The Copper Needle Owned and operated by Gina Perkes.

About Us

At The Copper Needle, we provide a welcoming, creative environment for individuals or groups who love to quilt or those who are interested in learning about quilting and/or sewing. We would love to have you come to visit our shop and are always willing to offer support on your creative endeavors. We invite you to sign up for classes, learn about our Innova longarm machines, or peruse our selection of high quality fabrics, threads, patterns and notions.

Gina Perkes Payson, AZ

Gina Perkes is an internationally award-winning quilter. She owns and operates The Copper Needle and is an Innova longarm dealer. Gina also proudly represents BERNINA as an ambassador. She has appeared on several quilting shows and is the author of: Mastering the Art of Longarm Quilting published by C & T and Tips for Longarm Quilting published by AQS. Gina loves working with other quilters, sharing her techniques, and helping them find inspiration and gain confidence. She teaches both domestic and longarm techniques and believes that quilting is therapeutic and strives to create a stress-free, fun learning environment for her students.

Cristy Fincher Tempe, AZ

Cristy Fincher was born with a love for all things sewing. Cristy, and her mom, Master Quilter, Sharon Schamber, made their first quilt together, 20 years ago. This took their love of sewing into the world of quilting, where it has flourished. Cristy became a school teacher, married, and started her own family. Her passion for teaching quilting grew, and 10 years ago, she opened her online store,, where she focuses on sewing and quilting education. In 2007, Cristy and Sharon co-authored “Piece-By-Piece: Machine Applique”, which features many of Cristy’s original designs. Cristy has spent her lifetime learning about all aspects of sewing and quilting from her amazing mother. Cristy is passing on Sharon’s legacy of techniques through teaching local, regional and national quilting classes. Cristy also shares her own tutorials, and time saving techniques, on her blog

Alyce Leach

Alyce wasn’t your typical woman in business as she ran one of only a handful of woman-owned cash register businesses. She loved the business, but it was all consuming being on call 24/7 for the retail community.

In 1993, Alyce and her husband moved to Payson, Arizona to slow down their hectic life.

Travel, hiking, boating, and gardening have filled her time; however, quilting has become her passion. She has tried most techniques, but she truly enjoys spreading the excitement and knowledge to others by teaching. Alyce stresses the basic skills in her classes to help others become more successful in the art of quilting.

Claudia B. Dinnell

Claudia B. Dinnell is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, her love of quilting began with the best birthday present ever, a Bernina 830 sewing machine in 1979! Appliqué was her first love, hand quilting, piecing, and machine quilting all followed.

What is old is new again; as Claudia has come full circle with her return to appliqué only this time with a twist! She’s all about the embroidery module! Her imagination is unleashed through each appliqué piece–highlighted with pattern run stitches, fills and outlines that create an awe inspiring look!

Creating large Redwork Designs is another of her loves. Claudia has developed her own technique for multi-hooping large Redwork Designs that is both innovative and easy to execute. She is an expert machine quilter, teaching innovative beginning and intermediate free motion machine quilting classes.

Claudia is an outstanding Bernina Designer Plus educator. She has been developing her distinctive software classes for over 12 years. Mastery of this software is one of her unique pecialties. Her award winning quilt Stars in the Garden won 1st place for creative digitizing, embroidery and color.

She enjoys seeing her students become proficient with the Designer Plus Software and beginning their own designing processes, enabling them to express their creativity through this exciting medium.

Claudia is the founder of Claudia’s Creations. Her patterns can be purchased through local quilt shops. She continues today to digitize her own designs, motivate her students to create their own works of art and enjoys teaching embroidery, quilting and digitizing workshops throughout the United States.

Felicia Brenoe

Felicia Brenoe grew up in a small coastal town in southern Norway and developed an early appreciation for beautiful patchwork and fabric from the artistic community surrounding her family. Despite spending many years in the arena of higher education Felicia started developing her skills as a needle worker and quilter in her early 20’s. Her initial interest was in historical counted thread needlework, but quilting has taken a gradually more important place.

Felicia enjoys working with lots of colors and fabrics in her designs and she is frequently inspired by the traditions, moods, and natural beauty of her international travels, her Norwegian upbringing, as well as her scholastic background. She also adores looking at antique quilts and historic needlework samplers for inspiration.

Felicia holds a masters degree in physical anthropology, and before she became a full time artist and designer, she worked as a residential faculty at a local college. She also spent several years in the world of personal and professional development training. When teaching quilting and textile arts Felicia draws heavily on her skills as a facilitator and urges her students to explore at the edge of their current boundaries and to develop a unique and strong voice in their own quilts.

Felicia's work has appeared in several magazines including Quiltmania, Art Quilting Studio, Generation Q, and Quilt Festival. Her first publication with C&T Publishing, My Cozy Village, was released in January 2016. Her second book, A Quilter’s Butterfly Forest, is expected to hit the shelves in December 2016.

Kathy MacCleary

I was a Michigan farm girl born with a vivid imagination and the ability to visualize objects and spaces in three dimension.

I retired in 2005 from a career as an architectural designer and draftsman who designed custom homes. When I didn’t have a pencil in my hand, I had a needle and thread. I made my first quilt in 1968. It was a cathedral window so every quilt that I’ve made since has been easy.

Working with fabric was my lifesaver and stress reliever when working with clients who struggled to see their homes as I saw them. Often my quilts became housewarming gifts. Teaching the quilt concepts and techniques that come from my busy imagination is as rewarding as walking into a finished custom home with a happy client.

Vanessa Fromm

I began my fascination with sewing at about the age of eight when I took sewing lessons at my local Singer store in Pascagoula, Mississippi. My grandmother lived with us at the time and she was an avid seamstress. She helped me out and encouraged me. I continued to sew throughout junior high and high school. I was the girl making bound buttonholes and matching plaids in home economics class, while others where making elastic-waisted skirts. In college, where I majored in medical illustration, I continued sewing, often incorporating “soft sculpture” in my projects for art classes. The only quilts I made during this time were blue jean quilts for “boyfriends.” I’d ask my boyfriends’ moms for their old jeans and then sew the squares together. The “quilting” was accomplished by tying the layers together with yarn. After college, I embarked on a career in Corporate Communications, working for AT&T, and then American Express. During this period, my roommate and I took an Eleanor Burns’ Quilt-in-a-Day class. This was in the days before rotary cutters when you had to tear your strips of fabric. What a mess that made! Still, that is when I became hooked on quilting. It was also during this period of time that I met my Dutch husband. We met in New York when I was working for American Express and moved to London where we lived for thirteen years and had two daughters. In 2000, we moved back to the USA, more specifically, to Arizona. I took over the dining room as my“studio” and began quilting with a friend on weekends. It was at this time that I discovered embroidery machine appliqué. With Bernina’s Artista software, I found a new outlet for my old illustration skills. I decided to start my own business in 2012. I combined my illustration skills with my digitizing skills and I developed my own avenues of embroidery appliqué. My Fabric Confetti line is more whimsical and these patterns often use a three dimensional aspect that I call “Confetti Applique”. My other line, HappNstance, is more traditional and many of the designs are based on 1920s and 30s embroidery designs from my husband’s grandfather’s factory in Berlin.


We love to share our passion for quilting with others! We offer a wide variety of technique and project classes suitable for all levels and ages. Our classes are taught in a fun and stress free environment. Bring a positive attitude and willingness to learn from our professionals!

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