Visiting The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Visiting The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Posted by Ian Garland on 3rd Aug 2023

When I visited my friend Mikey who lives in Bend, OR for the first time he took me to a small town of Sisters, OR for dinner. He told me about how amazing the quilt show is each year and that the whole town is nothing but quilts as far as the eye can see. He said then that I should try to come back and visit during the show. About a year later I booked the tickets and made plans to see the show. I even decided to enter one of my quilts into the show. How cool would it be to see my own quilt in the show? I knew the show was a very unique one, but little did I know just what I was getting myself into.



When my friends and I made it to the show I was in awe of all the quilts that were everywhere. The Sisters show is unlike any I have ever been to in the past. The first biggest difference is that this show is completely outdoors! The show boasts that it is “the world's largest outdoor quilt show displaying more than 1300 quilts representing fiber artists from around the world”. The whole town is taken over by quilts, they are everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE! Every corner, every nook, every cranny, everywhere! If you have ever been to a Traditional quilt show, you are probably very familiar with the layout. Aisles of quilts displayed on pipe and draping where you can see everything by going up one aisle and down another. That isn’t the case with this show. It’s almost a game of Where's Waldo as you never know where the next quilt might show up. They hang them on the sides of buildings, they hang them on balconies, they hang them from walls. If it is stationary, they will hang a quilt from it. The organizers do their best to try and group alike quilts together. There is a Christmas section, an improve section, a nature section, and so on and so forth. It is so inspirational to see such wonderful works of art displayed in such a beautiful way. I did a 1-hour livestream from the show and you can see that livestream here:


The highlight of the show for me was getting to see my quilt displayed on a very heavily traveled path. It was fun standing back and watching people take picture of it, talk about it, and point at it. I entered my Daydreamer: The Butterfly Effect for display. Back when I was working on that quilt I never in my wildest dreams thought it would be entered into a show, let alone win a blue ribbon or be displayed in the largest outdoor show. Another huge compliment was when someone walking by was disappointed that it didn’t have a for sale tag on it. At the show some of the quilts are for sale and you can take them home with you. I happened to be talking to someone about my quilt when a woman started asking about what I planed to do with the quilt after this show and in the future. She seemed to hint that she would be interested in it. However, this is a quilt I will be keeping. It has so much sentimental value I can’t let it go. I really am so proud of how much traveling this quilt is doing, but I’m always glad when it comes back home to me.



If you ever get the chance, I would highly recommend visiting the show. There is so much to see and sadly you wont be able to see it all, but what you do see will be inspiring and beautiful. You can also take classes during the week leading up to the show. Tula Pink was at the show and taught a class. I wish I could have bumped into her during the show, but sadly our paths never crossed. I hope to make it to the show again in the future. It is very much a show you do not want to miss and if you are a quilt enthusiast it is for sure one to add to your bucket list.