A-maizing Missouri by St. Louis MQG
By Jessica Schunke
When our guild heard that the theme for this year’s QuiltCon Charity Quilt was Modern Traditionalism, we immediately set off in search of a traditional block with a connection to St. Louis or Missouri, but we found we were pretty quickly thwarted by the obvious choices, which turned out to be either a little too simple (St. Louis Sixteen Patch, we’re looking at you) or far too difficult for a good guild-wide quilt (that would be you, St. Louis Star).
Finally, one of our members happened upon the Missouri Cornfield block in an old anthology of quilt blocks, and it seemed like the perfect choice.
We tweaked the design to create a 9” block and instructed our members where the colors should be placed in the block, but we left the fabric choices to them, hoping to create a scrappy quilt. So many stashes contributed to this quilt!
Most of the blocks were pieced at our annual guild retreat. When we started the process, we didn’t have a clear idea of what exactly we wanted to do with the finished blocks. We were pretty sure we didn’t want them to just wind up in a bunch of rows (we needed more modern with our traditional), but it took a lot of playing around on the computer before design inspiration struck.
Rotating the blocks at 90 degree angles created a fun new pattern and helped to disguise the literal cornstalk design of the traditional block.
Adding large sections of scrappy negative space then took the design to the next level, creating an almost Egyptian-feeling motif.
Once the design was nailed down, a small group of members came together a few weekends later to piece the top and backing.
The quilting, meant to mimic crop circles in a nod to the original block’s name, was done by member Dottie Vaughn. The pink thread adds a pop of color to the negative space and a bit of fun to the entire quilt. The binding was added by member Gina Shelley to finish things off.
This quilt was truly a guild-wide effort, with basically half the guild playing some part in its creation. Even the quilt name, “A-maizing Missouri” (yeah, we’re a corny group, wink), was a group effort. Hopefully, we brought a little life into that Missouri cornfield.
To learn more about the St. Louis MQG, visit their Instagram @stlmqg.