Behind the Scenes: BLOCK Magazine

Behind the Scenes: BLOCK Magazine

BLOCK Magazine is an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. When you flip through these fresh, glossy pages you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! You’ll be left to wonder, “Who are these people surrounded by beautiful quilts and pretty props?” or “Who wrote that inspiring story?” and “Who in the world pieces together all these quilts!?”

We want to introduce you to the team of around 40 people who bring BLOCK Magazine to life! Take a peek into all the hard work, creativity and just pure love that is poured into each issue!


Executive & Managing Editors

Natalie and Jenny

The design of a quilt is decided by Jenny Doan and her daughter, Natalie Earnheart. They choose patterns and themes and then request the fabric they want to use. Once the fabric arrives, they team up with sewists, Carol and Janice, to complete the quilt tops.





Executive Editors include Mike Mifsud, Alan Doan, Sarah Galbraith, David Mifsud, and Jenny Doan. Natalie Earnheart is Managing Editor.


Sewists, Quilters, and Binders

“I’m a sewist so I help piece the quilt tops… I love that I get to be a small part of inspiring people who read BLOCK magazine. I have visions of people sharing their love of others through the gift of quilting… I have been a model a few times for the magazine and that has been really fun. Something I never thought I would get to do.” – Carol Henderson

Jenny Doan, Natalie Earnheart, Carol Henderson, and Janice Richardson make up the sewist team for BLOCK.

Piecing, Quilting, Binding

After the sewists piece together the quilt tops, they are sent over to our Machine Quilting department of over 20 skilled longarmers. Here, the quilt tops receive batting and backing and are then carefully quilted. After, the sewists stitch on the binding and then voilà, a finished quilt ready to become the star of the latest BLOCK issue!


Pattern Team

Before the quilt tops are quilted, they are sent to our pattern team to examine. The pattern writers will then write step-by-step instructions on how to create the quilt. They figure out yardage requirements, tools needed, and outline every little action needed to be taken in order to complete a quilt and send them off to the editors. Once approved by the editors, the pattern is sent back to Carol and Janice for testing. When the sewists give the okay, it is ready the talented designer, Tyler, to whip up some illustrations for our readers to have a visual representation for each step in the pattern. After one last review by all, the pattern is ready to featured in the next BLOCK Magazine!

Pattern Team and Editors
Here the Pattern Team: Jessica Toye, Denise Lane, Tyler MacBeth, Edie McGinnis go over final drafts with Creative Director: Christine Ricks, Managing Editor: Natalie Earnheart, and Executive Editor: Jenny Doan.

My favorite part of my job is working with such a talented group of people.  And how we all work together to put together something that we can all be proud of.” – Denise Lane

I love seeing BLOCK come together. It is so much fun to see a quilt in its earliest form and work on the transition to what our readers see in the magazine.” – Jessica Toye


Copywriters

Nichole, our lead copywriter, collects the memoirs of Missouri Star family members as well as inspiring stories from quilters from all around the world to plan story prompts for BLOCK. Then, Nichole, Camille, Julie, and David will craft beautifully written stories that go along with each quilt. Our copywriters truly have a way with words. You’ll fall in love with the stories they create!

Nichole Spravzoff (top left) and Camille Maddox (top right) both work remotely and are still able to wonderfully capture the voice of Missouri Star! Julie Barber and David Litherland (bottom) work together in the creative studio on copy ideas for the next issue!

When I write stories, I often get to reach out to people, Jenny included, and ask them about their own stories. It’s so much fun to hear their stories and bring them to life in BLOCK. I love writing, so it’s all fun to me.” – Nichole Spravzoff

My favorite part about writing for BLOCK is when I get to use personal memories and experiences as inspiration for the story prompts. It’s a lot of fun for me to figure out how to build a story off of a special moment!” – Julie Barber


Photography Team

Mike Brunner is our talented lead photographer. In charge of completing a successful photoshoot for the team, Mike enjoys working with and appreciates the ideas and collaboration of everyone involved. From unwelcoming weather to making the models feel comfortable to making sure the colors and settings are accurate, Mike has an intuitive eye for creating beautiful photography for BLOCK Magazine.
Prop Making with Lauren
Lauren Dorton is not only a talented photographer and photo-stylist, but she is an brilliant maker. Above, we see her strolling old country roads to gather pretty plant life in which she pieces together to create a winter bouquet for a scene in BLOCK Magazine. The entire team is very resourceful when it comes to finding props and Lauren is amazing at crafting everyday items into amazing props.
Jennifer designs and models
Jennifer Dowling is responsible for locating places that are indicative to our hometown, casting the right models, and gathering props. When food is involved, Jennifer turns into a caterer and prepares food such as a Thanksgiving turkey for a fall scene or baking cookies for celebratory backgrounds. Jennifer styles the scene in a way that brings the story to life for each quilt.
Dustin re-touches the photos

Once the photos are all shot, they are sent off to Dustin Weant, our amazing photo retoucher. Dustin really helps to bring the quilts into focus and allows for the models and scenery to really shine in the background!


Creative Director/Printing Coordinator

Creative Director, Christine Ricks is behind the scenes the entire 4-6 months it takes to create and finish an issue. Christine designs mood boards and creates style guides with the help of Tyler from the pattern team in which the rest of the team can refer to during the making. They use the changing seasons and coming holidays for inspiration. Flying in from her home in Utah every few months, Christine works closely with all of the teams involved to ensure the entire creation of BLOCK is done smoothly and timely.


Lastly, all the last minute details and printing services are organized and set into motion by BLOCK’s printing coordinator, Rob Stoebener. Then they are ready to be sent out by our speedy shipping department from the warehouse and into your mailbox!


Each issue is only $7.99 for a total of $47.94 a year for six issues when you subscribe.
[Canada rates are $9.99 per issue, for a total of $59.94 a year for six issues.]

The best part about this magazine is there are absolutely NO ads! It is a 100% pure, original, authentic Missouri Star creation!

“Your subscriptions matter. You help us keep it ad-free! It’s Missouri Star’s choice to keep it a high quality magazine and get value out of it. From the quality of paper to the photography, and the writing, it’s all from the heart.”

-Christine Ricks, Creative Director

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE!



Meet Missouri Star

Meet Missouri Star

Here at Missouri Star, we employ approximately four hundred people and to celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day, we would like to give a shout out to everyone who allows us the opportunity to make use of their talents, skills, and hard work ethic! Each employee is an important piece to our company’s success and we are blessed to have them as a part of our Missouri Star family. Today, we would like to give credit to a few of those who mostly work “behind-the-scenes” and deserve some front-page attention!

                                                                                                               MEET JESSICA

Jessica started with us in August of 2018 as a skilled pattern writer, even writing up some of our very own Missouri Star Quilt Co. patterns!
I love digging in and figuring out the math to make the yardage and cutting calculations… I love bouncing between writing and illustrating the pattern to figure out how to best explain to our customers how a quilt is made.” Jessica happily informs us of her love for pattern writing.
Jessica is a huge quilt making fanatic. At the top of her list of favorite fabrics are modern prints! Her current favorite designers include Alison Glass, Tula Pink, and Anna Maria Horner.

Thank you Jessica for providing us the tools we need to finish our treasured projects!

MEET ALEX

Alex is one of our super talented graphic designers and has been with us for almost a year. When asked what her favorite part about working here is, she replied, “the creative culture.” (Aww, we just love that! Thanks, Alex!)

Currently, Alex doesn’t quilt, but she is looking forward to getting started after being inspired by the bold, bright colors and unique patterns that come from the process of making batik fabrics.

Thank you Alex for bringing your talented designs to Missouri Star!

 

                                                                                                    MEET TJ

When you come stay for a retreat with us, TJ (Trisa) is one of the reasons you’ll want to come back again and again! Not only does she have a great sense of humor, but she keeps the retreat center nice, tidy and clean so all of our visitors have a wonderful, stress-free environment to stay in. On top of caring for our retreaters, she keeps up with all the shops’ cleaning needs as well.

TJ is our head of housekeeping here at Missouri Star and has been with us for almost five years! We enjoy having her crafty skills present for all of us to enjoy. She loves to quilt using 1800’s reproductions and more traditional styles of fabric for her projects, but that’s not all she can do! 

TJ is well-known for her baking skills,
including this awesome p
rincess castle cake
she made for her granddaughter!
We could not do what we do without you, TJ!

 

 

MEET KARYN

Karyn has been with us for a little over a year as a shop associate. Moving from store to store and gaining insight on the variety of fabrics here has turned Karyn into one knowledgeable and resourceful shop team member!

Moda’s batik collections are Karyn’s favorite fabrics! She describes them as “simple and easy to sew with!” Karyn is now stationed in Primitive & Wool and looks forward to introducing you to your new favorite fabric!

Thank you Karyn for bringing your bright smile to Quilt Town, USA.

 

MEET TIM & JOE

Joe has been a right hand man around here for two and a half years and Tim joined the team a little over a year ago.

This dynamic duo is a very important piece of our functioning processes here at Missouri Star. These two are our “Warehouse Runners.” Each day, they make several runs from the warehouse to our shops and in-town workplaces to make sure we have product in stock and the supplies we need to provide the best experience possible for our visitors.


Tim and Joe do not quilt, but are both excellent craftsmen. Joe enjoys carpentry and welding while Tim is skilled in drawing cartoons and wood carving. This “Sasquatch” mask is one of Tim’s favorite pieces he has done so far. Isn’t that neat?!

Thank you Joe and Tim for all your hard work, we are thrilled to have you in our workplace of makers!

 

Our work family has grown tremendously over the last few years and we couldn’t be happier to employ such wonderful people! A BIG thank you to all Missouri Star employees for all your hard work and to our customers for making our jobs so much fun!

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 ensure the packages to their final destination and a signature will be required.

What is the turnaround time? We are currently experiencing peak quilting times. Our current turnaround time is an estimated 10-14 weeks. 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, ricrac 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.

From Jenny’s Studio: The Word of the Year

From Jenny’s Studio: The Word of the Year

I don’t know about you, but I love looking into the minds of creative people. Every creative person has their own unique thought process to bring about a finished work of art! Have you ever wondered how Jenny thinks up so many wonderful tutorials for you? Well, we hope to be able to give you a glimpse into Jenny’s creative process through this new series, “From Jenny’s Studio”. Stay tuned, and follow along with Jenny’s journey. #jennysews

Keep up with all the neat things Jenny is working on!

A new year is a new opportunity to reflect. Many people choose one or several New Year’s Resolutions, but this year for the first time, Jenny decided to pick a word of the year to use as a focus in her life. After some thought and personal reflection, she chose the word ‘BALANCE’ with the hope of spending more time outside, doing more of the things she loves to do, and making time in her schedule to focus on her own personal wellness.

So what does a quilter do with her selected word of the year? She makes a quilted wall hanging, of course! It came from a different project that Jenny had started, but she didn’t love how it turned out. Here’s what she said, “This whole thing is so symbolic to me. The fabric I used is part of an old quilt that I started and never could get it the way I wanted. So it has a new start and life in this project. The colors remind me of the earth sky and the water… these are things I love that I haven’t been taking enough time for.”

Jenny sews her word of the year!

She asked her daughter Natalie to print off the letters and then she traced them on to Heat And Bond and fused them onto quilt blocks. Then she cut them out and blanket stitched them on to the background, then straight line quilted the whole thing on her sewing machine.

Jenny created this project to hang in her studio to remind herself to strive for balance in all of the things that make her happy and healthy.

Jenny gets connected with her word of the year!

Have you chosen a word to live by this year? We would love to hear of all the things you are working on in your life in the comments!

The Story of Us on Turning Point

The Story of Us on Turning Point

It’s hard to believe that our story started back in 2008 (nearly 8 years ago). We’ve grown as people, as quilters, as a community and as a company in so many ways since then. It’s been an amazing journey and we are so lucky to have you all by our side through it all.

A few months ago we were lucky enough to have the BYU TV film crew come to the small town of Hamilton, MO to film a Turning Point feature on Missouri Star Quilt Co. and the full story of how we came to be. We hope you enjoy watching the feature below and feel a bit more like family after doing so.

* Click the expand button in the bottom right hand corner of the video to make it bigger.