Handi Quilter Studio Educators

We care about your quilting experience. Our HQ Studio Educators are based in Salt Lake City. They offer retreats, training for HQ Retailers and phone support for quilters. Led by Education Coordinator Kelly Ashton, our educators also develop curriculum, film education videos (both for Facebook and YouTube presentations) and provide a quilter’s viewpoint for our engineers and product development team. We are devoted to educating quilters before AND AFTER the sale.

Meet our Studio Educators

Johnny Barfuss

Johnny is a Utah native, and currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He joined the Handi Quilter family in early 2018. Johnny began working in the Handi Quilter testing lab, helping to develop new products for our customers, before joining the Studio Education team.  He's been quilting for more than 15 years, and his desire to quilt was influenced by his childhood. His Grandmother was a prolific quilter and his Mother was an accomplished seamstress, so much of his childhood was spent in fabric stores. A cherished memory of Johnny’s comes from lying under his Grandmother's quilt frame as she would tie her quilts.

Johnny’s quilting has mainly been self-taught, with his creativity guiding his designs, very rarely using a pattern. He remembers the first time he saw a longarm quilting machine in action and it was love at first sight.  He had a quilt juried into QuiltCon in 2018, and is a member of the local chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild.

Johnny’s love of quilting has lead him to teaching in the Handi Quilter Studio, where he enjoys sharing his passion with fellow quilters.

Kristina Whitney

Kristina began quilting with her grandmother in the 1990’s. Her love of quilting continued to grow as she shared it with others in various states and countries. She pieced and quilted on her domestic machine until being introduced to longarm quilting in 2014. She began her longarm quilting experience on an HQ Avanté with Pro-Stitcher. After touching the Handi Quilter machine for the first time, she was hooked.

She enjoys all types of longarm quilting from rulers, to Pro-Stitcher, to free-motion. She has quilted for hire, for pleasure, and is working to complete 50 of her grandmother’s quilt tops!

She was selected to be a member of the Handi Quilter Quilt Your Desire Inspiration Squad in 2017 and has been featured in magazines, show programs, and on the Handi Quilter truck. Kristina is also a member of many local quilt guilds and enjoys continually learning and improving her skills.

Kimberly Sandberg

Kim learned how to sew at an early age, and had the best dressed dolls on her Idaho farm. During her senior year of high school, she found a picture of a log cabin quilt, got out some graph paper, and drafted her first quilt. It took her 5 years to finish that quilt, and a lifelong love of the craft got started. 

In 2003, Kim attempted to quilt on her home machine for the first time and was hooked. From there, she graduated to a longarm in 2007. She became a professional longarm quilter in 2016, using her HQ Forte® with Pro-Stitcher® for everything from simple edge to edge designs to custom quilts. Kim was on the development team for PS Designer, and enjoys designing, editing and teaching all about this great new software for quilters. Kim loves the process of choosing or creating designs to complement and highlight her piecing. 

Over the years, Kim evolved from a very traditional quilter to a more modern quilter. She began teaching classes several years ago, and loves passing on her passion and knowledge about quilting to her students. Kim is the mother of two teenagers and lives in Utah, where she loves to hike with her dog in the beautiful mountains in the summer and stay inside and quilt the rest of the year.

Kelly Ashton

As a quilt shop owner, Kelly Ashton acquired extensive experience teaching appliqué, piecing, and longarm quilting classes. Kelly loves custom quilting, and sharing her experience with quilters around the world.

Although she loves quilting those beautiful traditional quilts, Kelly’s favorite quilting style is more modern. She loves all tools and options available for quilting, but rulers are her first choice. She loves the precision and professional quilting they provide, and loves the finishing touch free motion quilting can add.

Kelly Ashton joined Handi Quilter as a national educator in 2013 and is now the Studio Education Manager. IG @kellyashtonquilts

Meet our National Educators!