Twins have a mysterious connection, even when it comes to quilting!
In 1999, Lisa Norton decided to learn how to quilt, so she signed up for a Block of the Month program. By some strange coincidence, her identical twin Lora Zmak did the exact same thing—1,000 miles away!
It must have been fate, because 21 years later, these talented ladies have their very own company, Material Girlfriends Patterns!
This week, Jenny is stitchin’ up one of their prettiest designs: the quick and easy Confetti Star. It’s an intricate layer cake quilt pattern that comes together with no tricky y-seams. Click HERE to watch the video tutorial!
Did you know Pablo Picasso was a classically trained artist? His traditional realism was as beautiful as any on earth.
But, early in his career, he started to experiment—and that’s how he became one of the most famous artists of all time. Picasso said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
In this month’s Triple Play tutorial, the Doan ladies are “breaking the rules” with the Ohio Star.
You will be amazed at the magic they create with the addition of a cornerstone here and a snowballed corner there. From an itty-bitty mini quilt to a big ol showstopper, these projects are true works of art! Click HERE to watch the tutorial!
My hope is by the time I’ve written this letter to you and BLOCK arrives at your home, that life will have returned to normal. My hope is the sun will be shining outside your window… you’ll be free to gather with friends and family… you’ll feel comfortable greeting neighbors and walking the dog again, and a trip to the beach might be just around the corner. It’s hard to imagine after weeks of being separated from loved ones and anxiously watching the television, but I have great hope that we’ll make it through…many of us have been spending extended periods of time at home. I am trying my best to view this as an opportunity instead of an inconvenience.
I recently read a quote by one of my favorite people, Fred Rogers, that made me pause. He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” It has shifted my mindset and caused me to be proactive. Each day I ask myself, What small thing can I do to help?…
Quilters never cease to amaze me. You make a difference with every stitch and it’s never been more apparent to me than at this very moment. You’re sewing masks by the thousands, you’re making surgical caps for hospital workers, you’re helping friends and neighbors, and you’re a positive influence in your community. Thank you sincerely for everything you do. I feel privileged to be a part of this remarkable global community of quilters. We really can change the world one stitch at a time.
Like Jenny (and Mr. Rogers), I believe many of us makers feel grateful to be part of a community that creates – not only quilts, but comfort, inspiration, and kindness. (After all, we are the piece-makers ✌️)
Fun fact: Back in 1889, the women of Caldwell County (now home of Missouri Star) came together to create a “census” quilt. For an entire year, wives, mothers, and children throughout the county helped one another to hand-stitch the names of over 1,000 residents to create a gorgeous hand-sewn quilt that celebrated their entire community.
130 years later, the antique quilt remains a representation of the connections made among a community of quilter’s helping one another to create a beautiful, inclusive piece of art. It hangs inside our Caldwell Country Historical Society, seven miles from Missouri Star Quilt Co.
Much like those whose names were stitched onto that quilt from long ago, when you subscribe to BLOCK Magazine, you subscribe to become a part of a community of makers whose stories become stitched into our hearts! BLOCK Magazine’s upcoming summer issue contains our own stories and the stories of our readers, together building a community of creatives inspired by one another.
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.)
Staying at home can get a little monotonous, but we’re here to make it more fun. There’s so much you can do with the fabric you have right on hand. We’ve rounded up a few gorgeous quilt patterns from some of our favorite designers and guess what? They’re completely free! All you have to do is make sure you’re signed into your Missouri Star account, click, download, and start stitching. They’re sure to keep you inspired as you quilt from the comfort of home.
What can you make with your stash? Check out these 10 free patterns below and then click on the link to download them for free! There’s no way you’re going to be bored for one minute with all these amazing projects to keep you busy.
A diamond quilt set on point in playful prints. Mix and match to showcase your favorite prints and see what happens! It’s bound to be fabulous.
Coastal Getaway Quiltby Monique Jacobs for Maywood Studio A fat quarter-friendly quilt in soothing cool colors, but you can make it your own with any prints in your favorite color palette.
Bonus: Rounded Clutch Bag by Sara Davies for Riley Blake A cute clutch bag that could be made from any fabrics you have squirreled away. What about featuring a favorite print you’ve been saving right on the front?
Next steps after hitting “download” on your favorite free pattern:
Make sure you are logged into your Missouri Star Account.
Click on the “Account” button to the right of the search bar.
Click on Patterns & Downloads.
Select “View PDF” to download and/or print your free pattern.