Does your family have football traditions? Here in Hamilton, Missouri we love to celebrate our favorite Kansas City football team and we are so excited to see them bringing more attention to the great state of Missouri once again. Whether your family goes to the backyard to throw around the pig skin or serves up an incredible halftime meal, we hope that you have a chance to enjoy your festivities of choice safely!
For those of us looking to make changes this year and celebrate smaller, there are still plenty of fantastic options to do so! What football fan wouldn’t want to celebrate the final victory of the year under a warm and cozy Blipper? Get crafting with a quick turnaround in mind with our Last Minute Gameday Projects featured HERE!
Football is a big deal in the Doan household, as Misty stated in a recent issue of BLOCK Magazine, “Every Sunday is a party at our house when it’s football season – and more importantly, when the Chiefs are playing! We all wear red, of course, and everyone brings food to share, from delicious barbeque to tasty Mexican dishes and cute little appetizers. We also have a floating Chiefs football helmet that has become part of the gameday superstition. My husband Jake likes to say, ‘if it’s spinning, we’re winning!’ I LOVE FOOTBALL!”
While we can’t gather in the big groups we once did, you can still make the big game extra special. If you’re crunched for time, surprise your household with a simple treat straight from Misty Doan’s kitchen!
However you’re celebrating this weekend, we wish you all the best! If you’re planning to spend your time quilting rather than cheering (or a combination of both for the multi-taskers out there) we hope you share your football creations with us by using #msqcshowandtell on all of our social media pages!
BLOCK Magazine is an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. As you flip through each glossy page you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! For seven years – hard work, creativity and pure love has been poured into each issue!
Q: How many people does it take to make an issue of BLOCK Magazine? A: It takes a team of about forty people!
Here’s how they do it:
Each issue of BLOCK starts with thoughtful planning months in advance. First, the design of a quilt is put together 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 our sewists to complete the quilt tops.
Next, the pattern writers break the design down into steps, figuring out precut fabric and yardage requirements, and noting when any tools or templates are needed. Then, they outline the sewing process, piece by piece, so you have a visual of how the block comes together.
Then the quilts are sent over to our Machine Quilting department to have batting and backing added and are quilted up on big longarm quilting machines. Afterwards, our sewists carefully stitch on the binding and voilà – a completed quilt ready to star in BLOCK!
This magazine isn’t just quilt patterns though. There’s so much more to discover like, inspirational stories, educational articles, and amazing photography.
The copywriters for BLOCK collect the memoirs of Missouri Star family members and employees as well as inspiring stories from quilters from all around the world. They then use those to create story prompts and begin crafting beautifully written stories that will make you laugh, cry, feel inspired, or overjoyed. Our copywriters truly have a way with words and you’ll get all the feels with the stories they whip up!
“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
The team also follows up with the latest trends and performs a ton of their own research in order to share with you the most top notch techniques in quilting and sewing!
Once all the quilts are quilted and the stories are written, our photographers help piece it all together by providing a scene that will bring the quilt to life.
The photo team is very resourceful when it comes to finding or crafting props and they have the most intuitive eyes for seeking out the right location for each quilt. When food is involved, they even prepare meals such as a Thanksgiving turkey for a fall scene or baking cookies for celebratory backgrounds.
Once the photography is done, everything is then tied together to build out proofs to be sent over to the printer. Each issue is then shipped out and ready for you to enjoy!
Together – several different departments work together here at Missouri Star to bring to you a quality magazine at a great price.
The first issue of BLOCK was printed in 2014
It takes 4-6 months to create each complete issue of BLOCK
BLOCK is published locally in Missouri
All the quilt designs, stories, and photography are original works of art
BLOCK doesn’t require ad revenue, it relies on subscriptions from readers like you
Over 60 original quilts and other fun projects are made each year for BLOCK
Thanksgiving is just around the corner… talking about gratitude… I want to talk about the other side of giving, which is receiving. It is often easy to give of ourselves, but it can be difficult to accept help when we need it. I love this quote by Maya Angelou, “When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” It reminds me that in every situation where there is a giver, there is also a receiver…
It’s wonderful to be on the giving end, as we so often are, but what about those times when we are the ones in need? I hope you know that it is important to ask for help when you need it and that you are worthy of the help when it arrives.
So often, as quilters, we find ourselves in the role of the giver. Thank you for giving so freely of your talents and sharing your gifts with so many. Thank you for being there when others need you and quite literally wrapping them with love. The need for sincere acts of kindness is only increasing in this world. And when the moment arrives when you are in need of some kindness, smile and simply say, “Thank you.” You don’t need to justify your need or excuse yourself. It’s okay to accept help. I am learning more and more to ask for help when I need it and express gratitude instead of trying to explain the need away. Thank you for being there for me with all your support and love. This time of year and always, I am grateful for you!
When we first opened our doors back in 2008, we never would have dreamed we would begin our very own magazine just six years later! Now, in 2020, we’re celebrating our 12th company birthday and seven years of BLOCK!
Although this year is a little different than our previous annual Birthday Bash Extravaganzas – you can still celebrate with us ONLINE! You’re invited to our second ever BLOCK Party to kick-off our Birthday Bash Online starting this Thursday! Put on your comfy pants, grab some snacks, and tune in HERE on Wednesday, September 23 at 6 PM CT for a sneak peek into our October Issue with Jenny & Natalie!
Here’s an extra little sneak peek of what’s coming in Volume 7, Issue!
Better Bindings for Beautiful Results
Circle Magic Casserole Dish Holder
Jenny’s Journal (Sewing Bird Baby Quilts)
And sew much more...
A look behind the scenes with photo-stylist, Jennifer Dowling
“Every time a story comes along in BLOCK that calls for food I have so much fun trying out new recipes and creating foodie art! I wanted to share with you how I made this cake (found on the cover of the next issue) so you can enjoy it from home during our online birthday celebration this week!
Your favorite cake mix will do, I prefer Duncan Hines, but the real secret to an incredibly moist cake is two tablespoons of yogurt! If you haven’t tried it – I promise you’ll be delighted with the results. The super simple buttercream frosting is so simple and a family pleaser! You’ll need:
– 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks), softened – 3 oz cream cheese – 4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted – 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract – 3-5 tablespoons of heavy cream
Cream the butter, cream cheese and vanilla then add your sugar slowly, could be more or less sugar just look for the consistency you like. I use a serrated knife to cut completely cooled cake into layers, The frosting is fluffy enough to fix any mishaps along the way.”
– Jennifer Dowling, Photo Stylist
Subscribe to BLOCK Magazineby Sunday, September 27 in order to receive this issue at your mailbox in October! (Pst, subscribe now and receive an extra FREE digital issue your account today!)
This year has been so completely out of the ordinary, and challenging in so many ways, that I find myself simplifying again and experiencing great joy in the things that I have often taken for granted. Now, preparing for the holiday season is less about the hustle and bustle of finding just the right present, but taking the time to help create a warm, welcoming spirit in my home and in my community.
As I contemplate the spirit of generosity, I recognize that giving comes in many forms. Some give of their time and energy, some share love abundantly and easily, some can listen for hours, some give the biggest hugs, and some create handmade gifts to share. There are many ways to be generous and no matter how you like to give, your intentions absolutely matter. As we’ve experienced, the simplest gift from a child—a crumpled flower, a scribbled picture, or a sloppy kiss—can mean so much. Their intention comes through, as does ours. Never give in to the thought that your offering is insufficient. If you’ve given from the heart, that’s all that truly matters.
Considering the state of our nation, we could all use an extra boost of kindness. Let’s make this season a time to truly give from the heart and reach out to our loved ones. Let’s slow down, savor the simple moments with friends and family, and do the things that bring us joy. Please remember, you’re always welcome at Missouri Star and you are all family to me.
WHAT IS BLOCK MAGAZINE?
BLOCK Magazine is a great way to become a part of the Missouri Star Family. The goal of this “idea book” is to empower others to learn, get inspired, and create! With more than 10 quilting projects in every issue, plus stories that warm your heart, BLOCK Magazine is sure to deliver something for everyone and become a trusted source of inspiration for your sewing room!
Produced and published right here at Missouri Star – each issue comes to you completely ad-free. We incorporate personal stories from our family and our dear readers, provide tips on favorite notions, and teach skill-building techniques.
“I don’t usually feel the need to contact the company of the magazine I purchased, however, this is a different circumstance. I just received my first issue of BLOCK Magazine. I wanted to let your company know how thoroughly impressed I am! The quality of the magazine is far more than I have come to expect from different companies. The quality of the images right down to the print stock… just fabulous! Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into your product. This is the type of publication that you hold on to. I am just so very pleased, I had to let you know.”
– Lora Andera, BLOCK Magazine subscriber
WHAT’S IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF BLOCK MAGAZINE?
Planning ahead for the holidays with Christmas decor patterns and a Halloween bonus!
Learn English paper piecing and how to make a pincushion with Sue Daley!
Get helpful tips and tricks for fun with fusible appliqué.
In Jenny’s Journal, join her in her home studio to see what she’s been working on for her friends, grandchildren, or just for herself and her home.
Plus part three of our Ruby Sensation Sew-Along >>>
HERE’S A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES OF OUR NEXT ISSUE!
When you flip through BLOCK’s fresh, glossy pages you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! Those are all brought to you by a team of almost 30 people who bring BLOCK Magazine to life! Take a peek into all the hard work, creativity and love that is poured into each issue:
“When we were reviewing the quilts for this upcoming issue of BLOCK, there was concern expressed that the advent calendar project was not reading as a tree in the center with the first fabric choice made (as seen below)! We decided to see if the sewing team could redo the project using different background fabric. With deadlines coming quickly, that seemed very concerning. Luckily, our team is filled with creatives that are always thinking up innovative solutions”
– Christine Ricks, Creative Director of BLOCK Magazine
“I pondered this for about six hours. Then, while driving home from dinner with my husband the ah-ha moment struck. I kept thinking about the Triple Play that Natalie, Jenny, and Misty did using hexies. Misty turned her hexies around and used the back for the front, so it dawned on me that we could turn around those red hexies to the front. We did it, and the tree is much more defined (as you can see above)!”
– Courtenay Hughes, Missouri Star Academy instructor
Subscribe by Monday, July 27 to receive this next issue to your doorstep (with no shipping cost!) by mid-August! Pst! You’ll also receive April and June’s digital issues completely FREE so you can jump right in to our Ruby Sensation sew along without missing a beat!
My hope is by the time I’ve written this letter to you and BLOCK arrives at your home, that life will have returned to normal. My hope is the sun will be shining outside your window… you’ll be free to gather with friends and family… you’ll feel comfortable greeting neighbors and walking the dog again, and a trip to the beach might be just around the corner. It’s hard to imagine after weeks of being separated from loved ones and anxiously watching the television, but I have great hope that we’ll make it through…many of us have been spending extended periods of time at home. I am trying my best to view this as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience.
I recently read a quote by one of my favorite people, Fred Rogers, that made me pause. He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It has shifted my mindset and caused me to be proactive. Each day I ask myself, What small thing can I do to help?…
Quilters never cease to amaze me. You make a difference with every stitch and it’s never been more apparent to me than at this very moment. You’re sewing masks by the thousands, you’re making surgical caps for hospital workers, you’re helping friends and neighbors, and you’re a positive influence in your community. Thank you sincerely for everything you do. I feel privileged to be a part of this remarkable global community of quilters. We really can change the world one stitch at a time.
Like Jenny (and Mr. Rogers), I believe many of us makers feel grateful to be part of a community that creates – not only quilts, but comfort, inspiration, and kindness. (After all, we are the piece-makers ✌️)
Fun fact: Back in 1889, the women of Caldwell County (now home of Missouri Star) came together to create a “census” quilt. For an entire year, wives, mothers, and children throughout the county helped one another to hand-stitch the names of over 1,000 residents to create a gorgeous hand-sewn quilt that celebrated their entire community.
130 years later, the antique quilt remains a representation of the connections made among a community of quilter’s helping one another to create a beautiful, inclusive piece of art. It hangs inside our Caldwell Country Historical Society, seven miles from Missouri Star Quilt Co.
Much like those whose names were stitched onto that quilt from long ago, when you subscribe to BLOCK Magazine, you subscribe to become a part of a community of makers whose stories become stitched into our hearts! BLOCK Magazine’s upcoming summer issue contains our own stories and the stories of our readers, together building a community of creatives inspired by one another.