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Meet our Instructors:

Bear Country Quilts and Gifts are so pleased to have some of the most talented artists in Big Bear Valley available to teach quilting, sewing, embellishment and mixed media classes.

Please allow us to introduce to you some of our noteworthly instructors for Classes and Workshops offered Bear Country Quilts & Gifts.

Belinda Evans

Beginning Quilting 101
Raw Edge Applique
Free Motion
Introduction to Wool
Paper Piecing
A lifetime of creativity ranging from working with different mediums

from paper, yarns and fabrics. Her first quilt was for her grandaughter over 14 years ago. She enjoys all aspects of quilting techniques. It was her grandmother "Oma" that purchased her sewing machine at the age of 13, and shared the love of sewing clothing items with her many sisters.

Some of her favoriate techniques are thread painting, and free motion quilting, and continues to learn new techniques as she grown in her quilting life.

Loretta Castelluccio

Beginning Sewing 101
Loretta Castelluccio is a knowledgeable talented seamstress and has been sewing for over 50 years. She has made a variety of products including men's suits, women lingerie, and Clerical Vestments. Loretta has taught children and adult sewing classes as well as being an experienced quilter. She is familiar with several machines and their accessories as well as many fabrics and threads. Sewing is Loretta’s passion and she loves being able to pass that onto others through teaching. Loretta is also a member of the Busy Bear Quilt Guild in Big Bear Lake.

Sandi Cannarella

Turn-edged Applique
Sandi Cannarella has been sewing clothes, drawing, painting and sculpting for 65 years, and creating art quilts for the last 5 years. Her favorite venue is turned-edge applique' for which she has been awarded multiple ribbons locally and internationally, and she has been teaching this technique to beginners for 3 1/2 years. Anyone wanting to learn this beautiful, creative process can learn to do so in one day. Sandi's students always claim that they won't be able to do applique well and end up being great at the end of a one-day class! They are now her competitors in quilt contests.

Denise Schiavone

Invisible Machine Applique
Denise has been sewing since she was 10 years of age. At the age of 20 she began quilting. While her children were young, she would sew quilts to earn money for Christmas gifts. Friends would donate fabric scraps and throughout the year she would fashion them into quilts and then sell them.

The quilting world has really changed since those days! Now, Denise’s favorite quilts are those sewn from traditional pieced quilt designs, especially when combined with applique. Recently she was able to attend a class at Empty Spools with Kim Diehl. It was there she experienced a new applique technique called invisible machine applique. It was an eye opener! Applique that looks like it is done by hand in a fraction of the time! Not only that, but it is more sturdy than hand applique.

Denise would like to share some of her newly acquired skills and techniques with others. Having been a teacher by profession, she will walk you through the process with a project she designed for this workshop.