What’s up with the bee? Several years ago, my pastor preached a sermon series on famous names from the Bible. One of the famous names was Deborah, an Old Testament judge and warrior. The pastor explained that Deborah meant bee or wasp. At the time, I was the only Deborah in the church, so everyone looked at me. The pastor went on to say that the bee was busy about the home, making life sweeter for those around her, but watch out for her stinger! And my quiet husband promptly responded with a loud “Amen”! It was several minutes before the pastor could continue!

Anyway, I liked the idea of the bee, so I adopted the bee as my symbol. I hope my designs make your life sweeter, with no stingers!

My husband Rod and I have two children, Elizabeth and Bob, and two Shelties, Misty and Spirit. My husband Rod is a software engineer, and my technical support, model photographer and cheerleader. Elizabeth is a graduate of Arkansas Technical University, and married Will in 2004; they live in the San Angelo, TX area. Bob is a graduate of Lyon College in Batesville, moved to the Chicago area and married Kendall in 2017.

We have four grandchildren, Skylar and Emily in Texas, and Jaxton and Brynleigh in Chicago, and I completely ignore stitching when they’re around! One of these days when they’re old enough I’ll teach them to stitch, but for now we enjoy other things.

I’m frequently asked how I got started designing. Like many of you, I started out cross stitching, and “tweaked” designs – changing colors, altering motifs, adding borders, rearranging things. Then I entered a design contest and won! Several people asked me to publish my winning design, so I did. I also participated in an ornament exchange with my stitching buddies every year, and started designing my own ornaments for the exchanges. I took classes at festivals and played with colors. Pretty soon I had several original designs, enough to launch my own business. And that’s how I got started.

28 Responses to About

  1. NatashaPapkova says:

    I have a question: I have the Shenandoah Spring design, and want to stitch it in the red or orange color way. Do you have a list of the thread colors for that? Also, do you have any other color ways for that design, and if so, what are they?

    Thank you.

    • Debbie says:

      The Shenandoah Spring design is available in the original blue/green color way, and a pink/garnet color way. Are you perhaps thinking of Hot Stuff? Hot Stuff was originally released in the red/orange/yellow color way, then rereleased in a blue/green/pink color way. Both color ways are in the book. I do have a list of threads for dark blue/green/purple color way for Hot Stuff. Both of these designs have been stitched in several color ways by individual stitchers, but I don’t have the thread lists used. If you’d like advice on changing colors, just email me and I’ll help you.

  2. sudukc says:

    Leaving comment here since I could not get New Years Goals comments to work for me.

    I am really interested in hearing/reading how you are organizing your threads. I also am in the process of organizing the threads I have. Interested in hearing what threads you do use most and how you decided to store them; i.e. color, name, combination? How many lines to you keep on hand? For example I have a line of Anchor floss, I seldom use since it is not readily available to me but I keep it as a reference.

    • Debbie says:

      I have probably 20 thread lines. It’s a challenge to keep them organized so that I can quickly find what I’m looking for, and not buy the same threads over and over again. It’s a little complicated to go into here, so I’ll devote a blog post or two to how I’m organized. Will that do?

  3. FatherB2 says:

    Hello Debbie,
    I was so impressed with your bee story from church, I thought I would add another dimension to it from something I just read about bees in the last few weeks. (Especially since I share the nickname B Bertha, sometimes called bee, and most recently given the honorific Father B (2) by none other than Tony Minieri and Pam Miller at Edwardian Needle!
    Saint Francis de Sales (17th century) wrote about bees in his Homilies for Lent. He described bees as flying all over the fields seeking pollen from all the various flowers. He further described that bees even obtain pollen from poisonous flowers. The miracle being that the bee even turns poison into honey, something that is good and sweetening for all!
    I just love this comment of this holy man.
    I am so pleased to view some of your works on the internet, especially Explorations! Could you please help this busy priest somehow obtain the pattern/kit in the ecrus? Any help would be appreciated!
    From the cold and snowy Ash Wednesday in Trumbull, CT!
    Father Joseph Bertha, aka Father B

    • Debbie says:

      Father B, thanks so much for your kind comments and the bee story! I’m working on offering Explorations as a cyber class again, and I’ll try to keep everyone posted when it becomes available again. Thanks again!

  4. kphanson43 says:

    I am interested in purchasing tropical punch, does it come in a kit?

    • Debbie says:

      I apologize for taking so long to respond. Tropical Punch does not come as a kit, but shops that sell the chart can put together the supplies for you. If you need a recommendation let me know and I’ll put you in touch with excellent retailers that can help you out.

  5. Maria says:


    I’m interested in purchasing your design Diamond Delight IV with all materials for work.
    Is it available somewhere in a kit?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Maria, I don’t think it’s available as a kit anywhere, but most shops will be happy to put everything together for you, even changing the colors if you want. I can recommend The Stitcher’s Garden, Conway, AR, (501) 513-1851. They don’t have a website with a shopping cart yet, but you can call them and they’ll fix you up. If you prefer to work with an online shop, I can recommend Needle In A Haystack, Designer’s Desk, Tomorrow’s Heirlooms, Homestead Needle Arts, or several others. Thanks!

  6. DebL says:

    Hi, Is it possible to get Explorations kit in the ecru colorway even though I can not find a class? I have just learned of this design and I love it. Thank you

    • Debbie says:

      I appreciate your request, but I can’t fulfill it. We may offer Explorations again through Shining Needle Society, or there may be a class situation in the future where we can allow ghosts (not always up to me). I’ll try to keep updates through the blog. Thanks for your interest!

  7. beejfinch says:

    What color canvas for the red/orange Hot Stuff did you use?

  8. runrosierun says:

    Hello. I am registered to receive your emails. However, I’ve never received your free chart. I was listening to you and Gary part and he mentioned the chart. Could the chart be sent to my email? Thank you

  9. dannybrou1 says:

    I recently saw your beautiful design called Angels. I am a needlepoint teacher here in Los Angeles. I believe I met you when you first started at a TNNA show. I worked for Concepts in Yarn in Torrance CA. I have 2 students who are beautiful stitchers and have done charted designs that would like to do this piece. Is it charted and if so where can we purchase the chart with all the threads? It is absolutely stunning. Please let me know.
    Thank you

    • Debbie says:

      Hi, Did you mean Angles? If so, that is currently a teaching piece only and not available for sale. Eventually when it’s run its course as a teaching piece I’ll release it as a stand alone chart, but we aren’t there yet for this design. Thanks for your interest!

      • dannybrou1 says:

        Thank you so much!! It’s so beautiful!!
        It is beautiful and when you release it we’re definitely interested. If it’s a teaching piece, can anyone take the class and if yes is it being taught in the Los Angeles area?
        Let me know please

  10. PatKrier says:

    Hi Debbie,
    Hope all is well with you.
    I am working on doing projects in my stashed that are kitted or partially kitted. I pulled out Hot Stuff to do – and I have everything but Fiesta! F716 Crimson. In the pattern, you said that DMC Rayon 30321 was a substitute. But I can’t find that. The Rainbow website said Panache is a substitute, for Fiesta, but their is no crimson.
    Do you have another suggestion? Thanks Pat

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Pat, DMC S321 is the substitute for the old rayon floss. So if you can find some S321, that would be the best. Panache would be way too heavy for the application in Hot Stuff. Also, if you have trouble finding S321, just a strand of floss will work. I know it’s probably a little hard to get supplies right now. A single strand of floss will have about the same coverage but it won’t have the shine of rayon. If you want something shiny, if you have a stranded silk in the right color like NPI, Splendor or some other stranded silk, that would also do the trick. If you have Kreinik blending filament or #4 braid in 003 or 003HL, that might also work (although I think #4 braid might be a little heavy). Hope at least one of these suggestions will prove to be useful. Thanks!

  11. Eva says:

    Hi Debbie,
    I am working on your current project and want to post a picture. I cannot figure out how to do it. Help!
    Can’t wait for the next installment.

  12. Debbie says:

    Hi Debbie,

    I love to listen to you on Fibertalk. Thank you for all of the great tips and information that you share. I have completed the first three parts of the free design you are sharing. This is my first attempt at counted canvas and I am loving it. I would love to make the little design you offer when signing up for the newsletter. I signed up but get an error message when trying to download the design. Not sure if I am doing something wrong.
    Hope you and your family are well.


    • Debbie says:

      Hi Debbie, Thanks! You aren’t doing anything wrong. We’re trying to get the link fixed. It stopped working after some updates. But I’ll email it you. Thanks again, Debbie

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