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Sisters quilter to be featured at festival in Japan

SISTERS, Ore. - Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show is proud to announce that Board Chair Jean Wells Keenan is invited to be  Featured Quilter at the Yokohama Quilt Festival —one of the largest Quilt Shows in Japan--this November.

Wells Keenan, co-owner of the Stitchin' Post with her daughter Valori Wells Kennedy, and founder of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, will be lecturing, holding a workshop, and exhibiting her work showing over 35 years of quilt design and creation.

The invitation came from Naomi Ichikawa, editor of a major Japanese quilt publication, which is a lead sponsor of the Yokohama event. Ichikawa visited Sisters during a media tour through Oregon, hosted by the Sisters Chamber of Commerce and Travel Oregon. She was impressed with Wells Keenan, and learning more about the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Ichikawa also suggested the Two Rivers, Three Sisters quilt exhibit commissioned by the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show be mounted at the Yokohama show, and helped arrange logistics of that display.

In planning her workshop for some 24 students, Wells Keenan will provide kits, pictures, and stories, which she says are of great interest to Japanese quilters. She will be using her well-known Metolius Fish Quilt as a pattern, teaching color, design, and finishing techniques. An interpreter will be provided by the Festival.

"It is such an honor to be invited to the Yokohama Quilt Festival," Wells Keenan stated. "I have long held a deep respect for Japanese quilting, and 25 years ago was able to bring some of Japan's quilts to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show through connections with a shop owner in Tokyo. I thank everyone who is making my up-coming trip possible, and most especially the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Although SOQS is now a separate non-profit organization from the Stitchin' Post, I also know I will always find ways to help the Show grow and prosper."

Jeanette Pilak, Executive Director of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, calls Wells Keenan "a cultural treasure" to Sisters, Central Oregon, and the Show. "We are so proud of her achievements, her continued professional development, and her spirit of teaching and sharing both in the community and the fabric arts world," Pilak said.

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