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!

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.