Schaumburg, IL

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

 

Rhonda Buss

Chicago, IL

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 Callahan
Venice, FL
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 the Creative Director at Fit for Art Patterns which offers patterns for modern wardrobe basics that focus on fit and include artful design options. She coaches sewers of all skill levels, in classes and on her blog, to stitch up a fun and comfortable wardrobe and design more creatively. Catch her blog, Sew! Let’s Get Dressed at fitforartpatterns.com for everything from basic sewing education to artful inspiration. raecumbie.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

John Deer
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

Chris Dolinar
Munroe Falls, OH
Juki Educator

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.

 

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


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

 

Linda Lee
Topeka, KS
The Sewing Workshop

Linda Lee is the owner of The Sewing Workshop Pattern Collection, a group of patterns for distinctive garments using innovative sewing techniques. Linda writes for Threads, Sew News and Stitch magazines. She travels the country teaching fine sewing techniques and the art of combining beautiful fabrics and distinctive design in garment and home decorating creations. Using her background as a licensed interior designer and a member of ASID since 1974, she has written fourteen books relating to garment sewing and interiors. Sew Sensational Pillows won the Independent Book Award in the Craft and Hobby Category and Sew Easy won Honorable mention by the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Most Original Design in their “Ten Outstanding Books of the Year” awards. Linda is a seasoned teacher for Craftsy, Burdastyle, Daily Craft TV and Craft Daily. sewingworkshop.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


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.


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.


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

 

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


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

 

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
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

Angela Wolf

Benton Harbor, MI

ABO APPAREL, LLC

Angela Wolf is the anchor of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy, author of How to Start a Home-based Fashion Design Business, founder of Angela Wolf Pattern Collection™  and hosts a facebook live show Behind the Scenes, and YouTube series Entrepreneur Insight. She is a frequent contributor to both Threads and SewStylish magazines, blogger, and brand ambassador for Brother International and Daylight Company.

Angela started sewing at a young age and continued to design women’s apparel all thru college. Graduating with a business degree, an entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for fashion and sewing, she launched and ran a successful custom apparel and alteration business for over 18 years. Angela is the winner of 2008 Passion for Fashion and 2012 American Sewing Expo’s teacher of year. She now spends much of her time speaking, teaching, and consulting all over the country as well as teaching online classes. When Angela is not sewing, you will find her fishing on Lake Michigan or in the Florida Keys with her husband Winn, on the Win-n-Angel! AngelaWolf.com

           
Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.