2024 Benartex Ambassadors

Michele Crawford

Belle Brunner

Belle began quilting in her mid-40s at the onset of the 2020 pandemic and quickly fell in love with the craft. After taking an intensive pattern writing course, she began designing and publishing quilt patterns. She focuses on confident beginner patterns and techniques that even advanced quilters love to make and believes that all people, of any age, can learn to quilt. Her patterns are sold by a major distributor, The Fat Quarter Shop, and she has been published in Font’s and Porter’s Quick & Easy Quilts. Belle resides in Montgomery County, Arkansas. Having spent years helping non-profits and boards of directors in her other business, Belle expanded her Seams Sew Me business to also specialize in providing leadership, governance, consulting, and education for quilt guilds’ boards of directors. She believes that strong inclusive guilds contribute to strong communities. She will be launching a podcast in late 2023/early 2024 specifically for quilt guilds and is currently writing a book tailored to guilds as well. She leads and teaches with her two leading values: compassion and understanding

Robin Koehler

Rachelle Craig

Rachelle is a former construction engineer turned designer pursuing her long-time dream of designing quilt patterns. One summer as a bored teenager, she taught herself how to quilt using library books and has not looked back since.

She enjoys the entire process of quilt making from the spark of inspiration to watching a written design turn into a tangible quilt. Rachelle’s quilts often include geometric designs using solid fabrics in bright colors on dark backgrounds.

Rachelle lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, cats, and a herd of cows. Follow her on social media using the links below. 

DayBrook Designs

The mother-daughter team – Crystal and teen daughters Brooklynn and Daytonna – thrive when creating together.  They enjoy creating quality, easy-to-follow quilt patterns.  Inspired by their Nebraska heritage steeped in handcrafts, the trio offers a variety of styles to their designs.  From traditional to modern, or vintage with a flair, the gals are always ready to create something new and exciting to share with you!  Join them for an exciting year as they reveal their new quilting studio and classroom in beautiful rural South Carolina.  They have many surprises in store for you while sharing their love of quilting and community.

Kena Dorsey

Kena Tangi Dorsey (Quilt Artist, Teacher, Designer, and Owner of Kena Quilt Studio), began quilting over 20 years ago while living in Harlem, NYC. Her artistic style is a blend of contemporary, modern improv, and traditional quilt making.  However, it’s making portrait art quilts that really make her heart sing!  She loves creating with big, bold colorful fabrics and then longarm free motion quilting on them. Teaching is another passion of hers. She teaches quilt workshops and lectures that take place in-person, on-demand, as well as online virtual classes. Over the last year, Kena has had some of her art quilts and African fabric quilts featured in festivals as well as published in the Spring, Summer and Winter 2023 issues of Art Quilting Studio Magazine and Today’s Quilter Magazine. When not making quilts, she teaches filmmaking and television production to high school students and is also an adjunct professor at a local college.

Kaitlin Esche-Lyon

Kaitlin Esche-Lyon is a self-taught fiber artist. Her formal education is in architecture and engineering, along with a studio arts minor that was used as a creative outlet during school. Near the beginning of the pandemic, Kaitlin decided she wanted to make a quilt. Using her determination, a domestic sewing machine, and a box of cotton fabric scraps she began experimenting and creating. Quilting quickly developed into a passion and then, leaving her architecture career behind, it became her full-time job. Using her knowledge of color theory and special awareness, she is able to create complex designs with unique color palettes. Kaitlin’s hope is to inspire others

Sarah Fulks

Hi, I’m Sarah Fulks, the quilter/designer behind SnuggleBugStitching. I am thoroughly addicted to quilting. Technically, I made my first quilt when I was 10 or 11. But, it was a collaboration with my grandmother, and she did most of the work. Other than those few quilts, I started quilting as an adult on the side of my job as a school nurse. I made my first solo quilt in 2019 while remodeling our house. I kept looking for excuses to make “one more quilt” until finally gave in and accepted that I was hooked. I started selling quilts in 2020 and released my first pattern in 2021. I submitted my first designs for quilt magazines this year and was blessed to already have some designs accepted. I try to post helpful information on my blog and social media so others can enjoy quilting as much as I do.

Amy Lollis

Hello, beautiful souls! I’m Amy, the creative behind Happy Hippie Studio. I started quilting in 2014 when I was a stay-at-home mom fighting postpartum depression. Though I’m in a better place now, having a creative ritual continues to be my favorite form of self-care. Quilting is more than just cutting up fabrics and sewing them back together: each quilt is a journal of who we were when we created it. I enjoy designing traditionally pieced scrappy projects for bold fabrics and finishing with big-stitch quilting, with an emphasis on authenticity over perfection. When I’m not sewing, I love to read, crochet, refinish furniture, bake delicious gluten-free treats, drink coffee, and hike. My husband and I unschool our three kiddos on a small farm in Oklahoma, where our family grows wild as nature intended.

Kari Mathews

Hi, I’m Kari Mathews of Prairie Quilting. I am a pattern designer and long-arm quilter. My mother taught me to sew at a young age, and I found my favorite hobby! In high school, I fell in love with quilting, and I have been quilting for over 30 years. I love every part of the process, from designing, playing with the fabric, long arm quilting, to hand binding. Applique and curved piecing, are some of my favorite techniques. I love traditional piecing, and trying unique blocks. I have been very blessed to have wonderful mentors in my life. My designs have been published in multiple magazines. I also enjoy spending time with my husband and our four teen/adult children!

Jennifer McClanahan

Jennifer McClanahan is a Pattern Designer, a mother of 3 amazing children, a loving wife, and a grandmother. Growing up Jennifer was surrounded by multiple generations of sewers including a grandmother who is still quilting away in her 90’s. A few years after graduating she married her high school sweetheart, left Indiana, and traveled the world with her Navy husband and kiddos. She credits her world travels for expanding her creativity and influencing her modern aesthetic and bold style. After Jennifer’s hubby retired from the Navy and her children began spreading their own wings, she decided to share her passion for quilting and unique designs with others.  Thus – Sweet Tea Pattern Co was born!­ Jennifer feels blessed and lucky that she can spend her days in her studio doing what she loves – creating, sewing, and quilting.

Tammy Silvers

Hi, I’m Tammy. I’ve been quilting since 1991. I’ve also taught at quilt shops, major shows, and of course for guilds (!) as well as online, and design and self-publish my own quilt patterns under the label Tamarinis.

I’m no different than most quilters – I enjoy working with almost any fabric. But I must confess – my favorites (the ones that will make me drool, and blow a carefully constructed budget) are batiks, bold prints, and almost any fabric with words on it. I am a Georgia native and currently live in Acworth with my husband, children (when they come to visit!), one fluffy dog, and my favorite grumpy cat. Yes, I love designing, but I love teaching and sharing my passion for quilting. It is so much fun to get to visit different guilds, meet quilters, and see all the creativity that makes this such a fun world to be a part of.

Linda Sullivan

It’s no surprise that Linda loves color and loves creating colorful contemporary fabric designs and patterns! With over 23 years of experience as a professional designer and quiltmaker, Linda has touched almost every aspect of the quilting industry from authoring two books to designing three fabric collections to owning her own quilt shop, to designing over 150 individual quilt patterns, with many of them bestsellers or being featured in international quilting publications. Linda is intensely passionate about bold bright colors, midcentury modern art, and contemporary pattern design. Always searching for a twist on the traditional, her quilts are well known for their modern look, spontaneous movement, and fearless use of color. Today, she resides in Palm Springs, California, and enjoys collaborating with her husband and fellow quilt designer, Carl in their design company, Colourwerx designing fabric, and quilt patterns and traveling across the country to share their love of color, quilting, and contemporary design. 

Amanda Whisman

I’m Amanda Whisman, and creating in the world of textiles is my passion. Beginning in 2017, I have honed my skills over the years, culminating in several quilted items and hundreds of bags.  As owner and designer of Be Mandy Things, I make handcrafted bags to help you be the many things.  With meticulous attention to detail and a keen eye for color and pattern combinations, my goal is to make stylish, yet practical bags for the modern-day woman, and all the “hats” she must wear.  I’ve always had a special place in my heart for quilting, and enjoy smaller, quick projects.   Currently, when I’m not working as a full-time special education assistant teacher, I’m working on projects and new patterns.  After recently releasing my very first bag pattern, I’ve been bitten by the pattern writing bug and have several more patterns planned.