Instructor Biographies


Ida Atkinson has been a basket case for over twenty years!  Starting with the 100+ Carolina Stars as wedding favors at her own wedding, Ida progressed through classes offered at adult ed programs until she became the adult ed basket instructor in several area programs.  A former elementary teacher, she has a passion for making learning fun.  Come join the fun and soon you will also be mumbling, “ Under, over, under, over…..”  in your sleep.  idaandgary@fairpoint.net


Janet Conner is an avid rug hooker who has been pulling loops since 1979. Graduating from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, she spent 30 years teaching Elementary Art in southern Maine, while raising a busy family. After retirement in 2005, Janet was able to work at rug hooking and fiber arts full time, launching her web based business, which offers a line of her own patterns as well as rug hooking supplies and equipment, books, and natural dye recipe cards. She teaches fiber arts in her home state of Maine and throughout the East Coast plus Bermuda and Canada, with a specific focus on art history and the inspiration found in both fine art and folk art. In  addition to rug hooking, she also teaches punch needle, proddy, and penny rug techniques.   Twenty-five years of studying and repairing antique rugs has influenced Janet’s love of old fashioned methods and timeless motifs. She has contributed chapters on cleaning and repair of antique rugs to Rug Hooking Magazine’s book Finishing Hooked Rugs. She co-authored Rug Hooking Traditions with James & Mercedes Hutchinson, which debuts with the Hutchinson Exhibit, in August of 2016.   Janet’s rugs have appeared in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XXII, Rug Hooking Magazine, Hooked Rugs Today 2004 & 2006, and galleries throughout New England. Her greatest joy is to foster the success of her students; many of whom have made rugs in her classes that have been featured in Rug Hooking Magazine.  www.jconnerhookedrugs.com


Rachel Conner is a career artist specializing in fiber art design, illustration, watercolor and textile restoration.  She graduated from Pine Manor College, Charlestown, MA in 2009, with a BS degree in Fine Arts.  She has exhibited locally, and had her first hooked rug at the Farnsworth Gallery in Rockport, ME.   Rachael is an enthusiastic and experienced teacher of major talent according to her family, who own J. Conner Hooked Rugs.  Please join this talented young artist for a day of wool appliqué and stitchery in Early American Penny Rugs. rconner1782@gmail.com


Kim Durkee has been working with fabrics since she was 10 years old: making drapes, bedspreads, wedding dresses, quilts, and all types of clothing. In 2009 she learned how to braid rugs from Barbara Fisher, a master fiber artist in rug braiding. Since then, her passion for rug braiding has grown immensely. Kim has made several rugs, totes, and trivets. She is now dabbling in braiding rugs with roving. She teaches braiding from her home in Solon, ME. as well. kdurkee917@aol.com


Mary DeLano is a ‘multi-lingual’ fiber artist. She mixes techniques and materials across the fiber arts to create magnificent, one-of-a-kind pieces. Mary has a unique perspective that gives her the freedom to venture into uncharted territories and take her students along for the ride. Mary devotes most of her time to a variety of needlework techniques. She is a big fan of Sue Spargo, having taken two long workshops from her and sewn one of her larger appliqué quilts. Mary teaches an open embroidery class at Camp Wool in Kennebunk, Maine once a month where she teaches students new stitches to incorporate into their penny rugs and wool quilts. Mary also teaches at Fiber College in Searsport, Maine, at Pleasant Mountain Fiber Arts in Denmark, Maine, and at many local fiber shops. www.marydelanofiberart.com


Janet Scigliani Garcia's love of fiber, color and texture came together when she moved to New Hampshire in the late 1970’s and was introduced to spinning, weaving and dyeing. Later, she traveled cross-country to learn felting and other fiber arts. Learning from both “big name” instructors and those with local prominence she gleaned valuable information that she translated into her business. Janet enjoys teaching her love of fiber arts to other fiber enthusiasts. awaytofelt@gmail.com


Donna Kay. For over 25 years Donna Kay has been a professional knitting teacher and designer. She has a passion for traditional knitting and spinning and enjoys sharing her expertise with others. As well as teaching nationally and locally she designs for yarn companies and various publications, including Knitter’s Stash. In order to further promote traditional knitting she started her own design company, Tree of Life Designs. Donna lives on a farm in NH with her husband and family where they keep oxen, sheep and horses. She has been teaching knitting since 1983 and spinning since 1997. treeoflife@metrocast.com


Anna Low a Portland, Maine bookbinder, made her first book in kindergarten - a simple, stab bound book. Making books has stuck with her ever since. In college she took a bookbinding class and was introduced to bookbinding as an art form, both in terms of content and structure. This is when the obsessive binding started. After a while she had to unload her ‘test’ books on friends and family to make room for new ones. Seeing her books being use helped her realize how much she enjoyed making functional art. There is always a new book experiment being worked on in her studio. Each book she makes is unique. There are too many beautiful papers and fabric to ever make the same book twice. Her blank books for sale (on Etsy, in local shops and at art fairs) are carefully crafted to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, in hopes they will inspire people to fill the pages with thoughtful writing and drawings, whether that be detailed garden notes, poetry, or artful collages. Visit her website at www.purplebeanbindery.com


Kendra Rafford's career in fiber arts began 20 years ago when she first started working at Halcyon Yarn, in Bath Maine. Being surrounded by all the colors and fiber ignited her love of the fiber arts. And oh what a fire it created. After years of taking classes with well known fiber artists and countless hours of experimentation on her own, she is now an accomplished fiber artist who creates patterns, felts, knits, spins, and weaves. She specializes in felting, with a strong focus on Nuno felting. Trained as a teacher, it was natural for her to introduce others to the world of fiber arts. Today, she demonstrates and teaches fiber arts at shops and in local schools, sells her work privately under Maine Fiberworks all while raising 3 boys and teaching full time.



Karen Smith is the owner of Shearbrooke Farm in Standish, ME where she raises sheep, angora rabbits, a llama and pygora goats, chickens and a few guinea hens. She is a former elementary school teacher and librarian who has been teaching weaving for twenty-five years. She hosted the Saco Valley Fiber Artists Summer Workshops at her farm for twenty years. She has enjoys traveling and has ties with weavers in Guatemala. shearbrooke@roadrunner.com


Linda Whiting grew up in a creative atmosphere, always “making things”, and has worked in a variety of mediums but her love of color brought her back to fiber. In addition to learning new techniques herself she most enjoys meeting new people and encouraging them to take pleasure in the fiber arts. In addition to teaching workshops designed to help people feel comfortable using color she demonstrates spinning, dyeing, and tapestry weaving at fiber events in Maine and New Hampshire and in schools, at fairs and local historical sites. She owns two sheep, enough to keep her in fiber. www.pinestarstudio.com pinestarlinda@fairpoint.net


Jan Winsor has a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in art. She worked in an elementary school for 13 years keeping art in the background as a hobby. Jan was introduced to fiber arts, and as a lifelong animal enthusiast, found fiber to be a perfect medium for her. She was able to combine her love of art, teaching and animals all in one endeavor to make it her full time focus. She now has her own flock of sheep to provide wool for her fiber products and artwork. You can see some of her farm animals and fiber art pieces at  www.fourwindsfarmmaine.com