Cleveland, OH

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 label 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 Creative Director at Fit for Art Patterns whose three core patterns yield one great wardrobe! Her coaching, blog posts, Threads articles and Sew News fitting column encourages stitchers to sew successfully: adding fun, comfortable, fabulously fitting, artful and creative additions to their wardrobe. Catch her blog, Sew! Let's Get Dressed at fitforartpatterns.com for everything from basic sewing to artful inspiration.


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

John Deer's Embroidery Legacy

Barrie, ON Canada

John Deer is one of North America's leading experts on digitizing and embroidery with over three decades in the industry. John is a fourth-generation embroiderer born into the Schiffli industry. 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. John also authored the book Digitizing Made Easy and has produced numerous educational resources for embroidery and digitizing enthusiasts. digitizingmadeeasy.com

 

Carrie Emerson

Baltimore, MD

Fit For Art Patterns

Carrie is Managing Director of Fit for Art patterns and co-creator of their three core patterns and artful design variations which yield one great wardrobe! She especially enjoys the puzzle of engineering new pattern style and construction. Carrie encourages sewists to sew successfully with Fit for Art’s patterns through teaching, sewing sample garments to wear and inspire, writing for our blog, Sew! Let’s Get Dressed, and social media. fitforartpatterns.com

 

Tammie Gerke

Cincinnati, OH

Gerke Enterprises LLC 

Tammie started sewing at the age of 8 and have been hooked ever since. She has been teaching at the college level for 18 years. During all of this time she has continued to sew mainly garments but during the last 4 years she has been focusing on quilting, embroidery and starting a longarm quilting business. She teaches garment construction, embroidery and digitizing software classes, and quilting classes at stores in her area. In addition she has taught basic sewing demonstrations at her university for faculty, staff, students, and the general public. Tammie is never happier than when she is teaching others how to sew, taking an image she has for a garment and seeing it come to life, and exploring unique ways to use the longarm to make fabric or how to enhance a garment she is making with embroidery designs. tgquilting.com

 

Michelle Gillombardo

Middleburg Heights, OH

Pins and Needles

Michele made her first quilt 30 years ago and that's when her fascination with fabrics, thread, and her imagination began. She learned the basics at an early age with her grandmother, but has come a long way through self-training along with Baby Lock, Kimberbell, and OESD certifications. She has been working for Pins and Needles for 5 years, teaching embroidery, quilting and serger classes. Michele also teaches all of the store's Kimberbell special events. Her approach is to teach within a relaxed, stress-free atmosphere. She enjoys sharing her knowledge, making sure everyone is comfortable and has the best time creating, whether a beginner or advanced student. pinsandneedles.com
 

Marsha Kirsch

Bay Village, OH

The past 12 years Marsha has been a national educator for SVP worldwide. She is greatly loved for her enthusiasm and lively presentations while sharing masterful technical skills or the inspiration that sewers take away from her events. Using her education background she imparts an empowering "can do" attitude, opening up doors to creativity, and fun ways to embellish projects with exciting results. Student smiles at the end of her events are her reward. Marsha enjoys creating and designing garments, purses and home decor projects which incorporate a creative touch, especially through embellishment. She has had publications in Design in Machine Embroidery and Classic Sewing magazines and had appeared with Sue Hausmann on PBS and Behind the Seams, an internet sewing show through SVP.

 

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   Instagram @heatherkojan

 

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
Herndon, VA
Quilter By Design

Debby Kratovil has been "sewing for the camera" for 27 years. As an editor for Quilt Magazine (14 years) she designed and sewed hundreds of quilts and created almost 1,000 "how to" articles to make even the most difficult quilting techniques easy enough for a beginning quilter. She has published 3 books, 11 quilting calendars and hundreds of patterns. She sews and designs for several fabric companies and says she's never met a fabric she didn't like! DebbyKratovilQuilts.blogspot.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 a fun and enlightening teacher known for her incredible amount of samples and ingenious way of creating. She has been a guest on many TV shows and has traveled extensively...nationally as well as internationally, inspiring people to draw on their own creativity. She has been teaching for over 30 years and her students love her patient and understandable style. Cindy began her business Sew Artfully Yours, Inc. in 1998. In the sixteen years since, she has authored 100s of patterns, design disks and books, always designing new and interesting ways to push the limits of creating with fabric and thread. You will enjoy learning from this exciting and empowering sewing personality. sewingart.com

 

Donelle McAdams

Marion, IN

Representing Sew Steady

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!  sewsteady.com   sewbizmarion.com


Kathy McMakin
Birmingham, AL
Martha Pullen Company

Classic Sewing
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.

 

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.


Laura Murray

Minneapolis MN
Laura Murray Designs

Artist, entrepreneur, teacher, and author, Laura began her experimentation with textile color and texture in 1989. Her work appears in books, magazines, quilt calendars and galleries, and includes award-winning quilts at the International Quilt Festival, and American Society of Quilters shows. Laura's passionate response to surface design resulted in designing her favorite images in a stencil collection, soon followed by a series of stamps, She has taught thousands of students how to use paintstiks on fabric, and authorized books describing her special techniques using stamps, paintstiks, and fusible web to easily create seemingly complex designs without sewing. Laura Murray Designs specializes in techniques and products for quilt and garment artistry, including handcrafted silks and buttons. She and her husband Jim, travel across the U.S. to vend at large quilt and sewing shows. lauramurraydesigns.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.

 

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

Sew Much Cosplay
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   sewmuchcosplay.com

 

Connie Spurlock
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Sew Wonderful Dreams

Connie Spurlock used ber background in 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 away that will be most beneficial to you." sewwonderfuldreams.com

 

Jim Suzio
Pittsburgh, PA
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"). jimsuzio.com

 

Joyce Teng
Houston, TX
TSC Designs

During her career in pharmacy, Joyce dreamed of being an artist. Since retirement, she has created an outlet through which she can share her enthusiasm and passion. Her company designs its own line of fun and sophisticated stencils and carries a wide range of innovative products that quilters and sewers can use to customize their fabrics. Joyce also distributes Tsukineko inks and has developed many easy-to-master techniques that have helped thousands of creative minds "color" their world! Not only does she love teaching students in her hands-on workshops , Joyce's pharmaceutical knowledge gives her an edge in her development of new products for the creative fiber artist. She is also busy creating instructional workbooks and developing her DVD series. teacherstamp.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. frencheuropeaninc.com

 

Alicia Welcher
Heron, MT

Martha Pullen Company

Classic Sewing
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

 

Alex Woodbury

Cleveland, OH

The Sewing Workshop and Alex + Ikat 

Alex grew up in the industry, learning from her mother, Linda Lee. Her studies have taken her from Counseling to Fashion Design, studying in Paris and on to London at London College of Fashion where she completed her Masters' in Fashion Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Her passions are for creating businesses that are highly creative and socially responsible. She hosts events and produces embroidery designs through her company, Alex + Ikat, and hosts a podcast called Alex Not Alice which tells the tales and fails of her time abroad.  sewingworkshop.com   alexandikat.com

Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.