Every Last Drop A Newsletter From the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition

Above Keep Long Valley Quilted! This month's newsletter discusses the awesome art of quilting and Ruby Hoyng's Keep Long Valley Green quilt.

Volume 3 - Issue 10 | October 2023

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The Quilted Story of Long Valley

Nature has long inspired art, and Long Valley is no exception. One such inspired artist is the Eastern Sierra’s own Ruby Hoyng. While her subject matter might not surprise anyone who loves the Eastern Sierra, as it is only natural to want to capture such beauty in art, her medium might: Ruby is a quilter, and a trip to her beautiful Sunny Slopes home, just south of Long Valley, reveals a gallery of vibrant art quilts depicting portraits of local wildlife such as mule deer and jays, or familiar scenes such as the Laws Railroad Museum or our beloved Long Valley:

Above The full Keep Long Valley Green art quilt by Ruby Hoyng.

Ruby was born in Chile. She moved to Canada where she worked in architectural drafting and, when the 2008 recession hit and construction slowed, she took up teaching at an elementary school in Glendale. She fell in love with teaching and decided not to go back to architectural drafting, but the pull towards creative expression remained. With her artistic interest and her past skill for design, quilting naturally arose in her as a preferred form of creative expression.

Ruby feels her true quilting journey began when she first moved to the Eastern Sierra in 2013, although she has been quilting on and off for far longer than that. Like many, Ruby had long been visiting the Eastern Sierra and fell in love with its landscapes. When it came time to retire, despite the many other places she has lived, she felt it was the obvious choice and says she is "so grateful every day to live here and be surrounded by so much natural beauty." It was also moving to the Eastern Sierra that ignited her artistic sensibilities to start incorporating what is now by far the most popular motif in her pieces: the local flora and fauna.

Above Seagulls fly on a full moon above Mono Lake in this beautiful blue quilt by Ruby.

Ruby is an avid supporter of the Eastern Sierra's environmental nonprofits, many of which are part of the Keep Long Valley Green Coalition. As a member of the “Out of the Box Quilters,” a group within the local Calico Quilters Guild based in Bishop, she has made art quilts in the past benefiting Keep Long Valley Green Coalition member the Mono Lake Committee, with fun pieces featuring seagulls and even the tiny but mighty Mono Lake brine shrimp. Talk about an “out of the box” subject to feature on a quilt!

Right Ruby's brine shrimp art quilt shown at the Mono Lake Committee's gallery at the begining of 2022.

She first heard of Keep Long Valley Green while joining an interpretive hike on plant identification as part of Keep Long Valley Green Coalition member Friends of the Inyo's Trail Ambassador program. While on that hike, she heard of the threats facing Long Valley, a place she knew intimately, and she felt she simply had to do something with the slogan "Keep Long Valley Green.” It was this idea that drew her to draft up a Long Valley-themed art quilt.

Behind A close up of some of the flaura and fauna that depend on the water of Long Valley, such as wildflowers, grasses, mule deer, cattle, and fish.

There are two recurring themes in Ruby’s work that this quilt allowed her to incorporate: something nature-inspired and something that offers a design challenge. For the Keep Long Valley Green quilt, she was drawn to the opportunity to quilt mountains, meadows, and the natural beauty of a landscape she walks in often as a nearby resident. The challenge, however, was how to incorporate the slogan: “Keep Long Valley Green” into a piece of art showcasing the landscape.

Above "Keep" and "Green" in our slogan, "Keep Long Valley Green," run vertically along opposite ends of the quilt, bookending the Owens River.

As an “Out of the Box Quilter,” Ruby does not partake in what you might consider the traditional artistic form of quilting, with uniform geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and squares sewn together to form larger patterns. As a result, she was not interested in simply spelling out the words of the slogan in block letters. When I asked her why not, she smiled and told me that she has “always been interested in non-traditional pieces,” and that while her introduction to quilting began in more traditional styles she “quickly started doing her own thing.”

In this case, “her own thing” brought forth the creative idea of depicting the lifeblood of Long Valley and Payahuunadü, the Owens River, and shaping it so that it would spell out “Keep Long Valley Green” in a more flowing, cursive-like font. “I had never really incorporated words into my quilts, so I liked the idea of seeing what I could do,” she told me. Putting “keep” and “green” in the meadow and “Long Valley” in the flowing Owens River allowed Ruby to share the message without overwhelming the breathtaking picture that is the landscape itself.

Left The Owens River winds horizontally across the quilt to spell out "Long Valley" in cursive, with a speckled fabric giving the appearance of water.

Above Little black cattle roam the many shades of greens in Long Valley.

Right Small eagles fly above the Sierra Nevada mountains and Glass Mountain ridge in the quilt.

Ruby did not stop at just one challenge either. While the viewer’s eye will first notice the green meadows of Long Valley, the mountains along each side representing the Sierra Nevada and Glass Mountain Ridge, and, of course, the Owens River winding to spell out our message, Ruby also incorporated some of the denizens of Long Valley into the piece. Little mule deer, cattle, eagles, and even fish inside the river dot the piece, adding the nuance of biodiversity to the depth of the scene depicted.

Above Three little fish appear in the "y" in "valley" on the quilt.
Above Ruby's quilted depiction of mule deer in the meadows of Long Valley.

Ruby worked on the Keep Long Valley Green art quilt in 2021 and showed it at the 2023 quilt show, put on in coordination with the quilting guild she is a part of and the Laws Railroad Museum. The Calico Quilters of Bishop frequently make pieces benefiting charities or other causes, whether the pieces are art tapestries for donation or items to be used to provide comfort to community members.

Above Ruby's favorite quilt she has made so far is her piece depicting the Laws Railroad Museum, honoring the partnership between the Guild the Museum.

The Guild is a part of Quilts of Valor, a national quilting group which distributes quilts made by those in smaller guilds like the Calico Quilters to wounded and ill veterans across the country. The Calico Quilters also quilt for CASA, or Court Appointed Special Advocates, a child advocacy agency that provides aid to children in the family court system, so that any child entering the court system is given the opportunity to select a comforting quilt made by a member of the Guild to keep for their own. Ruby was especially happy to share one of her upcoming projects that the Guild does annually: quilting Christmas stockings for Northern Inyo Hospital. “Every baby born between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve gets their own hand-made stocking, which they go home in like they normally would with a baby blanket.”

Now, Keep Long Valley Green gets to benefit from Ruby’s artistic talents. Not only did Ruby take our message on as her own when she decided to quilt this piece, she has generously donated the quilt to the Coalition. This beautiful one-of-a-kind art piece, which measures 61 by 30 inches, would make the perfect vibrant addition to the wall of any Eastern Sierra loving home– and it can be YOURS!

Behind The Owens River winds through the quilt to spell Long Valley, surrounded by mountains, grasses, cattle, and wildlife.

Last year, Keep Long Valley Green launched our very first Giving Tuesday campaign. Giving Tuesday is “a global generosity movement” that encourages people to donate online and take action for the causes they care about every year on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. In that first campaign, we managed to raise over $1,000 from folks like you who care about this special place and want to help us continue our work to monitor and advocate for Long Valley. This year, we are proud to announce a special prize giveaway for supporters who donate during Giving Tuesday, which this year falls on Nov. 28

Our portal to receive online donations for Giving Tuesday will go live at midnight the night of Nov. 27 into the 28th, and will remain live for 24 hours. Please look for announcements closer to the date on the KeepLongValleyGreen.org website and our social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter/X.

Giving Tuesday Prize Giveaway:

Above A framed copy of this photo will be awarded to the second highest donor to our Giving Tuesday campaign.

The three largest donors on Giving Tuesday will receive the following works of art featured in the Every Last Drop newsletter: the largest donor will receive the BEAUTIFUL Keep Long Valley Green quilt by Ruby Hoyng, the second largest donor will receive a framed copy of the above photo of Long Valley, and the third largest donor will receive a framed copy of the below photo Long Valley, both by Coalition Member Friends of the Inyo’s Desert Lands Organizer and skilled photographer Jaime Lopez-Wolters.

Aboce A framed copy of this photo will be awarded to the third highest donor to our Giving Tuesday campaign.

This is the first in a multiple part series on Long Valley’s ability to inspire artists and their craft. Next month’s issue will be on photography, and how this scenic place lends itself to the camera, throughout the day and night, and across the four seasons.

Do you have photos from Long Valley you would like to share? Email allison@friendsoftheinyo.org to have your work featured in the November 2023 issue of Every Last Drop.

Have you ever made art inspired by Long Valley? Paintings, pottery, poetry, prose– you name it, we want to see it! Reach out to us to have your creativity featured in future editions of the Every Last Drop art series

Help us keep long valley green by showing the community who cares for this land! Send us your pictures to be featured on the Keep Long Valley Green Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter/X.


Watch Our Film: "Without Water"

Still haven't seen Without Water?! Good news: You can now watch our film for FREE, online, anytime.

Help us in a big way by doing something small: Spread the message of Keep Long Valley Green by simply sending people in your contacts (and especially Los Angeles residents) the link to Without Water: https://youtu.be/ThJ9HW9yf-w

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