We Quilt This City!

We Quilt This City!

Every summer we host thousands of visitors from near and far in our happy little town of Hamilton. Many of these visitors come to us as their end destination or as part of a detour on their road trip. No matter how our visitors get to us, we do all we can to make sure that they have the best experience in Hamilton.

If you needed another excuse to come visit Hamilton this Summer, starting June 21st we are participating in the Row by Row Experience again this year!

The Row by Row Experience is a wonderful program started in 2011 by Janet Lutz to help quilt shops get more visitors in what might otherwise be slow summer months. All the quilt shops participating in Row by Row have their very own free pattern to help you make a quilt block, and if you are the first to complete a quilt using at least 8 different rows from 8 different 2018 participating shops, you win a stash of 25 fat quarters and you win a bonus prize if you use our block and bring it in to our store!

The theme for Row by Row this year is “Sew Musical” and we have our very own pattern called “We Quilt This City.” The pattern features a beautiful appliqué town and music notes, hopefully not bringing just your quilts, but also your community in harmony.

"We Quilt This City"

To get your free Missouri Star Row by Row pattern all you need to do is come to Penney’s Quilt Shop and ask for our Row by Row pattern! Each customer is limited to one pattern. Sorry to all of our online customers, this pattern is only available in person!

The Row by Row experience will run from June 21st to September 4th, 2018, and you will have until October 31st, 2018 to submit your quilt for a prize.

Art Quilts on Display at Missouri Star

There is such artistry in quilting, from carefully selecting fabric colors to experiment with design and layout, the only limit to quilters’ creativity is imagination! Beginning Wednesday, May 16 through Saturday, June 2, the Penney’s Quilt Shop at Missouri Star will be home to the University of Missouri’s School of Visual Studies’ Art on the Move: Modern Art Quilts exhibit featuring the wonderful fiber artwork of Jean Brueggenjohann and Riana Bovill.

MU Visual Arts Display
A selection of Riana Bovill’s artwork on display in Penney’s Quilt Shop.

Both artists use fabric and fiber as their canvases. Riana creates stunning portraits that she hand stitches, and Jean creatively combines traditional quilt blocks and contemporary style to create amazing quilted pieces of art.

MU Visual Arts Display
Jean Brueggenjohann’s artwork on display in Penney’s Quilt Shop.

After they finished hanging their artwork in Penney’s Quilt Shop, I sat down with Jean and Riana for a quick Q&A session.

How did you get started sewing and quilting fabric works of art?

Riana: I was a painter before I started experimenting with fabric. My husband and I move quite a bit, and I ended up in a place where I didn’t have the opportunity to set up a studio, so I went to a local fabric store and bought some fabric. I still paint a bit, but I work mostly with fiber.

MU Visual Arts Display
Ode to Joy by Riana Bovill

Jean: My mom taught me to sew when I was 9 or 10, and I started making clothes. I sewed garments off and on until 1991, when I took a quilting class and started making quilts. I’m a graphic designer and I teach graphic design, and I now devote all of my time outside of the classroom to making art quilts.

MU Visual Arts Display
Exotic Enchantment by Jean Brueggenjohann

What does it take to make an art quilt

Riana: I’m very inspired by the people around me. Some are people I know and some are people I do not. I like having a good, big collection of fabrics to work with. I’ll spread out my fabrics and pick from them. I always laugh because I could make 2 or 3 portrait quilts from the large fabric I select.

MU School of Visual Studies
Young Man with Hat and Pipe by Riana Bovill

Jean: I really like to learn new things. When I have the opportunity, I like to take different classes. I have learned how to dye fabric, print letterpress on fabric, and anything where I can try something new motivates me. Right now, I like to incorporate traditional quilt blocks with non-traditional, and I really enjoy creating landscapes. In terms of fabric, if I have an idea, I like to buy fabric I like when I see it, and my entire stash is organized by color.

Riana: Speaking of fabric, in one of Jean’s quilt, I found a piece of the very first fabric I ever bought to make my first portrait!

Jean: Some of the fabric I have could be 20 years old, some could be brand new!

What advice would you give to those experimenting with fiber art?

Jean: Don’t give up. Be persistent. I can’t tell you how many times I rip out stitches because the color or value isn’t right. Think of it as a fun process even when you have to rip it out. 🙂

Enchantment in the Jungle by Jean Brueggenjohann

Riana: Don’t be afraid to find the answers. A quick YouTube video may be just what you need to move on.

Jean: Some of the colors that you think absolutely will not work, do, so you have to be brave and go for it!

What advice do you have on color and fabric selection?

Riana: I’m a big advocate for any color goes with any color. You may be surprised at just how colors interact with one another when you put them together.

Jean: One of my quilts on display has batiks, African fabrics and fabric from a local quilt store, and I had a comment. “How could something so wrong be so right?” in terms of fabric choices.

Riana: Any [piece of fabric] is game. Sometimes I take my husband’s clothing and cut pieces off of them. One time, he was asking for a pair of his pajama pants, and I knew I had recently seen them, and sure enough, I looked down and saw them woven into the rug I was working on.

Looking Back by Riana Bovill

How would you describe your work?

Riana: My work has some quilted elements, but mostly applique and collage. Almost all of my work is hand stitched.

Jean: I want people to see that traditional and contemporary quilt blocks and elements can be merged. Each quilt I create has a story, and I want people to see the story and be drawn in and look at the details. Mine are all machine pieced and machine quilted. Hand and machine appliqued with embellishment.


Highway 36 Quilt Trail

Travel back in time to the 1800’s in northern Missouri for this year’s Missouri Highway 36 Quilt Trail 2018 Passport program. This year’s theme is “Ol’ Trail Town,” with each of the 16 blocks along the trail capturing a bit of life throughout northern Missouri as it was 150 years (or more) ago. Our block for Missouri Star features a train station, which played an integral part in the early development of the town of Hamilton.

History of the Railroad in Hamilton

The railroad brought commerce, construction, dry goods and much more to our town, with the line completed on Valentine’s Day 1859, and the depot finished later that year. To learn about Hamilton’s railroad, we spoke with Dean Hales, a native Hamiltonian with a penchant for history, who remembers the railroad vividly from the 1940s on until the late 1980s when the line and the train station were removed.

Hales explains that three sets of railroad tracks once intersected Davis Street, just a few steps north of our Main Shop. Although almost all evidence of the railroad is gone, there are still a few reminders. The relocated Penney house sits atop the foundation of what was once the train depot, and the “Hamilton” sign across the elevated tract of land between Penney Park and the bank was put in place so that commuters could look out the window and know which town they were passing through.

Of course, one only has to look at the mural painted on the north side of our Main Shop to see the most visible reminder of the role the railroad played in shaping Hamilton.

Highway 36 Quilt Trail

Now that we know the significance of the railroad in Hamilton, let’s talk more about the Highway 36 Quilt Trail program. This is the program’s fifth year and the trail opens on April 3, with 16 shops in 15 towns along the Missouri section of Highway 36 participating in the program.

Our Highway 36 Quilt Trail Quilt is currently displayed in our Penney’s Quilt Shop, and this year, we are offering a fabric kit so you can create a block exactly like ours! As you travel down the quilt trail you will see that each quilt shop created their own 

Highway Quilt Trail Quilt

The trail journeys along Highway 36, with stops in towns throughout the corridor, which includes towns on the highway, and also those that are 36 miles to the north and south of the route. Historical towns like St. Joseph, Marceline, Hannibal, and a dozen others with quilt shops and iconic American stories to share are ready and waiting to welcome you on your journey down the Highway 36 Quilt Trail.   

Participants can download a shop passport HERE (or pick one up in the first shop you visit), and visit all of the shops for a free block pattern. One must visit the shop in person to participate in the Quilt Trail. Read all about the program HERE. Once you complete the trail, you will have 16 blocks to create your “Ol’ Trail Town” quilt, and you can turn it into one of the participating shops to see if you win a prize! We can’t wait to see what you make!

If you are planning your trip to Missouri Star Quilt Co., be sure to check out Visit MSQC for travel and lodging information. We hope you enjoy traveling down Highway 36, and visiting all of the shops along the way!