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Lori Miller & EQ8

January 17, 2019

Hello!  My name is Lori Miller and I am teaching Electric Quilt classes at Decorative Stitch.  I am an EQ8 fanatic and use it to design quilts, blocks and more.  I am excited to share with you this wonderful world of design.

A little about me, I have been sewing since I was 11.  I mostly sewed my own clothing but did make a scrappy quilt to take to college.  After I married and had my son, I started making quilts for him.  Then I started designing quilts.
I was using graph paper and pencils to create my quilt designs when I discovered EQ7.  I treated myself to a copy of the software and never looked back.  I started designing quilts and blocks using all of those creative ideas in my head.  I submitted my designs to magazines and put together my own original patterns and Electric Quilt made that process so much easier.
But you don’t have to publish your own designs to love EQ8.  It lets you do so many things easier to create a beautiful quilt or cherished gift.
Here are my top 5 reasons to purchase and use EQ8 Quilt design software.

1) You can start designing right away with over 6000 pre-drawn quilt blocks.  They have traditional pieced, applique blocks, paper pieced, you name it, that are all copyright free and ready for you to use.  There is even a book with all of the blocks, I like to peruse it and get ideas for future projects.

2) You can size your blocks and quilt to any size you want.  Do you have a 6 inch block that you want to be 12 inches? With a couple of key strokes, you can have the larger size.  Need to change a twin size quilt to a queen size, just add more blocks with a few clicks.  If I don’t like something, it is so easy to make the changes and look at the quilt virtually.  I can easily make updates and changes until I like my design.

3) You can use actual pictures of your fabric to try out in your quilt design to see how it looks before you even cut the fabric.  Some manufacturers provide the pictures, like in my Baby Bandit Raccoon quilt.  I used the actual fabric pictures before I made the quilt.

4) You can print out lots of information, like how much fabric yardage you need.  You can even print out the templates, paper pieced patterns and rotary cutting instructions for your quilts and blocks.  It is so helpful when you start to put your quilt together.

5) Help is available in whatever way you need it.  You can call, chat, email or go online to a huge support database to get answers and help for whatever you are designing.  The staff at Electric Quilt is super helpful and will definitely point you in the right direction for whatever issue you are having or any help you may need.

Have you always been interested in design or are ready to go to the next level with EQ8 Quilt Design Software?  I am offering Beginner, Advanced Beginner and Skillbuilder classes to learn EQ8 at Decorative Stitch.  I will be there to help you and inspire you in the design process.  I am looking forward to meeting you!

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 stitcher.  Sewing since age 11, Lori has deep roots in sewing and quilting traditions that add a unique dimension to her designs.  She loves designing using Electric Quilt 8.  You can follow her quilting adventures on her blog at or on instagram @lorimillerdesigns.  Follow her EQ8 lessons on the Electric Quilt Blog

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Why Accuquilt?

July 19, 2018

I have only been “Quilting” & “Sewing” for about 10 months now and I have to say I am officially addicted! I have made two quilts to completion and a really cute tote bag. I have 5 projects “In Waiting” and a very large fabric stash that continues to grow. However, my newfound quilting reality almost wasn’t. I took a terrific “Learn to Quilt” class right here at Decorative Stitch where I learned the basic foundations of quilting. I also leaned how to properly measure and cut my fabrics, measure twice, cut once. As I started to assemble my blocks I quickly became aware that many of them were different sizes and there was no amount of creative sewing that was going to mask my measuring and cutting mistakes. I, like any other crazy perfectionist that struggles having to try, try again did what one should always do when faced with a struggle; I quit. 

Yep, you read that correctly, I placed that gorgeous fabric in a paper bag and slide it right into a drawer and walked away. I felt defeated and ruined, I added this attempt at creating and failing to a long list of crafty failures. A little side note about me, I suffer from ADD and mild dyslexia. A perfect formula for struggling in the real world. As an adult I have structured my life around my little shortcomings and that includes the long list of things I just don’t do because my brain doesn’t work like others and it can be very embarrassing to share this fact. But this time, sharing is just what I did. I talked about it, and just like that, a door was opened to me.  I was introduced to the Accuquilt Cutting System ( insert angels singing here ). 

Accuquilt cuts with fine precision any shape in several sizes therefore I don’t have to spend hours and hours attempting to cut my fabric into the shape and size I need while risking inverting numbers in my head and not realizing it until I am trying to piece blocks together.  I really wanted an enjoyable hobby that had zero limits in creativity and I found that in Quilting; and using Accuquilt made it possible! 

I now jump into projects with what I can only guess is the same awesome confidence that someone without my disabilities does. I am making and designing quilts (i.e the quilt featured with this blog post). It’s amazing when you can just get an idea, cut out some shapes, arrange them on a design wall and fall in love with it.  Then cut and piece away knowing that every piece will be fitting perfectly and every block will be the correct size, as long as I nail that quarter inch seam… 

But thats a different story! 

To learn more about Accuquilt and how it can make your quilting experience more enjoyable come join us in August for an Accuquilt Event! 

Click Here For More Details! 

*Blog Post written by Brandi Briggs

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Working with Twin Needles

July 14, 2018

There are so many tools that come with our sewing machines these days, have you used every single one of them? Don’t be ashamed to admit if you have not, you are not alone! One of the things we spend a lot of timing filming at Baby Lock is what in the world to do with all of those accessories! Each time I make a new video with the team, I’m inspired by either a tool I haven’t used yet, or a new way to use something I “thought” I knew what to do with.

In light of that, I thought it would be fun to start a new blog series about some of those lesser used accessories. Sound good? Let’s start with the twin needle!

Every one of our Baby Lock machines comes with a twin needle, and a lot of other machine manufacturers throw one in, too. Fun fact* When we film the “Getting to know your….” series of videos where we show you how to use each machine, one of my camera guy Gym’s favorite parts is “the big reveal” where I flip over the twin needle and show it off! It’s a funny little thing we always do.

So what is a twin needle? It is a needle with two “pointy parts” and one shaft to insert into your machine. Make sense? You do need to use two spools of thread, but only one bobbin. Adding that extra spool of thread is no biggie, simply place the second spool on either your bobbin winding spool pin or an upright spool pin. Then just thread the two together and separate them once you reach the eyes of the needles. You end up with perfectly straight parallel rows of stitching, think of top stitching with a double row of stitches but only having to go around your garment once. This can give you the look of a serger cover stitch. It is also beautiful for decorative stitching, I absolutely love how a twin row serpentine stitches looks when used for quilting!

Our machines comes with one – this is not the only wing needle you can use with your machine. There are several different variations: size (distance between needles), actual needle size (75, 80, 90) and needle type. Choosing which twin needle to use should be based on the type of fabric you are using, the thread type and which stitch you would like to use. I like to call this the recipe for stitching success, let’s unpack that a bit, shall we?

Fabric: just like when stitching with a standard single needle, the type of fabric you are using should determine the needle type. For example, if you are working with knit fabrics, you should use a knit needle. A knit needle is designed with a softer ball point so that it can fall between the fibers of your knit fabric with each stitch rather than cutting a hole in the fibers which may grow as a stretchy fabric is stretched.

Thread: Any time you are sewing, thread type should be considered in determining needle choice. If you are working with a thick thread, you are going to want a larger eye in the needle so the thread doesn’t rub against the needle as you stitch which can cause shredding or breaking of the thread. You should also use specialty needles when working with specialty threads such as metallics, some needles have a specially designed eye and scarf to prevent breaking of metallic threads due to the friction and heat caused as you stitch.

Finally, Stitch Selection: What is the end result you are looking? As mentioned above, are you hemming or topstitching? For that you would likely want a straight stitch and you could use any sized needle. If you are working with a decorative stitch, there is a bit of an equation to be done. If your machine, like mine, has a 7mm stitch capability, that is about how big the opening in the foot and needle plate of the machine is (maybe just a skosh wider, but not much). If you select a decorative stitch that is already 5 mm wide, that means your needle will swing left and right a total of 5 mm. If you select a 4.0 twin needle, you are adding quite a bit of extra width to your stitch and this may cause your needle to hit your foot.

To avoid any problems that may result from using a twin needles, always test before your sew. I like to test my stitch on a scrap of the fabric from my project. If I find that my fabric is raising between my needle lines and I don’t want that, I’ll add some starch or stabilizer to my fabric. Maybe I like how it looks when the needle adds texture, sometimes we end up with an unexpected surprise! On your first stitch, before you “put the pedal to the metal,” be sure to turn your handle toward you slowly and watch where your needles are going to land. Be sure that they can move up and down, side to side with out making contact with the presser foot!

As always, the best thing you can do when trying out a new technique is to play, practice, and try new things! The only thing inhibiting you is your imagination and willingness to explore new techniques.

*This post was originally posted on
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Cabins of The Carolina’s

July 14, 2018

Let me tell you about my Cabins of Carolina quilt…

Last fall, I was so pleased to be able to host my buddy Denise Schober as a guest on “Love of Quilting”. Together, we created and presented “Cabins of Carolina”, a bright, cheery quilt featuring fabrics from the Mayfair collection by Paint Brush Studios.

This quilt has some history: I’ve worked in the sewing industry for about 15 years now. My very first year I was asked to go to Houston International Quilt Festival to assist in the classrooms sponsored by the sewing machine brand I previously worked for. I got to sit in on a “Let Me Surprise You” class by the hilarious and talented Charlotte Angotti. To say I was inspired is an understatement! I dreamed for a decade about being able to host my own Mystery Quilt Retreat. Once Decorative Stitch opened up ( my Quilting store in Shelby Township, Michigan), I had my venue and decided it was time. I teamed up with Denise and we created the original version of Cabins of Carolina which was a GORGEOUS holiday inspired quilt.

At our Mystery Quilt retreats, we precut all of the fabrics and everyone shows up to a surprise. Nobody attending knows anything about the quilt when they arrive on the first day. Together, we open a pizza box with all of the pre cut fabrics and start to create. One block on the first day, another block on the second and at lunch time on day two – the Big Reveal. It is so much fun listening to the ladies wondering what the quilt will be and watching the fabrics come to life as they sew! It truly is one of the most gratifying classes I teach.

Creating a second version of this project for the show with Denise made the experience all the more special! For me, sewing, quilting and teaching really is a way to connect and share love with my friends and family. Being on set with Denise and sharing our “Love of Sewing” with all of you brought that quilt, Cabins of Carolina, and my early aspirations as a teacher, full circle.

Here’s the good news, you can join in on the fun, too! We have kits for Cabins of Carolina available on our new web store at! You can purchase the kit for $99.00 plus tax & shipping. As an exciting bonus, if you haven’t already purchased the May/June issue of Love of Quilting for the pattern, don’t stress because you will receive a copy signed by both Denise Schober and myself!

Happy Quilting and I hope you enjoy your Cabins of Carolina!


*This content was original post on 



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A Little Bit about Decorative Stitch

March 6, 2018

It’s been almost 4 years since Decorative Stitch has opened their doors and if you ask several of their customers, they will tell you it has SEW changed their lives! With lots of classes monthly and a staff full of knowledgable sewers, embroidery enthusiasts and all around fabricholics you can always find what you are looking for at Decorative Stitch.

Decorative Stitch was founded by Sara Gallegos, Host of Fons and Porter’s “Love of Quilting” and Mary Verstraete. This step-mother, step-daughter duo  removes any and all negative condemnations to the term “Step”. Just spend five minutes with them and you will quickly see that they are the best of friends and the closest of family!

While Mary oversees the day to day operations, Sara is hard at work developing the education of the store staff, teaching all types of awesome classes and making sure those that purchased their sewing, embroidery and serger machines from Decorative Stitch receive free owners lessons to assure they are getting the most out of their machines.

Need a sewing, embroidery or serger machine repaired? No worries, Decorative Stitch has you covered as they offer “In-house” certified repair of Baby Lock Machines. Don Calderone, the  “in-house” repair technician also services and repairs most brands of sewing, embroidery and serger machines.

In need of a new sewing, embroidery or serger machine? These ladies have you covered! From travel machines to longarm quilting machines, Decorative Stitch has it all! Did I mention that you receive FREE owners lessons for the life of your machine?

From fabric to notions to machines to classes, Decorative Stitch truly has something for everybody. Stop in today and check them out!!

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