TOBY LISCHKO | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor Toby Lischko’s philosophy is “quilting should be fun, not hard.” Toby has been quilting since 1985 and teaching quilting classes/workshops since 1995. She considers herself a traditional quilter who loves working with traditional quilt blocks, but adds her own special flair to the designs. She has won many national awards for her quilts including the 1st Entry in an AQS Contest award sponsored by YLI for CELESTIAL CROWNS in Paducah in 2005. Toby designs patterns and templates under the name of Gateway Quilts & Stuff, Inc. The focus of her business is to inspire others with her love of quilting through teaching. She also does commissioned work for many of the major fabric companies and has been published in most of the national quilt magazines. Her background in special education has helped make her an excellent quilting teacher. See more at www.gatewayquiltsnstuff.com.
LINDA THIELFOLDT | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor Linda Thielfoldt—an award winning quilter and owner of The Quilted Goose in Troy, Michigan—has been quilting for over 40 years. She loves to share quilting knowledge as a teacher of quiltmaking and machine quilting for over 25 years. Linda’s classes are taught in a no-rules, fun, and lively style that provides inspiration and new ideas.
Linda teaches at major shows and guilds and specializes in fearless quilting. She offers a wide variety of classes including quilting, piecing, appliqué, and everything in between. In addition to designing quilts and machine quilting patterns, Linda is a writer of all things quilting, and her articles have appeared in many top quilting and sewing magazines. She has appeared on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims and is the author of On My Way to Baltimore (2016). Find out more at www.thequiltedgoose.com.
PHYLLIS CULLEN | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor
Intent on using both her right and left brain, Phyllis pursued parallel careers in medicine and art. The MD part was a lot of work, and practicing medicine (she loved her patients but hated the paperwork) took a lot of time and energy. Although the art lessons were sporadic and somewhat haphazard, she managed to learn to draw, paint, and sculpt, and then discovered fibers and fabrics, which satisfied her visual and tactile cravings. For the last 30 years, Phyllis has happily explored the possibilities of the quilt as art.
In addition to teaching quilting all over the world—from Hawaii to Israel and from northern Wisconsin to Southern Chile—Phyllis has also explored the globe in her travels as a pro bono medical volunteer on over 40 trips to various third-world countries, giving her plenty of fodder for prize-winning art. Phyllis has shown and sold pieces around the world. Check out her designs and learn more at www.phylliscullenartstudio.com.
KAREN MARCHETTI | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor Karen Marchetti pieced her first quilt top in 2003. Shortly thereafter, longarm quilting became her true passion. Bringing her artistic background to her work, she developed her own unique style of custom quilting. Karen loves creating and designing her own quilts, and she competes as much as possible. She loves everything creative; she has always loved drawing and painting, so when she’s not stitching you can usually find her doodling away! Karen has won numerous national awards for both personal quilts and client quilts. She quilts samples for Quiltworx by Judy Niemeyer, Jinny Beyer Studio, and RJR Fabrics, just to name a few.
When Karen isn’t quilting for clients or creating her own competition pieces, she travels with Gammill Quilting Systems as a Quilting Artist, demonstrating the amazingness of machine quilting. Her work has been seen in several publications and in multiple Gammill ads. She recently appeared on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims, and holds special events on The Quilt Show’s website. Karen brings a fresh, open approach to teaching by encouraging quilters to use their passion to create and increase their skills gently while enjoying their creations along the way. See her beautiful quilts at www.creativelongarmquilting.com.
KATHY MCNEIL | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor Kathy McNeil is an international-award-winning quilt artist, judge, teacher, and designer. Hand appliquéing thousands of little scraps of fabric together, she creates quilts that look like paintings. Often using over a hundred different fabrics in one composition, Kathy revels in adding small details and surprises for the viewer to find. The quilting itself adds an additional element of texture to her work.
Kathy is the designer of patterns including Audubon’s Christmas, Language of Flowers, and New Blessings, all available through ShopAQS.com. She is the author of Landscape Quilts with Kathy McNeil (2015) and the Multiple Ways to Appliqué DVD, and she is an iquilt.com instructor. Kathy’s quilts have been featured in museums, magazines, calendars, and international shows. Many of her quilts are in private collections. Kathy also loves to travel as an instructor with Quilt Seminars at Sea. See more at www.kathymcneilquilts.com.
JUDITH BAKER MONTANO | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor Judith Baker Montano is a world-renowned Canadian fiber artist, author, and teacher who is comfortable in many mediums. She grew up on the historic Bar U ranch in the beautiful foothills of Alberta, Canada, and her love of fabrics and embellishments reflects her heritage. Experimenting with materials and her sewing machine, Judith created the Montano Center Piece Method, a copyrighted machine method of crazy quilting, which led to teaching classes and the publication of her first book on crazy quilting. She has since become one of the most recognized names in the field of needlework. An authority on crazy quilts and silk ribbon embroidery, Judith stays on the road much of the year teaching and lecturing.
Judith is honored to have been a spokesperson and endorser for both Kanagawa Silk Company of Tokyo, Japan and WFR Ribbon, USA distributors for Mokuba Ribbon of Tokyo, Japan. Her works of art, including her award-winning soft jewelry and art garments, have been featured in countless magazine articles, television shows, and exhibitions. Judith offers exclusive seminars in her private studio in beautiful La Veta, Colorado. Find out more at www.judithbakermontano.com.
PAT and ARLAN CHRIST | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor
Arlan and Pat Christ are dedicated to preserving the legacy of quilts from past generations by sharing the history that surrounds the art of quilting. Often working alongside Arlan at his tax accounting business, Pat can often be found in her sewing studio or tending to their country gardens. The Christs enjoy traveling to quilt shows and museums and are active in numerous quilt study groups, taking every opportunity to examine quilts. Retrieving knowledge to secure the heritage of antique quilts has become the prime objective of The Christ Collection.
The Christs have three publications representing quilts in their collection. Pennsylvania Quilt Treasures: The Art of the Needle (2009), America’s Appliquéd Quilts: A Treasured Pennsylvania Tradition (2010), and American Pride: Eagles & Stars (2014). They also published four appliqué patterns representing quilts in their collection including Autumn Cutwork, Pot of Flowers, American Pride, and Holiday Magic. Read more about the Christs and their collections at www.thechristcollections.com.
LENI WIENER | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor Leni Levenson Wiener’s work begins with the photographs she takes of unaware strangers caught in unremarkable, familiar moments in which background and environments are less important than expressive body language. Leni, an art quilter, author, and instructor living outside New York City, embarked on her art quilt journey in 2004. Thirteen years later, her work has been exhibited in many juried and invitational shows throughout the United States and internationally, and appears in numerous magazine articles as well as several compilation books of art quilts including Art Quilt Portfolio: People and Portraits (2013) and The Best of Quilting Arts (2011).
Her work can best be described as fabric collage. Photo-realistic in nature, her themes focus mainly on the faces and body language of people caught in ordinary moments of their everyday lives. She has authored four books: Thread Painting (2007), Photo-Inspired Art Quilts (2009), 3-Fabric Quilts (2011) and Pictorial Art Quilt Guidebook (2014). In addition, she provides several services via her website www.leniwiener.com, including assisting emerging artists as they find their voices, a service she calls “art quilt voice coaching.”
SHEILA FRAMPTON-COOPER | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor When award-winning artist Sheila Frampton Cooper creates, she revels in the spontaneous. Her freeform process with its surprising twists and turns takes her bold work to a place of unfiltered, unapologetic originality. Sheila’s strong-willed, artistic temperament began at an early age; she has been creating art since her earliest memories. When Sheila was a single, working mom, using painting as a creative outlet in the evenings, she had a life-changing moment. Disappointed with her work, she dipped the brush in paint and started throwing it around in a frenzy. Something magical happened: a whole scene flowed out on the canvas. That moment profoundly changed her.
After years of oil, acrylic, and watercolor painting, jewelry making, and architectural photography, Sheila’s passionate leap to studio art quilts in 2010 came as a surprise. She found excitement in improvisational piecing, painting with thickened dyes, and various aspects of surface design. Whether it’s a butterfly on her windowsill, a bird in her garden, or the colors of a tropical fish, Sheila finds inspiration in the natural world as well as in a bustling metropolis. Often a featured artist, she has won awards at international quilt shows, curated and participated in major exhibits, been featured in a variety of quilting and fiber art publications, and appeared on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims. In the fall of 2016, her solo exhibit was shown at the International Quilt Study Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Find out more about Sheila at www.zoombaby.com.
SUSAN CLEVELAND | Grand Rapids 2017 Instructor
Known for her enthusiasm and clever solutions to quilting’s challenges, Susan is thrilled to share more techniques than ever! She’s designed and created five AQS Paducah award-winning quilts, invented tools, authored and published several books, has been published in many quilting magazines, and has appeared on The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims twice—as well as other internet and television shows. Students enjoy seeing real quilts and learning from live demos. In the classroom, Susan uses a video camera and projector to show live, detailed demos throughout class. She enjoys teaching all the tricks to perfect Piping Hot Binding, marvelous miters, bold stitching with heavy threads, embellishment with prairie points, and quilting with panache. You’ll see her quilts at www.piecesbewithyou.com.