Lakeland, FL

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.

 

Barb Callahan
Oxford, CT
Barb Originals

barboriginals.com
facebook
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.

 

Nick Coman

Ridgway, CO
Dragonfly Dyeworks

dragonflydyeworks.wixsite.com/ahollywood
facebook | twitter | YouTube
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
facebook | instagram | twitter | pinterest | YouTube
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. 

 

Eric Drexler
Port Charlotte, FL
Sulky of America

sulky.com
facebook | twitter
Free-motion artistry has been Eric's other life-long passion ever since he was inspired by Joyce when, at age 10, she first taught him the technique. He has made numerous large and small works of machine art, some of which have been featured in Sulky Books and at Trade and Consumer Shows all over the country. Through his association with Sulky of America during all the years of its existence, he has had the pleasure and honor of being inspired by some of the world's greatest creative sewers and quilters. Eric loves life and he loves to teach and share his exuberance for creative sewing. He is passionate about inspiring students of all ages so they can discover and enjoy a lifetime of creative fun. His infectious smile and warm humor puts everyone at ease and makes them ready and eager to learn. He is widely sought after to teach and share his contagious enthusiasm at Consumer shows, Sew Exciting Seminars, Guild Programs and, more recently, on PBS shows.

 

Lorraine Henry

San Diego, CA
Lorraine Henry for Conselle

conselle.com

facebook

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.


Heather Kojan

Owings Mills, MD
Heather Kojan Quilts

heatherkojan.com
facebook | instagram
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
facebook | instagram
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.

 

Julie Luoma
Deltona, FL
Off The Wall Quilt

offthewallquilt.com
facebook | pinterest
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.

 

Donelle McAdams
Marion, IN
Representing Sew Steady

sewsteady.com
sewbizmarion.com
facebook | pinterest
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
facebook

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

facebook | instagram | pinterest

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
blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | youtube
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.


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.

 

Lyn Powers
Maitland, FL
The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore

sewing.net
facebook | instagram
Lyn Powers is a machine specialist at The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore.

 

 

 

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
facebook | instagram
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.

 

Pat Sauer
Maitland, FL
The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore

sewing.net
facebook | instagram
Pat Sauer is the owner of The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore. She was hired at this wonderful store in 1984 and purchased the business in 2000. She loves all things embroidery and it is her passion to share her knowledge with her students.

 

Cheryl Sleboda
Plainfield, IL
Muppin Inc
Sew Much Cosplay

muppin.com | facebook | instagram
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
facebook | instagram
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."

 

Jim Suzio

Pittsburgh, PA
jimsuzio.com
facebook
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

facebook | instagram

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

facebook | twitter

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.