Michelle Umlauf

As an educator, Michelle has learned quite a few things from her students. Most importantly, she said, is how to prepare for a group of students of various and different skill levels.

“I have to be very detailed-oriented and it's best to be over prepared.  People want to learn, but they also want to be entertained!  So, I can be myself – humor, animation and all,” she said. “Projects or techniques don't have to be overly complicated to learn the skill.  When people are happy and successful, they are inspired, and, they will want to get the supplies they need to do it on their own.”

Michelle has also found that teaching is a very satisfying experience for her.

“I love watching people's faces as I teach them. Sometimes I can see the wheels spinning, the light bulbs go off, but the most rewarding things is to see their huge smiles after they've made something,” she said.

When she started sewing regularly in 2007, quickly fell in love with not only the artform but also the technology.

“It allows for more opportunities to be creative, customize your work exactly the way you want it, and do/make things that were not possible before, she said.”

Most importantly, Michelle said she loves the people sewing brings together.

“I love the camaraderie in our community. I'm sure to have friends no matter where I go,” she said. “Since I travel a lot, I look forward to seeing familiar faces each year when I return to the expos, and of course meeting new people.”