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  • Ladybug's Cottage, Inc.
    123 N Main St, Wendell, NC 27591

Tuesday-Friday: 10 am-5 pm
Saturday: 10 am-3 pm

*other hours by appointment

About Us

Meet Ladybug's owner and instructors. We look forward to assisting you in making your project selections and further your sewing and quilting knowledge.

Joyce Barrow
Coming from a long line of seamstresses, I have been sewing in one form or another most of my life. Many years ago (1975), I received a brand new sewing machine as a gift shortly before my high school graduation that is now not so new, but still in use. I enjoy sewing and my sewing projects include garment construction, children's and doll clothes, stuffed animals, totes, purses, quilts and pillows. Since opening Ladybug’s Cottage, I have designed quite a few patterns and enjoy teaching, sewing, and helping students create their own masterpieces. These days when I’m not sewing, I enjoy spending time with my grandchildren, family outings, and reading.

Carol Gates
I have loved to play with fabric, thread and yarn for as long as I can remember. Though my mother was busy raising 5 girls and helping run my father's farm, she somehow had time to teach us to embroider, knit, crochet and sew. Through the years I have tried almost all the "domestic arts", but quilting is my favorite. Why is it so satisfying to cut out lots of beautiful pieces of fabric just so I can sew them back together again? I'm not totally sure, but I do know that I love every step of the quilting process and am even a little sad when I finish a quilt, just like you may feel at the end of a great book that you almost didn't want to end. Fortunately, it is really easy to make myself feel better - go straight to Ladybug's Cottage and buy fabric for my next project! Now that my 2 daughters are away at school, I have time for both my passions: running and quilting; and I do as much as I can of each activity. I am so excited about teaching classes at Ladybug's Cottage. I am having a wonderful time teaching, learning and quilting while getting to know many wonderful people. It is so much fun to meet with other quilters and create something beautiful.

Marilyn Carpenter
My mother and aunt taught me to sew, crochet and embroider as a child. Using my mother's treadle machine, I made skirts for 4-H competition at ages 6 & 7. I made many of my own clothes through high school and college and finally gave up that effort when I was also juggling a full time job and an infant. For years I enjoyed crochet, counted cross stitch and learning to knit. Then one New Year's Day in the early 80's, a friend and I decided to make quilts. Our projects were appliqued lap quilts with silhouettes of all of our dogs and hand quilted. And I was hooked. My mother-in-law gave me some orphan quilt tops from the family collection, my first hand quilting on large tops - these remain some of my favorites. Many quilts, learning from mistakes and happy hours later I took on the restoration of piles of family quilts and learned many "don'ts". The experience has made me a purist regarding fabrics, batting and threads. I machine piece and hand quilt almost all of my quilts. I love handling good fabric and have such fun with Joyce and being part of the Ladybug crew. My quilts start with fabrics and then I find a photo or pattern to build the quilt as I begin cutting and sewing. My favorite part of making a quilt remains the hand quilting process. I hope sharing that skill with others will help preserve the art for future generations.

Dottie Vester
My mother and grandmother taught me to embroider and sew as a child. As the years have passed, I have learned many other needle arts and taken many classes but I have always returned to embroidery as my favorite. I am the happiest with a needle in my hand. I enjoy hand embroidery, smocking, French hand sewing and machine sewing. With encouragement from a stitching friend, I started stitching art pieces to sell in 2008. I have participated in Spring Daze as well as Lazy Daze in Cary, NC. I have also taught Embroidery Classes at Jordan Hall Arts Center and am teaching classes at the new Cary Art Center in Cary. I am an active member and past president of the Gifted Hands of Cary, a local chapter of the Embroiders Guild of America and the current president and co-founder of the Hearts of Carolina, a local chapter of the Smocking Arts Guild of America. I have won numerous ribbons at the NC State Fair for my stitching and sewing. (For a bit of trivia, she's Ladybug's sister!)

Cathy Smith
I started sewing when I was in the seventh grade, making most of my clothes throughout high school. I even designed a few of my own creations! College saw a break from sewing. When I had my children and was working full time, sewing became my evening relaxation. I started quilting in the 80's, making some decent items but it wasn't until 2005 when I moved to Zebulon that I learned what quilting was really about. I've taken classes and joined a bee as well as the Capital Quilters' Guild. Unable to find a job after applying over 100 times, I've decided to try quilting and sewing as my occupation. I like to make quilts that will be put to use. I've been doing craft shows for about 14 years and will have my own website. My hope is to teach new quilters techniques that will make their entry into the quilting world smoother and less frustrating. I also quilt finished tops, make customized and tee-shirt quilts and do clothing alteration.

Pat Benane
My introduction to sewing was when I was 10 as a member of the Buttons and Bows 4-H Club in a small village in New York State. Through the years, I've made clothes for myself, my children and grandchildren. My first quilt was made from a pattern called Wheel of Fortune in red, white and blue in the 1970s. I didn't start quilting seriously until 1991 when I joined the Tara Quilt Guild in Jonesboro, GA. I have made about 300 quilts, many of them donated to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. I enjoy all aspects of the quilting process. Most of my quilts are scrap or multi-fabric quilts and like most quilters, I have lots of UFOs. I machine quilt most of my quilts but I love looking at hand quilted antique quilts.

Rose Crowder
While Rose is no longer working at the shop on a regular basis, she was instrumental in helping set up the business and teaching many of our classes. Now she works full-time in her field of study. (For a bit of trivia, she's Ladybug's oldest daughter!) You will usually see her during our yearly NC Scenic Route Shop Hop event.