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.

Contact Info:

Lunenburg, Massachusetts

Michelle Banton

Not only is Michelle an amazing artist, she’s built a great business teaching and vending in the Northeast. Michelle’s smile brightens up the room and her quick wit will keep you laughing. More information about Michelle is on its way!

To schedule a class with Michelle, give her a ring or send her an email. Particulars are listed below.

Contact Info:

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

Contact Info:
Follow Cindy on Facebook:
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).

Contact Info:

Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and Willing to Travel

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Judy Bowers

After Judy Bowers was introduced to stitching at 5 years old, she developed quite a reputation for always having some stitchery in her hands. She started quilting in 1982, learning hand quilting techniques. Over the years she honed her machine piecing and machine quilting skills by taking classes at quilt shops, shows and retreats. 

Judy learned basic paper piecing skills, including Judy Niemeyer’s (Quiltworx) techniques, and earned her Quiltworx Certified Instructor credentials after retiring from her Pediatric Registered Nurse position at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.

 Judy is now certified to teach the same freezer paper piecing techniques I use to create my Birthstone Series and Diamond Diva patterns.  She teaches in Arkansas and is also willing to travel to share her knowledge. 

 Judy splits her time between her retirement home in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas and her cabin near the Canadian border at Crane Lake, Minnesota.  Judy teaches beginning and advanced classes and is available for lectures, truck shows and demonstrations.

 Please contact Judy to schedule classes and lectures at:

Judy Bowers
13 Palacio Circle 
Hot Springs Village, AR 71909 


Perth, Australia

Janet Collins


Janet started her actual quilting and patchwork life in 1991 when she and her Mum attended a quilting class together at their local quilt shop. Her first quilt was all hand done. She loved the slower pace of hand work to balance her and her husband’s very busy work lives. Eventually machine work took over as she became impatient that the quilts were taking too long to complete. About a year later she was asked to teach at a particular shop which was Perth Sewing Centre. She says she was scared to death, but just took deep breath and went for it.

Fast forward a few years to when she met Leonie and Bill West from Westalee Designs whose Aussie business is now a worldwide business. She became one of her ‘testers’. The rest as they say is history. Janet has traveled extensively and went to Houston with Westalee Designs to launch her first book about ruler quilting ‘Janet’s Ruler Quilt Design Book’. She didn’t realize it at the time, but it was the first Ruler Quilt Design Book to be published in the world. She now travels to Houston every year with Leonie and Bill to demonstrate and teach and show my new creations.

I’m thrilled to have Janet teaching my gem patterns on the other side of the world! To contact her to schedule a class, send her an email at

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.

Contact Info:

Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

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Lynda Daniluk

Lynda has been sewing since she was 7 years old eventually moving onto designing and sewing wedding dresses.  In the early 90’s she got the quilting bug and has not looked back. 

Her favorite type of quilting is hand  applique combined with embroidery.  She has been fortunate to have training from some of the best quilt teachers in the industry. Lynda loves to share her passion with students by showing tips and tricks for making any project a bit easier.  Lynda is thrilled to be part of the Gem Affiliate "family".

 "A quilter is an artist using fabric and thread instead of canvas and paint."

To reach Lynda and schedule a class, please email her at

108 Mile Ranch, British Columbia

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Jayme Duncan

As a natural born entrepreneur, Jayme has transformed her love of quilting into an online retail business. She also teaches quilting throughout the lower central area of British Columbia and is now excited to share gems and joy with her students. (A more detailed bio for Jayme is coming soon!)

To reach Jayme to schedule a class, please email her at

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.

Contact Info:

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.

Contact Info:

Ventura, California

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Linda Fisher

I’m thrilled to have a quiltmaker as talented and artistic as Linda Fisher on the Gem Affiliate team. When Linda isn’t wearing her accountant hat — helping businesses navigate their finances — she is creating gorgeous quilts inspired by master artists like Gustav Klimt. (A more detailed bio for Linda is on its way!)

To reach Linda and schedule a class, please contact her via her email or phone number listed below.

Contact Info:

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, was an Artist in Residence at Empty Spools Seminars in 2019, and will return to Empty Spools in 2021 to teach Amazing Abstracts.

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

Contact Info:

Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Lisa Hallsworth

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Lisa lives and works on the island paradise of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. She is a talented and prolific quiltmaker and teacher. When she’s not teaching or making quilts, she is mom to seven (yes, SEVEN!) adorable French Bulldogs. (More information on Lisa to come!)

To contact Lisa to schedule a class, contact her at

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. 

Contact Info:

Maitland, Florida & Willing to Travel

Mary-Jeanine (MJ) Ibarguen

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Mary-Jeanine Ibarguen is the publisher of the popular Florida Quilt Network website and newsletter, as well as a quilting teacher and lecturer.  She is our newest Gem Affiliate, teaching my technique of freezer paper piecing (not your typical paper piecing). She is available to teach at quilt guilds, quilt shops, workshops, retreats, and private events.

Mary-Jeanine’s been quilting for 30 years and teaching for 17 years, all over the state of Florida.  She has published six patterns, appeared on a sewing TV show and has developed a popular series of lectures on Stashbuster Quilts.  Her specialty is adding extras to the learning process, whether it’s a quick lesson in pressing, how to clean and change rotary blades, or new thoughts on free motion quilting designs.  Mary-Jeanine resides in Maitland, Florida with her husband.

Give Mary-Jeanine a call/email to set up an event in your neck of the woods!

 Contact Info:

California Central Valley

Victoria (Tori) Johnson

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Victoria has been sewing and quilting since she was a young girl. She made all her clothes for high school. She sewed for a tent company after class in high school assembling tents. She sewed leather clothing for Leather Odyssey. She constructed auto upholstery for Pacific Seating. And – in her spare time! -- made bridesmaid dresses for family and friends. She did this all while working full-time and being a single mom of a daughter with Cerebral Palsy.

In 2012, Victoria saw a Judy Niemeyer wedding ring pattern and started her journey to become a Judy Niemeyer Certified Instructor, completing the program in 2014 all while teaching quilting classes in the California Central Valley region.

Because of Victoria’s wide variety of skills, I am so pleased that she has joined the Gem Affiliate Program!

Victoria lives in Stockton, California, and teaches from Reno (Nevada) to Reading (California). She will travel all the way down to Hilmar (California) to teach for you  -- and anything in between. Victoria is available for classes, Quilt Guild presentations, trunk shows and one on one classes.

Contact info:
Website: http//

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. 

Contact Info:

Reno, Nevada

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Karen Lanham-Evans

More information about Karen is on its way!

Contact Info:

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

Contact Info:

Edmonton, Alberta and Willing to Travel

Gwen Loiselle

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After a successful career of owning and operating a custom drapery business for 15 years, Gwen’s passion for creativity was still strong. Her desire to continue to be creative was fueled by exposure to quilting by a dear friend of hers over 20 years ago. Almost immediately a desire to pursue her own long arm business ensued. And that step led her to this point. She is now one of our new Gem Affiliates in the Alberta province. She is eager to teach and willing to travel wherever people want to learn about gems and joy.

Contact Gwen to schedule a class!

Contact info:
Phone (780) 995-1356