Thursday, November 20, 2014

Day 20 of 30 Days of Gratitude:
I'm grateful for creative folks who generously share their joy in creation, their enthusiasm, their vision, themselves.

We've been visited by Young Man Winter (he hasn't been around long enough to be Old Man Winter) who lives up to his name: youthful, in-your-face, a real go-getter, eager to show his stuff. Bah!

I'm handicapped here at Thursday's Child--I try to celebrate whatever comes down the pike. Not an easy job if you're housebound by snow/ice/wind/dropping temps (all of the above some days).

So I'm not ready to celebrate Winter, because--duh--Winter isn't due for another month. I'll be glad to wait, thank you.

While I'm hibernating in my cave--fully equipped with WiFi, videos/books/yarn/fabric/food, and coffee/tea/hot chocolate--I've taken to surfing the 'Web for new ideas. Wow!

My big find is The Missouri Star Quilt Company, located in Hamilton, Missouri--up in the northwest corner, population between 1,700 and 1,800, most of whom work for the Missouri Star Quilt Company!

You can read all the info about the company if you search on the name and look for a link to an About Us section (probably at the bottom of the home page).

A selection of precuts from my stash:
L to R: charm squares, strips, fat quarters.

I've fallen in love with the tutorials! Every time I check the website there seems to be another one. They're all free. They're all excellent. Most, but not all, use precuts of fabric (fat quarters, strips, charm squares, 10" squares, and other types). If you're looking for a lovely project and you're in a time crunch, this is your store.

Best of all is Jenny Doan, the star of the company, who makes most of the videos. I love her enthusiasm, her joy in creating something from all those fabric choices, and her down-to-earth personality. Jenny is not a perfectionist--I tend to be too much so, and I find her free spirit approach to a creative endeavor liberating. What she brings to the sometimes-daunting process of quilting is a talent for making it efficient and do-able by beginners, as well as appealing to busy advanced quilters. Her quilts are always beautiful; her approach is get-it-done, on-to-the-next! My kind of teacher. And a great "face" for The Missouri Star Quilt Company.

While I was temporarily not poking my nose out of my cave, I made voluminous notes from her videos for such patterns as:
   Exploding Block Quilt - Bordered Square - Square in a Square
   Double Slice Layer Cake - Windowpane Disappearing Nine Patch
   Disappearing Four Patch - Jelly Roll Race I and II

Then there are sewing projects requiring little or no quilting: Totes, a Minky Scarf, Christmas Stocking, Fabric Ornaments, Christmas Table Runner, Christmas Table Topper (doubles as a mini tree skirt), Chicken Pincushions (great to see the thing being made--I never could get my head around it just by reading instructions). These sound like great gifts--fast, beautiful, easy.

If that's not enough for you, there are tutorials on binding your quilt, free-motion quilting, sashing; plus tips and techniques scattered through the various sessions. Or if you're free-motion challenged (I seem to be), the quilting of these projects, including the big quilts, can be done on the home machine. Really!

I'm now looking at my super-sized stash with new eyes--strip sets? charm squares? 10-inch squares? fat quarter packs? Oh, yes, pick one of these and one of those, use Jenny's tutorial, and voila, a quilt is born!

Creativity shows up everywhere . . . be on the lookout for that new approach, fresh viewpoint. People like that are inspiring.

Let's celebrate creativity, wherever it shows up.

Takes some cutting, but worth it.
This is a 45x57 lap quilt,
Easy Does It, by Darlene Zimmerman.
(Made from fat quarters.)


  1. My friend Mary introduced me to this site. It's the best around, isn't it? I'm not ready for winter yet, either, but it seems to be ready for us. Have a great Thanksgiving, my friend.

  2. And a great Thanksgiving to you, Liz, and safe journeys.