Synchronicity, synergy, outstanding event organization, and a cadre of willing volunteers spelled unparalleled success for this year’s 22nd annual Quilts in the Garden Tour held July 11. This year the Sisters Garden Club, that sponsors the tour, sold 887 tickets, 300 more than last year.

Donna Lipscomb and Lolly Tweed were the co-chairs of the event this year. They, with all their volunteers, and the property owners who graciously opened their gardens and homes to the public, provided a special day replete with sumptuous gardens, beautiful homes, rich local history, a plethora of colorful quilts, an agricultural/educational enterprise, and, of course, beautiful local views.

At several of the locations, local vendors sold garden-related items. Rustic Garden sold all of their metal garden art and furniture and Five Feathers Farm sold all of their succulents. Each vendor also donated an item for a raffle at their location.

At the Apregan’s home, a beautiful art quilt created by local artist Leotie Richards was raffled off and won by Pattie Apregan, so it got to stay right there (see story, page 31). Between the three raffles, the Garden Club netted $919 on raffle ticket sales.

Besides opening their lodge-style home and lush gardens for the tour, Pattie’s husband, Craig, pitched in for the afternoon ferrying tour-goers up the hill to the house when the three rental vans weren’t able to handle the crowd.

The lodge-like exterior of the house features hefty wooden trusses, wood siding, and quarried stone. The portico over the front door is supported by an arched beam, the shape of which is duplicated in the arched frame of the front door. Stained glass windows from an old church flank either side of the heavy front door.

Words can’t capture the feel and look of the individually themed rooms in the interior of the home. Attention to detail is evident everywhere, from more beautiful stained glass to a massive hand-forged chandelier, a stone fireplace, a barrel ceiling and log beams, and large windows all along the back of the house capturing the pastoral view of Black Diamond Ranch down the hill and Mt. Jefferson in the distance.

Every year, it seems people always step up when a need arises. The Garden Club volunteers serve as the hosts/hostesses at each property, put up and take down the quilts, provide water and port-a-potties at certain locations, direct traffic, and drive shuttle vans when they are needed.

At the Rognlien’s Hawk’s Haven, former Sisters Public Works director and current caretaker Gary Frazee and his crew took over all the parking responsibilities. They mowed the field adjoining the yard and directed traffic all day. Frazee checked with ODOT to let them know there would be traffic on Highway 126 accessing and departing from Hawk’s Haven.

Also at Hawk’s Haven, all the quilts were made by quilters at Quilt Works in Bend. Their theme was the book “Temperance Creek” by Pamela Royce, set in the far northeastern corner of Oregon. Lane Jacobsen of Paulina Springs Books was on hand selling copies of the book. He reported that 89 books found new homes on Thursday, plus he sold some more over the weekend.

Bruce Rognlien had a nice surprise as he greeted visitors to Hawk’s Haven: A friend he hadn’t seen for 30 years showed up.

Janet MacConnell served as the quilt chairperson in charge of all quilts at all five locations – from personally selecting each one for specific placement at a particular home to supervising the hanging and care of each one. MacConnell also crafted a gorgeous pictorial quilt celebrating Seed to Table (one of the tour stops) and presented it to Audrey Tehan, executive director and farm director.

The Sisters Community Garden offered a three-salad lunch with bread/rolls and homemade desserts. People could eat in the garden, viewing quilts hanging on the garden fence. Bob Lawson, of the Community Garden, said they served 195 lunches, considerably more than last year. Starting at 11 a.m., in just about an hour-and-a-half they were all gone.

According to Garden Club President Larry Nelson, “This year’s tour event was a smashing success. It exceeded our most optimistic projections. The success would not be possible without the incredibly committed team of volunteers and the generous participation of the property owners. The added rewards of working with local artists and the Sisters Community Garden made it a perfect day. We are extremely appreciative of how the Sisters community has supported our annual event over the years.”