Meet Annette Ashbach, a Missouri Star Academy Instructor

Missouri Star Academy is all about providing education and empowering you to create. From weekly tutorials to online in-depth classes, events and even classes held here in Hamilton, MO at our Education Center where there is something for everyone!

Annette Ashbach is one of our Education Center instructors and she teaches many things ranging from making full quilt tops to smaller projects like aprons and totes!

Annette first found interest in sewing after she became fascinated with watching her grandmother’s hand-stitching and embroidery techniques. Her love for sewing continued as she grew up watching her mother create costumes and dance uniforms on the sewing machine. Today, Annette has been quilting on and off for about forty-five years and teaching for the last twelve.

Annette has a very diverse taste in fabrics. She adores anything wool, but also enjoys batiks. She has a soft spot for appliqué and is always up for a challenging pattern!

Take a peek at our Education Center Class Schedule and sign up to learn something fun with Annette!

“Don’t be afraid to try something new… It’s just fabric! Have fun and be creative! That’s all there is to it.” she says.

Annette Ashbach

Introducing… Let’s Make Art

Two years ago, Sarah Cray was a freelance artist… selling her prints on Etsy, illustrating books, and just simply exploring her creative freedoms was the life Sarah had fallen in love with. But then, she got a call that would result in her being able to take those passions and share her love of art with the world. The call was from ours truly, Al Doan, the co-founder of Missouri Star Quilt Co. The pair had briefly known each other in college, but after a bad experience in shopping art supplies online, he called up the talented Sarah in hopes the two could create something better for others.

Together, they worked to transform the reputation of art from being intimidating, hard, and overwhelming to helpful, welcoming, and encouraging. In 2017, Sarah’s artistic abilities and Al’s master business mind proved a powerful duo in giving birth to Missouri Star’s sister company, Let’s Make Art! Since then, the team has welcomed modern lettering artist, Nicole Miyuki.

The business hopes to offer several different art medium services soon, but right now, Let’s Make Art offers monthly subscription boxes, supplies and step-by-step tutorials for watercolor taught by Sarah and hand-lettering taught by Nicole.

“The intention was to create a company that was way more accessible and not as intimidating for people who want to get into it. Something that sends the empowering message that anyone can make art.” – Sarah Cray, Co-Founder

When asked what they believe attributes to their success so far. Sarah answered by stating, “I don’t want people to think that I’m the best at watercolor and that I do it perfect every single time. If I make a mistake, I show them openly, and explain how they can correct it… Art is a process and we’re always learning. People are welcome to be open with no judgement here.” Others have found that they have been able to relate to the Let’s Make Art team. It’s a space full of inspiration in which people feel comfortable to begin their creative journey.

Sometimes the art they create has a mission of its own. With Let’s Make Art Matter, the Let’s Make Art team places an addressed and stamped postcard in each subscription box. There is a free tutorial per each card. Everyone then creates their postcard and sends it to a family, person, or organization that is suffering from the death of a loved one, an illness, or other disaster. “We send them to a family that just really needs a little bit of love. Art can be very healing.” says Sarah. Outside of the subscription boxes, people are welcome to walk-in, sit down at a table and Make Art Matter right there in the store and they will make sure it’s gets sent to the family for you.

When you stop in at Let’s Make Art, there’s always an opportunity to “try it before you buy it” and even participate in a make-a-take! With our Birthday Bash event coming up, Let’s Make Art invites you to come and create your own or join in on making art matter. Whether for yourself or for a family who needs a smile, stop by their booth and try it out!

Even if you aren’t quilter, you can still enjoy “Quilt Town, USA.” Bring your friends and stop in for a brew, go golfing, or grab a sweet bite to eat. And don’t forget to say hi to the Let’s Make Art team and discover watercolor and hand-lettering designs!

Learn More at LetsMakeArt.com or follow them on Facebook or Instagram!

Enhance Your Next Project with a Hint of Red

You know it’s fall when the scenery changes from green to brown with vibrant hints of red. When walking along a pond bank, you can’t see much under the waters, but you can always catch a glimpse of the red koi fish. The red line of a rainbow is always the first to draw in your attention and there are many kinds of fruit trees, but only the splotches of red in an apple tree are able to be spotted from afar.

Red is a color of intensity. It symbolizes passion, love, strength, energy, and desire. Make simple colors pop by mixing in hints of this fiery hue into your next project!

Go Modern with Red, Black, and White

Red, Black, and White Color Combination

Placing a flamboyant color such as red next to the monochromatic shades of white and black creates an attraction like no other. It’s no wonder we find them used in road signs, advertising, and even nature as warning signals to predators. Just look at the coral snake… typically, my fear of snakes prevents me from seeing their beauty, but I have to admit the smooth black, white, and red scales of the coral snake have me mesmerized.

Check our collection of reds, white and black and create an eye-catching masterpiece!

Get Whimsical using Red and Teal

Red and Teal Color Combination

Take a look at that picture. Are your eyes drawn to the red or the teal? Not sure? Both maybe?

That’s because being just one spot away from being polar opposites on the color spectrum, there seems almost an equal attraction to the warm and cool shades. This color combination has a way of cooling down the red and warming up the teal so the two don’t become overwhelming, but instead just incredibly gorgeous!

Explore our reds and teals and get started on your next project!

A Comforting Pair of Red and Navy

Red and Navy Color Combination

For those of us whom live in the states, this patriotic pair is a comforting duo. Although, being two of the three primary colors, these colors together still create a powerful attraction for those all over the world.

Red and navy like to be dramatic, so find your favorites and place them side by side in your next project to create quite the fuss! Check out our tutorial playlist for ideas!

Use Red and Silver to Create an Elegant Look

Red and Silver

These two colors are classic. The essence of elegance. Red and silver are the way to go if you prefer a quieter look. Red can be loud, but silver will tone it down while still keeping it’s beauty.

Browse reds and silvers to create a timeless treasure!

What color do you pair with red?
Post a picture or tell us in the comments!

Foxes, Frogs, and Flamingos. Find them all at Funky Friends Factory!

When I was a child, my grandparents gave me a brand new stuffed bunny for my birthday. He was white with blue and purple ears and thus, I named him Jelly Bean. For many years, he was my good friend. We read bedtime stories, snuggled together for movies, and hosted the best tea parties.

As I grew older, I played with him less and eventually stored him away. Today, Jelly Bean sits on a shelf in the back corner of my closet, but I still hold his memories dear and I cannot bring myself to get rid of him.

Create that same imaginative bond for a special child in your life! We have over forty Funky Friends to choose from so you’re sure to find their favorite animal! Personalize it to their tastes with realistic colors or fanciful prints! Use cuddle, flannel, or cotton for a cuddly touch and to make it even more special, add some embroidery!

If you are needing some ideas of where to get started, here are a few of our favorite Funky Friends and fabrics to make them with:

Georgie, The Good Luck Elephant

Cuddle Charcoal and Majestic by Gerri Robinson


Sue the Squirrel

Primitive Muslin Oatmeal Flannel and Woolies Cedarwood Flannel or Lava Batik Solids by Anthology


Nate the Narwhal

Cuddle Opal and Cuddle Iris or Wilmington Essentials Bubble Up by Hello Angel


Need help getting started? Find helpful tips and tricks from the Funky Friends Factory creator, Pauline McArthur.

Introduce us to the animal you made on Instagram using #msqcshowandtell or post a picture in the comments below!
Don’t forget to tell us your funky friend’s name!

School is Back in Session 🏫

Back to School

Les Brown, an American motivational speaker, once said, “You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great.” So if your kids are bummed about back to school month, you’re a college student who’s dreading 10-page papers and tiring lectures, or if you’re a teacher not ready for vacation to end, then remember these words of wisdom to find your motivation!

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student, teacher, or parent… everyone can start the school year with confidence and style with creative projects to show off!

Tech Case

Make a custom case for your tablet that is quick, easy, and fitted to any device.

Watch as Jenny and Shea Henderson of Empty Bobbin put one together!

A Missouri Star favorite, the Everything Bag!

This adorable tote made from 2.5″ strips is great for all your back to school necessities, yoga class, or just simply picking up groceries! This bag holds it all!

Join Misty and Courtenay as they show how it’s done!

What’s your favorite part of the school day? Ours is lunchtime of course!

Learn how to make this quick and easy lunch-bag with Misty and carry your lunch in style!

Make teaching fun with a classroom theme!

Find several trendy patterns and prints for reading time quilts or classroom decor!

Know someone starting college? How exciting!

Make their transition easier with modern style pillows and quilts to personalize any dorm room (and don’t forget to incorporate some school spirit)!

(By the way, this Mod-Dog pillow is just adorable!)

Grab some stationary to make taking notes less boring and get started on a knowledge seeking adventure!

Education, creativity, and just being passionate about what you love is important at any age. So if you are wondering what you’ll be doing once the kids are back in class… take one yourself! Never stop learning with Missouri Star Academy!

What education journey are you taking this year?
Let us know in the comments!