2011 Teachers

Allison Harris
Blog | Cluck Cluck Sew
Twitter | @CluckCluckSew
Class | Quilting at Home – Free Motion Quilting for the Modern Quilter

I am so excited to be able to teach a class on free motion quilting….one of my favorite things to do. I started free motion quilting on my home machine about 3 years ago, and over 200 quilts later…I’m still loving it more than ever. I live in Idaho with my husband and two small boys that keep me hopping all day long. I’m a Dental Hygienist turned stay at home Mom, and I try sneaking in sewing time whenever possible because I’m a much happier person when I do! Besides sewing I love gardening, renovating, donut holes, Diet Dr. Pepper, and traveling (almost) anywhere.


Amanda Jennings
Blog | Ms McPorkchop Quilts
Twitter | @HeyPorkchop
Class | Marvelous Minis – Packing Lots of Punch into a Mini Quilt

I am a girl who simply LOVES to quilt. I’m so excited to be talking about mini quilts because they are one of my favorite things to create. When I’m not sewing I’m spending time with my husband, Mr. McPorkchop & cross stitching patterns that my best friend Ashleigh designs for our pattern company, The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.


Amy Smart
Blog | Diary Of a Quilter
Twitter | @AmyUSmart
Class | Quilt Making 101

I am a thirtysomethingish mom of four and married to a very patient husband.  I’ve been sewing unofficially since childhood, but started taking it seriously after the birth of my first baby.  I’ve taught beginning quilting classes at my local quilt shop and now I try to do the same thing through my blog, DiaryofaQuilter.com. Besides sewing I love Masterpiece Theater, wearing flip-flops, homegrown tomatoes, and fish tacos.



Bari Ackerman
Blog | Bari J Online
Twitter | @BariJ
Class | Bag Making 101

Bari J. Ackerman is the surface, textile, and sewing pattern designer behind Bari J designs as well as the author of Inspired to Sew from Stash Books. Her next fabric line, Paris Apartment from Lecien Japan was released in June 2011. She and her work been featured in many national magazines including Studios, Quilts and More, Romantic Homes, Sew Somerset, Accessories and many more. Bari lives in the San Francisco area with her husband, Kevin and two daughters, Anna and Emily.


Dana Bolyard
Blog | Old Red Barn Co.
Twitter | @OldRedBarnCo
Class | Documenting Your Creativity – Blogging and Social Media

Blogging completes a full circle of creativity for me.  It allows me to record, reflect and share anything that I deem worthy at any given time.  I quilt and I share it.  I stumble as a mother and I share it.  I have funny stories . . . you guessed it, I share it.  Sometimes it is insecurities.  Or triumphs.  Or commentary on the world as we know it.  Whatever it is on whatever day, blogging is a way for me to put a date stamp on my life and express who I am right now.

I’m a non-practicing attorney turned stay-at-home mom.  I’m a soap maker.  I’m a kid taxi service.  I’m a quilter.  A photographer.  A daughter.  A sister.  Wife.  Mother.  Global citizen.  I lock my family out of the car, make them dance to gain entry and catch it all on video.  And blogging is my way to remember it all.


Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch
Blog | Gertie’s New Blog For Better Sewing
Twitter | @SewGertieSew
Classes | Essential Hand Stitches for Garment Making, Tailoring by Hand 101, Getting a Perfect Vintage Fit & Garment Fabrics from Angora to Zibeline

Gretchen “Gertie” Hirsch adores vintage fashion and couture garment sewing. She started her blog, Gertie’s New Blog for Better Sewing, in 2009 and two years later was able to become a full-time sewing writer and teacher. She’s also a brand ambassador for BurdaStyle and has a book on vintage-style sewing coming out in 2012 from STC Craft/Melanie Falick Books.



Jana Nielsen
Blog | Izzy and Ivy Designs
Twitter | @IzzynIvyJana
Class | Garment Making 101

I have 6 kids between the ages of 4 and 16. They are incredible creatures that make me crazy every day! I decided years ago that instead of paying a therapist I would use that money for fabric … and sew! I only need Diet Coke, chocolate, and my sewing machine for total sanity!

My career in sewing really began in college where I majored in Costume Design and Construction. Zoom forward 100 years, and 6 kids, and now I design for Izzy & Ivy designs.

I am teaching the Garments 101 class, but I would say that it is more than that; I would almost call it Modern Clothing Construction. This is NOT your 8th grade home-ec sewing class. You won’t learn any Heirloom sewing techniques, and there won’t be a seam ripper in sight. I’ll just be sharing the different ways that I have found to make the “hard” parts of sewing clothing easy and fun.


Jeni Baker
Blog | In Color Order
Twitter | @JeniB320
Class | Creative Fabric Selection – Moving Beyond Fabric Collections

I love to find ways to be creative every day, whether it be through my photography, sewing, or quilting! Fabric and color selection has always been my favorite part about sewing and I’m so excited to be sharing my process at Sewing Summit! I love being a part of the online sewing community, I have made so many wonderful friends. I’m finished up my degree in Marketing and Studio Art in Northeast Ohio, where I live with my pet bunny George! In addition to sewing, I love to collect vintage kitchenware and vintage sheets.


Jessica Berrett
Blog | Urban Patchwork
Twitter | @UrbanPatch
Class | Improv Piecing – How To Think Outside the Box

I’ve been making quilts since I was a teenager. Sometimes it’s hard to find time now, with two little boys in the house and a baby girl on the way, but I do my best! My husband (who works in robotics) is super supportive, so that helps a lot. My favorite quilt designs are simple and modern, yet crooked and unexpected. I can’t wait to speak about improv piecing at the Summit, because it’s absolutely my favorite process; it’s such a relaxing, creative outlet for me. Before becoming a full-time Mommy, I worked in the internet service business (web hosting to be exact) for ten years. I enjoy all things bloggy (even the technical stuff) along with sewing, photography, reading, music, gardening, cooking, craft shows, & spending time outdoors.


Melissa Esplin
Blog | I Still Love You
Twitter | @Melissapher
Class | Refashioning Garments – Breathing New Life Into Old Pieces


Natalia Bonner
Blog | Piece N Quilt
Twitter | @PieceNQuilt
Class | Modern Applique – Skills You Need for a Variety of Projects


Susan Petersen
Blog | Freshly Picked
Twitter | @FreshlyPicked
Class | Letting Your Machine Work For You – Specialty Seams in Garments


Vanessa Christenson
Blog | V and Co
Twitter | @VChristenson
Class | Photographing Your Creations – Simple Changes for Maximum Impact

Vanessa Christenson loves most things chocolate, is mistaken as a “quiet girl” at the beginning of the night but by the end of it, is rightfully crowned “loud and boisterous”. She loves to create things, and usually makes up her own rules as she goes. But her favorite part (and most nerve wracking) is setting up the “scene” and watching her creation behind the camera.