Shelly Smola

Shelly got her first embroidery machine in 2005, and started digitizing her own designs soon after. She has taken embroidery to a whole new level with her 3-dimensional projects. Spooky the Cat is Shelly’s helper and durability tester! Take a look at the video to see some of her all-time favorite projects. You’ll also see Spooky having fun playing with them!

Shelly used to watch her mother, Reta, sew doll clothes when she was just a few years old. As Jenny demanded new outfits (and bigger suitcases to store them), Reta taught Shelly how to sew. 

When Shelly moved to Boston, Reta shipped a Singer Featherweight to her frantic, curtain-less daughter in the big city. She used the trusty Featherweight through good times and bad, from poverty to slightly above poverty, from Boston to Seattle, from marriage to a blissful single life, until many years ago when she decided she wanted to hemstitch a handkerchief that she had hand-embroidered (a skill also taught by Mom).

Shelly went shopping for a new sewing machine, came home with her first embroidery machine, and started digitizing a few months later. She quit her “real job” as a Jr. High math teacher in 2006 and now digitizes full time.

Shelly recently moved from Idaho to South Carolina. Before the virus, she taught embroidery classes all over the US. Now she is having fun making video tutorials with Spooky!

Shelly currently writes for Classic Sewing Magazine. She wrote All for Me, which includes the designs and instructions to complete 6 pretty projects.  Her designs have been featured in Designs in Machine Embroidery and Creative Machine Embroidery . Her paper embroidery projects were featured in the book, Machine Embroidery, Wild and Wacky by Rebecca Kemp-Brent and Linda Griepentrog.  A second book, Fill in the Blanks with Machine Embroideryby Rebecca Kemp-Brent includes exclusive Shelly Smola designs on CD.