Thanks to the encouragement of my friend Maria of Maria Michaels Designs, I finally figured out how to make it so that you can subscribe to this blog either with a feed reader or by email! That’s right, if you haven’t figured out the feed reader thing you can now sign up to get the posts delivered to your in-box. I put the links at the top of the right-hand sidebar.

I also added the Search widget to the left-hand sidebar, so you can search this blog by keyword.

Cheers,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

More fusible web! I stopped by the June Tailor booth at Spring Market and noticed one of their new products… Ink Jet Printable Fusible Web. They gave me a package to try out.

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The package says, “Use any pattern that you create, scan, or download onto your computer.” I would add a caveat… the pattern has to have templates that are separated from one another. The reason is that when you cut out the shapes, you need to leave a little bit of product outside the line, so that when you cut out the fused motif, you’re cutting fusible and fabric at the same time. That gives a clean edge.

Being a designer, I have tons of appliqué patterns on my computer, but I don’t normally design with all templates separate. To try out the printable fusible web, I took one of my simple patterns from Easy Appliqué Blocks, Moon and Stars, and moved the shapes apart. I also reversed them, which is what you need to do for fusible appliqué. (Didn’t need the centering lines just to print the templates, but I forgot to remove them.)

moon-stars-reg.gifmoon-stars.gif

I took all the paper out of my printer tray and loaded one sheet of fusible web per the instructions. On my printer, the printable side is down so that’s how I loaded it, with paper side down. Then I sent the print job. Well, the sheet crept out of the printer slower than a snail’s pace. I couldn’t figure out why, so I checked my print settings… yep, it was set on Quick. Then I remembered that the package said to use a ‘plain paper’ setting. I rechecked my settings and changed the paper type from automatic to plain paper and tried it again. Voila! It printed on out like I thought it should. On automatic, my printer detected that this was some sort of weird stuff moving through its interior and did the best it could to interpret how to print on it. This was a case of RTFM. If you don’t know that term, it’s short for Read the Fabulous Manual. (Sort of.)

Here’s the printed sheet.

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I cut the templates apart.

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Then cut the centers away.

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Fused to the backs of my appliqué fabrics. (Note: the package says to use no steam, and really, you’ll need to use a dry iron. In case you left any of the lines at all, let’s just say that steam and inkjet do not play nicely together.)

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Here’s what the glue looks like after it’s been fused to the motif. Kinda shiny-like.

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I positioned and fused the shapes to the background fabric. The instructions again say to use no steam. Normally I would use steam at this stage, because my understanding is that that’s what activates the glue. But I used a dry iron, and, after an initial press, “glided” it as the instructions said to do. Worked fine.

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I stitched with my usual small machine blanket stitch and all went well. There was no gumming of the needle.

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The product performed quite well for me, and acted just as it said it would. Something to think about is that if you mess up a template, it isn’t going to be all that easy to reprint just one template.

And, all this product was left over. That’s not going through my printer again. I guess I’ll save it and try using it in a future project the old-fashioned way, by tracing.

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So, if you see June Tailor Ink Jet Printable Fusible Web and you also have appliqué templates in electronic form (original, scanned, or downloaded), pick up a package and try if for yourself! It costs more but you may enjoy the time saved and accuracy of not having to trace your templates.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

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Colorful, fun, uplifting, energetic, and positive.

That describes Beth and Liz Hawkins, their design aesthetic, and Whimsyland, their inspiring, eye-appealing book that’s full of crafty and creative projects.

I’ve met and chatted with the Lizzie B Cre8ive Girls, Liz and Beth Hawkins, a number of times. They’re both as nice as the day is long, and we’re ‘like this’ when it comes to appliqué. Not only that, the Lizzie B logo uses Frivolous, one of my favorite typefaces that I use in some of my books.

I was excited when I heard the girls were working with Kansas City Star on their first book. Whimsyland came out last month, just in time for Spring Market. The publisher provided me with a review copy, thank you Kansas City Star Books!

The publisher (whose website is pickledish.com by the way) provides a free download from the book! You can see the gals and the Whimsyland quilt.

Besides the adorable eponymous quilt, there are lots of other cute things to make that you’d totally want around your house, from a pillow to a rug to a beanbag chair! There are full-size templates for all of the appliqué motifs, and detailed instructions for the type of appliqué preparation that they favor, using starch and templates to turn the edges.

What makes this book extra-special IMO is that, in addition to the projects, you’re getting a lot of Beth and Liz. I heard that the publishers knew right away they wanted the authors’ personalities in the book. There are humorous anecdotes sprinkled throughout, tons of pictures, the Lizzie B recipe for ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookies, and the spooky story of how two sisters-in-law, both named Elizabeth Ann Hawkins, found out that they also share a brain.

A couple days ago I almost busted a gut reading the latest entries on the Lizzie B blog. I was laughing so loud that the DH came in to see what all the hilarity was about. I sat him down and made read about book editor Kent’s ‘World Tour.’ Before long Dana was chuckling right along with me. Here’s the permalink to the first Whimsyland sighting on Kent’s tour.

And now, guess what? I’m giving the book away! I was scheming this from the beginning. Leave a comment on why you think you’d like Whimsyland. I’ll draw a winner on Thursday evening, June 25, at 7:00 California time.

See you then!
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Just got this comment from Joleen on my Fusible web management post. I’m bumping her question to this new post.

Hi Kay,

I LOVE your site!
I am new to sewing and living in a non English speaking country. I have, due to much hard work and determination, found some sort of fusible web at the local fabric market. I have it in two forms…a small tape ( like scotch tape) and by the meter sheet. However, I am REALLY confused by how to use it. There is NO backing paper…..

I would be so grateful for any tips of hints you can give me on how to use this stuff….

Joleen, I think the strippy stuff is like a sewing notion called Stitch Witchery. A ‘tetch’ of this can be useful in appliqué situations where you need just a little strip to tack something down or to effect a repair of some ilk. I have some in my drawer of “things on a roll.”

In past appliqué explorations, I’ve tried using non-paper-backed fusible web, and I’ve always come back to the paper-backed kind. I actually can’t remember how to use the naked web. This is like Misty Fuse I’m thinking. Appliqué enthusiasts, please chime in! Joleen in another country needs your help!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

As I was roaming the aisles of Spring Quilt Market with my eye attuned to everything appliqué, I was stopped by a display wall of product. “Fusible Web” jumped out at me. This was the Bosal Foam and Fiber booth and the nice gentleman there gifted me with a package of their paper-backed product for me to try.

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Here’s what the fusible side looks like.

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I used it to stitch up a new block.

bosal3.gifI’m happy to report that the product worked quite nicely for me. It’s a bit heftier that the Wonder Under that I normally use, but since I cut out the centers of my templates, the finished block was not any stiffer at all.

On a couple of the pieces, the edges of the fusible were wanting to separate from the template, but with careful handling I didn’t have to redo anything. Once fused and cut out, the edges of the motifs were crisp, with almost no fraying. Yay! (Note: this may have more to do with fabric choice than with fusible web choice. I’m just sayin’.)

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One thing I like is the really good explanation on the back of the package about the variables involved in getting a successful bond. “Time, heat, and pressure are the three key elements,” it begins, and goes on from there with some very good information about these variables. Note: it refers to ‘interfacing’ throughout, which to my mind is a different product from ‘fusible web.’ Maybe they use the same info on their interfacing packages, or maybe the company refers to fusible web as interfacing? In any case, it’s good information for either.

I contacted the Bosal company to learn more about the product, and received a prompt and comprehensive reply. I’ll just quote most of what Drew Serbin, Director of Operations, wrote me.

“Bosal is pronounced Beau-suhl. Our website is www.bosalonline.com and it is quite comprehensive, including information about all interfacings produced by Bosal Foam and Fiber as well as the myriad other craft products we produce, including urethane foam, bonded polyester battings, polyester fiber fill, and vellux craft kits.

If quilters go to our website and go to the “Where to Buy” section, they will see a list of distributors and high-volume retailers. If they click on the “Map” link they will actually see a map of the United States and can click on individual states to find a retailer.”

I clicked on the Bay area on the map and came up with Beverly’s, which we have right here in Santa Cruz. I’ll have to check it out next time I go.

I asked whether polyamide is the same fusible that’s used on other brands, and Drew told me that yes, it’s the same adhesive that’s used on nearly all fusible web, including Wonder Under. My needle didn’t gum up or anything like that, worked fine.

Drew also sent me some great information about other types of Bosal products. These things are beyond my personal ken but they may be of interest to all you crafty people, so I include the info here. Over to you, Drew.

“I would also add that Bosal has one of the most extensive lines of quilters’ fleeces in the market, including two weights of sew-in, scrim supported fleeces, the heaviest-weight fusible fleece in the industry, plus cotton/wool, Bamboo, Bamboo/Cotton and Soy Silk/Cotton fleece.

In addition to the fleeces, your readers might also be interested in our extensive line of embroidery stabilizers, which are available rolled on board or slit rolls in popular hoop sizes. The embroidery stabilizer line includes three water solubles, two tearaways, two cutaways, and a flame-retardant perforated for childrens’ wear.”

Here’s something that sounds interesting for those of you who make your own garment or handbag patterns.

“About eight months ago we launched Bosal Create-A-Pattern, it is a nonwoven tracing material that is is packed in a 46″ wide by either 5 or 10
yard roll. The beauty of Create-A-Pattern versus Swedish tracing paper or the like, is that it is a nonwoven, therefore you can crunch it up into a
ball and it lays right back down flat. Additionally, unlike traditional pattern papers and tracing papers, these goods will not tear and can be pinned. Thus it can be used over and over again without damaging the pattern.”

Thank you Drew for all of the info. If you are a machine appliquér and you see Bosal Fusible Web, you might want to pick up a package and give it a try for yourself. Another one for your appliqué bag of tricks!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Just added some designers to the lists.

Cleo’s Designs: Lovely flowers and birds.

The Noble Wife: Fresh, modern country look.

Janet Selck: Scraps of Time is her company and her new book Pieced Potpourri has tons of cute appliqué.

Whims: Kits for watercolor quilts with appliqué laid over.

until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s a sad and reflective time in the Mackenzie household. In February we lost our pretty kitty Chutney, and just a few days ago, her sister calico Maikai joined her. They were 18 years old.

bye-bye-kitties.gifChutney (left) and Maikai (right) a couple years ago.

Dana put up a very sweet post on his blog about Maikai, who was “his” cat, if you’d like to go and see it.

What does this have to do with appliqué? Nothing much, except that I’m moved to share that this snap of Maikai sitting in the kitchen windowsill served as the basis for my “Cat” block in Easy Appliqué Blocks.

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Bye-ye calicoes. It’s a lot quieter in the house now after all these years, with only your third sister Pixel and, of course, Willie the quilt puppy. We miss you.

XO Kay

As I’ve written before, Dana and I had our 20th wedding anniversary on May 19 and we decided to go to Hawaii as our special celebration. The Starwood people sent us an offer for a cheep package at one of their 5-star resorts on Kauai, which is where we wanted to go anyway, so it was kismet!

westin.gifThe Westin Princeville Ocean Resort and Villas

kiddiepool.gifThe keiki pool

One of the first places we went was Limahuli Botanical Gardens, not far away on the North Shore.

taro.gifTaro (kalo in Hawaiian). The roots are the main starch of the traditional Hawaiian diet and the source of that poi.

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hala.gifDana in some hala trees.

pineapples.gifPineapples grow on the ground, not in trees.

koa.gifCrescent-shaped koa leaves.

A most special and beautiful spot on the island was Hanalei Bay. You remember Puff the Magic Dragon, who frolicked in the autumn mists in a land called Hanalee? Well, there’s no proof that Hanalee is really Hanalei, but Hanalei has claimed Puff. In fact we heard someone say that the best sunsets are when the sun goes down behind Puff’s nose in the bay, so of course we had to see if we could make out a dragon in the cliffs. We think we can.

hula-hanalei.gifHere’s Dana practicing his hula on the beach at Hanalei, in front of Puff. Picture it as a dragon’s head, with his lower jaw submerged in the water. You can see the top of his head, and there’s a bare patch that looks like his eye, and then the snout goes off into the ocean.

We visited the Kilauea Lighthouse, an old lighthouse in need of restoration. Today the area is a preserve for marine birdlife and we saw many different kinds of sea birds as well as some spectacular coastal views.

kilauea.gifLooking left from the lighthouse, back toward Princeville.

more-please.gifIn a nearby shop I found a Jack Russell terrier who’d never met a stranger.

chickens.gifEverywhere on the Kauai lowlands, and I mean everywhere, you see these chickens. According to my bird book, they’re “Red Junglefowl.” Here’s a typical fancy rooster with his plainer lady friend.

Zipline! So much fun! We took the Kauai Backcountry Adventures zipline tour and loved every minute of it.

zipline3.gifMe on the zipline. The guide said I had the most relaxed posture of anyone in the group.

dana-zipline.gifDana zipping along. His posture was likened to that of a cat about to be put in the sink for a bath. I think the red shorts and white socks really add to the effect.

luau1.gifOf course when you’re in Hawaii you can’t miss going to a luau. On the recommendation of some friends, we chose the Smith Family Garden Luau.

peacocks.gifOne of the great things about this luau (besides the plentiful mai tais, the delicious feast, and the multinational show) is that you get to a take a tram tour of their lovely gardens. There were gobs of tame peacocks who, I swear, loved to show off their plumage for the visitors.

x28l.gifYou can’t miss the aloha shirt on the wall outside the Waimea Canyon General Store in Kekaha, just before you start up the road alongside Waimea Canyon. It’s a size 28XL.

waimea-canyon2.gifWaimea Cayon, from not very far up.

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And now the stop that you’ve been waiting for… the Kapaia Stitchery!

bento.gifNot one step inside the front door, I saw Tracey‘s Bento Box hanging up.

hula-huts.gifHappy Hula Huts by Lisa Boyer, a Kauai resident.

keiki.gifAnother of Lisa’s patterns, Keiki Hula.

batiks.gifThey have tons of batiks.

batiks2.gifMore batiks.

asians.gifAsians.

hawaiians.gifHawaiian prints.

bolts.gifLots of bolts.

bolts2.gifMore bolts.

kimono.gifKimono.

pillows.gifPillow tops.

gifts.gifGifts.

lei.gifLei. Check out the one made out of yoyos!

As you can see, it’s a fabulous shop, very friendly, and of course you must go there when you visit Kauai.

wailua-falls.gifRight next to the Stitchery is the turnoff for Wailua Falls. About 4 miles up the road all of a sudden you’re beside a beautiful rushing waterfall.

Thanks for coming with me on my tour of Kauai.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Just put up a post on my Show & Tell Center showing a Baskets to Appliqué quilt made by a shop for their BOM program. For a treat, go look at this gorgeous treatment of the basket blocks.

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

I’m busting with pride over my pal Holly Mabutas, whose darling quilt ‘Home in the Middle’ made the cover of the French magazine Quiltmania.

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Go to Holly’s blog Sprinkles of Thought to read her account. Way to go Holly!

While you’re there, be sure to look at another of Holly’s creations, Fresh Picked, which has to be one of the most adorable things ever. The blog also has a series of fascinating articles about fabric design, as Holly goes through formal school learning all about it.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

The winner for June among registered readers of the blog is Lura Gordy of Sherwood, Oregon. Congrats Lura!

I’m especially excited about announcing the winner this month, because while I was at Spring Market I spoke with my publisher, Martingale & Company / That Patchwork Place, and they offered to sponsor some prizes for us. In fact, they said they would be delighted to do so! Thank you Martingale!!

Lura will be receiving not only a copy of my book, Easy Appliqué Blocks, but also a copy of Fabulous Flowers: Mini-Quilts in Dimensional Applique by Sharon K. Baker. How nice is that?

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Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs