Aloha, quilters! Our 11th Birthday Bash was nothing short of a tropical paradise in our hometown of Hamilton, Missouri. We danced, we ate, and had a hula-va good time celebrating. Read on for a recap of our luau-themed celebration!
Before our party could even begin, we enjoyed a fabulous trunk show by Sue Daley! Her English Paper Piecing designs are a sight to behold, and we’re still oohing and ahhing over the intricate creations.
We kicked off the festivities on Wednesday evening with our annual Dinner with the Doans! Family members and guests were treated to a Hawaiian feast and tropical dancers straight from the “island paradise of Independence, Missouri.”
Our Birthday Bash officially began on Thursday, with our annual employee family photo! This is one of our favorite moments of the entire year, when all of the departments gather downtown to mix, mingle and smile for the camera!
Then, we boogied on over to the patio for the opening ceremony!
There were Cake Walks on the patio…
…and trunk shows from Martingale…
…and our designer friends sharing tips and tricks with everyone in our shops!
This year, our Missouri Star team made Tiki quilts to adorn our shops and downtown! A big thank-you to ColourWerx for their Tiki pattern!
Our Sew-lebrity Sew-Off did not disappoint! This year, Jenny and Sue Daley teamed up to take on the dynamic duo of Barb and Mary from Me & My Sister!
Both teams were stacked with talent from the quilting industry, and created two fantastic quilt tops at the end of the event! Watch the replay from the Live broadcast below!
The first day wrapped with an amazing trunk show my renowned Hawaiian Applique artist, Nancy Lee Chong. Her designs were as breathtaking as an island sunset!
Day 2 featured the Great Missouri Star Fabric Cake Bake Off, where our fabulous friends in the quilting community create cakes out of, you guessed it, fabric, notions, and all things quilting! These creative works were raffled off at the end of the day. Check out our live look-in at the competition HERE.
And of course, more partying on the patio!
Jenny capped off the day with her trunk show, filled with laughs, quilting tips, and inspiration!
Throughout Birthday Bash, the amazing Days for Girls organization and YOU–you wonderful quilters–stitched up more than 1,000 feminine hygiene kits that will be distributed to those in need around the world! Way to go!
With your support of the quilt, fabric cake and Sew-Off raffles, we were able to raise more than $5,000 for the Hamilton Community Food Pantry, which will go a long way in our community. Thank you for your support!
Ready to come party with us in 2020?! Mark your calendars for Sept. 24-26 for our 12th Birthday Bash! You won’t want to miss it!
A big mahalo to all those who made this event so special, including YOU, our amazing Missouri Star family; our fantastic employees, and our amazing Birthday Bash sponsors!
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!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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?
Dread the winter no more! Sure, the cold weather can put a damper on the fun things in life and those cold, messy snow piles all over the house can be annoying, but think about all the amazing things this season presents! Things like…
Classic Valentine’s Day colors never go out of style! Freshen up the standard red and whites with a bold splash of black or medium grey to create a stunning combination that keeps the classic color traditions of Valentine’s Day and brings them forward with a modern twist. Snuggle up under a quilt in these hues with a loved one for a truly romantic holiday feeling.
Are you an elegant decorator? The one who brightens up a room with bold color choices? Places a giant poinsettia wreath on the front door and dresses in an array of creamy white sweaters through the season? If so, then I have a feeling these gorgeous colors are for you!
There are some of us who like to feel connected in some way to the mysteries around us. Thus, we read our daily horoscopes and give meaning to our birthstones because whether they hold true or not, fate or folklore, they are a fun way to celebrate ourselves and our loved ones.
To celebrate our birthday this year, we wanted to find a way to set some meaning in stone… or quilt. So we’ve come up with a few birthstone-inspired projects!
Our birthday is in September, making our gemstone, the gorgeous Sapphire. Find your gem color and sew with us!
Now that we’ve got the right colors, let’s start making!
Hexi Gems Quilt
Get your “mod” on with this insanely versatile technique from guest designer, Lisa Hirsh. The pattern includes a blank diagram of the quilt that can be enlarged so you can color and spec-out a creation of your own. The best part is this quilt pattern is a great place for your scraps to end up! Grab the hues you need, and get started!