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.

New Patterns – Infinity Quilt and Infinity MINI Quilt

I am pleased to share my latest two published patterns.  My Infinity Quilt and a MINI version of Infinity.

If this quilt looks familiar, you are right.  It was a featured quilt in the Spring 2016 Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine.

I also had the privilege of showing Infinity at the 2017 International Quilt Festival Chicago in the Modern exhibit this past spring.  It was very exciting.

I have updated the Infinity pattern since the magazine to include three sizes, throw, twin and queen size.

I also love the idea of having a mini version of one of my favorite quilts.  So this little version is available as a separate pattern with a size of 24 1/2″ x 26″.

And of course I had to make a sample.  Here is a little tour of making the MINI quilt.

I need to add that  I use Electric Quilt software.  With EQ 7, I could easily size down my pattern to make this mini quilt with very little effort!  I love designing in EQ!

I did a lot of string piecing and I had to show this cute little sunflower quilts gadget to snip the threads between your string piecing.  I picked it up at the Chicago show.  So practical and cute!

There are quite a few half square triangles and I square them up as I go.

It is so fun to see the mini design come together!  I am pinning with my hello kitty box of pins.  Yeah, I got it in McDonald’s meal as a prize.

So I had just taken a class at Quiltcon for free motion feathers and I had just splurged on a new sewing machine.  A babylock Jazz!  So I had to try it out.  I mimicked the quilting I used on my large quilt.  The designs are so cute in miniature.

You can find my Infinity Quilt Pattern and Infinity MINI Quilt Pattern as a PDF download FOR SALE by following either link for My Patterns or My Shop!

Thanks for letting me share!  Tag me on Instagram at lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see your version!

Free Tutorial – Liberty Quilt of Valor

This Liberty Quilt of Valor is the project of the month  with a free tutorial designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses Broken dishes blocks set on point using light and dark blue prints from my stash.  The scattered triangles of red pull it together and add that pop of color along with the candy strip bias binding.  This quilt looks complicated but was easy to design and is easy to stitch together.

I belong to the Stitching Sisters Quilt of Valor group.  The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.  This quilt is made using  the traditional patriotic colors of  red, white and blue.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is the new 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.

Liberty Quilt of Valor

Finished size is 60″ x 75″.

Materials

  • 1 5/8 yd white background
  • 1 3/8 yd Light blue
  • 2 7/8 yd dark blue
  • 1/2 yard red and blue stripe for binding
  • 4 yards fabric for backing
  • 70″ x 84″ batting

WOF = Width of Fabric

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Light blue

  • 8 — 13″ squares

Dark Blue

  • 10 — 13″ squares
  • 7 — 5 1/2″ x WOF strips  for outside border

Red

  • 2 — 13″ squares
  • 6 — 2″ x WOF strips for border

White background

  •  7 — 12 ” squares

Striped fabric

  • Cut 7 — 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric strips

Make Blocks

Hint:  Because you need to match seams, be sure to keep an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance and make sure blocks are square as you sew them to keep things in alignment.

  1. Take one light blue 13″ square and one dark blue 13″ square and place them right sides together.
  2. Mark a line diagonally from corner to corner, both ways.
  3. Stitch 1/4″ away from the lines on both sides.
  4. Next mark two lines down the center of the block.
  5. Cut along the solid lines to create 8 half square triangle units.
  6. Press the half square triangle units open pressing to the dark fabric side.
  7. Make 7 more sets of dark and light blue half square triangle units.
  8. Make 2 more sets of half square triangle units using the dark blue and red fabrics.
  9. Mark a diagonal line on each of the white background squares.  Be careful not to stretch the bias edge.
  10. Arrange your pieces using this design as a guide.  There will be a few extra half square triangles.
  11. Sew together the individual broken dishes blocks, then sew the center together in diagonal rows, aligning edges.
  12. Piece together the red border with 45 degree seams.
  13. Cut 2 side red border strips 2″ x 62 3/4″ long.  Stitch to the sides of the quilt being careful not to stretch the bias edges of the white background.
    Hint:  You may want to stitch 1/8″ from the bias edge of the white background pieces to keep them from stretching.
  14. Cut 2 red border strips 2″ x 50 1/8″ long.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  15. Piece together the dark blue border.
  16. Cut 2 side dark blue border strips 5 1/2″ x 65 3/4″.  Sew to the sides of the quilt.
  17. Cut 2 dark blue border strips 5 1/2″ x 60 1/2″.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  18. Piece together the backing.
  19. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  20. Pin baste the quilt layers together.

  21. Quilt as desired.  I echoed the seam lines for the half square triangles.  I added feathers for the white background space and quilted a large chain in the dark blue border.
  22. Sew the 2 1/2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.
  23. Finish the binding and you are done!

Make it scrappy!  I used up light and dark blue fabrics from my stash to give this quilt a scrappy look.  You can too.  Or you can use 8 light blue fat quarters, 10 dark blue fat quarters and 2 red fat quarters for the center blocks.

This quilt meets the guidelines for a quilt of valor, but it would make a great patriotic quilt for your home too.  Change up the colors to match a bedroom or even in your favorite team’s colors.  I would love to see your Liberty 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.

Published – Steppin’ Up Quilt

I am pleased to share my latest published Quilt, Steppin’ Up in the 2017 issue of Quiltcon Magazine.  It arrived mid-February so I am a little behind in sharing this striking beauty.


I had an idea of a step ladder and all the possibilities of meaning that is could represent.  It could symbolically represent a promotion, taking charge or great success.

I started out designing my pillow with Electric Quilt 7, quilt design software.  It really made it easy to bring my design to life.  I wanted it to be asymmetric to create movement and interest.

I also made it easy with 2 1/2″ strips to put together.  you need to use a good 1/4″ seam.  It is important or you may spend an entire evening ripping out over 100 seams to sew over again.  Don’t ask me how I know.

I opted for just a three color combination of brown, fuscia and green.  They looked so good together.

I used some simple constructions shortcuts to make this block even faster.  No templates!

I found this great print that coordinated beautifully for the backing of the quilt.  And it looks very modern too!

I used organic wavy lines to quilt this throw size quilt.  I used a complimentary green thread and it looked great.

 

I used all of the leftover pieces to make two matching pillows.  Another lovely set for my family room couch.

Thanks for letting me share!  Happy Stitching!

Free Tutorial – Lucky Shamrock Pillows

I am feeling lucky!  I have two new lovely Shamrock Pillows to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day all designed with EQ Mini Quilt Design Software by The Electric Quilt Company.  For these pillows I used the pieced Shamrock quilt block, but used two different sizes and some sashing.  These pillows finish at 18″ square.  I used my favorite technique which is to quilt the top and use an envelope back and then bind all around the pillow.  Then I just have a bunch of pillow covers that I can change out with my very neutral grey couch.  I love it!

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is the new 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.

Lucky Shamrock Pillows

Finished size is 18″ square

Materials

  • 1/2 yd green plaid
  • 1/2 yd linen for background
  • 1  1/2 yd shamrock print
  • 5/8 yd muslin
  • 5/8 yd batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Green Plaid

  • 4 — 7 1/2″ squares (A)
  • 16 — 3 1/2″ x squares (E)
  • 4 — 2 1/2″ x  WOF strips for binding

Linen

  • 12 — 2 1/2″ x squares (B)
  • 5 — 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ strips (C)
  • 4 — 2 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ strips (D)
  • 48 — 1 1/2″ squares (F)
  • 2 — 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ strips (G)

Shamrock Print

  • 4 — 18 1/2″ x 24″ rectangles

Muslin

  • 2 — 19″ squares

Batting

  •  2 — 19″ squares

 

Piece the large Shamrock Pillow

  1. Place a 2 1/2″ linen square (B) on a corner of a large shamrock leaf (A).  Sew a diagonal corner.  Mark a diagonal line onto the wrong side of the square with a pencil or water soluble marker.  With right sides together (RST), stitch the square onto the leaf on the marked diagonal line. Trim the excess to a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press seam to the darker fabric side.
  2. Sew a diagonal corner to 3 of the corners on each of the four large shamrock leaves.
  3. Sew the four leaves together to form the shamrock matching the seams.
    large-shamrock
  4. Add the outside border by sewing two 14 1/2″ linen strips (C) to the side of the shamrock.  Sew two 18 1/2″ linen strips (d) to the top and bottom of the shamrock.  Set aside.

 

Piece the smaller shamrocks pillow

  1. Place a 1 1/2″ linen square (F) on a corner of a small shamrock leaf (E).  Sew a diagonal corner using the same instructions as for the larger shamrock.
  2. Sew a diagonal corner on 3  corners of each small shamrock leaf (16 total leaves)
  3. Sew four leaves together as shown to form a shamrock matching the seams.  Repeat for the other 3 small shamrocks.
    small-shamrock
  4. Sew the sashing.  Stitch a 6 1/2″ linen strip (G) between two small shamrocks.  Repeat for remaining two small shamrocks.
  5. Sew a 14 1/2″ linen strip (C) in the center of the pillow to join the two shamrock panels.  Sew a 14 1/2″ linen strip (C) to each side of the shamrocks.
  6. Sew an 18 1/2″ linen strip (D) to the top and bottom of the pillow.

Hint: If you used linen, baste very close to the outside edge of the pillow top to keep the linen from fraying.

Quilt the top side of the pillows

  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.  Trim quilted pillow top to 18 1/2″ square.

Note:  I found this Celtic Shamrock design for a tattoo on the internet, it had a nice continuous design I could adapt for the quilting.  Inspiration comes from all sorts of places!

Here is the beginning of the design.

Here you can see the design on one of the little shamrocks.

And here is the design on the shamrocks with the detail on the linen as well.  The texture crinkled so well after washing.

Finish the Pillow

  1. Fold each 18 1/2″ x 24″ rectangle in half, wrong sides together, to form four 12″ x 18 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.
  6. Bind with the green plaid binding strips.
  7. Insert a pillow form through the opening.

.shamrock-pillow-2   shamrock-pillow-1

Here are pictures from EQ Mini of my quilt design.

Show me pictures of your lucky pillows!  Tag me on Facebook or 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.

Published – Clockwise Pillow

Photo Courtesy of AllPeopleQuilt.com from Quilts and More Spring 2017 Magazine

Photo Courtesy of AllPeopleQuilt.com from Quilts and More Spring 2017 Magazine

It is January, but I am thinking of spring with my new Clockwise Pillow published in the Spring 2017 issue of Quilts and More.  It is a rainbow of arrows pointing in a clockwise direction and I could not be more pleased.


qm-spring-digital-cover_600

Here is the current issue of Quilts and More, I even found it at my local Kroger store.  In my store, the magazines are opposite the aisle from the eggs and butter, those people shopping thought I was a little strange when I discovered this magazine and yelled “Yay” out loud right in the store.

mod-arrows-pillow

I started out designing my pillow with Electric Quilt 7, quilt design software.

I usually print out a picture of my project and some of the rotary fabric cutting suggestions.  Then I use my own favorite assembly methods and scribble, make notes and write all my updates all over the papers to create my pattern.

Then I start to assemble the blocks trying the ways I think I want to put it together.

Here is the red and orange block coming together.  I used different low volume grey prints for the backgrounds.

I really like how it has that clockwise rotation and movement in just the first block.

This is a pretty large block.  I love large blocks, less to sew and a they really make a big impact!  I am grooving on this apple green.

Here is the top all pieced.  The assembly directions are really straight forward and they went together in a jiffy.

I decided to try quilting a large spiral for this pillow.  It is a nice look and the texture is great.  If you have not tried quilting some spirals, you need to add it to your list.  A pillow is a nice size to start and practice spirals.  This stunning pillow will be going in my family room.

SONY DSCThis is why it took me a long time to spiral quilt this pillow. Oh Cookie cat!

Check it out in the latest issue of Quilts and More Spring 2017.

Tutorial – Winter Icicles Throw Quilt

This months free tutorial for a project designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company is this icy blue Winter Icicles Throw Quilt.  It uses vertical strips of giant flying geese to create modern icicles.  This frosty quilt will keep you cozy warm and the large pieces will stitch up quickly.  I even used a blue polkadot binding that made me think of little snowflakes.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is the new 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.

Winter Icicles Throw Quilt

Finished size is 48″ x 56″.

Materials

  • 3 5/8 yd white background
  • 1 3/8 yd Light blue
  • 1 3/8 yd medium blue
  • 1 3/8 yd dark blue
  • 1/2 yard blue polkadot for binding
  • 3 1/2 yards flannel for backing
  • 54″ x 62″ batting
  • Icicle Templates (Download HERE) (Please note there is a 1/4″ seam  allowance printed around the templates so be careful when cutting them out to include that.)

Directions

Cut Fabric:

White background

  •  14 — 4 3/4 ” x 9 1/2″ rectangles
  •  8 — 4 3/4 ” x 15 3/4″ rectangles
  •  10 — 4 3/4 ” x 13″ rectangles

Light blue

  • 14 — Template A triangles

Dark Blue

  • 8 — Template B Triangles

Medium Blue

  • 10 — Template C Triangles

Blue Polkadot

  • Cut 7 — 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric strips

 

Make Icicle Blocks

Hint:  Because you need to match seams, be sure to keep an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance and make sure blocks are square as you sew them to keep things in alignment.

  1. Take the 4 3/4″ x 9 1/2″ rectangles and stack them in two’s right sides together.
    icicle background
  2. Cut diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
  3. Cut off 1 inch from the pointy skinny end.
    icicle-diagram-2
  4. Using left and right pieces, carefully sew the sides onto the template A Icicle.icicle-diagram-3
  5. Continue to make a total of 14 Template A icicle blocks.
  6. Using the same method above, take the dark blue 4 3/4″ x 15 3/4″ rectangles and stack them in two’s right sides together.
  7. Cut diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
  8. Cut off 1 inch from the pointy skinny end.
  9. Using left and right pieces, carefully sew the sides onto the Template B Icicle.
    icicle-diagram-4
  10. Continue to make a total of 8 template B icicle blocks.
  11. Using the same method above, take the medium blue 4 3/4″ x 13″ rectangles and stack them in two’s right sides together.
  12. Cut diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
  13. Cut off 1 inch from the pointy skinny end.
  14. Using left and right pieces, carefully sew the sides onto the template C Icicle.
    icicle-diagram-5
  15. Continue to make a total of 10 template C icicle blocks.winter-icicles
  16. Sew the icicle blocks together in vertical rows per the diagram above.
  17. Sew the pieces together in vertical rows, then sew the rows together, aligning edges.
  18. Piece together the backing.
  19. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  20. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  21. Quilt as desired.  I used organic wavy lines.
  22. Sew the 2 1/2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.

Variation Suggestions
winter-icicles-reverse

  • Reverse the background and icicle colors for a different look or color in a scheme to match your decor.
  • Try using frosty winter prints, the large icicles really show off larger prints.

This quick throw is perfect to snuggle under with a cup of cocoa and your favorite book this winter.  It will look perfect with my January snowman decor.  I would love to see your icicle quilt, tag me on instagram @lormillerdesigns.

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.