Super excited to announce that I am now creating content for Stitchin' Heaven in Quitman, Texas. I will continue to live in beautiful Morro Bay, California, and will be using both studios to create awesome new quilting and sewing tutorials with the rest of the team on the Stitchin' Heaven YouTube Network - Make sure you SUBSCRIBE!
I love teaching people to sew and quilt. Inspiring creativity is my passion! I got my hands on a needle and thread at a very young age and I’ve always enjoyed making art. For the past several years I’ve been blessed to be a textile designer and quilt educator as the host of Man Sewing. Now I teach quilting all around the world.
I am known for the machine quilted art quilts I have created over the past twenty years. But, like all artists, I often find myself inspired to work in other mediums as well like embroidery, knitting, wood, pen and ink, as well as music. I’ve even created a unique quilting tool called the Shark Applicutter.
When I’m not behind a sewing machine you’ll find me in my native habitat: surfing and hiking on the beautiful California coast! I’m an advocate for wildlife conservation and I also play the guitar. Many of my quilts are directly influenced by the time I spend in nature and feature landscapes, animals, and music.
The Shark Applicutter slices through fabric like a fin through water, making applique easier than ever. It began as a passion project for him over five years ago and now his vision has finally come to life! Here’s the story of how the Shark Applicutter came to be.
When I began my Endangered Species project, I started using the smallest rotary cutter I could find, an 18mm, to cut out the tiny fabric shapes. These quilts featured an "up close and personal" portrait of each endangered animal and required a lot of intricate cutting. As we all know, necessity is the mother of invention, so I started using my rotary cutter in a new way, holding it like a pen instead of using an overhand grip. When I used it this way, I could twist and move it more freely, but it had a few drawbacks. I started teaching my quilting classes with the 18mm rotary cutter, but I noticed that many people were struggling to cut with it safely and accurately due to arthritis and other issues. As I listened to their concerns, I realized that adding a bump, like the dorsal fin on a shark, would make it safer to use and more accurate. That's when I began to design the Shark Applicutter.
While I was on a teaching trip in Hawaii, I found myself sitting on a beach in Kona, mulling over a few ideas when inspiration struck me. I looked over at this chunk of old surfboard sticking out of the sand next to me and suddenly realized that I could use resin to make an amazing handle for the Applicutter. At the same time I had been working on the rotary cutter handle back home, I was also making plastic water bottle spaceships with my son. The two projects came together in my mind right there on the beach. My son and I had been adding these little plexiglas wings onto water bottles and as I looked at that surfboard I realized I could make a handle from the same materials. Right when I got home, I went right to work creating the first prototype and immediately proved to myself that it worked fantastically. Now all I needed was a company to help make it.
I saw a need in the industry for a better tool and a safer tool and I feel really proud of what I’ve created. It took a couple years for everything to come together and by the time I was about ready to sell it at quilt market, I began talking to people at Missouri Star Quilt Co. who helped open the door.
It has been a five-year process to bring the Shark Applicutter to life and the time just flew by. I had been so busy with everything else in my life that I felt like God helped me from start to finish. It was such a fun mission for me to take on; it has really been a fantastic ride. I can’t wait to see where it will go from here!
Shark Applicutter features:
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