I just posted the most heartwarming story over on my Show & Tell Center. Please go see the post about Hearts of Joy.

on-longarm

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

In response to my query last time, Debbie wrote, “You got that right, Wonder Under is the lighter weight.” (That wouldn’t let its paper backing go.)

Debbie also reports that the wash-away product she referred to are Wash-Away Appliqué Sheets from C&T Publishing.

The website says that this product was inspired by Beth Ferrier. Now I happen to know that Beth uses a turned-edge machine appliqué method, not raw-edge. Just want to make sure we’re talking about apples and apples here, not apples and oranges. Here’s a portion of the product review from The Applique Society: “… When your project is finished you have the option of washing the sheet for a softer feeling piece or leaving it in and it will soften over time.”

I think this product is similar to the Appliqué Stabilizer that Sharon Schamber uses. Again, it’s meant for turned-edge appliqué. It remains in your quilt, and even though the stiffy part washes away, it leaves soft fibers behind.

Floriani has a similar thing too, called Stitch n Wash.

And Ricky Tims has one called Stable Stuff.

Whew!

In other news:

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Over the weekend, at Pacific International Quilt Festival, I picked up a flier from Amidon Quiltworks, home of the amazing Pearl P. Pereira of P3 Designs. The flier features a couple of exciting events coming up for appliqué enthusiasts.

The first is an Appliqué Weekend, May 31 through June 3, 2012. More details on the Special Events tab on their website.

The second is a Hawaiian Cruise in 2013, complete with appliqué classes on-board! They don’t have the dates set yet, but you can contact the shop for more information.

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I just posted a couple of amazing projects over on my Show & Tell Center. You’re cordially invited to go and see the beautiful teapots and baskets that quilters have been sharing with me.

And, I just heard from Janis Rink that the teapot quilt she made won a Blue ribbon over the weekend at the Empire QuiltFest in upstate New York! How very thrilling! You go Janis!

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Volume 4 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks is coming out very soon! I’m happy to say that I have a block in this one too, and I think I spy with my little eye that it made the cover this time too! I’ll be participating in the blog tour that takes place November 7-11. My day to post is the last day, but I’ll remind you to go and join in the tour on Day 1, so you won’t miss out on all the fun and prize possibilties!

myblockisin4_200joinforblogtour4_200

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

The Heat-n-Bond fusible samples are going off to Jen Martin. The cool thing is, Jen had been thinking of doing a thorough investigation of fusibles, and has agreed to let us in on her results! Thank you Jen, we’ll really be looking forward to your comprehensive review of different brands.

On the last post, a few questions came up in the comments about fusibles.

Dolores wrote:

It might be quite interesting. I used (horrors) the Heat and Bond heavyweight and it really turned out stiff. It was the only one I had on hand but I would love to try others.

Dolores, the heavyweight (Ultra Hold) is not meant to be sewn through. It’s more for projects like fusing something onto a totebag.

Debbie wrote:

I use several types myself, it all depends on the type of projects that I am working on. I find some too stiff, but great for machine quilting and the lighter weight is hard to peel the backing. Then there is wash away, haven’t tried washing it yet, since I use that on wall projects.

Is the lighter weight with the hard-to-peel paper, by, chance, Wonder Under? I started having that problem with it myself. That’s why my current favorite is Shades SoftFuse. I’m sending some of that to Jen along with the Heat n Bond, to be included in her comparison.

Also, I’ve never heard of wash-away fusible web. Could you by chance be talking about some type of stabilizer or interfacing instead? What product are you talking about? Inquiring minds and so forth. :)

Marcia wrote:

Would you like to have the opinion of a newbie trying to work with them? If so, I could do that for you. I have my Rose of Sharon die from Accuquilt, but have not tried it. I would be happy to test the differences in these, using that die.

Marcia, I haven’t used any of the Accuquilt cutters, but just a word to the wise… my understanding is that you have to prefuse the fabric first, before running it through the cutter. If you cut the shapes first, there’s no way you can get the fusible on them! Also, prefusing means that you can’t cut out the center of the fusible.

My pal Kim Jamieson-Hirst loves her Accuquilt and has played with it a lot, so go check out her blog at Chatterbox Quilts Chitchat.

Angie wrote,

Would you believe I inherited a bolt of the Ultra Hold? It does leave a stiff applique piece, but if one cuts out just the outline of the template and uses only that for your applique piece it won’t be so stiff. I use a 90/14 needle when finishing and the blind hem stitch.

Angie, are you saying that you successfully sewed through the Ultra Hold? I tried it once and had to stop every few seconds to clean the gunk off the needle. Tell us more!

Suzanne wrote,

I am a new appliquer and so far have only done raw edge applique (cuz I’m intimidated by the sewn edge kind!), but I would love to try these. I used another brand that didn’t have a paper backing and ended up pressing the gluey side to my iron! Not smart, not fun. So I’m really taken with the idea of having a paper backing.

Suzanne, first of all, do not fear the appliqué! For the raw edge method that you used, I think you are talking about MistyFuse or something similar. You mention the gluey side… well, it’s all gluey! Myself I prefer having a paper backing. But lots of people happily use unsupported fusibles. The wonderful Sarah Vee has a MistyFuse tutorial posted on her blog. Go check it out!

StrayStitches wrote,

I haven’t tried any of those products before. Have you tried them before and if so, do you like them?

Stray, I’ve tried them all. Read my post on fusible web that was written in response to the Call for Topics. What I’ve landed on is SoftFuse.

Okay, I take that back. I’ve never tried Heat n Bond nFeather Lite. It may the most comparable Heat n Bond product. I’ll be interested to hear what Jen has to report.

Laurel Anderson, author of Appliqué Workshop, wrote,

I do two classes called Survey of Fusibles where we try a wide variety of fusible webs and rate them.

What a great class! Laurel’s teaching information is on her website, Whisper Color.

Susan wrote,

I would love to try this am working on my first appliqued quilt and evidently not using the correct fusible (breaking needles). Would definitely like to try this product.

My goodness Susan, what product are you using that breaks the needle? Do tell.

Remember to go to the blog itself to respond to any of this. Replying to your email subscription sends your comment only to me, and everybody wants in on this very important discussion!

Until next time, lots of fun stuff coming down the pike,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Thank you SO MUCH everyone for your nice words about my forthcoming book. You’re making me more excited about it than ever!

Not too long ago I received in the mail a packet of sample products from Therm-o-Web Heat-n-Bond.

heat-n-bond

These are paper-backed fusible web. There’s Feather Lite, Lite, and Ultra Hold. The first two are for raw-edge fusible machine appliqué, and the last one is non-sew.

Would anyone like to have these samples, and write up a little review for us? If so, leave a comment on this post by 7:00 p.m. California time on Sunday, October 16. U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. I’ll draw from those interested.

Thanks for your help!
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

The new book that I’m working on for That Patchwork Place now has an official name! Not only that, it has a cover!

Meet Scrap-Appliqué Playground.

scrap-appl-cover-450

This is something different for me. My previous two with TPP were block books. This one is more of a concept, method, and project book. It’s also different because the fabrics and the projects are rather fresh and modern compared to my usual look. In fact I heard that when the projects were spread out on the table for the committee, they said, “Kay Mackenzie sent these…???” That’s funny. Different again in that all of the work is done by machine. Not bad for a girl who started out doing everything by hand! I enjoyed working differently a whole bunch.

Look for Scrap-Appliqué Playground in April 2012. I’ll be hosting a Book-A-Round, so stay tuned!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Sew the Perfect Gift goes to…. Kathy in NC! Congratulations Kathy! I hope you enjoy the very cute projects in the book.

The first time I heard the following, I laughed so hard. Then I kind of got used to it as it happened a few more times. Passersby, especially men it seems, would look at a little quilt that I hang in my booth and say, “Hmm… Baked Potatoes.”

This is what they’re looking at:

Baked Potatoes or Plum Pudding: the Great Debate.

Baked Potatoes or Plum Pudding:
The Great Debate.

At my last show I heard a new one. A teenaged girl looked at one of my quilts and said, “Oh, Prairie Dogs.”

You be the judge.

You be the judge.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Hot off the presses!

sew-perfect-gift

Sew the Perfect Gift: 25 Handmade Projects from Top Designers just came out a week ago. I guess I have received a promotion to “top designer” because one of the projects is mine! :)

Awhile back, when Martingale put out the call to its authors to contribute a project to a book idea that they had for making gifts, I didn’t let the sun set on the opportunity.

The teapot idea came to me right away when I thought about sewing a gift. You may know that I’ve designed a number of teapot patterns, and I’ve often heard quilters say that they’re inspired to make something special for a friend who collects teapots.

Time for Tea, Have a Cup With Me

Time for Tea, Have a Cup With Me

Here’s my project from the book. It’s a little guy, 14″ x 9″, hung up with rickrack for a little extra touch. The caption says, “Include it with a gift of your time; brew a pot of tea, sit down, and have a long chat with your friend.” That was my thought about making something for somebody you care about.

Here are some more exceedingly cute things from the book.

tic-tac-toeTic-Tac-Toe for Ewe from Cheryl Almgren Taylor.

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