The “Official” Biography

Jake started sewing in the late 1980s when she traded in her credit cards for a new sewing machine. In 1989, she made her first quilt and found a new love. As a completely self-taught closet quilter for many years, she solitarily devoured how-to books and visited shows to hone her skills. Honing her skills involved making every mistake possible in quilting, a fact that humbles and guides her when she teaches her students new quilting techniques.

Craving participation in the sacred sisterhood of the fiber addicted, Jake finally waddled (she was six months pregnant) into her first guild meeting at the Simi Valley Quilt Guild. Those steps she took in 1999 expanded her quilting world and skills ten-fold. Jake has served as programs and workshops chairperson, and was the guild’s president in 2007. She was also active in the Conejo Valley Quilt Guild and the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild (Can’t get enough guild!), and has helped organize several quilt shows. She truly understands what an effort it takes for a guild to bring in teachers to share their skills with guild members.

She loves contemporary art quilts. traditional pieced quilts updated in today’s fabrics, modern quilts and sewn projects.

In 2000 Jake began teaching and found out she loves working with anyone wanting to learn and create. Loaded with patience, she appreciates the fear a new challenge presents and deeply respects anyone wanting to stretch their quilting wings a little further. Her teaching style is comfortable, informative, nurturing and often a little silly. Few pleasures top watching someone realize a new skill and their pride of accomplishment and Jake is honored to sometimes help quilters with that.

Jake’s first book, Fast, Fun & Easy Book Cover Art, was released by C&T Publishing in January 2007. Comfort Quilts from the Heart was released in June 2008. Two other books, Quilting: 200 Questions and Answers and Patchwork: 200 Questions and Answers followed in 2010 (authored with Vicki Tymczyszyn) and 2011 respectively through Barron’s Educational Publishing. In 2014, she published her fifth book, Stitch & Swap through StashBooks. She’s contributed to many other books with her quilts and sewn projects.

Jake was a field editor for American Quilter Magazine and the editor of Quilter’s Home magazine. In 2011, she and her partner in quilt crimes, Melissa Thompson Maher, launched Generation Q Magazine where she serves as publisher. She lectures/teaches at guilds, shops and retreats. Her quilts have won several regional awards and she placed second in the 2006 Hoffman Challenge for her first entry, a Cover Art sketchbook cover. Married to Stephen for, gulp, 35 years, they have a beautiful daughter, Samantha, five cats and live in Simi Valley, California.

She is ALWAYS available for questions. Her home phone number is (805) 279-8111 PST. Her email is Her website is

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