mbCD News 1:11 - Fave Sewing Room Notions, Quilting Weight Cottons + Caring For Your Cutting Mat
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Chris Chats
October ended with more travelling - this time to Barcelona and what a wonderful time I had there.  I've not been on top form health wise since my return but I have managed to put out a couple of blog posts about the trip.

As new VP of the NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild, I'm super busy with the other board members learning the ropes and introducing/implementing new ideas for our guild sessions.  It's a lot of work but hopefully, this will settle down once the guild's moving smoothly down its new paths.

Next Friday we've a Guild outing to the exhibition, Painted, Pieced and Padded: Masterwork Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum at their Collections & Education Centre in Queens, I'll let you know how it is.

This week I spent the day with Caroline Critchfield of Sew Can She when I lent her my sewing machine for a project she was working on in the city.  I love her website and over the years we've spoken via the internet yet this was the first time we've met.  I'm excited to share more about her project with you when I'm given the okay to talk about it.

Lots of catching up to do now, I've quite a few projects that have to be completed quickly. Hopefully, I'll soon be feeling more like sitting at the sewing machine again - well I have to whether I feel up to it or not, it's quite a different kettle of fish when you're sewing for deadlines rather than pleasure! 

Don't miss a US giveaway coming on the blog this week and my new Trapped Square pattern release, more details in mbCD News.

If you're happy to stick around, thanks for subscribing and let's do this together :D

Chris Dodsley
owner at made by ChrissieD
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Quilt by Chris Dodsley of
So what happens when the very hungry caterpillar has eaten his way through all that food on the quilt top? Click through to blog to find out!
September and October Progress & News by Chris Dodsley
The title says it all!
Oyambre Fabric Store, Barcelona by Chris Dodsley of
My Exploring series continues - take a photo tour of Oyambre, a textile craft store in Barcelona, Spain.
September and October Progress & News by Chris Dodsley
Exploring Barcelona, Spain -
A Photo Tour

Again, the title says it all!


I have 2 winners to announce: the first is Vicki H who is the lucky winner of the First Blush/Aurifil giveaway held on my blog. Visit my blog to read what Vicki would like to make with the First Blush FQ collection;

and congrats also to Beth Talmage, who is the lucky winner of the Benartex Mug Rug Blog Hop giveaway also held here on my blog.
Many congrats to you both and I hope you enjoy your prize goodies :D
Your Favourite Sewing Room Notions
I particularly loved reading the Sewing Room giveaway comments.  When I do a giveaway, it's always disappointing that I can't reply to the comments on the blog, firstly there are way too many and secondly because, if I reply then my replies would also be included in the giveaway entries and mess up the numbering and random prize winning selector.  

I thought your comments on my Sewing Room Mug Rug giveaway were quite revealing and interesting to share - I asked you to name your favourite sewing room notion and I've put the results into this chart.

Far and away, your fave notion is your rotary cutter.  Lots of call outs for rulers in all shapes and sizes though I did list Bloc-Locs separately as they're a whole HST tool in themselves and mention should also be made of strip cutting rulers.  There are several now on the market but the brand I use is by June Tailor.  Many of the tools mentioned I have myself and love - here are links to my info pages for Bloc-Locs + Rotating Cutting Mat and also to the June Tailor Shape-Cut Plus Ruler.

A quick Google search revealed what a Tool Turn is, a rotating sectional holder, a bit like a pencil pot but larger with more sections and I just may have now asked Santa to bring me one - thanks to Penny for sharing that :D

Most other items are self-explanatory except maybe skewer. If I expand to tell you all the items I have included under this you'll know immediately that we're all looking for anything long and pointed to help ease our fabric under the presser foot without having our fingers punctured by a fast travelling needle! - bamboo skewer, stiletto, awls and That Purple Thang (my own fave and I have many around my sewing room!) . Scissors were mentioned by brand and along with straight cut, you also love serrated blades too.

How many of these notions do you have in your Sewing Room and do you now have ideas for more?  Let me know if you have a fave notion, I'd love to add more to the chart :D
Click To Tell Me Your Fave Sewing Room Notion

Many of you admired the small white tray I used with my Sewing Room Mug Rug tute and asked where you can get one.  I was gifted mine by a friend, it was brown and I gave it three coats of white chalk paint.

I've done a bit of internet searching and found a few similar trays - note they're similar not the same. Obviously, I haven't bought these trays or used them myself so I'm not recommending them or endorsing the companies selling them, please be sure to do your own research before purchasing, but here are the links if you want to take a look.

My tray - external measurements 5-1/4" x 8-3/4" internal measurements 4-1/2" x 8-1/8"
12" paintable wood serving tray
11" beech wooden tray
7.25" paintable wood tray
6.5" beech tray
5-piece paintable wooden trays

The Difference Between Chain Store Fabrics and Quilter’s Grade Fabrics

I recently read this Keepsake Quilting article explaining the difference between chain store fabrics and quilter's grade fabrics and thought it worthy of sharing with you.  I also want to tell you about a quilt I once saw that very much proved the point that chain store fabrics are indeed inferior to quilter's grade fabrics.  

The quilt I saw was made quite a while ago - probably 20-30 years - by a relatively new quilter at that time.  The quilt blocks were made up of a colourful print pattern on a solid black background.  Part way through making the quilt top the maker ran out of her original solid black quilter's grade fabric and she topped up the blocks using an identical shade of black solid from a chain store, as necessary to finish the quilt.  She then gifted the quilt and thought no more of it.

20-30 years later she met up with the quilt recipient again and he was mortified at her seeing the condition of the quilt she'd made for him.  Sections of the quilt were faded to a lighter shade of grey and in pieces, falling apart if you even looked at it, other sections were like new and still dark solid black with no holes and damage.  He apologised profusely and said he had no idea why or how this had happened - he had laundered it always with great care and didn't have pets that had caused the uneven damage.  

The quilt maker knew immediately the answer to his conundrum - the quilter's grade black solid was as new while the chain store black solid she'd used to top up the number of blocks had deteriorated beyond measure.

How I wish I'd taken a photo of that quilt, if only you could see it too, unfortunately, I didn't so you'll have to take me word for it.  None of us knows what future lies in store for our quilts as we make them - will they be a throwaway item or a cherished family heirloom?  We do know that we put much time, heaps of love and masses of energy into creating them so maybe, if budget allows, we should consider giving our quilts the best quality start in life so in turn, they have the best possible chance of surviving to create a long history.
Printing + Sharing My Tips + Tutes
I have a housekeeping matter to mention relating to my tips and tutes, many of which are proving extremely popular across the internet and are being printed off and shared.  Some readers email me asking for permission to share with friends or their guild, huge thanks to everyone who does this.  My reply is always yes with the proviso that full credit is given to me along with a link back to my blog.

Unfortunately, that is not always the case and though obviously, as a teacher, I'm always delighted to share my knowledge and 'spread the word', I'd love you to do the same in return for me.  Please, please tell everyone that you found the info on my mbCD blog and suggest they visit my blog too.  

It takes many hours to create tutorials and manage the blog and newsletter, currently with no monetary benefit for me but if you keep visiting my blog over and over and tell your friends to do the same the traffic it generates for the blog is bringing my name to the attention of more people in the quilting community which, is payback in itself.

Additionally, my blog is monitored by Copyscape and carries the following copyright notice

Uncredited reproduction of all content, text and images on this site is prohibited.
All content, text and images must be credited to
Chris Dodsley @made by ChrissieD
and include a link back to this site.

If you continue to support me in turn, I can continue to provide this resource to the whole quilting community.  Thanks for your help and understanding.

The Quilt Show
Let's Get Organized: Week 42
Keeping Things Clean

Do you follow Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims' Daily Blog? It's a fun read and they have a great weekly segment - Let's Get Organized.  At the end of October, they looked at keeping things clean in the sewing room and it includes my post How To Clean A Self-Healing Cutting Mat, did you know you need to keep your mat moisturised?  
Benartex will be giving away a Fat Quarter bundle on my blog this week,
15 to 23 November (to be confirmed) - open to US residents only.  Be sure to visit and enter AND there'll be a new free pattern release as well as quilt design tips - playing with fabric and colour.

At the end of October, my husband was on business in Barcelona, I tagged along and for a couple of days, our kids joined us too.  We all live in different countries, America, Scotland, England and Spain so we seldom have the opportunity to see our kids, it's even rarer to see all three at the same time, and we hadn't seen our grandson since he was three weeks old, exactly two years ago.

You might be able to imagine something of how incredible it was for us all to be together in Barcelona.

I'd like to share a handful of photos with you of our wonderful time together.
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