Button Cards – Free Printable

button card 3
I like to find different types of sewing and quilting gifts.  Digging through some of my Grandma’s old sewing notions, I ran across some vintage button cards.  These cards were very cute and much more embellished than some of the button cards you find today.  They were the perfect inspiration to create these vintage looking button cards that you can download and print yourself for free.

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Here are some of my vintage button cards.

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These cards make the perfect backdrop to share some fun buttons with my friends and they made great party favors for my sewing gals. They are a little larger than a regular button card, so they can accomodate almost any size of button.

Materials Needed:

  • Heavy cardstock paper
  • Color printer
  • Scissors
  • Buttons
  • Needle and thread

Directions:

button card 4

Using this Free Printable, print out your cards onto heavy cardstock paper.

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Carefully cut out the cards.

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With the needle and a double thread, sew on a few buttons onto each card, moving from button to button.

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If you knot after each button, you can just snip one button off at a time when you use them.

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Maybe this project is just what you needed to create the perfect gift for a fellow crafter, quilter, or sewer.  Why not clean out a few of those button in that jar you have filled to the brim? Everyone needs buttons!

While I was working on these, I kept thinking of cute little button sayings. How many of these did you think of?

  • Cute as a button
  • Bright as a button
  • Button up
  • Right on the button

 

Free Tutorial – Fiesta Quilt

Lets have a party before summer ends with this fun and cheery Fiesta Quilt!  My next tutorial is a quilt designed with EQ  Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a simple Horizontal layout with only one block.  The large 12 inch block shows off some lovely Joel Dewberry prints that I picked up from Crimson Tate at Quiltcon this year.  If you have a stack of fat quarters that you have been wanting to use, this quilt makes two blocks from each fat quarter with a single background color.  All of the varied colors give a scrappy look, so you could certainly use whatever fun fabrics you have on hand.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is a 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.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a simple horizontal layout using just one block called the Economy Block.  I wanted a large block to show off the fabric prints that I had so I made the blocks 12 inches square.  It worked out that I could get two blocks made from each fat quarter with a little to spare.  I kept playing with the sizes of the blocks in the software to try and use as much of a fat quarter as I could.  The software lets you print how much fabric is required for a block so you can play with the sizes until it matches what fabric you have on hand.

Fiesta Quilt

Finished size is approximately 48″ x 72″

Materials

  • 12 pack of coordinating fat quarters
  • 2  1/8 yds  white fabric for the background
  • 3 yds for backing
  • 1/2 yd  blue solid for binding
  • 54″ x 80″ piece of batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From white background, cut:

  • 96 — 3 1/2″ squares
  • 24 — 7 1/4″ squares

From each fat quarter, cut:

  • 2 — 6 1/2″ squares
  • 8 — 3 7/8″ squares

From the binding fabric, cut:

  • 6 — 2 1/4″ strips x WOF

Make the Economy Block

  1. This block contains 4 flying geese components and there is a great way to make 4 matching flying geese.
  2. On the back side of each 3 7/8″ print square, mark a line diagonally through the center of opposite corners.
  3. Place two print squares diagonally, right sides together (RST) over one of the 7 1/4″ white background squares.  The print squares will slightly overlap. Stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the marked center line.
  4. Carefully cut between the two lines of stitching.
  5. Press towards the small print squares.
  6. Place two 3 7/8″ print squares, RST, over the two triangle units.  Stitch 1/4″ away from each side of the marked center line.
  7. Carefully cut between the two lines of stitching.
  8. Press towards the small print squares.  You will have 4 identical flying geese.

  9. Once the geese are assembled, layout all of the pieces of the block.
  10. Stitch together in rows.
  11. Trim the blocks carefully to 12 1/2″ x 12 1/2″ square.

Assemble the Fiesta Quilt top

  1. Layout your blocks in a pleasing arrangement.  You have two of each block but you can randomly lay them out.  I used this fancy design wall, ok, well it is really my bed up at the cottage.
  2. I sewed them in group of four and then put them all together.
  3. Piece together the backing so that it is about 4 inches larger than the quilt top all around.
  4. Make a quilt sandwich with the quilt top, batting and backing.
  5. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  6. Quilt as desired.  I used an all over swirly pattern.
  7. Sew the 2 1/4″ strips together for the binding and add to the quilt.  You are finished! Time to Fiesta!


Use that fat quarter bundle from your stash or cut up some colorful scraps for this quilt.   I would love to see your Fiesta Quilt, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE!

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.

Free Tutorial – Summer Flora Quilted Tote

Its July and summer is in full swing.  I couldn’t resist making this bright and cheery Summer Flora Tote.  It’s perfect to take to the beach, fill  up with a sewing project to work on or just tote all of your goodies in style.  This Summer Flora Tote was designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a simple Horizontal strip layout with a couple of applique quilt block designs that will end up as the feature on each side of the tote.  Stitched in lots of bright summer colors, it reminds me of all of the flowers blooming this time of year.  Finish up this simple design with simple quilting and a fun handle.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is a 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.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a simple horizontal strip layout with borders.  I just added two quilt blocks that when assembled would become the sides of the tote.

Summer Flora Quilted Tote

Finished size is approximately 14″ W x 14 1/2″ T x 5″ D

Materials

  • 1 pack of 5″ charm squares or at least 28 – 5″ squares (I used some Bali Snaps by Hoffman Fabrics)
  • 1/8 yd of bright green solid
  • 1  1/4 yd Grey Linen
  • 1  1/4 yd of coordinating print for lining
  • 1  1/2 yd of  muslin for backing
  • 1 1/2 yd of Fusible Web (like Pellon 805 Wonder Under or Pellon Lite EZ Steam II)
  • 20″ x 49″ piece of Pellon FF77 Flex Foam
  • 4 – 1″ D rings
  • 2 handles with lobster clips
  • Summer Flora Tote Templates

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From bright green solid, cut a 6″ x 10″ rectangle

From Grey Linen, cut:

  • 1 — 5 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ strip
  • 2 — 3 1/2″ x 33 1/2″ strips
  • 2 — 14 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ squares
  • 2 — 3 1/2″ x 19 1/2″ strips
  • 4 – 2″ x 4″ strips for handle tabs

From lining fabric

  • 1 — 18 1/2″  x 36″ rectangle

From fusible web, cut:

  • 28 — 4 1/2″ squares
  • 1 — 5 1/2″ x 9 1/2″ rectangle

Make the Applique Blocks

  1. Download and print out the Summer Flora Tote Templates.  If you plan on machine appliqueing the stems and leaves, you can cut off the outside seam allowance before tracing the templates.
  2. Press the large piece of fusible web to the wrong side of the bright green stem rectangle.
  3. Using the stem template A, trace and cut out 8 stems.
  4. Press the 4 1/2″ fusible web to the wrong side of 28 – 5″ charm squares.
  5. Using the leaf template B, trace 2 leaves onto each charm square and cut them out.
  6. Using the block diagram as a visual guide, arrange the stems and leaves on each of the 14 1/2″ linen squares.
  7. I folded and pressed the squares diagonally to get guidelines to use.
  8. Once you have the arranged the leaves and have the design how you like it, set aside the leaves at the top of the stems and press the remaining stems and leaves onto the linen square.
  9. Using a small zigzag stitch, applique around the stems and leaves.  I used a length of .9 mm and a stitch width of 2.5 mm.
  10. Hint, when you are machine applique stitching the points of the leaves, narrow the stitch width to 2.0 mm just at the points.
  11. Once you have appliqued the stems and leaves, arrange the leaves on the top of the stems and press down.
  12. Machine applique the remaining leaves.

Assemble the Tote top

  1. Sew the 5 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ linen center strip between the two appliqued squares.  Press to one side and top stitch if desired.
  2. Sew the 3 1/2″ x 33 1/2″ strips to each side of the applique unit.  Press to one side and top stitch if desired.
  3. Prepare the loops for the handles.  Fold in half  the long way and press a crease.  Open back up and fold each raw edge to the center.  Topstitch close to the folded edges.  Topstitch on the other side to match.
  4. Slide the d ring over the strip and fold in half.  Position the d ring and strip 6″ from the edge of the tote and baste into the seam.  Repeat for the 3 other loops.
  5. Sew the 3 1/2 ” x 20 1/2″ linen strips to the top and bottom of the applique unit.  Press to one side.  Topstitch close to the seam.
  6. Mark the quilt top if you want to quilt the 2 ” diamond pattern like I did.  I used a washable white marking pen.
  7. Make a quilt sandwich with the muslin, flex foam and the top applique unit.
  8. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  9. Quilt as desired.

Finish the tote

  1. Trim tote to 19 1/2″ x 39 1/2″.  Only on the top ends of the tote, trim the flex foam to be 1 inch shorter than the outside of the tote.  You will be folding the top of the tote down into the inside over the flex foam.
  2. Fold the tote in half, right sides together (RST) and pin aligning seams.
  3. Stitch the sides and bottom of the tote.
  4. Box each corner and measure up 2 1/2″ from the point and stitch across the tote a 5″ long seam.  Trim seam.
  5. Fold the lining in half, RST and stitch the sides and bottom of the lining leaving an opening for turning on the side of the tote.
  6. Box each corner of the lining by measuring up 2 1/2 inches from the point and stitching across the lining corner with a 5 ” seam.  Turn the lining right side out.
  7. Tuck the lining into the tote with RST.  Pin aligning the seams.  Stitch around the top of the tote.
  8. Pull the tote right side out through the opening in the lining.
  9. Push the lining down into the tote.  The lining is shorter, so the top of the tote should fold down  to the inside of the tote about an inch or so.  Pin in place.  Top stitch along the edge of the top of the tote and again 1/4″ away.
  10. Tack the lining to the bottom sides of the tote from the inside.
  11. Attach your handles.

Use a favorite charm pack or cut up some colorful scraps for this tote.   Choose another favorite applique block or pieced block for the tote sides.  I would love to see your Summer Flora Tote, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE.

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.

New Pattern: Summer Harvest Quilt

My next pattern is ready for Sale!  Summer Harvest is a super easy Throw Quilt made from 9 1/2″ quilt blocks.  It will be the perfect project for a beginning quilter this summer.

It uses precut 10 inch squares so you can break open that fabulous pile of fabric you have been waiting to use.  It lends itself to any season, but these bright Malka Dubrowski prints really pop with the colors of the farmer’s market in summer.

This quilts was originally featured on the cover of Quick to Stitch Precuts Magazine in 2015, but now it is available as a PDF download.

The pattern is super easy and the precut 10 inch blocks and assembly instructions let you easily strip piece the blocks in a hurry.

You create these leaf style blocks and sew them together in rows and columns.

Here is the quilt top all pieces and ready for pin basting.

This was my original Electric Quilt 7 design, but I decided to add some narrow sashing between the columns to set off the bright fabrics.

I even used the scraps cut from the corners to piece the backing for this quilt.  A great way to use the leftovers.

I also quilted this throw with my Bernina 630 and some free motion quilting.  I used a cute leave motif for each block.

I hope you have as much fun making this quilt as I did!

You can purchase my Summer Harvest Pattern as a PDF download by going to the My Patterns tab and following the link to My Etsy Shop!

Thanks for letting me share!  Tag me on Instagram at lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see your version!

Free Tutorial – Americana Placemat

For this month’s free tutorial project, we are sticking with a mini approach.  This striking design is for a patriotic placemat which certainly qualifies as a mini quilt.  This placemat was designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a Vertical strip layout and a traditional Ohio Star block to create a winning red, white and blue design.  Stitch up as many as you need for your holiday celebrations or just make one for a cute centerpiece design.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

EQ Mini is a 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.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a vertical strip layout with two strips.  Each strip uses a pieced row of blocks.

Americana Placemat

Finished size is 14″ x 17″.

Materials

This will make one placemat.

  • 1/4 yd Red
  • 1/4  yd White
  • 1/4 yd Blue
  • 1/4 yd for binding
  • 1/2 yd for backing
  • 16″ x 20″  piece of batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From red fabric, cut:

  • 3 — 3 1/4″ x 12 1/2″ strips

From white fabric, cut:

  • 2 — 3 1/4″ x 12 1/2″ strips
  • 3 — 2″ squares
  • 6 — 3″ squares

From blue fabric, cut:

  • 12 — 2″ squares
  • 6 — 3″ squares

From binding fabric, cut:

  • 2 — 2 1/4 ” x WOF strips  for binding

From backing fabric, cut:

  • 1 — 16″ x 20″ rectangle

Make Ohio Star Blocks

  1. You will make three Ohio Star blocks for each Americana Placemat.
  2. Start with quarter square triangle units.
  3. Mark a line on the wrong side of the 3″ white fabric squares diagonally from corner to corner.
  4. Place the marked white fabric square right sides together (RST) with a 3″ blue fabric square.
  5. Sew two seams, each 1/4″ away from the center marked diagonal line.
  6. Cut along the marked line to separate the half square triangles.  Press seams to the darker fabric.
  7. Mark a line on the wrong side of one of the half square triangles.
  8. Pair the half square triangles, RST. with opposite fabrics facing each other.
  9. Sew two seams, each 1/4″ away from the center marked diagonal line.
  10. Cut along the marked line to separate the now quarter square triangles.  Press seams open.
  11. Make a total of 12 quarter square triangles.
  12. Trim the quarter square triangles to 2″ square.
  13. Arrange the parts of the Ohio Square block and stitch together.
  14. Sew the three stars together for the left side of the placemat.  Sew the red and white strips together for the right side of the placemat and then join them together.
    Note:  I rounded up some of the numbers to 1/4 inches so you may have to adjust a bit to match up the stars with the stripes.  I did not want you to have to work with sixteenths of inches.
  15. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  16. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  17. Quilt as desired.  I stitched some fun loops in the red and white strips.
  18. Sew the 2 1/4″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.
  19. Finish the binding and you are done!

This is a fun placemat to make.  Take your time with the Ohio stars so you can really line up the points.  Share your pictures of the Americana placemat, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE.

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.

New Patterns – Infinity Quilt and Infinity MINI Quilt

I am pleased to share my latest two published patterns.  My Infinity Quilt and a MINI version of Infinity.

If this quilt looks familiar, you are right.  It was a featured quilt in the Spring 2016 Modern Quilts Unlimited Magazine.

I also had the privilege of showing Infinity at the 2017 International Quilt Festival Chicago in the Modern exhibit this past spring.  It was very exciting.

I have updated the Infinity pattern since the magazine to include three sizes, throw, twin and queen size.

I also love the idea of having a mini version of one of my favorite quilts.  So this little version is available as a separate pattern with a size of 24 1/2″ x 26″.

And of course I had to make a sample.  Here is a little tour of making the MINI quilt.

I need to add that  I use Electric Quilt software.  With EQ 7, I could easily size down my pattern to make this mini quilt with very little effort!  I love designing in EQ!

I did a lot of string piecing and I had to show this cute little sunflower quilts gadget to snip the threads between your string piecing.  I picked it up at the Chicago show.  So practical and cute!

There are quite a few half square triangles and I square them up as I go.

It is so fun to see the mini design come together!  I am pinning with my hello kitty box of pins.  Yeah, I got it in McDonald’s meal as a prize.

So I had just taken a class at Quiltcon for free motion feathers and I had just splurged on a new sewing machine.  A babylock Jazz!  So I had to try it out.  I mimicked the quilting I used on my large quilt.  The designs are so cute in miniature.

You can purchase my Infinity Quilt Pattern and Infinity MINI Quilt Pattern as a PDF download from MY PATTERNS tab and following the link to My Etsy Shop!

Thanks for letting me share!  Tag me on Instagram at lorimillerdesigns, I would love to see your version!

Free Tutorial – Dolce 18″ Doll Quilt

For this month’s free tutorial project, we are going mini.  A super cute and super sweet little quilt, this Dolce Doll Quilt was designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses a Vertical strip layout with an inserted pieced two by two block add a little pizzazz.  Stitched with bright aqua, fuscia and light pink solids, the quilting takes center stage to make this delightful quilt.  Even a simple design like this can be a showstopper and a sweet gift for a little one’s baby doll.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

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.

When I designed this little quilt, I used a vertical strip layout, but to be able to add the pieced row of blocks, I had to add a pieced strip.  But when I did the assembly, I did not want to cut out all those blocks, so I just did the math and cut strips.

Dolce Doll Quilt

Finished size is 18″ x 24″.

Materials

  • 3/8 yd Aqua
  • 1/4 yd Pink
  • 1/4 yd Fuscia
  • 7/8 yard fabric for backing and binding
  • 20″ x 26″ piece of batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

From each fabric, cut:

  • 2 — 3 1/2″ x 15 1/2″ strips
  • 2 — 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ strips
  • 16 – 1 1/4″ x 2″ rectangles

From aqua fabric

  • 3 — 2″ x WOF strips  for binding

Make Blocks

  1. Stitch 8 pairs of each color of the 1 1/2 x 2″ rectangles
  2. Arrange the pairs to make two – 2×2 blocks using the color scheme above.
  3. Sew the short 3 1/2″ strip  of the remaining color to the top of each block.
  4. Sew the long 3 1/2″ strip of the remaining color to the bottom of each block.
  5. Sew the rows of blocks together.
  6. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  7. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  8. Quilt as desired.  I did an allover circle design on the top half, a flower design in each pieced block and feathers for the lower strips.
  9. Sew the 2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.
  10. Finish the binding and you are done!

This would be a simple quilt to use three coordinating prints or other solid colors.  It really sews up together fast and would make great holiday gifts.  I would love to see your Dolce Doll quilt, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE

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.

 

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!

Free Tutorial – Liberty Quilt of Valor

This Liberty Quilt of Valor is the project of the month  with a free tutorial designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company .  It uses Broken dishes blocks set on point using light and dark blue prints from my stash.  The scattered triangles of red pull it together and add that pop of color along with the candy strip bias binding.  This quilt looks complicated but was easy to design and is easy to stitch together.

I belong to the Stitching Sisters Quilt of Valor group.  The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor.  This quilt is made using  the traditional patriotic colors of  red, white and blue.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

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.

Liberty Quilt of Valor

Finished size is 60″ x 75″.

Materials

  • 1 5/8 yd white background
  • 1 3/8 yd Light blue
  • 2 7/8 yd dark blue
  • 3/4 yd solid red for triangles and thin border
  • 1/2 yard red and blue stripe for binding
  • 4 yards fabric for backing
  • 70″ x 84″ batting

WOF = Width of Fabric

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Light blue

  • 8 — 13″ squares

Dark Blue

  • 10 — 13″ squares
  • 7 — 5 1/2″ x WOF strips  for outside border

Red

  • 2 — 13″ squares
  • 6 — 2″ x WOF strips for border

White background

  •  7 — 12 ” squares

Striped fabric

  • Cut 7 — 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric strips

Make Blocks

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.

  1. Take one light blue 13″ square and one dark blue 13″ square and place them right sides together.
  2. Mark a line diagonally from corner to corner, both ways.
  3. Stitch 1/4″ away from the lines on both sides.
  4. Next mark two lines down the center of the block.
  5. Cut along the solid lines to create 8 half square triangle units.
  6. Press the half square triangle units open pressing to the dark fabric side.
  7. Make 7 more sets of dark and light blue half square triangle units.
  8. Make 2 more sets of half square triangle units using the dark blue and red fabrics.
  9. Mark a diagonal line on each of the white background squares.  Be careful not to stretch the bias edge.
  10. Arrange your pieces using this design as a guide.  There will be a few extra half square triangles.
  11. Sew together the individual broken dishes blocks, then sew the center together in diagonal rows, aligning edges.
  12. Piece together the red border with 45 degree seams.
  13. Cut 2 side red border strips 2″ x 62 3/4″ long.  Stitch to the sides of the quilt being careful not to stretch the bias edges of the white background.
    Hint:  You may want to stitch 1/8″ from the bias edge of the white background pieces to keep them from stretching.
  14. Cut 2 red border strips 2″ x 50 1/8″ long.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  15. Piece together the dark blue border.
  16. Cut 2 side dark blue border strips 5 1/2″ x 65 3/4″.  Sew to the sides of the quilt.
  17. Cut 2 dark blue border strips 5 1/2″ x 60 1/2″.  Sew to the top and bottom of the quilt.
  18. Piece together the backing.
  19. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  20. Pin baste the quilt layers together.

  21. Quilt as desired.  I echoed the seam lines for the half square triangles.  I added feathers for the white background space and quilted a large chain in the dark blue border.
  22. Sew the 2 1/2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.
  23. Finish the binding and you are done!

Make it scrappy!  I used up light and dark blue fabrics from my stash to give this quilt a scrappy look.  You can too.  Or you can use 8 light blue fat quarters, 10 dark blue fat quarters and 2 red fat quarters for the center blocks.

This quilt meets the guidelines for a quilt of valor, but it would make a great patriotic quilt for your home too.  Change up the colors to match a bedroom or even in your favorite team’s colors.  I would love to see your Liberty quilt, tag me on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE

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.

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!

Free Tutorial – Lucky Shamrock Pillows

I am feeling lucky!  I have two new lovely Shamrock Pillows to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day all designed with EQ Mini Quilt Design Software by The Electric Quilt Company.  For these pillows I used the pieced Shamrock quilt block, but used two different sizes and some sashing.  These pillows finish at 18″ square.  I used my favorite technique which is to quilt the top and use an envelope back and then bind all around the pillow.  Then I just have a bunch of pillow covers that I can change out with my very neutral grey couch.  I love it!

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

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.

Lucky Shamrock Pillows

Finished size is 18″ square

Materials

  • 1/2 yd green plaid
  • 1/2 yd linen for background
  • 1  1/2 yd shamrock print
  • 5/8 yd muslin
  • 5/8 yd batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Green Plaid

  • 4 — 7 1/2″ squares (A)
  • 16 — 3 1/2″ x squares (E)
  • 4 — 2 1/2″ x  WOF strips for binding

Linen

  • 12 — 2 1/2″ x squares (B)
  • 5 — 2 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ strips (C)
  • 4 — 2 1/2″ x 18 1/2″ strips (D)
  • 48 — 1 1/2″ squares (F)
  • 2 — 2 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ strips (G)

Shamrock Print

  • 4 — 18 1/2″ x 24″ rectangles

Muslin

  • 2 — 19″ squares

Batting

  •  2 — 19″ squares

 

Piece the large Shamrock Pillow

  1. Place a 2 1/2″ linen square (B) on a corner of a large shamrock leaf (A).  Sew a diagonal corner.  Mark a diagonal line onto the wrong side of the square with a pencil or water soluble marker.  With right sides together (RST), stitch the square onto the leaf on the marked diagonal line. Trim the excess to a 1/4″ seam allowance.  Press seam to the darker fabric side.
  2. Sew a diagonal corner to 3 of the corners on each of the four large shamrock leaves.
  3. Sew the four leaves together to form the shamrock matching the seams.
    large-shamrock
  4. Add the outside border by sewing two 14 1/2″ linen strips (C) to the side of the shamrock.  Sew two 18 1/2″ linen strips (d) to the top and bottom of the shamrock.  Set aside.

 

Piece the smaller shamrocks pillow

  1. Place a 1 1/2″ linen square (F) on a corner of a small shamrock leaf (E).  Sew a diagonal corner using the same instructions as for the larger shamrock.
  2. Sew a diagonal corner on 3  corners of each small shamrock leaf (16 total leaves)
  3. Sew four leaves together as shown to form a shamrock matching the seams.  Repeat for the other 3 small shamrocks.
    small-shamrock
  4. Sew the sashing.  Stitch a 6 1/2″ linen strip (G) between two small shamrocks.  Repeat for remaining two small shamrocks.
  5. Sew a 14 1/2″ linen strip (C) in the center of the pillow to join the two shamrock panels.  Sew a 14 1/2″ linen strip (C) to each side of the shamrocks.
  6. Sew an 18 1/2″ linen strip (D) to the top and bottom of the pillow.

Hint: If you used linen, baste very close to the outside edge of the pillow top to keep the linen from fraying.

Quilt the top side of the pillows

  1. Layer pillow top with the muslin, batting and pillow top, right side up.
  2. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  3. Quilt as desired.  Trim quilted pillow top to 18 1/2″ square.

Note:  I found this Celtic Shamrock design for a tattoo on the internet, it had a nice continuous design I could adapt for the quilting.  Inspiration comes from all sorts of places!

Here is the beginning of the design.

Here you can see the design on one of the little shamrocks.

And here is the design on the shamrocks with the detail on the linen as well.  The texture crinkled so well after washing.

Finish the Pillow

  1. Fold each 18 1/2″ x 24″ rectangle in half, wrong sides together, to form four 12″ x 18 1/2″ rectangles. Press.
  2. Top stitch along the folded edge of the pillow about 1/2″ away from the fold.
  3. Place the quilted pillow top, right side down.
    pillow-back
  4. Place two folded rectangles over each pillow, overlapping the folded edges in the center by about 4″.
  5. Baste 1/8″ along the outside of the layers.
  6. Bind with the green plaid binding strips.
  7. Insert a pillow form through the opening.

.shamrock-pillow-2   shamrock-pillow-1

Here are pictures from EQ Mini of my quilt design.

Show me pictures of your lucky pillows!  Tag me on Facebook or Instagram @lorimillerdesigns

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE!

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.

Free Tutorial – Sweetheart Quilted Zip Pouch

Love is all around.  The free tutorial for this month designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company is a lovely, Sweetheart Zip Pouch.  Yes, you can design lots of quilty things with EQ Mini, even a pouch!  This uses a horizontal row quilt as a base but we sized it down to pouch size and added some half drop blocks with a center heart.  The heart block is one of the free blocks that comes with EQ Mini.  This generous pouch is sized 8″ x 11″ and is ready for you to fill with all your Valentine goodies.  A whole bag of chocolate would fit in there! The zipper is super easy to put in too, I promise.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

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.

Sweetheart Quilted Zip Pouch

Finished size is 8″ x 11″.

Materials

  • 1/4 yd dark pink print
  • 1/8 yd of light pink print
  • 1/4 yd of grey background fabric
  • 3/8 yd Lining fabric
  • 3/8 yd batting
  • 12″ zipper

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Light Pink

  • 2 — 2 1/2″ x 3 3/4″ rectangle (A)
  • 2 — 1 1/2″ x 5 3/4″ strip (C)
  • 2 — 1 ” x 2″ zipper tab pieces

Dark Pink

  • 4 — 1 1/2″ x 5 3/4″ strip (B)
  • 2 — 2″ x 12 1/2″ strips (G)
  • 1 — 6″ x 12 1/2″ rectangle (H)

Grey Background

  • 2 — 5 ” square (D)
  • 2 — 5″ square (E)
  • 4 — 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ rectangles (F)

Muslin

  • 1 — 13″ x 21″ rectangle

Lining

  •  2 — 12 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ rectangles

Piece the outside of the pouch

Hint:  Because you need to match seams, be sure to keep an accurate 1/4″ seam allowance.

  1. Subcut the 5″ background squares (D), diagonally into quarters.
  2. Subcut the 3″ background squares (E), diagonally in half.
  3. Sew the quarter (D) Triangle to the right side of the light pink rectangle(A).
  4. Sew the light pink strip (C) in the center of each dark pink strip (B).
  5. Attach the top of the heart to the bottom of the heart keeping the left sides even.
  6. Sew the background triangles (E) to each side of the bottom of the heart.  Be sure to overlap at the bottom point so that you have a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  7. Now sew two of the remaining background triangle (D) pieces to the top right and left sides of the heart.  Start stitching at the top points of the heart. Press.  Discard leftover piece.
  8. Center and trim the heart block to 6 1/2″ square.
  9. Make the second heart block.
    sweetheart-pouch
  10. Sew a background rectangle (f) to each side of the heart.
  11. Sew one dark pink strip (G) to the top of each block.
  12. Sew the dark pink rectangle (H) to the bottom of one heart block.
  13. Sew the bottom of the other heart block to the other side of the dark pink rectangle (H).  One heart is facing up, one is facing down.

Quilt the outside of the Pouch

  1. Make a quilt sandwich with the muslin on the bottom, then the batting, then your pieced pouch top face up.
  2. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  3. Quilt as desired.  Trim excess batting and muslin.
  4. Carefully cut the quilted piece in half to make two – 12 1/2″ x 10 1/2″ pieces.
  5. From the bottoms of the outside pouch pieces and the lining pieces, cut a square out of each corner that is 1 1/2″ high x 1 1/2″ wide.

Finish the pouch

  1. Fold each 1″ x 2″ zipper tab in half matching the short ends, with wrong sides together, so the tabs measure 1″ x 1″.  Press.
  2. Move zipper pull to center of zipper.  Using a ruler or cutting mat, align the tabs as shown.
  3. Open the tab and sew on the center fold through the tab and zipper, ensuring the zipper teeth at the open end are aligned together.  Backstitch again across the center through the zipper teeth to secure.  Repeat on the other end of the zipper ensuring the tab placement and measurements.
  4. Trim off any excess zipper leaving 1/4″ seam allowance.  Zipper and fabric tabs should measure 12 1/2″ long.
  5. Open the zipper half way.
  6. Place the zipper face down, right sides together, along the top edge a heart section.  Align the ends and the top of the zipper.
  7. Layer a lining piece, right side down over the zipper and pin all three layers in place.
  8. Using a zipper foot, stitch approximately 1/4″ from the edge of the zipper.  When you get to the zipper pull, stop with the needle down in the fabric.  Lift up the presser foot and gently open or close the zipper to move the zipper pull out of the way to continue sewing across the top of the pouch.
  9. Open the zipper seam and press pouch and lining away from zipper.  Top stitch through all layers of fabric close to the zipper.
  10. Repeat for the other side of the zipper.
  11. Open the zipper all the way so you will be able to turn the pouch right side out.
  12. Open the pouch and match the quilted heart sections and lining sections, right sides together.
  13. Pushing the zipper to the lining side, stitch the sides of the pouch and lining.  Stitch the bottom of the pouch.  Stitch the bottom of the lining leaving a 3-4 inch opening for turning.
  14. Pinch the bag  and lining corners aligning the seams and stitch across the opening to box the corners.
  15. Turn the bag right side out with the lining hanging out.  Tuck in the raw edges and stitch the lining closed.
  16. Tuck the lining inside the bag and you are finished.


Here you can see the fun fabric I used for the inside lining.  It was in the bargain bin off season and I snapped it up.  I think it is perfect for this little zip pouch.

Oreo decided to direct the photo shoot.  He is pretty demanding.

Variation Suggestions

 

sweetheart-pouch-var

  • Use traditional red and white with a pink accent.
  • Try using sweet valentine seasonal prints and fill them with sweet treats and goodies.

This Sweetheart quilted Zip Pouch is so versatile.  It would certainly make the perfect gift for a dear friend or family member.  I would love to see your Sweetheart Pouch, tag me on instagram @lormillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE.

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.

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.

Tutorial – Winter Icicles Throw Quilt

This months free tutorial for a project designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company is this icy blue Winter Icicles Throw Quilt.  It uses vertical strips of giant flying geese to create modern icicles.  This frosty quilt will keep you cozy warm and the large pieces will stitch up quickly.  I even used a blue polkadot binding that made me think of little snowflakes.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

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.

Winter Icicles Throw Quilt

Finished size is 48″ x 56″.

Materials

  • 3 5/8 yd white background
  • 1 3/8 yd Light blue
  • 1 3/8 yd medium blue
  • 1 3/8 yd dark blue
  • 1/2 yard blue polkadot for binding
  • 3 1/2 yards flannel for backing
  • 54″ x 62″ batting
  • Icicle Templates (Download HERE) (Please note there is a 1/4″ seam  allowance printed around the templates so be careful when cutting them out to include that.)

Directions

Cut Fabric:

White background

  •  14 — 4 3/4 ” x 9 1/2″ rectangles
  •  8 — 4 3/4 ” x 15 3/4″ rectangles
  •  10 — 4 3/4 ” x 13″ rectangles

Light blue

  • 14 — Template A triangles

Dark Blue

  • 8 — Template B Triangles

Medium Blue

  • 10 — Template C Triangles

Blue Polkadot

  • Cut 7 — 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric strips

 

Make Icicle Blocks

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.

  1. Take the 4 3/4″ x 9 1/2″ rectangles and stack them in two’s right sides together.
    icicle background
  2. Cut diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
  3. Cut off 1 inch from the pointy skinny end.
    icicle-diagram-2
  4. Using left and right pieces, carefully sew the sides onto the template A Icicle.icicle-diagram-3
  5. Continue to make a total of 14 Template A icicle blocks.
  6. Using the same method above, take the dark blue 4 3/4″ x 15 3/4″ rectangles and stack them in two’s right sides together.
  7. Cut diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
  8. Cut off 1 inch from the pointy skinny end.
  9. Using left and right pieces, carefully sew the sides onto the Template B Icicle.
    icicle-diagram-4
  10. Continue to make a total of 8 template B icicle blocks.
  11. Using the same method above, take the medium blue 4 3/4″ x 13″ rectangles and stack them in two’s right sides together.
  12. Cut diagonally from the upper left corner to the bottom right corner.
  13. Cut off 1 inch from the pointy skinny end.
  14. Using left and right pieces, carefully sew the sides onto the template C Icicle.
    icicle-diagram-5
  15. Continue to make a total of 10 template C icicle blocks.winter-icicles
  16. Sew the icicle blocks together in vertical rows per the diagram above.
  17. Sew the pieces together in vertical rows, then sew the rows together, aligning edges.
  18. Piece together the backing.
  19. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  20. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  21. Quilt as desired.  I used organic wavy lines.
  22. Sew the 2 1/2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.

Variation Suggestions
winter-icicles-reverse

  • Reverse the background and icicle colors for a different look or color in a scheme to match your decor.
  • Try using frosty winter prints, the large icicles really show off larger prints.

This quick throw is perfect to snuggle under with a cup of cocoa and your favorite book this winter.  It will look perfect with my January snowman decor.  I would love to see your icicle quilt, tag me on instagram @lormillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them HERE

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.

DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

2016 holiday by Lori Miller Designs

I enjoy making handmade gifts for the holidays to give to family and friends.  Some years they are elaborate and some years, well, they are quick and easy.  It depends on how busy I have gotten with projects to finish.  I have put together a round up of my free tutorials to make diy holiday gifts. They range from super easy to confident beginner, from quick to more involved.  I even share a few of my for sale holiday patterns at the end if they should perk your interest.  I hope you will be inspired to try some homemade gifts this year.  Just CLICK on the picture for all the details.

Holiday Yo Yo Ornament

P1050148 002

Create fun holiday yo-yo ornaments for a homemade gift for a teacher, music instructor or bus driver.  A nice sewing craft for older children to learn some basic sewing skills, even how to sew a button.  You can make it even faster with some hot glue at the finish.  Plan an afternoon to put these together for holiday gifts or your own homemade decorations.

Tissue Holder

Mini tissue cover Lori Miller Designs 1

Here is a cute quick gift you can stitch up in multiples for holiday party favors, stocking stuffers or just a little something for someone special.  I used holiday and Christmas fabric but you could tailor them for boys or girls with masculine prints, sporty fabric or another cute novelty print.  There is really very little sewing so it is perfect for a beginning stitcher.  It doesn’t take much fabric either, so use up some of your scraps or stash.

Easy Holiday Fleece Pillows

Here are a couple of ideas for some last minute holiday gifts to stitch.  You probably have a stash of fleece somewhere in your sewing room from a sale 3 years ago, if not, find yourself a couple of remnants and get sewing.  Cotton works fine too.  These are some clever and creative pillows for big and little kids to enjoy. They stitch up in a snap so they are quick and easy for a beginner to make.

Upcycled Christmas Card Bookmarks

upcycled bookmarks by lori Miller Designs

I received one of these upcycled Christmas card bookmarks as a little gift and it is just too clever not to share.  This bookmark is an ingeniously folded old christmas card.  I took it apart to figure out the pattern and I am gladly spilling its simple but intricate secrets.  Make a bunch for stocking stuffers, for an afternoon craft with the kids or to mail to friends far away for the holiday.

Holiday Table Runner

Here is a 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.  Just make three simple blocks to quilt up a beautiful center piece for your table.

Paper Snowflake Garland

P1050259

Here in Michigan, we manage to get our own share of snow.  I would much rather deal with these paper snowflakes from inside my warm and toasty house instead.  And the plan is to sew them together into pretty garland, so you get a little sewing and fun mixed together.  When did you last make a paper snowflake?

This would be a great afternoon activity with the kids to cut out snowflakes and drink some hot chocolate. You can even use up all that junk mail or scrap paper to make them. I love traditional white flakes, but you could mix them up with any color to make a very cool statement.

Patterns for Sale

Here are a couple of holiday patterns I have for sale in my shop.  I hope you like them too.

Gingerbread House Pincushion, Ornament and More

LMDesigns trio of gingerbread

This is my original pattern for a Gingerbread House Pincushion.  I have even added bonus instructions to make it into a soft tree ornament or a Gift Card Holder to hang on your Christmas tree.  This adorable holiday gift idea might look familiar.  It was featured in Quilting Arts Holiday Magazine in 2014.  It holds a special place in my heart because this was the very first original pattern that I had published in a Magazine.

Poinsettia Pop Throw Quilt

It is called Poinsettia Pop and it is a generous lap size to snuggle under when the weather turns cold.  The bright and cheery poinsettia blocks dance across the quilt bringing cheer to whoever receives it. This quilt is made using large 15 inch finished blocks that stitch up quickly.  You only need to piece seven Poinsettia blocks so you can whip it up in time for last minute gifts. I even included some speedy techniques to save you some time.  The bright hot pink fabrics, text print background, and alternate grid pattern give this block a very modern look.

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.

MPG16_cover_NPC

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.

I hope you found an idea you could use for some holiday gifts or just to make for yourself.