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Deb DeChant, quilter
Interviewed by Elizabeth Townsend Gard
Date June 2018
Deb is part of our Quilting Army. I ask her to send a bio to get to know her better:
I don’t really consider this a bio, but thought I should send some background before tomorrow.
I grew up surrounded by sewing. Grandma, Mom, teen sister, Dad owned an auto upholstery business.
I started sewing very young, and doing hand embroidery, crochet, knitting.
I remember making a dress in 5thgrade.
Mid 1970’s, took free motion machine embroidery lessons. Taught at a sewing machine dealership and JoAnn Fabric late 70’s. Free motion put the names on lab coats for the Interns at our local hospital for 3 or 4 years.
When home embroidery machines became popular, that all went away. I used the skills for quilting.
Made quilts for gifts. Baby showers, special quilts for friends, bed coverings for our family. More recently t-shirt quilts.
When our family was young, I made all of our clothing, including suits for my husband. I have made several wedding dresses, and altered many more. I did a stint at a local bridal store, with my primary job being making special dresses which were unavailable to order to match the rest of the bridal party. I also did alterations.
A few years back my hairdresser asked me if I made fidget quilts. I had never heard of one, but came home and researched. Her fidget quilt is included in the pictures. My mother had Alzheimer’s in her later years, and that is very close to my heart. I was thrilled to be able to do this. It was about 30” square, and the backing and borders were soft longish pile minky, which is why they are kind of wonky. This quilt was all about the texture and the ability to fidget with it.
I have always loved applique and embroidery, and have had an embroidery machine for several years now. A few years ago, my boss suggested I take an adult ed class on a particular graphic drawing software at our local technical school. We had a project coming up that he thought I would have fun making stuff for. Little did he know what he was opening up. I learned that I could make laser cut appliques!
I have never been a person to turn out lots of quilts. The ladies in my quilt group always laughed at me, because they could finish 3 and I would still be plodding along. The simpler quilts do not interest me much. The more involved, the better. I rarely use patterns. I can look at a quilt and know how to make it.
For the last three years I have been playing with applique designs of my own design for the laser, and thinking of starting a business. I have worked at cutting down the design time, and learning to make them so that they perfectly fit together. I retired the end of 2017, and seriously started the beginning of this year planning the business itself. I hope to launch my website by the middle of July 2018. I have the blog set up and started, although have not made it public. I have had encountered so many decisions that were unexpected, but research and “rabbit trails” on the internet usually take me to answers, and many times even more questions. This is how I found “Just Wanna Quilt”, and I am SO glad I did!