Atlanta, GA

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.

 

Deb Atchison

Prosper, TX

Deb Atchison is an experienced educator, international technology consultant, and quilter that enjoys leading students of all ages through the process of creating beautiful works of art with fabric! Teaching is her lifelong career and quilting is her passion. Combining them both...her dream job! Deb has many years of training students of all ages including adult learners. As a technology education expert, Deb has taught numerous workshops virtually as well as face-to-face! She is certified in Scrappy Applique, and is a Legit Kits Ambassador and Educator and enjoys teaching quilters of all experience levels how to make beautiful works of art with Legit Kits! Deb enjoys sharing her love of applique using embroidery machines as well.  

  

Kaye Collins

Lehi, UT

Handi Quilter Educator

handiquilter.com

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Although she made her first quilt in 1989, it wasn’t until 2017, when she learned she was going to be a grandmother, that she began her quilting journey. As a student of “YouTube University”, Kaye learned to quilt from some of the greatest teachers in the world and immediately started designing and sewing her own quilt patterns. She was using three different professional longarm quilters to keep up with her flow of quilt tops when she decided to learn to quilt on her domestic machine. That was love at first stitch. Kaye loves creating patterns and designs in Pro-Stitcher Designer™.

 

Once Kaye finds something she enjoys, she can’t help but share it. With a master’s degree in education and twenty years of teaching in high school, she has a toolbox full of skills to provide clear and concise explanations and demonstrations. Helping people develop sewing and quilting skills brings her joy.

 

Kaye resides Lehi, Utah in with her supportive and enabling husband and two Irish Water Spaniels. She enjoys traveling the country in a motor home, with frequent stops at fabric stores and spending as much time in Maine as possible. She is the mother of three adult sons and has three wonderful grandchildren.

   

Nick Coman

Ridgway, CO
Dragonfly Dyeworks

dragonflycreative.art
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Nick Coman has been teaching garment and quilt construction and design for almost 20 years. He has a degree in fashion design from FIDM in Los Angeles, and has written numerous articles for sewing publications and has a book on surface design. In addition to a private clientele, Nick is owns a retreat center in southwest Colorado that specializes in retreats for Fiber artists of all types.  

 

Pam Damour

Champlain, NY
The Decorating Diva

pamdamour.com
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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.

 

Embroiderers' Guild of America
Dogwood Chapter
The Dogwood Chapter of The Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) is over 40 years old and has over 140 members and 7 geographic groups located all over the metro Atlanta area from Athens to Jonesboro. The mission of EGA is to inspire passion for the needle arts through education and the celebration of its heritage. Several teachers from the chapter will be sharing their knowledge at the Expo. Learn more at www.ega-dogwood.org or on Facebook.

 

Kelly Garcia

Brandon, FL

Two Crafty Mooses

Certified Instructor, Studio 180 Designs

Kelly discovered a love for sewing in her junior high school home economics class. After marriage and children, a sewing machine caught her eye in a department store – and the realization that sewing would be a great escape! After winning a battle with lung cancer, Kelly was forced into retirement. The silver lining was that she could return to her first love – sewing – and discovered a new love of QUILTING! She ended up not only diving headfirst into creating quilts, but also teaching quilting along with sewing and machine embroidery.

 

Kelly's quest for a simpler way of making quilt blocks led her to discover Deb Tucker and her company, Studio 180 Designs. The tools and techniques are based around a simple concept – if you make a block a little bit bigger than what you need, you can trim it down  to perfect! No more dog ears, fudging in the seam allowance, or those horrible flying geese if you don't cut and sew EXACTLY correct. What a perfect idea! Kelly became certified by Deb Tucker herself in February 2020.

 

Lorraine Henry

San Diego, CA
Lorraine Henry for Conselle

conselle.com

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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.

 

Joyce Keske

Minong, WI

Joyce Keske Design

Joyce started her sewing career in her early 20s making leather jackets. She started her own bridal business, which led to working for David’s Bridal where she was named “Alteration Manager of the Year” for the entire United States. Later she became a Baby Lock Ambassador where she discovered her passion for teaching. She now travels the country teaching for her company, Joyce Keske Design.

 

Judy Kessinger

FitNice

fitnicesystem.com

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Judy Kessinger started her career traveling nationwide holding seminars for Hancock Fabrics for over 25 years. She also designed costumes for national and international figure skaters and created a fast and easy way to conquer fitting problems for that field.

 

Judy’s next goal was to make stress-free sewing with simple solutions for fitting. Her personal style included many relaxed, comfortable but well fitted outfits. In her search for the “perfect” pattern she decided to use her experience and create the system herself. The Master Tops and Master Pants patterns were born! Once you FIT the basic pattern, you create an entire wardrobe with 5 pattern pieces

 

With the addition of her remarkable books, Design It Yourself the techniques book, Simple Sewlutions and her newest, Top It Off, she has completed the perfect system.
                   
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!
     
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.

 

Donelle McAdams
Marion, IN
Representing Sew Steady

sewsteady.com
sewbizmarion.com
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Donelle McAdams is the owner of SEW BIZ, Marion, Indiana, now an online quilt resource. Donelle is the designer of Quick Easy Mitered Binding and Border Tools for the Sewing and Quilting industry that are sold internationally and she is also a pattern designer. Previously a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, she has been a quilt store owner for 36 years. She has taught a variety of SchoolHouse and Take & Teach classes and Business Management Seminars at International Quilt Market, Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff Sewing Conventions, Vacuum & Sewing Machine Dealers Trade Association Convention and has participated as a Quilt Store Owner/Educator on numerous panels and advisory boards. She writes a column Profitable Promotions - for FabShop News, an industry magazine and also writes for VDTA. As a promoted Educator for Sew Steady/Westalee Design Templates, Donelle teaches classes in Ruler Work Quilting. Her love and enthusiasm for sewing and quilting is infectious. Taking a class with Donelle is guaranteed to be information-packed, inspirational and FUN!

 

Jill McCloy

Colorado Springs, CO

Jill McCloy Designs
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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. She has over 50 patterns and recently had a truly beautiful line of fabric come out with Northcott fabrics.  


Kathy McMakin
Birmingham, AL
Martha Pullen Company

Classic Sewing

classicsewingmagazine.com
thesewingcollection.com

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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 30+ years with Martha Pullen Company and lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband. They have two grown children and three absolutely precious grandchildren.

 

Judy Phillips

Stow, OH

Sew Deja Vu

sewdejavu.com

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Ten years ago Judy Phillips opened Sew Deja Vu's doors with a mission to meet the needs of modern sewists. Bringing the newest notions, technical skill classes, and modern trendy fabrics to the hands of sewists and quilters everywhere. The quilt-covered walls and bolts of fabric provide creative inspiration for anyone who enters the store.

 

When Judy shared her passion for the art of sewing, she created a community of not only amazing customers but life-long friends. The home store is located in Stow, Ohio but on occasion, you can find Judy Phillips and the Sew Deja Vu crew traveling to different quilt expos and events. Giving her the ability to share her expertise with a larger audience, and watch their creativity bloom with every class she teaches.

 

Kathy Ruddy
Mukilteo, WA
kathyruddy.com
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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.

 

Nancy Sapin

Franklin, NC
Sulky of America
 

nancysapin.com

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Nancy Sapin is a Freelance National Educator representing Sulky of America. Nancy has been working with Sulky for the past 15 years, both as a National Educator, designer, and a sample maker. She has worked numerous consumer shows for Sulky, lecturing and teaching. Nancy also lectures and teaches workshops at various quilt and sewing guilds across the United States. You can find some of Nancy's designs in the three latest Sulky books and see some of her other works on her website.

 

Dianne Springer

Ruston, LA

Dianne Springer Designs

diannespringerdesigns.com

Dianne loves every aspect of craft and art she has attempted, inluding sewing, painting, glass blowing, sculpture and knitting. She acquired a Master's of Fine Arts degree in 1998 and after teaching in the Talented Visual Arts program for 25 years in the public school system, she began a new phase of art...quilting. In addition to teaching various aspects of quilting, Dianne designs fabrics and products, vends at quilting events and is the author of "Scrap-O-Later Quilts and More".

 

Jim Suzio

Pittsburgh, PA
jimsuzio.com
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Jim Suzio is an award winning artist, designer, digitizer and sewing instructor (including embroidery software, heirloom, fashion and serger sewing). A self taught sewer, Jim was inspired to try the craft after watching a neighbor's enthusiasm in the art. A new sales position at a machine dealer found him literally "thrown" on stage at an ASG convention where he was discovered by Sue Hausmann, host of the PBS series "America Sews with Sue Hausmann." Jim soon found himself teaching all over the US, Canada and Australia for Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff Sewing Machine Companies. His work has been featured in numerous books and magazines and several ads for Husqvarna Viking and the launch of Ty Pennington's new fabric line. he has been seen on several television programs here ("America Sews with Sue Hausmann,"and "It's Sew Easy") and in Canada ("the Big Breakfast Show").  

 

Joe Vecchiarelli
Glendale, CA
French European Dress Forms

frencheuropeaninc.com

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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.

 

Kris Vierra

Kansas City, MO

Quilter on the Run

quilterontherun.com

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Kris has been sewing or quilting for over 20 years. She loves sharing her passion for quilting and all things related to fabric, believing that quilting should be fun and not stressful. Kris teaches at national shows and guilds across the country, and has won numerous national awards for her machine quilting skills over the years. Most recently Kris was award Best Long Arm Quilting at AQS Paducah 2018, Phoenix, and Des Moines, 2016, and the PFAFF Master Award for Machine Artistry at the International Quilt Festival Houston, 2015. Two of her quilts, Tiger, Tiger and Star of India, are part of the permanent collection at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. She loves traveling and leads quilt tours all over the world. Kris believes that no matter what language you speak fabric is universal. Check out her Stress Free Quilting™ Series for tons of quilting tips and tricks.

 

Nelly Vileikis 

Aurora, OH

Artelas Quilts

artelasquilts.com 

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Nelly's love affair with quilting started in 1985 while attending graduate school at the University of Montana. One day, while walking into the University Library, she saw the most beautiful landscape quilt hanging at the entrance. She said to herself, "I have to learn to do that". Three days later she was at Geneva Cheffy's home and her life changed forever. Geneva took Nelly under her wing and opened another world for her. For over fifteen years she has been sharing her knowledge as a freelance teacher. Nelly teaches quilt construction techniques and machine quilting. Since 2008 she has taught for Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, which takes her all over the US. She also teaches private workshops, gives lectures and does trunk shows. Nelly loves sharing her talent with her students and willingly encourages them to reach beyond what they consider their normal limits. She designs and publishes quilting patterns and when time permits, she works on other people's quilts using her long-arm machine. She has had numerous patterns published in several issues of Modern Patchwork Magazine. She continuously participates in International, National, regional and local quilt/art competitions and has won numerous awards. Most recently, her work has been included in many exhibits with The Textile Art Alliance of the Cleveland Museum of Art as well as her own solo exhibits. Nelly enjoys reading, traveling and outdoor activities. She lives with her husband in Aurora, Ohio.

 

Alicia Welcher
Heron, MT

Martha Pullen Company

Classic Sewing

aliciawelcher.com

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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.

 

Karen Woolley

Saint James, NY

Handi Quilter Educator

handiquilter.com

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Karen has been quilting for over 30 years. She started quilting her quilts by hand but soon became proficient at quilting on a stationary sewing machine. She discovered Handi Quilter longarm quilting machines at a quilt show and soon she was hooked on longarm quilting. She started to quilt for others and soon started her own longarm quilting business. She enjoys combining free motion quilting and ruler work with Pro-Stitcher® designs.

 

Karen finds that teaching students machine quilting builds confidence and develops artistic skills her students did not know they possessed. She is looking forward to reaching a wider audience of students through the Handi Quilter Educator Program and increasing the number confident and artistic quilters.

 

Karen’s two passions are quilting and traveling. She combines the two by visiting a quilt store in every town, city, or country she visits. She gets inspired by talking to and interacting with the local quilters about their quilting projects.

 

When Karen is not quilting, she and her husband enjoy exploring sandy beaches and hiking trails near her home in Saint James, New York.

 

Brandi Wright

Marietta, GA

The MessMaker

messmaker.net

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Brandi Wright is a wife and mother who has made fiber arts her life’s work. For the first 20+ years of her 25+ year fiber arts career, she was an award-winning costumer who has created client garments for use in historical reenactments, stage, and cosplay. For the last 3 years she has taken on a new challenge – professional embroidery finishing. Her passion throughout the years has been working with children, teens, and young adults to teach embroidery and sewing. She is a highly skilled educator, with an attitude and blue hair that is tremendously popular with all ages!

Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.