I’m subscribed to the appliqué book feed on Amazon, and as soon as I saw the announcement of a new book that was coming out, I was intrigued and followed the link right away.

The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop by Kevin Kosbab, from Interweave/F+W Media.

I pulled up the “Look Inside” on Amazon, started reading the section on “Give Appliqué a Chance,”, and honestly, I got chills. Kevin and I could have one brain on the subject of appliqué hesitation. As you know I had just been working on The Appliqué Self-Help Brochure!

I contacted Interweave to see if they would be willing to send a review copy. Not only were they quite gracious about doing so, they set up an interview with Kevin! I’m so happy to share our email conversation, a little later in the post.

The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop combines traditional methods with a fresh design eye. Kevin gently introduces and thoroughly explains several methods of hand and machine appliqué, including raw-edge, prepared-edge, and needle-turn, all presented with striking projects that fall toward the modern aesthetic. The old and the new… what a great combo platter!

Cobblestones Quilt

Here’s what Kevin and I talked about.

• Kay: I love the front matter in your book… “Give Appliqué a Chance.” You and I both have heard what you aptly call “the old chestnuts,” such as “I don’t have the patience.” Me, in my booth at shows… how about you?

• Kevin: There’s a healthy die-hard appliqué contingent at my local quilt guild, but other members are more hesitant to approach the “A-word”. Just attending quilt shows gives ample opportunity to overhear similar sentiments as people browse the vendors and displays. The most puzzling thing I’ve heard is, “I don’t appliqué, but I do fusible”–which, as you point out in your flier, IS appliqué!

• Kay: You and I think alike when it comes to appliqué method. There are so many ways to go about it, and there’s no one correct way! I really like how you present this concept, both in the section called “Choosing a Method” and as each is introduced. Most books just announce the method, and plow right into it! You start out by asking “Why?” and then delivering an explanation of why one might choose that particular method. Is that the way your mind works?

• Kevin: Definitely! High school calculus baffled me because nobody would (or could) explain the “why” of the processes, so I wanted to lay out actual reasons why one appliqué method might be beneficial in certain circumstances. Projects in the book like Eccentric Concentrics and the All Seasons Pillows take advantage of the freeform nature of needle-turn, while the crisp shapes of the Pineapple Rings and Counterbalance quilts make more sense as prepared-edge projects. And to define edges with decorative stitching or contrasting thread, you can’t beat raw-edge fusible appliqué. I really believe there’s no one-size-fits-all method, and each offers unique opportunities and challenges.

Counterbalance Quilt

• Kay: The subtitle of the book is “Timeless Techniques for Modern Designs.” Its seems to act as a bridge between what’s time-honored and what’s coming up new and fresh in quilting today. Was that your thinking going into the project?

• Kevin: It was definitely one of the thoughts floating around in my head–in a wider sense, that’s how I like to approach quilting and needlework in general, learning from the experience of people before me while applying those skills to a newer aesthetic. I love digging through old needlework books and figuring out how to extract the basic techniques from the often dated examples.

• Kay: The book gives information on very precise ways to achieve results, and also more freeform strategies. I appreciate the way you encourage imprecision and improvisation in appliqué.

• Kevin: I’m so glad to hear that. I think concentration on precision is one of the biggest barriers to enjoyment of appliqué, so I wanted to counter that with a different perspective. There’s been lots of interest in improvisational piecing over the last several years, and it felt to me that improvisation was an even more natural component of appliqué, even though it’s not an aspect I often see associated with appliqué (or encouraged). Historical quilts are rarely absolutely precise, but they have a vitality that’s lost when we try too hard to emulate computer-aided perfection. Improvisation shouldn’t be about shoddy craftsmanship, but about embracing the handmade nature of the things we are taking the time to make by hand.

All Seasons Pillows

• Kay: The sidebar on “Quilt Police, Appliqué Division” had me cracking up! I’ll just quote the first couple of sentences. “Every branch of quilting has its share of self-appointed authoritarians on a mission to ensure compliance with their version of The Right Way To Do Things. Appliqué seems to attract an especially large police force, but as in real law enforcement, their statutes vary by jurisdiction.” Well said!

• Kevin: Thanks, I had fun writing it! Writing pages and pages of detailed technical instructions can provoke occasional outbursts like that. ;-) And besides, who said quilting had to be all serious business?

• Kay: You talk about how when you first became interested in appliqué, there were calls to mom. Can you describe how those calls went?

• Kevin: Well, to start with, my mom was quite surprised that I was considering quilting, since I’d been insistent she not make me a quilt when I went away to college (“Mo-om, it’ll be embarrassing!”). But she offered to quilt my first (pieced) quilt top, and quite fortuitously left the binding for me to do. I told her I found hand-sewing the binding strangely enjoyable, to which she said, “You know, if you like sewing the binding, you’d probably like appliqué.”

She’s an expert appliquér, so since she was my main point of quilting contact then, she didn’t instill any of the fear many quilters feel about appliqué. She encouraged me to try a freezer paper and starch-turned method to start with and gave me a basic run-down of how it worked, and I set off to do a large-scale appliqué across the better part of a full-size bed quilt–not how I’d recommend starting, but it got me hooked. After I’d done a couple quilts that way, I lamented to my mom how the starching and ironing started to feel tedious, a feeling she shared (neither of us get our kicks from ironing laundry), so she promised to show me needle-turn applique the next time we got together in person.

Fruit Market Quilt

The rest of my family couldn’t believe the sight of the two of us messing about with fabric and needles, but since then my younger brother’s also become a costume designer, so my father and other brother (both engineers) really wonder what happened.

My mom also gave lots of advice on tools and supplies, though what I had available at the time was pretty much limited to what was available on foot in downtown Philadelphia (which meant hand-quilting thread for appliqué–again, not what I’d recommend for a beginner!). We still compare notes on new supplies, techniques, and ideas. Though our quilts look totally different, our attitudes about quilting are pretty close, so she’s been very generous in helping me out with pattern samples. Call me a mamma’s boy if you must, but we do live thousands miles apart!

• Kay: The book has full-size patterns in a plastic bag attached to the inside back cover! Excellent! Was that your concept?

• Kevin: The publisher decided the ultimate format, but I felt strongly that the patterns should be printed full size. It’s so frustrating when a book requires patterns to be enlarged–it always seems to take a huge amount of trial and error to get the photocopies to come out right. If people have bought the book, they shouldn’t have to pay a copy shop too.

That said, I did have to work out an enlargement percentage for the Eccentric Concentrics Quilt in the book because the pattern is the size of the entire quilt, but I hope people will prefer to sketch out their own interpretation.

• Kay: How did you and Interweave get together?

• Kevin: I’ve been designing sewing projects for Stitch, one of Interweave’s magazines, since their second issue, so that’s how their books division found me. The acquisitions editor asked if I’d thought about writing a book, to which I replied, “As a matter of fact, yes!” I’d worked as a book editor myself, so a quilting book had been knocking around in my head for a while.

• Kay: When, why, and how did you become interested in quilting and appliqué? Do you teach classes? How do we pronounce your last name?

• Kevin: Still with neither of us thinking I’d get into quilting, my mom bought me my first sewing machine when I started talking about making curtains for my first apartment. That apartment never had its curtains finished, though, because I soon got distracted with quilting: I made a really simple quilt for my bed from Denyse Schmidt‘s first book, then another bed quilt from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr‘s book shortly after, and then I started designing my own patterns. I actually picked up appliqué shortly after those first two quilts, encouraged by my enjoyment of binding. I’d never planned to get into quilting, but it gave a medium to my lifelong interest in graphic design–appliqué was the last piece of the puzzle, opening up infinite possibilities in designing quilts.

I do teach classes, including some new ones based on the improvisational approaches in my book. Confirmed teaching engagements are posted on my website on the Class Schedule page.

My last name has been mispronounced in lots of ways over the years, but per the U.S. Air Force it’s KOZ-bab, just like it’s spelled but with a Z sound instead of an S. It previously had a more Germanic pronunciation, but my grandfather decided his name was whatever his superiors called him, so that’s what we’ve been running with since.

Thanks for your kind words and thoughtful questions. It’s hugely rewarding to hear that someone “gets it” after all the work of putting the book together.

• Kay: I get it! Been going there and doing that! You did a great job.

Kevin Kosbab, photo by John Lessard

Kevin on Facebook.

Kevin’s putting together a blog tour to celebrate the upcoming release of his book! It’ll be going on February 20-28 over on Kevin’s blog, Feed Dog Designs. Be sure to mark your calendars!

In the meantime, I have a copy of The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop to give away here! If you’d like to enter my drawing, leave a comment here on the blog before 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 17.

Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. And remember, step away from the “reply” button if you’re getting this by email. Come to the blog itself to leave your comment.

Thanks Kevin for taking the time to share some inside info with us!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

A great big welcome to you!! It’s Day 5 of the 100 Blocks Volume 8 blog tour! I know you’ve been having a blast and a half on the tour so far!

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 appliqué — all kinds — here on the blog. If you’re a regular reader or you’ve been here before for one of these hops, welcome back!

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

My block this time is traditional in nature. Baskets of fruit and flowers abound in our appliqué heritage. Here’s my Basket of Oranges.

One of my very favorite color schemes is the complementary combination of orange and teal. Putting oranges in the basket led me very naturally to choose a tealy blue for the basket!

There are many other possibilities of course.

Brown is a natural choice for baskets.

Making a bright quilt? How about a purple basket?

I hope you enjoy this block and all the other ninety-nine scrumptious and varied designs in Volume 8.

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, November 20.

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 there. :)

Many thanks!

The lucky reader who came up the winner of the Quilt Art 2014 Engagement Calendar is… No. 1, Carolyn! Congratulations Carolyn! May it help you stay very organized and quilty in 2014.

Before I talk about what’s coming down the pike, my heartfelt thanks to everyone who chimed in on the subject of an appliqué self-help brochure. Your very thoughtful observations are all going into the pot as I think the subject over. I’ll revisit this in a later post.

Now: Some fun things are coming!

My last show of the year is put on by the Pioneer Quilt Guild in Roseville, California, November 9-10. I really enjoyed this show the last two years and am looking forward to it once again. It’s a nice facility, and a really nice group of gals.

Next: Volume 8 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks is coming out soon!

To celebrate the release of this 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, November 11, through Friday, November 15. 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, November 15. And here comes another fun thing… I’ll be auto-scheduling the post to go up that day, because DH Dana and I will be in the U.K.!

Dana’s attending a statistics conference in London.

You knew that it’s The International Year of Statistics, right?

As soon as my quilt show and Dana’s conference are over, I’m flying out to join him. We’ll spend a few days in London and then travel north to Scotland, from whence my Grandmother Logan hailed. I’ll meet a second cousin and tour Inverurie, the ancestral homeplace.

Inverurie is just a little north of Aberdeen. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.

See you when I get back! I’m hoping to visit some fabric and quilt stores while I’m across the pond.

By Kay Mackenzie

The All About Appliqué reader who won a copy of 100 Blocks, Volume 7 in last week’s blog tour is #225, Lovie Ball! Congratulations Lovie! The magazine has already put your copy in the mail. :)

Lovie said that she loved unicorns as a child and that the pony block could be a unicorn with the addition of a little horn. Absolutely! I would love to see that variation.

If you didn’t win a copy during the tour, there’s still a chance! Shayla Wolf, editorial assistant at Quiltmaker, had her first block in this volume and is so excited about it that she’s doing an extra, special giveaway right now. Head on over to Quilty Pleasures to see Shayla’s adorable block “Hootie” and find out how to enter the draw in a couple of different ways.

And, if you’re still not in luck, I’ve added the issue to my website and you can order it there, on the Patterns page.

I made the cover again! Happy dance!

Until next time,

A hearty welcome to you!! It’s Day 2 of the 100 Blocks Volume 7 blog tour!

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 appliqué — all kinds — here on the blog. If you’re a regular reader or you’ve been here before for one of these hops, welcome back!

I’m delighted to say that this is my sixth time having a block in an issue of 100 Blocks. It’s so much fun! Dogs and cats often work their way into my appliqué designs. This time, I went back to my first love in animals. I was one of those horse-crazy girls, and for awhile we had a little horse Zora, named after the beloved ninth-grade English teacher that all of us kids had going through school.

Me and Zora, circa 19$%&^ oh sorry got a finger cramp. Zora was white with black specks, known as a flea-bitten gray. She was a gentle soul and and she let me ride her bareback all around the countryside for hours.

When I was looking for the photo I found another one, this time of my beautiful late mother when she was young. Maybe it runs in the family. :)

Now you know why I was so pleased that the editors of 100 Blocks chose “Dream Pony” to be in Volume 7!

For my block that’s in the magazine, pictured above, I made a buckskin pony. You can easily change the coat color, mane, and tail to make a whole herd of others!


Dapple Gray





Just a few of the wide range of wonderful ponies in the world.

There are 99 more charming and delightful quilt blocks in Volume 7, made all different ways, so there’s something for everyone. The publishers are offering a free copy of the magazine to a lucky winner! If you’d like a chance to win one, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, May 6.

Thanks a million for visiting, enjoy the hop! Be sure to start each day this week at Quilty Pleasures.

By Kay Mackenzie

Last weekend I was at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association’s biannual show. My booth was right up front and I was delighted to find out that I was directly across from the featured quilters, one of whom was Bobbi Finley!

I first met Bobbi, who’s friends with a number of friends of mine, in 2010 at Road to California. In the years since then she’s popped by my booth at various shows to say hello. It was great having a chance to be neighbors for the weekend.

Bobbi is co-author with Carol Gilham Jones of the wonderful book Tile Quilt Revival, previously featured here on the blog. She had beautiful samples of tile quilts hung up, as well as some quilts from her new book with Carol, Fresh Perspectives.

Subtitled “Reinventing 18 Classic Quilts from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum,” this very cool book shows fresh, new updated versions side by side with the classic quilts that inspired them.

The cover quilt.

New houses!

There were some incredible appliqué quilts in the show.

Baltimore & Bali by Charlotte Scholberg

Olive Roses by Ratnes Siva

Penny Tucker is good buddies with my buddy Pam and is a fabulous appliqué teacher. Whiffle Tree is since closed, and Penny now teaches at Prairie Queens in San Jose, California.

Summer by Kathy McComas

Brenda's Wooly Garden by Brenda Croak

Kaye Moore is a buddy of mine in quilt-show land, and does the most incredible work with wool appliqué. If you haven’t seen Kaye’s article here on the blog, you should check it out!

And then there were a couple of old-timey quilts… okay, when I read their descriptions I kind of choked up. You’ll see what I mean.

Prairie Sunflowers by Karen Friedrichs

Sunbonnet Sue by Renee Rankin

Gulp. Quilts are mighty powerful things, aren’t they?

In other news:

This weekend I’m off to San Luis Obispo for the Seven Sisters Quilt Show. If you’re in that neighborhood, I hope to see you there!

Mark your calendars for the 100 Blocks Volume 7 blog tour! It’s April 29-May 3. Start each day at the Quilmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures. From there you’ll be sent off each day to blogs written by the designers who have a block in the issue. There are lots of great creative ideas along the way, not to mention giveaways, so don’t miss the tour. My day is Tuesday, April 30.

See you then!
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m delighted today to turn the blog over to author, designer, and educator Margaret Bucklew!

Margaret just came out with a new book, Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts, and today is the first day of a fun blog hop to celebrate its release!

Take it away, Margaret!

We each have our own first quilting experiences, some with more fanfare than others.

Once I had made quilts for everyone in the immediate family, I decided to include myself, and found a pattern with pieced triangular trees interspersed with schoolhouses. I wanted to use colors to reflect fall foliage and have some leaves falling within negative space on the quilt; however, those falling leaves presented a problem. They would need to be appliquéd onto the top. Uh-Oh! I had no idea how to appliqué. To me, the falling leaves had to be on the quilt, so I cut out shapes of leaves and pinned the fabric onto the top not knowing how they would permanently be affixed.

My one and only quilt class was needleturn appliqué. What a wonderful class! I was hooked. The leaves were appliquéd, the quilt was completed, and my appliqué adventure began. I love needleturn, but it is slow going. Machine appliqué is another option.

If you are like I was, a bit afraid to try appliqué, I have a super easy free block for you to use for practice and perhaps make more blocks and turn them into a quilt or a pillow.

This graphic indicates how the block would look if you needleturned, used a blanket stitch, or used a zig zag or satin stitch. Also shown in the pattern are easy-to-follow images indicating how to put on the back pieces covered by the front pieces.

I hope you’ll use the free pattern and give appliqué a try.

I migrated from being afraid of appliqué to designing appliqué quilts! A love of portrait work led me into developing a technique to create realistic portrait and pictorial appliqué quilts.

For a few more appliqué tips, please visit the next blog in the book blog tour.

If you are interested in giving portrait or pictorial quilts a try, my “Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts” book might be just the answer for you. The book is available both in print and as an eBook.

The book’s Amazon page.

The eBook’s Kobo page.

Thank you Margaret! Be sure to follow the rest of the blog hop all this week for more fun with appliqué and information about the book. Here’s the schedule!

Sew Useful Designs

A Passion for Applique

Jackie’s Art Quilts

Quilting and Sewing Videos

Thanks again Margaret, and congratulations! Enjoy every minute.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The lucky winner of Baltimore’s Country Cousins is No. 6, Karen Crosby. Congratulations Karen! You’ll enjoy these folk-art influenced designs.

In other news: Right now, on the Quiltmaker blog Quilty Pleasures, they’re having a giveaway contest of the new issue of Quilts From 100 Blocks.

Go on over and enter for a chance to win one of 25 copies! The contest ends Friday so go now.

Speaking of 100 Blocks, I was thrilled to hear that I have a block in the upcoming Volume 7! My block is so very dear to my heart and I hope you’ll enjoy it too. (Yes, it’s an animal, but maybe not the one you’d expect.) I’ll be participating in the blog hop March 29 through May 3 and I’ll show it then.

Last bit of news! Next week author, designer, and educator Margaret Bucklew is celebrating the release of her brand-new book, and she asked me to be in her blog tour! I’m kicking off on Day 1 with a neat guest post from Margaret. You won’t want to miss it… she has a nice surprise for you.

Until Monday,
By Kay Mackenzie

The lucky blog hopper who came up the winner of 100 Blocks, Volume 6 is…. No. 274, Vivian!

Congratulations Vivian, enjoy the magazine, and thanks a million for visiting All About Appliqué.

The magazine hits the newsstands this week, so if you didn’t win a copy during the blog hop, it’s time to start looking out for it. Or, I just put it up on my website, on the Patterns page.

I’m home now for nine solid weeks. Stay tuned, ’cause there are some very fun and exciting things coming down the pike.

Max is on pins and needles.

Back soon,

By Kay Mackenzie

Greetings! It’s Day 1 of the 100 Blocks Volume 6 blog hop!

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, you are very welcome! If you’re a regular reader or you’ve been here before for one of these hops, welcome back!

This time around my block, Sleep Tight, is a whimsical combination of piecing and appliqué. An old-timey patchwork quilt is tucked into a comfy bunk just waiting for someone to snuggle in and dream away under a star-filled indigo sky.

You can click on the photo to bring up a larger version.

As you can see, the more fabrics the merrier, so this is a great chance to pull out your scrap bag. I used raw-edge fusible machine appliqué, but of course you can use any form of appliqué you like. It’s all good!

You could customize this design by making the background look like wallpaper.

Then decorate the wall with ornaments of your own choosing!

There are 99 more bottles of beer charming and delightful quilt blocks in Volume 6, something for everyone. The publishers are offering a free copy of the magazine to a lucky winner! So if you’d like to win one, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Sunday, November 11.

Thanks a million for visiting, enjoy the hop! Be sure to start each day this week at Quilty Pleasures.

By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of Santa’s Loading Dock is Ruth B. of Washburn, Wisconsin. Congratulations! Ruth writes that she is very excited and can’t wait to see the book and learn new tricks.

I’m off to Lodi today to set up for the Tokay Stitch ‘n Quilt Guild show this weekend.

Then on Monday it’ll be my day on the 100 Blocks Blog Hop. The hop continues all week so be sure to check it out.

Next weekend I’ll be in Roseville, California, for the Pioneer Quilters Guild Show.

A busy little burst, all very fun!

By Kay Mackenzie

Over at Quiltmaker they’re going to town with the 100 Blocks series. A new volume of this special issue comes out every six months. I was delighted to learn that I have a block in the upcoming Volume 6. It’s always so much fun!

Here’s a sneak peek of the cover.

There’ll be a blog hop to celebrate the release of Volume 6 from November 5-9. To follow the hop, start each day at the Quiltmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures, and they’ll send you off to visit the designers. There are lots of prize-winning opportunities along the way. My day is Monday, November 5, so stay tuned!

Until next time,

Our Scrap-Appliqué Playground blog tour has concluded. Sigh. I don’t know about you, but I had blast and a half. Most of the time I had not seen what the other bloggers were up to and it was a huge thrill each day to discover the wonderful things that had arisen from their creativity.

Foster kitten Freddie is resting up from the tour.

Our winners are:

• Deb H.
• Laurie W. in Maine
• Maureen W. in Ontario, Canada
• Kathy P. in Maryland
• Sheryl W. in Missouri
• Joanna P. in Massachussetts
• Judith R. in Texas
• Kathy L. in Missouri
• Mary G. in Arizona
• Ellen P. In Pennsylvania

As you can see we had winners from up and down and across North America. Isn’t the blogosphere great? Congratulations to the winners, enjoy the book!

And a huge thank-you to those of you who followed the tour and said the most amazing things. You make me want to keep at it, and I owe you for that.

The cover quilt, Lollipop Grove

Dana and I are off to North Carolina and Virginia for a week on a long-overdue visit with my folks and his folks. We’ll probably see some of that red clay that inspired the earth in Lollipop Grove! See you in a week!

Until then,
By Kay Mackenzie

It’s the final day of our Scrap-Appliqué Playground Book-A-Round! I’m Kay, the author of the book, and If you haven’t been here before, welcome to my blog All About Appliqué! You’ll find lots of great information about appliqué here, all kinds, so be sure to take some time to poke around the Categories and use the Key Word Search.

We end up our tour in my town of Santa Cruz, California, right on the coast between San Francisco and Monterey.

View Santa Cruz, California in a larger map

I hope you’ve been having a fabulous time on our 10-day tour. I sure did! Weren’t the other bloggers fantastic? A big shout-out to all the gals who played in the Playground to bring us such great inspiration.

Most of the other bloggers have been showcasing the piecing methods in the book, so I thought I’d give you a peek at the fusing method. I call it “Lay Down and Fuse,” because that’s what you do… lay down pre-fused scraps and stick them together to create spontaneous fabric compositions.

This is the project Imaginary Blooms from the book. My husband refers to this one as “Psycho Flowers” LOL. He’s having a hard time getting used to it, I think because it’s just so different than what he’s seen come out of my studio for the last 20 years. Personally I love it, because it’s so NOT me :) . I had a blast cutting loose with these blooms from my imagination.

Since I made a blue spiral flower for Imaginary Blooms, I decided to do one in a different color. Hmmm, how about red. I dumped out my bag of red scraps and started casting about for inspiration. A pretty red-and-white floral caught my eye. That’s it! All red-and-white, all the time! I rummaged and pulled out all the scraps and strips that fit the description. I also looked through my tub of reds and pulled one more fabric. (We’re allowed to do that, you know. And besides, I love rummaging.)

Right now this looks like a hot mess.

In addition to fabric scraps, pull out those odd little pieces of leftover paper-backed fusible that you’ve been saving.

SoftFuse is my current favorite.

Now I’ve pressed and pre-fused the scraps, and given them a fresh scissor-cut all the way around.

I traced a freezer-paper template from the pattern in the book, scribbling inside it so I could more easily tell the positive space from the negative space. It will serve as both a cutting template and a sizing template.

Spontaneously and without overthinking it, lay down the pre-fused scraps slightly overlapping on a nonstick pressing sheet. The composition is large enough for the template. (And I didn’t even need that fat quarter.)

A quick flower center, and here it is, ready to fuse and stitch! So quick, and what fun! Scrap-Appliqué Playground takes you through the process in full detail.

Courtesy of Martingale, I have a copy of the book to give away. If you’d like to enter the drawing, please leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 17. Tell me what you enjoyed most about the Book-A-Round!

Heads up: If you’re subscribed by email, you can’t leave a comment by hitting the “Reply” button. Go to All About Appliqué on the internet and add your comment there, at the bottom of the post. Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only.

Good luck, and thank you all so very kindly for coming along on this journey with me.

By Kay Mackenzie

Welcome to Day 9! I hope you are enjoying all these peeks into the Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Today we’re headed down the coast of California to land in beautiful San Diego.

View San Diego in a larger map

SewCalGal is a fabulous blog for quilting, sewing, and embroidery enthusiasts alike. You’ll want to take some time and explore the wealth of information presented there.

Off we go to visit the SewCalGal to see what’s going on in the Playground!

By Kay Mackenzie

It’s Day 8 of our 10-day tour, and we’re not even jet-lagged!

Today we’ll head all the way west to land in Hollister, California, a great little town not far where I live.

View Hollister, California in a larger map

There are some awesome quilters in Hollister, among them one of the most talented illustrators I’ve ever seen. Holly Mabutas of Eat Cake Graphics has a thriving rubber-stamp business in addition to being an appliqué designer with some of the cutest patterns in the business.

Holly and her gorgeous collie mix, Tucker.

Holly recently teamed up with quilting mystery writer Terri Thayer on a a unique eight-month web-based series that includes a block of the month plus a story of the month. How fun! It’s called Tales of the Quilt Shop.

Let’s go see what Holly has been up to in the Scrap-Appliqué Playground, and good luck in the drawing!

Holly’s blog Sprinkles of Thought.


It’s the seventh day of our Scrap-Appliqué Playground blog tour. Today we fly through cyberspace westward to land in Louisville, Colorado, home of appliqué designer Erin Russek.

View Louisville, Colorado in a larger map

The subtitle of Erin’s blog is, “A large helping of appliqué with a side of piecing.” Now that’s a gal after my own heart! Erin does the most gorgeous appliqué, and offers her patterns in either downloadable or paper form. Be sure to click on her beautiful pink-and-white “Visit My Shop” button while you’re there.

Let’s go see Erin! I hear she’s playing around with the Barber-Pole Bias method. Can’t wait to see what she’s done!

Erin Russek’s One Piece at a Time.

By Kay Mackenzie

Howdy! Today we take a very short hop over to Mooresville, North Carolina, to visit with Susan Brubaker Knapp.

View Mooresville, North Carolina in a larger map

You’ll want to take a look at Susan’s beautiful work while you’re there. An accomplished art quilter, Susan is the author of Point, Click, Quilt! as well as several other books on quilt design, machine stitching, and machine quilting.

Let’s go see Susan at her blog, Blue Moon River.

By Kay Mackenzie

Welcome to Day 5 of the Scrap-Appliqué Playground Book-A-Round! Are you enjoying your visits with other quilting bloggers?

Today we’re headed to my home state of North Carolina to drop in on fellow appliqué enthusiast Carrie P.

Carrie has been a regular reader here, and with a name like A Passion for Appliqué for her blog, I couldn’t wait to ask her to join the tour!

Over at A Passion for Appliqué, Carrie has some fantastic tutorials so be sure to take a look at those while you’re there.

Carrie was inspired by the Pop Beads project from the book. Off to see what Carrie P. has cooked up!

A Passion for Appliqué

By Kay Mackenzie

This is the way to travel! Today we’re taking a relatively-speaking short hop down to Mississauga, Ontario, to check in with Maria Hrabovsky.

View Mississauga, Ontario in a larger map

Maria is editor-in-chief of the fabulous on-line Quilt Pattern Magazine. She also runs the website Quilts For Sale, so if you’d like to buy or sell a quilt, be sure to check that out.

So click on over to Mississauga, just across the border from Buffalo and Niagara Falls, for a visit with Maria, who’s been playing in the Playground! My favourite (note the Canadian spelling :) ) quote from her post is “You’ll have great fun while virtuously using your scraps.” Good luck in the drawing for a copy of Scrap-Appliqué Playground!

Maria’s Quilt Scraps


Next Page →

E-mail It