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!
Fort Worth, TX
Libby has been teaching sewing, embroidery and embroidery software for over 15 years. She specializes in embroidery software (Viking, Floriani, Brother, and Embrilliance) but has recently expanded her expertise to include electronic cutters such as the Silhouette Cameo and Brother Scan 'N Cut. Libby teaches three software clubs a month in her local area, providing unique and detailed lessons for her students, with many lessons based on student requests. She also teaches quarterly workshops on the Brother Scan ‘N Cut, creating new projects and handouts for each workshop. As a Martha Pullen Licensed teacher, Libby has travelled around the country helping bring the joy of heirloom sewing to many students. She is a teaching assistant at Martha Pullen Licensing events, the School of Art Fashion and mini-School of Art Fashion events. In addition to her teaching, Libby is a copy editor for the new Classic Sewing magazine.
Katie has the reputation of being an adventurer and an inspiring entrepreneur. Her Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems and her passion for sewing give her the understanding and creativity that is needed in both industries. She has a successful computer consulting business and utilizes that success to motivate everyone in the home sewing industry. Her teaching style is down-to-earth and people love learning from her.
Katie is an online educator and has also co-authored the "Pillow Talk" book with the home sewer in mind. Katie also enjoys publishing articles, which showcase her embroidery software, sewing, and computer abilities. Katie loves designing practical projects that teach you sewing techniques that take your sewing skills “from home-made to pro-made”! Her patterns are available at sewingscene.com!
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
Some say that Rhonda was born with a needle in her hand. Her first project was an embroidered handkerchief that she made with the help of her grandmother at the age of five. She had the opportunity to truly hone her skills at Ray College of Design in Chicago where she graduated with a degree in Fashion Design. After graduating, Rhonda worked as a designer for a dress manufacturer. From there she did costume design and returned to teach tailoring and design at Ray College. In recent years, Rhonda began writing for Sew News Magazine. She has also been featured in Threads magazine, Sew It All, and Sew Stylish. Her design made the Spring 2014 cover for Sew Stylish magazine. In her popular blog, Rhonda’s Creative Life, Rhonda features easy to make designs made from simple shapes. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and believes that everyone can sew and create. rhondabuss.blogspot.com
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
Deb Canham Studio
Deb Canham has been a sewing educator since the 70s, teaching classes in Europe and the USA, and she is a Palmer Pletsch Fit and Serger Instructor. Deb has spent the last 20 years designing and working with her own factory in China and working as a consultant to garment factories, successfully improving their quality control through education and introducing system techniques. She sees the modern sergers as great creative tools, and designs fun projects for the serger. Deb particularly enjoys the fun decorative threads that perform so well on these machines. debcanhamstudio.com
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
Barrie, Ontario Canada
John Deer's Adorable Ideas
John Deer is one of North America’s leading experts on digitizing and embroidery with over 30 years of experience in the industry. John is a third generation embroiderer born into the Schiffli industry, working part time in his grandparent’s factory from the age of 12. This gave him the unique opportunity to begin his career apprenticing as a manual pantograph puncher at the age of 17, digitizing for Schiffli looms. Over the years he’s continually adapted this old school theory with today’s modern software programs, creating designs that are both beautiful and machine friendly. In the mid 90’s John launch Punch Perfect, a commercial digitizing house. During that time he personally won 30 Digitizing Awards, including Impressions Magazines 1998 Digitizing of Distinction, 1998 EMB Grand Champion and the 2001 Stitches Magazine Stitch-Off Grand Prize. He had also written over 50 articles in commercial trade publications and taught at numerous commercial venues including the ISS Shows, DAX Shows, Bobbin World, Imprint Canada and the NNEP Shows. Over a decade ago John’s entered the Home Embroidery market and Adorable Ideas was born. In the early years he taught at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, Creative Embroidery Conference, Sew-Quilt Festival, Sewing & Stitchery Expo and the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival. Adorable Ideas has hosted 100’s of Embroidery Events at dealers all across the United States. John also authored the book “Digitizing Made Easy” published by Krause Publications and has produced numerous educational DVD’s for embroidery and digitizing enthusiasts. John now resides in Costa Rica and is focusing on creating new designs as well as developing a series of “Brand Specific” streaming “E-classes” that teach the process of digitizing from the ground up. UltimateStash.com
Munroe Falls, OH
Chris brings a wealth of sewing experience to the classroom. As a sewing enthusiast, Chris loves to inspire others in all aspects of sewing from garments and home décor to quilting. Chris will inspire you with her passion, unique style and humor. Chris creates a fun environment for learning, showing her students ways to create fast and easy.
Diane Gloystein teaches at expos and stores throughout the country where her high energy presentations, incredible array of whimsically creative samples and infectious enthusiasm are met with rave reviews. Her position as a National Educator representing Sulky of America is the fulfillment of a dream which offers her the extraordinary opportunity to inspire students with a myriad of sewing techniques, surface design and embellishment possibilities. Diane was a designer in the 2008 BERNINA Fashion show. Most recently she co-authored the book Embellish Your Life with Sulky, along with Joyce Drexler. sulky.com
Young Harris, GA
Cynthia has been designing women's clothing and teaching sewing and fitting techniques for many years. Her designs have been worn everywhere from the opening of the Met to Acapulco. Her fitting and sewing expertise is derived from a mathematical background, and her constant search for the simple and the obvious. And although her precise sewing techniques are not short-cuts, she saves you time by helping you get it right the first time. She shares her effective, practical and simple fitting and construction techniques with students throughout the United States, offering seminars and workshops filled with information that results in beautifully fitted, custom-look clothing. Cynthia’s design philosophy involves creating lines that multiply opportunities to fit and enhance a figure type. cynthiaguffey.com
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
Leos By Kat / Haute Couture Inspirations
Cheryl has been sewing since she was a kid. Basically self taught, she has expanded her skills in recent years attending various Expos. After doing some Ad Hoc teaching at community colleges, she decided to start her own business, Haute Couture Inspirations. Her current major line of clothing is Leos By Kat Athleisure wear. She and her daughter Katrina, design and produce high quality, hand made Leotards with a custom fit for Dancers, yoga, gymnastics, etc. They also specialize in custom designs for groups and individual competition pieces. More recently we are branching out into mainstream custom Athleisure wear. LeosbyKat.com
Judy Kessinger started her second business by combining her art of teaching and fitting into the development and production of two patterns—one for Tops and one for Pants. Once you FIT the pattern, an entire wardrobe can be created. She is known by many as the Fit Doctor, curing the ills of the sewing “blues”. Sewing is the easy part but it’s the FITTING that makes garments come alive and compliment the body instead of just covering it! Her web sites www.fitnicesystem.com and www.fitnice.tv have developed into more teaching tools for her “Sewing Sisters”. Judy has been blessed to have touched the lives of countless women, teaching them the tricks of looking trim and feeling fantastic by simply fitting themselves properly. fitnicesystem.com
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
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
Quilter By Design
Debby has been in the professional quilting world since 1994. She was Quilt Magazine’s Special Projects Editor for 14 years. She contributes to various quilt magazine titles along with sewing and designing for several fabric companies. Her hundreds of published articles about quilts, easy techniques, and how-tos have helped thousands of quilters discover an easier way to approach a wide range of projects. Her published works include “Bold, Black & Beautiful Quilts”, “Supersize ‘Em Quilts”, seven different Quilt Block a Day calendars, and is working on her next book on Mariner’s Compass quilts (March 2013). She is an enthusiastic teacher who especially loves the "aha!" moments with her students. She freely shares tips, tricks and techniques to make quilting a real pleasure. quilterbydesign.com
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
Cedar Grove, IN
Sew Artfully Yours
Cindy is the creator of several Signature Series embroidery disks for Cactus Punch and CEO of Sew Artfully Yours, Inc. Cindy's skills take machine embroidery to new heights in creativity, and along with embroidery, she is also the creator of a myriad of other machine techniques. She is the designer and author of thirty-one books, and has been teaching and inspiring people to sew and create for twenty-one years. There are no boundaries in artistic pursuits when it comes to her books and classes. Everyone is encouraged to transcend to a higher level of creativity. sewingart.com
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.
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
Amalia weaves the story of her life, incorporating the heart of a scientist and hands that sew. She explores themes of time, texture and connectivity. She loves creating art and making connections, and is on a mission to add joy and laughter to our planet one stitch at a time. funfromatoz.com
Falling Waters, WV
Great Copy Patterns
Pattie is the owner and designer of Great Copy Patterns and author of Quilting with Fleece, Embellishing with the Edge Perfect Blade™ and Ultimate Polarfleece® Pizzazz, and has a passion for everything sewing. Her goal is to help you obtain a professional finish every time with a minimum of effort. You will find her techniques and detailed instructions contain the short cuts, tricks and information that is so often lacking. She has a real passion for teaching and also keeps busy designing patterns, writing and digitizing her line of machine embroidery. greatcopy.com
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.
Kathy is an international sewing celebrity, educator, pattern designer, Serger and fitting expert. Active in the sewing industry since 1962, she is the star of 10 Serger and sewing videos and author of 12 Serger and sewing booklets and her new enhanced books on CD called Three ways to Learn CD'S. You can look at pictures of her projects from start to finish, read the words next to the pictures as you listen to Kathy impart her wisdom and experiences as she develops her projects. If you like a hard copy you can print off as many pages from the CD as you like. Her specialty is to show how to sew and serge fast and easy without sacrificing quality, fit or fashion details. Her fresh, fun classes are brimming with surprises and ideas. kathyruddy.com
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Sew Wonderful Dreams
Although she didn’t even learn to sew until she was over 30 years old, Connie used her background in marketing and education to develop Sew Wonderful Dreams, a pattern design company, in 1989. The company originally focused on craft patterns, while today the emphasis is on quilting and education. About her company she says: “We believe the best marketing tool we have is to educate. Everyone can learn but the way we learn is variable. Our classes are designed to help you learn in a way that will be most beneficial to you.” sewwonderfuldreams.com
Sulky of America
Michelle Umlauf is a National Educator representing Sulky of America and is the host of the Sulky webinar, Sewing Online with Sulky (S.O.S). Michelle served as the President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Sewing Guild from 2014-2015. Michelle’s enjoys machine embroidering and her favorite type of sewing is free motion sewing. She enjoys using Sulky products for her embellishments. When Michelle is not sewing, she helps rescued animals by managing a thrift shop for HART for Animals. Michelle lives in western Maryland with her husband, 2 German Shepherds and 2 rescue cats. sulky.com
Los Angeles, CA
Fashion Supplies, Inc.
Joe Vecchiarelli, founder and president of Fashion Supplies, 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. He accepted, with the challenge to create a successful show more professional than even Project Runway. 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. fashionsuppliesinc.com
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 is a designer, author and sewing instructor who specializes in heirloom sewing and embroidery and serger sewing. She is the assistant editor of Classic Sewing Magazine. She has also appeared on Martha's Sewing Room and has published countless projects under the Martha Pullen Company label. Alicia has earned a following of devoted sewists through her clear and concise teaching methods while teaching both beginning and advanced techniques at events throughout the country. She is on the faculty of the Martha Pullen Teacher Licensing Program and School of Art Fashion and also teaches at the Dublin Sewing Center in Dublin, California. aliciawelcher.com