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!
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 www.sewingscene.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. www.barboriginals.com
Tammie grew up in Canfield, Ohio and moved to Florida in 1973 with her family. In 1975, the family moved to Put-In-Bay, Ohio. While living on the island, Tammie did quite a bit of quilting and sewing and enjoyed doing many different crafts. Tammie's love of beading started around 2000 when she and her husband were living at the Dry Tortugas National Park. They were lucky to have a woman there that shared her talent and her beads with the staff, and Tammie has been in love with beads ever since. As she moved on to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee and then on to Lake Roosevelt in the state of Washington, Tammie took many classes and tried many forms of beading. In 2010 Tammie's husband retired from the National Park Service and they moved back home to Ohio. Tammie has two beautiful granddaughters that she enjoys as often as she can
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. www.UltimateStash.com
Blessed To Stitch
Connie has been sewing since her Grandmother taught her to make Barbie clothes at the age of 7. Being a military wife and mother of 2 daughters, sewing was a way for her to stay home while her daughters were growing up yet still contribute to the family funds. Connie came into the quilting world when she found her local Pfaff shop. She started teaching machine usage classes and since it was a quilt shop, quilting crept into her life. She ended up working in and then managing that quilt shop for over 12 years!
She met Deb Tucker at Deb’s first International Quilt Market in Houston and has been using and teaching Studio 180 Design tools ever since. When the opportunity was presented to be part of the first Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor course, she jumped on it and hasn’t looked back! She loves teaching students how to use these “FUN”damental tools in their EVERYDAY quilting no matter what pattern they are using. She teaches these classes at local quilt shops, to quilt guilds and at quilt retreats. Connie and Joe, her husband of 31 years, live in Jacksonville, NC. Besides sewing her favorite past time is spending time with her GRANDchildren!
Purple Daisies Quilting
Cristy Fincher was born with a love for all things sewing. Cristy, and her mom, Master Quilter, Sharon Schamber, made their first quilt together, 20 years ago. This took their love of sewing into the world of quilting, where it has flourished. Cristy became a school teacher, married, and started her own family. Her passion for teaching quilting grew, and 10 years ago, she opened her online store, www.PurpleDaisiesLLC.com
, where she focuses on sewing and quilting education. In 2007, Cristy and Sharon co-authored “Piece-By-Piece: Machine Applique”, which features many of Cristy’s original designs. Cristy has spent her lifetime learning about all aspects of sewing and quilting from her amazing mother. Cristy is passing on Sharon’s legacy of techniques through teaching local, regional and national quilting classes. Cristy also shares her own tutorials, and time saving techniques, on her blog www.sewmuchlikemom.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. www.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. www.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. www.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. www.conselle.com
Baby Lock Educator
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
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. www.sewingworkshop.com
Kathy Lincoln Quilts
Kathy has taught a variety of lectures and workshops nationally since 1992 and has exhibited quilts at International Quilt Festival in Houston, American Quilters Society Show in Paducah, Vermont Quilt Festival, Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival and other shows. Her quilt, “In My Shade Garden,” was published in the February/March 2009 issue of Quilters Newsletter. She also participated in the “Vintage Revisited Challenge,” making six quilts that traveled the United States with this exhibit. Kathy has a special passion for simplifying techniques and believes in reducing fabric waste and speeding up the process. She is always looking for new ways to do things and working to improve her techniques, as time is her most precious commodity. She especially enjoys helping others learn and sharing her love of quilt making. Kathy lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Howard. www.kathylincoln.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. www.sewingart.com
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
magazines, designed embroideries for Cactus Punch and taught at many Expo events. Her specialties are machine knowledge and creating original designs.
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.
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. www.lauramurraydesigns.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. www.kathyruddy.com
San Tan Valley, AZ
Sharon Master Quilter
Sharon Schamber is an award winning quilter and educator, and an industry leader and trailblazer in the world of quilting. She has appeared on Simply Quilts
and The Quilt Show
, and has authored two books. Sharon strives to raise the bar and empower quilters through her true passion of teaching. She loves working with new and seasoned quilters to build skills, gain confidence and find inspiration. www.sharonschamber.com
Cyndi learned to sew before she was ten and has been quilting for over thirty years. A Bernina Ambassador, Cyndi particularly enjoys the machine quilting part of her projects and likes to help others gain confidence in their machine quilting and finishing skills. She also enjoys painting and stamping on fabric to create original designs to use in her work. She loves using her education degree to help quilters add art and quilting skills to their quilting toolboxes, working for that “aha moment” when everything clicks for her students. Cyndi teaches classes in art quilting and art quilt techniques in Northern Virginia at Artistic Artifacts. She also travels to teach at regional and national quilt shows and to do lectures and workshops for quilt groups. Cyndi spends much of her time creating Tribute and Celebration Quilts for clients, some of which can be seen in her book, Creating Celebration Quilts
. Cyndi is a Juried Artist Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). www.moonlightingquilts.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.” www.sewwonderfuldreams.com
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. www.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. www.fashionsuppliesinc.com
The Sewing Workshop
Alex began sewing at a wee age, due to her mother, Linda Lee, being in the industry her whole life. She would travel to her mothers shows and take her classes, however, love for sewing was not cultivated until a much later age...her mother even claims that Alex vowed to, “Never sew like her mother did.” Alex then received her undergraduate degree from Manhattan Christian College in Kansas in Family Ministry with an emphasis in Pre-Counseling, while also taking a variety of fashion and textile courses from Kansas State University’s program. Upon graduation, she worked at Bernina Sewing Centers in Kansas City, growing in knowledge and skill in sewing and Bernina machines. She also enrolled in and completed a Fashion Design and Entrepreneurship degree program at Johnson County Community College in Kansas City. Through these experiences, she began to enjoy the art of sewing, and developed a vision ‘infusing’ both her love of sewing and helping people, and in turn, had an opportunity to travel to Uganda, Africa to work for an economic development program called Project Lydia, teaching widows and abandoned wives how to sew. Other fun facts about Alex include (in no particular order): She loves to sail, play volleyball, and eat chocolate. www.sewingworkshop.com
Baby Lock Educator
Using a needle and thread, Susan's mother taught her to sew at the age of three. She has sewn all kinds of clothing and home decorator items. From 1981 to 1999, she had a home business that specialized in bridal gowns, special occasion items and custom embroidery. Married for 29 years with two daughters, she has had a lot of practice at her craft. Working also in a retail business part-time and then fulltime since 1996 she has managed and taught employees and consumers basic sewing to computer skills. She especially enjoys the time she spends with the computer digitizing programs; always wanting designs that are not readily available. Recently introduced to the quilting world, she combines her interests together to make unique quilts and wall hangings. www.babylock.com