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When I think of an English garden, I picture quaint gravel paths that divide shrubs and hedges like strips of sashing on a quilt. I picture drizzly afternoons and neat rows of pretty blooms. I picture cozy cups of tea sipped on quiet garden patios. I picture peace, order, and beauty.

This week Jenny has packed all the charm of a real English garden in her newest quilt. Click HERE to watch the tutorial!

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The final step of making a quilt may seem like the most intimidating, but have no fear! Adding binding can be a really enjoyable process when you know how much you need and how easy it is to make and stitch on your quilt.

Supplies needed:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Calculator
  • Your finished quilted project 
  • A measuring tape or template

Finally, choose a lovely fabric, bias, or precut for binding and load it into your Missouri Star Quilt Co. shopping cart!

Step 1: Find the perimeter of your quilt. Measure each of the four sides and add them together.
Step 2: Add 20 inches to your total.
Step 3: Choose your binding width. We recommend using 2 ½” wide strips.
Step 4: Divide the total length of binding needed for your quilt by 40″. This gives you the number of width of fabric strips needed to create your binding.
Step 5: Round up to the nearest whole number of strips. Multiply the number of strips by the width of binding you decided in step 3. That will give you the number of inches required to cut the necessary number of binding strips for your quilt.
Step 6: Divide the number determined in step 5 by 36″ to calculate the yardage. Round this number up to the next 1/4 yard increment and you’ll have your total yardage number!

Tips and Tricks for Binding:

  • Precut strips work great for binding as they are already 2 ½” wide.
  • Sew strips together end-to-end on a 45 degree angle into one long strip using diagonal seams. Press seams open to reduce bulk.
  • Fold strips in half lengthwise with wrong sides together and press.
  • The entire length of your binding should be equal to the perimeter of the quilt plus 15 to 20 inches.
  • Using a Binding Tool makes the process even easier!

Example Quilt:
(Quilt length + quilt width) x 2 = perimeter of quilt
(66″ + 58″) x 2 = 248″ This is the total perimeter of your quilt
Add 20″ to that number = 268″ needed of total binding length
Take the total inches and divide by 40″ to get the number of strips you need
268″ divided by 40″ = 6.7
Round up. You’ll need 7 strips of fabric for your binding.
Take the number of strips you need and multiply by your binding width. In this case, it’s 2 ½”.
7 x 2 1/2″ = 17 ½”
Divide the number of inches needed by 36″.
17 ½” divided by 36″ = .48
Round up to the nearest ¼ yard and you get ½ yard.

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The same tune can be played by a 70-piece orchestra or a honky-tonk band. The melody is identical, but boy, oh boy! It sure sounds different!

The same goes for quilts, you know. This week’s new quilt is classically pretty with the sunflowers of “Jardin Dy Soleil” by Lola Molina for Wilmington Prints. But guess what? If you use solids instead, the pattern instantly becomes fresh and modern! The possibilities are endless! Click HERE to watch the tutorial!

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Let’s talk about appliqué. If you’ve always wanted to try it out, but imagined it might be intimidating, we’ve got the tools, techniques, and tips to change your mind. Appliqué is a lot easier than it looks – and it looks pretty spectacular personalizing and decorating your quilt!

Our newest class at Missouri Star is Beginning Machine Appliqué with Courtenay Hughes. In this online class, you’ll learn approachable machine appliqué tips that will build your confidence. You’ll learn:

  • Fusible appliqué techniques with two different fusible webs
  • How to layer multiple fabrics and shades to create your appliqué shape
  • Three beginner-friendly stitches that look great with matching or contrasting thread
  • How to conquer curves and perfect your points as you work with tricky shapes
  • And more expert machine appliqué tips!

We talked to Courtenay about machine appliqué designs and tips…

Q: Courtenay, how long have you been sewing machine appliqué? 
A: I have been quilting for over 25 years. I’ve had about 20 odd years of practice at machine appliqué. And I am really looking forward to sharing some of that with you

Q: What’s your favorite part of teaching appliqué for beginners?
A: My favorite part of teaching is when students who aren’t sure they can complete their projects get to the point where they realize that, yes, they can make them—and they will be beautiful! Whether that’s how to machine appliqué small pieces, how to hand appliqué in the car on road trips, or how to let loose and try something completely new, like a free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch that looks complicated but is actually very freeing, I love seeing students succeed!

Q: What shapes can you make with machine appliqué?
A: Anything you can imagine – and any pattern in your library, really. I like to show you tips for leaves, stems, circles, stars, hearts, petals, and working in layers. While a lot of my patterns are flowers or animals – ask me about placing bunny ears – the sky is the limit. You can decorate any quilt with appliqué, in blocks, borders, even your quilt label.

Q: What are some tools you recommend for appliqué?
A: This depends a little bit on which method you’re using, but some of the applique essentials are:

For Machine Appliqué:

  • Fusible Web  – Use this to temporarily glue fabric pieces in place while machine stitching.
  • Appliqué Pressing Sheet – Place over the project diagram to use as a guide while layering fabric shapes.
  • Marking Pen – Use a fine sharpie or marking pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Scissors – A good pair of scissors come in handy for cutting fusible and fabric pieces.
  • Machine Needles – A sharp needle that is great for stitching through layers of applique pieces. 
  • 50wt Thread – A strong thread that blends with fabric shapes. Or black thread for a “folk art” look. 
  • Self-Threading Needles – An easy way to bury threads after stitching pieces to background.
  • Iron and Iron Cleaner – An iron for fusing paper shapes to fabric, and iron cleaner.
  • Embroidery Hoop – (optional) These come in handy when stitching pieces in place on background, especially when using the free-motion zig-zag “heartbeat” stitch.

For Hand Appliqué:

  • Appli-Glue or Lapel Stick – Use this to hold fabric pieces in place while hand stitching.
  • Freezer Paper – Draw a design on the dull side, cut it out and lay the shiny side down on the project to use as a guide.
  • Bias Tape Maker – Use this to make stems and more, especially when doing floral applique!
  • Marking Pen – Use this a pen to trace designs onto projects.
  • Precision Appliqué Scissors – A smaller pair of scissors come in handy for cutting smaller pieces.
  • Hand Needles – A smaller point for hand stitching, but also a bit enough needle to prevent hand cramping.
  • Mini Iron – A tiny iron will give more control over tiny fabric pieces.
  • Appliqué Pins – These come in handy when fitting several pieces into place.
  • Fusible Web (optional) – Melts to adhere the fabric pieces together.

We think it’s time to give appliqué a try!

We have two classes for beginners at Missouri Star Quilt Company. You’ll learn multiple methods, troubleshooting tricks, how to machine appliqué a quilt or how to hand appliqué a quilt. Each class also comes with a FREE quilt pattern so you can show off your newly mastered skills! Try appliqué today!

Let us know if you enjoyed the class by posting a picture of your next appliqué project here

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Once you’ve pieced your beautiful quilt top, it’s time to choose your backing! There are so many fabrics out there and using 108″ wide backing does make things easier, but we will help you know how much fabric you need when using standard 42″ wide fabric.

Here are some items you’ll be needing:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Calculator
  • Your finished quilt top
  • A measuring tape or template

Step 1: Measure the length and width of your quilt top.

Step 2: Add an extra 8 inches to both the length and width of your quilt if it’s going to be machine quilted, that’s 4 inches on each side and 4 on the top and bottom.

Step 3: Take your measurements, add them both together, and divide it by 36. This is the amount of yardage you will need.

  • If your quilt is less than the backing width, congratulations! You can simply cut your backing to the same length you figured in Step 2. But, if your quilt is wider than your fabric, you’ll need to figure out how many fabric widths you’ll need to piece together and then multiply that number by the quilt backing length from Step 2. That’s the number of inches of fabric you need to buy.
  • If your quilt is more than about 42 inches wide, which is the typical width of a yard of fabric, you will need to keep in mind that you will have a seam in the backing, unless you use 108” inch wide backing.

Step 4: Cut the fabric to your backing length and piece together with 1/2″ seam allowances.

Now you are ready to quilt!

Wide fabrics make backing a quilt seamless. Visit our Backing & Trims store to find your next quilt’s back!

Tips and Tricks for Backing:

  • Measure your quilt top vertically and horizontally. Add 8 inches to both measurements to make sure you have an extra 4 inches all the way around to make allowance for the fabric that is taken up in the quilting process as well as having adequate fabric for the quilting frame.
  • Trim off all selvages and use a 1/2″ seam allowance when piecing the backing. Sew the pieces together along the longest edge. Press the seam allowance open to decrease bulk.
  • Use horizontal seams for smaller quilts (under 60″ wide) and vertical seams for larger quilts.
  • Don’t hesitate to cut a length of fabric in half along the fold line if it means saving fabric and makes the quilt easier to handle. Note: large quilts might require 3 lengths.
  • Choose a backing layout that best suits your quilt. Think about the direction of the pattern and pattern matching.

Example Quilt:

Once borders are added, the finished quilt top dimension is 58″ x 66″
Take quilt top width + 8″ = backing width
58″ + 8″ = 66″
Take quilt top length + 8″ = backing length
66″ + 8″ = 74″
Determine the number of Widths of Fabric (WOFs) you need for your backing by dividing your width measurement by 40″
66″ divided by 40″ = 1.65 
Round up to 2. You need 2 WOFs to make your backing.
Take your backing length measurement and multiply it by the number of WOFs you need.
74″ x 2 = 148″ This is how many inches of fabric you need.
Now, divide that number by 36″ to get how much yardage you need.
148 divided by 36″ = 4.1
Round up to the nearest ¼ yard and you get 4 ¼ yards.

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In the middle of summer, it’s nice to daydream about a refreshing snowfall. The kind that covers the landscape with a nice layer of the white fluffy stuff, like a decadent cake.

Though stranger things have happened, the chances of a July snowfall in the middle of Missouri are slim to none, so this week Jenny is adding a touch of snowy fun to our newest quilt, the refreshing Snowballed Disappearing Four Patch Quilt!

Click HERE to watch those little snowballs completely transform one of our favorite disappearing blocks!

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For many of us, quilt patterns are a jumping off point for our own designs. Adding a border can give your quilt added oomph, just like framing a picture can make it pop.

Follow this handy guide to be sure you’re getting the right amount of yardage for your borders!

Here are some items you’ll be needing:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Calculator
  • Your quilt top
  • A measuring tape or template

Step 1: Decide how wide you want your borders. 

Step 2: Measure the length of your quilt top.

Always measure your quilt top in 3 different places vertically before cutting side borders to make sure you have accurate measurements. Start measuring about 4″ in from the sides.

  • Take the average of those 3 measurements to figure your length.
  • Because there are two long sides, double your border measurement.
  • Remember your ¼” seam allowance and add 1″ to that number.

Step 3: Measure the width of your quilt top with side borders.

Always measure your quilt top in 3 different places horizontally before cutting top borders to make sure you have accurate measurements. Start measuring about 4″ in from the top and bottom.

  • Take the average of those 3 measurements to figure your width.
  • Because there is a top and a bottom to your quilt, double your border measurement.
  • Then, take that number and add on the width of your borders because you’ll sew the top and bottom borders on after your side borders.
  • Remember your ¼” seam allowance and add 1″ to that number.

Step 4: Add the measurements for the side, top, and bottom borders together.

Step 5: Take your total measurement, and divide it by 40″ to get the number of strips necessary for your borders.

Step 6: After you get the number of strips needed, you need to multiply the number of strips by the width of border. That’ll give you the number of inches of fabric to buy to cut for your borders. 

Step 7: Divide the number determined in step 6 by 36″ to calculate the yardage. Round this number up to the next 1/4 yard increment and you’ll have your total yardage number!

Tips and Tricks for Borders:

  • Cut 2 border strips to that size. Piece strips together if needed.
  • Attach one to either side of the quilt. Position the border fabric on top as you sew to prevent waviness and to keep the quilt straight.
  • Repeat this process for the top and bottom borders, measuring the width 3 times. Include the newly attached side borders in your measurements.

Example:

8″ finished quilt blocks on a 6 x 7 Grid
Center of quilt without borders is 48″ x 56″
Borders are 5″ wide (plus 1/2″ for seam allowance)
Finished quilt top dimension is 58″ x 66″
Seam Allowance = 1/4″ throughout

(Side Measurement + Seam Allowance) x 2 = 113″
(Top or Bottom Measurement + 2 Seam Allowances + 2 Border Widths ) x 2 = 117″
Add both numbers together and you get: 230″ total inches
Divide by 40″ to get the number of strips you need: 5.75
Round up to the next whole strip and you get: 6 strips
Number of strips x width of the strips = inches of fabric you need
6 strips x 5.5 width (this includes seam allowance) = 33″
33″ divided by 36″ (typical fabric width) = .91 
Round up to whole yard
You need 1 yard of fabric for this quilt’s borders

Watch Jenny and Darlene Zimmerman go over some pretty border techniques for more!
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Let’s say you’ve just stitched up a nice, basic hourglass block. The ¼” seams are flawless and it’s pressed to perfection. What do you do next? Slice that block to bits, of course! Because when those pieces are rearranged and stitched back together, you’ll have a gorgeous, super-intricate block that looks like a million bucks!

Click HERE to learn how to make the easy-as-pie Disappearing Pinwheel Crazy Eight quilt!

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Former Kansas City entrepreneurs, Stephanie and Tim Champagne opened Joe Jumps Eatery and Smokehouse in Gallatin, MO in the fall of 2018. Luckily for us, they decided to create a sister restaurant right here in Hamilton! The Hangout by Joe Jumps recently opened in May of this year. The building has been quite the busy place ever since which is no surprise when you take a look at their amazing menu options and relaxing atmosphere.

Here’s just a few of their signature, must-try meals…

Lunch

Must-try: Deep fried avocados (appetizer), Joe’s Massive Tenderloin Sandwich, and the Shrimp Po Boy

Dinner

Must-try: Shrimp & Grits, Chicken and Waffles, or the Reverse Pot Pie

The Hangout is such a fitting name for the restaurant. Cozy, warm lighting and rustic wooden benches will make you feel right at home during your meal with friends or family. In the summertime, eat out on the patio for a more refreshing experience or romantic date night. The Hangout is definitely one of our new favorite hang-outs!

Not only have people been raving about the food at the hangout, but the staff as well! These friendly faces are happy to cook you a great meal or serve you anything you may need during your visit here!


“You have to get the tenderloin sandwich. My husband and I did share the tenderloin and we both brought some home . My son had a big cheeseburger… daughter-in-law and granddaughter had the chicken tenders. Everything was excellent. Our server was really friendly and kept up with refills. We all walked out full and said we will be back. 5 stars all the way.”

Mindy Loyd, local resident

P.S. Hot summer days are a great reason to stop in for a cold lemonade! The Hangout is now serving peach, strawberry, and regular lemonade! Yum!

Go to their website to check for opening hours when you plan your next visit to Hamilton. Like their Facebook page to keep up with any yummy menu changes or closings!

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Quilt as you go” is a fun technique in which you piece and quilt all at once so by the time you are finished with your top, all you have to do is bind, and then you have a finished project!
It’s seriously as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Start with preprinted batting
  2. Sew on the lines
  3. Enjoy your finished project!
Make this tote:
1) Preprinted batting
2) 1/4 feature fabric
3) 1/4 accent fabric
4) 1/4 yard each of 6-10 fabrics or 10 – 2.5″ X 42″ strips
5) 1 /4 binding
6) 3/4 yard lining fabric

Use the Lemon Fresh collection or browse our
themed collections to make it your own!

Find your favorite prints and cut six – 1/2 yard pieces for this project! This six pack of pre-printed place mat batting gives a fresh look to your dining table! Don’t forget 1 yard of binding and 1 1/2 yards of backing!

Bring the best gift to the next baby shower you’re invited to – homemade baby bibs! This batting kit makes it so easy!
You’ll also need
1/4 yard EACH of 5 fabrics
1/2 backing
1/2 binding
But no worries, you’re sure to find the most adorable prints in our Kids & Baby section!

Serve your pets in style with these PURR-fect place mats! Whether you’ve got a rowdy pup or quiet kitten, we’ve got something to spoil them all!

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