Like Mother, Like Daughter: A Chat with Moda Designers Deb Strain and Arrin Turnmire

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it seems appropriate to shine a light on a pair of Moda designers who just happen to be related: mom Deb Strain and eldest daughter Arrin Turnmire. Deb has been a Moda designer for more than 15 years (her next-to-be-released lines are Pumpkin Party and Christmas Countdown) and Arrin’s produced a number of fabrics herself, including the upcoming organic line Little Things (shown here). In 2012, along with another talented relative, Deb’s youngest daughter and Arrin’s little sister Katie, they joined forces to design Grow with Me, a line of children’s fabrics inspired by Arrin’s twin sons Finn and Graham.

The Strain Family
We thought we’d ask them some questions about the mother-daughter dynamic at work in their lives. 

What are some of the best things you’ve learned from one another?

Arrin: The best thing my Mom taught me is that no matter what you put your mind to, you can do it. I was always in awe of my Mother growing up, knowing that no matter what she did, she succeeded! So, when I grew up, I tackled life with the same philosophy. My twin sons have taught me that life is too short and I need to remember to slow down and soak up and enjoy every moment with my family.  

Deb: Arrin has taught me patience and genuine acceptance of others.  She is one of the most patient people that I have ever met!  She is also the person that I go to when I need an artist’s advice.  It seems that whenever she visits, I ask her to look at my current project and tell me what it needs. She has a great eye for color and is always honest in her critique of my work in the kindest way—I value her input so much.
Arrin and Katie
Is there a tip your daughter(s) taught you about designing fabric?  
Deb: My own style of designing is very controlled and planned.  The girls have taught me to let loose a little and not be afraid to work quickly and sometimes make mistakes. A valuable lesson that definitely makes it more fun!
What have you learned by collaborating with one another on your fabrics?

ArrinWe know what kind of music we need to listen to at what stage of the drawing or painting to keep it going, and we know what kind of tea the other one needs when stressful times arise.When my mom and I work together, we really have learned to support each other’s ideas and decisions and give constructive feedback when needed. Truthfully, with our busy schedules, whenever we get to work together it makes the project easier and more fun!
Deb, Arrin, and Katie
If you were going to plan an ideal Mother’s Day for your mom, what would it include?  

Arrin: This one is easy because we both have the same ideal day! The day I would plan for my Mom would start with coffee, a visit to a book store, good food, shopping, and a movie.
Are there things you learned from your mother that you have passed down to your children?

Deb: My own mother is always there for her children, no matter what. Even now, if I need someone to travel with me she is the first to volunteer. She is also a wonderful quilter and has shared her work with all of us over the years. Putting her family first and being creative are two qualities that I cherish in my mom and hope to pass down to my children. 
What phrase can you almost always count on hearing from your mother?

Arrin: The phrase that I can always count on hearing from my mother is “I love you.” I know every time she says it that she means it with her whole heart. She is the BEST!
How about you? Did your mom teach you a valuable lesson about life, love, or quilting? Let’s hear about it! 

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One comment on “Like Mother, Like Daughter: A Chat with Moda Designers Deb Strain and Arrin Turnmire

  1. Marie Anne says:

    My mom taught me to hang in there through the tough times, that things will be better. She taught me to sew too.

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