Design Stars – Cheryl Sleboda

Design Stars

From left to right: Scott Wernet, Frieda Anderson, Angela Wolf, Reen Wilcoxson, Rita Farro, Cheryl Sleboda, Ebony Love, Rhonda Pierce, Rolando Bohlemann, Pete Janss

From left to right: Scott Wernet, Frieda Anderson, Angela Wolf, Reen Wilcoxson, Rita Farro, Cheryl Sleboda, Ebony Love, Rhonda Pierce, Rolando Bohlemann, Pete Janss

Early this year, we had visitors from the Industrial Division of SCHMETZ Germany. To help SCHMETZ executives better understand the consumer market, many activities were arranged. Yes, we had traditional meetings and visited retail shops, but we also toured Modern Quilt Studio with Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr and ended the week with a star studded designer showcase with five designers from the Chicago area. Each designer presented their special niche in the marketplace. The result was aptly described by SCHMETZ as “astonishing!” The day was laced with energy, talent, savvy and a passion for creativity. These five business women demonstrated grit, talent, creativity and strategic work. With hard work, that never goes out of style, they make awesome contributions to the sewing industry that we love. Meet, or re-meet, because several ladies have already been featured in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW: Cheryl Sleboda, Ebony Love, Reen Wilcoxson, Frieda Anderson and Angela Wolf. Five shining stars that make sewing even more fun!

Cheryl Sleboda

Cheryl Sleboda is an edgy, left of center designer who was featured in SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #25. At that time, she was still working her “day job” in the comic book industry. Her side business, (, was about teaching heirloom sewing techniques and combining them with light up technologies for fabric. She designed a very popular skull and cross needle logo, so she also found herself in the t-shirt business.

When we interviewed Cheryl, she talked about how and why she made one six-inch square art quilt every week … for FIVE YEARS. By making one small art quilt every week, she learned new skills and techniques. She learned how to adapt technology to her projects, using lights and conductive thread, and she revisited traditional heirloom techniques, combining those vintage methods with the latest technology. By challenging herself to create a new micro-quilt every week, she developed her own voice. Looking back, those little quilts also serve as a journal of where she started and how far she’s come.

Since that interview, Cheryl’s life has undergone some dramatic changes. She decided to make sewing her full-time job and is operating two businesses., her existing long-standing quilting and merchandise business, has branched out to include a consulting business for independent retailers. When she worked in the comic book industry, she taught stores how to use technology to improve their business. She has transitioned those skills into helping quilt shops increase business through social media and online marketing.

She established her second business, Sew Much Cosplay™, as a cosplay brand for a line of sewing tools and products for cosplayers. While attending scores of comic conventions, she saw for herself how many consumers were involved in cosplay and how enthusiastic they were about making their own costumes. The goal of this brand is to educate cosplayers on sewing techniques, and introduce them to the independent sewing retailer.

Cheryl is looking forward to vending at C2E2, a comic book convention in Chicago. Cheryl will be doing a presentation on basic sewing instruction and will lead a cosplay panel.


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