We chat with quilter and contributor Lori Miller.
Originally posted on March 20, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda
We caught up with Lori Miller, whose quilt “Concentric” is in issue #22 of Modern Quilts Unlimited. She was able to tell us a little about what’s going on with her and her quilt adventures!
Lori, thanks for talking to us! so, when did you first learn to sew? When did you make your first quilt?
I learned to sew at age 11 after begging my mother for a long time. The first thing I made was a beautiful, red plaid double knit pant suit. I still have it. I mostly sewed my own clothes, but I made my first quilt the summer before college. It was made with blocks of fabric scraps from sewing clothes and the back was a J. C. Penney sheet. I quilted that baby without a walking foot and it was quite the challenge.
What is a technique that you have never tried that you would like to?
I do like to try new things, you never know where inspiration will come from! I definitely want to try English paper piecing because of the portability. I am looking beyond the hexie to the Brimfield block and Honeycombs and squares. I also like tiny piecing, the trend to make micro quilt blocks. The look is amazing. It would be fun for small gifts and maybe help bust that scrap basket,
What about the Modern aesthetic appeals to you?
I like the bold, rainbow colors, simplicity, negative space, and nod to tradition. My brain does not work well to create with the improvisational style of piecing, it wants some kind of order, so I tend to lean toward modern traditionalism.
Concentric by Lori J. Miller
What advice would you give to a beginner in quilting?
Join a guild, take classes, try new things. There is an incredible wealth of information online, I wish it had been available when I started. Just keep sewing, the more you stitch, the more confident you get. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you are starting out, if you learned something new, it is a good thing. Find a group of like-minded folks, online or in person, so you can ask a friendly group questions, get help, share quilt information and just have fun.
What kinds of fabrics are your favorite to work with?
When I am designing quilts, I tend to use solids. Everyone can find a solid in colors they like and there are so many companies to choose from, all have a different feel and texture, so I explore them all. I also like the texture of a linen or peppered cotton for backgrounds. My huge stash of scraps, vintage from my Grandma to the current day, inspires many scrappy quilts. I am amazed when you jumble them together and magic happens. I am also a sucker for precuts, in bright and lovely colors, prints or solids.
What kind of projects are you working on next?
I am still dabbling with a few curved piecing designs that create interesting shapes. I am also trying some paper pieced designs, in large graphic shapes. That is new to me. I like learning new things too and end up incorporating what I learn into my next designs. I usually have a few smaller quilted items in the works, I love a quilted gift like eye glass cases or coasters. Handmade love is the best.
Thanks for talking with us, Lori! To see how to make this quilt, check out the latest issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited! To see more of Lori’s work online, check out her website at www.lorimillerdesigns.com.