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.

 

Fran Brown
Maitland, FL
Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore
Fran has been sewing since she was seven years old, taking over her Mother’s sewing machine.  She has a Bachelor of Music Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education.  After retiring from her first Career as a High School and College Band Director, Fran began her second career, working in the machine department and teaching sewing and embroidery classes for The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore.
 

June Colburn
Largo, FL
June Colburn Designs II, Inc.

junecolburn.com
June's odyssey began in 1973 with itchy feet and a Master's degree in library science. While working for international schools, June's motto, "Have sewing machine, will travel" led her into adventures hunting for fabrics in souks, bazaars and temple sales from Quito to Paris, Istanbul to Singapore. Talking with the people who wove, dyed, embroidered, sewed and sold native textiles influenced her life. The exquisite kimono fabrics of Japan defined her creative direction. June's work has been featured in many exhibitions, collections and design shows. She shares her knowledge and love of Asian textiles through lectures and classes.

 

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. 

 

Eric Drexler
Port Charlotte, FL
Sulky of America

sulky.com
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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.

 

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.

 

Erin Grogan
Warrenton, VA

Love Sew Modern

lovesewmodern.com

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Published author and quilt pattern designer Erin Grogan has been designing and teaching quilting classes for the past four years all around the world. She offers a fresh modern take on traditional quilting ideas and concepts. Erin believes that everyone learns differently, and every skill is not a one size fits all. That’s why she offers multiple methods to achieve new quilting skills for her students in her classes.

 

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.

 

Waynna Kershner

Handi Quilter Educator

haniquilter.com

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Waynna took her first quilting class at her local quilt shop in 2005. Waynna’s passion for quilting has led her to teach quilt making classes at a local quilt shop and to help quilters with their projects and quilting aspirations. She enjoys working with machine quilters of all skill levels, but she especially enjoys working with new and current Pro-Stitcher owners. She loves to build confidence in quilters, using the power of Pro-Stitcher to put the finishing touch on their works of art. In addition to her specialty of working with Pro-Stitcher, she enjoys working with Pro-Stitcher Designer software to digitize her own designs.

 

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.


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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Iris Noitalay

Handi Quilter Educator

indesignz.us

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Iris quilt journey started in 1992 ,when Iris’ sister Astrid came to visit while Iris and her family were living in Northern California. She asked if Iris could make her a quilt since Iris had experience in sewing. Making this quilt led Iris to yearn for more, she was hooked. Iris’ experience includes everything from; working at a local quilt shop in North Carolina, to owning her own longarm machine and business, and her line of digital quilting designs.

 

Iris started out with a non-computerized longarm but switched to a HQ Fusion® with Pro-Stitcher® shortly after. From that point on Iris started creating her own designs such as pantographs and digitized designs, they are currently available at Quiltable. These designs are what led Iris to multiple awards from Judges choice to Blue ribbons in longarm quilting.

 

Iris’ earned a degree in Advertising and Graphic Design, became a certified instructor in a digitizing software. Learning all aspects of quilting has been quite the journey for Iris, yet the biggest reward is witness the overwhelming join in a quilt recipients eyes.

 

Iris enjoys teaching quilters with all levels of experience, she believes that quilting should be a fun experience. If you are interested in becoming a longarmer Iris is able to teach everything about quilting especially longarm quilting, everything from the basics on “how to get started” with long arm quilting to “ruler work” to her favorite quilting technique “free-motion quilting”.

 

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.

 

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."

 

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.

 

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.

 

Debbie Wendt

Uxbridge, MA

Wendt Quilting

wendtquilting.com

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Debbie has combined her passions for sewing, quilting and teaching into Wendt Quilting, a business that is truly on the go. Her degree in Home Economics education and eight years of teaching Home Ec continue to influence her classes. Debbie's quilting students love her ability to break down and explain the many aspects of quilting. Debbie began quilting over 35 years ago and started teaching quilting internationally in 1993 while living in Cairo, Egypt. She develops tools including "Brilliant Bindings" and her latest "Hex-a-ma-jig" in several sizes and designs many unique quilt patterns. Debbie brings tradition to modern designs and loves to play with color!

Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.