Class Teachers

Marcia Nissley

Sewing Class Coordinator

Marcia began sewing as a young girl, learning under her mother’s supervision. She continues to design and sew quilts and other items as a creative outlet.

Marcia finds inspiration can come from many sources. “Colors and shapes in nature, dear memories or new experiences, the shared work of other quilters and sewers, and of course, the arrival of new fabric in the Store, all have the potential to spark an idea for a new project,” says Marcia.

Having worked at the Store off and on since 1997, Marcia’s responsibilities include quilt book, pattern, kit, and notion buying in addition to her role as Sewing Class Coordinator. She enjoys working with the newest products available, as well as connecting with the Store’s customers. “I love the way quilting and sewing bring people together. New babies, weddings, charity work, or honoring the memory of a loved one inspire so many projects, and it is truly an honor when customers and students share their stories with me.”

Marcia also enjoys spending time with her family and friends and cooking good food. She especially loves opening her home to gather people around her table.

Jody Beck

Jody began quilting in 2000, and by 2003 she began publishing her quilt patterns as Jody’s Jems.

She responded to requests to teach her techniques, and is now possibly best-known for her Stack and Slash pattern, “which is for quilters who like unplanned projects,” compared to the pattern’s popular cousin, the Stack and Whack pattern which she labels “for perfect people.”

A good day for Jody includes quilting with friends or traveling to Lancaster’s Green Dragon with her husband, Jim.

Jody and Jim live in Pottstown, PA, where she is also involved in teaching Precepts for Life Bible studies and leading a weekly Moms in Prayer group.

Maureen Ciemian

Maureen began quilting more than twenty years ago after receiving a sewing machine as a gift from her mother-in-law, the only person Maureen knew who sewed! That machine is long gone but the passion for fabric and quilting has stayed and grown. Maureen enjoyed the good fortune of living in Houston, TX at the time she learned to sew, and thus had the opportunity to learn from many great teachers at Quilt Festival.

Maureen is a retired engineer whose love of all things mathematical and precise can be realized while quilting. She has won several ribbons for her work at shows in Texas, including three first-place ribbons in one-person categories.

Maureen and her husband moved from Houston to Lancaster County in 2015. They are frequently on the road traveling in their Airstream Travel Trailer, which has just enough space for a sewing machine and supplies! They regularly volunteer for months at a time with the National Park Service, usually at their favorite National Park- Bryce Canyon in Utah.

Mary Alice Fyock

Mary Alice began her interest in fabrics as an eight-year-old involved in 4-H. That interest evolved into an education career, teaching sewing and tailoring, fitting, serger techniques, embroidery, software, and quilting.

Mary Alice lives with her husband on a Century Farm near Lititz. Together they enjoy hiking, biking, and taking “walking” vacations around the world.

At home, Mary Alice enjoys working in her vegetable and flower gardens, cooking, knitting, reading, and passing on her love of “creating” to her seven wonderful grandchildren. Her latest passion is digitizing appliquéd children’s quilts.

Ruth Ann Gingrich

For many years, Ruth Ann selected quilts to sell in the Store and oversaw production of our signature kits. More recently she teaches classes and is responsible for making pattern and kit samples to display in the Store.

Ruth Ann’s a well-seasoned seamstress with years of experience sewing clothing for her family, participating in her church sewing circle, and making quilts for grandchildren.

Ruth Ann and her husband, Carl, like to go to the mountains, take bus trips, do volunteer work, and spend time with their granddaughters.

John Groff

After selling the family steel and recycling business, followed by a short period in retirement, John began working part time for Bernina of America and Hinkletown Sewing. Over time his work load with Hinkletown Sewing continued to grow and he stopped traveling to quilt shows for Bernina. Today he continues to manage special events, provide software support, and oversee other computer related projects for Hinkletown Sewing.

John enjoys traveling to Bernina University each year for Hinkletown Sewing and has traveled to the Bernina factories in Switzerland and Thailand. But most of all he enjoys working with the Zimmerman family and all the great Hinkletown Sewing customers.

In his spare time, he enjoys fishing and working on dirt track race cars as a chassis tech.

Donna Groff

Donna loves to sew and embroider small projects and has sewn the project samples, led the Embroidery Club, and taught other classes for Hinkletown Sewing for the past 15 years.

Donna likes to spend time sewing charity projects with friends. They have made walker bags for local retirement homes, pillows for breast cancer patients, pillowcase dresses to send to orphanages in other countries, and many other worthy projects.

After 42 years in their first home, Donna and her husband, John, recently designed, built, and moved into a new home just outside of New Holland, PA. “It was quite a project,” Donna says, “but the large, bright sewing room with a great view of the countryside was worth it!”

Donna and John enjoy travelling (especially to the Bernina factories in Switzerland and Thailand) and watching their great-nephews race stock cars.

Cheryl Hank

Cheryl grew up in the small town of Nazareth, PA, where she sewed her own clothing, crafted, and crocheted afghans and scarves for friends and family. Her aunt taught her to use fabric paint and stencils before hand-quilting around her designs to make pillows.

Cheryl’s family loved Lancaster County and would take summer trips to the area. Cheryl always wanted to make quilts like the ones she saw in Lancaster County, so finally in 2002, after her daughters were grown, she took her first class and was immediately hooked. Since then, her journey has allowed her to explore different areas of quilting. “I love quilting for my grandchildren (three grandsons and a granddaughter) and my daughters, family, and friends,” Cheryl says.

In 2007, Cheryl began teaching at a quilt shop in Weissport, PA, and in 2010 she began quilt retreats, both great opportunities to meet new students and sharing her love of quilting with them. Cheryl became a certified Quilt in a Day instructor under the direction of Eleanor Burns and Sue Burchard (Paducah, KY) in 2011.

Cheryl now lives in Palmerton, PA with her husband and her quilt-loving cats.

Andrea Hoke

Andrea has been sewing ever since she was a little girl. Fortunate to have a mother who was a Home Economics teacher, she learned to sew and do needlework at a very young age. She grew up sewing her own clothes, participating in 4-H club, and entering her creations in the local county fair.

A Sampler Quilt class in 1991 awakened Andrea’s love of quilting, and she has been stitching quilts ever since. She enjoys all forms of quilting, including hand and machine piecing, appliqué, and hand and machine quilting. She has entered her quilts in the Elizabethtown Fair almost every year for the past 25 years.

“Modern Traditionalist” best describes Andrea’s style. She loves all things vintage, which is reflected in her work. The exploding online quilting community has only fueled her passion for quilting, and as a result, she has “more quilts in her brain than she will be ever be able to stitch in this lifetime!” Andrea enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience and delights in introducing sewing and quilting to others.

Andrea lives in Elizabethtown, PA and also enjoys cooking, gardening and blogging.

Carol Martin

Carol’s earliest memories of quilts involve playing under the quilt frame while her Grandma was quilting, and being thrilled when the collection of heirloom quilts was taken out of storage to be shown to guests. Carol’s mother taught her how to sew her own clothing, but she learned to quilt while working at The Old Country Store. In turn, she had the privilege of teaching her mother how to quilt.

“My passion in quilting is collecting antique fabric, preferably late 19th century fabrics, and creating miniature quilts. I love the challenge of taking a large quilt block pattern and resizing it into a smaller block,” says Carol. When she is not sewing with antique fabrics, she is dipping into her stash of reproduction Civil War fabrics.

Currently, Carol is employed as a care giver for senior citizens in their homes. Her hobbies, in addition to quilting, are nature photography, working in her flower gardens and motorcycle riding with her husband.

Jan Mast

Jan, like so many others, began sewing doll clothes at a young age. Her mother and two older sisters fueled her curiosity and creativity, encouraging her to enter Sewing 4-H and submit completed craft and sewing projects to the local farmers’ fairs.

She graduated from sewing doll clothes to making clothing for herself, and later, for her children. More recently her projects are less garment-oriented and are more patchwork and quilt-inspired.

“I have always loved creating things with my hands, imagining ways to put color and texture together, and marrying traditional craft with modern technique. Owning the Store, buying fabric for both the “bricks” and “clicks” stores, and relating local quilters and crafters is a dream job!” she shares.

Jan and her husband Dean, owners of The Old Country Store, live in Smoketown, PA. They share a rivalry in Scrabble and enjoy flower gardening together. Their three daughters also caught the sewing bug and give Jan’s two Bernina machines a real workout!

Sherry Musselman

Sherry learned to sew in Home Economics Class in High School. She made clothing for herself and family members. In nursing school, her interest in quilting was piqued when she learned to hand quilt at a friend’s house. After retiring from nursing, Sherry returned to her first love of sewing and finally learned to quilt. She enjoys sharing her craft with others.

Sherry and her husband, John, enjoy traveling, watching old movies, and exploring quilts shops and bookstores. She also leads a Bible Study group at her church.

Sally Rapp

Sally has had a needle in her hand since she was in elementary school. She started with simple embroidery, but by junior high school she was sewing much of her own clothing. In 1976, bi-centennial year celebrations piqued her interest in doing patchwork and quilting.

Since that time, Sally has taken many classes from nationally known teachers. She has also taught quilting classes for quilt shops, evening schools, and quilt guilds.

Shortly after her retirement from secretarial work, Sally and her husband, Fran, chose to move to Garden Spot Village in New Holland. She has an active lifestyle in the community, enjoying casual bike riding, ringing hand bells, taking bus trips, and of course, teaching quilting. Sally and Fran have two adult children and five grandchildren.

Carrie Strine

Carrie is an artist working in textiles and photography. She graduated from Drexel University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science degree in photography and received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art in 2010.

Carrie’s teaching experience includes sewing, knitting, design fundamentals, and photography, from private lessons through the college level. She is also the publisher of Hand and Hand, a digital zine celebrating the maker’s hand and mind.

Her quilts and photographs have been exhibited nationally, and her quilts, patterns and tutorials have been featured by Robert Kauffman, Daily Candy, Design Sponge, HermanMiller Lifework, and It’s Nice That.

A recent New York City expat, Carrie lives and works with her husband, designer/illustrator Tim Lahan, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Almyra Webb

Almyra Webb began sewing at the age of 12 when her grandmother bought her a Singer sewing machine. She enjoyed making her clothing and designing new outfits by adapting patterns. After many years of sewing for her daughters, Almyra began sewing clothing for her five grandchildren.

When the children grew up, Almyra began investigating the home embroidery market in 1994. Eventually her interest turned to quilting, but she was discouraged by how painful her hands became after hours of cutting, matching, and pinning small pieces of fabric.

Upon discovering the foundation paper piecing method of quilting, Almyra was immediately hooked. She has made over 100 quilts and nearly all have been paper pieced. Almyra has adapted many traditional patterns into paper piecing designs, and she enjoys teaching new quilters the joy of paper piecing. Almyra has taught classes in North Carolina, Tennessee and local shops in the Lancaster area.

Lois Zimmerman

Lois grew up on a farm in eastern Lancaster County and has had the privilege of raising her own family while living on that same homestead. She and her husband, Elmer, parented four children and now enjoy grandparenting.

Elmer pastors at Blue Ball Mennonite Church, where Lois offers her hand-quilting skills at their women’s sewing circle. Her other hobbies include cooking, camping, and “anything involving people—be it family or friends,” says Lois.

Lois has spent the past 30 years doing sewing alterations. She mends, alters, or fixes anything that can be sewn—clothes, gowns, curtains, bags, and bedding. “Ever since I was a child, I loved ripping clothes apart! It sounds crazy, and it drove my mother crazy, but I never took anything apart that I wasn’t able to put back together,” she says.

There are four Bernina machines in Lois’ sewing room, and she claims she “needs each one!”