Quilt Show points to major success

The Board of Directors declared this year’s event “best ever” based on attendance, weather, and the stunning visual impact of the quilts on display. The annual event, which takes place the second Saturday of July, is the largest outdoor quilt show in the world as well as Sisters’ largest event and benefits this small town and the entire Central Oregon Region. Over 1,300 quilts were displayed to the delight of 12,000 or more quilting enthusiasts.
Highlighting this year’s show were extensive exhibits of quilts in the “modern” style, from the Portland and Central Oregon Modern Quilt Guilds, ‘modern movement’ leaders, Alissa Haight Carlton and Elizabeth Hartman and category winning quilts from the first annual “QuiltCon” conference and show for modern quilt design. Hundreds of visitors returned on Sunday to catch what they missed on Saturday. “Save it for Sunday” features guest speakers and walking tours of quilts on display as well as some of the finest special exhibit quilts in the show – re-hung for a more moderate-sized show on Sunday.
Sisters City Manager, Andrew Gorayeb, who devoted his day to volunteering at the event said, “I applaud the entire Quilt Show team, they have this thing down to a well-oiled machine”. Visitors from all over the world marveled at the ability of this tiny town to host thousands upon thousands of visitors with grace and a smile. David Green of Parksville, British Columbia, perhaps said it best, “I had a great time and was amazed at the organization and dedication placed in the show – it showed in every venue and in all your volunteers. The fact that your community is relatively small and can put together such an organized and coordinated effort speaks volumes to the dedication and heart that you placed into the show. I have been at many events and shows through the years but your will always stand out as the gold standard.”
The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is the non-profit organization that produces the show; free admission is made possible through volunteer efforts, sponsorships, donations, and quilt sales. Ann Richardson, retiring as Executive Director after this year’s show, indicates that preliminary financial results for the show are mixed. “Quilt sales are starting to recover after being quite depressed over the last several years. Our sponsors were very generous in their support this year, but overall revenue from businesses and individual donations did not meet our expectations. The show costs over $200,000 to put on. Since it is free to the public, we truly are dependent on multiple sources of income to make it happen. If everyone who loved and was inspired by our show sent even $1, it would help us tremendously.” A ‘Friend of the Show’ membership is available for as little as $35 at
In the ‘spirit-of-community’ tradition, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show hosts special fundraisers in partnership with local organizations. This year, the Show raised over $27,000 through “Wish Upon a Card” and the annual bike and quilt raffles. A portion of those funds will be shared with Community Partners Wendy’s Wish/St. Charles Cancer Center, Kiwanis of Sisters and Sisters Park & Recreation District to support the great work they do in Sisters and Central Oregon. In addition, the show provides opportunities for multiple organizations to raise funds that benefit the community.
SOQS is supported in part by grants from the Roundhouse Foundation, the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts and the Koons Family Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation.
As Richardson bids a fond and tearful farewell to Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, Jeanette Pilak stands ready to take the organization forward. The Board of Directors, staff and volunteers look forward to the next generation of Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.