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″ square.

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 – 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!

 

Button Cards – Free Printable

button card 3
I like to find different types of sewing and quilting gifts.  Digging through some of my Grandma’s old sewing notions, I ran across some vintage button cards.  These cards were very cute and much more embellished than some of the button cards you find today.  They were the perfect inspiration to create these vintage looking button cards that you can download and print yourself for free.

button card 2

Here are some of my vintage button cards.

button card 5

These cards make the perfect backdrop to share some fun buttons with my friends and they made great party favors for my sewing gals. They are a little larger than a regular button card, so they can accomodate almost any size of button.

Materials Needed:

  • Heavy cardstock paper
  • Color printer
  • Scissors
  • Buttons
  • Needle and thread

Directions:

button card 4

Using this Free Printable, print out your cards onto heavy cardstock paper.

button card 6

Carefully cut out the cards.

button card 7

With the needle and a double thread, sew on a few buttons onto each card, moving from button to button.

button card 8

If you knot after each button, you can just snip one button off at a time when you use them.

button card 1

Maybe this project is just what you needed to create the perfect gift for a fellow crafter, quilter, or sewer.  Why not clean out a few of those button in that jar you have filled to the brim? Everyone needs buttons!

While I was working on these, I kept thinking of cute little button sayings. How many of these did you think of?

  • Cute as a button
  • Bright as a button
  • Button up
  • Right on the button