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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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
  • 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!

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.

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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.  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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.