October 19, 2014

Block 10 Free Download!

Here is the 10th block in Kansas City Star Quilts’ 2014 block-of-the-month project, a tribute to those who served in World War I. This block is called Dove in the Window.


Where Poppies Grow … Remembering Almo commemorates the Great War, which started a century ago, in July 1914. Denniele O’Kell Bohannon of Louanna Mary Quilt Design in Harrisonville, Missouri, and Janice Britz of Bee Merry Farms in Peculiar, Missouri, designed this year’s quilt as a remembrance of Almo Ebenezer O’Kell, Bohannon’s great-grandfather.

Angela Walters of Quilting Is My Therapy in Kearney, Missouri, did the free-motion quilting.

The finished quilt is 72 inches by 83 inches.

The pattern for this block appeared in the October 19 Kansas City Star. The Star will publish a new block on the third Sunday of every month. Go to the Living tab, then House & Home. To read the story about the quilt and this month’s block in the online version of The Star, click here.

Every month, we will offer the current block on this site as a free download for one week. The blocks then will be available for $3.95 at the Kansas City Star Quilts Store.Where Poppies Grow High res

To buy Where Poppies Grow: Quilts and Projects Honoring Those Who Served in World War I, click here. The book has all 12 blocks that make up the quilt. Two color variations and setting options are given for the main quilt. Three more striking quilts, two variations of a table runner and a poppy pin and pincushion round out the projects.

To download Block 10, click here.

(Be sure to download the file to your hard drive before attempting to print it out. Because of the file’s large size, you might not be able to simply open the PDF on your screen and print from there. Instead, please open it on your screen, then click the download button to load it on your hard drive. Once the PDF is on your hard drive, open your Adobe reader, find the file, click on it to open, then print it from there.)

One free download per person.  This pattern is available for personal use only — not commercial use — by the person downloading the pattern.  It is a violation of the authors’ and The Kansas City Star’s copyright to copy this pattern and give it to others, or to re-purpose it in any way.

October 17, 2014

It’s That Time Again

By Edie McGinnis

Edie McGinnis

Edie McGinnis

October has rolled around, and we are getting ready to head off to Houston for International Quilt Market.

It’s a busy time for everyone who vends at the wholesale market. Here at Kansas City Star Quilts, we have been planning and making arrangements for months. Long before the truck is loaded and pulls out of the parking lot, we have made many decisions. We have decided how big our booth will be, how many books to take and who is doing what. We also have a pretty good idea of how our booth will end up looking.

Jack Beasley, inventory and order manager, has been working hard to gather up all the forms and new fixtures we are using this year. Our standard black curtains that “look good with any quilt” have been replaced with some silvery gray drapes. We think this will make our booth look lighter and more cheery.boxes forms


We have some new quilt ladder fixtures that Gary Younger painted for us. Gary works in the carpenter shop at The Kansas City Star and was kind enough to help us out.Gary

Jo Ann Groves, design lead and photo editor, and I spent some time making sure the quilts were counted and in boxes. All the quilts and projects are packed carefully so nothing gets lost or dirty.boxes of quilts

On Monday, Doug Weaver, our publisher, will pack up our truck and head for Houston. Author and editor Donna di Natale, marketing coordinator Deborah Bauer and I will head off to the airport early Thursday morning and arrive in Houston by 10:30 a.m. From there, we will head for the convention center and get to work setting up the booth.loaded

Market is always a lot of hard work, but it’s fun, too. It’s a chance to meet up with old friends we’ve made through the years, as well as an opportunity to make new ones. We watch a large, empty room with concrete floors become a beautiful, quilty place with enough eye candy to make any quilter drool with delight.

Everything a quilter could possibly want will be on display. New tools, scissors, colors of thread, patterns and fabric will tempt everyone passing by.

As for me, I’ve decided I will be immune to temptation this year.

Except for scissors. I will probably feel obligated to buy a pair of scissors.

Edie McGinnis is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Friday.

October 16, 2014

Bobbins’ Bargains Heads to the Fair!

This week, Mrs. Bobbins is celebrating the best that state fairs have to offer.

bobbins bargains logo - 200 wideShe is always one to find a good deal out there in the quilt world. Now she brings her amazing talents to you … with her weekly Bobbins’ Bargains!

Every Thursday, Mrs. Bobbins will select one of our books and offer it to you at a very special price … 75% off the current listed price!

Better yet, your shipping is FREE in the continental U.S.

Better, better yet, “Five Gets You a Freebie!” If you order a Bobbins’ Bargain just five times (from five different sales), you get a free copy of any of our books! Take your pick. We’ll contact you by email once you’ve qualified for a free book and take your order.  Plus your shipping on that one is free as well. Easy as pie!

This week’s Bobbins’ Bargain is Come to the Fair! Quilts that Celebrate State Fair Traditions, by Edie McGinnis.ComeToTheFair_Med

Come to the Fair! presents nine colorful quilts that celebrate the quirky, fun and interesting elements of some Midwestern state fairs. Hen and Her Chicks, Farmer’s Fields and Merry-Go-Round are just a sampling of the quilts offered in the book. You’ll learn some fun facts about the fairs and what judges look for as they examine quilts in search of a blue-ribbon winner.

Soft cover, 9 x 11 inches, 104 pages.

Click here to see a YouTube video of the book.

The book is on sale for $22.95. Your price using our Bobbins’ Bargains promotion code is just $5.74, plus your shipping on this book is free in the continental U.S.!

(SHIPPING NOTE! Please allow 14 business days for delivery after Wednesday, Oct. 22, the last day of this week’s sale.)

Be sure to use this promotion code before checkout:


Please make sure to click the “Apply Promotion Code Now” button after entering the code. The discount won’t apply unless you do so. Please verify that you’ve received the discount before checking out.

Click here to order.  And remember  …  your shipping of this book is free in the continental U.S.!

October 15, 2014

Classic Caddies

By Donna di Natale

Donna di Natale

Donna di Natale

This is another “remember when” blog that probably is going to show my age, but do you remember when every home had at least one of these sewing caddies?

Most, if not all, were handmade. My dad probably made the one that my mom had, although my brother might have made it as a woodworking project at school. Back then, my dad subscribed to Popular Mechanics magazine and either he or my brother was always making some kind of project out of the latest issue.

Every once in a while I come across one of these caddies in an antique store. The design varies, but it usually involves a bird of some sort. There is a slot in the head for the scissors. The pointed end of the scissors becomes the bird’s beak. I’ve also seen roosters, where the handle of the scissors was the rooster’s comb on the back of his head. bird sewing buddy

The first caddy pictured here is a really nice and well-made caddy. The bird appears to be mahogany, while the wings are pine or some soft wood and the base is oak. It was probably made by someone who made furniture and had high-quality scraps left over. The eyes are made of a type of plug woodworkers use to cover screws. On the bottom, it says, “Darrell Hadley, Oklahoma City, OK.” I assume that is the name of the person who made it.

stork sewing buddy

This sewing caddy is more common than the first. I have several identical or nearly identical to it. The wood appears to be pine, and the wings might be fir. The wings have been used as a pincushion, thus the need for a very soft wood. The spool holder rotates on a central screw. Every one that I’ve seen like this had the same black painted tip on the wings and used the same pattern. Certainly this was something offered in a craft book as a pattern or as a mail-order item.

Another sewing caddy that is even more common is the rocking chair.

rocking chair sewing buddy

These are all pretty much alike. The chair is cut from plywood. There is a small shelf or two at the top for a thimble. A shelf extends on both sides, with dowels for spools of thread. There is a small box-like piece attached on the back for scissors. The seat and back are covered with fabric and stuffed so they can be used as a pincushion. In some cases, there is a small drawer that pulls out under the chair.

s wheel sewing buddy
This last caddy isn’t homemade and doesn’t have a slot for scissors, but it does represent something that, again, many households had back in the mid-20th century. As Americans became more mobile and started taking family vacations, souvenirs of all sorts began showing up. Items such as this spool holder were popular with women because of their practicality. This particular one, in the style of a ship’s wheel, is from Bagnell Dam in central Missouri. The dam was completed in 1931 and created the Lake of the Ozarks. This spool holder probably dates to the 1950s, but that is just a guess.

If you collect caddies such as these or remember having one in your home, I’d love to hear from you. Do patterns for these still exist? What would one look like if you designed it today?

Donna di Natale is an author and editor for Kansas City Star Quilts. She writes every Wednesday.

October 13, 2014

Mrs. Bobbins



For more quilty laughter from Mrs. Bobbins, get The Big Book of Bobbins by clicking here! Just $16.95!