Cart 0

Jean Wells


I mostly cut free-hand, creating organic style line work. Recurring themes in my quilts have to do with natural configurations —rocks, trees, grasses, flowers, and the landscape. They are the common thread running through my mind as I work intuitively designing quilts letting the design take on a shape of its own. Nature and the world around me is my main source of inspiration. I am fascinated with line, pattern, color, and texture and how to design with these elements. In this ongoing process exploration is my theme. My favorite quote is “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
— Jean Wells

Jean Wells has been quilting for over 45 years, and teaching others to quilt for more than three decades. She has written more than 30 quilting books and published many, many patterns. Her latest book,  Intuitive Color & Design: Adventures in Art Quilting, was published in July 2017.

In July 2010, Ms. Wells became the 40th inductee into the Quilter's Hall of Fame.

From a young age, all Ms. Wells wanted to do was sew. She dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. A home economics major at Oregon State University in the ‘60s, she enjoyed the diversity of her courses, but sewing classes were her favorites.  After graduating in 1965, Ms. Wells pursued a master’s degree in education at Portland State University. It was while teaching middle school home economics that she fell in love with quilting.

In 1974, she opened The Stitchin’ Post in her home of Sisters, OR. It is quite possible that The Stitchin’ Post is the oldest quilt shop in the U.S. Certainly it’s the oldest quilt shop still in the hands of its original owner. In acknowledgement of her business acumen, Jean was named recipient of the Michael Kile Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1998, the highest award that the quilting business industry gives. She was also the first quilt shop owner to be inducted into the Independent Retailer Hall of Fame in 1997. 

She is a founding member of the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, which she started with a friend as a show-and-tell project for the community. The outdoor show has now grown to an average annual attendance of 12,500, displaying over 1300 quilts from around the world, and includes a week-long quilt school showcasing more than 30 teachers, with an estimated annual economic impact in the Sisters area of $1.7 million.

The show and Ms. Wells’s classes draw aspiring quilters to Sisters from all over the country. At 74, she doesn’t plan to retire anytime soon, and she says she will always quilt, reinventing herself time and time again in the beautiful fabrics she sews together.

We are very honored to have Ms. Wells at BQE 2019!

The History of Broward Quilt Expo

 Diana Sharma
  • Our 14th show
  • March 9-11th, 2017
  • War Memorial Auditorium
  • 225 quilts entered
  • Workshops: Nancy Mahoney, Sherri Lynn Wood
  • South Florida Modern guild joins BQE
  • Two new categories: Modern Design, and Youth
  • Showbook
  • Winner's Gallery
 Sean Riccardo
  • Our 13th show
  • March 12-14, 2015
  • War Memorial Auditorium
  • 156 quilts entered
  • Workshops: Edyta Sitar, Karen Kay Buckley
  • Showbook
  • Winner's Gallery
 Harold Aiko
  • Our 12th show
  • March 16-18, 2013
  • War Memorial Auditorium
  • 120 quilts entered
  • Workshops: Joyce R. Becker, Flavin Glover, Debbie Jones
  • Showbook
  • Winners
 Sean Roberts
  • Our 11th show
  • March
  • War Memorial Auditorium
  • xxx quilts entered
  • Showbook
  • Winners
 Margaret Qillaq
  • Our 10th show
  • xxxx
  • xxxx
  • xxx quilts entered
  • Showbook
  • Winners
 Gary Bennett
 Todd Takahashi
 Shirley Howard
  • Our 7th show
  • xxx
  • xxx
  • xxx
  • xxx
  • xxx
 Nicole Peterson
  • Our 6th show
  • March 9-11, 2001
  • War Memorial Auditorium
  • 168 quilts entered
  • Judges: Fran Skiles, Lovell Symons
  • Workshops: John Flynn, Barbara Hahl, Sara King, Marsha McCloskey, Joan Shay, Kathy Stubbs Ward, Barbara Thompson
  • Showbook
  • Flyer
 Carlos Rhee
 Anthony Yang
 Jeremy Turner

Our 2019 Show Judge: Maribeth Schmit


Maribeth Schmidt is an accomplished fiber artist, teacher, lecturer, and author as well as an NACQJ and NQA-certified judge, qualified to evaluate Masterpiece Quilts. She lived and taught abroad for many years before moving to Cedarburg, WI, in 1994. She is well traveled internationally and is not shy in admitting that she is seriously infatuated with all things “textile.” 

As an NACQJ-certified judge, Ms. Schmit is well qualified to judge all national quilt shows. She is certified to evaluate machine and hand-worked pieces as well as traditional, modern, and art quilts. Her experience includes having judged over 17,000 quilted pieces.

While Maribeth's fiber art beginnings stem from a traditional background, she enjoys and is excited by contemporary and art quilting endeavors. When judging, Maribeth treats every entry with respect. She evaluates objectively and fairly, recognizing the creativity and workmanship in each entry. She strives to provide valuable feedback to entrants, commenting constructively and positively. She continues to develop her quilting and teaching skills by regularly attending quilting classes, lectures, and shows nationwide. She feels it's most important to stay current with the latest quilting trends and judging philosophy.

Ms. Schmit has earned numerous ribbons and awards at regional, state, and national competitions. Having won several “Best of Show” awards, her work has exhibited at the National Quilting Association, Inc. (NQA) shows in Columbus, OH, and Charlotte, NC.  It has been juried into five of the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) shows: Paducah, KY, Des Moines, IA, Knoxville and Nashville, TN, Grand Rapids, MI. Her work has exhibited at the International Quilt Festival—Chicago (IQA); Quilt Expo—Madison, WI; museums such as the Oshkosh (WI) Public Museum, Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, Albuquerque, NM; the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts; and also in Indonesia. Additional work has been juried into and invited to exhibit at Quilt Expo, Madison, WI; the Association of Pacific West Quilters, Tacoma, WA; and Quilters' Heritage Celebration, in Pennsylvania.

Several of Ms. Schmit’s quilts are published in magazines, books, and journals. She has appeared on an episode of HGTV’s Simply Quilts, and in a University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee documentary on fiber arts titled Tapestries of Courage.


  • BA, MA—University of Illinois, Champaign, IL, Certified teacher WI, IL
  • Designated National Quilting Association Certified Judge (NQACJ) and qualified to judge NQA Masterpiece Quilts
  • Licensed Wisconsin Fair Judge, WI Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, 2004–present
  • Seminar, “How Quilt Judges Evaluate Design: Critique, Not Criticism,” 2012
  • Wisconsin Fair Judge’s Training Program, University of WI Extension, 4-H Youth Development 2009
  • DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Correspondent Docent 2009-present
  • Quilting Instructor, Whitefish Bay School District and Adult Recreation Program, Whitefish Bay, WI 2006–2008, 2014–present
  • Adjunct Quilting Instructor, Fox Valley Technical College, Oshkosh, WI
  • Active Member Milwaukee Art Quilters (MArQ)
  • Documentation Chair, WI Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts, Cedarburg, WI
  • Former Board Member, National Association of Certified Quilt Judges (NACQJ), Communications Chair
  • Former Board Member, Wisconsin Quilters, Inc.
  • Member Museum of Wisconsin Art
  • Member Modern Quilt Guild
  • Member SAQA, Studio Art Quilt Associates