Quilt for Two Rivers: Blue Moon Paddle

May 9, 2012 at 4:00 am Leave a comment

Fiber artists collaborating on the Quilt for Two Rivers are blogging about their quilt panels for the 40-foot masterpiece-in-progress which honors Sisters, Oregon’s Treasured Landscapes. Featured this week:


I’ve been sewing clothing since I was eight years old. Educated as a nurse, I’ve always like sewing and weaving blankets, imagining that my textiles are surrounding ones I love with love and comfort.

Maintaining bluebird trails in Sisters and Eugene, my two homes, is my favorite outdoor activity now.  My favorite Oregon rivers include the Rogue, McKenzie, and Umpqua.

Hiking along the Metolius is magical – seeing the spring gush from the hillside is always a wondrous sight.  And now Whychus Creek has become very special to me.

Watching the recent video of Whychus Creek flowing anew through Camp Polk meadow as part of the restoration work inspired hope.  We’ve tried to control nature – often causing unfortunate outcomes for wildlife.  Knowing salmon are back in Whychus is exciting.

Preliminary “cartoon” for Mary’s quilt

Finished panel for the Quilt for Two Rivers

Making nature quilts I look at wilderness through a new lens.  What color is the McKenzie this spring?  Gray green?  What colors are the mountain trees?  Blue green? Brown gray?  What fabric in my stash would mimic what I see?  How high is the flow?  How would I create that log that floated down in a flood?  How does the water flow around that rock?  How do the branches of that pine differ from Douglas fir?  What stitches would enhance the design?

As a result of this quilting project on Whychus and the Metolius, my husband and I joined the Deschutes Land Trust.  We’ve supported the Oregon Nature Conservancy and the McKenzie River Trust for a few years.  As boaters, my family wants wild and free-flowing waters.  I dream of seeing our daughter, an extreme kayaker, paddle the Whychus and Metolius.  She’s the inspiration for “Blue Moon Paddle.”

I am thrilled to participate in the Quilt for Two Rivers project.  I love combining my love of nature and rivers with textiles.  I’ve long thought there’s not a problem in the world a little sewing can’t make better.  I’m glad Q2R is raising awareness and financial support for two rivers I love.

–Mary Nyquist Koons


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