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Quilt installation inspired by Deschutes National Forest travels to Portland.

"Two Rivers, Three Sisters" Expanded Quilt Exhibit Travels to Portland

40-foot-long quilt supports National Forest restoration

A quilted masterpiece dedicated to two Wild and Scenic Oregon rivers is starting the New Year with an opening at the Oregon Historical Society on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The unique, 40-foot-long quilt made by 18 Central Oregon master quilters will be joined by informational signage, a video presentation and custom-tied steelhead flies made by Sherry Steele. The expanded exhibit wraps the quilts in the context of the project for which they were created and provides a wider range of information and visual elements for viewers.

A section of the 40-foot-long quilt masterpiece.

Two rivers frame the Sisters Country, Whychus Creek and the Metolius River. A community’s effort to revitalize these waterways inspired the creation of this 40-foot-long quilted masterpiece. With a special focus on revitalizing Whychus Creek, which runs through Sisters, Two Rivers, Three Sisters is the story of a river and a community coming together.  Thanks to the efforts of many partners under the National Forest Foundation’s Treasured Landscapes campaign, water once again flows in Whychus Creek. Native fish are returning to spawn for the first time in 40 years and a community is re-discovering a gem in its own backyard. Two Rivers, Three Sisters celebrates Whychus Creek’s rebirth. 

Sherry Steele, from Sisters, Ore., designed and tied the Whychus Canyon Steelhead Fly to honor the Deschutes Land Trust’s creation of Whychus Canyon Preserve. That fly, along with others from her collection will accompany the quilt exhibit. Sherry has been fly fishing and tying for 12 years.  She received the Oregon Council 2010 Federator of the year award, The Federation of Fly Fishers National 2010 Oregon Award of Excellence, and Central Oregon Fly fishers Special Recognition Award for encouraging fly tying and fly fishing in and beyond Central Oregon. She and her husband Eric are members and active volunteers for the Deschutes Land Trust. Sherry says, “I can’t imagine living anywhere other than Sisters. It’s truly amazing what the Land Trust has accomplished here and I’m proud to play my small part”.

Just as Whychus Creek unites the quilts, the creek connects the many organizations working together for its restoration.  

  • The U.S. Forest Service and National Forest Foundation are partnering to revitalize Whychus Creek in the Treasured Landscapes conservation campaign known locally as the “Tale of Two Rivers.” 
  • TheDeschutes Land Trust protects and restores private lands to further benefit the creek.  
  • The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show initiated Two Rivers, Three Sisters to tell the story of Whychus Creek through the lens of fiber art. 

This exhibition is a unique showcase of the strengths of Sisters: rich artistic talent, stunning landscapes and partnerships that truly make a difference. Funds from the sale of the quilt panels will directly support restoration projects on Whychus Creek. Organizers are seeking a permanent location for the piece and donations towards the purchase price. Learn more at

Two Rivers, Three Sisters is presented by US Bank with support from Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, the National Forest Foundation, U.S. Forest Service, the Roundhouse Foundation, Deschutes Cultural Coalition, and Deschutes Land Trust.

For additional information contact Ann Richardson, Executive Director, Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. 541.549.0989. 

NFF Specialists

Mary Mitsos

Vice President, Conservation Programs 
NFF conservation programs, community-based conservation

Greg Peters

Director of Communications
NFF conservation programs and events, community-based conservation

Wes Swaffar

Ecosystem Services Program Manager
Tree-planting & Carbon Capital Fund programs 

Vance Russell

Director, California Program 
NFF programs in CA 

Adam Liljeblad

Director of Conservation Awards
Grants and grant programs