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Meet Our Staff

Mary
Shop owner Mary Humphrey began COTTONWOOD in 1993 by vending at miniature doll and quilt shows and working from a home studio. When the studio was moved to a retail location in 1995, her dream of a quilt shop was born. In 1999, she added the BERNINA dealership and in 2000 moved from the village of Palmyra to the current location.  Mary began hand embroidery projects by age 5, making her own clothes at 9 and her first quilt at 12. Mary comes by it naturally, learning from her mother, Helen, who was an avid weaver, appliquer and bobbin-lace maker. Mary lives with Buddy, her husband of 34 years, at Lake Monticello outside of  Charlottesville. 





Brenda has done many kinds of sewing her entire life, but now her focus is on quilting. Her particular interests are piecing, hand applique and machine-quilting of traditional style quilts. Her other interests include gardening and cooking.

Brenda

Marilyn



Marilyn has been a staff member at COTTONWOOD for many years. She has been enriched by the many  friends she has made at COTTONWOOD, especially while teaching classes. Totes and gift bags are her specialty, and her students are always thrilled with their finished projects. She also enjoys sewing for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as relatives, friends, and, of course, herself. Marilyn makes quilts to donate to different charitable organizations such as The Arc of the Piedmont and Area 3 Special Olympics for fund-raising. 




Shannon started sewing after her children were born.  Her first project was making superhero capes for her son and daughter.  Quilting became her passion after taking a class with Nola Rich a few years ago.  She also enjoys embroidery and basic garment construction.  Working at Cottonwood keeps her inspired and always thinking of new projects.

Shannon
Sheri




Sheri Moody holds a Bachelor of Fine Art from Covenant College. Taught to quilt by her mother, she seeks to combine the technical and creative forms to create color, light, and movement. Sheri knows all of our Bernina machines inside and out, and can help you with all of your sewing and embroidery needs.




Susan’s earliest sewing memory is sitting at her grandmother’s knee while she worked the treadle, hands on top of her grandmother’s as she guided the fabric through the machine. Susan made her first quilt in 1975, an Ohio Star, using pieces from her old clothes and those of her mother and grandmother. Another memorable project was an appliqué quilt that Susan made for parents. The queen-size quilt took seven years, and was completely made by hand. After starting a family, Susan continued to sew, and made clothes for everyone in her family, as well as curtains, slipcovers, and other items for her home. Susan teaches collage classes at Cottonwood, and loves helping customers choose their fabrics. She leads All About Embroidery, Cottonwood’s embroidery club, which meets on the third Sunday of each month from 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM.
Susan
Anne


Anne Williams has made a few attempts to sew. She did make some clothes for her first born, but put the machine away. Twenty years later while looking at becoming an empty nester, she bought a new machine from Cottonwood and sewing became a passion. Now Anne works at Cottonwood along with a job at a local radio station. She is always looking to learn more about quilting and enjoys talking with customers about their new projects.



Akosua’s maternal grandmother taught her to sew, quilt, knit, and crochet. Akosua made clothes for her dolls by hand sewing, but at age eight she made her first blouse with buttons and buttonholes after her grandmother trained her to use a Singer foot treadle machine. Akosua’s passion is being creative, and she loves to help our customers put together fabrics and projects and bring their ideas to life.
Akosua
Cindy



Cindy Hopkins took sewing in high school while in Nebraska and, although new to quilting, she has jumped in with both feet and loves it! Cindy enjoys learning new quilting techniques by talking to quilters at COTTONWOOD and taking classes. 



Janis Arave moved to Charlottesville with her husband and four children (later to become 5) in 1963. She has been sewing most of her adult life and has made everything from her husband's suits to heirloom christening gowns. She even made wedding dresses for her daughters and a daughter-in-law. She supported herself for several years by doing alterations. She bought her first BERNINA sewing machine 28 years ago, loved it so much that she now owns two. One of her greatest joys at the present time is caring for and being with her granddaughters, Summer and  Maxine.
Janis





Dan Harris, formerly of Vac & Sew City and Holloways Vacuum & Sewing, has over 30 years of machine service and repair experience. His vast knowledge allows him to service all brands of sewing machines, sergers and industrial sewing machines. Dan has lived in Charlottesville for 38 years.
 





Niki began working at COTTONWOOD in 2012. About a year later her family moved to a ten-acre homestead and she became a substitute staff member. Homestead life keeps Niki busy tending animals, canning, and freezing her family's abundant garden, but she still finds time to quilt, embroider and sew bags. Niki especially loves civil war era fabrics and quilts.