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Our Teachers

Gail Sheppard:

Gail is a prolific quilter and an active member of the Boundary Bay Quilt Guild in Ladner, BC. She is involved in providing mystery quilts to guild members (and sometimes on her blog).   Scraps are a favourite of hers!  She used to be known for dumpster diving and searching garbage cans at guild sewing days for scraps.  Many of the scraps turn into quilts that are donated to various charities.  Gail is in her 5th year as an Island Batik Ambassador.  Island Batik sends her LOTS of fabrics and supplies and in return, she makes a quilt or project each month and posts them on her blog (   Gail also designs patterns for new Island Batik fabric collections and has been published in Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting and will have a new quilt published in McCall's Quilting in the spring.  Gail LOVES teaching quilters new and different techniques & is a highly rated and valued teacher at Essem Textiles Co!


Here's a quilt that Gail taught as a class at Essem Textiles Co. She used the Fat Quarter Baby Book and picked the Teddy Bear pattern. It is such a cute quilt that can be made using an array of color combinations! 

Susan Morse 
I feel I have been sewing my whole life, starting at a young age making my own clothes and then for my 3 daughters. I became a stay at home Mom after my second daughter was born and started a home based business where I sewed for other people which included wedding attire, formal wear, alterations, home decor and some whimsical makeup bags. When I returned to the workforce, I decided to do something I enjoy doing and started working at a quilt store. I not only sold notions, fabrics and sewing machines, but also taught classes. I quickly decided that an embroidery machine was something I had to have, and moved on to digitizing my own designs and making up my own patterns. When that shop closed, I took some time to use up some of my stash and when I was ready to work again I knew I would only be happy in another fabric shop. It really was perfect timing.  I started working at Essem Textiles about a year ago, working part time in the shop and teaching classes. I love to work on quick and easy projects for family and friends as well as selling the occasional item online. Being part-time allows me time to keep on sewing and to take care of my little 1 year old granddaughter.
A store favorite created by Susan is this adorable reading pillow! Susan enjoys embroidery and is very talented at creating amazing embroidered items. If you have an embroidery machine & are unsure how to use it or what to do with it, take a class with Susan to learn the endless possibilities!


Paulette Schouten:

I have been sewing and quilting for the past 43 years. I was a stay-at-home mom, raising 2 children and that was when I started sewing, taking night school classes in every aspect of sewing. Eventually my specialty became tailoring and making wedding dresses and gowns. As the children grew and were off to school, more time became available to sew and explore other needlecrafts. My quilting journey started in 2000 when a friend showed me how to make a small, appliqued table runner. I was hooked and started taking courses to learn new and creative techniques.

After my husband retired, we became snowbirds for fifteen years, wintering in California. The RV Resort that we stayed at had a quilting group that met weekly. It was during this time that my quilting really progressed. I taught new quilters and also provided sessions on various quilting techniques. These included landscape quilts, thread art, free motion and non-traditional quilts. It was on a trip south that I purchased my first set of Westalee Rulers. I experimented, but it wasn’t until we returned home that I started taking classes to learn how to use them properly, and I became captivated by them. So much so that I am now one of the few Canadian accredited instructors for Westalee Rulers.

Upon deciding to remain home for the winters, I realized how much I had enjoyed and missed teaching. At a local sewing course, I met two ladies who wanted to learn how to quilt, so I offered to help them out. They made a sampler quilt progressing through nine weeks using various techniques and they did an amazing job. Shortly after that a local quilt store put out a call for instructors. Both ladies called me and said that I had to go and teach, so I did. I have now moved on to instructing at Essem Textiles and am thoroughly enjoying passing on my knowledge both in quilting and ruler work.

And so, my quilting journey continues……

 This image is from the Country Sampler class that Paulette taught at Essem Textiles Co. In this class you learn various techniques - it is a great class to take for a beginner who wants to get into quilting!