We care about quilts, and hope you do too!
Amy Milne has been the executive director of the Quilt Alliance since 2006. She has two decades of experience as a nonprofit administrator, educator and artist. Amy has overseen the expansion of the Quilt Alliance’s oral history projects, including the creation of the Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! project, as well as the Quilt Alliance’s biennial Not Fade Away: Sharing Quilt Stories in the Digital Age conference.
Debby Josephs, Office Manager, has worked in the nonprofit field for more than 15 years. Before moving to Asheville in 2006, Debby worked as office manager for Partnership in Philanthropy in Chatham, New Jersey, a nonprofit offering consulting and educational services to small nonprofits in the state. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she worked in the research department of Pershing and Co., a Wall Street firm in New York City.
Debby works in the Asheville office where she says it’s very exciting to be headquartered. “It’s a town filled with people who understand and appreciate the nature of nonprofits and all the hard work that goes into sustaining them.”
Emma Parker has worked for the Quilt Alliance since 2012, and has helped to develop the Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! program and streamline and revise the QSOS interview and training process. She has collected and edited over 400 Go Tell It at the Quilt Show! interviews at International Quilt Festival, QuiltCon, and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. She holds degrees in Folklore & Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mary Kay (Micki) Batte is a retired Financial Analyst from Pratt Whitney Aircraft. Taking her first quilting class in 1983 quilting became a major part of her life not only as an art form but, also, opening opportunities to work and share in her community and beyond. She is active in the Asheville Quilt Guild filling many positions including Quilt Show Chair, Guild Projects and Guild Liason to organizations as NC Arboretum, Mission Hospital (Camp Bluebird) and, in 2005 part of the research team which resulted Quilt Alliance’s move to Asheville.
Earamichia “Encyclopedia” Brown: My love of fiber arts and all things craft began as a child. My family had a set of the World Book Encyclopedia series and the Childcraft – The How and Why Library. Within that Childcraft series there was a volume called “Make and Do”, which I did plenty of. I wanted to become a fashion designer, but settled for plan B. I am an attorney by day to support my love of fiber.
My love of crafts and fiber continued to flourish throughout the years as a hobby, side jobs, and gift giving. I became an avid knitter, designed and knitted garments as gifts and by commissions, and taught knitting. In 2000, I was introduced to quilting and began taking sewing classes to improve on my techniques and learn the tips of this craft. And the story continues as I continue to grow creatively.
Learn more about Earamichia at www.cocktailsandthread.com
Mary Kay began quilting in 1996 on a “quilt-as-you-go” project and hasn’t stopped since. She loves a good challenge and has entered numerous quilt shows and contests. Her quilts have won national contests and have hung in the National Quilt Museum in Paducah. She has also contributed to a number of books and magazines including 500 Traditional Quilts from Lark Books and 100 Tips from Award Winning Quilters from AQS.
Currently Mary Kay works at The Quilt Show.com with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims as a website editor, photographer, and videographer. She also serves as a production assistant for their online web show. Her creative muse is served as a pattern designer for Blend Fabrics LLC and Anna Griffin, Inc.
A graduate from San Jose State University with a degree in Information Resource Management, she worked for years in the local area networking industry in Silicon Valley. Upon retirement, she began working in a local quilt shop, teaching classes, and occasionally giving guild lectures. She spends her spare time hanging out with her two grown sons and cheering on her beloved San Francisco Giants.
Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling author of over twenty books for young readers, including Dovey Coe (winner of a 2001 Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award); The Secret Language of Girls trilogy, Chicken Boy (an ALA Notable Book and an NCTE Notable Book), Shooting the Moon (winner of the Christophe Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award honor book), The Phineas L. Maguire series and most recently, the Sam the Man books, a chapter book series for early readers. She has also published fiction for adult readers, including Birds in the Air, a novel, and the story collection, Margaret Goes Modern and Other Stories. Her novel, Friendship Album, 1933, is available via the Quilt Fiction podcast.
Along with writing and molding her sons into men of distinction (or at the very least high school graduates—one down, one to go), quiltmaking occupies much of Dowell’s time. She began making quilts in 2007 and started a quilting podcast, “The Off-Kilter Quilt,” in 2010. Dowell has a deep interest in quilt history and the documentation of quilts and the quilting community. In 2015, she and her husband made a short documentary on Uncle Eli’s Quilting Party, an annual quilting event that began in 1931, in Alamance County, NC.
Board Vice President
Mark 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.
Lisa Ellis is a quilt artist, teacher and lecturer. She is passionate about quilting and using quilts to make the world a better place. She frequently lectures on healing quilts and inspires quilters to get involved in using their love of quilting to improve health care centers and hospitals. Ellis has directed a number of projects for healing-related installations including Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the University of Michigan, Auburn University, National Institutes of Health and INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital.
Ellis is the director of the non-profit organization Sacred Threads. Sacred Threads is a biennial exhibition dedicated to sharing our most personal quilts with themes of spirituality, joy, inspiration, healing, grief and peace/brotherhood.
She has advanced degrees in Math and Computer Science and worked for 23 years in the defense and information technology industry as an engineer, project manager and executive. Ellis retired in 2003 to focus her energies on volunteer work and her passion for the arts. In 2010, she started her own company, Giving Back Technology that provides information technology services to non-profit museums, galleries and other art organizations.
Ellis was elected in 2012 to the Board of Directors of the Quilt Alliance and is currently serving as Treasurer. Also in 2012 she joined the Board of Directors of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) as in currently serving as Vice President for Strategic Planning.
To learn more visit www.ellisquilts.com
Laura Hopper is a historian, curator, writer, and quilter. She works as the Associate Editor of Quiltfolk magazine, a dream job that combines her love of quilts with her skills in research and oral history. At Quiltfolk, Laura has profiled quilt scholars, museums, quilt industry professionals, designers, artists, and quilters from all walks of life.
Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in history and museum studies, a master’s degree in public history, and a certificate in textile preservation. She worked for nearly fifteen years as an award-winning museum curator with previous experience at the Newberry Library, the Michigan State University Museum, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, and more. Before starting her job with Quiltfolk, Laura was the curator at the Pick Museum of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University, an academic museum with a strong collection of textiles. Her exhibits won awards from the Illinois Association of Museums and the American Association of State and Local History and in 2018, she was the recipient of NIU’s Women Who Make a Difference Award in recognition of her work on a quilt exhibit. A community quiltmaking project she co-facilitated at NIU is the subject of a short documentary called The Women in Science Quilt Project.
Laura trained as a classical violist for a decade and stays connected to her musical past by making quilts inspired by music. Her quilts have been juried into QuiltCon, the International Quilt Festival and more. She currently serves as the President of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and as a former board member of the Social Justice Sewing Academy. Born in Germany and raised in Michigan and Texas, she now lives near Chicago with her spouse and their dog Taco.
Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi is a historian, curator, author, lecturer, artist, mentor, founder, and facilitator — and has left her mark on many lives. Trained as an aerospace engineer, Carolyn Mazloomi turned her sites and tireless efforts in the 1980s to bring the many unrecognized contributions of African-American quilt artists to the attention of the American people as well as the international art communities.
From founding the African-American Quilt Guild of Los Angles in 1981 to in 1985 founding the Women of Color Quilters Network (WCQN), Mazloomi has been at the forefront of educating the public about the diversity of interpretation, styles and techniques among African American quilters as well as educating a younger generation of African Americans about their own history through the quilts the WCQN members create.
A major force as an artist in her own right, Carolyn Mazloomi’s quilts have been exhibited extensively in venues such as the Mint Museum, American Folk Art Museum in New York City, National Civil Rights Museum, Museum of Art and Design, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum, and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC Her pictorial narrative quilts make plain her personal themes: family life, women’s rights, political freedom, and musical legacy. Her own quilts have appeared in over 70 exhibits, while she has curated 17 extensive exhibits of quilts made by members of the Women of Color Quilters Network, many of them traveling exhibits. Among the many exhibitions she has curated is “Still We Rise: Race, Culture and Visual Conversations,” which visually surveys 400 years of African American history. It is the largest traveling exhibit of African-American quilts ever mounted.
Bradley Mitchell’s formal education is centered around Marketing, Management, Events and Branding. Mitchell is originally from the historic spa town of Ilkley, England, an area of rich textile heritage and still home to the looms of British tailor,Thomas Burberry and the UNESCO world heritage site of Saltaire.
Mitchell joined the industry in 2014 and is the Director of Marketing at Aurifil Threads, an Italian company, famous worldwide for the manufacture of Egyptian cottons. Mitchell currently resides in Chicago, IL where he is project managing the establishment of Aurifil USA’s new flagship HQ.
A poet and fiber artist, Gwen Westerman lives in southern Minnesota, as did her Dakota ancestors. Her roots are deep in the landscape of the tallgrass prairie, and reveal themselves in her art and writing through the languages and traditions of her family. She is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate, and Professor in English and Humanities at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her quilts have won awards at the juried shows of the Northern Plains Indian Art Market, the Heard
Museum Guild Indian Art Fair & Market, and the Eiteljorg, and have been exhibited in Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, Anchorage, Houston, Tulsa, Fargo, and Lincoln. She is the author Follow the Blackbirds, a poetry collection in Dakota and English, and co-author of Mni Sota Makoce: Land of the Dakota, a history of Dakota land tenure in Minnesota.