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!
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 voilà – 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.
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
Misty Doan is many things. She’s a mom, wife, city councilwoman, model, quilter, Missouri Star LIVE host, and now… a designer!
Misty recently created this quilt pattern, Into the Woods! Check it out HERE!
Get to know Misty and all about her inspiration behind her latest creation and her favorite holiday traditions!
Where do you look for inspiration in your work?
Inspiration strikes in all different ways for me. But, everything I make or design is usually with a specific person or purpose in mind. So I think a lot about that- Who is it for? What do they love? What would make this quilt meaningful to them? What would make this project stand out? I like to challenge myself during the design process by asking lots of questions and that helps guide me to the final result.
What are your must have tools for working on quick kit projects?
Before I sit down to start on any quilt project, I always make sure I have my diagonal seam tape on my machine, a seam guide handy, and a few bobbins wound and ready to go. I do all my cutting first, label my pieces with trusty post-it notes, and then I can just sit and sew, sew, sew!
What tips do you have for new quilters?
Finished really is better than perfect. Take your time, enjoy the process, and remember- it’s only fabric and thread. Jenny always says, “Sewing is a learned skill. Sew an hour today and tomorrow you’re an hour better!”
What are your favorite holiday traditions?
There are almost too many to name. We try to make every holiday special at our house, but Christmas is especially magical. We always decorate the day after Thanksgiving- singing along to our favorite Christmas music and decking the halls together. The kids also make handmade gifts for each other every year that they exchange on Christmas Eve, so Jake and I love helping them with that. (It’s always a trick to keep their plans a secret from the others.)
Which projects do you work on specifically for Christmastime?
I always try to make handmade gifts for a few special people each year. What I make is different each year, depending on who it’s for, but there’s something truly special about making time to make something with someone special in mind.
What inspired Into the Woods? Why did you choose those three blocks?
My boys have been spending a lot of time playing in the woods behind our house lately. They’re always adventuring and exploring- bringing back treasures that they find and building forts. I recently made a quilt with my daughter and loved spending time helping her- so it seemed like it was time to make something that the boys would love. The quilt really seemed to design itself once I started. I knew I wanted to use the simple wedge to make the rows of trees, so that’s really where it all started. Then, I decided to include the log cabin blocks as a nod to the ramshackle fort that they’re so proud of building. And lastly the bearpaw blocks just naturally seemed to tie it all together.
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.
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 appliqué.
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.
Plus part three of our Ruby Sensation Sew-Along >>>
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:
“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!
With seven children under the same roof at one time, Jenny and Ron are pros at finding creative solutions for common family chores, like the ever-present loads of laundry and nightly gatherings around the dinner table.
Jenny sat down to share some of the creative solutions she’s learned from parenting her seven children, like how to assign laundry and dinner days. Watch below as she shares her thoughts on how to tackle these daily household chores.
Today marks our favorite quilting couple’s 40th wedding anniversary, and to celebrate this amazing milestone, we wanted to put together a list of the 40 things that the Doan family loves about their parents/grandparents. Only problem is, there are waaaaaaay more than 40 memories, life lessons and stories to share about this wonderful couple, and even with a little editing here and there, the list doubled to 80! Each and every one of these memories speak to their remarkable character and the light that they shine on the world around them.
Without further ado, here are the Top 80 Things To Love about Jenny and Ron from all seven of their children, children’s spouses and 21 of their 22 grandchildren (baby Porter doesn’t speak just yet, so he gets a pass this year!)
First up is Darrel, Jenny and Ron’s oldest son and his wife Stephanie and their two boys, Erik and Sean:
1. We love your passion for tradition, especially Swedish history, from Dola horses to Tomtes to Swedish pancakes…we love it all almost as much as we love you!
2. We love our sports car racing! Thank you for introducing such a fun sport at an early age. This lives on in our house as there isn’t an IndyCar, Formula 1, or IMSA race that we miss.
3. I love Grandma Jenny & Grandpa Ron because you always think of me every holiday” – Love Erik (and we mean EVERY holiday! 4. “You both remind me of Christmas, presents, and fun cards” – Love Sean
Next is Natalie.. She’s Jenny and Ron’s oldest daughter, and mother to Sam, Noah, Isaac, Hannah, and Jenna.
5. I love that my mom is joyful, she loves positivity, adventure and looks for the good in all situations.
6. My mom loves her family and has a strong testimony that she shares in everything that she does, and she is one of the hardest working women that I know.
7. I love that my dad is so patient and he loves us so much.
8. My dad is constantly serving others, and never wants any accolades for all that he does. He loves unconditionally and teaches by his example how we can be more Christlike.
Sam, Natalie’s oldest son, writes:
9. Grandma is thoughtful and kind to everyone she meets.
10. Grandpa really cares about other people. He puts the needs of others above his own, is always helping anyone who needs it, and is very smart and can figure out anything.
Next up is Noah, who writes:
11. I love that Grandma loves all her grandchildren so much, and I love how grandpa is always willing to help someone in need.
Then we have Isaac, who explains:
12. I love that they were so welcoming and kind to my wife, Aislinn and made her feel like family. I know that sounds generic, but it was so special for us.
Followed by Hannah, who notes:
13. Grandma is always happy. She’s always singing or whistling or doing something she loves. One of my favorite memories of Grandma is one time we were at a concert and I was in a large bathroom. I had waited in a long line with strangers. Grandma came in whistling and I instantly knew it was her. I was in a stall, and had no idea who it was, but I knew it was her. I said, “Grandma”? and she answered, “who knows me by my whistle”? It was sooo funny!
14. My favorite thing about Grandpa is how much he loves cars, and bikes. I love how much he loves working, doing things with his hands, and helping others. One of my favorite memories of him is the time he taught me how to ride the dirt bikes. He was teaching me, and I kept falling off but he still made it fun. He was patient and kind, and I had fun learning to ride from him.
And, last up from Natalie’s family is Jenna, who writes:
15. I love how much they always want to help others and give, how they set a good example to all of us grandchildren and how they treat everyone with compassion.
After Natalie comes Sarah, who is married to Seth. They are parents to Annie, Katie, Jared, Ella, and Jason.
16. My best memories are not only of the adventures we had but the feelings that go along with them. I can come up with tons of stories and things we all did together, but what sticks out the most to me, is the way I felt. Growing up, we felt loved. We knew we were safe. We didn’t have money for fancy things, but we felt good about what we did have. We felt good about working hard for what we wanted; earning things together for a big reward. We felt inspired to be better and do better. We felt sadness and talked about our feelings and dealt with emotions. We felt pride and we felt joy when we would dress up and go overboard for community festivals, decorating floats to be in a parade. We felt valued when our parents listened to our ideas and cared about our feelings. We felt cared about. Every day, Dad would get up and work long hours to support us, and we knew that he did it because he loved us. We felt smart. Mom taught us and gave us so many opportunities to learn and grow and was the real life Mrs. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus. We were so blessed to grow up together in a house full of fun, laughter, and love.
17. Having a chilly good time with Ron crawling under the house at the Gould Farm roadhouse to fix frozen pipes and changing the transmission in their old Geo in the freezing cold.
18. Ron taught me how to ride a motorcycle and we continue to build and ride motorcycles together through the years.
19. Jenny singing loud (for all to hear!) and whistling. (She’s very musically-inclined you know!)
20. Jenny making apple pie filling, cherry jam, and peeling lots and lots of wallpaper (not at the same time, of course!)
Annie, the eldest of Sarah and Seth’s children, remembers:
21. Sleepovers at Grandma and Grandpa’s and sleeping on their floor to be close to them.
22. Going on movie dates together.
23. Always getting cards for birthdays and different things and feeling so much love through little random gifts that are always super personal.
24. Sewing with Grandma: helping her pick out fabric from her giant fabric closet, ironing for her, and looking through her giant button jar.
25. Hanging out with Grandpa as he worked outside on different things and the one time we were in the car together and that “I knew you were trouble” Taylor Swift song came on and Grandpa did the goat scream like the meme that was popular then and it was so unexpected and so so funny!
26. I remember driving to Florida to go on my first teaching adventure with them and going to Medieval Times and getting to Florida and driving back with Grandpa and just talking and laughing together.
Jared, Sarah and Seth’s eldest son, reflects on his favorite memories with his grandparents:
27. Watching the Kansas City Chiefs football games, riding motorcycles, going camping, and making homemade ice cream.
Katie, Sarah and Seth’s second eldest daughter, remembers:
28. I remember dancing and singing with Grandma and baking cookies, oatmeal cake, and making ice cream with Grandpa!
29. I remember when Grandma and Grandpa took me and Hannah to Arkansas, and I’m pretty sure I annoyed the heck out of them. 😂
30. I remember Grandma teaching me how to sew buttons and how to cut fabric. She taught me how to bind a quilt and how to properly sew on a machine and by hand.
31. I remember sanding and painting the blue desk for my room with Grandpa in the garage of the Main Shop.
Ella, next in line in Sarah and Seth’s household, writes that she:
32. Loves their hugs.
33. Remembers making her first quilt with Grandma (the elephant one!)
35. Loves going to Kansas City Chiefs games, riding motorcycles, surprise visits, and enjoying eclairs with his grandpa.
36. Enjoys his grandma’s Christmas Eve parties, singing songs, and camping in her glamper.
Hillary is Jenny and Ron’s youngest daughter. She’s married to Alex, and together they have five children: Allyson, Livvy, Alayna, Phoebe, and Jack.
37. I love that adventure is in their blood and they’ve shared that love of discovery and freedom and fearlessness with us as much as they could.
38. I love that they still are willing to help me with the things I never could figure out like cars and fear of failure.
39. I loved growing up in a place where love was the standard and arguments disappeared with a song and laughter.
40. I loved coming down the stairs for church as a teenager and Dad telling me I looked beautiful. He lifted my whole heart every time.
41. I like how comfortable I feel in their home and how they spend quality time with us every chance they get.
Allyson, Hillary and Alex’s eldest daughter, writes:
42. They’re so funny! They always goof off together and are one of the best examples of “best friends for life” that I’ve ever seen. They are so loving to others. They really know how to take care of other people.
43. Both of them can do ANYTHING! When they put their minds to it, they accomplish the impossible (we’ve all seen the proof).
Livvy, Hillary and Alex’s second-oldest daughter, explains:
44. I like eating Grandpa’s pancakes on Grandma’s cat plates.
45. I like that they take care of stray cats and that they have a ton of quilts!
Alayna, next in line in Hillary and Alex’s family, writes:
46. I love that Grandma and Grandpa can keep me smiling all the time when I’m near them and how kind and caring they are.
47. I love that Grandma and Grandpa are so giving, and how they walk around the house singing. It makes me happy
Phoebe, the youngest daughter of Hillary and Alex, writes:
48. I like that they have cute things in their house. They make me happy.
49. I like that Grandma sings and whistles around the house, and how they can find places to hang so many quilts!
Jack, the baby of Hillary and Alex’s family, explains:
50. I like that I get to talk to Grandma and Grandpa about my Pokemon (and they actually listen!).
51. I like Grandma and Grandpa’s gifts, and that Grandpa gave me the coolest pinewood derby car.
Al is up next, and is the eldest of Jenny and Ron’s younger sons. He is married to Drea, and they are parents to the youngest grandchild at the moment, Porter, and they also have a pair of twins on the way! Al reflects:
52. Some of my favorite memories growing up are of Mom reading mystery novels to us kids while we lay on the couch and floor around her. She was the queen of cliffhangers, but often she’d get as into the story as much we would be, and she would sit and read to us for hours. I loved that.
53. I loved how on long drives, we’d listen to books on tape. Dad didn’t love to read books as much, but he definitely loved a good story and on those drives, we all got to bask in great storytelling and how exciting it would be.
54. I remember Mom taking us to people’s houses who I didn’t know, but we’d eventually become their friends. We would volunteer at the library, help at the food pantry, and deliver bread to those in need. She made service fun and a big part of who we were, and who we are today.
55. Dad was amazing ‘cause he’d jump right into our antics. We’d be playing basketball when he made it home from work at 6 p.m. (after starting work at 4 a.m.), and he’d pull in the drive and just come right out and start playing with us. I didn’t realize how amazing that was until becoming a father myself, and now I understand the desire to just sit down after that long day and he never would. He’d come home to be the judge in our kangaroo court, join a water fight, or help remodel the bathroom.
56. I also remember begging Dad to wake us up before he’d leave for work (at 4 a.m.) so we could say goodbye and give him a kiss, and sometimes he would, and we loved it. Other times, he said he felt too bad and just had to let us sleep.
57. I remember saving for weeks to buy a baseball card kit from those book sale flyers they send home from school, and I didn’t have enough and Dad woke me up before he left for work the morning it was due and gave me the $14 I needed for it, and just how amazing that was to me. I used the money for show and tell, I don’t know that I’d ever held a $10 bill at that point and I was so thrilled.
Following Al is Jake, who is married to Misty, and together they have three children: Gideon, Ashelyn, and Ezra.
58. Their work ethic, kindness, compassion, and dedication to charitable endeavors are amazing. I’ve learned so much from them.
59. I love Mom’s love of gardening that she passed on to me.
60. I loved summer camping trips. Mom packed the best food, and Dad would always play catch with us.
61. They taught us that we could do hard things. We hiked the Pinnacles when I was like five—THE PINNACLES. That’s a serious hike and we did it together.
62. They taught us that nothing was impossible. Even though we didn’t have much money growing up, our dreams were always within reach!
63. I love the way that they always hold hands, how they love to sit next to each other, and how they are the most reliable, kind, and helpful people.
64. They are an incredible example of true love—always looking out for each other, doing something kind for each other, and always doing things together.
65. I love that they love to dress up in costumes!
66. I love the way Ron looks at Jenny—like she hung the moon!
67. Family is EVERYTHING to them and they made me feel like part of the family from the first time I came over to the house at 16 years old. I always wanted to be around them.
68. Do you need a hand with something? You can always call Ron.
69. There aren’t better in-laws on the planet. They’re the best.
Gideon, Misty and Jake’s eldest son, writes:
70. They are always there to help and they will always love and respect you.
71. They also will give you yummy treats that aren’t quite as sweet as they are.
Ashelyn, Misty and Jake’s daughter, explains:
72. I loved it when Grandpa surprised me with a pink motorcycle.
73. I loved that day when I got to sew with Grandma.
74. I also had a great time playing that game called Qwirkle with them. It’s so fun!
Ezra, the baby of Jake and Misty’s family, writes:
Grandma and Grandpa are so kind and helpful. I love them!
We’ve made it to Josh, Jenny and Ron’s baby boy! He reflects on his favorite memories:
76. I remember sewing together with Mom and all those times at 2-3 a.m. talking with her while she was sewing.
77. Riding motocross with Dad. We had both just finished our races and were so tired, but so happy that we got to share that moment getting to race together. Dad can still get down and ride with the best of us!
78. Acting with mom in local plays really helped me gain a love of theatre.
79. Playing pranks with Mom. Sometimes these can get brutal. Haha!
And last, but certainly not least, Talon, Josh’s son, writes:
80. I love making pillowcases with Grandma every year.
This list could go on and on, and rightfully so. Jenny and Ron are two of the very best people we know! Please join us in wishing them both a very happy 40th wedding anniversary! If you have a memory of this remarkable couple, please feel free to share it with us in the comments below.