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Debbie Van Fossen

 Barb Daniel

Debbie Van Fossen has been quilting since 2001.  One class, and she was immediately hooked.

Debbie says that she has always been “a little old lady,” taking her bag of handwork with her to work every day.  Lunch hours and breaks were devoted to her projects.  Debbie has always loved fabric.  As a child, she loved shopping with her mother at the annual sale at Korte's Fabric Store in Tulare.  There she would choose fabric for her new school clothes.  Before she took up quilting, Debbie sewed many of her clothes. She also sewed costumes for the Country Western Dance Group that she and her husband belonged to.  It was there that she got her love of The Bling.

Debbie has always had an artistic spirit.  Before she took up quilting, she tried many types of crafting.  From macrame to ceramics, Folk Art painting to cross stitch, needlepoint to hand embroidery, Debbie tried it all.  Quilting was the one that really caught and held her interest.  Debbie considered learning to quilt for years, but didn't think she would have time for hand quilting.  When she learned that one could quilt by machine?  She jumped right in.

Debbie has always been drawn to fabric, and credits the early shopping excursions with her mother for her “fabric addiction.”  In addition to fabric, she keeps a stash of projects on hand.  She says, “If there ever is a Fabric Depression, I will be prepared!”

Debbie considers herself a traditional quilter, who adds a touch of bling.  Then again, she also likes neutrals, and subdued palettes.  But ask Debbie about her favorite part of making a quilt, and it is the machine quilting.  From the moment she begins a quilt, she is thinking about how she will quilt it.  She quilts on both her Bernina 200, and her sit-down HQ16.

In 2010, Debbie took a class from Ruth McDowell at Empty Spools.  It was there that she made one of her favorite quilts.  It is a pieced quilt, depicting her little dog Squirt.  Squirt passed away later that year, so the quilt holds a special place in her heart.

Debbie has won numerous awards for her quilts, many of them at Best of the Valley Quilt Show.  Her work has been juried into PIQF and AQS Nashville, and her quilts have received ribbons at Road to California, and the NQA Quilt Show.  Two of Debbie's quilting highlights have been receiving the NQA Award of Merit for Outstanding Quiltmaking, and having the quilt “Little Squirt” published in Quilt Life Magazine.

It is Debbie's hope to inspire other quilt artists to keep taking classes, join quilt guilds, and continue creating beautiful quilts.  Debbie says she will never stop taking quilting classes, because there is always something else to learn.  Her favorite teachers have been Cindy Needham and Cindy Seitz-Krug (a former BOTV Featured Artist).   She belongs to three quilt guilds, and for the past five years, Debbie has taught Free Motion Quilting and Machine Applique at Thimble Towne in Visalia. 

We are pleased to invite Debbie back as our Featured Artist at Best of the Valley Quilt Show, 2018. We hope that you will come to the show to meet her in person, and examine her beautiful work. You will leave inspired!