Thimble Container Cactus Shaped Pincushion

The Missouri Star Thimble Container Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star LIVE!
The Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star Live displayed in a terracotta pot.

Long gone are the days of your grandmother’s red tomato pincushion! In the latest installment of Missouri Star LIVE, Courtenay demonstrates how to make a unique cactus shaped pincushion that will not only add a modern elegance to your sewing room, but will keep all of your pins safely tucked away for future use. Whether you’re “planting” your cactus pincushion in a traditional terracotta pot, or celebrating your love for Missouri Star by using a Thimble Container, this handy project is a must-have addition to your sewing studio.

PROJECT SUPPLIES

• (1) 9″ x 12″ green felt square
• Felt scrap for blossom—approximately 1½” x 3″
Fiberfill
Missouri Star Thimble Container or terracotta pot
• 3½” – 4″ styrofoam cube
• Gorilla Glue or similar glue for styrofoam
Wonder clips or binder clips—optional
• Aquarium rock—optional

The Missouri Star Thimble Container Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star LIVE!
Add your pincushion to a Missouri Star Thimble Container and share your love of Missouri Star!

CUTTING

  1. Use the petal template to trace and cut 6 petal shapes from the green felt.
  2. Cut out the paper cactus blossom template. Use the template to trace and cut 2 cactus blossoms from the accent felt scrap. Set these aside for the moment.
    • Hint: Because you are sewing through layers of felt, you may need to change your needle to a larger size and sew slowly to ensure even stitching.
  3. Lay 1 petal shape atop another, right sides out. Using a medium zigzag stitch, sew around the curved edges, leaving the bottom edge open. Repeat with pairs of the remaining petal shapes to make 3 units.
  4. On only 1 of the sewn units, measure 1¾” from the widest point of the curved edges and mark a vertical center line.
  5. Stack the 3 sewn units, aligning the edges, with the marked unit on top. Use Wonder Clips, binder clips, or pin as needed to hold the stack together. Sew the 3 units together along the marked center line, backstitching at the beginning and end.
The Missouri Star Thimble Container Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star LIVE!
Pin a fabric flower to the top of your Cactus Pincushion for a beautiful final touch.

FINISHING

  1. Stuff each of the 6 tubes you just created with fiberfill.
    • Hint: The eraser end of a pencil or small dowel comes in handy to stuff the skinny tubes (Don’t forget you may find a wooden rod in your Poly-fil bag!).
  2. Lay 1 cactus blossom atop the other at a 45° angle so that the ends of all 8 petals are visible.
  3. Sew the blossoms together by hand, slightly gathering the top petals so they have 3 dimensions.
  4. Sew the cactus blossom to the top of the cactus.
  5. Cut the styrofoam cube as needed to fit inside the thimble container. Use the glue to adhere the sytrofoam to the inside of the pot. Use additional glue to adhere the cactus to the top of the styrofoam. You can fill the pot around the styrofoam with aquarium rock or even glue some rocks around the base of the cactus to finish “planting” your cactus.
  6. Stick in some of your favorite pins and your cactus pincushion is sure to prickle your fancy!
Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

Needing some more help? Download our Free Printable Pattern or Join Missouri Star’s very own Courtenay Hughes as she demonstrates how to create this adorable, quick and easy project on the replay of Missouri Star LIVE!

Misty’s Into the Woods Kit – Make this Beautiful Quilt with Missouri Star

Meet Misty Doan

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.

Birthday Bash: Home Edition 2020

Missouri Star Quilt Co Birthday Bash At Home 2020 on September 24th & 25th.

Are you ready to celebrate? Birthday Bash comes to you live from the comfort of your own home this year on September 24th and 25th! We’ve got SEW many great projects planned to share this year and special virtual guests that we didn’t want you to miss a thing. Check out this video below for our complete Birthday Bash schedule and be sure to mark your calendars for all the quilting fun!

Be sure to share your quilting creations using #msqcshowandtell and let us know your favorite Birthday Bash memory!

Click HERE to learn more about Birthday Bash!

Behind the scenes of BLOCK Magazine – August 2020

A Note from Jenny

Dear Quilters,

This year has been so completely out of the ordinary, and challenging in so many ways, that I find myself simplifying again and experiencing great joy in the things that I have often taken for granted. Now, preparing for the holiday season is less about the hustle and bustle of finding just the right present, but taking the time to help create a warm, welcoming spirit in my home and in my community. 

As I contemplate the spirit of generosity, I recognize that giving comes in many forms. Some give of their time and energy, some share love abundantly and easily, some can listen for hours, some give the biggest hugs, and some create handmade gifts to share. There are many ways to be generous and no matter how you like to give, your intentions absolutely matter. As we’ve experienced, the simplest gift from a child—a crumpled flower, a scribbled picture, or a sloppy kiss—can mean so much. Their intention comes through, as does ours. Never give in to the thought that your offering is insufficient. If you’ve given from the heart, that’s all that truly matters.

Considering the state of our nation, we could all use an extra boost of kindness. Let’s make this season a time to truly give from the heart and reach out to our loved ones. Let’s slow down, savor the simple moments with friends and family, and do the things that bring us joy. Please remember, you’re always welcome at Missouri Star and you are all family to me.

Love,

Jenny


WHAT IS BLOCK MAGAZINE?

BLOCK Magazine is a great way to become a part of the Missouri Star Family. The goal of this “idea book” is to empower others to learn, get inspired, and create! With more than 10 quilting projects in every issue, plus stories that warm your heart, BLOCK Magazine is sure to deliver something for everyone and become a trusted source of inspiration for your sewing room!

Produced and published right here at Missouri Star – each issue comes to you completely ad-free. We incorporate personal stories from our family and our dear readers, provide tips on favorite notions, and teach skill-building techniques.

“I don’t usually feel the need to contact the company of the magazine I purchased, however, this is a different circumstance. I just received my first issue of BLOCK Magazine. I wanted to let your company know how thoroughly impressed I am! The quality of the magazine is far more than I have come to expect from different companies. The quality of the images right down to the print stock… just fabulous! Thank you for putting so much thought and effort into your product. This is the type of publication that you hold on to. I am just so very pleased, I had to let you know.”

Lora Andera, BLOCK Magazine subscriber

WHAT’S IN THE NEXT ISSUE OF BLOCK MAGAZINE?

  • Planning ahead for the holidays with Christmas decor patterns and a Halloween bonus!
  • Learn English paper piecing and how to make a pincushion with Sue Daley!
  • Get helpful tips and tricks for fun with fusible appliqué.
BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 4 August Issue
  • In Jenny’s Journal, join her in her home studio to see what she’s been working on for her friends, grandchildren, or just for herself and her home.
  • Several quilt patterns such as Pop Stars, Diamond Terrace, and Dresden Blooms.
  • Plus part three of our Ruby Sensation Sew-Along >>>
It’s not too late to join in the fun!

HERE’S A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES OF OUR NEXT ISSUE!

When you flip through BLOCK’s fresh, glossy pages you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! Those are all brought to you by a team of almost 30 people who bring BLOCK Magazine to life! Take a peek into all the hard work, creativity and love that is poured into each issue:

Natalie and Jenny working together to plan for BLOCK Magazine
The BLOCK Magazine copy-writing team working hard

“When we were reviewing the quilts for this upcoming issue of BLOCK, there was concern expressed that the advent calendar project was not reading as a tree in the center with the first fabric choice made (as seen below)! We decided to see if the sewing team could redo the project using different background fabric. With deadlines coming quickly, that seemed very concerning. Luckily, our team is filled with creatives that are always thinking up innovative solutions”

– Christine Ricks, Creative Director of BLOCK Magazine

“I pondered this for about six hours. Then, while driving home from dinner with my husband the ah-ha moment struck. I kept thinking about the Triple Play that Natalie, Jenny, and Misty did using hexies. Misty turned her hexies around and used the back for the front, so it dawned on me that we could turn around those red hexies to the front. We did it, and the tree is much more defined (as you can see above)!”

Courtenay Hughes, Missouri Star Academy instructor

Subscribe by Monday, July 27 to receive this next issue to your doorstep (with no shipping cost!) by mid-August! Pst! You’ll also receive April and June’s digital issues completely FREE so you can jump right in to our Ruby Sensation sew along without missing a beat!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

The History of 1930s Fabrics

When engaged in a casual conversation about feedsacks with a non-quilter or someone new to the craft who might not be familiar with antique quilts, the picture that often comes to mind is a bag made of burlap, paper, or heavy canvas that has been filled with animal feed. For the lover of antique quilts and vintage fabric, the vision is quite different. Instead of paper or rough gunny sacks, we think of pretty, soft bags made of dress prints. Over the years, the word feedsack has become an all-inclusive term used for these charming fabric bags and a rich history follows them wherever they are found.

1930s reproduction fabrics

Reproduction fabrics patterned after prints from the 1930s-1950s, recreate the cotton feed sacks in which flour and grain were sold during the Great Depression. Companies realized some people had started recycling the simple gunny sacks to use as clothing, undergarments, and towels since many were struggling to afford these things elsewhere. This led to feed sacks becoming decorated with prints in pretty pastels and playful images so clothes could still be made with some style.

Initially, feedsacks were made of white material and based on barrel sizes. The factory printed the company logo, or barrel stamp, directly on the bag along with directions on how to unlock the stitches that closed the bag. Richard Peek, vice president of the Percy Kent Bag Company, is often credited with the idea of using beautiful dress prints for making bags. The story goes that he had walked into a restaurant and saw chair covers and curtains made from ordinary cotton bags. It occurred to him that if the bags were made using decorative prints, not only could he promote sales of his bags but bring attention to the goods sold in the bags as well.

By 1935, Percy Kent was successfully marketing their new print bags. It was a brilliant tactic. It’s unknown how enthusiastic farmers were about the print bags, but it was easy to see that they were a big hit with the ladies! Women were happy to take charge of choosing the sacks they wanted to use when making clothing for their families. It took about three large bags to make a dress. Many were the disgruntled employees who worked in the feed store when they had to sort through heavy bags to come up with three that matched!

While the Percy Kent Bag Company is often given full credit for coming up with the idea of using dress prints for feedsacks, they weren’t exactly the first to entertain the notion. In 1925, Gingham Girl Flour ran an advertisement touting the high grade of gingham they had used when making their bags. Bemis and Fulton Bag companies both kept samples of prints they had produced during the 20s and 30s as well.

As print bags became the norm and were readily available, women fussed and fumed about the ink that was used to print the labels on the bags. Tips on how to remove the ink appeared in newspapers and magazines. Some advised rubbing lard into the ink and letting it sit overnight. Then they were to scrub the bag on a washboard using lye soap. Others recommended soaking bags in kerosene, then washing them with Fels Naptha soap.

Soon, bag manufacturers began printing their own directions on how to remove the ink directly onto the bag itself. The only problem with that was that often the only ink that didn’t come out, after all the soaking and washing and scrubbing, were the directions on how to remove the ink! After dealing with many complaints, manufacturers began to use paper labels which they pasted onto the bag.

For the bag companies, sacks made from pretty prints may have been a marketing ploy, but for the families trying to survive hard times, the bags were so much more. The fabric meant new clothes for the whole family, curtains for the home, towels for the kitchen, and pillowcases for the bedroom. And, of course, quilts from the scraps that were left after sewing.

For some families, the bags also meant being able to provide gifts for their children. Victor Flour had puppets and dolls printed on the backs of their bags. Sea Island Sugar printed dolls that could be cut out, sewn together, and stuffed. They were careful to let people know that the ink used in the printing process was not poisonous. The drawback for many of the dolls and toys printed on sacks was that the ink wasn’t particularly colorfast, but they made beloved toys.

Written by Edie McGinnis, former Missouri Star pattern writer, and member of the American Quilter’s Society and the Quilters Guild of Greater Kansas City.

What the world was like (1930-1950s):

  • The price of women’s stockings were 89 cents.
  • Scotch tape was invented by Richard Drew at 3M company.
  • American aviator, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean attempting to navigate the globe.
  • Time Magazine’s Man of the Year was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
  • Marvel introduces Captain America.
  • The construction and completion of Mount Rushmore.

SHOP 1930s REPRODUCTIONS FABRICS

Here are some of our favorite patterns to make with 30s fabrics:

Relive history through these reproduction fabrics. Find your favorite today!