Fran has been making, designing, and selling quilted items since 1974. In 1983, Sue Pifer at the Elkins Sewing Center asked her to teach quiltmaking and this began her 30+ year teaching career. A degree in Education provided a strong background in teaching skills, and in 1993 she became a National Quilting Association (NQA) Certified Teacher. Guilds and Seminars in the region provided opportunities to share and improve her teaching skills. Although Fran has a strong background in hand piecing, hand appliqué, and hand quilting, she also enjoys a wide variety of machine techniques. Working with the West Virginia documentation project heightened her appreciation of quilting tradition and classic quilt patterns; this developed into a focus on keeping the traditional designs alive using newly available tools and time saving techniques.
Although now retired from teaching, Fran successfully introduced hundreds of students to the joys of quiltmaking, and has encouraged hundreds more to improve their skills and nurture their creative spirits. In 2003, Fran was named the first recipient of the NQA Certified Teacher of the Year Award, and in 2005, was a nominee for The Professional Quilter Magazine Teacher of the Year Award.
Fran's full-sized quilts have been juried into national quilt shows, including several AQS Shows. Her works regularly earn top awards at regional shows. Two of her quilts have received the Award for Excellence for Quilting at the Husqvarna Viking International Convention (1998, 2004), and two received Best of Show at the West Virginia Quilters, Inc. shows (2006, 2010).
In 1994, Fran completed the “Short Course in Judging” offered by the NQA and in 1996 became a NQA Certified Judge. She now maintains certification with the National Association of Certified Quilt Judges (NACQJ). She has judged shows in Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, as well as the 2003, 2008, and 2013 NQA Shows. She has experience in judging both quilts and wearables.