Love is more than turning a blind eye when an unexpected shipment of fabric arrives. Love is a gift. Valentine’s Day is closely approaching and this year, share your love of quilting and crafts with someone special in your life. Gifts made from the heart are the best kind of present; nothing is more treasured than a handmade Valentine that shows the time and commitment of the crafting process.
If you’re looking for inspiration for your Valentine this year, look no further! We’ve collected six of our favorite quick and easy Valentine’s Day projects that you can make today. Whether you’re creating a beautiful new quilt to snuggle under or a scrap busting token of affection, remember to add each stitch with love!
What’s the perfect complement to a Valentine’s Day homemade candle lit dinner? An adorable table setting! The Zigzag Place Mats and Napkins project is a quick and easy addition to your Valentine’s Day celebration that creates a beautiful atmosphere to get lost in your sweethearts company in. By using your favorite 5″ squares of precut quilting fabric, you can add a truly individualized touch to this fantastic table setting.
If you’re looking for inspiration or just wanting to go all out (it’s cute when it’s over the top isn’t it?), consider picking up a heart themed charm pack to really tie your place mats together. Heart to Heart Batiks Stamps by Kathy Engle for Island Batik are a sweet chic collection of groovy hearts, check, dots, and much more in a red, black, and white color scheme. These classic colors and symbols of love are perfect when illuminated by candle light!
February can be a cold month, especially here in Hamilton, Missouri. Although the days are short and the nights are frigid, we can always count on our quilts to keep us warm. Keep it simple this Valentine’s Day and create a new quilt to cuddle under with your loved one! The Inside Out Heart quilt is a stunning geometric design that will not only be perfect for a Valentine’s Day at home, but also for a spring picnic when the weather is warm.
Jenny suggests using a colorful solid layer cake for this pattern as to not draw attention to the fabric and away from the design. The pastel spectrum will be your friend for this pattern, creating a muted and soft design that you just can’t help but smile at. Confetti Cottons Pastel 10″ Stackers for Riley Blake are perfect for this project; they are exactly the vibrancy you’ll be looking for and offer a wide variety of color choices! Don’t forget to expedite your quilt making with a Clearly Perfect Slotted Trimmer A to get this 36″ x 36″ lap quilt done in time to celebrate.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be fun, it doesn’t have to be all candlelit dinners and roses! Spruce up your home this season with a Loads of Love Tea Towel featuring an oh-so-cute applique truck that is loaded with love! This project can be completed in a day and the applique pattern is completely free and ready to print!
You’ll need a tea towel for this project, but don’t be afraid to just use one that’s been in your kitchen for years. With just a little scrap fabric and some Heat N Bond, you can upcycle it into a treasured seasonal decoration that you’ll use for years to come!
If you’re looking for more traditional décor, a Love is in the Air Wall Hanging is the way to go! This project is simple to create, like the Loads of Love Tea Towel, because it comes together quickly by using applique. Classic Valentine’s Day elements such as hearts and sprawling vines come together to create this piece of art that will be the perfect addition to your home or sewing room.
You’ll need a Layer Cake for this project, but you can certainly have some fun with the fabric! From the Heart 10″ Stackers from Sandy Gervais for Riley Blake feature red and cream 10″ squares of flowers, hearts, stripes, and other Valentine’s Day prints that are perfect for the mood of this project. These fun designs will better complement this project as they mirror the design!
When in doubt, the Mug Rug is a great go-to project for any level of quilter! There’s almost nothing better than a hot cup of coffee, tea, or cocoa and now you can make each cup extra special by serving it on a custom made Mug Rug that’s stitched with love. Not only will this quick and easy project protect your table from the heat and condensation of your cup, it makes waking up each morning extra special!
Bust out your Wacky Web template and a love-inspired Charm Pack and you’ll be halfway done with this fast moving project! If you’re gifting this project to your Valentine (we won’t judge if you want to make one for yourself) then Sending Love 5″ Stackers by My Mind’s Eye for Riley Blake will help bolster the emotional appeal of the season. As this can easily be an everyday use item however, you can always get a little creative and use a favorite color palette or design!
Turn your fabric stash into art with an Artsi2 Valentine’s Quilt Board! These no-fuss boards require no sewing at all and can be ready in a flash to help decorate your home for the holiday. Using the back of a small seam ripper, just tuck your pieces of fabric into the precut grooves of the adhesive backed quilt board and there you have it; a unique decorative piece of art with little effort!
Quilt boards are great for inspiring others to start crafting, so instead of making this one for your secret admirer (or not so secret!), make it a date where you both can share the fun of creating something together.
Ready or not – Christmas is coming! The holidays are such a special time for crafters because it lets us share our creative gifts with friends, family and those in need. There is no better time of year to warm the hearts of your near and dear with a homemade gift (that just happens to show off your crafty abilities).
Shorter days and holiday activities can make it feel like there isn’t time to make handmade gifts (it’s already December!). While tackling a brand new quilt may be daunting, there are many festive projects that can be created quickly and bring cheer to those who receive them. And in a year like 2020, when social distancing means breaking time-honored traditions for the safety of our friends and loved ones, there is no better gift than something made from the heart and by your own hands.
A lot of the Christmas season takes place in the kitchen with holiday baking, festive family dinners and plenty of hot cocoa! The incredibly simple One Yard Apron is the perfect gift for the hostess in your life. It’s such a fast, easy project, you can use it to teach the kiddos in your life the joy of handmade gifts – with only one yard of your favorite fabric!
This little Mug Rug is such an easy project, you’ll probably make a few for yourself along the way! Using a pack of 5″ squares of precut fabric, these cute table-savers keep your Christmas cocoa cozy. As a holiday bonus – this fast little gift is perfect for beginners!
More so than all the other decorations, the Christmas tree is always the focal point of the holiday season – that’s where the presents go! Gifts get the perfect showcase when arranged on a quilted fabric Tree Skirt. This little quilt for your tree comes together simply with 5″ squares of precut quilting fabric.
The fabric is what makes this project shine! Of course you can design the exact skirt to suit your holiday style if you want to whip this up for yourself. If you’re making it for someone else, consider solids or batiks so it’s more likely to match their decorations. Season’s Splendor Batiks Stamps by Kathy Engle for Island Batik is a perfect combination of festive Christmas colors and classic motifs.
Give the gift of functionality this Christmas with the Easy Zipper Pouch, featuring the all new Missouri Star Fancy Zips! In this Missouri Star LIVE, Jenny and Misty teach us how to stitch up this extremely useful project that, with a little festive fabric from your stash, makes a thoughtful last minute gift idea. There are so many uses for this handy little bag. Add some vinyl to the interior for a cosmetics bag or add some batting for a notion holder!
You’ll need cut yardage no smaller than 14″ in length (the necessary length to add a Missouri Star Fancy Zip). For a festive holiday bag, select a beautiful cut of Christmas fabric by the yard. If you need a little extra help with this project, you can purchase a digital download of the Easy Zipper Pouch pattern so that you can start stitching immediately!
If it’s the night before Christmas and you’re still having doubts, keep it simple and crafty and gift card it out! If there’s a quilter on your list who has it all, give them the gift of choice with a Missouri Star gift card! Available in both physical gift cards (definitely consider a holiday gift card holder for big MSQC fans!) and digital gift cards (that can be emailed same day), this last minute gift idea will save Christmas when your crafting time has run out.
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.
When you give a quilt, you’re giving so much more than a simple present. A quilt is a gift of time, a gift of patience, a gift straight from the heart with love in every stitch! There are so many wonderful charitable organizations that welcome handmade quilts with open arms. If you’re looking for an opportunity to give love, we’re here to help you find a place to send your beautiful quilts, fabric, supplies, and donations. Thank you so much for everything you do! Together we can change the world one stitch at a time.
How We’re Giving Back
This year, Missouri Star has chosen Project Linus to receive a $5,000 donation. Project Linus provides love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.” Learn more at www.projectlinus.org
Find a Place to Donate Your Quilts Below is a list of organizations that could use your help and sewing skills! You can give finished quilts, fabric, supplies, monetary donations, and more. Click on each link to learn more.
Thank you for taking the time to make a difference.
Quilts for Children in Need
Babies in Need Every baby deserves to be safe, warm, fed, protected and loved! Babies in Need works with local social workers to ensure that every newborn in Southwest Washington has essential clothing, bedding and car seats. Our gift packs provide these and other items parents need during their baby’s first three months of life. babiesinneed.org
The Cradle The Cradle is one of the foremost adoption agencies in the country. They provide lifelong support for all who are touched by adoption—birth parents, adopted persons, and adoptive parents. The Cradle is committed to finding a loving home for every child entrusted to their care. www.cradle.org
Komfort 4 Kids The Komfort 4 Kids Project is a completely volunteer-based, non-profit group that relies on the support and generosity of the community to help make a difference in children’s lives. They coordinate the collection and distribution of new, handmade blankets to organisations that deal with sick, traumatised, or needy children in Australia. www.komfort4kidsproject.websyte.com.au/
Little Lambs Foundation for Kids The Little Lambs Foundation for Kids has a mission to uplift struggling families and foster youth by providing necessary items that no child should have to go without. www.littlelambsofutah.org
Newborns in Need Newborns in Need, Inc. is a charity organized to help take care of needy babies. NIN volunteers provide care necessities to agencies and hospitals serving premature, ill, or impoverished newborns. Newborns In Need distributes items free of charge to babies in the United States. newbornsinneed.org/volunteer/
Quilts Beyond Borders Quilts Beyond Borders is an all-volunteer non-profit organization which reaches out to under-served children, mainly orphans, across the world to provide a handmade quilt and spread love and hope. quiltsbeyondborders.wordpress.com/about/
Quilts for Kids Quilts for Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming fabrics into patchwork quilts to comfort children facing serious illness, trauma, abuse, and natural disasters. www.quiltsforkids.org
Quilts from Caring Hands Quilts from Caring Hands makes and distributes quilts at no charge to children-at-risk in Oregon: the homeless, those in foster care, visually impaired, abused, those with mental health issues. Our quilts are given to agencies that work with children from birth to age 18. quiltsfromcaringhands.com
Binky Patrol Binky Patrol is an all volunteer, national, non-profit organization making and distributing homemade blankets to children born HIV+, drug-addicted, infected with AIDS or other chronic and terminal illnesses, those who are abused, in foster care, or experiencing trauma of any kind. www.binkypatrol.org
Shriners Hospital for Children Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, research and outstanding medical education. All services are provided in a family-centered environment, regardless of the families’ ability to pay. www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/shc
Sleep in Heavenly Peace They believe that a bed is a basic need for the proper physical, emotional, and mental support that a child needs. Across the U.S., too many children go without a bed to sleep on. They end up sleeping on couches, blankets, and even floors. This can affect their happiness and health. Sleep in Heavenly Peace is a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling and delivering top-notch bunk beds to children and families in need. www.shpbeds.org
Sweet Pea Project The Sweet Pea Project offers comfort, support and gentle guidance to families who have experienced the death of a baby. Sweet Pea Project Blankets are donated to hospitals across the country and around the world. www.sweetpeaproject.org
Touching Little Lives The mission of Touching Little Lives is to make and distribute free of charge handmade items to preemie and needy newborns in Ohio. Every penny donated is spent on providing for these little lives. This is truly a charity of the heart, our reward being the personal satisfaction of helping those too young and fragile to help themselves. www.touchinglittlelives.org
Wrap Them in Love The mission of Wrap Them in Love is to collect donated quilts and distribute them to children around the world, so they can be wrapped in love and comfort. As we all know, a quilt is a very special thing. It isn’t just a blanket; it has been lovingly created by a real person. A quilter leaves a part of themselves in every quilt they make. The child who receives it will be able to snuggle up in all the love and comfort that comes in that quilt. www.wraptheminlove.org
Quilts for Comfort The primary purpose of Quilts from Caring Hands is to bring this feeling of loving comfort to at-risk children in Oregon. These include those who are homeless, drug addicted, visually impaired, or abused, and those in foster care. Our quilts are distributed through designated social service agencies. Each quilt we make for a child is unique. In addition to crib- and twin-sized quilts, we also assemble tactile quilts and “cuddlers” for visually impaired children. The finished quilts and cuddlers are given away once each quarter. quiltsfromcaringhands.com
Snuggles Project The Snuggles Project remains a very popular program of Hugs Society (formerly Hugs for Homeless Animals). Its popularity is worldwide. People from all around the world make Snuggles and donate them to their local animal shelters and rescues. Since its inception we have provided more than a million Snuggles to shelter animals around the world. www.snugglesproject.org
American Red Cross The American Red Cross mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. For over 130 years, the Red Cross has provided comfort, care and necessities to those affected by disaster including immediate assistance for food, shelter, clothing and emotional support. www.redcross.org
Cancer Support Community (a.k.a. Gilda’s Club) As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. They are here to provide relevant and highly personalized support when and where it is needed most because “Community is Stronger than Cancer.” www.cancersupportcommunity.org
Quilt for a Cause Quilt for a Cause organizes the donation and marketing of hand-crafted quilts, quilt-related products and activities to raise and distribute funds to organizations in Arizona that provide treatment, support services and research for breast and gynecologic cancers. www.quiltforacause.org
Seattle Cancer Care Alliance Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists of Fred Hutch, Seattle Children’s, and UW Medicine. Their mission is the pursuit of better, longer, richer lives for their patients. www.seattlecca.org
Quilts of Valor The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover Service Members and Veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. www.qovf.org
Quilts of Honor The mission of Quilts of Honor is to bestow a universal symbol and token of thanks, solace, and remembrance to those who serve in harm’s way to protect and defend our lives and freedoms. Quilts of Honor are made by the loving hands of countless volunteers who wish to thank those who have served and to honor their service and sacrifice. www.quiltsofhonor.org
Daniel’s Heart Foundation To bring relief to those who suddenly find themselves experiencing life-long illness, disease, or physical trauma and are being cared for in their homes. www.danielsheart.com
Daughters of the American Revolution The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization with a deeply rich history while also being truly relevant in today’s world. More than 1,000,000 women have joined the organization since it was founded over 125 years ago. They became members to honor their heritage as well as make a difference in their communities across the country and the world. www.dar.org
The Giving Quilt Inc. The Giving Quilt, Inc. is a public, non-profit, charitable organization that promotes the creation and presentation of quilts that provide comfort to children and adults, and works to increase public awareness with a biennial public quilt exhibit and presentation ceremony. The Giving Quilt invites all quilters to participate by donating quilts, either through participation at Giving Quilt sponsored sew days or through the biennial quilt show. Quilters and non-quilters are encouraged to join and participate through donations and assisting at the show. Thegivingquiltinc.wordpress.com
Hearts Knit Together Hearts Knit Together is a non-profit organization that delivers much needed personal items to those escaping domestic violence, sexual abuse, or war. Our volunteers collect, craft, and assemble these kits which include hygiene items, toys, games, puzzles, clothing, and stuffed animals for the children. These kits are distributed through Domestic Violence Shelters, victim support centers, and refugee organizations, to children and adults across the state of Utah. Our mission is to offer joy and order in the lives of those in our community who need it the most. www.heartsknittogether.org
Hopes & Dreams Quilt Challenge for ALS Each quilt donated to Hopes & Dreams from generous and selfless quilters across the country is sold to raise funds for ALS research. Hopes & Dreams, Inc. is a registered nonprofit with 100% of sales going to ALS research. Hopes & Dreams, Inc. is supported and funded in full by Quilters Dream Batting. www.hopesanddreams.quiltersdreambatting.com
Love, INC of Columbia, MO Love Inc. seeks to help those struggling with poverty by listening without judgment, facing reality, finding hope, and partnering for change. They do this by receiving, organizing, and deploying resources and volunteers to address material, informational, and relational poverty. www.columbialoveinc.org
Mito Quilts of Hope Mito Quilts of Hope Charity Quilts is a project whose goal is to give a quilt to every patient with Mitochondrial Disease (Mito) in Canada and the United States within 5 years. Due to Christine Knox’s own diagnosis of Mito, she conceived the project in August of 2013, to raise awareness of this rare genetic disease. Mitoquiltsofhope.org
New Moms New Moms partners with families to construct the foundation of well-being by strengthening core life skills, incorporating early childhood development supports, building pathways to and preparation for education and employment, and expanding positive social networks and access to community resources. newmoms.org
Operation Happy Nurse To help all nurses struggling with stress, anxiety and/or depression by offering a community focused on improving overall mental health and physical wellbeing. www.operationhappynurse.com
Quilts of Compassion Quilts of Compassion is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing hope and encouragement to those who are hurting through the gift of handmade quilts. www.facebook.com/quiltsofcompassion
Ronald McDonald House Charities They believe in supporting families around the world and helping them access the medical care and resources they need. www.rmhc.org
Stitchers Mending Hearts, Inc. Stitcher’s Mending Hearts is a Non-Profit organization doing good for the needy by using our crafting talents to bring a smile to someone in need. www.facebook.com/stitchersmendinghearts
Tubman Tubman helps women, men, youth and families who have experienced relationship violence, elder abuse, addiction, sexual exploitation or other forms of trauma. Throughout the Twin Cities, Tubman provides safe shelter, legal services, mental and chemical health counseling, elder abuse resources, youth programming and community education, including public information campaigns to provide community members the information and support they need to get help or give help. www.tubman.org
Young Parents Network YPN was founded in 1985 by community leaders who recognized that there was a lack of support for young families in Cedar Rapids. Since that time YPN has taken on a leadership role in East Central Iowa as the provider of ongoing comprehensive year round programs that meet the most critical needs of thousands of families within our community. www.ypniowa.org
A quilt is a gift from the heart, one that gives tangible comfort to those in need. We encourage you to take a closer look at your community and even your own friends and family. Who needs a quilt? Leave a comment below and let us know how do you like to give back. What are your favorite charitable organizations?
The holidays are filled with joy: decorating, baking, singing, and visiting with family and friends– it’s a time for celebration. But we all know that many times the season can also end up very overwhelming, especially when it comes to holiday gift-giving. Sewing can sometimes become more of a chore than a fun hobby as we stress about getting all our project plans done in time. When we move from quilting for fun to quilting with a purpose, it becomes extremely helpful to create a plan in order to meet all of our holiday sewing project goals!
Check out our holiday project planning tips below and feel prepared for your best homemade gift giving yet!
Make a list of all the family and friends you plan to make something for.
Here are some things to think about outside of your regular gift-giving list:Do you have a gift exchange at your quilt guild or at work? Do you sew for holiday charity events? Were you asked to make gifts for Community Bazaars, craft fairs, or fundraisers?
Once you know who you’re making for, choose a project for each person. Use our Quilts for Gifting or our Easy Gift guides for inspiration.
Create a plan for gift giving.
Take inventory. Look around your sewing room just like you would look into your pantry before creating your grocery list. Do you have all the supplies you’ll need to get started? Double check things that need stocked: thread, needles, rotary blades, etc.
While you’re waiting on your supplies, work out a schedule to help you follow through with all your sewing plans. Choose a day or two of the week to dedicate to working on these projects. Use our August Quilt Planner to help you plan it all out. (We’ll have a new one ready for you each month!)
Pro-tip: Begin with bigger quilt projects first to give yourself plenty of time to get them done! Also, if you’re planning on making gifts for your friends who also sew, start on their projects last. That way if you find yourself running out of time, you can always give them notions, fabric, or Missouri Star gift cards! (Psst! We’ll have a Quilter’s Gift Guide in October for you to explore so be sure to check back in!)
Next, make a YOU list. This will be all the other holiday projects you wish to complete outside of making for others, like all of the holiday decor projects you wish to complete for your home.
Think about what you need (or want!): Do you need something new to hang from your door this year? Have you added new furniture to your home that may need a runner or stocking to be hung from? Will you need a tree skirt?
Then, take our holiday style quiz to help you get started on choosing your fabrics and patterns!
Pro-tip: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to complete all these projects by this Christmas. There’s always next year to decorate too!
Create a plan for your own holiday projects.
Before shopping for some fresh sewing supplies – take a look at your stash. Do you have projects you started last year that you never finished? Do you have holiday patterns or fabrics on hand that you haven’t used yet? See if you can utilize any of your inventory for the holidays to come. Then create a list of the things you still need and start shopping!
Plan these projects around your gifting projects. For example: After you spend an hour working on a gift, take 30 minutes to “reward” yourself on your own holiday home pieces.
Tip: Where we start big with gift projects, start small on things for yourself! Giving handmade is a lot of work – so, the things you create for yourself should be a fun break! Avoid projects that could be overwhelming and definitely don’t stress about perfection.
Lastly, stay inspired!
Clean and organize your sewing space!
It sounds like a chore at first, but when it comes time to create next, you’ll feel prepared and motivated!
Use a music app to create a playlist of your favorite songs to listen to while you sew. See if you can match the ‘mood’ of a project to the ‘mood’ of a favorite song. This will help motivate you as you go! (Pst, Jenny’s playlist is filled with musical soundtracks like Fiddler on the Roof, Wicked, and The Greatest Showman! She also likes John Denver, James Taylor, and Jack Johnson. Let her know what you’re listening to in the comments below!)
Over the coming months, check into our holiday page for fresh ideas and inspiration.
Holiday sewing can mean a lot of time spent slouching over our sewing machines which can make our muscles feel tight and scrunched up. Breathing can make all the difference! Luckily, Jenny and Kelly Sheets put together this mini tutorial on how to breathe better and improve our health in order to expand our creativity!
Do you have your own helpful tips on planning for holiday sewing projects? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to tell us what’s on your playlist! 🙂