Bralia has been sewing since about age seven, taught by her mom as a “must-have” skill for life. She has no clue what her first project was, but it started a lifelong habit. She recalls making a lot of her clothes in high school, tutored by her talented mom, who was a master seamstress in her own right. She also took Home Economics (remember that?), where she learned more tips for garment construction. She also has become an avid quilter, and in fact, probably loves that more now than making garments. And machine embroidery is her next mountain to climb!
What does she love about sewing? Seeing her completed project is the best part, giving her a sense of accomplishment. To help others experience this sense of achievement, Bralia teaches classes on making T-shirt quilts, as well as private lessons. She also makes samples for the shop, and is the resident Jelly Roll Race queen, hosting this sew-fast, sew-good class on a periodic basis.
Catherine loves to sew and first learned by making Barbie doll clothes at age 10. She grew up in western Tennessee, where her aunt’s “The Help”, Kathryn, taught her on her aunt’s sewing machine. Kathryn was patient and when her young charge’s doll had a good sized wardrobe, she taught Catherine to make herself a shift. (“OMG, that was easy after all those set in sleeves and gathered skirts for Barbie!” says Catherine.)
She began learning quilting right before she turned 50. Her favorite things to make are baby quilts and she is running out of family babies to make them for! She also enjoys handwork, loves to embroider and do raw-edge applique with wool. Her goal is to learn more embroidery stitches this year, as well as put a few of those stitches into a quilt.
Catherine has taught children’s classes at Hip Stitch for the past three summers and also had some private students coming during the school year. She really enjoys teaching children and has worked quite a bit with her own two granddaughters whenever she gets a chance to see them. She has also taught various Beginning Quilting classes at Hip Stitch.
Cindy started sewing in the late 1980’s after moving to Albuquerque from the east coast. Her sewing journey began when she needed to create custom window treatments for her new home. From home decorating projects, she moved to learning how to quilt, which eventually became her passion. Her quilting journey took a new twist upon her retirement from Albuquerque Public Schools as a school principal. Her retirement goals were to quilt more, teach quilting, and work in a quilt shop and happily she is doing all three! With fellow Hip Stitcher Ellen McMahon, Cindy leads the Hip Stitch’s Kimberbell machine embroidery club and classes.
While Diana regularly sews bags and accessories—and is learning to sew garments—her real needle worker’s heart is with embroidery and embellishment. She has been stitching since age 10, and loves any form of embroidery, crewel, needlepoint and cross-stitch.
Ellen’s mother taught her to sew when she was 10 years old. All the ladies in her family, in fact, were sewists. She made her own clothes for years. When her own children were young, she got involved in machine embroidery, and eventually owned industrial machines and had a very productive business for 10 years. She sold the business when her family moved to New Mexico. She’s still addicted to machine and hand embroidery, and can now add quilting to the crafty list. When she joined Hip Stitch’s staff, fellow Hip Stitcher Cindy Bruner got her interested in quilting and another addiction was launched! With Cindy, Ellen is one of the leaders of Hip Stitch’s Kimberbell machine embroidery club.
Like most of the Hip Stitch staff, Julie is a quilter, but her real true love is garment construction. She has been sewing for 51 years, and quilting for about 23 years. She comes by the needle honestly; her mother made a living sewing skirts and blazers for supervisors at General Telephone back in the day. She began teaching Julie to sew when she was 10. That first project was an A-line shift with a zipper, and Julie has been stitching ever since.
Sewing is therapy, Julie says, and she especially enjoys making clothing that is unique. At Hip Stitch, she specializes in sewing knits, where she teaches students to use a serger, and to understand how the stretch affects the fit. She also enjoys teaching smaller, unique quilting projects and in helping stitchers fit patterns for knit garments.
Lorna has been sewing since she was in the 5th grade, having learned both from her mom and from project classes in 4-H. Her first projects? A purple scarf and a skirt. She evidently learned her lessons well, because she remembers making clothing for all her family members.
Sewing has continued to be a fiber love, but Lorna also enjoys mixed media, fabric dyeing and improv construction.
The creativity of the process speaks to her. She loves the sense of accomplishment, the mental challenge and trying new methods, yet finds it a super way to relax. As a Hip Stitch instructor, she teaches mostly accessory and garment construction, but also teaches mixed media, surface embellishment and fabric dyeing. And look for her In the Bag Club, a new monthly class series where students will make a variety of purses, totes and wallets.
Mandie learned to sew when she was about eight years old. For a time, she made and sold sewn products on Etsy. With two charming-but-active young daughters, she now sews mostly quick projects and dreams of making big beautiful quilts “one day.” Mandie often teaches our Mom’s Night Out classes, now known as Maker’s Night.
Meg McKenney has been in working fiber and color since she started knitting in her teens. She joined the staff of Village Wools in 2000 as a co-owner, where her focus was knitting, spinning and dyeing. While she still shares her knitting knowledge in classes, her personal exploratory color work now is in stained and warm glass at Hot Flash Glass.
Meredith learned to sew as a young girl from her mother and also through activities at various scouting camps, but she did not sew regularly until she was expecting her second child. Most of her sewing was garments, but she eventually tried quilting and loves the camaraderie of the quilting world, as well finding new patterns and techniques to try.
Reut was born in Israel, where her love affair with fabrics, colors, weavings and anthropology was sparked by the colorful ethnic clothing of the nomadic Bedouin people. Each year they set up tents near her house on their way north with herds of sheep, goats and camels. In addition, her mother, who was a master knitter, taught Reut everything she knew about knitting.
As a youth, she traveled to Europe, Lapland, Australia and South America, studying and collecting ethnic fabrics. In 1980, she came to Albuquerque to study anthropology and soon became deeply involved in the arts of weaving and natural dyes. For some years, she was a co-owner of Village Wools, where she was in charge of the weaving aspects of the store. During that time, she began to dye yarns for weavers and fabrics for quilters. Continuing her journey as a textile artist, she is learning and experimenting with various techniques in surface design on fabric. The challenges and potential of dyeing, printing and sewing fascinates me and she welcomes the opportunity to share what she is learning.
Robin Pascal has been a knitter for more than 60 years. She earned a BFA with honors from the University of Houston in studio art/metal smithing. She has been a seamstress since her pre-teen years and taught knitting at many locations. She has also made jewelry and been a lapidary for 20 years, developing a reputation for her unusual stones and color combinations in her jewelry. You can see her work on her webpage,www.PerfectButtons.com.
Guest Instructor: Gail Shannon
Gail is coming our way again with her COLLAGE FUN using Laura Heine Patterns! In Arizona and New Mexico and Colorado, she has been the instructor for all of the Laura Heine patterns in many quilt shops throughout the past two years and now, headed into 2019. More than 600 students have learned the creative art of collage fun under her seasoned guidance!
Involved in quilting for many years, Gail has kept the creative juices flowing for everyone. This year, she’ll teach several levels of exclusive Hip Stitch collage classes, including Create Your Own Collage, Landscape Collage, Collage Fun (with Laura Heine patterns), Frida Kahlo and Day of the Dead Collage classes.
Gail has a love for the fiber arts, and is known for her color sense and expressive fabric choices in her artful, intuitive, abstract and fiber art quilts. She’ll teach short cuts, tried and true processes, and finishing instructions for everyone...all with a sense of humor. While working with all her students to bring their ideas to light, Gail is always ready to assist everyone on a one-on-one basis, and give second opinions as requested. Her classes will FILL FAST; sign up now to make sure you get in on this year’s collage fun.