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Quilting at a men’s prison

SRCI prison quilting programSeveral years ago, CCQ published a document to help others start similar programs teaching quilting in prisons. We’re thrilled to hear that Snake River Correctional Institution has done just that. SRCI is a men’s prison in Malheur County, Oregon.

Five men participate in the SRCI program, meeting four hours each week for 18 months to make donation quilts. So far, the quilting program has given away 17 quilts to community agencies including Harvest House, Treasure Valley Children’s Relief Nursery and the in-house hospice unit at SRCI.

The Malheur County Argus Observer newspaper recently published a touching feature story about the SRCI quilting program. We’re providing a link to “Prison inmates crafting care” so you can learn more about it.

If you’re interested in starting a prison quilting program in your area, we invite you to read The Coffee Creek Quilters Program: A Guide for Starting Quilting Classes in Correctional Facilities.

Prison quilting

Class time with Coffee Creek Quilters

Class time at CCCFPeople often ask us how we structure our quilting classes at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

In some ways it’s the same as a class in a quilt shop. Instructors explain the basics of cutting strips of fabric with rulers, rotary cutters, and mats. Students learn to thread a sewing machine, sew quarter inch seams, and follow a pattern.

In other ways, CCQ classes are very different. Prison security rules require that we count every pin, needle, and rotary cutter blade before taking them in to class. We pass through a metal detector before entering the dining room where class is held. And there are restrictions on the color of clothing we can wear, such as no blue jeans.

Our goals are similar to quilt shop classes, but with some differences. We want our students to become proficient in quilt-making techniques. But we also strive to teach patience, perseverance, problem-solving and the importance of quality work. We work to nurture our students’ self-confidence and self-esteem, attributes that we hope will enhance their success at living in the community after release from prison.

Prison quilting

Watch a video about Coffee Creek Quilters


Coffee Creek Quilters is featured in this video produced by TheQuiltShow.com, a web-based “TV show” from Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. It was filmed last August at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility by a TQS film crew and includes interviews with CCQ past president Mary Ann McCammon and several of our students in the Tuesday morning class. It was produced to run as part of TQS episode #1205 which features landscape quilter Sue Rasmussen.

We thank TheQuiltShow.com for their generosity in creating this video about our program and granting permission for us to include it on our website.

Prison quilting