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!

 

Free tutorial – Easy St. Patrick’s Day table runner and napkins

Here is a super easy to make table runner and matching napkins to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.  This easy project can be made in any fun novelty fabric.  Grab 1 ½ yards of a St Patrick’s day print and stitch this up in time for your corned beef and cabbage dinner.  This is a great practical gift idea and a perfect beginner’s project!  You will learn to sew a simple hem and stitch straight lines for the table runner and 4 napkins.

Materials:

  • 1 ½ yards of a St. Patricks day cotton print (42-45 inches wide)
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Pins
  • Iron and Ironing Board
  • Measuring tape or sewing gauge

Prepare the Fabric:

Prewash and dry the fabric. I threw mine in the washer on warm with a smidgen of detergent and dried it in the dryer.  This will help to pre-shrink the fabric before you sew it together and I think it washes better after use.

Next, iron any wrinkles out of the fabric so that it will lay flat to cut out your pieces.

Cut the fabric:

There is a selvage on each side of the fabric which needs to be cut off.  Evenly trim the selvages off the sides.  I usually take ½ to 1 inch off to get all of the selvage.

 

Cut the table runner 16 inches wide and the length of the fabric(approximately 54 inches).

For the napkins, cut 4 squares 13 x 13 inches.

Sew the table runner:

Starting with the ends of the runner, sew a ½ inch double hem.  Here is how:

Fold the material over, wrong sides together ½ inch.

Then fold it over ½ inch again to fold the raw edge into the inside of the fabric.  Pin the hem in place.

Place your presser foot about 1/8 inch from the edge of the fabric and carefully stitch down the hem.

Topstitch the hem with your sewing machine.  Sew as straight as you can.  I used a stitch length of 2.5mm.  I use my hands like this to guide the fabric to keep the edge of the hem next to the presser foot.  Pull the pins out as you go so you don’t have to stitch over them.  Trim your threads.

Iron the END hems flat

Now, sew a ½ inch double hem on the long sides of the table runner.

Follow the same steps as you did for the ends of the table runner, only this time you will be pinning the long sides to sew.

On these ends, backstitch 2-3 stitches when you start and end the sides to secure the thread.

Finishing the table runner

Top stitch again around the entire table runner stitching 1/8 inch away from your initial stitch line towards the outside of the table runner.

When you get to the corner, take two stitches past the intersecting stitch line and turn.  If your stitch length is 2.5 mm, it should be about the right position away from you original line again.  Stitch all the way around. Trim your threads.

Sew the napkins

Now that you have mastered the double hem, you get to try a smaller double hem on the napkins.

On opposite sides of a napkin, sew a ¼ inch double hem.  Here is how:

Fold the material over, wrong sides together 1/4 inch.

Then fold it over 1/4 inch again to fold the raw edge into the inside of the fabric. Pin the hem in place.

Place your presser foot so that you are stitching right down the middle of your folded hem.

Carefully stitch the hem with your sewing machine.  Sew as straight as you can.  I used a stitch length of 2.5mm.  Pull the pins out as you go so you don’t have to stitch over them.  Iron the end hems flat

Now, finish by sewing a 1/4 inch double hem on the remaining sides of the napkins. Follow the same steps as you did for the first two sides.

On these ends, backstitch 2-3 stitches when you start and end the sides to secure the thread.  Trim your threads.

Fold the napkin in half and then in half again and iron.  Finish the hems on the remaining napkins.

That is it, you have created a beautiful table runner and napkins all by yourself!

You will have some fabric left over, you may be able to make additional napkins or save it in your stash for another project.

Variations:  Use any holiday print or just a fun fabric design to create your table runners and napkins.  Mix and match coordinating fabric for the table runner and napkins.  Play with some decorative stitches on your sewing machine instead of just sewing a straight line for your hems.  Have some fun and see what you can create.

Happy sewing!

Free Tutorial – DIY Wrapping Paper or Fabric

Most of you know, I am an EQ8 fanatic and this time I used the quilt design software to create my own wrapping paper and my own fabric with the EQ Printable fabric sheets.   EQ allows you to export blocks and motifs as an image that you can then edit and print using the Photo Layout on the Image Worktable.  Don’t worry if you dont have EQ8, I will include PDF files of my homemade wrapping paper that you can use too.  In addition to the wrapping paper, I used the printed fabric to create a little drawstring bag.

I edited a block with a Vintage Sewing Machine, added some holly, and scaled it onto a sheet of paper and printed it out.

It is an 8 1/2″ x 11′ sheet of paper, but you can wrap some cute small gifts with it.

I also colored a block called Evergreen that was a mod looking pine tree and printed it out.

For this gift, I wrapped the main gift in white tissue paper.  Then I trimmed my diy wrapping paper and cut it in half.

Then I just matched up the print and taped them together in a long strip.

I used the strip and wrapped it around the package like an embellishement sleeve and then just added a coordinating bow on top.  This is a good way to use your cute designs when you are limited to your printer paper size.

Here are the PDF Files that you can use to print that I designed with EQ8.

LMD Holiday Vintage Sewing Machine

LMD Mod Evergreen

Next, I printed my cute holiday vintage sewing machines onto EQ Printable fabric sheets.  I printed two of them and then used them as fabric to create this cute drawstring bag.

DIY Fabric Drawstring Bag

Finished size is approx 6″ x 3″ x 7″

Note: Read through directions first before sewing.  Unless otherwise noted, use 1/4″ seam.

Materials

  • 2 —  8 1/2″ x 11″ printed fabric sheets
  • 2 —  8 1/2″ x 11″ fabric for lining
  • 2 —  2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ strips of fabric for casing
  • 2 —  26″ pieces of ribbon for drawstring  (1/2″ or less)

Directions

Sew Casing

  1. Make a 1/4″ double rolled hem on each of the short ends of the casings.
  2. Fold wrong sides together and stitch.
  3. Roll the seam to the back so it will be hidden on the back side of the casings and press.
  4. Measure down 1 1/2″ from top of printed fabric and pin the casing down.  Stitch very closely on the top and bottom to secure the casing.  Backstitch at the beginning and end of your seam.  Sew both casings.

Sew Bag

 

  1. With right sides together, stitch the sides and bottom of the bag.
  2. Cut a 1 1/2″ square from each bottom corner of the bag.
  3. Pinch the bag together to box the corner and stitch across.
  4. Place the lining  pieces right sides together. Stitch the sides and bottom of the lining leaving a 2-3 inch opening in the bottom of the lining for turning.
  5. Box the corners of the lining in the same way as the outer bag.
  6. Leaving the lining the wrong side out, slip it over the bag aligning the top edges and seams.
  7. Stitch around the top.  Pull the whole bag right side out through the opening in the lining.  Stitch the hole in the lining closed.
  8. Tuck the lining into the bag.  Top stitch around the top of the bag.
  9. Thread the ribbon through both casings.  Start one from one side and the other from the opposite side.  Knot the end of the ribbons to hold them.
  10. Pull the drawstring to close the bag.

I used EQ Printables Inkjet Fabric Sheets.  There are several types of fabric sheets to choose from.  I really like them and I use them a lot for quilt labels.  The fabric holds the color very well and is pretty soft to the touch when you wash it.  You can get more information about them HERE.

Share pictures of your own DIY Wall Paper or Fabric!  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.

Free Tutorial – Pop Art Wall Quilt

Greetings!  I am making this quilt for my son for the holiday, it is a picture of his cat, Oreo.  Being a 20 something young man, I wanted something a little more grown up but still fun.  This quilt is made by taking a picture of Oreo and editing it using EQ8 Quilt Design Software.  The edited pictures are then printed on EQ Printable Inkjet Fabric Sheets.  You can use the general tutorial with any picture of the same size but what makes it so much fun, is the ability to edit the picture to black and white and then add different background colors.  It makes this quilt reminiscent of the visual art created by Andy Warhol.  If you have not tried using the photo editing functions of the Image Worktable in EQ8, here is your chance.  Let’s make a Pop Art Wall Quilt.

Pop Art Wall Quilt

Finished size is 24″ x 30″

Materials

  • 9 —  8 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ printed fabric pictures
  • 1/4 yd black fabric for binding
  • 1 yd backing
  • 1 yd batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Black

  • 4 — 2 1/4″ strips

Print your edited  8″ x 10″ pictures onto Printable Fabric.  (Link for quilt design and photo editing at the end of post)  Be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions when printing.  I used EQ Printables Inkjet Fabric Sheets.  There are several types of fabric sheets to choose from.  I really like them and I use them a lot for quilt labels.  The fabric holds the color very well and is pretty soft to the touch when you wash it.  You can get more information about them HERE.

These are the sheets that I printed.  Then I trimmed them to 8 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ with a seam allowance.

I pieced them into a nine patch.  Arrange the colors how you like.

Quilt the Wall Quilt

 

 

Layer quilt top with the backing, batting and kitties quilt top.

Pin baste the quilt layers together.

Quilt as desired.  I used painters tape to mark horizontal lines and then I quilted about 1/2″ apart with my walking foot with a dark gray thread.

Then I pieced the black binding strips together and bound the quilt.  I need to make a hanging sleeve, but it is finished.

Here is a sneak peek at my work area.  As you can see, my new studio is still in progress but I just had to sew, it has been months of moving and unpacking.

Here is my original design from EQ8.  The colors are not quite as vivid when you print them on the fabric, but they are still eyecatching!

And here is the original picture of Oreo.  He had an issue with his ear, so he always has that rakish, debonair look.

Share pictures of your Pop Art Quilt!  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.

Published – Connect the Curves (Cirque)

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

My Connect the Curves (Cirque) quilt has been published in the  December 2018 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting

 

There are a lot of amazing quilts in this issue and I am so proud to be a part of it.

As usual, I designed this bold quilt with Electric Quilt design software.  I started with a regular drunkards path block, super sized it and then made a few adjustments to create the swirling effect.

I used templates that I created with #EQ8 to cut out all of the curved pieces in my quilt.  I generously received beautiful fabric from

American Made Brand Solids in Connect the Curves Quilt


Stitching the curves on these 10″ blocks is easier than you think because of the size.

I use a 3 pin method and stitch from the outside to the center.  Then I flip and stitch from the other end to the center adjusting the curve if needed.

The individual blocks  come together to create a 20″ wide swirling center.

Does this happen to you? I can piece all day in quiet, but as soon as I start quilting, I get a furry helper.  Cookie, you make it a little difficult to use the walking foot!

I tried some echo quilting around the curves of the center quilting about 1 ” apart to accentuate the motion.

Then I did some free motion feathers and free motion fill to finish up the negative space on the sides.   You know I love the texture!

I hope you enjoyed getting a little behind the scenes view of my process on this lovely quilt.

Happy Stitching!

Published – EQ8 Designing More Quilts

I am honored to have a Chapter in the new EQ8 book, Designing More Quilts from the Electric Quilt Company.  I have been partnering with the Electric Quilt Company to share quilt design lessons on their DoYouEq,com blog for both EQ Mini and EQ8 for a couple of years.  Many of you have made those designs with the tutorials I offer right here on my Lori Miller Designs Blog.

I have the privilege of joining many EQ Experts who share their Quilt Design Tricks in this book.  They include lessons on creating Medallion quilts, panel quilts, baby block quilts and more.

        

I wrote Chapter 3 Creating Modern Quilt Layouts with Alternate Gridwork.  Wow, that’s a mouth full but it includes a chapter jam packed with ideas to use EQ8 to create modern elements like asymmetry, exaggerated scale, negative space and minimalism in your quilt designs.

There are lots of tricks to creatively use borders, horizontal layouts, whole top designs and clever block placement to create beautiful designs.

 

I finish with ideas to use the built-in Irregular grids provided by EQ8 to add to your design toolbox.

It’s a fun lesson if you are exploring modern quilt design concepts using the tools that came with your software.  My lesson is just a jumping off point to highlight design tips you might not have thought of or tools with EQ8 you have not used before.

EQ8 has other books that might be of interest to you.

     

A couple of my favorites are the EQ 8 Block library book (You can peruse all of the free blocks that come with the software at your leisure, it is great inspiration too!)

and the first design book, EQ8 Designing Quilts.

For more information on the EQ8 Designing More Quilts book, you can visit Electric Quilt HERE.

Happy Quilt Designing!

 

Free Tutorial – Shipmates Bench Pillow

Ahoy!  It is summer and that means sewing projects that are fun, easy and quick to stitch up.  That leaves you plenty of time to soak up the sun and play in the outdoors.  This nautical themed pillow is designed to sit on an outdoor bench or decorate a bench in your home.  It was designed with Electric Quilt 8 using a Horizontal Strip quilt layout.  With some very easy shortcut piecing and machine applique, you can make this pillow up in an afternoon.  Enjoy!

Shipmates Bench Pillow

Finished size is 16″ x 28″

Materials

  • 1/2 yd light blue fabric
  • 1/8 yd navy blue fabric
  • 1/2 white fabric
  • 1 yd backing print
  • 1/4 yd red fabric for binding
  • 1/2 yd muslin
  • 1/2 yd batting or 20″ x 32″ piece

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Light Blue

  • 1 — 16 1/2″ square
  • 2 — 4 1/2″ x 16 1/2″ rectangles

Navy Blue

  • 2 — 6 ” squares

White

  • 2 — 6 ” squares
  • 1 — 16 ” square

Red

  • 3 — 2 1/4″ x  WOF strips for binding

Printed Backing

  • 2 — 18″ x 33″ rectangles

Muslin

  • 1 — 18″ x 30″ rectangle

Batting

  • 1 — 18″ x 30″ rectangle

Water Soluble Marker or Pencil

1 — 16″ square of double sided fusible web

Anchor Template

 

 

Piece the Pillow Top

  1. Make the half square triangles to resemble a rope design.  Take the two white 6″ squares and  mark them from corner to corner.
  2. Place the white square right sides together with the navy blue 6″ squares.  Stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the diagonal marked lines.
  3. Carefully cut the squares on the diagonal lines and then in half both ways as in diagram above.  This will create 8 half square triangles for each square for a total of 16.
  4. Press the seams to the darker fabric.  Trim the blocks to 2 1/2″ square.
  5. Stitch the half square triangles together in groups of two to start, then piece them all together to form the rope strips.  I stitched both in the same directions.  Set aside.
  6. Next, print out  the anchor template and tape it together using the guidelines.  Using a light box or a window, trace the anchor outline to one side of the fusible web.  Press the fusible web according to the manufacturers instructions to the wrong side of the white fabric 16″ square.  Carefully cut out your anchor applique.  Peel off any backing.
  7. Position the anchor in the center of the 16 1/2″ light blue square.  One you have it where you like it, press the anchor onto the center of the pillow.
  8. Now applique around the outside edge of your anchor to finish the applique.  You may need to use some stabilizer underneath the design as you stitch so that the background fabric does not pucker.  Use a light tear away or other stabilizer of your choice.  I used  a zig zag stitch that was a little bit larger than a satin stitch.  For the points, I taper the stitch down before I turn.
  9. Next assemble all of the strips to create the pillow top.

Quilt the pillow top

  1. Layer pillow top with the muslin, batting and pillow top, right side up.
  2. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  3. Quilt as desired.  I used painters tape to mark diagonal lines and then I quilted straight lines diagonally.  Trim the pillow top to 16 1/2″ x 28 1/2″.  It might be slightly smaller depending on how much quilting you did. 

Finish the Pillow

  1. Fold each 18 ” x 33″ background print rectangle in half, wrong sides together, to form two 18″ x 16 1/2″ rectangles. Press.
  2. Top stitch along the folded edge of the pillow about 1/2″ away from the fold.
  3. Place the quilted pillow top, right side down.pillow-back
  4. Place two folded rectangles over each pillow, overlapping the folded edges in the center by about 4″.
  5.  Baste 1/8″ along the outside of the layers.  Trim.  Don’t you love this cute print that matches the applique so perfectly?  I found it in my stash.
  6.  Bind with the red binding strips.
  7.  Finish by inserting a pillow form through the opening.

 

I would love to see pictures of your Shipmates pillows!  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.

Free Tutorial: Stardrop Table Topper

This fun Octagon shaped Stardrop Table Topper was designed with EQ8 Quilt Design Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  This tutorial takes that design and gives you the information to make it yourself.  This is a very easy beginner foundation pieced mini quilt but it is helpful to have some basic knowledge of paper piecing.  you will assemble eight units to combine to create the top of this little quilt.  I made this with gradations of aqua and teal solid cotton fabrics and the background is a lovely linen.  This is the perfect base for your table centerpiece.

Stardrop Table Topper

Finished size is approximately 24″ x 24″

Materials

  • 1/8 yd of light aqua cotton
  • 1/8 yd of medium aqua cotton
  • 1/8 yd of teal cotton
  • 1 yd for background, backing and binding
  • 28″ square piece of batting
  • Stardrop Template 1
  • Stardrop Template 2
  • 16 sheets of EQ printable Foundation Sheets or other foundation paper

HINT:  Have you tried printing on EQ Printables Foundation Sheets?  EQ has 25 sheet packages of special nonwoven material that you can run through your printer just like paper.  It tears away easily, is translucent and won’t dull machine needles. If you don’t want to print, you can also use a pen, pencil or marker to draw your template onto the paper.  Electric Quilt generously provided the foundation sheets for this project.

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From light aqua, cut:

  • 8 — 4 1/2 ” x 5″ rectangles

From medium aqua, cut:

  • 8 — 5″ x 7″ rectangles

From dark teal, cut:

  • 8 — 5″ x 10″ rectangles

From the dark linen, cut:

  • 1 – 28″ square for the backing
  • 16 — 2 1/2″ x 6″ rectangles for top template background
  • 16 — 3″ x 7″ rectangles for bottom template background
  • 8 — 2″ x 11″ strips for bottom template background
  • 95″ x 2 1/4″ strips for binding (can be pieced together)

 

Paperpiecing

 

  1. Use a pencil to trace the foundation pattern once onto EQ Printables Foundation sheets or other lightweight copy or foundation piecing paper of your choice. You can also print a copy of the foundation pattern onto lightweight copy or foundation piecing paper.  EQ generously provided the foundation sheets for this project.  The sheets feel like a soft stabilizer, they easily went through my inkjet printer.  I like that you can see through them so it is easy to match up fabrics from the backside.  It is super easy to sew through and it is not as stiff as paper.
  1. Use a very short machine stitch, I use 1.8 mm so the paper will tear off easily later.
  1. To foundation paper piece, stitch fabric pieces to a foundation paper with the marked side of the paper facing up and the fabric pieces layered underneath. The resulting pieced unit is a mirror image of the foundation paper.

  1. Using the larger template and starting in the number order, place the first two fabric pieces, RST, on the back side of the foundation paper with the edges of the fabrics extending ¼” beyond the first stitching line. The first stitching line is between section A1 and A2.
  1. Holding the pieces in place, stitch from the top side on the line between the two areas, starting and stopping just past the seam allowances.
  2. Above,  you see the back side of the pieces we just stitched.
  3. Flip the piece back over and fold the paper back on the line you just sewed.
  4. Using a ruler, trim the seam to 1/4″. Be careful not to cut through your paper template.
  5. Fold the paper back and flip it over again.
  6. Open out the piece and press the seam. The right sides of the fabrics will show on the back side of the paper template.
  7. Continue to add pieces in order step by step until you have finished the bottom template.
  8. Trim the bottom template around the outside seam allowance on the paper.
  9. Use the same method to sew the top template pieces.
  10. Carefully sew the top and bottom foundation templates together.  You should have a total of 8 triangle shapes.
  11. Sew together the paper pieced shapes, two at a time, aligning seams and points.
  12. Then stitch together the pieces to form two halves.  Now you can sew together the two halves, aligning the center points and seams.
  13. Carefully tear off the foundation pattern when you have finished the block

Assemble the Stardrop Table Topper

  1. Make a quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting and backing.
  2. Baste the quilt layers together.
  3. Quilt as desired.  I used some free motion feathers and leafy motifs in the triangles.
  4. Sew the 2 1/4″ strips together for the binding and add to the quilt.  You are finished!

I would love to see your Stardrop Table Topper Quilt, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ8 Design Instructions?  This quilt was designed in two parts, follow the links below:

EQ8 Stardropper Table Topper Design – Part 1

EQ8 Stardropper Table Topper Design – Part 2

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.

Free Tutorial – Scrappy Toddler Tumbler Quilt

This tutorial is an adorable toddler quilt designed with EQ8 Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  Running about 45″ square, it’s a One Block quilt using the Tumbler shape.  I was able to use my Sizzix Bigz L Die Tumbler that is 5″ x 5″ to make my blocks but I also include templates if you don’t have a die cutter machine.

The super cute woodland animal print I had is the feature fabric and then I used fabric from my stash to give it that scrappy look.

This quilt was designed with the new updated Electric Quilt 8 design software.  This version is more intuitive and easy to use and still has all the great things you expect from Electric Quilt.

 

When I designed this little quilt, I used the one block design from Electric Quilt and it allowed me to edit the Tumbler shape and size in my design so it matched the tumbler blocks I die cut with my Sizzix cutter.  You can cut a lot of very accurate blocks in a short amount of time with a die cut machine.  Don’t worry, if you don’t have a machine, I also provide templates for you to use.

Toddler Tumbler Quilt

Finished size is approximately 40″ x 40″

WOF – Width of Fabric

Materials

  • 1 yd of main print fabric
  • 3/8 yd of Seven coordinating fabrics
  • 2   yds  Background print for binding, backing and some tumblers
  • 50″ x 50″ piece of batting
  • Sizzix Die Cutter
  • Sizzix Bigz L Tumbler Die 5″x 5″ unfinished, 4 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ finished
  • Or you can use this Tumbler Template

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From background fabric, cut:

  • 1 — 54″ x WOF Rectangle for pieced backing
  • 1 54″ x WOF Rectangle for pieced backing, subcut into:
    • 1 – 12″ x 54″ strip for pieced backing
    • 4 – 2 1/2″ x 54″ strips for binding
    • Use remaining to cut approximately 14 tumbler blocks

From each of the seven coordinating prints, cut:

  • 14 Tumbler blocks

Assemble the Toddler Tumbler Quilt top

  1. Layout your tumbler blocks in a pleasing arrangement.  There are extra blocks so you can play with the placement until you like it.  There are 9 blocks in a row and 11 rows of blocks.
  2. Sew the tumbler pieces together in rows so the angled sides are on the left and right of the block.  I pressed the seams open.
  3. Then sew the rows together.  Press the seams open.
  4. Piece together the backing so that it is at least 4 inches larger than the quilt top all around.
  5. Make a quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting and backing.
  6. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  7. Quilt as desired.  I just straight line quilted about 1/2″ away from the seams.
  8. Sew the 2 1/2″ strips together for the binding and add to the quilt.  The angled sides are pretty gentle so you can just ease the binding around.  You are finished!

I would love to see your Toddler Tumbler Quilt, tag me on 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.

Published – Cookie Cat

MEOW!  Cookie Cat is here, my latest quilt made to celebrate my sweet kitty, Cookie.

You can find this fun little quilt in the March 2018 issue of American Quilter Magazine.  This magazine is published by the American Quilt Society (AQS).

Note: If any of you would like to join AQS in February, you will get access to the March digital issue as soon as you join, plus you can get 6 additional issues, a full year, in print.  Also, if you join and log into americanquilter.com, all AQS members have digital access to ALL American Quilter magazines back to 2013.  I just happen to be a member, so I though I would share.

Here is the real Cookie Cat, he loves to help me with my quilting.

As usual, I designed this cutie with Electric Quilt design software.  It makes the process easy and I had quite a few iterations on this block until I got it where I liked it.

I started quilting at my cottage in Northern Michigan.  I have a well used Featherweight Singer up there and it pieces a quilt quite nicely.

I generously received cotton solid fabric from  American Made Brand to make this sweet quilt.  The pieces are sized at five inches so they are charm square friendly too.

There are two variations in the colors for the blocks.  These are large 18″ blocks.  I love a large block, easy to sew, easy to have a large quilt quickly.

Here is my fancy light box at the cottage.  Yes, its a window from the second story, so I have a lovely pine tree backdrop.  I just taped the template to the window and then moved the block to where I wanted the face and taped the block to the window.  Then I traced with a water soluble marker.  Once I had the face on, I hand embroidered the whiskers.  The little nose is a piece of fleece.

I went a little crazy with the quilting.  I wanted to try out my Babylock Jazz on a larger quilt.  It may look like a jumble, but the large throat made it easy to do free motion quilting and the walking foot quilting.

Here you can get a better idea of all of the quilting.  I made the tiny swirls so tiny around the kitty, that took me forever.  Next time, I will make those babies just a bit bigger to get it done sooner.  I cant complain too much, I do love all that texture it creates, especially since the kitty is so basic.

I have enough scraps to make a baby quilt with just four blocks.  That just might be a great idea if you want to try this block but not make a twin size quilt.  Just one block would make a super cute pillow too.

Happy Stitching!

 

 

Published – Concentric

I am proud to introduce my quilt, Concentric, which is published in Modern Quilts Unlimited Issue 22.

And I am thrilled to be listed as a top designer with some other great quilters right on the cover highlighting the circles under Geometric Gems.  Step into my studio for a little peek into behind the scenes of making this quilt.

 

I had the idea of concentric circles of color gradations and started with the traditional drunkards path block and turned it up a notch.  I used large 12″ blocks to really show off the colors.  Electric Quilt Software made it easy to try a few things with the design until I really liked it.

 

You start with the center in the lighter tone and then keep sewing each round of color for the block.  I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids for the fabric.

To create the middle double blocks, you cleverly cut a finished block to add another set of color.

The fit together perfectly and you just stitch like you were sewing on another drunkards path round.

Just a picture of the teal and blue colors at the ironing board.  I was helping them with a little starch.

Here is my original design out of Electric Quilt.  I thought the borders added something and the pops of purple added some color to the asymmetric pattern.

All of those open squares were hollering for some extra quilting so I chose a unique design for each one.  I think I went though about 8 reference books I had for free motion quilting to find all of the ones I liked.  Then it was ready for some pin basting.

I went bonkers with the quilting using my Babylock Jazz.  I just wanted to try everything out.  I did a lot of marking to try a few new things. I really wanted a lot of texture.

Of course, Cookie cat comes running whenever I quilt and thinks he needs to ride along.  It can make things difficult but he is so furry purry, I can’t complain.

Here you can see that wonderful texture after washing the quilt.  The designs in the squares show pretty well too.

Another view of the finished quilting.

I hope you enjoyed your behind the scenes tour.

Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Viewfinders Eye Glass Cases

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I have been published again, this time it is a fun quilt project,  paper pieced eyeglass cases with the title Viewfinders.

These fun eyeglass cases are published in the 2018 Winter Quilts and More magazine issue.

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

It features a great beginner paper pieced flap of little flying geese.  I used Electric Quilt to design it.  Then I used linen for the body, scraps of batting for the inside and a color coordinated binding.

Just the flap is paper pieced so it would make a great beginner project to learn paper piecing.  It also makes a great eyeglass case for a gift.

You can easily use your scraps to make these adorable cases.  Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Beach Glass Quilt

I am so excited to be published again.  This large block quilt in beach glass hues captures the feel of sand and surf while the snowflakes swirl outside.

And I was surprised to find that I am a cover girl too.  Beach glass was featured on the cover of the 2017 International Quilt Festival Magazine.

I designed this large 18″ block with Electric Quilt Software.  I wanted to show off the turquoise and sea green colors of the fabric with larger pieces.  And I wanted a pretty simple block to put together.

Here is an assembled block.  It really shows all of the low volume grey fabric scraps I was using.  They just had to be a lighter grey and I used both cream and white tones.

I started out with this large quilt design but ultimately decided to downsize it to a throw that was 3 x 4 blocks.

 

I hand marked the quilt with ideas I had for quilting.  I just use a water soluble marker to put the designs on the fabric.  If I am going to quilt right away, I sometime use the disappearing ink one.

I decided to try to mimic the medallion shape into the grey center shapes that formed when the blocks were put together.

My new Babylock Jazz sewing machine made it easy to quilt with that extra large throat.  I was able to free motion almost the whole thing.

Here you can see that wonderful texture after washing the quilt.

Another view of the finished quilting.

I think this is one of my favorites!  Thanks for letting me share. Happy Stitching!