Many of those living in Central Oregon are familiar with the Deschutes Library A Novel Idea project. In its 13th year, A Novel Idea remains the largest community read project in Oregon with more than 6,000 residents participating.
This year’s book is Euphoria by Lily King. Set between World War I and II and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration and sacrifice. The book is King’s fourth novel, the 2014 winner of the Kirkus Prize for Fiction and was included on the New York Times Best Books of 2014 list.
Many events are planned for April including exhibits, workshops and a presentation from author Lily King. One exhibit that is celebrating its sixth year of participation will be held at Quilt Works. The store features exhibits monthly from quilters all over Central Oregon, but the Novel Idea exhibit attracts quilters from all over region and even some out of state.
“We’ve hosted many exhibits here over the years, but Novel Idea is by far the most inspirational,” explains Quilt Works owner Marilyn Forestell. “It brings so many people together in a special way.”
The quilters who participate in the exhibit read the assigned novel and meet while they are reading the book as well as after.
This year’s quilts will not disappoint. There is a broad range of fiber art and even handmade masks made of paper, plastic and glass. The exhibit will be held on the second floor of Quilt Works throughout April. Artist and participant Patti Stewart shared that, “Quilt Works is a unique space. Not many stores have their own gallery space. It gives an opportunity for artists’ to support each other’s work in an intimate way.”
As for the Novel Idea project, artists have nothing but good things to say about their experience. “Some of the quilters may not like the books upon our first meeting,” states Forestell.
“However, usually upon a second reading and meeting with the group, we are able to share passages that stand out to us and we give each other insight. It allows us to see the book in a much different light. By the end, everyone appreciates the novel more than they had previously.”
The Quilt Works Novel Idea exhibit has been incredibly successful and has even been emulated by other quilt groups all around the country. “What I love about this project is that it is so community focused,” says Forestell. “It expands awareness that quilting is truly an art form. It is about expression and each artist has an entirely unique interpretation of the novel.”
Quilters from ages 20-80 have participated in the exhibit over the years, and it is bound to be a hit again this year. The exhibit runs from April 1-May 4. Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm, Sat 9:30am-5pm.
926 NE Greenwood Ave.
Bend, OR 97701