Artist Spotlight: The Quilting Marine

Join us LIVE on Tuesday June 1st at 11:00 am cst as The Quilting Marine joins Missouri Star Live as a special guest!
The Quilting Marine

People often find quilting in times of need to help them through difficult situations – that’s how The Quilting Marine first discovered his love for quilting. After serving 20 years in the United States Marine Corps, The Quilting Marine found quilting as his therapy for PTSD related issues. Now, he has a new goal and his YouTube channel says it best, “I taught myself to quilt and would like to help you make quilts that you can admire for years to come.”

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

My favorite part is piecing the blocks together and giving the quilt away for someone else to enjoy. It’s the building of the quilt for me and is my therapy. I don’t get wrapped around the wheel on everything else. I live behind the mantra of “it’s only fabric” and “it’s only thread”.

Who are your favorite fabric designers?

Robert Kaufman; Michael Miller; Riley Blake; Brother and Sister Design 2009

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?

I depend mainly on my omnigrid rulers, rotary cutters and my machine, the Brother PQ1500sl. And if I had to throw something else in, it would be the Oliso iron.

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

I taught myself around the time my grandson was to be born. I wanted to create something for him that was one of a kind.

Join us LIVE on Tuesday June 1st at 11:00 am cst as The Quilting Marine joins Missouri Star Live as a special guest!
The Quilting Marine at work on another project.

What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?

The one for my grandson was my first quilt and was the most frustrating because I entered a world that I had no idea about. Once I realized that there wasn’t much to create a quilt, that is one of the reasons it attracted me. The repetitiveness of building a quilt keeps me sane. Even though the process is repeated, the result that comes from it is different every time.

What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?

I find my inspiration from watching other quilters and add or take away from what they have created to make it my own. I love using a lot of color when building my quilts. Colors to me bring out the quilt.

What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?

I would love to be a hard hat diver/saturation diver. They get paid handsomely to do what they do and the risk is tremendous.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

The Punisher. He is a normal guy who has no superpowers and takes on the responsibility of fighting crime. I like normal guys who do extraordinary things.

Join us LIVE on Tuesday June 1st at 11:00 am cst as The Quilting Marine joins Missouri Star Live as a special guest!
A beautiful example of The Quilting Marine’s artistic ability and craftsmanship.

What fabric have you been hoarding/saving the longest?

Batiks are my all time favorite and whenever subscribers send me fabric, I will hoard Batiks until I find something that the fabric is perfect for. I don’t normally like flowers, I’m not the flower guy but the 2009 Brother Sister Design Studio Fabric has me hoarding it too. This one is super hard to find now so I hoard it as much as I can.

Describe your perfect day.

A day on the beach in the Caribbean with my wife, a fishing rod with a line in the water and no hook and a cool drink. Sleep, wake, piece a block and repeat. Maybe some eating in there somewhere as well.

Want to know more about The Quilting Marine and his incredible journey into quilting? Join us on Missouri Star LIVE, June 1st, 2021 at 11:00 am CST, as he joins us as a special guest! Until then, be sure to follow him on Instagram and Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to his YouTube channel to keep up with his journey while learning more about the art of quilting.

Get to Know Blair Stocker before Missouri Star Live!

Meet Blair Stocker: owner of Wise Craft Handmade, quilter, designer, author, crafter, teacher, and more! Here are a few things about Blair, who will make a special appearance on Missouri Star LIVE Tuesday, February 16. We found out her favorite quilting tool and what her perfect day is – keep reading to learn more about Blair!

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

I really love every part of the quilting process- the way the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I get a new design idea, picking fabrics, repetitive piecing (which I like to call my Netflix time), quilting, hand sewing on the binding. Each part has its own positives for me. I guess if I’m forced to pick a favorite part, maybe designing and picking the color palette for a quilt. I worked in apparel design for many years and coming up with seasonal color stories was always my jam, so this part can feel similar.

Who are your favorite fabric designers? 

I love Ruby Star Society, Denyse Schmidt, Alison Glass, so many others too. Any sort of colorful fabric line with little things like flowers on them just gets me every time.

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on? 

My Ruby Ruler™, most definitely. I don’t design any quilt or lay out any blocks without it. It helps me find what I like to call “quilt sparkle”.

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

My maternal grandmother taught me lots of things like knitting, simple sewing when I was a preschooler. (Just a side note, I don’t know if I’d have the patience to teach a preschooler to knit!)

What was the most frustrating sewing project you ever worked on?

The Weekender Bag by Amy Butler. I tried to make one probably 15 years ago and broke the sewing machine I was using at the time. I thought my sewing days were over, but I REALLY wanted to make that bag! (I still have it!)

What do you do to find inspiration/encourage your creativity?

My husband and I officially became empty nesters this year and decided to make a big life change and move from Seattle, Washington to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I pinch myself every day that we live in such a beautiful place. Even though it’s a bit challenging to visit local museums and shops during the pandemic, I have managed to visit a few. So inspiring. Although, even just walking around downtown Santa Fe is so inspiring to me too. All of this, and daily doses of unlimited sunshine have done a lot for my creativity.

What occupation would you like to try if sewing/making wasn’t an option?

I have always said that if I didn’t do this, I would love to do something with linguistics, maybe voice analysis. Regional accents have always been very interesting to me, and I’m pretty good at picking up on where people are from. For example, I am from North Carolina, I met a woman here in Sante Fe who immediately felt like “kin”, I knew she had to be from NC. When I asked where she was from, imagine my amazement when we both realized we grew up 30 minutes apart in North Carolina and went to the same college!

Who is your favorite fictional character?

No question- Arietty from The Borrowers. I loved how the world was so big (literally!) and full of wonder to her. As a kid, I wanted nothing more than for Arietty and her family to live under our floorboards.

What fabric have you been hoarding the longest?

That’s easy- Liberty of London “Ciara”. I don’t hoard it, but I do buy it by the yard(s) and would have a bolt of it if I could.

It’s my favorite of any fabric in the world. I have used it in many quilts, like My Liberty Spikes quilt (see picture below). I played with altering the color of it by bleaching some of it a little. All the printed areas are the Ciara print in the same colorway, just some are bleached a little, some a lot, and some none at all.

Describe your perfect day. 

Well, I awake to a clean house, magically done while I was sleeping! After that, spending the entire day in my studio (which is being built as an addition onto our house this year) just sewing and designing quilts. Listening to music, true crime podcasts, or some sort of inspiring self-help audio book. Then, closing up shop for the day (by closing the antique door/entrance to my studio) and having dinner with my husband, ending the day with junky reality tv. Mixing a day like this with days spent at museums or talking shop with fellow creatives is really about all I need out of life.

You can keep up with Blair on social by following her on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. Don’t forget to swing by her website, https://wisecrafthandmade.com, too. If you want even more, join Blair in her private Facebook group, where she hosts community stitch alongs.

Tune in to Missouri Star LIVE with Misty on Tuesday, February 16, when Blair shows off her the Ruby Ruler, and teaches you to find your “quilt sparkle”!

Thimble Container Cactus Shaped Pincushion

The Missouri Star Thimble Container Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star LIVE!
The Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star Live displayed in a terracotta pot.

Long gone are the days of your grandmother’s red tomato pincushion! In the latest installment of Missouri Star LIVE, Courtenay demonstrates how to make a unique cactus shaped pincushion that will not only add a modern elegance to your sewing room, but will keep all of your pins safely tucked away for future use. Whether you’re “planting” your cactus pincushion in a traditional terracotta pot, or celebrating your love for Missouri Star by using a Thimble Container, this handy project is a must-have addition to your sewing studio.

PROJECT SUPPLIES

• (1) 9″ x 12″ green felt square
• Felt scrap for blossom—approximately 1½” x 3″
Fiberfill
Missouri Star Thimble Container or terracotta pot
• 3½” – 4″ styrofoam cube
• Gorilla Glue or similar glue for styrofoam
Wonder clips or binder clips—optional
• Aquarium rock—optional

The Missouri Star Thimble Container Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star LIVE!
Add your pincushion to a Missouri Star Thimble Container and share your love of Missouri Star!

CUTTING

  1. Use the petal template to trace and cut 6 petal shapes from the green felt.
  2. Cut out the paper cactus blossom template. Use the template to trace and cut 2 cactus blossoms from the accent felt scrap. Set these aside for the moment.
    • Hint: Because you are sewing through layers of felt, you may need to change your needle to a larger size and sew slowly to ensure even stitching.
  3. Lay 1 petal shape atop another, right sides out. Using a medium zigzag stitch, sew around the curved edges, leaving the bottom edge open. Repeat with pairs of the remaining petal shapes to make 3 units.
  4. On only 1 of the sewn units, measure 1¾” from the widest point of the curved edges and mark a vertical center line.
  5. Stack the 3 sewn units, aligning the edges, with the marked unit on top. Use Wonder Clips, binder clips, or pin as needed to hold the stack together. Sew the 3 units together along the marked center line, backstitching at the beginning and end.
The Missouri Star Thimble Container Cactus Pincushion from Missouri Star LIVE!
Pin a fabric flower to the top of your Cactus Pincushion for a beautiful final touch.

FINISHING

  1. Stuff each of the 6 tubes you just created with fiberfill.
    • Hint: The eraser end of a pencil or small dowel comes in handy to stuff the skinny tubes (Don’t forget you may find a wooden rod in your Poly-fil bag!).
  2. Lay 1 cactus blossom atop the other at a 45° angle so that the ends of all 8 petals are visible.
  3. Sew the blossoms together by hand, slightly gathering the top petals so they have 3 dimensions.
  4. Sew the cactus blossom to the top of the cactus.
  5. Cut the styrofoam cube as needed to fit inside the thimble container. Use the glue to adhere the sytrofoam to the inside of the pot. Use additional glue to adhere the cactus to the top of the styrofoam. You can fill the pot around the styrofoam with aquarium rock or even glue some rocks around the base of the cactus to finish “planting” your cactus.
  6. Stick in some of your favorite pins and your cactus pincushion is sure to prickle your fancy!
Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

Needing some more help? Download our Free Printable Pattern or Join Missouri Star’s very own Courtenay Hughes as she demonstrates how to create this adorable, quick and easy project on the replay of Missouri Star LIVE!

Year in Review – A look at 2020 with Missouri Star

As we look back over the past twelve months, we’re simply amazed! We were touched by the love from our followers, the support of our customers, the kind hearts of each and every one of our hardworking team members, and the selflessness within the quilting community. Despite this challenging year, we’ve been able to accomplish so much together.

Thanks to you, Missouri Star is celebrating yet another great year of quilting! It’s been filled with inspiring stories from quilters all around the world, brand new products created with you in mind, exciting tutorials that have inspired many, and some unforgettable, first-ever online events!

Let’s celebrate the end of 2020 by looking back on some of the good things that happened this year:

FACE MASKS

Wow, quilters! Thanks to your passion for sewing and your big hearts, you were able to play an important part in the fight against a global pandemic. Since March 1st of 2020 – 56,973 of you have purchased fabric from Missouri Star specifically to create masks to help keep your communities safe! That is amazing – thank you!

In the comments below, tell us about all the ways you were able to help your community this year! Here’s what we did for ours:

  • Close to 6,500 yards of fabric has been donated to area groups and non-profit organizations who are making masks for healthcare workers
  • We have donated 350 N95 masks to the local regional hospital and 2 local businesses who provide food delivery and cleaning services for our community
  • We provided tutorials for creating masks to keep you safe
DIY Face Masks

TOP TUTORIALS

Morning Star Quilt Tutorial

MORNING STAR

Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a beautiful Morning Star quilt using 2.5″ strips of precut fabric (jelly rolls). This pretty star pattern was designed by Tara Faughnan for ModBLOCK. It’s an easier version of the old block known as Morning Star, Lone Star, or Star of the East.

WATCH TUTORIAL >

Jenny's Easy Carpenters Star

JENNY’S EASY CARPENTER STAR

Jenny teaches us how to make an easy version of the classic Carpenter Star using 10″ squares of precut fabric (layer cakes). This traditional quilt is often made with squares and diamonds, but Jenny uses half square triangles because they’re so quick and easy and don’t require y-seams!

WATCH TUTORIAL >


TOP MISSOURI STAR LIVES

Our First BLOCK Party

Together we celebrated BLOCK Magazine Vol. 7 Issue 4 with our very first BLOCK Party hosted by Jenny and Natalie!

WATCH BLOCK PARTY >

Zig Zag Placemat and Napkin Kit LIVE

Placemat & Napkin Kit

Back in January, you let us know loud and clear that you loved this fun tutorial. These pretty placemats make a sweet addition to your table!

WATCH TUTORIAL>


NEW SERIES! THE FINAL STITCH

We introduced a brand new tutorial series by Jenny’s daughter, Natalie, that’s a fresh take on finishing quilts. Follow along with her and get beautiful results every time!

SUBSCRIBE NOW >


THE NEW, IMPROVED BLOCK MAGAZINE!

BLOCK MAGAZINE

This year, the BLOCK team released a brand new design to BLOCK Magazine. New cover look, more educational content, more stories from our readers, and more!

Digital version of BLOCK Magazine

DIGITAL BLOCK

Each issue of BLOCK comes with an interactive digital version! It’s kind of hard to wait for each issue to arrive, so we wanted to give you an early treat.

SEE HOW IT WORKS >

Best of BLOCK

Best of BLOCK

We recently released our first-ever special edition of BLOCK Magazine. It’s a compilation of the last seven years with 25 of our favorite patterns and over 200 pages of quilt-y fun!

PRE-ORDER TODAY! >


SEW-ALONGS

This year we introduced two new sew-alongs to make quilting easier than ever. As you follow along, month by month or piece by piece, your quilt will take shape! By the end, you’ll have a lovely quilt that’s handmade by you!

ALL STARS BLOCK OF THE MONTH >

Jenny released her first-ever block of the month in February of this year. It contains 11 of her favorite star blocks from 11 of her favorite tutorials! Become an all star and join in on the fun in her Facebook group! >

INTO THE WOODS QUILT PATTERN >

Inspired by her children’s love for the outdoors and their adventurous personalities, Misty created a gorgeous quilt designed with them in mind! Get the pattern and join her Facebook group >


BIRTHDAY BASH – AT HOME

This year we celebrated Birthday Bash like never before! Thank you for stitching along with us for 12 wonderful years and joining the party from the comfort of home. It was an experience we’ll never forget! Relive the Best Moments >


DONATIONS

Thanks to your support, we were able to donate $10,000 to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation! All through October, we fought breast cancer one stitch at a time by shopping pink! Learn more >

Project Linus is an organization that provides love, security, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or are just simply in need of a handmade blanket. As one of the many ways we’re trying to spread kindness this year, we chose Project Linus to receive a $5,000 donation from us at Missouri Star. Learn more >

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT TO MAKES THESE DONATIONS POSSIBLE!


GIVE LOVE

You are one of our biggest sources of inspiration! Although it’s been a tough year for many, you continue to show optimism and spread joy through all the kind things you do.

“I’m 11 years old. My Grandma taught me to sew. This is my very first quilt!  I used 10 squares. I had it quilted at Missouri Star. I Love my Grandma!  It was the best day. Ever. (It was my idea to have her embroider a Secret Santa for people to find.)”
– the grandson of Laurie S.

“For several years now I have been donating quilts to the Linus Project.  I get to be very creative and I try to think about the kids that will receive a quilt and make them more than just something to snuggle under…  I average about 10 quilts a year.”
– Wendy G.

“We are a small group of ladies that support needs of nursing homes… We have made over 60 fidget pads, over 30 clothing protectors, over 20 baby dolls with blankets, crocheted over 40 caps, covered over 40 Small pillows, for wheel chairs, 100s of masks… Love these ladies and their servant hearts!”
– Nancy D.

“I volunteer with the “Helping Hands” sewing group my church.  We make various items from donated fabric and yarn… lap quilts for first responders to give to children in trauma situations, bed quilts and kitchen goods for our missionary families, quilts for orphanages, and window curtains for loft houses our church builds for homeless families.”
– Cindy M.

Quilters, thank you for being an inspiration to us and the world. We look forward to seeing all the great things you’ll continue to do in the new year!

Happy quilting!

Take a Look Behind the Scenes of BLOCK Magazine and Join Us for a BLOCK Party TONIGHT! 🎉

BLOCK Magazine is an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. As you flip through each glossy page you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! For seven years – hard work, creativity and pure love has been poured into each issue!

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE

Go Behind the Scenes

Q: How many people does it take to make an issue of BLOCK Magazine?
A: It takes a team of about forty people!

Here’s how they do it:

Each issue of BLOCK starts with thoughtful planning months in advance. First, the design of a quilt is put together 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 our sewists to complete the quilt tops.

Next, the pattern writers break the design down into steps, figuring out precut fabric and yardage requirements, and noting when any tools or templates are needed. Then, they outline the sewing process, piece by piece, so you have a visual of how the block comes together.

Then the quilts are sent over to our Machine Quilting department to have batting and backing added and are quilted up on big longarm quilting machines. Afterwards, our sewists carefully stitch on the binding and voilà – a completed quilt ready to star in BLOCK!

This magazine isn’t just quilt patterns though. There’s so much more to discover like, inspirational stories, educational articles, and amazing photography.

The copywriters for BLOCK collect the memoirs of Missouri Star family members and employees as well as inspiring stories from quilters from all around the world. They then use those to create story prompts and begin crafting beautifully written stories that will make you laugh, cry, feel inspired, or overjoyed. Our copywriters truly have a way with words and you’ll get all the feels with the stories they whip up!

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

The team also follows up with the latest trends and performs a ton of their own research in order to share with you the most top notch techniques in quilting and sewing!

Once all the quilts are quilted and the stories are written, our photographers help piece it all together by providing a scene that will bring the quilt to life.

The photo team is very resourceful when it comes to finding or crafting props and they have the most intuitive eyes for seeking out the right location for each quilt. When food is involved, they even prepare meals such as a Thanksgiving turkey for a fall scene or baking cookies for celebratory backgrounds.

Once the photography is done, everything is then tied together to build out proofs to be sent over to the printer. Each issue is then shipped out and ready for you to enjoy!

Together – several different departments work together here at Missouri Star to bring to you a quality magazine at a great price.

Fun Facts

  • The first issue of BLOCK was printed in 2014
  • It takes 4-6 months to create each complete issue of BLOCK
  • BLOCK is published locally in Missouri
  • All the quilt designs, stories, and photography are original works of art
  • BLOCK doesn’t require ad revenue, it relies on subscriptions from readers like you
  • Over 60 original quilts and other fun projects are made each year for BLOCK

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

Join us for a BLOCK Party!

Join us tonight (Friday, November 20) at 4:00 PM CT for a LIVE BLOCK Party with Jenny and Natalie to get a sneak peek into the next issue!

Until then, enjoy this message from Jenny and a behind the scenes look at the cover shoot for the December 2020 issue of BLOCK Magazine.

SHOP BLOCK FRIDAY DEALS