Big ideas are coming to life with the next issue of BLOCK Magazine

A Note from Jenny - BLOCK Magazine 2020 Winter Issue

This is the time of year that we think about setting goals. We want to be better and all of you constantly inspire me to keep trying. This brand new issue of BLOCK has been spruced up from cover to cover to start 2020 off in style! The design has been refreshed, exciting changes are on every page, more stories from our readers, and even more to come throughout the year! We hope you love it.

Starting new also means celebrating success and recognizing growth. BLOCK has been through a lot over the past six years and so have you. I love to see how quilting changes us and helps us become stronger. Most of the letters I receive contain stories that explain how quilting has helped you get through your challenges.

No matter how many trials you encounter in your lives, when you spend time at your sewing machine, you begin to put yourself back together, piece by piece. It takes time, but that journey is so sweet. Handing off this precious quilt that you made for someone who needs some love or encouragement changes you.

This year, I want to focus on finding joy each day. No one thrives in negativity and so, each day, I try to look for one good thing. Instead of worrying about all the things I’m not doing, I’m going to find the things I can do. I don’t think I’m going to try and finish all my UFOs or completely redo my sewing room. But I will spend more time at my sewing machine! It brings peace to my soul. You quilters continually bring hope and love into the world. Keep an eye on those around you and spread as much joy as you can!

Love,
Jenny


We’ve been sharing our resolution of New Year, New Projects – a goal to simply create more. As we try to inspire all of you to do this, we hope you realize just how much you inspire us right back.

In planning towards becoming more creative and making more, we’ve started with our own in-house publication, BLOCK Magazine. For the last six years, BLOCK Magazine has been an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. On every glossy page, you’ll find stunning photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories!

It was a small idea that originally gave birth to what this magazine became. Now that it’s 2020 – a new year, a new decade… Another small idea has grown into what is now the new and improved BLOCK Magazine. The idea book still holds everything you already love inside, but better and with more content!

The team creatively pieced together a new design concept and the end result is stunning – well, we think so and we hope you love it too! If you’re subscribed, you’ll see the fresh, new look within your next issue. If not, subscribe today so you don’t miss out!

… And because we’re so excited – we just can’t resist sharing a sneak peek of our brand new cover design:

Drum roll please…

🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁

Voila!

BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 1

Eek! We’re in love with this sleek, modern look! Oh, and notice the new content that’s waiting inside? We’re so excited to share it with you!

Natalie Earnheart, Managing Editor of BLOCK Magazine

“We’re so excited to bring you a brand new issue of BLOCK that’s been completely refreshed for 2020! This new design includes even more of what you love: original articles, beautiful photography, a gorgeous cover, fun projects, stories from our readers, and not an ad in sight… We hope you love it! Stay tuned for exciting updates that will be happening throughout the coming months. It’s sure to be a great year for quilting!”

– Natalie Earnheart, Managing Editor


So what’s coming to BLOCK Magazine?

  • Fresh, new cover design
  • Refreshed content
  • More authentic photo styling
  • Stories (from Jenny AND more from our readers)
  • Educational quilting articles
  • 10 patterns + 1 bonus project
  • Jenny’s Journal (a highlight of Jenny’s personal projects)
  • Mystery Story with a new chapter in each issue
  • and sew much more!

Take a peek into the next issue of BLOCK Magazine


These are a few of the quilts that will be featured in the upcoming issue!


Check out last year’s Behind the Scenes and browse through past issues with us as we look back on the last six years of BLOCK Magazine.

Over $50 worth of information is packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions.) There are NO ads and each issue ships FREE with your subscription!

Subscribe by January 30, 2020 to get this issue in March!

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE

What will your first project of 2020 be?
Tell us (or show us) in the comments!

A Look Inside BLOCK Magazine: Winter 2019

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” -Ira Glass

A Note From Jenny Doan, BLOCK Magazine Winter Issue 2019

After the winter holidays, I like to write down the moments that made me smile. Like the care that went into a handmade gift from a grandchild, the friendly chatter around the family dinner table, and the sweet older lady who talked to me at the post office. Every day there’s something to remind me there is good in this world. These little moments make up each day and when I stop to appreciate them, it changes my perspective, and ultimately, my life.

Our lives are composed of small moments that make up our stories. Taking the time to recognize them and record them creates a narrative that connects generations. And quilting is another way of telling our stories. Each quilt begins with a moment of inspiration, a desire to create something beautiful and show we care. When a friend or a family member needs some extra love, I may not always know the perfect thing to do or say, but I know of at least one way I can help. Quilts communicate love beyond words.

If you’re ever wondering if your stories matter, take heart! They matter more than you’ll ever know. For the first time ever, this issue of BLOCK features stories from you, our readers. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! It has been a joy to read over them. We sincerely wish we could include them all. If you would like to submit your story for a future issue, we’d love to listen. Send it to us at blockstories@missouriquiltco.com. Here’s to a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and many more stories to come.

Love,
Jenny


Behind the Scenes of BLOCK Magazine Volume 6 Issue 6

One of the photographs in this issue was taken above Missouri Star’s Penney’s Quilt Shop. It’s a spectacular space that has yet to be renovated and still holds the heart of Hamilton’s history within its walls. To keep to the authenticity, we modeled two of our very own employees: Joe Morgan, our amazing carpenter who has played a huge role in the renovations of most all our buildings and his sweet wife, Elizabeth, who can usually be found in our Kids & Baby shop.

During this shoot, the photography team got to work closely with Jenny and some of her family. Jenny and Ron posed together for a snugly shot while her son, Alan, his wife, Drea, and their sweet baby Porter modeled for a cookie exchange photo-shoot. Jenny’s grandson, Porter, loved being the center of attention and put on a great little show!

Get a sneak peek of what’s inside this issue…

Here are just a few quilts you’ll find in our next issue, featured in different colors and new collections! Within this magazine, you’ll find that each quilt pattern is tied to an inspiring story and beautiful photography!

Each issue includes 10 patterns plus a few of Jenny’s special projects! That’s over $50 worth of information all packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions)

Subscribe by November 25, 2019 to get this issue in December!

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE TODAY!

While we’re buttoning up the odds and ends of this next issue, would you help us choose the front cover? We just love them all!

BLOCK Magazine Cover Voting Winter Issue 2019

Click HERE to send in your vote! Thank you!

Already subscribed to BLOCK Magazine?
Tell us what you love most in the comments below!

Meet Missouri Star Academy Instructor, Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill

Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is the founder of Whole Circle Studio, LLC which specializes in the design of custom modern quilts, patterns and other licensed products. She is an active member of the modern quilt community and recognized from her many outstanding awards from several major quilting events. Sheri also teaches and presents her creative skills all over the world, but works mostly from her home studio in New Haven, Connecticut.

With all her adventures in tow, we were thrilled that Sheri said yes to coming all the way to Quilt Town, USA to teach one of our online classes, Piecing Curves with Confidence! Let us introduce you to Missouri Star Academy‘s newest instructor!

Meet Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

When did you first conquer the curve? How long into your quilting journey was it?

I decided to make a modern flowering snowball quilt as an entry to a challenge back in 2014. The inspiration for my quilt, Picnic Petals, was the fabric challenge collection, entitled Petal Pinwheels. Going into the challenge, I looked at a lot of photos of pinwheels, flowers and sketched elements of these objects to study how I could convey organic shapes and movement in a block quilt. As a relatively new quilter at the time, this was the first time I worked with curved elements. This challenge encouraged me to work with fabric patterns and techniques I might not normally work with. Out of 750 entries, I was one of the three winners! 

Meet Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What are the staples/must have tools in your sewing studio?

First and foremost, a space that I’m comfortable in. I love having natural light, so whenever possible I keep lights off… I also love having a design wall that I can put up random swatches, blocks or quilts that I’m working on. It’s amazing how different things can look from hour to hour or day to day. Sometimes if I’m stuck on something, I’ll walk by it days later and figure out the next step.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

I’m usually either listening to a podcast or have a video streaming through my computer, ALWAYS coffee, and sometimes salty veggie chips, cashews or chocolate chips!

Why do you think people find curves so terrifying? Are there any misconceptions about sewing them that you can clear up?

I think people are scared of curves because it looks difficult. The truth is, it’s super easy. I teach this technique all the time and there is always at least one skeptic in the room who thinks they can’t do it. I’ve never had a student NOT be able to sew a beautiful curve by the end of class. All you need is experience sewing a ¼” seam, pins and patience! Seriously!

When did you start quilting? What brought you into the quilting world? 

Wanting to make a quilt, I bought a sewing machine for $100 and my first quilt pattern book in 2006. There was only one problem—I didn’t know how to use a sewing machine. Busy with work, that book sat on my shelf for seven years until I needed a distraction from a stressful situation in my life. My first few quilts I made for others—to celebrate the births of babies, weddings and friends moving into exciting new phases of their lives. I became addicted to quilt making and then realized that with my graphic design and technical skills I could design my own quilts. After sharing my work with others online and in quilt guilds, I was asked to share my patterns. In 2015, I started Whole Circle Studio, LLC. Whole Circle Studio specializes in the design of custom modern quilts, patterns and other licensed products.

Where do you find your inspiration for new products? 

Inspiration for my work comes from my everyday life… I believe design and content have a symbiotic relationship. Both need to support one another and require a strong concept to fuel them. My quilt designs start with a concept and the content (research, backstory, color, fabric selection and technique) which help shape the design. Never without my camera and sketchbook, I’m always taking photos and sketching from everyday inspirations… My mission is to enhance people’s lives through beautiful, meaningful design as well as to empower and inspire others to enjoy the process of making.

What’s your favorite tip to share with new quilters? 

Don’t be afraid to experiment! Rarely is there ever just one way (and often there is never the “perfect” way to do something in quilting. If a specific way of doing something doesn’t come naturally to you or isn’t fun, see if there is a different way to do it. Quilting should be fun! 

Meet Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Learn more about Sheri and her work at wholecirclestudio.com and on Instagram at @wholecirclestudio.

Join her latest class, Piecing Curves with Confidence, and learn a new skill with Sheri! Don’t forget to come back and show off your curves!

If you aren’t quite sure this is the class for you, get a sneak peek of what you can expect HERE!

What curvy project will you make?!

Start Piecing Curves with Confidence

Meet Annette Ashbach, a Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Missouri Star Academy is all about providing education and empowering you to create. From weekly tutorials to online in-depth classes, events and even classes held here in Hamilton, MO at our Education Center where there is something for everyone!

Annette Ashbach is one of our Education Center instructors and she teaches many things ranging from making full quilt tops to smaller projects like aprons and totes!

Meet Annette Ashbach, a Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Annette first found interest in sewing after she became fascinated with watching her grandmother’s hand-stitching and embroidery techniques. Her love for sewing continued as she grew up watching her mother create costumes and dance uniforms on the sewing machine. Today, Annette has been quilting on and off for about forty-five years and teaching for the last twelve.

Meet Annette Ashbach, a Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Annette has a very diverse taste in fabrics. She adores anything wool, but also enjoys batiks. She has a soft spot for appliqué and is always up for a challenging pattern!

Take a peek at our Education Center Class Schedule and sign up to learn something fun with Annette!

“Don’t be afraid to try something new… It’s just fabric! Have fun and be creative! That’s all there is to it.” she says.

Annette Ashbach

Introducing… Let’s Make Art

Two years ago, Sarah Cray was a freelance artist… selling her prints on Etsy, illustrating books, and just simply exploring her creative freedoms was the life Sarah had fallen in love with. But then, she got a call that would result in her being able to take those passions and share her love of art with the world. The call was from ours truly, Al Doan, the co-founder of Missouri Star Quilt Co. The pair had briefly known each other in college, but after a bad experience in shopping art supplies online, he called up the talented Sarah in hopes the two could create something better for others.

Let's Make Art, Hamilton Missouri, Local Business Spotlight, Missouri Star

Together, they worked to transform the reputation of art from being intimidating, hard, and overwhelming to helpful, welcoming, and encouraging. In 2017, Sarah’s artistic abilities and Al’s master business mind proved a powerful duo in giving birth to Missouri Star’s sister company, Let’s Make Art! Since then, the team has welcomed modern lettering artist, Nicole Miyuki.

The business hopes to offer several different art medium services soon, but right now, Let’s Make Art offers monthly subscription boxes, supplies and step-by-step tutorials for watercolor taught by Sarah and hand-lettering taught by Nicole.

“The intention was to create a company that was way more accessible and not as intimidating for people who want to get into it. Something that sends the empowering message that anyone can make art.” – Sarah Cray, Co-Founder

When asked what they believe attributes to their success so far. Sarah answered by stating, “I don’t want people to think that I’m the best at watercolor and that I do it perfect every single time. If I make a mistake, I show them openly, and explain how they can correct it… Art is a process and we’re always learning. People are welcome to be open with no judgement here.” Others have found that they have been able to relate to the Let’s Make Art team. It’s a space full of inspiration in which people feel comfortable to begin their creative journey.

Sometimes the art they create has a mission of its own. With Let’s Make Art Matter, the Let’s Make Art team places an addressed and stamped postcard in each subscription box. There is a free tutorial per each card. Everyone then creates their postcard and sends it to a family, person, or organization that is suffering from the death of a loved one, an illness, or other disaster. “We send them to a family that just really needs a little bit of love. Art can be very healing.” says Sarah. Outside of the subscription boxes, people are welcome to walk-in, sit down at a table and Make Art Matter right there in the store and they will make sure it’s gets sent to the family for you.

When you stop in at Let’s Make Art, there’s always an opportunity to “try it before you buy it” and even participate in a make-a-take! With our Birthday Bash event coming up, Let’s Make Art invites you to come and create your own or join in on making art matter. Whether for yourself or for a family who needs a smile, stop by their booth and try it out!

Let's Make Art, Hamilton Missouri, Local Business Spotlight, Missouri Star

Even if you aren’t quilter, you can still enjoy “Quilt Town, USA.” Bring your friends and stop in for a brew, go golfing, or grab a sweet bite to eat. And don’t forget to say hi to the Let’s Make Art team and discover watercolor and hand-lettering designs!

Learn More at LetsMakeArt.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram!