Meet the Educators

Mark Dunn

mark DunnMark Dunn, president and owner of Moda Fabrics in Dallas, Texas, began his career in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1966 as a third generation thread and yarn sales representative. In 1975 he started Moda Fabrics as a company to specialize in supplying independent sewing and quilting stores. Moda designs, prints and distributes high quality cotton fabrics as well as 60,000 unique items for specialty quilt stores. Moda Fabrics supplies over 4,000 independent quilt specialty stores throughout the U.S. and 20 other countries on 5 continents. Currently, Moda Fabrics is developing an educational department to work with schools and charitable organizations. Mark received the “Man of the Year” in 1985 for the sewing industry from the American Jewish Committee. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Quilts, Inc. Houston, Texas. Previously, he was a member of the international group, Inter-Sew, that was dedicated to the preservation of the craft of quilting. Dunn attended the University of South Carolina but has lived in Dallas, Texas for the past 33 years. Dunn is committed to promoting and preserving the art form of quilting.


Ricky Tims

Ricky TimsRicky Tims has successfully blended two diverse passions into one very unique and interesting career. His skills as a pianist, composer and producer have been evident by the thousands who have heard his music. His success as a quilter is equally significant. He is known in the international world of quilting as a best-selling author, enthusiastic and encouraging teacher, an award-winning quilter, fabric designer, and a talented and spellbinding speaker. His innovative and entertaining presentations, feature live music and humor combined with scholarly insights and wisdom. His quilts have been displayed worldwide and are highly regarded as excellent examples of contemporary quilts with traditional appeal. Ricky's has made quilts that have won numerous international awards. He began designing and making quilts in 1991, and was recently named as one of The Thirty Most Distinguished Quilters in the World. In 2009 he was selected (in a three-way tie) by the readers of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine as The Most Influential Person in the Quilting Industry. In 2008 he was profiled and featured on the popular television news show, CBS News Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood. He maintains an extensive international schedule of teaching and speaking engagements, is co-founder and co-host of The Quilt Show ( with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims - an online, subscription-based TV show for quilters. He presents three-day Ricky Tims Super Quilt Seminars in select cities throughout the United States and holds week-long La Veta Quilt Retreats at his art quilt studio in tiny mountain town of La Veta, CO. In 2010, he and Alex Anderson started a new quilting lifestyle magazine called The Quilt Life (published by AQS).

Click Here to Visit this Instructor's Website


Rob Appell

Rob AppellRob Appell blends his love for the ocean with his work as a textile artist and designer. A few years back, Rob landed a job in his Mother's Quilt Shop "The Cotton Ball" in Morro Bay, California. It was at The Cotton Ball where Rob found a fondness for Hawaiian shirt making. Shirt scraps make beautiful quilts, and so does Rob. He learned to quilt by trial and error, and definitely brings a masculine touch to this age old tradition. Rob's quilts are 100% machine made and focus on applique work. Now, after almost twenty years in the industry, Rob designs Quilts for Michael Miller Fabrics, has authored a few books, countless quilt patterns including The Endangered Species Quilt Project, produced a few DVDs on his techniques, is inventing sewing and quilting tools, and services sewing machines in his studio in Morro Bay, California. He is blessed to travel the world sharing his experiences and joy in quilt making and sewing machine technology. Rob is a guy with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life and creativity. He is host of Man Sewing, where creativity meets caffeine.

Click Here to Visit this Instructor's Website

Click Here to Visit this Instructor's Website


Jerry Granata

Jerry GranataJerry Granata has had a love of art since he was a child and it has taken him in many directions. He served 21 years in the Armed Forces of the United States as a U.S. Navy musician serving in such places as Naples, Italy; Seattle, Washington; Washington D.C; and Chicago, Illinois. His musical journey has given him the opportunity to perform as a pit musician in many theatres on Broadway in New York. He has also performed for several U.S. Presidents and Heads of State at the White House, as well as many celebrities such as Bob Hope, Brook Shields, Tony Bennett, Diana Ross, Styx, as well as many others. His interest in the fine arts led him to studies in drawing, design, and oil painting. He has explored all sewing techniques including garment construction, costumes, heirloom sewing, quilt piecing, appliqué, and free-motion quilting. Jerry brings a passion for quilting, sewing, and teaching, with a dash of humor, to all levels from beginner to advanced. His diverse background can be found woven in his local, regional, national, and international award winning quilts.


Doug Leko

Doug LekoDoug Leko’s story is unique in the quilting industry. He founded Antler Quilt Design in 2008, when he was just fourteen. He’d been quilting since the age of six, and working in his mother’s quilt shop over the years helped him develop his skills and refine his art. After pattern testing for various designers, he began to develop his own quilt designs. Doug took off from there, launching a full-scale design and marketing operation while he was still in high school. Since then, his reputation has grown along with his business. He has a vibrant and growing collection of patterns available at quilt stores around the U.S. and Canada. New releases each year coincide with the timing of Quilt Market. With every new release, he signs and numbers the first 24 patterns, and those are intermixed randomly as orders are filled - so keep your eye out! Doug takes a distinctive approach to his quilt designs. He enjoys incorporating secondary design elements, and he’s absolutely passionate about color. For Doug, there’s nothing like pulling together just the right mix of coordinating fabrics for a project. He loves every aspect of the quilting process, from design to fabric selection to handwork to binding. His work has been featured in prominent publications such as McCall’s Quilting, Quiltmaker, and in American Patchwork & Quilting. When he’s not busy developing new designs or showing at Quilt Market, he divides his time between pursuing a marketing degree and teaching/speaking at quilt shops and other quilting events. Sharing with other quilters is what Doug likes best about his business. He always wants to know what people are working on, and he’s known as much for his outgoing nature and storytelling as for his unique passion about quilting.

Click Here Visit this Instructor's Website