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.

 

Rae Cumbie
Baltimore, MD
Fit For Art Patterns

fitforartpatterns.com
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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 for everything from basic sewing to artful inspiration.

 

Michele Gillombardo
Middleburg Heights, OH
Pins and Needles

pinsandneedles.com
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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.

 

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.


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.


Kaye Koler
Amherst, OH
Sew Happy Quilting

sew-happy-quilting.blogspot.com
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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.


Debby Kratovil
Herndon, VA
Quilter By Design

DebbyKratovilQuilts.blogspot.com
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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!


Julie Luoma
Deltona, FL
Off The Wall Quilt

offthewallquilt.com
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Following a nearly 20 year career as a business manager and tax professional while raising three kids with her husband in the Pacific Northwest, Julie retired to become a full time quilter and vendor at quilt shows. Now residing in Florida, Julie teaches, lectures and creates new quilt designs and templates. Her quirky humor and relaxed attitude are reflected in her presentations and not quite perfect quilts.


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.


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.


Wendi Owens

Middleburg Heights, OH
Original Sewing & Quilt Expo


Connie Palmer
Graniteville, SC

YouTube
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.

 

Abby Riba

Safety Harbor, FL
ViviLux

harbor-sales.com

Abby has been sewing since her teens, and has over 40 years of experience both as a custom clothier and also in the home sewing industry. Her sewing business experience began with selling Leiter’s Fabrics, then to opening up her own home based businesses first in Madison, Wisconsin then in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, and most recently owning several national companies selling wholesale and retail in the sewing world.

Abby has first-hand knowledge of all facets of the sewing business. As a charter member of what is now the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, Abby served in several officer positions, including a term as National President of the organization. Years of practical experience in fitting all body types have taught her how to fit quickly and accurately, and with over 40 years of business experience she helps those thinking of entering the field. Abby is a published author and her articles have appeared in various publications and books.

 

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.

 

Cheryl Sleboda
Plainfield, IL
Muppin Inc
Sew Much Cosplay

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sewmuchcosplay.com | facebook | instagram
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.

 

Connie Spurlock
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Sew Wonderful Dreams

sewwonderfuldreams.com
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Connie Spurlock used her 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."

 

Michelle Umlauf
Sabillasville, MD
Sewing Machine Artistry

SewingMachineArtistry.com
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Michelle Umlauf has made a career for herself in the sewing industry working as an independent educator. She loves to share her passion with others and enjoys sharing her knowledge. She began taking teacher certification courses with the Martha Pullen Company and Sulky of America. Today she is a Demonstrator for Clover and a National Educator for Baby Lock, Sulky of America, and Pam Damour - the Decorating Diva. She helped found and hosted the Sewing Online with Sulky webinar. Michelle enjoys traveling across the country working for one of these companies in their booths or teaching in a classroom at national expos. She also enjoys bringing classes and lecture/demos to sewing shops, quilt guilds, and online. When she is home, she enjoys spending time with her family at their home in the mountains of Maryland. Her German Shepherds and rescue kitty enjoy taking mom on nice long walks in the woods! To learn more about Michelle, lookup her Facebook page Sewing Machine Artistry and join her for a UFO Friday Live. Become one of her "Sewing Friends" at SewingMachineArtistry.com.  

 

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. 

 

Nelly Vileikis
Arrelas Quilts
Aurora, OH

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.

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