Debra Beadles Youngs, founder of artUwear, is a quilt and clothing designer living in Schoolcraft, Michigan. Debra began sewing at age 10 and soon began to develop her own patterns. She reflects that “as a tall, skinny kid nothing fit right.” With scissors, newspaper, and many projects in the trash can, she soon “got the hang of it.” Two years later, at age 12, her grandmother, Mary Beadles, taught her to quilt. Quilting soon became her passion.
Though Debra studied architecture in college, she chose to stay at home to raise her children. After 17 years, she discovered that she had accumulated over 30 queen-size bed quilts, several twins, and hundreds of baby quilts – the results of passing the time at sports practices, riding lessons, etc.
artUwear is a by-product of her love of quilts and the fact that the sleeves are too short on most “store bought” jackets. Debra says that “Sleeping under quilts my whole life gave me comfort. So what could be better that a great fitting quilt?!”
As a Bernina supported designer, Debra lectures and teaches her jacket techniques at workshops across the country. Her work has been published in Wearable Art 1900-2000, a Schiffer Book for Designers and Collectors. Her designs have been featured in Bernina Magazine and Love of Quilting magazine. Debra has also appeared on two PBS quilting shows. She remains active in her local quilt guild and is currently enlarging her studio to house a sewing school for children.
Debra lives with her husband, Ken, in a charming former one room schoolhouse that they renovated in 1999, and are both proud parents of two grown children and five grandchildren.
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