teaching sewing confidence, tip by tip

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

July Progress & News

What does July mean for quilters? - Christmas of course!

This is the time of year when the fabric companies release their Christmas fabric collections.  Desperate to help quilters buy up that fabric get a head start on their Christmas gift list, they enlist the help of bloggers to share the fabrics with you.  We all know that's what's happening, don't we? but who doesn't love thinking about snuggling up in front of a blazing fire in the middle of our summer heat?  The truth is a quilt isn't made overnight (I know, sometimes they just have to be ;) ) so it does make sense to get a head start and those fabrics are pretty cute so I declare myself guilty of joining in the craziness that is Christmas in July.

The thing is I now have all my Christmas cards made, not one but three Christmas pillows for my sofas and a Christmas snuggle quilt - I'm a very happy bunny (or maybe that should be penguin?)

Never one for being selfish I've shared everything I've made with you this month in the form of tutes so you can make some too - links included below.  Let's quickly recap what I've been working on before we move on to my news and look at upcoming August projects.
You can click any image to go through to the post and read more:

which includes the following tutes

(giveaway has ended)

There were a couple of other projects aside from Christmas in July:

The pattern for my detachable wallet and key clip to co-ordinate with the reversible tote bag I designed for Benartex was released on the Benartex blog;

and I caught up on my June Improv: Beyond The Bee block for my NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild sewing bee.

I led a fab Social Sewing evening at Gotham Quilts in July too, there was a plenty sewing going on as well as a lot of chatting and laughing.

Amanda, a student from one of my Jelly Roll Quilt classes last year finished sewing together her quilt top from that class and we basted it on the wall - have you ever basted a quilt on the wall?  I love sharing how to use techniques like this in my sewing sessions.  While it was still on the wall I snapped this pic of the top - I absolutely love this all solid, two colour version of my quilt technique, I think it's stunning.  

 If you'd like to make your own version here's the link to the technique.

I'll be hosting Social Sewing at Gotham Quilts again on Saturday, 13 August, 6-10 pm - 40 W37th Street, Suite 603, Manhattan.  There are 2 slots left so don't think about it too long if you'd like to us - you can click through here to book online.  I won't be teaching in September and October as I'm travelling to South Africa and Spain.

There were two made by ChrissieD newsletters in July.  I have to admit I've been taken totally by surprise at the success of the newsletter - readership currently stands at 1,528 with a 57% open rate which really isn't shabby.  Just in case you missed them here's the links so you can catch up:

There's a lot of overlap between the content of the newsletter and my monthly progress updates so I've decided I'll continue the WIP/UFO updates on the blog through to the end of December, then I'll include my Trello images monthly in the newsletter instead.

If you'd like to subscribe and have future newsletters emailed directly to you, you can do so here - and, I'd love it if you'd let your friends know too :D

Projects in the pipeline for August include:

A First Blush quilt - First Blush is a new fabric collection by Ruby Red Designs/It's So Emma for Windham Fabrics available in September.  I'm working on a quilt pattern that I'll share with you on 10 October, I've sewn the quilt rows together and I'm ready to add the borders.

There's a Benartex Back To School blog hop coming up and I'm finalising a tute for a pencil case I've designed using the new Simply Chic fabric collection.  I've not seen a pencil case like it on the internet - and that's pretty hard to achieve these days when everything's been done before! so I hope it works and you love it.  

I've got 2 more fabric collections to work with from Windham Fabrics - Lotta Jansdotter's Hemma and Annabel Wrigley's Maribel - both collections are available this month.  Waiting to hear what Windham would like me to do with them.

I've designed a wall quilt pattern using Dupioni silk that will be available later this year to buy as a kit from my friend Susan Sato @Easy Piecing.  I'll let you know more about it as it progresses.

I've got several other projects I have to complete this month too:
A vendor apron to wear at Quilters Take Manhattan
July Improv: Beyond The Bee block - I've actually completed this now but I'll share it in my August progress report.
I have to plan and send out the September Improv: Beyond The Bee block - it's my turn to be Queen Bee
NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild Summer Paint Chip Challenge 18" mini quilt

Finally, it's time to take a look how my UFO/WIP List looked at the end of June;

and let's compare it with the end of June - those last 5 columns on the right are all finished work:
Completed - JulyJuneMayApril / March / February / January

Can't get over how much I'm achieving though I'd like to move more of the WIP/UFOs to the completed side rather than adding newly completed projects.  I'm using the web app Trello, a digital notebook, you can read more about it here in my January Progress Report.

and here's my updated UFO/WIP list at end July 2016 
I'll carry on including the list in this format too so you can click through to the blog posts and read more but I'll also include my Trello boards because these are such a great visual of my progress.

Bear's Paw quilt - NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild Bee Quilt - started December 2012
Transparency quilt - started 2012
5 baby quilts - started 2012
Skillbuilder quilt - started January 2013
Giant HST quilt - NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild Bee Quilt - started December 2014
Shirt quilt - started 2014
Cloud 9 circles quilt - started January 2015
Aviatrix quilt - started 2015
Batik animal quilt - started 2012-2015
Improv curves quilt - started 2015
Sliced jelly roll quilt - started 2015
8 Snugglies - started 2015
8 Point Star Quilt - started March 2015
Sashiko/Kantha quilt - started July 2015
Kukulcan quilt - started May 2015

Jelly roll quilt -  started December 2015/finished January 2016
Quilting By The Lake quilt - started July 2015/finished January 2016
Sliced improv block quilt - NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild Bee Quilt - started November 2013/finished January 2016
4 Snugglies - started 2015/finished February 2016
4 Snugglies - started 2015/finished March 2016
Xmas quilt - started/finished July 2016

Quilt Blocks & Pattern Testing
Timeless Treasures NYC Metro MOD Quilt Guild challenge - started/finished February 2016
Seahorse FPP testing for Tartankiwi - started February 2016/finished March 2016
NYC Metro MOD QG Improv: Beyond The Bee blocks for Jenny - started/finished May 2016
3 Guild Officer signature blocks - started/finished May 2016
3 Hearts for #Pulse blocks - started/finished June 2016
6 Rainbow Strip for #Pulse blocks - started/finished June 2016
Floating Squares - Improv Beyond The Bee blocks for Audrey - started/finished July 2016

Hand Sewing
Cross stitch - lilies - started 2003
Coffin hexies - started January 2013
Hexie hexies - started 2014

Hand quilted quilt - started September 2013/finished January 2016

Flicky's dress - started 2012
Flicky's skirt - started 2014
Boxer shorts - started January 2015

Boxer shorts - started January 2015/finished January 2016
Flicky's PJ bottoms - started/finished January 2016
Flicky's PJ bottoms - started/finished January 2016
2 Liberty Aprons - started/finished February 2016

Textile Crafts
Pirate dolls - started 1998
Flicky's book cover - started 2010
Jelly Roll block cushion - started 2013
Xmas cushion - started 2013
Flapped tissue case - started 2013
Snail block - started 2013
Fabric game - started 2014
Fabric book - started 2014
Create fabric covers for 2 canisters - started 2015
Tula Pink storage containers - started December 2015
Name Badge - started February 2016

Mini butterfly cushion - started December 2012/finished January 2016
Pincushion Organiser/Thread Catcher - started/finished February 2016
Slouchy Bag - started/finished March 2016
13 Pixie Baskets - started/finished March 2016
Modern By The Yard Issue 1:2 Elephant Tote Bag - started/finished May 2016
Modern By The Yard Issue 1:2 Sevilla Tote Bag - started/finished May 2016
Sevilla Detachable Wallet & Key Clip - started/finished May 2016
Xmas Cards - started/finished June 2016
Penguin cushion - started/finished July 2016
2 Xmas cushions - started/finished July 2016

Textile Art
Quilting By The Lake - Series 1 - started July 2015
Quilting By the Lake - Series 2 - started July 2015

Replace worn blocks on Simon's quilt - started November 2015
Restuff and mend teddy - started 2015
Repair various clothes for family - started 2015

Replace buttons on Button quilt - started November 2015/finished February 2016
Repair handles on felted bag - started April 2012/finished February 2016
Repaired quilting lines on Yuma quilt - started/finished March 2016
Flicky's and Chris' jeans repair - started/finished May 2016
Flicky's tweed coat repair - started/finished May 2016
Flicky's satin dress sleeve refit - started/finished May 2016
resizing Flicky's king size duvet set to a queen size - started/finished May 2016

To keep track of all related blog posts in one place I've created a page you can click through to and see this post and each of my monthly update reports; you can click through to it here.

Have you sworn to clear your UFOs/WIP this year?  How are you going about it?  Let me know if you start using the Trello app too.
Do share your ideas and progress, you might just inspire someone to do the same :D

Clicking on an image will take you to a new page of crafty goodness :)

This post is for informational purposes only, no payment or commission is received on click-throughs to links shared.

Click to follow Chris Dodsley of made by ChrissieD on Bloglovin'

Linky Parties This post may be linked to some great Linky Parties, always a great source of inspiration too.  If you click through to my 'Fave Linky Parties'  page you can see where I like to share my work.


  1. I'm popping by to thank you for your blog posts. I really enjoy them. I looked for the wall basting method but couldn't find it. I did see lots of other interesting posts and tutorials including the post about your sewing studio. I loved the views of NYC but I couldn't have a view like that or I wouldn't get anything done. I currently have a crammed one bedroom apt. and need to find a new apt. and would love to get a two bedroom but know that won't happen now. I am putting "bright" at the top of the "must-have" list. Thanks again for creating an inspirational blog for us!

    1. Hi Mary, apols if my post mislead you, I don't have a wall basting tute on the blog as yet, I was referring to showing it to a student in the classroom. It would be an easy tute to share here on the blog though so the next time I'm wall basting at home, I'll take pics and create a tute. You've given me the nudge to do it! The beauty of living on the west bank of the Hudson River is the light in my apartment, it's one of the main reasons I chose to live in Jersey City rather than in Manhattan - size wise I compare it to living in a NJ boot box rather than a NY shoe box but the light is so much better and, of course, I have the incredible view :D Chris

  2. Wow your list of projects, completed and in progress is so impressive and inspiring. July and August felt like productive months for me but not quite as yours. Thanks for sharing and inspiring us!

    1. I'm so enjoying seeing you blogging again Martha; I've always been a huge fan of your work and your photography is stunning. I know I get through a lot and sometimes I feel I'm working a production line rather than being creative in my art - a line may need to be drawn at some point. Thanks so much for saying it's inspiring, that makes my day :D


I love to hear from everyone, thank you for taking the time to read my blog and share your thoughts. Please leave a message to let me know you visited, it's a great way to get to know you all better too :)

Chris Dodsley

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