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!

DAMQG SEW-IN Day – Making a Plus Sign Zipper Bag

Plus zip bag Lori Miller Designs


Back in January, one of our DAMQG members, Lynn, held a class to make a Plus Sign Zipper Bag.  It was her own design.  Our guild came together for a Saturday sew-in and we all made these bags.

plus bag

I decided to make mine in scrappy colors of red, yellow and orange.  I did some homework ahead of time so that hopefully I could finish my bag on the sew-in day.

I pulled out all of my weird and random tan fabrics for the background.  They just became a neutral and worked well with the warm reds and oranges.

Here you can see that unusually large stash of tan and brown scraps for the background squares.  Where did they all come from?

We made two panels for the front and back.

cookie cat plus bag

Cookie cat came to inspect my work.  Like he usually does.  I think it passed.

Plus zip bag Lori Miller Designs

And here is the finished project and I was able to get it done on the DAMQG Sew-in Saturday.  I deviated from Lynn’s pattern a little and made faux leather handles for it.  I really like it and it is a BIG bag and holds a lot!

1-Lynn Plus Sign Tote

Here is a picture of Lynn’s original tote that she made.  Nice and scrappy.  Don’t you love her little kitty zipper pull?

gift bags

Lynn even provided these super cute bags as prizes for the day.  Aren’t they adorable?  I think I need to make some of those first aid bags as gifts.

1-DAMQG Plus Sign Bags

And finally, here is a picture from the Detroit Area Modern Guild meeting showing off our lovely Plus sign bags.




Quilting Roundup

quilt roundup collage lori miller designs

Dear friends, I have been neglecting you.  This year my only son, Colin, graduates from high school.  We went on a much needed vacation to warmer climes in February and then all the busyness caught up to me.  Let’s catch up with a quilting roundup from January – yes January.  That just means I will have a few more roundups to share to get us caught up to April.  January, it was cold outside so a good time to stitch away.  I worked on some old UFO’s, some newer things and some I even got finished.  I thought you might like a peek into the studio to see what I have been working on .

lori miller designs birch tree red bird

I saw this pattern for birch trees and red birds and I thought it would be perfect for a January wall hanging in my dining room.  The birch trees are pieced in black and white prints and then I quilted them with wavy natural lines.


The little cardinals are just machine appliqued onto a few of the trees.

 Here it is finished.  Don’t the cardinals make it such a cheery winter scene?

go cutouts qov

I belong to the Stitching Sisters Quilts of Valor Group in Clawson, Michigan.  We have an Accuquilt GO cutter machine and it was my month to try it out.  I made this awesome eagle medallion and the scrappy log cabins using the cutting die.

log cabin qov

Here is the center medallion being pieced in the center of the scrappy log cabins.  I added white fabric to make the medallion really stand out.  I did not think I would ever do a log cabin but the fabric die cutting machine made it so easy and really easy to cut up those left over fabric scraps.

Here it is all finished. I used up a lot of scraps and Katy S longarm quilted it with feathers.  It is beautiful.

paper dolls lori miller designs

These are the blocks from my Sit and Stitch group.  We have a group of seven gals who get together each month.  We each have a box with our quilt project inside and we pass the boxes around to each other each month.  This month I had Tina’s box of paper doll blocks.  She wanted each row a different color and I chose green for my row of dolls.

charity bee

My Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild does charity bee blocks each month.  Then someone volunteers to make a quilt from all of the ones that each member made for the month.  Rebekah, our president, sends out a block design and a color pallette and we stitch away.  They always turn out great.

charity bee block

Here is the latest block that we did for January.

charity blocks at guild meeting

And here are the blocks on the table at my Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild Meeting.

I also worked on some messenger bags and totes, but I will save that for another post.  Happy Stitching!

MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge 2015 – My Quilt

The Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member, has been holding fabric challenges which I have been participating in for a couple of years.   This year the Spring Challenge was to use Riley Blake Cottage Garden Fabrics by Amanda Herring.  All you had to do was make something fantastic that is quilted, something you’ve never done before, challenge yourself to learn something new, and use the provided fat eighths of fabric and coordinating Riley Blake Solids.   I completely forgot about it until I got a reminder note from The Modern Quilt Guild saying we had 11 days left to make something.  Yikes!  I have been sewing for the past six days straight!

I participated in the last Riley Blake Challenge too.  I made this super awesome duffle bag with quilt as you go techniques.  I use it all the time.

rbchallenge2015-sThese were the fabrics that we received.  Lovely prints in aqua and grey, even included a text print.

I had actually been thinking about some kind of pattern to include the birds and trees.  When I laid out the fabrics, my idea just came together.  It needed a little color so I tried to find fabric to match and ended up with the yellow and the red which sort of matched the birds legs.  I purchased some extra solids in aqua and grey as well.  The left side you can see in the picture, I just stacked most of the fabrics and added the pops of color.  Not seen in this picture, the entire right side was a big strip of an aqua solid.  I placed the grey solid over the whole thing and sketched a tree shape with a water soluble marker.

Then I basted by hand, (Yes, just like my Grandma Mabel would have done!), I basted using a running stitch over every line of the tree.  Once I had it all basted, I cut away the fabric leaving a 1/4 of an inch to turn under.

Here is a picture a little more close up so you can see it better.  I did not worry too much if the 1/4 inch was perfect, the tree would just look more natural.

Then I hand appliqued that entire tree to the pieced top.  I also added some leaves in a darker grey and a little bird.  I used one of the gray flowers for his body.

I handquilted using big stitches on the tree branches and the leaves.  I also embroidered some yellow legs and a beak on my little red bird.  Here, I am getting ready to machine quilt the other parts of the quilt.  I just used a random swirl pattern around the tree on the right side of the quilt.

I just got going well with my machine quilting when the Quilt Inspector arrived.  How does he know every time that I am quilting??  He usually does not show up when I am piecing, only quilting.  Apparently this quilt passed the inspection, HA.  Love you, Cookie Cat.

My DH volunteered to hold this up so I could get some pictures and get them loaded on the MQG website before my time ran out.  You can see the whole quilt here.  After I washed it, it was so lovely and crinkly with texture.  I managed to hide the center seam with a tree branch all the way up.  I also added my little extra pieced on the right side of the binding for some interest.

Here is a picture of the back, I used some of the leftover fabric to put it together, you an really see my quilting from the back.

 Here is a closeup of my little bird before and after quilting and embellishment.  He just adds a little something.I will be taking to my Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild meeting next week for show and tell.

Happy Stitching!


Quiltcon 2015 – My Top 10 Favorites


I am home from Austin and Quiltcon 2015.  It was everything I had hoped for and more.  I don’t think I have ever had this much fun at a Quiltshow.  There was so much going on but I pared it down to my top 10 favorite things.  In no particular order….

quiltcon buttons

#10 Buttons Buttons Buttons

This year there was a button swap.  Folks who wanted to participate made up little metal pin on buttons with their guild logo, or their business logo, or their instagram handle.  It was a great conversation starter and I talked to lots of people I might have been too shy to talk to normally.  Those little buttons gave me a reason to meet a lot of new friends and share a little about ourselves. You could swap them about anywhere, I kept my little bag of buttons with me wherever I went.  I even made the Quilting Daily blog with a picture of me swapping buttons, check it out HERE.


#9 Stocked up on hard to find goodies

There were some really awesome vendors and I picked up my kitty japanese prints, oohed and aahed over the Oakshot cottons, admired the Doe fabric, and even splurged on some Aurifil thread.  There were some new technology based services like Massdrop, a group buying service and Pattern Jam,  online quilt design software, that I had not been aware of that I now definitely need to look into. There were sewing machine and long arm dealers to try out your dream machine brands.  There was something for everyone in the vendor area.

Nancy Zieman and myself

Nancy Zieman and myself

#8 Met a mentor I admire in person

She may not be officially modern, but she is sewing royalty.  I met Nancy Zieman after her lecture about how Sewing with Nancy came to be.  She was a gracious and genuine speaker and I really enjoyed her inspirational journey.  And she brought Clover goodies for everyone!  The authors, lecturers and teachers were very accessible and you could find them everywhere at the venue.


#7 Gave a little of my time for others

When I needed a little rest and sit down time, I found the perfect booth.  There I sat and embroidered  and stitched a little outfit for a pig.  It was the cutest little quilt square on fabric printed for you to dress the little characters.  When I finished, I turned him in to be made into a charity quilt.  A very nice way to take a little breather.  Of course, my Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild had a charity quilt that I worked on displayed in one of the large halls.  It is so nice that the Modern Guilds also give back to our communities.


#6 Gained Loads of Inspiration from the beautiful quilts

There were so many quilts, I think I walked the floor about 3 times and every time saw a quilt I had missed before.  They were beautiful and detailed.  The textures, fabric choices and colors were amazing.  From simple to complicated piecing, they all told exquisite stories.  Here is some of thebeautiful texture, I apologize that I did not get the name and designer of this quilt.

My roomie, Donna A and me

My roomie, Donna A and me

#5 Old friends, New friends

It was hard not to make a new friend at Quiltcon.  Even an old friend that you might have only known before from their instagram pictures or perhaps you had a swap partner you wanted to meet. Even the dear friends that you brought with you to the show was an opportunity to build a deeper friendship.  It was such a friendly atmosphere from the attendees to the people manning the booths, the atmosphere was buzzing.


 #4 Free Stuff

I do love me some free stuff.  Well, I did spend enough to receive on the conference to receive the MQG swag bag too.  This bag was filled to the brim with patterns, thread, fabric and the cutest little container, book and colored pencils from the MQG.  All around the floor were fabric and thread manufacturers with games, temporary tattoos and freebies for everyone.  Even the demos had prizes.

Donna A, Whatsonemoreproject, HouseofDuke, and Sewtogether Phyllis at dinner

Donna A, Whatsonemoreproject, HouseofDuke, and Sewtogether Phyllis at dinner

#3 Yummy Food

Austin did not disappoint.  There was the expected Tex Mex and BBQ, but just about anything you might desire was there too with lots of fresh ingredients.  I enjoyed delicious fried chicken, some wonderful Italian and a had great Mexican food at some of my favorites.

My blocks from the Patchwork City class

My blocks from the Patchwork City class

#2 I learned something new!

I took two classes by some wonderful teachers.  My first class was Patchwork City with Elizabeth Hartman.  I learned about texture and color and looked at the combination of block parts, colors and patterns so differently than I had before.  Here are three finished blocks all put together.

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

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

My second class was Aerial Grove with Carolyn Friedlander.  This class with hand applique on Sunday was the perfect relaxing activity for the end of Quiltcon.  Again I worked with color and scraps.  In both classes, I discovered that less is more and limited the colors for a great effect.  I feel if you learn at least one new thing, the class is always worth it.

RubyThreads and I goofing off in the Moda Photo Booth

RubyThreads and I goofing off in the Moda Photo Booth

#1  Had fun

Whether I was shopping, in class, or hanging out with new or old friends, I had a ton of fun.  I laughed a lot.  Joy makes any adventure memorable.  I had a sweet roomie who made me laugh until I cried.  I caught up with an old friend for lunch and just had fun goofing off with all my pals.  Could it have been any better?

If you were not sure before, start saving up for Quiltcon 2016 in California.

I am home now recovering, napping and doing laundry.  And of course, sewing.  Happy Stitching!


Getting Ready for Quiltcon in Austin


I think I am starting to get excited.  The second QUILTCON is coming in February.  It will be my first Modern Quilt Guild Show.  I am going with a few of my quilting sisters from the Detroit Area Modern (DAM) Quilt Guild.  We DAM Girls! are ready to rock and have a great time in what I hope can only be some slightly warmer weather than snowy Michigan.  I thought I would share some of the fun things I have been getting, sewing and swapping to get ready for the show.


First, Jules from Procrasticraft sponsored a Quiltcon Lanyard swap.  I had not participated in a swap before, so I wanted to give it a try.  I made this cute orange lanyard, badge holder, pincushion and a few extras to send to my swap buddy, Mandy (@lotsocolour) in Australia.



 Here is what I received from Cindy (@whatsonemoreproject) from Alaska.  She sent me this treasure trove with my rainbow colored lanyard.  I received some yummy chocolates, local soap and ornaments, a cute zipper pull, soap, lip balm, hand lotion and this super awesome three zipper pouch.  I was truly spoiled.  If you have not tried some kind of swap, I now highly recommend it!  It is fun to design something special for another like minded quilter and the happy mail in return is just too awesome.



Are you joining the QUILTCON Pin Swap??  Why not?!!  I had to participate.  Here are my pins with my butterfly logo.  I have been drawing this butterfly since high school and when I decided to open up my shop, it was the obvious and most perfect choice for my logo.  I love butterflies anyway, they always bring a smile to my face.  I decided to add a few colors for some variety even thought the blue and lavender is my favorite.  Please try to find me, I would love to swap pins and meet a new friend!


Next, I made this pouch for myself with our colorful DAM.  Yes, I paperpieced it.  For those who know me, that was quite the challenge as it is not my favorite thing to do, but I sure like the way it looks when it is done.  I made it to hold my pins for the swap.


Finally, the DAM Girls ordered matching messenger bags with our logo.  But of course I had to jazz my bag up a bit. Vicki (@houseofduke1) inspired me to embroider my business name on it, a little bigger than I wanted but it is done now.  I thought the bag needed a little more pizzazz so I replaced the outside binding with a colorful print binding.  My friend, Rebecca (@rubythreads) convinced me to design a pattern for lining, so that went in there too.  You should be able to see us DAM Girls coming and going!  Be sure to say Hi, swap a pin, or join us on an adventure.

I can’t wait to soak up the classes and lectures and party down at the Moda Party.  I hope I will see you there!

Are you going??