Tutorial – Holiday Table Runner

Here is another free tutorial for a project designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company.  This Holiday Table Runner uses one of the built in blocks colored with traditional Christmas colors to create a lovely item for your home decor.

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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.

Holiday Table Runner

Finished size is 12 1/2″ x 36 1/2″.

Materials

  • 3/8 yd white cotton
  • 1/8 yd green cotton
  • 5/8 yd red cotton for blocks and binding
  • 1/4 yd burgundy cotton
  • 1/2 yard for backing
  • 1/4 yard batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

White cotton

  •  24 — 2  7/8 ” squares
  • 3 — 7  1/2 ” squares

Green cotton

  • 12 — 2  7/8 ″ squares

Red cotton

  • 15 — 2  7/8 ″ squares
  • 3 — 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric strips

Burgundy cotton

  • 3 — 7 1/2 ”  squares

Background fabric

  • 1 — 14 1/2 x 38 1/2″ strip

Create the half square triangles

  • This method will create 8 half square triangles at once.
  • On the wrong side of the white 7 1/2″ square, mark the sewing and cutting lines.  Mark from corner to corner and mark half and half as shown.
  • Stitch 1/4″ away from the diagonal line, on each side of the diagonal line.  You can see the stitching in the X shape in the diagram above.
  • Cut the half square triangles apart on the marked lines.
  • Press the seams open and then square up the half square triangle blocks to measure 2 7/8″ square.

 Sew the block:

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.

table-runner

  1. Using the diagram above as a guide, arrange the pieces for your quilt block.
  2. Sew the pieces together in rows, then sew the rows together, aligning seams.
  3. Make three quilt blocks.
  4. Sew the three blocks together in a row, aligning seams to finish piecing the top of the holiday table runner.
  5. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  6. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  7. Quilt as desired.
  8. Sew the 2 1/2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.

Variation Suggestions

  • Try some custom quilting like I did on this table runner, the smaller size makes it easy to explore free motion quilting.
    sample-runner-colors
  • Try using holiday prints or even modern colors or even a blue color scheme to really change the look but still use the same block.

This Holiday Table Runner would look great on your table or make several to give as gifts this season.  Why not look through the provided blocks in EQ Mini and find a favorite that you can turn into a table runner?  There are so many possibilities.  I would love to see pictures of your Holiday table runners.  Just tag me on instagram @lormillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them here: EQ Mini Friday Fun Holiday Table Runner.

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.

Quilting Roundup – Summer 2016

It has been a while since I posted the projects I have been working on, so it was time to do a little round up to at least catch us up to the beginning of the summer.  My only son graduated from high school and the day after his graduation party, I decided to get appendicitis and it had to come out.  Mix in some recovery time, summer vacation, weekends at our cottage up north, and well, you get the idea.  The picture above is of my new grey couch(what a great setting for any color quilt, I can mix it up whenever I like.)  I finished my pow wow quilt (Pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew) and two pillows from all of the scraps.

I did some wiggly quilting in the sashing and just wavy, organic lines over the arrow shapes.  It was a quick way to quilt and it washed up great.

Next up, I had some lovely organic cotton prints with kitties on them.  I used the Ballerina quilt pattern by Jaybird Quilts.  It is a great way to use a special fat quarter bundle where you want to see the prints.  My good friend, Laura, had celebrated a big birthday, so this throw quilt was her gift.  I even did kitty themed allover quilting with curly que lines and yarn balls.

Here is a good view of the quilt and my yarn ball quilting.

I think the grey, aqua and yellow look so great together and she loved it.

 baby quilt
I had picked up another cute bundle of fat quarters from Pink Castle fabrics in Ann Arbor, Mi.  I thought they would make a great baby quilt.  I thought this was a very cute pattern but I forgot about the one way prints, so that made piecing a little more challenging.  I just straight line quilted around the larger squares.  Then I hand drew a starburst design in the blocks.

I stitched the star burst with free motion quilting on my little bernina and on the outside big white corners, I did a some close lines for extra texture.


Here it is all finished.  I had just enough yellow for the border to make it pop.  Thanks to my son who is holding it up for me.

This little mini quilt was a kit that I bought in Grand Rapids at the AQS show.  The pattern is Puddle Jumping Mini by Thimble Blossoms.

All those tiny pieces.  I think it takes as long as a big quilt to piece these babies.

Even though it was only about 12 inches across, I still pinbasted it like crazy before quilting.

Here is my finished quilt.  I just stitched some diagonal straight line quilting.  It was some work, but it is so cute all finished up.

Finally, this red, white and blue beautry.  I belong to the Stitching Sisters Quilt of Valor group and I finished up this large block quilt.qov-001

I was given the opportunity to award my quilt to Jerry.  You can see Katy to the right, she did the longarm quilting on it.  She simply does beautiful work and donates her time for many QOV quilts.

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And of course, every service member gets a quilty hug to welcome them home.  After serving 10 years in the National Guard myself, I have a special soft spot for all of the men and women who have served our country.  It is a joy to honor them in this way.

I hope these projects inspire you to quilt up something special for yourself, a friend or even a service person.  Happy Stitching!

Grandma Town BOM #11 – Apron Quilt Block

Can you believe it?  This is the last block for the Grandma Town Row by Row.  It is the green gingham apron my Grandmother wore.  She always cooked wearing an apron and I have a lovely green calico apron that I made her for a gift that was given back to me as a keepsake.  It is a cherished item.  This large apron block finishes at 12″ x 12″.  You will only need one apron block for this quilt and it is centered between the pies and canning jars.

grandma town Apron

 

Grandma Mabel’s favorite color was green.  I always thought that was strange as most girls said they loved pink.  I actually am more in tune with Grandma now and love the freshness of a bright apple green color.   I can still see Grandma rolling out some pies or working on Sunday dinner wearing her faithful aprons to keep her dress clean.  I have a collection of vintage aprons and they make me think of my special Grandma.

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.  A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Apron 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

JUL  Block 6 – Canning Jar

AUG Block 7 – Barnyard Double Block

SEP Block 8 – Pie Quilt Block

OCT Block 9 – Home Sweet Home Double Block

NOV Block 10 – Chicken and Egg Block

Modern Swallow Trail Tiny Quilt goes to Road to California 2016

My mini quilt, Modern Swallow Trail, has been selected to be part of a special exhibit of 40 mini quilts at the Road to California  Quilt Conference in January 2016.  With lots of bright colors and straight line quilting, this cute little quilt was so much fun to make.  I did make the mistake of trying to piece this quilt.  I should have paper-pieced it for some sharper edges, but I had a really good reason why I didn’t. Really.  Read on to find out how I tackled this project.

american-made-brand-cotton-solids

American Made Brand Cotton Solid Fabric is sourced and and manufactured entirely in the United States.  American Made Brand  issued a challenge.

AMB Tiny quilt challenge

It was called the tiny quilt challenge and you needed to make an original mini quilt from their American Made Cotton Solids in any style you wished.  I saw the notice but I did not pay much attention.  Then they sent a reminder.  I thought about it, but I did not have any material, or so I thought.  Then another reminder came and now it was the end of August.   I had an idea in my head but I did not have time to make this thing.  Well creativity is a weird thing, I could not stop thinking about it.  Then I ran across something, a rainbow mini charm pack of AMB solids from Quiltcon 2015.  That sealed it and I was off and designing.

I needed background fabric.  I called every quilt shop within a 40 mile radius of metro Detroit.  A small quilt shop 30 miles away said they had some fabric so off I went.  They had 3 bolts and one happened to be a kind of khaki grey color  called Taupe which I thought was a perfect neutral for the bright mini charms.  I saw a large round swallow tail pattern but this had to be mini.  I drafted my swirling trail pattern on some graph paper and cut out templates.  I only had a couple mini charms of each fabric and I needed to cut out two diamonds from each plus a binding.  There was simply no extra fabric for paper piecing, so I cut and pieced the bright colors.

I took the colors in the mini charm pack and picked the ones I liked and then tried to arrange them in a rainbow pattern.  I varied the flow a little from the top to bottom and the colors really blended well together.  I had just enough fabric to add my signature colored border snippets.  I just straight line quilted it how my heart desired.  I love the texture of the matchstick quilting.

Although my quilt was not one of the main winners in the challenge, I was thrilled that AMB asked if I would provide my mini quilt for the Road to California exhibit in January 2016.  Road to California is the premiere Quilters’ Conference & Showcase west of the Rocky Mountains!

 

 

Grandma Town BOM #10 – Chicken and Egg

chicken and egg


Are you sewing along?  Grandma Town Block of the Month continues with this cute little chicken and egg.  On the farm, Grandma raised chickens for the eggs and for Sunday dinner.  There was a large hen house behind the house.  I never helped gather eggs, maybe grandma thought I would break them.  We did get to throw the food scraps and potato peelings over the fence for them and sometimes some cracked corn.  There were all kinds of chickens including little banny hens that ran around everywhere.  The Chicken blocks finish at 8” x 7”.  The Egg blocks finish at 3” x 7”.  You will need 6 chicken block and 5 egg blocks for the row of the quilt.

Grandma Town Chicken&Egg

Grandma’s favorite chicken was a big red hen she named Molly.  Molly laid large colored eggs, they were sort of grayish green color.  Grandma also made delicious fried chicken, but the best was a scalloped chicken that she made which was kind of like chicken and stuffing.  It was crispy on the top and tasty all the way through.


I know my grandparents raised their own chickens, but luckily I did not ever have to experience how they got to the table.  This chicken pattern reminds me of Molly and her jumbo eggs.

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. A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Chicken and Egg 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

JUL  Block 6 – Canning Jar

AUG Block 7 – Barnyard Double Block

SEP Block 8 – Pie Quilt Block

OCT Block 9 – Home Sweet Home Double Block

Stitch up some Tailgate Napkins (free tutorial)

Are you ready for some tailgating? It is football season, and the crisp air and smell of the brats on the grill are here. A little party with friends and good food is in order before the game, so make it easy and fill these cute DIY napkin pockets with silverware, and set them out for your guests. The napkins are super easy to stitch up. Then you just fold ‘em, stuff ‘em and arrange ‘em in a pretty basket or container. Clean up is a snap — just toss them in the washing machine and they are ready to go for the next game.  Below are directions on how to make the hem and how to fold the napkins to hold that silverware.

Materials required:

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  • 2 yds of a football themed cotton or a mix of your teams colors
  • Coordinating thread

Finished size: 16″ x 16″, 8″ x 8″ folded.  Makes 8 napkins.

Directions:

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  1. Cut 8 – 17 1/2″ x 17 1/2″ squares.
  2. Stitch a 1/4 inch double fold hem all around the fabric to form napkins.  Here is how to make a double fold hem.basics hem 3
  3. Fold the material over 1/4″ with wrong sides together.  Fold it over 1/4″ again to encase the raw edge inside of the hem; pin in place.basics hem 4
  4. Sew the hem about 1/8 inch from the folded edge of the fabric. Backstitch one or two stitches at each end to secure the threads. Pull out  pins as you go, so you don’t sew over them.basics hem 7
  5. Trim your threads.basics hem 8
  6. Iron the hem flat to finish.

 Here is another way that you can sew the corners on your napkins:

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Fold the corner up 1/4 inch twice.

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Then when you fold the sides, it will form a tiny miter that you can sew through.

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Here is the finish of the corner.

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I stitched the top side with red thread for a nice accent.

Here are directions on how to fold your napkins for the tailgate party.

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Iron the napkin flat, wrong side up.

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Fold the napkin in half, with the fold on the bottom.

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Bringing the left edge to the right edge, fold the napkin in half again with a fold on the left.

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The top right of the napkin will have all the corners.

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Taking the top right layer, fold down in half and iron a crease.

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Open back up and fold the corner to the crease.

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Take the folded top edge and fold down to the crease again.

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Fold the whole thing down again.

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Now, take the next top right layer and fold down the corner about an inch or so.

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Fold again two more times until it meets the first folded corner.  Iron it all flat.

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Flip over and fold over each side in thirds to form the pocket on the front side. Iron the napkin flat.

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Flip it back over and you can see the little pocket on the bottom half your napkin.

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Just tuck your silverware  into the bottom pocket. Make sure you get them in the right place or the silverware will slip out.  Pretty nifty, huh?  You can stack them in a basket or bucket for the tailgating party so everyone can grab them as they go!

Happy Tailgating!

Grandma Town BOM #9 – Home Sweet Home Double Quilt Block


This month’s Block of the Month is Grandma’s house and a couple of the large black walnut trees that lined the driveway.  It was a modest little house but it certainly felt like home from the moment you entered it.  This is a double block that finished at 15″ x 10″ and it is part of the center of the quilt in the same row as the Barnyard.  There are only two more blocks after this one, we are on the home stretch!

grandma town home sweet home small

Grandma’s house always smelled of delicious food.  She was always cooking and baking.  She loved to cook and would design her own recipes, especially cookie recipes.  A local radio program would sponsor a contest and Grandma’s homemade cookies won every time.   Do you remember Kitchen Klatter out of Shenandoah, Iowa?  We would listen to the program together and try to write down all of the recipes.


The trees depicted in the picture are black walnut trees.  My Grandpa would gather them up and pick nut meats all winter.  Black walnuts have a unique flavor and they tasted wonderful in a cake or eaten straight out of the bag!
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. A comprehensive pattern and directions for the Home Sweet Home double 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

JUL  Block 6 – Canning Jar

AUG Block 7 – Barnyard Double Block

SEP Block 8 – Pie Quilt Block