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Ron Collins - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Ron Collins is Canada’s best known sewing personality and is adored as a designer, speaker and teacher. He is the first male Canadian Designer to have his own line of patterns with Vogue, which premiered in March 2017. Sandra Betzina, Power Sewing icon, and Ron have produced 12 DVD’s including an tailoring for both men and women. Since 2009 they have filmed over 240 on-line web shows called Power Sewing which has received great reviews. He is talented, hardworking and handsome - an absolute natural! Lucky for us he also loves to teach. 

 

 

 

Liz Thompson - Vancouver,  B.C

Liz has been a passionate sewer since the age of 9. More than 30 years ago she started quilting as “therapy” to ease homesickness after a move far away from where she grew up. She never looked back after that –  sewers & quilters truly are super friendly and supportive around their common passion! Her fav sewing is applique/quilting; machine embroidery, garment sewing including bras & other lingerie.  She recently retired from a long career in the sewing industry and continues to share her sewing and quilting skills through her sewwithliz.com business. Liz is a proud Canadian living in Vancouver, BC – although she does have a different accent!

 

 

Beverly Johnson - Hamilton, Ontario

Since 1995 Beverly Johnson has taught bra-making, underwear, swimwear and corsetry to over 50,000 women! Whether they have taken classes from her here at the Stitches Conference, or an online class at Craftsy her students call her the "Fairy Bra Mother" Beverly has written 8 books on making and designing intimate appeal as well as developed her own line of patterns, called Pin-up girls.  Let Beverly share the magic of Bra making with you! 

 

 

Jeanette Spornitz - Vanderhoof, British Columbia

Jeanette has been sewing since she can remember and began sewing bras in 2011.  In 2013 she completed the Professional Bra Making  with Bra Makers Supply.  Since then she has been assisting Beverly Johnson with a number of classes including the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference.  2018 She began teaching the Beginner bra classes at the conference.  Having Beverly as a mentor has greatly increased her bra making techniques & fitting skills. She teaches bra making, swimwear and lingerie drafting, fitting and sewing techniques to students in Saskatchewan, Edmonton and Northern Alberta.  There is nothing better than seeing a student's eyes light up with a great fitting bra they made themselves.

 

 

Jan Bones - Winnipeg, Manitoba

Jan is a teacher, author & designer.  Teaching is an inspiring & amazing part of her life.  Jan knows The Saskatchewan Stitches Conference is the place for all to share ideas, meet new friends & have fun working hard!

For 31 years Jan taught pattern design, garment construction, pattern drafting, tailoring, draping & fitting at the University of Manitoba.  She continues to enjoy educating classes of enthusiastic clothing design students at Rev Rive College, located in Winnipeg.

In 1994 Jan started her sewing pattern company "Linger Secrets & there are over 40 designs to fit ladies in all shapes & sizes! Jan travels across Canada & the United States, to have the joy of teaching sewing enthusiasts in seminars, hands on workshops & weekend retreats.  Family(including happy perfect grandchildren, aged 5, 11 & 18), volunteer work and summer time at the cottage keep her busy and joy filled.  

Carol Feller  - Cork, Ireland

Carol trained initially as a textile artist and then as a structural engineer. While both of these backgrounds are very different the influences can be seen in her design work which is well-shaped, flattering to wear and enjoyable to knit. 

Carol has been widely published in books and magazine and travels the world teaching in yarn shops and fibre festivals. The classes she teaches cover a wide range of subjects from cables and chart reading, through garment shaping and customisation right through to short rows and colourwork. In her classes you'll move from learning the basics to refining your knitting skills and fixing problems.

 

Wendy van der Walt - Brandon, Manitoba

For over 22 years, Wendy has been in the business of making colorful dreams come true!  For the first 15, Wendy was the Creator and Faerie Godmother of Faeries from the Prairies, a costume and clothing manufacturer you might have seen at a Canadian Craft sale near you.. Currently, Wendy is the Chief Creative Shenanigator and Hand Holder at Fabriculous Fresh Modern Fabrics in Manitoba.  Opening in early 2012, Fabriculous has expanded and evolved to include two location, shows and teaching engagements across western Canada, as well as legendary retreat hosting!   Wendy and her husband George have also developed their own line of Collage, Bag Making and Quilting designs and patterns under the Fabriculous banner.  The heart of the business, as well as the energy behind the growth has been Wendy's enthusiasm and excitement for taking projects that seem intimidating and dauting, and making them fun, fast and accessible to everyone.  "you can do this!" is her favorite thing to say! 

Roberta Wynnyk - Edmonton, Alberta

Roberta comes to us from BERNINA of Canada where she has worked since 2004.  She always loved creating at the machine and started by sewing for her dolls and then herself.  Her hobby led her to the University of Alberta where she graduated with a B.Sc. in Clothing and Textiles.   As life progressed, her sewing focused on home décor, children's wear, and then teaching others what they could do.  She is an accomplished seamstress and loves using digitizing software and embroidery on her projects.  She ventured into quilting with rulers and has written a ruler work technique book.  Most recently, she has designed a small line of bag patterns especially for cork. Roberta has sewn, embroidered and serged hundreds of projects, and is always looking to try a new technique. What will be next?

 

  Melissa Marginet - Beausejour, MB.

Melissa grew up next door to her wonderful grandmother, whom she credits for her creative life.  She caught the quilting bug in 2001 when she took a Log Cabin class to get rid of some fabric she had laying around.  Needless to say she has way more fabric laying around now than she did back then.  She loves to teach and enjoys sharing her knowledge and inspiring others.  She is a DIY quilter from beginning to end and encourages her students to do the same.  She has published two books "Walking Foot Quilting Designs" and "Edge to Edge Walking Foot Quilting Designs". 

 

 

Shelley Tobisch - Saskatoon, SK

Shelley Scott-Tobisch discovered her love of quilting after immigrating to Canada from the United States in 1986.  The desire to share her passion for quilting led her to begin a teaching career soon after.  Shelley's love of scrap quilts, pursuit of precision and desire to make it more easily attainable led to the development of the techniques and tools used in the Easy Precision Piecing System.  Shelley is the author of Easy Precision Piecing and with her husband, Bernie cofounded Little Oak Pattern Co. Ltd. in 2011.  Together they have deve4loped Acorn Precision Piecing products for the Easy Precision Piecing System.  

 

 

Bernie Tobisch - Saskatoon, Sk.

Bernie was born in Germany and moved to Canada as a young boy.  He grew up in Saskatchewan and moved to Alberta in his early twenties, where he began his career as a sewing machine technician with Singer.  He became a dealer after a few years and continued to service machines.  In the late 1980's he moved to the Vancouver region, opened up shop where he remained until he recently moved back to Saskatchewan.   Together with his wife, Shelley, they have worked together for the last twenty years teaching classes.   

 

 

 

 

Dianne Jansson - Pritchard, British Columbia

After attaining an Australian Degree in Home Economics and Teaching dressmaking for many years in Australia and Canada the last 25 years have seen Dianne's focus change to quilting.  Technique, rather than artistic design is the basis for most of her machine piecing workshops, with colours playing a strong role.  Dianne believes that quilting is meant to be a pleasurable activity and encourages students to adapt designs to suit their own needs.   

 

 

 

Ana Buzzalino - Calgary, Alberta

Ana Buzzalino is an award winning textile artist and quilt maker.  Her art has won awards at national and international shows.  She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where sewing was part of her life at an early age.  She studied dressmaking and art while in school.  In early 1982 Ana moved to Calgary.  A couple years later, while walking down the street, she saw a "blanket" on a window and went into the store to ask about purchasing it.  She was told that it wasn't for sale, but that she could learn to make her own.  She signed up for a beginner's quilting class that same day, and she never looked back.  The rest, as they say, is history.   Ana loves traditional quilting techniques but started using innovative machine techniques and surface design in 2002. She is a frequent contributor to Quilting Arts magazine and her work has graced the cover of four issues.  She has appeared in Quilting Arts TV, American Quilter's Society magazine, A Needle Pulling Thread, and Modern patchwork.  She has also produced two workshop DVD's with Interweave/F&W. 

 

Susan Madu - Calgary, Alberta

Susan Madu is a CPA by day and a passionate creator and quilter by night.  Susan has been quilting for over 25 years and garment sewing since she could reach up to a sewing machine.  Susan is never without a sketchbook or some project in her hands.  Her quilting has evolved from making quilts from commercial patterns to designing her own patterns under the Modern Blended Quilts banner.  Susan's patterns appeal to both traditional and modern quilters alike.  A central theme of Susan's patterns is blending together elements of traditional and modern quilting.  Susan teaches regularly and has been described as a knowledgeable teacher that takes great joy in sharing techniques and tips to help class participants be successful in their quilting projects.  Susan shares her insights with humor from the perspective of having learned the hard way what not to do - "ask me how I know"!  For the last 6 months, Susan has been teaching workshops and presenting Trunk shows via Zoom. 

Michael Smith - Toronto, Ontario

As National Education Manager, Michael develops and teaches a variety of classes from the Janome Sewing and Learning Centre in Oakville, Ontario. From an early age, Michael expressed his creativity, imagination, and flair for design; particularly when creating new fashions and hairstyles for his sister’s Barbie dolls. Following two diplomas in Fashion Design, his career path took a detour when he discovered his passion for quilting and has, for many years, maintained a successful long arm quilting business (The Sewcial Quilter) from his home studio. Often described as a “social butterfly”, Michael is excited to meet new friends while teaching sewing, quilting and all things Janome; or, as Michael simply puts it, to “share in the Janome Love!”

Michael regularly hosts Instagram LIVE presentations on the Janome HQ Instagram page, which are later posted as videos on the Janome HQ You Tube channel.  Learn more and follow Janome HQ:

Michelle Miller - Bienfait, Saskatchewan 

Inspired by nature she is renowned for creating works of art out of recycled wood, fabric, metal, glass and more.  Unafraid to try something out of the ordinary.  Her unique creations are always in demand.  Once exposed to rug hooking she quickly develped a love for primitive designs and enjoys sharing her talent and passion.  Tow of her designs have bee featured in a A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine.   

 

 

 

 

Heather Grover - Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Heather Grover (McDermid) was raised in Renfrew, Ontario.  She grew up loving art, she studied Art Illustration (textiles as well as weaving, silk painting, paper making, print making and Pottery ) at Sheridan College in Trenton, Ontario.   At this point in her life she married Michael Grover and moved to Europe and studied for three years.  Once she was back in Canada she did alot of art work for the military, of which many of her pieces are in Muesums.  When she moved from Petawawa, Ontario to Moose Jaw, Heather dabbled a bit with quilts but once settled in Moose Jaw she took it up full time.  In 2004 Heather incorporated her art work into quilting.  Heather worked in traditiona lstyle of quilting (Square in a Square, piecing et.) She now does a lot of work with fieber arts and also felting.  She is always trying something new which she incorporates both styles of quilting.  

 

Diane Dugan - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Diane is a self taught accomplished sewist.  She discovered the art of draping when she hand made her dress form  Marley.  She is a natural instructor and loves sharing her skill with other enthusiastic sewists.   

 

 

 

 

Gail Heller - Calgary, Alberta

Gail is the owner of Erie Quilt Art Inc, a distributor of quilting products located in Calgary Alberta.  Erie Quilt Art serves quilt shops and registered quilting businesses across Canada.  Gail and her team love to source the best quilting products available for their customers. Gail is an avid quilter herself and also provides classes on thread as a certified instructor for both Aurifil and Superior Threads and has been trained as a Certified Instructor for Studio 180 Design (Deb Tucker) products to allow her to provide in-store demos and classes on those products, in keeping with Erie Quilt Art’s mission to assist customers in growing their own successful businesses. 

Gail was inspired to start quilting by her Babci (Polish Grandma) and has been quilting since 1991. Gail was the guest International Master teacher at the Russian International Quilt Festival in 2016 and has designed two of her own Hunter Star patterns which have been published in Studio 180 Design books. Gail loves to explore the worlds of modern and art quilting and one of her pieces, “Failure is Not an Option” is touring the world as part of the Fly Me To The Moon exhibit commemorating NASA’s race to the moon.    

Adrienne Gallagher -  Toronto, Ontario

Adrienne learned the art of sewing and needlework from her mother and her paternal grandmother. Candlewicking, Hardanger, needlepoint, and cross-stitch all gave way to machine sewing when she miraculously won a sewing machine during her second year of university. The arrival of her first child was celebrated with a handmade quilt from a friend. This began her enthusiasm for all types of quilting.

Adrienne’s background in the printing industry fueled her design aesthetic and love of text on everything. Eventually, she co-founded a custom quilt company and went on to develop her sewing passion (read stash) by working and teaching in quilt and sewing shops. Imagine her joy at discovering embroidery machines and their ability to stitch “fonts”.

Currently, Adrienne is the National Product Educator at BERNINA of Canada. As a 125-year-old family-run company, BERNINA allows Adrienne to look back on the historic sewing techniques she learned in childhood while experiencing arguably the most technologically advanced sewing machines on the planet. Each day she shares her love of sewing, embroidery, quilting, overlocking and design software with store owners and the public alike.

Lynn Swanson - Vancouver B.C.

 

Lynn is a quilter, embroiderer, sewer and an overall ‘maker of things’…. she has been having fun with fabric and fibers for most of her life.  Twelve years ago after a career as a Corporate Trainer and Instructional Designer Lynn joined Brother Canada and has been training Brother Dealers and customers on Brother Sewing and Embroidery machines, digital cutters and software since that time.  “I get really excited helping people discover what they can create with our machines, and how much fun they will have at the same time”. says Lynn.   You can be sure her classes are FUN, informative and entertaining.  Lynn is a regular contributor to ‘A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine’, ‘Brother blog’ and is member of the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild. She is also a quilter, knitter, an avid golfer, curler and yogi.

Vanessa McRea - Vancouver B.C.

Account Manager- Western Canada at Brother International Corporation since 2003. Vanessa is passionate about Brother Sewing, Quilting, Embroidery and Crafting machines.  With a background in Interior Design, Vanessa loves all things Design, Crafting and Gardening.  Vanessa moved with her family from Saskatoon, Sk to Vancouver, BC in 1995 and enjoys living in the mountains where the Fraser and Harrison rivers meet.  Ask me anything in regard to a Brother Sewing machine!  I would love to share my enthusiasm on the amazing products Brother has to offer!