Normally my stash looks about like this.

It’s an inelegant stash, but it’s my inelegant stash.

The other morning I wandered into the studio with my mug o’ coffee, only to witness this scene.

Not even the large mug of coffee could counteract the early morning shock at the pillage and devastation.

J’accuse!

Yes, it was these girls. Oh sure, they look all sweet and innocent now.

Mimi and Maddie are older than our usual fosters, at an age we call “kitteens.” They were staying at our house to get over kitty colds that they just couldn’t kick at the shelter. They improved a whole lot in just a week and a half, and have gone back to the shelter for adoption. They’re total love-machine sweethearts.

Now to pick up the stash. More coffee.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 28, 2014

Filed Under Kittens Off Topic | Leave a Comment 

Materials organized. Make sure your design fits well within the frame. Heads up, when it says 4×6, that means the opening in the back. What shows in the front will be slightly smaller.

Fused and ready to stitch. Cut the background an inch or so larger than the finished size so you can trim later.

Stitched! I use a machine blanket stitch but you could finish by hand or with another machine stitch.

Quilted and trimmed to the finished size. I used a low-loft cotton batting, and I didn’t worry about whether any quilting would be cut off, in fact I kind of planned that it would be, just for the freedom of it all. After trimming, I stay-stitched all the way around, close to the edge.

I glued my business card to the back. That’s right people, I glued it. You can make a fabric label for yours. :)

All done! And might I add that it was done by 3:45 in the afternoon of a day that included taking kittens for boosters, running three other errands, playing with kittens, and having a leisurely lunch with my husband on the patio. Not bad!

These make great gifts. If you start now, you can have one finished for everybody on your holiday list. The design can be something very simple, and your kith and kin will appreciate that it’s something you made.

Until next time, on to the next frame,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 24, 2014

Filed Under Framed mini-quilts | 4 Comments 

Many thanks to all of you who gave my slightly distressed books a good home! The sale is ongoing until these copies are gone, so tell all your friends! The special ordering button is on the post entitled “Scratch & Dent Sale,” or, here’s a handy link:

Scratch & Dent Sale

I’m embarking on a new kind of project! That’s always pretty exciting. In the past, I’ve made some mini-quilts, put them in frames, and given them to dear friends as a gift. Here’s the one I made for Suzanne years ago.

I got the urge to play around with this idea some more, so I went to the thrift shop and found quite a few cute frames. I went to the cashier with my stack, and AGAIN I scored a half-price sale, with eight minutes to spare! I did not know, just got lucky.

Here’s my first project, all organized, with frame selected, fabrics pulled, pattern correctly sized, and reversed pattern printed and ready to trace some SoftFuse templates.

I’ll be working on this today, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 22, 2014

Filed Under Books, Framed mini-quilts | Leave a Comment 

Now and then, some books fall off the back of the truck or there’s a minor flaw right out of the box from the printer. There might be a crunched corner, a few scuffs, or a spot of printer’s ink on the cover. Otherwise these copies are intact and completely useful.

It’s time for these darlings to go to good homes. I’m offering Scratch & Dent copies of select titles for the bargain price of $7 dollars each, shipping included! That represents a savings of up to 65%. Such a deal.

For more information about these titles, please visit my website
By Kay Mackenzie. But don’t use the buttons on the website unless you want regular copies… come back here to the blog to order your special
Scratch & Dent copies.

PayPal Logo

Title


Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 17, 2014

Filed Under Books | 2 Comments 

This weekend I’ll be at the Piecemaker Quilt Guild’s biennial show held at the Newark campus of Ohlone College here in northern California. The guest artist is design genius and my pal Tracey Brookshier :) .

At a recent show, my booth was situated in front of a back hallway. The guild had a security person posted there, because it was not an entrance to the show. But it was the path to the hospitality room. Guild members congregated in that spot all weekend long, and I was treated to much information about their various medical histories.

At great length and detail, I heard about:

• High blood pressure.
• Allergies to medications.
• Rashes. Lots of rashes.
• Foot surgery.
• Cysts.
• Arthritis.
• Diabetes.
• Sciatica.
• Pain. A whole lot o’ pain.
• Asthma.
• Open heart surgery.
• And my favorite, the ruptured bra from the crutches.



Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 10, 2014

Filed Under Quilt shows | 7 Comments 

Random.org has determined that the reader who won Piece O’ Cake’s Backyard Birds is No. 39, Pat! Congratulations to Pat, who says that hand appliqué is her first love, so this will be right up her alley.

The show at the end of June in San Luis Obispo had some beautiful appliqué quilts.

Fragrant Memories by Margaret Taylor

I love how fearless Margaret was in creating this masterpiece not from a pattern.

Earth and Twig by Sally Inouye

I’m a big fan of the designs of Sue Spargo.

Empress Feathers by Janie Walker

We were just talking about how delightful everything is from Piece O’ Cake. :) Beautiful colors on this one.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 6, 2014

Filed Under Prizes, Quilt shows | 7 Comments 

I love everything from the Piece O’ Cake gals Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. This month, with many thanks to C&T Publishing, we have their cheery collection of 12 bird blocks presented in an expanded pattern format, Backyard Birds.

You can mix and match these blocks, sew four of them into a 39″ x 39″ project, or put them all together for a 52″ x 65″ quilt with appliqué borders. The packet includes full-size patterns and a 16-page booklet with complete instructions.


I myself employ a patched background on occasion, but these designers are fearless masters at it. Add their delightful sense of color, you’ve got winners every time IMO.

If you’d like to win this expanded pattern, please enter the drawing by leaving a comment here on this blog post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Saturday, July 5. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only, and replies to an email subscription won’t enter.

Good luck everyone!

Chirp!
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

July 1, 2014

Filed Under Patterns, Prizes | 45 Comments 

Last year when the tents folded on International Quilt Festival-Long Beach, I wasn’t sure whether I would drive to Portland for the new, rebranded Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show. I decided to give it a whirl! Now I’m excited about this brand-new show from the folks at Quilts, Inc.

They sent me a very cool button!

The show is at the Oregon Convention Center, a location I’ve visited twice before to attend Quilt Market, so it’s nice to have a mental map in advance of the event. It’s a great venue and I hope you’ve thought about getting together with some quilting and/or stitching buddies to come enjoy the show.

In the category of other news:

I’ve got a couple new wall quilt patterns.


Hearts on a heart-shaped vine!


Over 20 years ago, when I signed up for my Beginning Quilting class, I got a look at the four-block sampler we were going to make. One of the blocks was Spice Pinks. But when the class began I found out that another block had been substituted, so I didn’t get to make it. I’ve never forgotten that beautiful block from all those years ago, and here it is re-engineered through the miracle of appliqué to avoid curved piecing.

Another project I just finished is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… figure out a way to show the projects from the patterns more closely on the website. I do my own coding, and wasn’t quite sure how to do it, but I tried it the simplest way, and yippy skippy, it worked! You can now click on the pattern cover and a larger version of the quilt will come up in a separate window.

Patterns at kaymackenzie.com

Lastly, I added my notecards to the website. They’re on the Notions page. They come four to a pack, with envelopes, and you can get all one style or an assortment. These notecards are great for dashing off a note to a quilty friend, or as a gift.

Thanks for listening to what I’ve been up to lately. I’m off to San Luis Obispo on Friday to set up for the annual Seven Sisters show. Hope to see you there this weekend!

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

June 23, 2014

Filed Under Patterns | 1 Comment 

I don’t know about you, but from time to time I like to drop in on the thrift shop to peruse the shelves. You never know when you’re going to find something wonderful that makes you happy.

A couple days ago I was moseying through the store, when something caught my quilter’s eye.

It was in my hands in about a second flat, and I thought to myself, “I wonder if whoever made this knew what it was.”

I turned it over, and yes, they did.

It’s a Milky Way Baltimore Album Quilt Limited Edition Canister from 1997.

How very cool that I happened into the shop that day! Needless to say, it came home with me. I was prepared to pay the tagged price of $1.49, but discovered upon checking out that it was 50% off, so it was 75¢!

The back says, “This limited edition canister celebrates the making of classic appliquéd quilts during the mid-nineteenth century in America. The Baltimore Album appliquéd quilts were known for their decorative Victorian design style.

“Each pattern on the quilt was symbolic. The corner pattern on this canister is ‘fleur de lis,’ representing Light, Life, and Power.”

Lovely.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

June 14, 2014

Filed Under Baltimore Album | 12 Comments 

The first year I was at the Seven Sisters show in San Luis Obispo, I kept hearing the volunteers talking about the slow quilters. I filed this away in my brain as a curiosity. It took me awhile to figure out they were saying SLO quilters, as in San Luis Obispo LOL!

SLO is three hours drive down the coast from me, and I always look forward to rolling up on the beautiful and very pink Madonna Inn, with horses grazing in adjoining pastures. This year the show is June 28-29.

For the first time, they’ve added a workshop to the festivities!

Jan Krentz is well known for her books on star and diamond quilts. Jan will be giving a one-day class called Quick Starburst on both Saturday and Sunday, in two different locations.

In addition, Jan is giving the keynote address on Saturday evening, entitled “Design Inspiration from Everyday Life.”

You can register for these events at the show’s website, aqgcc.org.

If you’ve attended this show before, you’re used to finding me tucked away in the little side room, but this year I’ll be out on the main show floor. Hope to see you there!

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

June 12, 2014

Filed Under Patterns, Quilt shows | 1 Comment 

Today I head north over the Golden Gate Bridge and into wine country for this weekend’s quilt show in Santa Rosa. It’s put on by the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County and last year it was great fun.

The Golden Gate Bridge has done away with toll booths and now you register your vehicle online and your license plate is scanned as you cross. It really speeds things up… but I still don’t know what they do with all the rental cars…

The reader who won Home Sweet Quilt is No. 4, Kathleen! Congratulations! She says she is really looking forward to this color-filled book with its combination of patchwork and appliqué. I agree, that’s the best combo platter!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

June 6, 2014

Filed Under Prizes, Quilt shows | Leave a Comment 

I’ve admired the Jillily booth many times at shows. Jill Finley has been designing quilt patterns for over 15 years and is known for her fresh style and beautiful color combinations.

This month, with many thanks to Martingale, we have Jill’s book Home Sweet Quilt.

Need a gift or something for yourself? The book includes a dozen patterns for the whole house, from table runners to dish towels to pillows to quilts of all sizes. They’re all so fresh and pretty! Jill says in the introduction, “… My goal was to create and share fresh quilt designs… They’re much more than blankets or bed coverings. They’re the pop of color, the unexpected texture, or the softening element of each room.”

Winding Down, great for the family room.

Patio Tiles, wool and cotton table runner

The book begins with a few basics, such as working with wool, attaching borders and bindings, and Jill’s favorite stitching supplies. There’s a whole chapter on “Appliqué the Jillily Way,” which involves starching the edges of the motifs over freezer-paper templates. You can stitch them in place either by hand or by machine.

Berry Patch, a cheerful table topper.

If you’d like to win this very appealing book, please leave a comment here on the blog post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Thursday, June 5. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only. Good luck!!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

June 1, 2014

Filed Under Books, Prizes | 36 Comments 

We are returned from our anniversary trip to the Big Island. Wherever we’ve gone in Hawaii we’ve loved the climate, culture, and natural beauty, and this trip was no exception.

We stayed in a vacation cottage about 10 miles north of Hilo. It was just about paradise, so calm, quiet, and peaceful. Below us was a spreading fruit orchard.

Avocado tree with baby-size avocadoes.

Lychee.

All around us were grazing horses, cows, and goats.

Our cottage.

BUT, for us, being the dog people that we are, one of the very best features was the frisbee-loving, sweet, affectionate, huggy border collie Lilly!

The green one is her favorite.

Just waitin’ on you!

Lilly came to greet us, give us hugs and kisses, and hang out with us throughout our stay. Dog love = bonus!

Nor far away were the beautiful Akaka Falls. On the way down we saw:

A banyan tree.

Pineapple ginger.

Fiddlehead ferns.

Akaka Falls.

As soon as we went into Hilo town, I sought out the quilt shop, Fabric Impressions.

Beautiful pa'u skirts in the window.

Inside were luscious batiks, island prints, Hawaiian patterns, kits, and quilts hung everywhere.

Dana liked the way they packaged their fat quarters… like stars!

I picked up a brochure for an upcoming summer camp, Quilting on the Beach. Oooh!!! It’s July 21-26 at the King Kamehaha Kona Beach Hotel. I can’t make it, but maybe you can!

One morning we signed up for a Segway tour at Botanical World Gardens. I had always wanted to ride a Segway, and this was my chance! OMG, I loved it! Our instructor told me I was a natural and I really did feel as though I took to it like a duck to water. It all depends on where you put your weight, and once you get the hang of it, it’s like you just think what you want to do and it does it. Very cool!

We toured the gardens and were given tastes of many fruits picked fresh off the trees. There was one that tasted like brown sugar, yum, one that was supposedly like chocolate pudding, not so sure about that one, and several that were too tart for me but that Dana liked. We zipped here and zipped there, learning about various plants and trees. We saw a rainbow eucalyptus, amazing!

Dana did very well also, but he did have one unscheduled dismount, and I did not, so I am the official Mackenzie Family Segway Champion!

One day we drove the two hours to the other side of the island to visit Kona-Kailua. We were sitting in a coffee house drinking cool libations and looking out over a street fair that was going on that day. Right across from us was SusunGallery Art School on the Beach. All of a sudden, Dana says, “I think I’m Facebook friends with her.”

Can you believe it? Susun used to live in Santa Cruz and studied hula with the same instructor as Dana! We went down to say hello and she recognized him immediately. Wow, universe, sometimes you really know what you are doing.

She told Dana about a drop-in hula class the next night that was in the kahiko (traditional) style. Even though it was our anniversary, I urged Dana to go, because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you should have seen the way his eyes lit up. I skipped the four hours in the car and stayed home with Lilly. :) After all, number one on my agenda for our trip was to relax. We each had a fantastic time.

Our last day, we visited the active volcano at Kilauea.

They say that at night you can see the glow from the molten lava, but we were flying out that evening so had to settle for a daytime visit.

I sought out the nearby quilt shop, Kilauea Kreations.

A quaint little shop that felt just like home to a quilter. Many gorgeous fabrics, quilts, kits, and patterns, and also a little bookshop that Dana enjoyed.

Check out Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Sam, Island Style.

And then it was aloha to Lilly and our other hosts, Bob and Cady, and off to the airport for the long trip home.

In case you’re interested, the Sun and Moon Orchard Suite is Listing #512344 on VRBO.

Aloha nui loa,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

May 24, 2014

Filed Under Hawaiian, Quilt shops | 3 Comments 

There’s a fabulous hand-appliqué tip from Martingale author Cynthia Tomaszewski on their blog, Stitch This!

Go see What to do when your appliqué fabric frays. This one’s going straight into my bag of tricks. Thanks Cynthia!

May 13, 2014

Filed Under Fabrics, Hand appliqué, Photo tutorials | Leave a Comment 

The winner of my 100 Blocks Volume 9 drawing was No. 134, Marta!

Thanks so much to all of you who stopped by on the blog tour. If you didn’t win a copy of the new issue and you’re wanting one, I have them in stock now on my website, on the Patterns page.

I also have a few copies left of Volume 8, if that’s one’s still missing from your collection.

Following closely on the heels of the 100 Blocks blog tour was our monthly book feature and giveaway. The reader who came up the winner of Rami Kim’s book was No. 5, Dot. Congratulations! Dot says her son-in-law is of Korean ancestry and she’s interested in learning more about Korean art. Very cool!

In other news, I am so happy to say that my husband Dana and I are coming up on our 25th wedding anniversary on May 19! We’re going to Hawaii for a week, to Hilo on the Big Island.

I’ve done some investigating of quilt shops, but I could always use a little inside info! Any recommendations???

Aloha,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

May 10, 2014

Filed Under Magazines, Prizes | 4 Comments 

Courtesy of AQS Publishing, we have an exquisite book this month by award-winning art-to-wear and quilter Rami Kim.


Elegant Cotton • Wool • Silk Quilts is an exciting departure from the books I usually have the privilege of featuring. Quoting from the preface, “The designs here put special emphasis on the ancient cultures of Korea. …This book will serve as an introduction to and a window into ‘The Land of Morning Calm.’ …Though many of the designs are actually more than a few thousand years old, this will be the first glimpse through the eyes of the Western viewer.”

It was exciting to turn the pages of this book and discover shapes and designs I’d never seen before.

How about these Asian interpretations of flowers, leaves, clouds, and mountains done up penny-rug style… gorgeous!

I was captivated by the section on Chopkey — a Korean folding technique. Rami give step-by-step instructions for making a traditional costume coat.

As the titles implies, there are projects done in cotton, wool, and silk, and you can certainly use any of these materials for the design of your choice.

The books jumps right into the projects, so basic skills in hand blanket-stitch embroidery will be needed. Also, the designs need to be enlarged 200%.

If you’d like a chance to win this book that translates Korean architectural elements into American quilts, please leave a comment here on the blog by 7:00 p.m. California time on Friday, May 9.

Open to U.S. mailing addresses only, and remember… don’t try to enter by email. If you’re reading this in an email, you’ll need to click over to the blog itself on the internet.

Best of luck!!
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

May 5, 2014

Filed Under Blanket stitch, Books, Prizes, Wool | 11 Comments 

Welcome gentle quilters!! It’s Day 3 of the 100 Blocks Volume 9 blog tour! These tours are always a rollicking good time, and I’m happy to be part of things once again.

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 glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about all kinds of appliqué here on the blog. And, we have a featured appliqué book at the beginning of every month, given away in a drawing, which is way fun.

I’m delighted and proud to say that this is my eighth time having one of the 100 Blocks. I just love participating in these special issues!

My latest title from Martingale, Scrap-Appliqué Playground, is all about different ways to put scraps together and cut appliqués out of them. After the book came out, I started playing around with more ideas for cutting appliqués out of something other than just one fabric. I let my mind run wild, and realized that there are clever ways to use traditional pieced quilt blocks for this! It’s the best of both worlds!

Half-Log-Cabin Tulip by Kay Mackenzie.

Cutting a tulip “just so” from a traditional half-log-cabin block gives a fun, stylized look to a very traditional appliqué flower. Split leaves and a patched background complement the pieced nature of the tulip.

The magazine gives complete instructions for making the block, and includes the tulip template that fits just right on the half-log-cabin once it’s pieced. Very cool.

Of course you can change up the color of the background and the flowers. Here are just a couple of possibilities!

I hope you enjoy this block and all the other 99 fabulous and varied designs in Volume 9!

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 Sunday, May 4.

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

April 30, 2014

Filed Under Blog hops, Magazines, Patterns, Prizes | 202 Comments 

Volume 9 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks is coming out soon!

To celebrate the release of their newest block collection, Quiltmaker is throwing a big party in the form of a blog tour with lots of prize-winning opportunities along the way.


The tour goes Monday, April 28, through Friday, May 2. 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 Wednesday, April 30. See you then!

My block is the one on the right :) .

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

April 25, 2014

Filed Under Blog hops, Magazines, Prizes | 4 Comments 

The wonderful Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts has been busy filming a series of videos on fusible-web appliqué.

The great thing is that Kim starts with the absolute basics, such as what fusible web is — and isn’t! Great fundamental information for the beginning fuser. In this first video she shows her two favorite brands, one of which is SoftFuse, my favorite as well. After months of not being able to get it, I’m finally back in stock on my website! Kim shows the rolls, I have the packages… same exact product, just a different format.

Here’s the first in the series. And here’s Kim’s YouTube channel, where you’ll be able to access the other entries in the series, and even subscribe, so that you don’t miss any of her videos in the future. Thanks Kim! These vids are great, and you’re the best!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

April 21, 2014

Filed Under Fusible web, Product demo | 1 Comment 

The winner of Sew Embellished is No. 9, Gail! Congratulations! Gail says that her guild is just starting a splinter group for art quilters this month and the timing is great. Very cool.

I have show and tell! At the recent Desert Guilds show in Palm Springs, the show committee asked the vendors to award ribbons for their favorites. I wandered the show looking here and looking there. I saw one that was entirely to my delight, walked up to it, and hung my ribbon. Then I read the description. No wonder I loved the pattern… it’s one of Holly’s!

Holly Mabutas is a gifted artist and quiltmaker who has THE most delightful patterns over at Eat Cake Graphics. Here’s the quilt from the show, Furry Sweetness by Judy Price, quilted by Lynette Harlan. Love it, gals!

my Vendor's Choice ribbon

Furry Sweetness at Eat Cake Graphics.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

April 8, 2014

Filed Under Patterns, Prizes | 4 Comments 

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