For 2023 we have four judges at the pinnacle of their careers.

Mel Beach

Mel Beach is a San Jose, CA based quilt artist, teacher and lecturer, who loves stretching her creativity through quilt challenges and the successful completion of five 100 Day Projects involving a roll of dice. Her award-winning quilts have been juried into exhibits and published in books/magazines. Mel has been featured on The Quilt Show, Quilting Arts TV and Podcast, and has articles published with Quilting Arts Magazine, Curated Quilts, and The Craft Industry. To learn more, visit

Kitty Oliver

Kitty has been quilting for over 25 years. In addition to teaching quilting technique classes and giving lectures, she created the California Sesquicentennial Children’s Quilt Program.  This program brought information on quilting and California history to thousands of school children

Kitty has won numerous honors and ribbons including Featured Artist, Best of Show, Best Use of Color, Judges Choice, Best of Class, and numerous first place ribbons.  She has had quilts juried into several larger quilt shows including PIQF, Quilt Fest of New Jersey, the Mid- Atlantic Quilt Festival, and the California State Fair.  Kitty creates her own patterns and designs, and has a deep appreciation for the creative process. 

As a successful graduate of the West Coast Quilt Judging Academy she has become a very busy quilt judge.  Kitty loves the opportunity to encourage and challenge quilters at all levels, through meaningful and thoughtful comments. 

Kitty is an environmental scientist who works and resides in Sacramento.

Linda Schmidt

Short Attention Span Quilts

Linda comes from a long line of quilting women. She has won over 300 ribbons from local, national and international quilting exhibitions, and teaches quilting both nationally and internationally. Linda was a member of the Alameda County Art Commission for six years, and Chairman of it for two years. She is a musician, a composer, an active member of Amador Valley Quilters, IQA, and AQS. She was a founding member of the Network for Wearable Art and teaches online quilting classes at “There is nothing I like better than to talk to people about quilting, unless it is making quilts and wearable art or jewelry”  As a quilting judge, I strive to encourage our art, not discourage it; I want to help you grow in your art and enjoy the journey. 

Carol L Smith

Carol Smith learned to sew at an early age, began quilting in 1975, and in 2012 completed “A Course on Judging Quilts and Wearable Art” from the West Coast Quilt Judging Academy.  She lectures and conducts workshops for guilds on “Quilt Judging” and has assisted in the judging process for car shows, county fairs and quilt shows.

Carol’s work has been exhibited in Canada, Missouri, at PIQF and in many local shows in Northern California.  She is a California State Fair award winner and is listed in two “Who’s Who” publications. She is a charter member of River City Quilters’ Guild (1977) in Sacramento and Flying Needles Quilters’ Guild (2010) in Woodland, having served on the Executive Board and quilt show committees of both guilds for many years.

Carol lives in Elverta (near Sacramento) with her kitty, Mr. Carroll Shelby.