Atlanta, GA

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!

 

Karen Benke

Medina, OH
Little Red Quilt House

Karen has 45 years of sewing experience that she loves to share in a patient, informal atmosphere.She continues to stay current in the quilting world, learning and teaching techniques and new tools. Karen is owner of Little Red Quilt House in Medina, Ohio and lives her dream of sharing quilting with others on a daily basis. littleredquilthouse.com


Nick Coman
Los Angeles, CA

Dragonfly Dyeworks

Nick has been a lifelong sewer. His passion for sewing has carried him into his career as a Surface designer and Professional pattern maker. Nick has a degree in Fashion Design from FIDM in Los Angeles California and is the owner of Dragonfly Threads, a private studio for custom clothing. Nick has been the in-house costume designer for many Hollywood area event companies. He also keeps a busy schedule traveling to shows, teaching pattern making, fitting and surface design along with business partner, Chase Wong of Dragonfly Dyeworks. Nick has been published in Sew News, Threads Magazine, Machine Quilting unlimited, and one of his gowns appeared in a special article in Brides Magazine. Nick is also the co-author of a book about using discharge paste as a surface design tool. Nick has a pattern line and clothing blanks made for art to wear coming this fall. Nick lives in Los Angeles, CA with his 4 cats - Squeek, Tiger, Max and Kink.

 

Rae Cumbie

Baltimore, MD

Fit For Art Patterns
Rae Cumbie is Creative Director at Fit for Art Patterns which offers three core patterns for one great wardrobe that focus on fit and artful design. Her coaching, blog posts, for Threads and Curve Appeal fit column in Sew News encourages stitchers to sew successfully: adding fun, comfortable, creative additions to their wardrobe. Catch her blog, Sew! Let's Get Dressed at fitforartpatterns.com for everything from basic sewing to artful inspiration.

 

Pam Damour

Champlain, NY

The Decorating Diva

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. pamdamour.com

 

Embroiderers' Guild of America

Dogwood Chapter

The Dogwood Chapter of The Embroiderers' Guild of America (EGA) is over 40 years old and has over 140 members and 7 geographic groups located all over the metro Atlanta area from Athens to Jonesboro. The mission of EGA is to inspire passion for the needle arts through education and the celebration of its heritage. Several teachers from the chapter will be sharing their knowledge at the Expo; Susan Ayres, Marion Scoular and Deborah Berger. Learn more at www.ega-dogwood.org or on Facebook.


In Memory of Cynthia Guffey
It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of our dear friend and teacher, Cynthia Guffey, on January 21st of throat cancer. Cynthia was a founding member of our Expo family, having been at the very first event. Her clever wit, generosity of spirit, intellectual curiosity and uncanny ability to communicate complex ideas simply and clearly will be missed by her thousands of students, her friends at the Expo and by each of us. Her impact cannot be overstated, and we will miss her more than words can express. Her presence will be so deeply missed, but what a legacy of excellence she has left to us.


Heather Kojan

Owings Mills, MD

Heather Kojan Quilts

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. heatherkojan.com

 

Kaye Koler
Amherst, OH 
Sew Happy Quilting

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. sew-happy-quilting.blogspot.com

 

Debby Kratovil
Fairfax, VA
Quilter By Design

Debby Kratovil has been "sewing for the camera" for 26 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! quilterbydesign.com

 

Cindy Lohbeck

Scottsdale, AZ
Hands On Hand-Dyes

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. handsonhanddyes.com


Cindy Losekamp
Cedar Grove, IN
Sew Artfully Yours

Cindy is a fun and enlightening teacher known for her incredible amount of samples and ingenious way of creating. She has been a guest on many TV shows and has traveled extensively...nationally as well as internationally, inspiring people to draw on their own creativity. She has been teaching for over 30 years and her students love her patient and understandable style. Cindy began her business Sew Artfully Yours, Inc. in 1998. In the sixteen years since, she has authored 100s of patterns, design disks and books, always designing new and interesting ways to push the limits of creating with fabric and thread. You will enjoy learning from this exciting and empowering sewing personality. sewingart.com

 

Donelle McAdams

Marion, IN

Representing Sew Steady

Donelle McAdams is the owner of SEW BIZ, Marion, Indiana. Donelle is the designer of Quick Easy Mitered Binding and Border Tools and is also a pattern designer. Previously a Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher, she has been a quilt store owner for 35 years. She has taught a variety of SchoolHouse and Take & Teach classes and Business Management Seminars at industry seminars and conventions. She writes a column for FabShop News, an industry magazine. As a Promoted Educator for Westalee/Sew Steady, Donelle teaches Westalee Ruler Work classes internationally. Her love and enthusiasm for sewing and quilting is infectious. Taking a class with Donelle is guaranteed to be information-packed, inspirational and FUN! sewsteady.com   sewbizmarion.com

 

Jill McCloy
Colorado Springs, CO

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.


Kathy McMakin
Huntsville, AL
Martha Pullen Company

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 32 years with Martha Pullen Company and now lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband. They have two grown children and three absolutely precious grandchildren.

 

Betty Mitchell
Union, KY

Betty Mitchell began her love affair with the sewing machine at the age of eight and it has grown ever since. She spent 30 years in Rhode Island teaching Family and Consumer Sciences and ‘retired’ to work for sewing machine dealers in southwest Florida for eight years. During that time she not only sold machines and taught classes, she also spent three years as a store manager for one of the largest dealers in the country. At the same time she began teaching at national dealer conventions, various sewing and quilting shows as well as local and regional sewing guilds. Seven years ago she re-retired to her Grandchildren in Kentucky. She still teaches at a couple of local stores and has launched a line of patterns. Originally a garment sewer, she now concentrates more on Home Décor, embroidery, accessories and sergers. Her classes are meant to be informative and relaxing. Betty says, “In the end it’s just a bunch of thread and fiber to have fun with! If there’s a sewing tool or fabric that I haven’t met it’s not because I haven’t tried. I firmly believe that I’ll never have enough fabric and I certainly deserve the best tools.”

 

Marty Moon
Culpeper, VA
Early Times Workshop

Owner of Early Times Workshop, Marty enjoys quilting and doing other types of needlework. Trained by hand in very traditional quiltmaking, Marty prides herself on the technical aspects of her quilts and is passionate about passing those skills on to others. Always seeking a challenge or competition to whet her appetite, Marty grounds her ‘art’ quilts in her traditional background. You can find one of Marty’s quilts in Quilting with Manhole Covers by Shirley MacGregor. earlytimesworkshop.com

 

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

Laura began her experimentation with textile color and texture in 1989. Her award winning quilts appear in books, magazines, quilt calendars, and DVDs. Her passionate response to surface design resulted in designing a stencil collection featuring her favorite designs, soon followed by a series of stamp sets. The stamp series led to the development of a fusible appliqué technique using stamps, paintstiks, and fusible web to easily create seemingly complex designs without sewing. These techniques are featured in her book, "StarBuilder Inspirations", and several technique booklets. Laura sells her products at quilt and sewing shows across the country, along with her signature unique kimono and batik silks, handcrafted buttons, and garment patterns. lauramurraydesigns.com

 

Connie Palmer
Graniteville, SC
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.

 

Karen Pharr

Juki America National Educator 

Karen’s first love of sewing began with garments and home décor, a love for quilting later followed. Her love for quilting lead her to become a national teaching and award winning quilter with quilts shown in both International Quilt Shows and Art Galleries. Prior to working for Juki Karen was the owner of Karen Pharr Studios. While Karen loves quilting, her true passion is fabric and she often combines the techniques of quilting and garment construction with wonderful results. As a national teacher, pattern designer and author, Karen loves to help students develop new fun and creative techniques which they can apply to their own sewing style. A “yes you can” attitude always flows throughout her classroom so everyone can become the stitcher they want to be. When Karen is not sewing you will find her in her kitchen testing recipes for her other passion, writing cookbooks!  jukihome.com


Kathy Ruddy
Mukilteo, WA
kathyruddy.com

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. kathyruddy.com

 

Nancy Sapin

Franklin, NC
Sulky of America

Nancy has been a National Freelance Educator and designer for Sulky of America since 2007. She has presented numerous Sew Exciting Seminars, Quilt Guild presentations & sit 'n sew classes, co-taught Sulky Teacher Certification Trainings, taught and lectured at various AQS, ASE & OSQE events besides countless Freelance teaching events. Her designed projects have been published in Sulky's book Sew, Craft, Quilt & Embroider Confidently with Sulky Stabilizers (#900-B19), Fun with Sulky Blendables and Solid Color Cotton Threads (#900-B21), and Sulky's newest Book Embellish your Life with Sulky (#900-B22). Nancy's positive "can do" attitude allows her to accomplish the goals she sets before herself and brings fun and enthusiasm into the classroom. sulky.com  nancysapin.com

 

Cheryl Sleboda

Plainfield, IL

Muppin Inc
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. muppin.com


Connie Spurlock
Coeur d’Alene, ID
Sew Wonderful Dreams

Although she didn’t even learn to sew until she was over 30 years old, Connie used her background in marketing and 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 a way that will be most beneficial to you.” sewwonderfuldreams.com

 

Carol Steinbrecher

Boulder, CO

Style Solutions LLC

Carol is Founder and CEO of Style Solutions, LLC, an image and fashion management services firm. Carol specializes in alterations of ready-to-wear garments, fitting & fashion pattern alterations, wardrobe solutions, color analysis, and image branding services with over 30 years experience. Clients include an Academy Award winner, corporate and small business groups, "everyday stars" and speaking engagements across the country. Carol's educational training includes the Conselle Institute of Image Management and AICI (Association of Image Consultants International). Graduate of UW -Oshkosh - BSN. She is also a Conselle Institute Affiliate. Carol totally believes chocolate is one of the basic food groups and that at least 25% of every day should be fun! stylesolutionsllc.com

 

Jim Suzio

Pittsburgh, PA

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"). Jim took a break from his extensive teaching and traveling schedule after moving with his daughter Meri back to the family home outside of Pittsburgh. Now that Meri is a senior (and a student in cosmetology) he's back! www.jimsuzio.com

 

Joyce Teng

Houston, TX
TSC Designs

A family-run business for over 25 years, TSC Designs was founded in 1984 as Teachers Stamp Company. Our business began out of our family garage, where we manufactured our own line of rubber stamps and other educational arts & crafts products. We later designed and produced brass embossing templates and other accessories for paper crafts & scrapbooking. In 2005, we retired and began to focus solely on providing unique and innovative products for quilters & sewers. Since 1990, we have worked with Tsukineko Inc. to provide the highest quality paper and fabric inks to our customers. During this 20 year relationship, we have helped thousands of creative minds develop new ways to “color” their world! teacherstamp.com

 

Joe Vecchiarelli
Glendale, CA
French European Dress Forms

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. 

 

Helene Weber
Navarre, OH
Helene's passion has always been art in any form, but she has truly fallen in love with fiber art. Her background is in fine art: drawing, painting and sculpture, and she uses this experience in creating her quilts. Although she has always viewed quilts as art, it wasn’t until recently that she discovered the blending of traditional art mediums – colored pencil, paints and inks – with quilting. Helene loves painting and working with fabric because of the versatility it lends to the artist and she likes using a variety of art mediums, along with longarm quilting, on her art quilts.

Alicia Welcher
Heron, MT

Martha Pullen Company
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. aliciawelcher.com

 

Alicia Werner

Fort Collins, CO

The Zipper Lady

The Zipper Lady came into being in 1994 when I needed zippers for the bottom of duvet covers in my own sewing business. I love to sew anything: sails, quilts, patio cushions, ski pants, tents, heirloom baby gowns, purses & pouches, but my greatest sewing love is slipcovers. Degree in Textiles from CSU, Design at Parsons, MBA from CalPoly SLO. TheZipperLady.com

 

Angela Wolf

Benton Harbor, MI 

ABO APPAREL, LLC

Angela Wolf is the anchor of the PBS series It’s Sew Easy, author of How to Start a Home-based Fashion Design Business, founder of Angela Wolf Pattern Collection™  and hosts a facebook live show Behind the Scenes, and YouTube series Entrepreneur Insight. She is a frequent contributor to both Threads and SewStylish magazines, blogger, and brand ambassador for Brother International and Daylight Company.

Angela started sewing at a young age and continued to design women’s apparel all thru college. Graduating with a business degree, an entrepreneurial spirit, and passion for fashion and sewing, she launched and ran a successful custom apparel and alteration business for over 18 years. Angela is the winner of 2008 Passion for Fashion and 2012 American Sewing Expo’s teacher of year. She now spends much of her time speaking, teaching, and consulting all over the country as well as teaching online classes. When Angela is not sewing, you will find her fishing on Lake Michigan or in the Florida Keys with her husband Winn, on the Win-n-Angel! AngelaWolf.com

Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.