Meet Our Experts

Jamie Anthony – Jamie has been a life-long craft and photography enthusiast. She was first taught how to knit and crochet by her Grandma Pontius when she was elementary school age. Her love of knitting was renewed shortly after the birth of her son, tucker, by a close friend and she has had a knitting project, or several, in her bag ever since.

Jamie considers herself a fearless knitter who relies on friends, multiple internet videos, and local yarn shops to enhance her yarn skills and encourage her curiosity and love of fiber art.

Jamie’s love of gnomes started with a wee little travel gnome knitted and gifted to her by her niece, Alexandria, whom jamie taught to knit. Gnomey has traveled to Ireland, Italy, and all over the US, and records his travels on his Facebook and Instagram pages @The Adventures of Gnomey. Jamie lives in South Bend with her husband and their Shih Tzu, Mabel, who loves grabbing any ball of yarn that might come her way.

Jamie Anthony headshot

Becky Fenton – Becky began her passion for the Stripology ruler and techniques in 2020 during Covid. Since then, she has made over 40 quilts using this methodology. She uses her Stripology ruler for every quilt she makes and enjoys opportunities to show others how to get themes out of their ruler. She calls herself a Stripologist and as you will see, she’s a huge fan of the methodology.

Becky started quilting in 2007 in Kansas City and started her long arm quilting business in 2011. She now resides in northern Indiana with her husband Scott and her Yorkies, Sammie and Coco Joe.

Becky Fenton Headshot

Annie Fuller – Annie is our Featured Artisan for 2024!

Annie’s given name is Woodice Ann, but she prefers being called Annie. She and her husband, Dan, reside outside of Angola, IN.

Annie has been stitching samplers for 59 years. She first found inspiration from a chart in Good Housekeeping Magazine when she was 23 years old. 

Woman with grey hair, dark grey jacket, and black t-shirt, standing in front of a wood paneled wall.

Carol Kaufman – Carol started sewing in high school home economics class, and spent years sewing for herself and her children. Most recently she has spent three years sewing in the RV arena. Carol began quilting 8-10 years ago and hasn’t looked back.

Claudia Lash – Claudia is a pattern designer, teacher, and maker of many sewing projects from small items to quilts. Her company is Presto Avenue Designs.

www.prestoavenuedesigns.com

Claudia teaches around the Indianapolis area and can be found on YouTube.

Lynn Gerard – Lynn has been sewing for many years and has discovered her love for creating and making bags and purses out of cork material and leather. She couldn’t find a local source to buy all the matching hardware and zippers so she started selling that as well thus LsG Creations was born.

Lynn Gerard photo

Mary Ann Lienhart Cross – Mary Ann learned to sew as a child making pillowcases with her grandmother. She continued to sew through 10 years of 4-H and earned a degree in Consumer & Family Sciences and also a Masters Degree in Instructional Development both from Purdue University.

Mary Ann enjoys working with fiber, knitting, needle felting, weaving, and sewing. Sometimes what she enjoys most of all is collecting all of the supplies. She is a lifelong learner and enjoys learning and sharing with others.

Mary Ann Leinhart-Cross Head shot

Sharon Martin – Sharon is a life time sewer and began learning and improving her skills at a young age. For 20 years, she designed and created furniture for the van conversion industry, then transitioned to pontoon and fiberglass deck boats, doing all the padding and seating.

Sharon then went to the RV industry to create sofas, recliner, and other seating in the Class A Motorhomes.

She enjoys making quilts, table runners, and wall hangings, whether it’s a piecing, appliqué, or embroidery (hand or machine). Sharon especially gets excited when she is piecing a quilt and can find ways to use Deb Tucker’s rulers for accurate piecing. She finds the end results are so exciting!

Sharon Martin Head Shot in front of quilt
Sue Martin Headshot. Woman with grey hair in light blue shirt in front of blurred background

Sue Martin – Sue learned to stitch as a child, and has continued her needlework education throughout her life. She has been an active member of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America for nearly 40 years, and has learned many different techniques and styles of needlework.

Sue has been employed at fabric stores, which led to the opportunity to teach sewing and quilt making for more than 30 years. In addition to EGA, she has been active with Indiana Extension Homemakers Assocation and in her church. 

Sue lives in Warsaw, IN, and has three grown children, seven grandchildren, and a special dog.

Maggie Schnaars – Maggie is a fiber artist living on a small alpaca hobby farm in Elkhart County. She specializes in knitting, crocheting, weaving on a rigid heddle loom, and spinning lessons for all age groups.

She knits continually, experimenting in traditional methods of knitted garment construction and color work in fair isle, twined, entrelac and intarsia.

Maggie's portrait

Saloma Slabaugh – Saloma was given the gift of being taught needlework at a very young age. She has pleasure in passing this gift on to others who would like to enjoy this amazing hobby.

Soloma Slabaugh Project

Pat Rathbun – Sewing has been a part of Pat’s life from a young age as a 10 year 4-H member.  She continued her love of sewing into adulthood earning a degree in Consumer & family Sciences from Purdue University.  Pat enjoys all types of sewing and crafts.  Her recent entry into the ‘Memory Bears” creative world has become a special and personal ministry for her.

Woman with brown hair, smiling, and wearing a grey cowl neck sweater standing in front of an off-white background

Jackie Watkins Jackie was born being a sewists and crafter in spite of the fact that none of the females in her family had any interest in fabric, fibers, and crafts.  Her female family members were and are members of the tidy and clean house club, Jackie is not!  When it comes to sewing & crafting Jackie is a ‘Free Spirit”, there are “no rules’ she just follows her thoughts and creates. Her profession that pays is being a long time hair stylist.  You can find Jackie at Gypsy Jacks Fashions  https://gypsyjacksfashions.net -a world of fun!, creativity gone wild, handmade fashions creations.

Woman with blonde hair smiling for the camera, wearing a black turtle neck and leopard print blouse in front of a light brown wall.

Teresa Wells

Grey-haired woman in a blue sweatshirt standing in front of a denim jacket with a quilted pattern. A window is in the background.

Diane Wise Diane is a long time knitter with special interest in using 100% feltable wool yarn along with decorate yarn to create a variety of items.  She enjoys sharing what she has learned in the past 20 years when it comes to knitting and felting.  Along with this knitting felting passion she really likes to work with the color green when it comes to her yarn of choice.

Pat Barnes – Pat has lived in Indiana her whole life. She learned to sew in high school, and after graduation, got married and made clothes for her children. Pat started quilting 20 years ago and loves to teach other people how to quilt.

Headshot of woman with a turquoise shirt on and silver earrings with short brown hair.

Connie Kauffman – Connie is a quilt designer, author, and teacher. She has published six books and has many patterns in other books and magazines. Connie has been an Island Batik Ambassador for the past ten years.

Woman with grey hair, wearing a blue and white blouse with a white cardigan standing in front of a green leafy tree

Wendy Cassady – Wendy is a retired teacher and current Outdoor Education instructor at YMCA Camp Eberhart. She has been seriously quilting for about eight years. Her favorite method of piecing is paper piecing. Wendy enjoys making homemade gifts for family and friends.

Woman with grey hair in a light blue v-neck hoodie standing in a fabric store, smiling, looking into the distance

Vicki Gibson – Vicki has lived in the Elkhart area her whole life. She’s a mom of eight and a grandmother of 23. Vicki has been sewing since she was a teenager and quilting for 20 years. She likes to make wall hangings, table runners, and quilts for family and friends. Vicki is mostly self-taught, and is always trying new techniques and learning new skills. She likes to share what she knows with others.

Woman with dark hair sitting on a chair using a spinning wheel, smiling at the camera in front of a window with white curtains.

Ingrid Simmons – Ingrid learned crocheting, knitting, sewing, and stitching at a pretty early age. She didn’t do much stitching once she graduated from school. Ingrid then immigrated to the US from Germany as a young woman. She started cross stitching to help her get settled into her new country. She has done a variety of cross stitch kits and has recently discovered samplers. Ingrid also enjoys online stitch alongs.

Woman with grey hair and a black and red shirt on standing in front of a beige wall.

Cj Spensley – Cj is the Director of the “Jane Stickle Quilt Retreat”, which meets in Shipshewana, IN twice a year, and includes many exceptional and inspriing quilt makers. Her other interest include music, knitting, crocheting, gardening, photography, and bicycling. Cj has jumped into local quilt guilds, clubs, and church sewing groups. She teaches quilt making at The Quilt Shop at Essenhaus in Middlebury.

Black and white photo of a woman with short wavy hair, wearing glasses, and smiling in front of a blurred background.

Amy Watson, Owner of Sew Creative Threads lives in Elkhart, Indiana. Among the many hats she wears at the store, she finds that “Machine Repair” hat gets the most wear. As a sewist, Amy knows firsthand how frustrating it is when your sewing machine just isn’t doing what you think it should. Luckily, her mom, Brenda Miller, taught Amy a whole lot about how to diagnose and fix them when things go wrong.

Woman with dark hair sitting in a fiber store sitting behind a white sewing machine.

Cheryl cannot remember a time when she didn’t love fabric!!  By the time she was 8 years old her Mother was certain she was going to learn to sew and embroider, & she did!!  (However, her Mother did remind her later that it took the patience of Job to teach her as she wanted to be out running on the farm!)

Through 10 years of 4-H clothing construction she learned from her Mother and from judges how to improve her sewing techniques with each project.  In 1988 a special friend introduced her to quilting, and she has never looked back!  As it was with 4-H, she has learned new techniques and improved her quilt-making skills with each project. 

Cheryl was employed in quilt shops from 1997 until her retirement in 2017.  She has taught numerous quilting technique classes, workshops, a 1930’s Clothesline Club, and Kindred Spirits Club. 

Cheryl’s quilts have been entered in juried and judged events and have won prestigious awards.  She considers herself a traditional quilter and especially enjoy collecting fabric & stitching quilts using 1800’s and 1930’s reproduction fabrics. 

Woman with dark hair wearing a light blue button down shirt over a white shirt and glasses, smiling at the camera.

Susan is the owner of Blueberry Cottage Yarn in Plymouth, IN.  Previously she was the owner of a bed & breakfast in South Bend.  She was a teacher in the South Bend schools and taught at Indiana University South Bend.  All of her life Susan has been a lover of all things fiber.

Woman with blond hair, glasses, wearing a black sweater and a blue and yellow scarf smiling at the camera.

Izabelle Brandli

Young woman with red/brown curly hair smiling in front of a grey background wearing a colorful denim jacket and a colorful scarf