Local Instructors

Dorothy Thomas, Bend, Oregon

I started sewing with my mother as a very young girl, primarily sewing garments. After I married, my motherin-law, who was an amazing hand quilter, got me interested in quilting. However, the quilts that interested me looked far to complex for a beginner. I was drawn to intricate star quilts, with those amazing perfect points. I just knew there was no way that I could ever make a quilt like that.

I started quilting in 2004, after the passing of my mothers. My first exposure to foundation paper piecing was an utter disaster. I felt the technique was frustrating, time consuming, and extremely wasteful. Then I saw the quilt I’d been dreaming about for all those years. It was a Judy Niemeyer foundation paper piecing pattern. That pattern was enough to get me to try foundation paper piecing again, and boy am I glad I did. I took a Judy, Judy Technique of the Month class in 2014. Judy’s techniques eliminated everything I didn’t like about my first experience. Cutting templates made cutting out the quilt fast and efficient, and minimized fabric waste. They also controlled the placement of the fabric grain line, eliminating distortion, and bias edge in the wrong place. My first Judy quilt, turned out better than I ever dreamed possible. I have been hopelessly hooked on foundation paper piecing ever since. I have studied foundation paper piecing from some of the world’s most well known masters. In addition to Judy Niemeyer, I’ve studied the foundation paper piecing techniques of Jacqueline De Jonge, Carl Hentsch, Karen K. Stone and Valori Wells.

Along the way, I have selected some of my favorite techniques from each of them, and developed a few of my own. I love to share my favorite tips and tricks with all of my students.

Stacy Vanderlip, Bend, Oregon

I have been sewing since I could reach the foot petal of my mother’s sewing machine, and quilting for 20 years.  I grew up on the North Oregon Coast in a creative family.  My mom is incredibly crafty, and my dad is a gifted wood craftsman. They taught me the love for handmade items early in life.


My family moved to Bend, Oregon in 2007. When I started working at BJ’s was when I discovered I absolutely love teaching and sharing my passion for quilting with others. I have taught a variety of techniques over the years, my favorites will always be English Paper Piecing and Traditional quilts. I am a self proclaimed Scrap-o-holic, for which I have found there is no cure.

I have a great love for antique quilts, quilt history, and stitching by hand. During my free time I can usually be found at my machine or with a quilt in my lap, just as life should be.