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!

1-Lynn Plus Sign Tote

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.

1-DAMQG Plus Sign Bags

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




MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge 2015 – My Quilt

The Modern Quilt Guild, of which I am a member, has been holding fabric challenges which I have been participating in for a couple of years.   This year the Spring Challenge was to use Riley Blake Cottage Garden Fabrics by Amanda Herring.  All you had to do was make something fantastic that is quilted, something you’ve never done before, challenge yourself to learn something new, and use the provided fat eighths of fabric and coordinating Riley Blake Solids.   I completely forgot about it until I got a reminder note from The Modern Quilt Guild saying we had 11 days left to make something.  Yikes!  I have been sewing for the past six days straight!

I participated in the last Riley Blake Challenge too.  I made this super awesome duffle bag with quilt as you go techniques.  I use it all the time.

rbchallenge2015-sThese were the fabrics that we received.  Lovely prints in aqua and grey, even included a text print.

I had actually been thinking about some kind of pattern to include the birds and trees.  When I laid out the fabrics, my idea just came together.  It needed a little color so I tried to find fabric to match and ended up with the yellow and the red which sort of matched the birds legs.  I purchased some extra solids in aqua and grey as well.  The left side you can see in the picture, I just stacked most of the fabrics and added the pops of color.  Not seen in this picture, the entire right side was a big strip of an aqua solid.  I placed the grey solid over the whole thing and sketched a tree shape with a water soluble marker.

Then I basted by hand, (Yes, just like my Grandma Mabel would have done!), I basted using a running stitch over every line of the tree.  Once I had it all basted, I cut away the fabric leaving a 1/4 of an inch to turn under.

Here is a picture a little more close up so you can see it better.  I did not worry too much if the 1/4 inch was perfect, the tree would just look more natural.

Then I hand appliqued that entire tree to the pieced top.  I also added some leaves in a darker grey and a little bird.  I used one of the gray flowers for his body.

I handquilted using big stitches on the tree branches and the leaves.  I also embroidered some yellow legs and a beak on my little red bird.  Here, I am getting ready to machine quilt the other parts of the quilt.  I just used a random swirl pattern around the tree on the right side of the quilt.

I just got going well with my machine quilting when the Quilt Inspector arrived.  How does he know every time that I am quilting??  He usually does not show up when I am piecing, only quilting.  Apparently this quilt passed the inspection, HA.  Love you, Cookie Cat.

My DH volunteered to hold this up so I could get some pictures and get them loaded on the MQG website before my time ran out.  You can see the whole quilt here.  After I washed it, it was so lovely and crinkly with texture.  I managed to hide the center seam with a tree branch all the way up.  I also added my little extra pieced on the right side of the binding for some interest.

Here is a picture of the back, I used some of the leftover fabric to put it together, you an really see my quilting from the back.

 Here is a closeup of my little bird before and after quilting and embellishment.  He just adds a little something.I will be taking to my Detroit Area Modern Quilt Guild meeting next week for show and tell.

Happy Stitching!


More Charity Quilts and Facebook


I am catching up on a few projects and sharing some updates for Lori Miller Designs.

First, I have a new business page for Lori Miller Designs on facebook.  I would love for you to visit and like my page.  You can get updates on when I post new quilty blog articles or when a new block is ready for my Grandma Town Block of the Month.  If you have a moment,   Won’t you stop by and LIKE my page?

More Charity Quilting

My quilt guild, the Detroit Area Modern Guild, makes quilts for charity.  This year our quilts are going to a childrens critical care unit at Beaumont Hospital.  I finished up three quilts to donate.


This first quilt is a stunner.  Can you believe I made it with scraps from another project?  These are the squares I cut off from my Kimberly Einmo’s Chainsaw Quilt.  You can see and read about that quilt on my blog HERE.  One of our guild members, Barb DeVilbiss, quilted this one on her longarm machine.  Doesn’t her design really make the half square triangles look interesting?


This small baby size quilt is just strips of flannel with the raw edges out to fray and fluff up.  Super simple to make and so soft.


This quilt I made a little larger in hopes of having something to give to an older boy who might be in need.  This is the Ballerina pattern from JayBird Quilts.  This setting happened because I did not have enough of one basketball fabric to do the whole thing.  It really makes the quilt look special to have a basketball border at the top and bottom.  Barb DeVilbiss quilted this one as well.


Here is a picture of the tag we put on our quilts.  I really think it is a nice touch to add when we donate the quilts.

What kinds of quilts are you making for charity?

Getting Ready for Quiltcon in Austin


I think I am starting to get excited.  The second QUILTCON is coming in February.  It will be my first Modern Quilt Guild Show.  I am going with a few of my quilting sisters from the Detroit Area Modern (DAM) Quilt Guild.  We DAM Girls! are ready to rock and have a great time in what I hope can only be some slightly warmer weather than snowy Michigan.  I thought I would share some of the fun things I have been getting, sewing and swapping to get ready for the show.


First, Jules from Procrasticraft sponsored a Quiltcon Lanyard swap.  I had not participated in a swap before, so I wanted to give it a try.  I made this cute orange lanyard, badge holder, pincushion and a few extras to send to my swap buddy, Mandy (@lotsocolour) in Australia.



 Here is what I received from Cindy (@whatsonemoreproject) from Alaska.  She sent me this treasure trove with my rainbow colored lanyard.  I received some yummy chocolates, local soap and ornaments, a cute zipper pull, soap, lip balm, hand lotion and this super awesome three zipper pouch.  I was truly spoiled.  If you have not tried some kind of swap, I now highly recommend it!  It is fun to design something special for another like minded quilter and the happy mail in return is just too awesome.



Are you joining the QUILTCON Pin Swap??  Why not?!!  I had to participate.  Here are my pins with my butterfly logo.  I have been drawing this butterfly since high school and when I decided to open up my shop, it was the obvious and most perfect choice for my logo.  I love butterflies anyway, they always bring a smile to my face.  I decided to add a few colors for some variety even thought the blue and lavender is my favorite.  Please try to find me, I would love to swap pins and meet a new friend!


Next, I made this pouch for myself with our colorful DAM.  Yes, I paperpieced it.  For those who know me, that was quite the challenge as it is not my favorite thing to do, but I sure like the way it looks when it is done.  I made it to hold my pins for the swap.


Finally, the DAM Girls ordered matching messenger bags with our logo.  But of course I had to jazz my bag up a bit. Vicki (@houseofduke1) inspired me to embroider my business name on it, a little bigger than I wanted but it is done now.  I thought the bag needed a little more pizzazz so I replaced the outside binding with a colorful print binding.  My friend, Rebecca (@rubythreads) convinced me to design a pattern for lining, so that went in there too.  You should be able to see us DAM Girls coming and going!  Be sure to say Hi, swap a pin, or join us on an adventure.

I can’t wait to soak up the classes and lectures and party down at the Moda Party.  I hope I will see you there!

Are you going??