So many thanks to those who chimed in about their blog-reading strategies. One reason for doing that last post that I forgot to mention is that sometimes I get messages from readers who are subscribed by email, who don’t even realize that they’re subscribed to a blog, and they think I’m sending them emails!

Erin Russek, who writes the One Piece at a Time blog, recently posted a great photo tutorial showing a very cool template-drawstring-and-starch method for getting the edges pressed under on petal-shaped pieces. Check out her Little Bird Top Knots post. Thanks for a great lesson, Erin!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m a member of an internet discussion group among quilt-pattern designers. Our conversations range far and wide, and recently the topic of blogs, blog feeds, and email subscriptions came up.

I myself am subscribed to the blogs I follow through Google Reader, an RSS feed reader that keeps everything organized in a browser tab.

Many people subscribe to blogs that way, while others prefer to subscribe by email. They’re more familiar with email and prefer having a post’s content delivered right to their in-box.

We who write blogs are ecstatic that you’re following us! Any which a way you like! But did you know that if you subscribe through a feed reader or by email, you’re missing a lot?

You’re getting each post in its bare-bones form. You see the text, you see the photos. But we work hard to format our posts, making them look pretty with text lined up and wrapping the right way with the pictures. This formatting is usually stripped away when posts are delivered remotely.

Also, you’re not seeing the blog’s sidebars, which are rich with possibilities.

Have you reviewed lately what All About Appliqué‘s sidebars have to offer? Take a moment to click over to the blog itself. Just click on the title of this post and you’ll be whisked away to the blog.

Are we there now? See how nice the content looks in its intended form? See all the good stuff in the sidebars? Let’s take a tour.

Top left… the Appliqué Bookshop, powered by Amazon. All appliqué titles, hand-picked by me for your browsing pleasure. Just below that is the Appliqué DVD Store.

Next comes a rotating ad from Amazon, with juicy titles to catch your eye.

Below that is a search function for the blog. Type some keywords here and it will search the entire archive, bringing up any post no matter how old. A very handy feature when you’re looking for information on a designer or a technique!

Then come the Categories. These are categories that I assign each blog post so that if you’re looking for info on a certain subject, you can click on one and all posts assigned that category will come up. Another way to search the blog, and very useful when looking for information.

Then there are a couple of blog rings. Click on these logos and you’ll be taken to another blog that belongs to the same ring. You can keep going around from blog to blog for a long time :).

Lastly on the left are the Archives, filed by month. If you want to look back and see all the posts for a certain month, that’s how you can do it.

Now we move to the right-hand side.

Up top are two ways to subscribe, by email or by feed reader. Both of these are great ways to receive automatic notification when a blog post goes up. Just remember, you’re only seeing a stripped-down version of the post when you get them this way, and clicking over to the blog itself is a good thing to do every once in awhile.

Below that are two linked logos, one for the new on-line Quilt Pattern Magazine, and one for the first issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, both of which I had stuff in.

Then there’s a link to the All About Appliqué Flickr group, which you can post your appliqué photos to, or just go and enjoy the eye candy!

Below that is a linked image for the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round from 2009. Ooh, that was a fun one.

rose basket3Guess what… there’s another one coming down the pike! That’s right, look for Book-A-Round 2, Inspired by Tradition coming your way in March or April. There will be tons of info about the new book as well as lots of chances to win a copy.

Below that is the blogroll, with lots of linky love for appliqué designers and pattern companies. Another rich resource for appliqué enthusiasts.

That’s it! Thanks for coming on the sidebar tour with me. And thanks for reading the blog, and subscribing to it!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Last night Brown came and delivered the most beautiful book. I’m holding it in my hands, I see my name on the cover, and I can hardly believe it’s mine!


It’s been just over a year since I was given the green light from That Patchwork Place for this new book. I’ve blogged about the process a little bit from time to time. (If you look at the Categories in the left-hand sidebar you can click on ‘A story of another book’ to read those posts if you like.)

Inspired by Tradition: 50 Appliqué Blocks in 5 Sizes is presented in the same format as Easy Appliqué Blocks, my first book from TPP… 50 blocks shown in a thumbnail library so you can choose your block, and a CD that you stick into your computer, choose any one of 5 sizes, and print right at home! No figuring of percentages or folding, copying, and matching back up crooked sections! We even give reversed versions of each pattern, since you need that for some forms of appliqué.

The designs in this new book are all vintage and old-timey in look and feel, hence the name Inspired by Tradition. The publishers did an amazing job on the pages within… graceful, colorful, and pretty, and so well suited for showing off these blocks with traditional appeal. I couldn’t be happier with how it looks.

In addition to the blocks, there’s a Little Gallery of Ideas to get you thinking. We’ve included the dimensions of all the blocks, sashing, borders, etc. in case you’d like to make something similar. There are also extensive illustrated instructions for back-basting hand appliqué and raw-edge fusible machine appliqué, and a section of appliqué questions and answers compiled from what quilters talk about when they come into my booth at shows.

What I have right now is my advance copy. The book ships to quilt shops March 7. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon now, and at a great price too. And, if you go look at it on Amazon and click on ‘see all product images,’ you can see all 50 of the blocks! That’s right, the publisher uploaded beautiful images of all 50 blocks, stitched by moi!

If you’d like to wait for a copy signed by me, I’ll have it on my website March 7 as well.

Thank you for taking a look at my new baby. I’m just a little bit excited. :)

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Congratulations to Kathleen Connors, the winner of Flowers All Around! Kathleen, enjoy the book! My thanks to everyone who entered the drawing. I appreciate you reading my blog and being a fellow appliqué enthusiast.

Over at The Quilt Show‘s Daily Blog, they’ve posted a slide show of a beautiful Baltimore Album exhibit that was displayed at the International Quilt Festival in Houston last fall.

The exhibit was entitled “Baltimore Album Review II: Baltimore’s Daughters — Friends Stitch Past to Future.” According to the blog post, the quilts are “some of the finest examples of the Baltimore Album Quilt revivalist movement and include many from the collection of Baltimore expert/artist/curator Elly Sienkiewicz.”

The slide show is available for viewing to all… you don’t have to be a member of The Quilt Show. The link is below. Enjoy!

Baltimore Album Review II

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I have a beautiful book to show you this month.

Flowers All Around: Garden-Inspired Quilts by Cindy Lammon comes to us courtesy of That Patchwork Place.


In the introduction, Cindy tells us how she first became attracted to historical botanical prints, with their “marriage of beauty and scientific accuracy.” She continues, “I continue to be inspired by botanical art and my own garden. Creating simple appliqué and pieced designs of flowers and plants has become one of my favorite pastimes.”

A combination of appliqué and piecing creates the most beautiful quilts IMO. This book presents five such quilts with detailed instructions on how to make them.

Flower Garden

Flower Garden

The author also provides fantastic illustrated appliqué instruction for both needle-turn hand appliqué and fusible machine appliqué… take your pick! There is also very good basic information on selecting fabric, rotary cutting, machine piecing, pressing, adding borders, and binding your quilt.

Christmas Flora

Christmas Flora

Aren’t they gorgeous?

If you’d like a chance to win this book, please leave a comment by Friday, January 7, 2011. U.S. and Canada only. Those subscribed by email or feed reader, click the title of the post to be taken to the blog itself, then scroll to the bottom of the post to leave your comment and enter the drawing. Good luck!!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Top of the New Year to you! Today’s the day to pick a random winner for a year’s subscription to the new on-line Quilt Pattern Magazine.

magazine225x293 has declared that the lucky winner is Angie, who posted on December 11th at 8:11 p.m. Congratulations Angie! You’ll be hearing from the magazine soon, so be sure to watch your in-box for the details on how to activate your subscription. You’ll have until January 31st to claim your prize.

Many thanks to everyone else who entered the contest. Though the chips didn’t fall your way this time, you can still get a great magazine at a great price. The premier issue is up and running today!

I’ll be back soon with a look at another beautiful quilting book, and after that, I’ll talk about MY new book, which comes out March 7!

Happy New Year,
Best regards,

By Kay Mackenzie