Lakeland, FL

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

 

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

 

Deb Canham

Venice, FL

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

 

June Colburn
Largo, FL

June Colburn Designs II, Inc.

June's odyssey began in 1973 with itchy feet and a Master's degree in library science. While working for international schools, June's motto, "Have sewing machine, will travel" led her into adventures hunting for fabrics in souks, bazaars and temple sales from Quito to Paris, Istanbul to Singapore. Talking with the people who wove, dyed, embroidered, sewed and sold native textiles influenced her life. The exquisite kimono fabrics of Japan defined her creative direction. June's work has been featured in many exhibitions, collections and design shows. She shares her knowledge and love of Asian textiles through lectures and classes. junecolburn.com

 

Nick Coman
Los Angeles, CA

Dragonfly Dyeworks

Nick has been a lifelong sewer. His passion for sewing has carried him into his career as a Surface designer and Professional pattern maker. Nick has a degree in Fashion Design from FIDM in Los Angeles California and is the owner of Dragonfly Threads, a private studio for custom clothing. Nick has been the in-house costume designer for many Hollywood area event companies. He also keeps a busy schedule traveling to shows, teaching pattern making, fitting and surface design along with business partner, Chase Wong of Dragonfly Dyeworks. Nick has been published in Sew News, Threads Magazine, Machine Quilting unlimited, and one of his gowns appeared in a special article in Brides Magazine. Nick is also the co-author of a book about using discharge paste as a surface design tool. Nick has a pattern line and clothing blanks made for art to wear coming this fall. Nick lives in Los Angeles, CA with his 4 cats - Squeek, Tiger, Max and Kink. dragonflydyeworks.com

 

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

Eric Drexler
Port Charlotte, FL

Sulky of America
Free-motion artistry has been Eric's other life-long passion ever since he was inspired by Joyce when, at age 10, she first taught him the technique. He has made numerous large and small works of machine art, some of which have been featured in Sulky Books and at Trade and Consumer Shows all over the country. Through his association with Sulky of America during all the years of its existence, he has had the pleasure and honor of being inspired by some of the world's greatest creative sewers and quilters. Eric loves life and he loves to teach and share his exuberance for creative sewing. He is passionate about inspiring students of all ages so they can discover and enjoy a lifetime of creative fun. His infectious smile and warm humor puts everyone at ease and makes them ready and eager to learn. He is widely sought after to teach and share his contagious enthusiasm at Consumer shows, Sew Exciting Seminars, Guild Programs and, more recently, on PBS shows. sulky.com

 

Cynthia Guffey
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

 

Darlene Guillory
Groves, TX

Pfaff Educator
Darlene has been a Sewing Educator with Pfaff for over 23 years, and has been sewing since the age of 8. She has taught consumers and dealers on all levels at many sewing and quilting events. Darlene has to her credits a book, Traditional Cutwork Made Easy, and a CD: Clothespin Angels with your Embroidery Machine. She has been a guest multiple times for Houston Public Television, Sewing with Nancy, Martha’s Sewing Room, and America Quilts Creatively. Darlene has trained under and earned certifications from many leading sewing professionals. pfaff.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

 

Mary Kerr

Woodbridge, VA

Mary Kerr is an American Quilt Society certified appraiser and an award winning quilter. She is a quilt historian whose lectures and workshops focus on quilt history and the preservation of antique textiles. Her current work marries her love of all things vintage with the freedom of expression that is encouraged in our Art Quilt community. MaryWKerr.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 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


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 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

 

Jill McCloy
Colorado Springs, CO

Jill's sewing career started at an early age – she received her first sewing machine for Christmas just after her fourth birthday. In high school, she did custom sewing and taught at fabric and sewing machine shops using original patterns. In 1992 Jill was hired by Viking Sewing Machines, Inc. as a national educator designing projects for the Viking Club and teaching at Viking World Conventions. She then became an independent educator working with many brands of sewing machines. Jill was featured in the Threads magazine design challenge in 2000, wrote for McCall’s and Threads magazines, designed embroideries for Cactus Punch and taught at many Expo events. Her specialties are machine knowledge and creating original designs.


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.

 

Lisa Mullins
Orlando, FL
Wandering Stitches

Lisa is a long arm quilter specializing in BERNINA Q Series Quilting and BERNINA Sewing. wanderingstitches.com

 

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.


Londa Rohlfing
Jackson, TN
Londa's Creative Sewing

Londa's passion is teaching design and techniques to create wearable art garments, with emphasis on up-cycling and knit fabrics. She has had feature articles published in Altered Couture, Threads, Sew News, Sew Beautiful, Creative Needle and Sew Savvy magazines. She has been a guest instructor on It's Sew Easy PBS sewing series, the faculty of the International Quilt Festival in Houston, for Bernina and Brother dealer conventions, along with other shows, guilds and sewing retreats around the USA. C&T published her book: Sweatshirt Transformations in 2012. She is an active Blogger and teaches from her home studio in Jackson, TN. londas-sewing.com


Kathy Ruddy
Mukilteo, WA
kathyruddy.com

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

 

Nancy Sapin
Franklin, NC

Sulky of America
Nancy Sapin comes from an artistic and creative family. While Nancy learned to sew when she was very young, she really began sewing in earnest when she was in her early 20s. Several years ago she began sewing Sulky samples to be shown at Sulky Sew Exciting Seminars, Certification Trainings and in Consumer and Trade show booths. Her felted bowl is published in Sulky's latest book "Supplement to Sulky's Secrets to Successful Stabilizing". Quilting and sewing have become her passion, along with cooking, gardening, and being a new grandparent. Becoming a National Educator representing Sulky of America has combined all of her acquired talents and fulfilled her other passion, to teach what she knows with fun and enthusiasm. sulky.com  nancysapin.com


Connie Spurlock
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

 

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

           
Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.