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Kelly Watkins

In-Store Instructor

South East Virginia (willing to travel)

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About The Instructor

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I have been creating for as long as I can remember. My Mom taught me how to make my first quilt when I was fourteen. I’d like to say I fell in love with the process then, but truthfully I think she was the one who had to finish the quilting and binding. I took a break from sewing for a few years, as it isn’t the cool thing to do when you’re a teenager. But picked it back up in my early twenties, mostly making purses and other small crafty items. When we decided to move from Pennsylvania to Virginia Beach in 2017, I was determined to make a quilt for both of my nieces and my nephew. Two sampler quilts for the girls and a bargello for my nephew, free motion quilted with a simple stipple. I was happy with the results, especially for my first try, but I wanted to learn more. This time I was hooked.

Many hours were spent scrolling through social media to find inspiration and tutorials. And then I stumbled across the Sew Steady You Tube channel, binged watched over a weekend, and placed my order for the Fun & Fancy Set. I love to be able to put every stitch in my quilts from the first to the last, and my rulers help me to do just that. They have enabled me to break out of my walking foot box. Sometimes they are the only tool I use to quilt, sometimes they are used as more of a framework for my free motion quilting.

In 2018, I took a position as an Educator at a sewing shop, eventually becoming the Education Director. I have taught everything from piecing to specialty quilting techniques, but ruler quilting is probably my favorite thing to teach. I love to see the spark of inspiration and creativity when my students “get it”.

After getting my Personal Trainer and Nutrition Certifications, Bobbins & Barbells was born, a quirky combination of quilts, strength training, and practical nutrition advice.

Kelly is currently the Education Director at Tidewater Sew Vac. The have six stores throughout southeast Virginia.
Check out Kelly’s Classes HERE.

3 thoughts on “Kelly Watkins

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  1. Kelly is a fabulous educator and makes learning fun! Her love of quilting is obvious as she shares quilting techniques. She encourages creativity and makes you feel like you can do anything! Kelly has the ability to simplify complex designs, explains the “why” certain steps are needed, and is a natural teacher.
    Kelly is a master quilter, her quilts are beautiful and award winning. I jokingly tell her, “I want to be you (Kelly) when I grow up!”

  2. Kelly is very knowledgeable and helpful. I am a current student in her ruler class. She inspires me to go home from class and continue practicing with my rulers. She also encourages us to think outside the box and to try things outside of our comfort zone.

  3. I really enjoyed Kelly’s class on ruler work for beginners with Donelle McAdams and am fortunate enough to have her as my instructor for Tidewater Sew Vac’s Ruler of the month club. I hope to see more videos with her on Sew Steady, her talent and enthusiasm always makes her classes enjoyable and I always leave feeling motivated.

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