Quilt models signed hundreds of autographs at a party last week. photo by Gary Miller
Quilt models signed hundreds of autographs at a party last week. photo by Gary Miller

If the Men Behind the Quilts Calendar started off as a joke, the punch-line really paid off.

"It was an idea that the board was joking around with for a couple of years," Quilt Show Executive Director Ann Richardson recalled. "Then somebody just said: 'Why don't we really do it?'"

Photographer Valori Wells sought to capture the men of Sisters in their native habitat - on horseback, with their instrument, on the trail with a bike, at work.

"They tried to capture the guys somewhat in their native habitat," Richardson explained.

And now organizers are really glad they really did it. A party on Tuesday, July 10 to celebrate the release of the calendar packed a big tent on the lawn at Sisters Art Works and pulled in thousands of dollars to help support the show.

The party featured almost all of the men who posed wrapped in quilts (and little else) for the 18-month calendar.

Hundreds of eager calendar purchasers worked the table, getting autographs from the models, who participated in true good-sport fashion, though none are planning on quitting their day-job.

Brad Tisdel (aka Mr. December 2013) performed a song of his own composition with a verse celebrating the characteristics of each of the calendar models. The song also featured a catchy chorus that got the quilters revved up and singing along.

The signing and model revue was followed by an auction of the quilts featured in the calendar - and the bidding was hot and heavy.

The results were spectacular.

"We brought in over $20,000 to support the art of quilting and the community of Sisters!" Richardson reported.

Sales continued to be brisk through Saturday's quilt show. A few of the models were accosted to sign autographs during the show.

Richardson isn't sure how much of the 4,000-copy print run is left. She thinks quilters may have snapped up 3,000 or more of what is sure to become a quilt show collector's item.