New Products Available: EQ8 Block Library for Accuquilt Blocks

I am very excited to introduce a new product in my shop.  Most of you know that I am an EQ8 Superfan.  I design my quilts in EQ8, I teach EQ8, and I use EQ8 to create my original patterns.  This past year I finally jumped on the Accuquilt bandwagon and became an Accuquilt GO! Getter.  I love how quickly I can cut out a quilt and have a project all ready to sew.

I received an 8″ GO Qube with my Accuquilt GO! Cutter.  I really wanted to design with the Accuquilt 8″ blocks in EQ8, but there was not a library file of the blocks to be found, so I decided to create them.  I got approvals from both companies and created a downloadable file containing all of those Accuquilt blocks drawn in EQ8.  Now they are available in my shop.

The blocks provided by Accuquilt to use with the GO! Qube are all Four patch blocks.  These blocks are based upon a 4 X 4 grid, the most popular style of quilt block.

Accuquilt provides 216 Block designs with their popular GO! Qube die sets

  • For the base GO! Qube Mix and Match die set, there are 72 blocks.
  • For the add on Companion CORNERS set, combined with the Mix and Match die set, there are 72 blocks.
  • For the add on Conpanion ANGLES set, combined with the Mix and Match die set and the Companion Corners set, there are 72 blocks.

For my product launch, I am offering EQ8 Library files with 4 sets of blocks that match them.

  • One containing the GO! Qube Mix and Match set of 72 blocks
  • One containing the Add On Companion Corners set of 72 blocks
  • One containing the Add On Companion Angles set of 72 blocks
  • One set that contains all blocks above combined for a total of 216 blocks

These EQ8 Block Library files are downloadable digital files that are designed to work with your EQ8 Quilt Design Software.  They are only compatible with EQ8.

Required: A running copy of EQ8 Quilt Design Software.

It is a downloadable digital file that you will place into your personal block library.  Once you place the block file in your library, you will be able to use it immediately to draw and design quilts.  I have included all of the instructions to add the files to your EQ8.  You will receive the EQ8 Block library, a block reference guide and an instruction document.  The blocks are all labeled and colored similarly to the blocks provided by Accuquilt so they are easy to match up.

   

The files currently come in three sizes, 8″, 9″ and 12″ sizes.  They are color coordinated by size in the shop so you can find the size you need.  If you have an interest in other sizes, please let me know.

Once you have designed your quilt, you can use your Accuquilt GO! Cutter to make it.  I have also included tips and suggestions for determining what dies to use and how to determine fabric requirements.

I hope you enjoy these files as you create your Four Patch 4 X 4 grid design quilts.

You can purchase these downloadable files in my shop HERE!

i appreciate your feedback and suggestions on this product.

 

 

Free Tutorial – Make an Envelope Back for your Pillow

I really enjoy making throw pillow covers that I can remove and easily wash.  You will find a lot of seasonal quilted pillow covers in my house, they are a quick project and I get to see something from my efforts pretty quickly.  I have found that an envelope style back allows me to slip them on the pillow forms without any buttons or velcro.

The fronts of the pillows are pieced and quilted with a binding finish.

It doesn’t matter the size of the pillow, I make an envelope back.  The shots above are from my Nautical Bench pillow.

Flip them over to the back and you can see has the overlapping envelope back.

Here are my recent pillows for my son’s tiny house.  The envelope back means he can just pull them off and wash them.

This is just a great way to brighten up your decor by just changing out your pillow or cushion covers.

Here is how I create my Envelope backs.

I have found that there are two ways to make your pillow cover with the envelope back.  My favorite style is to finish the edges of the pillow with a binding.  The other style just involves sewing around the front and back with a seam on the inside of the pillow.  The pictures I have show mostly the binding edge style.  For the envelope back, I like to overlap top to bottom and my diagrams will reflect that.  You mix it up however you like them.

Determine how large to make the pieces for the Envelope.

  1. Measure your pillow’s width and length to start.
    • We are going to cut two pieces and use one for each side of the envelope.  I use a piece of fabric folded in half.  Here is how to figure out what size of rectangle is needed for the two envelope pieces.  This assumes we are overlapping top to bottom.  I like it to overlap at least 2 – 2.5″ on each side of the center and that is why we are adding the extra 5″.
  2. For the width of the two pieces, use the width of your pillow + 1″
  3. For the length of the envelope, use the length of your pillow + 5″.
  4. For example, we will use 18″ x 18″ pillow.
    • For the width, use  18″ + 1″ = 19″
    • For the length, use 18″ + 5″ = 23″
  5. You will then cut two rectangle pieces 19″ x 23″.

Prepare the Pillow Envelope backs

  1. Fold the envelope rectangles in half crosswise, wrong sides facing, keeping the width and press.
  2. Add interfacing inside the fold.
    • I like to take a 1 inch strip of medium weight interfacing and nestle it into the fold and press it in.
  3. Topstitch about 3/8″  to 1/2″ away from the fold to hold it in place.
    • This will help keep this edge from wrinkling in the wash.pillow-back
  4. Overlap the pressed folded edges making a square the same size as the pillow top.
    • Make sure they are overlapped top to bottom how you want them to show on the outside of the pillow.
  5. Baste the overlapped edges to hold in place about 1/8″ from the edges of the overlap.

Finish the Pillow Cover

Style 1 – Bind the Edges of the Cover

  1. Place the quilted pillow top and the overlapped backing together with wrong sides facing.  Baste around the pillow top 1/8: from the outer edge.
  2. Stitch your binding in place and complete binding using your favorite method.
  3. Slip your pillow form inside.

Style 2 – Sew Seam inside the Pillow Cover

  1. Place the quilted pillow top and the overlapped backing together with right sides facing.
  2. Stitch around the outer edge with 1/4″ seam allowance.
  3. Turn the Cover right side out using the opening in the overlapped envelope back.
  4. Slip your pillow form inside.

I hope these directions help you make lots of fun quilted pillow covers!

Tag me on Facebook or Instagram @lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see what you have created.

I love to teach EQ8!

A wonderful thing happened about five years ago.  I discovered a fabulous software program that has changed my life and took me in surprising and fun directions.  Electric Quilt was a computer software program to design quilts.  It was perfect.

Me at age 11

Let’s take a step back.  I decided to retire early in 2012 and do something with all my creative energy.  I had been a sewist since age 11 and had sewn clothing, home decor, halloween costumes and most recently quilts and small quilty gifts.  I was designing with pencil and graph paper.  I wanted to design more quilts and had an idea to submit to quilt magazines.  I needed something more efficient.  I found Electric Quilt 7 quilt design software.

I bought the software, I tried to use it, it was a comprehensive program.  I was squeaking out a few things when I discovered what turned out to be the first EQ Academy in Ohio.  I lived in Michigan, not a bad drive from where I lived so I invested in myself and attended classes.  So truth be told, it was a perfect match.  I started my career as a computer programmer and ended up as a Director of Information Technology in the Automotive industry.  Mixing my technical background with my love for quilting made Electric Quilt the perfect choice.

I was off and running after those first classes, I was designing my own original patterns.  I made beautiful quilts for friends and family.  I submitted designs from EQ8 to magazines with success and started my own independent pattern business.

I loved it so much, I started to teach the software to others.  I started out teaching my husband, he is so supportive and was my first student.  I began to teach at a local quilt shop and to teach at local quilt events.

I had a wonderful opportunity come up a few years ago to teach for Electric Quilt at one of their EQ Academies.  I really enjoyed it.  I especially enjoy teaching beginners, it is so rewarding to see the light bulbs come on and to have them get excited about designing that perfect quilt they have been thinking about.

It is rewarding to help others be able to design and be creative using this unique, comprehensive software.

I continue to build my knowledge and teach others.  This year I will be teaching a lot of new users, maybe you will be one of my students and learn the joys of designing in EQ8.

Here is my current EQ8 2020 Teaching Schedule:

Postponed to a future date  March 26-28    Decorative Stitch Quilt Shop, Shelby Township, MI

CANCELLED  See you in the Fall  April 2-5    Sprng EQ Academy, Perrysburg, OH

Sep 17-19        Decorative Stitch Quilt Shop, Shelby Township, MI

Oct 1-3             Fall EQ Academy, Perrysburg, OH

I hope you can join me for one of those dates.  Invest in yourself and take a class, you will learn so much.

I also travel to teach at shows, guilds and shops.  Check out my Classes page for my current offerings.

Happy Designing!

 

Free EQ8 Applique – Kitchen Stand Mixer

Homemade gifts are the best.  I wanted to make something fun and useful for my sister and since she enjoys cooking so I decided to make her an apron.  I thought this fun retro style mixer would be the perfect motif to set it off.   I designed the applique motifs using EQ8 quilt design software from The Electric Quilt Company.  Here is how I put it together.

I started out making a picture of my own kitchenaid Stand Mixer.  I got this as a Christmas gift recently, I had been wanting one for years.  Ii takes all the work out of mixing up a batch of cookies or brownies and looks beautiful on my counter.  I have always liked to draw so that is a gift I like to use.
I used my picture to trace the drawing in EQ8.  First, I scanned my drawing and imported it into the quilt design software.  Then I traced and edited the shapes to create the overall Applique motifs.  Electric Quilt allows you to print and mirror the templates so they are perfect for tracing onto fusible applique paper.

I have a super cute Apron pattern with multiple sizes.  It is called More Retro Aprons by Cindy Taylor Oates.  I just love her patterns, she always does a great job and I have a lot of them.  I made the A version of the apron which is the one on the right.

I had these lovely vintage prints from Grandma’s stash to use.

I placed my shapes in order and pressed them on with the fusible backing.  Then I did a straight stitch around each shape.  For this one, I left off the back edge of the mixer and added a little heart.  i just liked the look better.

Here is the top of the Apron, those ruffles are too cute!

There is even a ruffle detail on the bottom.

The whole apron.  There is a cute crisscross way to tie it up on the back as well.  The applique just added that fun retro vibe of the kitchenaid mixer and my sister simply loved it.

 

Kitchen Stand Mixer Applique

Here are the Applique Motifs for you to download.  I have included a page with a key for the order to lay down the individual motifs.  They go in alphabetical order.

INCLUDES 8″ and 6′ block templates and a key block.

Kitchen Stand Mixer templates

This cute applique would look great on a tea towel or even on a kitchen wall hanging.  What will you make?

Share pictures of your Kitchen Stand Mixer Applique.  Tag me on Facebook or Instagram @lorimillerdesigns

Looking for the EQ8 Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE!

For more projects and tips and techniques on using EQ8, visit my Electric Quilt blog series EQ8 Lessons with Lori.

For more information on EQ8, go to Electric Quilt 8 Software.

I teach EQ8!  I would be happy to teach at your event or Quilt Shop.  Check out my classes page.

New Patterns Available

Winter is a good time to stay inside and catch up on some things.  I have had these patterns on my to do list for a while.  They were all published in magazines originally, but now they are updated, have multiple sizes, and are available for download in my  Etsy Shop.

Cookie Cat

This one is a favorite since I designed it based upon my sweet Cookie Cat.

It is a large 18″ block so it is easy to piece and goes together quickly.

It comes in three sizes, pillow, baby quilt and twin size.  I stitched up a set of Halloween pillows and they turned out great.

Beach Glass

This quilt started out strictly as a scrap quilt.  I fell in love with the greens and blues and they reminded me of the little bits of beach glass you find on Great Lakes beaches here in Michigan.

The variety of grey low volume prints from my stash were perfect to create the neutral background.

This is also a large 18″ block.  It comes in three sizes, Throw, Twin and Queen.

Cirque

This was my most recently published quilt.  I really wanted to try some curved piecing and these large traditional drunkard’s path blocks seemed perfect.

The color blocking adds a modern twist and I just had to play with free motion feathers in the negative space.  Cookie cat is not a good helper when I am quilting, how does he know when I am trying to quilt?  LOL

These are 10″ finished blocks.  Once again, available in three sizes, Baby, Throw and Twin.

Cirque MINI

I have been really enjoying making mini versions of some of my most popular quilts.  Not everyone needs another large quilt and this size makes a wonderful wall hanging that is a work of modern art.

These are 5″ finished blocks and it comes in only one size, Mini which is about 24″ x 30″

 

I hope you found a new pattern you liked and would like to try.

They are all available as PDF digital files ready for immediate download.

You can find them and my other fresh, fun quilty designs in my  Etsy Shop.

 

Free Tutorial – Anchor’s Away Quilt

Summer’s not over yet!  Make this fun nautical themed throw for your lake house, cottage or just to get in the summer livin’ frame of mind!  This is another design made with EQ8.  For this quilt, you can create those 45 degree diamonds in the interesting inset with a template or with careful rotary cutting OR you can use your Accuquilt GO and the 2 1/2″ strip cutter to whip them out in a flash.

Dies used in this design:

Anchors Away Quilt

Finished size is 48 1/2″ by 60 1/2″”

Materials

  • 2 yd Blue solid
  • 1 yd Red fabric for Anchor and binding
  • 7/8 yd White fabric
  • 1 yd Blue scraps (or use 4 fat quarters or 8 fat eighths)
  • 3 yd Backing fabric
  • 56″ x 68″ piece of batting
  • 1 – 14″ x 14′ light double sided fusible for Anchor applique
  • Anchor and Diamond Applique Templates

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Blue Solid

NOTE: Cut using the length of the 2 yards

  • 1 — 8 1/2″ X 60 1/2″ strip
  • 2 — 20 1/2″ x 60 1/2″ strips

Red Solid

  • 6 — 2 1/2″ X WOF strips for binding
  • 1 — 12 1/2″ square for Anchor applique

White Fabric

  • 100 — 2 1/2″ X 3 1/2′ 45 degree diamonds

Blue Fabrics

  • 100 — 2 1/2″ X 3 1/2′ 45 degree diamonds

Cutting the Diamonds

You can use the template provided to draw around and cut out the diamonds

OR

You can cut 2 1/2″ strips with a rotary cutter and then measure 3 1/2″ on the sides and use your 45 degree angle on your ruler to cut the diamonds

OR

You can use your GO! fabric cutter!

Dies used in this design:

This is the fastest and easiest way to get this done in a jiffy.  Let me show you how.

I have the Accuquilt Ready Set GO! Cutting System generously provided to me by Accuquilt.  I am an Accuquilt Go Getter and I write articles for their blog about quilting and die cutting.  You can see the system in the background of this picture.  I just pulled some blues from my stash to use in the cutter.

I like to press my fabric first for the die cutter so it is nice and smooth so i get more accurate cuts.

Next I fold or cut my fabric to best fit the die I am using, in this case, it is the GO! Strip Cutter-2½” (2″ Finished) 3 Strips Die (55014 or 55017).  When you place your fabric, make sure it is extending beyond the die cutting points.

Once your fabric is arranged, please the cutting mat over the die and fabric and insert into the machine.

Crank the handle to cut your fabric.

 

You get perfectly cut 2 1/2″ strips.  I used two layers of fabric, so I have six strips.  You can cut up to six layers of cotton fabric so this will work well.

Find your 45 degree line and carefully line up your strips.

When you line them up, make sure that you have the strip beyond the cutting line.

Now your diamonds are cut.  They measure 2 1/2′ x 3 1/2″.  Continue to cut your blue and white fabrics until you have the number of diamonds that you need.

This goes so fast, you will be ready to sit down and sew in no time.  Cookie Cat is helping out.  He likes to sleep in the top of my rolling cart and keep me company.

Assemble the Quilt top:

Start by sewing your diamond inset panel.

Keep in mind which way the diamonds are going for the strip, right or left.  The width of the row will be 2″ finished.  Alternate your blue fabrics with the white fabrics to assemble the striped rope inserts.  There will be nine rows of inserts.

   

In our EQ8 design, we had a repeating block showing 1/2 diamond blocks at the top and bottom. But when we combine the blocks, we can see how a full diamond is formed by the combined blocks.  We will sew using the full diamond shapes where those form.

I just string pieced the diamonds together until I had the columns completed.

I thought I would share the view out of my studio.  It is a gorgeous sunny day as I sew.

Be sure to align the points, the accurate diamonds really helps keep these together.  You will need to stitch nine columns of diamonds.  You should have 21 diamonds in a column or enough to measure 60 1/2″.  Press flat.

Once you have the diamond inset column together , sew the 8 1/2″ x 60 1/2′ blue panel strip to the left side of the insert.

Sew the 20 1/2″ x 60 1/2″ blue panel strip to the right side of the insert.

Prepare the Anchor applique.  Draw the anchor applique on the paper side of the double sided fusible.  you will need to fold it in half to match the template.  Press the fusible to the wrong side of the red fabric and cut out the Anchor.

Arrange the Anchor where you like it and then press it onto the quilt.

Using a close zig zag stitch, sew around the raw edges of the Anchor applique to secure it.

Finish the Quilt

  1. Create a quilt sandwich with the backing, batting and pieced quilt top.
  2. Baste the quilt layers together.  Quilt as desired.
  3. Add binding and finish.

Were you inspired to try this quilt?  Be sure to let me know your thoughts in the comments and share pictures with me on social media on Facebook or  Instagram.  Be sure to hashtage #LoriMillerDesigns so I see it!  And don’t forget to sign up for my blog updates to you get ideas like these right to your inbox.

Looking for the EQ8 Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE.

For more projects and tips and techniques on using EQ8, visit my Electric Quilt blog series EQ8 Lessons with Lori.

For more information on EQ8, go to Electric Quilt 8 Software.

 

Pin and Needles Sew Along

I am very excited to be hosting the first week of the Pins and Needles Sew Along for my crafty friend, Kim’s new Pins and Needles Book Pattern.  You might know Kim best as Retro Mama and she makes and designs the cutest little quilty things.

I like to collect fun sewing theme prints and since you don’t need a lot of fabric, I found some perfect scraps to make this project.  Here is some fun spools of thread and I even found some fabric with pins on it to use.

I used a little stiletto to help guide my binding around the outside edge when I took off the little clips to sew.  It really went together fast.

Instead of a little tape, I fussy cut this pincushion from another scrap of fabric I had and stitched it to the inside pocket.  I used this pocket and a zipper pocket combination.

This pattern comes in two sizes, the small is 3 1/2″ x 5″ and the medium is 4 1/2″ x 6″.  I decided to make two of the medium size books.  One for myself and one to give away as a gift.

For the extra book, I turned it into the perfect mini sewing kit.  I put three small spools of white, black and grey thread in the zipper pocket.

Then I added some pins, needles, safety pins, small scissors and mini clips.

Since I used the elastic closure, it easily closed with the elastic and a button.

I love that you can put your own touch and style on each pins and needle book by adding embellishments, piecing and quilting.

There is so much inspiration on Instagram for this cute little Pins and Needle book, just look for the #pinsandneedlesSAL or #pinsandneedlesbook.

Don’t miss all the fun!  Here are all the terrific makers who are hosting each week.  They will share their own needle books and prizes.  Just post a picture of your finished needle book with the hashtags #pinsandneedleSAL #retromamapattern

Week 1 – July 8-14

Elnora @elnorac
Lori @lorimillerdesigns

Week 2 – July 15-21

Stephanie @sissybellesews
Zoe @zoemayson

Week 3 – July 22-28

Helen @henhousehandmade
Laurraine @patchworkpottery

Week 4 – July 29-August 4

Sarah @princess_ina_pouch
Mary @sunnydaysupply

 

Joining the sew along is simple! Here’s what you need to do:
1) Grab the  Pins and Needles Book Pattern  from @retromama and stitch up the cute Pins and Needle Book.  The pattern is on sale throughout the sewalong.

2) Follow me  @lorimillerdesigns and @retro_mama on Instagram, as well as each of the amazing ladies listed above. Then follow the hashtag #pinsandneedlesSAL to see all the projects, WIPs, and giveaways!

3) Post your photos on Instagram with the hashtags #pinsandneedlesSAL and #retromamapattern to participate and be eligible for prizes. You are very welcome to post WIPs but only completed projects will be eligible to win. Be sure that your account is public during the SAL so we can see your projects! You may enter more than once if you make more than one Pins and Needles Book.

Happy Stitching!