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home : education : schools July 24, 2017

7/3/2017 1:12:00 PM
Classroom is a favorite space for featured quilter
Tamra Dumolt is this year’s  Featured Quilter. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee
+ click to enlarge
Tamra Dumolt is this year’s Featured Quilter. photo by Jodi Schneider McNamee

By Jodi Schneider McNamee

Tamra Dumolt made her first quilt in 1993 while expecting her first child.

"I taught myself from a book. And the quilt was a crib-sized Around the World design, with puffy polyester batting and hand-tied with yarn," Dumolt told The Nugget.

Dumolt's love for sewing began when she was 12 years old after learning the basics in home-economics class. Her mother inspired her by providing increasingly difficult clothing patterns that challenged her skills. She also participated in 4-H sewing as an independent member and entered garments in both the county and state fairs.

Her enthusiasm for quilting really took off when she visited the SOQS with her mother several times in the early 1990s.

"We enjoyed walking down the quilt-lined streets of the unique little Western town. I told mom that I would like to live in Sisters," said Dumolt

In 2000, Dumolt's Oregon City neighbor convinced her to take a quilting class at the Pine Needle in Lake Oswego with her.

"I knew I wanted to do more quilting after that," she said.

In 2003 Dumolt's dream of moving to Sisters materialized when her husband's job relocated them. Although his store was in Bend, they chose to buy a home in Sisters to raise their two daughters in the Sisters School District.

"When my friends heard I was moving to Sisters they said I would have to become a serious quilter," she said.

And that's exactly what she did.

Dumolt began teaching a variety of classes at the Stitchin' Post in 2010.

"Being in the classroom, both as a student and as a teacher, has been my favorite aspect of quilting: the connection to other quilters," Dumolt said.

Quilt-making is now an art form, but historically quilting has been a social activity bringing women together and supporting each other.

"Quilting has given me the opportunity to connect with so many women on a personal level; building friendships, celebrating successes, and sharing losses. Every day I was inspired by the amazing talents of my co-workers, the knowledge and experience of the teachers who have visited the Stitchin' Post, the enthusiasm of students in the classes I teach, and the friendships I have come to know as a quilter."

Jeanette Pilak, executive director of SOQS, first met Dumolt when she was working at the Stitchin' Post.

"As a teacher, she has the leading ability to translate teaching through various techniques and styles so that every type of person can learn - a real gift and the key to being an excellent teacher," Pilak said. "She has a deep passion for fabric and quilts, a fabulous sense of humor and a great eye for color and design. Selecting her for our featured quilter was a unanimous decision."

In 2016 Dumolt was asked to be a substitute teacher for a vacancy at Quilters Affair while Sue Spargo (this year's Inspirational Instructor) was undergoing treatment for breast cancer and unable to attend.

Right now, Dumolt is in a transitional period and has relocated to Washington after her husband, Tom, received a promotion and started working in Bellevue last September.

"I have lived in Sisters for 13 years and our daughters were raised here and both graduated from Sisters High School. Something tells me, Sisters will always be home to me," she said. "I am especially honored to be selected as Featured Quilter this year. It feels like the perfect ending to the Sisters chapter of my life."

This year, Dumolt has returned to teach a class of her own at Quilters Affair, called "Modern Ohio


"I designed this class to show how to use up small scraps of fabric from previous projects," Dumolt explained. "The class is an exercise in color placement and uses my favorite quilting tool, the Double Strip Ruler by Creative Grids. I have created an innovative technique using the tool in a way no one has previously done."

Dumolt will have 16 quilts on display during the SOQS, July 8. Two will be in the Teacher's Tent and an additional two quilts can be found at the Farm Girl Special Exhibit.

"Farm Girl was a club I started at the Stitchin' Post in 2015 inspired by Lori Holt's book 'Farm Girl Vintage,'" said Dumolt.

Dumolt's quilts have a contemporary style, using bright colors and crisp geometric designs. And the remaining 12 quilts will be at the Featured Quilter


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