Debra Bento

Portfolio Categories: Fabric-Fiber.

The needle arts, mainly needlepoint and knitting were taught to me by my grandmother who made elegant linen curtains and tablecloths trimmed in lace at her dining room table. One day I decided to try something different and found an old wooden box that I painted with a variety of colors and patterns, thus creating a patchwork design. I loved the way all of the colors and designs complimented one another and decided to try my hand at making patchwork quilts. I made quilts for my two young sons and when I ran out of family members to make quilts for, I began making quilts for friends.

One Christmas, money was tight so out of necessity my passion for quilting quickly turned into a cottage industry. I enlisted the help of a friend who ironed while I sewed patchwork stockings, wreaths, ornaments and small quilts, and within a few weeks I had a dozen or so accounts in small shops throughout Fairfield County. Thankfully, Santa was able to deliver!

When my sons went to school I worked in the accounting department for a marketing company and then as an advertising rep for a national epicurean magazine. Eventually I opened up my own advertising sales company and sold ad space for a few publications.

Fast forward: empty nest syndrome, downsizing, a miscalculated move to Florida and back within the same year (I’m a Connecticut girl at heart) and then a position at Heartland Publications/Civitas Media. Within a year or so, the company moved to North Carolina. I didn’t want to make another moving mistake so I embraced my passion for everything quilted. My work has appeared in Quilting Arts and Modern Patchwork magazines and I am one of the founding members of Sisters in Cloth, a fiber arts group made up of women along the Connecticut Shoreline and a member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA).

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