Debra is a retired business systems designer and director who turned her stress management hobby of knitting into a second career as a fiber artist.
Her knitwear designs have been published in hand-knitting magazines and books and her self-published hand-knitting patterns are available on ravelry.com (debraknits-va) and lovecrafts.com.
As a nationally certified Craft Yarn Council Association teacher, she taught knitting technique and design workshops and classes to beginner and advanced students for more than 12 years at conferences, corporate venues and retail yarn shops.
Today, the intention of Debra's work is to create artforms that educate and inform while evoking emotion and/or movement, i.e., eye travel, through line, shape and color. Recognizing that one's heritage and identity are shaped by one's environment, Debra aspires to depict historical landmark events that have influenced the cultural norms of her daily life today.
Beyond teaching and textile making, she is also committed to building the community of textile makers. She was a founder and organizer of Knit-Out & Crochet Too!, a free annual event on the National Mall, Washington, D.C., that ran from 2001 to 2005. She has also participated in The Textile Museum's Celebration of Textiles festival from 2002 to 2005 and later contributed to the Museum's interactive educational gallery called, Textiles 101.
2021 to present: Falls Church Arts Gallery, Falls Church, Virginia, Line Upon Line (2021), Black + White (2022), and Luminous (2023) juried exhibitions and All Members Shows annually.
2018 to present: Textiles 101 Gallery, The Textile Museum, Washington, D.C.
2023, 2011, 2009: Creative Craft Council's Biennial Exhibition, juried exhibition at The Mansion at Strathmore, North Bethesda, Maryland.
2013 to 2021: Lake Barcroft Art League shows, Falls Church, Virginia.
2007 - 2018: Potomac Fiber Art Gallery, Topedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, Virginia, juried member and shows. 2016 received judges' recognition honor in Salute to Secondary Colors show; 2015 received judges' recognition honor in What I Did on My Summer Vacation show; 2009 received judges' recognition honor in the Can You Do Kandinsky? show.
2017: Horticultural Center of Green Spring Gardens, Alexandria, Virginia, Imagining Nature exhibition.
2016: Arts Club of Washington, Washington, D.C., 100 Canvases for 100 Years centennial show.
2015: Artful Dimensions Gallery, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 2nd Annual Juried Exhibition.
2015: Crossroads Gallery, Falls Church, Virginia, Reflections exhibition.
2014: Quilt! Knit! Stitch!, juried exhibition, Portland, Oregon.
2014: MITRE Corporation, McLean, Virginia, Potomac Fiber Arts Guild show, image selected for exhibition publicity.
2012-2013: Julie: Artisans Gallery, New York, New York.
2011: The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C., Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, community project and exhibition.
2011: The Art League Gallery, Torpedo Factory Art Center, Alexandria, Virginia, What Art to Wear, juried exhibition.
Quilting Arts magazine, Oct/Nov 2020, Dec 2020/Jan 2021, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021.
40 Years of Art and Community, by Torpedo Factory Artists' Association, Alexandria, Virginia, 2014.
1000 Artisan Textiles, by Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown, Quarry Books, 2010.
The Best of Knitter's Jackets For Work and Play, by XRX Books, 2006.
Knitter's magazine, Winter 2000 (K61), Fall 2005 (K80).
Knit 'n Style magazine, Dec 1999, Dec 2003, Aug 2004, Dec 2004.
A Gathering of Lace, by Meg Swansen, XRX Books, 2000.
M.B.A. Information Systems Technology, The George Washington University.
B.S. Business Management, University of Maryland.
Certified knitting teacher (CIP Level II), Craft Yarn Council of America.
Befriending Our Shadow, a workshop to make alter ego flip dolls (2020), textile artist and art therapist Erika Cleveland.
Textile Museum Muse course, (Sep 2019 - Jan 2020), textile artist Julie Booth.
Every Picture Tells A Story three-day workshop (2019) and Exploring Texture and Pattern online course (2018), textile artist Sue Stone, United Kingdom.
Color Collage (2017), Elements of Design and Composition I and II (2015) and A Color Workshop (2011) with author and Adelphi University art department professor and former chairman David Hornung.
Numerous other fiber art classes and workshops.
Falls Church Arts, 2022 to present.
Potomac Fiber Arts Guild, 2007 to present.
Knitting Artists of Northern Virginia, 1995 to present, past president and vice president.
Design Study Group, 2008-2023.
Lake Barcroft Art League, 2013-2021; designed marketing e-booklet 2013-2017.
Potomac Fiber Arts Gallery, 2007-2018, board member 2015-2017.
Torpedo Factory Artists' Association, 2017 board member, led strategic planning sessions.
Capital Crocheters & Knitters, Inc., 1999-2006 past president.