Owner: Toni Katz - I started Klassy Katz Quilts in 2000 and added BERNINA's in 2004. It has been a wild but extremely fun ride of a lifetime. I have sewn since 7th grade and had a mother that wouldn't even sew a button on. It was a need that I had and sewed mostly clothing all through high school and college. I made extra money hemming and mending other girl's things. I sewed to keep my sanity while raising children. I started quilting in 1990 and have never looked back although I still do clothing sewing and embroidery and software. I love it all. I love the new technology of sewing and all the gadgets. I always say I had a checkered background, degreed in Food and Resource Management (water management), retailing and handled emergency parts at an airline. Life has been an interesting journey. As we all know that have been around for a while, you can't do it all alone and I have been married to Bob for 30 years and he has been suportive of my ventures. I'm the lucky one.
Our Team - I am so proud of the amazing talent and variety of styles and interests my staff has to offer. It makes us a better shop and offers you a wide variety of quilting/sewing classes so we're not limited. Two things I look for in a new teacher or staff are, are you willing to continue your sewing/quilting education and be part of the team to serve our customers. For me, it's not the years in sewing but the expertise and skills you are willing to master or have mastered that you bring to the plate for us. Meet our staff. Each brings unique qualities to the shop and we need each and everyone of them to make the shop "sing".
Joyce Anderson - I feel very fortunate to have Joyce. She moved from Atlanta to be close to her son, daughter in law and 2 grand daughters. She has managed many a store and I think I'm learning from her. Her hobby use to be miniatures and if you could see some of these items she has created, I have no idea how you can work that small. They are extremely elaborate. Joyce is working during the week to help us keep organized and keep an eye on my and keep me focused!
Dorren Ball - I affectionately call Dorren our resident geek but like I always say, that's with affection. In her real job, she is an IT Director. She is the most productive person I know and she has the quilts to show it in the short time she has been quilting. I've never seen anyone hone theirs sewing skills so fast. She is presently teaching our evening machine mastery class, serger mastery and Cutwork mastery plus quilting classes. She also is Handi Quilter tech certified and can help you with your long arm needs.
Jessica Ball - Once I hired one young person, I decide why stop now. The youth and life they bring to the shop is wonderful. Jessica is a wonderful person and just to top it off, beautiful and smart. Don't you hate when people have it all? I'm just kidding. Anyway, she is our newest addition and will be in the shop on some Friday's and Saturday and is a full time student at the U of M. Her mother (Dorren) just happens to work with us as well so that is actually been fun for us all.
Tish Brister - Tish bought a machine after retirement and somehow adopted me. We love retired librarians since they seem to know everything I don't know or how to get to it. She started quilting and then found out that she loves embroidery so now she hosts our Embroidery Club once a month. Her other serious passion (besides Ronnie, her husband) is counted cross stitch. I can't get her to give it up. Go figure! The other thing you all don't know about Tish is her wicked sense of humor. She is not the sweet little lady you think she is. I have the email's to prove it.
Pam Block - Pam and I met at a quilt shop in the 1990's and we've been working together on and off for years. She has been with me the longest of any of my employees (was here when the shop first opened) and teaches the beginning piecing and quilting classes among many other quilts. Her flute playing with the Bartlett Community Concert Band and Bartlett Flute Choir plus playing piano for her church make her an extremely busy person. We affectionately call Pam the "Queen of Paper Piecing" for a good reason. Check out some of her samples.
Frances Bowles - Frances's specialty is teaching T-shirt quilts and she also makes them for the public. This class is a regular feature on our newsletters. In her spare time she is busy driving her grand daughter to all her activities.
Alice Franceshetti - Alice taught AP Biology for 31 years so she can handle you in a class. She has been quilting for the past 10 years, and her favorites are paper piecing and machine applique. But her talents don't stop there, she is a Master Gardner. She and her husband, Don, like to travel when he is not teaching as a UM professor.
Debi Frease - Debi loves quilting and is not afraid to use lots of color as you can see from her scrap quilts. She also loves to embroidery and will be creating some cute embroidery quilts for us to do. She will be creating many more new classes for us with the embroidery machine and her skill in digitizing with the new software. And, did I mention she was a huge BAMA fan??
Sharon Jasper - Sharon started sewing with the help of mom in 4H programs as a child. She has sewn clothing for her kids and herself and started quilting in 1990. As a military wife, lots of traveling comes with the job and she ran several of her own businesses such as cake decorating and selling homemade candy. She is a registered nurse by profession but only worked until her first child was born. We are pleased to have her talents in our shop and her specialty is beautiful applique. Take Sharon's beginner applique class if you want to know how to hand applique!
Linda Leake - Linda wandered in the shop and I just found her interesting and found we are kindred spirits of sorts. We traveled to the MQS show (a longarm show) in Kansas City and instead of irritating each other, found out we complemented each other. She offers a more modern style of quilting in the shop and her quilts are always interesting. She has been sewing for years and use to make most of her clothes but now quilting is her passion. She has been a past president of a large guild in the area and she and her husband have worked in the film industry in news and documentaries. She has fascinating stories to tell about her adventures. She still works in the field and helps her husband when time allows.
Debbie Moore - Debbie lives in Dyersburg but comes to Klassy Katz! So, the rest of you don't whine that you drive so far! Ha.She is a former Home Ec teacher who has always sewn for the creative satisfaction it provides. But, her love is children's clothing which is what everyone will see in her classes. She is a Licensed Martha Pullen teacher in Serger, Heirloom, Baby and Children's Garment Instruction and BERNINA machines. We look forward to learning a lot from Debbie.
Kit Rogers - Kit has been quilting longer than anyone in our shop since she started in 1977. She worked at another quilt shop until it closed and came to join us. She does beautiful quilts and is now venturing into computers and embroidery. Go Kit. She can give great suggestions for color and fabric choices while you are picking your quilt so don't hesitate to ask her advice.
Sharen Schulz - She has been shopping with us for a long time making her granddaughter wonderful outfits. Sharen has been sewing and embroidering for many years and even made her husband Leisure Suits in the day. After retiring as a legal secretary, she embraced the art of sewing/embroidery again and this time all for fun. She is now trying more quilting to broaden her horizons. We're glad she joined the party.
Mollie Swindle - Now, this is the woman who marches to another beat and proud of it. I'm not sure when I met Mollie but we were both so excited about arty type clothing and embellishments and lots of other sewing techniques. Mollie can fit anyone and I mean that. She fits you in the clothing classes and then will challenge you to step out of the box. Her classes are always lots of fun and if you didn't think sewing clothing can be fun, I've got news for you. Her day job is as an system engineer but we feel lucky to have her grace our shop. With 2 boys still at home and Bama games to go to, she has to squeeze us in.
Jody Townley - We are pleased to add her to our staff with her special gift for embroidery projects. We have similar pasts with degrees in Economics and sewing to keep our sanity while at home with kids. She loves teaching and it shows. In her previous life, she owned a coffee shop and got out before Starbucks showed up.
Derri Williams - Derri will be helping us out on Saturdays in the month that her river boat husband is on the river. Her real job is managing a law office so now you know why she finds putting bolts away relaxing. She can help you with software and machines if you need any assistance. She has really saved the day many times.