Behind the Scenes: BLOCK Magazine

Behind the Scenes: BLOCK Magazine

BLOCK Magazine is an “idea book” designed, produced, and published by Missouri Star Quilt Co. When you flip through these fresh, glossy pages you’ll find gorgeous photography, fun patterns, brilliant ideas, and one-of-a-kind stories! You’ll be left to wonder, “Who are these people surrounded by beautiful quilts and pretty props?” or “Who wrote that inspiring story?” and “Who in the world pieces together all these quilts!?”

We want to introduce you to the team of around 40 people who bring BLOCK Magazine to life! Take a peek into all the hard work, creativity and just pure love that is poured into each issue!


Executive & Managing Editors

Natalie and Jenny

The design of a quilt is decided 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 sewists, Carol and Janice, to complete the quilt tops.





Executive Editors include Mike Mifsud, Alan Doan, Sarah Galbraith, David Mifsud, and Jenny Doan. Natalie Earnheart is Managing Editor.


Sewists, Quilters, and Binders

“I’m a sewist so I help piece the quilt tops… I love that I get to be a small part of inspiring people who read BLOCK magazine. I have visions of people sharing their love of others through the gift of quilting… I have been a model a few times for the magazine and that has been really fun. Something I never thought I would get to do.” – Carol Henderson

Jenny Doan, Natalie Earnheart, Carol Henderson, and Janice Richardson make up the sewist team for BLOCK.

Piecing, Quilting, Binding

After the sewists piece together the quilt tops, they are sent over to our Machine Quilting department of over 20 skilled longarmers. Here, the quilt tops receive batting and backing and are then carefully quilted. After, the sewists stitch on the binding and then voilà, a finished quilt ready to become the star of the latest BLOCK issue!


Pattern Team

Before the quilt tops are quilted, they are sent to our pattern team to examine. The pattern writers will then write step-by-step instructions on how to create the quilt. They figure out yardage requirements, tools needed, and outline every little action needed to be taken in order to complete a quilt and send them off to the editors. Once approved by the editors, the pattern is sent back to Carol and Janice for testing. When the sewists give the okay, it is ready the talented designer, Tyler, to whip up some illustrations for our readers to have a visual representation for each step in the pattern. After one last review by all, the pattern is ready to featured in the next BLOCK Magazine!

Pattern Team and Editors
Here the Pattern Team: Jessica Toye, Denise Lane, Tyler MacBeth, Edie McGinnis go over final drafts with Creative Director: Christine Ricks, Managing Editor: Natalie Earnheart, and Executive Editor: Jenny Doan.

My favorite part of my job is working with such a talented group of people.  And how we all work together to put together something that we can all be proud of.” – Denise Lane

I love seeing BLOCK come together. It is so much fun to see a quilt in its earliest form and work on the transition to what our readers see in the magazine.” – Jessica Toye


Copywriters

Nichole, our lead copywriter, collects the memoirs of Missouri Star family members as well as inspiring stories from quilters from all around the world to plan story prompts for BLOCK. Then, Nichole, Camille, Julie, and David will craft beautifully written stories that go along with each quilt. Our copywriters truly have a way with words. You’ll fall in love with the stories they create!

Nichole Spravzoff (top left) and Camille Maddox (top right) both work remotely and are still able to wonderfully capture the voice of Missouri Star! Julie Barber and David Litherland (bottom) work together in the creative studio on copy ideas for the next issue!

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

My favorite part about writing for BLOCK is when I get to use personal memories and experiences as inspiration for the story prompts. It’s a lot of fun for me to figure out how to build a story off of a special moment!” – Julie Barber


Photography Team

Mike Brunner is our talented lead photographer. In charge of completing a successful photoshoot for the team, Mike enjoys working with and appreciates the ideas and collaboration of everyone involved. From unwelcoming weather to making the models feel comfortable to making sure the colors and settings are accurate, Mike has an intuitive eye for creating beautiful photography for BLOCK Magazine.
Prop Making with Lauren
Lauren Dorton is not only a talented photographer and photo-stylist, but she is an brilliant maker. Above, we see her strolling old country roads to gather pretty plant life in which she pieces together to create a winter bouquet for a scene in BLOCK Magazine. The entire team is very resourceful when it comes to finding props and Lauren is amazing at crafting everyday items into amazing props.
Jennifer designs and models
Jennifer Dowling is responsible for locating places that are indicative to our hometown, casting the right models, and gathering props. When food is involved, Jennifer turns into a caterer and prepares food such as a Thanksgiving turkey for a fall scene or baking cookies for celebratory backgrounds. Jennifer styles the scene in a way that brings the story to life for each quilt.
Dustin re-touches the photos

Once the photos are all shot, they are sent off to Dustin Weant, our amazing photo retoucher. Dustin really helps to bring the quilts into focus and allows for the models and scenery to really shine in the background!


Creative Director/Printing Coordinator

Creative Director, Christine Ricks is behind the scenes the entire 4-6 months it takes to create and finish an issue. Christine designs mood boards and creates style guides with the help of Tyler from the pattern team in which the rest of the team can refer to during the making. They use the changing seasons and coming holidays for inspiration. Flying in from her home in Utah every few months, Christine works closely with all of the teams involved to ensure the entire creation of BLOCK is done smoothly and timely.


Lastly, all the last minute details and printing services are organized and set into motion by BLOCK’s printing coordinator, Rob Stoebener. Then they are ready to be sent out by our speedy shipping department from the warehouse and into your mailbox!


Each issue is only $7.99 for a total of $47.94 a year for six issues when you subscribe.
[Canada rates are $9.99 per issue, for a total of $59.94 a year for six issues.]

The best part about this magazine is there are absolutely NO ads! It is a 100% pure, original, authentic Missouri Star creation!

“Your subscriptions matter. You help us keep it ad-free! It’s Missouri Star’s choice to keep it a high quality magazine and get value out of it. From the quality of paper to the photography, and the writing, it’s all from the heart.”

-Christine Ricks, Creative Director

SUBSCRIBE TO BLOCK MAGAZINE!



Courtship Quilt

Courtship Quilt

Courtship Quilt

This year in BLOCK Magazine, we have followed the courtship of Ingrid and Gustav. Flip to the back of any 2017 issue to enjoy another piece of their love story – and the quilt block that goes along with it. Now that the year has come to a close and Gustav and Ingrid have found their “happily ever after,” we’re ready to put those blocks together to make one beautiful Courtship Quilt. The best part? Every single block in this quilt is made up of half-square triangles. What could be easier? Click HERE to watch the tutorial!

Courtship Quilt

(If you’ve missed out on the tale of Ingrid and Gustav, click HERE to order your own copies of BLOCK Magazine. Choose digital download to start reading right away!)

Courtship Quilt

Watch the Latest Tutorial from Missouri Star Quilt Co!

We’re publishing our own magazine!  Why?

We’re publishing our own magazine! Why?

So we have some big news over here at Missouri Star Quilt Company!  We are self publishing a magazine called “Block” and we’re really excited to take this journey with you all!  But more on this in a minute, first, let’s talk about how we got here and why we’re going down this road.

As many of you know, last year we got approached by Fons and Porter and the folks at New Track Media about doing a magazine for them.  Mom was tickled to death at the thought of being in a magazine, so as is the case with most things we do in life, we went to work to make mama happy 🙂

After a year of doing the magazine, we parted ways, Quilting Quickly is no longer a Missouri Star Quilt Company production.  We were bummed out, but life has to go on.

So, like we are prone to do, we sat on our hands content to do nothing (I’m rolling my eyes here :).  Then we kept getting great feedback from you all.  You loved patterns to go along with the videos, you wanted a subscription option, you wished you could order them from the beginning and not have them run out and go away forever.  That was a big one for us!  We have new customers finding us all the time, they want to read about who we are and get the patterns for the tutorials and follow along with our story, but we can’t get them and neither can anyone else.  So we started thinking…

What if we did our own magazine, we would showcase the quilts that we know best, the ones Mom is already a pro at teaching on from the tutorials.  The quilt projects would be the most recent quilt tutorials plus a few legacy ones to help us get caught up with quilts from the archive.  But we didn’t want to start a magazine department that needed advertisers and fancy titled people and things like that, it’s too expensive for a little operation like ours.  So what if instead of advertising, we just featured new fabric lines in the quilts and hoped that the increased exposure for the fabric would be enough?  We liked never having to call anyone to ask for advertising, that was a cool idea.

We had another thought, we should cut the cost down, from $10 to $6 to keep it interesting for you all.  The page count will stay the same, with no advertisements, leaving room for lots more quilting ideas and inspiration.  Did you hear that, zero pages of ads!!  This means we get to do the magazine the way we wanted to.  We get to let the quilts breathe a little bit.  No more trying to smush it all in there, we can show you some pictures, and work through the process.  Do the patterns with a bit more detail, all the things we’ve been wanting to do, we’ll just do them!

So we called everyone we knew who had done anything like that and started asking questions.  Learning how to do this stuff, there was a lot to learn!  We found a great art director, Christine, hired on Stephen and Cassie to help us create and make, then our sister Natalie got to work doing the genius stuff she always does.  She came up with our first issue’s worth of new quilts in an afternoon with Mom, had them made and out the door to be quilted in no time, and is already onto the second issue!

And finally … it’s here!  We’re pulling the cover off our big project we call “Block” – I guess we already told you that, but we are so proud of how it turned out.  Christine did a great job, Natalie did a great job, Stephen and Cassie did a great job, and Mom of course always does a great job! 🙂

So here’s the deal.  If we can tell people about this, if we can get enough people to buy into it, we can keep doing it!  It’s a great price, it’s a beautifully done magazine, and we’re doing 6 issues a year instead of 4.  It’ll be chock full of great patterns, 10 of them, and they’ll each have a coordinating youtube tutorial.  So go tell it on the mountain!  Buy one for a friend, get them hooked!  We can’t do this the old school way.  We don’t have advertisers.  We don’t have rack space at your local big box stores, we have them here and then will be wholesaling them to local independent quilt shops as well, but we need you to help us make this stick!  So give it a read, if you would like to see anything in there, if you have ideas or feedback for us, if you have a designer we should interview or anything like that, let’s do it!  We really hope this journey goes for a while!! We are really excited to keep making great things for you all!  Thank you for supporting our passions!!

The magazine will be in our shop and online in the coming weeks, so you can’t buy it until then, but we did build a subscriber option, so you can subscribe right now, and it’ll be to your door the same time we get it here!  If you subscribe, it’ll ship for free too, so that’s a sweet deal right!  Go do it!  Subscribe Subscribe Subscribe!!