Artist’s Spotlight: Amy Barickman

Meet Amy Barickman, founder of Indygo Junction and author of Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion & FUN! Through her YouTube videos, blog, website, and e-newsletter, Amy inspires fabric arts enthusiasts to learn from the past and experiment with new products and techniques for creating in vintage made modern style. Now you have the opportunity to learn more about Amy and her work! Join us on Missouri Star LIVE March 8th, 2022 at 11:00 am cst for a special segment with Amy herself – but in the meantime, get to know her little more with this exclusive interview!

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

I sew more than I quilt,  I love stitching by hand and paper piecing. My favorite part of the creative process is design development and choosing fabrics for a project. With my new Fold and Go Folio pattern I went “all in” on variations in the styling and created both a sewing case and a jewelry case and included two sizes. As far as fabric options, we have created versions in vintage feed sacks, as well as modern Tula Pink prints. This pattern is perfect for upcycling – think neckties and gingham shirts! And preserving treasured fabrics like vintage embroidered linens and quilt blocks.

Who are your favorite fabric designers?

There are sooo many I love. Recently I sourced fabric for the Fold & Go Folio from the following designers- Freespirit: Tula Pink and Kaffe Fassett  ; Art Gallery Fabrics: Bonnie Christine ; Moda: French General ; Riley Blake: J Wecker Frisch.

If you would like to see some of those fabulous fabrics and learn more about all the possibilities for this pattern check out this video I filmed at QuiltCon. 

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?

Seam Ripper. I love to upcycle fabric I find at the thrift shop – jeans, dress shirts (especially gingham), ties, and wool jackets, so a good seam ripper is a necessity. By the way the Fold & Go Folio has a sleeve for a seam ripper.

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

My mother was a home ec teacher and a talented seamstress. She has taught me so much over the years and we are working together, still today developing new patterns and products. The early sewing patterns I developed for my original pattern company, Indygo Junction, were for Teddy Bears, inspired by my mom teaching teddy bear making in her retail store in West Des Moines, Iowa. She owned a gift and craft store for much of my childhood and also a quilt shop for several years. My passion for the creative needle arts business is in my genes- thanks mom! 

Here is a fun replay of a Facebook Live event we hosted on Crazy Quilts!

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

I have an extensive collection of vintage magazines, books and patterns focused on fashion, sewing and quilting. I also collect notions and  handmade needle arts from buttons to embroidery and quilts. I reference my collection daily in my quest for developing vintage made modern patterns, books, and fabrics.  My collection of Mary Brooks Picken and Woman’s Institute content dated 1916-1950’s, has been by far the most inspirational in my development of products.  My book Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion & FUN was inspired by the correspondence school’s lessons and stories.

I created a 12 episode YouTube series sharing the book chapter by chapter. In the series I share many textile treasures from my collection that were featured in the book as well as patterns and many ideas for upcycling fabrics. Click HERE for the Playlist.

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

A nature photographer. I love finding unique color, pattern and design in nature and capturing those images. I am looking forward to the colors in Spring flowers and my chance to share those images on Instagram. Crocus should be popping up soon in Kansas City!

Who is your favorite fictional character?

Not sure I have one. But I do have a few favorites that are “nonfictional”.

A hobby of mine is researching characters in the history of sewing and quilting. I found that Amelia Earhardt had a connection to the legacy of needle arts. Here are a couple blog posts sharing my discovery and a visit to her childhood home. I was so excited when I learned she carried a sewing box on her long flights.

What fabric have you been hoarding/saving the longest?

Feedsacks!  To justify my hoarding,  I actually created a course on my site about the history of Feedsacks that includes sewing projects, videos, and a PDF with historical articles and heirloom art to print. See my current courses HERE.

Describe your perfect day.

A morning walk on a nature trail followed by shopping for vintage fabrics and embroidery  at the Glenwood Antique Mall or First Fridays in Kansas City’s West Bottoms. Followed by a meal at one of my favorite restaurants in midtown, Tailleur on Main or sister restaurant, The Russell.

Don’t forget to join us for Missouri Star LIVE on March 8th, 2022 at 11:00 am cst to learn more about Amy (and maybe to win a special giveaway prize from Amy herself)! In the meantime, be sure to follow Amy on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. You can learn more about her and her projects as well on her website and blog.

Can’t get enough? We can’t blame you!

Amy is now offering online DIY courses based on her collection of vintage fabrics and notions at Grow your appreciation and knowledge while you create practical projects. Each “Primer” course includes sewing patterns and technique tutorials. Amy shares fascinating history lessons including field trips to museum exhibits.   Be inspired by Amy’s interviews with textile experts as well as artists and makers! You will access both printable PDFs and videos content the user-friendly platform Don’t forget to keep up with Amy’s continued journey curating vintage treasures and never miss a new pattern or book by signing up for her newsletter HERE!

Exploding Heart Kit Quilt Tutorial

The Exploding Heart Kit Quilt Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Life is a whirlwind of extremes. Happy times; hard times. Miracles and loss. But as our hearts are stretched in a thousand directions, they sure do grow! 

If you’re anything like me, you pour your emotions into your quilts. And this week’s quilt is bursting with love!

The Exploding Heart Kit Quilt Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co.

Watch Jenny stitch up the wildly popular Exploding Hearts quilt by Laura Piland for Slice of Pi Quilts. This stunning heart quilt is a triumph of triangles with half-square triangles, hourglass blocks, and quarter-square triangles, too. (We love Exploding Hearts SO MUCH, we created a kit with the pattern and beautiful Kaffe Fassett fabrics!)

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

Artist Spotlight: Marla Arna Jackson

Meet Marla Arna Jackson, self-taught fiber artist, painter, doll maker, indigo dyer, shibori dyer, portrait artist, seamstress, and author. Marla is the Founder and Executive Director of Marla Quilts Inc. African American Quilt Museum and Textile Academy, whose goal is to be “an impetus for developing artistic skills, enhancing individual and communal expression, and furthering intellectual awareness.” We had the honor to get to know her a little more as an artist and as a person – and we loved her so much that she’ll be taking over the Missouri Star Instagram on February 23rd, 2022 to share a little more of her passion with our quilting community! Before Marla’s Instagram Takeover, take the opportunity to get to know her a little better yourself!

What is your favorite part of the quilting process?

I am a portrait artist, most of my quilts are inspired by historical figures and my favorite part is researching and the visualization while I’m creating. I never know where the process will take me until I’m standing in front of the fabric. I don’t really enjoy the sewing, the applique, the quilting part as much as I love seeing my vision come to life.

I love learning everything I learn from the Civil War to Civil Rights, research is a major part of my process. I use pre-civil war fabrics, tapestries, fabrics like silks wools, cotton, African fabrics.

Who are your favorite fabric designers?

My favorite fabrics come from Vlisco in Holland, I love the vibrant color and patterns. I don’t know any others by name.

What notion or sewing tool are you most dependent on?

Scissors, I create my images for my quilts as I go with my scissors. No patterns, just my imagination, my hands and my scissors. I don’t measure nothing, I just go for it.

How were you introduced to sewing and quilting?

My mom introduced me to sewing, and my grandmothers and great grandmother taught me the technical parts of sewing and quilting. All of us kids helped my mother sew while she was pregnant, we worked the feet pedals for her. I’ve always loved doing it my way though, I got kicked out of two sewing classes in high school for not following the rules.

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

Putting in a fly zipper into pants – I’d gotten in trouble and as punishment for getting kicked out of sewing class my mom made me put in a fly zipper in 15 minutes. I finished it in 5 minutes. Later I was glad she taught me but I sure was mad while I was doing it.

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

Meditation, quieting my mind and tapping into my imagination.

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

Costume Designer.

Who is your favorite fictional character?

When I was a little girl I preferred watching the news over cartoons and stories and stuff, but I did like Shirley Temple and Annie Oakley- cowgirl boots, hat, and holster, that was me all dressed up.

What fabric have you been hoarding/saving the longest?

African fabrics and Asian fabrics.

Describe your perfect day.

Hot tea when I’m feeling good, teaching my students how to sew and quilt and research and bring history to life through quilts.

Don’t forget to join us on Instagram on February 23rd, 2022 as Marla (who you can follow @iammarlajackson) takes over the Missouri Star Instagram (don’t forget to follow us too @missouriquiltco)! Can’t wait? We can’t blame you – it’s going to be so much fun! Learn more about Marla and Marla Quilts Inc. by checking out her website and her blog If you’re looking for even more inspiration, be sure to follow her on Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube as well!

Vintage Jenny | Chevron Block

It doesn’t get easier than this classic quilt block! Using Layer Cakes cut into half-square triangles, the chevron quilt block is the perfect project for a new beginner quilter! Even if you’ve been stitching up quilts for awhile now, this simple pattern offers a unique opportunity to quilt in a hurry (not like any of us would EVER wait until the last minute to make a handmade gift).

To make this into a full quilt, all you’ll need is a solid layer cake and a printed layer cake – but the good news is you can truly make this pattern with any size of precut fabric and any colors. To make your first block, take a square from each of your color selections and put them right sides together, then sew along the outer edge with a quarter inch seam allowance. Then all you need to do is cut them diagonally corner to corner in both directions! Just like that you already have four half-square triangles that are ready to be pressed flat, arranged into a chevron pattern and stitched together – talk about simple sewing!

Needing some more inspiration to create this beautiful block? While the Vintage Jenny tutorial fabrics are no longer in production (just like a classic quilt they’re a product of their time) check out our suggestions below for five current lines of fabric that make this quilt come together with ease!

Buzzworthy 10″ Squares by Kanvas Studio for Kanvas Studio

See what all the buzz is about with these elegant black and yellow 10″ squares of honeybees, chamomile, crowns, and more.

Learn More >

Kaffe Fassett Collective August 2021 Dark 10″ Squares by Kaffe Fassett for FreeSpirit Fabrics

Dive into Kaffe with this 10″ square pack! You can have all the Kaffe Fassett prints your creative heart desires with the new Kaffe Fassett Collective collection, especially if your project calls for dark colors.

Learn More >

Happy Chance 10″ Squares by Laura Heine for Windham Fabrics

Take a chance with this 10” square pack! The odds are in your favor with the Happy Chance collection by Laura Heine for Windham Fabrics! These fanciful fabrics are full of multicolor florals, paper mache collages, and dressmaking motifs.

Learn More >

Tula Pink’s True Colors 10″ Squares by Tula Pink for FreeSpirit Fabrics

Let your true colors shine through with Tula Pink’s new collection! It features some of her most popular prints in fresh colors to accent and enhance her existing fabric collections. These vibrant colors are so beautiful, they’re sure to add life to your next project.

Learn More >

Sew Fast & Fun: Red Heart Fancy Zipper Bag

Valentine’s day is right around the corner and if you’re looking for a treaty for your sweetie (or treat yourself, we won’t judge!) then the Red Heart Fancy Zipper Bag is an easy and quick project that is simply bursting with love! Nothing says love like a handmade project, so treat someone special in your life to a fantastic new bag to show your love!

Supplies Needed:

Two 1/3 Yard Cuts of Contrasting Fabric

One Missouri Star 14″ Fancy Zips

Bosal In-R-Form Double-Sided Fusible Plus

Even if you’ve never worked with Bosal In-R-Form before, have no fear! This project is as easy as they come and creates an adorable free standing back that makes the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day. Cut both of your fabric choices into 12″x21″ rectangles (you may even have enough to make two bags)! Once that is complete, you’ll also need to cut your Bosal In-R-Form into the same 12″x21″ rectangle. Lay the Bosal In-R-Form down first, followed by the first fabric facing up and the second fabric facing down. Add some straight quarter-inch seams on both short sides of this stack and be sure to use some pins to keep everything together and even.

Open on both sides of the fabric and flip right sides out, at this point both fabrics should be facing out with the Bosal In-R-Form in the center. Hold this in place and press to activate the adhesive. Looks at that! You’re almost done! Fold both sides of your fabric sandwich in and add a Missouri Star Fancy Zips to create an open ended box that will take form once you box everything up and work on those corners. Now that you have the basic ideas of this project (we told you it was SEW easy!) check out Misty’s full tutorial complete with instructions to bring this project together in time for Valentine’s Day!