I’m Designer, Author, an your host for this program, Pat Sloan.
This year we challenged each designer to create a block inspired by ‘A tradition’ and I asked them to use red & white fabrics with just a splash of a color of their choice.
The first time I was introduced to Lissa Alexander was on the quilting trade show floor and I might have been in business only a year. We became friends and 19 years later I am more in awe of her work than I have ever been. She is a talented quilt maker who spins colors like you would not believe. She is also a very savvy business woman that has taught me so much over the years. Her day job involves fabric as she is the Marketing Director for Moda Fabrics. Sounds like a dream right? It’s a big job and she fills it with room to spare. I’m also lucky to have her as my friend, now you get to see behind the scenes with Lissa!
CLICK to Listen to our chat, it was a lot of fun!
Visit Lissa at Instagram www.instagram.com/modalissa/
Missed a month? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews
Remember we have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview. Each month we select one random winner to receive a 12 LARGE spool BOX of Aurifil thread for just making the challenge block and sharing it! Details at the end plus last month’s winner!
Let’s get to know Lissa!
Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?
I live in Farmers Branch, Texas, a small suburb just north of Dallas. I moved here when I was in second grade and pretty much have been here ever since. My favorite place would have to be my house and community, not for any fancy reasons other than I bought my childhood home from my mother the year after my father passed away. I moved into this house when my oldest was in second grade.
** My Grands! **
He started school at the same elementary school that I attended. Just last week my oldest grandson started Kindergarten at the same school. Thank goodness they have remodeled it and installed air conditioning since I attended. I have 5 grown children and 3 of them live in Farmers Branch, so we are a pretty close family, figuratively and geographically. My daughter is an hour away on a farm and my other son is in Maui, living a surfer’s dream.
When was your FIRST quilt sighting?
I can’t even remember my first quilt sighting but it would have had to been at my grandmother’s house. She had quilts on her beds that she had made many years before. My mom was an artist and we had a very creative home and always worked with our hands. My older sister was a home-ec major and sewed all her own clothes, so early on a took a different route and explored cooking. Early 1980, the bug bite hard! My sister wanted to make some friends of theirs a wedding present and wanted my help.
We lived 7 hours apart so decided to make the quilt using Quilt as you go method and mailed blocks back and forth. It was a success and thank goodness we didn’t really know any better. That was the same year I received my first rotary cutter and there was no looking back. All my Christmas gifts were a quilted something or other including potholders, coasters and even a patchwork clock. I was so proud of myself, seems comical now.
Do you collect anything?
I collect things that make me happy.
Anything sewing related from pincushions to tape measures, to thimbles. (thimble shot glass was a real find- last item on the shelf)
What is your Favorite Book?
OH SCRAP by me!! Stay with me! I am a huge reader but most of those books are business books or computer books. Why I wanted to talk about OH SCRAP as being my favorite book is I just can’t believe it. I have made hundreds of quilts, have been published in some great magazines, have worked behind the scenes with the talented Moda designers on their compilation books, but never dreamed I would have my own book and that anyone would ever want to buy it.
I tell the story that I was worried that the team at Martingale would refer to my book as OH CRAP, but they didn’t. You can read a little more about the background behind the book, at . http://modalissa.com/2018/03/2-years.html/
The beautiful pictures, the layouts, every page is better than the last.
None of that was me. It was the team at Martingale and that is why this is my favorite book.
You are hearing it first, they asked me to do another one book and some of my friends have joined in. Sisterhood of Scraps is hitting shelves January of 2020.
Sisterhood of Scraps including projects from
- http://barbarabrackman.blogspot.com/ Barbara Brackman,
- https://www.americanjane.com/ American Jane,
- http://minickandsimpson.blogspot.com/ Laurie Simpson,
- https://magnoliabayquilts.blogspot.com/ Kim Brackett
- https://www.temeculaquiltco.com/Sheryl Johnson
- https://www.instagram.com/yardgrl60/.and Susan Ache
What is your Favorite quote, and why?
You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use the more you have. -Maya Angelou
When I get in a funk and just don’t think I can come up with one more idea, just start doing and then magically the creativity starts to pour out.
Favorite snack food
Chips and salsa or popcorn with m&m’s added ( trust me, it is yummy)
What does your studio look like, and what would you change in it?
My sewing room is in what was the formal living room of my house. I sew on an old schoolteacher’s desk that has been in our family since I was a kid. My mom used it to paint china, my sister used it in her first year of teaching, my brother in law used it in his sign shop. The stories this desk could tell!
I wanted to include this picture of some of my Aurifil threads. I use a few basic neutrals all the time, 1,000’s and 100’s of of yards of thread but have bought Aurifil gift sets to have an assortment of colors on hand as well. I am keeping my empty orange spools so at the end of the year I can see how many spools I have gone through.
I was going to crop the picture, but had to keep it real by including the page I had pinned to my foam core wall.
Start by doing 1 pushup, etc ……..
And I noticed my daughter had added a YES! And a happy face.
You never know what happens in my sewing room.
This is one of my favorite pieces. It is 3 old metal library card catalog files. They have been painted a jillion times. It was full of nails, screws and other various loose ends including check registries from the 70’s.
I love that it is so quirky and holds lots of stuff!
Behind closed doors. I got these cabinets from Ikea so I could keep lots of stuff hidden from my grandkid’s hands. Each of the cabinets have a combination lock built in on the top of the shelf and I just have to turn the knob to quickly lock them. A few mini quilts that some of my dear friends have sent me hang on the wall.
My cutting table is an old nail bin that I bought from Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles. Cubbies are on both sides and it is the perfect height to cut on. It is old, weathered and so much charm! I love it!
As far as storage for projects, do you see the two paper lid boxes sitting on the cutting table? Most of my projects are stored in a separate box lid. It works until I finish up the project and move on to the next. #keepingitreal
The shelves in the bin slant slightly. The view from one side is full of cubbies of my scraps sorted by color, and sometime just thrown in as a pile.
I decided to get “all Organized” and rolled all my fabrics on comic boards and work with them as if they were books in a library. It looks pretty, but honestly I am having a hard time maintaining it. The fabric may end up all being in stacks according to color someday soon.
I love a good yellow!
The only thing I would change about my sewing room would probably be that it could be 4 times larger and that I had soft drinks on tap!
Thank you for reading along and I am thrilled to have been included in 2019 Aurifl designer of the month program.
About your block – What Tradition are you celebrating?
I wrote a little bit about where I live and it is also my favorite place, so that is what I used as inspiration for my quilt block. I say that the house is 3rd generation because I lived there as a kid, went to school did my thing, got married, had kids and ended up moving back into my childhood home. Once a few of the kids graduated from college and were moving back to Dallas, they ended up renting the house from us. We were living close by so this became a rent house or maybe more like a college frat house. A few years later and a few renters later we decided to gut the house, remodel and move back. On my house block I made 3 windows to represent the 3 different generations.
My sewing room has always been on the front of the house with a big window to the street. One day there was a knock at the door. I answered it to find a person that had driven by my house many times. She said you don’t know me but I have driven by here and I just wanted to stop and see your amazing book collection. She was completely surprised when I showed her all those book cases were filled with fabric. We had a nice little laugh out of it and went on with the day. A few weeks later I ran into the same lady at my church and the story had spread.
I added a spool quilt block in my house block to represent the view from the outside- in. Now the stacks of fabrics, threads and gadgets are stored behind cabinets with doors.
Hope you enjoy this block and my story and think of me as you drive around your neighborhood wondering what that is inside your neighbors house? Could it be a wall of fabric? A fellow quilter, perhaps?
DOWNLOAD Lissa Alexander’s Inside my Window pattern
Lissa is giving away a box of Aurifil thread at her Instagram .. VISIT HER at https://www.instagram.com/modalissa/
Visit Lissa at:
- Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/modalissa/
- Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/modalissa
- Blog- http://modalissa.com/
- Pinterest- https://www.pinterest.com/modalissa/pins/
Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics.
CLICK TO MY Website for a how I laid out the block to sew
Enter your block BELOW by Oct 14, 2019 to be in the running to win a BOX of Aurifil
This is SUPER EASY to enter all you have to do is make ONE BLOCK.
And JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible quilt show each day… I’d love to meet you!
******* JOIN our Aurifil Family *******
EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email
random number picker selected Bonnie’s block! You’ve been emailed
CLICK to see all the great versions for last month HERE
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Love the soft drink taps in the sewing room idea!
Awesome sewing room. . with lots of interesting & inspiring things to brighten you day. . Love this Block “Inside My Window.. Thank you <3 Noeline
Love your sewing room! My kind of room with all your different interesting finds from different places. Terrific and thanks for sharing with all of us Quilters. Can’t wait to get your new book in January.
Oh Scrap! is my absolutely most favorite book!