Friday, February 3, 2017

American Patchwork April 2017

Hello Quilt Friends,

I have a quilt published in a magazine, called Star Bursts. This one is in the the April 2017 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting. If you're not a subscriber, then head over to your local store or to to pick up an issue.


I'm so happy to see my project published in American Patchwork. They are an awesome team to work with and I'm so thankful to have the opportunity to show my quilt to their audience.

The quilt features Cotton Couture fabric by Michael Miller, although the backing was a quick buy from Hobby Lobby. The Warm Company sponsored the Warm & White batting and Aurifil sponsored the thread.

My family and I took a cross country road trip to see my parents in Moline, Illinois, and on our way there, we hand delivered this quilt to the American Patchwork corporate office. The quilt will arrive any day now and I can't wait to brighten up my home with this quilt.


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Scrappy Chain Quilt Tutorial

To celebrate the arrival of SIMPLE PATCHWORK book and FRONT YARD fabric collection, I'm presenting a Scrappy Chain Tutorial on instagram. We all love chain quilts. They use up scraps galore and are simply beautiful.

See the below for the quilt design. It is inspired by the Irish Chain and Postage Stamp quilts, but the blocks are set on point and the setting triangles carry the center chain for a smooth chain finish. There's no need to worry about cutting and piecing all those little squares individually. We will be using the strip piecing method to save us time.

For a limited time, the instructions are available for free download. I'll be making the sample quilt for this pattern and posting my assembly process on Instagram and Facebook. Be sure to follow/like me there to stay up-to-date on my progress. If you're joining in on the fun, then share your progress on instagram. Please use my instagram handle (@sandra.clemons) and hashtags (#makeitblossom and #frontyardfabric). I'm be sure to comment on your progress.

The fabric requirements are listed below and includes 2 quilt sizes. I'll be starting my quilt in the next week. How about you?

Happy stitching,

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 New Year's Resolution

Do you write New Year's Resolution? And keep them? My husband and I do. We do pick what we consider attainable goals for the year. We pick 1 or 2 things to improve our lives. A lot of times, we pick a food omit to improve our diet. Such as, we had a year of no fries, another year of no chips, another year of no ice cream, then the following year we did no artificial sugar. Sometimes, we pick a goal to improve ourselves in career, fitness, and education. I had a year where I read through the entire old testament of the Bible, another year where I reached 50 pull-ups. This year, we picked holding a plank for 1 minute every day combined with 10 push-ups and to draw everyday for 15 minutes. We geeked out over the weekend by going to our local art supply shop to pick up new pencils and pens, and a new sketchbook. The little things to get the new year kicked up on the right foot.

Here's to new hopes, aspiration, and resolutions for the 2017 year. Have a Happy New Year!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Printable 2017 Calendar

Happy Holidays, my friends.

Can you believe it? Another year is nearly over. Say good-bye to 2016 and hello to 2017. I'll be posting on instagram (sandra.clemons) and facebook (makeitblossom) through the end of year, but this is the last blog post of the year. If you haven't been following me on instagram/facebook, then what are you waiting for. You are missing out on the photo hop, which has a free giveaway of fabric at the end and I hear a surprise giveaway next week. That's the best place to stay tuned with the latest news.

Christmas is this Sunday and as gift for my savior's birth, I've created a blank 2017 calendar template for you. It is available for download here. It is designed for you to jot down key events and notes throughout the year. Plus there's a lot of extra space on the page for you to write thoughts that require more space.

Enjoy and have a blessed holiday season.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

My Quiltcon 2017 Entry & Rant

As a lifetime Chicago Cubs fan, my euphoria of the Cubs winning the 2016 Major League Baseball World Series inspired The Wait Is Over quilt. This quilt was created on my long drive home from the Houston International Quilt Market on Tuesday, December 1. I sketched it out on graph paper while my wonderful husband drove us home. Then, I waited. I waited for the Chicago Cubs to win the World Series the following day, Wednesday, November 2, in the most dramatic game ever played in World Series history. 

The Wait Is Over is full of symbolism. It is designed with 108 windows to represent the 108 year drought of winning the World Series. The skyline are of actual buildings in Chicago. The large 'W' symbolizes the W flag flown at Wrigley Field after every Cubs victory. The red 'V' border symbolizes the red seams on a baseball. The machine quilting in the negative space symbolizes the movement of the bustling wind as Chicago is nicknamed the Windy City. 99% of the quilt was made from recycled dress shirts and dress pants from my husband, a die hard St. Louis Cardinals fan.

It is machine pieced, machine quilted on a domestic machine, paper pieced, and improvisational pieced.

Here's an image of my early sketch. Sorry, but it didn't scan in very well because it was drawn in pencil.

The next couple of days, I used Adobe Illustrator to formally draft the quilt while I prepped the fabric and determined measurements. Some more pictures of my drafting process:

Yesterday, I received an email from Heather Grant that said:

Dear sandra,
Thank you for entering your quilt to QuiltCon 2017.  There were many outstanding quilts submitted and unfortunately we couldn't accept them all.  We regret to inform you that your quilt, The Wait Is Over (1371), was not chosen by our panel of jurors to be included in the show. We received more than 1,500 quilt submissions and the jurors had to make many difficult decisions.
Thank you again for your submission.

Heather Grant
Director of Marketing & Programming
The Modern Quilt Guild

The good news, I waited 2 weeks to hear word of my rejection of The Wait is Over. Quilts were due November 30th, and my email came in December 14th. It wasn't a long wait, but then again, it wasn't a long wait.

I was disappointed that my quilt didn't make the show. I wanted to know why. In defense of the Modern Quilt Guild, when you submit a quilt you must certify that you understand you will not receive feedback notes from the jury. Technically speaking, there's no foul on behalf of the Modern Quilt Guild. However, it doesn't negate my desire to know a sliver as to why my quilt didn't get into the show. And yes, I listened to the podcast as to why the Modern Quilt Guild can't possibly make time to provide a sentence for each quilt rejection. The reason is they didn't want to ask for more time from the jurors. I suspect the problem lies in the notification process. Could you imagine 1500 unique emails being sent out? Though, I believe there's some level of common ground. An improvement to the system to record juror response and for it to be sent as an auto email notification. I hope the Modern Quilt Guild will continue to revisit this topic as i
t is good business practice to consider a response to better serve a positive membership experience. This has been a loud complaint among quilters over the years who have entered quilts in judged shows. The positive side is people want to improve. 

For me, I want to know if the Modern Quilt Guild felt that I was infringing on any trademarks, especially after the year they had on commenting about copyrights and derivatives on quilt designs. If you haven't heard, it was a disaster. They wrote a blog post and provided examples of infringements and when credit should be given for unoriginal designs. The membership came at them hard with criticism. The Modern Quilt Guild attempted to calm the waters by opening up a townhall style podcast. I truly felt bad for the Modern Quilt Guild and the people behind the post and podcast. I believe they had positive intentions to be transparent but it backfired. People have to understand the Modern Quilt Guild is 7 years young and they are motivated to keep the membership happy. Without the membership, they have no business. So they aren't trying to tick us off on purpose. Though, I admit there was a brief moment when I wanted to jump on the hater bandwagon, but I'm trying to stay upbeat, positive, and show my sincere congratulations to the quilters who were accepted.

If The Wait Is Over was rejected because of risk to trademark infringement, then I must believe in good faith I would have been notified to provide a response. 

Perhaps all of these words are proof I'm a sore loser. I know the quilt is a little wonky here and there. That may be the reason it was rejected. I used a variety of materials and things moved on me when machine quilting. If I had time, then I would have stabilized the fabric, and washed and blocked the quilt. Maybe they just didn't like it. O well, I'm going to love it anyways. I have the perfect spot for it. It will lay on my bed that I share with my husband, to remind him every day that the Chicago Cubs won the 2016 World Series. They are the best team in baseball.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tutorial - Hanger Covers


I made these hanger covers for the International Fall Quilt Market to hang my garments. I thought why now show the world what I did to make these cute covers. These covers offer a clean, uniform look for your closet. It’s perfect for those special garments to stand out in your closet.

1 Cheap Plastic Hanger
1 Fat Quarter of Fabric
Scrap Quilt Batting, approximately a fat quarter
Sewing Machine
General Sewing Supplies

Features FRONT YARD fabric by Sandra Clemons for Michael Miller Fabrics.

Make Covers:
Choose to spray paint your hanger which ever color you so desired.

Place the hanger on top of your fabric. Trace the shape of your hanger to the fabric 3/4” larger than your hanger. Cut the fabric on your traced line. Make 2.

Place one piece of fabric to your batting. Choose to machine quilt the fabric to the batting. In my example, I made vertical straight-line stitches. Make another one.

Trim the batting to the fabric’s raw edge for both units.

For one unit, fold the top over itself with wrong sides together about 1/4”. Top stitch in place to finish the top hem. Repeat for the other unit.

For the bottom opening of the hanger, fold over the unit over itself with wrong sides together to hem the bottom of the hanger. Repeat for the other unit.

This would be the ideal timing to add any labels, accessories, and/or trims to your hanger cover.

Align the units’ right sides together. Sew with a 1/4” seam allowance along the curve of the hanger, avoiding the top and bottom hem.

Turn the hanger cover inside out. Insert the hanger and you’re done.

If you like this free tutorial, then show some love by following me on my social media. I’d love to see your version. Make sure to share a pic of your hanger cover by using #makeitblossom.


Monday, December 5, 2016

Tutorial - Scrap Batting Ornaments & Garland


Tutorial Scrap Batting Ornaments & Garland

Today, let’s use up our scraps of batting to make Christmas ornaments. I know I have a tons of scrap batting from my quilts and I’m sure you do too. This is super quick and cheap. Most of the items on the material list are things you can find around your house and you don’t need your sewing machine. The ornaments and garland are great to make with kids, too.

Scrap Batting
Accessories Goodies - pompoms, buttons, bells, ribbons, etc.
22 Gauge Floral Wire
Craft Glue
Hand sewing needle

Make Ornament
Cut your scrap pieces into 1” strips and then subcut them to 1” squares. These don’t have to be perfect and you may want to vary your squares slightly in size to add more interest to your ornament.

Cut the floral wire to about 10” or as desired.

On one end of the wire, bend it over itself about a 1/4”. This prevents your batting squares to fall off the end. You may choose to use a thread and needle to make your wreath instead of the wire, but I found that wire is stiffer and can hold its shape.

Use the straight end to poke the center of batting squares. Continue adding squares. Choose to make your ornament as loose or tight as desired.

Once you’ve finished adding squares, pull the straight end of the wire through the loop of the other end. Twist and wrap the ends together.

Now the fun part really begins. Choose to hand sew on bells, glue on buttons, tie a bow, whatever you choose. Remember to add a loop to hang your ornament to your tree. Hang your ornament to the tree and tada, you're done.

Here I added pink pompoms to the wreath.

Have a lot of batting scraps? Consider making a garland out of them. I purchased a bag of red pompoms to add a pop of color to my garland. What would you do?

If you like this free tutorial, then show some love by following me on instagram and liking me on facebook. I’d love to see your version. Make sure to share a pic of your ornament by using #makeitblossom.

Merry Christmas!
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