We are so lucky to have such amazing instructors working with us at the-sew-op!
Here is a little bit about each one
Lily is a freelance clothing and costume maker with a studio in Bristol, R.I. Lily loves making things that have practical use, whether that be clothing, home items like quilts and blankets, or work bags and accessories. Connecting with others over textiles is her joy. Some of the places she currently works with are Old Sturbridge Village, Gamine Co., and Island Moving Company. Lily is super talented and is looking forward to returning to teach at the-sew-op this fall!
Gretchen has always been intrigued with fabrics and textiles and the idea that a small thread can bring them all together into so many shapes and sizes. She started sewing for purpose with recovering old sofas to bring new life into them, mending items here and there, making her children's Christmas stockings and gifting people with pajamas over the years. She also dabbled in what she calls quilting, making "graduation hugs" for nieces and nephews and her own kids to gift to them prior to heading off to college. Upon moving to Rhode Island, she discovered and completed the URI Master Seamstress I program with Diane Martin and Jane Headley. Through that course the lines of her figure were definitely not standard, and she benefited by learning patterns in order to better fit her patterns and clothing. She has taken online courses and studied pattern making in order to create clothes that fit her lines versus hoping that her lines will fit the standard clothes on the rack. The learning continues and so does the fun! She is very excited to share the love of sewing with students of all ages.
Tina has been quilting since the 90s and still tries to challenge herself to learn something new with every quilt. She started her own quilting business, “Seaside Stitches” in 1997 when she was making and selling tiny quilt block lapel pins. These days, she would prefer to teach you how to make your own! She specializes in precision piecing (EPP & FPP) and domestic machine quilting. She shows her work at local and regional quilt shows and has won multiple awards through the years. When she is not teaching, you can find her enjoying the Rhode Island scenery.
Donna is a newly retired school psychologist, whose passion for quilting and quilt history has her geared up for her second career as a part-time quilt instructor. She has been quilting/sewing on and off for nearly 20 years. Her interest is teaching and inspiring beginner level students to dive into the wonderful world of quilting! Her instructional style is slow and steady, with a good dose of forgiveness for “happy accidents” (mistakes). Her Beginner Quilt Series will take you from the very basics to completing two small quilts in a matter of weeks! Come join Donna on this creative and satisfying journey!
Meg studied Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design at URI and graduated in 2019. She learned how to sew at a young age and hasn't stopped since! Meg has won awards for her designs in the URI Spring Splash fashion shows in 2018 and 2019. She likes to have fun when sewing and get creative with scraps. She teaches workshops at the shop, but her favorite thing is to help customers find the perfect fabric for their next project! If you're a sew-op regular you've definitely seen Meg behind the desk.
Pat is a long-arm quilter, lecturer, workshop teacher, quilt designer and quilt judge! She has been long arming since 1999 and has won numerous regional, national and international awards for her quilts and those of her customers. She has also been published in books, magazines and featured on television. Pat has vast knowledge of the world of quilting, and we are so excited to have her teaching courses here at the-sew-op.
Jane is an expert sewist. She has been sewing since she was 9. When she is not making her Chanel-like jackets, she is teaching master seamstress classes and guided sew courses. Jane has also taught a variety of quilting classes, created paper piecing patterns, and taught fashion sewing classes. After retiring in 2002, Jane took the URI Master Seamstress I program, and it didn’t take long for her to fall in love and begin teaching classes in the Master Seamstress II program. She is a joy to have in the studio and has an encouraging way about her teaching method.
Barbara began sewing with her memere’s guidance as a young girl and was making some of her school outfits by 7th grade. Sewing was always a hobby, encouraged by a part time high school job at a fabric store. Her old, used machine went to college with her. Barbara chose to study Speech / Language Pathology and enjoyed a long career in hospital systems as a clinician and an administrator. In the later years of her career, she worked in a public high school addressing the needs of students with various learning disabilities and autism. During this time, she completed the Master Seamstress I and II programs at URI. In 2020, She decided to depart from her clinical career and pivot to her long-time hobby. She started the “Master the Art of Sewing” program in Providence, RI and has found having group gatherings mixed with advanced sewing techniques and exchanging sewing knowledge has led to a strong sense of community in the sewing world. She entered the world of remote (Zoom) sewing education to offer in-person and remote classes.
Liz Karp is a retired architect and her colleagues used to joke that sewing was really her “soft architecture”. She learned to sew at the age of 8 and hasn’t stopped. She’s made wedding gowns for herself and her daughters, a self-taught French Jacket, formal and informal apparel, and many quilts. She’s a weaver at the Octagon House but finds herself primarily making lengths of fabric for garment construction. Anything textile is Liz’s passion, and therapy and pure pleasure. She previously taught Beginner Sewing at the Sew-op several years ago and enjoys sharing her passion for sewing.
Sewing has been a huge part of Leslie Lowenstein’s life since she learned how to at about 8 years old. She’s been making things nonstop ever since. Her favorites are apparel sewing, quilting, and bag making. She enjoys teaching people this wonderful skill and loves hanging out with others who are just as enthusiastic about sewing. She is a board member of the Modern Quilters of Rhode Island. Leslie will be teaching improv quilting classes and hopefully some more workshops!
Suzanne has been sewing for over 50 years. She began sewing as a child at home with her mom. She pursued an education in clothing design and construction earning a BFA in Apparel Design at Rhode Island School of Design. She worked in the Fashion Industry in New York City, then earned a Masters in Education at NYU. She was an adjunct professor at RISD for 16 years, combining her two loves; teaching and fashion. Suzanne opened the-sew-op in 2016 to share her love of sewing with children and adults.
Kate has lived in North Kingstown for over 21 years. She has been sewing since she was a brownie (a long time ago!) Her mother taught her and her 4 sisters how to sew. While overseas in the Philippines she was taught how to quilt by another American, who started their own quilting group. Quilting has always been her favorite, but since teaching classes at the-sew-op, she has started to make other things using patterns! She is recently retired from working at Newport Hospital as an RN and she likes to use her new free time to sew. Kate has been enjoying teaching sewing courses at the-sew-op and can’t wait to help others find their passion for sewing!