Sewcial Distancing with Jenny Doan

With seven children under the same roof at one time, Jenny and Ron are pros at finding creative solutions for common family chores, like the ever-present loads of laundry and nightly gatherings around the dinner table.

Jenny sat down to share some of the creative solutions she’s learned from parenting her seven children, like how to assign laundry and dinner days. Watch below as she shares her thoughts on how to tackle these daily household chores.

Now Available at Missouri Star: Liberty Fabrics!

In 1875, Arthur Lasenby Liberty opened Liberty on Regent Street in London. He sold imported goods from the East such as ornaments, textiles, and artifacts. The imported goods went so quickly, Liberty opened an in-house studio in which to design and print their own fabrics. Now, 140 years later, Liberty is internationally recognized as a leader in print design and textile innovation.

Each collection designed by Liberty is inspired by some form of worldly art – architecture, history, music, florals, etc. A new collection is released each season and every season the fabrics tell a new story.

Each design is created by hand using a variety of techniques: paint, pencil, ink, and even computer textile packages. Their methods are very traditional with fine detail, intricate patterns, and original color palettes.

We’re happy to announce we now carry three Liberty collections here at Missouri Star!

  • Originally designed for Liberty Fabrics in 1933, the Wiltshire collection has been transformed into a two-color silhouette creating the perfect blender. Tonal leaf and berry prints are available in multiple colorways, designed to coordinate with our vast archive of Liberty prints for a seamless mix-and-match effect. 
  • The Winterbourne collection draws inspiration from the Arts and Crafts movement – a creative period from c.1860-1910 when English designers led a return to high quality, handcrafted pieces, creating elegantly stylized interpretations of botanical and historic motifs. It’s available in three complimentary colorways.
  • The Flower Show – Spring collection drew inspiration from British flower exhibits. Traditionally screen-printed onto soft Lasenby cotton, the collection includes quintessential 1930’s florals, re-imagined from our print archive. Illustrating Liberty’s rich heritage of floral design, the collection offers a tonal palette that compliments Spring.


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 Here’s to a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and many more stories to come.


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!


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!

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Tell us what you love most in the comments below!

The Keeper of Kansas City Star Quilts: Edie McGinnis

Edie McGinnis is one of our pattern writers here at Missouri Star. Some of her amazing Kansas City Star quilt collection is currently on display until Dec. 4 at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. Read on to learn about how Edie started quilting, collecting quilts and her time at the Kansas City Star in her own words.

Edie McGinnis at Missouri Star Academy 2018
Edie shared quilts and stories at Missouri Star Academy earlier this year.

Before I began working as a pattern writer at Missouri Star Quilt Co., I spent many years of my life working for The Kansas City Star newspaper. I began in the composing room making up pages of the newspaper, bounced into the photo department, where I learned how to work with digital photos using Photoshop, then on to the newsroom where I answered phones and worked as the editor of the Star’s Block of the Month program as well as editing other quilt books and writing a few of my own.

Just before going to work at The Star, I had decided that I would like to have a quilt. My mother-in-law had lovely antique quilts, and there was always one on the bed in the guest room. I had never been around handmade quilts before. And it didn’t take me long to fall in love with those pretty old scrappy things that I could never look at enough. Every time I looked, I spotted a different fabric that I’d not noticed before.

Whirlygig Hexagon Quilt currently on display at the National Quilt Museum.
Whirlygig Hexagon Quilt

Surely I could make one! I knew how to sew and even though I didn’t own a sewing machine, I could stitch them by hand. After all, that’s how quilts had been made forever, right? I gave it a whirl and loved every step of the process. So began my quilting journey.

When I first began quilting, I had no idea that my work life and my hobby life would collide and turn into another career.

One day a friend of mine brought about 10 feed sacks to my home that her mom had saved from the 30s and 40s and gave them to me, thinking I might be able to use them to make a quilt. I thought and thought about how to use them, what pattern to use, what might look perfect for fabric from that era. While at the grocery store, I picked up a quilting magazine and found the pattern for the Whirligig Hexagon quilt. The magazine article talked about it being one of the patterns that had been published in The Kansas City Star. Wait! What? The Kansas City Star had published quilt patterns?

Pineapple Cactus Quilt on display at National Quilt Museum.
Pineapple Cactus Quilt on display at National Quilt Museum.

Yes, indeed they had, over 1,000 of them beginning in 1928 through 1961. I was so excited to learn all I could learn about the patterns. I found original patterns that quilters had cut and saved in scrap books and boxes. I collected all that I could find and I thought it would be wonderful to redo the patterns and put rotary cutting instructions with them and add in a seam allowances whether anyone else thought that was necessary or not.

I haunted the office of each publisher as they came and went. I told each inhabitant of that office that everyone was making money off of the Kansas City Star patterns but The Kansas City Star. Usually the response would be along the lines of, “Well, you know, my grandma used to quilt …” Or, “Yeah, well, we’re a newspaper and we don’t have much to do with quilting in this day and age.”

Missouri Star Academy attendees were treated to one of Edie’s famous trunk shows. Pictured are two versions of the Rocky Road to Kansas Quilt.

Then in 1999, The Star began a book publishing division and suddenly, those old patterns became books waiting to happen. And there I was, the only person at The Star who knew how to quilt. Kismet!

I became an advisor, then an author as well as an editor. I got to go to Quilt Market, set up the booth, recruit other authors and became the editor of The Star’s Block of the Month program. Eventually I worked solely for Kansas City Star Quilts and became the Associate Editor.

And when I could, I picked up an antique Kansas City Star Quilt. One at an antique shop here or an auction there or maybe even while cruising through eBay. Antique dealers at quilt market were a great resource. How I loved going through their stacks of beautiful quilts! So many choices in their booths!

Basket of Chips Quilt
The Basket of Chips Quilt, part of Edie’s trunk show at Missouri Star Academy.

I kept adding a quilt here and there and before I knew it, I actually had accrued a nice collection. They weren’t always pristine and many were a long way from perfect. But each represented the pattern from which it was made. The saddest part of my collection is that the quilts have no provenance so I don’t know who made each particular quilt.

Word got out about my collection and this spring I received a call from Frank Bennet at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. He wanted to know if I had at least 32 Kansas City Star quilts. I told him I thought that was possible. Then he asked me if I would like to curate an exhibit of Kansas City Star quilts at the museum this September.

Cowboy Star Quilt
The Cowboy Star Quilt, currently on display at the National Quilt Museum.

How could anyone say no to such an opportunity?

The exhibit opened September 7 and runs through December 4. The museum is located at 215 Jefferson Street, Paducah, Kentucky, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday all year long. March 1 – November 30, it is also open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

And me? I still barely can believe I’m getting to do this!

Edie and Jenny at Missouri Star Academy in 2018.
Edie and Jenny at Missouri Star Academy in 2018.

2017 Stitched Together Story Contest Winners

As part of our Annual National Quilting Day celebration, MSQC has hosted a story contest for the last four years. We’re happy to share our three winning stories from this year’s contest. I say I’m happy, but I’m actually so sad that we only get three winners. These stories are truly amazing and so many of them touched my heart. But if you enjoy reading them as much as I do, don’t worry! I will be sharing more of them throughout the year each week as part of our Stitched Together series in our Daily Deal email (sign up to receive it in your inbox daily HERE), and including them in our next Stitched Together book.

Quilters know, when something isn’t right and it seems there’s nothing you can do about it, you can quilt. The winning story in our annual Stitched Together Story Contest will hit home to all of us who have waited, loved, and quilted. A big thank you to our anonymous quilting friend for sharing with us.

“As a thirty-four-year-old, I was finally about to become a mother. But the question was ‘When?’ My husband and I had been married almost five years and were deep into the paperwork and emotional ups and downs of international adoption. We were assigned a baby boy. Weeks would go by and we would hear nothing, then a letter from his foster mom arrived, and on a really good week, we would receive pictures. ‘When?’ That was always the question.

“The ache was deep. The wait was agonizing. We both longed for a child. God did not bring our dreams about the way we hoped. I felt helpless. I had to DO something! So I did what I loved to do since I was ten. I sewed. We were preparing his room, and I decided to make a quilt. This was 1991 and there were no ideas on Pinterest, no online classes to learn to quilt and no computer for that matter! I had never made a quilt before!

“I loved bright colors, and I thought all boys loved cars and trucks, so I went to a fabric store and picked a brightly-colored cotton fabric covered with modes of transportation. I copied and enlarged those little figures to make appliqued trucks, cars, planes, boats and trains. I was doing this for him. Really? Really it was for me! As I sewed, I felt like he was almost with us. I was connecting my heart to the precious little life I did not yet have in my home – my love grew with each block and stitch. I was comforted by the whole process. I even made his crib sheets out of the colorful fabric. But when would he get to cover up with his quilt? When would we be able to snuggle on his bed? When?

“I made the quilt top, and paid someone to hand quilt the layers. I was so excited. I was doing something for the little toddler miles and miles away from us. I made a simple small pillow out of the quilt fabric, and sent it to El Salvador hoping it would arrive safely and that he would hug it and smell a little of me!

“We received the first precious photo of him when he was six weeks old. Finally, when he was 20 months old, my husband and I traveled there to meet him and bring him home. The three-day journey was emotional and incredible, one of the best times of our lives.

“Three other adopted children and twenty-five years later my quilting skills grow, and my love continues.”


In El Salvador: We received this picture while we were in the waiting process; our son is in the upper left corner, and I was thrilled to see his little pillow in the picture!


At home: Our little guy and daddy reading on top of his quilt; his little pillow on top of the large pillow.


When he was three, the pillow case fabric was thread-bare! We finally had to get rid of it.

Close to his college graduation, and upon taking his first career music job, I made him two other quilts.


Our 2nd story comes from Molly and it’s about the power of teaching others to quilt.

“’Hey everyone, Tammy finished her first quilt.’ I hold up the pink and purple rail fence quilt for all to admire. Her classmates clap; Tammy beams.

“I’m a member of Coffee Creek Quilters, a group that teaches quilting to women incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. There are four weekly two-hour classes, each with twenty students. Each student makes three quilts. We donate the first two quilts to various organizations for hospice patients, kids in foster care, and the like. Students can keep the third quilt, which is a very big deal when you live in a prison dormitory where everyone wears navy blue and orange. Some do keep their third quilts, but quite a few give them to family members, kids and moms.

“People often ask how we structure our quilting classes. In some ways it’s the same as a class in a quilt shop. Instructors explain the basics of cutting strips of fabric with rulers, rotary cutters, and mats. Students learn to thread a sewing machine, sew quarter inch seams, and follow a pattern.

“In other ways, CCQ classes are very different. Prison security rules require that we count every pin, needle, and rotary cutter blade before taking them in to class. We pass through a metal detector before entering the dining room where class is held. And there are restrictions on the color of clothing we can wear, such as no blue jeans.

“Our goals are similar to quilt shop classes, but with some differences. We want our students to become proficient in quilt-making techniques. But we also strive to teach patience, perseverance, problem-solving, and the importance of quality work. We work to nurture our students’ self-confidence and self-esteem, attributes that we hope will help them to be successful at living in the community after release from prison.

“It takes around eighteen months for students to go through the CCQ program. During that time we gradually get to know each other. Last week Tammy said her daughter’s birthday is coming up, Maureen told me she’d applied for the eyeglass program, and I heard that Jamie is learning math in her quest for a GED certificate. I told the story about how good it felt seeing a resident in my Mom’s memory care community bundled up in the yellow and green churn dash quilt I had made.

“Some of our students come to love quilting just as much as we do, while others decide it isn’t their cuppa darjeeling. Everyone who completes the class is eligible to receive a ‘release kit’ when they’re released from prison — a used sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins and needles, rotary cutter and mat, and a selection of fabric and batting to make their next quilt.

“Next week I plan to bring my latest project, my purple rain quilt, to class for show ‘n tell. Because that’s what quilters do.”

Our 3rd story comes from Suzanne and it’s full of love and generosity. Thanks for sharing!

“My twin sister and my twin daughters are all fabulous, experienced quilters, but for years now I have declined to quilt. I have been an avid and even professional seamstress in my years but quilting was just something I didn’t think I had the patience for.

“My sister’s son, my nephew, is a Blackhawk Helicopter pilot in the Army and was sent to Kosovo for a period of time, approximately one year. She lovingly made him a quilt and sent it since it was winter there and she wanted him to be warm. He cherished it and so did his other twenty-seven compatriots. Then my sister got the wonderful, generous thought to make all of them quilts… WAIT, HOLD ON… how can you make twenty-seven more quilts and get them done and sent in any reasonable amount of time? I had to help. Yes, I had to help, even though I had only made two very simple quilts with my daughters’ help at the time.

“We battened down the hatches and asked people to help. We tried to raise funds to cover the enormous cost. Many friends and family gave to assist in this endeavor although we did not reach our goal on a crowdfunding website. No matter, we forged ahead. What began as “I’m not going to let her do this alone, I have to help…” ended with a heart wrenching (in a good way) call to arms to help. Many of the people who made quilt tops we did not even know, a very humbling action for strangers to do for others. They were friends of friends. It was so good to see people step up to give to our servicemen and women and they were so very grateful for the love, thoughts and quilts they received.

“Some quilters received letters but all received a wonderful certificate made by the troops and sent to us in gratitude. They also took pictures of each serviceman and woman receiving the quilt and sent them to us. In total we received or made thirty-four quilts in about two and a half months. Thank goodness the troops are now returned from Kosovo and they held a special thank you ceremony upon their return for my sister. She received a framed certificate of thanks with everyone’s name who assisted in our ‘Quilts of Valor’ project.

“Needless to say, I am now a quilter and it usually takes first choice in what I wish to do each day. I fell in love with it and I was so wrong about not having the patience to quilt. Quilting is like life, one square at a time and it’ll come together just fine!”

The only thing I love more than quilting fabric is quilting stories. Got a good one? Send me yours at for the chance to be featured!