Published – Mod Selvedge Cushion


I am thrilled to share my Mod Selvedge Cushion published in the first anniversary issue of Make Modern Magazine.  No, I did not spell it wrong, Selvedge Cushion is how you spell Selvage Pillow in Australia where Make Modern is published.  This online quilt magazine is created by Jane, Lara and Kristy and is filled with delightful modern quilt and sewing patterns.  Make Modern is a digital magazine put together by quilters for quilters who are passionate about modern quilting and sewing.

I have been saving my selvages for a while, I even have a few friends saving them for me.  I don’t know if I will ever use them all.  This whole large bin is full of them.

I pulled just the black, white and cream ones strips of selvage for this pillow.  You create the selvage fabric by sewing them together in an overlapping fashion.

After you have sewn together a bunch of them, you start to see the cool fabric.  I alternated with lighter and denser pieces of black and white selvage.

I used a bright solid red for the accent.  Then I started quilting.  I think you could use multicolored selvages and use a neutral gray or white for the accent for another cool take on it.

Here is a picture of the pillow top up close. Don’t you love the striped accent? That was a last minute bit of whimsy.

Back of pillow

Here is the back of the pillow, I used a large newspaper print to play off the black and white.

 

Issue 6 cover

 

There are 14 great creative modern projects in this issue including my Mod Selvedge Cushion.  You can easily purchase the downloadable issue of Make Modern Issue Six online HERE for a very reasonable price.  There is also a free newsletter that you can sign up for.

My Modern Selvage Pillow is now available FOR SALE as a pattern in My Shop for instant PDF download.

 

 

 

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

Quick and Easy Kids Dishcloth Apron (free tutorial)

Here is a quick and easy project for that special little one in your life — a cute kid’s apron that assembles in a jiffy using only a dish towel and bias tape. My son always loved to help in the kitchen, and I made this little apron for him when he was a tot. He liked to feel grown up and wear his apron right along with mom while we made dinner or a yummy batch of cookies. The dish towel was thick and absorbent for any spills and he loved the little pockets too.

Materials Needed:

P1050036-001 apron

  •  Dish towel (preferably not a directional print or design)
  • 1 package of double-fold bias tape/quilt binding (7/8 inches wide) to coordinate
  • Coordinating thread

 Measure and Mark

  1. Open up and iron your dishtowel flat.
  2. Mark the center point of the top of the dish towel
  3. Measure and mark 4½ inches to the left and right of the center point.
  4. Measure down 7 inches from the top on each side of the towel and mark it.
  5. Measure up 7 inches from the bottom of the towel and mark it on each side and in the center.

apron-a

apron b

Cut

Now you are ready to cut the towel. (see diagrams above). Cut the top corners off of the towel according to your markings. Cut the 7 inch strip off the bottom of the towel, this will become the pockets.

Sew

apron-3a

apron-3b

  1. With right sides up and raw edges even, layer the 7-inch pocket strip and the towel.
    Sew them together with a ½-inch seam. Flip the pocket strip to the top of the towel and iron it in place.
  2.  Measure 5 inches from each side and mark them to sew the pockets.apron-4a
    apron-4b
  3. Sew each side close to the edge. Sew each of the pockets at the 5 inch measurement.  Double stitch the top of each pocket.
    apron ties
  4. Now sew the ties. Measure 68 inches of the bias tape.  Open up each end of the tape and stitch diagonally at a 45-degree angle from the open edge to the fold ending in a point. Trim and flip back around to form a neat point at the end of the tie.
    apron-6aapron-6b
  5. Find the center of the bias strip length and measure down 8 inches on each side. Mark with a pin. Using the pin as a guide, pin the bias tape along the slanted raw edges carefully covering them with both sides of the bias tape. Pin together.

apron 1

Starting with one end of the tie, top stitch close to the open edge of the bias tape. Stitch all around the tie, through the towel and back to the other side to the end. Trim threads.

apron 2

Now you have a very cute, quick apron for all your little helpers. It was so easy, I put together another one with this adorable blue daisy dish towel too. Wouldn’t this be a great holiday gift idea for your children or your grandchildren?  With so many dishtowel patterns, you could tailor them to every personality or to every holiday season!

Happy Stitching!

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

WIP Wednesday and my travels

Mom and I MSQC
Here is an update on some works in progress and an update on my travels.  I just got back from visiting my hometown, Des Moines, Iowa and seeing my family.  Everytime I go home, I take my mom on an adventure which usually involves quilting or fabric.  This year, we headed about 2 hours southwest to Hamilton, Missouri.  It is just a tiny rural town.  My husband was actually born in Albany, Missouri which is just a few miles away.  We went to the Missouri Star Quilt Company, a small business that has just about taken over the town.  The week after our visit, they were named the 2015 National Small Business of the Year.

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Here is Mom in front of the main store with lots of precuts!  There are other shops in town with every kind of fabric you may have ever wanted.  It was hard to leave.  Everyone was very friendly and we ate BBQ at a new restaurant on the main drag.  It was a fun adventure and definitely worth the trip.  They have a building just for retreats too.  If you are in the area, I would recommend stopping for a visit.

It is hard to tell in this picture, but I am making another pillow with a paper pieced bra on it for a Breast Cancer fundraiser.  It does not matter where he is in the house, once I start to quilt something, Cookie Cat suddenly appears.  I think he thinks every quilt is for him.

This quilt is a variation on a design from Robert Kaufman fabrics using the Boy Scouts of America fabric they produced a few years ago for the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America.

While I was traveling, my son Colin attended his board of review and passed to receive his Eagle rank, the highest advancement rank in scouting.  As parents, my husband and I could not be more thrilled.  We still need to wait for the official paperwork but I had made this quilt and had been keeping it for this occasion.  I even embroidered an eagle in the center of the quilt.  I think the fabrics are now out of print, but you can still find some if you dig around online.

I embroidered the scout law all around the quilt in my cursive handwriting, I think it adds a little something to the overall quilt.

Here you can see some of the fabrics.  Maggie Smith quilted it on her longarm machine.  I had her quilt the scouting fleur de lei symbol along with stars.  There was even some fabric with designs of all of the badges.  I gave the quilt to Colin to celebrate his accomplishment.  We will have a formal Eagle Ceremony later, but I really wanted him to have his quilt.

My talented Sister-in-Law, Sue, requested one of my Dizzy Daisy Threadcatchers to use for knitting.  She wanted the weighted pincushion to have it sit on the arm of her chair and to put her ball of yarn in the little bag so it would not roll around.  She said she liked purple and green, so I made one for her.  I had just enough to make another one with a needle book and tiny nine patch pincushion.  I will be adding these items for sale in the shop soon.  I had been using sewing themed fabric to make them, but this one turned out pretty cute.  Make one for yourself, you can purchase the pattern as a PDF download.  Go to MY PATTERNS tab and follow the link to My Etsy Shop.

Here is a sneak peek at my next post.  I finally finished embroidering the sunbonnet sue nursery quilt blocks.  It only took me 10 years to finish them!  I only worked on them in the winter and I guess I was a little slow.  More to come!

What quilty things have you been working on?

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.

SONY DSC

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

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

New Pattern – Dizzy Daisy Threadcatcher, Needlebook and Mini Pincushion

P1090937

I have been making this cute little dizzy daisy pincushion and threadcatcher for my friends for years and they have been asking for the pattern.  I added a Needlebook and Mini Pincushion for some cute bonus items to go with it.  You use a threadcatcher to well…catch the threads and little snips and bits as you are sewing.  It helps keep your sewing area neat and it is simple to carry to the trash can to empty it out when it is full.  The little daisy on the attached pincushion is pretty and clever – you can park your needles here so they are easy to find.

Dizzy Daisy Threadcatcher

I have several.  One is perched on my sewing table next to my machine where it is handy but I won’t knock it off.  I have one in my travel bag for sew-in days and retreats.  And I have one to carry with me to my recliner.  I have it hanging off the arm of the chair when I am doing hand sewing and watching tv.  I like to think I am being productive while I watch my favorite shows.

Dizzy Daisy Needlebook

I added this cute little Needle book too.  I have several of these too.  One for embroidery needles, one for applique needles, and one for quilting betweens.  I even have a special one with my big eye needles for Big Stitch Quilting.  It makes it easy to grab what you need for any project.

P1090943

Use it for pins or regular needles too when you are sewing on your quilt binding if you do it by hand like me.  I find it to be relaxing to do it by hand.

Dizzy Daisy Mini Pincushion


Finally, there is this tiny mini pincushion.  It is a 3″ x 3″ 9 patch.  I even tried to fussy cut the center square on this one.

This tiny size is easy to throw in a hand sewing bag or for a travel pincushion.  It is so simple and quick to make.  I stitched up a bunch of them for stocking stuffers this past Christmas.  I think they would be a fun gift to make for your sewing group too.

P1090848

Here is an example of another set I stitched up with a natural linen.  I embellished the items with embroidery floss in a running stitch and some twill tape.

P1090847

 I even changed up the little pincushion but it is still a petite 3″ x 3″.  Once you have the pattern, you can explore your own creativity to create something that is one of a kind.

Thanks for letting me share my new pattern with you.

You can purchase this Dizzy Daisy Threadcatcher pattern as a PDF download by going to MY PATTERNS tab and following the link to My Etsy Shop!

P1080584

 

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.

SONY DSC

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”.

SONY DSC

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!

 

Handmade Holiday: 10 minute Christmas Elf Stocking

P1090814

Today I am sharing some goodies made from one of my own patterns, the Christmas Holiday Elf Stocking.  This little stocking stitches up in about 10 minutes and you can use it for everything from an ornament, a gift card holder, a holder for a message from Santa, or to decorate a package to even loading it with silverware to decorate your table.  It takes very little fabric and the whole thing can be stitched on your home sewing machine.

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There is just one pattern piece to cut out of two coordinating fabrics.

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Here are some of my latest combinations.  I did iron the fabric. 🙂

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You stitch the top together and then fold it in half and stitch the rest.

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One piece forms a lining and the contrasting cuff on the stocking.

P1090823

You can add a ribbon hanger or even a jingle bell to the toe to make it extra cute.

P1090809

 

I made six of these little elf stockings for my Holiday place settings.  Doesn’t it look cute holding my silverware?  I think I will add a candy cane too.

Enjoy!