Mary is a self-taught Felter. Her love of wool started with rescuing border collies and next raising a few sheep! The question became what to do with all the wool? During a visit to a sheep and wool show she saw a needle felted animal and her journey began. Over a decade later her love of felting continues. Teaching is her joy, she loves to share her knowledge of wool and felting with all her students.
Diane Rigby learned to sew in her Junior High Home Ec classes many years ago. From that point on, sewing has been her favorite pastime, whether she is making quilts, curtains, pillows, clothing, costumes, etc. To share her skills and passion of sewing (as well as cooking and baking!), she became a Family and Consumer Science teacher and taught middle- and high-school for sixteen years in CT public schools, retiring in June 2020. Diane loves to teach, as well as take sewing classes, as she is always eager to learn more.
Martha Quizhpi, an artisan at heart and fan of color lives in Danbury, Connecticut. While growing up in Cuenca, Ecuador she obtained a diploma in dressmaking soon after high school. In 2020, she became a "Sew Kind of Wonderful" Certified Teacher. An accomplished sewer who has also made around a hundred quilts over the years. She made her first quilt in 1986, hand quilted! She has been making patchwork quilts ever since. Over the years she took numerous workshops on a variety of quilting techniques to improve her skills. She started using and creating extra blocks on her pieced quilt backs to complement her quilts. Her pieced quilt backs create a focal point that draws the viewer’s attention. Her appreciation for craftsmanship is reflected in her work. Her love especially for colorful scrappy looking quilts grew as a quilter in addition to her enthusiasm to assist and motivate others to try new techniques and she will work with anyone that wants to learn and create.
Cat Allard has been sewing since she was six years old, when her Aunt Dobbin put a needle in her hand and taught her the magic of sewing. She began quilting in 1993 after graduating with a Fine Arts degree in Painting and Photography from Long Island University (C. W. Post). She began teaching classes in fabric painting, photo quilting and general quilting in 1996. Her hand-painted fabric appears in award winning fiber art quilts and as well as in her own quilts and those of other fabric-artists. By 2000 Cat Allard added Quilt repair and restoration to her talents and working with antique quilts became a passion, restoring several historic quilts from the 1860's, as well as repairing current quilts so that they can be used again by their owners. She has lectured on the process to local quilt guilds and evaluated many quilts suggesting the best methods for restoration and repair. She teaches a variety of classes, including quilt making of all kinds, bags, gifts (placemats and other home items), Sashiko, Crazy quilting and Quilting with Rulers.
After she began traditional quilting about thirty years ago, it wasn’t long until she started imagining these beautiful Berkshire Hills in fabric. The colors and patterns of the landscapes were calling her to start making art quilts in which she could express her love of nature with fabric. She found her passion for pieced art quilts while attending a workshop with Ruth McDowell in 2008. She was hooked! Teresa work from photographs, drafting a drawing in a sew-able fashion. She would then make a template copy and from there the fun with fabric begins. After the top is completed, she quilts her piece using a free motion technique that is much like drawing with thread. She trains horses for a living and they are naturally one of her favorite subjects. You can see more of Teresa's work on her website – www.tearosequiltdesigns.com