Superstars Quilts – Sis-ters Boom Ba; the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show – Part 2

Christmas Pixie Superstars detail
Christmas Pixie Superstars detail

Here’s the second installment in my series about the fabulous Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show.

This time I’m speaking as a teacher, and I’m really excited and proud to show you some of the student’s work from the A Quilter’s Affair classes.

Maverick Quilts and Beyond was one of the two classes I taught. Each student came with a favorite large-scale print and over the two days they designed and created a quilt using one of the patterns in Maverick Quilts, Using Large-Scale Fabrics, Novelty Prints & Panels with Panache.

Diana Showing off Maverick Quilts!
Diana Showing off Maverick Quilts!
Cowboy Superstars, by Alethea Ballard; 2006
Cowboy Superstars, by Alethea Ballard; 2006

Several of the students worked on a Superstars quilt. It’s a great quilt to showcase a cherished collection of fabrics or a fussy cut six-inch image from a fabulous single fabric. Large, showy stars surround a modified nine-patch block, and the play of color and texture is really exciting.

Cowboy Superstars detail
Cowboy Superstars detail

My favorite part of the quilt is the secondary square, set on point, which surrounds the large center blocks. When I designed the quilt, I didn’t want to figure out the math of inserting the triangles into the side rectangles, so I just added in Prairie Points instead. These are triangles made out of folded squares which are simply sewn into the seam. Set against the rectangles like this they are a modification of a Flying Geese block, but the Prairie Points really add dimension and a three-dimensional effect, which I really like. They can be left flappy or stitched down with the quilting.

Cowgirl Superstars center blocks
Cowgirl Superstars center blocks

Each student created a totally different version of the quilt.

Cowgirls in progress
Cowgirls in progress

One of us, no names mentioned (Diana), made a bunch of the center blocks, even though she only needed two for the quilt. So, this led to her creating a whole new setting and layout for her quilt. We all got to laugh with her that she hadn’t read the directions at all. I actually love when this happens, and I am always energized by the surprises quilting can bring. Let’s hope to get a photo of her finished quilt soon!

Although there were many different quilt patterns being worked on at once everyone was really wonderful about encouraging each other. It was thoroughly delightful to experience the collaborative spirit that the students brought to the class.

Maverick Quilters at work!
Maverick Quilters at work!

Each quilt evolved in its own way and the everyone seemed to really enjoy themselves!

Carolyn's Superstars in progress
Carolyn’s Superstars in progress

Carolyn started out with a juvenile rocket ship fabric and made the star points to go with it. Then she decided that she wanted to make the quilt for herself and make it more elegant, so a quick trip to the Stitchin’ Post and she had a new focus fabric! It really worked out great.

Rosemary's Angel Superstars quilt
Rosemary’s Angel Superstars quilt

Rosemary’s angels were framed with lovely emerald-green triangles.

I was so inspired by this fun work that I’ve decided to offer the Superstars quilt as a class this fall! If you want to have a little bit of time with me and you’d love a great stars quilt, join me at In Between Stitches in November!

Christmas Pixie Superstars sample
Christmas Pixie Superstars sample

I just found this fun Christmas pixie fabric and have made a sample for my class. Hope to see you there.

I’m also scheduled to teach next year at Sisters (yeah!), so watch for the announcement and sign up EARLY! Classes sell out in a heartbeat!

If any of you A Quilter’s Affair students have some finished work from my classes to share, please send photos to me; I know we all really want to see how they all came out.

Stay tuned… more to come!

Sis-ters Boom Ba; a trip to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show – Part 1

Nice Quilt wall
Nice Quilt wall at the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon

Here’s the question: is the Sister’s Outdoor Quilt Show and its week-long class extravaganza, tantalizingly named A Quilter’s Affair, worth all the hoopla and hype?

Well, put it this way: the seven-day event is like the Tour de France of quilting, the Ryder Cup of quilt teachers, and the Superbowl of quilts all in one place – just for the quilt lovers of the world to enjoy. Oh yeah, and it’s set in a stunningly beautiful setting with clean streets, good food and decent coffee. So I guess the answer is a resounding YES!

Let's go to Oregon on a small plane
Let’s go to Oregon on a small plane

The event is so big that I have to take it in bits, and I’ll walk you through it both from a teacher’s point of view and as a humble visitor.

The three sisters
The three sisters

To start with, Sisters, Oregon, is named after these three sister mountains, named Faith, Hope and Charity. They gaze down over the pretty little town and its surrounding valley.

Tree trunk
Tree trunk

It’s quite a captivating place, a little bit country…

Ponderosa Lodge Llama
Ponderosa Lodge Llama

And a lot country…

The town hosts an annual Rodeo, a yearly music festival and the quilt show. The place runs like a well-oiled machine and everyone is kind and accommodating to the hoards that descend upon this small town for these events. I can’t say that I have experienced such a positive atmosphere in a whole community before; it really is quite remarkable.

Stitchin' Post sign
Stitchin’ Post sign

The heart and soul of the quilting event is the Stitchin’ Post, which is an incredible quilt store created by Jean Wells-Keenan. She, along with her wonderful daughter Valori Wells and a fabulous staff, has been hosting the quilt show for more than 30 years.

Valori Wells' fabrics and patterns
Valori Wells’ fabrics and patterns

Valori’s talents are multifold, and they are not limited to what is on display at the store. She has designed beautiful fabrics, created many sewing patterns, and has published several successful books. Look at this lovely sight of some of her work that greets you at the door of the store!

This is just some of the yellows!
This is just some of the yellows!

A trip to the store would by itself be incentive enough to vacation in this town. The collections of fabrics are drool-erific!

More Kaffe Fasset & Co.
More Kaffe Fasset & Co.
Alexander Henry fabrics and lots of laminates
Alexander Henry fabrics and lots of laminates
Flannels!
Flannels!
White background!
White background!

For a white fabric freak like me, this aisle was enough to make me break out in hives. I can go to two or three stores and not find one fabric with a white background, and at the Stitchin’ Post there were whole ROWS of it. I was so overwhelmed I didn’t buy a thing; I couldn’t decide where to start!

My Books!
My Books!

Finding my books for sale in the store was such a pleasure, and I was doubly delighted to have Maverick Quilts and Dream Chair Quilts next to Emily Cier’s books. I had bought Scrap Republic for a dear friend as a special Christmas present!

Pretty flower arrangement
Pretty flower arrangement made by Valori’s daughter Olivia

The first night that I was there, the teachers were invited to a dinner hosted by Jean Wells-Keenan and her jovial husband John. The food was amazing and the quilted eye candy was superb!

Upholstered chair at Jean Wells' house
Upholstered chair at Jean Wells’ house

I had the pleasure of meeting many quilters that night, including Rosalie Dace, Barbara Shapel, June Jaeger, Rob Appell, Emily Cier and Scott Hansen. I’ll tell you more about these characters in future posts.

Chair upholstered with Jean Wells' quilt art
Chair upholstered with Jean Wells’ quilt art

To avoid standing around like a tourist at Disneyland taking photos of everything and anything, I only snapped a couple of pictures at Jean’s house (with permission), but I’ll just say that I wish my house looked a tiny bit like her’s.

Lego cell phone geek-wonderful
Lego cell phone geek-wonderful

To tell the truth, I felt like a fish out of water; I’ve never been great at parties. But, Valori and Jean were very kind and welcoming to me, which really helped. I was also lucky to meet Emily Cier that night and share a bit of her lego-zany-alien-phone-mojo-fun.

I was pretty tired and cranky by bedtime that night, but the adventure was just beginning!

Stay tuned…