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Easy Appliqué Blocks went out of print last year. I still have some copies that can be ordered from my website, but the supply is dwindling, and when those print copies are gone there won’t be any more. My heart breaks… but only a little. Because I knew that EAB would live forever after as an eBook! The eBook version is now available at the publisher’s website, shopmartingale.com. Yippee!

I’ve downloaded it, and it works “like butter.” The CD content (all 50 blocks in 5 different sizes) is also available to download, as part and parcel of the eBook!

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Inspired by Tradition, which is still in print, is also available in eBook form. At shopmartingale.com you can get it in a bundle with the print book at no extra cost or you can get the e-version by itself. How very cool!

And I forgot to tell you that I’ve been nominated for a 2012 Golden Quilter Award over at SewCalGal! It sounds very corny, but it really is quite an honor to be listed among the other author dignitaries who received nominations. You can still vote for your favorite nominees in several categories through March 31 at SewCalGal.

Back soon with our featured book for April.

Until then,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Awhile ago, a reader suggested that I might highlight the work of incredible appliqué artist Deborah Kemball. I agree! I don’t know Deborah but I have been admiring her gorgeous work and have been collecting references to her as I come across them.

Deborah is the author of the very successful and lovely book Beautiful Botanicals.

In an interview in the newsletter of The Appliqué Society, I learned that Deborah does all of her work by hand, including the quilting. I was truly gratified to learn that she works quickly because she is not a perfectionist! If she’s unhappy with anything she makes it work later with embroidery or an additional motif.

At the 2011 AQS Lancaster Show, Deborah’s Midnight Garden won First Place in the Appliquéd Quilts, Hand Quilted division. You can see this beauty on Deborah’s Gallery page.

It’s one of two quilts in her pattern pack Twilight Garden Quilts.

Deborah currently lives in Chile and has started to include information about her techniques on her blog. We will all continue to look forward to more beautiful appliqué from this gifted self-taught quilter.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Today’s the third of three days at home before schlepping off to another show. I love it! Despite all the driving, hauling, setting up, tearing down, bumps, bruises, etc., I still smile and say, “Best job I ever had!”

This weekend is “Springtime in the Valley” put on by the San Joaquin Valley Quilters’ Guild of Fresno, California. It’s at the Golden Palace, Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4. If you’re in that area, I hope to see you at the show.

My advance copy of Scrap-Appliqué Playground arrived, and it’s so purty! It’s kind of like a miracle when you’re finally holding a book in your hand that started out as an idea in your head.

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See you next week!

Until then,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

As you may recall, I was in Palm Springs a couple weeks ago. I had some time the morning of my arrival so I went up on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.

The tram goes up a mountain and at the top is the beautiful Mount San Jacinto State Park. I believe they said it’s the highest state park anywhere! I wasn’t able to get out and poke around the nature trails however, because…

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Yeah. The climate goes from tropic Mexico at the bottom to arctic Canada at the top. And the wind was blowing. Yes, I am a weather wimp.

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Here’s where you get off at the top.

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Just a tiny portion of the vast rugged mountain terrain. In this shot you can see the reflection of my plaid shirt in the window as I photographed from the comfort of an unoccupied dining hall.

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Here we are going down. You can see Palm Springs spread out at the bottom.

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There are five towers and it was quite the engineering feat. The revolving tram cars are the only ones like them in the western hemisphere! If you ever get the chance, this is a very inspiring thing to do.

The show was loads of fun. It took place on Friday/Saturday, and the next day I headed over to The Quilter’s Faire in nearby Palm Desert. The proprietress, my pal Debby, had been running a teapot challenge, and it was Awards Day!

The shop went all-out. The DH Rob hung the challenge quilts from the rafters, and a lovely tea service was set out complete with scones, clotted cream, and lemon curd.

Please go to the the Quilter’s Faire blog to see photos of the Viewers’ Choice winner, my second-place winner, Designer’s Choice, and the lovely ladies who participated in the challenge. The story is spread out over several posts, so keep scrolling down!

It was such fun.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Next stop: The 33rd Annual Glendale Quilt Show. The show, held at the Burbank Airport Marriott Convention Center, is Friday through Sunday, March 16-18.

The lucky reader who came up the winner of Barbara Burnham’s Baltimore Garden Quilt is… Nellie! Congratulations to Nellie! And thank you so much to everyone who left warm and wonderful comments about Barbara’s work. I know she greatly appreciates it and so do I.

Other bits and bobs:

New in the blogroll: Zebra Designs by Debra Gabel. Check out the totally charming Holiday Houses!

scrap-cover-250 Mark your calendars for the upcoming Book-A-Round 3, June 8-15! My new book Scrap-Appliqué Playground comes out in mid-April, and during the Book-A-Round in June we’ll zoom around the blogosphere visiting seven other fabulous quilting blogs who will each feature something fun about the book.

This Thursday I’ll be headed to southern California once again for the 33rd Annual Glendale Quilt Show. The show, held at the Burbank Airport Marriott Convention Center, is Friday through Sunday, March 16-18. This is my first time as a vendor. I’ve attended the show before and had a fantastic time. In fact, once upon a time I received a Judges’ Choice ribbon for my Growing Hearts quilt and got to attend the awards banquet and everything :) So you might say I have a soft spot in my heart for the show. If you’re in SoCal I hope to see you there!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

I’ve been waiting and waiting for this one to come out!

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Our featured book this month is Barbara Burnham’s Baltimore Garden Quilt from AQS Publishing.

My maiden name is Burnham so I’ve often wondered if Barbara and I are long-lost cousins. After all, Burnham is a good old “up east” name (my dad is from Massachussetts) and Barbara is a charter member of the Baltimore Appliqué Society, but alas we still haven’t figured that out LOL.

Today I’m turning the blog over to Barbara to tell us all about her stellar new book. It’s quite something!

Barbara M. Burnham, author:

“My dear husband thought I was crazy to buy that old worn quilt I found in 1999. “But it really does have potential,” I told him. “Try to imagine that quilt as it looked in 1848 when it was made.”

M.E.C. 1848

M.E.C. 1848

“So he smiled and said “Whatever you want, dear.” (Love that!) I wanted to reproduce the quilt and make those designs come alive again. When the quilt arrived, we had fun looking over all the appliqué, some completely gone from age and wear, and dense quilting with florals in between all the appliqué. This is the quilt that became the new “Baltimore Garden Quilt.”

M.E.C. Remembered

M.E.C. Remembered

“Flowers on the antique quilt had been stitched on one petal at a time –- one flower had almost 50 petals! But I devised a method of appliqué to do those flowers in layered sections. Over the next ten years, I traced the designs and appliquéd the blocks. (Not that I’m so slow, but also working a full-time job). Meanwhile, my friends at the Baltimore Appliqué Society cheered me on to publish the patterns.

I kept a journal noting techniques, drawings, problems, and solutions. I wondered what the original quilter might have been thinking about her world in 1848, and what she grew in her garden to inspire these flowers. Techniques on her quilt include buttonhole stitching, woven baskets, embroidery, inked signatures, and tiny cross stitched initials.

Those techniques and more are described in my book using today’s tools and methods. The companion CD includes all the patterns for appliqué blocks, border swags with 40 florettes, quilting designs, alternate sets, and an 1848-era cross stitch alphabet.

Finally, I must give credit to my friend, Marty Vint of Dogwood Quilting, for her masterful machine quilting of all the original designs from the antique quilt. The Baltimore Garden Quilt, or “M.E.C. Remembered,” will be displayed in the Author’s Row exhibit at the American Quilter’s Society shows in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Paducah, Kentucky.”

I asked Barbara to tell us more about the intriguing topic of her appliqué methods.

Barbara: “My favorite method for hand appliqué is freezer-paper-on-top with needleturn (blind stitch). I leave the freezer paper on until the piece is stitched. I don’t mark the applique fabric or background. But this quilt required a LOT of techniques! All my techniques are in this book, plus:

• A new technique for creating symmetrical multi-layered flowers
• No-mark placement
• Buttonhole (blanket stitch) and iron-on fusibles
• Reverse applique
• Embroidery stitches
• Several ways to make a woven basket
• Bias stems
• Tricks for handling small pieces like berries and bird’s eyes
• Back-basting on the sewing machine
• How to trace designs from an antique quilt
• How to find just the right fabrics, including Turkey Red
• All the quilting patterns that appear between the applique
• How-to’s for adapting quilting motifs for your quilt
• Marking quilting motifs
• How to assemble the quilt (joining blocks, joining borders and adding corner swags)
• Backing and batting, basting the “quilt sandwich”
• Quilting by hand or machine
• Preparing your quilt for machine quilting
• Binding
• Signing and dating your work, ideas for labels

Included Patterns:

• Twenty-five 15-inch appliqué blocks
• Border Double Swags and 40 Small Florettes to join them
• Quilting Motifs from the antique quilt
• Alternate Set for arranging the blocks
• Cross Stitch Alphabet from 1848

Here’s who will enjoy this book:

• People who enjoy or collect antique quilts and patterns; Baltimore style quilts, red-and-green quilts, appliqué quilts and antique quilting patterns.
• Beginning appliquérs who could learn techniques with a simple tulip block.
• Advanced appliquérs who will enjoy the more challenging and complex designs and techniques, or modify them for their own quilts.
• Quilters searching for unique border designs and ideas.

I do hope you enjoy the book!”

Thank you, Barbara! All I can say, is WOW. I mean WOW. How much more could an appliqué enthusiast ask for??

Courtesy of the publisher, I have a copy of Baltimore Album Quilt to give away to a lucky reader. To enter the drawing, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Sunday, March 11.

The fine print: Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not reply to your email feed; instead, click over to the blog itself and leave your comment at the bottom of the post. Good luck!

Until then,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie