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
Powder Springs, GA
Richard is an expert in home and commercial machine embroidery, embroidery applique and digitizing with more than 26 years of experience. He is experienced in automated cutting, vinyl cutting, heat applied vinyl, sublimation and direct to garment printing. Richard teaches nationally for many great companies including SewingMachine.com, Brother International and GS USA. He has a clear and easy to understand style that makes a class fun and rewarding.
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
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
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
With over 28 years in the sewing industry, Eric Drexler has developed a wide spectrum of expertise. As a senior in High School in 1983, Eric started working in Joyce and Fred Drexler's Sewing Center as their sewing machine mechanic. Over the next 15 years, he went on to become a Teacher, Manager and Co-owner until the business was sold in 1998. For the last 13 years, he has been a full-time employee of Sulky of America during which time he has become more heavily focused on his creative side, while continuing to indulge his passion for sewing machine repair in the evenings and on weekends.
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. For the 10 years of its existence, he managed the Sulky Challenge and was responsible for its appearance all over the country.
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
Mount Juliet, TN
Independent Sewing & Embroidery Consultant
Soni Grint has been a sewer since she was 8 years old. Her embroidery career began when she combined her formal education (M.S. Optical Physics / Computers) and her love of fabric and sewing. She started working with a sewing machine dealership in San Diego, California. Moved to central California where she worked a short time for White Sewing Machines.
The real break through came when she was asked to be a part of Viking Sewing Machines Product Council in Huskvarna Sweden. She represented the market place expressing what people want in their embroidery and embroidery software. She traveled frequently to the product developers in both Sweden and London England. Soni lived in Jonkoping Sweden for 2 years as she headed up Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff’s international education departments. After coming back to the United States, she continued with her love of embroidery and sewing while heading up the Software department of Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff, eventually becoming the Global Product Manager for this division.
Soni now directs her own sewing, embroidery and software consulting business. She travels throughout the United States holding seminars and training sessions sharing her joy of sewing with others.
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 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
Toronto, Ontario Canada
Meg Healy began to sew at the age of 12 and lead her to study Fashion Design at both Fanshawe College in London and Parson the New School for Design in NYC. Meg gained the technical skills in pattern making and advanced sewing that led to a number of awards for her design and construction skills. She has worked as a pattern making intern for Vera Wang, and now is the editor, lead educator, and face of BurdaStyle.com. She also is a sewing contributor for MarthaStewart.com and is regularly commissioned to sew wedding garments, textile art installations, and everything in-between. burdastyle.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
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
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
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 Designs
Artist, entrepreneur, teacher, and author, Laura began her experimentation with textile color and texture in 1989. Her work, which appears in books, magazines, quilt calendars, and DVDs, includes wearable art and award-winning quilts. Laura’s passionate response to surface design resulted in designing her favorite images in a stencil collection, soon followed by a series of stamps, including StarBuilders, along with authoring her book, “StarBuilder Inspirations”. Her recent work led to the development of a fusible appliqué technique called Tileworks using stamps, paintstiks, and fusbile web to easily create seemingly complex designs without sewing. lauramurraydesigns.com
St. Petersburg, FL
Ellen has decades of experience sewing and teaching professionally. She is a co-contributor to several Sulky of America books and is the creator of a unique pattern line, "Sew… What's New". Ellen has been with Sulky of America, Inc. since 1988 as a National Sulky Educator. She travels throughout the country giving lectures, demos and hands-on classes. Ellen helps to develop projects and techniques for Sulky's Certified Teacher Training programs, consumer shows and trade shows. She also supports the Sulky National Educators wherever needed. She enjoys teaching all skill levels and instructs in many subject areas including free-motion thread painting, computerized embroidery, pattern fitting, bridal, tailoring, cutwork and design, beading and knitting. sulky.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.
Quick Points Ruler
Janet developed her first quilting ruler in 2008, and the Quick Points Ruler Company was born! The company has continued to thrive with the regular introduction of innovative, high quality, quilting templates that can be used as borders for quilts or sewing projects. Janet's Quick Points Rulers have been featured in a number of industry magazines, popular online quilting shows and Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting on PBS. Janet loves to share her experiences and knowledge of quilting, and her followers are drawn to her continuous, informative, intimate and interactive demos. quickpointsruler.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
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. After 3 children, sewing and crafts took a back seat to owning and operating an electronic assembly business.
Nancy has now come back full circle to sewing. She moved to Franklin, NC after meeting and marrying her husband, David. 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. Nancy has taught classes and lectured in 2008 & 2009 at the ASE in Novi, MI. Her felted bowl is published in Sulky's latest book "Supplement to Sulky's Secrets to Successful Stabilizing" Her newest fabric wrapped cord square trivet and bowl design was presented by Joyce Drexler on Quilting Arts TV show in February, 2009, and will be published in Sulky's future Embellishing book.
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
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
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
West Des Moines, IA
Associate Editor, Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting
Diane comes from a creative quilting and sewing family background. Her love for fibers, wool and hands-on creativity has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. She has made wedding dresses, taught quilt classes for guilds and adult ed, and judged 4-H projects. Teaching and encouraging students to learn new techniques is her passion, and she loves seeing the satisfaction and delight in her students when they have mastered a new skill. She also thinks learning is a lifelong skill, and takes classes whenever she can.
Diane is the Associate Editor with Fons & Porter, coordinating the magazine projects, working with designers, helping develop the notions line, and enjoying the business. She has also worked in the garment and art business, as well as with investments in the banking industry. Diane says that it is a privilege to be working not only in her favorite craft, but with such talented and special people in the industry. fonsandporter.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