Meet Courtenay, a Missouri Star Academy Instructor!

Courtenay Hughes is one of our talented instructors here at Missouri Star. As part of our education team, Courtenay teaches quilting, embroidery, and appliqué classes through Missouri Star Academy. This includes our online courses, in-town classes, and some of our free tutorials!

Beginning Machine Applique

“I want to say I LOVE her teaching style! She is so funny, and I felt like I was spending an afternoon with a good friend. I really enjoyed this video.”

– Customer Review

Courtenay’s Creations

This quilting diva has been a wonderful component to our education team and you can see why! Her gorgeous projects continue to inspire all of us makers!


Now, let’s talk about appliqué, Courtenay’s area of expertise! If you’ve always wanted to try it out, but imagined it might be intimidating, we’ve got the tools, techniques, and tips to change your mind. Appliqué is a lot easier than it looks – and it looks pretty spectacular personalizing and decorating your quilt!

Beginning Machine Applique

We talked to Courtenay about machine appliqué designs and tips…

Q: Courtenay, how long have you been sewing machine appliqué? 
A: I have been quilting for over 25 years. I’ve had about 20 odd years of practice at machine appliqué. And I am really looking forward to sharing some of that with you

Q: What’s your favorite part of teaching appliqué for beginners?
A: My favorite part of teaching is when students who aren’t sure they can complete their projects get to the point where they realize that, yes, they can make them—and they will be beautiful! Whether that’s how to machine appliqué small pieces, how to hand appliqué in the car on road trips, or how to let loose and try something completely new, like a free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch that looks complicated but is actually very freeing, I love seeing students succeed!

Beginning Machine Applique

Q: What shapes can you make with machine appliqué?
A: Anything you can imagine – and any pattern in your library, really. I like to show you tips for leaves, stems, circles, stars, hearts, petals, and working in layers. While a lot of my patterns are flowers or animals – ask me about placing bunny ears – the sky is the limit. You can decorate any quilt with appliqué, in blocks, borders, even your quilt label.

Q: What are some tools you recommend for appliqué?
A: This depends a little bit on which method you’re using, but some of the applique essentials are:

For Machine Appliqué:

  • Fusible Web  – Use this to temporarily glue fabric pieces in place while machine stitching.
  • Appliqué Pressing SheetPlace over the project diagram to use as a guide while layering fabric shapes.
  • Marking PenUse a fine sharpie or marking pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Scissors A good pair of scissors come in handy for cutting fusible and fabric pieces.
  • Machine Needles – A sharp needle that is great for stitching through layers of applique pieces. 
  • 50wt Thread – A strong thread that blends with fabric shapes. Or black thread for a “folk art” look. 
  • Self-Threading Needles An easy way to bury threads after stitching pieces to background.
  • Iron and Iron Cleaner – An iron for fusing paper shapes to fabric, and iron cleaner.
  • Embroidery Hoop – (optional) These come in handy when stitching pieces in place on background, especially when using the free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch.

For Hand Appliqué:

  • Appli-Glue or Lapel StickUse this to hold fabric pieces in place while hand stitching.
  • Freezer Paper Draw a design on the dull side, cut it out and lay the shiny side down on the project to use as a guide.
  • Bias Tape MakerUse this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking PenUse this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision Appliqué ScissorsA smaller pair of scissors come in handy for cutting smaller pieces.
  • Hand Needles A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
  • Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
  • Appliqué PinsThese come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
  • Fusible Web (optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.
Applique Tools

We think it’s time to give appliqué a try!

We currently have two classes for beginners at Missouri Star Academy. You’ll learn multiple methods, troubleshooting tricks, how to machine appliqué a quilt or how to hand appliqué a quilt. Each class also comes with a FREE quilt pattern so you can show off your newly mastered skills! Try appliqué today!

Don’t forget to check in on our Education Center’s class schedule to see what class Courtenay will be teaching next!

If you’ve taken a class by Courtenay Hughes, show her what you made in the comments below ⬇️

Road Trip Quilt

MSQC New Tutorial on the Blog!

I love Montana with her endless blue skies. Colorado with her majestic mountains peaks. The excitement of New York. The serenity of the Oregon Cost. And of course, there’s nothing like Missouri’s amber waves of grain!  From sea to shining sea, this country is made up of beautifully unique states.

This week Jenny is stitching up an adorable appliqué map quilt featuring 20 of her favorite states. Click HERE to learn how to make a Road Trip quilt of your own!

(This easy project is made using Valori Wells’ Murmur collection. Valori created these gorgeous prints by stamping fabric with blocks she carved herself!  Click HERE to learn more about process!)

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

A Guide to Appliqué

In the intricate world of quilting, there are so many different ways we can make a sewing project unique! Appliqué is a fun (and super easy!) way to decorate a quilt with personalized designs and patterns.

  • Appli-Glue or Lapel StickUse this to hold fabric pieces in place while hand stitching.
  • Freezer PaperDraw a design on the dull side, cut it out and lay the shiny side down on the project to use as a guide.
  • Bias Tape MakerUse this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking PenUse this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision Applique ScissorsA smaller pair of scissors come in handy for cutting smaller pieces.
  • Hand Needles A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
  • Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
  • Applique PinsThese come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
  • Fusible Web (optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.
  • Applique shapes (optional) – Precut shapes come in handy for quick and easy projects

 Learn the basics of appliqué with Jenny and Jan Patek in this four-part tutorial series. They teach the essentials needed for hand appliqué along with tips and tricks for applying leaves, stems, circles, stars and more onto your sewing project.

Beginning Hand Applique Online Class

For a more in-depth look into hand appliqué, join our newest online class! Beginning Hand Appliqué is an online class taught by our very own Courtenay Hughes. Courtenay teaches two different hand appliqué methods, troubleshooting techniques for tricky shapes, how to make reusable templates, and clean appliqué hand stitching!

Discover new ideas within our appliqué tutorials. The Finish Line Quilt can be found in our latest issue of BLOCK Magazine. The appliqué project uses two of our favorites; the orange peel template and 2.5″ strips!

The Itty Bitty Club Pattern pack is a great way to add some fun springtime decor to your home. Stock up on warm, fuzzy wool though because this pack comes with five different appliqué project patterns!

For antique blocks (or any finished blocks that haven’t found a home yet), watch Jenny’s “What to do with vintage blocks” tutorial to make a pretty, antique looking appliqué quilt!

         

Finish Line Quilt

MSQC New Tutorial on the Blog!

Finish Line Quilt

If you ask Jenny, she really lucked out in the husband department. Ron is kind, patient, and incredibly creative. Best of all? When Jenny is quilting, he doesn’t sit on the sidelines; he quilts WITH her! Over the years Ron has cooked up a few great quilt patterns of his own!

Finish Line Quilt

Ron's Motorcycle Quilt

The Finish Line Quilt is a Ron Doan original, and it’s a good one! Click HERE to learn how to transform a simple Jelly Roll Race into an appliqué project featuring orange peel petals, motorcycles, or anything else your heart desires! The sky is the limit!

Finish Line Quilt

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

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.