Raleigh, NC

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


Barb Callahan
Vermont
Barb Originals

Barb designed and constructed one-of-a-kind garments using her labefl 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. barboriginals.com

 

Deb Canham

Venice, FL

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

 

Vickie Clontz

Winston-Salem, NC

Pineapple Fabrics

Vickie Clontz is an award-winning designer, teacher, author and fiber artist celebrating 27 years of business in 2017! Her pattern company, Annie's Keepsakes, has over 100 original designs for sewing, quilting, home decor and wearables. Vickie loves sharing her ideas, talent and expertise with others through the classes, programs and workshops she teaches across the country. Her designs have been published in numerous magazines and publications in the US and abroad, and her first book, Crafty Critters, has just been released! pineapplefabrics.com

 

Rae Cumbie
Baltimore, MD
Fit For Art Patterns

Rae Cumbie is the Creative Director at Fit for Art Patterns which offers patterns for modern wardrobe basics that focus on fit and include artful design options. She coaches sewers of all skill levels, in classes and on her blog, to stitch up a fun and comfortable wardrobe and design more creatively. Catch her blog, Sew! Let’s Get Dressed at fitforartpatterns.com for everything from basic sewing education to artful inspiration. raecumbie.com

 

Louise Cutting
Winter Park, FL
Cutting Corners

‘ASG’s…Sewing Hall of Fame 2014’ and ‘The Outstanding Teacher Award for 2008 are just two of the awards Louise has received. She’s a contributing editor for Threads Magazine, designer of 'Cutting Line Designs' patterns, including ‘One Seam Pants’ pattern with over 70,000 copies sold. Her sewing instructions are the ‘best in the independent pattern industry’. There are 8 DVD volumes of 'Industry Insider Techniques'. ‘Quick to Sew Pants’ ‘The Versatile Jacket’ & a double volume ‘Adjusting Patterns for the Changing Figure’ are recent additions. Louise was the Fashion Design Department Head at Prospect Hall College, The Art Institute & taught Interior Design at Marymount. Television appearances have included 'Sew Much More' on HGTV, 'America Sews' & ‘Sewing with Martha Pullen’ on PBS...showcasing fashion sewing. Her numerous articles & pattern designs have been featured in Threads, Sew News, Sewing Today, Sew Stylish, Handwoven, & Sew Beautiful magazines. cuttinglinedesigns.com


John Deer
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

 

Chris Dolinar

Munroe Falls, OH

Juki Educator

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.

 

Connie Farland
Jacksonville, NC
Blessed To Stitch

Connie has been sewing since her Grandmother taught her to make Barbie clothes at the age of 7. Being a military wife and mother of 2 daughters, sewing was a way for her to stay home while her daughters were growing up yet still contribute to the family funds. Connie came into the quilting world when she found her local Pfaff shop. She started teaching machine usage classes and since it was a quilt shop, quilting crept into her life. She ended up working in and then managing that quilt shop for over 12 years! She met Deb Tucker at Deb’s first International Quilt Market in Houston and has been using and teaching Studio 180 Design tools ever since. When the opportunity was presented to be part of the first Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor course, she jumped on it and hasn’t looked back! She loves teaching students how to use these “FUN”damental tools in their EVERYDAY quilting no matter what pattern they are using. She teaches these classes at local quilt shops, to quilt guilds and at quilt retreats. Connie and Joe, her husband of 31 years, live in Jacksonville, NC. Besides sewing her favorite past time is spending time with her GRANDchildren!


Kimberly Flannagan

Wake Forest, NC

Kimberlys Quilts

Kimberly Flannagan is a Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor with over 25 years of quilting experience. She loves to share her passion for the art of quilting with her students, and to share tips and techniques that have been developed over years of quilting to help simplify and improve the finished product.

 

Soni Grint
Mount Juliet, TN
Independent Sewing & Embroidery Consultant

Soni Grint has been a sewer since she was 8 years old. Her embroidery career began when she combined her formal education (M.S. Optical Physics / Computers) and her love of fabric and sewing. She started working with a sewing machine dealership in San Diego, California. Moved to central California where she worked a short time for White Sewing Machines.

The real break through came when she was asked to be a part of Viking Sewing Machines Product Council in Huskvarna Sweden. She represented the market place expressing what people want in their embroidery and embroidery software. She traveled frequently to the product developers in both Sweden and London England. Soni lived in Jonkoping Sweden for 2 years as she headed up Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff’s international education departments. After coming back to the United States, she continued with her love of embroidery and sewing while heading up the Software department of Husqvarna Viking and Pfaff, eventually becoming the Global Product Manager for this division.

Soni now directs her own sewing, embroidery and software consulting business. She travels throughout the United States holding seminars and training sessions sharing her joy of sewing with others.

 

Cynthia Guffey
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


Lorraine Henry
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

 

Mary Kerr

Woodbridge, VA

Mary Kerr is an American Quilt Society certified appraiser and an award winning quilter. She is a quilt historian whose lectures and workshops focus on quilt history and the preservation of antique textiles. Her current work marries her love of all things vintage with the freedom of expression that is encouraged in our Art Quilt community. MaryWKerr.com


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

 

Cindy Losekamp
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


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.

 

Sandy Miller
Orlando, FL
Cutting Corners

Sandy sews prototype garments and writes pattern instructions for Cutting Line Designs, an independent pattern company. She also writes articles and has filmed a DVD for Threads Magazine. She travels across the country to teach and represent Cutting Line Designs at sewing expos, guilds, and stores, sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with fellow sewers. cuttinglinedesigns.com 

 

Pattie Otto
Falling Waters, WV
Great Copy Patterns

Pattie is the owner and designer of Great Copy Patterns and author of Quilting with Fleece, Embellishing with the Edge Perfect Blade™ and Ultimate Polarfleece® Pizzazz, and has a passion for everything sewing. Her goal is to help you obtain a professional finish every time with a minimum of effort. You will find her techniques and detailed instructions contain the short cuts, tricks and information that is so often lacking. She has a real passion for teaching and also keeps busy designing patterns, writing and digitizing her line of machine embroidery. greatcopy.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.


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 Sapin comes from an artistic and creative family. While Nancy learned to sew when she was very young, she really began sewing in earnest when she was in her early 20s. After 3 children, sewing and crafts took a back seat to owning and operating an electronic assembly business.

Nancy has now come back full circle to sewing. She moved to Franklin, NC after meeting and marrying her husband, David. Several years ago she began sewing Sulky samples to be shown at Sulky Sew Exciting Seminars, Certification Trainings and in Consumer and Trade show booths. Nancy has taught classes and lectured in 2008 & 2009 at the ASE in Novi, MI. Her felted bowl is published in Sulky's latest book "Supplement to Sulky's Secrets to Successful Stabilizing" Her newest fabric wrapped cord square trivet and bowl design was presented by Joyce Drexler on Quilting Arts TV show in February, 2009, and will be published in Sulky's future Embellishing book.

Quilting and sewing have become her passion, along with cooking, gardening, and being a new grandparent. Becoming a National Educator representing Sulky of America has combined all of her acquired talents and fulfilled her other passion, to teach what she knows with fun and enthusiasm. sulky.com

 

Cyndi Souder

Annandale, VA

Moonlighting Quilts

Cyndi learned to sew before she was ten and has been quilting for over thirty years. Cyndi particularly enjoys the machine quilting part of her projects and likes to help others gain confidence in their machine quilting and finishing skills. She also enjoys painting and stamping on fabric to create original designs to use in her work. She loves using her education degree to help quilters add art and quilting skills to their quilting toolboxes, working for that "aha moment" when everything clicks for her students. Cyndi teaches classes in art quilting and art quilt techniques in Northern Virginia at Artistic Artifacts. She also travels to teach at regional and national quilt shows and to do lectures and workshops for quilt groups. Cyndi spends much of her time creating Tribute and Celebration Quilts for clients, some of which can be seen in her book, Creating Celebration Quilts. Cyndi is a Juried Artist Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). moonlightingquilts.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

Joe Vecchiarelli
Los Angeles, CA
Fashion Supplies, Inc.

Joe Vecchiarelli, founder and president of Fashion Supplies, 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. 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. fashionsuppliesinc.com

Alicia Welcher
Tracy, CA
Alicia is a designer, author and sewing instructor who specializes in heirloom sewing and embroidery and serger sewing. She is the assistant editor of Classic Sewing Magazine. She has also appeared on Martha's Sewing Room and has published countless projects under the Martha Pullen Company label. Alicia has earned a following of devoted sewists through her clear and concise teaching methods while teaching both beginning and advanced techniques at events throughout the country. She is on the faculty of the Martha Pullen Teacher Licensing Program and School of Art Fashion and also teaches at the Dublin Sewing Center in Dublin, California. aliciawelcher.com

           
Thank you to these fine companies who provide continued support.