Laura Preston

Designer, Artist, Maker and Quilter
Vacilando Quilting Co.

Laura designs and makes modern quilts from a mobile Airstream studio. She has been living, working and traveling in said Airstream since February 2013 and her work is heavily inspired by travel and the American landscape.

What influence does music have in your life as a creative?:

There’s always some kind of sound on in the background during my day, whether it’s music or NPR or a podcast. Over the past four or five years, what’s playing has gone through phases: when I traveled frequently it was usually whichever classic rock or oldies station I could tune into, when I was stationary for a while in San Francisco it was NPR, and these days it’s a mix of podcasts and Pandora or Spotify.

I must admit though, I’ve gotten fairly lazy about music discovery and curation. Most days I rely on my go-to Pandora stations (Alabama Shakes and Bishop Briggs are currently on heavy rotation), but I sprinkle in some Beyonce, Radiohead or St. Paul and the Broken Bones binges every now and then.

For me, creating an atmosphere with sound, smell and light that’s conducive to focusing and getting into the flow is ideal (although not always possible in 200 square feet with another person and three animals). Music sets the tone for what I’m working on and vice versa – a playlist or artist I start listening to either quickly harmonizes with where my head’s at or feels completely jarring. When I’m sketching or working on new designs, something mellow and gentle is usually what gets me into the best flow, whereas when I’m cutting fabric or sewing, I need something upbeat, bright and a little bit badass – something I wanna hum along with (or full-on sing) while I work.

Tell us about your playlist:

This playlist is a mix of my current favorites that goes from mellow design mode to upbeat sewing/making mode – the “best of” my usual music rotation. It’s my whole day distilled into an hour of music. There’s a bit of everything in there – blues rock (my go-to), a bit of upbeat pop (gets me motivated and makes me wanna dance), some old school hip hop (my fiancé turned me onto it – it’s great to work to), and a little blissed-out rock (to keep things breezy).

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Whole Day

  1. Sound & Color – Alabama Shakes
  2. All The Time – Bahamas
  3. Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club
  4. Wordless Chorus – My Morning Jacket
  5. Coming Home – Leon Bridges
  6. Work Song – Hozier
  7. Can I Kick It? – A Tribe Called Quest
  8. Dearly Departed (feat. Esmé Patterson) – Shakey Graves
  9. Everlasting Light – The Black Keys
  10. River – Bishop Briggs
  11. Always Alright – Alabama Shakes
  12. Electric Love – BØRNS
  13. Breezeblocks – alt-J
  14. Feel It Still – Portugal. The Man
  15. Like a Mighty River – St. Paul & The Broken Bones
  16. Gobbledigook – Sigur Rós