Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A new hobby

So I disappeared from the blogosphere for a few days and I have an announcement to make:  I have taken up a new hobby.  Yes, it's true.  Me:  wife, mom, teacher, scrapbooker and stamper, crocheter, soap maker, et cetera, et cetera.  I didn't have enough to do so I decided to take up a new hobby.  :)

Actually, I place the blame directly on the Kansas City Star.  It was an article in last Sunday's paper that got me hooked on this new hobby that I have yet to name.  Read the article here and see if you can figure out what that pastime is.

Go ahead.  Read it.  Don't try to cheat by reading further along in this blog post.

I mean it.

Read the article.

OK, so you've read the article and you have discovered that my new pastime is quilting.  Yes, that's right.  Another hobby that takes up lots of space, makes me create enormous messes in my home, inspires me to spend money I should otherwise save.  If you have a hobby, you probably know what I'm talking about.

I am simply enthralled by Jenny Doan's story and the success she and her family have had with their company, Missouri Star Quilt Company. I am equally as impressed at the fact that their good fortune is having a positive effect on the small town of Hamilton, Missouri.

I went to college in Kirksville, Missouri and I would oftentimes pass right by Hamilton while traveling on Highway 36.  I remembered Hamilton was the birthplace of J.C. Penney and after reading the article, I discovered it was also the birthplace of Zack Wheat, whom I never heard of.  But the Star said something along the lines of people aren't visiting the place for Zack Wheat anymore but because of Jenny.

The article also describes how a busload of Australian women arrived in Hamilton one day just to meet Jenny and shop at her store.  The store has also had visitors from Israel, France, South Africa, and Canada, as well as many U.S. states.  Evidently, much of the success of their business is due to Jenny Doan's online tutorials and her bubbly personality.  I thought I needed to visit their YouTube channel for myself because how could one person attract people from all over the world to a tiny town in Northern Missouri?

Well, Jenny is fantastic and she makes quilting look so easy.  So of course, I was hooked.  Her Layer Cake Quilt looked so beautiful, I wanted to give it a try myself.   I also enjoyed the video on making three totes from one charm pack, and the Jelly Roll Race quilt, among others.  I haven't seen all the videos yet, but I am working on it!  Considering I am a teacher and I am still on summer vacation, of course I had to travel to Hamilton to visit the store myself.  Of course.

Today I picked up my grandmother-in-law Jolene, who is an experienced quilter, and we headed to Hamilton, which is about 90 miles from where I live.  Yes, I was willing to drive an hour and a half to go to a quilt shop and I hadn't even truly become a quilter yet!

We were blown away by the selection and the friendliness and helpfulness of the staff.  I couldn't find a couple of layer cakes I wanted and they obligingly went down the street to the warehouse to get them for me.  They were just lovely there.  We saw Jenny in the store when we first got there but she left soon thereafter before we had a chance to introduce ourselves.  So, Jenny, if you ever read this blog post, hello!  :)

Why did I jump on the quilting bandwagon two days after reading an article about the Missouri Star Quilt Company?  And why did I travel so far to shop at a quilt shop?  I think I wanted to help support such a great family company and I also wanted to see for myself that it is possible for someone to make a living with their hobby.  That is my ultimate dream, you see.  Please understand that I do love teaching but playing with beautiful papers, yarns, and fabrics as well as creating something with my own two hands is so invigorating and satisfying to my soul.  And yes, Gingers do have souls!

Here are some of the pretty layer cakes and charm packs I picked up today:

(This is listed as a layer cake but it's actually a charm pack.  I can't find the charm pack on the MSQC website.)

I must have misplaced the label for this last fabric, but it is the same fabric in the Layer Cakes Quilt video from up above.  It is Circa by Jennifer Paganelli.  Here is a link.

I think I made some great selections but you can't go wrong because there is so much fun stuff in the Missouri Star Quilt Company store!  Check it out in person or online!  You'll be glad you did!

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