Staff & Board

Want to reach out to the MQG? Do you have a specific question and are curious about whom to ask? Reach out to our staff or board members. The staff is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization, and the volunteer board is responsible for the strategic direction of the organization.

MQG Staff

Alissa Haight Carlton
Executive Director

Alissa Haight Carlton has been quilting since 2008 when the modern quilting bug hit her hard. She has written two modern quilting books (Block Party and Modern Minimal) and been featured in many modern quilting publications. A modern quilting teacher and speaker, her teaching resume includes many guilds and shows such as Sisters' Quilter’s Affair. 

Wanting to move their online modern quilting community to an in person experience, she and Latifah Saafir co-founded the LAMQG, and therefore the MQG, in 2009. She remains an active LAMQG member. Alissa volunteered her time for the MQG from 2009 through 2011, and was hired as the Executive Director in 2012 when the MQG had its first employees. Alissa is responsible for the operations, staff, budget and management of the MQG.

Alissa developed her project and people management skills over the course of a 15-year career casting reality shows, during which she worked her way up to leading large casting departments. Her experience includes overseeing staffs of more than fifteen people for well-known television shows, including many seasons of Project Runway.  

She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.

Heather Grant
Director of Marketing & Programming

A quilter in her early 20s, Heather Grant stopped quilting until 2005, when she was inspired by the modern quilting movement and made her first modern quilt. Heather is the founder of the Austin Modern Quilt Guild.

Heather is responsible for overseeing content development for the MQG and QuiltCon, events, marketing, PR and sponsor sales. Heather volunteered as the Events Manager of the first QuiltCon starting in 2011 and was the guild’s first employee in 2012. Heather has more than 15 years experience in developing and executing global strategic projects and programs such as: events, marketing/PR campaigns, non-profit administration, association management, community, membership, operations, communications and technical product launches.

She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, son and too many pets.

Elizabeth Dackson
Events Manager

Elizabeth Dackson is a fabric addict not seeking reform and a quilter. She fell in love with quilting as her son entered the terrible twos back in early 2010, and found her sanity again in making quilts and blogging about her experiences. She has written two books and countless patterns found in various quilting publications as well as on her blog, Don’t Call Me Betsy, Elizabeth has also taught two Craftsy quilting classes.

Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing and managing QuiltCon and MQG events. She also books all faculty for QuiltCon and MQG events. In her professional life, Elizabeth graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in Communication, and spent five years working in medical meetings management prior to a short break from the professional world. She is also certified in meetings and event management through the University of South Florida. She is the founding president of the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild and currently is an individual member of the Modern Quilt Guild. 

Riane Menardi
Communications Manager

Riane caught the quilting bug when her grandmother taught her to quilt in 2011. A few years later, she attended her first QuiltCon in 2013, and was hooked for life. With a background in journalism and content marketing, Riane brings over five years’ experience to the MQG team in writing, editing and communications. She has worked for or freelanced for magazines including ReadyMade, Midwest Living, and Fresh Quilts, and has also been a writer and community manager for startups, agencies and local businesses primarily in the handmade industry. Riane specializes in content and community management as well as marketing strategy and execution.

Riane joined the MQG staff in February 2015 and is responsible for managing the communications, social media, marketing and PR for the guild and QuiltCon. She ensures the voice and messaging stays consistent across all media channels, and works closely with the team to make announcements and build targeted content for MQG members and potential members. Riane is an individual member of the MQG and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Amanda Hines
Sponsor & Member Manager

Amanda comes from a long line of sewists, but only began sewing in 2011 and made her first quilt in early 2012. She dove in headfirst, and has since made many quilts for friends and family as baby gifts, artistic experiments, and commissioned work. Her quilt “Scatter” was shown at QuiltCon 2015. Amanda loves all types of quilting, but particularly enjoys using modern fabrics with traditional techniques.

Amanda is responsible for managing, coordinating, and selling sponsorship opportunities for QuiltCon and the MQG, as well as working with QuiltCon vendors. She brings experience in event planning, program management, and communication to the MQG. After 12 years in public education, most recently managing a college-preparatory program in a large urban district, she left to pursue a more flexible work-life rooted in the world of sewing.

Amanda has been an active member of the Austin MQG since 2013, serving as President for 2015-16 and 2016-17. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Janice Lee
Administrative Assistant

Janice was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and attended San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's in Marketing. While studying at SFSU, she took classes at the American Conservatory Theater. She worked as an administrative assistant for the university's student center during her senior year and continued to utilize that skill set as a technical recruiter upon moving to Los Angeles, and now for the Modern Quilt Guild. When not watching the latest hit TV shows and recently released movies, Janice is reading up on today's culture, looking for great places to eat in the LA food scene, and occasional enjoying some heated indoor cycling.

Natalie Ellsworth

Natalie is responsible for managing accounts payable and receivable.


MQG Board of Directors

Andrew Joslyn
Chair of the Board, Region 3 Representative

Andrew Joslyn has been quilting since 2010 when he quickly fell in love with the style of modern quilts and the community that the MQG provides. He was the president of the Philadelphia MQG for three years, and he remains an active member. He also works with others to plan the annual Mid-Atlantic MOD retreat, which is organized and sponsored by 5 local MQG chapters in the region.

Andrew is an Environmental Engineer by training and his many years working as an environmental consultant have given him leadership and project management skills that the MQG board benefits from regularly. He lives with his husband near Philadelphia where they are always on the hunt for the next great vegan restaurant.

Jacquie Gering
Board Member

Since discovering quilting in 2009, Jacquie has become a passionate quilt maker and designer. She is known for her "out of the box" designs and unique style. Her work has been featured in both national and international publications, and she is the co-author of Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts.

Jacquie is a passionate advocate for modern quilting and brings 30 years of teaching, staff development and leadership experience to the Modern Quilt Guild Board. As co-founder and former president of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild, she helped build a dynamic, vital guild and her experience in guild structures, membership and programming is an asset to developing the MQG at the national level. She has been a member of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild and after a move back to Kansas City is currently a member of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.

Jacquie blogs and shares her quilting knowledge on her popular blog, Tallgrass Prairie Studio.

Susanne Woods

Every day Susanne is able to combine her love of quilting with her career in book publishing. As the founder and owner of Lucky Spool Media, she strives to create fewer, better, beautiful books for the sewing community. Over her 15-year career in illustrated publishing she has been responsible for bringing the voices of Elizabeth Hartman, Alissa Haight Carlton, Rashida Coleman Hale, Cheryl Arkison, Camille Roskelley, Kim Kight, Angela Walters, Carolyn Friedlander, Alison Glass, Anna Graham, Jacquie Gering (and many more talented quilters), to print. She is passionate about creating a professional collaborative platform in the quilting community in which both the creators and distributors of creative content thrive.

Susanne has been sewing since elementary school and quilting since college. The boyfriend she made that first blue and green patchwork quilt didn’t last, but her love of quilt making did. She sews whenever she can. In her spare time, she also enjoys cooking, camping and spending as much time as possible near the ocean. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, their two young boys and their standoffish cat, Kit. She is currently formulating the Tri-Valley MQG.

Jill Lombard

Jill has been quilting for over 25 years. Her future mother-in-law was a quilter and back in the late 80s and taught Jill how to quilt. She has evolved over the years from a fairly traditional quilter to a modern quilter, and her one constant is a love of scrap quilts — hundreds of different fabrics in her quilt make her happy! Jill belongs to the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild and is so happy to have found this group of great quilters and lovely people.

Jill has been a CPA for over 30 years. She loves working with nonprofit organizations and has volunteered as treasurer for many organizations, including National Charity League, PTA, and AYSO soccer along with the Modern Quilt Guild. Jill can be found on Instagram as @scrapquilter37.

Cheryl Brady
Board Member

Cheryl brings to the MQG board twenty plus years of organizational coaching and partners with education and non-profit groups, often facilitating strategic plans that enable organizations to create a preferred future while being responsive to diverse members. She is happiest when creating, either in the world of ideas or the arts. She currently serves as scholarship/grant chairman of the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild. Cheryl lives in Kansas City with her husband who is befuddled by the accumulation of fabric and is the proud mom of a son and daughter.

Andres Rosales
Region 1 Representative

Andres' quilting timeline doesn't follow the norm. After hearing Denyse Schmidt speak to the LAMQG in June 2011, Andres and four friends decided to found the Ventura Modern Quilt Guild. Five months after the guild started, and after being exposed to some amazing modern quilting, Andres decided to take up quilting. Andres served on the VMQG's board for three years — two as communications administrator and the last as president. He was then elected to the board of directors of The Modern Quilt Guild. Andres is currently a member of the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild, and he can usually be found sitting on the cutting tables during meetings. For the last 14 years, Andres has worked as a network administrator for a tax firm in Ventura, California. He can be found on Instagram at @andresprosales, and on the MQG Region 1 Facebook page, here.

Shannon Page
Region 2 Representative

Shannon has sewn for more than 20 years and began quilting in 2011. She is past President and Activities Chair as well as current member of the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild. She has spoken at museums and various guilds about designing modern quilts and participated in the MQG's Webinars on Judging and Making Traditional Modern. She has won numerous awards for her work and was published in Fresh Quilts magazine. You can find her on Instagram at @nerdcamp.

Shannon is passionate about informal education in both her personal and professional life. She holds a BS in Education and is a museum professional specializing in events, learning outside the classroom and public programs. She previously worked as a paralegal before making the leap back into education by joining the Old Red Museum and becoming the Director of Education. Recently, she moved to the Perot Museum of Nature of Science as the Discovery Camp and FIRST LEGO League Coordinator.

Carole Lyles Shaw
Region 4 Representative

Carole started quilting over 25 years ago when she decided to make quilts as gifts for her young nieces and nephews—although she knew nothing about how to make a quilt. After learning the basics from library books, she joined a quilt guild in Baltimore, Maryland,where the members gently helped her learn solid sewing skills. They also enthusiastically encouraged her to continue taking a modern, nontraditional approach to her quilt designs. Over the years, her quilts have been widely exhibited in juried and invitational quilt shows in the US and Canada and published in quilt anthologies and magazines.

After moving to Sarasota FL, Carole discovered the modern quilting movement and co-founded the Sarasota Modern Quilt Guild. In 2016, she published her first book, Madly Modern Quilts. She is hard at work on a book on patriotic modern quilts and on a third book focused on modern quilt patterns based on Fibonacci math.

Carole has over 30 year experience as an international consultant in team development, organizational change and leadership development. She brings those skills to her work with the MQG Board as well as to her local Guild.

Carole runs quilt retreats in Florida and absolutely loves teaching modern quilt workshops for guilds. You can find out more about her at her blog,

Jules McMahon
Region 5 Representative

As the daughter of a dressmaker, Jules has been around stitching her entire life — she can’t remember a time when she didn’t sew. Fifteen years ago, when her high school bestie had her first child, Jules decided to take up quilting. Little did she know where that fateful decision would lead. After her three daughters were born, Jules resigned from her Government position and took to quilting like a woman possessed. Just before she headed to the first QuiltCon in 2013, she submitted an application to teach at a local store, and four years later, she's teaching around the country, making quilts for commission, running quilting retreats, and on the precipice of opening her own permanent studio space.

Jules has extensive experience working in the government and non-profit sectors including in corporate governance, event management, and policy and program development. She has a deep understanding of the challenges and sensitivities facing nonprofits, and a well-developed capacity for strategic thinking. As the director of her own company, she has further developed her business skills.

From the very beginning of the MQG, Jules has been a passionate advocate for the organisation and international MQG members. In 2012, Jules co-founded the Canberra MQG and served as President until 2015. As a Regional Representative, she mentors new and established international Guilds, bringing an understanding of the unique challenges faced by non-US MQG members. Jules is dedicated to furthering developing member benefits and broadening opportunities for international members while assisting the MQG to service its global membership.