Welcome to the Oliver + S stop on the Moda Country Fair Blog Hop.
I’m Liesl Gibson, designer of the Oliver + S line of fabrics for Moda and Oliver +S sewing patterns for children’s clothing.
My next collection of fabric for Moda, Cape Ann, will be out in October. Here’s a little video preview of the line filmed at last spring’s International Quilt Market.
And, now, thanks to the list of questions from our fearless blog hop leader Lissa Alexander at Moda, you get to learn more about me than you ever wanted to know.
What’s your favorite fair food?
I love cotton candy at the fair. It’s awful anyplace else, but it’s somehow perfect when you’re hot, sticky and tired after a day at the fairground, isn’t it?
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Oh, only one? I have two: ice cream and time spent alone at night when everyone else is asleep. That’s when I’m most creative and relaxed.
What’s on your bucket list?
I want to travel a lot more, and hopefully live in a few other countries as well. I’d like to spend more time in France and Japan especially, and take at least one trip to India. I’d also like to spend more time making things. I’d love to make at least one garment entirely by hand using couture methods, and I’m looking forward to having time to weave. But that’s all being saved for a different life stage, when I’m not concentrating on family and business quite so much.
What inspires your work?
So many things. New York (where we live) and its people are a huge inspiration to me. Also art, my daughter and her friends, and the books I read. I love to visit vintage stores and thrift shops and used book stores, too. I seem to find inspiration all over the place, really.
State fairs have become known for what they can fry? What would you fry?
It’s all been done, hasn’t it? I saw a story earlier this summer about one fair that had a vendor selling deep-fried sticks of butter. After that, what’s left? Fried tubs of Crisco? I give up.
What’s on your night stand?
My daughter painted a little wooden family a few years ago. I still love it and steal the little people for my night stand whenever she isn’t playing with them. That, and an alarm clock I never use. I’m not a morning person, much as I’d like to be.
Do you sing when no one else is listening? If so, what is the song or artist?
I usually pride myself on being quite high-brow and out of touch with pop culture, but lately I’ve been obsessed with Katy Perry and her video for California Gurls. I think it’s such a great, catchy song, and the video has a completely over-the-top aesthetic. And I love it that she collaborated with the artist Will Cotton (whose paintings I’ve admired for years) on the video and the album cover. She’s very tongue-in-cheek, and I adore her for it. But I must warn you that if you’re offended by borderline-graphic material you probably won’t care for the song or the video. . . .
Tell us about your pet…picture?
We have a fabulous cat named Parker. She’s 14 now, and she is a real sweetheart. She puts up with an awful lot of shenanigans around our apartment. We like to think she’s so good about that because she’s still thankful to us that we rescued her from a very different fate.
If you could be any age again for one week, what age and why?
I’d love to go back and be a kid again for a short time. Maybe age 5 or 6. It would be so amazing to see everyone as they were back then. I’d love to check back with old neighbors who have moved away, to visit our old house. You know, the whole nostalgia thing.
But if I did go back in time, there’s no way my sisters and I would wear our matching dresses to the Wisconsin State Fair. I think I must have been 9 in this photo. I’m the one in the red tights–with sandals?!?– on the left. (Sorry Mom. But the photo is too good not to share. Again.)
Are you related to anyone famous? Or infamous?
Not any big celebrities, but there is a mountain in Antarctica named after my dad in recognition of the 40 years of research he has done there. It’s called Mount Bockheim. And it even has its own Wikipedia entry. I still think that’s just amazing!
If you could go back in time and talk to yourself at the age of 12, what would it be and why?
Relax and don’t worry so much. I’m still telling myself this all the time!
If you could produce one free project to give away during the Country Fair Blog Hop, what would it be?
It would be the Popover Sundress and a matching doll dress, of course, because it’s the perfect dress for a little girl and her doll to wear to the country fair. (OK, that’s not one of Lissa’s questions, but I needed a transition.)
We don’t get many country fairs here in New York City. We often manage to come across a fair someplace during our summer travels, but this year it wasn’t meant to be. So we shot these photos near our studio in Brooklyn and hope that they have a bit of a county fair vibe. But come to think of it, I’ve never been to a country fair that featured graffiti-covered walls like these.
You can download a free PDF with the pattern pieces and instructions for making these matching dresses from our website.
If you were going to give away some fabric pre-cuts from your Cape Ann collection, what question would you make people answer for a chance to win?
Yeah, that’s not one of Lissa’s questions either.
But if you would like to be entered into a drawing for a jelly roll and a fat quarter bundle, leave a comment telling me what you would wear to your local Country Fair. We’ll pick our winners at random tomorrow morning. Once we do, we’ll notify the winners by email and will close down comments on this post. Good luck!
(Oh, by the way, whatever you do, do not check that little box below that says “Notify me of follow up comments via e-mail.” Trust me. You don’t want to get hundreds of emails today from strangers telling you what they would wear to the fair. Seriously.)
Who’s up for tomorrow?
That would be Joanna of Fig Tree. Be sure to pay her a visit!