The show began when founder, Jean Wells Keenan, hung a dozen quilts made by friends and family along with her own, outside Stitchin' Post on a Saturday in July. A few more ladies brought their quilts to show, then a few more, and a few more. The show became an annual event, hosted by the East of the Cascades quilt guild.
As the show gained in size and popularity it outgrew the resources of the guild. In 2003, an Executive Director was hired to manage the show and new events were added including the Around the Block Quilt Walk and Fiber Arts Stroll, Wish Upon a Card and other partnerships with community service groups. In 2005 SOQS became a non-profit organization whose mission is to educate the public about the art, skill, and heritage of traditional and contemporary quilts and fiber arts, while enhancing the cultural vitality of the community of Sisters and Central Oregon.
Today, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show™ (SOQS) is internationally recognized as the world’s largest outdoor quilt show, displaying more than 1,300 quilts representing fiber artists from around the world. More than 10,000 visitors from all 50 states and multiple foreign countries flock to Sisters on the second Saturday in July. Visit soqs.org to learn more about the show.
Three years after Jean Wells founded the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show™, she had the idea to bring in a well-known quilter to give a lecture during the show. It was quite popular, so the next year, three workshops were added and Quilter's Affair was born.
We've evolved from that one lecture to 30 teachers and 86 workshops, with a week packed full of events, lectures and fun! Quilter's Affair draws a wide spectrum of quilters from beginners, to advanced.
The variety of instructors and their knowledge is what makes the event so special. Teachers come from all over the world (as far away as Australia and Egypt) and cover a wide range of styles and techniques. We offer everything from beginning quilting, to art quilting, to dyeing your own fabric and all in beautiful Central Oregon, with classes limited to 20 people.
Quilter’s Affair offers more opportunity for education than any other textile art event in Oregon, and workshops abound throughout the year at Stitchin’ Post. Education is the foundation of our business!