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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 – 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 trace as a drawing guide.

Kitchenaid Mixer Applique Motif

Skillset: Beginner/ Advanced Beginner

Skill Builders:

  • Trace a picture
  • Draw an applique motif
Let’s Play!
  1. Right click on the hand drawn picture above and save as jpg file under My EQ8/Images or somewhere where you can find it later.
  2. Open EQ8.
  3. Let’s name the Project.  The project name appears at the top left of the EQ8 Window. Right now the project says Untitled – EQ8.
  4.  On the left side toolbar, click the New project button.  
  5.   On the Create a new project tab, type in the project name field Mixer Applique.
  6.  Click OK.  The box will close.  Notice the project name Untitled has been replaced with Mixer Applique.
  7. Go to the Block Worktable
  8. New Block, Applique, Motif.
  9. In the precision bar, make sure the block width and height is 8″ x 8″.
  10. This will bring up the Applique Motif palette tools.  Under the DRAW tab, find Tracing Image and select it.
  11. Click on Import image and navigate to where you stored the kitchenaid mixer drawing and select it.
  12. A Crop Image window will display.  Pull the dotted lines that frame the drawing to crop the picture close to the mixer.  Click OK.
  13. You will now be on the Position and Resize button.  I used an image lightness for tracing of 25%.
  14. Go to the Drawing Tools tab.  If your drawing is not dark enough to see to trace, go back to the Tracing tab and adjust the image lightness until you like it.
  15. Hint:  Before we start drawing, lets use some critical thinking when tracing the mixer.  Consider the layers of the applique, which pieces are underneath and which items are on top of the different applique pieces. I am going to start with the large body of the mixer first.  As I trace, I will extend past some edges so that when we layer the pieces, there are no gaps between the pieces.
  16. Select the Draw pencil button , then choose the Freehand drawing tool .  Click and hold to anchor the initial node and then drag the mouse around on the line.  I click periodically as I trace and drag to create a curvy line with multiple segments, especially where the lines change direction to follow the outline of the drawing.  You may need to try a couple of times to get the hang of using the freehand tool.  Hint: Don’t forget about the undo button.  And don’t worry too much if it is not exactly on the lines, we can do some adjustments with the edit tool later.
  17. Click the link to see me trace around the main body of the mixer.   Trace Mixer outline

  18. Take a look at my drawing.  I extended a little into the back end of the mixer that will layer under the end cap.  You can use the Pick button  to make select the outline you have drawn.  It should show a blue line when selected.  If the whole outline is not BLUE, then zoom in to the drawing and use the freehand drawing tool to connect the lines.
  19.  In the picture above, I need to connect some lines as only the top half is blue.  Here is a closeup of one area that needs to be connected.  Once you have an enclosed motif, the whole motif will be blue AND the center will be opaque or filled in.
  20. Once you have the main body of the mixer drawn, you may need to adjust your lines to better align them along the lines of the drawing.  In order to see your tracing lines, you may need to turn off the Hide/ Show Autofill button.    Hint: Toggle this on and off as you are drawing to make sure you have closed motifs or can see the tracing lines.
  21. Choose Edit button and click on the segment in the area that you want to adjust.  You should see line segment highlighted with two handles.  You can use the handles to move and adjust the nodes of the line segment to better match the drawing.  This takes some practice, move the handles, move the notes and you will get the hang of the adjustments.
  22. There is an option to add more nodes to the segment to allow more flexibility when adjusting the line shapes. To add a segment, Click the Edit button and click on a segment, then click on Add a Node. Practice a few times to see how your adjustments work.  When you like the result, add your drawing to the sketchbook.
  23. Continue to draw each applique motif.  As you draw each motif, add it to the sketchbook so you have a recent backup in case you need to step back to draw a motif again.  Extend the shape if it will be covered by another motif to avoid gaps in the applique pieces.  Use the Bring to Front or Send to Back tools while drawing to position the layers of the motifs.  In the drawings above, the first drawing has autofill off and shows the overlaps of the shapes, the second drawing has autofill on and shows the motifs layered.
  24. Once you are satisfied you have drawn and adjusted all of the motifs, add to sketchbook.
  25. Go to the Color tab and add colors or fabrics to your mixer.
  26. Let’s take a look at printing the applique pieces.  Go to the Print & Export tab, select Print, Templates.
  27. Since we are going to use a fusible backing to create these applique pieces, we do not want a seam allowance .  We also want to mirror the motifs since we will draw them on the fusible backing to attach to the wrong side of the fabric.  Uncheck the seam allowance box.  Check Mirror block.  Select to print a Large Key Block.

  28. Taking a look at the key block, you will find the applique pieces are in alphabetical order which corresponds to the order of adding the applique pieces, building them from the bottom up. then the next page to print is your actual applique templates.  Remember: This was an 8″ block size, but you can resize your mixer to whatever you want with your EQ8 tools.

Congratulations!  You have now created your own applique templates for the kitchenaid mixer.  EQ8 provides the tools to create any applique from your hand drawn creations.

Now that you have designed this cute kitchen applique with EQ8, why not add this applique to something fun?  You can find  the applique templates and see an adorable apron where I added the applique on my Lori Miller Designs Blog

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.   She loves designing using Electric Quilt 8.  You can follow her quilting adventures on her blog at or on instagram @lorimillerdesigns

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

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – EQ8 Update Insider Block Worktable

Posted 05-03-2019 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori  

Hello!  Have you been following along with the EQ8 Update Insider?  Here is the last insider post of the new EQ8 Updates for the Block Worktable.   As of March, 2019, there is a new free update to EQ8 that is loaded with New Features, Enhancements and Fixes.  If you own EQ8, you can download this update for free! If you missed my previous two posts, check out the General Updates including how to download the update HERE and get the scoop on the Quilt Worktable updates  HERE. Lets explore the Block Worktable Updates. Thicker lines when drawing on the Block Worktable You now have the option to make the drawing segments thicker on the DRAW tab only.  This may help you to see your drawn blocks with more clarity since the lines will be easier to see. To turn thick lines ON, click the gear button on the main toolbar of the Block

EQ8 Lessons with Lori – EQ8 Insider Update Quilt Worktable

Posted 04-26-2019 by | Posted in: EQ8 Lessons with Lori  

Welcome back to the EQ8 Update Insider.  As of March, 2019, there is a new free update to EQ8 that is loaded with New Features, Enhancements and Fixes.  If you own EQ8, you can download this update for free! In this EQ8 Update Insider,  we are going to take a look at some of the Quilt Worktable Updates to the program. Solid Seam Allowance Lines You could always print seam allowance lines with dashed lines.  Now you have the option to print seam allowance as a solid line.  For many folks, this solid line is easier to see on their printers.  Since everyone’s printer is different, see what works best for you. You can find this checkbox option in the Print dialog box for Templates And in the print dialogue box for foundation patterns. Thick Seam Allowance Lines You can also now display thicker seam allowance lines on Template and Foundation printouts.