Yay It's Friday!! This week we have my special bloggy friend Melissa Peda of 100 Billion Stars chatting to us. Melissa and I met ages ago through our mutual love of all things Sis Boom and other Free Spirit fabric designers. She amazes me with her crafty creativity and her intuitive affinity for fabrics and colours. She's the queen of fussy cutting and a general all round wonderful person. I'm sure you'll enjoy getting to know her as much as I have.

Hi Melissa, tell us a bit about yourself? 

    I've been sewing for over 30 years. I suppose that says a lot about how much I love fabric. I use the tiny dining room of our small house as my "studio" and fabric, quilts and projects spill over into every room. I design quilts and lifestyle projects, write patterns and blog about all my crafty craziness. I'm so delighted to have an outlet for my creative ideas and a place to share my adventures.

How long have you been quilting?

   My first quilts were made around 1990 when quilting fabric lacked the vibrancy we enjoy today. After a couple of quilt tops, I gave up. There just wasn't any joy there for me. Then, in 2007 I stumbled on Jane Sassaman's fabrics. I bought some yardage and made a quilted wall hanging. I haven't looked back since.

What enticed you to start quilting?
    Definitely the variety of fabrics available.  The saturated colors, the whimsy, the mismatched look--all of it drew me in.
What do you love about quilting?

    I love to play with design motifs, cutting them up and recombining them into new and unexpected patterns. Quilts are the perfect embodiment of that type of play. And the color.  I love playing with the color.

Is there any part of the process that you don't like?

    The actual quilting is probably my least favorite part. Unless it's hand quilting.  Then I don't mind at all.

Do you have a favourite sewing saying or motto?

    "Measure twice, cut once."  Actually my father, a carpenter, taught me that one.

What model sewing machine do you use?

     I have a Bernina 350 PE but still get use out of my 21 year old Bernina 1000 workhorse.

Do you listen to music while you sew? What is your favourite type or cd?

     Often, but not always. I pick the music to suit my mood.  Currently, if I need to work more quickly, it's The Black Keys or The Fumes.  If not, I might pull out Adele or even Florence and the Machine.  My taste in music is eclectic so there's always something to fit the occasion.

What is your favourite food?

    Tough question! Mexican, Thai, Indian--I could eat those all the time, any time.  But if I have to pick one thing I can't live without, it would be coffee. That's food, right?

Do you have any furry friends that keep you company while you sew? 

     Two friendly neighbor kitties make sure that I take frequent breaks from sewing.

Tell us about the house blocks you've made? 

     This was my first house block ever.  I wanted something different, something you could look at and say, "Oh that's Melissa P!"  I wanted it to represent me in style, not just fabric choices. I started with the idea that the foreground should be broken up and lead your eye to the front door.  From there, it took on a life of its own, resulting in a block that can be easily customized by anyone to represent their style and fabric favourites.

It's a wonderful block and Melissa had so much fun with it that she made 3!! A great demonstration of how different fabrics can really change the look of the same block. Featuring some of our favourite designers fabrics... 

Spring Time Sis Boom House

 This house is perfect for Amy and David Butler stylish swirls.

A Midnight Garden House of Jane Sassaman delights...

Wow! Thank you Melissa, these are 3 very wonderful houses!!

Pop over to Melissa's blog ,100 Billion Stars, to see what she's been up to. Her work has been appearing in various magazines recently so you'll most likely be seeing her name here, there and everywhere.