Lafeyette, CO & Willing to Travel

Pat abbit

Pat abbit

Pat Abbitt

As a child, Pat Abbitt was taught to do “anything that can be done with a needle.”  That led to a lifelong passion for all fiber arts, especially quilting.  Pat, who lives in Lafayette, CO, has shared her love of quilting by teaching others to quilt.  She developed a comprehensive class covering the entire process from fabric selection to binding.  Pat is very proud that every student who has been through that class over the years has continued quilting. Other classes include various quilting techniques, machine quilting, machine applique and machine embroidery.

Pat is excited to add Gem Associate to her credentials. She attended the Gem Affiliate inaugural workshop and retreat, to learn to teach this new technique. Now Pat is offering classes on the Birthstone Series Block of the Month and other Birthstone classes. Pat loves to travel and will take these classes on the road.

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Lunenburg, Massachusetts

Michelle Banton

More information about Michelle is on its way!

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michelle banton

michelle banton

Harrogate, Tennessee & Willing to Travel

cindy bingaman

cindy bingaman

Cindy Bingaman

Cindy has lived and traveled across the US and abroad. She has been sewing and crafting for over 30 years, and has been following her passion for quilting for six. Cindy lives in East Tennessee and is willing to travel throughout the Southeast United States.

As a previous sales trainer, manager, and retail store owner, Cindy loves working with people and helping them succeed by transferring her knowledge and enthusiasm.

Cindy has a teacher’s heart and engages others with humor and grace. She is scheduling workshops featuring the Birthstone Series by MJ Kinman, the “Jewel Box” Block of the Month, and Northcott’s newest collection titled “Facets by MJ Kinman”.

“Let’s work together to increase your sales and customer base with MJ Kinman’s beautiful artistry and Confident Beginner patterns, making every one of your customers feel like the Gem that they are!” — Cindy

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Cindy Bingaman OR ABC Quilting

Commerce City, Colorado

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Terry Birdsell

Terry has been working in property management and retail management for a total of 35 years while raising eight children! She has lived her life with a can- do attitude. She jumps in feet first in all that she does, laughing all the way. She wanted to learn to quilt…and did just that. She also taught herself to use a longarm. Terry has been quilting for about seven years.

In October, she learned about my Birthstone Series when she took one of my classes at in Boulder, Colorado.  The rest, as they say, is history. She attended our first Gem Affiliate retreat and is now qualified to bring gems into the lives of her students. In addition to teaching in the Colorado area, she is happy to travel to the Southwest to teach classes.

What I love most about Terry is that she teaches as she lives her life -- with kindness, grace, and humility. She knows there is a gem to be found in all of us. Terry’s advice: “Keep smiling and enjoy the journey.”

Terry can be reached at or by calling her at 303-908-7140, You can also learn more about her by visiting her Facebook page (@Terry’s Treasures).

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Stamping Ground, Kentucky & Willing to Travel

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Merritt Crawford

Merritt Crawford has been making award winning quilts for over 18 years and has taught a variety of quilting  classes for the past ten.  Her classes are full of  fun techniques that  propel her students to achieve stunning results by paying attention to details.  This love of detail inspired Merritt to become a Gem Affiliate.   She enjoys teaching in all settings from quilt shop classrooms, to beautiful retreat centers, to local quilt guild venues.

Quilting and creativity are a part of Merritt’s family heritage.  Descended from a long line of creative women, Merritt knows that being creative is a part of who she is and desires to be. Even when she married her husband, she gained a sweet mother-in-love, who enjoyed the creative process of sewing and quilting, too.

Sew…let Merritt be a part of your quilting journey.  She is willing to travel to share gems with your quilting community.
Contact her today to schedule your classes.

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Colorado Springs, Colorado

Linda Ernst

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Linda started her journey of stitching and quilting over 34 years ago. In 2008 Linda was introduced to the amazing world of fiber arts. This gave her a way to combine her love of stitching and quilting. At that time Linda began creating her own works of art. She loves learning new techniques and takes classes and workshops on a regular basis to increase her skill set. In 2018 she was the featured artist in an art exhibit in Colorado Springs, Co. She loves outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking and horseback riding. Linda currently lives in Colorado with her husband, 2 boys, 2 dogs, 2 horses, and parrot. 

December of  2018 Linda became a Certified Gem Affiliate to teach my technique of single-foundation paper piecing (not your typical paper piecing). She is available to teach at quilt guilds, quilt shops, workshops, retreats, and private events. Private and semiprivate sessions are available.

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Rye, New Hampshire

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Kerin Ferrin

In the spring of 2018 when I (MJ) put out a call for interested teachers, Kerin Ferrin responded immediately with enthusiasm, energy and excitement.  I felt my vision and her previous experience as a program affiliate were beautifully aligned.  After many conversations and brainstorming sessions filled with ideas and spirit, we set out to co-create a comprehensive Gem Affiliate program; Teach the Teacher retreats to build a dynamic team of quilting instructors certified to teach in-person classes based on my gemstone quilt patterns.

In December of 2018, we welcomed 20 quilt teachers and shop owners to Kentucky to become the US and Canada’s first Gem Affiliates. Ready to market themselves and their unique opportunities for the classroom, Gem Affiliates are well prepared to share the Gem patterns with quilters everywhere.

Prior to Gems, Kerin was an early adopter in the tuffet business just as tuffets were taking the quilting world by storm.  In 2014, Kerin traveled to North Carolina to become one of the first members of the Tuffet Source Affiliate Program. She became one of the most successful Tuffet Source Affiliates in the country, teaching more than 100 classes in 14 shops throughout New Hampshire and Maine.

Kerin has become a valued part of my team.  In addition to assisting me with Gem Affiliates and another Gem Affiliate retreat scheduled for April 2019, Kerin will be teaching both Birthstone Series Block of the Month and technique classes in New England beginning in January of 2019. Kerin has been teaching quilting since 2009 and lives in Rye, NH with her family.

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Ventura, California

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Linda Fisher

More information about Linda is on its way!

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Leesburg, Virginia & Willing To Travel

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Julia Graves

Julia Graves started her quilting business, Special Occasion Quilts LLC, in 2007 and teaches, lectures, designs patterns, makes commission quilts and longarms for others throughout the Mid-Atlantic area, but is willing travel further afield.  She won Best Longarm Machine Workmanship Wall Quilt Category at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival, has had quilts published in books by Gloria Loughman and Katie Pasquini-Masupust, and will be one of the Artists in Residence at Empty Spools in 2019.

Julia has been sewing since she was ten and always loved fabric, needle arts and the entire creative process.  She did her apprenticeship as a quilter by making a quilt for each of her nieces and nephews (and thinks she should have counted them before making this promise – there were 32!).  She has since made more quilts than she can count, many for charity, and is partial to scrap quilts and working with color to achieve amazing results.  Visit her gallery on her website at

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Plano, Texas

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Angel Hawks

Angel Hawks has an irresistible, friendly personality.  Her students get a Texas-sized helping of humor along with tips and tricks to becoming more proficient at quilt-making.  

After 20 years in the technology industry, Angel is now focused on her passion for sharing the joy of quilt artistry with others.  Her immense technical background gives her the ability to break down the complex processes into simple, achievable steps. She provides innovative approaches to getting excellent results. 

Angel is available for weekend teaching engagements and shows throughout the North Texas and Oklahoma area. 

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Manhattan, Illinois

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 Tammy Kuse

Tammy Kuse is a mostly self-taught quilter who enjoys many different styles of quilts.  She started sewing while a teenager and made her first quilt after getting married for her step-daughter, finding her passion.  Free motion quilting was the next exciting skill that she mastered and Tammy loves the creativity of making designs on the fly. 

She has won Best of Show in her county fair, along with many blue ribbons over the last several years.   Tammy’s quilt for the 2018 Cherrywood Fabrics Challenge – Prince was selected as a finalist in 2018.  She also had a quilt selected to show in the last Machine Quilting Unlimited –Midwest show.  Commissions for quilts have included t-shirt quilts, photo quilts and quilts with specific themes.  

 As a Gem Affiliate, Tammy enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and teaching fun, positive, upbeat quilting classes.  She thinks that being creative is fun, but teaching other people the skills to do their own creative work is amazing.

 Tammy is available for weekend teaching engagements and shows in the Chicago and northwest Indiana area. 

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Reno, Nevada

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Karen Lanham-Evans

More information about Karen is on its way!

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Simsbury,Connecticut & Available to Travel

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Vivian Lazich

Viv Lazich is an artist, quilter, teacher, quilt shop owner, knitter, mother and wife. Not necessarily in that order. She has been sewing for over 40 years and has extensive experience creating garments, traditional quilts and art quilts using a variety of techniques from felting to free motion quilting.

Viv’s background is in graphic design and marketing communications. She left a 21-year career in the corporate world to open Sew Inspired Quilt Shop & Studio in Simsbury, Connecticut in 2005. Viv leads a team of sales staff, teachers and long arm quilters and is focused on creating community by teaching a variety of classes and hosting clubs. Her greatest strength and passion is demonstrating techniques and tools for quilters and sewists of all abilities.

As a Gem Affiliate, Viv is available to teach classes or present demos at your next quilt show, retreat or event. When she’s not sewing, Viv is knitting, reading, cooking or playing with Bella, her beautiful, large, yellow-lab “grand-dog.” A recent empty nester, Viv is available to travel. Contact her at

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Columbus, Ohio

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Julie Manis

More information about Julie is on its way!

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Carseland, Alberta (Canada)

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Nancy Strath

When Nancy started making quilts 20 years ago, the quilt making process brought her so much joy that she wanted to share this with the world.  In 2011, she built a day retreat facility on their family farm near Carseland, Alberta (Canada) where she teaches and hosts open sew days to give creative souls the opportunity to pursue their passions away from the distractions at home.

In 2014 Nancy became a Certified Instructor with Judy Niemeyer Quilting, she completed Teacher Training with Westalee Rulers and most recently became a Gem Affiliate.

Nancy loves traveling to teach for guilds, shops and groups of creative friends, or she hosts workshops at her own studio, Bow Bench Retreat. Please email her for more information.

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Round Rock, Texas

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Debbie Stuart

Debbie Stuart is a quilter, computer longarm-er, manufacturer of quilting products, teacher and lecturer.  She has been making quilts for over 30 years. She has a Bachelors degree in Education and taught Middle School Math for 10 years before returning to the corporate world.  She retired in 2016 and now devotes her time to all-things-quilting.

Debbie has travelled extensively and these experiences have allowed her to become familiar with many different types of patchwork and quilting techniques.  She loves trying new patterns, fabrics and products but is excited that she can combine her love of quilting, jewels and brightly colored fabric as she teaches my Birthstone Series and other gemstone patterns yet to come.

She lives in South-Central Texas and is available to teach these Gems as either a Block of the Month Program or as a Gem Technique Class. Contact Debbie for more details and to schedule a class/lecture today!

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Debbie Stuart
It’s Time to Quilt

Reno, Nevada

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Sandi Sullivan

More information about Sandi is on its way!

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Louisville, Kentucky

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Bonnie Taylor

Bonnie Taylor began quilting when she retired after many years in Property Management.  With a Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Drafting and a minor in Secondary Education, she is well qualified to work with students on all skill levels. And, having worked part-time in two quilting/fabric shops following retirement, she has further developed her people-skills and knowledge of fabrics.

Bonnie is available to conduct workshops for quilt groups, shops and guilds in her surrounding area.

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Fremont, Nebraska

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Nancy Von Seggern

Nancy von Seggern has been a quilt-piecer since childhood, teaching herself to hand piece and hand quilt before moving on to piecing with a sewing machine and becoming a longarmer.

She teaches a myriad of piecing classes at her shop in Fremont, Nebraska, embracing everything from traditional to modern to art quilting and teaches all levels of ability and interest. She has been successfully teaching my Birthstone Series as a Block of the Month, using freezer paper technique since the summer of 2018, when the patterns first came on the market. In December 2018, she became one of the first Certified Gem Affiliates.

 In her shop she offers Block of the Month, Birthday Block Parties (for her A’ La Carte customers each month) and Birthday Bling Blast Parties two times a year for those that may want to make four gemstones.

Nancy loves to teach textile related classes and sharing her years of experience and tips in an interesting, relevant and fun atmosphere. She understands the needs of shop and guilds, and her goal is to help you grow your quilt business profit or guild member engagement and new member numbers through the Birthstone Series and upcoming patterns. Let Nancy help you energize your group/shop!

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Port Ludlow, Washington and Available to Travel

karena wells

karena wells

Karena Wells

Karena Wells is an artist, teacher, tutor and lecturer. She comes from a long line of sewists, makers, and re-creators. Since she was a small child, sewing, quilting, tailoring, leather and canvas work has been taught to her. She made her first quilt in third grade as part of a section on learning about the American West. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado, where she studied art, history and education. Her passion for learning has led her to study and take classes worldwide.

 As a lifelong artist with a dedication for teaching, quilting and working with textiles, Karena has traveled and lived around North America, Europe and Asia. Combining her passion and interest in learning about textiles, she has collected a vast knowledge of different techniques for sewing, piecing, dying, fiber manipulation, and quilting from around the world.

 In 1996 Karena introduced a quilting seminar to Festival of Arts, at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. She has been invited back every year, and you can find her there instructing a week long seminar every summer during Festival of Arts. She is always happy traveling to conduct fiber workshops for groups, retreats, shops and guilds.

 In her quest to continue learning new skills to pass on to her students, in 2015, Karena traveled to North Carolina to attend the inaugural Tuffet Source Affiliate program. In 2018, Karena was thrilled to attend the inaugural Gem Affiliate class in Kentucky.

 Karena now lives in her forever home in the Olympic Peninsula. When she is not creating or teaching, she works as a managing broker, helping people sell or buy homes.

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