Picnic Silverware Rolls – free tutorial

These sunny summer days are perfect for picnics and spending time outdoors.  Here is a cute, washable silverware holder that you can make up to have stocked and ready to grab for an impromptu lunch in the park or a weekend outing with the family. These little picnic silverware rolls stitch up with sleeves to fit silverware and it even features a spot for a napkin.  It is pretty easy sewing, so lets get started!

Materials Needed:

This will make 8 silverware rolls.

  • 1 yd gingham fabric for lining and pocket
  • 1/2 yd print fabric for outside
  • 1/2 yd of batting
  • 5 -6 yards of grosgrain ribbon
  • Coordinating thread

Directions:

Cut

  • 1 — 8″ x 10″ rectangle of print fabric
  • 1 — 8″ x 10″ rectangle of batting
  • 1 — 8″ x 10″ rectangle of gingham fabric for lining
  • 1 — 10″ x 10″ rectangle of gingham fabric for pocket
  • 22″ of grograin ribbon for the tie

Stitch

  1. Take the 10″ x 10″ pocket and fold in half and iron flat.
  2. Layer the batting, the lining and the pocket all facing up as shown.
  3. From the left side of the pocket, measure 2 inches, 3 1/2″ and 5″ at the top and bottom of the pocket.  These will mark the stitch lines to make the channels for the silverware.
  4. Stitch down from the markings on the pocket to make the silverware channels.  You will have three stitch lines.  Do a couple of back stitches at the top to secure the channels.
  5. This is what the pocket channels will look like.
  6. Next, take your 22 inch grosgrain ribbon and fold almost in half leaving one end about one inch longer than the other.  Pin the ribbon flat on the right side of the pocket about halfway down the side of the roll.  Make sure that you will catch the ribbon when you stitch the side seam.  Tuck the ends out of the way so that you do not catch them in the side seams.
  7. Layer the rectangle from the print fabric over the pocket, right sides together and pin in place.
  8. With a 1/4″ seam, stitch all the way around the roll leaving an opening for turning on the bottom.  Clip corners.
  9. Turn the roll right side out and tuck in the raw edges on the opening.  Iron the silverware roll flat.
  10. Top stitch close to the edge of the roll all the way around being sure to catch the edges of the opening and sew them shut.
  11. Your first silverware roll is completed, now just make seven more!  These really do stitch up fast, sew them assembly line style!

Variations!

A friend used this pattern but wanted to quilt the outside.  Just Piece or quilt the outside fabric or block with the batting instead of including the batting with the lining.  Then assemble according to the directions.

If you use regular silverware instead of plastic, the roll may be too short, add an inch and cut it 9″ x 10″ for the outside fabric, batting and lining and stitch up using the same directions.

Grandma Town BOM #6 – Canning Jar


Can you believe that we are half way through the Grandma Town Block of the Month?  Are you sewing along?  If you are, post it on Instagram and tag me @lorimillerdesigns and #GrandmaTownBOM so I can see what lovely things you are stitching up.  This month we celebrate the start of summer with a cute little canning jar.  My Grandma had a large garden, grew her own vegetables and canned just about anything you can think of.


She made the most delicious pickles and relishes as well and they all went into canning jars we could savor all year long.

Grandma Town Canning Jar

She even made sauerkraut in a great big stone jar, I love sauerkraut to this day.

You will need eight blocks of the canning jar for this quilt.  They sit on either side of the little apron.

 My friend, Carol, whipped up this little canning jar full of hot peppers for me as another example.  You can fill them with whatever you like!

A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Canning Jar block along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

Enjoy!

grandma Town Quilt A


Grandma Town Block of the Month

If you are new to the Grandma Town BOM, this row by row quilt was a labor of love to celebrate my Iowa roots.  I spent my childhood visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.

 

Released Blocks – 2015

FEB  Block 1 – Forget Me Not Flower

MAR  Block 2 – Sewing Machine

APR Block 3 – Nine Patch and Color Block Rows

MAY Block 4 – Ear of Corn

JUN Block 5 – Sweet Hearts

Modern 4th of July Table Runner (free tutorial)

Here is a modern patchwork table runner to stitch up just in time to celebrate Independence Day.  It looks improvisational, but it is really cleverly cut strips that give that illusion.  It is easy to piece and you can quilt with a free motion design or straight stitching.  I wanted something festive for the holiday for my table at the cottage when we have company and this fits the bill.  Fat quarter friendly too!

Finished size is 12” x 30”.

Materials needed:

  • 2 fat quarters of different red cotton fabric
  • 2 fat quarters of different blue cotton fabric
  • 1 fat quarter of white cotton fabric (I found a white star on white, perfect!)
  • 1/3 yd batting
  • 1/3 yd backing, cotton patriotic print
  • 1/4 yd red cotton for binding
  • Coordinating thread
  • Walking foot (optional)

Directions

Cut the Fabric

  1. From first red cotton fabric, cut 1 strip 4” x21”
  2. From 2nd red cotton fabric, cut 1 strip 4 ½” x 21”
  3. From first blue cotton fabric, cut 1 strip 4” x 21”
  4. From 2nd blue cotton fabric, cut 1 strip 5 ½” x 21”
  5. From white fabric, cut 1 strip 6” x 21” and 1 strip 4” x 21”
  6. Cut batting 12” x 31”
  7. Cut backing 12” x 31” (I found this great patriotic print with an eagle for the back.)
  8. Cut the binding.  3 strips – 2 1/2″ x wof (width of fabric)

Sew the table runner

  1. Sew the strips together.  The first 3 strips are the 4” red, 6” white, 4” blue.
  2. The second set of 3 strips are the 4 ½” red, 4” white, 5 ½” blue.
  3. Iron seams to one side and iron flat.
  4. Place one combination strip over the other strip, aligning the edges.  Cut 2” strips across them, you should have 10 – 2 “ strips.
  5. You will sew 5 sets of strips together with the 4” blue on the left top, and the 5 ½” blue on the left bottom.
  6. You will sew 5 sets of strips together with the 4” red on the top left, and the 4 ½” red on the left bottom.
  7. Now sew 1 of each set together to form a quilt block.  See picture above.
  8. Carefully remove lovey dovey kitty who thinks you should be petting him instead of sewing.
  9. Sew 5 of these blocks together.
  10. Then sew all the quilt blocks together in the same pattern.
  11. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then the pieced top face up.
  12. Pin baste the table runner.
  13. Quilt it as desired.  I tried using a free motion design with stars, but you could also just do straight line quilting.  Use a stitch length of 4.0 mm and use your free motion foot for the straight line quilting if you have one to keep the fabric from slipping.
  14. Sew the binding pieces together and iron them  in half.
  15. Stitch the binding to the front of the table runner.  Then fold it over to the back and whip stitch it down.  Or use your favorite binding method.

The perfect modern 4th of July Table Runner in red, white and blue to brighten up your holiday table, foyer or side table.

 

Happy Stitching!

Grandma Town BOM #5 – Sweet Hearts



Well my sweeties, here is the next block in my Grandma Town BOM series – some lovely sweet hearts to share some love and joy this month.  These are made from one basic small heart block and combined together to create multiple sweet hearts in three rows.  You will need two of these multiple sweet hearts blocks. These hearts represent that wonderful, big hearted, unconditional and never ending love from Grandma.  And she and Grandpa were married on Valentines Day too.  There were a lot of grandchildren, but she had a way of making each of us feel special.  She had an inner joy that made her fun to be around and a creative, clever heart as well.  These beating hearts are pieced using lots of red prints to compliment each other.  There are two blocks made up of eight hearts each.  These hearts bookend the farm building row. Grandma Town Sweet hearts

A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Sweet hearts block along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

Enjoy!

Grandma Town Block of the Month

If you are new to the Grandma Town BOM, this row by row quilt was a labor of love to celebrate my Iowa roots.  I spent my childhood visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.

Grandma Town BOM Lori Miller Designs

Released Blocks – 2015

FEB  Block 1 – Forget Me Not Flower

MAR  Block 2 – Sewing Machine

APR Block 3 – Nine Patch and Color Block Rows

MAY Block 4 – Ear of Corn

Grandma Town BOM #4 – Ear of Corn

Grandma Town BOM Ear of Corn Lori Miller Designs

It is time for another block in my Grandma Town BOM series.  This month is one of my favorites, an ear of corn.  You can imagine it as field corn, but I prefer sweet corn.  I love, love, love some delicious Iowa Sweet corn.

SONY DSC

We would pick it right out of the field, husk it and give it to Grandma to throw in a giant pot of boiling water on her stove.  I and my siblings would roll them in a stick of butter and eat the tender, juicy ears. There was nothing like eating it fresh.

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This ear of corn block is pieced  I used a solid yellow for the corn and used lots of bright scrappy greens.  They look good enough to eat!  You will need to make one row of 10 blocks.

SONY DSC

A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Ear of Corn block along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

Enjoy!

Grandma Town Block of the Month

If you are new to the Grandma Town BOM, this row by row quilt was a labor of love to celebrate my Iowa roots.  I spent my childhood visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.

Grandma Town Pic

Released Blocks – 2015

FEB  Block 1 – Forget Me Not Flower

MAR  Block 2 – Sewing Machine

APR Block 3 – Nine Patch and Color Block Rows

Grandma Town BOM #3 – Nine Patch and Color Row

Nine Patch - Grandma Town BOM Lori Miller Designs

Is it Spring yet??  I laugh because it is snowing right outside my window right now.  Lets think happy thoughts like more quilting.  It is time for the next block of the month (BOM) for my Grandma Town Series.  This month is a couple of quick blocks, a Nine Patch and two Color Block rows.  Both of these are simple and will give you time to catch up with the two blocks already released.  I hope you are sewing your Grandma Town memories along with me row by row.

P1100164

  My Grandma made very utilitarian quilts and the Nine Patch quilt square was simple to cut and stitch by hand.  I have found some churn dash squares that Grandma made on a quilt top I found in her attic, but most of her quilt tops certainly were made from a lot of Nine patches in very interesting color combinations.  They were made from scraps after all, and nothing went to waste.

P1100158

  Since Grandma lived through the great depression and because I had been saving vintage and reproduction 30’s fabrics, I am pulling them out to make a 30’s version of this quilt too.  You may see some of these muted, tiny prints in my upcoming blog posts.  It will be an interesting look compared to my bright and bold colored Grandma Town Quilt.

SONY DSC

You will need to make one row of  eight, nine-patch blocks.

P1100159-001
You will also need to make two rows of color blocks.  This is just a group of 4 inch finished blocks.

P1100160

 They highlight the center farm blocks and are arranged above and below to frame them.  You will need 16 blocks for each row.  A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Nine Patch block and color row blocks along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

Enjoy!

Grandma Town Block of the Month

If you are new to the Grandma Town BOM, this row by row quilt was a labor of love to celebrate my Iowa roots.  I spent my childhood visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.

Grandma Town Pic

 

Released Blocks – 2015

FEB  Block 1 – Forget Me Not Flower

MAR  Block 2 – Sewing Machine

Finish it up Friday

I have had a couple of project due dates and I really should be doing my taxes, but I definitely put blogging on the back burner.  I am off on another trip while this posts to visit my dear friend, Ann.  I like being busy but this trip will really welcome Spring and I was tired of being cooped up with the weather.  I thought I would share a few of the things I have been working on for Finish it Up Friday and what I have accomplished.

Moda Apron  Lori Miller Designs

My Moda Apron

At Quiltcon, yes it was awesome, I won this super cute dish towel in the Moda Booth.  It was just too cute to not stitch it into something, so I grabbed some fabric from the stash and started cutting.

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I was able to keep most of the printing visible.  Don’t you love the 50’s style ruffle?

P1100098

I even managed to craft a little cupcake pocket.  Love it!

Donna (dolce-t), Carolyn Friedlander and myself with our aerial grove projects

Donna (dolce-t), Carolyn Friedlander and myself with our aerial grove projects

Also at Quiltcon, I took the Aerial Grove class with Carolyn Friedlander and my fellow Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild Gal, Donna Tarnas.  I managed to get most of my circles appliqued in class.  (I was making a small table runner, not the full quilt.)

SONY DSC

I took my grove strips and decided to just improvise the rest to create the table runner size I wanted.  Then I just used straight line quilting with my walking foot.

P1100152

Here is my finished runner.

P1100149

I tried some matchstick quilting at the end.  Interesting texture, but it sure takes a long time to stitch!

P1100150

I also had a freebie spool of bold quilting thread from Coats and Clark in my Quiltcon gift bag.  So I used it to big stitch quilt through the circles.  Not as bold as a Perle Cotton, but it added a nice touch.

Lots of folks are making their own Aerial Grove quilts, quite inspiring.  The hand applique is a nice thing to work on when you are on the go.  Check out instagram for some wonderful inspiration.

Easy Shamrock Door Decoration – Free Tutorial

 

Finished Size  12″ x 12″

Materials:

  • 1/8 yard of green for shamrock
  • 1/8 yard of black for background
  • 1/2 yard of green print for back, binding and hanger
  • 1/2 yard of batting
  • Coordinating thread

Directions:

shamrock fabric Lori Miller Designs

Cut Fabric:

Green for Shamrock

  •  8 — 2  1/2″ x 4  1/2″ strips

Black

  • 8 — 2  1/2″ x 2  1/2″ squares
  • 2 — 2  1/2″ x 8  1/2″ strips
  • 2 — 2  1/2″ x 12  1/2″ strips

Green Print

  • 2 1/2 x 60″ strip for binding
  • 2 1/2″ x 20″ strip for hanger
  • 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ square for back

Batting

  • 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ square

 Sew

SONY DSC

  1. Place black square on the top of each of the shamrock strips matching the edges.  Mark four strips with a diagonal line to the left and four strips with a diagonal line to the right.Shamrock cut Lori Miller Designs
  2. Stitch on the lines. Trim.
    SONY DSC
  3. Iron the flaps out.  Sew two strips together to form a point with the shamrock material.SONY DSC
  4.  Continue to sew three more.  Arrange the four squares so that each point of each square rotates clockwise and stitch together. Press.shamrock sew borders
  5. Sew the black 8 1/2″ strips to each side. Press.SONY DSC
  6. Sew the black 12 1/2″ strips to the top and bottom. Press.

Quilt

quilt shamrock Lori Miller Designs

  1. Layer the back of the quilt right side down, the batting and the top of the quilt, right side up,  in a quilt sandwich.shamrock quilting Lori Miller Designs
    shamrock
  2. Baste together with quilting safety pins and quilt as desired.  I used straight line quilting with a walking foot at about 1/4″ intervals.

Finish

SONY DSC

  1. Fold the binding in half, wrong sides together, and press.  Attach the binding to the little quilt.SONY DSC
  2. Fold the hanger fabric strip in half, right sides together and stitch down the long edge.
  3. Turn the hanger right side out and iron flat with the seam on the back.SONY DSC
  4. Tie a bow in the hanger, centered at the top.  Tuck in the ends and stitch closed.shamrock hanger
  5. Attach the ends to the back side of the quilt about 3″ from each side.  I just used a whip stitch.SONY DSC
  6. That finished up your decorative door hanger.  Hang it on your door or as a wall hanging for decoration!May the luck of the Irish be with you!

 

Grandma Town BOM #2 – Sewing Machine

Sewing Machine Block 2


It is a new month and time for the next block in my block of the month (BOM) series for 2015, Grandma Town.  It is a sewing machine!   P1100118   Grandma loved to sew by hand or on her trusty green sewing machine.  She made her own clothes or mended Grandpa’s overalls or was happily hand stitching quilt squares while watching TV.   P1100123      

  This quilt block honors her memory with a row of 6 blocks of sewing machines.

P1100121


A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Sewing Machine block along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

Enjoy!

Grandma Town Block of the Month

If you are new to the Grandma Town BOM, this row by row quilt was a labor of love to celebrate my Iowa roots.  I spent my childhood visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.

Grandma Town Pic

 

Released Blocks – 2015

FEB  Block 1 – Forget Me Not Flower

Easy Crochet Valentine Hearts

Yes, I usually am sewing or quilting.  But every now and then I like to do a little crochet.  I found this great pattern for easy crochet valentine hearts that I made into a fun holiday garland.  Perfect for a beginner, this pattern would be great to teach someone new how to crochet, as it has several basic stitches including chain, single, double, half double and triple crochet!  It also works very fast with only 3 rounds to make a heart.

crochet valentine heart - Lori Miller Designs

I made this whole garland in an evening of watching tv and I just used my leftover red, white and pink yarn stash!

Cindy first shared this pattern on her website Skip to My Lou.  Find her free crochet directions here.

Note: Definitely use the alternate directions for round 3.  It really helps the valentine to lay flat.

Round 1

crochet valentine heart - Lori Miller Designs

Round 2

crochet valentine heart - Lori Miller Designs

Round 3

crochet valentine heart - Lori Miller Designs

Here are my hearts all strung together.  I alternated red and pink valentine hearts, they really brighten things up.

crochet valentine heart - Lori Miller Designs

You just use a chain stitch and single crochet to the tops of the valentine hearts to form the garland.  They hang very nicely like this.

crochet valentine heart - Lori Miller Designs

What a great little decoration to create for valentines day.  A truely perfect afternoon project to teach your little ones to crochet in this cold, snowy weather. Why don’t  you make the little valentine hearts and slip them in a letter, lunchbag or on a pillow for your sweetheart for a surprise?

Happy Valentines Day!

Make a simple pieced heart quilt block – tutorial

Pink and red are a traditional color combination for Valentine’s day and I simply adore them together.  I am sharing a simple pieced heart quilt block in those lovely colors that you can use as a foundation for a sweet holiday project.  Although it is a small quilt block, only 4 1/2″, this size is very versatile.  I used it to make a festive table runner, but you could create coasters, placemats, mini quilts or even a baby quilt.  I combined four of them to make a 9 1/2″ block.  This would be a great project for a beginning quilter.

Materials

  • Scraps of pink and red cotton fabric
  • For each Heart – 6″ x 6″ square is plenty
  • Background – 6″ x 6″ is plenty here too

Hint:  This simple pieced heart quilt block is fat quarter and jelly roll friendly.

Directions

heart quilt block - Lori Miller Designs

Cut the fabric:

Heart fabric

  • 1 – 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strip
  • 1 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square

Background fabric

  • 1 – 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ square
  • 4 – 1 1/4″ x 1 1/4″ squares

valentine heart quilt block 3

See block diagram above to use as a guide.

Sew the quilt block:

 

heart quilt block - Lori Miller Designs

  1.  Take both of the heart pieces of fabric and  two small background squares, right sides together (RST) at one end.heart quilt block - Lori Miller Designs
  2. Sew diagonally across both small squares to form a V.  Trim 1/4″ away from stitch.SONY DSC

    3. Iron the flaps out.  These are the tops of the heart.SONY DSC4. Sew the remaining background square to the left side of the small heart square, RST.  Iron open.

    SONY DSC

     5. Sew the two heart pieces together at the center of the heart.  Iron open.

You now have a beautiful unfinished 4 1/2″ square simple heart which will finish at four inches.  You can use this anyway you like.

Make a Larger Block

SONY DSC

I added one inch strips to combine four simple heart blocks together.

From background fabric, cut:

  • 2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ strips
  • 1 – 1 1/2 x 9 1/2″ strips

valentine heart quilt block 10

Here is a table runner that I embellished with my simple heart blocks in red and pink.  I placed the block on point to add some interest and used a pink and white striped binding on the bias for some punch.  It is the perfect thing to set off my table for Valentines day.  What are you making for the holiday?

 

 

New Block of the Month 2015 – Grandma Town

Grandma Town Pic

I am so excited to introduce my new block of the month (BOM) series for 2015, Grandma Town.  This row by row quilt is a labor of love that I have dreamed of and worked on for over a year.  It is a celebration of my Iowa roots, and growing up visiting my Grandparents on their farm just west of Des Moines in Earlham, Iowa.  It is especially a tribute to my dear Grandma.

When my sisters, brother and I were little and my parents would drive us to my grandparents farm, my brother would yell, “We are going to Grandma Town!”.  It was a loving tribute that stuck.  This little quilt is full of those reminders of the farm and of Grandma, who loved to garden and loved to cook.  She made the best pies around and my favorite was the tart and tangy wild Gooseberry.  Each block is a sweet memory of my youth growing up on that country farm.

I hope you will find some shared love for your family, a cherished farm  or your own grandma in my quilt.  You can make all of these sweet blocks or pick and choose the blocks you like the most to make something special for yourself or a dear loved one.

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Forget Me Not Block 1

Grandma Town BOM #1 –  Forget Me Not

In your “Garden of memory”, please give me one little spot;

To cultivate the flower, they call “Forget – Me – Not”.

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Here is my first block in the Grandma Town BOM series.  It is a  dainty Forget Me Not flower and it is the first and last row of blocks in this memory filled quilt. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my Grandma and this little block is a lovely reminder of this.  It is a 5″ finished block and you will need to make 20 blocks.  Use all one color, or mix and match for a nice scrappy look.

SONY DSC

A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Forget me Not block along with the whole BOM is currently in development.

Enjoy!

 

Stitch a Paper Snowflake Garland (free downloadable)

snowflake garland - lori miller designs

Here in Michigan, we have been digging out of a pretty good snow storm today.  It has been very frosty here, but it was pretty, fluffy white snow.  I would much rather deal with these paper snowflakes from inside my warm and toasty house instead.  And the plan is to sew them together into pretty garland, so you get a little sewing and fun mixed together.

When did you last make a paper snowflake?

This would be a great afternoon activity with the kids to cut out snowflakes and drink some hot chocolate. You can even use up all that junk mail or scrap paper to make them. I love traditional white flakes, but you could mix them up with any color to make a very cool statement.

Materials Required:

  • Paper to cut out snowflakes
  • Scissors For garland
  • Your sewing machine
  • Matching thread.

Paper Snowflake Refresher

Don’t worry, if you have not made these in a while, I am including a Free Downloadable Snowflake Template to get you started again and thinking frosty crystal design.

If you don’t have a great virtual spacial imagination, it can help to use the template to wrap your head around the paper snowflake dynamics until you get the hang of it again.

P1050240

  1. Using my template, cut out one of the hexagon shapes.P1050241
  2. Snowflakes are six sided — starting to remember now?  Fold the hexagon in half. (Keep your design on the outside so you can see it to cut later.)P1050243-001
  3. Fold it again in thirds.P1050244
  4. Fold it again in half so you can see the design to cut.P1050246
  5. Now, cut away the shaded part. If you are not exact, it does not really matter, every snowflake is unique!P1050252
  6. Once you have cut out the design, very carefully unfold your snowflake.P1050254
  7. Voila! A beautiful masterpiece.  Now cut out the rest of them and snip, snip, snip, until you have a pile of snowflakes. Once you’ve cut out the template snowflakes, you should be proficient enough to design your own.

Stitch the Snowflake Garland

  1. I used an all purpose white thread in my sewing machine and set the stitch length to about 3 mm.
  2. Grab your pile of snowflakes.P1050258
  3. Start sewing right through the middle of the paper snowflake, I took about 3 stitches in between each snowflake before I started the next one. Just keep stitching and adding snowflakes until you get the length you want.  That’s all there is to it.P1050259
  4. Drape a string across a window or wall.P1050263

  5. Or let them hang straight down in your front window by the door.

How will you decorate with your garland? Why not make several rows of garland to hang down your windows? Don’t forget about work! Send a strand with someone special to decorate their work cubicle or office.

What creative things are you making?

 

 

Quilted Halloween Cat Pillow

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Can it really be October already?  I dug out my Halloween fabric stash and decided I needed to put together a few holiday themed handmade items.  I recently ran across a pattern for a pillow using a quilted cat block by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Frannson!  I envisioned it with a black cat theme and I was off to my stash to pull the perfect fabrics.

halloween cat Lori Miller Designs

The Janome Project site has a free downloadable pdf of the pattern that you can get and print out.

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It is a pretty straight forward pattern that is simple and easy to piece together.

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There are just two main parts to the cat.

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The finished block is 6 1/2″ square.

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I decided to make 9 blocks for an 18″ finished pillow cover.

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I quilted the pillow top using straight lines and my walking foot.

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Here is the top all quilted.  I like to wash it before I finish it up.

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For the back, I used two pieces of the orange fabric 19″ x 13″.

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I folded over 1″ twice to hem the overlapping opening.  I stitched close to the edge.

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I stitched again by the fold so that it stays a little nicer, especially when you wash it.

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I place the front the the overlapping backs, WRONG sides together and pin them.

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Then I finish up the pillow with about 84″ of 2 1/2″ binding.

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It turned out so cute with all of those halloween black fabrics.  The orange fabric is a nice tone, not too bright.

Elizabeth also has some great pictures and tutorials from her own quilt along with the cat quilt block here.

What halloween themed items are you making this month?

 

 

 

Upcycled Quilty Folding Chair

Lori Miller Designs upcycled quilty folding chair


A few weeks ago I was spending a quiet weekend by myself at our “Up North” Michigan cottage.  It is so peaceful there and we are fortunate to live on a small inland lake.  I went into town for a few things and had to stop at the little local Goodwill store, you never know what bargains you will find.  I discovered a glass bread dish (perfect for some banana bread) and 3 well used folding chairs.  I looked at those chairs for a bit, I did need some extra seating in the cottage and they really had good bones.  The price sold me and I hauled my treasures out to my car.  I stopped at the local hardware store and picked up two cans of discontinued spray paint in a lovely stone grey for $3. Here is my adventure with those chairs.

Lori Miller Designs - before folding chair

My official before picture of one of the folding chairs.  Each chair had a cushioned back and a padded seat, a bonus.

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A price of only $5.99 each didn’t hurt either.

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When I got it home, I removed the back and cushion.  You can see it was definitely worn and rusted a bit.

Lori Miller Designs sanding folding chair

I took a 150 grit sandpaper and sanded down the whole chair.  I wanted the spray paint to really stick well.

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Then I wiped it down with a damp cloth to remove all of the loose debris.

Lori Miller Designs painting the folding chair

Next I began to spray paint the whole chair with my bargain spray paint.  I made sure to just shake it up extra good and I did not have any problems.  I painted in short light strokes so the paint would not drip.  I have decided spray paint is amazing.  After it dried, I flipped it over and painted any spots I missed.  It really dried pretty fast.  You can easily do this in a few hours.

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While my chairs dried, I started to make my quilty coverings.  I really liked the idea of a sail boat motif for the cottage, so that is what I started with.  I used my stash of low volume grey prints as a neutral palette around the boat.  These are all one inch finished squares.

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I used some batting and a backing of muslin and I quilted the design.  Then I covered the back cushion with it and screwed it back onto the chair.  The greys blended perfectly with the stone color spray paint.

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For the seat, I took all of my teal and dark blue scraps and cut out 1 1/2 inch squares and randomly sewed them together.  Now, this part did take quite a while.  I liked the look of the small blocks, but you could use larger squares and it would go a lot faster.   If you look closely, you will see another little sailboat motif echoed on the seat.  I quilted this seat cover with batting and a backing of muslin too.  I just used straight line quilting with a walking foot, nothing fancy.   I chose a darker set of colors for the seat since it would get a lot of use.

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For the seat, I had to staple it onto the seat with very short staples.  I pulled it as evenly as I could and worked carefully around the seat.

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The corners were a little tricky, I just tried to position staples where I only had to go through one layer of fabric.

Lori Miller Designs finished upcycled quilty folding chair

Here is my finished upcycled chair, it turned out so cute.  I plan on spraying it with ScotchGuard to make it easy to clean.  These chairs look brand new!