Meet the Maker: Sewing Expert Debbie von Grabler-Crozier
Debbie von Grabler-Crozier is a mastermind of craft, creating fantastically high quality patterns and projects to share through many different avenues. With eight craft books under her belt, and sponsorship from some big crafting brands, Debbie is an unstoppable crafting force! We’ve asked Debbie some questions about herself and her journey to where she is within her career now.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what your work involves:
I learned to love craft and creativity thanks to a dedicated Mum and Nana, and I would bet large amounts of craft stash that they had no idea what a monster they were creating!
From loving craft, I now live it and make something every day. I did train as a scientist, and have a fair few university qualifications – okay, six ending in a Master’s degree in Nutritional Biochemistry. And I love that too. In fact, when I am asked my hobbies, the main one is Quantum Physics! When your day job is actually stuff that others call a hobby, you have to think outside the square!
And what a day job! I never want to give this up. The actual privilege of seeing something come to life under my hands is something that I cannot put into words. Finding out that people have loved my project enough to make it also leaves me speechless.
How did you first become interested in quilting?
It was a natural progression from sewing things with my Nana, and I became engrossed in making things for the home rather than to wear. The endless possibilities initially attracted me to quilts – and I stayed for the fabrics!
Where do you find inspiration?
Mathematics and nature are two very big things for me. I love geometry and the shapes that fit together to form new shapes.
How do you select your fabrics and quilt patterns? Does one inform the other?
Sometimes it just happens. Mostly actually. I sometimes look at a fabric collection and make a quilt or something else only from that collection. Another time it is a colour and I will go from designer to designer or from collection to collection, and take a little bit from everywhere. The only problem with that approach is matching the colours – reds are not all the same!
What other crafts do you partake in?
I love most crafts and I have written a lot of content surrounding papercraft, painting, jewellery and homecraft. The only thing that I do not touch is knitting! That is for the future I think. I really love making very realistic faux paint finishes on things like rust on cards, and upcycling little jam jars to make faux pottery planters for my cacti.
Tell us about a piece of work that you are particularly proud of:
Oh my goodness…I have made so much! I particularly love making bags, and some of those have been quite a complicated challenge. I like to design bags with lots of details and to lift the dreaded homemade label to the coveted handmade.
What are 3 tips that you would share with a budding Quilter?
- Measure twice and cut once, and concentrate on what you are doing. Fabric is expensive and a mistake at this early stage can be very disheartening.
- Build a stash. I was so overwhelmed when I first started looking at fabric. Building a collection that enthuses you from fat quarters can be the start that you need.
- Always buy the best quality fabric that you can find, and wait if you cannot afford it rather than buying cheap stuff. Your quilted pieces will all be heirlooms for someone one day and they have to last the distance.
What’s next for you in 2018?
I am currently writing another book for Search Press (a sewing one is all that I can say at this point!) and I am continuing with my day job of creating patterns for craft magazines. I want to put more into my blog this year and develop content for other craft blogs too.
Debbie von Grabler-Crozier has two books available at the moment; ‘The Bag Boutique’ published by Search Press, and ‘Lagom’, which is a Scandinavian concept meaning not too much, and not too little; just enough.
Debbie also writes regularly for her own blog. Click here to read the blog.