Friday, August 13, 2021

A Trip to Missouri Star Quilt Company

Last week I went on a week-long road trip with Cousin Kim, Cousin Carrie, Carrie’s daughter Jenny - four of us - to a quilting retreat at Missouri Star Quilt Company in Hamilton, Missouri.  Although we’d all been there before (except Kim) for short visits, none of us had ever had much time there to really shop, get to know the town or attend a retreat. We had a blast!

Missouri River (thru car window)

We left Utah on Sunday, August 1 and drove an hour or so before we crossed the line from Northern Utah into Wyoming. That day was spent crossing the smoky plains of Wyoming. Everywhere from the Midwest to the West Coast has been smoky this summer because of the California fires. We made it into Nebraska, as planned, and spent Sunday night in Sidney, Nebraska.  Jenny and I split the driving that day. The next day, Kim and Jenny drove (taking us on a scenic wrong turn that added a half hour in Missouri, but we all loved it!).  This was the first times for Kim in the Midwest, and we hit three new states for her; Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. We got to Hamilton, Missouri that evening about 6-ish, got checked into our rooms and went out for “Mexican" (*cough*) food. Obviously, we weren’t in the West anymore, and that’s all I’ll say about that.

Our room was delightful, painted a restful blue with white painted trim and a transom window above the door. I didn’t get pictures, but Kim did and said she’d share. Here is the area of the retreat center where the four of us were stationed.

We met some lovely ladies there - Elaine and Carol who were there together. They’d been friends since nursing school back in the seventies (exactly my age - when dinosaurs still roamed the earth). Anyway, we opted to use the Missouri Star machines (free) instead of bringing our own. The food was catered and delicious. There were ample restrooms, which is important when you get a couple dozen women together. Everything was clean, modern and very homey. We so enjoyed it!

Here is a selfie we took the next day in front of one of the Hamilton building murals.

L-R: Kim, Jenny, Cathy, Carrie

The shops were clean and bright, and spaced out over about three small blocks. We got into a bit of a routine where we’d sew for an hour or two, then go shop and walk around. I got in over 6,000 steps every days, but my feet still swelled up terribly.

One day we went to the Missouri Quilt Museum. I wanted to go because my friend Libby had a quilt on display in the Suffragette exhibit. Luckily, the retreat included free admission to the Museum (normally $12), and a shuttle to and from the retreat center to the Museum. The driver (in his large golf-cart-type mobile) wore a black t-shirt that said “I pick up Quilt Ladies”. We thought that was hilarious. 

The museum was housed in an old high school. Above you can see the colorfully-signed entrance. The exhibits were presented in different rooms, and some of them spanned several rooms. The former auditorium (smallish, and with seats removed) housed the contemporary quilts. In the principal’s office was a 1974 celebrity signature quilt.  There were sewing machine displays and all sorts of quilts, from vintage to modern. I really enjoyed the doll quilt displays.

And then we came into a large open area where the Suffragette Challenge quilts were displayed. 

I had been looking forward to this display, since my friend Libby has a quilt on display here and I wanted to get pictures of it for her and me too!

Ah yes, there it is, in situ. See the quilt with the Tennessee-shape there on the bottom left? 

Let’s move in closer. You can click on the picture to enlarge it and see the yellow rosebuds. Libby’s work is always exquisite! 

And here is the placard that explains the design. 

There was also a small display showing several sewing machines (like Cadillac and Packard) that were given away as promotional items when you bought a car back in the day. 

I thought of my friend Cathy when I saw this display. Although I have a nice collection of chicken scratch embroidered gingham aprons, Cathy loves it too and still does chicken scratch embroidery!

There were several thirties-era lovely quilts to admire. 

And a crazy quilt! I love crazy quilts and own a lovely one that I shared on this blog back in 2008. 

Outside the museum was the largest spool of thread in the world.

Our shuttle driver gave us a quick little tour of Hamilton, which included a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home,

The boyhood home of James Cash Penney, 

and the home of a certain “famous quilter”, LOL.

During our stay, I snapped a few town shots. My little blue RAV4 was great to travel in, and I love this pic of the modern cars and the old but beautifully refurbished buildings.

This is the main Missouri Star store. If you check in there first, you get a badge that the various stores can scan. The purchases are added to your Quilters Cash account. Yeah, we earned a lot of Quilters Cash. And spent that, too! Hehehe

Our retreat was called “Sewing with Friends”, and other than a couple short tutorials for some MSCQ quilts, it was mostly just free sewing. As we were gathering our supplies up the night before leaving, the other ladies laughed at how much stuff we four women had. Someone said it was going to be like a clown car to get all of us and our Stuff in. Another wondered who would be riding on the roof. Ha! They obviously underestimated the cargo room in a RAV4 and my packing capabilities!

Here’s a “before” shot with most (not all) of our stuff in the hotel parking lot in Sidney, Nebraska on the way home.

And here it is, all packed neatly in, with the appropriate clear space to see out the rear view mirror.  It was like a Jenga puzzle, but it worked! 

In my next post, I’ll show you the fabric I bought plus the project(s) I worked on. But I can tell you that if you ever get a chance to attend a MSQC retreat or even just a visit to the town, don’t pass it up!


  1. OH Cathy, that just looks like so much fun! What a wonderful retreat!

  2. What a great gal tour!! Sounds like you had a fabric-a-liscious time...
    Hugs, Julierose

  3. Sounds like the four of you had a complete blast! Lovely to see a picture of you all too - so nice to put a face to the names we hear about.
    And aren't Rav4's wonderful?!!!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful experience. I wondered how you got 4 in the car with all your sewing gear. Smart to save room for your purchases and use their machines! Thanks for checking out the exhibit and sending the photo of my little quilt. It looks like the museum is worth a visit even when there is no special exhibit.

  5. I so enjoyed reading about your Retreat. I have never been on one so it all sounds very exciting to me. I admire your packing skills - good job you didn’t take your sewing machines!

  6. Missouri Star is on my "Bucket List", along with the Sister Outdoor Quilt Show. My daughter and I were planning on the Sister's trip las summer, but she had a baby instead! (giggle) maybe next year if the whole COVID and variant thing goes away. And if my darling grandson is old enough to endure the trip.
    So happy you are sharing your experience with us. It looks like it was a blast!

  7. This looks like a great trip! Going over now to check out the quilts. . .

  8. Wow - sounds like an amazing trip! I had no idea where Hamilton was located in Missouri, and was surprised to see it was so close to Kansas City. Dear Hubby is from KC, so maybe we'll need to take a road trip there!

  9. I'm so glad you had such a fun time! Your enthusiasm shines through in this post :)

  10. I'm glad you had a good trip and seems like an uneventful one if you don't count the slight detour from the wrong turn. I doubt I'll ever get there, but if I did, I would probably be so overwhelmed by all the shops that I'd either spend very little or spend way to much. Were there any quilt shop stops along the way?

  11. Looks like a great trip, Cathy. Thanks for sharing the sights around town (and Libby's quilt @ the museum, too!)

  12. Welcome home! Sounds like a great getaway.

  13. What a wonderful surprise, they have a museum too! I knew there was great shopping!

  14. Hi Cathy! Thank you for the wonderful post. I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip and shared such great photos. We had planned a trip for Spring 2020 that wasn't meant to be. Maybe next year! I'm off to read about all of your purchases. Stay healthy and safe. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne


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