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!
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. www.barboriginals.com
Tammie grew up in Canfield, Ohio and moved to Florida in 1973 with her family. In 1975, the family moved to Put-In-Bay, Ohio. While living on the island, Tammie did quite a bit of quilting and sewing and enjoyed doing many different crafts. Tammie's love of beading started around 2000 when she and her husband were living at the Dry Tortugas National Park. They were lucky to have a woman there that shared her talent and her beads with the staff, and Tammie has been in love with beads ever since. As she moved on to The Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee and then on to Lake Roosevelt in the state of Washington, Tammie took many classes and tried many forms of beading. In 2010 Tammie's husband retired from the National Park Service and they moved back home to Ohio. Tammie has two beautiful granddaughters that she enjoys as often as she can.
Purple Daisies Quilting
Cristy Fincher was born with a love for all things sewing. Cristy, and her mom, Master Quilter, Sharon Schamber, made their first quilt together, 20 years ago. This took their love of sewing into the world of quilting, where it has flourished. Cristy became a school teacher, married, and started her own family. Her passion for teaching quilting grew, and 10 years ago, she opened her online store, www.PurpleDaisiesLLC.com
, where she focuses on sewing and quilting education. In 2007, Cristy and Sharon co-authored “Piece-By-Piece: Machine Applique”, which features many of Cristy’s original designs. Cristy has spent her lifetime learning about all aspects of sewing and quilting from her amazing mother. Cristy is passing on Sharon’s legacy of techniques through teaching local, regional and national quilting classes. Cristy also shares her own tutorials, and time saving techniques, on her blog www.sewmuchlikemom.com
Stony Brook, NY
Deborah Fisher is the author of Quilt Giving: 19 Simple Quilt Patterns to Make and Give
(Fons & Porter, 2016) and Sew Fun: 20 Projects for the Whole Family
(Interweave, 2013). She is the director of the Bright Hopes Collaborative Quilt Project and of Bo Twal, a non-profit international doll project. Find out more about her projects at fishmuseumandcircus.com
and @fishmuseum on Instagram.
Close to Home
Marilyn has been practicing, promoting and teaching “sewing machine gymnastics” for over 35 years and truly delights in using the machine for techniques that are often done by hand. Along with her husband, Ron and sons Marc and Paul, Marilyn has been part of Close to Home stores in Connecticut since its founding in 1982. Quilt shop, classes and sewing machine sales and service are all part of the Close to Home experience. Their latest addition is the recently completed building that houses their Glastonbury store.
In addition to sewing, Marilyn enjoys exercising, reading, knitting and spending time with friends and family including 12 grandchildren. Professionally, she oversees classes in her store and continues to acquaint owners with their sewing machines. She and Ron were 2015 inductees into the Sewing Machine Hall of Fame. www.closetohomestores.com
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. www.cynthiaguffey.com
Darlene has been a Sewing Educator with Pfaff for over 23 years, and has been sewing since the age of 8. She has taught consumers and dealers on all levels at many sewing and quilting events. Darlene has to her credits a book, Traditional Cutwork Made Easy, and a CD: Clothespin Angels with your Embroidery Machine. She has been a guest multiple times for Houston Public Television, Sewing with Nancy, Martha’s Sewing Room, and America Quilts Creatively. Darlene has trained under and earned certifications from many leading sewing professionals. www.pfaff.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. www.conselle.com
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. www.MaryWKerr.com
Baby Lock Educator
Owings Mills, MD
Heather Kojan Quilts
Heather is the Founder and First President of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild. She's been quilting for nearly 30 years. Heather is a frequent contributor to the popular blog Moda Bake Shop. She is a co-author of the book Classic Modern Quilts
. She also has a quilt featured in the book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters
and is published in Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks from fall 2015. Heather lectures and teaches both locally and regionally. heatherkojan.blogspot.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. www.sewingart.com
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.
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. www.earlytimesworkshop.com
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.
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.
Gina Perkes Designs
Gina Perkes is an internationally award-winning quilter. She has been quilting for nearly two decades and is featured in Gammill’s quilting ads and is proud to represent them as a quilting artist. She also proudly represents BERNINA as an ambassador. She has appeared on several quilting shows and is the author of: Mastering the Art of Longarm Quilting
published by C & T. Gina loves working with other quilters, sharing her techniques and helping them find inspiration and gain confidence. She teaches both domestic and longarm techniques and believes that quilting is therapeutic and strives to create a stress-free, fun learning environment for her students. www.ginaperkes.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. www.kathyruddy.com
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.” www.sewwonderfuldreams.com
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. www.fashionsuppliesinc.com
Baby Lock Educator
Using a needle and thread, Susan's mother taught her to sew at the age of three. She has sewn all kinds of clothing and home decorator items. From 1981 to 1999, she had a home business that specialized in bridal gowns, special occasion items and custom embroidery. Married for 29 years with two daughters, she has had a lot of practice at her craft. Working also in a retail business part-time and then fulltime since 1996 she has managed and taught employees and consumers basic sewing to computer skills. She especially enjoys the time she spends with the computer digitizing programs; always wanting designs that are not readily available. Recently introduced to the quilting world, she combines her interests together to make unique quilts and wall hangings. www.babylock.com