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Pillow Talk Day 8

Welcome to our Moda Pillow Talk Day 8! Have you been reading all these wonderful posts? I sure have. It's so much fun to learn (more) about these talented women through questions that uh, would not come up in a regular ever. Not to mention that Sandy is doing a painting-a-day to go along with the hop! You have to go see how cute they are. Joanna is practically giving away the farm in her giveaway, and i think tomorrow is the last day to win a designer iron over at Anne's! **oops, nope. she picked a winner today. maybe it was you?

If you're a new reader here and are just beginning your hopping...welcome to our happy little Moda family!

You probably want to know what this is all about, right? Well, last fall at Quilt Market, Moda held a Schoolhouse called "Pillow Talk". Our fun-loving, brilliant marketing director (and maker-of-mischief), Lissa Alexander, asked each of us to make a pillow that told about us and our journey as a designer. It was the first market where i had a booth and when Lissa's email came in, i was in a sewing frenzy (understatement).

Did you ever watch Project Runway? Remember when contestants were in the final stretch of making something and then Tim Gunn waltzes into the studio and announces that they'll have to add another garment to their "look" without getting any extra time? That's sort of what it felt like! But challenges like this only make things more interesting because the less time you have to over think it, the easier it is to make decisions. At least sometimes. So let's send my pillow down the runway...
Before designing fabric with Moda, I really didn't sew. But i love to learn new things. I had learned about nine-patch quilts and thought that would be the perfect place to start: a simple grid. Nine squares. I can do this. My biggest hurdle is always where to start telling the "story". The beginning seemed good. So, i was born in New York City. See that square in the upper left corner? Yes, the city skyline..
The next significant step along my path was when i went to art school. At RISD, we were challenged to think creatively with playful freedom and to explore possibilities, but in a very deliberate way. Does that make sense? So if you go back to the first pillow picture, and look at the square in the upper right corner, i tried to embrace that same idea by sewing with reckless abandon! No plan other than color and of course, block size.

(Some of this might be broken record-ish to you...if so, just look at the pictures, skim through "The Questions" and get right to the giveaway!)

After art school, i worked at Simon and Schuster publishing in the children's division. I was a book designer for many of the media tie-in books for Nickelodeon. Which meant i knew more about Spongebob Squarepants, Rugrats and Blue's Clues than any 7 year old. I even designed the first set of Dora the Explorer books to ever hit the stores! Needless to say, there was always a stack of books on my desk. And when i found a traditional quilt block called "stack of books"...ding! (idea lightbulb) It became my center block:I made a bit of a transition from book publishing— where i designed things to print on paper — to children's accessories — where i designed things to be printed on fabric and other products. Again, i worked in the licensed character world and got to design watches, backpacks, flip flops, socks, slippers, umbrellas and so much more. The character property i worked on the most was my all time favorite:
Hello Kitty. I still love her...

...but eventually i had to say "Goodbye Kitty" when i hit another career path fork-in-the-road. This was really when i decided i needed to be making my own art. I had a booth at Surtex (an industry trade show) in NY which is where manufacturers go to find original art to put on their products, and met an agent who i began working with. Around this time, i had shown some of my designs to family members, one of whom is an avid quilter.

You know where this is headed, right? She thought my designs would be great on fabric and said, "You should try to work with Moda." I didn't know who Moda was (i can hear the gasps), but asked my agent to try to get in touch with them and to send along a giant pile of designs. You know the rest! Every day i thank my lucky "star of Texas" (bottom left corner block even though i think this traditional block is called "ohio star". just bear with me for the story we're almost finished)...
(aka: Moda) for allowing me to do something which brings me a joy i had not known.
And now there are spools of thread (lower right corner traditional block called "spool") all around my studio and thread on the floor, and stuck to my socks, and stuck to my sweaters and in the dryer and the refrigerator!
I included the flowers because i love to garden :)
Right now, my pillow is on vacation in France (wish i were there with it!), but that news will have to wait just a little bit longer...

Poke, poke. You still awake?

Now for "The Questions":

What is a little known fact about yourself?
I’m pretty handy with a plumbing wrench (you can stop laughing now). I didn’t know this until we bought our house and certain things needed fixing and upgrading. The sink in our bathroom was so tacky (i’m being nice here) and from the day we moved in, we wanted to replace it. Right around that time, my sister-in-law and her husband were renovating and about to toss their 1940s porcelain-covered cast iron bathroom sink into the dumpster, but asked if we had any use for it. I happen to love those old sinks, so we snatched it up.

It sat in our garage for a few months and then I had one of those “how hard can it be to install a sink” moments (could also read: “do we really have to pay someone to do that?”) With some determination, a very handy “Plumbing 1-2-3” book, and many consultations with the guy in the plumbing aisle at Home Depot, I installed the sink in a day. Yes, a very long day, but the sink hasn’t fallen off the wall yet! I also replaced the fixtures on it. Just look at that shiny chrome…
And a little confidence is a dangerous thing — since then, i’ve replaced our kitchen faucet, repaired a leak in our bathtub, installed a new shower head, and fixed a rotary ball faucet. We only had to call Roto-Rooter once to fix something i “fixed”. And in case you're wondering, the answer is "no" i don’t make house calls.

Another little known fact about me: I never leave home without chapstick.

Oh, and last one: I would eat hot dogs every day of the week if they were good for you.

How do you relax?
I cook. There’s something about the repetitive actions of prep-work (like chopping, dicing, slicing, and mincing) that i find very relaxing and meditative. I also like to make bread and anyone who has ever hand-kneaded dough might know what i mean about how relaxing that is. It requires time, patience, and attention, and i enjoy all the care that goes into making a single loaf--even though it's hard to make any less than three at a time. A little melted butter on a slice just fresh out of the oven is a simple joy i will always appreciate. I just learned (through this hop) that Anne and Alma make bread too! Had no idea..

What do you sleep in - PJ's or NightGown?
Just your average t-shirt and shorts. I used to wear a nightgown, but would wake up in the middle of the night twisted up in it like a pretzel, or a cruller.What kind of pillow do you like, Hard or soft, foam or feather? And why?
I prefer a soft, feather cloud that i can sink my head into and barely know it’s there.

When you were young did you sleep with a stuffed animal? If so what?
I had many stuffed animals but none that i remember sleeping with. I do remember sleeping with Mr. Meow, though (but he was real, and for those of you who have asked, yes that's me in the picture):
Do you sew in bed? Read? Watch TV? eat?
I usually do Sudoku puzzles in bed. By that time of the day, that’s all the brain power I have left. If I read in bed, I usually end up re-reading what I had “read” the next day.

How many nights have you or your spouse spent on the couch?
One. Right after we installed our “surround sound” tv speakers, we decided to make it a “movie night”. We have a small couch in our living room that is the best place to get the “full effect” of the stereo. It also happens to be a twin-size pullout couch, so we squished together on it to watch the movie. The surround sound was great. The movie stunk. We fell asleep in the middle of it — on the couch, together. Are we geeks, or what?! (no need to answer that)

Nighttime toddy?
Hot ginger tea with lemon.

Early to bed or all-nighter?
I’m definitely a night person and that causes lots of problems with my morning person. I think Jerry explains it best.

Who would you most like to have a pillow fight with?
My teenage nieces. Even though they’re younger and quicker than i am, they’re sure to stop at some point to text message their friends, at which time i’d make my move. If it were a famous person i’d want to have a pillow fight with? Hands down: Claes Oldenberg with one of his giant french fries:
If you've managed to read all that you deserve something special!! How would you like to win a jelly roll of Central Park?
There will also be some other surprises but i can't tell you what they are otherwise they won't be surprises anymore. So if you'd like to enter, please help me by doing either or both of the following:

1. Please let me know if there is a certain color you are craving to use in your fabric projects, but just can't find enough of out there — or a color you'd like me to consider for a future palette.

2. If you already follow my blog and subscribe to my newsletter, thank you! Please let me know if there's something you're interested in learning more about (other than the ravioli lesson i still owe you!). If you're new here, please sign up to follow my blog and/or newsletter and come back here to let me know. **There's something wrong with the newsletter sign-up form on my blog, so please click here to sign up from my website. Thank you!

Winners for this giveaway will be picked on Sunday the 13th.

And please, if you have a spare moment, try to get involved with the Million Pillowcase Challenge sponsored by American Patchwork and Quilting. It's such a wonderful cause and has helped to form special bonds for some very special people i'm lucky to know.

The hop continues tomorrow over at Kathy's blog. Wait until you see her beautiful pillow. Keep on hopping!



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