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A CCQ student publishes her memoir

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Karen Campbell was convicted of a felony for driving intoxicated and causing a fatal car crash that killed two people. She served six years at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and has now published a book about her experiences. Falling: Hard Lessons and the Redemption of the Woman Next Door is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.

In her memoir, Karen describes her life before the accident, the harsh realities of prison life, and the path to atonement after release from prison. As she says:

“Falling is the story of how a middle-aged mom learns to navigate life on the Inside. Over the six years I was incarcerated, I learned how to eat a meal in 10 minutes with a spork. I learned obedience and humility. I learned lurid slang. I learned how to keep my mouth shut. I learned how to mother from behind bars, miles from my teenage daughters. And finally, I learned how to love the unloveable, including myself.”

During her time at CCCF, Karen participated in the Coffee Creek Quilters program. She made two quilts for charity and one to keep. Her personal quilt is a beach scene, illustrating her dream for release. Here’s what Karen has to say about her experiences in our program:

“My teacher from the Coffee Creek Quilters, Marjorie, was both an angel and an artist. Her quilts were landscapes and had international renown. She treated me as a student, and fellow human being who dreamed in colors besides beige and prison blue. Creating the quilt was a hands-on example of the skills I would need for parole. Marjorie encouraged me to challenge myself, step back, evaluate, make adjustments, and try again, eyes on the prize. After I released, I hung the landscape quilt of the Caribbean above my bed. Nine years, two months and five days after I was released from prison, the quilt still hangs in its place above my bed. My gratitude to the Coffee Creek Quilters.”

A thank-you for our quilts

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We received this lovely thank you note from Camp Erin for the quilts our instructors made as part of our 2020 quilt challenge.

Most years Camp Erin offers an overnight camp that provides emotional support and grief education for children and teens ages 6 to 17 who have experienced the death of a loved one. In-person events were cancelled in 2020, but alternate activities, including art kits, group video chats, and a quilt for each participant were still offered. This year there were 73 participants.

You can view the quilts we donated to Camp Erin on our 2020 Quilt Challenge page.

CCQ joins an effort to provide comfort for wildfire victims

When we heard that a longarm quilter in Stayton was organizing an effort to provide comfort quilts to victims of the Oregon wildfires, CCQ members joined in. At first, Heather Hendrickson set a goal of 400 quilts. The idea spread through social media and Heather reports she has received at least 1,000 quilts from quiltmakers throughout the United States. In addition to finished quilts, Heather was collecting fabric and quilting supplies for quilters who have lost their homes.

CCQ members donated quilts, fabric, notions, and quilting books to the cause. We are honored to contribute to the community beyond CCCF while we are unable to serve in our usual capacity at the prison.

To learn more about this project, please visit the Salem Statesman Journal website for an article and video.