Mastering a new quilt block is like learning to ride a bike. You may feel a bit intimidated. Your uncertainty might cause a few wobbly stitches.
Then, just like magic, you’re soaring across the fabric without a care in the world, cranking out quilt blocks like a pro!
This week, Jenny is working on a modern black and white asterisk quilt, and just you wait and see! Once you’ve conquered those first few seams, you can ride off into the sunset with a trail of beautiful quilt blocks in your wake!
Click HERE to watch the Ditto quilt video tutorial!
Writing to you from the comfort of home is a privilege in this fast-paced world. I often find myself between places, driving long distances or flying to far-off locations to visit quilters around the world. It can be hard to feel comfortable in such circumstances, but I’ve found out something incredible about the quilting world. No matter where I go, as long as I can find a quilt shop, I feel right at home. After all, home is where the quilts are!
Home is such a lovely place to be. I recently dug into my sewing studio for some spring cleaning and unearthed some truly vintage finds! It’s been a pleasure to sort through my treasured fabric stash and remember what I really love about quilting…
…the feel of the fabric, the joy of selecting a stack of prints and sewing them together without a pattern. Cutting, stitching, pressing, and repeating the process over and over. There’s something very comforting about it and I look forward to spending time with these simple creative pursuits whenever I get a spare moment.
This spring, let’s dig into quilting with renewed vitality! Do what is necessary to start fresh, whether it’s a bit of light cleaning and dusting or a major fabric stash overhaul, and you’ll be amazed to find yourself itching to get back behind a sewing machine again. Celebrate the art of quilting by treating your machine, your fabrics, and your space with gratitude and you’ll be rewarded every time.
“Home is such a lovely place to be!” This message from Jenny is truly comforting as many of us prepare to stay indoors. As we watch the bustling world around us wind down, we notice the incredible way people have worked together to keep one another safe, educated, and inspired during these trying times.
Here at Missouri Star, community is something very close to our hearts and BLOCK Magazine is a big part of that. This “idea book” is a way for us to share with you how quilting has impacted our little part of the world. When you open an issue of BLOCK, you become apart of our community as we connect with you through authentic stories and photos and the sharing of ideas.
We recently redesigned BLOCK Magazine into something we feel is a better visual representation of who we are and what we value: YOU and our ability to educate and inspire you to create. We still have all the same content you love, but we’ve added more for you to truly experience and feel the joy that creativity brings to us all!
The Ruby Sensation Sew-Along which comes in FIVE parts! A new sew-along block will be featured in each issue that comes out this year. (If you’re not subscribed, you’ll want to do so now so you won’t miss a step!)
A mix and match of patterns and prints (Unique, modern patterns meet traditional prints, and vice versa)
Educational articles with helpful tips and tricks and even, fun articles like celebrating local history!
10 step by step quilt patterns, bonus mini projects, and gift ideas!
Jenny’s Journal (See what Jenny’s working on. You may see something you’d like to try!)
And as always, there are NO ads and your subscription ships free!
Take a look behind the scenes and get a sneak peek of what’s inside our upcoming issue:
In the next issue, you’ll discover how to turn your adventures into a quilt filled with your favorite appliquéd states with the Road Trip pattern. Choose your own or embellish them for a customized quilt (or pillow!)
BLOCK’S photo-stylist, Jennifer Dowling, and sister, Maggie proudly display their favorite appliquéd states next to the Christopher S. Bond Bridge in Kansas City, MO.
BLOCK Magazine’s creative director, Christine Ricks, stands atop the National WWI Museum and Memorial displaying patriotic colors in the Luminary quilt. This is a great spot to take a good look at Kansas City’s gorgeous architecture and Union Station!
Alongside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Christine cozies up with the Wonder quilt, a design by Katie Larson.
This center, located in Kansas City, MO, only 60 miles from Missouri Star, is a place where people from all over come to discover culture and community through theater, art, music, and history.
Over $50 worth of information is packed into each bi-monthly issue of BLOCK Magazine for just $7.99! ($9.99 bi-monthly for Canadian subscriptions.)
What are fellow quilters making? Why are these designs and fabrics so popular? Are these trends new or are traditional styles making a comeback?
Don’t worry, we’ve found the answers. We’ve taken a close look into the world of quilting to find out what’s trending. Here are are the top five:
From Memorial Day to Veterans Day, a star quilt can find itself taking center stage all throughout the year and when we aren’t stocked up on red, white, and blue; quilters find stars to be quite innovative. Five points or ten, stars can be adjusted to fit any style from traditional to modern. Thus, the trendy star takes the cake.
Hexagons are as old as time – well, as old at 1770 from what we can find in written quilt history. Over the years, quilters have transformed the way we create hexagons and with English paper piecing, fussy cutting, and quilt-as-you-go projects, today’s hexagon quilts are full of unique possibilities.
We’ll put a hex on you with these amazing hexagon items, but don’t worry, this is one spell you won’t want to break:
Everyone knows quilters are resilient so what do we do when life throws us a curve ball? We make a quilt! Lately, sewists are embracing the challenges that curves bring, and becoming more confident in piecing them together.
Start conquering your own curves with these ideas:
Sometimes your quilt just needs that extra cute factor and what better than adding an appliqué animal! A perfect addition to a soft, cuddly baby quilt or to add a little fun and imagination to your next project, appliqué animals are so popular because they’re so easy to create!
Check out how these appliqué animals make these projects pop:
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill is the founder of Whole Circle Studio, LLC which specializes in the design of custom modern quilts, patterns and other licensed products. She is an active member of the modern quilt community and recognized from her many outstanding awards from several major quilting events. Sheri also teaches and presents her creative skills all over the world, but works mostly from her home studio in New Haven, Connecticut.
When did you first conquer the curve? How long into your quilting journey was it?
I decided to make a modern flowering snowball quilt as an entry to a challenge back in 2014. The inspiration for my quilt, Picnic Petals, was the fabric challenge collection, entitled Petal Pinwheels. Going into the challenge, I looked at a lot of photos of pinwheels, flowers and sketched elements of these objects to study how I could convey organic shapes and movement in a block quilt. As a relatively new quilter at the time, this was the first time I worked with curved elements. This challenge encouraged me to work with fabric patterns and techniques I might not normally work with. Out of 750 entries, I was one of the three winners!
What are the staples/must have tools in your sewing studio?
First and foremost, a space that I’m comfortable in. I love having natural light, so whenever possible I keep lights off… I also love having a design wall that I can put up random swatches, blocks or quilts that I’m working on. It’s amazing how different things can look from hour to hour or day to day. Sometimes if I’m stuck on something, I’ll walk by it days later and figure out the next step.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
I’m usually either listening to a podcast or have a video streaming through my computer, ALWAYS coffee, and sometimes salty veggie chips, cashews or chocolate chips!
Why do you think people find curves so terrifying? Are there any misconceptions about sewing them that you can clear up?
I think people are scared of curves because it looks difficult. The truth is, it’s super easy. I teach this technique all the time and there is always at least one skeptic in the room who thinks they can’t do it. I’ve never had a student NOT be able to sew a beautiful curve by the end of class. All you need is experience sewing a ¼” seam, pins and patience! Seriously!
When did you start quilting? What brought you into the quilting world?
Wanting to make a quilt, I bought a sewing machine for $100 and my first quilt pattern book in 2006. There was only one problem—I didn’t know how to use a sewing machine. Busy with work, that book sat on my shelf for seven years until I needed a distraction from a stressful situation in my life. My first few quilts I made for others—to celebrate the births of babies, weddings and friends moving into exciting new phases of their lives. I became addicted to quilt making and then realized that with my graphic design and technical skills I could design my own quilts. After sharing my work with others online and in quilt guilds, I was asked to share my patterns. In 2015, I started Whole Circle Studio, LLC. Whole Circle Studio specializes in the design of custom modern quilts, patterns and other licensed products.
Where do you find your inspiration for new products?
Inspiration for my work comes from my everyday life… I believe design and content have a symbiotic relationship. Both need to support one another and require a strong concept to fuel them. My quilt designs start with a concept and the content (research, backstory, color, fabric selection and technique) which help shape the design. Never without my camera and sketchbook, I’m always taking photos and sketching from everyday inspirations… My mission is to enhance people’s lives through beautiful, meaningful design as well as to empower and inspire others to enjoy the process of making.
What’s your favorite tip to share with new quilters?
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Rarely is there ever just one way (and often there is never the “perfect” way to do something in quilting. If a specific way of doing something doesn’t come naturally to you or isn’t fun, see if there is a different way to do it. Quilting should be fun!