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.

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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.

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.
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  • 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.

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.

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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.

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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!

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!

Holiday Yo-Yo Ornament (free tutorial)

yo yo ornament by Lori Miller Designs

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.

Materials needed:

  • 1 giant yo-yo (6 inch circle)
  • 1 large yo-yo (4 1/2 inch circle)
  • 1 button
  • 12 inches of ribbon
  • Thread
  • Needed
  • (hot glue optional)

Directions:
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  1. First make your yo-yos.  Take the 6 inch circle of holiday fabric.P1050139 001
  2. Carefully fold over the raw edge (wrong sides together) about 1/4″ and baste all around.  You can use pretty large basting stitches – yo-yos are pretty forgiving.P1050140 001P1050142 001
  3. Once you have basted the whole circle, pull the thread to gather the yo-yo tight.P1050143 001
  4. Tie a sturdy knot and bury the end of the thread in one of the folds of the yo-yo.
  5. Make the 4 1/2″ smaller yo-yo in the same way.P1050146 001
  6. Assemble the ornament together.  Loop the ribbon to form a hanger and tack it in place with thread at the center of the giant yo-yo.P1050147 001
  7. Layer the large yo-yo on top of the giant yo-yo and tack or sew it to the center of the giant yo-yo.P1050148 002
  8. Finish the ornament by sewing a button to the center of the large yo-yo.

Tip:  You could have ready made yo-yo’s and just hot glue the ribbon, yo-yos and button together to make them up in a jiffy.  

CAUTION:  Hot glue is HOT!  Protect your fingers and have an adult help and supervise children.

 

 

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.

Materials Needed:

  • Fronts of old christmas cards (thin ones work the best)
  • Yarn or Thread Tassel (optional)

Directions:

cards

  1. Grab your assortment of pretty christmas cards. (Any cards will really do)P1090143
  2. Measure and cut the card down to 4 x 7 inches.P1090145-001
  3. Try to capture the bulk of the picture or design.
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  4. Fold the card in half the long way, right sides together.
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  5. Now, fold the card in half again.  I like to fold each side separately so it is a crisper fold before putting it together to fold in half.P1090156-001
  6. Measure 1/4 inch down the single fold side of the bookmark.  mark this so that you do not cut past it later.P1090157-001
  7. Now, on the double folded edge, measure up 1/2 inch from the bottom and mark at 1/2 inch intervals until you have 11 marks.P1090158
  8. On the other side on your 1/2 inch line, measure up from the bottom of the card 1 1/2 inches. Mark at 1/2 inch intervals until you have 11 marks.bookmark
  9. These marks should be offset at an angle.  It will look something like this above.P1090163
  10. You will now cut the angles every half inch being careful to stop 1/4 inch from the edge.  Make sure you are cutting from the double folded edge.  You will make 11 cuts.P1090166
  11. Now open the card back up carefully.P1090167
  12. Fold it in half again with the right sides facing out.  Make sure that the angle cuts from a V shape as you look at them.P1090172
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  13. Begin folding up every other V shape starting from the bottom.  As you fold them up, tuck them under the next  V shape.  Move up the bookmark folding and tucking.  Tuck the last V shape under the top V.  They should hold in place.P1090178
  14. You can leave the bookmark as is or punch a hole in the top and string a yarn tassel through it.P1090140-001

A beautiful bookmark from a card you might have thrown away!

Hint:  If you have a smaller card, just make fewer cuts.  You will just need an ODD number of cuts for the folds to work.

 

Published – Fancy Cat Pillow


I have the good fortune to again be published in the Quilting Arts Holiday issue.  This time I am sharing my design for a little modern fancy cat pillow.  Whether you want to make a nice pouf for your kitty or a fun pillow for a kitty lover, this pattern fits the bill.  This fancy cat features cute coral bow ties, this coral color is so fun and I found some fabric with metallic accents.  This would be also look pretty stitched up with red bow ties for the holidays too.

quilting arts holiday 2015

This issue is always filled with lot of inspiration and ideas for handmade gifts for the holiday season.  I think the striped trees on the cover by Jennifer Heynen are just adorable.

Pillows are a great way to try out your quilting skills too.  I used straight stitch walking foot quilting as seen here as well as free motion quilting.  This pillow is an envelope style, so you can just cover a pillow form you already have if you want.


Even Cookie Cat approves of this fancy cat pillow.  He is always helpful like that when I am trying to take pictures. 🙂

Check out this issue, it should be available now in US stores.  Happy Stitching!

 

Handmade Holiday: 10 minute Christmas Elf Stocking

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Today I am sharing some goodies made from one of my own patterns, the Christmas Holiday Elf Stocking.  This little stocking stitches up in about 10 minutes and you can use it for everything from an ornament, a gift card holder, a holder for a message from Santa, or to decorate a package to even loading it with silverware to decorate your table.  It takes very little fabric and the whole thing can be stitched on your home sewing machine.

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There is just one pattern piece to cut out of two coordinating fabrics.

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Here are some of my latest combinations.  I did iron the fabric. 🙂

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You stitch the top together and then fold it in half and stitch the rest.

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One piece forms a lining and the contrasting cuff on the stocking.

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You can add a ribbon hanger or even a jingle bell to the toe to make it extra cute.

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I made six of these little elf stockings for my Holiday place settings.  Doesn’t it look cute holding my silverware?  I think I will add a candy cane too.

Enjoy!