Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Join me - Inset Seams Webinar

Hello Friends,

I'm thrilled to announce my first webinar, called 1-2-3 Y-Seams: Inset Seams. The live webinar is scheduled for 11am MST, Wednesday, May 27, 2015. That's next week! However, if you're unable to attend live, it'll be recorded for your viewing pleasure at your convenience.

You can also find the webinar at:

I've been working hard on putting together a thorough and clear presentation by using concise wording and loading it up with tons of photos and diagrams. Many of the photos are taken at my BERNINA machine, as if you are right over my shoulder watching me stitch. I designed and made 3 quilt patterns where you can use the techniques learned in this webinar to make a beautiful quilt. Currently, I'm finishing up the third one, which you can view my progress on my facebook page. The first two were discussed in my last post.

What's in it for you, right? Why learn from me? Inset seams has a bad reputation. People mess up, it's slow, they don't want to cut out irregular shapes, and so forth. But wait a minute, what if you thought of inset seams as easy, forgiving, and faster. That's right. It's my view the construction of inset seams, such as the Lemoyne Star Block is faster and easier than say the Sawtooth Star Block. I'll teach you how to rotary cut out the irregular shapes, stitch a y-seam with no redundant steps, and determine pressing options that fits best for the overall construction of the quilt top.

Come and join me,

Monday, May 18, 2015

New Quilt Patterns

Good morning. I can't believe it is Monday. Rather, I can't believe May is half over.

Last week was an amazing week for making. I finished quilting 4 quilts. Yay!

Though, I can share about two of them here. These quilts are for my Interweave Webcast Seminar on Inset Seams, scheduled for later this month. I finished making the quilts, drafted the patterns, drew the illustrations, had them professionally edited, shot the cover photo, and uploaded the pattern to my Etsy Shop. These patterns require constructing inset seams. I designed these in the effort to cross promote my webcast. The webcast details my technique for stitching inset seams, while making 2 blocks. Once, I receive the promotional, I'll share it here.

Another Monday,

Sandra Clemons

Monday, May 11, 2015

Should You Sign with a Publisher?

To publish is to make your words open to the general public. In this post, I’m referring to project
books for quilting, but this can also include any craft and DIY project books. Project books include text on education and instructions to make a project.

Most people think of book publishing as a glamorous achievement. Perhaps, a book deal tells people around you that you’re on your way to success. Yet, quilting books for first time authors can be both exciting and daunting.
I’d like to assist you in determining whether a book deal through a publisher is worth your time, money, and loss of control.
For first time authors, let’s assume we’re all in the same boat. Publishers are eager to sign us, in order to see if we are the diamond in the rough that brings profitability to both the publisher and author.
To consider a book deal with a publisher, here’s a list of pro’s and con’s.

The PRO’s:

- Publisher takes care of editing, photography, book design/layout, printing, and administration/accounting.

- Publisher has established distribution relationships to get your book into bookstores/quilt shops quickly.

- Publisher has an experienced team with years of experience to assist in making your book succeed.

- Publisher has proven credibility.

- Publisher puts in the financial capital to make your book a reality.

- Author has more time to focus on creating and making more quilts.

The CON’s:

- While the publisher owns all editing, photography, book design, and printing, you own your text, quilts, and materials provided to the publisher.

- There is loss of control, in particular the vision of your book may change without your buy-in. The Publisher can decide on your content, book title, and design. Although many publishers will work with you, this is the legal line.

- Publisher decides if your book is going to be a seller and thus determines whether the book is printed or e-copy. Further the publisher will determine the print run, how long to keep the book in print, when it’ll go on discount, and when to discontinue the book.

- Publisher may own the first right of refusal for your next book.

- Author must solicit to suppliers for sponsorship to make the projects for the book or take on the costs.

- Publisher takes 10-12 months to print your book once you send in your manuscript, quilts, and materials.

Although the con list may seem daunting, you should consider your financial impact, business acumen in publishing and book distribution, and credibility. These should be weighed heavily as they can impact the success of your book good or bad.
Further, for first time authors you may not get the attention and sponsorship from fabric manufacturers, batting and thread companies to reduce your overall book costs. With a known publisher, companies are more willing to sponsor product for free.
Think of the publisher as a company you choose to outsource the production, administration and accounting processes of your book. An outsourced entity to your growing business. This allows you more time to create more quilts.

However, if giving up control is hard for you, then a publisher may not be the right fit. Plus, a publisher pays you less, takes longer to get the printed book, and offers you nearly no control over the book once the materials, quilts, and manuscript are handed in.
(The flowers my family gave me for Mother's Day. Hope your day was full of pretty flowers.)
Now the money... Generally, the breakdown of the cost for a publisher is:

- 40-45% to retailer
- 10% to wholesaler
- 10% to printing
- 7% to marketing
- 12% to pre-production
- 7-10% to the author
- 6-14% to the publisher as profit

The publisher’s profit may seem like a lot, but most published books don’t profit. Yet the publisher hedges its risk by releasing a large number of books per season. Say, they release 10 books a season, they expect at least 1 to be the winner. After 3-6 months, most of the season’s books go on mark down and are then discontinued.

In addition, most of the marketing dollars go toward proven selling authors. As a first time author, the publisher will expect you to do most of the promoting and advertising. Think of this as part of the initiation process. You have to prove yourself before the publisher puts additional capital into you.

Let’s put dollars to numbers... Assume your book is priced at $20 and thus you’ll earn $1.40 to $2 per book sold. If you sold 10,000 books, you’ll make $14K - 20K in revenue. What if you sold 100,000 books, then you’ll make $140 - 200K.

To determine whether a publishing house is the right fit for you really depends on what your goals are as a craft business.

Some numbers for thought before you go... Per the Quilting in America 2014 Survey, there are 16.4 million quilters in the United States. Of those quilters, an average of 3.6 quilting books per person are purchased in a 12 month period. This means 59.04 million quilting books are sold annually. Wow, isn’t that amazing! Think of the possibilities...


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Summer Day & Night Quilt Sampler

Summer Day and Night Quilt Sampler
9 Quilt Block Tutorials

Join me as I present a FREE quilt-along using RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids Fabrics.

Drum roll please…
Summer Day Quilt


Summer Night Quilt

Here are two versions of the quilt: one with a white background (Summer Day) and the other in gray (Summer Night). Though, I encourage you to come up with something unique and special to you.

The quilt finishes 70” x 70” with 16” x 16” blocks.

3 3/4 yards of gray (night version) or white (day version) for block background, sashing, and borders
1/2 yard of red for border
Approximately 15 Fat Quarters
4 1/2 yards for backing
2/3 yard for binding

There’s a month to select a color scheme and pull fabric. We’ll be starting June 8th. You can expect detailed illustrations to walk you through the block assembly process. We will visit a block each week for 9 weeks. The 10th week, August 10th, is scheduled to finish the quilt top.

If you are unable to participate at the time of posting, no worries, you can still play along when you can.

You’ll learn techniques to construct flying geese, hour glass, pinwheel seam allowances, cutting fabric with templates, and inset seams.

Yes, for coming back, there will be a giveaway each week. Check out the first week’s post for details.

Use my facebook page to share and post images of your sampler. I'd love to see your interpretation of this quilt. Also, this is the place to share tips and techniques to ensure the absolute success in constructing the quilt.

Are you ready? Excited? Let’s plan out fabric.


FREE Quilt Pattern - Expired

Good morning!

More rain in Denver. It's amazing how much rain we've been getting. My yard looks so bright and green, and my seeds for my garden are sprouting. So fun. Bad news, I haven't been running. Running is a my refuge. It's the time that I can recharge and think about the events of the day. I don't mind running in the rain, however, I just recovered from bronchitis. It took me nearly a month to recover and further, I have felt 100% healthy for the past week. I don't want to jeopardize my health so soon after recovery.

What have I been doing all week? Here are some things worthy of noting...
      I basted 4 quilts over the weekend. Yay.

      I am officially a BERNINA Brand Ambassador. Super yay!

      I set up a facebook and pinterest page for my business. Yay!

      I added bloglovin', pinterest, and facebook gadgets/buttons to my blog. Yay! Yay! Yay!

     I've been working on a FREE Sampler, called Summer Day and Night, which will be kicked off the first week in June.


All of that said, I didn't set up facebook, bloglovin, and pinterest to not have my friends follow me. I have some amazing stuff coming up and I want to share it with you. Follow me and you'll always be the first to know. In exchange for your friendship, I'm offering you a FREE digital pattern of your choice when you follow me on bloglovin', like my Facebook page, or follow me on my Pinterest Board. For the first 10 people, and perhaps more, I'll give you a FREE pattern of your choice. Send me an email through "contacts" on the right side board, note your email, and pattern of choice. Patterns can be found at my Etsy store.



Sandra Clemons

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