June Designer of the Month Sandra Johnson

I’m Designer, Author, and your host for this program, Pat Sloan.  This year we challenged each designer to create a block inspired by our Aurifil Color Builders’ collectionI assigned each month a color/city and the Designer can work their magic using either the City, the colors or both! Each designer has their box + matching Kona Cotton Solids from Robert Kaufman in the shades of the thread. I also gave each designer a charcoal linen from Robert Kaufman for them to use if they like.

For June it’s the beautiful shades of Blue found in the lake of Como Italy. We are inspired this month by our Aurifil Thread box collection’s 3 gorgeous shades of blue.

Sandra Johnson finds her perfect inspiration in shades of blue. She is an immensely talented designer and teacher using repurposed fabrics, with a focus on blue jeans. I was hooked on following Sandra after seeing some of the really amazing clothing items she has made using quilt blocks. You can find her work and book her to teach from her website http://sandrajohnsondesigns.com/ and her Instagram account https://www.instagram.com/sandrajohnsondesigns/

Missed a month from previous years? CLICK FOR PRIOR DESIGNER interviews

We have a Challenge portion of our Designer of the Month interview. Each month we select one random winner to receive a 3 boxes from our Color Builder series. All you have to do is making the challenge block that you download below and share it at the link! Details at the end plus last month’s winner!

Let’s get to know Sandra!


Where do you live and what is your favorite spot there?

Orange County, California and my favorite spot is anywhere outside with my family.

When was your first quilt sighting?

When I was in 7th grade my mother’s best friend won a raffle and the prize was beginning quilting classes. She gave them to me and I have never looked back.

Did it inspire you to start quilting?

At this time in my life I was in love with creating clothing and quilts it
was my happy place. I would stay up and create outfits to wear to school the next day. I continued on this path into high school where I received the Outstanding Home Economic student as a senior.

When I attended Arizona State University I majored in Home Economic and received my B. S. Liberal Arts, Textiles and Clothing.

Have you had a ‘light bulb’ moment in making

My light bulb moment was when I decided to create using the fabrics and supplies that I have around me. Many time quilters feel they need to purchase fabrics for new projects based on the pattern I try to work with what I have and this is why I also feel very strong about using repurposing denim.

Sandra you do a lot of re-purposing of fiber. When did you first look at quilts and decide they would make fabulous clothing? What part do you love best about taking textile items and reusing them for s

I started working with repurposed denim a few years back because I wanted to use what I had around the house. Working with denim from denim jeans can be hard and time consuming but it is my 1st love. I enjoy taking something that others can no longer use and repurpose them into art and usable items.

The history of the jean overall for African Americans after slavery is also what inspires me to use denim. Being part of my history as an African American who in the past would have been judged by what they would wear is very unfair. During the Marches with Dr. Martin Luther King African Americans were told to not wear jean overall but their Sunday Best. They wanted the news to report that the African Americans were educated and intelligent.

Sandra’s Studio

What is your favorite book?

Spiritual Autobiography by Sidney Poitier – This book just tells you about his life and how powerful what he learned from a child shaped his life. Raised on a small island and then moving to the USA.

What is your favorite movie ?

Mahogany staring Diana Ross – I enjoyed the fashion aspact of the movie and the love story is amazing.

Favorite snack food?

Pop Corn

Favorite place to take out of town guests?

Downtown Los Angeles fabric district

Tell us how you used the Como Blue for your block

My inspiration Como a city in Italy. Como is a city at the southern tip of Lake Como in northern Italy. This area is known for the Gothic Como Cathedral, which is a scenic funicular railway and a waterfront promenade. Lake Como is surrounded by natural landscape which reflects the amazing blue color of the lakes water.

Inspired by the shapes of the stain glass windows found in the Como Cathedral dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary which was constructed in the 14th century. The center of the block is divided into 4 squares blocks. Each individual block pie shape is created with two of the como blue colors from the aruifil como blue thread builder set. From there I used the remaining como blue color from the como blue thread builder set. The final block is made up of Sashiko pattern fabric and handstitched. As if you are looking into the water of the lake as the lake bottom becomes deeper the watercolor also changes.


Note: Sandra hand stitched the sashiko on her border fabric, it is stunning!


Visit Sandra at:

Website : http://sandrajohnsondesigns.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sandrajohnsondesigns/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SandraJohnsonDesigns/

Each year I make the Aurifil blocks in a totally different set of fabrics.

CLICK TO MY Website for a few tips on how I made this block

Enter your block BELOW by July 14, 2019 to be in the running to win a SET of 3 Aurifil Color Builder Thread BOXs!

An InLinkz Link-up


And  JOIN my fantastic online quilt group with the most incredible  quilt show each day… I’d love to meet you!

1 Watermak-Needle-Black

******* JOIN our Aurifil Family  *******

EACH MONTH we will pick one random winner that has made a block.. that person will receive a special Aurifil thread prize! Winners are all contacted email

random number picker selected SillyKat’s  block! You’ve been emailed

CLICK to see all the great versions for last months HERE


  1. Thank you for introducing us to Sandra. Please feature more designers/quilters/sewists of color on your Auribuzz website.

  2. Sandra,
    So good to see you thriving in your career. My quilting is still influenced by what we learned from you during your workshop at the Glendale Quilt Guild in February of 2018. I even made a second red, white and blue denim quilt. Thank you for sharing such fabulous pictures of your family, your studio, and your designs, too. Hope to see you somewhere in the quilting world, soon, and even more virtual visits.

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