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.
Sandra

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.

Best,
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.


Sandra

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tutorial - Hanger Covers


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.


Materials:
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.

Sandra


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.


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




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!
Sandra

Friday, December 2, 2016

Free Christmas Printable



Hello Makers,
My favorite song during the Holidays is O Holy Night. By far my favorite. Love, love, love it.

To download the printable version: Click here to download the PDF printable. Print on heavy card stock. It is size for regular letter size paper.

Please note: All images, patterns and designs are © Sandra Clemonse of Make It Blossom. You may not reproduce, re-create or sell in any way, but please feel free to download for your own personal use. If you share on your own blog (I would love that), then please direct your readers to this post to download the file. Thank you!

Enjoy a free printable.
Sandra

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Holiday Traditions



What are your family traditions during the holidays? I hope they are wonderful. We normally spend the holidays just the three of us (my husband, daughter, and I) in Denver, Colorado. We are Christians and celebrate Christmas. Our traditions include:

- A visit to Santa during the week of Thanksgiving to beat the rush.
- A family photo for our Christmas cards. (see above)
- Of course a Christmas tree, which we put up over Thanksgiving weekend.
- Celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ by going to Christmas Eve service.
- We bake Santa a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies on Christmas Eve.
- I always have a holiday project, whether it be a new wreath, yarn ball ornaments, a Christmas quilt, there's always something for me to make.
- We're allowed to open up one gift on Christmas Eve.
- Our big meal is on Christmas Eve, which always include my husband's marinated pork tenderloins, mashed potatoes, corn, chocolate pudding pie, and baked beans.

This year, we're adding on to our house by expanding our basement and building a 2nd floor. We had to modify our Christmas, which means a 2 foot Christmas tree. But all in all, we're excited for our house addition, and know that by next year, we'll have wide open space to entertain and celebrate like never before.




Here's a quilt I made, called Gingerbread. I used a layer cake to make the stars, bought a few yards for the border and background. The backing came from Ikea and it 'still' glows in the dark. :)




Darn those loose threads, they always haunt me. Here we've snuggled with this quilt for 3 years and right there, it's a thread. Can you find it below? I can still hear my quilt teacher's voice in my head, saying that's why it's important to cut loose threads as you make them.




If you're interested in the quilt pattern, then you can find it in my shop.


Happy Holidays,
Sandra

Monday, November 28, 2016

Front Yard Photo Hop



Hello and welcome to the Front Yard Fabric Photo Hop. For 12 weeks, beginning December 6, 2016, we will share with you on Instagram and Facebook posts from your favorite sewing and quilting celebrities. Each Tuesday, one celebrity will post a project featuring the Front Yard Fabric Collection. The celebrity will share the pattern or tutorial used in the project.

At the end of the Photo Hop, we will GIVEAWAY a fat quarter bundle of all 24 prints of the Front Yard Fabric Collection. To enter the GIVEAWAY, follow @sandra.clemons and @michaelmillerfabrics on Instagram, and repost the celebrity’s Photo Hop image using #makeitblossom, #frontyardfabric, and #michaelmillerfabrics. Drawing occurs at the end of the Photo Hop. Stay tuned to the weekly Photo Hop to be notified of the winner at the end of the tour.

Find the collection by heading over to the Michael Miller Fabrics website.

Find patterns and books featuring Front Yard by heading over to the MIBShop.

Make sure to find the photo hop by searching #frontyardfabric on Instagram.

The Front Yard Photo Hop celebrities are as follows:





December 6, 2016
Sandra of Make It Blossom
 @sandra.clemons
#makeitblossom




 
December 13, 2016
Leah of Leah Day
@leahdayquilting




 
December 20, 2016
Stephanie of Modern Sewciety
@modernsewciety
#modernsewciety




 
December 27, 2016
Erin representing Aurifil
@aurifil 




 
January 3, 2017
 Kait representing Michael Miller Fabrics
@michaelmillerfabrics





Sew Shabby Quilting 
January 10, 2017
Melissa of Sew Shabby Quilting
@sewshabbyquilting




 
January 17, 2017
Sara of The Sara Project
@thesaraproject_




 
January 24, 2017
Whitney representing the Fat Quarter Shop
@fatquartershop




 
January 31, 2017
Sandi of Crafty Planner
@craftyplanner





Clover & Violet
February 7, 2017
Jennie of Clover & Violet
@cloverandviolet




 
February 14, 2017
Emily of Lady and the Gents
http://theladyandthegents.blogspot.com/
@ladyandthegents





On The Cutting Floor
February 21, 2017
Daniela of On The Cutting Floor
@onthecuttingfloor




February 28, 2017 - Winner is Announced
Sandra of Make It Blossom
@sandra.clemons
#makeitblossom




Sunday, October 16, 2016

See MIB at Quilt Market



Hello Friends,

It's been some time since the last I wrote you, but I'm happy to say I've been working hard designing, making, and writing a series of sewing related products you'll love. I'm gearing up for my first experience as an exhibitor at the 2016 International Quilt Market in Houston, TX. I've had a whirlwind of tasks and learning to catch up on, but I'm so happy with the end result. Let me take some time to share with you MIB's latest news.



First, my first fabric collection for Michael Miller Fabrics is out. It's called FRONT YARD. The designs are inspired by the landscape and movement of things in the front yard of my house. It's so exciting to get the collection out in the world. I'm thankful for the team at Michael Miller for making my dreams come true. They love it, I love it, you're going to love it too.

FRONT YARD is available for presale, shipping January 2017. Simply call your local fabric shop to ask for FRONT YARD or if you're a shop owner, call (212-704-0774) or email Michael Miller.

Second, I finished up my official website and my own shop. Phew. It was a lot of work and a lot of learning. I had felt that I'd become quite efficient with blogger for my blog, but a website with a shop was an entirely different animal. The website came out nicely. There's more things I'd like to do to customize the website, but those changes will sprinkle in as the days go by.

And... yes, I have more sewing products available for you. The products were made with FRONT YARD. There's 6 quilt patterns, some of them modern and some traditional. There's a new book, called Simple Patchwork. It has 9 classical blocks, made in 3 block sizes, set in 12 layout options. Plus, it's chalk full of information from my favorite techniques and tips, as well as information for you to build out your own quilt. In addition to the fabric, quilt patterns, and book, there's also 7 garment patterns and 2 decorsewing patterns available. You must check them out!


 

Along with a new website, comes a new email address. Please update my email to sandra@sandramakeitblossom.com.

If you're heading out to market, then come to my schoolhouse and stop by my booth to see in person the beautiful garments and quilts.  Details are noted in the first photo above. I am taking appointments, but I'm flexible either way. Simply shoot me an email to schedule an appointment.

I look forward to meeting many of you at quilt market,
Sandra

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 Fall Quilt Market Readiness



Hello Friends,

It's been a long time, but wanted to say hey and let you know I'm still around.

It's been hard days working on my first booth for Quilt Market, which is about a month away. I'm debuting so much, a fabric collection, new quilting and garment patterns, my second book, and more. You're going to love it.

I'm really excited to be an exhibitor, but it is also my first time. When it comes to design and making, I'm confident. I can talk and talk your ear off, but preparing for such an event like quilt market, it's been a guessing game. A costly guessing game. It's finding this happy middle ground where you anticipate enough to be ready for any business opportunities and yet determining what's overkill.

For example, I have these beautiful brochures and order forms. How many to print, what paper to use, color, both sides, buy online or use local?

I will admit I went overboard on my booth. It's hard walls and it's beautiful. And so more decisions. Do you ship or drive? If you ship, how will it get to the convention center. If you drive, do you rent an u-haul and if so, where do you park it. How much will it all cost?

And yet there's more decisions. How much inventory to bring? What should be preorder or what should be ready for the sale. What's my sale policy, how to price, how will I transact, and so forth.

Then the anxiety questions starts to enter my brain... Will I sell enough to at least break even? Will it be worth my time? I'm optimist, but there's no guarantees.

Overall, I'm really excited. It's been a whirlwind of everything. Designing, making, drafting, writing, photography, building, coordinating, and so forth. And also, I built an official web page.

It's been a lot. I've learned so much. I may not have been efficient this go around, but I'm improving my learning curve. I'm gaining more confidence as a business women and growing as a designer. Those are things to focus on, to focus on the positive.

In the midst of market prep,
Sandra

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Make It Blossom is going Full-Time


Friends,
I have awesome and yet scary news to share with you. The day has come. I have resigned from my day job as the Director of Internal Audit of a financial company downtown Denver. I'm taking Make It Blossom full time! For the past 15 years, I've enjoyed the consistent income from Corporate America. Then, I was able to dedicate all my free time to moving up the corporate ladder. But now, I'm a mom, and a wife, and that kind of commitment to a corporate job is no longer desired. Although my priorities have changed, I still desire to be a business women and create a balance family life.

Wish me luck on this journey. The best support and encouragement you could offer me is to reach me on social media, tell your friends, and check out my store on Etsy. (For shop owners, my patterns and book are available through Brewer, Checker, and United Notions.)



Currently, I'm working on a formal webpage, making my booth for fall Quilt Market, and making samples/patterns for my first fabric collection.

I'm excited for this next chapter in my life. Thank you for being here for me, because without you, this wouldn't be a possibility. Below are some photos of the booth project.

Seizing the day,
Sandra
 

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