The Keeper of Kansas City Star Quilts: Edie McGinnis

The Keeper of Kansas City Star Quilts: Edie McGinnis

Edie McGinnis is one of our pattern writers here at Missouri Star. Some of her amazing Kansas City Star quilt collection is currently on display until Dec. 4 at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY. Read on to learn about how Edie started quilting, collecting quilts and her time at the Kansas City Star in her own words.

Edie McGinnis at Missouri Star Academy 2018

Edie shared quilts and stories at Missouri Star Academy earlier this year.

Before I began working as a pattern writer at Missouri Star Quilt Co., I spent many years of my life working for The Kansas City Star newspaper. I began in the composing room making up pages of the newspaper, bounced into the photo department, where I learned how to work with digital photos using Photoshop, then on to the newsroom where I answered phones and worked as the editor of the Star’s Block of the Month program as well as editing other quilt books and writing a few of my own.

Just before going to work at The Star, I had decided that I would like to have a quilt. My mother-in-law had lovely antique quilts, and there was always one on the bed in the guest room. I had never been around handmade quilts before. And it didn’t take me long to fall in love with those pretty old scrappy things that I could never look at enough. Every time I looked, I spotted a different fabric that I’d not noticed before.

Whirlygig Hexagon Quilt currently on display at the National Quilt Museum.

Whirlygig Hexagon Quilt

Surely I could make one! I knew how to sew and even though I didn’t own a sewing machine, I could stitch them by hand. After all, that’s how quilts had been made forever, right? I gave it a whirl and loved every step of the process. So began my quilting journey.

When I first began quilting, I had no idea that my work life and my hobby life would collide and turn into another career.

One day a friend of mine brought about 10 feed sacks to my home that her mom had saved from the 30s and 40s and gave them to me, thinking I might be able to use them to make a quilt. I thought and thought about how to use them, what pattern to use, what might look perfect for fabric from that era. While at the grocery store, I picked up a quilting magazine and found the pattern for the Whirligig Hexagon quilt. The magazine article talked about it being one of the patterns that had been published in The Kansas City Star. Wait! What? The Kansas City Star had published quilt patterns?

Pineapple Cactus Quilt on display at National Quilt Museum.

Pineapple Cactus Quilt on display at National Quilt Museum.

Yes, indeed they had, over 1,000 of them beginning in 1928 through 1961. I was so excited to learn all I could learn about the patterns. I found original patterns that quilters had cut and saved in scrap books and boxes. I collected all that I could find and I thought it would be wonderful to redo the patterns and put rotary cutting instructions with them and add in a seam allowances whether anyone else thought that was necessary or not.

I haunted the office of each publisher as they came and went. I told each inhabitant of that office that everyone was making money off of the Kansas City Star patterns but The Kansas City Star. Usually the response would be along the lines of, “Well, you know, my grandma used to quilt …” Or, “Yeah, well, we’re a newspaper and we don’t have much to do with quilting in this day and age.”

Missouri Star Academy attendees were treated to one of Edie’s famous trunk shows. Pictured are two versions of the Rocky Road to Kansas Quilt.

Then in 1999, The Star began a book publishing division and suddenly, those old patterns became books waiting to happen. And there I was, the only person at The Star who knew how to quilt. Kismet!

I became an advisor, then an author as well as an editor. I got to go to Quilt Market, set up the booth, recruit other authors and became the editor of The Star’s Block of the Month program. Eventually I worked solely for Kansas City Star Quilts and became the Associate Editor.

And when I could, I picked up an antique Kansas City Star Quilt. One at an antique shop here or an auction there or maybe even while cruising through eBay. Antique dealers at quilt market were a great resource. How I loved going through their stacks of beautiful quilts! So many choices in their booths!

Basket of Chips Quilt

The Basket of Chips Quilt, part of Edie’s trunk show at Missouri Star Academy.

I kept adding a quilt here and there and before I knew it, I actually had accrued a nice collection. They weren’t always pristine and many were a long way from perfect. But each represented the pattern from which it was made. The saddest part of my collection is that the quilts have no provenance so I don’t know who made each particular quilt.

Word got out about my collection and this spring I received a call from Frank Bennet at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky. He wanted to know if I had at least 32 Kansas City Star quilts. I told him I thought that was possible. Then he asked me if I would like to curate an exhibit of Kansas City Star quilts at the museum this September.

Cowboy Star Quilt

The Cowboy Star Quilt, currently on display at the National Quilt Museum.

How could anyone say no to such an opportunity?

The exhibit opened September 7 and runs through December 4. The museum is located at 215 Jefferson Street, Paducah, Kentucky, and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday all year long. March 1 – November 30, it is also open on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

And me? I still barely can believe I’m getting to do this!

Edie and Jenny at Missouri Star Academy in 2018.

Edie and Jenny at Missouri Star Academy in 2018.

Spring Quilt Market Recap

Spring Quilt Market Recap

I’ll admit it, I’m a Quilt Market newbie. It was my very first time attending this amazing event and I left feeling inspired, exhausted, and simply in awe of all the beauty and talent I’d just witnessed. As a writer for Missouri Star, it’s not often that I make my way out into the public eye. I usually work behind the scenes, but when the opportunity came for me to attend Market in my hometown, I jumped at it!

I made my way through both Schoolhouse and Market with the fervor of a puppy, excitedly admiring my favorite designers and trying not to drool. There was so much to see and so little time to see it in, I hope this recap does it justice. All I can say is, we’re all in for a big treat this summer and fall when these incredible collections start coming into stores! I have a feeling you’re going to adore them.

Some of the Missouri Star gang met up briefly before we scattered to our various duties at Market. We’re always happy to see each other!

From right to left:

Nichole Spravzoff, Jo Hellberg, Rob Appell, Jenny Doan, Ron Doan, Nancy Rosenberger, and Karen O’Shea.

As an avid Cotton + Steel fan, I feel like I should mention their last collections with RJR Fabrics first. These ladies are truly wonderful and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!

Their brightly-colored booth was a standout in the center of Market. With coordinating thread and a wall of rainbow-hued fabrics from all their collections, I could hardly restrain myself! Each of their new collections is just as wonderful as ever.

Kimberly Kight’s latest collection, Steno Pool, is the epitome of vintage office cuteness! Imagine slipping into that darling frock before heading off to a day in the typing pool with that bag on your arm to boot! I wouldn’t mind one bit.

Rashida Coleman Hale’s collection, Akoma, has a lot of heart. It’s all about patience and tolerance, featuring Adinkra symbols originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa. To me, it definitely says, “Girl power!”

Moonrise is a serene collection of quietly bold fabrics, infused with the magic of the moonlit hours. Eclipses don’t happen too often and neither does a collection as special as hers.

Front Yard by Sarah Watts completely delighted me with its whimsical toadstools and gnome prints in bright, bold colors. I couldn’t walk past without smiling ear to ear.

Melody Miller has such a playful style. I could imagine Carol Brady herself wearing this sweet, yellow dress adorned with flowers while whipping up a meatloaf for a family of eight. It’s simply adorable. See more from her Freshly Picked collection HERE.

Alison Glass was not to be missed at this Quilt Market. Her collection astounded me with its spectrum of beautiful, yarn-dyed solids. Like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, her smaller projects were wonderful little surprises that accented her main collection perfectly. Who wouldn’t want to make a few of these darling mini quilts designed by Guicy Guice? Hehe!

Next up, I have a feeling that Wolf Abstractions by Violet Craft will be a howling success! This majestic, geometric wolf is king of all he sees.

And Violet hasn’t stopped there. She’s gone back to her roots and created a collection inspired by her home state, Kansas. As she likes to say, “You can take the girl out of Kansas, but you can’t take Kansas out of the girl.”

Her Farmland Series includes an udderly cute cow, a perky EPP rooster, and a sunflower table runner.


Our friend, Tula Pink, is here with a new fun, funky collection called Zuma. It seems to be equal parts ocean-inspired and laid-back hippy, which I totally love. It has a strong nautical theme with bright, neon accents throughout. I could practically squeal over those Volkswagen bus pillows! (I think I did.)

Big props to Valori Wells, one of the first designers who inspired me to quilt. Her 40th fabric collection, Marmalade Dreams, is simultaneously light and breezy, with a lot of history behind it. She simply oozes creativity and finds inspiration in exotic locales and block printing, another one of her artistic outlets.

This fantastic Trip Around the World quilt includes pieces of each of her 40 fabric collections. It truly has been an incredible journey for her so far and I’m excited to see where her travels will lead her next!

Quietly powerful, Carolyn Friedlander’s newest collection, Polk, has a homespun sensibility with all the appeal of Modern design. I adore her color combinations with that bright pop of melon in the mix.

And I know you’re all excited for another awesome collection from Elizabeth Hartman! Her latest designs feature the cuddliest little penguins, narwhals, polar bears, foxes, and other creatures of the Arctic in cool, muted colors.

I could really go on and on about all the fabulous collections I saw at Market, but for your sake and mine, I think I’ll go take a little nap and dream about all the exciting things that will be on their way soon! I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into a beginner’s first experience at Quilt Market.

Until next time, Happy Quilting! —Nichole


Disaster Relief Quilts

Disaster Relief Quilts

Late last summer, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the coast of Texas, bringing with it once-in-a-century rainfall, leading to unfathomable devastation. Before we could catch our breath, Hurricane Irma pummeled Florida, followed by Maria ravaging Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. With homes underwater, vehicles washed away, and countless people losing all of their worldly possessions, we knew, as a community of quilters, we had to do something to help. So we called on you, our amazing Missouri Star family, and you sent boxes and envelopes and dropped off packages, all filled with handmade quilts, blankets and pillowcases. Each created with love to be shared with someone in need. Packages were mailed from all across the globe, and when all the quilts were counted, there were more than 9,000 sent to us to be given away. And given away they were. Watch below to see the impact your generosity and kindness has had on Missouri Star, the Hamilton community, and those who were the recipients of your acts of love.

Pin Peddlers

Pin Peddlers

Are you looking for a dash of whimsy or a pop of color to liven up a favorite jacket or customize a scarf or bag? Look no further than the hundreds of pins and charms available through Pin Peddlers!

Pin Peddlers

If you have ever visited the Missouri Star Quilt Co. shops in Hamilton, MO, you may be familiar with some of Pin Peddlers’ creations. Each of the 12 uniquely themed shops in town has its own charm, perfect for collecting and commemorating your trip to Missouri Star. 

You can also shop all of our Missouri Star charms HERE!

Missouri Star Quilt Co. Shop Charms

All 12 Missouri Star Quilt Co. shops, plus Man’s Land have a uniquely-themed charm.

Once you have your charms and pins selected, the next step is deciding how to display them. Pin Peddlers created this fantastic video to show how versatile pins and charms can be! You can also use a quilted wallhanging for an adorable way to show off your collection!

In addition to supplying Missouri Star with dozens of creations for shops, quilts, and special events, Pin Peddlers sells a wide variety of pins, charms, and charm-related jewelry directly on the Pin Peddlers website. From cats and dogs to sewing machines and beautiful quilt blocks, there is something for everyone!

Be sure to click HERE to see all of the jewelry accessories Pin Peddlers has available!

Pin Peddlers Charm Bracelet

Pin Peddlers Charm Holder

If you are on the hunt for a truly special charm or pin to commemorate an event, or a special piece to sell in your shop or guild, Pin Peddlers is here to help! They specialize in creating custom pins and charms (with a minimum purchase of 50), and you can learn about custom pin orders HERE. Pin Peddlers has created custom work for quilt guilds, sewing groups, businesses, conferences, and museums, and is happy to help you design a pin to meet your specifications.

The Story of Us on Turning Point

The Story of Us on Turning Point

It’s hard to believe that our story started back in 2008 (nearly 8 years ago). We’ve grown as people, as quilters, as a community and as a company in so many ways since then. It’s been an amazing journey and we are so lucky to have you all by our side through it all.

A few months ago we were lucky enough to have the BYU TV film crew come to the small town of Hamilton, MO to film a Turning Point feature on Missouri Star Quilt Co. and the full story of how we came to be. We hope you enjoy watching the feature below and feel a bit more like family after doing so.

* Click the expand button in the bottom right hand corner of the video to make it bigger.