Special thanks and appreciation go out to our wonderful instructors for 2023 Fiber-U who are joining us from 7 different states in the Midwest. This event would not be possible without them graciously sharing their talents and knowledge with all of us. So that you may get to know them a little better, below please find a short bio on each.

DeAnna Amos (Gravois Mills, MO) DeAnna Amos is a fiber artist and longtime spinner and weaver.  She loves to share her experience and knowledge with students of all ages.  She makes handwoven garments from a variety of fiber and loves to spin and weave.

Rhonda Berman (Omaha, NE) Rhonda is primarily a fiber and mixed media artist. She started designing with zippers and needle felting about 6 years ago and since has written two books on the topic as well as designing many broach patterns and framed pieces. Rhonda has taught at many fiber fairs across the Midwest. She has also held workshops in her home and various yarn ships in NE and IA. She loves sharing her passion for experimentation with others and watching the spark of creativity light up someone’s face.

Connie Blechle (Perryville, MO) Connie started her alpaca farm in 2007. She already knew crochet but quickly learned several methods to use the fiber of the herd. Her son’s family raises sheep so she has fiber from both breeds. He now has her own Etsy shop and teaches classes.

Sally Brandon (Phillipsburg, KS)  While weaving and Bobbin Lace are her passions,  Sally loves all fiber arts.  She is a self taught tatter and understands the pitfalls of “simple” knots.

Colleen Brooks (Pittsburg, KS)  Colleen has been knitting for more years than she can count.  Colleen loves to figure out new knitting techniques and how to accomplish shapes and textures.  She knits, spins, and weaves as much as life permits.

Roiana Buckmaster (Mt. Pleasant, TN) Roiana lives in TN working a small sheep farm with her husband. Roiana has been teaching for 8 years, both at festivals across the south and at the farm shop. She attributes her skills to Grandma Irene, and promised to teach others.

Sara Campbell (Strafford, MO)  Sara is a fiber artist who fell in love at first sight with wool appliqué and rug hooking.  She enjoys stitching, dyeing wool, teaching others, and creating.  Sara is a member of the Ozark Mountain Rugh Hooking Guild and owns Finch Holler Woolens in Strafford, MO

Joi Chupp (Stella, MO)  It all started about 30 years ago when Joi and her husband bought a farm for the kids’ horses.  The barn yard was overgrown so be bought some goats.  Then it happened!  A neighbor couldn’t keep her sheep (probably because they were crazy).  Then another neighbor sold them a ram.  And then she had wool, and more wool.  So, what is the fastest way to use up wool?  Felting!  Joi was hooked.  Want jewelry to match an outfit?  Felt it!  Want a painting of your cat?  Felt it!  Of course Joi can do all the other stuff that you can use wool for, but felting is her favorite.

Tina Joy Cochran (Nevada, MO) As the founder and coach for the Golden Heartland Academy, Tina Joy brings knowledge, humor, heart and compassion to help you design and grown a business you can love for a lifetime. Her professional experience includes more than 20 years in business and entrepreneurship, founding a nonprofit organization, publishing 2 books, and running an alpaca ranch. An accomplished crochet and fiber artist, she lives on a 14-acre homestead with husband Bob and son Anthony.

Beth Collier (Charlotte, TN)  Beth has been spinning felting for almost 20 years.  She and her husband Steve own Three Creeks Farm, a small family farm in Charlotte, TN where they have sheep, goats and a variety of other animals.  They also sell their fleeces, roving and spinning related products.  Beth dies a variety of fiber arts including dyeing, felting, spinning and just a tad of weaving.  When not spinning or felting she enjoys her grandchildren.

Meagan Condon (Gladstone, MO) Meagan is a librarian and fiber artist with extensive experience. Her areas of focus are microscopy of fiber, breed studies, plant fibers, natural dyes, digital community, and the science behind textiles.

Jack Cormack (Springfield, MO) Jack has been needle felting since 1995 and teaching needle felting since 1997. He is the creator and patent holder for the Needle Felter tools and the co-owner, with his wife Scarlet, of Cormack Needle Felting Tools and Supply. His favorite things to create while needle felting is anything large (purses, hats, and backpacks). He enjoys sharing the wide diversity of the application of needle felting and seeing what people create.

Scarlet Cormack (Springfield, MO) Scarlet has been crafting for as long as she can remember, but has been needle felting for 12 years and teaching needle felting classes for 4 years. While she enjoys working with fiber in a diverse amount of ways her favorite thing is to needle felt 3-d characters and small detailed things. She has also found a love for needle felting landscapes and appliqués. Scarlet enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and having fun and laughing while teaching.

Olivia Counts (Steelville, MO) Olivia has been raising BFL and crosses for the past 12+ years and Romeldale-CVM for 5 years. She hand shears sheep for many people with a wide range of breeds and has come to learn a lot about raw wool and fleeces. She wants to help others learn the usefulness of sheep wool.

Diane Crowder (Sunrise Beach, MO)  Diane is a Master weaver certified (HGA), weaver since 1992 and an experienced teacher.  She is a retired college professor enjoying weaving, spinning, dying and sewing at the Lake of the Ozarks after too many upper-Midwest winters!

Jonee Davis (Wheaton, MO):  Jonee has been active in the fiber arts for many years.  She first learned to weave then took up spinning.  She is also an avid crocheter while dabbling in all the other aspects relating to fibers.  She feels that we are never too young or too old to learn new things about the world of fiber arts and loves to share whatever knowledge she has with others.  Jonee has a small hobby farm where she and her husband are the caretakers of boer goats, horses, alpacas, sheep, LGD’s and all the other livestock that come with a farm.

Rosie Dupuy (Bethel, MO) Rosie raised sheep for over 30 years and began spinning and weaving in the 70’s.  She is mostly self-taught.  She has helped form the Bishop Hill Fiber Guild, shared learning and doing workshops and taught weaving at Carl Sandberg Jr. College in IL.

Jan Eitel (Topeka, KS) Jan has been crafting since she was in grade school. She started with embroidery, sewing, crochet and venturing into spinning, weaving and basketry. She just has to keep her hands busy. She lives in Topeka with her husband.

Robin Goatey (Sandoval, IL)  Robin is a periodic John C Campbell Folk School Instructor, woodcarver, wood turner, broom maker, coppersmith and folkways instructor.  Robin is a student of Folklore, ancient metallurgy, spinning, tapestry weaving, glass making, ceramics and lapidary work.  Making heirloom quality hand made items based on the Ancient Guild Trades and sharing the Folkways skills learned over a lifetime are his main focus.  Robin, along with his wife Teresa have The Dancing Goats.

Betsy Gundersen (Long Lane, MO) Betsy has worked with many types of animals since childhood and always wants to learn more. She lives on a farm with her family along with alpacas, dairy cows, goats, rabbits and various poultry.

Jama Kilgore (Eldridge, MO)  Jama is the shepherdess and fiber artist at Southard Farm Long Wools.  She confesses to being a fiber-holic and loves the long wool sheep breeds.  Finding different ways to use her sheep’s wool is her passion.  She tries to do it all, raise sheep, hand process their fiber, spin their wool into yarn, then create a finished product.  Over the years she has dabbled in weaving, needlework, macrame, felting and crochet.  But find fiber prep, spinning and latch hooking her favorites.

Laura Klaus (Fenton, MO)  Laura has been weaving for almost 30 years.  Laura and her husband travel around MO and IL doing historical demos.   She has been teaching for over 10 years at locations like St. Louis Community College of Continuing Ed and MO State Parks.

Gina Levesque (Wagoner, OK).  Gina has been teaching and researching natural dyes for over 20 years throughout the United States.  Her business, Across Generations, sells dyes and dyeing supplies.

Kay McCoy (Sabetha, KS) Kay developed a passion for fiber arts first when she learned to macramé, knit and wheat weave as a 4-Her. That passion continued when she learned to spin, weave and rekindled her interest in knitting. Kay loves finding new ways to feed her fiber enthusiasm including teaching, creating knitwear patterns, and making and selling items she creates through “Prairie Inspiration”, her fiber arts business. She and her husband, David, live on the McCoy family farm which has been in his family since 1888.

Mary McCreery (Stark City, MO): Mary has enjoyed weaving and teaching basket weaving for over 20 years. All of her baskets are made to be used and enjoyed. There are not “wrong” baskets or weaving. Mary lives on small acreage in SW Missouri. She ahas a husband and a Corgi and 2 “rare breed” dogs. They are One of a kind. Guess that could include husbands too!

Lorry McDonald (Odessa, MO) Lorry is an avid spinner who is enrolled in the Master Spinner program at Olds College in Alberta, Canada. She is a member of several fiber Guilds and just plain loves fiber! Creating works of art with fiber is a passion of hers and includes both wet and needle felting along with spinning. She lives on a small farm with her Icelandic Sheep, Alpacas and Angora goat wethers.

Nancy Meyers (Bentonville , AR) Nancy lives in North West Arkansas with her husband, 2 dogs and many Shetland sheep. She has been raising sheep over 10 years and doing fiber arts for 15 years. Nancy enjoys knitting, weaving, spinning and also her circular sock machine. She feels teaching and sharing the love of fiber arts has been an important part of her life.

Rachel Miller (Reeds Spring, MO)  Rachel is a multidisciplinary artist focusing on natural and reclaimed fibers, fabrics and plant dyes.  She loves to grow and work with plants, especially indigenous or local plants that have dye or fiber properties.  She and her husband Matt have three children and live near Reeds Spring, MO.  Her small handmade business is called Windfall Arts.

Liz Mitchko (Lebanon, MO) Liz became interested in fiber and fiber arts when faced with an overflowing closet full of alpaca fleeces from their herd of Huacaya Alpacas at Whirlwind Ranch that she owns with her mom Linda. She soon took a dyeing class and was hooked- enjoying the endless colors options- that more than stimulated her creative side. She enjoys sharing that by teaching dyeing and weaving classes at their farm and at other fiber events. Her absolute favorite is incorporating her hand-dyed creations into award winning weavings and selling them to customers who truly appreciate them. Liz’s “other life” included a Marketing degree, consulting on international trade shows and driving race cars.

Penny Moore (Sarcoxie, MO)  Penny is a fiber artist and runs a small alpaca farm with her husband in SW Missouri. She loves working with alpaca and llama fiber creating unique items to sell on the farm in an her farm store.

Sara Morris (Augusta, KS) Sara has been involved in fiber arts since childhood. It all started with her Grandmother teaching her to tat, then on to crochet, spinning and weaving. In 2015 with her husband Joh, started HLA Fiber Mill. The exposure to so many types of fiber lets her imagination run with what all could be done with fiber as her journey continues.

Bex Oliger (Columbia, MO)  Bex was raised in her mother’s (Carol Leigh Brack-Kaiser) fiber arts studio and was spinning, weaving and natural dyeing in her early teens.  She developed the knitting side of the business to the point that it needed its own space, so Bex as run several incarnations of yarn shops in Columbia, MO for the last 15 years.  She has taught over 30 different class topics in weaving, dyeing, crochet and knitting and now works as a knitwear designer and instructor.  Bex is the founder and owner of Hillcreek Yarn Shoppe.

Kelli Slack (Defiance, MO)  Kelli has been an avid knitter since 2002 and began teaching: knitting, tatting, spinning and lacemaking in 2007.  She has two Master’s degrees in teaching, so she takes this learning thing seriously and wants to help her students succeed.  Kelli has self-published two books, creates booklets for all of her classes, and is always available for help after the class is complete.

Tammy Taylor (Odessa, MO) Tammy has always lived in a creative atmosphere where hand crafting and creating is a way of life. She has worked in many fiber/fabric mediums, but her love of strings and colorful threads brought her to a special love of Kumihimo. Always learning new techniques, she is especially happy when she is able to share her knowledge and encourage other people to learn this beautiful art of Japanese braiding.

Vicki Thomason (Staunton, IL) Vicki has been knitting since age 7 and has always loved yarn.  She began spinning in spring 2013 and has been dyeing her own yarns and fiber since Jan 2014.  She opened Victoria House Fibers in April 2016.

Jennifer Watkins (Effingham, IL) Jennifer “Daizie” Watkins is a self-taught knitter, spinner and indie dyer.  A love of hand knit socks brought her into the fiber arts world 12 years ago.  Currently, Daizie is working her way through the Master Knitter Program.  Spinning fiber and dyeing them seemed the logical step in the fiber arts.  In Sept of 2011 Daizie Knits opened as an etsy shop offering a range of hand dyed yarns and fibers.

Shella Watson (Columbia, MO) Shella has over 3 decades demonstrating, teaching individuals and groups at events nationwide with published projects and was often sighted at Hillcreek Fiber Studio.

Susan Ream Wilson (Salem, MO) Susan is a professional fingerweaver who has been teaching fingwerweaving for over 30 years. She has also done extensive research into the historical and pre-historical roots of her art. Her work is in the permanent collection of 7 museums.