Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day!

Happy National Sewing Machine Day! A world without sewing machines… I don’t even want to think of it.

Picking out a sewing machine is like buying a new car. There are endless options with varying features and details, all of them will get you from A to B, but the best part is the ride. If you’re going  to log a solid 12 hours on the sewing machine, you better enjoy the ride because everyone knows that the best sewing machine is the one being used!

Which brings us to today’s subject, the Baby Lock Jazz Sewing Machine! Baby Lock Sewing has so graciously offered a machine for us to give away, so we just had to choose the Jazz! It is fast, smooth, and easy to operate.

Here are some of the reasons we love it:

  • 12 inch workspace to the right of the needle… plenty of room for maneuvering large projects
  • Sews up to 1,000 stitches per minute… super fast and super accurate!
  • 28 unique stitches… well-equipped to take your creativity to new heights
  • 9 feet attachments
  • Needle Threader
  • Knee Lifter
  • …and so many more features!

Choose how you want to enter below and we will choose one winner for the sewing machine on Monday, June 19th, at 5pm! We will also choose 6 people to each win two yards of a sewing-themed fabric!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Your Guide to MSQC Machine Quilting Services!

Your Guide to MSQC Machine Quilting Services!

Have you ever tried Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Longarm Machine Quilting Services? Here are some of the questions we get the most! If you have any other questions, make sure to add them to the comments!

Machine Quilting Services

machine quilting services questions

How do I prepare my quilt for shipping? We recommend that you place your quilt top into a plastic bag before you ship it to us, so it is protected on the way.  We also suggest that you insure the package when you ship it just to further protect your quilt.  Also, do not forget to include your order number and phone number!

How much extra backing do I need to send? We need 4 inches on each side to be able to sandwich the layers and secure them onto the longarm quilting machine.  So, for example, if your quilt measures 50×50 then your backing needs to be 58X58.

What do I need to enclose with my quilt? Please include your order number and phone number in case we need to contact you. If possible, you can just print out the confirmation email and include that with your shipment. As long as we have your order number and your phone number, that will work just fine!

Can I choose two different threads? For quality assurance, we always use the same color on the top of the quilt as we do in the bobbin. Using two different colors can sometimes cause tension issues and there is no way to guarantee that only one of the colors will show on each side of the quilt.

Do you have invisible thread? We do not offer invisible thread.  We use high quality Omni thread. If you don’t want to see the thread, we will try our best to blend the thread color as much as we can to make it appear invisible!

I have a block/border that I do not want to be quilted. Can you cut it out? Cutting out blocks and borders falls into the custom quilting category and we are not able to offer custom quilting.  We offer edge to edge quilting services only, so the same pattern will be used from top to bottom, left to right.

Can I send in my own batting? Yes, you can send in your own batting. We do offer batting, which is included in the price for quilting services, so the price will be the same whether you provide the batting or we do. If you do decide to send your own batting, make sure it is larger than than your quilt top to make sure we have plenty for your quilt sandwich.

I have multiple quilts on my order. Do I need to do anything special when I ship them? It is perfectly fine to order more than one quilt at once, but we would love it if you would attach a piece of paper to each quilt top indicating the stitch pattern and size of each quilt top, so we can ensure we use the correct instructions for each quilt. Please also put the top and backing of each separate quilt in its own bag or tie them with a ribbon, so that we don’t accidentally mix up backings and tops.

Is the return shipping included in the price? Yes, the standard shipping rates apply.  If your order is under $100, a return shipping cost of $5 will be included in your order. If your order is over $100, the return shipping is free.  We always insure the packages to their final destination and a signature will be required.

What is the turnaround time? We do our best to keep the turn around time to about 4-6 weeks. However, there are peak times (holidays and special event seasons) where the wait time can be longer. If you have a special deadline, please plan accordingly or give us a call/email to see what the current turn around time is. Please allow an extra week or two for binding. There is also a special deadline for quilts that need to be delivered by Christmas. That cut off date will be specified in early Fall each year.

I have a label. Will you attach it for me if I send it? We currently do not offer the service of attaching labels, but are considering it for the future. We recommend that you attach the label before sending it to us.

I want to add prairie points to my quilt. Do I need to do that before it is quilted? If prairie points are attached prior to quilting, they will be stitched down using our edge to edge quilting method. We cannot quilt around them. That also applies to open/pocketed flying geese, flanged borders, ric rac or anything else that is not completely attached to the quilt top.

I want a different thread color than the choices you have listed. Is that an option? Yes, we have a rainbow of thread choices available. So if you choose blue or green, we pull many colors, lay them out on the quilt tops, see what blends best and narrow the choice from there. Unless it is specified that you want your thread to stand out, we will generally try to blend the thread colors to make them the least noticeable as possible. If you have a more specific request, please include that in the comments section with your order.

I see there is a comment section when ordering my quilt. What type of comments should I include?  Your phone number is always a great thing to include in the comment section.  From time to time we may need to contact you with questions about your quilt and it is usually quicker and easier to do that by phone. Also, please include anything you would like us to know about your quilt, such as deadlines you are trying to meet or any personal significance that might help our machine quilters provide you with the best experience possible. We cannot promise that all deadlines will be met, but we do our best each time. If your deadline requests cannot be accomplished, we will contact you. There is no such thing as too much information!

If I elect for Missouri Star’s Binding Fairies to bind my quilt, do I need to send the fabric already pieced together in a long continuous strip? It is completely up to you.  Our binding fairies use 2.5 inch binding so if you piece and iron your binding at home please use 2.5 inch strips.  If you want us to make your binding for you that is fine please just include enough fabric for us to cut 2.5 inch strips.

Broken Dishes Tutorial Reboot with Guest Quilter April Rosenthal

Broken Dishes Tutorial Reboot with Guest Quilter April Rosenthal

Hello sweet friends! My name is April Rosenthal, mama to three lovies, wife to my high school sweetheart, designer for Moda, and the chickadee behind Prairie Grass Patterns, my quilt pattern company. I started quilting in earnest nearly 15 years ago as a way to cope with infertility–and over the years quilting has become a beautiful part of my story. I look back on the quilts I’ve stitched and patterns I’ve written and fabrics I’ve designed and realize that if I hadn’t had the harrowing trials that led me to quilting, I would have missed some pretty amazing people and experiences.
broken dishes reboot april rosenthal
I’m so excited to be a guest blogger today to show you my version of Jenny’s “Broken Dishes” tutorial!
I decided to use my good friend Amy Smart’s new fabric collection, Gingham Girls–it is SUCH a fun collection full of nostalgic prints and patriotic colors! As soon as I saw it, I knew this fabric needed to be a new soccer quilt for our family–our old one is getting pretty ragged. Once I knew I was making a soccer quilt, I wanted to make something quick and easy to put together–because soccer quilts get USED–but I wanted to do more than just sew squares together.
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I used Jenny’s tutorial exactly as she describes in the video, except with one change: Instead of using charm squares, I upsized to layer cake squares. This one little change means that you can grab 32 layer cake squares and whip out a whole quilt speedy fast! I had a great time stitching around each layer cake pair, as Jenny demonstrates. I was even able to let my 9 year old daughter stitch up a few, it was that easy!
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To make a quilt like mine, simply make 4 sets of layer cake pairs, one dark and one light, all using the same dark color. I used various low volume fabrics for my light choices, because low volume hides grass stains better! These 4 sets will be stitched around, cut apart and reassembled just like the tutorial shows to make 4 identical blocks.
Assemble the blocks to make a jumbo block.
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Make 4 jumbo blocks.
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Stitch 2 blocks together in rows, and then stitch the rows together.
I backed this quilt with a perfect slub denim chambray and machine quilted it with a baptist fan pattern with a swirl. I used this super fun yellow plaid to machine bind with a zigzag stitch, a technique I like to use for quilts that will likely be drug around by tired sweaty children. 😉
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This quilt goes together lightening fast, and I’m super tempted to repeat the process and make a much larger quilt with 9 jumbo blocks just because it would be so easy! Mama’s bed needs a new quilt!
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I would love to see your versions of Jenny’s Broken Dishes tutorial, and get to know you better! You can find me on Instagram @amrosenthal, Facebook at Prairie Grass Patterns, and my website www.aprilrosenthal.com
xoxo
April
How to Cut a Fat Quarter!

How to Cut a Fat Quarter!

Quilter’s Confession: We love Fat Quarters! We love to collect them, pet them, admire them… but why is it so hard to cut into them?

Known by many as the “original precut,” the fat quarter is a staple in any fabric stash! It is so versatile and the perfect size for so many quick little projects!

our world fqb

So, what is a fat quarter, you might wonder? Well, it’s a quarter yard of fabric total, but not the way you would get a quarter yard of fabric cut off a bolt at your local quilt shop. It’s actually a half yard of fabric cut in half (on the fold). So, 18×22″. Some people prefer a fat quarter to a normal quarter yard cut because it allows you to see bigger prints better and is an easier size to work with. Or, if you’re like me, you can just collect them if you LOVE the fabric and can’t think of leaving the quilt shop without it, but don’t have a specific project in mind for it yet.

Wonderland by Riley Blake Fat Quarter Bundle

Which brings us to today’s topic. How do we bring ourselves to cut up that beautiful, perfectly-sized piece of fabric? There are some great options! Here is a great infographic that you can download to help you plan your next fat quarter project!

How To Cut a Fat Quarter

 

Click Here to Download the PDF: How to Cut a Fat Quarter

These diagrams were featured in the Spring 2016 issue of Block Magazine in Jenny’s Classroom. You can find it HERE.

Shop all Fat Quarters HERE!

We can’t wait to see what you’ve created with your freshly cut fat quarters! Share your projects on social media using #msqcshowandtell!

Happy quilting!

World Health Day: Make a Quilt to Celebrate Your Healthy Lifestyle!

World Health Day: Make a Quilt to Celebrate Your Healthy Lifestyle!

Don’t eat sugar. Don’t eat carbs. Eat your veggies. Watch your portion size. Take your vitamins. There is a long list of things we’re supposed to be doing if we want to be healthy. But the truth is, sometimes it’s hard and sometimes I just want some chocolate!

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Did you know that today is World Health Day? It’s a great reminder for us to show our gratitude to healthcare professionals, medical researchers, dietitians, and all the people who have caused improvements in the health and well-being of our society as a whole. When we think of good health, we usually think of our diet, but there is more to good health than just what you put into your body. Good health is a lifestyle. To me, good health means filling your days with the things that make your life better and make you feel better (which may even occasionally include chocolate, right??). It means taking time to slow down and relieve stress, spending time outdoors, increasing your energy and strength through exercise and activities, and even exercising your brain!

I don’t know about you, but when I’m passionate about something (or maybe I just need a good physical reminder), what do I want to do? Make a quilt about it! So, I’ve decided to hand select some of our wonderful fabrics that might help you to celebrate the activities and habits in your life that contribute to your good health and happiness.

tossedveggies

Good Foods and Cooking

Ann Wigmore (1909-1993), a Lithuanian–American “holistic health” practitioner and raw food advocate, is known for her quote, “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” Some say that may be an over-simplified perspective, but we know that the foods we eat can affect our energy levels, moods, emotions, level of focus, and so much more. Generally, the better we eat, the better we feel (though a little bit of chocolate can work wonders for our moods. Moderation is key, right?). Some people even find that the process of preparing those good foods to be therapeutic and relaxing. Here are some wonderful fabrics that represent good foods and cooking good foods (and make sure to make yourself a fun apron, so you can do it in style)!

johnsgardenparty

Gardening, Farming & Homesteading

Did you know that there are microbes and good bacteria in dirt that actually boost your immune system and improve your mood? While gardening, working, and playing in dirt, it is actually making our bodies stronger and less likely to develop asthma and allergies. Do it in the sun (with the appropriate protections), and your body will also get the Vitamin D that it needs (Vitamin D helps our bodies absorb calcium better, making our bones stronger — a deficiency can lead to more serious conditions).

farmfun

Become One with Nature

Fresh air! Hiking, camping, glamping (for those of us who would rather “rough it” with air conditioning), whatever it may be, we’ve got a fabric for it!

Majestic Outdoors - Majestic Eagle Multi Digitally Printed Panel

Slow Down and Enjoy the View

Nowadays, our society as a whole is expected to multitask, over schedule our lives, sacrifice sleep and then drink coffee necessary to stay awake. Even writing that sentence was exhausting and doesn’t sound fun OR healthy! If one of your healthy habits is slowing down to relieve stress, then you might enjoy these fabrics:

tidepool

Sports

Sports may not be for everyone, but they are a great way to introduce children to the benefits of living an active life! We have so many great sports fabrics to choose from including licensed prints like NFL, NBA, MLB, MLS, NCAA College Sports, and so much more.

Sports Kids Fabrics at Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Patterns

When you’re working with themed fabrics, you might want to choose a quilt pattern that will really showcase the prints in the fabrics. Here are some great quilt patterns to choose from:

Share

Just like a quilt that is personal, individual, and unique, so is a person’s “healthy lifestyle.” Whatever it is that you like to do to stay healthy, we can’t wait to see the quilts you make to celebrate those things! I will tell you one thing… I believe that quilting keeps us young! So, add quilting and sewing to your list of healthy habits! 🙂 We would love for you to share your World Health Day-inspired creations on our social media channels using #msqcshowandtell! Happy quilting and Happy World Health Day!

Even if you’re not ready to make a quilt today, we’d love for you to share your favorite healthy habits and hobbies with us! Leave a comment and tell us what you love about it!