Fredericksburg, VA

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.

 

Michael Caputo
Apex, NC
Patchwork & Paper

Michael Caputo was born in New York and after graduating from The Fashion Institute of Technology began designing children's books for many publishing companies in NYC. In 2008, Michael found a new passion of designing and creating custom quilts. Since then, Michael has designed dozens of quilts for magazines around the world. He has taught quilting classes in London, UK and locally in NC where he and his family now reside. Michael has published 2 books on quilting: 2016’s Quilting Basics and 2018’s Modern Quilting.

 

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.

 

Carrie Emerson

Baltimore, MD

Fit For Art Patterns
fitforartpatterns.com
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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.

 

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.


Heather Kojan
Owings Mills, MD
Heather Kojan Quilts

heatherkojan.com
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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.


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!


Jan Larson

Fairfield, IA

Thimbles for You

thimblesforyou.com

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Jan is a Fashion Design Major from Iowa State University. She had a custom sewing and wedding gown alterations business, and in the last 15 years has learned how to design, cast and finish sterling silver thimbles.


Cindy Lohbeck
Scottsdale, AZ
Hands On Hand Dyes

handsonhanddyes.com
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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.


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.

 

RaNae Merrill

New York, NY

Free Motion Mastery in a Month/RaNae Merrill Quilt Design

ranaemerrillquilts.com

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RaNae Merrill is an award-winning quilter, author and teacher. She is known for the unique spiral quilt technique in her books Simply Amazing Spiral Quilts and Magnificent Spiral Mandala Quilts. Her newest book, Free-Motion Mastery in a Month applies her skills as a concert pianist to the process of learning free-motion quilting. RaNae found her calling as a professional quilter after previous careers as a pianist, a photographer and a travel writer. When she's not quilting and writing, you can find her outdoors hiking, kayaking and skiing, or at home in New York City playing the piano and cooking.

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

lauramurraydesigns.com
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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 authored 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.


Pattie Otto
Falling Waters, WV
Great Copy Patterns and Embroidery

greatcopy.com
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Pattie Otto, owner of Great Copy Patterns and Embroidery has a passion for everything sewing from garment design to machine embroidery and enthusiastically shares this during her classes both locally and across the country. In addition to designing her line of patterns, authoring books and magazine articles, she performs alterations on a variety of garments from prom, pageant and wedding attire to other garments such as skirts, pants, etc. Her home studio is well stocked with machines, fabric, thread and everything she needs to create beautiful garments and accessories.


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.

 

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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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.

 

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").

 

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. 

 

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.

Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.