Five Fabulous Quilting Fads – Right Now.

What are fellow quilters making? Why are these designs and fabrics so popular? Are these trends new or are traditional styles making a comeback?

Don’t worry, we’ve found the answers. We’ve taken a close look into the world of quilting to find out what’s trending. Here are are the top five:

1. Stars

From Memorial Day to Veterans Day, a star quilt can find itself taking center stage all throughout the year and when we aren’t stocked up on red, white, and blue; quilters find stars to be quite innovative. Five points or ten, stars can be adjusted to fit any style from traditional to modern. Thus, the trendy star takes the cake.

Shoot for the stars with this hot trend!

Shop star-themed patterns and let your work shine!
Find fabrics filled with stars big and small.
Pick up something sweet for yourself and fit for a quilter – because you’re a STAR!

2. Hexagons

Hexagons are as old as time – well, as old at 1770 from what we can find in written quilt history. Over the years, quilters have transformed the way we create hexagons and with English paper piecing, fussy cutting, and quilt-as-you-go projects, today’s hexagon quilts are full of unique possibilities.

We’ll put a hex on you with these amazing hexagon items, but don’t worry, this is one spell you won’t want to break:

Hexi Precuts are flying off the shelves! Get them while you can!
Grab the templates you need to create amazing hexagon designs.
Find a new project with these popular hexagon patterns.

3. Curves

Everyone knows quilters are resilient so what do we do when life throws us a curve ball? We make a quilt! Lately, sewists are embracing the challenges that curves bring, and becoming more confident in piecing them together.

Start conquering your own curves with these ideas:

Make an Easy Clamshell (shown above).
Find your way with the Courtyard Path.
Let your curves run wild with the Drunkard’s Path Template.
Need a little help? Take our Piecing Curves with Confidence online class!

4. Appliqué Animals

Sometimes your quilt just needs that extra cute factor and what better than adding an appliqué animal! A perfect addition to a soft, cuddly baby quilt or to add a little fun and imagination to your next project, appliqué animals are so popular because they’re so easy to create!

Check out how these appliqué animals make these projects pop:

Get crafty with woodland creatures.
Are you a dog person or a cat person?
Learn how to finish all your appliqué projects by hand or by machine in our online classes.

5. Modern & Bold

More and more quilters have started testing the waters of the new, modern quilting style! Fresh and colorful with beautiful contrasts, it’s no wonder why modern quilts have become so popular recently.

Step out of your comfort zone and be bold:

Find the most amazing, unique designs you’ve ever seen in our collection of modern-style patterns.
Explore bold colors and intricately designed prints.
Find mountains of inspiration in our ModBLOCK Magazines.

Now through March 21, 2020, receive a Golden Star scratch-off ticket for every $25 you spend! Every ticket wins! Learn more about our Golden Star Sweepstakes >

What’s your favorite trend of the year and which trendy project will you work on next?! Let us know in the comments!

Plan Your Summer – 5 Simple Summer Quilt Projects

Plan your Summer Sewing Projects with Missouri Star Quilt Co and these 5 Simple Summer Quilt Projects

February is the perfect time to start dreaming of warm summer days in the sun. When the cabin fever of being cooped up indoors starts to really set it, take that opportunity to begin planning your summer projects! With summer months right around the corner, now is the perfect opportunity to begin work on wedding quilts, graduation gifts and those fun projects that make us wish for warmer weather!

Needing some inspiration? Here are some great summer quilting projects that will have you stitching up sunnier days in no time!

The Road Trip Quilt

The Road Trip Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Watch the free quilt tutorial today.

Document your summer travels and never forget the memories you made with the Road Trip Quilt! Each state is created through an easy appliqué process, but your imagination is the only limit as to which states to include! Make a quilt for each summer road trip or only use your favorite states, the choice is yours! Don’t forget, you can download a FREE Missouri Star Template for each state!

Capture that classic road trip feel with an Explore Layer Cake from Moda Fabrics. Explore features warm, natural colors with outdoor and camping themes. Pile in the back of the station wagon and hit the road as you stitch your itinerary with this beautiful line.

Watch the Quilt Tutorial >

Get the Quilting Supplies >

The May Day Baskets Quilt

The May Day Basket Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Watch the free quilt tutorial today.

Break out those jelly rolls and get ready to make this easy flower basket quilt! Capture the early days of summer and the beautiful blooming of spring with this simple beginner’s quilt tutorial. All this quilt is missing is a picnic basic and some sunshine for a beautiful day!

Jenny had a great idea with her color palette when creating her May Day Baskets Quilt. Capture the shades of a blooming spring with Braveheart Double Scoops 2.5” Strips from Andover Fabric featuring a sweet collection of florals, vines and berries in a spectrum of red, pink and white. We’re certain this collection will make your project blossom in beauty!

Watch the Free Quilt Tutorial >

Get the Sewing Supplies >

The Stars and Stripes Quilt

The Stars and Stripes Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Watch the free quilt tutorial today.

Hamilton, Missouri is located in America’s Heartland and when Independence Day comes around, we can’t help but show off our Stars and Stripes. Spread this patriotic quilt across a table at your next Fourth of July BBQ and you’ll steal the show!

Get that true red, white and blue in your quilt with Wilmington Essentials All American 40 Karat Gems 2.5” Strips! This classic take on this quilt will be sure to light up your Independence Day party, but why stop there? Break from the mold and take a risk with Kaffe Classics – Island Design Roll 2.5” Strips and make this quilt fun, unique and filled with fun and bright colors! There’s no limit to what you can imagine when it comes to quilting!

Watch the Quilting Tutorial >

Get the Quilting Supplies >

The Summer Camp Quilt

The Summer Camp Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Watch the free quilt tutorial today.

Remember spending your summers at camp? The memories we made in our childhood have a lasting impression on us. Jenny remembers the first quilt she ever made, a classic log-cabin quilt and drawing inspiration from her first days as a quilter, she’s created this gorgeous jelly roll pattern she likes to call the Summer Camp Quilt!

The Summer Camp Quilt is filled with colors and motion! Go bold with this design and consider Monkey Wrench 2.5” Strips from FreeSpirt Fabrics and designer Tula Pink for an amazingly colorful and fabulous design. These strips break from tradition with offbeat colors, florals and animals hidden throughout the layout which will turn your Summer Camp Quilt into a game of hide and seek as you try to locate all the beautiful details of the fabric!

Get the Quilting Supplies >

Watch the Quilting Tutorial >

The Summer School Quilt

The Summer School Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. Watch the free quilt tutorial today.

Spending summers on the lake is a fabulous past time. Fresh air, beautiful scenery and if you’re lucky, you can even see a school of fish! You’ll be using 5″ squares to make this lovely charm pack quilt that would be perfect for a summer fishing trip! Trade your bobbins in for bobbers with the Summer School Quilt!

When we think about the Summer School Quilt and all the cute fish swimming across the pattern, we can’t help but to think about Batiks! Consider the Coastal Getaway Batiks Charm Pack from Maywood Studio when creating this quilt, each 5” square marries light seafoam colors with ocean-themed batik backgrounds for a truly fabulous, nautical experience!

Watch the Quilt Tutorial >

Get the Quilting Supplies>

Dont’ Forget! Join us for Missouri Star Academy

Missouri Star Academy is a magical two-days of learning and fun right here in Hamilton! We’ve invited a few of your favorite fabric companies to our hometown as well as some of the best pattern and fabric designers in the quilting industry to come present at this fantastic event.
Check out this star-studded lineup of instructors from the 2018 Missouri Star Academy! These Sew-lebrities had a great time teaching, but don’t fear, there may be some familiar faces at the 2020 Missouri Star Academy! Stay tuned for more details and announcements!

As you plan your summer projects out, don’t forget that June 10th & 11th is The Missouri Star Academy right here in Quilt Town USA! Join us in Hamilton, Missouri for two days of fun and learning. We’ve even invited a few special guests from the quilting and fabric industry, so don’t miss this opportunity to meet and learn from some of your favorite Sew-lebrities! Mark your calendars today and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for update the latest updates!

Check out the Missouri Star Events Page >

Tell us, what’s your favorite summer quilt project?

Meet Missouri Star Academy Instructor, Patsy Thompson

Our newest Missouri Star Academy instructor is Patsy Thompson of Patsy Thompson Designs. She is an expert in free motion quilting using rulers. As you scroll through this post, you will find some of the most beautiful quilts quilted and designed by Patsy! Get to know her a bit more and fall in love with ruler-work quilting in her class, Beginning Free Motion Quilting with Rulers!

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

When did you first give machine quilting a try?

In the year 2000. I had been a hand quilter for over 20 years, and when I would see machine quilted quilts at shows, I thought of them as “cheater quilts.” I figured I could quickly learn to machine quilt, and I was so, SO WRONG!! It was very hard and took me a couple years of what felt like endless practice! I am very glad I didn’t give up, though, because I love to free motion quilt!

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

When you started, did you first use rulers or are they something you came to use later on?

Oh, gosh, no! I had been free motion quilting for many years before I tried rulers. Back when I did start, there were no ruler feet for home machines and we had to improvise. Nowadays, the market is very much geared to the home quilter and there’s a ruler foot for pretty much any machine that’s available.

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What advice do you have for someone just starting out with ruler work?

Get ready to have fun! It will feel very strange/awkward when you first start out, but stick with it and soon it will feel completely normal to be holding/moving the quilt and a ruler simultaneously. The learning curve for ruler work is much faster than for regular free motion quilting, so it’s worth giving ruler work a shot even if you’re a beginner free motion quilter.

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What advice do you have for someone who just started machine quilting?

I know that no one wants to hear these words, but keep practicing, then practice some more. It’s all about putting in the time. I would also start with much smaller projects. There are really two very different skills you need to free motion quilt:

  1.  You need to learn how to control the quilt sandwich underneath the needle to create an appealing design.  This requires you learning how to move the quilt from point A to point B to point C to create the design, and also how to do the “dance” between how quickly you move the quilt across the machine bed and how fast you run the foot pedal.  This set of skills is best learned on small quilt sandwiches.
  2. You need to learn to handle the quilt from the standpoint of a mechanical engineer.  A quilt is big and bulky and has a weightiness that will always be pulling against you until you learn how to position it to avoid drag.  When you’re a sit-down quilter on a home sewing machine, you also have that small harp space to contend with.  I don’t think about any of these issues anymore because it is second nature to me how to position/manipulate the quilt as I work, but when you’re first learning to free motion quilt, you’ll really need to focus on how to overcome these challenges.  
Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Do you have an all-time favorite quilt that you have quilted?

I have two all time favorites. Both of them have some hand-dyed cotton sateen fabrics in them, and there is something about those luscious colors that thrills me as I am quilting! They both have a lot of ruler work quilting, and also lots of feathers, so they each have many of my favorite parts of quilting.

Where do you look for inspiration in your work?

Pretty much everywhere.  I am very affected by color, especially rich, saturated colors, so I generally find myself stimulated by colors I see in everyday things.  I also am aware of combinations of colors (i.e. colors next to one another) that I find pleasing.  Those combinations will frequently find their way into quilts!

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

How long have you been teaching classes and what do you enjoy most about sharing your skills?

I taught my first class in early 2002. A friend of mine talked me into it and I remember being SO nervous driving to the class, questioning how I let myself get talked into doing it, wishing I could somehow get out of it. By the end of the class, I felt so exhilarated by seeing all these students learning how to free motion quilt, that I never questioned teaching again.  The best part of teaching is seeing a student realize that he/she can “do it.” There is nothing like the thrill of being a part of that spark! 

What are the must have tools for ruler work you always have on hand?

A ruler foot that fits your machine, machine quilting rulers/templates, and either a plexiglass extension table for your machine or the ability to sink the machine so it is flush with the quilting surface. You’ll also want marking tools (to mark your starting/stopping points), a seam ripper, and I like having a short ruler (6-8 inches long) for any measuring/marking that need to be done on the fly.

Meet Patsy Thompson, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What is your favorite ruler to use/design to make when machine quilting?

Arc rulers, for sure! You can make so many different types of designs with arc rulers, and the more curves you have at your disposal, the better. Arcs RULE!!

START MACHINE QUILTING WITH RULERS

What is your favorite machine quilting design?
Show us in the comments!

Meet Missouri Star Academy Instructor, HollyAnne Knight

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

HollyAnne Knight of String & Story teaches one of our online courses here at Missouri Star. She helps people learn to not only quilt with confidence, but live an overall well and confident life. Check out her quilting blog or wellness blog for fun stuff!

Join HollyAnne in her Beginner-Friendly Free Motion Quilting class! You’re gonna love it and her! Get to know our newest instructor:

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Do you have any funny “mess-up” stories to share from your experience with machine quilting?

Oh my heavens! … My quilting journey is like a RomCom of crazy mess-ups! I have quilted my supreme slider to the back of my quilt multiple times (notice I don’t use one any more!), not to mention managing to actually quilt my quilt TO ITSELF (watch those edges, y’all, and don’t let them get folded under!). Of course I’ve lost track of the times I’ve had tension issues… More recently, I checked my tension, but not carefully, and not as I went along and ended up spending FIFTEEN HOURS pulling stitches out of a quilt. Needless to say, I had TWO margaritas when I was done!

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What first inspired you to give machine quilting a try?

I started quilting because my mom wanted a t-shirt quilt. Being a complete nerd, I immediately check out every quilting book in our local library– which was more or less the complete works of Angela Walters! Obviously, these were basically useless for my original intent, but they did introduce me to a world of color, texture, and movement that I didn’t know existed in quilting. My background is in painting and dance, and free motion reminded me more of those mediums rather than sewing. A new mom who needed a kid-friendly hobby (which oil painting is not), I kind of just jumped in. Of course I was nervous that I would mess up, not be any good, etc, but there was only one way to find out. In ballet, we have this saying that you’re not a real dancer until you fall 10 times. I figured quilting could be like that– maybe I would quilt 10 crappy quilts, but I figured, sooner or later, if I kept practicing, I would get it. Honestly, the thing that surprised me most was how quickly my skill grew when I got serious about practicing– which is something I’ve seen happen again and again for my students, too! 

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Do your sons show any interest in quilting/sewing? Have you started teaching them?

They’re kids and quilting is creative– of course they’re interested! They mostly love color and texture, and they have remarkably good taste (proof that our creative instincts start strong, even if we struggle later). They love playing with scraps, asking me to sew bits together, or sitting in my lap with their hands on mine while we chain piece and handing me pins as needed. I haven’t started teaching them in any formal sense, though, but mostly for selfish reasons! I’m not sure I’m ready to share my sewing room! I hope we’ll sew together as they continue to get older, though, or, at the very least, that they will find their own creative passion to pursue alongside my quilting. 

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What advice do you have for others who are beginning their machine quilting journey?

…YOU CAN DO THIS. (That little voice of “yeah, but…” that just popped in your head? Slap her. She’s a liar. All of us have an inner critic, and our inner critics are nothing but jerks. Put her in a corner and listen to me.) Yes, it will be challenging; yes, it will take work. But YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR. You can do hard things. After all, you learned to walk and talk and read and write and use a rotary cutter without removing your fingers. Free Motion Quilting? It’s just one more skill that you’re going to study, practice, and master. The desire and the willingness to keep practicing through the “messy middle” are really all you need to get started… and I would be honored to be your teacher!

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What keeps you feeling creative and inspired? What do you do if you feel like you’re in a slump?

Our local town square in downtown Duluth, GA, so going out for dinner with my family is sure to pick me up and give me new enthusiasm. Similarly, getting out in nature is both relaxing and inspiring– double points if I can get some exercise while I’m at it! When I’m at home in the studio, I just do the next right thing– which is usually cleaning! Whatever is stumping me (usually a quilt top that needs a quilting plan), gets hung up on the design wall where I can ponder it without being consumed by it, and I’ll clean my sewing room, and just putter around for awhile. Maybe do some emails or yoga or whatever– all while just “hanging around” with the pesky project. Then, I’ll get away from it– go to Duluth, watch a movie, anything else, for the night and come back the next day with fresh eyes. Usually by then I at least have a starting place to build on. 

Quilt all day or Quilt all night?

I am SUCH a night owl! I love to work absurdly late in my sewing room. I love how quiet the house is and how I can get lost in my audiobooks and sewing. 

My Best Tips for FMQ

  1. Practice on paper first. Whether you’re doodling motifs or deciding what to quilt where… paper is far lower stakes than your beautiful quilt, so work out the planning kinks and the learning curves on paper and then practice sandwiches first.
  2. Check your tension. A lot. At LEAST every bobbin, but ideally every 10 minutes of quilting or so. Yes, it might slow you down a bit to flip your quilt over and take a peek, but if anything goes cattywampus, you want to know pronto!
  3. Have fun! Seriously, if you are not having fun quilting, then we need to have a talk because the whole point of a hobby is to enjoy it. Allow yourself to be imperfect, to enjoy the process, and maybe even have a little wine to lighten the mood!
Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Start Your Machine Quilting Journey

HollyAnne shared her “mess-up” story and now it’s your turn! Do you have any “oops” moments in quilting? Tell us in the comments!

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