Meet Our Conference Teachers

Cate Buchanan

Cate Buchanan has been weaving and designing fiber creations for over half of her life, which astonishes her. She lives in Dallas, where her loom collection, to her husband’s astonishment, is rapidly out-growing their house.

Preconference Class:
  • Introduction to Tassel Making | June 2 – 4 | 2 days (Wednesday pm, Thursday, Friday am)
Conference Class:
  • A Look at Fabric Analysis | Sunday, June 6 | 3 hours, morning

Nancy Cavender-Garcia

Nancy Cavender-Garcia earned her BFA and MFA degrees in art studio with a concentration in photography at the University of New Mexico. She has been practicing art and photography since 1984 and has extensive experience in traditional black/white photography, digital photography, non-silver processes, hand coloring photographs, pinhole photography, design and more. Cavender-Garcia has been teaching since 1998 at various venues and she aspires to help individuals achieve their goals in art and add creativity to their lives through the workshops at The Creative Light,

Conference Classes:
  • How to Photograph Fabric Art |Friday, June 4 | 3 hours
  • Unlocking Your Creativity | Sunday, June 6 | 3 hours

Deborah Harrison

Deborah Harrison “I began weaving in 1986 and was hooked the first time I threw a shuttle. Rep projects are my favorite, probably because I really enjoy threading the loom. I also really enjoy drafting – I draft many more projects than I actually weave. Although I use software now, I still incorporate graph paper into my design process whenever I can.”

Conference Classes:
  • Beyond the Block: The Magic of Rep Pick-Up | Friday, June 4 | 3 hours
  • Blended and Turned Drafts | Sunday, June 6 | 3 hours

Karla Herre

Karla Herre “Art seems to have always been part of my life. In high school, it was home arts where I was deeply involved in FHA. I married my husband who was in the Navy and spent the next 30 years moving from place to place as we followed his career. In my twenties it was floral arrangement and arts. I learned American style arranging while living in southern California, then studied Ikebana for several years while living in Japan receiving instructors and masters’ certificates from the Ichio School of design. When I was in my thirties, I switched to photography and spent several years studying this discipline in community colleges from Texas, California, and Washington State. I showed my work in fairs and expos and received many positive reviews and blue ribbons. In my forties medical arts caught my attention, I applied to a local college where I completed an Associates of Sciences. I was awarded a Degree in Radiography in Washington State and I was chosen as “Student of the Year” on my graduation. Since then I have been certified as an RT in 2 states, and have worked for many years in Mammography, and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. After my husband’s retirement 15 years ago, we settled on a small farm in Seguin and began yet another career, raising alpaca. Here I slowly drifted back to home arts. We shear once a year. While processing their fiber, I always have lots of wonderful fiber to play with. I have learned a million things about the animals’ fleece and their qualities. Well, I am not a spinner and I do not enjoy crocheting or knitting. However, I found my sweet spot when it comes to felting, weaving and dyeing. I now teach in all of those areas and offer all of the products and equipment you will need for your own projects.”

Visit Karla at

Conference Class:
  • Painting With Fiber | Friday, June 4 | 3 hours, afternoon

Elisabeth Hill

Lisa Hill says, ” The most important thing about me is that I am a weaving enthusiast. I love weaving, I love cloth, I love looms, I love weavers, and I love sharing my enthusiasm. “

My father is a sculptor, my grandfather an illustrator, my mother a painter and my son a printmaker.  In a brief interlude of practicality in the 1980s (when Japan, Inc. was big) I got a BA in Asian Studies from Oberlin College and learned to speak Japanese. After working in the publications department of the Japan Society in New York and starting a family, I moved to Western Massachusetts, returned to my genetic roots and headed full-throttle into hand-weaving.

I believe that cloth and its creation are somehow embedded in our DNA.  Making cloth seems fundamental to me; I am saddened by the distance we have created between the fabric that means so much to us (wedding dresses, christening gowns, tallitot, baby blankets and grandma’s quilt) and the making of that fabric. I find pleasure, challenge and a fundamental gratification in the colors, patterns and structures of the pieces I make. I want to create items that will be in daily use, but that demonstrate that utility is not “mere utility” but is intimately entwined with our aesthetic needs.”

Lisa has been weaving for over 25 years, she completed a 6-year Master Weaver Program at Hill Institute in Florence, MA in 2012. Lisa has taught guild and conference workshops,  throughout the country, was a faculty member at Vavstuga Weaving School and one of a team of tech editors for Handwoven Magazine, where she also been published.  

Her website is

Preconference Class:
  • Off-the-Grid |
Conference Class:
  • Apron Strings |
  • Big Blankets – Little Looms |
  • Masters of Deflection (Deflected Double Weave) |

Jill Holbrook

Jill Holbrook is passionate about spinning, knitting and other fiber arts, and enthusiastically shares her skills and knowledge with her students. She has taught spinning and knitting in classes across the USA and Canada and loved every minute of it.

See more about Jill at

Conference Class:
  • Spinning Cotton | Saturday, June 5 | 6 hours
  • Spinning with Small Tools | Sunday, June 6 | 3 hours, morning

Lynne Lovett

Lynne Lovett has been sewing for over 55 years, and has been teaching sewing for over thirty years. She has conducted seminars and workshops for handweavers and seamstresses around the country, and has taught Fashion Design and Clothing Construction on the university level. Additionally, her background as a theatrical designer gives her an interesting perspective in fiber art and wearable art. Her focus is on fit, professional construction, style and wearable art that is truly wearable.

Preconference Class:
  • Sewing with Handwoven Fabric: Tips & Techniques | June 2–4 | 2 days (Wednesday pm, Thursday, Friday am)
Conference Class:
  • Fitting and Pattern Adjustments | Saturday, June 5 | 1 day (6 hours)
  • Fit: Adjusting Patterns for Your Unique Figure | Sunday, June 6 | (3 hours), morning

Leslie Robertson, Keynote Speaker

Lesli Robertson, Keynote Speaker

Conference Class:
  • Weaving Patterns from Around the World |

Debbi Rutherford

Debbi Rutherford is an avid weaver who never met a loom she didn’t like. As a child, she was inspired with the desire to weave by seeing Tasha Tudor’s illustrations in children’s books.   The desire simmered under the surface while she learned sewing, embroidery, knitting, tatting and quilting from her mother and grandmothers. The weaving thread came to the surface of her life in 1987 when she found her first loom, a used Schacht Standard.  Armed with Deborah Chandler’s Learning To Weave and far more enthusiasm than sense, she fearlessly warped on a baby blanket for her expected son.  The baby was a success, but the blanket was an unqualified disaster.  Realizing that there was more to weaving than she thought, she worked her way through the book and her weaving life took off.  She now weaves on everything from the old red potholder loom to her 24-shaft compu-dobby AVL production loom.  Debbi is partly self-taught and partly taught by some of the best in the business.  She loves to share her passion for weaving with her students both at Yarnivore and in workshops.  In 2015 and again in 2016 she was honored with requests from Handwoven magazine to submit projects.  By day, she is a mild-mannered web and database developer.  When she isn’t programming or weaving, she can be found Volksmarching, traveling or attempting to herd her three cats.

Conference Class:
  • Lace Techniques for Every Weaver | 6 hours
  • Seminar: Weaving Software Programs |

Deborah Silver

Deborah Silver is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She discovered her love of weaving while attending the Cleveland Institute of Art, majoring in Fiber and minoring in Drawing. After a weaving internship, Deborah learned the craft of antique furniture upholstery. She then combined her skills to open her own fiber art business. She worked closely with interior designers, creating site specific fiber commissions for private residences, businesses and religious institutions. Currently, Deborah designs and weaves pieces that combine her interest in tribal imagery with contemporary faces. Her attraction to ethnographic art began when she served as the program chair of the Cuyahoga Weavers Guild. To create a more diverse curriculum, Deborah obtained grant funding, enabling Gilbert “Bobbo” Ahiagble to travel from Ghana. The master kente cloth weaver spent three weeks in Ohio. He lectured, gave demonstrations and taught workshops using traditional kente cloth looms. This marked the beginning of Deborah’s fascination with tribal art, history and symbolism. Using a split-shed technique, Deborah has transformed a traditional pattern into a signature method of hand-weaving. All weft yarns travel from selvedge to selvedge, differentiating this cloth from tapestry. The work is inspired by the increased cross-culturalism in our world, with an emphasis on our collective history. Deborah’s weavings have been shown in numerous local and national juried exhibitions. In 2015, she received a Cleveland Jewish Arts and Culture Fellowship award. In 2017, she received third prize in the ARTneo national juried competition. In 2018, she received the Complex Weavers Award and First Place at Complexity 2018. Deborah is the recipient of a 2019 Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award. Deborah teaches split-shed weaving workshops internationally. In 2019, she published The Technique of Split-shed Weaving, a book that illustrates pictorial weaving using a split shed on four-shaft looms.

See more of Deborah’s work on her website

Preconference Class:
  • Split Shed Lampas and Pique on 4-Shafts | June 2 – 4 | 2 days, (Wednesday pm, Thursday, Friday am)
Conference Class:
  • Split Shed Biederwand | Saturday, June 5 | 1 day (6 hours)
  • Split Shed Weaving and Demo | Sunday, June 6 | 3 hours

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith is an award-winning tapestry weaver. She wrote the book (literally!) on weaving with yarn and beads together, which is her own original technique. Rebecca has exhibited widely and won multiple awards. Her unique style of tapestry weaving was featured in the Fall 2019 issue of Fiber Art Now magazine.

See Rebecca’s work at

Preconference Class:
  • Tapestry Weaving with Beads and Wire | June 2 – 4 | 2 days (Wednesday pm, Thursday, Friday am)
Conference Class:
  • Conference Class: Weaving Diagonals in Tapestry Weave | Saturday, June 5 | 3 hours
  • Weaving Curves in Tapestry Weave | Saturday, June 5 | 3 hours

Kathleen Utts

Kathleen Utts began her love for sewing while in high school and earned a college degree in Home Economics Education to pursue her dream of teaching garment design and clothing construction. Career opportunities and further education, however, took her in the direction of nutrition and dietetics and she worked as a Registered Dietitian in Austin for many years. After raising her two children she again returned to her original passion for clothing design and construction, but this time through the fiber arts. Now a weaver, spinner, and knitter, Kathleen resonates with the creative concept of ‘free-form’, and SAORI weaving is a perfect match for her interest and skills. Kathy is an approved SAORI instructor and owns Wimberley Valley SAORI Weaving Studio in Wimberley, TX.

See more at

Conference Class:
  • Experience SAORI Weaving! | Friday, June 4 | 6 hours
  • Sewing Saori Garments | Sunday, June 6 | 3 hours

Beth Weeks

Beth Weeks has raised and bred huacaya alpacas for the past 17 years in Fredericksburg, Texas. She has been a spinner for over 10 years and graduated from the six year Master Spinner program at Olds College in Alberta, Canada in 2020. Her in-depth study for the program was hand spinning suri fiber. She freely admits she is fiber addicted and is most happy spinning all types of fiber, creating blends and dyeing in her fiber studio.

See her beautiful animals at

Conference Class:
  • Alpaca Spinning |
  • Basket Spot |