Got a couple months now with no shows. I consider this type of stretch a hiatus, and I make a long list of things to work on. Things get done and crossed of the list (I’m a scribbler), then more stuff gets added on, it’s always a work in progress, and it ends up looking like this.

Good progress!!

One of the things on my list was to publish Spice Pinks. I wrote about this project back in April, when the May/June issue of Quiltmaker came out.

Spice Pinks is an old block that I first saw 25 years ago when I signed up for my Beginning Quilting class. It was included in the sampler we were going to make, and I was captivated. When I started the class, I was slightly disappointed to find out that another block had been substituted. But I never forgot Spice Pinks, and here’s my version of it!

A little appliqué reimagining eliminates curved piecing, and a non-traditional palette gives it a modern zing. Of course you can make it with any colors you like!

If you missed it in the magazine, the pattern is now available on my website, on the Patterns page.

More stuff to come from The List!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

July 31, 2015

Filed Under Patterns | Leave a Comment 

I’m doing a fun new thing this Friday! Here’s the news release:

____________________________

Please join us for Third Fridays • Capitola Mall Walking Art Tour on Friday, July 17th, 5:30 – 8:30pm!

Third Fridays • Capitola Mall is a free indoor walking art tour and sale, brought to you by the Regional Artistans Association. Tour the stores and venues at the mall as they host an evening with local artists and their work, celebrating the creative culture of Santa Cruz County.

During the event, see the Next Stage Players perform their “Home of the Free and the Brave” musical review and taste the wines of 27th Parallel Winery! Snacks will also be provided. Have your passport stamped at each artist location and become eligible to win prizes!

Stroll, admire, sip, munch, shop. This Friday, July 17, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
___________________________________________

If you know the mall, I’ll be set up in the old Radio Shack. I’m bringing decorative wall quilts for sale as well as some other small items. Hope to see you there! This should be fun!

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

July 13, 2015

Filed Under Quilt shows | 1 Comment 

An amazing, amazing appliqué icon is the latest to be inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame.

So lovely. Do you recognize whose work this is? Click on over to the Martingale blog Stitch This to read all about it!

In other news, I received a message from the Road to California show that class registration for 2016 opens tomorrow morning. If you’re planning on attending this fantastic show and convention, jump on it so you don’t miss out on registering for your favorite class or event.

More news on a local Santa Cruz event coming up!

Until then,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

July 10, 2015

Filed Under Designers, Quilt shows | 2 Comments 

At the recent Seven Sisters Quilt Show in San Luis Obispo, California, I was met with a delightful surprise!

The board members of the Central Coast Quilters have been busy!! Close to a year ago, they contacted me to ask permission to use the designs from Teapots to Appliqué for a fundraiser opportunity quilt for their guild. I told them I would be delighted.

As it happened, the quilt was hung directly next to my booth! All weekend long I was treated to the admiring comments of passersby and those who bought tickets for a chance to win. I almost got a swelled head, but really, it was the fabulous creative work and design of the board members who pulled off this wonderful quilt.

Teacups danced around the borders. And notice how teabag labels were scanned and used for the sashing posts! What a great idea!

Thank you, Central Coast Quilters, for choosing my designs for your opportunity quilt. I hope it raises lots of funds for your good works.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

July 4, 2015

Filed Under Show & Tell | 3 Comments 

There are some new appliqué books coming out that look fantastic.

Wool looks big over at C&T Publishing.




Plus a new Baltimore Album themed book!


Martingale continues the delightful Kim Diehl series.


I’ve added all of these to the Appliqué Bookshop.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

June 16, 2015

Filed Under Books | 1 Comment 

Have you ever finished an appliqué block and then had second thoughts about the background fabric you chose?

Maybe It doesn’t look the way you thought it would. Or the appliqués end up blending into the background a little more than you’d like. Maybe the project ended up taking a different direction. Whatever the reason, sometimes you wish that cute block you stitched was on a different background.

Maniac that I am, I have actually twice successfully swapped out the background on a completed block, without starting over!! I’ll show you how I did it, then you can decide if it’s crazy or total genius.

Note: This applies to hand-appliquéd blocks, not fused or machine-stitched.

Here’s the Apples block from my first Martingale book, Easy Appliqué Blocks.

See, there it is, right on the cover.


Now, that beige stripey background is okay, but when I was looking for a block to use for this tutorial, I got to thinking, wouldn’t that bowl of apples look nice zhuzhed up on some red polky-dots?

I’ll walk you through the process. You will need to do some basting, some trimming, some tweezering, and some re-stitching. BUT you will not have to restitch everything! Where one motif goes over the top of another one, that part does not have to be restitched. (Except for a little overlapping to secure threads.) Here’s my attempt at telestration in Photoshop to show you those areas.

What you’ll need:

• A new background fabric
• Needle and threads
• Sharp-tipped hand scissors
• Tweezers
• Seam ripper

Start by cutting a square of the new background fabric that is the same size as the existing one.

Take a deep breath.

On the back of the stitched block, cut away the background fabric inside each appliqué piece, close to the stitching. Keep the lower blade of the scissors on top of the turning allowance.

Starting to cut away the interior background.

Remove the interior background fabric.

Those little lines of background behind the stitching that is going to remain… just leave ‘em. Okay, if they really bother you, you can tweezer them out, but leaving them in place will keep the stitches tight, and will not affect the appearance of the refurbished block.

Interior all cut away, leaving lines in place that do not need to be restitched.

Layer the block on top of the new background.

Both right-side-up, of course.

Baste them together all around the perimeter of the appliqués, a scant ½” inside the stitching lines.

Basted together, inside the stitching.

A closer look.

A little at a time, use the seam ripper to remove the previous appliqué stitching. Once you get it started, this is easily done by lifting the edge of the appliqué. The old background fabric outside the perimeter will come loose and you can cut it away in hunks. Tweezers come in handy for removing little bits of thread and background.

Old stitches removed, a hunk of the old background gone, starting to restitch.

Restitch the appliqués to the new background, changing thread color as needed. You’ll find this to be easy stitching! The edge is already turned and creased, and behaves itself beautifully, acting like prepared-edge appliqué.

When you come to a place where one motif crosses on top of another one (as shown in the telestrated example above), sew over the area a little bit to secure the existing stitching, then continue on around the perimeter.

Halfway done!

Once everything is restitched, remove the basting.

Presto Change-o!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

June 8, 2015

Filed Under Fabrics, Hand appliqué, Needleturn, Photo tutorials, Turned edge | 6 Comments 

I’ve been working hard on my Etsy Shop!

I just added a new section, Appliqué Blocks. The section contains individual downloadable blocks from my out-of-print book Baskets to Appliqué.

Here’s the Apple Basket
for example.

All 16 basket blocks are available individually for instant download. You can pick your favorites to use in the project of your choice! Use the appliqué method of your choice.

Of course, if you’d rather have all 16 basket blocks in printed form, you can always get the Baskets to Appliqué Pattern Pack from the Appliqué Patterns section.

To celebrate all the work I’ve done in getting the Etsy Shop up and running, I’m holding a Grand Opening Celebration!

Coupon! Coupon!

Use the following coupon code during checkout to receive $5 off an order of $10 or more, before tax and shipping.

GRAND

Have fun shopping! You’ll find my books and patterns, tools and supplies, beautiful button magnets, and a few other fun things I’ve made.

The coupon expires Saturday, June 6, at midnight. Feel free to share with your friends!

Thank you so much!
Kay
Kay’s Etsy Shop

May 29, 2015

Filed Under Admin notes, Patterns | Leave a Comment 

At a recent quilt show, Maryann Maiorana stopped by and told me about a banner she had made using the Studio pattern from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Maryann enlarged the size of the project to hang in a big communal sewing space that is actually known as “the studio.” :)

Maryann chose to keep this one simpler by using just one fabric for the letters in this bright and cheerful version. I told her, “I always say, you can make any little sewing room or nook into a studio, if you only hang up a sign. Your studio was always a studio, and now it is officially proclaimed!”

At another show, I met fellow appliqué enthusiast Louisa Postier, who showed me the sweetest little wall quilt that she made using one of my blocks.

Heartberries by Louisa Postier

Heartberries by Louisa Postier

Louisa added heart-shaped buttons to the stems! Adorable! They look like hearts that are just about to bloom. And the border fabric is perfect.

Heartberries is one of the designs in my book Growing Hearts to Appliqué.

Thank you, Maryann and Louisa, for taking the trouble to stop by and show me your projects. I love seeing what other quilters do with my designs.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

P.S. Another personal Show & Tell: my little teddy bear dog.

May 21, 2015

Filed Under Show & Tell | 3 Comments 

The blog tourist who came up the winner of a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 11 is… Julie in WA! Congratulations to Julie, who reports that she enjoys every minute of the blog hop and is always sad when it ends. Julie will receive a copy of Volume 11 from Quiltmaker.

Thank you so much to everyone who stopped by, and for your lovely, wonderful words.

The magazine gave instructions for the block using fusible appliqué, applying the black scroll on top of the heart. QuiltMouse, who tested my block for the magazine, used fusible as well but cut the scroll out of the heart and laid it on top of the black, thus devising a form of raw-edge reverse appliqué. Genius!

Some readers referred to Celtic appliqué.

I like it, it has a celtic feel to it.

I’ve always wanted to try celtic applique. This would be a good way to get a feel for it.

I love it! I would do bias tape fusible, Celtic-style.

Celtic-style would be another way to go about it! I haven’t done a lot of Celtic appliqué, but I understand how it’s done. Bias strips with turned edges are interwoven and stitched down to create beautiful knots and border designs. This is regular appliqué. Here’s a current book on the subject.

When we submit our blocks to 100 Blocks, we don’t send any instructions. The editors of the magazine write the instructions. Though the magazine gives directions for fusible appliqué, I stitched mine by hand. I mentioned this in my blog hop post… the outer edges are regular appliqué, and the scroll is reverse appliqué. When reviewing the comments, I noticed a trend.

I love hearts I really like applique but your block looks very difficult

The only time I tried reverse appliqué it was a disaster; it’s definitely time I tried again with good instructions!

that sure is a lot of work, you must love applique.

Stunning – it looks like a load of work but I bet it’s not that bad!

I can’t imagine how you did that reverse applique on those tiny pieces.

I would have loved to look over your shoulder as you created this and learned how you did the turned edge/reverse appliqué.

I have never tried reverse applique before, but it needs to happen soon.

I have been wanting to try reverse applique.

Darling block, got to try reverse applique – I love needle turn applique – so this hopefully won’t be a big stretch to learn!

I’d love to learn reverse appliqué one day.

Maybe this is my chance to take a stab at trying reverse applique.

I have never tried reverse applique before…this looks like the perfect block to try it on!

I think I might try the reverse applique method. It might even be easier than hand applique.

Reverse applique on a curve – wow. I need to try that!

Reverse applique is something for me to learn as it looks amazing in your scrolls on that lovely heart.

I’ve tried a bit of hand applique and really enjoy it, but I’ve not tried reverse applique yet.

Gorgeous heart block! I haven’t tried reverse appliqué, but it is on my list of techniques to try.

This could be a good way to ease into reverse applique–only a few corners.

I have never tried reverse applique, I may have to come back if I decide to attempt with this block.

I have never done reverse applique but think your block would be a good one to try it on.

I find reverse applique to be very interesting but I have never tried it.

I haven’t tried reverse applique in years, but your block tempts me.

Lovely block, I’ve never tried reverse appliqué.

Will you be offering a tutorial?

What’s all this mystery surrounding reverse appliqué? To those who say they have never done it… guess what! It’s the same as regular appliqué!

That’s right, let me say it again. Reverse appliqué is no different than regular appliqué. You’re just revealing the background instead of covering it up.

Under the terms of my agreement with Quiltmaker, I cannot give instructions for the block at this time. However, when the rights revert to me (three months after publication, in mid-August), I will be more than happy to put up a photo tutorial of how I made this block. I’ll take Julie’s suggestion: “I would love to see it tone on tone, with the scroll being a bit darker shade than the heart.” You got it!

In the meantime, check out my earlier post about reverse appliqué for a gentle demystification. :)

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

May 15, 2015

Filed Under Blog hops, Photo tutorials, Reverse appliqué | 2 Comments 

Greetings gentle quilters!! It’s Wrap-up Day for the 100 Blocks Volume 11 blog tour! I hope you’ve been having a rollicking week visiting all of the designers. I’m so proud to have one of the 100 once again. This marks the 10th time for me, how very cool!!!


I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my books and patterns on it, plus select notions for the appliqué enthusiast.

If this is your first time visiting my blog All About Appliqué, I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about all kinds of appliqué here on the blog, so take your time clicking around the categories, and use the keyword search as well.

Like many quilters, I love hearts, and hearts find their way into many of my designs. I also happen to love spirals, so for my latest block I combined the two.

Scroll Heart by Kay Mackenzie

The magazine gives instructions and templates for making the block using fusible appliqué. But I actually stitched this block by hand, using a combination of regular and reverse appliqué. It gives the scroll an inlaid look.

I used regular hand appliqué around the edge of the heart. For the scroll, I used reverse appliqué to open and stitch the red fabric, exposing an inserted piece of black underneath.

However which-a-way you like to appliqué, I hope you enjoy the block and all the other 99 fabulous and varied designs in Volume 11!

The editors of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks are sponsoring a giveaway of a copy of the magazine! If you’d like to enter to win, please leave a comment here on this post before 12:00 noon California time on Wednesday, May 13.

Good luck in the drawing, and remember that if you are subscribed to the blog by email, clicking “Reply” will not enter you in the drawing. Come to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post. :)

Many thanks for your visit!
Cheerio,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

May 8, 2015

Filed Under Blog hops, Magazines | 163 Comments 

The Mackenzies have a new family member! We couldn’t be happier to welcome our new puppy, Daisy.

Those of you who have been reading this blog for awhile will remember Wilie, our darling dog who lived to almost 17. It’s been over 3 years since he left us, and for those 3 years we’ve been thinking about getting another dog, talking about it, not doing much about it, and then, all of a sudden we were ready!

Daisy and her sister came into our shelter as strays, about 3 months old. Her sister looks more like a chihuahua, and Daisy looks more like a terrier. As far as we can tell she’s some sort of Yorkie-or-other-terrier/chihuahua mix. Whatever she is, she’s 100% cute!


Daisy and Max, our great big cat, are working it out in mostly civilized fashion :) . It’s great to have a dog in the house again, especially a champion snuggler sweetie pie.

Thanks for letting me show off my new pup,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

P.S. Don’t forget the 100 Blocks Volume 11 Blog tour, starting Monday! My day is Friday, but you’ll want to start the tour on Monday at Quilty Pleasures.

May 2, 2015

Filed Under Blog hops | 11 Comments 

It’s almost time for Volume 11 of 100 Blocks to come out!

The editors of Quiltmaker, who put together this very special magazine issue every six months, are once again organizing a blog hop amongst the designers. Mark your calendars for the week of May 4!

There will be lots of prize-winning opportunities all week long. Start each day at the Quiltmaker blog Quilty Pleasures and they’ll send you on your way to visit the blogs of many of the designers who have blocks in the issue.

My day is Friday, May 8. See you then if not before!

Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

April 27, 2015

Filed Under Blog hops, Magazines | 1 Comment 

Over on the Martingale blog Stitch This!, they’ve put up a fantastic article explaining the various digital formats that books can come in these days.




Each format has its own set of benefits! Something for whatever electronic gidget or gadget you have in your toy box, what the differences are, and how you can do nifty things with each.

Have a nice edifying read (I did). Thanks Martingale!

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

April 22, 2015

Filed Under Books | Leave a Comment 

Now before you start singing a J. Geils Band song, it’s not that kind of centerfold, and seriously, I’m no angel :) .

But, my project Spice Pinks does appear right smack dab in the center of the current issue of Quiltmaker, bookending the pullout section!

May/June 2015!

Spice Pinks is an old block that was traditionally accomplished using curved piecing. I applied a little appliqué reimagining, and curved piecing no more!

And here I am, the closest I’ll ever get to being a centerfold angel.

Thank you Quiltmaker!!

Until next time,
Kay

By Kay Mackenzie

April 13, 2015

Filed Under Magazines | 2 Comments 

I’ve been working on stuff. Well, I’m always working on stuff, and sometimes I have something to show for it. :)


A new pattern! I pulled hunks and scraps out of my stash, anything I liked, and put them all together for this important quilter’s statement piece. Your hunks and scraps will be completely different than mine, but your quilt will make the same proud pronouncement.

Also, I made a stand-alone set of instructions for back-basting.


This illustrated guide includes the 9″ Heart and Flower practice block, illustrated back-basting instructions, hand stitching tips, and my guide to points and notches.

Note: If you have Teapots 2 to Appliqué or Inspired by Tradition, you have these instructions built-in.

This weekend I’ll be at the show put on the the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County in Concord (say that 10 times fast). Hope to see you there if you’re in the area!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

April 6, 2015

Filed Under Back-basting (no-template), Patterns | 2 Comments 

No, I did not get another kitten LOL (though kitten season is beginning and I should have new fosters soon).

No, the fabulous Darcy Ashton got a new kitten, and made the most amazing pattern!

Pumpkin Jr., side-by-side with his fabric rendition.

Darcy is famous for her blanket-stitched appliqués, and this is an example of her more realistic work. I’m blown away.

“My Little Orange Kitten” is available as an instant download at Darcy’s Etsy Shop.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

March 22, 2015

Filed Under Patterns | 2 Comments 

The wonderful Kim Jamieson-Hirst has launched her Essential Guide to Fusible Web Appliqué at Curious.com!

This is the most comprehensive on-line course imaginable, including over 20 lessons that will show you everything you ever wanted to know about fusible web appliqué.

You won’t believe how complete it is, with exercises and assignments and personalized teacher feedback. I’ve know Kim over the interweb for years now and I can tell you there isn’t a more pleasant person that you’ll meet. My favorite feature is that there are 172 minutes of learning-packed video “that isn’t sleep-inducing.” I love that LOL!

Go on over to Curious.com and check out all the many features of the course.

Some Admin Notes:

There’s a new internet special on my website. The BOGO book is now Dolls & Dresses to Appliqué. It comes free with any other book purchase at kaymackenzie.com, including the ones that are on overstock sale!


I don’t believe I’ve mentioned here that for the past year or so I’ve been having the most fun with buttons. Oh my gosh, I’m in deep. Introducing Kay’s one-of-a-kind Button Magnet Sets, available at my Etsy shop. They make fantastic gifts, for a friend or for yourself.


Lastly, I’ll be at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association’s biannual show this weekend, at the Convention Center. Hope to see you there if you’re in NorCal!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

March 9, 2015

Filed Under Admin notes, Classes, Fusible web, Machine appliqué | Leave a Comment 

Inside points, notches, whatever you call ‘em, hand appliquér extraordinaire Susan Taylor Propst has posted an illustrated tutorial to stitching these potentially pesky areas, over on the Martingale blog.

And, my pal Cathy put up a post on machine quilting that is hilarious and inspired, with a touch of genius, and at once bittersweet if you are a Trekker or even an MI fan.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

March 2, 2015

Filed Under Hand appliqué, Notches | 2 Comments 

The ‘lucky” reader who won the Ugly Christmas Sweater block is… Beverly! Beverly claims that she is planning a Christmas quilt that will welcome and enfold this block. Nice. I love a happy ending.

Speaking of winning, a teapot quilt that I put in my guild’s show over the weekend received a Judge’s Choice ribbon!

A Spot of Tea by Kay Mackenzie

The theme of this year’s show was “The Way We Were.”


Our show is not juried or judged, but we do have visiting dignitaries come and put ribbons on their favorites. I never found out who the judge was… whoever you are, thank you so much!

The quilt features nine of the teapots in my Teapots 2 to Appliqué, on the book page at kaymackenzie.com.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

February 24, 2015

Filed Under Prizes | 1 Comment 

Just got word that I’ll have a block in the next issue of 100 Blocks! Keeping my streak alive!

However, they sent back another block and said no thank you.

Ugly Christmas Sweater by Kay Mackenzie

Can’t imagine why!!! :)

I sewed as much stuff to it as I could.

Would you like to inherit this hand-appliquéd and embellished 12″ block? if so, please leave a comment before 7:00 p.m. California time on Wednesday, February 18.

U.S. shipping addresses only, and clicking “Reply” to your email feed won’t enter the drawing. Come to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Thank you to anyone willing to adopt this poor orphan.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

February 14, 2015

Filed Under Embellishment, Holiday | 18 Comments 

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