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.

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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

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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

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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.

 

 

 

 

Tutorial – Holiday Table Runner

Here is another 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.

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.

Holiday Table Runner

Finished size is 12 1/2″ x 36 1/2″.

Materials

  • 3/8 yd white cotton
  • 1/8 yd green cotton
  • 5/8 yd red cotton for blocks and binding
  • 1/4 yd burgundy cotton
  • 1/2 yard for backing
  • 1/4 yard batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

White cotton

  •  24 — 2  7/8 ” squares
  • 3 — 7  1/2 ” squares

Green cotton

  • 12 — 2  7/8 ″ squares

Red cotton

  • 15 — 2  7/8 ″ squares
  • 3 — 2 1/2″ x Width of Fabric strips

Burgundy cotton

  • 3 — 7 1/2 ”  squares

Background fabric

  • 1 — 14 1/2 x 38 1/2″ strip

Create the half square triangles

  • This method will create 8 half square triangles at once.
  • On the wrong side of the white 7 1/2″ square, mark the sewing and cutting lines.  Mark from corner to corner and mark half and half as shown.
  • Stitch 1/4″ away from the diagonal line, on each side of the diagonal line.  You can see the stitching in the X shape in the diagram above.
  • Cut the half square triangles apart on the marked lines.
  • Press the seams open and then square up the half square triangle blocks to measure 2 7/8″ square.

 Sew the block:

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.

table-runner

  1. Using the diagram above as a guide, arrange the pieces for your quilt block.
  2. Sew the pieces together in rows, then sew the rows together, aligning seams.
  3. Make three quilt blocks.
  4. Sew the three blocks together in a row, aligning seams to finish piecing the top of the holiday table runner.
  5. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  6. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  7. Quilt as desired.
  8. Sew the 2 1/2″ binding strips together and add to the quilt.

Variation Suggestions

  • Try some custom quilting like I did on this table runner, the smaller size makes it easy to explore free motion quilting.
    sample-runner-colors
  • Try using holiday prints or even modern colors or even a blue color scheme to really change the look but still use the same block.

This Holiday Table Runner would look great on your table or make several to give as gifts this season.  Why not look through the provided blocks in EQ Mini and find a favorite that you can turn into a table runner?  There are so many possibilities.  I would love to see pictures of your Holiday table runners.  Just tag me on instagram @lormillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them here: EQ Mini Friday Fun Holiday Table Runner.

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.

Tutorial – Charming Baby Quilt

This tutorial introduces my first project designed with EQ Mini Software by The Electric Quilt Company.  Made with pre-cut charm squares, this first easy beginner project is the Charming Baby Quilt.  I am pleased to be blogging for Electric Quilt hosting EQ Mini Friday Fun and sharing how to design in EQ Mini.  In addition, on my blog here, I will be sharing tutorials to take the design from idea to finished stitched project.

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.  I had the good fortune to beta test EQ Mini and I was very impressed with the easy flow and friendly beginner aspects of the software.

eq mini baby quilt select horiz medallion

I love the colored step by step tabs that let you easily work to create and edit a design.  And even though it is a Mini version of the Electric Quilt 7 software, it is still robust enough to offer a ton of design possibilities. It contains a block library of 300 pieced and appliqué blocks that can be set in 4 layout styles, there are 8 different border styles and a fabric library of over 3500 scanned fabrics to use to make your designs exactly how you want them.  Thats my EQ Mini spiel!  Let’s move on to the tutorial!

Charming baby quilt

Charming Baby Quilt

Finished size is 40 1/2″ x 40 1/2″.

Materials

  • 1 package of coordinating 5″ charm squares (you will need 32)
  • 1  yd for center of quilt
  • 1/2 yard for small border and binding
  • 1 1/4 yard for backing
  • 1 1/4 yard batting

Directions

Cut Fabric:

Center Square

  •  1 — 31 1/2 ″ x 31 1/2 ″ square

Inner Border

  • 2 — 1″ x 31  1/2″ strips
  • 2 — 1″ x 33  1/2″ strips

Outer Border

  • 32 – 5″ Charm squares

 Sew:

  1. Sew the 31 1/2″ inner border strips to opposite sides of the center 31 1/2″ square. Press seams.
  2. Sew the 33 1/2″ inner border strips to the top and bottom of the center square. Press seams.
  3. Take your charm squares and arrange them around the quilt until you get an arrangement you like.
  4. Sew together seven squares for each side.  Attach the sewn strips of seven squares to each side of the quilt center unit. Press seams.
  5. Sew together the remaining nine squares for the top and bottom of the quilt.  Attach the sewn strips of 9 squares to the top and bottom of the quilt center unit.  Press seams.
  6. Your quilt top is pieced.  Yay!
  7. Prepare the quilt backing.  You may need to piece part of the fabric on one side so that it is larger than your quilt top if needed.
  8. Make a quilt sandwich with the backing face down, then the batting, then your quilt top face up.
  9. Pin baste the quilt layers together.
  10. Quilt as desired.
    marking quilt
  11. Here is my super secret method I used to mark this quilt.  The smaller shapes were just smaller lids I found in the kitchen.
  12.  I tried quilting some large clamshells and stitched them with my walking foot.  I like the rainbow look and it echos some of the designs in the charm squares.
  13. Finally, add the binding.  I used 2 1/2″ strips to make my binding.  Here is the finished quilt in my sunroom, the lighter colors are dappled sunlight coming in the room.

Variation Suggestions

  • Mix it up and try a cute nursery print for the center and solid pre-cut 5″ squares for the outside.
  • Use that blank space in the center to personalize the quilt with baby’s name in embroidery or with applique letters.

This is a quick and easy baby quilt that you could easily put together in a diligent weekend.  I really liked the idea of using a pack of charm squares that I already had in my stash.  I would love to see pictures of your charming baby quilt.  Just tag me on instagram @lormillerdesigns.

Looking for the EQ Mini Design Instructions?  You can find them here: EQ Mini Friday Fun: Charming Baby Quilt

 

 

 

 

 

New Gig: EQ Mini Friday Fun with Lori

fridayfun-logo1

I am so honored to be the host of EQ Mini Friday Fun with Lori. This is a blog series devoted to sharing, teaching, and providing information 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.  EQ Mini was created by The Electric Quilt Company.  You can find my Friday Fun on the DoYouEQ.com blog.

eq-mini-start-new-quilt-tab

I was introduced to EQ Mini when I volunteered to beta test the software before it was released.  I was so impressed with the easy flow and friendly beginner aspects of the software.  I love the colored step by step tabs that let you easily work to create and edit a design.  And even though it is a Mini version of the Electric Quilt 7 software, it is still robust enough to offer a ton of design possibilities. It contains a block library of 300 pieced and appliqué blocks that can be set in 4 layout styles, there are 8 different border styles and a fabric library of over 3500 scanned fabrics to use to make your designs exactly how you want them.  There are a slew of add on blocks you can purchase as well as fabric stash libraries to add even more options for your software.

eqmini-nohole-sm-226x300

Each month I will share tips and techniques, tutorials, design project skill builders, and maybe even a little show and tell of what I am working on in my studio.  Head on over to doyoueq.com for My helpful EQ Mini designs posts, then come back here.  I will share take those designs and share tutorials to help you transform the design into beautiful stitched projects.

New Pattern: Calico Table Runner and More

This festive fall table runner features a harvest of Calico Corn.  I supersized my ear of corn quilt block from my Grandma Town block of the month quilt and added the colors of fall.  Make it scrappy or planned, but this lovely table runner will look wonderful on your fall table or even as the star attraction of the Thanksgiving table.


I have also included instructions for a large hot pad which is large enough for a casserole dish or cake pan.

The two small hot pads use the 6” version of the calico corn block.  Both hot pads would make lovely mini quilts as well.  A nice idea for a hostess or holiday gift.

Finished Sizes are Table Runner – 36 ½” x 12 ½”; Large Hot Pad  – 12” x 16”; and Small Hot Pad 8” x 8”.

I started with my ear of corn from my Grandma Town Block of the Month from 2015.  I started playing around with my design in EQ7, the quilt design software.  I ended up ditching the bottom part of the ear of corn.  It added complexity to the block, was hard to get the alignment just right, and without it I had a square block.  And in the design, you do not even miss it.

calico-corn-hot-pad-sm

Here is my updated ear of corn in fall colors with my multicolored calico corn.  It was easy to play around with the different parts of the design in the software.  I decided I wanted a much larger 12″ block to make a table runner, so I resized the block.

calico-corn-hot-pad-lg

Here is the larger 12″ block with the extra borders for the large hot pad.  It was so easy to add a pieced component to the corn itself with the EQ7 software.

To make piecing the ear of corn easier, I used scrappy fall 1 1/2″ strips in groups of four and sewed them together.

Then I cut them again into 1 1/2″ strips and mixed and matched randomly.

I made 16 patch units to assemble the large ears of corn.  You need 3 – 16 patch units for each one.

I used three large ear of corn for the table runner and quilted hash lines through the corn and a free motion echo on the husk.

I quilted little loops all through the background so it looks like small stippling.  It makes the calico corn the star!

For the small hot pads, I just kept the hash lines through the whole thing.  I did add a layer of Insul Bright heat resistant fabric, so the extra quilting made it lay nice and flat.

The large hot pad is perfect for a casserole dish or cake pan size item.

Wouldn’t this hotpad make a great mini quilt to hang on your door for Thanksgiving too?

You can purchase my Calico Corn Table Runner and More pattern  as a PDF download by going to 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!

 

 

New Pattern: Gingerbread House Pincushion and More

lori miller designs gingerbread house pincushion

I am pleased to share that my original pattern for My Gingerbread House Pincushion is now available for sale.  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.

SONY DSC

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.

SONY DSC

I was inspired to grab my holiday scraps to come up with a gift idea for my small sewing group.  Each year, we like to exchange home made gifts for Christmas.  We are all quilters and since I am totally addicted to pincushions, the idea took shape to make a Gingerbread House.

Lori Miller Designs supplies

I thought the jumbo white rick rack was a stroke of genius to mimic the snowy icing.
 It made an adorable pincushion and I use some very easy techniques to piece it all together that make it a jiffy to stitch up in an afternoon.  You can make multiples at once very easily.  Finished size is 5 ” square.

One of the bonuses I added to the pattern is to create a soft ornament for your tree.  You just add a ribbon hanger and only lightly stuff the little Gingerbread House.

The second bonus instructions included is to add a little pocket on the back of the Gingerbread House to make it into a Gift Card Holder.  You can tuck in a couple of gift cards, a note from Santa or even a candy cane for fun.

You purchase  my Gingerbread house Pincushion and more pattern  as a PDF download by going to 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!

Jennifer’s Messenger Bag

My girlfriend, Jennifer, wanted me to make her a messenger bag.  She is a knitter and spinner extraordinaire and wanted something to take to a spinning conference and classes.
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I had made her this cute Sew Together Bag, a Peekaboo Pencil Case by Pickle Pie Designs, and a name tag last year and she wanted something to match.
P1090833

It has the cutest pattern of sheep knitting in red, black and white.  Can you spot something weird with that white sheep in the upper left corner?

1-IMG_3117

I could not really find a pattern I liked, so I combined a bunch of patterns and ideas and created this prototype. I just used some fabric I had on hand.  I did quilt the fabrics.
1-IMG_3120

I used duck cloth or canvas for the sides and bottom to give it a bit more structure.  When I showed it to Jennifer,  she offered a few suggested updates including a pocket for her tablet, some strips inside the sides so she could tuck in some knitting needles and more pockets.  All the more friendly for a knitter to use.

I decided that the front flap was going to be quilt as you go with snippets of the fabrics including the cute little knitting sheep in red, white and black.

Here are the step by steps of my quilt as you go Messenger flap so you can see how I do it.

 qayg

 


Here is the back of the bag.  That is a really large pocket that has Headliner fabric in it to cushion her ipad.  It closes with a velcro strip.

I lined the inside and added this little pocket with a cute little sheep on it.

Jennifer also wanted a little zip bag to tuck some money, chapstick and a few necessities in.  I sized down another pouch I had found to make this wristlet.

Here is a little better view of the inside of the bag.

I added a wide adjustable strap.  She really liked it and has used it several times.  I love the zip that the striped binding gives to the front flap.  The solid sides add a calming factor to the busy sheep print, but it is still just too cute.  I think the QAYG flap really makes it look special.

 

Quilting Roundup – Summer 2016

It has been a while since I posted the projects I have been working on, so it was time to do a little round up to at least catch us up to the beginning of the summer.  My only son graduated from high school and the day after his graduation party, I decided to get appendicitis and it had to come out.  Mix in some recovery time, summer vacation, weekends at our cottage up north, and well, you get the idea.  The picture above is of my new grey couch(what a great setting for any color quilt, I can mix it up whenever I like.)  I finished my pow wow quilt (Pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew) and two pillows from all of the scraps.

I did some wiggly quilting in the sashing and just wavy, organic lines over the arrow shapes.  It was a quick way to quilt and it washed up great.

Next up, I had some lovely organic cotton prints with kitties on them.  I used the Ballerina quilt pattern by Jaybird Quilts.  It is a great way to use a special fat quarter bundle where you want to see the prints.  My good friend, Laura, had celebrated a big birthday, so this throw quilt was her gift.  I even did kitty themed allover quilting with curly que lines and yarn balls.

Here is a good view of the quilt and my yarn ball quilting.

I think the grey, aqua and yellow look so great together and she loved it.

 baby quilt
I had picked up another cute bundle of fat quarters from Pink Castle fabrics in Ann Arbor, Mi.  I thought they would make a great baby quilt.  I thought this was a very cute pattern but I forgot about the one way prints, so that made piecing a little more challenging.  I just straight line quilted around the larger squares.  Then I hand drew a starburst design in the blocks.

I stitched the star burst with free motion quilting on my little bernina and on the outside big white corners, I did a some close lines for extra texture.


Here it is all finished.  I had just enough yellow for the border to make it pop.  Thanks to my son who is holding it up for me.

This little mini quilt was a kit that I bought in Grand Rapids at the AQS show.  The pattern is Puddle Jumping Mini by Thimble Blossoms.

All those tiny pieces.  I think it takes as long as a big quilt to piece these babies.

Even though it was only about 12 inches across, I still pinbasted it like crazy before quilting.

Here is my finished quilt.  I just stitched some diagonal straight line quilting.  It was some work, but it is so cute all finished up.

Finally, this red, white and blue beautry.  I belong to the Stitching Sisters Quilt of Valor group and I finished up this large block quilt.qov-001

I was given the opportunity to award my quilt to Jerry.  You can see Katy to the right, she did the longarm quilting on it.  She simply does beautiful work and donates her time for many QOV quilts.

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And of course, every service member gets a quilty hug to welcome them home.  After serving 10 years in the National Guard myself, I have a special soft spot for all of the men and women who have served our country.  It is a joy to honor them in this way.

I hope these projects inspire you to quilt up something special for yourself, a friend or even a service person.  Happy Stitching!

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.

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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.

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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

Swoon Mini for EQ 25 and Moda Challenge

The Electric Quilt Company is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in business this year and is hosting monthly contests.  They joined with sponsor Moda for the March challenge.  You needed to make a mini quilt with Moda Fabrics.  Luckily, I had a Mini Swoon Quilt Kit by Thimble Blossoms that I had picked up when I was at the AQS Grand Rapids show last year.  I hadn’t had a chance to make it yet, so this was the perfect opportunity to stitch it up.

The kit had really pretty fabrics by V and Co. Color Me Happy.  They have some smaller prints that work well for this mini.

This pattern has a lot of intricate pieces and I think it almost takes as long as piecing a larger quilt.  I tried very hard to get all of the pieces to align and match carefully.  There are a few artistic licenses but overall, I was pretty pleased with my effort.

I decided to quilt a feathered medallion motif inside each of the blocks.  I had a feathered wreath stencil shape that was just the right size and I marked it with washout markers.

Natalia Bonner book

I was looking for designs and saw the feathered medallion in Natalia Bonner’s latest book, Next Steps in Machine Quilting.  So all I had to add was a crosshatch section in the center of the wreath to add some pizzazz.

I added a little flower in each of the cornerstones and free motion quilted rolling parallel lines in the rest of the sashing.

Here is a closer look at the crosshatching.  The wreath template was for traditional quilting, but I just used it as a guideline for continuous line free motion quilting.  The small size made the free motion quilting so much easier.  All that quilting really added some interesting texture.

I didn’t win the challenge for the month, but I certainly stitched up a treasure.  I need to get all of these mini’s up on the wall in my studio so I can admire them!

 

 

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

Plus zip bag Lori Miller Designs

 

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


plus bag

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

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

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

We made two panels for the front and back.

cookie cat plus bag

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

Plus zip bag Lori Miller Designs

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

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

gift bags

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

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

 

 

 

Quilting Roundup

quilt roundup collage lori miller designs

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

lori miller designs birch tree red bird

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

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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!