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

 

Free Tutorial – Fiesta Quilt

Lets have a party before summer ends with this fun and cheery Fiesta Quilt!  My next tutorial is a quilt designed with EQ  Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a simple Horizontal layout with only one block.  The large 12 inch block shows off some lovely Joel Dewberry prints that I picked up from Crimson Tate at Quiltcon this year.  If you have a stack of fat quarters that you have been wanting to use, this quilt makes two blocks from each fat quarter with a single background color.  All of the varied colors give a scrappy look, so you could certainly use whatever fun fabrics you have on hand.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is a scaled down, simpler version of EQ7 quilt design software.  This program was created for quilters who are just getting started using software for quilt design.  EQ Mini will help you create, edit, share, and print patterns and yardage for your quilt designs.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a simple horizontal layout using just one block called the Economy Block.  I wanted a large block to show off the fabric prints that I had so I made the blocks 12 inches square.  It worked out that I could get two blocks made from each fat quarter with a little to spare.  I kept playing with the sizes of the blocks in the software to try and use as much of a fat quarter as I could.  The software lets you print how much fabric is required for a block so you can play with the sizes until it matches what fabric you have on hand.

Fiesta Quilt

Finished size is approximately 48″ x 72″

Materials

  • 12 pack of coordinating fat quarters
  • 2  1/8 yds  white fabric for the background
  • 3 yds for backing
  • 1/2 yd  blue solid for binding
  • 54″ x 80″ piece of batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From white background, cut:

  • 96 — 3 1/2″ squares
  • 24 — 7 1/4″ squares

From each fat quarter, cut:

  • 2 — 6 1/2″ squares
  • 8 — 3 7/8″ squares

From the binding fabric, cut:

  • 6 — 2 1/4″ strips x WOF

Make the Economy Block

  1. This block contains 4 flying geese components and there is a great way to make 4 matching flying geese.
  2. On the back side of each 3 7/8″ print square, mark a line diagonally through the center of opposite corners.
  3. Place two print squares diagonally, right sides together (RST) over one of the 7 1/4″ white background squares.  The print squares will slightly overlap. Stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the marked center line.
  4. Carefully cut between the two lines of stitching.
  5. Press towards the small print squares.
  6. Place two 3 7/8″ print squares, RST, over the two triangle units.  Stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the marked center line.
  7. Carefully cut between the two lines of stitching.
  8. Press towards the small print squares.  You will have 4 identical flying geese.

  9. Once the geese are assembled, layout all of the pieces of the block.
  10. Stitch together in rows.
  11. Trim the blocks carefully to 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ square.

Assemble the Fiesta Quilt top

  1. Layout your blocks in a pleasing arrangement.  You have two of each block but you can randomly lay them out.  I used this fancy design wall, ok, well it is really my bed up at the cottage.
  2. I sewed them in group of four and then put them all together.
  3. Piece together the backing so that it is about 4 inches larger than the quilt top all around.
  4. Make a quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting and backing.
  5. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  6. Quilt as desired.  I used an all over swirly pattern.
  7. Sew the 2 1/4″ strips together for the binding and add to the quilt.  You are finished! Time to Fiesta!


Use that fat quarter bundle from your stash or cut up some colorful scraps for this quilt.   I would love to see your Fiesta Quilt, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

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

For more projects and tips and techniques on using EQ Mini, visit my Electric Quilt blog series EQ Mini Friday Fun.

For more information on EQ Mini software, go to EQ Mini.

Free Tutorial – Summer Flora Quilted Tote

Its July and summer is in full swing.  I couldn’t resist making this bright and cheery Summer Flora Tote.  It’s perfect to take to the beach, fill  up with a sewing project to work on or just tote all of your goodies in style.  This Summer Flora Tote was designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a simple Horizontal strip layout with a couple of applique quilt block designs that will end up as the feature on each side of the tote.  Stitched in lots of bright summer colors, it reminds me of all of the flowers blooming this time of year.  Finish up this simple design with simple quilting and a fun handle.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is a scaled down, simpler version of EQ7 quilt design software.  This program was created for quilters who are just getting started using software for quilt design.  EQ Mini will help you create, edit, share, and print patterns and yardage for your quilt designs.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a simple horizontal strip layout with borders.  I just added two quilt blocks that when assembled would become the sides of the tote.

Summer Flora Quilted Tote

Finished size is approximately 14″ W x 14 1/2″ T x 5″ D

Materials

  • 1 pack of 5″ charm squares or at least 28 – 5″ squares (I used some Bali Snaps by Hoffman Fabrics)
  • 1/8 yd of bright green solid
  • 1  1/4 yd Grey Linen
  • 1  1/4 yd of coordinating print for lining
  • 1  1/2 yd of  muslin for backing
  • 1 1/2 yd of Fusible Web (like Pellon 805 Wonder Under or Pellon Lite EZ Steam II)
  • 20″ x 49″ piece of Pellon FF77 Flex Foam
  • 4 – 1″ D rings
  • 2 handles with lobster clips
  • Summer Flora Tote Templates

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From bright green solid, cut a 6″ x 10″ rectangle

From Grey Linen, cut:

  • 1 — 5 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ strip
  • 2 — 3 1/2″ x 33 1/2″ strips
  • 2 — 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ squares
  • 2 — 3 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ strips
  • 4 – 2″ x 4″ strips for handle tabs

From lining fabric

  • 1 — 18 1/2″  x 36″ rectangle

From fusible web, cut:

  • 28 — 4 1/2″ squares
  • 1 — 5 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ rectangle

Make the Applique Blocks

  1. Download and print out the Summer Flora Tote Templates.  If you plan on machine appliqueing the stems and leaves, you can cut off the outside seam allowance before tracing the templates.
  2. Press the large piece of fusible web to the wrong side of the bright green stem rectangle.
  3. Using the stem template A, trace and cut out 8 stems.
  4. Press the 4 1/2″ fusible web to the wrong side of 28 – 5″ charm squares.
  5. Using the leaf template B, trace 2 leaves onto each charm square and cut them out.
  6. Using the block diagram as a visual guide, arrange the stems and leaves on each of the 14 1/2″ linen squares.
  7. I folded and pressed the squares diagonally to get guidelines to use.
  8. Once you have the arranged the leaves and have the design how you like it, set aside the leaves at the top of the stems and press the remaining stems and leaves onto the linen square.
  9. Using a small zigzag stitch, applique around the stems and leaves.  I used a length of .9 mm and a stitch width of 2.5 mm.
  10. Hint, when you are machine applique stitching the points of the leaves, narrow the stitch width to 2.0 mm just at the points.
  11. Once you have appliqued the stems and leaves, arrange the leaves on the top of the stems and press down.
  12. Machine applique the remaining leaves.

Assemble the Tote top

  1. Sew the 5 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ linen center strip between the two appliqued squares.  Press to one side and top stitch if desired.
  2. Sew the 3 1/2″ x 33 1/2″ strips to each side of the applique unit.  Press to one side and top stitch if desired.
  3. Prepare the loops for the handles.  Fold in half  the long way and press a crease.  Open back up and fold each raw edge to the center.  Topstitch close to the folded edges.  Topstitch on the other side to match.
  4. Slide the d ring over the strip and fold in half.  Position the d ring and strip 6″ from the edge of the tote and baste into the seam.  Repeat for the 3 other loops.
  5. Sew the 3 1/2 ” x 20 1/2″ linen strips to the top and bottom of the applique unit.  Press to one side.  Topstitch close to the seam.
  6. Mark the quilt top if you want to quilt the 2 ” diamond pattern like I did.  I used a washable white marking pen.
  7. Make a quilt sandwich with the muslin, flex foam and the top applique unit.
  8. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  9. Quilt as desired.

Finish the tote

  1. Trim tote to 19 1/2″ x 39 1/2″.  Only on the top ends of the tote, trim the flex foam to be 1 inch shorter than the outside of the tote.  You will be folding the top of the tote down into the inside over the flex foam.
  2. Fold the tote in half, right sides together (RST) and pin aligning seams.
  3. Stitch the sides and bottom of the tote.
  4. Box each corner and measure up 2 1/2″ from the point and stitch across the tote a 5″ long seam.  Trim seam.
  5. Fold the lining in half, RST and stitch the sides and bottom of the lining leaving an opening for turning on the side of the tote.
  6. Box each corner of the lining by measuring up 2 1/2 inches from the point and stitching across the lining corner with a 5 ” seam.  Turn the lining right side out.
  7. Tuck the lining into the tote with RST.  Pin aligning the seams.  Stitch around the top of the tote.
  8. Pull the tote right side out through the opening in the lining.
  9. Push the lining down into the tote.  The lining is shorter, so the top of the tote should fold down  to the inside of the tote about an inch or so.  Pin in place.  Top stitch along the edge of the top of the tote and again 1/4″ away.
  10. Tack the lining to the bottom sides of the tote from the inside.
  11. Attach your handles.

Use a favorite charm pack or cut up some colorful scraps for this tote.   Choose another favorite applique block or pieced block for the tote sides.  I would love to see your Summer Flora Tote, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

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

For more projects and tips and techniques on using EQ Mini, visit my Electric Quilt blog series EQ Mini Friday Fun.

For more information on EQ Mini software, go to EQ Mini.

Free Tutorial – Americana Placemat

For this month’s free tutorial project, we are sticking with a mini approach.  This striking design is for a patriotic placemat which certainly qualifies as a mini quilt.  This placemat was designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a Vertical strip layout and a traditional Ohio Star block to create a winning red, white and blue design.  Stitch up as many as you need for your holiday celebrations or just make one for a cute centerpiece design.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is a scaled down, simpler version of EQ7 quilt design software.  This program was created for quilters who are just getting started using software for quilt design.  EQ Mini will help you create, edit, share, and print patterns and yardage for your quilt designs.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a vertical strip layout with two strips.  Each strip uses a pieced row of blocks.

Americana Placemat

Finished size is 14″ x 17″.

Materials

This will make one placemat.

  • 1/4 yd Red
  • 1/4  yd White
  • 1/4 yd Blue
  • 1/4 yd for binding
  • 1/2 yd for backing
  • 16″ x 20″  piece of batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From red fabric, cut:

  • 3 — 3 1/4″ x 12 1/2″ strips

From white fabric, cut:

  • 2 — 3 1/4″ x 12 1/2″ strips
  • 3 — 2″ squares
  • 6 — 3″ squares

From blue fabric, cut:

  • 12 — 2″ squares
  • 6 — 3″ squares

From binding fabric, cut:

  • 2 — 2 1/4 ” x WOF strips  for binding

From backing fabric, cut:

  • 1 — 16″ x 20″ rectangle

Make Ohio Star Blocks

  1. You will make three Ohio Star blocks for each Americana Placemat.
  2. Start with quarter square triangle units.
  3. Mark a line on the wrong side of the 3″ white fabric squares diagonally from corner to corner.
  4. Place the marked white fabric square right sides together (RST) with a 3″ blue fabric square.
  5. Sew two seams, each 1/4″ away from the center marked diagonal line.
  6. Cut along the marked line to separate the half square triangles.  Press seams to the darker fabric.
  7. Mark a line on the wrong side of one of the half square triangles.
  8. Pair the half square triangles, RST. with opposite fabrics facing each other.
  9. Sew two seams, each 1/4″ away from the center marked diagonal line.
  10. Cut along the marked line to separate the now quarter square triangles.  Press seams open.
  11. Make a total of 12 quarter square triangles.
  12. Trim the quarter square triangles to 2″ square.
  13. Arrange the parts of the Ohio Square block and stitch together.
  14. Sew the three stars together for the left side of the placemat.  Sew the red and white strips together for the right side of the placemat and then join them together.
    Note:  I rounded up some of the numbers to 1/4 inches so you may have to adjust a bit to match up the stars with the stripes.  I did not want you to have to work with sixteenths of inches.
  15. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  16. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  17. Quilt as desired.  I stitched some fun loops in the red and white strips.
  18. Sew the 2 1/4″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.
  19. Finish the binding and you are done!

This is a fun placemat to make.  Take your time with the Ohio stars so you can really line up the points.  Share your pictures of the Americana placemat, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

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

For more projects and tips and techniques on using EQ Mini, visit my Electric Quilt blog series EQ Mini Friday Fun.

For more information on EQ Mini software, go to EQ Mini.