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Opening Soon: Bag BootCamp!
 
MEET OUR CLASSROOM INSTRUCTORS
HELEN ABERNATHY

Although I originally hail from the coast of NC, I consider myself a real Floridian after living here for the past 46 years.

I began sewing at four years old by making dolly clothes on my little hand cranked Singer. I made most of my clothes through high school and college and even sold a few. They looked quite professional I must say.

I’m a retired elementary school teacher and principal. I love retirement! I have so much more time for sewing and time with family/friends.

I made my first quilt in high school, and it was awful. It went to the trash or Goodwill a few years ago. I tried again in the early 2000’s and finally decided it was time to take a lesson or two at a friend’s suggestion.  I was hooked. I took all kinds of classes at different shops locally and a bit north of here. Now I have quite a stash and tons of rulers which I enjoy using,

I worked at local quilt shop for a couple of years and found my love - teaching classes and bright colors. I enjoy foundation paper piecing, piecing, applique, machine and hand embroidery, needle turn and English Paper Piecing.

Finally, I’m so fortunate to have a very patient husband who supports my obsession.

MARY HAYES

I relocated from upstate New York a couple of years ago with my husband.  I am a retired math teacher with over 30 years experience and taught classes at Amelia's Garden Sewing Boutique In Delmar, NY.  

I have been quilting since the late 90's.  I am a modern quilting enthusiast and enjoy making bags!!  I am a co-designer of The Perfect Wallet and the designer of The Mini Wallet. 

I enjoy teaching others and inspire them to build on and expand their quilting and sewing skills.

LINDA
ROBERTS

 

I've been sewing ever since seventh grade when my parents made me take Home Economics. Realized that I actually enjoyed it, and have been a sewing enthusiast ever since.  

My corporate career spanning over 40 years included teaching and rolling out new IT processes and applications to employees globally.  Designing and delivering this information to many cultures honed my skills to transfer knowledge to a wide range of audiences. Now that I’m retired, I’m excited to bring my personal and professional skills to the world of sewing. 

My passion is vintage sewing patterns, design, and fabrics.  I love how the garment construction techniques of prior eras can make a garment incredibly unique, even today.  Combining modern fabrics with designs from older eras is where my creativity really blossoms. 

I’ve been blessed with sewing mentors over the years and have started to ‘pay it forward’ through teaching others how to sew and create their own garments.  

   
TESSA WALKER

You may know Tessa Walker as the certified BERNINA technician in the shop. But did you know that she comes to us with over 40 years of sewing experience? She has done just about everything from fine heirloom baby clothes and smocking to slipcovers, tailored suits, embroidery and bags.

After taking up quilting 8 years ago, she began her blog, The Sewing Chick, and has written many popular tutorials that are posted on her website, thesewingchick.com. While mostly self-taught, she pays great attention to detail and is always in search of the best way to achieve beautiful results. She enjoys teaching and sharing her understanding of textile arts in a way that is both fun and informative to class participants. Understanding that everyone works at their own pace and within their individual desires, her goal is to bring out the best in every student's abilities.

MICHELLE MCMILLAN

I first made a baby quilt for my cousin's baby boy 24 years ago. I was just sewing squares together and tying off the quilt, using flannel backing with a thick DMC-like floss. Fast forward to 2009 when I was gifted a Beginning Quilt Class by my M.I.L.  I have been involved with quilting the "proper" way ever since. I have taken classes from some of the finest! 

Bernina Sewing machines are my newest obsession. I love the way my Bernina sings. Yes, I DO name my sewing machines, Tula Pink names her Bernina machines after rap singers, so I have taken it upon myself to name one of my combo machines Stitch Dogg and the Hoopty Hoops. 

I love learning new and old techniques, and absolutely love teaching samplers for that very reason. I never bore of a new block, though have trended towards Modern Quilting and techniques, because it looks so fresh. Brown gives me hives. Literally, I break out in hives! 

Coming from an art history background, I find the history of quilts intriguing - I love researching the whys. The Gees Bend quilts, underground railroad quilts, and the naming of blocks is something I will try and educate myself at every step of the way. I know nothing of garment sewing, but hope to learn more. I am not the best at bag making, but I try.  I learn new things every day, and hope I can share my knowledge with you. 
KARIS HESS

My earliest memory of crafting was making my first construction paper headdress at Thanksgiving when I was about 4-years old. I've been hooked on creating ever since. There isn't a time in my life where I've been lacking some creative project in process. As far as sewing goes, I relied on my mother to make Barbie clothes, staying busy in the gym working on my Olympic career as a gymnast. Alas, moving from Ohio to Florida dashed my young girl dreams and as luck would have it, I had time on my teenaged hands to learn how to sew in Junior High School. One peasant dress later, I hung up the foot pedal and concentrated on more important things, like boys.

Fast forward a good 15 years and few kids later when sewing became an affordable alternative to dressing my daughter. That was a fun couple of years until Chloe decided she didn't want handmade clothes, opting for the name brands sported by her friends. {heavy sigh} The good news? My now millennial-aged child earns the "least likely to cave from peer pressure" award these days. {big grin} 

The road to today has been filled with many creative adventures and some prosperous endeavors. Prior to opening The Modern Sewist, I have been a web developer (many, many moons ago when you only needed to know a handful of code); an associate professor at University of Boulder's continuing education program (teaching said web coding); a Realtor (isn't everyone, once in their life?); a bridal shop owner (don't get me started); and Private Chef (yes, I've seen Chopped and Below Deck). The latter career had been, by far, my absolute favorite before I opened the doors to my shop in November, 2016.

I started back in the sewing industry in 2014 with a line of sewing patterns for handbags and accessories as Clobird Designs. A handful of those patterns remain extremely popular today and are among some of the classes I teach. Teaching is very much my "love language". Being able to spark creativity through transferring knowledge and passion is among one of the highlights of my life-long career as an educator!