Friday, January 8, 2010

An interview with Pat Sloan … and a give-away!


I met Pat Sloan briefly last October (she was surrounded by adoring fans at International Quilt Market in Houston) and snagged her latest book, Quilt the Seasons, Book 2. It’s packed with 14 great new projects to decorate your house for each month, including table runners, wall hangings, and lap-size and bed quilts. There are appliqué projects as well as pieced items, so there’s something here for everyone. Leave a comment about this post by noon EST on Monday, Jan. 18, and I’ll put you in a drawing to win my autographed copy!

I thought you might enjoy a little inside scoop about Pat, and I wanted to get to know her better, too. So here’s a little information about her, and a quick interview.

Pat worked as a computer programmer for 20 years, and started quilting as a hobby during that time. Pretty soon, she was obsessed with quilting, and she left her job to start her company, Pat Sloan & Company, in 1997. She lives in Fairfax County in northern Virginia, and is the author of more than 15 quilting books published by Leisure Arts. She has also designed several fabric lines with P&B Textiles.

In addition to publishing her own patterns, she also designs for American Patchwork & Quilting, McCall’s Quilting, McCall’s Quick Quilts, Quilters World, Create & Decorate, and the Fons & Porter magazines. And as if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, you can usually find her chatting it up on Facebook, and teaching workshops all over the place!

Pat is a ball of energy, and seems to always be smiling. Here’s the photo I took of her when she was autographing books – laughing, even with her eyes closed!



Me:
Pat, I’ve only met you in person once, but you seem like a really fun, outgoing person. Are you really the quilting party girl you seem, or are you secretly shy?
Pat: Oh my.... I’m not shy!!! I USED to be shy.. painfully shy.. but I guess I just needed longer for my inner big mouth to come out!! I do need my quiet time, which is different. After being with people a few days I need some silence to recharge the batteries. I spent 20+ years in computers mostly working alone… so I’m used to hanging in groups, but like to work by myself in my zone.

Me: Tell me about an important turning point in your life.
Pat: You are giving me SUCH hard questions.. LOL! The first thing that comes to mind is the decision to have my own business. Which is a very classic turning point for many of us who have done this. I went against all biz rules and just quit ... then decided what my biz would be after I had already left the comforts of the corporate world!

But I’m wondering… was there another? I think a very long time ago when I left home it was a turning point. I was 17 and left my family in Europe to go to college in the mountains of Pennsylvania at a small campus of Penn State. I could not call home. No cell, no computers, no mom to run to. I had to toughen up and find other avenues of support very quickly!

Me: I see that you selected “Possibility” as your word for 2010. Why?
Pat: Ahhh… why DID I pick that? You know some of my friends were writing about the meaning of the word they picked… and I thought that sounded nifty… nifty as in maybe I should do that… have I?? No! Okay, let me think....

What does “Possibility” MEAN in a dictionary sense...
1) the condition or fact of being possible
2) archaic : one’s utmost power, capacity, or ability
3) something that is possible
4) potential or prospective value —usually used in plural

This year my business focus is to inspire and motivate quilters to actually QUILT! We want to quilt but life happens, other things get done, and the joy of stitching or pushing fabric under the machine does not happen as much as they want. So the word ‘Possibility’ seems so hopeful. It IS possible to quilt every day. It IS possible to have fun with your hobby. It IS possible to finish those projects (one of the top three things people told me they want to do this year!!)

My personal goals all fit in with Possibility too. The possibilities for change are endless… the possibilities to improve… the possibilities to have fun!! I want to look at everything I do and know that I can make it possible! (I'm SUCH a Pollyanna… my glass is ALWAYS half full!)

Me: So, what new projects are in store for you in 2010?
Pat: I have a VERY cool thing I'm doing! Starting on January 18, I'll be recording a weekly podcast interview with creative quilters and crafters. You will be able to listen live (maybe with call ins) and then download or listen to it online forever after it’s done… I'm SO EXCITED!! It’s going to be great… I’m lining up people now… mmm… So Susan… what Monday afternoon in March are April do you have free????

Me: Ooooh, I’d love to do that, Pat! You’re on! I’ll e-mail you with some dates. Anything else you want to tell us about?
Pat: Let me PLUG my cruise... it’s in June leaving Baltimore and going north to Boston, Maine and Canada! We still have a few slots and I’d LOVE to have you join me. Click to my workshop page here for info on WHAT a quilting cruise is and on this specific cruise... bon voyage!!!

Me: Thanks so much for letting me interview you, Pat. Here are links to all of Pat’s online ventures. As you can see, she is a very busy lady!

Where to find Pat:
Website - http://www.PatSloan.com
Store - http://www.PatSloan.biz
Blog - http://patsloan.typepad.com
Quilt Forum - http://www.quiltmashup.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/PatSloan
Twitter - http://twitter.com/QuilterPatSloan
Quilt GAMES - http://www.deathbyquilting.com
Yarn blog - http://patsloan.typepad.com/yarnmashup/
Studio webcam - http://patsloan.typepad.com/quiltershome/pats-design-wall.html


Pat’s adorable “Zig Zag Pillow” is one of many free patterns that Pat generously makes available on her website. But as she reminds her readers, “I can only offer these because quilters like you also buy my books, fabric and designs from my web store and your local quilt shop.” We all need to keep that in mind!

Okay, one more time: Leave a comment about this post by noon EST on Monday, Jan. 18, and I’ll put you in a drawing to win my autographed copy! Don’t forget to check back here that afternoon to see if you’ve won.

AND THE WINNER IS: Wordmama! Thanks for playing, everyone!