Summer Family Fun! with 3 BBQ Side Dish Recipes

The Doan family loves getting together and throwing a party! Especially in the summertime, we gather at one of our houses to be together outside and eat good food. 

Summer Fun! The kids race around playing soccer.

Sometimes we swim, sometimes we camp, sometimes we bring out the dirt bikes and ride around playing dirt bike soccer, but no matter what we do, we always have good food and good company! 

The Doan boys gearing up for a round of dirt bike soccer!

Accompanying our hamburgers and hotdogs and varieties of chips, here are a few of our favorite family barbeque side dishes!

Potato Salad 

A family barbeque classic — we love our potato salad! 

  • 6  medium potatoes (2 pounds)
  • 1 Tablespoon minced dried onion
  • 13 cup dill pickle relish
  • 2 Tablespoons dill pickle juice
  • 14 cups mayonnaise 
  • 2  Tablespoons mustard 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt (to taste)
  • 4 hardboiled eggs – cooked, peeled and grated. 
  1. Cook potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender.
  2. Drain well, and let cool. 
  3. Peel potatoes. 
  4. Cube potatoes into a large bowl. 
  5. Add onion, relish and grated eggs to bowl.
  6. Combine mayo, mustard, garlic salt, and pickle juice. 
  7. Add mayo mixture to bowl.
  8. Mix well to coat potatoes and combine all ingredients. 
  9. Cover and chill thoroughly. Enjoy! 

Cowboy Beans

The perfect barbeque side to compliment your spread!

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 5-6 cans of beans, drained (red, black, and pinto) mix em’ up!
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce

Brown the hamburger and cook the onions, then mix it all together in a crock-pot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours!

Strawberry Pie

Jenny’s favorite is the strawberry pie. We never have a summer party without it! 

  • 1 9″ frozen pie crust, baked
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 lb of sliced strawberries
  • 1 (3oz) package of strawberry jello
  1. Bake pie crust according to package directions, remove and then let cool.
  2. While the crust is in the oven, add sugar and water to a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk the cornstarch in slowly and make sure there are no leftover lumps. Stir continuously for about 4-5 minutes until the mixture is thickened and turns a little clear.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the strawberry jello mix until completely dissolved. Let this mixture cool to room temperature.
  4. Once cooled, toss in the strawberries and make sure they are evenly distributed. Pour into pie crust.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to set for about 2-3 hours and then serve! (Add whipped cream if desired!)
The Doan Family gather together outside. Picture by Hannah Earnheart.

Do you have some fun family and friend traditions? What are some of your favorite barbeque side dishes?

Artist Spotlight: The Quilting Marine

Join us LIVE on Tuesday June 1st at 11:00 am cst as The Quilting Marine joins Missouri Star Live as a special guest!
The Quilting Marine

People often find quilting in times of need to help them through difficult situations – that’s how The Quilting Marine first discovered his love for quilting. After serving 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, The Quilting Marine found quilting as his therapy for PTSD related issues. Now, he has a new goal and his YouTube channel says it best, “I taught myself to quilt and would like to help you make quilts that you can admire for years to come.”

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

My favorite part is piecing the blocks together and giving the quilt away for someone else to enjoy. It’s the building of the quilt for me and is my therapy. I don’t get wrapped around the wheel on everything else. I live behind the mantra of “it’s only fabric” and “it’s only thread”.

Who are your favorite fabric designers?

Robert Kaufman; Michael Miller; Riley Blake; Brother and Sister Design 2009

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?

I depend mainly on my omnigrid rulers, rotary cutters and my machine, the Brother PQ1500sl. And if I had to throw something else in, it would be the Oliso iron.

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

I taught myself around the time my grandson was to be born. I wanted to create something for him that was one of a kind.

Join us LIVE on Tuesday June 1st at 11:00 am cst as The Quilting Marine joins Missouri Star Live as a special guest!
The Quilting Marine at work on another project.

What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?

The one for my grandson was my first quilt and was the most frustrating because I entered a world that I had no idea about. Once I realized that there wasn’t much to create a quilt, that is one of the reasons it attracted me. The repetitiveness of building a quilt keeps me sane. Even though the process is repeated, the result that comes from it is different every time.

What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?

I find my inspiration from watching other quilters and add or take away from what they have created to make it my own. I love using a lot of color when building my quilts. Colors to me bring out the quilt.

What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?

I would love to be a hard hat diver/saturation diver. They get paid handsomely to do what they do and the risk is tremendous.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

The Punisher. He is a normal guy who has no superpowers and takes on the responsibility of fighting crime. I like normal guys who do extraordinary things.

Join us LIVE on Tuesday June 1st at 11:00 am cst as The Quilting Marine joins Missouri Star Live as a special guest!
A beautiful example of The Quilting Marine’s artistic ability and craftsmanship.

What fabric have you been hoarding/saving the longest?

Batiks are my all time favorite and whenever subscribers send me fabric, I will hoard Batiks until I find something that the fabric is perfect for. I don’t normally like flowers, I’m not the flower guy but the 2009 Brother Sister Design Studio Fabric has me hoarding it too. This one is super hard to find now so I hoard it as much as I can.

Describe your perfect day.

A day on the beach in the Caribbean with my wife, a fishing rod with a line in the water and no hook and a cool drink. Sleep, wake, piece a block and repeat. Maybe some eating in there somewhere as well.

Want to know more about The Quilting Marine and his incredible journey into quilting? Join us on Missouri Star LIVE, June 1st, 2021 at 11:00 am CST, as he joins us as a special guest! Until then, be sure to follow him on Instagram and Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel to keep up with his journey while learning more about the art of quilting.

Celebrate National Walnut Day with a New Pincushion

The Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Did you know today is National Walnut Day? Of course you did, who could ever forget such a major holiday! We here at Missouri Star Quilt Co. are big fans of this special day because walnuts can be your new best friend when it comes to quilting and sewing! Crushed walnut shells are often used as stuffing material for pincushions because, not only do they hold their shape and make a great pincushion, the oil from the walnut shells has restorative properties that keep our needles sharp.

So grab some fabric from your stash (you won’t need much) and check out these three great and unique ideas for a pincushion – each featuring crushed walnut shells as the filling! You may surprise yourself by how creative you get with found materials from around your sewing studio!

Mason Jar Pincushion

The Mason Jar Pincushion from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Who doesn’t love repurposing materials from around the house? Not only do you get the opportunity to flex your creative ingenuity, but you make something from scraps that would normally just be discarded. This handy upcycled pincushion not only stores your pins (and keeps them sharp thanks to our friend the walnut) but offers additional storage for bobbins, bits of thread, and whatever you can think of in the jar below!

Watch the Live Replay >

Stay Sharp with Crushed Walnut Shells >

Happy Chicks Pincushion

The Happy Chicks Pincushion pattern from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Let’s face it, you can’t help but love the classic farmhouse sewing notions from generations past. Remember the little sewing tomato? We know you do! Pay homage to yesteryear with this scrappy quilt block chicken pincushion – the perfect combination of farmhouse chic and scrappy modern piecing! With the addition of a bag of crushed walnut shells, this simple project comes together in a flash and is a great addition to your sewing table.

Get the Happy Chicks Pincushion Pattern >

Watch the Free Tutorial >

Cactus Pincushion

The Cactus Pincushion in a Missouri Star Thimble Container

We are absolutely in love with this cute cactus pincushions (and they look mighty fine planted in a Missouri Star Thimble Container too)! While this project might look slightly more advanced than the others, that couldn’t be father from the truth. Grab a little green felt and your favorite pot to plant this project in and you’ll be ready to store and sharpen your pins in no time!

Watch the Live Replay >

Don’t Forget the Crushed Walnut Shells >

Which pincushion will you create? Share with us by using #msqcshowandtell on Facebook and Instagram!

More than a Blanket: Quilts are Art!

The Sunbeam quilt by from Annabel Wrigley for MODBLOCK.

Many have wondered, “Are quilts art or craft?” Well, the answer can be yes to either. Confused yet? Let’s start with the definition of art. In the Oxford dictionary art is said to be, “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”

In that sense, quilts can be considered an artform. Although quilts are created to serve a purpose, most often to keep us warm, they are also made to be nice to look at. It takes skill and imagination to create a quilt. In addition to this, many quilts are created to celebrate a special occasion, mourn a loss, mark time passing, and so on. They are literal representations of love. Emotion is stitched into every square inch.

Contrary to this definition, are some quilts made without great skill or imagination? Sure. Are some simply utilitarian, without much thought given to the design? Yes. But these early attempts are a first step in learning how to make quilts that could be considered art. The first time we create anything is a trial period. There should be no high expectations. It’s a time to build skill and learn from experience. As we grow, we become more creative in our approach to quilting, gaining confidence in our design choices, and more skilled in quilting techniques. No matter where we begin, we can always improve.

The Oberlin quilt by Heather Jones for MODBLOCK.

Quilts can also be considered a craft. The definition of craft is, “An activity involving skill in making things by hand.” Simple enough. Quilting is a skill that can be learned by anyone and it can be fun to do even if we don’t view it as an artform. Regardless of what our intent is when we make quilts, they can be both incredibly beautiful and useful. Let’s hear what our customers had to say about quilts being art or craft:

“They are both. When I was in school, many many years ago we could make a quilt in our home economics class as a sewing craft and make another in art class as art.” -Denise Vasel

“In my 3-dimensional design art class in college, we were given the assignment of turning linocut prints we made into quilts. I would say there isn’t much distinction in my mind between craft and art. It’s all art.” -Denise Fox Eskridge

“Both. Craft because you are making something and art because the material, pattern and colors you use makes it unique.” -Paula Herbst

“A quilt is art that you craft.” -Sharon Crouch

“Both, art and craft. You create your own concept, pattern, and color, and craft because it is handmade.” -Pat Trueblood

“They can be both. I think some people are confused because a quilt is used. It’s functional art. It’s consider myself an artist.” -Julie Tierney

“Craft, art, and love.” -Debbie Torrey

“Both but also much more. They are art in the selection of color, fabric, and design. They are craft in the construction and quality of quilting. On top of all that, they are heart, and love, and passion.” -Victoria Hubbard

“Both. Quilting is a work of art and it’s like putting a puzzle together. I never knew I could be so artsy and crafty. Love love love it!” -Alice Hayden

“I was disappointed to have an art teacher tell me that quilting was a craft not art. I believe she is wrong. I have seen so many works of art made from fabric.” -Leslie Savitsky

“Quilting is an art. When you thoughtfully and methodically pick out a pattern and figure out an eye-catching layout and fabric placement for a quilt, that’s art.” -Suzanne K. Einspahr

We completely agree! You are all wonderfully skilled, artistic quilters and we love seeing what you make. Share your beautiful creations with us at #msqcshowandtell and keep on creating your beautifully crafted works of art!

Celebrate America – 5 Patriotic Quilt Projects

The You’re a Grand Old Flag Quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co. perfectly compliments this garden setting.

Summer is just around the corner and that means it’s time now to start stitching up those beautiful, patriotic quilts for your summer picnics and Independence Day celebrations! Quilting has been an American past-time since the beginning days of our country, so celebrate the history of our craft and nation this year with a red, white and blue color palette!

If you’re needing some inspiration, we’ve gather five of our favorite patriotic quilt projects that would be just perfect for any summer celebration. Pick up one of our new lines of patriotic fabrics and you’ll be ready to kick back on your very own picnic quilt and watch the fireworks. And if you’re still looking for more inspiration, head over to our website for everything patriotic and Americana!

Stars and Stripes

The Stars and Stripes quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

It doesn’t get more Americana than the Stars and Stripes quilt! This simple strip quilt comes together with ease using Jelly Rolls (2.5″ strips of precut quilting fabric) and snowballed corners. The iconic red and white stripes compliment the uniquely blue stars creating the perfect patriotic theme while still capturing the simplicity and beauty of a quilt.

To best capture those stars and stripes, consider using a solid fabric. Sometimes when we think solids, we think of very plain fabric, but that doesn’t have to be the case! Cut up some strips from the Tonga Batiks – Freedom collection to add some depth to your solids and make this quilt pop in subtle ways!

Watch the Free Quilting Tutorial >

Shop Patriotic Fabrics >

Old Mill Path

The Old Mill Path quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

The Old Mill Path quilt is a play on the classic Drunkard’s Path quilt block and has never been easier to create thanks to the use of the Missouri Star Drunkards’ Path Template. Inspired by a 1929 antique quilt called “The Mill Wheel”, this vintage design is full of elements that distinguish it as a slice of yesteryear. Add in a patriotic color palette and this quilt will feel like an vintage creation nearly 100 years in the making!

For this project, you’ll need Layer Cakes (10″ squares of precut quilting fabric). Liberty Lane 10 Karat Crystals by Stephanie Marrott for Wilmington Prints feature weathered patriotic prints that will give this quilt an aged and dated feel; directly complimenting the overall aesthetic created by the design. And while this particular pattern isn’t full of stars or stripes, you’ll have plenty symbols of American culture displayed proudly within the fabric.

Watch the Free Quilting Tutorial >

Shop Patriotic Fabrics >

You’re a Grand Old Flag

The You’re a Grand Old Flag quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

If you prefer more traditional patriotic displays, then the You’re a Grand Old Flag quilt is the choice for you. Created using Charm Packs (5″ squares of precut quilting fabric) and the Missouri Star Small Tumbler Template for 5″ Charm Packs, this fun flag quilt can be created with ease. The outcome is impressive, a simple tumbler flag design that, when the proper color palette is utilized, will be a favorite for many Independence Days to come!

Consider investing a little extra time into cutting your 5″ squares from yardage to take advantage of the America the Beautiful collection from Moda Fabrics. The barn wood yardage from this collection would be absolutely adorable as a red, white and blue flag and we think it’s just the best choice for this design! Whether you go precut or yardage, this quilt will be sure to brighten up any outdoor setting.

Watch the Free Quilting Tutorial >

Shop Patriotic Fabrics >

Outstanding Stars

The Outstanding Stars quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

What more can be said, this quilt is simply outstanding! These pretty star blocks are framed with a simple sashing and cornerstones. While this quilt would look great in any color, when given a patriotic palette it truly feels like a slice of Americana. We just can’t believe how versatile this simple design is!

Follow Jenny on this one and create this quilt using American Gatherings from Moda Fabrics. Designed by Primitive Gatherings for Moda Fabrics, this red, white, and blue collection features basic yet lovely prints like stripes and florals, plus traditional patriotic symbols like stars and flags. This quilt will be full of American themes by the time you are done!

Watch the Free Quilting Tutorial >

Shop Patriotic Fabrics >

Pinwheels on Point

The Pinwheels on Point quilt from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Pinwheels are an iconic quilting symbol that have been heavily utilized in American quilting. When early settlers were first traversing west across our country, they would quilt what they saw (no wonder stars are such a big deal!) and what better way to capture the motion of wind then by using pinwheels! Stitch up a little history in your patriotic project with this quick and easy Pinwheels on Point quilt.

You’ll again need 2.5″ strips of precut quilting fabric for this quilt, but there’s no need to focus on solids. Have some fun when selecting fabrics for this project! If you’re feeling ambitious, cut your strips from the America the Beautiful collection from Moda Fabrics. This line is full of the patriotic symbolism and colors you’re looking for while still adding unique elements such as posies to the fabric.

Watch the Free Quilting Tutorial >

Shop Patriotic Fabrics >