Retired Cornwall Educator Self-Publishes Children’s Book

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
Retired Cornwall Educator Self-Publishes Children’s Book
Deborah Ann Zabloski (Photo : Krystine Therriault/Seaway News)

Deborah Ann Zabloski, known as Debbie, is a retired teacher and school principal. During COVID, Zabloski self-published a children’s book titled My Mother Made a Quilt, based on her life growing up in Cornwall, Ontario.

“I always wanted to write a children’s book. I had initially sent it to a few companies hoping that they would pick it up along with a few other books I had written but no one got back to me,” Zabloski shared, “I thought during COVID, why not use this time to do a project and tick it off.”

My Mother Made a Quilt is an autobiography of Deborah’s early years, growing up with her mother. They lived on Amelia Street across from Central Public. Her father was Archie Adams, her mother was Belle Adams, and they had nine children of which she was the last by a long shot – by nine years.

Since her siblings were much older than she was, many were already off to university or pursuing their careers by the time she was born. Debbie and her mother ended up alone a lot of the time. Her dad passed away when she was 13 and to make ends meet her mother took in boarders. They shared a bedroom which is something that not too many teenagers can attest to.

“In our living room there was always a quilt frame. We would duck under it to go to the kitchen and my mom would always be quilting,” she said, “When Rick and I got married we received a quilt as a wedding gift from her and it was made of all sorts of fabrics but among those fabrics were fabrics from clothes I had worn. Just a testament to her and her patience and faithfulness and resilience.”

The book is illustrated by local artist Kathi Legault, who Zabloski knew from their time together at St. Michael’s Academy.

“She thought about it a long time and when she got back to me, she asked, ‘Can we use fabric?’ I had not envisioned that,” Zabloski told Seaway News, “Of course, I quilt, so I went through my stash and took out pieces that were the right colors and textures. She did a fantastic job. Its very quirky and whimsical.”

My Mother Made a Quilt was self-published using FriesenPress Publishing and it ended up being a family project. Zabloski’s son Ben, who is a programmer, helped digitize the pages. Her daughter Beth, who is a librarian with copy editing experience, did the editing. Her husband, Rick, supported her from a distance throughout the endeavor.

“I have no grand vision that it’s going to be a best seller anywhere, but you never know right?” Zabloski laughed, “I think it’s a very useful book. I think grandmothers will love it because they’ll relate to the time and parents will love it because they’ll get the feeling of motherhood and sharing that with their child. I think teachers should love it because it’s a great teaching tool.”

My Mother Made a Quilt can be purchased locally at Aunty Em’s Scrapbooking & Quilting, online at Amazon, FriesenPress Bookstore, Indigo/Chapters, and Barnes and Noble. Zabloski is in the process of planning a book launch and signing later this year.

Share this article