BLOCK Magazine is always looking to publish original stories from quilters like you. We believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that sharing our stories brings us closer together. Today’s story is incredibly special:
“My mother passed away in April 2000. As a gift for my dad for her October birthday, I suggested to my siblings (7 of us) that we make a memorial quilt for him. We each designed a block (including one for the two children that passed), and one of my sisters and I created the blocks, and I put it together.
As I was thinking about the backing, I thought of doing a snippet quilt of a picture of them from their 50th wedding anniversary party from 1994. While creating that quilt, I determined it was too detailed to make it a backing and decided to make an entirely separate quilt.
At the family gathering to celebrate our mom’s birthday with our dad, we presented the quilts. First the block quilt, then the separate snippet quilt (with textile embellishments.)
It goes without saying that my dad was overwhelmed with emotion. He hung the quilts in his living room, where they remained until his passing in 2013. The quilts now hang in my home.”
Remember when you first started quilting and everyone kept throwing around terms like fat quarter and seam allowance? We sure do! Quilting has it’s own beautiful vocabulary that takes a fair amount of time to learn. Test your knowledge of quilting lingo with our free quiz below and see if you know all 20 terms! You may even be surprised to learn something new!
Bold and brilliant colors plus sewing-themed designs?! Sign us up! This is what you’ll find in Tula Pink’s brand new HomeMade collection. Designed with her sewing process in mind, HomeMade is sure to dazzle!
We can’t wait to see your quilt submissions here at Missouri Star (and be sure to check the list of participating shops to see if your local quilt shop is participating, too!) All of the competition specifics can be found HERE. Please read them thoroughly before you start stitching!
Quilts must be no smaller than 60”x60” with a four-inch sleeve sewn to the top back edge of the quilt.
Missouri Star is accepting images of quilts for the entry into this contest. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your quilt images. Please DO NOT SEND physical quilts to Missouri Star for entry into this competition.
Please submit your quilts via email at email@example.com and be sure to fill our the submission form HERE no later than November 2, 2020. Online voting on quilts will begin later in the month.
Everyone has their own journey when it comes to quilting. Many of us were fortunate enough to have quilting passed down to us traditionally from our family members; learning the basic motions of cutting and sewing from the careful hands of those who once had to quilt from necessity. Others however are just finding their path. The technological boom of quilting videos and tutorials that has developed within the last decade has allowed many people to acquire skills which were once only taught by those close to us. Regardless of how we began our journeys as quilters, the skills learned have more benefits than you may realize.
A Healthy Activity
Quilting as a health based activity is becoming more widely recognized with an influx of scientific research claiming that the act of quilting, or crafting in general, is a therapeutic skill which is ripe with health benefits. From a recent study published in the Journal of Public Health:
Cognitive, emotional and social processes were uncovered, which participants identified as important for their wellbeing. Participants found quilting to be a productive use of time and an accessible means of engaging in free creativity. Colour was psychologically uplifting. Quilting was challenging, demanded concentration and participants maintained and learned new skills. Participants experienced ‘flow’ while quilting. A strong social network fostered the formation of strong friendships. Affirmation from others boosted self-esteem and increased motivation for skill development. Quilts were often given altruistically and gave quilting added purpose.
Whether we’re quilting from the comfort of our own home, or working with others to finalize a more demanding project, the benefits of quilting are abundant for one’s personal wellbeing. As we age, our health care routine becomes more poignant and critical than it once was and in today’s society we’re often faced with a fast paced and stressful agenda that leaves little room for personal growth. Social organizations and physical activities are often promoted from medical professionals in order to relieve these stressors and to continue cognitive functions as we begin to enjoy our golden years.
The Best Social Club
Quilting has long since been a social activity. Before the luxuries of machine quilting and personal home sewing machines, quilts were often stitched by hand at local quilting bees. Judy Anne Breneman notes that this allowed the participants to engage in a dynamic social activity which helped overcome the loneliness that many experienced while living in isolated, rural communities. While few of us still live in such isolated communities, the concept of quilting as a social activity still rings true today. Many quilters still participate in quilting bees; many now are even part of a larger quilting guild which organizes meetings for its members. Quilting retreats and events offer the opportunity for maker’s to share their experience with others while continuing to build their personal skill sets in a social and engaging atmosphere. Online quilting groups have also provided such an outlet, allowing makers from all over the world to connect with others to discuss their craft from the convenience of their own homes.
This sense of community has become empowering to makers, allowing an open space to discuss projects and praise the ingenuity of others. With community comes purpose, and a sense of purpose often develops within quilters that allows them to combat mental health issues. Clare Hunter in “The calming effects of sewing can help people express and heal themselves” from The Guardian says, “Sewing is increasingly becoming recognised as an effective way to combat depression, the absorption demanded by needlework – its flow – calming the mind and reducing stress. The sense of accomplishment can boost mental health and improve our immune system, as relief from the pressure of multitasking is replaced by focussing on one thing.”
Finding our Purpose
To what ends though can we identify ourselves as quilters? Following retirement, many adults tend to struggle with finding their purpose. After spending the majority of one’s life consistently contributing towards a goal through a career, it is sometimes difficult, and reasonably so, to find a purpose in what is supposed to be our best years. The introduction of hobbies to provide a much needed outlet in order for someone to develop a purpose has been attributed to numerous health benefits; we engage ourselves and find pleasure in creating and it directly affects our well being. A 2016 study from the Journal of Epidemiology suggests that, “having hobbies and PIL [Purpose in Life] may extend not only longevity, but also healthy life expectancy among community-dwelling older adults”. The best part about all of this though? Quilting is fun! Few of us originally find quilting as a means of self-medication and mental health stimulation, but we all have the opportunity to reap the rewards all while enjoying one of our favorite past times.
As makers, we have many titles. Whether we identify as creators, quilters or artists, it is hard to argue the benefits that quilting brings into our lives. If the opportunity to make something of your own, or to make a gift for someone in need wasn’t enough, it is evident that the intrinsic benefits of craftsmanship are well worth the investment. There are plenty of great resources available as well for those who do wish to quilt for a cause and give back to their community. So keep those needles to the fabric and remember during your next creative project that not only are we making something to share with the world, but we’re taking care of ourselves in the process.
As the year comes to a close, we are filled to the brim with joy here at Missouri Star. Truth be told, we hadn’t done much reflecting on what this year truly meant for us until it was time to sit down and write our annual Year in Review. Once, we got started, it seemed the list of things we did this year would never end!
As we looked back over the past twelve months in amazement, we were so touched by the love from our followers, support of our customers, the selflessness within our quilting community, and the hardworking, kind hearts of each and every one of our team members.
Celebrate the end of 2019 with us as we share some of our favorite things:
A GRAND OPENING!
Back in June, We opened a new Education Center here in Hamilton where we hold classes for quilters of every level! Come to Missouri Star and enjoy a hands-on class with our quilting experts!
Can’t make it to town? No worries! We also released several online classes this year!
This year we said a big ALOHA to our 11th year in business with a lovely luau-themed Birthday Bash. It was definitely a party to remember! Over 2,000 quilters came to Hamilton, and it was so much fun. That more than doubles our town’s population! Wow!
For our birthday, we asked for the gift of helping others and you did not disappoint!
$2,167 was raised for Days for Girls hygiene kits which were put together during Birthday Bash. Together, our guests assembled 1,012 kits that have since been placed at a refugee camp!
We also raised $5,715 from our Celebrity Sew-off and Quilt Raffles that we gave to our local food pantry!
THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO CELEBRATED WITH US AND HELPED TO GIVE BACK!
MISSOURI STAR CARES
This year we launched a brand new charity organization called Missouri Star Cares. Quilters are some of the most caring, giving people we know. You’ve inspired us to give back to our hometown, our country, and our planet.
Our first Missouri Stars Cares was a fabric donation drive in which we vowed to donate 1 yard for every 25 yards purchased to Quilts of Valor & Project Linus. Our drive lasted a total of 13 days in November during which time we came close to our goal of 2,500 by reaching 2,149!
And we can’t forget our $10,000 donation to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation wouldn’t have been possible without your support! All through October, we fought breast cancer one stitch at a time by shopping pink!
THANK YOU TO THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN HELPING US TO GIVE BACK!
STRIPE TOLD OUR MISSOURI STAR STORY IN A BEAUTIFUL WAY
A CELEBRITY VISIT!
We had the honor of hosting Maureen McCormick, (AKA Marcia Brady)! We laughed, cried, and laughed some more! Let’s just say we had a BUNCH of fun!
For the first time ever, a collaboration between Missouri Star Quilt Company and North Central Missouri College resulted in an apprenticeship program. Consisting of 21 of our team members, all completing the registered apprenticeship program through the US Department of Labor, earning certificates and college credit. Read more on the blog >
CONGRATS TO OUR GRADUATES!
CO-FOUNDER & CEO OF MISSOURI STAR WIN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR