OUR CURRENT EDUCATORS

Unsurpassed artistry.

Helen Frost

Helen Frost cannot even begin to estimate how many quilts she has made or how many quiltmaking students she has taught. She began quilting in 1972 and figures she has made hundreds of quilts. Beginning with Adult Education classes, then classes at shops, guilds, and conferences, she calculates that her students number in the thousands.

Helen is the co-author of eleven books on quilting, three of them featuring the Lone Star design. She is proudest of her contribution to Grand Endeavors: Vintage Arizona Quilts and Their Makers, the award-winning state quilt project publication. She is the innovator of easier and more efficient techniques for traditional quilt patterns such as Nine Patch, Sunshine & Shadow, and of course, the Lone Star.

Helen and her husband live in Tucson, Arizona, and are the parents of four grown children.

Heather Kojan

I’ve been sewing since my teens and quilting for more than 25 years. My first quilt was an Eleanor Burns Quilt in a Day. Since I had a king sized bed, it made sense to me to make a king sized quilt. Go big or go home, right? That quilt was in shades of mauve and dusty blue (hello mid ’80’s!) Let’s just say my fabric tastes have changed since then!

I consider myself a modern quilter, with traditional roots. I’m the founder of the Baltimore Modern Quilt Guild and love speaking to different groups and sharing the modern aesthetic. I’m foremost a teacher. I teach modern quilting classes in local shops, guilds and shows across the country.

I’m a contributing author to the book Classic Modern Quilts and a featured quilter in The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters by Sherri Lynn Wood, and 50 Little Gifts published by Lucky Spool. You can frequently find my work in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Magazine and Modern Patchwork Magazine.

Let’s connect! You can find me on my blog: www.heatherkojan.com or on Instagram @heatherkojan.

Brandy Maslowski

Brandy Maslowski is a quilt teacher, speaker, judge and the author of Kristy’s Quilt. In her business Quilter on Fire, the texture, color and boundless possibilities of fabric ignite a passion in Brandy that heals her stress and leaves her refreshed and joyful in the studio. Join her to enjoy the timeless beauty of an Eastern Caribbean Cruise and for the inspiring opportunity to Quilt at Sea. You can find her everywhere online as the Quilter on Fire.

 

Joan Ford

On February 8, 2003, Joan Ford took her first quilting class and was hooked! In 2006, Joan established her company, Hummingbird Highway, and these days she is best known for patterns, books, and workshops featuring the popular ScrapTherapy® technique. She feels strongly about helping quilters relieve the guilt of a growing scrap fabric stash by cutting, storing, and using scrap fabrics in a variety of quilted projects.  An overview of her process is detailed in all three of her ScrapTherapy books published by The Taunton Press: ScrapTherapy, Cut the Scraps!, Scraps Plus One! and ScrapTherapy, The Versatile Nine Patch.
 
In 2018, Joan formed a second company, Pudgie Parrot, LLC, to have a home for Your Nest™ Organizer, a neat, nest-like gadget that holds your favorite rulers and sewing notions.  As owner of Hummingbird Highway, LLC and Pudgie Parrot, LLC, Joan designs in her home studio and office. Joan and her husband, Dave share their home with three pet birds.

Reed Johnson

Reed discovered that he has a creative side. He was an attorney for 35 years, which was a very stressful occupation. In 2000, he visited the quilt exhibit at the Florida State Fair and said to himself “I bet I can do that.” He started quilting as a means of stress relief and to express his creativity. He is primarily self-taught, but has taken several courses from professional quilters. He was hooked. He loves picking out the fabrics, cutting out all the shapes and watching the quilt top come together as he sews away. 
With Electric Quilt software, he discovered the art of designing quilts and found a new love. After a soul-searching trip to Israel, he took a leap of faith and retired early. He pursued quilt designing full time, and Blue Bear Quilts was born. Blue Bear is a blue, furry bear, Reed made in a quilt shop class, and he won a blue ribbon at the Florida State Fair. 
Reed wants to encourage novice quilters, and inspire the younger generation, to seek quilting as a hobby, so his designs are primarily for the beginner to intermediate quilter. They are colorful and easy to piece together, offering a modern twist on classic patterns. Many of his quilt patterns are designed to be used with an Accuquilt cutter because “better cuts make better quilts.”
He is a certified Quilt-in-a-Day instructor, and his favorite part of teaching is helping quilters gain confidence in their abilities and seeing the joy when someone learns a new skill or technique. Many of his students say they enjoy his calm demeanor and patience. He has nationally taught many quilting and Electric Quilt classes.
Reed won the Accuquilt Block Design Contest as the Fan Favorite in 2016, the Grand Champion in 2017, with his block called “Purple Rose“, and as the runner-up in 2018.   He has designed Row by Row patterns; quilt patterns for new Accuquilt dies; quilt patterns for new fabric lines with QT Fabrics and has designed patterns featured in Love of Quilting and McCalls Quilting magazines.

   Emily Dennis

Hi, I’m Emily 🙂  I’m a 30 something work at home mom of 3.  My kiddos are all in school which leaves me with quiet days and plenty of time to sew.

I made my first quilt in 2012.  It was a memory t-shirt quilt for a loved one.  Looking for tutorials for that quilt led me to pinterest where the world of modern quilting was introduced to me.   I’ve been hooked ever since.  I love the challenge of designing my own quilts.  And the fabric… oh the fabric!

I spend my winters quilting and my summers outside photographing weddings and high school seniors.

I’m located in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

Stephanie Kendron

 

With a passion for the sewing, Stephanie Kendron, a wife and mom of two daughters, loves to share her enthusiasm for sewing with other creatives on her popular podcast, Modern Sewciety. She brings the stories of the industry’s creative makers in a unique and approachable way on the podcast. When she isn’t wearing headphones and a microphone chatting in her sewing room with creatives she is cutting up fabric to stitch back together on her sewing machine. Sometimes she let’s the Cricut Maker cut up her fabrics for a project so she can snack on chocolate.

Visit her links:

  • Facebook/TheModernSewciety
  • Instagram/ModernSewciety
  • Twitter:  @ModernSewciety
  • Pinterest/ModernSewciety

David Sirota

 

It all started because I needed kitchen curtains and decided to make them myself. But that’s a whole other story. I have been quilting since the late 90’s (that’s 1990’s) after my friend Amy Fitzpatrick taught me the basics of quilting. And I thank “Simply Quilts” for all of the information and instruction that Alex Anderson and her guests provided. It felt like I was going to quilting school, and I tried not to miss a class. There was one technique that I was immediately drawn to, and that was paper piecing. I thought it was so cool because of the intricate and accurate results you get.

The only drawback was that it was really difficult to wrap my brain around, kinda like upside down and backwards. If you’ve ever tried it, you know what I mean. But once I got it, the results were quite exciting. Except, there was one huge drawback…the paper. Regardless of the kind of paper I used, it still had to be removed at the end, otherwise your quilt would sound like crumpling paper.

So, I started thinking about how to make paper piecing simpler and faster. And I’m proud to say that in 2004, I figured it out. My “No More Tears” © method of paper piecing is easier to understand and takes about half the time of the way paper piecing has been done traditionally.

Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to see for yourself.

Jenny Kae Parks

Nationally published designer, popular instructor and video host for QuiltMaker Magazine, Craft-U, and Fons and Porter, Jenny Kae brings laughter and confidence to Quilt Retreat at Sea.  In her words, ” I am living the dream!  I get to spend my days working with beautiful fabrics, beautiful designs and beautiful people.  AND I get to share about something I love!”

Learn more about Jenny Kae at her website:  https://www.jennykaequilts.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joanne Hillestad

Joanne Hillestad has been sewing for years and years. As a very small girl growing up in Duluth, Minnesota, my sister and I were always making something. Fabric is just one medium I love to play with. On my birthday in 2013, I woke up knowing that I had to follow my dreams.  That was the day the Fat Quarter Gypsy was born.  I started out designing quilts, which I still love to do.  But then in April of 2015, I had this idea for a springy thread catcher.  Once the Fat Quarter Pop came to life everything changed and my business took a design turn towards dimensional products.
Susan Emory and I began working together in 2017.  Susan started helping me create a line of animal themed pop ups.  I have always loved the Swirly Girls patterns.  In 2018, the opportunity to purchase Swirly Girls Design happened and now I am the proud owner of two pattern lines.  Fat Quarter Gypsy focuses on dimensional projects.  Swirly Girls focuses on quilts, which feeds my quilty soul.

 

 

Kristine Poor

 

Kristine Poor started Poorhouse Quilt Designs was founded in September 2006, after designing the Sampler Tote as a gift for a family member. The tote was a hit around town and a pattern company was born! She has a degree in Engineering and a love of fabric and color! The pattern line has grown since 2006 – there are bags, bowls, quilts, banners, ornaments…recently we have added machine embroidery and laser cutting to the mix. The most popular pattern from the Poorhouse is the Fold ‘N Stitch Wreath. She enjoys experimenting with unusual materials and sharing the results with you! Think of these projects as a “creativity booster shot”! Stitch a little, add your personal touch and in a short amount of time, your project is done!

 

 

 

Peggy Gelbrich

Peggy has been quilting and helping others learn the joy of quilt making for over 40 years. As a quilt teacher, sharing the art of quilt making is her passion. She has taught quilt making across the United States and in Canada teaching at large guild classes, quilting retreats and small private groups in her home. Her teaching style won her a nomination for Quilt Teacher of the Year sponsored by the Professional Quilter.

Peggy loves making traditional quilt patterns look new again with modern fabrics and techniques. She enjoys trying and learning different techniques in the quilt making process, always looking for an easier way to conquer those seemingly intricate patterns.

Originally from Oregon, Peggy spent 22 years in Ketchikan, Alaska with her husband, Ron, raising their three children. With the children grown she and her husband have come back home to Oregon.

Learn more about Peggy and her style here:  https://yellowhousequilter.com/

 

Cindy Grisdela

Cindy is an award-winning artist with over 30 years’ experience creating eye-catching quilts. Her first quilt was a queen-sized Trip Around the World where she cut all the squares out using a cardboard template and pinking shears! Despite the problem of getting an accurate seam allowance under those conditions, Cindy was hooked on quilting and never looked back. Although she began as a traditional quiltmaker, her style has evolved into a more modern aesthetic using improvisational techniques. She especially enjoys interpreting two of her favorite traditional patterns, Log Cabin and Drunkard’s Path, in contemporary designs.

Cindy is the author of Artful Improv: Explore Color Recipes, Building Blocks & Free Motion Quilting, and she travels all over the country teaching improvisational design, piecing, and free motion quilting at guilds, shows, and festivals.

Even if you’ve never made an improv quilt before, Cindy’s tips and tricks make the process fun and easy.

Learn more at Cindy’s website and blog at https://cindygrisdela.com or follow her on Instagram @cindygrisdelaquilts

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