Meet Us

Tina CookTina Cook
Managing Editor

Tina has worked at Martingale for more than 20 years, in both the marketing and editorial departments, and is currently enjoying her role as managing editor.

After stitching an apron in home-ec in seventh grade—an apron she still uses—Tina was making clothes for herself by the time she was in college. Her first quilt was measured and cut without rulers, stiffly overfilled with batting, and backed with polyester tablecloths. She’s gotten better at quiltmaking but so far hasn’t managed to keep a single one she’s made—they’ve all been given away as gifts. Tina lives with her husband and two sons, boys who love to visit the Martingale photo studio, answer the Quirky Question, and design quilts in crayon. When she’s not spending time with family, Tina’s reading a book, planning a trip, or obsessing about her garden.

Cornelia Gauger

Cornelia Gauger
Senior Customer Service Representative

Ever contacted Martingale with a question? Then you might have spoken with Cornelia, who thoroughly enjoys interacting with customers. She loves helping people choose just the right books and patterns for their tastes, acting as a helpful guide to, and talking through pattern instructions.

For our self-proclaimed “Pointless Piecing Princess,” crafting and sewing came along a little later in life (junior-high art and sewing classes were semi-traumatic!). Thankfully, she got over those hurdles and now happily starts way more quilting projects than she finishes. She’s even learned to "speak" knitting!

Karen Johnson
Director of Marketing

Pick a spot on the Oregon/Washington coast that has a place to stitch and you’ve made Karen happy—rain and wind be darned! Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Karen started sewing for the essentials. At six feet tall, she turned to sewing her own clothes in her teens and twenties when she couldn’t find readymade clothing in her size. When tall sizes for women showed up in stores, she started footing the bill and applied her sewing skills toward making cute baby clothes and quilts instead.

Karen has quite a few hobbies in addition to sewing, and there’s a pecking order: quilting, knitting, crochet, and embroidery. There’s dabbling too—jewelry making, beading, photography, macramé, and basket making. (She formed a guild for that last one.) Karen’s two kitties, Marty and Tucker, help her enjoy them all.

Karen has worked for such well-known companies as REI and Crafts Americana Group—home of KnitPicks, Artist’s Club, and Connecting Threads, where she created and moderated the popular online quilting community, Quilt With Us.

When it comes to travel, Karen’s history is just as varied as her stitching skills. While her friends were buying houses, Karen’s extra pennies went toward travel (and still do). She’s visited Europe, the Caribbean, India, Mexico, Japan, and China, along with a 30-day trip to 32 states. Next up? Ecuador and Colombia.

Jennifer KeltnerJennifer Keltner
Publisher and Chief Visionary Officer

Jennifer has been a maker of things from a very early age. True to her title (visioning what’s ahead), her first truly independent crafting involved melting orange crayons in an Easy-Bake Oven−heated by a 20-watt lightbulb. That was dedication to seeing new possibilities for ordinary items, along with determination for seeing a project through to its final results. Since then, she’s sewn, quilted, stitched, and attempted knitting (though by self-description she says with regard to knitting, “I can only serve as a bad example in class.”)

Her passion is the Martingale mission, helping others Create with Confidence. A 25-year veteran of the publishing industry, her career has taken her from sales and marketing through editorial and administration in a variety of print and broadcast media, including her time as content director for the Better Homes & Gardens Crafts Group prior to joining Martingale.

When she’s not developing the next big thing for our publication schedule and visioning a future of best-selling quilting, sewing, knitting, and crocheting titles for Martingale, Jennifer spends time with her husband and wire-fox terrier. She’s as passionate as ever about all things fabric, quilting, embroidering, and sewing—always trying to squeeze a little “making” into every day.

Durby PetersonDurby Peterson
Copy Editor

Durby grew up in a large family where her mother sewed quilts for each child’s bed, but her own quilting journey didn’t begin until she got to Martingale. It didn’t take long for the gorgeous quilts on display throughout the office to start calling to her. Soon a friend helped her get started on a wall quilt, and her quilting adventure had begun.

Working each day with creative people who produce and promote inspiring books is a dream come true for Durby. After copyediting for five years, she accepted a new challenge as part of Martingale’s dynamic marketing team, where she happily wrote blurbs, blasts, flyers, and ads for almost seven years. Lured back by the books and a desire to return to her editorial roots, she switched desks and is once again enjoying life as a copy editor.

Besides sewing and quilting, Durby enjoys reading, walking in areas with lots of wildlife, and spending time with friends and family.

Karen SoltysKaren Costello Soltys
Content Director

Sewing, quilting, knitting, rug hooking—if it involves fabric or fibers, Karen is bound to have tried it. She began sewing first doll clothes and then clothes for herself at an early age. Upon graduating from college, she discovered quiltmaking, and to this day is primarily drawn to antique scrap quilts, traditional patterns, and the art of making do.

Quiltmaking led to wool appliqué, which eventually opened the door to primitive rug hooking. Karen belongs to a small rug-hooking group that meets faithfully every other Saturday morning for sharing, inspiration, fun, and of course, good coffee! She loves to schedule time for at least one rug camp a year—a chance to travel to different areas of the country to meet up with likeminded hookers and learn from well-known teachers. (Yes, rug hookers are known as hookers and it doesn’t bother them in the least.)

Karen’s other favorite pastime is knitting. Knitting is pretty much a daily activity for Karen, who is known to carry “emergency knitting” in her purse. (Here in the northwest, you never know when you might have time on your hands—stuck in a traffic jam due to downed trees or waiting in line for a ferry!)

In her role as editorial director for Martingale, she has worked with dozens of authors and editors to develop ideas and concepts into full-fledged manuscripts for quilting, sewing, knitting, and crochet books. Karen is an author herself, writing and making the quilts for Bits and Pieces: 20 Small Quilts from Scraps and Fat Quarters. She’s also contributed projects to a variety of other quilting, sewing, and rug-hooking books.

Robin Strobel

Robin Strobel

We were saddened to hear of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Robin Strobel in December 2012. Robin was a multitalented quilter, knitter, writer, technical editor, and illustrator. The author of two quilting books, and the editor and illustrator of many more quilting, crochet, and knitting titles, Robin shared her expertise with meticulous devotion and bright wit. After retiring from Martingale, Robin continued writing for the Stitch This! blog, crafting some of its most popular posts. She will be greatly missed. —Ed.

If you divide the quilting world into people who enjoy the process and those who love the completed product, Robin was definitely a process person. Depending on her mood, Robin liked to call herself either a dilettante or a Renaissance woman. She was always looking to learn something new and seldom created the same thing the same way twice.

Oddly enough, it was the thought of completing something that started her quilting. During her second year of teaching high-school science in a challenging district, Robin was desperate to make something beautiful—something she could finish, look at, and say, “I did good.” Quilting soon became her passion, and she claimed that she’d finished more quilts than she could remember (and started a lot more quilts than that).

Robin was passionate about a range of diverse topics—she had an undergraduate degree in biology and a teaching certification—and she worked as both an illustrator and technical editor for Martingale. She published two books with Martingale (The Casual Quilter and Quilter’s Bounty), and she worked in quilt shops and taught classes about quilting and fabric dyeing. She also curated the How to Quilt section of Martingale’s website. When not quilting, knitting, making glass beads, or looking for new tricks to add to her technique bag, she shared her time with two demanding Scottish Fold cats.

Jenny Wilding CardonJenny Wilding Cardon
Content Editor

Jenny’s been designing with fabric since high school. Back then, she would create eccentric, rebellious items of clothing, and then make her friends wear them to school. After graduating from college in Utah with a degree in Women’s Studies, Jenny spent three years with her husband in Seattle. A crux of American quiltmaking, the city introduced her to the lively art, along with the many coworkers she befriended while working at Martingale.

Jenny worked as a copywriter for Martingale for one day short of ten years before giving up her position to be a stay-at-home mom. When her husband went back to school, she picked up part-time work as Martingale’s web assistant. In 2011 she became content editor, and now spends most of her work time playing at the Stitch This! blog.

The birth of her first son inspired Jenny to write her first pattern collection, The Little Box of Baby Quilts. Her designs have also appeared on the covers of Quilts and More and Quilt It for Kids magazines, as well as in McCall’s Quilting and Simple Quilts and Sewing. In 2011 she wrote ReSew, a how-to book that pairs her two creative outlets—thrifting and sewing. Jenny’s third book, Visible Mending, is available now.

Jenny lives on an acre in a Utah farming town with her husband of 19 years and their two sons, Jack and Charlie. Since the commute to the Martingale office is 818.64 miles, the bosses typically allow her to work from home.