Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Meet my Guest Blogger - Sandi Blackwell

I am so pleased to introduce my Guest Blogger this week - Sandi Blackwell.

Sandi is a West Virginian and has been a home sewer for most of her life.  She started quilting in 1992 and has since received numerous awards for her quilted works.

In 1996 she began her own custom-order quilt business named “Stitched Buy”.   Her work has also been displayed or sold all over the United States, Europe, South America and Asia.

Her first published work was a pattern in the “Miniature Quilts” magazine in July, 2000 and was featured on the cover. Since then she has had several patterns published in quilt magazines including Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks - Volume's 3 and 8. 

She has also been selected as one of the quilt designers for the “Quilted In Honor” program, which was launched nationwide in late 2013.  She has also designed quilts for Rockland Industries and currently Island Batik.

Sandi is also a quilt author.  Her first book "Square-agonals®; A New Angle on Quilting" was  released in September of 2010.  It is based on a new technique “Square-agonals®” that she developed.  In November 2011 she released a series of new patterns using the Square-agonals® technique and continually adds new patterns.  She now has a series of quilting books.  “Square-agonals®, 12 Easy Pieces” was released in October 2012 and “Simply Sensational Square-agonals® Quilts” was released in May 2013. She tours both the United States and internationally teaching and lecturing on her technique.  See more of her books in the interview.

She is also an educator on quilt cruises and quilt tours.  Her newest endeavor is filming classes for Craftsy.com!  Her first class “Sensational Square-agonals®”  was released in March 2014.
Following is my interview with Sandi.

Nan: How long have you been quilting?  

Sandi: Over 25 years, I have sewn all my life but started when my children were small.  It was something I always I knew I would start, just didn’t know when.  Little did I know it would become an obsession and take over my life as well as my family’s!  

Nan: What were some of your first quilt projects?

Sandi: I started making miniatures and simple patchwork quilts for my young children.  When I started I had no access to any teachers, I was self-taught and on a limited budget, so many of my original projects no longer exist!  My favorite first projects were memory quilts for my children, using fabric related to their favorite things.

Nan: How did you happen to come up with the Square-agonals Idea?  Was it a fluke or had you been working on an idea?

Sandi: Square-agonals® is a simple creative technique to create an on-point quilt without cutting any corner or setting triangles, no math calculations, and no sewing in diagonal rows.  It is a technique for all quilt levels.

I am a West Virginia artisan and I sell quilts to major artisan centers in West Virginia.  My most popular line is a simple patchwork set on point that is then "aged" to look like an old quilt.  Sometimes I make as many as 30 items at a time, ranging from table mats to lap quilts.  I was convinced there had to be an easier and quicker way to create all these on-point quilts.  So I set out to find it.  I made paper quilts and cut and twisted and turned and reassembled until I happened upon the now “Square-agonals®" technique.  I showed my husband (of 40 years) what I discovered and he informed me I had just used a branch of mathematics called "Dissection of a Square"!

So I did discover it on my own but it was already discovered and proven hundreds of years ago. So I took this method, applied it to quilting, and tweaked it to create hundreds of designs.

Nan: How often are you on the road to teach classes? 

Sandi: Since my first book came out in 2010 I travel more and more every year.  I travel all over the country and have done some international venues.  For 2014 I have events booked once or twice a month including a quilting cruise!  I am already booking into 2015 and beyond.  I love to travel and teach my technique.  My favorite events are quilt guilds and retreats and of course quilting cruises!  I design all the time so I always have new projects available for workshops.

(Sandi's  Second and Third books)

Nan: Do you have any special events planned for the rest of the year? 

Sandi: My son is getting married in May and my daughter in August, so my special events are the weddings and their wedding quilts!  

In my quilting life the big event was filming my Craftsy class “Sensational Square-agonals® and I just returned from my quilting cruise to the Caribbean.  I will be teaching/lecturing/vending at The Quilters Hall of Fame in Marion, Indiana in July.  I will also be traveling to some new states for guild events.  My goal is to teach in every state!

Nan: How can readers purchase your books? 

Sandi: My books are available through quilt shops, so ask your local shop.  They are also available through my web site (www.stitchedbuy.com) and direct from my publisher Landauer Publishing, (www.landauerpub.com/).I also have a line of patterns available on my web site.  Each of the patterns has three size options so it gives the quilter more than one project in each pattern.   Along with my patterns I have created two notions to help make my technique even easier.  They are a cutting guide tape and an arrow guide tape, also available through your local quilt shop or from my web site.

Sandi, thank you so much for being a Guest Blogger! Sandi also has a very special offer for you. She wants to give away her Craftsy Class to one lucky winner. So please leave a comment and tell me what you enjoyed most about the interview. You need to leave a comment by midnight on June 2. I will choose a name by Random.org and notify the lucky winner. 

But wait, there is more, if you don't win, Sandi has offered a $5.00 discount off of her Craftsy class to all of my readers, so you see everybody is a winner. I will share that code once the winner is announced. So start talking and leave your comments now.

I hope you enjoyed this blog today.  Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter as I offer specials every month. Just add your name to the list

Until next time...



  1. Great to learn more about Sandi and her quilts!
    She's going to have a busy summer with her son and daughter getting married within three months!

  2. I admire Sandi being self-taught and creating a new method of quilting! And while her children were young yet. I have no doubt those wedding quilts will be gorgeous!

  3. My favorite part of the interview with Sandi was when she said that her on-point technique requires no cutting corners, setting triangles, math calculations, or sewing rows on the diagonal! All sounds wonderful to me.

  4. Thanks for introducing us to Sandi! I am enrolled in several Craftsy classes and think they're a great way to reach a lot of people who might not otherwise be able to take a class from such well-known artists. Congratulations to her!

  5. I have known Sandi for a number of years and she is a wonderful person aand I consider her a great friend. My great grandmother, and mother were all quilters, so it's in my blood. Sandi taught me everything I know about quilting. Her technique is awesome. I would encourage anyone to try her patterns.

  6. This is from Shari M.
    She writes that she loves the fact that Sandi figured out a way to make it so simple to help all of us make beautiful quilts!

  7. I like the way Sandi talks about developing her Square-agonals® technique for quilting and then finding out the concept already existed. Learning to do things on your own can be challenging, but also rewarding. Thank you for sharing.