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!
Frieda's original quilts are inspired by the everyday scenery that surrounds her and the colors of the mid-west landscape she lives in. She works with her own hand dyed cotton and silk fabrics. The dyeing process is always an adventure. The ways the dyed fabric look influence the rhythm of her work and the way she uses color in her pieces and often effects how she quilts her quilts. Trees and leaves are a big part of what influences her designs. friestyle.com
Katie has the reputation of being an adventurer and an inspiring entrepreneur. Her Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems and her passion for sewing give her the understanding and creativity that is needed in both industries. She has a successful computer consulting business and utilizes that success to motivate everyone in the home sewing industry. Her teaching style is down-to-earth and people love learning from her.
Katie is an online educator and has also co-authored the "Pillow Talk" book with the home sewer in mind. Katie also enjoys publishing articles, which showcase her embroidery software, sewing, and computer abilities. Katie loves designing practical projects that teach you sewing techniques that take your sewing skills “from home-made to pro-made”! Her patterns are available at sewingscene.com!
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
Kelly taught herself to sew in 2010. Since then, she has released several patterns with Hearts & Bees, and had patterns featured in Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting, Quilting Quickly, Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, and Quilting with a Modern Slant. She has created many market samples and patterns for fabric companies, and her free Hour Basket Pattern has close to 100,000 downloads! She has filmed with Mary Fons for PBS's Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting and has a web-series on QnnTV.com called Quilting Remix. kelbysews.com
Deb Canham Studio
Deb Canham has been a sewing educator since the 70s, teaching classes in Europe and the USA, and she is a Palmer Pletsch Fit and Serger Instructor. Deb has spent the last 20 years designing and working with her own factory in China and working as a consultant to garment factories, successfully improving their quality control through education and introducing system techniques. She sees the modern sergers as great creative tools, and designs fun projects for the serger. Deb particularly enjoys the fun decorative threads that perform so well on these machines. debcanhamstudio.com
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
Barrie, Ontario Canada
John Deer's Adorable Ideas
John Deer is one of North America’s leading experts on digitizing and embroidery with over 30 years of experience in the industry. John is a third generation embroiderer born into the Schiffli industry, working part time in his grandparent’s factory from the age of 12. This gave him the unique opportunity to begin his career apprenticing as a manual pantograph puncher at the age of 17, digitizing for Schiffli looms. Over the years he’s continually adapted this old school theory with today’s modern software programs, creating designs that are both beautiful and machine friendly. In the mid 90’s John launch Punch Perfect, a commercial digitizing house. During that time he personally won 30 Digitizing Awards, including Impressions Magazines 1998 Digitizing of Distinction, 1998 EMB Grand Champion and the 2001 Stitches Magazine Stitch-Off Grand Prize. He had also written over 50 articles in commercial trade publications and taught at numerous commercial venues including the ISS Shows, DAX Shows, Bobbin World, Imprint Canada and the NNEP Shows. Over a decade ago John’s entered the Home Embroidery market and Adorable Ideas was born. In the early years he taught at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo, Creative Embroidery Conference, Sew-Quilt Festival, Sewing & Stitchery Expo and the Creative Sewing and Needlework Festival. Adorable Ideas has hosted 100’s of Embroidery Events at dealers all across the United States. John also authored the book “Digitizing Made Easy” published by Krause Publications and has produced numerous educational DVD’s for embroidery and digitizing enthusiasts. John now resides in Costa Rica and is focusing on creating new designs as well as developing a series of “Brand Specific” streaming “E-classes” that teach the process of digitizing from the ground up. UltimateStash.com
Munroe Falls, OH
Chris brings a wealth of sewing experience to the classroom. As a sewing enthusiast, Chris loves to inspire others in all aspects of sewing from garments and home décor to quilting. Chris will inspire you with her passion, unique style and humor. Chris creates a fun environment for learning, showing her students ways to create fast and easy.
Young Harris, GA
Cynthia has been designing women's clothing and teaching sewing and fitting techniques for many years. Her designs have been worn everywhere from the opening of the Met to Acapulco. Her fitting and sewing expertise is derived from a mathematical background, and her constant search for the simple and the obvious. And although her precise sewing techniques are not short-cuts, she saves you time by helping you get it right the first time. She shares her effective, practical and simple fitting and construction techniques with students throughout the United States, offering seminars and workshops filled with information that results in beautifully fitted, custom-look clothing. Cynthia’s design philosophy involves creating lines that multiply opportunities to fit and enhance a figure type. cynthiaguffey.com
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. conselle.com
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
Quilter By Design
Debby has been in the professional quilting world since 1994. She was Quilt Magazine’s Special Projects Editor for 14 years. She contributes to various quilt magazine titles along with sewing and designing for several fabric companies. Her hundreds of published articles about quilts, easy techniques, and how-tos have helped thousands of quilters discover an easier way to approach a wide range of projects. Her published works include “Bold, Black & Beautiful Quilts”, “Supersize ‘Em Quilts”, seven different Quilt Block a Day calendars, and is working on her next book on Mariner’s Compass quilts (March 2013). She is an enthusiastic teacher who especially loves the "aha!" moments with her students. She freely shares tips, tricks and techniques to make quilting a real pleasure. quilterbydesign.com
The Sewing Workshop
Linda Lee is the owner of The Sewing Workshop Pattern Collection, a group of patterns for distinctive garments using innovative sewing techniques. Linda writes for Threads, Sew News and Stitch magazines. She travels the country teaching fine sewing techniques and the art of combining beautiful fabrics and distinctive design in garment and home decorating creations. Using her background as a licensed interior designer and a member of ASID since 1974, she has written fourteen books relating to garment sewing and interiors. Sew Sensational Pillows won the Independent Book Award in the Craft and Hobby Category and Sew Easy won Honorable mention by the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Most Original Design in their “Ten Outstanding Books of the Year” awards. Linda is a seasoned teacher for Craftsy, Burdastyle, Daily Craft TV and Craft Daily. sewingworkshop.com
Cedar Grove, IN
Sew Artfully Yours
Cindy is the creator of several Signature Series embroidery disks for Cactus Punch and CEO of Sew Artfully Yours, Inc. Cindy's skills take machine embroidery to new heights in creativity, and along with embroidery, she is also the creator of a myriad of other machine techniques. She is the designer and author of thirty-one books, and has been teaching and inspiring people to sew and create for twenty-one years. There are no boundaries in artistic pursuits when it comes to her books and classes. Everyone is encouraged to transcend to a higher level of creativity. sewingart.com
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.
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.
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. lauramurraydesigns.com
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 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 Shriber is a nationally recognized artist, teacher, lecturer and writer who designs under the Contemporary Sashiko label and loves all things hand-stitched. Nancy is a guest teaching artist for The Sewing Workshop in Topeka, Kansas and is a faculty member of The Sewing Workshop in San Francisco and Original Sewing & Quilt Expo. She has written for and been featured in a number of national publications including Threads. Nancy published Sashiko Handbags: 14 on 14 and created and produced The Garment Series, a collection of Sashiko-style pillow and tote bag patterns.
Park Bench Design
Beth’s passion for quilting led her to open a quilt shop, but she soon found herself on the road more often. The demand for Beth to teach a variety of different techniques throughout the country continues to grow. She is a Certified Instructor for Studio 180 Designs and designs patterns under the name of Park Bench Design. parkbenchdesign.com
West Des Moines, IA
Associate Editor, Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting
Diane comes from a creative quilting and sewing family background. Her love for fibers, wool and hands-on creativity has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. She has made wedding dresses, taught quilt classes for guilds and adult ed, and judged 4-H projects. Teaching and encouraging students to learn new techniques is her passion, and she loves seeing the satisfaction and delight in her students when they have mastered a new skill. She also thinks learning is a lifelong skill, and takes classes whenever she can.
Diane is the Associate Editor with Fons & Porter, coordinating the magazine projects, working with designers and enjoying the business. She has also worked in the garment and art business, as well as with investments in the banking industry. Diane says that it is a privilege to be working not only in her favorite craft, but with such talented and special people in the industry. fonsandporter.com
French European Dress Forms & Sewing Supplies
Joe Vecchiarelli, founder and president of French European Dress Forms & Sewing Supplies, 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. He accepted, with the challenge to create a successful show more professional than even Project Runway. 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'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.