JUKI Spotlight: The Moda Lissa

Photo: Moda Lissa

Like many others, Mellissa, better known as Lissa, looked up to her older sister growing up and watched her sew. When Lissa was in fifth grade, she took her first sewing class at her local Ben Franklin. Creating an adorable lime green with bright pink apples trimmed with pink ric-rac pinafore and shorts, Lissa tried following her sister’s footsteps by creating projects with no patterns. She quickly realized it was not as easy as she thought and left the clothing construction to her sister. However, this didn’t shy her away from sewing but encouraged her to look into different projects Lissa could create. One day, she stumbled upon quilting and found herself transfixed with it!

“Quilts don’t have to fit anyone.”

Photo: Moda Lissa

The idea of quilts changed her life. No longer was she trying to hem and follow a body type, but now she was tackling a different puzzle! With a father in engineering, she took to quilting like a math problem, creating patterns in her artwork. After marriage and having kids, Lissa kept up with her hobby by working at a local quilt shop a few evenings a month and on Saturdays. Eventually, she started teaching classes and was hired to open a quilt store. Nine years later, she began a position as the Director of Marketing for Moda Fabrics.

Working at Moda Fabrics, Lissa started collaborating with all different types of designers. Sewing various projects from fabrics those designers crated and creating combinations no one could’ve predicted! Lissa created pieces of art that were as beautiful as they were different. Her favorite challenge with each project was seeing how many different designers she could place on one project.

“It just makes me happy. As I touch each piece I think of the designer, the name of the fabric line, and how fortunate I am to have them as friends.”

Photo: Moda Lissa

As time went on, Lissa began creating patterns she wanted to share with others. Inspired by a high school story where she introduced herself to the class, she came up with a clever tactic to make her peers remember her name. Cutting a picture of the Mona Lisa and gluing yellow yarn to represent her blonde hair, she created a plan! Everyone knew about the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci and all they had to do to remember her name was to think of the Mona Lisa but with blonde hair. Years later, after starting her position in Moda Fabrics, she called it a no-brainer when she created the nickname Moda Lissa for her media.

Lissa’s first solo pattern book, “OH SCRAP” was published after experiencing a series of seizures diagnosed as a subdural hematoma resulting in brain surgery. While recuperating, she was offered the opportunity by Martingale Publishing to create her first pattern book. Continuing forward, Lissa would begin working on the Sisterhood of Scraps and Scrap School. Working with some of the best quilters in the industry sewing scrap quilts, she learned new skills and techniques for her projects. While her books focus on the usage of a scrap quilt, her main goal has always been to encourage freedom for quilters to play and create with fabric.

“You may have always heard that quilting is therapy and it certainly was for me. I love learning and exploring how the publishing world works was very exciting.”

Photo: Moda Lissa

As Lissa continues to sew on her baby Junie, our TL-2000Qi named after her aunt, she hopes to start sewing apparel in the future. With her two granddaughters and three grandsons, she’s excited to start creating their Halloween costumes and more in the future. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Lissa’s next pattern book! Lissa’s goal is to continue her pattern creations and helping sewers like you have fun.

To learn more about Lissa and her story follow her on the links below and check out her site to see her pattern books!

Instagram: Click here

Pattern Book’s and Scrap School: Click here

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