Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival       https://wallawallaquiltfestival.org

Who We Are

Terri Hellberg (Chair)

I started sewing in the usual way, having to take the mandatory “home ec” class in Jr. High. I didn’t do real well. I couldn’t walk by my moms’ machine without it breaking! (Mom was a great sewer) I really started sewing when my husband bought me my first Viking sewing machine in 1983. I could sew thru coyote fur! I started sewing clothes for the kids and really enjoyed it. I took classes in pattern fitting to tailoring. When I made my first quilt, a king size log cabin, I didn’t even have a rotary cutter, ruler or matt. I have several rotary cutters, and numerous rulers now. I love quilting. My time spent quilting gives me peace and makes me happy. If I’m cranky, my husband has been known to say “Don’t you have some sewing to do?” I finally figured out that he was saying you're cranky, go sew. I’m afraid that I won’t get all the quilts made that I want. There isn’t enough time in a day and I always seem to find new ones that are waiting to be created!

Judy Benzel (Treasurer)

Judy has been sewing most of her life and continues to create with fiber. A Home Ec college grad, she has branched out to computer sciences in her vocation, but her avocation still remains sewing and quilting. An accomplished quilter and seamstress, she never ceases to amaze with her creative products. One of Judy's specialties is putting together the Demonstrations and schedules at the Festival.

Sherry Moran (Secretary)

I started my sewing hobby at a young age when my mom, who sewed the majority of my clothes, handed me patterns for Barbie clothes and scraps from her clothing creations. In Junior High I moved into Home Ec making my own clothes and bags. In my mid-twenties, after receiving a couple of quilts from my Grandma Jones, I was bitten by the quilting bug.  Since it was the mid 90's, I was drawn to the Country Chic style and colors of burgundy reds, navy blues, greens and golden browns. After quilting and teaching quilting for several years, I took a break to cheerleader on the side line of my son's sports. When I came back to quilty because a co-worker asked me to join her at a class, I found that my style aesthetic had completely changed. I am now in love with more modern stylings and bright colors. What I love about quilting is there are so many styles, fabrics and techniques available so you can find something that inspires you. The Walla Walla Valley Quilt Festival is an excellent opportunity to showcase your work, admire the work of others, and find even more inspiration!

Karen Andersen
Judith Hedberg-Duff

Great Grandmothers, grandmothers and mom introduced me to sewing; I have an early memory of threading needles each week for Ida. I learned to embroider, knit, sew, tailer garments, quilt and design. Designing remains a passion. I created covers for airplane props and wheels, backpacks, gaiters, climbing rope bags, costumes, church vestments, and custom hand embroidered shirts. Sewing has always been a part of my life and with retirement I renewed an interest in quilting.  I earned a graduate degree in art and an MAT in education. I’ve been employed as a newspaper illustrator, and free-lance graphic designer, Artist-in-Residence, taught in two art museums, two men’s prisons, three community colleges, two graduate schools and grades third thru eighth in public school. I’ve learned to adapt and be open to opportunities.   Printmaking and sewing have been long-time loves. I like learning, working with tools and materials, and the creative process. It’s also exciting to see positive responses. In the last two years I found webinars and virtual classes stimulated my quilting, drawing and printmaking allowing me to travel virtually to galleries and museums.   I moved to the Walla Walla area in 2017 and joined the Walla Walla Quilt Guild.   I am a member of Print Arts Northwest and ArtWalla and have shown prints locally at CAVU Cellars and Pendleton Public Library.


Cindy Jones

My formal sewing education started in High School Home Ec, but informally I watched my mom and grandmothers make our clothes and cherished quilts.  I took up sewing simple clothes for myself mainly skirts in my collage years.  It wasn't until my earlly years of marriage that I began my two hand quilting quilt projects that took many moons to complete.  In 2020, I decided to make quilts for all my immediate family members, but knew hand quilting and domestic machine quilting wasn't the answer.  So I purchased a Simply Sixteen on a little foot frame quilting machine which handles most of my small projects.  I'm finding my wish list of quilt projects are growing faster than I probably have years to complete!

Nancy Kessler

I started sewing in 7th grade when you learned how to make one of those lovely gathered skirts using 3 yards of fabric. Sewed clothes, costumes, etc. for family and friends through the years. But in 2000 a small newspaper ad caught my eye announcing the 2nd annual WWVQF and they were having a quilt challenge. Well, I love a challenge and the quilt was only wall hanging size, so I bought a book, fabric and other tools of the trade and went to it. Much to my surprise, and a few other peoples', I won third place. I was now hooked big time on quilting. After the quilt festival that year, I volunteered my services and as they say, the rest is history.

Rhonda Nguyen
Cindy Nicholson
Freida Wade

My love for sewing started at an early age, sitting on my mother’s lap as she ran her treadle sewing machine.  I started hand sewing fabric scraps int around age 7, making crude clothes for my friends Barbies. I quickly moved on to using the machine. By age 10 my dad decided I needed a machine of my very own! I felt so grown up. The first project on MY sewing machine was a scrap crazy baby quilt (which I still have). I then turned mainly to garment construction. My skill advanced to the point that mom decided I was ready for an adult sewing class. My first sewing class when I was in 6th grade, a night class at WWCC, to make a wool lined skirt (white wool with bright pink lining). There was no stopping me after that. By junior high I was making most of my own garments, by high school I was also making my mom’s. I returned to quilt piecing in the 90’s, enjoying the creativity and beauty when little pieces of cloth are stitched together. I still custom sew for family and friends. However, garment making has taken a backseat to quilts in my sewing room. Sewing is my “Happy Place,” the place I go to escape.