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A message from a former student

A messageCCQ has been teaching quilting classes at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility since 2002. Here’s a message we recently received from a student in our very first class:

“I was sitting at my table this evening, finishing a quilt, and I thought of the first quilt I ever made. I learned to quilt in the very first cccf quilting class! I think my instructor’s name was Marge….but after this long, I can’t remember.

I wanted to email and thank the women who generously donate their time to this program. Quilting has been an outlet for me over these last 17 years and helped me through tough times.

Many times, those who work in corrections never hear the success stories, sometimes they are very few and far between. I released in 2003 and I started college. I now have my masters degree in education and work as a teacher at deer ridge correctional institution.

Thank you for being a part of my journey and for giving of yourselves to people who many have given up on. I feel blessed for having been a part of your program.”


CCQ donates quilts to Kinship House

Kinship House donationJust in time for the holidays, CCQ members delivered 23 quilts to Kinship House, a Portland nonprofit that provides mental health services to kids in foster care. The Kinship House mission is to help minimize transitions and increase the chances of children settling into a stable, healthy, and permanent home. You can learn more about Kinship House on their website.

In the Coffee Creek Quilters prison quilting program, our students each make three quilts. The first two are for donation to organizations like Kinship House while students get to keep their third quilts.

We know that our quilts are much appreciated and look forward to continuing to provide quilts for donation.

What are our goals?

What are our goals?Instructors in CCQ’s four classes meet regularly to share ideas about teaching in our prison quilting program. We also use email to communicate with each other. A recent email exchange focused on our goals for teaching.

One instructor zeroed in on the technical aspects of quilting:

  • How to find the grain of the fabric
  • The importance of pressing fabric
  • How to accurately cut fabric
  • How to sew a 1/4” seam
  • How to press seams
  • How to connect seams accurately
  • How to measure and sew borders
  • How to sandwich a quilt and baste it
  • How to do simple machine quilting
  • How to apply binding, matching the ends for a smooth finish
  • How to do blind hand stitching on the back side of bindings
  • And how to read and follow a pattern

Another instructor added some non-technical goals:

  • The importance of finishing: sometimes it is just a block, then a row, and then an entire quilt
  • The importance of learning from mistakes and persevering
  • The importance of respecting each other and the instructors
  • The importance of taking the time needed to do a good job
  • The opportunity for creative expression