Instructor Bios for Quilting

Kathie Beltz - Studio 180 Design Certified Instructor

As an award-winning quilter, Kathie Beltz lectures, gives demonstrations, and teaches workshops at guilds and at quilt shows across the country. Kathie has been quilting since 1995, teaching since 2004, and judging quilts since 2007.

In 2013, Kathie became a Certified Instructor for Studio 180 Design, Deb Tucker’s quilting tool and technique company. The Studio 180 Design certified instruction program provides her with the opportunity to continue Deb Tucker’s tradition of excellent instruction combined with fun. Deb’s efficient techniques and her accurate tools make it easy to create beautiful quilts without a lot of fuss.

For more information on Studio 180 Design patterns and tools, or for information on workshops, lectures, or judging, Kathie can be reached at:

Alison Bolt (co-host)

Alison's "Right Off the Bolt" humor column has been featured in "Quilters Newsletter" since 2007. Her observations on the quirky side of quilting (and quilters) have also appeared in "Keepsake Quilting's" catalogs and the "Quilting Quarterly." She has taken her act on the road and began spinning her stories for area guilds. For material, Alison draws heavily on her past experiences such as: holding offices on the National Quilt Association and Vermont Quilt Festival boards, serving as the Festival's show director, and heading an active, 300-member guild in MD. Alison, a devoted paper-piecer, has been quilting since 1998, but promises she is an average quilter with the same neuroses as everybody else!

Jo Diggs

Jo has always cut, stitched and loved fabric. She is best known for landscapes of great depth and distance that express feelings of quiet and serenity. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally; her wool quilt Snowscape is in the collection of the National Quilt Museum (USA). Jo has created a quilt series of the Four Seasons, an Audubon donation quilt, and in 2011, A Full Tank, a big crowded, exciting fish quilt. Two of her landscapes appear in Valerie Hearder's Points of View: Landscape Quilts to Stitch and Embellish, C&T 2007. A trained art teacher, Jo is dedicated to helping other stitchers achieve success and pleasure. Learn more about Jo Diggs at

Joan Ford

Joan Ford is the designer/owner of Hummingbird Highway. She is perhaps best known for leading workshops and lectures featuring the popular ScrapTherapy method, helping quilters relieve the guilt associated with a growing scrap fabric stash. A thorough overview of her method is detailed in "ScrapTherapy®, Cut the Scraps!" and "ScrapTherapy®, Scraps Plus One!" In her third book, "When Bad Things Happen to Good Quilters," Joan provides practical advice to help quilters keep their projects on track. All three books are published by The Taunton Press. Joan creates quilt patterns in her home studio and office. She also lectures and teaches workshops throughout the country. Joan, her husband, Dave, and their three pet birds live in Syracuse, New York.


Michelle Renee Hiatt

Michelle Renee Hiatt is passionate about quilting. She started her love affair 20+ years ago in the 1990s. Michelle is a certified Professional Process Expert (LSSBB); she uses her process improvement techniques and applies them to her quilting and teaching others how to simplify their piecing while improving the quality of their quilt making. Additionally, Michelle is a certified Studio 180 Design Instructor, trained by Deb Tucker, and designs for Modern 180. Michelle’s designs are featured in Fon & Porter’s Love of Quilting Magazine, Quilter’s Newsletter & Modern Quilting Unlimited Magazine. Furthermore, Michelle teaches throughout the northeast, including at American Quilt Society’s Quilt Week. She is known for her humor, enthusiasm and encouragement! By the end of any of Michelle's classes you will become more at ease with your quilt piecing and find yourself stress-free. She can be reached on her website at

Jacqueline Kunkel

Join Guest Instructor Jackie Kunkel for a paper piecing retreat!  Jackie has been quilter for more than 20 years, and paper piecing has been a passion for her for a long time.  After taking a class with Judy Niemeyer, Jackie decided to combine her love of paper piecing and Judy Niemeyer designs and become one of Judy's Nationally Certified Instructors.  Jackie is also a designer, online quilt shop owner, Podcaster, Mom and Wife. Her enthusiasm and knowledge will keep you coming back to her retreats again and again. Visit her website at

Jane Masenas

Jane has been doing needlework since she was five years old. When she moved to Vermont in 1975, she became part of a church group that makes beds quilts to earn money for the church. Since 1973, Jane has been an elementary school teacher and has collaborated with school teachers and the Shelburne Museum to integrate the arts, including textile arts into the school curriculum. Her quilts have been published in Miniature Quilts magazine. To date she has had 14 of her quilts published. Her personal trunk show is not to be missed.

Instructor Bios for Knitting

Janet Chill

Janet Chill started knitting as a young girl at a local yarn shop. When she lived in NYC, she would make weekly visits to the yarn shop where she sat with the seasoned knitting and crochet ladies. Janet was the assistant editor of Lady’s Circle teaching fitness for over 40 years. In 2004, she was certified as a yoga instructor at Kripalu. Janet is part-owner of the Yarn & Yoga shop in Bristol, Vermont.

Elissa Cobb

Elissa Cobb learned to knit and crochet as a young child, taught by her mother and grandmother. She has been knitting for over 40 years and loves to try new patterns as well as create some of her own. She enjoys teaching knitting workshops and fostering new knitters. Elissa has also studied, taught, and mentored movement and meditation modalities for over 35 years. She was the former director of the training programs at Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in Bristol, Vermont. Elissa is part-owner of the Yarn & Yoga shop in Bristol.