Valerie Fercho-Tillery crafted a quilt to be raffled for the Furry Friends Foundation. photo by Kiki Dolson
Valerie Fercho-Tillery crafted a quilt to be raffled for the Furry Friends Foundation. photo by Kiki Dolson

Folks in Sisters Country love quilts and they have a soft spot for pets. Furry Friends Foundation (FFF), assists families in Sisters with animals in need. The foundation maintains a pet-food bank at Sisters Kiwanis Food Bank and sponsors low-cost spay and neuter for low-income families. The quilt was made by Valerie Fercho-Tillery, who isn't a Sisters resident - yet. "We actually have a place in Sisters," she told The Nugget. "We'll eventually be living in Sisters." It's actually not so surprising that the California quilter made a quilt for a Sisters charity. She was inspired to take up the craft by a visit to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show some 10 years ago. And she's a dyed-in-the-wool animal lover. "I've been a volunteer at the Folsom Zoo for 29 years," she said. Her friend Monica Rendon lives in the area, and she told Valerie about Furry Friends. Valerie had already done a couple of quilts for BrightSide Animal Center (formerly Redmond Humane Society) and she was happy to help out Furry Friends. According to the non-profit's founder Kiki Dolson, that kind of thing happens a lot. "One of the many things I've discovered in starting Furry Friends Foundation is that there are so many incredible folks who donate their time to helping animals," Dolson said. "Valerie is one of those people. Here is an individual who I had never met, that chooses to donate a huge amount of time in creating this spectacular quilt for Furry Friends. I'm excited for everyone to see it; the detail is amazing. I know this beautiful quilt will be a great fundraiser for Furry Friends." Fercho-Tillery's dog CJ is featured in one of the panels. She and husband Randall Tillery rescued the dog during one of their trips to Oregon. "We found her along the highway in Cave Junction, Oregon," Valerie recalled. Valerie describes herself as a "free-motion quilter," meaning the sewing machine isn't programmed to do the work. The detail on the quilt is, indeed, remarkable, with the thread resembling fur of the dogs. Raffle tickets go on sale this Wednesday, March 27 and will be available online at www.furryfriendsfoundation.org and at The Nugget Newspaper office. Tickets are $1 each, 6 for $5 or 25 for $20. The quilt will be on regular display at The Nugget office, at Ray's Food Place over Memorial Day weekend, and on the lawn by Town Square on July 13 during the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. It will be on display at other locations throughout the summer with information posted on the FFF website and FFF Facebook page. The drawing will be held Tuesday, September 3 after Labor Day weekend.
The quilt pattern is available from Amy Bradley Designs.