Julie is the store owner. She moved to Chapel Hill from Boston in 1992 with the intention of opening a quilt shop. Julie went to a two-year women's college, Green Mountain in Poultney, VT and her first year she studied retailing and didn't like it. Her second year she switched to art and loved it. Before opening Thimble Pleasures she worked for the telephone company in Boston. Her zodiac sign is Virgo.
Diane moved from Boston, Massachusetts in 1979 to work as a nurse at Duke Hospital. She has always loved to create, and has a long history of sewing. Her mother started her sewing lessons when she was 12 years old by enrolling her in "Singer Sewing for Beginners". She made her own clothes throughout high school and college. Diane also started tatting, crocheting and knitting at a very early age. She moved on to needle point, petit point, embroidery, crewel, candlewick and finally cross stitch. She came to rest at quilting in 1988. Originally self-taught, Diane sought out quilting classes both here and out-of-state. If there was a convention or quilt show she was there. Diane has been fortunate to have taken classes from some of the great quilters of our time. She has a broad knowledge base and just loves to share her experience with others. Diane, while working weekends at Duke, started working part-time during the week at Thimble Pleasures in 1996. She finally retired from nursing at Duke in 2007. Diane now works at Thimble Pleasures 2 days a week and one weekend a month. She is also responsible for any office supplies, batting orders and the monthly e-newsletter. Diane currently teaches several on-going classes and tries to accommodate demand for different techniques. She enjoys intricate piecing and challenging patterns. The more difficult, the more fun for her!
Kathleen is our bolt straightener and loves to keep our store neat and tidy. She has been working at Thimble Pleasures for eleven years. Kathleen grew up in Buffalo, NY and then relocated to Philadelphia, with her husband for her career in Insurance Product Development. The Lessards retuned to North Carolina in 2000 and Kathleen was able to finally have the time to get to her bucket list...on top of which was quilting. In addition to her love of quilting, Kathleen also enjoys reading (two bookclubs), playing golf at Chapel Hill Country Club, going to the gym, and playing with April, her cat.
Kathryn is from Rochester, New York and has lived in NC for 30 years. She was an art teacher in the Durham Public Schools for many years, and retired from Jordan High School in 2010. When Kathryn was seven, her mother gave her a tiny Singer sewing machine and taught her how to make doll clothes. She was hooked, and has been sewing lots of stuff ever since. Right now she is quilting and entering shows. Working at Thimble Pleasures is an extention of her involvement with fabric.
Eileen T. Hogan
Eileen holds a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Fashion Design from Marist College and completed a Tailoring apprenticeship under Anthony DeMancuse of Finest Fit; New York and Milan. Some of Eileen’s professional field experience includes: Jonathan Logan, Kasper Designs, Elizabeth Arden, Vera Design, Days of Our Lives Wardrobe Library, Hugo Frank Associates, and The Krackower School of Sewing. Since 1990, Eileen has been teaching and maintaining a freelance design business with a focus on evening and ceremonial wear. Developing and teaching coursework in draping, fitting, tailoring and sewing techniques, Eileen teaches in group and individual settings including mentoring students preparing their portfolios for design school and those who just want to create.
Claudia is a rare bird in that she is a native North Carolinian. She grew up in Clinton, NC, went to UNC Chapel Hill (go Heels!), and just never left NC. She is truly a Tar Heel in every respect. She loves music and plays handbells at her church, HillSong Church in Carrboro, and at St. Thomas More. Claudia is also learning to play the flute and enjoys that as well. She enjoys embroidery, crafting, and every aspect of making quilts covering everything from designing to binding them. Claudia owns a Bernina 730 which she uses to piece, free motion quilt, and embroider. In addition to the quilts and embroidery projeccts she has completed, she has made hundreds of pillowcases and quite a few placemats over the years. Claudia has worked at Thimble Pleasures for quite a few years, mostly covering weekends. She has enjoyed getting to know our customers and demonstrating Berninas to those looking to purchase a new machine.
Kat was born and raised in Raleigh and is a lover of Eastern NC barbeque. She has been quilting for 6 years, starting with Quilt School I, which she took shortly after the birth of her first child. She began working at Thimble Pleasures almost 4 years ago, shortly after the birth of her second baby. Previous to her life as a quilter (and mother), Kat was a fund raiser, crisis line manager, pastry baker, bartender, and used bookseller. Since becoming a quilter, her interests have continued to grow as she explores the ever-expanding possibilities of sewing little pieces of fabric together. Strongly influenced and inspired by improvisational piecing and modern quilting, Kat initiated and founded the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild. In her present role as Floor Manager at Thimble Pleasures, Kat has various responsibilities, including helping Julie buy fabric and creating displays throughout the store.
Jean is one of the few natives from Orange County. She has been quilting for over 20 years and loves making scrap quilts. Jean is responsible for keeping the notions wall well-stocked and is always pleased to find new gadgets for all of us to enjoy.
Sharon was born in Tacoma, Washington, raised in Southern California and returned to Washington State during her high school years. Sharon retired from a career as a college administrator and immediately relocated to North Carolina to be near her daughter and two grandsons. She also has a son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons in Washington which is a great excuse to travel back and forth. Sharon learned to sew as a child from her grandmother and has tried all types of crafts, knitting, crochet, scrapbooking, and stamping. Quilting was at the top of Sharon’s bucket list when she retired. She started quilting when she moved to North Carolina four years ago. Sharon has worked at Thimble Pleasures for three years and is our Event Coordinator. She enjoys incorporating embroidery into her quilts and all types of piecing. She states she has learned so much from all the staff and customers of Thimble Pleasures.Lisa Elfers
Lisa was raised in Lewiston, NY, a small town outside Niagara Falls. After attending colleges in Virginia and Kentucky, she ended up in Chapel Hill and has been here for over 40 years. Her sister introduced her to quilting 19 years ago on a Florida vacation. She was hooked. She has worked with various patterns and fabric, but most recently she loves to make baby quilts. Her other interests are going to beach music concerts, and beach vacations, watching Spring Training baseball in Florida in the month of March, going to Bulls baseball games, and having her adult children and grandchildren visit. She sees her role at Thimble Pleasures as providing cheerful customer services particularly for people having a hard time making fabric decisions.
Karen has worked at Thimble Pleasures for over 10 years and teaches Quilt School I and other crafty classes. She was formerly a labor and delivery nurse and lactation consultant, and gradually phased out her nursing career as quilting oppotunities arose. She now has 16 self-published patterns of her original designs that are sold in quilt shops all over the country. Her quilts are recognizable in the store for their bright colors and cuteness. When not quilting she can generally be found at a baseball field, watching her high school son play or helping organize a fundraiser. Karen manages our website and plans our class schedule. She is from Northern Virginia, and has lived in Chapel Hill for 25 years.
Celeste is our Sales Manager, keeper of all things BERNINA and "teaches" Finish-It Friday. She began quilting about 18 years ago. In 1997, she moved to North Carolina and started teaching her new friends to quilt. Her experience with BERNINA began in 2003, when she helped a friend open a new dealership. She came to Thimble Pleasures in 2005 to manage the then-new BERNINA department. It's obvious to those who know Celeste that she loves her customers as much as she loves their machines! And a little-known fact about Celeste...she used to be an avionics technician for the F-15 Fighter jet when she was in the Air Force. It all makes a little more sense now, doesn't it?
Anna has been sewing for the last 8 years. Her grandmother taught her how to sew. She works at Thimble Pleasures part-time and is a full-time grad student at UNC, studying to be a Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist. Anna's main interest is garment sewing and crafts. She is getting married in June 2013 in England. She and her fiance are making many of their wedding decorations and she has been sewing commission projects to help with wedding costs. She started blogging recently about her sewing adventures, and has begun quilting, making sorority t-shirts and memory quilts.