School is Back in Session 🏫

Back to School

Les Brown, an American motivational speaker, once said, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” So if your kids are bummed about back to school month, you’re a college student who’s dreading 10-page papers and tiring lectures, or if you’re a teacher not ready for vacation to end, then remember these words of wisdom to find your motivation!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, teacher, or parent… everyone can start the school year with confidence and style with creative projects to show off!

Tech Case

Make a custom case for your tablet that is quick, easy, and fitted to any device.

Watch as Jenny and Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin put one together!

A Missouri Star favorite, the Everything Bag!

This adorable tote made from 2.5″ strips is great for all your back to school necessities, yoga class, or just simply picking up groceries! This bag holds it all!

Join Misty and Courtenay as they show how it’s done!

What’s your favorite part of the school day? Ours is lunchtime of course!

Learn how to make this quick and easy lunch-bag with Misty and carry your lunch in style!

Make teaching fun with a classroom theme!

Find several trendy patterns and prints for reading time quilts or classroom decor!

Know someone starting college? How exciting!

Make their transition easier with modern style pillows and quilts to personalize any dorm room (and don’t forget to incorporate some school spirit)!

(By the way, this Mod-Dog pillow is just adorable!)

Grab some stationary to make taking notes less boring and get started on a knowledge seeking adventure!

Education, creativity, and just being passionate about what you love is important at any age. So if you are wondering what you’ll be doing once the kids are back in class… take one yourself! Never stop learning with Missouri Star Academy!

What education journey are you taking this year?
Let us know in the comments!

Meet Courtenay, a Missouri Star Academy Instructor!

Courtenay Hughes is one of our talented instructors here at Missouri Star. As part of our education team, Courtenay teaches quilting, embroidery, and appliqué classes through Missouri Star Academy. This includes our online courses, in-town classes, and some of our free tutorials!

Beginning Machine Applique

“I want to say I LOVE her teaching style! She is so funny, and I felt like I was spending an afternoon with a good friend. I really enjoyed this video.”

– Customer Review

Courtenay’s Creations

This quilting diva has been a wonderful component to our education team and you can see why! Her gorgeous projects continue to inspire all of us makers!


Now, let’s talk about appliquĂ©, Courtenay’s area of expertise! If you’ve always wanted to try it out, but imagined it might be intimidating, we’ve got the tools, techniques, and tips to change your mind. AppliquĂ© is a lot easier than it looks – and it looks pretty spectacular personalizing and decorating your quilt!

Beginning Machine Applique

We talked to Courtenay about machine appliqué designs and tips…

Q: Courtenay, how long have you been sewing machine appliquĂ©? 
A: I have been quilting for over 25 years. I’ve had about 20 odd years of practice at machine appliqué. And I am really looking forward to sharing some of that with you

Q: What’s your favorite part of teaching appliqué for beginners?
A: My favorite part of teaching is when students who aren’t sure they can complete their projects get to the point where they realize that, yes, they can make them—and they will be beautiful! Whether that’s how to machine appliqué small pieces, how to hand appliqué in the car on road trips, or how to let loose and try something completely new, like a free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch that looks complicated but is actually very freeing, I love seeing students succeed!

Beginning Machine Applique

Q: What shapes can you make with machine appliqué?
A: Anything you can imagine – and any pattern in your library, really. I like to show you tips for leaves, stems, circles, stars, hearts, petals, and working in layers. While a lot of my patterns are flowers or animals – ask me about placing bunny ears – the sky is the limit. You can decorate any quilt with appliquĂ©, in blocks, borders, even your quilt label.

Q: What are some tools you recommend for appliqué?
A: This depends a little bit on which method you’re using, but some of the applique essentials are:

For Machine Appliqué:

  • Fusible Web  â€“ Use this to temporarily glue fabric pieces in place while machine stitching.
  • AppliquĂ© Pressing Sheet – Place over the project diagram to use as a guide while layering fabric shapes.
  • Marking Pen – Use a fine sharpie or marking pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Scissors – A good pair of scissors come in handy for cutting fusible and fabric pieces.
  • Machine Needles – A sharp needle that is great for stitching through layers of applique pieces. 
  • 50wt Thread – A strong thread that blends with fabric shapes. Or black thread for a “folk art” look. 
  • Self-Threading Needles – An easy way to bury threads after stitching pieces to background.
  • Iron and Iron Cleaner – An iron for fusing paper shapes to fabric, and iron cleaner.
  • Embroidery Hoop – (optional) These come in handy when stitching pieces in place on background, especially when using the free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch.

For Hand Appliqué:

  • Appli-Glue or Lapel Stick – Use this to hold fabric pieces in place while hand stitching.
  • Freezer Paper – Draw a design on the dull side, cut it out and lay the shiny side down on the project to use as a guide.
  • Bias Tape Maker – Use this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking Pen – Use this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision AppliquĂ© Scissors – A smaller pair of scissors come in handy for cutting smaller pieces.
  • Hand Needles – A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
  • Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
  • AppliquĂ© Pins – These come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
  • Fusible Web (optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.
Applique Tools

We think it’s time to give appliquĂ© a try!

We currently have two classes for beginners at Missouri Star Academy. You’ll learn multiple methods, troubleshooting tricks, how to machine appliqué a quilt or how to hand appliqué a quilt. Each class also comes with a FREE quilt pattern so you can show off your newly mastered skills! Try appliqué today!

Don’t forget to check in on our Education Center’s class schedule to see what class Courtenay will be teaching next!

If you’ve taken a class by Courtenay Hughes, show her what you made in the comments below ⬇️

Bonus Quick Tips of English Paper Piecing with Sue Daley

Quick tips on EPP with Jenny Doan and Sue Daley.

With this week being English Paper Piecing (EPP) Week we have chosen to share THREE great tip videos on the Perfect Stitch technique, the Knicker Knot, and the wonderful Glue Pen. The expert, Sue Daley, uses these techniques every time she uses the EPP method. We hope you enjoy these fun little tips

 

 

Learn to create the perfect stitch to make sure your stitches are well hidden.

 

Learn to make a “Knicker Knot” to use when you start and stop your English Paper Piecing.

 

Learn an easy way to baste your paper templates to your fabric with this fantastic Glue Pen.

 

To watch the full Intro to English Paper Piecing and get the supplies needed follow this link: https://www.missouriquiltco.com/intro-english-paper-piecing

Kaffe Fassett Glorious Color Retreat and Lecture!

Kaffe Brandon Jenny

Have we ever mentioned how much we love to have visitors come to Hamilton?? This past weekend was our Kaffe Fassett Glorious Colour Retreat and we just had a blast!!

Kaffe Retreat Group

This is an amazing group of quilters and artists! It was such a treat to have all of them here and to have Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably here to share their wisdom and insight on the wonderful world of glorious color!  The retreaters had the opportunity to do two hands-on workshops as well as attend a wonderful lecture from Kaffe!

The first class was called Mediterranean Hexagons, where they learned how to work with Kaffe’s large print florals to create a beautiful balanced quilt.

kaffe hexagons wall

This is Debbie Carlson, who, without realizing, created a quilt design that matched her outfit! Isn’t it gorgeous?? If you look closely, she used all kinds of black and white prints as the points, including one with ampersands on it. So fun!! According to Kaffe, sometimes the print/motif just doesn’t matter 🙂

kaffe debbie carlson hexagons

The 2nd class Kaffe taught was Bright Squares, where they created the most beautiful quilts from 2.5″ squares!

Kaffe Bright Squares 1

Kaffe worked one on one with the retreaters to help them find a beautiful balance of color and contrast. Wouldn’t you like Kaffe to teach you all about how to use bold, bright colors in a harmonious way??

kaffe magnifying glass

At the end of each class, Kaffe would walk around and comment on each person’s work, to give praise, encouragement and valuable feedback. What a wonderful opportunity to have input from Kaffe on your personal work!

kaffe critique

On the last full day of the retreat, Kaffe gave a wonderful lecture on finding inspiration in art, architecture, knits, and how you can find different inspiration all over the world. There were well over 200 people in attendance and it ended with a book signing!

kaffe lecture

Tula Pink was even here in attendance to see Kaffe’s lecture!

Kaffe Signing

Thank you to everyone who attended! We would love to hear about your experience in the comments!

If you are interested in an MSQC Retreat or Event, you can find all the information here: Missouri Star Quilt Company Retreats & Events

Kaffe Tula Brandon

Sew with Jenny: Classes at Missouri Star

Jenny Doan, sew with jenny, missouri star quilt company

We just wrapped up a Sew with Jenny class for the Float Your Boat quilt! Check out June and Kathy (above), who completed these quilt tops in one day!

Jenny Doan, sew with jenny, missouri star quilt company

Peggy had her birthday the day of the class, so naturally we celebrated with a cake from Poppy’s Bakery! Yummmmmmmm!

Jenny Doan, sew with jenny, missouri star quilt company

It was a fantastic group of ladies and we can’t wait for the next Sew with Jenny class! Want to join the fun? Check out all of the class offerings here!