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Meet Our Staff

Shop Owner Mary began hand embroidery projects at age 5, and made her first quilt at 12. She comes by it naturally, learning from her mother, Helen, who was an avid sewer, weaver, appliquer and bobbin-lace maker. Mary lives with her husband of 39 years, Buddy, at Lake Monticello outside of Charlottesville.

Dan has over 40 years of service and repair experience and has been with Cottonwood over 10 years. His vast knowledge allows him to service all makes of sewing machines, sergers, and industrial sewing machines. He is a long-term resident of Charlottesville.

Susan's earliest sewing memory is at her grandmother's knee, guiding the fabric as she worked the treadle. She made her first quilt in 1975, an Ohio Star. As her family grew, she sewed for them and her home. She teaches the BERNINA/Bernette Machine and Embroidery Mastery classes and leads the Community Studio Embroidery Club. She also enjoys helping customers choose fabrics.

Laura Lee joined the staff in August 2018. She has learned to quilt and sew while here, and finished her Christmas tree quilt before the holidays. Her favorite color is purple. She knows American Sign Language and signed The Star Spangled Banner at a Special Olympics Event. She enjoys bowling and hanging out with friends and family.
Robin received her first sewing machine at the age of twelve and learned basic skills from her mother and grandmother. This knowledge came in handy while raising her four children. She did special projects such as making curtains for the house and creating Halloween costumes for the kids. When her youngest two children went to college thirteen years ago and left her with an empty nest, she bought her first Bernina at Cottonwood and took classes to learn to quilt.  She now owns four Berninas, teaches quilting, and has worked at Cottonwood for over ten years! Her closest circle of friends are quilters and she loves working with her Cottonwood team to serve our customers, guide new quilting enthusiasts, make new friends, and socialize with old ones!

Teresa is a military brat born in KY. She has lived all around the world and done all sorts of jobs.  She learned embroidery at six years old with her grandmother by making a pillowcase. Teresa has sewn many things, including costumes, slip covers, dresses, and even quilts!

Michelle grew up in Northern Albemarle where she now resides with her husband and three children.  She has a collection of antique and vintage sewing machines of all makes!  One of her favorite things about working at Cottonwood is meeting different customers and helping select fabric.

Jessica began working for us in October 2020, during the mess of the pandemic. She is from Fluvanna County and now lives in Charlottesville with her husband and two children.  She came to help us in the back office for when we need to receive orders and to make sure we keep the NEW  fabric lines rolling in!

Henry is the youngest member of Cottonwood, and is also relatively new to sewing, having made his first quilt only two years ago.  Since then, he has learned how to both, design quilts and sew his very own clothing. He sometimes, wears his homemade shirts while he works.  He also will be starting college at Wesleyan University in the fall; be sure to catch him before he leaves!

Nancy has been making things for as long as she can remember- everything from clothing and stained glass, to silver and gold jewelry and knitted sweaters. She recently purchased her first Bernina and is finishing up her first quilt! She is drawn to bright colors and geometric shapes. Fabric designs serve as an inspiration for many of her projects. When Nancy is not at Cottonwood, she is a Teaching Assistant in Albemarle County. 

Jenny grew up in Maryland and came to Charlottesville for college at UVA. She felt homesick and eventually returned home. After some time in Maryland and West Virginia she came back to be in Charlottesville.  When Jenny is not sewing or quilting, she's knitting and always has her camera in her hand!  Her favorite part of being able to come to work at Cottonwood where she can see all the different fabrics!

Sandra has been quilting, sewing, and knitting for 40 years.  Small projects for family and friends are her specialty, keeping her creative during her husbands Army career that took them to Germany twice, Korea, and six different states!  She is the mother of five children, who are now grown, and grandmother of 4, including the newest addition in New Zealand!

Marilyn has the longest time on staff. She loves teaching, and her specialty is totes. Her students leave well-pleased and with a new friend! She enjoys sewing for friends and family, and donates many items to The Arc of the Piedmont and Area 3 Special Olympics for fundraising events.

Nola returned from "a 3 year retirement" after having been many years on staff. Her earliest memory of using a sewing machine was hemming flannel squares for a new baby in the house - at the age of 5! She made her first quilt in college in 1973. She lives in southern Albemarle County with her husband, horses, dogs - and llamas.