Back to Top

I am a quilter, pattern designer, and teacher from Troy, Michigan. Sewing since age 11, I have deep roots in sewing and quilting traditions that add a unique dimension to my designs. My joy is working with fun colors, patterns and designs. I love making playful and clever products for the modern sewist. I am a member of the Detroit Area MQG.

Recent Posts by Lori

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Patriotic Parade

Posted 06-26-2020 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori  

With the Independence Day holiday coming up, I though a patriotic theme was in order.  There are so many wonderful blocks in EQ that are available to use.  Sometimes, however,  I have an idea that looks close to one of the block designs, but I want to change it up a bit and make it my own.  Using the power of  EQ8 , you can edit and tweak the block to design your own creation.  In this lesson,  we will deep dive into editing a block several ways.  We will update the drawing, resize a few things, draw a block, merge some blocks, and combine an easy draw block with applique to get to this super cute 4th of July design!

We are going to start with a vintage farm truck and take it up a notch with a patriotic spin.

Let’s get started.

Patriotic Parade Table Runner

Skillset: Advanced Beginner/ Intermediate

Size: 13″ x 40″

Skill Builders:

  • Searching Blocks
  • Editing Blocks
  • Merging Blocks
  • Combining an Easy draw block with Applique

On to the DESIGN…

  1. Open EQ8.
  2. Let’s name the Project.  The project name appears at the top left of the EQ8 Window. Right now the project says Untitled – EQ8.
  3.  On the left side toolbar, click the New project button.  
  4.  On the Create a new project tab, type in the project name field Patriotic Parade.
  5.   Click OK.  The box will close.  Notice the project name Untitled has been replaced with Patriotic Parade.
  6.   From the Home Page, under DRAW BLOCKS, select Search for Block Patterns.
  7. Search > By Notecard
  8. Enter “Truck’ in the text window.  All the blocks with truck in the notecard will display.
  9. Select the “Pickup Truck”in red that is facing left and looks the most like a vintage farm truck.  Add to Sketchbook.
  10. Select Current Sketchbook while still in the block libraries.  You will see the pickup truck we just added.  Select it, then select the Edit to Block Worktable button.  Hint: If you double click the pickup truck, it will take you to edit on the block worktable as well.
  11. Select the Applique tab to show the pickup truck applique pieces.  Take a look at the precision bar and make sure the block is 12″ x 12″,.  Snaps and Graph paper cells horizontal and vertical should be 48.  Make sure the first two snap tools are pressed. They will show a solid blue background when pressed.
  12. I want to make the truck bed of the truck a little larger so we can put  something into it.    First, we will select the whole truck and move it to the left.
  13. Select the Pick tool.  Click to the top left of the block and drag a marquee square around the entire truck to select it.  Once it is selected, hover over the center of the truck until you see the large cross hairs and move the truck to the left leaving about 1/4 ” from the block edge.
  14. Select the edit tool, then click on the back end of the truck bed.  We are going to drag the points to make it larger, pull it until you have just a 1/4′ before the block edge.  Add to Sketchbook.
  15. I want to put a block in the bed of the truck.  We can’t merge applique blocks, so we are going to be clever.    We need to get the coordinates from the truck applique picture of where the square should be drawn in order to make it look like it is sitting in the bed of the truck.  Then we can use those coordinates to draw a new easy draw block.  We will merge that easydraw block with a star block in the little square we created for the truck bed.  To figure out the coordinates, we will shift from the truck applique tab to the truck easy draw tab and draw some lines.  These are guide lines to determine the coordinates only, we are not going to use this drawing.  Because we can see the truck applique here, it is easier to figure out the coordinates and placement of the little square.  That was a long explanation!  Let’s try it step by step.
  16. Select Easydraw tab.  I was able to draw a four inch square sitting on the truck bed.  Here are the coordinates we will need for the next step.  A ->(2″, 7.5″ ) B ->(2″, 11.5″) C ->(6″, 7.5″)  D ->(6″, 11.5″)

  17. Lets draw a new Easydraw block with those coordinates to create the little square.  New Block > Pieced > Easydraw
  18. Start by choosing the Line drawing tool and drawing two horizontal lines from edge to edge, one at the 2″ mark and one at the 6″ mark.
  19. Draw one vertical line from edge to edge at the 7.5″ mark.
  20. Draw the final vertical line to finish the small square starting at your 2′, 11.5′ coordinate and down to the 6′, 11.5″ coordinate.
  21. Go to the Color tab and color in the background of the block.  I used a light blue.
  22. Add to sketchbook.
  23. Now we will use this block to merge with a star block to put in the bed of the truck.  While still in the block work table, Choose Create Serendipity > Merge Blocks
  24. On the left side, scroll down to the easydraw block we created and select it.  On the right side, pick the block to merge, the EQ Default Ohio Star.  EQ8 will look for blocks in the first block to drop the second block into in order to merge.  You may have to click on the little square to get it to show in there.  Once you have it, Click the button to Add to Sketchbook.
  25. Now that we have the combined or merged block with the star.  We are going to add the truck back in.
  26. View Sketchbook, open the truck block we edited earlier. Make sure you are on the Applique tab. Select the Pick tool.  Click to the top left of the block and drag a marquee square around the entire truck to select it.  Once it is selected,use the copy shortcut keys to copy it.  For Windows use CTRL + C, For Mac, use CMD + C.  It is magically saved behind the scenes.
  27. View Sketchbook, open the easydraw block with the little ohio star to Edit.  Make sure you are on the Applique tab.  Paste the truck onto the block with the shortcut keys.  For Windows CTRL + V, for Mac CMD + V.  It should paste onto the block.  While it is still highlighted and the whole thing selected, hover over to get the large cross hairs and arrange the truck so that the little star is resting on the bed using the 1/4″ edges as a guide.  You may have to practice these steps a few times to get the hang of it.  Once you have the truck successfully placed with the little star showing in the truck bed, we can color the block.
  28. Go to the Color tab and color in the truck and star.
  29. Quilt Worktable >New Quilt, > Horizontal
  30. Layout > No of Blocks 3H. 1V, Finished Size of Blocks is 12″ x 12″, Sashing width only 1.5″
  31. Border > Mitered, .5″ all around to mimic binding
  32. Design > Block Tools, Set Block, Drop in your finished block.
  33. Design > Fabric Tools, Paintbrush, color your blocks, sashing and border.

Congrats!  You can use this block how you like!  Make the table runner or how about one on a pillow, or all three on a bench pillow for summer?   I changed the coloring on the stars for each truck on this to add interest.  The copy and paste technique can be used for other blocks or in different ways, experiment!  Happy Designing!

Questions or Feedback

Please share your ideas, questions and feedback in the comments. I would love to hear from you. Thanks!

Lori J. Miller lives in Oxford, Michigan, where she designs, stitches and sews quilts and quilty things. She loves experimenting with fun colors and designs to make playful and clever products for the modern sewist.  Lori continues to share her knowledge with others teaching quilting and EQ8 classes around the country.  A self professed EQ8 superfan, you can follow her quilting adventures on her blog at or on instagram @lorimillerdesigns

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Designing for the Accuquilt GO! Qube

Posted 04-24-2020 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori  

I love to design my quilts with EQ8, it saves me so much time and let’s me really be creative before cutting into that fabric.  I am finding more and more folks are using the Accuquilt GO! Cutting system of dies to cut out their quilts.  Some love the accuracy, others like the speed of cutting out a quilt and many quilters with physical limitations find that die cutting their fabric solves some of their cutting issues and get them back to doing what they love. What you may not know is that the GO! Qube set of dies is based on the most popular type of quilt block, the FOUR PATCH!  based upon a simple 4 x 4 grid.  Electric Quilt is full of blocks that use the 4 x 4 grid and that makes them perfect for adapting to be cut out with your GO Qube dies.  You can

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Let’s Play with Applique

Posted 02-25-2020 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori   Uncategorized  

I spend a lot of time designing quilt blocks for piecing in Electric Quilt, but I also like the look of applique.  The good news is that with EQ8, you can easily design your own applique blocks and motifs.  And once you have designed it, you can use the tools in EQ8 to make it any size you would like.  In this lesson, we will take an existing drawing and create an applique motif. Last year for Christmas, I finally received a much coveted gift of a Kitchenaid Mixer.  I always had a little hand mixer, but how I dreamed of mixing up cookies and goodies with a stand mixer.  I decided I really wanted an applique motif of my mixer to use for kitchen related items like aprons and tea towels.  So I sketched a picture of my wonderful mixer. I scanned in my hand drawing to use to

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Create a Pantograph

Posted 12-31-2019 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori   Uncategorized  

Many EQ8 Users have longarm or midarm machines that they use to machine quilt their quilt creations.  Sometimes they use a pantograph to create all over quilting designs.  A pantograph is usually a repeating quilting design.  The longarm user follows the line on the paper with a stylus or laser light that is attached to the machine.  Pantograph designs can vary in width with simple to complex designs.  Using the power of Electric Quilt Design Software, you can create your own pantographs to print out and use for your machine quilting. For this lesson, we will use an existing stencil, resize it and clone it to create a pantograph that can be printed out and used with a longarm or midarm machine for machine quilting. Ocean Waves Pantograph Skillset: Beginner/ Advanced Beginner Stencil size: 8″ x 60″ Skill Builders: Draw a stencil Edit a Stencil Open EQ8. Let’s  open the Project.  The project

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Add stencils to a quilt

Posted 11-22-2019 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori   Uncategorized  

This lesson is all about adding stencils to your quilt.  Stencils are the drawings that show the quilting lines on your quilt. You may want to audition different stencils to decide how you might want to quilt your design and to help you figure out what approach you will take when quilting. You can have stencils that go over individual blocks or you can create a stencil that goes over an entire sections of your quilt. For this lesson, I will show you how I quilted the Anchor’s Away quilt from the last lesson.  If you haven’t completed that lesson, you can find it HERE. First, lets talk about the layers of a quilt.  When you are on the Quilt Worktable, you will see three tabs at the bottom of the screen. Layer 1 This layer is made up of pieced or applique blocks that are stitched together to make

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Anchor’s Away Quilt with a repeating block design

Posted 09-01-2019 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori  

It’s been a wonderful summer and I wanted to add a cute throw quilt to compliment the pillow we designed last year.  I came up with this Nautical themed quilt with an interesting inset of scrappy diamonds.  And of course, I needed that cute red anchor to set it off.  Let’s get right into the design! Anchors Away Quilt Skillset: Beginner/ Advanced Beginner Size: 48″ x 60″ Skill Builders: Working with Vertical Strip layout Working with repeating block design Convert an applique block to a motif Let’s take a closer look and analyze this quilt.  I have designed it as a Vertical Strip quilt with applique.  First we are going to focus on the diamond insets. These are 45 degree diamonds that are lined up to form a chevron type pattern.  This is a repeating diamond shape that I designed as an individual block.  The block just had to be square

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – Create a Personal Fabric Library

Posted 06-21-2019 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori  

I have had a lot of questions about creating personal libraries in EQ8.  Many of you want to create your own libraries containing your favorite fabrics from your Stash or from a particular manufacturer.   If you have taken pictures of your stash and imported them into EQ8 or have imported other fabrics into EQ8, you can create and store them in their own library. Electric Quilt allows you to set up your own fabric libraries under My Favorite Fabrics.  When you create your own library, the fabrics that you put into it will be available to use in any project you want to design. Here is how to create that space. Open EQ8. Go to the top Main Menu and click LIBRARIES, choose Fabric Library.  The dialogue box will open. Select the My Favorite Fabrics section. Click the Create Library button and the Add new Library dialogue will open. Enter