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!

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 appliquĂ©, 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. AppliquĂ© 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 appliquĂ©? 
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 appliquĂ©, 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  â€“ Use this to temporarily glue fabric pieces in place while machine stitching.
  • AppliquĂ© Pressing Sheet – Place over the project diagram to use as a guide while layering fabric shapes.
  • Marking Pen – Use 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 Stick – Use 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 Maker – Use this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking Pen – Use this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision AppliquĂ© Scissors – A 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.
  • AppliquĂ© Pins – These 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 appliquĂ© 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 ⬇️

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 appliquĂ© tutorials. The Finish Line Quilt can be found in our latest issue of BLOCK Magazine. The appliquĂ© 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 appliquĂ© quilt!

         

2017 Year in Review

Happy New Year, dear quilters! This is sure to be a memorable year filled with many exciting moments here at Missouri Star Quilt Co. We are grateful for your loyalty and patience with us as we grow and we think 2018 is going to be the best year yet! But before we jump right into it, let’s take a moment to reflect and look back on some of the highlights from 2017.

Shark Applicutter

Our dear friend, Rob Appell of Man Sewing, designed an innovative cutting tool that took the sewing and quilting world by storm! With a 14mm blade, the Shark Applicutter is the go-to rotary cutter for freestyle piecing and intricate cutting. Learn more about the handy Shark Applicutter HERE.

Missouri Star Academy

Missouri Star Academy began as a dream. We imagined quilters gathering together from across the globe in Hamilton, Missouri, to learn directly from professionals in the industry and from each other. In 2017, this dream became a reality for more than 450 students and instructors who traveled to Quilt Town, USA, for a two-day, immersive, creative experience filled with demonstrations, classes, and trunk shows. We are still amazed by the ideas and inspiration shared during Missouri Star Academy. Thanks to everyone who attended! We hope to see you again this year. Be sure to mark your calendars for June 7 and 8 for our second Missouri Star Academy! It’s going to be a lot of fun! 

Missouri Star Academy classes and presentations were held at the United Methodist Church in Hamilton.

Jenny Turns 60

Our very own Jenny Doan hit a milestone birthday in 2017, and we celebrated her “Sweet 60th” together. We are so thankful for her contagious enthusiasm, her kind spirit, and the creativity she shares with us every day!

Birthday Bash

Birthday Bash 2017

Missouri Star Quilt Co. celebrated its 9th birthday last year. Can you believe it? Time seems to have passed as quickly as our bobbins go empty! Three days filled with fun, games, food, and inspiration culminated in a party that will be long-remembered here in Hamilton. Reminisce about all of the festivities from the 2017 Bash HERE.

Stay tuned for 2018 Birthday Bash. We’ll be pulling out all the stops for our big 1-0 coming up later this year, and make plans to attend September 20-22nd!

Hurricane Relief Quilts

Thanks to quilters like you, our hearts were filled to the brim this year by the overwhelming support you showed when we asked for donations to help those affected by the hurricanes that ravaged our coastal states. You answered the call with more than 9,000 quilts, blankets, and afghans, as well as 4,000 pillowcases! These handmade labors of love were donated to organizations and distributed to those in need.

The entire Doan family and dozens of Missouri Star employee volunteers helped sort and repackage the donations.

Top Tutorials from 2017

Jenny and Rob each created 52 amazing quilt tutorials for you last year, for a grand total of 104 new videos! While it would be impossible to pick a favorite, here are some of the best of the best tutorials from 2017:

Jenny’s Tutorials:

Grand Adventures Quilt

Pineapple Quilt

Kindred Pinwheels Quilt

Rob’s Tutorials:

Stars, Stripes and Diamonds Quilt

Checkered Cross Quilt

String Quilt

You can catch all of Jenny’s tutorials on QuiltingTutorials.com or on our Missouri Star Quilt Co. YouTube channel, and be sure to catch Rob’s tutorials on the Man Sewing YouTube channel. We can’t wait to see the quilts you are creating for 2018! Make sure to share them with us on our Facebook and Instagram using #msqcshowandtell.