What’s Your Story?

Behind every quilt is a story, and we want to hear yours! BLOCK Magazine is always looking to publish original stories from quilters like you. We believe that everyone has an important story to tell and that sharing our stories brings us closer together. As we listen, learn, and grow, greater inspiration enters our lives and our capacity to care expands. No matter how simple you believe your story to be, it’s worth sharing. 

BLOCK Magazine Share Your Story

Here are a few things to keep in mind when submitting your story:

– We prefer stories under 500 words in Microsoft Word or Google Documents format.
– There is a limit of 2 photos per article.
– Stories should relate back to sewing and quilting.
– When sharing personal details, do keep in mind that your story could be published.
– We won’t publish your name without your permission, and we reserve the right to edit your story.
-If your story is chosen to appear in an issue of BLOCK, we’ll be sure to send you a complimentary copy!

Please send any stories you’d like to share to blockstories@missouriquiltco.com.

Here are some examples of quilting stories and comments that have touched our hearts and made us smile:

BLOCK Magazine Share Your Story

“Back in February 2019, there was a horrific snow and ice storm that hit our little corner of the world, and I was snowed in at Hamilton (I live about a 45-minute drive away from Quilt Town, USA.) At this same time, a group of gals were attending a retreat in town, and being that quilters are some of the best people around, they took me in as part of their retreat (and even added me to their Facebook group!). Some taught me how to use a machine and cheered me on as I stitched together a charm square pillow. They shared their meals with me, and completely welcomed a stray right into their little family. I still keep in touch with some of the wonderful friends I met at that retreat!” -Mary B.

BLOCK Magazine Share Your Story

“I think I was born to quilt. I remember as a little girl walking through the dime store and wishing I had money for packets of fabric squares. My dad was a JC Penney manager. Managers received packets of 8” x 10” pieces of paper with small pieces of fabric glued on them. That is how they ordered fabric for the stores. Dad often would bring his “book work” home with him and order while watching football on Sundays. Once ordered, he would throw the papers away. I would take them, tear off these tiny bits of fabric, and try to hand sew them together. My favorite department in the store was pieced goods. My favorite people were Bernadine, a farm wife who worked in that department, and Dad, who always had a dime for a skein of embroidery floss. I was a teenager before I earned enough money to buy fabric, but I remember going down to the basement and being happy the fabric came in three different color ways. Then my grandpa gave me his mother’s quilting frame. In my 20’s I would save my lunch money and buy fabric. Dad’s store closed in 1989. When I first saw the story of Missouri Star Quilt Company, I saw that JC Penney sign in the store and cried. And then I had to show that article to Dad! Your store will always hold a place in my heart, how fitting you opened it in an old JC Penney store. I love your story! Dad is 89 now, and in a nursing home, but the pieced goods was both our favorite department. I’m in my 60s now, and I still tuck away a little money until I can buy fabric. And my favorite thing, still to this day, is taking bits of fabric and sewing them together.” -Erin D.

BLOCK Magazine Share Your Story

UFOs By Lisa B.

“I suspect that, second only to stash size, the number of unfinished projects a quilter has is the greatest cause of shame and guilt. We’ve spent a good bit of money on whatever we have sitting there half sewn together, and probably considerable time as well. So it seems a waste, doesn’t it, to allow the effort it would take to finish it keep us from doing just that. Half-finished objects are simply of no use.   

“Like most quilters I know, I had multiple unquilted tops and multiple projects that were in various stages of completion. I had begun working full-time and didn’t have the time and energy to devote to it like I once had. One week, I received the terrible news that someone very close to me was experiencing severe medical issues. The week I found out, I remembered a top I very much liked that would be perfect for this person and I was able to quilt it and gift it by the end of the weekend! I had fretted over that beautiful top sitting in a drawer for two years, but I was so very thankful to have it that week. Had I quilted it any earlier, I would have surely given it to someone else, and then had nothing when I wanted it most. 

“After that top, I started noticing that my sewing machine was not being as dependable as it once was. Since I still had very little time to devote to the hobby, I didn’t replace it and found myself sewing less and less. Then, I saw my dream machine for an incredible price. I decided it was the perfect time to replace my machine, and jumped on the offer before it was gone. Now, you may have noticed that I have twice already mentioned that I don’t have much time to devote to the hobby, so what better to work on than my own unfinished objects! It’s patterns and fabrics that I picked out, and half the work is already done! I am thoroughly enjoying making the most of the time I do have to finish quilts and table runners and pillows—whatever I started and abandoned years ago.   

“Obviously, it makes no sense to keep cranking out half-projects and letting them pile up, but within reason, I would try not to let it weigh me down too much. There very well might be a time in the future when you’re very glad to have them.”

I heard of Project Linus after Hurricane Harvey in 2017, when Missouri Star sent thousands of blankets to Texas. I researched the organization but discovered there was no chapter to serve NW Missouri. So, I called the nationwide headquarters, applied for a chapter and began making blankets for kids. Blankets are security, a sense of comfort when life is hard. We attach a poem to each blanket we give, that reads, ‘Linus has a blanket that’s all his very own. It comforts and sustains him when he’s feeling quite alone. He knows that others love him for ’twas made with special care, and because it means so much to him, it’s carried everywhere. You too can have a blanket that’s created just for you to comfort and support you when you’re feeling rather blue. It’s yours to keep forever, so you may always know that others out there love you and to you, our blessings go.’”—Barbara O.

BLOCK Magazine Share Your Story

Rainbow Quilts By Mary G.

“I had only been quilting, if you want to call it that, for less than a year when I found out I was pregnant at the end of 2016. I was all geared up to make a baby quilt for my new arrival and turned to Missouri Star on Youtube to teach me how to make one properly. Sadly though, I lost my baby girl 18 weeks into my pregnancy. The little blanket I had started for her, I finished quickly and had with me to wrap her in at delivery. I cherish that I was able to give her at least one present from Mom.  

“In the months that followed, I found out I was pregnant again. I decided this time to make a rainbow-colored quilt for my soon-to-be rainbow baby. I watched many Missouri Star tutorials before getting started because I wanted to get it right! Plenty of time and money was spent getting beautiful fabrics in every color of the rainbow. After I had made it through the first trimester of this pregnancy, it was time to get started on the rainbow quilt. I only made it through the beginning stages of my rainbow quilt, however, before I found out that my rainbow baby didn’t make it. I lost another baby girl at 18 weeks again, all in the same year. 

“Although my grief was intense, I decided to finish the quilt and gift it to my sister who was also pregnant at the time, with her own rainbow baby. This quilt became my therapy. It meant so much to me to be able to finish it and hand it over to her as a gift from my babies to hers. It took me a long time to finish the quilt, but I did and I was able to gift it to her just before she gave birth to her son. It was a really special moment for both of us and she now keeps the quilt hanging in her home. 

“At the beginning of 2019, I found out I was finally pregnant again. I was determined to keep my mind occupied during this anxiety-filled pregnancy with some quilting therapy. After sewing up a few receiving blankets, I figured I’d give making another rainbow-colored quilt a shot. I really, really wanted to wrap my newborn baby in one. While searching for some more baby quilt ideas, I came across a Missouri Star tutorial on how to make a rag quilt. I thought it was so cute and simple enough; I could do it without feeling anxious about the results. Happily, I gave birth to my double-rainbow baby boy on September 11, 2019. I couldn’t believe I was finally able to wrap my baby in that rainbow-colored blanket and bring him home.

“I know to some people, they just see blankets, but to me, quilts are so much more. There are prayers and hopes and unspoken dreams all sewn into those fabrics and given to others as an expression of warmth and love. Rainbow baby quilts have become a passion for me. I understand deeply what they represent and I am always humbled to give one.”

Share your story: blockstories@missouriquiltco.com

Big ideas are coming to life with the next issue of BLOCK Magazine

A Note from Jenny - BLOCK Magazine 2020 Winter Issue

This is the time of year that we think about setting goals. We want to be better and all of you constantly inspire me to keep trying. This brand new issue of BLOCK has been spruced up from cover to cover to start 2020 off in style! The design has been refreshed, exciting changes are on every page, more stories from our readers, and even more to come throughout the year! We hope you love it.

Starting new also means celebrating success and recognizing growth. BLOCK has been through a lot over the past six years and so have you. I love to see how quilting changes us and helps us become stronger. Most of the letters I receive contain stories that explain how quilting has helped you get through your challenges.

No matter how many trials you encounter in your lives, when you spend time at your sewing machine, you begin to put yourself back together, piece by piece. It takes time, but that journey is so sweet. Handing off this precious quilt that you made for someone who needs some love or encouragement changes you.

This year, I want to focus on finding joy each day. No one thrives in negativity and so, each day, I try to look for one good thing. Instead of worrying about all the things I’m not doing, I’m going to find the things I can do. I don’t think I’m going to try and finish all my UFOs or completely redo my sewing room. But I will spend more time at my sewing machine! It brings peace to my soul. You quilters continually bring hope and love into the world. Keep an eye on those around you and spread as much joy as you can!


We’ve been sharing our resolution of New Year, New Projects – a goal to simply create more. As we try to inspire all of you to do this, we hope you realize just how much you inspire us right back.

In planning towards becoming more creative and making more, we’ve started with our own in-house publication, BLOCK Magazine. For the last six years, BLOCK Magazine has been an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. On every glossy page, you’ll find stunning photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories!

It was a small idea that originally gave birth to what this magazine became. Now that it’s 2020 – a new year, a new decade… Another small idea has grown into what is now the new and improved BLOCK Magazine. The idea book still holds everything you already love inside, but better and with more content!

The team creatively pieced together a new design concept and the end result is stunning – well, we think so and we hope you love it too! If you’re subscribed, you’ll see the fresh, new look within your next issue. If not, subscribe today so you don’t miss out!

… And because we’re so excited – we just can’t resist sharing a sneak peek of our brand new cover design:

Drum roll please…



BLOCK Magazine Volume 7 Issue 1

Eek! We’re in love with this sleek, modern look! Oh, and notice the new content that’s waiting inside? We’re so excited to share it with you!

Natalie Earnheart, Managing Editor of BLOCK Magazine

“We’re so excited to bring you a brand new issue of BLOCK that’s been completely refreshed for 2020! This new design includes even more of what you love: original articles, beautiful photography, a gorgeous cover, fun projects, stories from our readers, and not an ad in sight… We hope you love it! Stay tuned for exciting updates that will be happening throughout the coming months. It’s sure to be a great year for quilting!”

– Natalie Earnheart, Managing Editor

So what’s coming to BLOCK Magazine?

  • Fresh, new cover design
  • Refreshed content
  • More authentic photo styling
  • Stories (from Jenny AND more from our readers)
  • Educational quilting articles
  • 10 patterns + 1 bonus project
  • Jenny’s Journal (a highlight of Jenny’s personal projects)
  • Mystery Story with a new chapter in each issue
  • and sew much more!

Take a peek into the next issue of BLOCK Magazine

These are a few of the quilts that will be featured in the upcoming issue!

Check out last year’s Behind the Scenes and browse through past issues with us as we look back on the last six years of BLOCK Magazine.

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.) There are NO ads and each issue ships FREE with your subscription!

Subscribe by January 30, 2020 to get this issue in March!


What will your first project of 2020 be?
Tell us (or show us) in the comments!

My First Quilt: Jenny Doan

Celebrate National Quilting Month

It’s March, and we all know what that means, it’s National Quilting Month, an entire 31 days dedicated to cutting, sewing, basting, and all kinds of creativity in between! This month, we want to share with you some inspiring stories from our Missouri Star team, and the reasons why they sat down at a machine and started quilting! The first story up is from Jenny! Read on as she shares how her quilting career began.

When did you make your first quilt?

I was actually quilting before I knew I was quilting. As a girl, I often sewed quilt squares together for my grandmother, but I took my first honest-to-goodness quilting class in 1995 shortly after we moved to Missouri. It was a quilt in a day class about the Log Cabin pattern. It was held in Chillicothe at the Vo-tech school. And I haven’t stopped quilting ever since!

Why did you make it?

I made my first quilt because I have to sew! It is my creative outlet. I sew, and when sewing is your “thing” and you don’t need any more clothing, and your children won’t wear matching clothing, and no one needs a costumer, you jump at the chance to quilt!

Who did you make it for?

I made it for my son Alan. He still has it.

My First Quilt: Jenny Doan
This log cabin quilt is one of the very first quilts Jenny ever created. She sewed this one for her son Jake, who requested the purple and orange fabric, more than 20 years ago.

Is it the kind of quilt you would make today? Why or why not?

It IS the kind of quilt I make today! I gravitate toward quick and easy projects, so that was a great one for me to start on.

What has changed since that first quilt?

For me, the main change was the onset of precut fabrics. They make quilting so much easier for me. Also, the Internet has changed everything! You can learn all kinds of neat things from the Internet.  

After reading Jenny’s story, are you ready to make a Log Cabin Quilt of your very own? Here are some of our favorite log cabin quilt tutorials to help you get started:

Log Cabin Quilt Snips

Curved Log Cabin Quilt 

Summer Camp Quilt

Check back throughout National Quilting Month for more quilty stories! And be sure to share your creations and your first quilt stories with us on social media using #makesomethingtoday and #msqcshowandtell!

2017 Stitched Together Story Contest Winners

As part of our Annual National Quilting Day celebration, MSQC has hosted a story contest for the last four years. We’re happy to share our three winning stories from this year’s contest. I say I’m happy, but I’m actually so sad that we only get three winners. These stories are truly amazing and so many of them touched my heart. But if you enjoy reading them as much as I do, don’t worry! I will be sharing more of them throughout the year each week as part of our Stitched Together series in our Daily Deal email (sign up to receive it in your inbox daily HERE), and including them in our next Stitched Together book.

Quilters know, when something isn’t right and it seems there’s nothing you can do about it, you can quilt. The winning story in our annual Stitched Together Story Contest will hit home to all of us who have waited, loved, and quilted. A big thank you to our anonymous quilting friend for sharing with us.

“As a thirty-four-year-old, I was finally about to become a mother. But the question was ‘When?’ My husband and I had been married almost five years and were deep into the paperwork and emotional ups and downs of international adoption. We were assigned a baby boy. Weeks would go by and we would hear nothing, then a letter from his foster mom arrived, and on a really good week, we would receive pictures. ‘When?’ That was always the question.

“The ache was deep. The wait was agonizing. We both longed for a child. God did not bring our dreams about the way we hoped. I felt helpless. I had to DO something! So I did what I loved to do since I was ten. I sewed. We were preparing his room, and I decided to make a quilt. This was 1991 and there were no ideas on Pinterest, no online classes to learn to quilt and no computer for that matter! I had never made a quilt before!

“I loved bright colors, and I thought all boys loved cars and trucks, so I went to a fabric store and picked a brightly-colored cotton fabric covered with modes of transportation. I copied and enlarged those little figures to make appliqued trucks, cars, planes, boats and trains. I was doing this for him. Really? Really it was for me! As I sewed, I felt like he was almost with us. I was connecting my heart to the precious little life I did not yet have in my home – my love grew with each block and stitch. I was comforted by the whole process. I even made his crib sheets out of the colorful fabric. But when would he get to cover up with his quilt? When would we be able to snuggle on his bed? When?

“I made the quilt top, and paid someone to hand quilt the layers. I was so excited. I was doing something for the little toddler miles and miles away from us. I made a simple small pillow out of the quilt fabric, and sent it to El Salvador hoping it would arrive safely and that he would hug it and smell a little of me!

“We received the first precious photo of him when he was six weeks old. Finally, when he was 20 months old, my husband and I traveled there to meet him and bring him home. The three-day journey was emotional and incredible, one of the best times of our lives.

“Three other adopted children and twenty-five years later my quilting skills grow, and my love continues.”


In El Salvador: We received this picture while we were in the waiting process; our son is in the upper left corner, and I was thrilled to see his little pillow in the picture!


At home: Our little guy and daddy reading on top of his quilt; his little pillow on top of the large pillow.


When he was three, the pillow case fabric was thread-bare! We finally had to get rid of it.

Close to his college graduation, and upon taking his first career music job, I made him two other quilts.


Our 2nd story comes from Molly and it’s about the power of teaching others to quilt.

“’Hey everyone, Tammy finished her first quilt.’ I hold up the pink and purple rail fence quilt for all to admire. Her classmates clap; Tammy beams.

“I’m a member of Coffee Creek Quilters, a group that teaches quilting to women incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon. There are four weekly two-hour classes, each with twenty students. Each student makes three quilts. We donate the first two quilts to various organizations for hospice patients, kids in foster care, and the like. Students can keep the third quilt, which is a very big deal when you live in a prison dormitory where everyone wears navy blue and orange. Some do keep their third quilts, but quite a few give them to family members, kids and moms.

“People often ask how we structure our quilting classes. In some ways it’s the same as a class in a quilt shop. Instructors explain the basics of cutting strips of fabric with rulers, rotary cutters, and mats. Students learn to thread a sewing machine, sew quarter inch seams, and follow a pattern.

“In other ways, CCQ classes are very different. Prison security rules require that we count every pin, needle, and rotary cutter blade before taking them in to class. We pass through a metal detector before entering the dining room where class is held. And there are restrictions on the color of clothing we can wear, such as no blue jeans.

“Our goals are similar to quilt shop classes, but with some differences. We want our students to become proficient in quilt-making techniques. But we also strive to teach patience, perseverance, problem-solving, and the importance of quality work. We work to nurture our students’ self-confidence and self-esteem, attributes that we hope will help them to be successful at living in the community after release from prison.

“It takes around eighteen months for students to go through the CCQ program. During that time we gradually get to know each other. Last week Tammy said her daughter’s birthday is coming up, Maureen told me she’d applied for the eyeglass program, and I heard that Jamie is learning math in her quest for a GED certificate. I told the story about how good it felt seeing a resident in my Mom’s memory care community bundled up in the yellow and green churn dash quilt I had made.

“Some of our students come to love quilting just as much as we do, while others decide it isn’t their cuppa darjeeling. Everyone who completes the class is eligible to receive a ‘release kit’ when they’re released from prison — a used sewing machine, thread, scissors, pins and needles, rotary cutter and mat, and a selection of fabric and batting to make their next quilt.

“Next week I plan to bring my latest project, my purple rain quilt, to class for show ‘n tell. Because that’s what quilters do.”

Our 3rd story comes from Suzanne and it’s full of love and generosity. Thanks for sharing!

“My twin sister and my twin daughters are all fabulous, experienced quilters, but for years now I have declined to quilt. I have been an avid and even professional seamstress in my years but quilting was just something I didn’t think I had the patience for.

“My sister’s son, my nephew, is a Blackhawk Helicopter pilot in the Army and was sent to Kosovo for a period of time, approximately one year. She lovingly made him a quilt and sent it since it was winter there and she wanted him to be warm. He cherished it and so did his other twenty-seven compatriots. Then my sister got the wonderful, generous thought to make all of them quilts… WAIT, HOLD ON… how can you make twenty-seven more quilts and get them done and sent in any reasonable amount of time? I had to help. Yes, I had to help, even though I had only made two very simple quilts with my daughters’ help at the time.

“We battened down the hatches and asked people to help. We tried to raise funds to cover the enormous cost. Many friends and family gave to assist in this endeavor although we did not reach our goal on a crowdfunding website. No matter, we forged ahead. What began as “I’m not going to let her do this alone, I have to help…” ended with a heart wrenching (in a good way) call to arms to help. Many of the people who made quilt tops we did not even know, a very humbling action for strangers to do for others. They were friends of friends. It was so good to see people step up to give to our servicemen and women and they were so very grateful for the love, thoughts and quilts they received.

“Some quilters received letters but all received a wonderful certificate made by the troops and sent to us in gratitude. They also took pictures of each serviceman and woman receiving the quilt and sent them to us. In total we received or made thirty-four quilts in about two and a half months. Thank goodness the troops are now returned from Kosovo and they held a special thank you ceremony upon their return for my sister. She received a framed certificate of thanks with everyone’s name who assisted in our ‘Quilts of Valor’ project.

“Needless to say, I am now a quilter and it usually takes first choice in what I wish to do each day. I fell in love with it and I was so wrong about not having the patience to quilt. Quilting is like life, one square at a time and it’ll come together just fine!”

The only thing I love more than quilting fabric is quilting stories. Got a good one? Send me yours at stories@missouriquiltco.com for the chance to be featured!

Cathedral Windows…Another favorite of mine.

When we first opened the shop  {I was very-extremely ‘new’ to quilting}  A customer brought in a quilt for a quilt show we were sponsoring.  When she pulled it out of the bag, I gasped.  I LOVED it.  I had never seen anything like it before, so she told me all about it.

She went on to tell me it was called ‘Cathedral Windows’ and told me she had made it for her grand daughter.  She then went through how each of the blocks (windows) represented something that her grand daughter did or loved.  One block had horses, one had a VW  bug,  one a sports theme, etc,etc.  {they each had a story.}  I was brought to tears thinking of all the love this Woman had put into this quilt.  Not only was that an extremely challenging pattern, it was time consuming (all that hand work) but she went above and beyond with this quilt.  I love, love, loved it!

Ever since then, I have had a soft spot in my heart for the Cathedral Windows pattern.

If you know me, you know that I can be overwhelmed in an instant with a quilt pattern.  I will take one look at it and know ‘there is NO way, I could do that’…Thankfully, I have Mom.  She has helped make things really hard, seem easy even for me to tackle!!  {and boy do I appreciate that!!}

So when we got wind of this awesome Circle Magic template, I just about lost it!!  To say I was excited, would definitely be an understatement!!  {Mom has a video tutorial showing how to use this and make the quilt}

Now, i love the line she used {Dream On, by Urban Chiks} it isn’t as ‘personal’  as the first one I saw, but I love it anyway.

What I also love, is that every quilt has a story.  We might not have a different story for each block in every quilt, but you can’t deny that with every stitch you sew into a project there is a lot of love that goes into it.  Every quilt, every wall hanging, every pillow case, EVERYTHING that you make is full of the love you have for either the people you make it for or for the organization you are donating too!    Understanding artists {yes, quilting is an art} we can be so critical of our own work, but just realize that no matter if it’s perfect or not, you are creating an heirloom that will be passed down and loved FOREVER!

What are you creating today?