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The Oregon Quilt

From a seed an idea grows -- and so does a quilt when an idea is planted.

While traveling on the East Coast in 1972, DeLoris and Herb Stude saw the "Hudson River Quilt" made in 1969-72 which had many scenes of New York state. When DeLoris returned to Oregon, she knew a seed had been planted. She approached a group of quilters with the idea of creating a quilt depicting some of Oregon's history and geographical significance.

Over the next two years, 21 ladies designed, pieced and stitched 30 blocks into a quilt. These ladies had varying degrees of experience; some were artists, some were involved in the quilting business in the Portland area, and many just enjoyed the activity and camaraderie of the group.

At each gathering, pieces of cloth were discussed for color, type and use, and shared for the many blocks. The quilt is bordered in blue and backed with gold -- representing the official colors of Oregon.

As the quilt neared completion, the ladies planned a quilt show. Portland Community College, then located at 12000 SW 49th Avenue, requested the show be held on the college campus the spring of 1974. Held March 3-27, 1974, with over 10,000 attending, the show as an overwhelming success for these ladies! The women, excited by this interest in quilting, planned a gathering held at Lloyd Center with the hopes of starting more quilting groups. When this meeting concluded, more than 140 people had joined together as several of these groups. And so was born the NorthWest Quilt Guild in September of 1974!

Mrs. Stude, on behalf of the group, presented "The Oregon Quilt" to then governor Tom McCall for the State of Oregon, to hang in the Capitol. It was later given to the Oregon Historical Society, where it is kept at this time, to be viewed by all.

Reprinted with permission from the 1999
NWQ 25th Annual Quilt Show Brochure