Behind the Scenes: BLOCK Magazine

Behind the Scenes: BLOCK Magazine

BLOCK Magazine is an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. When you flip through these fresh, glossy pages you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! You’ll be left to wonder, “Who are these people surrounded by beautiful quilts and pretty props?” or “Who wrote that inspiring story?” and “Who in the world pieces together all these quilts!?”

We want to introduce you to the team of around 40 people who bring BLOCK Magazine to life! Take a peek into all the hard work, creativity and just pure love that is poured into each issue!


Executive & Managing Editors

Natalie and Jenny

The design of a quilt is decided by Jenny Doan and her daughter, Natalie Earnheart. They choose patterns and themes and then request the fabric they want to use. Once the fabric arrives, they team up with sewists, Carol and Janice, to complete the quilt tops.





Executive Editors include Mike Mifsud, Alan Doan, Sarah Galbraith, David Mifsud, and Jenny Doan. Natalie Earnheart is Managing Editor.


Sewists, Quilters, and Binders

“I’m a sewist so I help piece the quilt tops… I love that I get to be a small part of inspiring people who read BLOCK magazine. I have visions of people sharing their love of others through the gift of quilting… I have been a model a few times for the magazine and that has been really fun. Something I never thought I would get to do.” – Carol Henderson

Jenny Doan, Natalie Earnheart, Carol Henderson, and Janice Richardson make up the sewist team for BLOCK.

Piecing, Quilting, Binding

After the sewists piece together the quilt tops, they are sent over to our Machine Quilting department of over 20 skilled longarmers. Here, the quilt tops receive batting and backing and are then carefully quilted. After, the sewists stitch on the binding and then voilà, a finished quilt ready to become the star of the latest BLOCK issue!


Pattern Team

Before the quilt tops are quilted, they are sent to our pattern team to examine. The pattern writers will then write step-by-step instructions on how to create the quilt. They figure out yardage requirements, tools needed, and outline every little action needed to be taken in order to complete a quilt and send them off to the editors. Once approved by the editors, the pattern is sent back to Carol and Janice for testing. When the sewists give the okay, it is ready the talented designer, Tyler, to whip up some illustrations for our readers to have a visual representation for each step in the pattern. After one last review by all, the pattern is ready to featured in the next BLOCK Magazine!

Pattern Team and Editors
Here the Pattern Team: Jessica Toye, Denise Lane, Tyler MacBeth, Edie McGinnis go over final drafts with Creative Director: Christine Ricks, Managing Editor: Natalie Earnheart, and Executive Editor: Jenny Doan.

My favorite part of my job is working with such a talented group of people.  And how we all work together to put together something that we can all be proud of.” – Denise Lane

I love seeing BLOCK come together. It is so much fun to see a quilt in its earliest form and work on the transition to what our readers see in the magazine.” – Jessica Toye


Copywriters

Nichole, our lead copywriter, collects the memoirs of Missouri Star family members as well as inspiring stories from quilters from all around the world to plan story prompts for BLOCK. Then, Nichole, Camille, Julie, and David will craft beautifully written stories that go along with each quilt. Our copywriters truly have a way with words. You’ll fall in love with the stories they create!

Nichole Spravzoff (top left) and Camille Maddox (top right) both work remotely and are still able to wonderfully capture the voice of Missouri Star! Julie Barber and David Litherland (bottom) work together in the creative studio on copy ideas for the next issue!

When I write stories, I often get to reach out to people, Jenny included, and ask them about their own stories. It’s so much fun to hear their stories and bring them to life in BLOCK. I love writing, so it’s all fun to me.” – Nichole Spravzoff

My favorite part about writing for BLOCK is when I get to use personal memories and experiences as inspiration for the story prompts. It’s a lot of fun for me to figure out how to build a story off of a special moment!” – Julie Barber


Photography Team

Mike Brunner is our talented lead photographer. In charge of completing a successful photoshoot for the team, Mike enjoys working with and appreciates the ideas and collaboration of everyone involved. From unwelcoming weather to making the models feel comfortable to making sure the colors and settings are accurate, Mike has an intuitive eye for creating beautiful photography for BLOCK Magazine.
Prop Making with Lauren
Lauren Dorton is not only a talented photographer and photo-stylist, but she is an brilliant maker. Above, we see her strolling old country roads to gather pretty plant life in which she pieces together to create a winter bouquet for a scene in BLOCK Magazine. The entire team is very resourceful when it comes to finding props and Lauren is amazing at crafting everyday items into amazing props.
Jennifer designs and models
Jennifer Dowling is responsible for locating places that are indicative to our hometown, casting the right models, and gathering props. When food is involved, Jennifer turns into a caterer and prepares food such as a Thanksgiving turkey for a fall scene or baking cookies for celebratory backgrounds. Jennifer styles the scene in a way that brings the story to life for each quilt.
Dustin re-touches the photos

Once the photos are all shot, they are sent off to Dustin Weant, our amazing photo retoucher. Dustin really helps to bring the quilts into focus and allows for the models and scenery to really shine in the background!


Creative Director/Printing Coordinator

Creative Director, Christine Ricks is behind the scenes the entire 4-6 months it takes to create and finish an issue. Christine designs mood boards and creates style guides with the help of Tyler from the pattern team in which the rest of the team can refer to during the making. They use the changing seasons and coming holidays for inspiration. Flying in from her home in Utah every few months, Christine works closely with all of the teams involved to ensure the entire creation of BLOCK is done smoothly and timely.


Lastly, all the last minute details and printing services are organized and set into motion by BLOCK’s printing coordinator, Rob Stoebener. Then they are ready to be sent out by our speedy shipping department from the warehouse and into your mailbox!


Each issue is only $7.99 for a total of $47.94 a year for six issues when you subscribe.
[Canada rates are $9.99 per issue, for a total of $59.94 a year for six issues.]

The best part about this magazine is there are absolutely NO ads! It is a 100% pure, original, authentic Missouri Star creation!

“Your subscriptions matter. You help us keep it ad-free! It’s Missouri Star’s choice to keep it a high quality magazine and get value out of it. From the quality of paper to the photography, and the writing, it’s all from the heart.”

-Christine Ricks, Creative Director

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE!



Your Guide to MSQC Machine Quilting Services!

Your Guide to MSQC Machine Quilting Services!

Have you ever tried Missouri Star Quilt Company’s Longarm Machine Quilting Services? Here are some of the questions we get the most! If you have any other questions, make sure to add them to the comments!

Machine Quilting Services

machine quilting services questions

How do I prepare my quilt for shipping? We recommend that you place your quilt top into a plastic bag before you ship it to us, so it is protected on the way.  We also suggest that you insure the package when you ship it just to further protect your quilt.  Also, do not forget to include your order number and phone number!

How much extra backing do I need to send? We need 4 inches on each side to be able to sandwich the layers and secure them onto the longarm quilting machine.  So, for example, if your quilt measures 50×50 then your backing needs to be 58X58.

What do I need to enclose with my quilt? Please include your order number and phone number in case we need to contact you. If possible, you can just print out the confirmation email and include that with your shipment. As long as we have your order number and your phone number, that will work just fine!

Can I choose two different threads? For quality assurance, we always use the same color on the top of the quilt as we do in the bobbin. Using two different colors can sometimes cause tension issues and there is no way to guarantee that only one of the colors will show on each side of the quilt.

Do you have invisible thread? We do not offer invisible thread.  We use high quality Omni thread. If you don’t want to see the thread, we will try our best to blend the thread color as much as we can to make it appear invisible!

I have a block/border that I do not want to be quilted. Can you cut it out? Cutting out blocks and borders falls into the custom quilting category and we are not able to offer custom quilting.  We offer edge to edge quilting services only, so the same pattern will be used from top to bottom, left to right.

Can I send in my own batting? Yes, you can send in your own batting. We do offer batting, which is included in the price for quilting services, so the price will be the same whether you provide the batting or we do. If you do decide to send your own batting, make sure it is larger than than your quilt top to make sure we have plenty for your quilt sandwich.

I have multiple quilts on my order. Do I need to do anything special when I ship them? It is perfectly fine to order more than one quilt at once, but we would love it if you would attach a piece of paper to each quilt top indicating the stitch pattern and size of each quilt top, so we can ensure we use the correct instructions for each quilt. Please also put the top and backing of each separate quilt in its own bag or tie them with a ribbon, so that we don’t accidentally mix up backings and tops.

Is the return shipping included in the price? Yes, the standard shipping rates apply.  If your order is under $100, a return shipping cost of $5 will be included in your order. If your order is over $100, the return shipping is free.  We always ensure the packages to their final destination and a signature will be required.

What is the turnaround time? We are currently experiencing peak quilting times. Our current turnaround time is an estimated 10-14 weeks. If you have a special deadline, please plan accordingly or give us a call/email to see what the current turn around time is. Please allow an extra week or two for binding. There is also a special deadline for quilts that need to be delivered by Christmas. That cut off date will be specified in early Fall each year.

I have a label. Will you attach it for me if I send it? We currently do not offer the service of attaching labels, but are considering it for the future. We recommend that you attach the label before sending it to us.

I want to add prairie points to my quilt. Do I need to do that before it is quilted? If prairie points are attached prior to quilting, they will be stitched down using our edge to edge quilting method. We cannot quilt around them. That also applies to open/pocketed flying geese, flanged borders, ricrac or anything else that is not completely attached to the quilt top.

I want a different thread color than the choices you have listed. Is that an option? Yes, we have a rainbow of thread choices available. So if you choose blue or green, we pull many colors, lay them out on the quilt tops, see what blends best and narrow the choice from there. Unless it is specified that you want your thread to stand out, we will generally try to blend the thread colors to make them the least noticeable as possible. If you have a more specific request, please include that in the comments section with your order.

I see there is a comment section when ordering my quilt. What type of comments should I include?  Your phone number is always a great thing to include in the comment section.  From time to time we may need to contact you with questions about your quilt and it is usually quicker and easier to do that by phone. Also, please include anything you would like us to know about your quilt, such as deadlines you are trying to meet or any personal significance that might help our machine quilters provide you with the best experience possible. We cannot promise that all deadlines will be met, but we do our best each time. If your deadline requests cannot be accomplished, we will contact you. There is no such thing as too much information!

If I elect for Missouri Star’s Binding Fairies to bind my quilt, do I need to send the fabric already pieced together in a long continuous strip? It is completely up to you.  Our binding fairies use 2.5-inch binding so if you piece and iron your binding at home please use 2.5-inch strips.  If you want us to make your binding for you that is fine please just include enough fabric for us to cut 2.5-inch strips.

On the machine….{making me happy}

On the machine….{making me happy}

Isn’t this just darling!?!?

If you know me at all, you would know that I love Amy Butler.  Her fabrics are kinda wild and crazy {but so am I} and I just love them.

This is a quilt we received in the mail from an online customer, for machine quilting.  WHAT!?  You didn’t know we did that too?!?!!?  Well, yes of course we do!  Check it out on our website here.  And if don’t see a specific stitch you want, call us.  We will totally help you out!  🙂  Did I mention we have a QUICK turnaround?!!?  Like, 2-3 weeks.  I know, I know.  Amazing, right!?

Anyway, life is a bit crazy right  now (duh, summer is in full swing) but I just wanted to say hello and let you have a peak into what we have going on…..

So this is it,  the quilt on the machine is definitely making me happy today!

What about you??  What is making you happy today!?

On the machine…

On the machine…

We have been super busy this last week!! Which is great 🙂 Ladies (and Gents)  keep em coming!

I wanted to spotlight this amazing quilt… It is a scrappy quilt made by one of our local librarians, and it is gorgeous! This is a paper pieced quilt,  and the main block is called pineapple.  (?)  Each block has 37 different pieces of fabric!!  I was just in awe of this quilt.

p2220023p2220024And all the borders had this beautiful applique on them!

We machine quilted the simple feather meander pattern on it and it turned out great…I love how the machine quilting enhances the design!

Amazing!