New Gig: EQ Mini Friday Fun with Lori


I am so honored to be the host of EQ Mini Friday Fun with Lori. This is a blog series devoted to sharing, teaching, and providing information the new scaled down, simpler version of EQ7 quilt design software.  This program was created for quilters who are just getting started using software for quilt design.  EQ Mini will help you create, edit, share, and print patterns and yardage for your quilt designs.  EQ Mini was created by The Electric Quilt Company.  You can find my Friday Fun on the blog.


I was introduced to EQ Mini when I volunteered to beta test the software before it was released.  I was so impressed with the easy flow and friendly beginner aspects of the software.  I love the colored step by step tabs that let you easily work to create and edit a design.  And even though it is a Mini version of the Electric Quilt 7 software, it is still robust enough to offer a ton of design possibilities. It contains a block library of 300 pieced and appliqué blocks that can be set in 4 layout styles, there are 8 different border styles and a fabric library of over 3500 scanned fabrics to use to make your designs exactly how you want them.  There are a slew of add on blocks you can purchase as well as fabric stash libraries to add even more options for your software.


Each month I will share tips and techniques, tutorials, design project skill builders, and maybe even a little show and tell of what I am working on in my studio.  Head on over to for My helpful EQ Mini designs posts, then come back here.  I will share take those designs and share tutorials to help you transform the design into beautiful stitched projects.

New Pattern: Calico Table Runner and More

This festive fall table runner features a harvest of Calico Corn.  I supersized my ear of corn quilt block from my Grandma Town block of the month quilt and added the colors of fall.  Make it scrappy or planned, but this lovely table runner will look wonderful on your fall table or even as the star attraction of the Thanksgiving table. I am having a sale on this For Sale pattern through the end of October 31st, 2016.

I have also included instructions for a large hot pad which is large enough for a casserole dish or cake pan.

The two small hot pads use the 6” version of the calico corn block.  Both hot pads would make lovely mini quilts as well.  A nice idea for a hostess or holiday gift.

Finished Sizes are Table Runner – 36 ½” x 12 ½”; Large Hot Pad  – 12” x 16”; and Small Hot Pad 8” x 8”.

I started with my ear of corn from my Grandma Town Block of the Month from 2015.  I started playing around with my design in EQ7, the quilt design software.  I ended up ditching the bottom part of the ear of corn.  It added complexity to the block, was hard to get the alignment just right, and without it I had a square block.  And in the design, you do not even miss it.


Here is my updated ear of corn in fall colors with my multicolored calico corn.  It was easy to play around with the different parts of the design in the software.  I decided I wanted a much larger 12″ block to make a table runner, so I resized the block.


Here is the larger 12″ block with the extra borders for the large hot pad.  It was so easy to add a pieced component to the corn itself with the EQ7 software.

To make piecing the ear of corn easier, I used scrappy fall 1 1/2″ strips in groups of four and sewed them together.

Then I cut them again into 1 1/2″ strips and mixed and matched randomly.

I made 16 patch units to assemble the large ears of corn.  You need 3 – 16 patch units for each one.

I used three large ear of corn for the table runner and quilted hash lines through the corn and a free motion echo on the husk.

I quilted little loops all through the background so it looks like small stippling.  It makes the calico corn the star!

For the small hot pads, I just kept the hash lines through the whole thing.  I did add a layer of Insul Bright heat resistant fabric, so the extra quilting made it lay nice and flat.

The large hot pad is perfect for a casserole dish or cake pan size item.

Wouldn’t this hotpad make a great mini quilt to hang on your door for Thanksgiving too?

You can find my Calico Corn Table Runner and More pattern  FOR SALE by following either link for My Patterns or My Shop!

Thanks for letting me share!  Tag me on Instagram at lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see your version!



New Pattern: Gingerbread House Pincushion and More

lori miller designs gingerbread house pincushion

I am pleased to share that my original pattern for My Gingerbread House Pincushion is now available for sale.  I have even added bonus instructions to make it into a soft tree ornament or a Gift Card Holder to hang on your Christmas tree.  This adorable holiday gift idea might look familiar.


It was featured in Quilting Arts Holiday Magazine in 2014.  It holds a special place in my heart because this was the very first original pattern that I had published in a Magazine.


I was inspired to grab my holiday scraps to come up with a gift idea for my small sewing group.  Each year, we like to exchange home made gifts for Christmas.  We are all quilters and since I am totally addicted to pincushions, the idea took shape to make a Gingerbread House.

Lori Miller Designs supplies

I thought the jumbo white rick rack was a stroke of genius to mimic the snowy icing.
 It made an adorable pincushion and I use some very easy techniques to piece it all together that make it a jiffy to stitch up in an afternoon.  You can make multiples at once very easily.  Finished size is 5 ” square.

One of the bonuses I added to the pattern is to create a soft ornament for your tree.  You just add a ribbon hanger and only lightly stuff the little Gingerbread House.

The second bonus instructions included is to add a little pocket on the back of the Gingerbread House to make it into a Gift Card Holder.  You can tuck in a couple of gift cards, a note from Santa or even a candy cane for fun.

You can find my Gingerbread house Pincushion and more pattern  FOR SALE by following either link for My Patterns or My Shop!

Thanks for letting me share!  Tag me on Instagram at lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see your version!

Jennifer’s Messenger Bag

My girlfriend, Jennifer, wanted me to make her a messenger bag.  She is a knitter and spinner extraordinaire and wanted something to take to a spinning conference and classes.

I had made her this cute Sew Together Bag, a Peekaboo Pencil Case by Pickle Pie Designs, and a name tag last year and she wanted something to match.

It has the cutest pattern of sheep knitting in red, black and white.  Can you spot something weird with that white sheep in the upper left corner?


I could not really find a pattern I liked, so I combined a bunch of patterns and ideas and created this prototype. I just used some fabric I had on hand.  I did quilt the fabrics.

I used duck cloth or canvas for the sides and bottom to give it a bit more structure.  When I showed it to Jennifer,  she offered a few suggested updates including a pocket for her tablet, some strips inside the sides so she could tuck in some knitting needles and more pockets.  All the more friendly for a knitter to use.

I decided that the front flap was going to be quilt as you go with snippets of the fabrics including the cute little knitting sheep in red, white and black.

Here are the step by steps of my quilt as you go Messenger flap so you can see how I do it.



Here is the back of the bag.  That is a really large pocket that has Headliner fabric in it to cushion her ipad.  It closes with a velcro strip.

I lined the inside and added this little pocket with a cute little sheep on it.

Jennifer also wanted a little zip bag to tuck some money, chapstick and a few necessities in.  I sized down another pouch I had found to make this wristlet.

Here is a little better view of the inside of the bag.

I added a wide adjustable strap.  She really liked it and has used it several times.  I love the zip that the striped binding gives to the front flap.  The solid sides add a calming factor to the busy sheep print, but it is still just too cute.  I think the QAYG flap really makes it look special.


Quilting Roundup – Summer 2016

It has been a while since I posted the projects I have been working on, so it was time to do a little round up to at least catch us up to the beginning of the summer.  My only son graduated from high school and the day after his graduation party, I decided to get appendicitis and it had to come out.  Mix in some recovery time, summer vacation, weekends at our cottage up north, and well, you get the idea.  The picture above is of my new grey couch(what a great setting for any color quilt, I can mix it up whenever I like.)  I finished my pow wow quilt (Pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew) and two pillows from all of the scraps.

I did some wiggly quilting in the sashing and just wavy, organic lines over the arrow shapes.  It was a quick way to quilt and it washed up great.

Next up, I had some lovely organic cotton prints with kitties on them.  I used the Ballerina quilt pattern by Jaybird Quilts.  It is a great way to use a special fat quarter bundle where you want to see the prints.  My good friend, Laura, had celebrated a big birthday, so this throw quilt was her gift.  I even did kitty themed allover quilting with curly que lines and yarn balls.

Here is a good view of the quilt and my yarn ball quilting.

I think the grey, aqua and yellow look so great together and she loved it.

 baby quilt
I had picked up another cute bundle of fat quarters from Pink Castle fabrics in Ann Arbor, Mi.  I thought they would make a great baby quilt.  I thought this was a very cute pattern but I forgot about the one way prints, so that made piecing a little more challenging.  I just straight line quilted around the larger squares.  Then I hand drew a starburst design in the blocks.

I stitched the star burst with free motion quilting on my little bernina and on the outside big white corners, I did a some close lines for extra texture.

Here it is all finished.  I had just enough yellow for the border to make it pop.  Thanks to my son who is holding it up for me.

This little mini quilt was a kit that I bought in Grand Rapids at the AQS show.  The pattern is Puddle Jumping Mini by Thimble Blossoms.

All those tiny pieces.  I think it takes as long as a big quilt to piece these babies.

Even though it was only about 12 inches across, I still pinbasted it like crazy before quilting.

Here is my finished quilt.  I just stitched some diagonal straight line quilting.  It was some work, but it is so cute all finished up.

Finally, this red, white and blue beautry.  I belong to the Stitching Sisters Quilt of Valor group and I finished up this large block quilt.qov-001

I was given the opportunity to award my quilt to Jerry.  You can see Katy to the right, she did the longarm quilting on it.  She simply does beautiful work and donates her time for many QOV quilts.


And of course, every service member gets a quilty hug to welcome them home.  After serving 10 years in the National Guard myself, I have a special soft spot for all of the men and women who have served our country.  It is a joy to honor them in this way.

I hope these projects inspire you to quilt up something special for yourself, a friend or even a service person.  Happy Stitching!

Published – Mini Mitten Coasters

Mini Mitten Coasters by lori Miller Designs

I am pleased to share my latest published work, mini mitten coasters!  They are super cute, easy to stitch up and you can use some cute coordinating holiday prints or make them super scrappy with some leftover holiday fabric.



They are featured on page 34 of Modern Patchwork Gifts 2016.  This is the third year I have been published in the holiday issue and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Mini Mitten

Even though this was basically a one block design, I still used Electric Quilt 7 to design it.  This tool is really versatile and it really helps you to visualize your project before you stitch it up.


I worked on this little pattern back in March.  I had a really cute snowman print that I started with.  But sometimes the white of the snowman blended with the white of the background and I was worried that they would not photograph well.  I headed off to a local quilt shop, Cristina’s in Rochester, Mi to try to find holiday fabric in March.

And I wanted some fabric that looked modern but still holiday.  She had these lovely prints tucked in a back corner.  They are Winter Wonderland by Free Spirit Fabrics.  And when I saw that candy cane print, all I could think of was the perfect ribbing for a mitten.  These little guys are totally pieced and stitch up really fast.  You could make them in an afternoon.

I decided to do some straight line quilting and make it easy.  I think it adds some nice texture.  Then I put on that tiny binding.  It was not as hard as I thought.  My usual method for joining worked just fine.

Isn’t this little mitten just adorable?  You can make them with some fat eighths and a fat quarter for the backing and binding or use up your holiday scraps.

These are the perfect hostess, coworker or teacher gifts.  Add a mug and some tea or cocoa and you are all set.  Happy Stitching!

New Pattern: Monarch Butterfly Paper Pieced Block

SONY DSCThis stunning Monarch Butterfly Quilt block is foundation paper pieced.  I made this little block about a year ago for one of my Girlfriends special birthdays.  But the Monarch butterfly has always been special to me.  Even today, when I see one fly by, I expect to have good luck!  Now the cute little butterfly is available as a paper pieced pattern in 3 sizes, small, medium and large.  Although knowledge of foundation paper piecing is very helpful, this butterfly is made in five sections and I think it could be doable for a quick learning beginner.  You just might want to start with the larger sizes.

I actually drew this little butterfly in a little graph paper book I have.  I keep it with me to doodle and jot down ideas and designs for quilts and quilt motifs.  Then I used Electric Quilt 7 to draw up the paper pieced pattern.  One of my recent craft teachers taught me about critical thinking.  A very important concept when you are designing paper pieced patterns.  You need to be able to visualize how to put it together from start to finish to make sure you can get there from here.  You don’t want to sew yourself into a corner!  The section above is how the pattern prints out from electric quilt – it can create your foundation pieces for you – super nifty!

You line up your fabric on the back side of the foundation pattern and sew from the front.

A bottom wing is taking shape.  You just sew each piece step by step, each piece is numbered for the order that you sew it in.

Here is the wing trimmed with a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Doesn’t it look so crisp?  I used all of my orange scraps to make this one.

Here are three sections sewn together.  I used some polkadot swirly fabric to mimic the coloring of the monarch butterfly wings.


Here are all three sizes made up.   Finished sizes are small – 4.5″ x 5.5″, medium – 7″ x 9″, and large – 10″ x 12″.  I think I am going to make the large block into a mini quilt for my bedroom.


Here is the little paper pieced block.  I put it into this wide open zipper pouch that I made for my girlfriend.  She loves the color orange and she loved it.  I have another friend with a favorite color of orange and I think I will be whipping another little pouch for her too.  You can use your paper pieced blocks any way you wish.  You could add some fabric to the large block and make it 12″ square.  I think a whole quilt of those flutterbys would be so pretty.

You can find my Monarch Butterfly paper pieced pattern in three sizes for sale by following either link for My Patterns or My Shop.

Thanks for letting me share!  Tag me on Instagram at lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see your version!