Claudia Blodget says quilting is her life.
For the past 47 years, Blodget has been stitching both her own patterns as well as incorporating tried and true designs into the 700 quilts she has created to date.
Recently, Blodget entered 10 of her quilts into the competitive exhibits of the 2019 Kern County Fair. Of those 10 quilts, nine were awarded blue ribbons and the tenth won a red ribbon. More exciting, her quilt "Sudoku Sampler" took home Best of Show.
The last time the owner of 5 Heart Quilts won Best of Show at the Kern County Fair was in 1998, so she said she was very excited to see how she fared this year. She said she has been entering her work in the fair longer than she has owned her store on Tehachapi Boulevard.
Asked how long it took to make "Sudoku Sampler," Blodget said, "Awhile because all the blocks are pieced separately and it is hand-quilted."
The local quilter said this is the most quilts she has entered to be judged at the fair in a single year. So far, the majority of her entries have been awarded ribbons.
"Once in a while I will miss one, but usually I pretty much place with each quilt," she said.
Blodget said her companion, Eddie Potter, commented last winter about the amount of time she spent sewing the award winning quilt.
"I was so proud of her when we found out she won Best of Show," said Potter.
As far as technicality is concerned, Blodget said "Sudoku Sampler" is not her hardest quilt.
"I thought another quilt I entered called 'Storm at Sea,' which was the most challenging to create, would have won Best of Show instead," said Blodget.
Cranking out 18 to 20 quilts a year, Blodget said she keeps track of them all. She is currently working on her 700th, what she calls her "Double Bargello," which she plans to enter into next year's competition at the fair.
For the past year and a half, Marcie Truss has been taking lessons from Blodget, and has been working on a Halloween themed quilt for the past few weeks at the store.
"She sent me a text telling me she won Best of Show," Truss said about her mentor. "I sent her a text back congratulating her in several different languages. It was very exciting, and I am very proud of her. She works very hard."