A hearty welcome to you!! It’s Day 2 of the 100 Blocks Volume 7 blog tour!

I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my books and patterns on it, plus select notions for the appliqué enthusiast. If this is your first time visiting my blog All About Appliqué, I’m glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about appliqué — all kinds — here on the blog. If you’re a regular reader or you’ve been here before for one of these hops, welcome back!

I’m delighted to say that this is my sixth time having a block in an issue of 100 Blocks. It’s so much fun! Dogs and cats often work their way into my appliqué designs. This time, I went back to my first love in animals. I was one of those horse-crazy girls, and for awhile we had a little horse Zora, named after the beloved ninth-grade English teacher that all of us kids had going through school.

Me and Zora, circa 19$%&^ oh sorry got a finger cramp. Zora was white with black specks, known as a flea-bitten gray. She was a gentle soul and and she let me ride her bareback all around the countryside for hours.

When I was looking for the photo I found another one, this time of my beautiful late mother when she was young. Maybe it runs in the family. :)

Now you know why I was so pleased that the editors of 100 Blocks chose “Dream Pony” to be in Volume 7!

For my block that’s in the magazine, pictured above, I made a buckskin pony. You can easily change the coat color, mane, and tail to make a whole herd of others!


Dapple Gray





Just a few of the wide range of wonderful ponies in the world.

There are 99 more charming and delightful quilt blocks in Volume 7, made all different ways, so there’s something for everyone. The publishers are offering a free copy of the magazine to a lucky winner! If you’d like a chance to win one, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, May 6.

Thanks a million for visiting, enjoy the hop! Be sure to start each day this week at Quilty Pleasures.

By Kay Mackenzie

Last weekend I was at the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association’s biannual show. My booth was right up front and I was delighted to find out that I was directly across from the featured quilters, one of whom was Bobbi Finley!

I first met Bobbi, who’s friends with a number of friends of mine, in 2010 at Road to California. In the years since then she’s popped by my booth at various shows to say hello. It was great having a chance to be neighbors for the weekend.

Bobbi is co-author with Carol Gilham Jones of the wonderful book Tile Quilt Revival, previously featured here on the blog. She had beautiful samples of tile quilts hung up, as well as some quilts from her new book with Carol, Fresh Perspectives.

Subtitled “Reinventing 18 Classic Quilts from the International Quilt Study Center & Museum,” this very cool book shows fresh, new updated versions side by side with the classic quilts that inspired them.

The cover quilt.

New houses!

There were some incredible appliqué quilts in the show.

Baltimore & Bali by Charlotte Scholberg

Olive Roses by Ratnes Siva

Penny Tucker is good buddies with my buddy Pam and is a fabulous appliqué teacher. Whiffle Tree is since closed, and Penny now teaches at Prairie Queens in San Jose, California.

Summer by Kathy McComas

Brenda's Wooly Garden by Brenda Croak

Kaye Moore is a buddy of mine in quilt-show land, and does the most incredible work with wool appliqué. If you haven’t seen Kaye’s article here on the blog, you should check it out!

And then there were a couple of old-timey quilts… okay, when I read their descriptions I kind of choked up. You’ll see what I mean.

Prairie Sunflowers by Karen Friedrichs

Sunbonnet Sue by Renee Rankin

Gulp. Quilts are mighty powerful things, aren’t they?

In other news:

This weekend I’m off to San Luis Obispo for the Seven Sisters Quilt Show. If you’re in that neighborhood, I hope to see you there!

Mark your calendars for the 100 Blocks Volume 7 blog tour! It’s April 29-May 3. Start each day at the Quilmaker blog, Quilty Pleasures. From there you’ll be sent off each day to blogs written by the designers who have a block in the issue. There are lots of great creative ideas along the way, not to mention giveaways, so don’t miss the tour. My day is Tuesday, April 30.

See you then!
By Kay Mackenzie

In 1983, appliqué icon Elly Sienkiewicz published a little square 12½” book with a red cover entitled Spoken Without a Word.

The photo-less, 68-page black-and-white book, which brought Baltimore Album block patterns and an infectious theory about symbolism to the modern quilter, quickly went through five printings and arguably served as a catalyst for the Baltimore revival that is still going strong. Today, copies of the original “Red Book” can be found listed on the internet for hundreds of dollars.

Exciting news! A little bird told me that Elly is preparing a new edition of this important classic! Spoken Without a Word: A Lexicon of Symbols with 24 Faithfully Reproduced Patterns from Classic Baltimore Quilts, 30th Anniversary Commemorative Edition, is coming out this fall!

The original book’s signature red color is threaded throughout the black-and-white engraving-like details of the new edition, now revised and reformatted to 8½’ x 11″ and 128 pages. The familiar original text remains intact, and the patterns remain untouched. What’s new and additional are glorious photos of newly made blocks, settings, and wall quilts, and a new foreword and afterword from Elly.

The new edition is available for pre-order on Elly’s website, Appliqué With Elly.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the draw for Mimi Dietrich’s beautiful book Baltimore Blocks for Beginners.

Random.org has declared that the winner is No. 16, Suzanne McFadden! Congratulations! Suzanne says she’s always wanted to do a Baltimore Album quilt. This’ll get you started Suzanne!

A few of you pointed out that I wrote March 5 instead of April 5. Fear not, gentle readers! If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that I am perennially calendar-challenged. Even when I go back in and correct the date, if the email feed has already gone out, those of you who are subscribed by email will not see the fix. So if I ever write anything having to do with a date that doesn’t make sense, just have faith! :)

In other news, I’ve updated the Events page here on the blog and on my website. I think that’s it for 2013! I was a mite surprised when I finished the updates to realize that I have 16 more shows this year! In 2012 there were a number of guild shows that were every other year. I thought I might have some gaps in my schedule, so I signed up for things right and left, and all of a sudden my calendar is more packed than ever! I love it!

Here’s what’s coming up this month!

April 20-21, 2013


This biennial show put on by the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association takes place in the same venue as PIQF. Last time we had a great show and I’m looking forward to it once again. This time we have the primo spot, Hall A! The show theme is “Shower of Stars.” www.scvqaquiltshow.org

April 27-28, 2013

Seven Sisters Quilt Show

I love driving down the coast for this show held at the lovely and historic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. DH Dana just took a day trip down to SLO for an interview and came home raving about how beautiful it was down there. Plus I told him about the Apple Farm and he went and got his favorite, an apple dumpling. All the info about the quilt show is at www.aqgcc.org

In between shows I’ve been working on a new pattern. Here’s a sneak peek!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Happy April! No fooling here at All About Appliqué. :)

Last month, when we looked at
Baltimore’s County Cousins, I detected the Baltimore longing in many of the comments.

I’ve always wanted to do a Baltimore Album but frankly they do intimidate me.

I love applique but I’m not up for the more complicated patterns, yet.

I’m just now deciding that I can actually do some of this…

A Baltimore is on my bucket list…

Haven’t done a Baltimore quilt yet, but would love to.

Oh! I love baltimore album quilts but have never made one.

One of the things that has kept me from making my own Baltimore album quilt is the feeling that I need to wear formal attire!

These wistful reflections made it clear which book I needed to pull out of the cupboard next. May I present, courtesy of Martingale, Mimi Dietrich’s Baltimore Blocks for Beginners.

Subtitled “A Step-by-Step Guide,” this book is designed to to be a gentle and compelling introduction to the Baltimore genre that will get you started on your way at last!

Mimi, who lives in Baltimore, has been teaching Baltimore Album appliqué classes for over 30 years. Her most basic class is called, “My First Baltimore Block,” and this book is that class! It will take you slowly through all the techniques and elements of a basic block.

Rose wreath design.

There’s also a circle wreath and a crossed leaves design, as well as a gallery of different colorways to provide inspiration.

I love what Mimi says in the introduction: “There are many techniques, tools, and patterns for appliqué. All of these are correct, as long as you are comfortable and pleased with the results.” Yes! That’s what I believe too. Mimi presents her own favorite methods for successful beginnings.

The information covers fabrics, appliqué supplies, preparing the pattern and templates, cutting and preparing the shapes, and illustrated information on hand-appliqué stitch techniques, followed by step-by-step instructions for making your first Baltimore Album block.

Are you starting to feel like you can do it? You can!!!

If you’d like to win this book, please leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Friday, April 5.

Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not click “reply” to your email feed. That will only send me an email and not enter you in the draw. Click over to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Good luck!
Until then,
By Kay Mackenzie