About Ruth

ruth blanchetRuth was born in Nelson, a small city located at the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Her passion for quilt making has taken her into the world of professionalism. She has always been keen on crafts of all kinds, entering her first embroidery in a contest at the age of six. For the past twenty-nine years, she has concentrated mainly on quilting and designing patterns. Ruth also enjoys sharing her work and ideas with others who show similar interests by tutoring and lecturing. She holds a certificate in Dressmaking, Pattern Cutting, and Design and gained qualifications in Adult teaching by successfully completing the foundation courses plus a module in Course Design.

Ruth has gained awards for many of her original designed quilts. In 2000, she was successful in winning a third prize award in the NZ Hoffman challenge with her waistcoat, "Blue Tears". Due to gaining a placing, Blue Tears was featured in the NZ Quilter magazine. It was also exhibited throughout New Zealand.

Again in 2000, she gained the Most Interesting Quilting Design Award for the Kiwi Quilter's Challenge with "Falling Leaves". Her quilt "Native New Zealand" was selected to travel internationally in the Horizon Challenge and was featured in two magazines, The NZ Quilter and Popular Patchwork, UK's biggest selling patchwork and quilting magazine. She also won a third placing for "Deep Purple" in the American Quilt Art Forum Challenge 2000. 

Ruth teaches in venues throughout New Zealand and USA for shops and guilds. In April 2001, she taught in Taranaki, at New Zealand's biannual National Symposium and again when this event was held in Christchurch 2003. She has also taught at other major events within New Zealand.

Later in 2001, Ruth presented her first online class at Quilt University, "Poppin' Poppies". She now publishes new classes each year and has many classes available. The classes range in various techniques which include three-dimensional applique, layered machine applique and Bargello. She also teaches a sampler country style quilt and an accessory's tote among other things.

In 2001, Ruth entered two challenges with both pieces gaining an award. The first, "Flight", was a pieced designed for the American Hoffman Challenge. It was selected to travel around the United States for the duration of one year. The other piece, "Imagination", won The Most Interesting Quilting Award for the Kiwi Quilter's challenge. This is the second year running for Ruth to win this award. Imagination has been exhibited in locations within New Zealand and has also been featured in the NZ Quilter magazine and Patchwork Quilt Tsushin, a Japanese quilt magazine.

Ruth entered the American Hoffman again in 2002 with her piece called "Celtic Storm". It was selected to travel around the United States for the duration of one year and also was featured in the NZ Quilter magazine. Again in 2003, Ruth entered the American Hoffman challenge. Her entry "Cherry Blossoms" was again selected to travel around the United States.

In October 2003, Ruth, by invitation made her first successful trip to the USA and taught in the States of Oregon, California, and Arizona. She has since made several more trips to the USA visiting guilds and groups to lecture and give workshops.

"Red Red Wine" was created in 2004 for the World Quilt Show. It was selected as a New Zealand entry with 24 other quilts which traveled and were exhibited in several United States venues and shows.

For Ruth, a new challenge appeared on the horizon. There was an interest from retailers and distributors for her patterns. The challenge was met by changing the name of her company Arbee Originals to Arbee Designs, incorporating the business in the United States and gearing up the operation for the business to follow. The demand for her quilt patterns keeps growing and in 2010 one of her famous designs "Simply Sunflowers" was picked up and featured as a best-seller with Keepsake Quilting. In that same year, Clotilde picked up several patterns and was highly successful with their catalog featuring her designs.

In the years ahead Ruth has planned expansion of her business with bringing on board designers in the United States and around the world. These designers were hand selected to perform high standards of quality in their quilt designing with hopes of meeting that challenge set forth by the United States and Canadian markets.