Shannon Cuddle Retreat Recap // May 2016

Shannon Cuddle Retreat Recap // May 2016

When my brother was a baby, he was obsessed with a particular fluffy blanket; he reminded me so much of Linus from Peanuts, the way he would carry it around with him. It was just a little bit of worn-out polyester fluff by the time he was grown, which was proof of how much it was loved.

Turns out, he wasn’t the only baby who loved soft, fluffy things – many quilting mothers and grandmothers can attest to this, along with the wealth of baby blanket patterns out there. One of our favorites is the Self Binding Baby Blanket, especially when made with Shannon Cuddle. It’s just so soft and comfy that even adults want one!

self binding cuddle thumbnailWhile it’s wonderful to whip up one of these fast baby blankets on your own, one of the best ways to do it is along with like-minded people! The Sewing Center became a softer place last week when MSQC played host to the Shannon Company for their first ever Cuddle Retreat. Prior to the retreat Shannon held all days classes for the MSQC employees.  We had thirty employees who came to the center to make strip quilts for the little ones in their lives. As you can see, we have some eager students among our ranks! Just look at those attentive faces!

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Someone who definitely loved the Cuddle workshop was Shelby McCoy, one of the wonderful employees who works in our shops.

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She had a blast working with Cuddle and making a sweet blanket for her little boy. Just look at how excited he is about his new blankie!

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The following day the thirty plus women who came to retreat enjoyed learning about the Cuddle product and it’s use in the quilting world.  Mary Gay Leahy was an excellent teacher that Shannon sent to teach and instruct our attendees. These thirty women made a variety of cuddle quilts which they displayed during Show and Tell at the end of their four day retreat.

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Mary Gay taught “pop up” demonstrations in Penny’s Quilt Shop through her time on campus.  A surprising amount of women chose to try the Cuddle products for the first time and their results were inspiring.

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It was such a fun retreat, with so many wonderful quilters from all over the United States. If you would like to attend an upcoming retreat, be sure to visit Missouri Star Quilt Company Retreats & Events!

Feed Sacks – (Call for Stories!) Mother Necessity’s Sewing Champion

Feed Sacks – (Call for Stories!) Mother Necessity’s Sewing Champion

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Feed sacks are the perfect example of a utilitarian product turned into something beautiful. Our friend Janine Vangool (creator of UPPERCASE magazine) recently introduced us to a forthcoming book from UPPERCASE, written by author Linzee Kull McCray, who explores the history of the humble feed sack, from a plain burlap or cotton sack to exuberantly patterned and colourful bags that were repurposed into frocks, aprons and quilts by thrifty housewives in the first half of the 20th century. Extensive imagery and at-scale reproductions of these fabrics create an inspiring sourcebook of pattern and colour—and offer a welcome visit to a slower-paced way of life.

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We just love to hear your stories of quilts and quilt tops made by mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers, and so many of these heirlooms are made from feed sacks. They were often made from scraps left over from sewing clothing for their children. This makes them gorgeous artifacts of a time gone by, when women found a way to make something beautiful from every bit of leftover fabric they had.

While there’s plenty of history on feed sacks and the ways they were used, we’re looking for more personal stories from the people who experienced them firsthand. We’d love to hear your stories and answers to the following questions:

  • Do you have a feed sack quilt made by a female relative?
  • Did you or someone you know ever wear a garment made from feed sacks?
  • How and where did they get the sacks?
  • What kinds of things did they make with them?
  • How did they feel about feed sack clothing/household linens?
  • Do you have any connections to historical feed sack manufacturers, designers or things of note?

To answer these questions and have your story included in this publication,  please fill out the survey form HERE! We can’t wait to hear from you! The form will close on July 25th, so don’t wait!

If you’d like to know more about the book, check it out HERE!

Throwback Thursday: Exploding Block Quilt

Throwback Thursday: Exploding Block Quilt

Guess what day it is?! That’s right, it’s Thursday! Time for another throwback here at MSQC. I love looking at all of the beautiful quilts posted on Quiltsby.me, like this gorgeous Lattice Quilt done by user @NURSEAE.  Isn’t it gorgeous??

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday #msqctbt tutorial, we’re going back to the Exploding Block! This is one of my personal favorites and it’s so fun to make! Have you made any projects using this block?

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If you have an Exploding Block quilt or project you’d like to share, go on over to Quiltsby.me and post your project using the hashtag: #msqctbt

We can’t wait to see all of your beautiful projects! Make sure to come back next week to see if your quilt was featured!

If you are new to Thowback Thursday and/or Quiltsby.me, here is a previous blog post that can help!

Happy Thursday and Happy Quilting!

Project Notes Notebook (Free Printable and Tutorial!)

Project Notes Notebook (Free Printable and Tutorial!)

If you’re like me, you scribble notes about your project on whatever is nearby. A receipt, on the back of junk mail, etc. That’s why I love this little notebook! It’s so easy to make, and full of graph paper, which is perfect for figuring out the specifics of your next quilt (and keeping them all in one place)!

In less than an hour you can make one of your own. And the best part is, you probably already have everything you need.

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What you’ll need for one notebook:

1 sheet of 8.5 x 11 cardstock in your favorite color
5 sheets of 8.5 x 11 printer paper or graph paper
About 3 feet of book binding string (or embroidery floss will work fine, too!)
Sewing needle
Rotary cutter, ruler, and mat
And this file, printed onto the sheet of cardstock

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Step 1: Print the free .pdf onto your cardstock. Use your ruler to measure 5.5″ and cut the paper in half. Fold in half as shown in this picture. Now you have two covers. Hopefully you’ll love the first one enough to make another for a friend!

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Step 2: Open the cover and starting 1/2 inch from the top, make a mark every quarter inch along the spine ending 1/2 an inch before the bottom as well. Poke a hole with the sewing needle on each mark.

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Step 3: Then cut and fold the graph paper just like you did the cardstock.

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Step 4: Using the cover as a template, poke holes in the inside paper, a few sheets at a time.

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Step 5: Once your paper is all folded and punched, it’s time to start sewing. Start on the top hole, and draw your thread through the cardstock and all five sheets of inside paper. Sew back to the outside.

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Step 6: Double knot the string and clip the end.

Step 7: Go back down the second hole. Once you are inside the book again, come back up the third hole and loop under the thread between the first and second hole. Then go down the third hole again. Repeat down the entire spine.

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Step 8: Once you get to the end, come out the last hole, loop through the previous threads one more time and tie it of with a double knot. Trim the ends of the thread.

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This is what the inside and outside will look like:

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Step 9: Using your rotary cutter and ruler, trim the edges of your book so they are uniform.

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You’re all done! Wouldn’t these make such a great gift with a charm pack or two? Enjoy!

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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!