Which Quilt Block Are You?

Which Quilt Block Are You?

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You have probably seen those fun quizzes that have been flying around the internet, “Which Disney villain are you?” “Which ice cream flavor are you?” or “Which 80’s hair band are you?” Well, today we’ve got the quiz of all quizzes prepared for you, “Which quilt block are you?” Answer a few questions, and we’ll peer into your soul to discover which quilt block represents the real you!

A Day in the Life of a Fabric Order

A Day in the Life of a Fabric Order

Ever wondered what happens after you click “submit” on a Missouri Star Quilt Company fabric order? Here’s a behind the scenes look at the process! It’s a day in the life of a fabric order! Because we are an online AND brick and mortar shop, it’s a little different than a warehouse with everything under one roof. Ready to see the process?

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Meet Stephen. He’s shopping at missouriquiltco.com and places an order for the Daily Deal. On this day, it’s a charm pack of the Frost fabric line. A steal of a price, too! While he’s at it, he adds a yard of Kona Solids fabric in Snow. Gotta build that stash!

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His order is fulfilled from two separate places here at Missouri Star.  All precuts (and notions, books, etc) are stored in the warehouse and are picked there. The yardage, though, comes from one of our four fabric shops. In this case, his Kona Snow comes from Penney’s Quilt Shop, where our solids are sold.

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At the solids shop, bolts to be cut for orders are picked and stacked at a cutting counter. (Say, “Hi, Cindy!”) The cutting counter crew cuts these orders AND takes care of orders for people who are shopping in store. As you can imagine, it’s a busy place!

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Then the order is cut…..

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….and labeled with a sticker that has a barcode.

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It’s then scanned and placed in a numbered bin. When the tag is scanned, the system tracks the numbered bin all the way to the warehouse.

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The bins travel to the warehouse in a horse drawn carriage (with the high school marching band playing in the background, of course). Or something like that.

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At the warehouse, the shipping department takes over! The pickers pull orders in batches. Each batch fills a cart of 15 orders at a time. Pickers wear iPads that help them know where to go in the warehouse to find each item in the order.

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The screen even displays how many of each item to put in the bins. This particular cart has orders that all include the Daily Deal, so what you see here is the number of Frost charm packs to put in each bin (or order). Stephen’s charm pack is in one of these!

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The picker finds the charm pack location…

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…and tosses them into each bin for the orders on the cart.

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Then it’s off to the shipping stations where Stephen’s order is wrapped and labeled for shipping.

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The jolly postman comes for pick up and the order is whisked away, off to Stephen’s house!

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We hope this peek behind the scenes helps you to know what’s happening with your order. As you can see, some orders come from one spot (for example, if you order all precuts, they are all at the warehouse) while other orders come from multiple places (where it gets really fun). Let’s make a pretend fabric order for that:  Say you ordered a precut (from the warehouse), a yard of Christmas fabric (which is cut at Sew Seasonal), some Civil War yardage (which is cut at the Mercantile), a yard of the latest Bonnie and Camille fabric (which is cut in the main shop) and a few yards of coordinating solids (which are cut Penney’s Quilt Shop). The five pieces of your order will come from five different spots, all meeting up at the warehouse with matching barcodes. It’s pretty cool, actually!

We’re settling in at the new warehouse , getting used to our new system of picking orders and are working SO hard to get back to same day shipping. You can bet there will be a giant celebration as soon as that day gets here! We’re deeply grateful for the patience and support of our incredible customers. YOU ROCK!

Lemon Fresh Productions: the new filming studio!

Lemon Fresh Productions: the new filming studio!

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Today we’re giving a behind the scenes tour of Lemon Fresh Productions, the new filming studio where Jenny films her tutorials. The studio is on the upper level of one of the buildings we’ve renovated here in downtown Hamilton. Lemon Fresh is owned by Jenny’s son, Jake!

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Jake films Jenny’s tutorials as well as videos and tutorials for others. Because of the busy filming schedule, this space isn’t available for tours. We hope this peek is a good stand in for you!

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If you’ve ever been to Jenny’s house, you know she loves antiques, but Jake isn’t crazy about them.  We wanted a modern space that would give us room to change things up since Jenny is just one of many people that we work with. (But she’s the coolest one!)

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So Jake and Ron built Jenny some awesome shelves out of antique doors, brought in some of her fun knick knacks and worked with her to create a set that felt like home but that isn’t a permanent fixture of the overall studio. Everything in each set is on rollers so we can move things in and out easily depending on what we are filming each day. 

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The studio features a bright open office space, large film studio, hair and makeup area, kitchen, and sound recording area. We wanted to make sure that we used every inch of the space to it’s full potential and we feel like we’ve done that.
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It’s still a work in progress but we absolutely love having the room to grow!
Nostalgia and Warehouses

Nostalgia and Warehouses

Today’s post is a heartfelt one, written by Al. We hope you enjoy it as much as we have.
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Growing up brings about so many nostalgic moments.
This weekend was a huge one for our company.  HUGE, I tell you!  HUGE!
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Almost six years ago, we started our company in a great big 5,000 square foot building at 100 N Ardinger in Hamilton, Missouri.  It was way too big for us! We refinished the front 1,000 square feet to be our shop and went to work refinishing that space.
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We tore out the paneling and put up some fresh paint and a new floor and that room was great.
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We got our first internet orders there and we would all package the 3-4 orders a day right up and send them off right from the cutting table.
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As we continued to grow, we built a little shipping department in the back, then a machine quilting room.
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Once it became more than just Becky and Jackie answering the phones, we moved our customer service into their own room.
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Eventually, the shop moved to the main street (where it remains today) and that 100 N Ardinger building became strictly shipping and customer service.
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And then it wasn’t big enough for that, even! It was crazy, but we needed more space for our customer service team and a loading dock. Ammon (our warehouse manager) made a great forklift, but his arms were getting tired!
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About a year ago (August 8th of last year, actually) we decided it was time to build our own custom warehouse for our shipping and customer service.  We had all kinds of cool stuff that needed to be in there. We needed a way to get fabric cut in the shops and then connected back into your orders so they get shipped out in a timely manner. We wanted ways of organizing products so that we could always find them, even when we were down to that very last charm pack. But mainly, we needed space.
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So we got building! Winter came and snowed us out for a few months, but we kept going.
This last weekend, we finally moved our shipping over to the new warehouse.
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There were so many moving parts to this move. Did we think of fire extinguishers? What about chairs for the breakroom? (sorry everyone!) Carts for the pickers and bins for the carts? We got bins for the charm packs and layer cakes, but what about notions? What do those go into?
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The move got more and more complex, and was a pretty stressful time for a lot of us. And now (making sure no order was lost in the mix) we are working hard to get everything up to snuff.  Now we have the room to finally hire a few more shippers and get our feet back under us. Our goal by the end of the month is to be back to getting your orders out the day you place them. We are excited!
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With all that hubub going on, I was a little surprised at some of the feelings.  Sarah, Natalie, and myself were sweeping out the 100 N Ardinger building on Saturday night. After everything had been moved out of the front rooms and it was just a few empty shipping tables and shelves, we tidied up the floor and then all sat down and were overcome with this nostalgia.  We’re definitely not sad. This is exciting! We have needed more space for so long!
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But it’s weird, you know? It’s weird to grow up.
We were laughing about the early days there. How every package that has ever been shipped from our company had gone through that tiny room we were all cramped in. Hundreds of thousands of orders have been fulfilled from there. (!!)
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We recalled the days the A/C unit would quit and we’d just sweat and ship.  We remembered how (even before that) we had the Friday night sews, with people sitting on top of people.
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It’s also where the first tutorials were filmed with a little camcorder!
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Just to have those walls remember such wonderful times choked me up a little.
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A lot of companies have a garage that is their very, very beginning. Ours is that building on Ardinger. It’s that small room in the front where it all started, with Mom and a long arm machine and two shelves with a half dozen bolts of fabric.  And it’s great to remember that, I think.
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I asked Sarah what we should do with that building now. She’s not sure, but one thing is for certain. We’ll keep that front room just like it is. No matter what else we end up doing, we need to be able to walk back in there and remember those feelings that keep this business so exciting.
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I’m definitely not sad to be moving on from there. We are excited to be growing, but there’s a big part of me that will just miss walking in there every morning to tackle the day.
That being said, it’s nice to finally have room to park!  :)  Thanks for the journey, everyone. Here’s to another great era in our new warehouse!  Thanks for sticking with us while we improve and learn. I promise you’ll like what we have up ahead!
-Al
Meet Missouri Star: Cassie & McCall

Meet Missouri Star: Cassie & McCall

Cassie

Cassie

Cassie is a quilter in our long arm department and has been at Missouri Star for six months. She’s got a pretty cool sewing story!

Do you sew? I did not sew before becoming employed at MSQC. However; working in quilting and seeing everyone’s amazing creations is so inspiring, I’ve got a couple projects of my own going now as well as a list of future ones!

Do you have a favorite fabric? Civil War prints!

What’s the best thing about your job? It’s so wonderful to have a job that I look forward to every day. I love seeing all of the finished quilts that come through our quilting department; the talent, creativity & effort put into each quilt is incredible.

McCall

McCall

McCall is our Summer Hospitality Management Intern and has been with us since February!

Any special experience that helps you with your role? For me it is the other way around… Later on in life I will be able to say that MSQC gave me experience. I have learned SO much about the hospitality industry this summer. It had been an awesome experience!

Do you have an interesting story about how you got the job? I started in the shipping department as a member of the original night crew my senior year of high school. I worked part time after school & on weekends, and full time the summer. That was the summer I learned why my parents are exhausted come Friday! Then I went off to school at University of Missouri, Columbia to study Hospitality Management. Knowing that the company was going to finance restaurants I talked to Al about connecting me to the right people to be able to work there (not that I didn’t want to work at MSQC, but I needed experience in the industry of my major). Little did I know, I would be getting plenty of experience. This summer I am covering every sector of Hospitality Management: Food & Beverage, Event Planning, Tourism, and Hotels & Lodging. I work in Poppy’s Bakery during her busy times. I am the coordinator for the company’s summer out door theatre events, Movies In the Park. I give company wide tours to our customers. And, I am the Retreat & Sewing Center’s assistant coordinator.  I am most commonly found in the Retreat & Sewing Center with Jean. That place had become my summer home. The running joke is that I do almost everything besides anything with quilting. But truly, in this company you can’t escape the quilts!

Do you sew? Yes! When I arrived home after my first day of work back in February of 2013 there was a brand new Singer sewing machine sitting on my counter top, courtesy of my grandma. She was SO excited for me. With the soon arrival of my new baby cousin, Haley, my mom and I got started on a quilt for her using my new machine. We chose a chevron quilt made with Ty Pennington Fall 2012 and white. It turned out great and is still her favorite quilt! I hope to start on my second quilt some time this summer. And this time it will be for myself!

Do you have a favorite fabric? I am in love with Rowan Jones! The colors are mellow and aztec is just funky enough for me.

What do you like best about your job? My co-workers are the best thing about this company. In shipping I had many co-workers, but now I work very closely to Jean, the Retreat & Sewing Center coordinator. She is a saint. Hands down.

Anything else about yourself that you wish to share? My boyfriend Riley and I have been together for two and a half years. He is a welder and is currently working a pipeline job up in North Dakota. We rock at this long distance stuff! I have 5 siblings, an older brother, two sisters in middle school and 2 brothers in elementary (basically the Brady Bunch). We have a lot of fun when we are all together. Family first! My hobbies are baking and crafting. After graduation and before I start my family I hope to flip houses in my free time. My addiction to HGTV is responsible for that dream.