What is your name? Where do you live?
Hello all! My name is Deborah and I live on the north shore of Long Island about 60 miles from New York City.
Tell us about your family (Spouse, kids, grandkids, pets, etc.)
My husband, Andrew, and I have been married for 19 years and we have 2 girls, age 6 and 10. Both of my girls love to make things and my older daughter has her own sewing machine. Our marmalade cat, Mordy, loves to nap in my scrap bins.
Tell us about how you got interested in quilting.
My mother taught me how to sew when I was young and I grew up watching her make quilts. She cut her patterns from sand paper, traced around them, and then cut the pieces out with scissors. I can’t imagine that now! But with all that, I didn’t make my first quilt until 11 years ago. I was a fine artist using textiles and mixed media. I decided I needed something more and wanted to use my maker powers for good. My mother and I started the Bright Hopes Collaborative Quilt Project. Now we have 3 programs, over 20 volunteers, have donated over 500 one of a kind quilts, worked with community groups, and helped over 50 children in a local children’s residence make their own quilt. I still don’t know much about the technical parts of quilting, but I am learning all the time.
How do you organize your fabric stash? (Picture appreciated)
I usually have 2 fabric stashes. One for Bright Hopes and a much smaller one of my own. Now I even have a third stash for the new book I am currently working on. I try to organize by color. The Bright Hopes stash is in bins by color and I can usually keep that straight although kind of a mess within each bin.
My own stash is by color on shelves in a pantry that my father made.
The book stash is by color on a sheet on the floor so I can see everything at once. Here is our cat, Mordy, making sure the stash doesn’t float away.
Who is/are your favorite fabric designers?
I don’t have any absolute favorites. There are specific fabrics in certain lines that I love. I love rich colors, bold prints, lots of polka dots, geometrics, textures.
What is one thing you have learned that you wish you knew when you first started quilting?
I wish I knew about the online community and how much everyone shares and is so generous. Coming from a more fine art world this was very unexpected and I didn’t really get involved in the online sewing and quilting community until very recently.
What is your favorite sewing/quilting tool and why should we all go out and buy it?
Confidence! Well I wish we could go out and buy it because then maybe I would have more of it. Besides that, not too long ago someone gave me a huge 33”x 58” white cutting mat. I love it because it is so big but also because it is just off white. I can lay out fabric right on it and see how it will look even as I am cutting. The person who came up with that awful dark green color of most mats should be banned from quilting forever.
Who is your favorite fictional character and why? (Could be from a book, movie, TV show, etc.)
The rabbit, Hazel, from the book Watership Down. A boat load of integrity in one little rabbit. I even named my older daughter after him.
Danny and Lynn have very graciously allowed me to do something a little different. I am writing a new book that will be released by F+W/Interweave in Fall 2015. I would love for you all to help me with one of the projects but the publisher likes to keep everything tightly under wraps. So, I am emailing the information to just our hive. Please check your email for the tutorial and further information. Thanks so much!