Published – Welcome Neighbor Table Topper

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting®. ©2020 Meredith Corporation. All rights Reserved.

In the August 2020 issue of American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, you will find my latest design. It is a table topper of little rainbow paper pieced houses.  I used a linen background and colorful fabrics from my stash to make this little cutie.  It is a great gift idea to celebrate a new home, welcome new friends or just spiff up your own table.

Here is the cover of the August issue to look for, there are lots of fun projects in this issue just in time for summer sewing.

I designed my topper in EQ8 Quilt Design Software.  It is a foundation paper pieced design that would be great for an intermediate quilter or a dedicated beginner.  I find starting on paper pieced projects that are smaller is a great way to try out this technique.

I played with a lot of different color ideas, EQ8 Quilt design software makes it easy to do that, try on different fabrics and styles.  Here is another color way that I played with in EQ8.

 

I used foundation patterns created with #EQ8 to make each of the eight sections of the quilt.  This section is the top of the house.

i just took my time carefully pressing and trimming.  I did not want to handle too much to keep the linen edges from fraying.

I always think it is a little weird to sew upside down and backwards, lol, but the precise stitching lines it creates are so worth it.

 

Here is one of the 8 little house wedges all put together.  Ignore my well used ironing board cover.  I will have to make a new cover one of these days.

I did assembly line sewing for each section.  I just love how they take shape.

I stitch the wedges into pairs aligning the seams.  Then I sew the four sections of the block together to make half of the table topper.  I then sew the two half together and press seams open.

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting®. ©2020 Meredith Corporation. All rights Reserved.

I used a combination of walking foot quilting and free motion quilting on the topper.  It is small enough that you can experiment with some detail to get the lovely texture.

I would love to see your version, just tag me on facebook or instagram @lorimillerdesigns

I love a good table topper.  Check out my other designs on these posts.

Welcome Home Pineapple Topper information can be found HERE.

If you are new to paper piecing, you might like to try my Stardrop Table Topper first.  I have a free tutorial HERE.

Please tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns or on facebook @lorimillerdesigns.  I would love to see your version!

Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Welcome Home Pineapple Table Topper

 

In the May 2020 issue of American Quilter Magazine, you will find my latest design. It is a stunning table topper made with Princess Palette Batik by Mirah.  This palette of batiks acts like blenders and is the perfect combination of colors for the design.  This sunny Pineapple represents warm welcomes, celebration and hospitality and is perfect to welcome guests or gift to a friend.

I designed my topper in EQ8 Quilt Design Software.  It is a foundation paper pieced design that would be great for an intermediate quilter or a dedicated beginner.  I find starting on paper pieced projects that are smaller is a great way to try out this technique.

I was able to import the Princess Palette Batik fabrics right into EQ8 to mock up a realistic picture of my design.  I could try different colors before I had to cut into that precious fabric.  Batik by Mirah generously provided all of the fabrics.  They have some beautiful fabrics that you should definitely consider for your next project.  Batik by Mirah

 

I used foundation patterns created with #EQ8 to make each of the eight sections of the quilt.

It is a lot of stitching, pressing and cutting, but the result really starts to take shape.

Here, I am trimming the sewn foundation.

Then I stitched the four sections of the block together.

The individual blocks  come together to create one pineapple.  There are 8 blocks needed to make the topper.

 

I sewed four blocks together to make half the topper and then stitched the two halves together.

I use a water soluble pen to mark the quilting designs on the topper.  I wanted to stitch little feathers in the background.

Then I stitched cross hatching in the pineapples.

Here is a closeup of the quilting after it was finished and washed.  I love that crinkly texture!

I would love to see your version, just tag me on facebook or instagram @lorimillerdesigns

Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Connect the Curves (Cirque)

Used with permission from American Patchwork & Quilting® magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

My Connect the Curves (Cirque) quilt has been published in the  December 2018 issue of American Patchwork & Quilting

 

There are a lot of amazing quilts in this issue and I am so proud to be a part of it.

As usual, I designed this bold quilt with Electric Quilt design software.  I started with a regular drunkards path block, super sized it and then made a few adjustments to create the swirling effect.

I used templates that I created with #EQ8 to cut out all of the curved pieces in my quilt.  I generously received beautiful fabric from

American Made Brand Solids in Connect the Curves Quilt


Stitching the curves on these 10″ blocks is easier than you think because of the size.

I use a 3 pin method and stitch from the outside to the center.  Then I flip and stitch from the other end to the center adjusting the curve if needed.

The individual blocks  come together to create a 20″ wide swirling center.

Does this happen to you? I can piece all day in quiet, but as soon as I start quilting, I get a furry helper.  Cookie, you make it a little difficult to use the walking foot!

I tried some echo quilting around the curves of the center quilting about 1 ” apart to accentuate the motion.

Then I did some free motion feathers and free motion fill to finish up the negative space on the sides.   You know I love the texture!

I hope you enjoyed getting a little behind the scenes view of my process on this lovely quilt.

Happy Stitching!

Published – EQ8 Designing More Quilts

I am honored to have a Chapter in the new EQ8 book, Designing More Quilts from the Electric Quilt Company.  I have been partnering with the Electric Quilt Company to share quilt design lessons on their DoYouEq,com blog for both EQ Mini and EQ8 for a couple of years.  Many of you have made those designs with the tutorials I offer right here on my Lori Miller Designs Blog.

I have the privilege of joining many EQ Experts who share their Quilt Design Tricks in this book.  They include lessons on creating Medallion quilts, panel quilts, baby block quilts and more.

        

I wrote Chapter 3 Creating Modern Quilt Layouts with Alternate Gridwork.  Wow, that’s a mouth full but it includes a chapter jam packed with ideas to use EQ8 to create modern elements like asymmetry, exaggerated scale, negative space and minimalism in your quilt designs.

There are lots of tricks to creatively use borders, horizontal layouts, whole top designs and clever block placement to create beautiful designs.

 

I finish with ideas to use the built-in Irregular grids provided by EQ8 to add to your design toolbox.

It’s a fun lesson if you are exploring modern quilt design concepts using the tools that came with your software.  My lesson is just a jumping off point to highlight design tips you might not have thought of or tools with EQ8 you have not used before.

EQ8 has other books that might be of interest to you.

     

A couple of my favorites are the EQ 8 Block library book (You can peruse all of the free blocks that come with the software at your leisure, it is great inspiration too!)

and the first design book, EQ8 Designing Quilts.

For more information on the EQ8 Designing More Quilts book, you can visit Electric Quilt HERE.

Happy Quilt Designing!

 

Published – Cookie Cat

MEOW!  Cookie Cat is here, my latest quilt made to celebrate my sweet kitty, Cookie.

You can find this fun little quilt in the March 2018 issue of American Quilter Magazine.  This magazine is published by the American Quilt Society (AQS).

Note: If any of you would like to join AQS in February, you will get access to the March digital issue as soon as you join, plus you can get 6 additional issues, a full year, in print.  Also, if you join and log into americanquilter.com, all AQS members have digital access to ALL American Quilter magazines back to 2013.  I just happen to be a member, so I though I would share.

Here is the real Cookie Cat, he loves to help me with my quilting.

As usual, I designed this cutie with Electric Quilt design software.  It makes the process easy and I had quite a few iterations on this block until I got it where I liked it.

I started quilting at my cottage in Northern Michigan.  I have a well used Featherweight Singer up there and it pieces a quilt quite nicely.

I generously received cotton solid fabric from  American Made Brand to make this sweet quilt.  The pieces are sized at five inches so they are charm square friendly too.

There are two variations in the colors for the blocks.  These are large 18″ blocks.  I love a large block, easy to sew, easy to have a large quilt quickly.

Here is my fancy light box at the cottage.  Yes, its a window from the second story, so I have a lovely pine tree backdrop.  I just taped the template to the window and then moved the block to where I wanted the face and taped the block to the window.  Then I traced with a water soluble marker.  Once I had the face on, I hand embroidered the whiskers.  The little nose is a piece of fleece.

I went a little crazy with the quilting.  I wanted to try out my Babylock Jazz on a larger quilt.  It may look like a jumble, but the large throat made it easy to do free motion quilting and the walking foot quilting.

Here you can get a better idea of all of the quilting.  I made the tiny swirls so tiny around the kitty, that took me forever.  Next time, I will make those babies just a bit bigger to get it done sooner.  I cant complain too much, I do love all that texture it creates, especially since the kitty is so basic.

I have enough scraps to make a baby quilt with just four blocks.  That just might be a great idea if you want to try this block but not make a twin size quilt.  Just one block would make a super cute pillow too.

Happy Stitching!

 

 

Published – Concentric

I am proud to introduce my quilt, Concentric, which is published in Modern Quilts Unlimited Issue 22.

And I am thrilled to be listed as a top designer with some other great quilters right on the cover highlighting the circles under Geometric Gems.  Step into my studio for a little peek into behind the scenes of making this quilt.

 

I had the idea of concentric circles of color gradations and started with the traditional drunkards path block and turned it up a notch.  I used large 12″ blocks to really show off the colors.  Electric Quilt Software made it easy to try a few things with the design until I really liked it.

 

You start with the center in the lighter tone and then keep sewing each round of color for the block.  I used Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids for the fabric.

To create the middle double blocks, you cleverly cut a finished block to add another set of color.

The fit together perfectly and you just stitch like you were sewing on another drunkards path round.

Just a picture of the teal and blue colors at the ironing board.  I was helping them with a little starch.

Here is my original design out of Electric Quilt.  I thought the borders added something and the pops of purple added some color to the asymmetric pattern.

All of those open squares were hollering for some extra quilting so I chose a unique design for each one.  I think I went though about 8 reference books I had for free motion quilting to find all of the ones I liked.  Then it was ready for some pin basting.

I went bonkers with the quilting using my Babylock Jazz.  I just wanted to try everything out.  I did a lot of marking to try a few new things. I really wanted a lot of texture.

Of course, Cookie cat comes running whenever I quilt and thinks he needs to ride along.  It can make things difficult but he is so furry purry, I can’t complain.

Here you can see that wonderful texture after washing the quilt.  The designs in the squares show pretty well too.

Another view of the finished quilting.

I hope you enjoyed your behind the scenes tour.

Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Viewfinders Eye Glass Cases

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

I have been published again, this time it is a fun quilt project,  paper pieced eyeglass cases with the title Viewfinders.

These fun eyeglass cases are published in the 2018 Winter Quilts and More magazine issue.

Used with permission from Quilts and More™ magazine. ©2018 Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

It features a great beginner paper pieced flap of little flying geese.  I used Electric Quilt to design it.  Then I used linen for the body, scraps of batting for the inside and a color coordinated binding.

Just the flap is paper pieced so it would make a great beginner project to learn paper piecing.  It also makes a great eyeglass case for a gift.

You can easily use your scraps to make these adorable cases.  Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Beach Glass Quilt

I am so excited to be published again.  This large block quilt in beach glass hues captures the feel of sand and surf while the snowflakes swirl outside.

And I was surprised to find that I am a cover girl too.  Beach glass was featured on the cover of the 2017 International Quilt Festival Magazine.

I designed this large 18″ block with Electric Quilt Software.  I wanted to show off the turquoise and sea green colors of the fabric with larger pieces.  And I wanted a pretty simple block to put together.

Here is an assembled block.  It really shows all of the low volume grey fabric scraps I was using.  They just had to be a lighter grey and I used both cream and white tones.

I started out with this large quilt design but ultimately decided to downsize it to a throw that was 3 x 4 blocks.

 

I hand marked the quilt with ideas I had for quilting.  I just use a water soluble marker to put the designs on the fabric.  If I am going to quilt right away, I sometime use the disappearing ink one.

I decided to try to mimic the medallion shape into the grey center shapes that formed when the blocks were put together.

My new Babylock Jazz sewing machine made it easy to quilt with that extra large throat.  I was able to free motion almost the whole thing.

Here you can see that wonderful texture after washing the quilt.

Another view of the finished quilting.

I think this is one of my favorites!  Thanks for letting me share. Happy Stitching!

 

Published – Baby Raccoon Bandit Quilt

This little sweet Baby Quilt with the Raccoon Bandit has been published in Fons and Porter’s Easy Quilts Summer 2017 Magazine.  I am happy to share this cozy little cutie with you.

My girlfriend called to say she had received her newest issue and had found my original pattern.  It is always a nice surprise since you make your quilt months in advance for the Magazine and have to wait for the published issue to arrive.

I used EQ7 to design this quilt.  I was able to upload swatches of the actual fabric I was going to use and get a good idea of what the quilt would look like.  Northcott Fabrics generously provided the material which was a gorgeous, heavy weight flannel.  I used prints from TeePee Time by Deborah Edwards that had a super cute little raccoon in the design and I coordinated with Toscana flannels also by Deborah Edwards that has a nice mottled look that blends well with the prints.  These sewed and washed up beautifully and they have a very nice hand feel.

For this quilt, because I had some interesting piecing directions I wanted to try, I made a prototype quilt.  And I made him super modern, a blue raccoon!

I print out the rotary cutting directions from EQ7 and then I adjust them based upon how I want to assemble the quilt using my quilting knowledge.  I like to avoid bias edges and make things as easy as possible to assemble.  So I write up all my notes as I sew.

Here is my Baby Blue Bandit.  It just gives you an idea of how by just changing colors, you can make lots of different styles from one pattern.

I used some simple constructions shortcuts to make this giant 20″ block even faster.  There is only one template for the ears.  I loved this cute little critter, I hope you enjoy making one too!

Thanks for letting me share!  Happy Stitching!

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!

Published – Clockwise Pillow

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

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

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


qm-spring-digital-cover_600

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

mod-arrows-pillow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published – Mini Mitten Coasters

Mini Mitten Coasters by lori Miller Designs

I am pleased to share my latest published work, mini mitten coasters!  They are super cute, easy to stitch up and you can use some cute coordinating holiday prints or make them super scrappy with some leftover holiday fabric.

They are featured on page 34 of Modern Patchwork Gifts 2016.  This is the third year I have been published in the holiday issue and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Mini Mitten

Even though this was basically a one block design, I still used Electric Quilt 7 to design it.  This tool is really versatile and it really helps you to visualize your project before you stitch it up.

1-IMG_4043

I worked on this little pattern back in March.  I had a really cute snowman print that I started with.  But sometimes the white of the snowman blended with the white of the background and I was worried that they would not photograph well.  I headed off to a local quilt shop, Cristina’s in Rochester, Mi to try to find holiday fabric in March.

And I wanted some fabric that looked modern but still holiday.  She had these lovely prints tucked in a back corner.  They are Winter Wonderland by Free Spirit Fabrics.  And when I saw that candy cane print, all I could think of was the perfect ribbing for a mitten.  These little guys are totally pieced and stitch up really fast.  You could make them in an afternoon.

I decided to do some straight line quilting and make it easy.  I think it adds some nice texture.  Then I put on that tiny binding.  It was not as hard as I thought.  My usual method for joining worked just fine.

Isn’t this little mitten just adorable?  You can make them with some fat eighths and a fat quarter for the backing and binding or use up your holiday scraps.

These are the perfect hostess, coworker or teacher gifts.  Add a mug and some tea or cocoa and you are all set.  Happy Stitching!

Published – Infinity Quilt

Infinity Quilt by Lori Miller Designs

I am so pleased to share my Infinity Quilt that is published in the Spring 2016 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited.

modern quilts unlimited spring 2016

There are so many lovely quilts in this issue, but my beauty starts on Page 24.

IMG_7859

Photo Courtesy of Rebekah Craft

This quilt is also well traveled.  The wonderful people at Free Spirit fabrics provided the lovely designer solids that I used to stitch up this design.  They asked to show the quilt in their booth at Quiltcon West 2016, an offer that I could not refuse.  MQU graciously let me loan it to them for the show.  I was inspired to design this quilt after coming across a traditional Belt Buckle Block.  I really like taking a traditional block and making it something special with  bright colors, an alternate grid, and free motion quilting.

SONY DSC

Here you can see the blocks are made up of very simple shapes, but the design looks complex.

 

SONY DSC

Here is my fancy design wall, not!  I just use my bed to arrange and lay out the blocks for my quilt.  You can see my picture that I printed out of Electric Quilt 7 on the corner of the bed.  It is a very handy reference when you are assembling the quilt too.

Infinity Rainbow

This is right out of EQ7.  I really like the software to design my quilts and it is so handy to have the image when I am submitting for magazine publication.  I found when I used the alternate grid, i could arrange the blocks to form an infinity circle.  I loved the idea.

SONY DSC

I wanted to quilt it myself, so i did some straight line quilting and some free motion quilting that looks like lines.  Then in the large grey spaces, I added some modern feathers and pearls.  I ended up just drawing a squiggley line down the center and eyeballing the feathers.

SONY DSC

Here you can see those lines and feathers.  Such lovely texture after it was washed.SONY DSC

Oreo Cat did his inspection and approved.  Thanks for letting me share my Infinity Quilt and a little bit of my design process with you.

 

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!

 

 

Published – A+ Journal Covers

Issue 8 of Make Modern Magazine is out and I am pleased to share my A+ Journal Covers in this modern quilty issue.  These Journal covers fit over a US standard Composition book.  They feature plus sign shapes creating a scrappy look with the plus signs either in brights or neutrals.  I tried quilting them two ways, but I think I love the natural, squiggly lines on the aqua journal the best.

Make Modern Volume 8

Make Modern is an online magazine 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.  And I will add, it is very reasonably priced for the huge amount of content.

This cover is pieced with lots of 1 1/2 inch squares.  I thought it would use up some of my pile of scraps.  I like the low volume plus signs, they really make the aqua scraps stand out.

The inside features a little pocket to tuck in a pen or pencil.  It all closes with some elastic and some funky buttons.

Here is a look at the purple and grey cover with the background as low volume grey prints.

I envisioned these to take to my meetings where I needed to take notes.  They also make great gifts with that personal quilty touch.  Wouldn’t these be perfect for a favorite teacher or as a holiday gift for a friend who likes to journal?