We’re excited to announce that Portland’s Channel 12 featured the Coffee Creek Quilters prison quilting program in it’s June 4th evening news broadcast. The segment gives viewers a glimpse into our classroom and an idea of how much the program means to our students. We invite you to watch.
Cathie Gleeson, an instructor in our Tuesday morning prison quilting class, ventured out on the windiest day of the year to have two CCQ student quilts documented at the Oregon Quilt Project’s DocDay in Lake Oswego. Quilt experts at the event identified the blocks, fabric, and batting; measured each block, sashing, border, and the quilt overall; noted quilting patterns and techniques; and photographed the quilts.
Information gathered at DocDay will be entered in the Quilt Index, a project of the Quilt Alliance. The database currently contains records on more than 80,000 quilts. Anyone can access this information 24/7 at no charge.
Quilt historian Mary Bywater Cross encouraged us to have two quilts documented. The quilts chosen are representative of the hundreds of quilts made by women incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility for donation to organizations throughout Oregon. Mary explained that the quilts don’t have to be of great value, antiques, or to have traveled the Oregon Trail. They merely need to reflect quilting in Oregon. She believes our students’ quilts qualify as a unique example of the value of quilting. We do too.
Several 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.