A few words from Deborah:
I am delighted to be a designer for Arbee Designs - it is part of a long term dream of using the internet to reduce distance.
I began sewing as a pre-schooler - Mum still has a piece of my cross stitch. During my teens I did a lot of dressmaking, being the sewer among 4 sisters. I also did some embroidery and small patchworks. In my twenties we went to live in Arnhem land - a remote area of Australia with the main access by plane or barge. I decided I had to do something other than look after my children so I took up quilting. Retrospectively this was an interesting choice made with almost no supplies available locally (1yard shelf of fabrics at local store), 1 book on English paper piecing and no ebay. So I began designing my own quilts and working out things from first principles. I also got actively involved in the local arts and crafts community working on flying in tutors for workshops - these were very significant for me.
19 years ago we moved to rural South Australia, where I continued to quilt, photograph and embroider - exploring the boundaries between these techniques. I developed an increasing interest in the use of color and the affects it has on different individuals. Because I was aware of the needs of those in rental accommodation, who could not put up decorations on the walls, I have moved back to making more bed quilts but using art quilt techniques. The Trinity Celtic Knot design is one of these pieces, this was published in Australian Patchwork and Quilting .
Since my youngest started going to school, I have been more focused on my quilt designing and construction. Three years ago, bushfire destroyed the first town I lived in Australia (Marysville). This has spurred me on to making more quilts for those in crisis or need. In my design work I have been focusing on quilts that are quick to construct and special in appearance.
I have also been looking for ways to include my love of the natural environment in my quilting work. Hence the Real Animals, Real Places quilts. The first of these is the Giraffe at Kilimanjaro - which I am excited to have Arbee Designs publish. A lot of the background of this quilt comes from the time in 1982 when my husband worked at a missionary hospital in Tanzania as a medical student. I will do a series of quilts on nature so please look for them here at Arbee Designs.