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Friday, October 4, 2013

Designer Showcase: Nina Lise Moen, Mrs. Moen Patterns

designer showcase copy

SewCalGal is excited to showcase another amazing designer with you today.  

Nina Lise Moen (Mrs. Moenis a brilliant quilter, fibre-artist, designer, teacher and fellow blogger, who lives in Norway.  She has a delightful blog where she shares glimpses on what life is like in Norway, as well as insights on her projects and her designs. SewCalGal has fallen in love with this designer and hopes you will too!

  I asked Nina Lise to answer a few questions that I could share with you today, to help us get to know her better.  But first, I want to share a few more insights about Nina Lise:  

As mentioned, Nina Lise teaches and as a designer she has published many patterns.  While she has had many of her designs published in magazines, she is also a regular contributor to several magazines in Norway.  And,  she has also published a book "Gledesspredere".  

Forside Gledesspredere Nina Lise Moen

Gledesspredere is filled with 50  quilted projects that are made with a variety of techniques, using various materials.  It is currently only available in Norweigian, but SewCalGal  hopes that one day it will be published in English, or maybe a PDF translation made available as a supplement.  You can order a signed copy of this book directly from Nina Lise, by way of email.  The price is NOK 319.

For many years, SewCalGal has been inspired by following Nina Lise's blog (Mrs. Moen).  It is a great resource for learning tips, tricks and also gaining insights about life in Norway. But, I've really enjoyed getting to know Nina Lise and gaining insights on what it is like in the  "designer mind" to create, as Nina Lise has certainly shared glimpses of what such challenges and rewards are like for the creative mind via her blog.  Through this process, I've come to dream of the day of having Nina Lise Moen have a quilt exhibit (or a quilt) in the US and having her travel to such a show, where I get a chance to meet her.  Even better, to be able to take a class with her.  But for now, I'm a happy follower of her blog and truly love her designs.  As such, I was truly delighted when she agreed to allow me to share insights with you today.

I asked Nina Lise several questions, during my virtual interview.  Her answers are honest and from her heart. I hope you also enjoy getting to know Nina Lise (Mrs. Moen), as I have.  Please remember she is Norwegian and English is not her native language:

How long have you been sewing/quilting/designing?
I have been quilting for almost 15 years and designing my own quilts since the very beginning. My first printed patterns came in 2008 and my first pattern published in a quilting magazine in the same year.

When did you first begin your adventure with quilting? What prompted it?
My first quilt was made in December 1998 as a Christmas gift for my daughter. She saw a picture of a quilt in a book and said that she would like one of those. At the time she was seriously ill and we were staying at the hospital for weeks and weeks, so I was only too happy to make her one. I learned so much from the process, but most of all about the comfort and healing of a quilt. It got to be my lifeline through a most difficult time, and have continued to being so for all these years.

What comes first the fabric or the design for you?
Most of the time I’ll have an idea for a design first, and then start pulling fabrics, although there are times I’ll look at a fabric and get an idea on what to make with it.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not quilting?
I have been knitting and crocheting all my life, and during a year I will always have a period or two when I knit a lot. Besides keeping my fingers busy, I love the idea of providing warmth and comfort for my family, and of course, the joy of playing with colours. I also enjoy knitting tiny hats and blankets for the premature ward at the local hospital.
I also enjoy painting and mixed media, particularly when collaborating with my grandson. We have a lot of fun, and have made some awesome artworks together.

What do you view as your most challenging project?
My most challenging project must be “Hot and cold, 7 ½ years”, the quilt I made about my daughter’s illness. I needed to make it, but it was such an emotional rollercoaster seeing it through. The process was truly cathartic, and the response overwhelming. It was part of a European Quilters Association suitcase collection that traveled through Europe for 3 years, winning a couple of awards on its way. I believe that my best works are the ones that are truly personal.

Do you enter contests? If so, have you ever won any awards?
Yes I do, and yes I have. I don’t make quilts with 6000 pieces or 2 years’ worth of hand appliqué, but they are very personal, carrying little pieces of my soul. It is a very strange experience, that moment when you realize that something that you made touches other people. Quilts certainly are powerful.

What batting do you prefer to use?
I prefer to use a very low loft polyester batting carried by my local craft shop. It is soft and quilts very nicely. I even use it for wall hangings.

What threads do you prefer to use?
I’ll use any kind of thread, but I have learned a few lessons about their strengths and weaknesses over the years.

Any tips you want to share in this article?
I think we all could take a lesson from Gloria Gaynor’s song, I am what I am – “I bang my own drum, some think its noise, I think it’s pretty”, that’s my approach to quiltmaking anyway. Make your quilts any way you’d like to, they are your quilts, and take pride in the very first quilt that you made. You actually made that quilt.

Are there any special tools you cannot live without besides the basics?
I am a big fan of my 18mm bias binding maker which I use for all my bindings. It works just as well with straight cut strips, and I only press one of the sides as I run my strip through the tool. I’ll stitch the unfolded edged to the front of the quilt, and turn the folded edge over to the back.
How do your designs come to life (e.g. do you sketch, do you use EQ7 to design, etc)?
I’ll sketch on any piece of paper that is in front of me although I do keep a couple of sketchbooks with rather cryptic content around, somewhere to jot down ideas when I get them. I also keep a notepad on my nightstand so I can empty my head before I go to sleep.
When I start working with a design, I prefer to roughly draw them out on regular grid paper as it gives me a better idea about the format. I’ll draw any shapes on plain paper and use a copier to blow them up if necessary.
For pattern purposes I’ll draw the illustrations in Excel. I am sure there are more suitable tools, but my background is in economics so Excel was my first computer love.

How would you describe your style of quilting?
I am not sure how to describe my style as I like to work with lots of different techniques and materials. Others can often recognize my design though; I am drawn to simple shapes even though the techniques may be elaborate.
As a designer, I create quilts that I love myself and, in general, with what I have on hand. My designs are suitable for everybody, using the fabrics that they love, and often have them digging through their scraps. I have a fondness for helping people rekindle their love affairs with their fabric stashes, and to see the beauty in different materials, particularly in my classes.

What are your favorite colors?
Like many quilters, I love many colours, but orange would be my favorite, it is such a happy colour.

Do you have any tips for Precision Piecing to share?

Truth being told, precision piecing is not what I spend most of my time doing, but when I do it’s 3 P-s: pin, press, and do both properly.
What else would you like others to know about you?
For me quilting is about freedom - the freedom of expressing oneself through stories, colours, design, and materials, but also the freedom to take a break from life. It is something you can do at your own house no matter what else that is going on, which was a deal breaker for me during my first years of quilting.
It has been very important for me to keep that sense of freedom, also in the professional part of my quilting life as a teacher, designer and book author. I am so fortunate to be working with people that have given me just that – the editor of Quiltemagasinet, a Scandinavian quilting magazine, and the publisher of my book Gledesspredere, Cappelen Damm.
I love the thrifty recycling side of quiltmaking, and even though I have accumulated several generations of fabric over the years, I have gone full circle and returned to my first stash of recycled fabric from the thrift store from back when I did not know there was such a thing as quilting fabric. 

Quilting is a rather solitary sport, so I enjoy teaching classes very much as I get to meet many wonderful people. No class is the same, and there’s always something to learn. I also have a fabulous group of quilting friends who come together to sew once a month. Our 5 year anniversary as a guild is coming up this year and I am always looking forward to our meetings. We are a very diverse group of quilters with different tastes and interests, which makes the group both fun and interesting. 

Designer Gallery:

Nina Lise's designs can be found at her blog Mrs. Moen.  They are available in PDF format.  All of her designs are originally written in Norweigian.  The patterns that I'm sharing with you today have all been translated to English.  
These designs range in size from purses, to table runners,  to full size quilts.  And, they are are all reasonably priced from $5USD to $14 USD per design.  Unfortunately Norwegian laws do not allow a designer to share insights on pricing, if you are interested in ordering one of her designs you need to email Nina Lise to inquire about any design you are interested.   

Design Gallery, by Mrs. Moen

mrsmoen4 flower bouquet
Flower Bouqet

quilted bags by mrs moen
Quilted Bags

mrsmoencircleofflowers (2) - Kopi
Circle of Flowers

    mrsmoennothing (1)
    Nothing To Wear
    Heavenly Angel

    mrsmoenchristmasonearthdaytwo (2)
    Christmas On Earth

    mrsmoenvillageno1 (1)
    City Lights

    Mathias' Quilt

    god juleduk quilt

      viking helmet (2)
      Viking Helmet

      flower angel
      Flower Angels

      Navnebannere print
      Name Banners

          mrsmoenlittle3 lots of little yellow ones
          Table Runner

          mrsmoensantascats (1)_edited santa catsmrsmoenurbanchristmas (1)

          Mix and Match For Christmas
          Note:  This is a collection of designs that work well for pillows, table runners, wallhangings, or you can adapt to make a quilt.

          Funky Fowl
          Note:  This is a collection of designs that well for pillows, table runners, wallhangings, or you can adapt to make a quilt.

          flowers that never wither by mrs moen
          A Flower That Never Withers

          mrsmoenspanishtreestablerunner (5)
          Spanish Trees

          Rock and egg
          Rock and Egg

          Flower Bed

          Bensinpenger II
          Gas Money

          mrsmoenheartspillows (5)


          Nina Lise  has several FREE patterns that we want to share with you today:

          mrsmoenpillowparade (1)

          Pretty Pillow 

          mrsmoenvillageno1 (1)
          Building A Village, table runner

          mrsmoenheartquilt3 (2)
          Have A Heart Pattern  

          SewCalGal thinks these free designs would certainly make for wonderful gifts, as well as beautiful items for your home.  And, I hope you enjoy this opportunity to get to know Nina Lise Moen and are inspired with her designs too! 


          Mrs. Moen has generously offered a giveaway to two followers of SewCalGal.  These lucky winners will be able to select three (3) of their favorite designs from all of Mrs. Moen's patterns.  Your patterns will be sent to you in PDF format.  To enter this giveaway, simply visit Mrs. Moen's patterns and come back and leave a comment, letting me know your favorite three designs.

          This giveaway will be open thru the end of October. I'll update this post on November lst to announce the lucky winners and I'll also send them an email to notify them accordingly.

          Update:  Congratulations to Shawn and Elle.  An email has been sent to them to let them know.

          You can find Nina Lise Moen at:

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          Grete said...

          I'd like to take part in the give away. MrsMoen is coming to my quilt group to have classes, but I am not able to join, unfortunately, but perhaps I can win some patterns instead... My favorites are Flower Bed and Flower Bouqet, and Mix and Match For Christmas.

          Dana Gaffney said...

          I was excited to see Nina here, she's one of my favorite people to follow. Her designs are always so different and original and I love the glimpses of her life that she shares. My favorite designs are all of them. Pick three, Funky Fowl (the reason I found her), Mix and Match for Christmas and Mock Cabin. Thanks for the interview.

          Deborah OHare said...

          I hope I can call Nina a friend, all be it a bloggy one. So lovely to read this interview.

          paulette said...

          Thanks Sew Cal Gal, for giving a Mrs. Moen's shout out! Such a talented lady! Love the Bag pattern...and on my To Do LIST is the City Lights...with the village! I have all the fabric for that village waiting for me in a tote..somewhere...As soon as I spotted the black and white snow fabric in our local QS I thought of this pattern, bought the fabric and put together the kit! Thanks for the reminder!! haha Yup...sharp as a tack!
          I'm on a hunt...hey maybe I will find other lost things in the process!:o))Have a wonderful weekend!

          Nancy said...

          Fresh and original designs! thanks for the freebies and the chance to win patterns. My faves are Mix and Match for Christmas, Further Than Far, and Flower Bouquet. Enjoyed the interview, and had to chuckle in her profile that her husband calls her fabric stash "crap"! Ha.

          Gill said...

          I've been following Nina Lise for a long time - she is so talented!
          My favourite patterns are Funky Fowl, Flower Bed and Spanish Trees!

          Sallie said...

          City Lights, Viking Helmet and Mix and Match Christmas are my favorites.

          Ivory Spring said...

          Awesome thread, SewCalGal! You have outdone yourself again in your service to the quilting community! I love City Lights.

          Joanna said...

          The very first qal I joined was hosted by Mrs. Moen. Her designs are unique and lovely.

          Beth said...

          Thanks for the introduction to Mrs. Moen. She has many great designs. I think my favorites are A Flower That Never Withers, Mix and Match for Christmas, and Flower Bouquet. Thanks for the chance to enter.

          Denny1600 said...

          What wonderful quilt designs! It's hard to pick favorites, but I think i'd like Christmas on Earth, Flower Bouquet, and Mix and Match. Oh and the Log Cabin variation. I know that's four, but the log cabin one keeps sticking in my brain . . .

          u keep sewing said...

          Thanks for sharing these wonderful projects. A very talented lady. Good luck to some very lucky person. Hope it's me.

          Quilting vibes from the Rocky Mountains in Montana.

          Lori said...

          thank you, it is wonderful to get to know different quilters. She has gorgeous work. thanks for the give a way. I really love
          #2 4 curtains and the back of a shirt table runner
          #16 lots of little yellow ones table runner
          #17 flower bouquet
          quilting dash lady at Comcast dot net

          Dorothy Matheson said...

          I really like the modern feel to the designs. By far my favorite is Mix and Max for Christmas. I also like Matias Quilt and Christmas on Earth. I really like Spanish Trees also.

          Michele T said...

          Mrs Moen has lovely projects... My favorites are: Julepost with Pocket, Urban Christmas, and Mock Cabin. Thanks for the chance!!

          Christine M said...

          Thanks for introducing me to a new blogger (to me anyway). My favourite patterns of Nina Lise's are Mix and Match for Christmas, Flower Bouquet and Matia's Quilt. Thanks for the chance.

          Anonymous said...

          I like city lights, mock cabin, and mix & match Christmas patterns.
          smjohns63 at yahoo dot com

          DebraKay Neiman said...

          I found these sites through gail pan designs. Love Mrs Moens patterns. 1. mock cabin 2. flower bed runner 3. bouquet of flowers. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com
          Oklahoma USA

          barbara woods said...

          i love the mix and match for christmas but couldn't make up my mind on the other's

          Anonymous said...

          Here's my favorites: Flower Bed, Circle of Flowers, and A Flower That Never Withers. -- soparkaveataoldotcom

          Unknown said...

          City Lights. I'm more and more drawn to the " art deco" quilts. thanks. I had not been to her blog before.

          kbo said...

          Mrs. Moen's style is uniquely her own. I like Mix & Match for Christmas pattern. Several gifts can be created with one pattern. Clever idea!