The holidays are here and it’s time to deck the halls and welcome in the festive season! A Christmas Tree Skirt is the perfect holiday project to stitch up on those cold December nights because not only does it make an excellent gift, but it can be kept and displayed almost immediately! Grab your favorite holiday charm packs (or some from your stash that you’ve been looking for a reason to use) and get stitching!
This project comes together as simple as any quilt you’ve ever seen (that’s the best part, it’s basically a small quilt in itself) and with some careful cutting, wraps delicately around any Christmas Tree. Not only is this project just gorgeous, but its functional and meant to be used with love every single year! Find your holiday style and start creating today!
Needing a little extra inspiration? Check out the replay of Missouri Star LIVE below where Misty demonstrates how simple this festive tree skirt is to create. If you’re needing a little more guidance, be sure to pick up the Christmas Tree Skirt quilt pattern to follow along with easy instructions at home to make you holiday seasons a little extra quilty for years to come!
Amy Latta is passionate about inspiring her online community by sharing honest inspiration for everyday life. On her award-winning blog amylattacreations.com, you’ll find easy-to-follow hand lettering tutorials, along with all kinds of craft and DIY projects anyone can create. Amy recently stopped by to teach us some hand lettering, show off some new fabric markers, and design some beautiful quilt labels that you can DIY for your next project! Before the tutorial comes out, let’s learn more about Amy – from her creative journey and process to her inspiration and more!
How did you become fascinated with hand-writing and beautiful penmanship?
I have loved creating art ever since I was little – I was the girl who doodled all over the pages of my notebooks in school and tried to take the prettiest notes possible. I learned traditional calligraphy with a pointed pen as a teenager and have always enjoyed playing around with different font styles. When brush script, which is the current most popular form of hand lettering, started to become really popular a few years ago, I absolutely loved the look of it and determined that I was going to teach myself to do it. The contrast of thick and thin lines inside every letter makes it so unique, and it’s definitely my favorite artistic way to write.
Do you play with fabric in your craft life? How do you use it?
I sure do! I know how to sew, so sometimes I make fun fabric projects like cute bandanas for my dog or Halloween costumes for my kids. During the beginning of the pandemic, I sewed hundreds of fabric masks for the nurses at local hospitals, and it felt amazing to be able to use my crafting skills to help other people in a real time of need. I also use felt a lot, making DIY ornaments and plush toys.
What crafting tool are you most dependent on?
Since lettering is my specialty, it would probably be my markers, but when it comes to general crafting, I often find myself in need of a hot glue gun and a paintbrush. I also absolutely love my Cricut machine! It allows me to cut my lettered designs out of all kinds of materials like vinyl, fabric, felt, infusible ink, iron-on, leather, and more, which means I can make a huge variety of projects.
What was the most frustrating project you ever worked on? How did you stay motivated and creatively present to finish it?
If I’m being honest, it was an attempt at wood burning, and I failed so terribly that I threw it across the room and then into the trash. Nowadays, I have a scorch marker that lets me wood burn without the difficult equipment, though, so I have indeed been able to hand letter on wood! I know that finishing strong and staying motivated is important, and I have definitely done that during my fair share of projects (I often find that when I’m frustrated, I just need to walk away for awhile, then come back with a fresh attitude). But I also think there’s wisdom in knowing when to let a project go too. You don’t have to do everything.
What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?
I am an incredibly visual person, so I am most inspired by what I see. Sometimes that might be something in a store or something on Pinterest, and when I see it, I am inspired to try creating a personalized version of it for myself. Other times, I see materials, like a particular fabric or wooden sign or flowers and I start to envision what they could become.
What occupation would you like to try if making wasn’t an option?
I would go back to my previous occupation as a ballroom, Latin, and swing dance instructor. It was indescribably fun! I loved everything about it: the dancing, the learning, and the teaching. The thing I didn’t love was the hours, which kept me away from my family in the evenings. I stopped teaching dance when my son was 2 years old because I knew that as my kids got older and started school, those evenings would be the only real time we had together and I didn’t want to miss them. As I was navigating being a stay-at-home-mom, I stumbled across a craft blog and that’s what led me to start this whole venture with my website and everything that followed. No matter what my occupation, though, I would never stop creating on the side.
Who is your favorite fictional character?
I actually majored in English in college, and taught English in the public school system for four years, so I am a major book nerd. I have tons of beloved characters, and it’s so hard to choose just one! I guess if I had to choose, I’d pick Elizabeth Bennett from Pride & Prejudice.
What craft material have you been hoarding the longest?
So, you are assuming that I’m a hoarder. LOL. I prefer “collector.” I’m not sure what material I’ve had the longest, but I definitely “collect” markers, wooden surfaces, vinyl, metal stamping supplies, and paint. When I reorganized my craft studio in February, I literally donated boxes and bags full of paint and other supplies to the local elementary school as well as giving some away to friends, and I still have more than I need.
Describe your perfect day.
It would definitely start with sleeping in! I am NOT a morning person by any stretch of the imagination, and right now my kids’ school schedule means I have to be up by 6 AM every day. I’d sleep in, then ease into the day with some coffee on the couch, snuggling my cat and dog while doing my daily devotion and catching up on email. Then, I’d take a few hours to leisurely create something just for the joy of it. I might work on a paint by number or start a new project. After lunch, I’d film a television segment to share crafty ideas. For dinner, my husband would cook one of his absolutely incredible from-scratch meals like Mongolian Beef or Orange Chicken and fried rice, then our family would take a walk on the beach…because my perfect day would include living somewhere near the ocean. We’d catch up on the boys’ days at school and spend some quality time together. Then, we’d play a game together as a family – probably Super Smash Bros or Mario Kart 8 if my boys had their choice. We’d finish the day with my husband and I watching a Hallmark Christmas movie together. What could be better?
What’s your dream project? What’s the “maybe some day…” creation you have in mind?
I would absolutely LOVE to do a hand lettered mural on the wall or even the chalkboard of a local spot. Ideally, I’d do a coffee-themed one in our local Starbucks. At one point, our church also toyed with the idea of a lettering piece on the back wall, but it hasn’t come to anything yet. I just think doing something on such a large scale would push and challenge me, and it would be amazing to see it there in the community inspiring other people.
The other dream project I have – and I’m not just saying this because you are the quilt people – is to create a handmade quilt. It’s one of the only art & craft type things I’ve never attempted, and I know how much time and love goes into creating one. I feel like it would be such a huge accomplishment and I would be so proud of myself for actually taking on such a big, new project.
To learn more about Amy and to see more of what she creates, follow her on her Instagram @amylattacreations, visit her website amylattacreations.com, and join her on her Facebook page!
Family time is the best time, and it’s only better when delicious food and snacks are added! The Doans love family get togethers and there’s nothing more special than dusting off those old family recipe cards and sharing a taste of generations past. If you’re looking for some holiday inspiration this year, try out one our own family recipes and start your own traditions today!
Perfect for the fall season, Pumpkin Rolls are a delicious treat that can be served anytime between Halloween and Thanksgiving (really any time of the year is fine, they’re just that good).
Beat 3 eggs for 5 minutes. Gradually add 1 cup sugar. Stir in ⅔ cup pumpkin and 1 tsp lemon juice.
¾ C Flour
2 Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Nutmeg
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Ginger
½ Tsp Salt
Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into a greased and floured jelly roll pan. Top with 1 cup chopped walnuts and bake at 375 for 15 minutes only. Turn out onto a towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Roll together and cool. Then unroll spread with 1 cup powdered sugar and 6 oz of cream cheese, 4 tsp of butter or margarine, 1 tsp vanilla. Beat together and spread over the roll. Roll and chill.
Caramel Popcorn Balls
Just because Halloween is over doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy this INCREDIBLY simple treat! If you’ve never had a popcorn ball before you absolutely have to try this recipe, they’re just so good!
1 Package Brown Sugar
1 Cup White Karo Syrup
1 Stick of Butter
1 Can Evaporated Milk
3 Gallons of Popped Corn
Combine brown sugar and syrup and cook stirring constantly until boiling. Add butter and stir until melted. Add evaporated milk and bring to a boil again over medium heat, cooking until it forms a softball (between 235 and 245 degrees Fahrenheit). Pour over popcorn to form balls and let cool.
Chocolate Pecan Pie
How do you make a pecan pie even better? Add a little chocolate of course! This fall classic with just a little twist is perfect for any family gathering you’ve got coming this year – or just make it for yourself, we won’t judge!
½ Cup Sugar
1 Cup light corn syrup
½ to ¼ cup butter – marg ok
4 eggs – beaten
1 tsp vanilla
⅛ tsp salt
1 cup broken pecans
8-9” pie shell unbaked
Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in a pan – cook on low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat, pour VERY slowly into beaten eggs. Add vanilla, salt, and nuts. Add chocolate chips into the bottom of the pie shell. Pour mixture into pie shell, bake at 350 for 50 mins. Pecan Pie Recipe but sprinkle some chocolate chips on the crust before adding the rest of the filling.
Here’s one you may have never heard of! Pepparkakor is a traditional Swedish cookie that’s very similar to a gingerbread cookie and is a traditional favorite of the Doans. You won’t believe how delicious these thin, crispy cookies are!
¾ Cup Shortening
1 Cup Sugar
1 tbsp Molasses
1 Egg Beaten
2 Cups Flour
2 Tsp Baking Soda
1 Tsp each of Cloves, Cinnamon, and Ginger
Cream sugar and shortening together, add egg and molasses, blend well. Add the spices to the flour and sift, then add it to the creamed mixture. Let cool for 1 hour in the refrigerator covered with saran wrap. Then roll into balls the size of walnuts, put onto a cookie sheet, then with glass covered with saran wrap, roll each ball in sugar then flatten with the glass. Put nuts or raisins on them in the middle and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown.
Who doesn’t love a little pumpkin? This super simple recipe is so easy, you might just have everything you need in your pantry today!
Halloween is just around the corner and this year when you’re doing your shopping, keep more than just the Trick-or-Treaters in mind! Thanks to Jenny’s creativity, you can take all of those old candy wrappers and bags and create a one-of-a-kind gift (or fun little project for yourself!) using no more than the wrappers, a little scrap fabric and batting, a zipper and some Heat N Bond Iron-on Vinyl!
One Empty Candy Wrapper (A Fat Quarter also works great!)
This project is truly Sew Fast & Fun! We love making use of leftover materials from our fabric stash and there truly is no limit to what you can create with this method (potato chip purse, anyone?). With the addition of a Missouri Star Fancy Zips Zipper, which comes in a variety of colors to match your project, you can create sweet new memories from candy season!
Needing a little more inspiration? Pick up the pattern for this project today for full instructions on how to create this creative keepsake and check out the full video tutorial below from Jenny herself as she demonstrates how this quick and easy project comes together!
Come Together and celebrate our 13th Annual Birthday Bash online and in Hamilton, Missouri on September 23rd – 25th, 2021! We’ve got SEW much fun planned to celebrate Missouri Star Quilt Co and we hope you have a chance to join us for the festivities. No matter where you are, we’ve got something special planned for you! Enjoy exclusive content from the comfort of your home with extra tutorials and classes or attend in person for educational demonstrations from our fabulous sponsors and in-person events from the Doan Girls – Check out our full calendar of events below!
Want to know more about Birthday Bash or sign up for an in-person event? Follow the link here. To find out what we’re doing to keep you safe, read our message here.
Wednesday September 22nd, 2021
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM: Pick up your Birthday Bash Swag (Theater)
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM: Dinner with the Doans (Tickets Required)