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 ⬇️

Pony Express Quilt

MSQC New Tutorial on the Blog!

Learn to make this creative block using HST and snowballed rectangles!

Pony Express riders began their 2000-mile journey in St Joseph, Missouri. (Just 50 miles from Missouri Star!) They raced across the frontier, delivering mail to Sacramento, California at what was then an incredible speed – 10 days! (Thank goodness we live in the age of instant communication! I love technology!)

 

The Pony Express is an intricate block, but it’s really just half-square triangles and flying geese, so you’ll have it stitched up faster than the Pony Express itself! Click HERE to watch the tutorial.

Please click the above image for a free downloadable PDF!

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

Sew With Jenny 2016 Retreat Recap

MSQC Retreat Recap on the Blog!

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This past May we hosted our first ever “Sew With Jenny” retreat here at Missouri Star Quilt Company and boy was it a hit! Jenny brought her sewing machine to the retreat center and had a blast sewing along and chatting with everyone there!

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Jenny did her famous Trunk Show for the group (if you’ve never seen it, check our schedule for an upcoming one HERE). It was 2 hours of personal stories about Jenny and MSQC, laughter, tears and tips for quilting with precuts! Jenny also taught a few classes, including the Flying Geese Log Cabin and Pinwheel Party Quilts! Isn’t the Flying Geese Log Cabin Table Runner above gorgeous??

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Jan made her Flying Geese Log Cabin in a darker colorway of batiks and it turned out great! It’s so fun to see how different a quilt can look by using different colors, each as beautiful as the next in its own way.

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Bonnie’s husband surprised her with this retreat and even sent her roses from the local flower shop. How sweet is that?? He deserves an award!

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Denise got a head start on Christmas projects while at the retreat and made a darling Love Notes Star Quilt. Imagine wrapping up in it next to the fireplace with some hot coco. So peaceful!

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How cute are those I Heart Jenny shirts?? This retreat was so much fun and we can’t wait to do it again in the future. If you would like to attend an upcoming retreat, be sure to visit Missouri Star Quilt Company Retreats & Events!

Meet Missouri Star: Cassie & McCall

Cassie

Cassie

Cassie is a quilter in our long arm department and has been at Missouri Star for six months. She’s got a pretty cool sewing story!

Do you sew? I did not sew before becoming employed at MSQC. However; working in quilting and seeing everyone’s amazing creations is so inspiring, I’ve got a couple projects of my own going now as well as a list of future ones!

Do you have a favorite fabric? Civil War prints!

What’s the best thing about your job? It’s so wonderful to have a job that I look forward to every day. I love seeing all of the finished quilts that come through our quilting department; the talent, creativity & effort put into each quilt is incredible.

McCall

McCall

McCall is our Summer Hospitality Management Intern and has been with us since February!

Any special experience that helps you with your role? For me it is the other way around… Later on in life I will be able to say that MSQC gave me experience. I have learned SO much about the hospitality industry this summer. It had been an awesome experience!

Do you have an interesting story about how you got the job? I started in the shipping department as a member of the original night crew my senior year of high school. I worked part time after school & on weekends, and full time the summer. That was the summer I learned why my parents are exhausted come Friday! Then I went off to school at University of Missouri, Columbia to study Hospitality Management. Knowing that the company was going to finance restaurants I talked to Al about connecting me to the right people to be able to work there (not that I didn’t want to work at MSQC, but I needed experience in the industry of my major). Little did I know, I would be getting plenty of experience. This summer I am covering every sector of Hospitality Management: Food & Beverage, Event Planning, Tourism, and Hotels & Lodging. I work in Poppy’s Bakery during her busy times. I am the coordinator for the company’s summer out door theatre events, Movies In the Park. I give company wide tours to our customers. And, I am the Retreat & Sewing Center’s assistant coordinator.  I am most commonly found in the Retreat & Sewing Center with Jean. That place had become my summer home. The running joke is that I do almost everything besides anything with quilting. But truly, in this company you can’t escape the quilts!

Do you sew? Yes! When I arrived home after my first day of work back in February of 2013 there was a brand new Singer sewing machine sitting on my counter top, courtesy of my grandma. She was SO excited for me. With the soon arrival of my new baby cousin, Haley, my mom and I got started on a quilt for her using my new machine. We chose a chevron quilt made with Ty Pennington Fall 2012 and white. It turned out great and is still her favorite quilt! I hope to start on my second quilt some time this summer. And this time it will be for myself!

Do you have a favorite fabric? I am in love with Rowan Jones! The colors are mellow and aztec is just funky enough for me.

What do you like best about your job? My co-workers are the best thing about this company. In shipping I had many co-workers, but now I work very closely to Jean, the Retreat & Sewing Center coordinator. She is a saint. Hands down.

Anything else about yourself that you wish to share? My boyfriend Riley and I have been together for two and a half years. He is a welder and is currently working a pipeline job up in North Dakota. We rock at this long distance stuff! I have 5 siblings, an older brother, two sisters in middle school and 2 brothers in elementary (basically the Brady Bunch). We have a lot of fun when we are all together. Family first! My hobbies are baking and crafting. After graduation and before I start my family I hope to flip houses in my free time. My addiction to HGTV is responsible for that dream.

 

 

Meet Missouri Star: Dani and Wade

Today we’re off to meet Dani and Wade, who both work in the shops!

Dani

Dani

Dani is relatively new to MSQC, having worked here for three months.

Do you sew? I do sew. I haven’t had time to work on much lately but I enjoyed hand sewing quilts.

Favorite fabric? Layer cakes!

What do you like best about your job? MSQC has a great, welcoming environment. Everyone is always ready to share a laugh and help each other out. It is also really neat to meet so many different people, especially the customers who travel far distances just to visit the shop.

Wade

Wade

Wade has been with MSQC for 9 months. Perhaps you’ve seen him in the main shop during a recent visit?

Do you sew? I do sew! I just finished my first quilt top using Jenny’s half-square triangle tutorial. Super easy! I never thought in a million years I would make a quilt, but here I am. Quilting is very enjoyable.

Any funny work stories that can you can share? A few customers have told me they love me before.. But I totally love them back! I also enjoy taking pictures for all the excited tourist that come into the shop.

What hobbies do you have? Photography, cooking/baking, playing the piano

Favorite fabric? Hearty Good Wishes

What do you like best about your job? Besides working for such incredible people, I would have to say meeting so many wonderful people. All of our customers are incredible and make the day go by in an instant. It’s the best job I could ask for.

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We hope that you get to meet these two fantastic people if you are in the shops soon! Catch up on all of the “Meet Missouri Star” posts here.