2019: A Year to Remember

As the year comes to a close, we are filled to the brim with joy here at Missouri Star. Truth be told, we hadn’t done much reflecting on what this year truly meant for us until it was time to sit down and write our annual Year in Review. Once, we got started, it seemed the list of things we did this year would never end!

As we looked back over the past twelve months in amazement, we were so touched by the love from our followers, support of our customers, the selflessness within our quilting community, and the hardworking, kind hearts of each and every one of our team members.

Celebrate the end of 2019 with us as we share some of our favorite things:


A GRAND OPENING!

Back in June, We opened a new Education Center here in Hamilton where we hold classes for quilters of every level! Come to Missouri Star and enjoy a hands-on class with our quilting experts!

VIEW THE IN-TOWN CLASS SCHEDULE >

Can’t make it to town? No worries! We also released several online classes this year!

BIRTHDAY BASH

This year we said a big ALOHA to our 11th year in business with a lovely luau-themed Birthday Bash. It was definitely a party to remember! Over 2,000 quilters came to Hamilton, and it was so much fun. That more than doubles our town’s population! Wow!

For our birthday, we asked for the gift of helping others and you did not disappoint!

THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO CELEBRATED WITH US AND HELPED TO GIVE BACK!


MISSOURI STAR CARES

This year we launched a brand new charity organization called Missouri Star Cares. Quilters are some of the most caring, giving people we know. You’ve inspired us to give back to our hometown, our country, and our planet.

Our first Missouri Stars Cares was a fabric donation drive in which we vowed to donate 1 yard for every 25 yards purchased to Quilts of Valor & Project Linus. Our drive lasted a total of 13 days in November during which time we came close to our goal of 2,500 by reaching 2,149!

And we can’t forget our $10,000 donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation wouldn’t have been possible without your support! All through October, we fought breast cancer one stitch at a time by shopping pink!

THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN HELPING US TO GIVE BACK!


STRIPE TOLD OUR MISSOURI STAR STORY IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY


A CELEBRITY VISIT!

We had the honor of hosting Maureen McCormick, (AKA Marcia Brady)! We laughed, cried, and laughed some more! Let’s just say we had a BUNCH of fun!

WATCH JENNY & MAUREEN TALK QUILTING >


THE APPRENTICESHIP

For the first time ever, a collaboration between Missouri Star Quilt Company and North Central Missouri College resulted in an apprenticeship program. Consisting of 21 of our team members, all completing the registered apprenticeship program through the US Department of Labor, earning certificates and college credit. Read more on the blog >

CONGRATS TO OUR GRADUATES!


CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF MISSOURI STAR WIN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

WATCH ALAN DOAN & MIKE MIFSUD’S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH >


TOP THREE TUTORIALS OF 2019

TURNABOUT GRANNY SQUARES | ANTIQUE LACE | RICKRACK


What was your favorite Missouri Star Moment of 2019? Let us know in the comments!

A Quilt-crastinator’s Gift Guide: 5 Last-Minute Hand-Sewn Gifts

Checking your list and realizing you forgot a few people? No worries! It happens to the best of us and guess what?! No one has to know! With these quick projects, your friends and family will be wondering when you had the time to whip up something so wonderful!

Gather up your scraps and start making!


Make some Mug Rugs to give away at the next Christmas Party.
These would make great stocking stuffers!

Missouri Star Mug Rugs, Periwinkle Table Topper, DIY Coasters

You’ll need:

WATCH THE TUTORIAL


Put together a personalized Pillow Case for someone you love.
Elegant, whimsical, simple, argyle? What fits your loved one’s style? Make it theirs.

Missouri Star Pillow Case, DIY Pillow Case

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 yd fabric for body
  • 1/4 yd fabric for cuff

WATCH TUTORIAL


Whip up a Scrap Buster Table Runner for a friend to display in their dining room.
Have an over-abundance of scraps? Make this runner reversible so your friend can use this gift no matter the occasion!

DIY table runner, scrap buster

You’ll need:

  • 8.5″ solid square
  • Several 2.5″ strips
  • Several 2.5″ squares
  • Binding Tool

WATCH TUTORIAL


Create a fun Zipper Pouch for a child to store supplies and treasures.
Make the project twice as fun by re-using one of their empty candy bags!

DIY pouch, zipper pouch, coin pouch

You’ll need:

WATCH ZIPPER POUCH TUTORIAL
WATCH CANDY BAG TUTORIAL


Keep your loved ones warm with a Cuddle Scarf.
Keep it solid or use fun prints to make your gift more special.

Cuddle scarf, DIY scarf

You’ll need:

WATCH TUTORIAL


Of course, if you’re real behind, a Missouri Star e-gift card never fails! Happy Holidays!


Have you ever given or received a hand-sewn gift? Show us in the comments!

Families Who Sew Together, Stay Together

Creativity starts in the home and then follows wherever we may go. As parents, grandparents, aunts, or uncles we all hope we are instilling the right amount of imagination and creativity into our little ones.

From backyard adventures to far away lands, to blanket forts and box castles, to treasure hunting with toy ships and chocolate gold, our little ones are always there to share with us their need to create.

Allow their imagination to grow while enhancing their skills! Teach your littles to sew with these fun projects:

The Cut, Sew, Create collection is a good place to start. Each kit has skill building levels from beginner to intermediate to advanced. Here are a few of our favorites:

Try this intermediate Monster Zipper Pouch Kit, by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda. It includes instructions and a 100% cotton panel. Grab the kit and don’t forget to choose a zipper before you check out!

For your little first-time sewers, this beginner Animal Pillows Kit by Stacy Iest Hsu for Moda is great! It comes with a 100% cotton panel that will make a sloth, unicorn, and llama pillow set. Also included is a practice sewing session!

Jenny has made a quilt for all twenty-two of her grandchildren, but she also has just as much fun making with them as she does for them. I fact, a few of her grandkids have starred in some of our Missouri Star LIVE mini tutorials! So pull up a seat for yourself and the kids and start watching. This holiday season, make something together!

Easy Elephant Appliqué // Simple Bow Tie // Simple Skirt

Do your kids sew? What are some of their favorite things to make?
Tell (or show) us in the comments!

A Look Inside BLOCK Magazine: Winter 2019

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” -Ira Glass

A Note From Jenny Doan, BLOCK Magazine Winter Issue 2019

After the winter holidays, I like to write down the moments that made me smile. Like the care that went into a handmade gift from a grandchild, the friendly chatter around the family dinner table, and the sweet older lady who talked to me at the post office. Every day there’s something to remind me there is good in this world. These little moments make up each day and when I stop to appreciate them, it changes my perspective, and ultimately, my life.

Our lives are composed of small moments that make up our stories. Taking the time to recognize them and record them creates a narrative that connects generations. And quilting is another way of telling our stories. Each quilt begins with a moment of inspiration, a desire to create something beautiful and show we care. When a friend or a family member needs some extra love, I may not always know the perfect thing to do or say, but I know of at least one way I can help. Quilts communicate love beyond words.

If you’re ever wondering if your stories matter, take heart! They matter more than you’ll ever know. For the first time ever, this issue of BLOCK features stories from you, our readers. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! It has been a joy to read over them. We sincerely wish we could include them all. If you would like to submit your story for a future issue, we’d love to listen. Send it to us at blockstories@missouriquiltco.com. Here’s to a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and many more stories to come.

Love,
Jenny


Behind the Scenes of BLOCK Magazine Volume 6 Issue 6

One of the photographs in this issue was taken above Missouri Star’s Penney’s Quilt Shop. It’s a spectacular space that has yet to be renovated and still holds the heart of Hamilton’s history within its walls. To keep to the authenticity, we modeled two of our very own employees: Joe Morgan, our amazing carpenter who has played a huge role in the renovations of most all our buildings and his sweet wife, Elizabeth, who can usually be found in our Kids & Baby shop.

During this shoot, the photography team got to work closely with Jenny and some of her family. Jenny and Ron posed together for a snugly shot while her son, Alan, his wife, Drea, and their sweet baby Porter modeled for a cookie exchange photo-shoot. Jenny’s grandson, Porter, loved being the center of attention and put on a great little show!

Get a sneak peek of what’s inside this issue…

Here are just a few quilts you’ll find in our next issue, featured in different colors and new collections! Within this magazine, you’ll find that each quilt pattern is tied to an inspiring story and beautiful photography!

Each issue includes 10 patterns plus a few of Jenny’s special projects! That’s over $50 worth of information all packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions)

Subscribe by November 25, 2019 to get this issue in December!

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE TODAY!

While we’re buttoning up the odds and ends of this next issue, would you help us choose the front cover? We just love them all!

BLOCK Magazine Cover Voting Winter Issue 2019

Click HERE to send in your vote! Thank you!

Already subscribed to BLOCK Magazine?
Tell us what you love most in the comments below!

Meet Missouri Star Academy Instructor, Patsy Thompson

Our newest Missouri Star Academy instructor is Patsy Thompson of Patsy Thompson Designs. She is an expert in free motion quilting using rulers. As you scroll through this post, you will find some of the most beautiful quilts quilted and designed by Patsy! Get to know her a bit more and fall in love with ruler-work quilting in her class, Beginning Free Motion Quilting with Rulers!

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

When did you first give machine quilting a try?

In the year 2000. I had been a hand quilter for over 20 years, and when I would see machine quilted quilts at shows, I thought of them as “cheater quilts.” I figured I could quickly learn to machine quilt, and I was so, SO WRONG!! It was very hard and took me a couple years of what felt like endless practice! I am very glad I didn’t give up, though, because I love to free motion quilt!

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

When you started, did you first use rulers or are they something you came to use later on?

Oh, gosh, no! I had been free motion quilting for many years before I tried rulers. Back when I did start, there were no ruler feet for home machines and we had to improvise. Nowadays, the market is very much geared to the home quilter and there’s a ruler foot for pretty much any machine that’s available.

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What advice do you have for someone just starting out with ruler work?

Get ready to have fun! It will feel very strange/awkward when you first start out, but stick with it and soon it will feel completely normal to be holding/moving the quilt and a ruler simultaneously. The learning curve for ruler work is much faster than for regular free motion quilting, so it’s worth giving ruler work a shot even if you’re a beginner free motion quilter.

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What advice do you have for someone who just started machine quilting?

I know that no one wants to hear these words, but keep practicing, then practice some more. It’s all about putting in the time. I would also start with much smaller projects. There are really two very different skills you need to free motion quilt:

  1.  You need to learn how to control the quilt sandwich underneath the needle to create an appealing design.  This requires you learning how to move the quilt from point A to point B to point C to create the design, and also how to do the “dance” between how quickly you move the quilt across the machine bed and how fast you run the foot pedal.  This set of skills is best learned on small quilt sandwiches.
  2. You need to learn to handle the quilt from the standpoint of a mechanical engineer.  A quilt is big and bulky and has a weightiness that will always be pulling against you until you learn how to position it to avoid drag.  When you’re a sit-down quilter on a home sewing machine, you also have that small harp space to contend with.  I don’t think about any of these issues anymore because it is second nature to me how to position/manipulate the quilt as I work, but when you’re first learning to free motion quilt, you’ll really need to focus on how to overcome these challenges.  
Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Do you have an all-time favorite quilt that you have quilted?

I have two all time favorites. Both of them have some hand-dyed cotton sateen fabrics in them, and there is something about those luscious colors that thrills me as I am quilting! They both have a lot of ruler work quilting, and also lots of feathers, so they each have many of my favorite parts of quilting.

Where do you look for inspiration in your work?

Pretty much everywhere.  I am very affected by color, especially rich, saturated colors, so I generally find myself stimulated by colors I see in everyday things.  I also am aware of combinations of colors (i.e. colors next to one another) that I find pleasing.  Those combinations will frequently find their way into quilts!

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

How long have you been teaching classes and what do you enjoy most about sharing your skills?

I taught my first class in early 2002. A friend of mine talked me into it and I remember being SO nervous driving to the class, questioning how I let myself get talked into doing it, wishing I could somehow get out of it. By the end of the class, I felt so exhilarated by seeing all these students learning how to free motion quilt, that I never questioned teaching again.  The best part of teaching is seeing a student realize that he/she can “do it.” There is nothing like the thrill of being a part of that spark! 

What are the must have tools for ruler work you always have on hand?

A ruler foot that fits your machine, machine quilting rulers/templates, and either a plexiglass extension table for your machine or the ability to sink the machine so it is flush with the quilting surface. You’ll also want marking tools (to mark your starting/stopping points), a seam ripper, and I like having a short ruler (6-8 inches long) for any measuring/marking that need to be done on the fly.

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What is your favorite ruler to use/design to make when machine quilting?

Arc rulers, for sure! You can make so many different types of designs with arc rulers, and the more curves you have at your disposal, the better. Arcs RULE!!

START MACHINE QUILTING WITH RULERS

What is your favorite machine quilting design?
Show us in the comments!