Shelly has been sewing and crafting all of her life. She freely admits to reading all the machine manuals for pleasure and then loves teaching what she has learned to her classes. She makes learning fun, not hard and leaves everyone excited about their new tools and skills.
Shelly is a Bernina Educator. Through her company, Sew Shelly Quilts, LLC, Shelly creates and presents original patterns and classes to bring the extended capabilities of all of the BERNINA products to life. Her classes are rich with techniques and software is her passion. In addition, she is a 5 year member of the BERNINA Event Team which has brought the Sewapalooza to you.
Q: How did you learn to sew?
A: Both my mother and my grandmother were skilled seamstresses. I can remember being very small, sitting on my mother's lap, hand stitching clothes for dolls. By the time I was 12, I was sewing everything I wore.
Q: You seem to have a real love of the sewing machine. How did that start for you?A: I seem to have a very mechanical mind. It just comes naturally to me. I never watch tv. Instead, I am digitizing, or reading machine manuals, or working on my computer. Machines fascinate me, and I am really fascinated by the way the machines interact with thread and fabric to create something beautiful.
Q: How many machines do you own?
A: I have 9 Berninas! Every time it seems like time to get rid of one, I just can't let it go; they become like my best friends. I remember something I made with that machine, then I get sentimental and can't part with it!
Q: What is the one technique you teach that most often gives your students their "ah ha" moment?
A: I think they are always really thrilled when they learn how to do bobbin work! They get real excited when they see the effect that can be achieved when they put the heavier thread in the bobbin and work upside down. They are also always amazed at the effect that can be achieved with couching.
Q: Do you have a favorite technique?
A: I especially love embellishing fabric, so I like to do decorative stitching, or couching; any kind of embellishing, really. When I am not playing with digitizing, that is what I like to do.
Q: What is your favorite WonderFil thread?
A: First, it is Razzle (8 wt rayon)! Because I love to teach couching and bobbin work, Razzle™ is just the best for that, and it gives such stunning results. But my second new favorite is InvisaFil™. I have just recently started using it for stitch in the ditch, and you simply cannot see it in that ditch! So even when your stitching goes off a bit, the end result looks great.
Q: What is coming up for you next?
A: Well, I seem to be on the road constantly. I am doing the Bernina Academies (we are now using WonderFil's reflective thread, Flash, which incidentally sews like a dream!). Then I also travel to dealers teaching the O Sew Shelly techniques classes .
YouTube is another favorite way of Shelly’s to engage stitch enthusiasts world wide. She has many up close videos on techniques that can be used with various materials and machine feet.