Town Square.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

A burst of color — above and below.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

A study in greens…

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

The scene outside Huckleberry’s: a study in red.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Double-decker quilts in Town Square.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Would love to know the topic of this conversation…

 

Perfect time of year -- Sisters' plethora of wildflowers added to the visual feast.

Perfect time of year — Sisters’ plethora of wildflowers added to the visual feast.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

Evidence of the work yet to be complete on the Highway 20 revamp was found throughout town.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

A herd of metal mustangs framed a row of quilts in front of Open Range.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

Where it all began: The Stitchin’ Post.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

Doubletake.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

A quilter quartet serenaded festival-goers outside Sisters Drug.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

One of the most popular quilts; a tribute to The Wizard of Oz.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

Ribbet.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

Even Barclay Park was adorned with quilts (and visitors, many of whom ignored the “Please respect our landscaping” signs).

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

My favorite quilt at the show — a stunning design (based on the Koran), amazing detail work.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

The quilt-studded wall at Clearwater Gallery’s outdoor cafe, The Open Door (which was packed with show patrons).

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

A family affair.

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

Sign of the times.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

The range of quilted works is impressive.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

A peek behind the scenes…

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

At Melvin’s: cows, cows and more cows.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in Sisters, OR

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

An addition to this year’s show (which some local business owners were less than thrilled about): The Artists’ Marketplace offered non-quilt-related arts & crafts, food vendors and a shady spot to take a break.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Several clever vendors took advantage of the steamy 90-plus summer day .

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

The teacher’s tent, located behind Sisters Artworks.

 

2014 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

At Heritage USA, a yard filled with possibilities.

About the Author
Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond.

5 Comments

  1. Would love to see this in person. Do you have an email list I could be added to?
    Melanie

    Reply
  2. So wonderful to see all of these quilts from across the country! Thank you.

    Reply
    • You’re welcome, Patty. Having such an impressive quilt show is a real coup for us in Sisters! I’m glad you enjoy it too.

      Reply
  3. I attended the Sisters Quilt Show this year and loved it. Met lots of wonderful people and enjoyed the weather, the town, the restaurants and the hospitality. Everyone was very friendly.

    Reply

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