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2024 Quiltfest Judges

Quiltfest Northwest is a judged show, featuring awards.  Each year, we invite three judges to view and judge the quilts accepted into the show.  Find out more about our judges below.

Portrait of Val Pellens, a woman with blonde hair and glasses standing in front of a white window.
Portrait of Elizabeth Spannring, a woman with grey hair and glasses standing in front of an evergreen tree.
Portrait of Kathie Kerler, a woman with brown hair, standing in front of a grey photography background.

Val Pellens

Elizabeth Spannring

Val has won numerous awards for her work and collaborative work.  She successfully completed the West Coast Quilt Judging Academy and continuing education with certified judges.  She is looking forward to opportunities of judging at a variety of venues and encouraging others to join in her passion of quilting.

Val lives in Vancouver Washington with her husband, Ken, where they raised four children.  They now enjoy their seven grandchildren, three of whom have entered quilts in the youth category at the local guild.

Elizabeth began her crafty journey knitting socks, sewing costumes, and decorating cakes. When a sewing friend presented her with a rotary cutter and a bag of scraps, another enthusiastic quilter was. Entering her first international competition in 2000, she’s won numerous awards at major international, regional, and local shows across the US.


Having attended the Northern California Quilt Council Judges Training in 2002, she pursued her interest in judging and in 2006 completed the NQA Certified Quilt Judge program. In 2011, she fulfilled the training and coursework to become a certified quilt judge with the Canadian Quilters 



She has served as a judge and juror for a variety of competitions and exhibitions throughout the US and Canada. 

Having had the opportunity to participate as an entrant, show organizer, judging floor coordinator, juror, and judge has given her first-hand experience on many levels. Believing that every quiltmaker has a “voice” waiting to be heard, she strives through concise and constructive comments to provide objective feedback to the quiltmaker, recognizing the creativity and expertise of each individual quilter. 


Presently she is an instructor and program administrator of the Quilt Judge Certification Program with the Canadian Quilters’ Association/ACC, helping to prepare and certify qualified individuals to judge quilt competitions.

Kathie began quilting in 1988 and judging in 2002. She is certified through the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges and as a Qualified Instructor teaches the association’s Two-Day Introduction to Judging Seminar.

She is a national award winning fiber artist who has completed rigorous courses in design and embroidery through the City and Guilds Institute of London, England and the Lesage School of Needlework in Paris, France. In 2009 she completed a public commission for Clackamas County for Oregon’s sesquicentennial, the state’s 150th year anniversary. In 2011, Kathie had a solo exhibition at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum in Golden, Colorado. She has also been a featured artist for The Oregon Garden as well as two quilt guilds.

Over a seven-year period, Kathie worked as a contributing editor to American Quilter magazine, writing and contracting over 115 articles and patterns. Currently, she freelances.

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