First-time quilter Wendy Bachmeier depicted the Parable of the Sower in her quilt-challenge entry. photo by Jim Cornelius
First-time quilter Wendy Bachmeier depicted the Parable of the Sower in her quilt-challenge entry. photo by Jim Cornelius
Among the more than one thousand quilts that will be on display on downtown shops at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on Saturday, July 13, will be a set of quilts designed around the theme of “Bountiful Life.”

Volunteer firefighters from the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District will turn out at 7:30 a.m. on Quilt Show Day to hang the 29 quilts of the 2019 Stitchin’ Post Quilt Challenge.

At the top of the array will be a quilt crafted by Fern Inman, who works four days a week at Stitchin’ Post.

“It’s called Patriotic Rose, and I think it’s indicative of the patriotism here in Sisters, Oregon,” she told The Nugget.

The prompt for the challenge sent her digging into her stash of patterns.

“I’ve had that pattern for about 20 years,” she said. “I looked at that and thought how blessed I am to live in a country that allows me to live so bountifully… I am a person of faith, and I thank God and my country for the privilege of living bountifully.”

This is Inman’s third challenge quilt.

She notes that “quilters are artists who use a different medium — who use cloth as a medium.” She says that quilting satisfies her “passion for color.”

The quilt’s impact surprised Inman — but it is representative of what Quilt Show founder Jean Wells-Keenan considers an exceptional group of challenge quilts.

“The quilts and the individual stories were outstanding,” she told The Nugget.

Two of the employees had never made a quilt before being hired to work at Stitchin’ Post. Two of the quilts were made by Jean’s grandchildren who work at the store during the show.

“Every quilt was unique, and many were original designs,” Wells reported. “The creativity was overflowing at this annual event.”

Becky Van Verst, who has worked at Stitichin’ Post for five years, took a break from assembling display racks at Sisters High School during the week-long Quilters’ Affair class series to describe her challenge quilt.

“It’s fun to come up with something that relates to the theme,” she said.

She hit upon the theme of “Bountiful Persistence” to pay tribute to hummingbirds that built a nest on the top of a wind chime in her yard. No matter how much they were buffeted, the hummingbirds would not be deterred. They persisted.

Van Verst noted Stitchin’ Post owner Valori Wells allowed her to use the new shop logo in the quilt.

Wendy Bachmeier has been working at Stitchin’ Post for one year — and she had never finished a quilt before taking on the challenge.

She admits that she misunderstood the theme.

“I thought it was ‘Abundant Life,’” she said. “That was a phrase that Jesus used — that he would give us life and we would live abundantly.”

Though she’s a new quilter, Bachmeier is a veteran artist, with a particular passion for watercolors. She came up with a vivid multi-panel story quilt depicting the Parable of the Sower from Matthew 13.

The panels depict the failure of a seed to thrive — until it is planted in good soil.

“The seed gets sown in good soil and it grows,” Bachmaeier said.

For her, the parable teaches that the good life is “not something that just happens out of the blue — we have to work on it.”

Bachmeier worked hard on her creation — putting in far more hours than anticipated working the technical aspects to get details right.

“It’s not a typical first quilt,” Wells said. “What Wendy has going for her is she already has that artistic sense of balance and composition.”

Wells noted that the 27-quilt array is the largest ever provided for the challenge. The staff created a map to guide the installation.

“We try to plan colors and stuff so they look good together,” she said.

Stitchin’ Post Employee Quilt Challenge quilts can be viewed throughout the day on July 13, on the east face of the quilt shop at the corner of Cascade Avenue and Oak Street in downtown Sisters.