Sneak Peek: BLOCK Magazine Summer 2020

A note from Jenny.

My hope is by the time I’ve written this letter to you and BLOCK arrives at your home, that life will have returned to normal. My hope is the sun will be shining outside your window… you’ll be free to gather with friends and family… you’ll feel comfortable greeting neighbors and walking the dog again, and a trip to the beach might be just around the corner. It’s hard to imagine after weeks of being separated from loved ones and anxiously watching the television, but I have great hope that we’ll make it through…many of us have been spending extended periods of time at home. I am trying my best to view this as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience. 

I recently read a quote by one of my favorite people, Fred Rogers, that made me pause. He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It has shifted my mindset and caused me to be proactive. Each day I ask myself, What small thing can I do to help?

Quilters never cease to amaze me. You make a difference with every stitch and it’s never been more apparent to me than at this very moment. You’re sewing masks by the thousands, you’re making surgical caps for hospital workers, you’re helping friends and neighbors, and you’re a positive influence in your community. Thank you sincerely for everything you do. I feel privileged to be a part of this remarkable global community of quilters. We really can change the world one stitch at a time.

Love,
Jenny


Like Jenny (and Mr. Rogers), I believe many of us makers feel grateful to be part of a community that creates – not only quilts, but comfort, inspiration, and kindness. (After all, we are the piece-makers ✌️)

Fun fact: Back in 1889, the women of Caldwell County (now home of Missouri Star) came together to create a “census” quilt. For an entire year, wives, mothers, and children throughout the county helped one another to hand-stitch the names of over 1,000 residents to create a gorgeous hand-sewn quilt that celebrated their entire community.

130 years later, the antique quilt remains a representation of the connections made among a community of quilter’s helping one another to create a beautiful, inclusive piece of art. It hangs inside our Caldwell Country Historical Society, seven miles from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Much like those whose names were stitched onto that quilt from long ago, when you subscribe to BLOCK Magazine, you subscribe to become a part of a community of makers whose stories become stitched into our hearts! BLOCK Magazine’s upcoming summer issue contains our own stories and the stories of our readers, together building a community of creatives inspired by one another.

Subscribe by our May 25th deadline to ensure you receive the new June issue straight to your mailbox late next month!


Get a sneak peek of what’s inside!

BLOCK Magazine June 2020
Ruby Sensation Sew-Along

Ruby Sensation Sew-Along

This five part sew-along walks you through every step until together – we’ve created a ravishing masterpiece! (Subscribe now so you won’t miss out!)

BONUS Table Runner Patterns

Enjoy three BONUS table runner projects, great for a quick refresh to your dining table!

Travel Pocket Project

This handy, little organizer is great for traveling with kids and other simple storage solutions.

Jenny’s Journal

Get an exclusive look into Jenny’s studio as she shares with you her latest projects. There’s always something unique and inspiring!

… and seriously, SEW MUCH MORE:

• Stories from Jenny, Missouri Star, and our readers! (Subscribers are invited to submit their own story and some are even published in BLOCK! Jenny loves to hear from our readers!)

• 10+ quilt patterns (including two hexi patterns by Daisy & Grace!)

• When you subscribe, you’ll get instant access to April’s digital issue so you can start enjoying BLOCK right away! (That means you’ll get seven issues for the price of six!)


• NO ads and your subscription ships free!


Take a look behind the scenes!

Crawfish boil scene for BLOCK Magazine
“The most satisfying part of my job is finding a location and props for a scene – one that brings life to the stories we tell in BLOCK. For this shot, we had decided on a crawfish boil, indicative of a southern and celebratory meal. I wasn’t aware what a task this would be until I contacted local grocery stores and made several other calls to no avail.

I had succeeded to photographing a boiling pot of water at best until, luckily, I saw exactly what I needed on social media! A local family posted a photo of their crawfish boil! I immediately contacted them and they gladly accommodated my request, but I had NO IDEA I would be purchasing LIVE crawfish, fresh from the Louisiana bayou! I went to pick them up (thinking they were already cooked) and the ride home had me poking the crawfish back into the pot! I had never prepared them before and was apprehensive but they were absolutely delicious and made for a fabulous photo!

I’m always open to new adventures and experiences which is why I love working on the BLOCK Magazine team. This was definitely one to remember.”

– Jennifer Dowling, photo stylist
Jenny and Ron enjoying a sunset on the set of BLOCK Magazine

“We hope our magazine will inspire you to create beautiful quilts.” – Jenny

LEARN MORE ABOUT BLOCK MAGAZINE

Big ideas are coming to life with the next issue of BLOCK Magazine

A Note from Jenny - BLOCK Magazine 2020 Winter Issue

This is the time of year that we think about setting goals. We want to be better and all of you constantly inspire me to keep trying. This brand new issue of BLOCK has been spruced up from cover to cover to start 2020 off in style! The design has been refreshed, exciting changes are on every page, more stories from our readers, and even more to come throughout the year! We hope you love it.

Starting new also means celebrating success and recognizing growth. BLOCK has been through a lot over the past six years and so have you. I love to see how quilting changes us and helps us become stronger. Most of the letters I receive contain stories that explain how quilting has helped you get through your challenges.

No matter how many trials you encounter in your lives, when you spend time at your sewing machine, you begin to put yourself back together, piece by piece. It takes time, but that journey is so sweet. Handing off this precious quilt that you made for someone who needs some love or encouragement changes you.

This year, I want to focus on finding joy each day. No one thrives in negativity and so, each day, I try to look for one good thing. Instead of worrying about all the things I’m not doing, I’m going to find the things I can do. I don’t think I’m going to try and finish all my UFOs or completely redo my sewing room. But I will spend more time at my sewing machine! It brings peace to my soul. You quilters continually bring hope and love into the world. Keep an eye on those around you and spread as much joy as you can!

Love,
Jenny


We’ve been sharing our resolution of New Year, New Projects – a goal to simply create more. As we try to inspire all of you to do this, we hope you realize just how much you inspire us right back.

In planning towards becoming more creative and making more, we’ve started with our own in-house publication, BLOCK Magazine. For the last six years, BLOCK Magazine has been an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. On every glossy page, you’ll find stunning photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories!

It was a small idea that originally gave birth to what this magazine became. Now that it’s 2020 – a new year, a new decade… Another small idea has grown into what is now the new and improved BLOCK Magazine. The idea book still holds everything you already love inside, but better and with more content!

The team creatively pieced together a new design concept and the end result is stunning – well, we think so and we hope you love it too! If you’re subscribed, you’ll see the fresh, new look within your next issue. If not, subscribe today so you don’t miss out!

… And because we’re so excited – we just can’t resist sharing a sneak peek of our brand new cover design:

Drum roll please…

🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁

Voila!

BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 1

Eek! We’re in love with this sleek, modern look! Oh, and notice the new content that’s waiting inside? We’re so excited to share it with you!

Natalie Earnheart, Managing Editor of BLOCK Magazine

“We’re so excited to bring you a brand new issue of BLOCK that’s been completely refreshed for 2020! This new design includes even more of what you love: original articles, beautiful photography, a gorgeous cover, fun projects, stories from our readers, and not an ad in sight… We hope you love it! Stay tuned for exciting updates that will be happening throughout the coming months. It’s sure to be a great year for quilting!”

– Natalie Earnheart, Managing Editor


So what’s coming to BLOCK Magazine?

  • Fresh, new cover design
  • Refreshed content
  • More authentic photo styling
  • Stories (from Jenny AND more from our readers)
  • Educational quilting articles
  • 10 patterns + 1 bonus project
  • Jenny’s Journal (a highlight of Jenny’s personal projects)
  • Mystery Story with a new chapter in each issue
  • and sew much more!

Take a peek into the next issue of BLOCK Magazine


These are a few of the quilts that will be featured in the upcoming issue!


Check out last year’s Behind the Scenes and browse through past issues with us as we look back on the last six years of BLOCK Magazine.

Over $50 worth of information is packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions.) There are NO ads and each issue ships FREE with your subscription!

Subscribe by January 30, 2020 to get this issue in March!

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE

What will your first project of 2020 be?
Tell us (or show us) in the comments!

A Look Inside BLOCK Magazine: Winter 2019

“Great stories happen to those who can tell them.” -Ira Glass

A Note From Jenny Doan, BLOCK Magazine Winter Issue 2019

After the winter holidays, I like to write down the moments that made me smile. Like the care that went into a handmade gift from a grandchild, the friendly chatter around the family dinner table, and the sweet older lady who talked to me at the post office. Every day there’s something to remind me there is good in this world. These little moments make up each day and when I stop to appreciate them, it changes my perspective, and ultimately, my life.

Our lives are composed of small moments that make up our stories. Taking the time to recognize them and record them creates a narrative that connects generations. And quilting is another way of telling our stories. Each quilt begins with a moment of inspiration, a desire to create something beautiful and show we care. When a friend or a family member needs some extra love, I may not always know the perfect thing to do or say, but I know of at least one way I can help. Quilts communicate love beyond words.

If you’re ever wondering if your stories matter, take heart! They matter more than you’ll ever know. For the first time ever, this issue of BLOCK features stories from you, our readers. Thank you so much for sharing them with us! It has been a joy to read over them. We sincerely wish we could include them all. If you would like to submit your story for a future issue, we’d love to listen. Send it to us at blockstories@missouriquiltco.com. Here’s to a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and many more stories to come.

Love,
Jenny


Behind the Scenes of BLOCK Magazine Volume 6 Issue 6

One of the photographs in this issue was taken above Missouri Star’s Penney’s Quilt Shop. It’s a spectacular space that has yet to be renovated and still holds the heart of Hamilton’s history within its walls. To keep to the authenticity, we modeled two of our very own employees: Joe Morgan, our amazing carpenter who has played a huge role in the renovations of most all our buildings and his sweet wife, Elizabeth, who can usually be found in our Kids & Baby shop.

During this shoot, the photography team got to work closely with Jenny and some of her family. Jenny and Ron posed together for a snugly shot while her son, Alan, his wife, Drea, and their sweet baby Porter modeled for a cookie exchange photo-shoot. Jenny’s grandson, Porter, loved being the center of attention and put on a great little show!

Get a sneak peek of what’s inside this issue…

Here are just a few quilts you’ll find in our next issue, featured in different colors and new collections! Within this magazine, you’ll find that each quilt pattern is tied to an inspiring story and beautiful photography!

Each issue includes 10 patterns plus a few of Jenny’s special projects! That’s over $50 worth of information all packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions)

Subscribe by November 25, 2019 to get this issue in December!

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE TODAY!

While we’re buttoning up the odds and ends of this next issue, would you help us choose the front cover? We just love them all!

BLOCK Magazine Cover Voting Winter Issue 2019

Click HERE to send in your vote! Thank you!

Already subscribed to BLOCK Magazine?
Tell us what you love most in the comments below!

Meet Missouri Star Academy Instructor, HollyAnne Knight

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

HollyAnne Knight of String & Story teaches one of our online courses here at Missouri Star. She helps people learn to not only quilt with confidence, but live an overall well and confident life. Check out her quilting blog or wellness blog for fun stuff!

Join HollyAnne in her Beginner-Friendly Free Motion Quilting class! You’re gonna love it and her! Get to know our newest instructor:

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Do you have any funny “mess-up” stories to share from your experience with machine quilting?

Oh my heavens! … My quilting journey is like a RomCom of crazy mess-ups! I have quilted my supreme slider to the back of my quilt multiple times (notice I don’t use one any more!), not to mention managing to actually quilt my quilt TO ITSELF (watch those edges, y’all, and don’t let them get folded under!). Of course I’ve lost track of the times I’ve had tension issues… More recently, I checked my tension, but not carefully, and not as I went along and ended up spending FIFTEEN HOURS pulling stitches out of a quilt. Needless to say, I had TWO margaritas when I was done!

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What first inspired you to give machine quilting a try?

I started quilting because my mom wanted a t-shirt quilt. Being a complete nerd, I immediately check out every quilting book in our local library– which was more or less the complete works of Angela Walters! Obviously, these were basically useless for my original intent, but they did introduce me to a world of color, texture, and movement that I didn’t know existed in quilting. My background is in painting and dance, and free motion reminded me more of those mediums rather than sewing. A new mom who needed a kid-friendly hobby (which oil painting is not), I kind of just jumped in. Of course I was nervous that I would mess up, not be any good, etc, but there was only one way to find out. In ballet, we have this saying that you’re not a real dancer until you fall 10 times. I figured quilting could be like that– maybe I would quilt 10 crappy quilts, but I figured, sooner or later, if I kept practicing, I would get it. Honestly, the thing that surprised me most was how quickly my skill grew when I got serious about practicing– which is something I’ve seen happen again and again for my students, too! 

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Do your sons show any interest in quilting/sewing? Have you started teaching them?

They’re kids and quilting is creative– of course they’re interested! They mostly love color and texture, and they have remarkably good taste (proof that our creative instincts start strong, even if we struggle later). They love playing with scraps, asking me to sew bits together, or sitting in my lap with their hands on mine while we chain piece and handing me pins as needed. I haven’t started teaching them in any formal sense, though, but mostly for selfish reasons! I’m not sure I’m ready to share my sewing room! I hope we’ll sew together as they continue to get older, though, or, at the very least, that they will find their own creative passion to pursue alongside my quilting. 

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What advice do you have for others who are beginning their machine quilting journey?

…YOU CAN DO THIS. (That little voice of “yeah, but…” that just popped in your head? Slap her. She’s a liar. All of us have an inner critic, and our inner critics are nothing but jerks. Put her in a corner and listen to me.) Yes, it will be challenging; yes, it will take work. But YOU ARE A ROCKSTAR. You can do hard things. After all, you learned to walk and talk and read and write and use a rotary cutter without removing your fingers. Free Motion Quilting? It’s just one more skill that you’re going to study, practice, and master. The desire and the willingness to keep practicing through the “messy middle” are really all you need to get started… and I would be honored to be your teacher!

Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

What keeps you feeling creative and inspired? What do you do if you feel like you’re in a slump?

Our local town square in downtown Duluth, GA, so going out for dinner with my family is sure to pick me up and give me new enthusiasm. Similarly, getting out in nature is both relaxing and inspiring– double points if I can get some exercise while I’m at it! When I’m at home in the studio, I just do the next right thing– which is usually cleaning! Whatever is stumping me (usually a quilt top that needs a quilting plan), gets hung up on the design wall where I can ponder it without being consumed by it, and I’ll clean my sewing room, and just putter around for awhile. Maybe do some emails or yoga or whatever– all while just “hanging around” with the pesky project. Then, I’ll get away from it– go to Duluth, watch a movie, anything else, for the night and come back the next day with fresh eyes. Usually by then I at least have a starting place to build on. 

Quilt all day or Quilt all night?

I am SUCH a night owl! I love to work absurdly late in my sewing room. I love how quiet the house is and how I can get lost in my audiobooks and sewing. 

My Best Tips for FMQ

  1. Practice on paper first. Whether you’re doodling motifs or deciding what to quilt where… paper is far lower stakes than your beautiful quilt, so work out the planning kinks and the learning curves on paper and then practice sandwiches first.
  2. Check your tension. A lot. At LEAST every bobbin, but ideally every 10 minutes of quilting or so. Yes, it might slow you down a bit to flip your quilt over and take a peek, but if anything goes cattywampus, you want to know pronto!
  3. Have fun! Seriously, if you are not having fun quilting, then we need to have a talk because the whole point of a hobby is to enjoy it. Allow yourself to be imperfect, to enjoy the process, and maybe even have a little wine to lighten the mood!
Meet HollyAnne Knight, Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Start Your Machine Quilting Journey

HollyAnne shared her “mess-up” story and now it’s your turn! Do you have any “oops” moments in quilting? Tell us in the comments!

A Look Inside Volume 6 Issue 5 of BLOCK Magazine

A Note From Jenny Doan BLOCK Magazine Fall Issue 2019

What is it about fall we love so much? Is it the blissful break from summer’s heat? Is it the fresh harvest of fruits and vegetables that we spent all summer tending? Is it the anticipation of upcoming holidays? Or is it something more? In my mind, fall is a culmination of so many year-long efforts. As I watch leaves pile up without the desire to rake them away, I realize that what I love so much about this season is letting go. I let go of carefully tending my yard. I slow down and go inward, preparing for the winter, allowing myself to curl up with a well-worn quilt and let time pass by slowly. I also try to let go of unnecessary constraints on my time and energy, allowing myself to say no more often and focus on things that matter most. 

Letting go is also about giving ourselves the freedom to say yes to new things. There are always those things that must be done, but what about the things we choose to do? Choosing to allow creativity into each day gives me a fresh perspective and a greater desire to do the things I must do. It’s incredible how energized I feel after a walk, observing fall colors, and bringing them into my fabric and design choices. Because I make so many quilts, taking these moments to pause makes it less of a chore and more of a time to reflect. I can let go of the thought of what I “should be” doing and let creativity flow. 

I hope this season fills you with inspiration and the desire to create beautiful things. Start small and just see what happens! I remember the first quilt I ever made, it was a simple log cabin, and that first spark of creativity has become so much more. Take a peek inside this issue of BLOCK and let it become a springboard for your next project. What inspires you to create?

Love,
Jenny


Behind the Scenes of Volume 6 Issue 5 of BLOCK Magazine

BLOCK Magazine Behind the Scenes Fall Issue 2019

There are over forty people on the BLOCK Magazine team working behind the scenes. Our copy writers will have you wrapped up in their words, our photographers capture scenery you won’t forget, our sewists create quilts that you’ll feel the need to make and our pattern writers will make it easy for you to get started!

Together, they pour their passions and creativity onto several glossy pages, then piece them together for you to enjoy.

Here you can see our photographers working hard and having fun creating props, getting ready for another great autumn-themed photo shoot!

Get a Sneak Peek of What’s Inside this Issue…

Here are just a few stunning quilts you’ll find in our next issue, featured in different colors and new collections! Within the magazine, you’ll find that each quilt pattern is tied to an inspiring story and beautiful photography!

Each issue includes 10 patterns plus a few of Jenny’s special projects! That’s over $50 worth of information all packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions)

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

While we’re buttoning up the odds and ends of this next issue, would you help us choose the front cover? We just love them all!

BLOCK Magazine Cover Voting Fall Issue 2019

Click HERE to send in your vote! Thank you!

Already subscribed to BLOCK Magazine? Tell us what you love most in the comments below!