“Friends of the Show” receive notification of online availability of annual Quilter’s Affair class information, among other benefits. photo by Jerry Baldock
“Friends of the Show” receive notification of online availability of annual Quilter’s Affair class information, among other benefits. photo by Jerry Baldock
To provide free admission to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, SOQS organizers depend on business sponsors, quilt sales, donations and their membership, Friends of the Show.

SOQS Executive Director Dawn Boyd says the membership is like being an Oregon Public Broadcasting supporter: “It’s a way for people to feel more deeply involved in supporting the show.”

Membership levels offer a richer connection with SOQS and ways to support the annual quilt show and participating businesses. Membership underwrites programs and events created to expand partnerships with the community. There’s a diverse group of seasoned and budding quilters, all interested in learning, being inspired, and continuing quilting history that began in ancient Egypt.

Annual memberships offer entry points for all kinds of budgets, starting at the $50 Sawtooth Star on up to the $1,000 Lone Star membership. You can join any time of the year. Each category offers discounts at participating quilt stores and free admission to quilt museums. Benefits are numerous and are best explored on the SOQS website. (SOQS.org) Organizers appreciate and welcome general donations as well.

Continuing a huge annual event that’s always been and will remain free to the public takes an ongoing investment and participation by those who value what SOQS has been doing for the past 45 years.

Joining now will ensure SOQS continues and enriches opportunities for quilters and those who appreciate the art form. The membership card offers access to discounts for other shows along the western U.S. and museums like the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, or the Latimer Quilt & Textile Center in Tillamook, Oregon. Quilt shops from Danville, California, to Reardon, Washington, and throughout Oregon offer 15 percent off purchases for qualifying SOQS members. There’s a list of participating businesses and museums on the website. Contact them directly to find out how much you can save.

A member since 2010, Kathy Miller has enjoyed watching what goes on throughout the year in preparation of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, especially the day of the show.

“To support that kind of community involvement and activity is something I love doing,” said Miller from her home in Pacific Grove. “Sisters is such a wonderful place with many community-building events. What Jean Wells grew so long ago is another example of what makes Sisters special. I wish more places would emulate it. Having a free event that promotes art and love all over town lifts everyone. Everybody should be a friend of the show. Seeing what the people of Sisters put together is amazing! We aren’t having a quilt show this year, but I can’t wait to see how Dawn Boyd, the SOQS board and her volunteers pull together something virtually wonderful.”

Louise Warren lives in McMinnville and has been coming to the show for 20 years. To support SOQS, she has donated during the show and often had quilts hanging. This year she decided it would be a great time to become a member and contribute that way. She is excited to take advantage of membership benefits. “In past years I’ve gone with friends who used their membership perks. Once stores and museums are reopened, I’ll check to see where my membership is good and will target those places as much as I can,” said Warren. “It shows all of us that it’s worthwhile to support the show.”

Through social media efforts, Friends of the Show membership is growing. As SOQS gets the word out about this great way to support quilting in all its variations, they’re ensuring the event will persevere and flourish with wide support. Boyd suggests joining through the SOQS website. It’s the easiest and best way to get on board. “If you’d prefer not going through the website you can join by contacting the office,” said Boyd. “For some, we know going online can be a bit daunting. We understand some people prefer talking on the phone or visiting the office at 220 S. Ash St., Ste. 4, in Sisters.” The SOQS phone number is 541-549-0989 and their email address is admin@soqs.org. Boyd and her faithful volunteers look forward to adding new members into the fold.