Fall Fun at the San Benito County Fair

This past weekend, Doug & I headed down to the Tres Pinos, CA to check out the San Benito County Fair. This was my third trek down to the San Benito fairgrounds, as I helped judge the 80+ quilts that were entered as part of the Clothing & Textiles competition on Monday and Tuesday. Fun fact-- Their Clothing & Textiles competition is open to residents of San Benito, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Merced County.
San Benito County Fair - Clothing & Textiles Exhibit

I will share a few reflections from my judging experience:

  • As part of the judging process on Day 1, we spent several minutes with each quilt, both looking at the entire quilt on its own in terms of design, color and composition, as well as noting details of construction, quilting and finishing. Each quilter received our comments in which we recognized areas where each quilter excelled, while also noting any areas that could be improved upon.
  • Awarding prizes proved to be very difficult as there were so many amazing quilts. Our job was made even more difficult in some of the larger classes where they were all well-designed and well-constructed quilts!! Oftentimes, it came down to one or two small details that determined which quilt received a 1st Place Blue Ribbon vs. a 2nd Place Ribbon. And don't even get me started on awarding the special awards such as Best of Show, Best Use of Color, or Innovative Quilt Design!
  • There was a fabulous range of quilting styles and techniques represented among the entries: hand quilted, hand applique, machine applique, machine quilted, long arm quilted, along with kits, innovative & original quilts!  Having so many different divisions and classes made for a really fun day of judging as there was always something new and different to see!
  • I was especially excited to see a number of first time quilt entries, several of which were entered into the "My First Quilt" Division! Local and County Fairs provide a wonderful venue for new quilters to not only exhibit their work but to also receive feedback as part of the judging process. My congratulations go out to each and every quilter who showed courage in entering their work.
  • Judging 80+ quilts requires a team effort. My sincere thanks and appreciation to my fellow judges, the well-organized department chair, and all the volunteers who helped as a scribe and/or runner!!
  • What a treat to see the textiles hall completely transform from judging (two large judging tables in the center, and stacks of quilt entries on tables around the perimter) to seeing all the quilts hung on display!!!

So without further ado, let's see some more quilts!!  Note: All pictures were taken during the actual fair, several days after the judging was complete and name cards were revealed.

Best of Show Awarded to Anna M Berger for her Fall Wall Hanging - So Many Incredible Details in the Handwork

My Judges Choice Awarded to Wendy Bergman - Fabulous Fabric Selections, Fussy Cutting & Details

Here are a few more quilts on display (top left, clockwise)

  • Jamie Frusetta - Awarded 2nd Place (Hand Applique/Hand Quilted)
  • Jamie Frusetta - Awarded Best of Fair Innovative Design Quilt & 1st Place (Hand Applique)
  • Frances Morales - Awarded 1st Place (Machine Appliqued/Machine Quilted)
  • Bev Hanagan - Awarded 1st Place (Kits, Innovative & Original Quilts)
  • Jamie Frusetta - Awarded 1st Place (Kits - Uses Shock Wave pattern kit from Starr Design Fabrics)
  • Jamie Frusetta - Awarded 3rd Place (Hand Applique/Hand Quilted)
There were lots of displays and exhibits including: livestock (we watched one leg of the 4-H Junior Handling competition and were fascinated!), preserved goods and baked goods (how do I get in on that judging gig?!?), photography, horticulture, and...

Pumpkins & Ghourds

Youth Artwork

Thank you San Benito County Agricultural Association for including me on the Clothing & Textile Judging team. It was an honor and an absolute pleasure!!  
Spreading My Wings

Be sure to mark your calendar to attend the 2019 San Benito County Fair.  Or better yet: enter something and attend!!


  1. You are having the best time! Congratulations on becoming a judge. Thanks for sharing information about this fair, too.

    1. I sure am!!! I really enjoyed getting to spend time with each of the quilt entries and celebrating everyone's design and workmanship.


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