Thursday, June 23, 2016

Changing Gears

I'm taking a bit of a break from baby string quilts. Our guild's 2017 show will be upon us before you know it and the quilt show chairman has set a challenge to make a hexie quilt. This is rosette #1 from Katja Marek's New Hexagong Quilt-Along. Only two of the "rows" have been made and already the piece is reaching the size limitation of 25" x 25". The center two "rows", minus the three trial pieces sticking out, measure 16" at the widest point. I think I will stop here and add triangles to fill in between the six points to bring it into a hexie shape.Those three other pieces are not adding anything to the overall design anyway. I will reuse the papers and start over with other fabrics for Katja's project. By the way, I saw the pack of paper pieces for rosette #1 on the MSQC web site for half the price. Click here.

You can order the paper pieces for the entire project from Paper Pieces. The first rosette is the largest and therefore is the most expensive at $21.00. When English paper piecing I normally print and cut out my own papers but I decided to splurge this time. The packet of papers was totally accurate and if there were two of the same shapes (such as the diamonds) but of a slightly different size, two different colors of paper were used to make them very easy to differentiate.

This is the mural on the side of the retreat center at Missouri Star Quilt Co. (MSQC) in Hamilton, MO. I was lucky enough to get into Carmon and April Henry's Featherweight maintenance class at MSQC this week. You can read more about them and their workshops here. I highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to learn how to service their own Featherweight machines. The Henrys were accompanied and assisted by their two teen aged children, Christian and Ruthie. Christian is a memory bank of Featherweight history and as good a technician as his father. Ruthie demonstrated how she restores Featherweight cases to pristine condition. It's very refreshing to see such two well-adjusted youngsters that seem genuinely happy to be spending the summer traveling around the United States working with their parents.

The first evening we were treated to a trunk show by Jenny Doan. The woman is a veritable powerhouse of energy and a very good speaker. I am not a big user of precuts, which she loves and which is the focus of her company. There are bolts of fabric, to be sure, but there are TONS of precuts. After her presentation I have been won over a tiny bit to her way of thinking. Since there are boxes of charm square packets on my shelves (can't resist at Connecting Threads when they are $2.00 or less!), I will be combing through back issues of Block magazine to find patterns for the baby quilts I have been making.

Unfortunately, while I have a few photos, I don't have much to report about MSQC because the shops close at 5:00 p.m. during the week. On Monday I got checked into the workshop after 3:00 p.m. By the time setup was finished, there was less than an hour to shop. The mercury was close to 100, so frankly there was not a lot of incentive to go outside and walk around in the heat. The second day class let out at 5:00 p.m., so again there was no time to shop. I left to drive home immediately after class. What I did see of the main shop and the reproductions shop was very nice and inviting. The staff are super friendly and helpful. MSQC has certainly revitalized this tiny Midwestern town. They employ 300 with many coming from the surrounding farm communities. Amish country is close by, and Kansas City just an hour away, so you could easily make a trip to Hamilton something for the entire family to enjoy.

This is the newly remodeled and just this week re-opened main store. As you can see from the photo it is very large, open, and airy. There are big screen TVs in the store which air Jenny Doan's tutorials; there are nice, big cushy arm chairs for resting and watching the videos.

This is a new spool doily I scored at the class. I love the watermelon theme and the little black seeds are tiny black seed beads crocheted into the doily. The Henrys have a woman who crochets these doilies for them in all sorts of patterns and colors. There was a red, white, and blue star for the Fourth and many other designs. They had an entire case of these things, so the little crochet lady must just be hooking her little heart out.


  1. Your hexie challenge quilt is looking awesome, Mary Ellen! The nice thing about a 25" limit is that you can go to town with the details. I have been stressing for months already about our show in Spring 2017! What to do, what to do?

    The new MSQC store is HUGE! Quilt stores usually feel so crowded, so that must be a nice change. I'm glad your class was so helpful, too. I think we're in for a hot summer. Our grass is nearly dead already, and usually it is not this dry until the end of July.

  2. the hexis looks complicated I do have the book but way beyond me all that cutting out. How good to go to the MSQC so love watching the videos on line. Maybe it was just as well there was not much time for spending! It must be good to be able to service your featherweight I have to take mine to a shop

  3. What a fun post to read. I've not been to MSQC but it seems that this summer a LOT of quilters are visiting.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful learning experience? Perhaps I can persuade you to share some of your new found knowledge now? I want to get to Hamilton to see the new storefront.