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Staff

   Teresa Smith
I actually did not have an interest in sewing until my daughters were born in the late 80’s. One winter after Katy was born, I was admiring a dress that my good friend Serena Crowder was smocking for her baby Chelsea, and told her how much I wished I could do that. She thought I meant smock, but I actually meant ‘sew’, and Serena could not believe that I could not sew! She encouraged me to enroll in classes at the local vocational school, introduced me to the wonderful ladies at The Nimble Thimble and many heirloom sewing classes, and I have been sewing ever since! I think I was at the store so much that they took pity and just gave me a job, where I worked part time for 15 years. I attended my first Bernina University in 2008 in Orlando and was hooked!
  Linda Broyles
I really started sewing when I went to high school and my Mother told me I didn’t have a choice but to take as much Home Economics as they offered. So I took all three years. Had I not, my Mother would have had my schedule changed. I learned a lot and am glad she made me. Sewing was ok but I could live without it and did for about 40 years. When I retired in 2001, I was working at the fall festival at my church. I was just bidding on things in the silent auction and at the end of the auction I had won a gift certificate to The Nimble Thimble. I thought “what am I going to do with this?” Wasn’t even sure why I bid on it and some other things I won as well. It was suggested that I take beginning sewing and I thought that was a good idea. Boy, had things changed since I went to high school. Thanks to Kathleen Cooper and her great encouragement during that beginning sewing class, I bought a new machine, then I bought software, then I bought another machine and the list goes on. I have learned one thing during all this. Never say Never! When I retired, I was never going to learn a new software package and never going to teach it again. Have I eaten those words.
   Carol Utsman
Carol graduated from ETSU with a bachelor's degree in Family and Consumer Science with a major in Fashion Merchandising. In additon to completing an internship at The Nimble Thimble in 1990, Carol worked at The Nimble Thimble from 1991-1995. Carol then became part-owner of The Nimble Thimble in 1995, and has attended regular product trainings and most Bernina Universities since then. Carol is a highly qualified instructor and resource for classes ranging from garment construction to home dec sewing. Carol currently leads the monthly Bernina Virtual Clubs and also teaches many specialty classes.
  Scott Utsman
Scott is a full time employee at Eastman Chemical Company, and is also a certified Bernina Repair Technician. Scott has attended the past 4 Bernina University technical training sessions in addition to many regional training sessions as mandated by Bernina of America. Scott graduated from ETSU with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice in 1991. In addition to all Bernina models, Scott is very successful in maintenance and repair of other machine brands.
Donna Horowitz-Pruitt

Donna believes everyone should sew-something, anything!  With a degree in Fashion Merchandising, Donna's background includes all levels of retail, experience in the hospitality industry, and many years as owner of her own business, Designs by Donna.
Donna shares her love and excitement of garment sewing with her students with her students.  Her classes include: Beginning Sewing, Sewing Forward, Teen Sewing Sessions, and specialty classes.  When not teaching, Donna spends her time as the costumer for Sycamore Shoals State Park's outdoor drama, Liberty!.  Additionally, she creates costumes for both Regency and Civil War living history as well as bridal alterations.  For fun, Donna is active as the CEO and President of Sew Crazy, a local nonprofit charitable sewing organization in the Tri-Cities.
  Charlotte Ryan
Charlotte is a graduate of ETSU with a BS and Med with majors in Home Economics and Science.  She now works part time at In Stitches, following her passion for sewing and quilting.

My Mother Made Me Wear Dead Ducks

When I was 3 or 4, my grandmother became ill, and my mother and went to stay for a few weeks. The fabric used in the 40's was feed sacks. My grandfather was instructed to buy only sacks with a certain design. When my mother had enough sacks, she constructed a play outfit for me. I stood by the treadle machine and watch every stitch. I couldn't wait to get to wear my new outfit. I can still see the fabric, light blue background with big white ducks. When the shorts and top were finished and I looked at it, the back of the top had "dead ducks". Their beautiful feet were pointing to the sky. I cried and cried, but I wore the "dead ducks". I always told my mother she forced me to sew for my self at an early age. I also remember my grandmother's quilting framed with a quilt to be stitched. I loved the smell of the fabrics and the texture. I am the only one following in my grandmother's foot steps, with a love for sewing and quilting. I thank my mother for "dead ducks"!