Debbie Lee is a long-time resident of Rockland, Idaho and the mother of eight talented children. Debbie has been long arm quilting for over 23 years. Her incredible work has resulted in a large and diverse clientele. She began long arm quilting on her Gammill machine, practicing on the quilt tops of friends and family. Her talent was readily apparent when the initial tops were returned with gasps of amazement. “WOW – was all I could think!” says her sister.
Years of practice – and many projects later – Debbie has reinforced her belief that long arm quilting is an opportunity to enhance the artistic elements of a quilt. Quilting has the ability to transform a quilt from plain fabric and thread into an heirloom piece that, in Debbie’s words, “will most likely outlive us both!”
What sets Debbie apart from other long arm quilters is her love of meshing a quilting design – it’s “flavor” – with the piecing of the quilt. In terms that quilters understand, Debbie says of her work,
“I will roll out a quilt, and try and see what it is that the quilt ‘wants.’ Sometimes that takes a day or two to consider all of the possibilities until the quilt and I “click,” but when I start my machine, I have already seen the masterpiece within its design.”
She understands that each quilt has a personality, and “wants” to look a certain way. Taking the time to interpret the quilt with design is part of the respect she shows to each project; after all, it is an investment of the quilters time – their life! She excels at finding the perfect design to bring out the character and beauty of each quilt.
Debbie’s quilting talent lies in both traditional and modern quilting styles, and a driving desire to exceed the expectations of her client. She can add anything from heirloom designs, to Mctavishing and trapunto. Some are quite content to request “custom” quilting and let her have free range of the quilt design. In Debbie’s words, “This is such a creative field, you can never say that you have ‘done it all.’ I am constantly studying the traditional past, as well as new techniques in my field. The possibilities of design are endless!”
It is this artistry that keeps her clients coming back. “I have never been disappointed with Debbie’s work. She is what every quilter dreams of – someone who ‘gets’ my quilt, and then makes it amazing,” said Katrina Crane of Alpine, UT, a long-time client.
“I almost hate to give her name out to my quilting friends. When other quilters find out how amazing she is, I worry that she’ll stop having time for my quilts,” said Midge Nielsen of Iowa City, Iowa. When asked about what makes her such a stellar long arm quilter, Debbie says, “I love my clients, and I love the work that they entrust to me. From simple, to simply jaw dropping, it’s a partnership – and I love the journey.”