Jen has been lucky in her life to have had two wonderful careers. Her first love was midwifery and she felt honored to be included in life's most precious every day miracle.
Like many, Jen tried different crafts and stumbled into quilting over 30 years ago and there she has remained. An interest became an obsession which then became her career, including teaching and designing. She has owned quilt stores for over 15 years and currently owns Amitié Textiles in Melbourne, Australia. Find her store on the web at www.amitie.com.au and on Instagram with the handle, @amitie_textiles.
Jen describes herself as a traditional quilter with a modern twist. She loves scrappy quilts and the more fabrics she can use in a single project, the happier she is. In her perfect world, she would hand stitch everything; but with today's busy lifestyle she does machine piecing as well. Hand appliqué and quilting are among her favorite pastimes. Jen has designed her first fabric range for Moda called "Gardenvale," which will hit the stores in April 2015, and her book Quilt Lovely has just been released.
Jen is married to Richard and has 3 fabulous daughters—Meg, Abby, and Lucy—who are by far her very best designs.
If you would like to know more about Jen, follow her on Instagram: @jenkingwell.
Amy Smart loves all aspects of the quilting world: making quilts, working in a local quilt shop for years, hoarding fabric, designing patterns, and teaching beginning quilting classes. She started a blog as a journal for her journey in 2008 called Diary of a Quilter (www.diaryofaquilter.com). Her designs have been published in numerous magazines and books and recently she authored her own book, Fabulously Fast Quilts. She is married to an encouraging (and patient) husband. Together they have four kids, live in Utah, and love traveling - exploring the local National Parks and living in England for a month one summer.
Thirty-five years ago I took a class at Mormon Handicraft at age 19 learning how to hand-piece quilts. I've been quilting ever since.
In 2001 my husband and I moved our family to Logan, Utah. I joined a local quilt guild and met friends who asked me to partner in a small business called Winterfest. I excitedly agreed and soon after started another job at our local quilt shop, Stylish Fabrics. I have been doing both for the past 13 years, and currently manage the store. Nearly three years ago, with my family's encouragement, I became the Director of what is now called Winter Quiltfest. I enjoy teaching (my specialty is Applique) and dabble in design here and there. I have self-published 3 patterns, including the latest titled “Honored Pioneer,” inspired by my favorite holiday, Pioneer Day.
My favorite quilts are traditional patterns with applique. Anything with applique is always better in my opinion! I love all kinds of fabric in all kinds of colors and patterns. My favorite styles change along with the seasons. I have the best job in town where I get to design, arrange, and decorate our store, order the fabrics, make samples, and do my own designing on the side.
When I’m not quilting, I love to garden and spend time with my children and four (almost five) grandchildren. Despite my talent and love for quilting, family is the most important to me. I would walk away from everything sewing related just to be with them forever!
Melissa started quilting as a hobby in 2005 but since starting her blog, Happy Quilting, in 2010 her hobby has turned into a passion. Her passion for quilting has lead to creating her own designs that she shares as tutorials, published works, and even a pattern line. Melissa loves designing and finds inspiration in just about everything and anything. Melissa, her husband and their five little children live in Cedar City, Utah. To see more of her daily quilting adventures check out her blog Happy Quilting.
Maho Schwartz was born and raised in Kobe, Japan. She came to Utah as a foreign exchange student in high school. She graduated from Utah State University in Business Information Systems. After working as a computer programmer for 5 years, she retired and became a full-time mom and a fabric addict.
Although she is well known in her community for sewing "themed Halloween costumes" for her entire family over the past 10 years, her true love is designing quilts and doing the math to figure out how much fabric is needed to complete a project.
This is Maho’s third year teaching at the Winter Quiltfest. At this year’s Quiltfest, she will be teaching the “Moon over Manhattan” and the “Mazy Daisy”. They are both her own designs and the “Mazy Daizy” will be featured in the “McCall’s Quick Quilts” Oct/Nov 2015 issue.
In addition to designing quilts, sewing and teaching quilting classes, Maho loves to wake surf and snow ski with her husband and 4 children.
As a little girl, Lisa learned to talk, ski, and sew all at about the same time. She has been an avid (or rather an obsessive) quilter for the past twenty years. Challenging quilts, traditional quilts, applique quilts, modern quilts, and brightly patterned quilts are all part of her passion. Her inspiration comes from the world around her and so many of her fabulous quilting friends she has met though her years of quilting. Quilters are the best people! Lisa lives in Logan with her family and always has her favorite pooch by her side. She joins Winter Quiltfest again in 2016 as one of our most requested teachers.
Leslie Bergeson is the mother of five sons and for that reason quilting became her therapy. She and her husband live in Lewiston, Utah in a home that is 102 years old and is full of her creations. When she decided one day to de-clutter, she was told to hold the item and ask, "Does this bring me joy?" The answer to everything she picked up was a resounding "YES!" Hence, clutter is bliss!
Leslie has been a student and teacher since 1976 and still has the first quilt she ever made (keeping it for good luck!). She has designed and created quilts and mystery quilts along with patterns for both. She enjoys piecing with all fabrics from civil war era to bright with embellishments, applique in both cotton and wool. She also experiments as a long arm quilter. Leslie loves seeing her students create and complete the things from her classes. That is true therapy!
Deonn’s love for quilting began at age eight as she helped tie her very first quilt. Now an accomplished quiltmaker, designer, quilt coach and teacher, it is Deonn's personal quest to learn and share time-saving tips, tricks and tools that simplify and make the process of quiltmaking even more enjoyable, especially for new quilters. In addition to operating her longarm quilting business, Quiltscapes, Deonn is featured in a series of How-to-Quilt videos and writes monthly tutorials for Riley Blake Designs.
Jen Alexander is a professional machine quilter and teacher. She has been working in the quilting industry since 2004 and been teaching quilting and machine quilting since 2006. Jen has received numerous awards for her quilts, and her work has been published in many books and magazines.
Her love of quilting started with her Grandmother. She made countless amounts of quilts that she shared with her children and grandchildren. Jen would find herself under the quilting frame playing with wooden spools while her grandma and friends would be quilting her latest creation. The Joy of receiving a beautiful quilt on her wedding day from her Grandma was priceless.
Jen wants to share that passion with her students. Her classes are fun and have a positive atmosphere. She wants to give her students the skills and confidence they need to finish their projects.
Jen lives in Bountiful, Utah with her husband and three beautiful children. She's an A1 Quilting Machine dealer and loves what she does.
Fabric is how I got into quilting. I have always loved sewing and graduated with a BA in Clothing and Textiles from BYU. I sewed for myself and later for my children and when they grew up, I found a reason to continue buying fabric. Quilting, of course. That was 15 years ago and have immersed myself in this art. With occasional opportunities to teach quilting, I also machine quilt for family and friends. I have been involved with many local quilt guilds, Quilt Show Chairman with the Utah Quilt Guild, and on staff with HMQS in Salt Lake City. The best part of quilting is the people that I have met and the friends that have enriched my life by sharing their creative talents. Quilters are the best friends. My other interests include Bobbin Lace, Needlework, Music and Family History. I love and enjoy my family, my dear and supportive husband, Craig, six children and ten grandchildren.