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.
Ilene Bartos Designs
I discovered quilting a number of years ago when a friend invited me to a guild meeting, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Quilting combines my passion for color with my love of fabric and gives me infinite possibilities for creative expression. I authored two traditional quilt books in 2008 and 2010 but have since been devoting my time to designing art quilts and writing patterns for them. I love teaching others how to make quilts that are slightly beyond their comfort level or outside the traditional box. I work with a variety of techniques as I always want to try something different to see how it works. I use a lot of bright colors because they make me happy. I like to think my quilts spread joy, one quilt at a time.
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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.
The Decorating Diva
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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.
Port Charlotte, FL
Sulky of America
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Eric has been in the industry over 40 years. Free-motion artistry has been his life-long passion. 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 since the beginning, 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, Sewing and Quilting Guilds and on many PBS shows.
Flower Mound, TX
Sewing has been a lifelong passion for Tamara. While raising her children, she discovered the limitless creative options of machine embroidery, software, quilting and began a home-based embroidered gift business. Coming back to the corporate arena as a professional in the sewing industry, focusing on new product development, creative project design, embroidery education and quilting with an embroidery focus was full circle. Her joy is education, publishing articles, teaching at trade shows, conventions, and other events. Her goal is to simplify the tedious and frustrating aspects and inspire creativity and confidence. Now, as an impartial independent expert, she will educate and inspire students of all skill levels.
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Sara has a passion for using current sewing machine features and accessories to put a modern twist on traditional quilt making. She has travelled the country teaching instructional & inspirational classes working with a variety of different sewing machines. She is known for her easy to understand and humorous instructional style. Currently, Sara is the proud owner of Decorative Stitch in Shelby Twp, MI and the host of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting on PBS and is a regular contributor to the companion magazine.
Eagle Mountain, UT
Carmen's business name, TenSisters Handicraft, was inspired by the large family she was raised in...10 girls and 7 boys! At an early age, her mother and sisters taught her to quilt. She has had a children’s clothing business in Seattle, was a freelance educator for Viking and Pfaff for 15 years and is an award-winning longarm quilter. She has taught thousands of people her simplified and precise techniques at many quilt shows and retreats around the world.
San Diego, CA
Lorraine Henry for Conselle
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.
Karla has been around the sewing and quilting world all her life, but after a move and career change in 1994 she jumped in and explored all it had to offer. Student, teacher, sewing, machine sales and store manager led her to over 15 years as a free lance educator for SVP Worldwide. Karla loves to design, use and develop new ways to sew and embroider using both new techniques and tools. She is happiest in her sewing studio.
Joyce Keske Design
Joyce started her sewing career in her early 20s making leather jackets. She started her own bridal business, which led to working for David’s Bridal where she was named “Alteration Manager of the Year” for the entire United States. Later she became a Baby Lock Ambassador where she discovered her passion for teaching. She now travels the country teaching for her company, Joyce Keske Design.
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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.
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.
Pam Mahshie a long time Sewing industry expert in all things serging has recently joined the BERNINA USA team, as the Overlock Business Manager. Throughout the year she has appeared on numerous sewing programs including Sewing with Nancy, Martha's Sewing room and Love of Quilting.
Representing Sew Steady
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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!
Colorado Springs, CO
Jill McCloy Designs
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.
Susan has been quilting, sewing and embroidering for many years. She has a quilting studio in her home where she provides longarm quilting services to her customers. Over the years, she has taken Martha Pullen’s Teaching classes for sewing and surging, also Quilt in a Day teacher training and event training with Eleanor Burns Master Quilter in Paducah, Kentucky. Susan has taught at a local quilt shop many classes: longarm program, Kids sew, machine usage classes and embroidery programs. Susan also plans event classes for quilt guilds in her local area. Sewing and quilting has been her love and hobby for over 40 years.
Falling Waters, WV
Great Copy Patterns and Embroidery
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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.
Sew Deja Vu
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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.
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Jessica Rabbitt is a mother of six and loves making handmade garments for herself and her family. She enjoys sharing about fabric and patterns, and encouraging others in making their own custom fit, handmade clothing.
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Catherine Redford was born in England where she learned to knit and sew as a young girl. After relocating from London to Naperville, Illinois, she learned to quilt and never looked back. She's an award-winning quilter, an active member of her local guilds, and a popular teacher at the local and national level. Catherine is a frequent magazine contributor and has enjoyed being a guest on Quilting Arts TV. She is enjoying the resurgence of interest in handwork with an embroidery book, Butterfly Stitches, published Fall 2020, and, with two DVDs and a book on Modern Machine Quilting techniques, Catherine delights in finishing her own quilts on a domestic machine.
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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.
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").
French European Dress Forms
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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'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.
Classic Sewing Magazine
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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 Classic Sewing 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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Elissa sums up her creative style as bold, bright, and beautiful with a dash of over-the-top and is passionate about pushing the boundaries of mixing endless color and loads of pattern in her creations. Elissa is a textile artist specializing in quilting, bag making, and garments. Her favorite methods of sewing include foundation paper piecing and English paper piecing – detailed fussy cutting and precision work is where she puts the love in her details. Inspiring others to get inspired is Elissa’s goal when teaching a class or giving a lecture. Elissa is an Aurifil Artisan and works with Tula Pink and FreeSpirit Fabrics creating for their influencer program.