Valerie Fercho-Tillery has a passion for helping animals - and for quilting. For the second year, she has brought those passions together to produce a dog-themed quilt as a fundraiser for the Sisters-based Furry Friends Foundation.
The quilt, created from a Java House Muchas Poochas pattern, will be raffled over the summer, with proceeds devoted to helping local pet-owners in need. Last year's quilt raised more than $2,000.
"The funds are used to purchase pet food for our year-round food bank, sponsor spay and neuter surgeries and help with the ever-growing need for emergency medical help," said Furry Friends founder Kiki Dolson. "The quilt was a huge fundraiser for Furry Friends last year. I am so appreciative to Valerie for piecing another quilt for us."
"It had such a great reception last year, and I was glad to be able to help," said Fercho-Tillery.
Valerie volunteered for nearly three decades at the Folsom zoo animal sanctuary near her home. She and her husband, Randall, rescued their dog CJ (a terrier-chow mix "we think") from the side of a highway in southern Oregon. So the Furry Friends mission fits right in with her own commitment to rescuing and helping animals.
Valerie and Randall are in the process of moving to Sisters from California, where Randall plans to pursue his passion for landscape painting.
"We always said when we retired we'd be here," Valerie said.
The quilt will be on regular display at The Nugget office through the summer, at local events and select weekends at Ray's Food Place.
"The quilt is really spectacular this year," Dolson said. "I love the vibrant colors. Valerie's use of embellishments can only be appreciated when viewed in person. Her free-motion quilting adds texture and a dimension to the quilt that makes you want to touch it. The tennis ball actually feels like a tennis ball!"