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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment December 14, 2017

10/3/2017 12:22:00 PM
Sisters Library to feature fabric arts
Sally Rogers, left, and Sally Blust of the East of the Cascades Quilting Guild in front of a children’s dinosaur quilt at the library. photo by Sue Stafford
+ click to enlarge
Sally Rogers, left, and Sally Blust of the East of the Cascades Quilting Guild in front of a children’s dinosaur quilt at the library. photo by Sue Stafford

By Sue Stafford

Traditional fabric art forms are on display throughout the Sisters Library, with children's quilts in the computer room and woven pieces in the community room. The fabric art is part of the Friends of Sisters Library October art display.

The Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild (COSWG) has been fostering their crafts for 43 years, growing to their current 105 members. The membership is becoming more diverse with men and younger people joining. Dean Potter of Camp Sherman is this year's president. Most of the members are from the three Central Oregon counties but occasionally people come from Portland, Burns, and The Dalles to join their fellow weavers and spinners.

The weavings on display provide a rich kaleidoscope of textures, patterns, and colors woven from a variety of materials - cotton, handspun alpaca fibers, wool, and bamboo rayon. A large wall hanging by Barbara Kracher of Powell Butte is made of felted wool. There are scarves, shawls, a vest, jackets, wall hangings, a decorator pillow, hand-spun yarns and felted bowls, all artfully displayed.

COSWG members meet the third Wednesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. at Highland Baptist Church in Redmond to share their latest projects, learn new techniques, and expand their knowledge of the history of spinning and weaving. For those who can't attend the Wednesday meeting, there is another gathering on the third Saturday of the month at 1 p.m. in the Sisters Library community room.

Colorful quilts crafted especially for children by the East of the Cascades Quilters are hanging in the computer room. The cheerful fabrics and patterns are chosen to bring some joy and comfort into the lives of children who are dealing with trauma, pain, and grief. The project is called Quilts for Kids and the quilting guild is Sisters-based with members from Sisters, Redmond, and Bend.

The group started about 20 years ago making and donating 30 quilts a year to the local sheriff and fire departments to pass on to children involved in emergency responses. Today, the group has 41 members and donates about 150 quilts a year to approximately 10 agencies and schools in the Sisters/Redmond area, including the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Sisters Park & Recreation District preschool, Head Start at M. A. Lynch Elementary School in Redmond, Sisters Family Access Network, and Sisters-Camp Sherman Toys for Tots program.

"Our goal is to put a smile on a child's face and provide comfort to them, especially when going through a difficult time," said Sally Blust, guild member from Sisters.

Over the years, their mission has increased to include donations to the adult foster homes in Sisters as well as Bethlehem Inn and Shepherd's House homeless shelters in Bend.

The guild accepts donations of current, colorful fabrics especially geared to preschool-aged children. Every year at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show they sell a few quilts to earn money to cover the cost of batting. Many of the guild members not only donate their time making quilts, but also donate fabric. Jean Wells, owner of Stitchin' Post, generously donates classroom space where the guild meets once a month, as well as bolts of fabric and storage


The weavings in the community room will be on display through November. The quilts will have a one-month exhibit; check with the library to be sure the community room is unoccupied at the time planned to visit.

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