When I started a blog about appliqué, I said to myself, “You outghta be a member of The Appliqué Society.” So I joined up. I’ve received three newsletters so far, which have given me some sense of what the organization is all about. This from the TAS website:

    “The Appliqué Society’s mission is To Promote, to Teach, and to Encourage the Love of All Types of Appliqué in Quilting. We work to educate and promote public interest in the world of appliqué, as well as encourage and inspire creativity. The Appliqué Society (TAS) and its members want to ensure that the art of appliqué will continue through the generations.”
The ABCs of Words on Quilts, Pamela Humphries, author of Award-Winning Appliqué Birds, and Ricky Tims, author of Rhapsody Quilts. Within each interview there’s always a question or two about the designers’ techniques, which I’ve found truly illuminating in each case.

There are free patterns, as I said in many cases lovingly hand-drawn, features on specific topics in appliqué, product reviews, etc. In three issues I’ve picked up at least six tips! I’ll share just one of them, to give you an example. Member Jan Walter from central Illinois contributed a darling Santa pattern, and gives advice about the white beard and mustache: “For iron-on appliqué, back your whites by ironing a medium-weight interfacing on the back before ironing on the fusible web.” Thank you, Jan! We’ve all struggled with what do do about shadow-through with white appliqué pieces.

TAS has many noted professional members among its midst, who do a lot to support the organization by contributing patterns and articles. TAS membership also gives you the opportunity to join or start a local chapter, and stitch with like-minded quilters.

You might enjoy belonging to the Society as well. Visit the TAS website.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

My little dog Willie loves to go places, and loves to come back. He’s a good traveler, but I think he’s the very happiest when all of his pack are at home.

As you know, he helps me in the studio and is my boon companion while I’m working on all of my “stuff.” Here he is checking out my latest project, Home.

willie-on-home.jpg

Yes, that’s right, the ink was hardly dry on Teapots 2 to Appliqué when I was already hard at work on another quilt design. I’ve been in a phase of doing things I haven’t done before, and it’s great! Home is more primitive and folksy than what I’ve done before, and I love it.

I knew the word “Home” would be front and center, and didn’t worry about how I was going to get it on there until I was ready to do it. After all, I co-wrote an article about words in quilts, which appeared in American Quilter. I knew I had some tricks up my sleeve! But when it came to it, I ended up doing… guess what… something I hadn’t done before.

home-word.jpgOkay, so I’ve made plenty of bias tape in my life with my trusty green gadget (see the post on stems and skinny stems) but I’ve usually stitched both sides, either by hand or machine. This time I just zig-zagged down the center of each strip with black thread. Then I made a trip to the store to get some fresh Fray Chek (the bottle in my drawer was ancient, probably came with me from Ohio 11 years ago). I used a tiny bit of this seam sealant on the raw ends of the letters to prevent fraying. I ended up with the folksy look I was after for this project.

Home‘s going to be a booklet with full-size patterns printed in it. Stay tuned!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

One of the best books that I have on my shelf, which pretty much taught me how to machine appliqué, is Sue Nickels’ Machine Appliqué: A Sampler of Techniques.

I was lucky enough to meet Sue a few years ago when she came to my guild to speak and to teach a class in machine quilting. I took that class, and I credit Sue with giving me what I needed to actually become an adequate machine quilter. She said that the women she knew who were finally successful were those who were determined to make it work. I said that to myself over and over as I practiced, and it helped me.

But back to machine appliqué! It wasn’t Sue’s topic that visit, but I did buy her machine appliqué book, and when I became determined to learn how to do it in order to make samples a little more quickly, I turned to Sue’s book. Let me tell you, it’s fabulous. I gravitated toward raw-edge fusible appliqué with a small blanket stitch. There’s also detailed information on two other methods — turned-edge “invisible appliqué” and “template and starch” appliqué.

Sue’s book, published by the AQS, is lovely to look at throughout and gives step-by-baby-step details on everything you need to know. There are close-up illustrations of where each stitch should go in each scenario. I’m pretty comfortable with machine appliqué now, but when I was still learning, I hauled out this book a bunch of times to refresh my memory. Thank you Sue!!

Sue has another book on machine appliqué, written with her sister Pat Holly: Stitched Raw-Edge Appliqué. I don’t have this one yet but I imagine it focuses even more on the method I like. Hmm… I’ll have to put this one on my wish list!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Annie Smith of Quilting Stash sat down and had a long talk with incredible art quilter Laura Wasilowski. Listen to the podcast at the Simple Arts website.

Of all the episodes of Simply Quilts that I DVR’d, Laura’s was one I watched back a couple times. Her information about fusible appliqué came in the form of several revelations for me, and I wanted to make sure it sunk in.

You’ll enjoy listening to this interview.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

My goodness! I’ve been tagged by none other than the president of QNNtv, Jodie Davis.

“All right, Mackenzie,” I said to myself. “Crash course time. What’s it all about?”

Jodie tagged me amongst the ranks of some pretty nice quilting notables, so I’m taking it as a big compliment! Jodie’s post explained it all pretty well. This game of tag-you’re-it (not like tagging a blog post) is going around the blogosphere. Now I’m supposed to post 7 things about myself and tag 7 other blogs, and on it goes.

Okay, 7 things you never knew about me:

1. You know I have a dog, Willie.
Willie
What you may not know is that Willie converted both me and my husband into total dog people. We both volunteer at the animal shelter. Dana walks dogs and I assist the staff with adoptions.

2. Despite that I’m a dog person, I have 3 cats!
2-cats1.jpgmaikai.jpgThey came as a package deal, 3 little stray kittens who followed us home. That was 17 years ago! They’re all still here.

3. My DH Dana is a writer too, a freelance science journalist. He wrote a book about the origin of the moon called The Big Splat. You can see it on his website. We’ve been married almost 19 years.

4. I grew up in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I went to college in Boulder, Colorado. I’ve also lived in the Los Angeles area and Gambier, Ohio, before settling in Santa Cruz. We love it here.

5. You know those paddle balls you get when you’re a kid? The wooden paddle with the rubber ball attached with an elastic string? I can totally do that. I can hit that ball a few hundred times in a row. Ah, the useful skills acquired in childhood.

6. I have “presbyopia” or over-forty eyes. I wear contacts to get through the day… love ’em. When I want to do some stitching, I put on reading glasses over the contacts. So, I go from two eyes to four eyes to six eyes.

7. In addition to being a devoted quilter, I’m a digital media nerd. I love nothing more than a good rousing discussion about typography. Words, writing, typefaces, computer illustration, page layout… my idea of a high old time. No wonder publishing — and blogging — are such good things for me!

Here are my 7 tags:

1. Annie Smith’s Quilting Stash Podcast. Annie’s probably been tagged so many times she’s got sticky notes all over her. If you haven’t before, go listen to her podcasts for quilters.

2. Holly Mabutas of Eat Cake Graphics. Her “Sprinkles of Thought” blog has quilting and dogs… what could be better?

3. Susan Brubaker Knapp of Blue Moon River. Susan posts a new appliqué tip monthly, very cool. Plus she lives in North Carolina, my home state.

4. Darcy Ashton of Ashton Publications. Darcy just started blogging recently. She’s quite the photographer in addition to being a fabulous designer.

5. Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio. I think the very brainy Kathy’s got a few tags going already too.

6. Gina Halladay’s QuiltersBuzz. Gina’s just so “in the know” about the quilting industry. When you read this blog, you feel like you’re on the inside track.

7. Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods. Celine has a very cool blog with lots of information. She was just tagged. It’s really going around.

8. Here’s my extra, nothing to do with quilting: i can has cheezburger. It’s about… well… it can’t be explained. Go look at this if you like cats (or maybe even if you dont :-).

Whew!
Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Admin note: The Giveaway for Kids has drawn to a close. All of the books have gone to good homes. Since the giveaway began, I’ve heard from quilters in about every state in this country. Each one has a heartfelt story to tell of the wonderful warming efforts that they and their groups put forth. It makes me know the depth of caring among quilters. We are a wonderful bunch and I’m happy to be a member of the community.

Due to a printing glitch and subsequent reprinting, I ended up with way more copies of In a Twinkle: Youthful Quilt Designs than I needed. It’s time for them to move away from home!

If you’re a member of a group that makes and donates quilts for kids in need, email me at “kay at kaymackenzie dot com” and tell me about your group. Include your address. I’ll send you 6 copies (as many as I can stuff in a bubble mailer) by the “slow boat to China,” Media Mail. If you feel like paying me back for the postage, you can PayPal a couple bucks to the same address.

If you’re not a member of such a group but you know somebody who is, feel free to spread the word.

frontcoveriat.jpgThis book includes step-by-step. illustrated instructions for five easy quilts and a comfy cozy flannel blankie, plus detailed instructions on the fusible-interfacing method for machine-appliquéing big, simple shapes.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s finally here, March 1st… the official publication date of my new book, Teapots 2 to Appliqué!

Teapots 2 to Appliqué

It’s an exciting time. After months and months of work designing the motifs, stitching them up, handing out the patterns to willing appliqué friends, waiting to see what they come up with, writing the text, creating the illustrations, laying out the pages, shepherding the projects through photography, and at last taking the finished file to the printers, then comes the nail-biting period waiting for “the call” that the books are finished and ready to be picked up. Once I finally have a book in my hands and it’s just what I wanted, that’s the happy dance time, as in now. Yay!

Teapots 2 has 16 new teapot designs for you to appliqué using your own favorite method. Since my last book came out, I learned the back-basting, aka no-template preparation method for hand appliqué and have become a big fan. This new book has step-by-step instructions for back-basting prep in case you’re a hand appliquér as well and would like to learn what that’s all about.

My first teapot book, Teapots to Appliqué, is now out of print. That’s a bittersweet thought. I sent off the very last copies the same week I got the new one. Couldn’t have timed it better if I’d planned it that way!

Teapots 2 is available on my website, Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs.

Until next time (happy dance, happy dance),
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs