Normally my stash looks about like this.

It’s an inelegant stash, but it’s my inelegant stash.

The other morning I wandered into the studio with my mug o’ coffee, only to witness this scene.

Not even the large mug of coffee could counteract the early morning shock at the pillage and devastation.

J’accuse!

Yes, it was these girls. Oh sure, they look all sweet and innocent now.

Mimi and Maddie are older than our usual fosters, at an age we call “kitteens.” They were staying at our house to get over kitty colds that they just couldn’t kick at the shelter. They improved a whole lot in just a week and a half, and have gone back to the shelter for adoption. They’re total love-machine sweethearts.

Now to pick up the stash. More coffee.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Materials organized. Make sure your design fits well within the frame. Heads up, when it says 4×6, that means the opening in the back. What shows in the front will be slightly smaller.

Fused and ready to stitch. Cut the background an inch or so larger than the finished size so you can trim later.

Stitched! I use a machine blanket stitch but you could finish by hand or with another machine stitch.

Quilted and trimmed to the finished size. I used a low-loft cotton batting, and I didn’t worry about whether any quilting would be cut off, in fact I kind of planned that it would be, just for the freedom of it all. After trimming, I stay-stitched all the way around, close to the edge.

I glued my business card to the back. That’s right people, I glued it. You can make a fabric label for yours. :)

All done! And might I add that it was done by 3:45 in the afternoon of a day that included taking kittens for boosters, running three other errands, playing with kittens, and having a leisurely lunch with my husband on the patio. Not bad!

These make great gifts. If you start now, you can have one finished for everybody on your holiday list. The design can be something very simple, and your kith and kin will appreciate that it’s something you made.

Until next time, on to the next frame,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m embarking on a new kind of project! That’s always pretty exciting. In the past, I’ve made some mini-quilts, put them in frames, and given them to dear friends as a gift. Here’s the one I made for Suzanne years ago.

I got the urge to play around with this idea some more, so I went to the thrift shop and found quite a few cute frames. I went to the cashier with my stack, and AGAIN I scored a half-price sale, with eight minutes to spare! I did not know, just got lucky.

Here’s my first project, all organized, with frame selected, fabrics pulled, pattern correctly sized, and reversed pattern printed and ready to trace some SoftFuse templates.

I’ll be working on this today, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

This weekend I’ll be at the Piecemaker Quilt Guild’s biennial show held at the Newark campus of Ohlone College here in northern California. The guest artist is design genius and my pal Tracey Brookshier :).

At a recent show, my booth was situated in front of a back hallway. The guild had a security person posted there, because it was not an entrance to the show. But it was the path to the hospitality room. Guild members congregated in that spot all weekend long, and I was treated to much information about their various medical histories.

At great length and detail, I heard about:

• High blood pressure.
• Allergies to medications.
• Rashes. Lots of rashes.
• Foot surgery.
• Cysts.
• Arthritis.
• Diabetes.
• Sciatica.
• Pain. A whole lot o’ pain.
• Asthma.
• Open heart surgery.
• And my favorite, the ruptured bra from the crutches.



Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Random.org has determined that the reader who won Piece O’ Cake’s Backyard Birds is No. 39, Pat! Congratulations to Pat, who says that hand appliqué is her first love, so this will be right up her alley.

The show at the end of June in San Luis Obispo had some beautiful appliqué quilts.

Fragrant Memories by Margaret Taylor

I love how fearless Margaret was in creating this masterpiece not from a pattern.

Earth and Twig by Sally Inouye

I’m a big fan of the designs of Sue Spargo.

Empress Feathers by Janie Walker

We were just talking about how delightful everything is from Piece O’ Cake. :) Beautiful colors on this one.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

I love everything from the Piece O’ Cake gals Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins. This month, with many thanks to C&T Publishing, we have their cheery collection of 12 bird blocks presented in an expanded pattern format, Backyard Birds.

You can mix and match these blocks, sew four of them into a 39″ x 39″ project, or put them all together for a 52″ x 65″ quilt with appliqué borders. The packet includes full-size patterns and a 16-page booklet with complete instructions.


I myself employ a patched background on occasion, but these designers are fearless masters at it. Add their delightful sense of color, you’ve got winners every time IMO.

If you’d like to win this expanded pattern, please enter the drawing by leaving a comment here on this blog post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Saturday, July 5. Open to U.S. mailing addresses only, and replies to an email subscription won’t enter.

Good luck everyone!

Chirp!
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie