Sisters Farmers Market to feature quilts and raffle on Sunday

 

Last updated 7/5/2022 at Noon

Janet MacConnell (left), designer of the 2022 Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show poster, created this colorful quilt for Seed to Table and its founder, Audrey Tehan (right). It and other quilts will be on display at Sisters Farmers Market this Sunday. PHOTO PROVIDED

Along with fresh local produce, handcrafted goods, and locally pastured meats and eggs, Sisters Farmers Market will feature something different this Sunday: quilts for display and raffle.

“We are big fans of the quilt show here at Sisters Farmers Market,” manager Michelle Jiunta told The Nugget. “In addition to the beautiful quilt donated by Katy Yoder for our raffle, Seed To Table will be displaying their beautiful farm quilt by Janet MacConnell.”

Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (SOQS) is also loaning a quilt from their collection to display at the market on Sunday at Fir Street Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., during regular market hours.

The quilt to be raffled is from the estate of Boyd Wickman, a forestry entomologist with the U.S. Forest Service. Based on a pattern called “Bugs in a Bottle,” the summery quilt depicts “30 jars with all kinds of creatures in them, from salamanders to butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and beetles,” said Yoder.

She described the quilt as being “in pristine condition and could be used as a decorative piece or a cover for a single bed. The cheery, colorful tones lend themselves to all kinds of applications.” The original artist is unknown. Visitors may buy raffle tickets at the market’s Info Booth beginning this Sunday.

Also on display will be the quilt “Seed to Table” by local artist Janet MacConnell, designer of this year’s SOQS poster. MacConnell said she uses her quilts “to try and tell a story.” Many of her designs feature the mountains and trees of Sisters Country.

The bright quilt depicts the landscape and, as MacConnell put it, “the iconic Seed to Table sign, and then the children working.” Seed to Table is a local nonprofit organization that increases health and wellness by providing equitable access to locally grown, farm-fresh produce and farm-based education. Sisters Farmers Market is one of its programs.

MacConnell and her husband were members of Seed to Table’s CSA, or community supported agriculture share. Picking up their weekly load of fresh produce grown in Sisters, MacConnell was impressed by founder Audrey Tehan and by “how Seed to Table fed back into the community.”

She named specifics: “The fact that the children from all three schools have classes from Seed to Table. When you pick up your CSA share, the fourth graders helped grow the kale. The idea of how much it fed into the schools. I liked the concept and I liked the way that it was put together.”

As for the quilt: “I just made it to surprise Audrey,” she said with a smile. Though some of her other designs are assembled by a team of quilters, MacConnell created this one on her own: “It was just me.”

An active participant and board member with the East of the Cascades Quilters Guild, MacConnell volunteers for SOQS, Heartwarmers, Quilts for Kids, and Mission Quilters through Sisters Community Church.

“That’s my way of giving back to the community,” said MacConnell. “It’s really exciting to see how much the people in the community here are involved in the schools. You have this really rich environment for creativity, whether it be quilting or painting or music or any other arts.”

As for her own creative process: “I usually have the TV on, but I don’t watch it,” MacConnell said, laughing. “I was a textile design major, so I liked fabrics. Usually I start with an idea, like I want to tell this story, and it just kind of evolves.”

She looks for fabrics that speak to her and does “a lot of fussy cutting.” Recently, a complex quilt she was working on seemed to be going badly. “When friends asked, I told them it was a hot mess,” she said. “So I named the quilt ‘Hot Mess.’”

Math is a challenge for many quilters—determining angles, how much fabric will be needed, and more—but MacConnell enjoys doing it in her head.

“I was good at math growing up,” she explained. “My dad was a cattle rancher and a farmer, and he was the creative one. He would ride around on the tractor and decide things he was going to make when he got home, like a merry-go-round for the kids at the church picnic.”

Watching him make his ideas come to life inspired MacConnell. “And we did math at our kitchen table, just as a family,” she said. “We all did math.”

Sisters Farmers Market is located at Fir Street Park, a half block north of Cascade Avenue/Highway 20 in downtown Sisters, close to shops, restaurants, food carts, and sightseeing. For history buffs, the Sisters Museum is now open at the park’s southeast corner during market hours.

The market takes place Sundays from the beginning of June through the first week of October, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. SNAP/EBT is accepted. For more information, see www.sistersfarmersmarket.com.

 

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