Take a Look Behind the Scenes of BLOCK Magazine and Join Us for a BLOCK Party TONIGHT! 🎉

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!

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Go Behind the Scenes

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 voilĂ  – 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.

Fun Facts

  • 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

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Join us for a BLOCK Party!

Join us tonight (Friday, November 20) at 4:00 PM CT for a LIVE BLOCK Party with Jenny and Natalie to get a sneak peek into the next issue! ➤

Until then, enjoy this message from Jenny and a behind the scenes look at the cover shoot for the December 2020 issue of BLOCK Magazine.

SHOP BLOCK FRIDAY DEALS

A sneak peek into the next issue of BLOCK Magazine

Dear Quilters,

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!

Love,
Jenny


BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 5 October 2020 Issue

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!

BLOCK Party 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 Magazine by 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!)

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What’s Your Story? – Grandma’s Hands by Michele T.

BLOCK Magazine is always looking to publish original stories from quilters like you. We believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that sharing our stories brings us closer together. Today’s story is just that – a story of connection in quilting.

“The first quilter I ever knew was my maternal grandmother, Catherine.  She died in 1966 when I was only 12 years old, and I miss her still.

By the time I was born, she had four grandsons but no granddaughters, so when I came along, Grandma embraced me as her very own special blessing.  She was my safe haven in a life that was often tumultuous and unpredictable. When I was with her, I felt wrapped in a blanket of unconditional love that was as comforting and warm as the patchwork quilts she made. 

As I look back on the influences in my life and ponder the beginnings of my own interest in craft and design, I remember snuggling under the quilts my grandmother made and being mesmerized by the multi-colored patchwork. I began to formulate my own understanding and love of colors, shapes, and patterns as I scrutinized the blocks.

Grandma didn’t watch me grow up and learn to quilt but I feel connected to her as I sew, and I savor memories of our time together. As I age, I’ve noticed that my hands have begun to look like hers. They are not the hands of a model in a dish-soap commercial.  They’re work-hardened, with short fingers, knobby knuckles, and ridged nails that refuse to grow without splitting or cracking.  As a result, I’ve never liked them much.  But as I spend many joyous and peaceful hours creating beautiful quilts for the people I love, I am learning to look at them in a new light. I can appreciate my hands, Grandma’s hands, not only for the memories they recall, but especially, for the beautiful and loving memories they may help to create.”

-Michele T.

What’s Your Story? – My Sister’s Unfinished Quilt by Barb R.

BLOCK Magazine is always looking to publish original stories from quilters like you. We believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that sharing our stories brings us closer together. Quilting isn’t just a hobby for some. For many it’s a way to cope, stay inspired, or even honor others.

Thank you, Barb, for sharing your story.

“Prior to my sister, Susan’s, untimely death from ovarian cancer at age 49, we had the opportunity to go through some of her “stuff.” There were a lot of boxes to go through and at the bottom of one of her boxes, I found several unfinished projects including multiple finished Christmas tree blocks and already cut fabric ready to piece into more blocks for a quilt. 

At the time, I had never quilted but I had an older sister who was an devoted quilter and I asked Pat if she would like the squares from Susan. She agreed to take them and although there weren’t enough squares or fabric to make a quilt, there were blocks that could be used for some other form of remembrance. 

The first Christmas tree square Pat used was on the back of a quilt that she made for me as a way of thanking me for helping Susan. Pat came up with the idea of using the squares to make pillows for the four living sisters. Unfortunately, every time Pat opened the squares to work on them she became emotional and tearful and couldn’t really start. Now I’m new to quilting but I’m up to the challenge of making pillows for my 3 remaining sisters.

Susan died before she ever became a grandmother, but loved babies and knew at some point her two girls would have children of their own. Because she knew she was going to pass before seeing her grandchildren, she wanted them to have something special from her. Crocheting was easy for her to do when she was ill and something she could do without having to sit at a sewing machine. In the year before she died she crocheted six baby Afghans all in different colors. I was the keeper of those gifts until such time she had grandchildren. Twenty years have passed and she has six grandchildren. Each baby was taken home from the hospital wrapped in one of the afghans made by their grandma. It is comforting to know all of her grandchildren have a piece of Susan’s work.

Susan was a remarkable woman and we both learned to sew early. We were only 13 months apart in age. Our first project when we were about eight was a green and white skirt that we made with our maternal grandmother. She made Alaskan parkas for my kids, she made Mukluks, and there wasn’t much she couldn’t do when it came to sewing.

Sometimes our projects get ahead of us and sometimes a little mistake in one project makes it difficult to continue and so it goes to the bottom of the box. Now as I take these squares and make pillows for my sisters I will finish the “unfinished” quilt in a different form. My sisters will have a remembrance of Susan knowing she is wrapping us all in her love with a piece of her quilt.”

Barb R.

Behind the scenes of BLOCK Magazine – August 2020

A Note from Jenny

Dear Quilters,

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.

Love,

Jenny


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 appliquĂ©.
BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 4 August Issue
  • 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.
  • Several quilt patterns such as Pop Stars, Diamond Terrace, and Dresden Blooms.
  • Plus part three of our Ruby Sensation Sew-Along >>>
It’s not too late to join in the fun!

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:

Natalie and Jenny working together to plan for BLOCK Magazine
The BLOCK Magazine copy-writing team working hard

“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!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!