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WEB - NEWS - Kelli Sloper

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kelli Sloper - WEB

Kelli Sloper is relieved. She has just finished her senior project of sewing a quilt, with months to spare.
   Sloper donated the quilt to the Pioneer Memorial Hospital, which will auction the quilt, among other items, at this Saturday's benefit auction.
   The proceeds of the auction will go to buying a new fluoroscope for the Prineville hospital.
   "I'm hoping it will go for $500. I don't know if it will, but I would be excited if it did," Sloper said.
   She got the idea to make a ragtime quilt after seeing a similar one on display at the Prairie Girls shop. Sloper used a range of nine colors, instead of the 27 colors the quilt displayed in the shop had used.
   "I'd never made (a ragtime quilt) before and it was nice to try something new," she said.
   A novice quiltmaker, Sloper had made only two other quilts before tackling the project. Her first she made for herself, the second for her grandmother.
   "Mine was the practice quilt," Sloper said. In her first quilt there were gaps where the fabric connected, she said. However, her third quilt was a thing of beauty.
   Before she could get started, she had to buy a new sewing machine and learn to sew. "Once I figured out those things it was smooth sailing from there," said Sloper.
   She spent 33 hours sewing and cutting the quilt. Because she made the donated quilt during basketball season, it took Sloper almost a month to complete.
   Just as artists sign their work, Sloper added her own unique signature to the quilt by adding a four-leaf clover in a corner of it.
   The clover contains her name and the name of the quilt, as well as the date it was finished.
   Marlene Pederson, her neighbor and long time quilter, was her mentor for the quilt project.
   "We met a lot in the beginning when I had questions, but I wanted to surprise her when it was done," Sloper said.
   After spending so much time with the quilt, was it hard to see it go?
   "I know it's going to a good place and a good cause, so it doesn't bug me at all," said Sloper.
   Sloper wanted to thank the Prairie Girls shop and her mentor Pederson for their help with her project.
   "This is something I will definitely continue doing," she said. The quilt will be auctioned off at the PMH auction, "Windows to Our World Gala & Auction," on Saturday, Jan. 29, starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information on the auction, call (541) 447-2513.