Three ways to make one or more Half Square Triangles

Multiply your fun with half the effort!

Any way you slice it, a half-square triangle is a thing of beauty. For such a simple quilt block, so many incredible designs can be created! Half-square triangles are in about 80% of the quilts we sew here at Missouri Star, so we wanted to give you a few handy tips and tricks to make stitching them together easier than ever.

Here’s how 1 typical half-square triangle is made:

Take two precut fabric squares, stack them right sides together, and draw a line down the center on a diagonal from corner to corner. Sew on the line and trim away a quarter inch away from your seam line. That will give you a half square triangle that is the same size as the squares you started with. It leaves two smaller triangles as scraps. But we can do better than that!

Here are Jenny’s favorite methods of sewing half-square triangles, just for you:

2 at a Time

Take two 5” or 10” precut fabric squares, stack them right sides together, and draw a line down the center on a diagonal from corner to corner. Sew ¼ inch out on both sides of the drawn line, then cut down the line in the center, and press open. That gives you two easy half-square triangles!

4 at a Time

Take two 5” or 10” precut fabric squares and stack them right sides together. Sew ¼ inch all the way around the perimeter of the squares. Then cut twice diagonally, from corner to corner, and press open to make four half-square triangle units! But wait … it gets even better.

8 at a Time

Take two 5” or 10” precut fabric squares, stack them right sides together, and draw an x from corner to corner. Stitch ¼ inch out on both sides of the lines, cut diagonally on each drawn line, and press open to get eight beautiful half-square triangles!

Try using the Clearly Perfect Slotter Trimmers to make squaring up your quilt blocks simple. It’s a nifty quilt template that not only cuts your half-square triangles to the right size but trims the seam down perfectly as well! It’s a neat little invention, click HERE to get yours now!

Be creative with the handy half-square triangle and have a blast! Try playing around with quilt layout possibilities for just fifteen minutes and make something new today.  When you turn and flip these versatile quilt blocks the design possibilities are absolutely endless! Click HERE to see some of the tutorials Jenny used HST to create her pattern.

We Quilt This City!

We Quilt This City!

Every summer we host thousands of visitors from near and far in our happy little town of Hamilton. Many of these visitors come to us as their end destination or as part of a detour on their road trip. No matter how our visitors get to us, we do all we can to make sure that they have the best experience in Hamilton.

If you needed another excuse to come visit Hamilton this Summer, starting June 21st we are participating in the Row by Row Experience again this year!

The Row by Row Experience is a wonderful program started in 2011 by Janet Lutz to help quilt shops get more visitors in what might otherwise be slow summer months. All the quilt shops participating in Row by Row have their very own free pattern to help you make a quilt block, and if you are the first to complete a quilt using at least 8 different rows from 8 different 2018 participating shops, you win a stash of 25 fat quarters and you win a bonus prize if you use our block and bring it in to our store!

The theme for Row by Row this year is “Sew Musical” and we have our very own pattern called “We Quilt This City.” The pattern features a beautiful appliqué town and music notes, hopefully not bringing just your quilts, but also your community in harmony.

"We Quilt This City"

To get your free Missouri Star Row by Row pattern all you need to do is come to Penney’s Quilt Shop and ask for our Row by Row pattern! Each customer is limited to one pattern. Sorry to all of our online customers, this pattern is only available in person!

The Row by Row experience will run from June 21st to September 4th, 2018, and you will have until October 31st, 2018 to submit your quilt for a prize.

Celebrate National FFA Week with Forever Blue Fabric

Celebrate National FFA Week

Surrounded by emerald fields of corn and rolling pastures dotted with cattle, Hamilton, Missouri, sits in the middle of America’s heartland. As in many such communities with strong agriculture roots, there is a group of students who fully embrace what it means to live, work and support the business that is agriculture, our local FFA chapter.

If you have ever donned the blue corduroy jacket and recited the FFA creed, or know someone who has, then the FFA Forever Blue fabric by Riley Blake Designs is a wonderful tribute to the traditions that make up the National FFA Organization. The Forever Blue fabric features the timeless blue corduroy jacket, the FFA emblem and a variety of livestock and agriculture prints. You can shop all of the Forever Blue fabrics, including the Forever Blue quilt kit, HERE.

With such a wide variety of prints, we knew we wanted to create a quilt that could show off some of the larger prints and the different color schemes. A member of our sewing team, Janice, used the Slice of Life Quilt pattern, and sewed up the entire quilt! Check out the finished quilt below, and watch Jenny’s tutorial on how to create a Slice of Life Quilt

Slice of Life Quilt in Forever Blue

You can also find a fantastic panel that makes a wonderful wall hanging or a centerpiece of a quilt as part of the Forever Blue collection. We used this panel, along with some extra yardage for borders, to create a wall hanging.

Celebrate National FFA Week

After the quilt and wall hanging were completed, they needed a home, and with National FFA Week on the horizon, we knew that these creations would honor the Hamilton FFA chapter at Penney High School for all of their accomplishments and the work they do throughout our community.  

Janice, who created the quilt, was on hand to present both the quilt and the wall hanging to Mr. Burns, the FFA advisor, along with all of the Hamilton FFA officers. 

Thank you, Hamilton FFA for all you do!


Cathedral Window Tutorial Reboot with Guest Quilter Liz Hawkins

Revisited Quilting Tutorials from Missouri Star Quilt Co

This edition of our Tutorial Reboot series comes from Liz Hawkins, who you may know as Mama Hawk from Mama Hawk’s Kitchen in Hamilton!

Well hello! I’m excited to share my “reboot” pattern experience with you all. But first, let me explain a bit about who I am. If you’ve ever visited Missouri Star Quilt Co in Hamilton, Mo, then you most likely know me as Mama Hawk…the baker, panini, pizza, salad and soup maker at Mama Hawk’s Kitchen located near the main shop. However, before I opened the bakery/cafe here, I’d been known as one of the Lizzie B girls for Lizzie B Cre8ive. A quilt/fabric design company started by my sister-in-law and I. I haven’t had much time, since opening the bakery, to dedicate to quilting, sadly. Which, I know, is crazy to think about as I am living in a town quite literally surrounded by fabric and everything a quilter could dream of! In fact, one night I was frantically trying to finish a gift for someone and happened to break my last needle, oh around midnight. Isn’t that always when your last needle breaks? Anyway, I tore apart my entire sewing room searching for a needle in a fabric stash proverbial haystack, looking disheveled and distraught as I knew my alarm would go off in a few short hours when I’d need to start rolling out cinnamon roll dough. My husband rolled his eyes at me and said, “You must be joking. You work ten steps from a shop that sells quilt needles and you actually ran out?” I’m sure you don’t need me to tell the rest of the story. You’ve all been there, right? Ok, maybe not in the exact circumstances. But at least you know exactly where my husband spent that night sleeping. Ha! Needless to say, I’ve stocked up on needles. And they got me through my reboot project without breakages!

The pattern I chose to do is the Cathedral Window pattern. I’ve always looooved Cathedral windows, real AND quilted ones! I’ve always wanted to make a cathedral window quilt, but have never taken the time. So I thought, alright, here’s my chance!

I watched Jenny’s nice little tutorial, and thought, no problem. This should be a breeze! She’s simplified it all nicely so there’s not all that hand stitching involved like in a traditional cathedral quilt. Plus, the block size was 7” finished, none of those teeny tiny blocks to deal with. Although, in Jenny’s tutorial she makes a table runner, and I thought, if I’m going to devote some time to this, I might as well make it into a whole quilt. Right? Wouldn’t you think the same thing? Sure you would!

Plus, my youngest child was graduating early from High School and would soon be off to college in January. So I also thought, perfect, this will be her college quilt! With that in mind, I went about choosing my fabric. I fell in love with a line by Melody Miller for Cotton + Steel called Jubilee. Not only did the colors appeal to me, but the prints were filled with little dresses, tubes of lipstick, mascara and nail polish. All the things my 18-year-old daughter adores! The designs have a wonderful retro 60’s element to them as well. Which I also love. Maybe because I wear funky cat-eye glasses, and have a retro vibe to myself? Or maybe it’s because I had just binge-watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon with my family over the holidays. A show set in New York City in the 60’s. Featuring an amazing set, gorgeous dresses and a fabulous pink Pyrex dish I’ve been obsessing over ever since.

Whatever the reason, the fabric was picked, and I started my project. Now I’m a pretty quick quilt maker. Comes from years and years of deadlines to make for quilt market, sometimes only getting our fabric a couple weeks before. I’ve spent many flights to Houston hand binding quilts so they’re ready to hang in a booth. So I wasn’t really worried about not having enough time. And that is where I wildly miscalculated the amount of time this particular quilt would take. Not only that, but the amount of fabric as well!

Tutorial Reboot Liz Hawkins

After I finished the size Jenny shows in her tutorial, it dawned on me the reason for the size. As a table runner, it’s a nice quick little project. Especially if you follow the instructions to quilt-as-you-go! But (add a dramatic pause here), as a quilt? Let’s just say you’re going to need a TAD more time. And more fabric! I started out with a nice pack of 10” squares which I cut into fourths to give me a good stack of 5” squares. I also started with 2 yards of an off-white Cotton + Steel basic with dots. I chose this basic instead of a solid print because, well, I just love a fabric that reads as a solid but has a little texture. Also, it just seemed to add to that wonderful 60’s vibe.

It didn’t take long to realize that in order to make an entire quilt, every single 5” square of fabric would require TWO 5” squares of off-white ironed in half on the diagonal. Which means each full block is made up of FOUR 5” printed fabrics, layered with TWO folded 5” squares of off-white per square, plus ONE more 5” printed square in the middle of the block. Yep, go ahead and do that math…that’s THIRTEEN 5” squares per FINISHED block. Needless to say, I had to go back and get one more package of 10” squares and more basic fabric to finish this quilt. And YES, it’s got some good weight to it, this quilt. It’ll keep my baby warm, that’s for sure! I worked one row at a time, choosing the more geometric prints for my background squares, and the prints with bolder motifs for the center of each window. I won’t lie. Each row took me a couple of hours with all that fabric to manipulate! But each row was so PREEEETY, I just had to keep going. Before starting each row, I would cut my basic off-white into 5” squares and iron them on the diagonal by stacking a bunch of them folded, and ironing at once. This quilt required a lot of pins, which aren’t my favorite, but quite necessary!

I decided to back this quilt with a nice soft cuddle fabric. When making quilts for my kids, they always request the cuddle. Last year, my husband even went so far as to let me know that all previous non-cuddle backed quilts are useless in keeping a person warm. So, thank you very much Shannon Cuddle Fabrics, for rendering most of the quilts I’ve ever made completely useless. Haha! I’m kidding. (But my husband totally is not.)

Tutorial Reboot Liz Hawkins

I also decided that this quilt didn’t need that much quilting because the pattern itself has so much going on. So I quilted it on my own machine at home, choosing just a straight stitch along the diagonal. I didn’t even need to use my walking foot, though some might prefer to, depending on your machine. I did lengthen my stitch to around 4. I love how the simplicity of the quilting made the “windows” in the pattern pop a bit more. Also, with cuddle on the back, a more intricate quilt pattern is lost, in my experience!

Tutorial Reboot Liz Hawkins

All that was left to do was bind this baby up. I chose another C+S basic, the pink with gold dots. It seemed to perfectly frame this sweet quilt for my daughter, who also happens to be obsessed with rose gold. I’m a hand stitch binding kinda gal, but since I’m also a baker, I’ll admit, some of that hand stitching took place in my kitchen at the bakery! You’ll notice some of the pictures I’ve added here. A few places you don’t normally see a quilt, or quilting tools. Also, the number of sugary treats, and non-sugared caffeinated soda required for me to get a quilt done with a deadline. It’s a delicate balance, for sure!

Tutorial Reboot Liz Hawkins

I love how the quilt turned out, and can’t wait to send it to my sweet daughter. Follow Mama Hawk’s Kitchen on Instagram and Facebook to see her reaction when she gets her package in the mail! Until then, happy quilting. And buy some more needles. You’ll thank me at midnight.

Tutorial Reboot Liz Hawkins

If you want to make a Cathedral Window quilt  like Liz’s, which is about 54″x63″, here’s what you will need:

2 packages of Cotton + Steel Jubilee 10-inch Stackers (cut into 5-inch squares)

6.5  yards of Cotton + Steel–Dottie Kerchief 

1/2 yard of Cotton + Steel Cotton Candy for binding

3.5 yards of Shannon Cuddle Hide Rose Water 60″ Minky for backing

Be sure to share all of your creations with us on Facebook and Instagram using #msqcshowandtell!

The Crown Quilt

MSQC New Tutorial on the Blog!

Learn to make this darling Crown block with Jenny's Quilt Tutorial.

The next time a British monarch takes the throne, keep your eyes peeled for St Edward’s Crown. This 12-inch-tall crown is made of almost 5 pounds of solid gold and 444 precious and semi-precious stones, and it’s been sitting on royal heads during every coronation since the 13th century. (In the market to purchase your own? Start saving now. This crown – along with the rest of the crown jewels –  is worth around 7 billion dollars!)


Jenny shows off a fun fast way to create the Crown Quilt!


This week Jenny is stitching up a crown of her own. The Crown Quilt is a new take on a traditional block. And of course, Jenny has all the best tips and tricks to make construction a breeze. Click HERE to learn how to piece together the cuddliest crown of all!

Here is the layout of the super cute Crown Quilt.

Be sure to click HERE for the free printable/downloadable PDF!

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!