Fredericksburg, VA

Meet the Teachers

 

We take the time to search out the best in the industry, introducing you to exceptional designers, best-selling authors, creative thinkers and visionaries. Taking classes at Original Sewing & Quilt Expo adds to a memorable and satisfying experience!

 

Karen Benke

Medina, OH
Little Red Quilt House

Karen has 45 years of sewing experience that she loves to share in a patient, informal atmosphere.She continues to stay current in the quilting world, learning and teaching techniques and new tools. Karen is owner of Little Red Quilt House in Medina, Ohio and lives her dream of sharing quilting with others on a daily basis. littleredquilthouse.com

 

Nancy Brandt

Edwardsville, IL

Juki Educator

Nancy has had a love of textiles and sewing since her grandmother taught her to darn socks and let her thread needles under the quilt frame for the church ladies before the age of 6. She attended Fashion Merchandising business college after high school, and went on to own a ladies ready-to-wear shoppe. Collecting antique quilts started her down the path of quilt making. Her passion is recreating timeless quilts using the beautiful reproduction fabric of today. Nancy teaches all types of classes, and her favorite is beginning piecing/quilting.She loves the eagerness of beginners and the joy they get when everything falls in place. Especially the a-ha moments. juki.com

 

Barb Callahan

Oxford, CT
Barb Originals

Barb designed and constructed one-of-a-kind garments using her labefl Barb Originals and sold them at art shows for almost 25 years, alongside her antique linens, buttons and trimmings. After years of hearing customer requests for patterns and instructions for these very wearable items, she decided to accommodate them. Today Barb travels the U.S. sharing her expertise in using vintage linens, buttons, hankies, trimmings and more to create stylish, flattering and easy-to-make clothing and accessories. She holds a bachelors degree in education and a masters degree in administration and counseling, and has also attended classes at FIT in New York. Her articles have appeared in Threads, Sew Beautiful and her company’s newsletter. barboriginals.com

 

Rae Cumbie
Baltimore, MD
Fit For Art Patterns

Rae Cumbie is Creative Director at Fit for Art Patterns which offers three core patterns for one great wardrobe that focus on fit and artful design. Her coaching, blog posts, for Threads and Curve Appeal fit column in Sew News encourages stitchers to sew successfully: adding fun, comfortable, creative additions to their wardrobe. Catch her blog, Sew! Let's Get Dressed at fitforartpatterns.com for everything from basic sewing to artful inspiration.

 

Pam Damour

Champlain, NY

The Decorating Diva

Known as the "Decorating Diva" Pam learned early in life, while spending time on her grandparents’ farm, that making something from "scratch" was not only a way of life, but it was the better way of doing things. Holding on to those values she went from farm to fabric and has had a very successful 30+ year career as an interior designer and sewing professional. Pam offers professional drapery workroom training. As a seasoned career speaker, she travels internationally teaching her specialty techniques that have brought her years of continued business as the "Couture of Home Dec Sewing". She is the author of Pillow Talk, Cheaper by the Dozen, Got Quilts?, The Tangled Home, Hold Everything and producer of 12 Home Dec DVDs. She has designed many patterns, rulers, scissors and other sewing related notions. An interior designer by profession and a quilter by passion, Pam lives on the shore of Lake Champlain in a log home, nestled at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, where she teaches sewing retreats. Her down to earth nature, never forgetting her roots, combined with her professionalism creates a warm and creative experience. pamdamour.com

 

Tammie Gerke

Cincinnati, OH

Gerke Enterprises LLC 

Tammie started sewing at the age of 8 and have been hooked ever since. She has been teaching at the college level for 18 years. During all of this time she has continued to sew mainly garments but during the last 4 years she has been focusing on quilting, embroidery and starting a longarm quilting business. She teaches garment construction, embroidery and digitizing software classes, and quilting classes at stores in her area. In addition she has taught basic sewing demonstrations at her university for faculty, staff, students, and the general public. Tammie is never happier than when she is teaching others how to sew, taking an image she has for a garment and seeing it come to life, and exploring unique ways to use the longarm to make fabric or how to enhance a garment she is making with embroidery designs. tgquilting.com

 

Lorraine Henry

San Diego, CA
Lorraine Henry for Conselle

Lorraine is a specialist in sewing, fitting and pattern alteration for Conselle Institute of Image Management. With a degree in Clothing and Textiles she has been a university instructor. Teaching pattern alteration and fit is her favorite thing to do. She has done this at international sewing shows for many years. Her Two Easy Measuring tape set has been an aid for achieving good fit for fashion sewers throughout the world. With 40 years experience as a custom dressmaker/tailor/teacher, she has a wealth of knowledge to share with you about sewing and fit. conselle.com

 

Heather Kojan

Owings Mills, MD

Heather Kojan Quilts

Heather has been sewing since her teens and quilting for more than 25 years. She considers herself a modern quilter, with traditional roots. Heather is the founder of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and loves speaking to different groups and sharing the modern aesthetic. Foremost a teacher, she teaches modern quilting classes in local shops, guilds and shows across the country. Heather was a contributing author to the book Classic Modern Quilts and a featured quilter in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood. You can also find her work in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks magazine and Modern Patchwork magazine. heatherkojan.com

 

Kaye Koler
Amherst, OH 
Sew Happy Quilting

Kaye began sewing at age eight with the encouragement of her sister, making doll clothes and purses on her grandmother’s old Singer sewing machine. From there it was on to garments, enrolling every sewing class she could in junior high and high school to improve her grade average. (the A’s in sewing made the C’s and D’s look a little better to her mom!) She always loved everything fabric-y and crafty especially if was small! That lead her to teddy bears in miniature and then naturally to quilts in miniature when there was little room left for big quilts! She discovered foundation/paper-piecing was the way to go for precision and machine quilting for speed. She enjoys sharing her knowledge, is dedicated to positive and patient instruction to help develop new skills in each student ! Kaye has won awards for her miniature quilt “Home At Last” in Ireland, Houston, Paducah, NQA in Columbus, OH and at Indiana Heritage Quilt festival. sew-happy-quilting.blogspot.com

 

Debby Kratovil
Fairfax, VA
Quilter By Design

Debby Kratovil has been "sewing for the camera" for 26 years. As an editor for Quilt Magazine (14 years) she designed and sewed hundreds of quilts and created almost 1,000 "how to" articles to make even the most difficult quilting techniques easy enough for a beginning quilter. She has published 3 books, 11 quilting calendars and hundreds of patterns. She sews and designs for several fabric companies and says she's never met a fabric she didn't like! quilterbydesign.com

 

Cindy Lohbeck

Scottsdale, AZ
Hands On Hand-Dyes

Having worked in textiles and fabric dyeing for over 30 years, Cindy Lohbeck is truly a DYEHARD at heart! She started Hands On Hand Dyes in 2007, to share her love of textile arts through an extensive line of fabric dyeing kits. Believing in the right tools for the job, her helpful kits and classes are full of tools, tips and tricks, and have helped thousands of quilters and crafters share in the empowering experience of dyeing their own fabric. Humor, productivity and organization are key components to her fabric dyeing workshops, making them among the favorites at quilt shows, fabric shops, retreats and guild events, across the nation. handsonhanddyes.com


Cindy Losekamp
Cedar Grove, IN
Sew Artfully Yours

Cindy is a fun and enlightening teacher known for her incredible amount of samples and ingenious way of creating. She has been a guest on many TV shows and has traveled extensively...nationally as well as internationally, inspiring people to draw on their own creativity. She has been teaching for over 30 years and her students love her patient and understandable style. Cindy began her business Sew Artfully Yours, Inc. in 1998. In the sixteen years since, she has authored 100s of patterns, design disks and books, always designing new and interesting ways to push the limits of creating with fabric and thread. You will enjoy learning from this exciting and empowering sewing personality. sewingart.com


Kathy McMakin
Huntsville, AL
Martha Pullen Company

Kathy McMakin is one of America’s foremost authorities in the field of heirloom sewing by machine and by serger. She teaches beginning and advanced sewers from every corner of the world and inspires a new level of confidence in her students. Kathy is the Director of Education for Martha Pullen Company and produces sewing and serging events held all across the United States. As the team leader and instructor for the Martha Pullen Teacher Licensing Program for both face-to-face and online curriculums, she can be found designing, serging, sewing and writing instructions on almost every day of the week.

She has been a guest instructor at events for every major sewing machine manufacturer in the world. She has authored several smocking, sewing and serging books and has produced and appeared in numerous sewing and serging videos. Her guest appearances on sewing television shows are many. Kathy is going on 32 years with Martha Pullen Company and now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband. They have two grown children and three absolutely precious grandchildren.

 

Betty Mitchell
Union, KY

Betty Mitchell began her love affair with the sewing machine at the age of eight and it has grown ever since. She spent 30 years in Rhode Island teaching Family and Consumer Sciences and ‘retired’ to work for sewing machine dealers in southwest Florida for eight years. During that time she not only sold machines and taught classes, she also spent three years as a store manager for one of the largest dealers in the country. At the same time she began teaching at national dealer conventions, various sewing and quilting shows as well as local and regional sewing guilds. Seven years ago she re-retired to her Grandchildren in Kentucky. She still teaches at a couple of local stores and has launched a line of patterns. Originally a garment sewer, she now concentrates more on Home Décor, embroidery, accessories and sergers. Her classes are meant to be informative and relaxing. Betty says, “In the end it’s just a bunch of thread and fiber to have fun with! If there’s a sewing tool or fabric that I haven’t met it’s not because I haven’t tried. I firmly believe that I’ll never have enough fabric and I certainly deserve the best tools.”

 

Marty Moon
Culpeper, VA
Early Times Workshop

Owner of Early Times Workshop, Marty enjoys quilting and doing other types of needlework. Trained by hand in very traditional quiltmaking, Marty prides herself on the technical aspects of her quilts and is passionate about passing those skills on to others. Always seeking a challenge or competition to whet her appetite, Marty grounds her ‘art’ quilts in her traditional background. You can find one of Marty’s quilts in Quilting with Manhole Covers by Shirley MacGregor. earlytimesworkshop.com

 

Barbara Moore
Senatobia, MS
SVP Sewing Ambassador

Barbara Moore has over 20 years experience teaching and selling Husqvarna Viking products, including time spent as a Husqvarna Viking dealer. She teaches classes and workshops in Sew What's New, Home Dec, Heirloom Sewing and Machine and Serger training. Barbara lives in North Mississippi and teaches locally as well as nationally.


Laura Murray
Minneapolis, MN
Laura Murray Designs

Laura began her experimentation with textile color and texture in 1989. Her award winning quilts appear in books, magazines, quilt calendars, and DVDs. Her passionate response to surface design resulted in designing a stencil collection featuring her favorite designs, soon followed by a series of stamp sets. The stamp series led to the development of a fusible appliqué technique using stamps, paintstiks, and fusible web to easily create seemingly complex designs without sewing. These techniques are featured in her book, "StarBuilder Inspirations", and several technique booklets. Laura sells her products at quilt and sewing shows across the country, along with her signature unique kimono and batik silks, handcrafted buttons, and garment patterns. lauramurraydesigns.com


Pattie Otto
Falling Waters, WV
Great Copy Patterns

Pattie Otto, owner and designer of Great Copy Patterns has a passion for everything sewing from garment design to machine embroidery. You will find her techniques and detailed instructions contain the short cuts, tricks and information that is so often lacking. Author of Quilting with Fleece, Embellishing with the Edge Perfect Blade™ and Ultimate Polarfleece® Pizzazz, her goal is to help you obtain a professional finish every time while elimination common pitfalls. She has a real passion for teaching and also keeps busy designing patterns, writing and digitizing her line of machine embroidery. greatcopy.com

 

Wendi Owens 

Middleburg Heights, OH

 

Connie Palmer
Graniteville, SC
What began as a simple interest in sewing 25 years ago has blossomed into an exciting adventure that Connie loves to share with her students. Her gifts for elegant design, fabulous color sense and exquisite craftsmanship has made her a highly sought-after teacher in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. Connie is on the faculty of the Martha Pullen Licensing Program where she not only teaches but creates a great number of projects included each of those courses.

She has traveled and taught for Martha Pullen events and returns year after year as one of the favorite teachers at the School of Art Fashion. Her showcase of skills can often be seen on PBS television in Martha’s Sewing Room, America Sews with Sue Hausmann and Quilting with Shar. She has the privilege of having garment designs on the covers of five Martha Pullen books: Lovely Lingerie; Elegant Sewing for Baby; Contemporary Heirlooms for the Older Girl; Six Easy Patterns and Fabulous Fashions. Connie has authored numerous sewing videos on notions, garment construction, heirloom sewing, quilting and more.

 

Rhonda Pierce

Willowbrook, IL

Schmetz Needles
Rhonda Pierce has a dream job. . . teaching sewing enthusiasts about the most important 2” piece of steel in the sewing machine – the SCHMETZ needle. During Rhonda’s classes students respond with “a ha” moments and giggles as they learn needle facts. Rhonda enjoys sharing needle knowledge in classrooms and sewing shows throughout North America. She travels with the SCHMETZ “Super” Needle – it’s 17” tall – and always asks “What’s Your Favorite SCHMETZ Needle?” She is delighted with the ingenuity and remarkable creations that sewing enthusiasts share. She publishes the monthly SCHMETZ newsletter and the inspirational e-zine, SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW. Rhonda is Marketing Director of Euro-notions and Spokesperson for SCHMETZneedles.com North America. SCHMETZneedles.com

 

Cheryl Sleboda

Plainfield, IL

Muppin Inc
Texture. Textiles. Technology. Teacher. These things sum up award winning fiber artist Cheryl Sleboda, whose work encompasses both heirloom sewing techniques and eTextile technologies. Cheryl spent 20 years in the comic book industry but now pursues cosplay, fiber art, and teaching full time. She’s the author of the Heirloom Sewing Techniques for Today’s Quilter DVD and has appeared numerous times on Quilting Arts TV and It’s Sew Easy TV. muppin.com

 

Jim Suzio

Pittsburgh, PA

Jim Suzio is an award winning artist, designer, digitizer and sewing instructor (including embroidery software, heirloom, fashion and serger sewing). A self taught sewer, Jim was inspired to try the craft after watching a neighbor's enthusiasm in the art. A new sales position at a machine dealer found him literally "thrown" on stage at an ASG convention where he was discovered by Sue Hausmann, host of the PBS series "America Sews with Sue Hausmann." Jim soon found himself teaching all over the US, Canada and Australia for Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff Sewing Machine Companies. His work has been featured in numerous books and magazines and several ads for Husqvarna Viking and the launch of Ty Pennington's new fabric line. he has been seen on several television programs here ("America Sews with Sue Hausmann,"and "It's Sew Easy") and in Canada ("the Big Breakfast Show"). Jim took a break from his extensive teaching and traveling schedule after moving with his daughter Meri back to the family home outside of Pittsburgh. Now that Meri is a senior (and a student in cosmetology) he's back! www.jimsuzio.com

 

Joyce Teng

Houston, TX
TSC Designs

A family-run business for over 25 years, TSC Designs was founded in 1984 as Teachers Stamp Company. Our business began out of our family garage, where we manufactured our own line of rubber stamps and other educational arts & crafts products. We later designed and produced brass embossing templates and other accessories for paper crafts & scrapbooking. In 2005, we retired and began to focus solely on providing unique and innovative products for quilters & sewers. Since 1990, we have worked with Tsukineko Inc. to provide the highest quality paper and fabric inks to our customers. During this 20 year relationship, we have helped thousands of creative minds develop new ways to “color” their world! teacherstamp.com

 

Joe Vecchiarelli
Glendale, CA
French European Dress Forms

Joe Vecchiarelli, founder and president of French European Inc., has worked in the fashion industry for over 40 years. During his college years, Joe worked in the family business, sharpening scissors for the industry's top designers. He later graduated from USC's business program and began to realize that opportunities in the apparel business were unlimited. Mr. Vecchiarelli's career took another fascinating turn when he made a foray into the entertainment business working in production with shows like Dancing with the Stars and The X Factor. A few years ago he was approached by NBC to help produce the competitive design talent show, Fashion Star. Presently Mr. Vecchiarelli is ever so busy maintaining his business and helping fashion students and enthusiasts grasp their dreams and become successful within the industry. 

 

Helene Weber
Navarre, OH
Helene's passion has always been art in any form, but she has truly fallen in love with fiber art. Her background is in fine art: drawing, painting and sculpture, and she uses this experience in creating her quilts. Although she has always viewed quilts as art, it wasn’t until recently that she discovered the blending of traditional art mediums – colored pencil, paints and inks – with quilting. Helene loves painting and working with fabric because of the versatility it lends to the artist and she likes using a variety of art mediums, along with longarm quilting, on her art quilts.

 

Alicia Welcher
Heron, MT

Martha Pullen Company
Alicia is a designer, author and sewing instructor who specializes in heirloom and serger sewing. She has appeared Martha's Sewing Room with Martha Pullen and has published countless projects under the Martha Pullen Company label. As a beginning and advanced instructor at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion, Martha Pullen Teacher Licensings and events throughout the country, she has earned a following of devoted sewists. She is also the Assistant Editor of and a contributing designer for Classic Sewing magazine. aliciawelcher.com

 

Alicia Werner

Fort Collins, CO

The Zipper Lady

The Zipper Lady came into being in 1994 when I needed zippers for the bottom of duvet covers in my own sewing business. I love to sew anything: sails, quilts, patio cushions, ski pants, tents, heirloom baby gowns, purses & pouches, but my greatest sewing love is slipcovers. Degree in Textiles from CSU, Design at Parsons, MBA from CalPoly SLO. TheZipperLady.com

 

Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.