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!

Sunbonnet Sue 30’s Style

I just finished this quilt top.  I love my modern quilts and projects, but there is something about thirties quilts that really get my attention.  Maybe it is the link to my Grandma and I certainly have quite a few of her vintage fabrics in thirties prints, but I just love them.

I bought a package of preprinted quilt squares that needed to be embroidered.  They were called nursery blocks and I liked them because all of the scenes with Sunbonnet Sue were different.  I gathered my embroidery floss and began to embroider.  I usually sewed in the winter and took it along with me when I could do handwork, still it took forever.  I missplaced it a few times.  I wondered what I was going to do with them.

This year, I started an informal hand sewing group in my Modern Quilt Guild.  We are called the Mod Squad and we meet at a local eatery, have dinner, and then spend a few hours working on hand work like knitting, crochet, embroidery… you name it.  Kind of interesting that I was working on Sunbonnet Sue in a Modern group!  Who cares?  Well I got so much work done in that group that I finished the squares.  Hooray!

nursery block

Then Club EQ hosted by Barb Vlack on Electric Quilt challenged folks to design a 30’s quilt.  I designed one with a Sunbonnet Sue Center.  It gave me an idea to adapt it to use with my embroidered quilt squares, I just needed to match the 8′ squares.  I had a very old jelly roll of 30’s prints and I was off and running. So I designed the quilt in EQ7 and it was a big help in figuring out placement, how much background fabric I needed and what to stitch together.

I just grabbed the 30’s print fabric squares randomly and sewed them into 4 patch blocks to begin with.  Then I joined them to create 8″ blocks and the other parts of the quilt.

Here, I am starting to get the rows pieced together.  Don’t you love how it starts to take shape when you get everything lined up and ironed?

The random squares of 30’s fabrics just seem to have the right combinations to match up with the embroidery colors on the squares.

Here is the finished quilt top.  My next step will be some handquilting and then I am planning on using prairie points around the outside edge.  That quilting will take a while since I am still working on handquilting my vintage hole in the barn door quilt right now.  I still have a lot of the 30’s print jelly roll left too, so I think another quilt will be in order.  Do you love 30’s prints?  What have you made with them?

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.


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?

Fall Leaves and a Thank You!

Well, September is certainly here with the cool fall weather and I am not quite ready for the leaves to change colors. While I am holding onto the green a little longer outside, inside is all about quilting some autumn leaves. First up, a beautiful pieced maple leaf quilt. I am working on this special project for my mom.  (Shhh – she does not know so don’t spill the beans).  She really admired a maple leaf quilt when I was back in Des Moines visiting her and we went to a see quilt show.  She said she just loved all the tones and colors in the fall leaves.  I tucked that hint away and started to work on her quilt.   I found a great pattern on All People Quilt called Tumbling Leaves.


I enlisted my sit and stitch group to help stitch some of the leaves over the past year and this fall I am trying to get them all pieced together.  I used all of my fall colored stash fabrics in green, yellow, red and orange.


I am about half way through putting the blocks together.  I am trying to just do a random order with not too many of the same colors together.  I can’t wait to share the quilt with you when it is all finished.


The second part of the post has to do with my Pattern, Quilted Pile of Leaves. This wonderful fall themed project pattern is one of my best sellers.  I really appreciate the support and wanted to give you all a big Thank You.  It means a lot to be able to share my creativity with you.  I was delighted to receive a thoughtful note from Cindy Young who had gotten the pattern and was beginning to stitch up her own Pile of Leaves.

Photo Courtesy of Cindy Young

Photo Courtesy of Cindy Young

She sent me some pictures of all of her handy work and even shared a few tips that some of you may find helpful.  She uses the flexible cutting boards to make her plastic templates for quilting and for these fall leaves in particular.  She says they are very economical and sturdy.  She also decided to use  Insul-Bright from the Warm Company  insulated lining for her leaves so she could use them on the table and protect the finish from hot dishes.

Photo Courtesy of Cindy Young

Photo Courtesy of Cindy Young


Here you can see what a big pile she made and she also started to create even more shapes that turned out darling.  Beautiful fall leaves and wonderful tips!  Thanks Cindy!

What fall projects are you working on?


My version of Kimberly Einmo’s Chainsaw Quilt

Lori Miller Designs  chain saw block closeup

When in Grand Rapids last month, I took a class from Kimberly Einmo.  She is a wizard with jellyrolls and precuts, and is now branching out to modern quilts and applique!  She taught her chainsaw quilt class.  It looks kind of like a saw blade, hence the name.  I cut up all my pink, coral, peach, tangerine and lavenderish fabrics in my stash to make my own layer cake and jelly roll.

Lori Miller Designs  Chain saw quilt block

You make the individual blocks.  They have that lovely jagged edge.


Then you spin them around and put four of them together to create the saw blade shape.


Kimberly’s quilt has borders and half square triangles, but I decide to make some extra chainsaw blocks and make the whole quilt out of them. (You can find the pattern in her book, Jelly Roll Quilts & More).

I just got the top pieced, but I think it came out striking.  I am thinking it wants some quilted circles, what do you think?

This could be a fun baby quilt with 16 blocks, it would sure stitch up fast.