Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scrappy Crosses Quilt Top & 300th post!!!

First... I just noticed this is my 300th blog post!! That is crazy.

 Anyway... still trying to use up my scraps but for some reason I seem to be using up my solids more than my scraps. Oh well. I started these blocks yesterday and finished the top this morning. I could only make six blocks because I ran out of the off-white colored solid, so I guess this can be a wall hanging or table topper when it's finished since it definitely can't be a quilt now.

I know us quilters are not supposed to point out our mistakes... but with this top alone, SO.MANY.MISTAKES!!! Hopefully they will be a lot less noticeable once it's quilted. Not sure what I will use for the backing or how I will quilt it but I'm sure I will figure something out later today. I think I will most likely end up using techniques I learned in Angela Walter's class on Craftsy. I did use what I learned on this quilt and love how it turned out.

Oh yeah... I added a page to my blog just for photos of my finished quilts, in chronological order, including my very first "quilt" from 2001.  I really haven't made many quilts but lately I seem to be sewing random things less and just focusing on quilts. Funny how that happens.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Scrappy Fall Leaves Table Runner

I finished my table runner! I can't remember the last time I finished something so quickly. I just finished binding it. All it needs now is to be washed. But here it is before washing (pattern can be found here)

I realize I am not the greatest free motion quilter... but oh well. It's mine... actually I was thinking I would give it to the wife of someone my husband works with since my husband has taken over their garage while building me a rocking chair.

I'm just glad to finally be using up my scraps.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Working on... something finally.

I haven't sewn anything in a while really. Except two quilt blocks. I bought EQ7 and it is just so addictive I spend all my free time on that instead of sewing.

My sewing room was really messy, it happens all the time, so the other day I spent my free time in there cleaning. Then I organized all my fabric again, sorted my scraps again, moved my tables a little.

Yesterday I decided I wanted to try to use some of my scraps. I use small plastic containers to hold them and most are starting to get full. (see my craft room here, although the tables are constantly being moved around).

I went in there for a couple hours and just took one scrap box at a time and ended up with five maple leaf blocks. I didn't even get bored making the same block repeatedly like I usually do, I guess because they were different colors?

As is the norm for me, these were supposed to be 6 1/2" unfinished blocks but they are more like 6 1/8" unfinished blocks. Well at least they are all the same size. I still haven't figured out why this happens to me. My math is right!!! I mean I hate math, but this is simple math and I know my math is right. My squares are cut at 2 1/2"... frustrating for sure.

Recently I read something about thicker threads can cause you to lose some fabric in the end, and the more seams you have across a row the smaller your block will end up being. Makes sense to me.

Anyway, today is Sunday and nobody has to go to work, we can't really go anywhere because it's raining, so hopefully I will get extra time to sew today, as I really want to finish whatever this is going to be. Right now I am thinking it's going to be an autumn table runner... which now that I think of it, if I add hanging pockets to the corners it can double as a wall hanging. I think that's what I'm going to do.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

For my reference and yours. EQ fabric downloads.

So far this is all I have been able to find. I will update this post as I find more. But really... how much more "fabric" does a person need in EQ7?

Connecting Threads fabrics can be downloaded here.

Moda fabrics can be found and downloaded here.

Riley Blake fabrics can be downloaded from here after choosing a fabric type and then a fabric line. There is a blue button on the right that says "download images".

Fabric of the Month downloads from DoYouEQ are here and go back a few years.

Northcutt fabrics has a "download fabrics for EQ" button on each fabric collection page.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Giraffe Quilt Block and a confession

I designed this cute giraffe quilt block a while ago and finally decided to try to put it together. This first one I messed up on :/ I wasn't paying attention to my diagram and I put the nostrils on upside down. Oops. He is still cute though. I used this green fabric because this was a test block and I have never liked this green fabric (somebody gave it to me) but now that I see it used I kind of like it.

My second block came out better, I did not mess up the nostrils on this one.

I have a confession to make. Some of the rows in these blocks have a lot of seams, which means my block came out too small because I suck a little. It's not just this  block, but anything I do that has several seams comes out too small. Both of my lonestar quilts, which start with a large lonestar block, came out too small... and both times I watched the Craftsy video as I was working to make sure I was doing it right.... always so careful with cutting and so careful with piecing and still my lonestars were much smaller than they were supposed to be. Why does this happen to me???

Even when I use the 1/4" foot that came with my Juki... I think I read somewhere maybe my thread is too thick.

Anyway, so my blocks are smaller than they should be, but the measurements are correct. You can find the pattern for the giraffe quilt block here. It should finish at 12" square.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Playing around, here are a few patterns

I bought EQ7 and I've been messing around with it. Oh my gosh it is soooo addictive. Currently I am working on two quilts that I think are super cute but writing the patterns is taking a while. One of those two I absolutely cannot wait to make.

Here are three that are finished though. Well two quilts and one quilt block. All super simple because I was learning the program.

You can find them all on Craftsy and one is FREE.

 12" x 12" quilt block

48" x 60" lap quilt

40" x 40" baby quilt

So that is what I've been up to, outside of the typical mom and family stuff.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

School backpack complete.

I have wanted to make a backpack for a long time. I finally made one for my daughter! She picked the fabrics herself.

I used the pattern found here. I added two inches to the width and I think three inches to the height (if I remember correctly). I also added a front pocket as requested and side pockets with elastic. And I made the straps a few inches longer and a bit wider. I also made the carrying loop longer.

It is not perfect by any means. I didn't use the piping and that messed up the measurements a little bit I think... I'm not sure. But my daughter loves it, and it works, it's lined, it fits. So it's good.

I can now cross one thing off my to-do list.

In other news, I did finally finish my secret project. It came out nice and I can't wait to show you!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June's Most Popular Posts, a little surprising.

The top ten posts for June were:

Sewn: a lot of little things: just a bunch of stuff I was working on for Craft Fairs.

What a Disaster: where I share with you how miserably I failed at the local Farmer's Market.

Three of my Zoe art quilt posts made the top ten this month, including, of course, the finished quilt post.

Getting Along: an art quilt I finished in 2013. My largest art quilt and the one that I am most proud of.

DIY, fast, east and inexpensive baby changing pad: a few people link to this super simple and fast tutorial

Jelly Roll Thread Catcher: this has always been popular on the blog, it is one of the all time most popular posts.

Jelly Roll Reversible Tote: another consistently popular tutorial.

And the number one most popular post for the month of June, which I found really surprising and can't quite figure out why it's the number one post: A Finished QAYG Bag

Also you may have noticed a name change on my sites. I decided to change directions and while my link is still the same because it's kind of a hassle to change it and switch all that over, I have gone ahead and changed my name from "Sew Simple Designs" to "GMHN Quilts". GMHN being my children's first initials in order of their birth.

I am almost finished with my secret project and then I can move on to my to-do list, which now includes a backpack for my daughter.