2019 Feature Quilter: Debbie Becker Matthie

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I started sewing with my mother and grandmother as a young girl, which involved clothing and home décor. My quilting career began about 21 years ago, after taking a beginner’s class in a local quilt store, called Fabric Fantasy, in Innisfail. Little did I know how much I loved learning this craft, and how inspired I became seeing the beautiful quilts that others had made.

For a time, I loved to make clothes and outerwear for my family. However, when my children kindly requested that their clothing come from a store, I needed to find a new outlet for my sewing skills. Quilting allowed me to revive my sewing skills to create them something of sentimental value.

I have always challenged myself to try different techniques. Classes are my favorite way to learn such and I am constantly inspired by the instructors’ knowledge and experience. I have made many quilts that have been gifted to family and friends over the years from a quaint sewing room in my basement that tries to control my fabric addiction, and machines. I purchased an embroidery machine about 3 years ago and love the machines ability to create intricate items and my hands love the break. My other craft favorites are hand embroidery, cross stitch, crochet and knitting. This crafty side of me has been passed down from my Mother and Maternal Grandmother. My Grandmother was an amazing needlework stitcher and sewer. My Mother continues to create beautiful hand and machine projects with expert ability.

Recently, I have started teaching classes, for both work and as a freelance instructor. Although public speaking is not a strong skill or a favorite, I do love working with other quilters and sharing the tips and techniques I have learned. I am one of the founding members of the Wild Rows Country Quilters Guild in Innisfail, and an active member of the Central Alberta Quilters Guild in Red Deer. I enjoy the social and community work for charities, with these two dynamic guilds. Retreats are another personal favorite, as they provide the perfect opportunity to share ideas and finish projects while playing with friends.

The fabric store where I work relieves my addiction with the task of making quilt samples for display. I no longer need to buy every beautiful fabric and pattern I see, although I still find kits and patterns that I would like to make soon. My retirement package, not called “a stash” continues to grow in my cozy little sewing room.