Greetings fellow appliqué enthusiasts! I have one of those birthdays that’s close to Christmas. When I was a kid it meant “combination” presents, which to someone of a tender age can be very thick. (I’ve gotten over that now.) (Pretty much.)

To help celebrate the day, I’m putting up a copy of one of my most popular books, Teapots 2 to Appliqué.

It’s in its fourth printing and still going strong. Quilters love teapots!

The book has designs for 16 different teapots, plus cups and saucers and milk and sugar, and instructions for back-basting hand appliqué. (Of course you can use whatever method you like.)

To enter the drawing, please leave a comment here on the blog by 7:00 p.m. California time on Sunday Saturday, December 21. Hey, one copy doesn’t seem enough. How about three winners! Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck in the draw!

Happy holidays,
By Kay Mackenzie

Winner, and, great eBook sale
at Martingale

Filed Under Books, Prizes | Comments Off on Winner, and, great eBook sale
at Martingale

The reader who won the set of three AQS Love to Quilt booklets is…
No. 42, Beverly S. Have fun with the blooms and veggies, Beverly!

In other news, Martingale is having a fabulous sale on eBooks, only $6 each until midnight on December 8. The selection includes my Easy Appliqué Blocks!

Hope you are enjoying yourself as the season gets into full swing.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

It’s December! For our feature this month, I have three darling booklets from the American Quilter’s Society “Love to Quilt” series. Thank you, AQS!

Wildflower Appliqué & Embroidery
by Bea Oglesby

The Quilter’s Veggie Garden
by Bea Oglesby

Appliqué Garden
by Eula Mae Long

These 30-page booklets each feature a variety of mix-and-match designs that can be stitched using your favorite method, or, follow the author’s tips. Very cool!

From Birdfoot Violets to Baskets of Clematis to Kohlrabi and Peppers, if it grows from the earth you just might find it here!

If you’d like to enter the drawing to win these three booklets, please leave a comment here on the post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Thursday, December 5.

Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only (and remember that replies to an email feed do not enter the drawing).

Best of luck to you!
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m a big admirer of the designs of Barbara Jones of QuiltSoup. There’s something about her work that’s eye-appealing, soothing, comforting, fresh, and beautiful all wrapped up in one.

I’m so pleased to say that this month, courtesy of Martingale, we have Barbara’s book A Batch of Quilt Soup.

This fun book is full of pieced and appliquéd charmers. For the appliqué, Barbara personally prefers needleturn, but stresses that you may use any method you like for the designs. She gives complete information on the method she uses for hand appliqué, from template preparation to cutting out motifs to positioning to stitching. The appliqué shapes are relatively large, and full-sized template patterns are included.

As Barbara says, “These patterns are easy to finish in this lifetime!”

Summer Cottage

There are soup-to-nuts, illustrated instructions for nine “fun patchwork and easy appliqué patterns,” plus information on supplies, quiltmaking basics, and finishing.

Summer Runner

And if adorable quilt patterns weren’t enough, there are also recipes! How does “Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake” or “Amaretto Scones” sound?

Ellery's Smoothie

If you’d like to win A Batch of Quilt Soup, please leave a comment before 7:00 p.m. California time on Thursday, September 5.

Do not click “Reply” to your email feed! That will not enter you in the drawing. You have to leave the comment on the blog itself on the internet. Just clcik the title “Quilt Soup” and you’ll be whisked over to the post.

Drawing open to U.S. and Canada mailing address only.

Good luck everyone, and thanks for reading All About Appliqué!

By Kay Mackenzie

The PayPal shopping cart that I use for my website doesn’t have the capability to issue coupons (argh). BUT, I can set the shipping to zero on individual items, and that represents a good amount of savings.

So that’s what I’ve done for my book A Merry Little Christmas to Appliqué, through the month of August 2013. Free shipping on this collection of Christmas-time designs in a variety of sizes that play nicely together! My tips for hand appliqué using freezer-paper templates are included, but of course you can use your own favorite method.

Just for good measure, Growing Hearts to Appliqué is also included in the special! Free shipping as well on this collection of 16 flowering heart blocks and the sampler quilt pattern.

Adding to the bargain-ness of it all, the current web special is that any book purchase gets you a free copy of the pattern book for Home: A Heartfelt Nap Quilt. You don’t even put it in the shopping cart; it’ll just come right along when you order any other book!

Also worth mentioning is that there’s free shipping all the time on hand and machine needles.

That’s a lot of free shipping goodness!

This is an unadvertised special, just for you blog readers. You won’t see mention of it on the website. The special goes through August 31, 2013.

Happy Christmas in August!
By Kay Mackenzie

I love my job. One of the best things about it is that I get to see so many of the new appliqué books as they cross my desk on their way to you, gentle readers.

This month, courtesy of C&T Publishing, we have the beautiful Simply Successful Appliqué by Jeanne Sullivan.

When I first saw the cover, I thought there was a lot of dimensional appliqué in that basket. Upon looking closer, I see that it’s really the beautiful shading in the fabric that lends that effect of depth! Very cool.

This book is for appliquérs who prefer a prepared-edge method… that is, the edges are turned prior to the stitching process. Or, for appliquérs who would like to learn more about it!

The book starts with a long list of supplies you’ll need, then goes on to five different approaches to color planning, selecting and auditioning fabrics, and preparing the background fabric. Then comes a comprehensive section on creating the pattern components needed, from making a master pattern to preparing working patterns to making an acetate or vinyl overlay for placement to making and labeling freezer-paper templates.

Then on to Jeanne’s appliqué basics! Accurate cutting of templates is covered, as well as “window shopping” for areas of fabric for your motifs (hence that shaded effect). In the next section, “Making Preturned Appliqués,” Jeanne says, “Hands down, it’s the easiest, quickest, and all-around best way to prepare turned-edge appliqué!”

Jeanne’s method involves ironing the edges of appliqué shapes over freezer-paper templates. On areas that need to be gathered, she uses liquid sizing and heat-sets the creases with an iron.

Now you may have seen this method given before, but I doubt you’ve seen it in the photographed detail given here: exactly how to manage each and every area of an appliqué shape, as well as how to handle unusual shapes and scenarios. Using an overlay to position the pieces is covered next, along with basting the pieces in place.

Part of the Gallery section.

After viewing a gorgeous gallery of quilts made by Jeanne and her students, you’re ready to absorb the sections on hand stitching and machine stitching. Again, there’s way more actual detail of each process than the average bear!

Near the back there’s a section on specialty forms of appliqué, including (yes) dimensional flowers, skinny stems, stuffed berries, reverse appliqué, lined appliqué, needle trapunto, broderie perse, lettering, and basic embroidery stitches.

To cap it all off, there’s an included CD that has nine projects with full-size templates on it!

Just a few of the projects on the CD.

All in all, 128 pages of glorious detail on all aspects of prepared-edge appliqué! Would you like to win a copy of Simply Successful Appliqué? To enter the drawing, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 5.

Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not reply to your email feed; click over to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Good luck all!

Until Friday,
By Kay Mackenzie

Last time I went to Quilt Market I made the pleasant acquaintance of one of the staff members at Landauer Publishing. Recently she emailed me to ask if I would like to share one of their brand-new books with readers of the blog.

Would I? Of course! I’m so excited to say that it’s Edyta Sitar’s Seasonal Silhouettes, hot off the presses!

Subtitled “12 Inspirational Quilt Blocks Featuring Raw-Edge Appliqué.”

Edyta used batik fabrics for their natural hues “touched by nature’s paintbrush” and tight weave. Since she does a form of raw-edge appliqué in which she stitches 1/8″ from the raw edge during the quilting process, batiks are an excellent choice. There’s a two-page spread of “color chips” so you can take the book to the fabric store with you in case you need to round out your stash of batiks.

What I really like is that the author gives an informational roundup of three different kinds of paper-backed fusible web, with the pros and cons of each, to help you make your choice for these projects. There’s also complete information on how she does her raw-edge appliqué and her quilting.

The gorgeous book is slightly oversized at 9×12. I imagine that’s so it can include… yes… full-size pull-out template pages for your convenience! On top of that, you can actually order all of the pre-made laser-cut appliqué shapes, complete with fusible web on the back, from Edyta’s website Laundry Basket Quilts.




Those are just three of the 12 designs… there’s one for every month, and you can stitch up as many or as few as you like.

There’s a short video about the book at the Landauer website. Just click on the “Look Inside” tab.

Thanks again to Landauer for providing a copy to give away to a lucky reader. If you’d like to enter the drawing, please leave a comment on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Friday, June 7.

Drawing open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not reply to an email feed… instead come on down to the blog itself on the internet and leave your comment there.

Good luck!!

By Kay Mackenzie

Had a great time at the Delta Quilters Guild Show over the weekend! My favorite quilt in the show was Shirley Coble and Isabel Maya’s “Pennies From Heaven.”

So beautiful. The design is from Gretchen Gibbons‘ book Pennies From Heaven.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

When Cathy says so, I pay attention. Go on over to Cathy Perlmutter’s blog GefilteQuilt to see which new book has received this hugely important title! And you’ll have a chance to win a copy!


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

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

At the recent Glendale guild show, a quilter told me that she had made one of the projects from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. I’m always thrilled to learn these things!

My version of Studio. You can make any sewing room or nook into a studio if you hang up a sign!

Marilyn said, “I made my own version of the black, white and red studio quilt. This wall hanging was made for Cindy, a friend of mine who tried quilting, but decided she prefers making clothing. Nuts, in my opinion, hence the name Crazy Couture.”

Crazy Couture
Marilyn Robinson
Hawthorne, CA
Size: 18 x 12

I love it! Very Project Runway, don’t you think?

When I told Marilyn that it means so much to me when other quilters take my designs and personalize them, she said, “I am trying to develop my creativity now, instead of just copying what others do. This is my first baby step. :-)”

I’d call it a giant step. Thanks for the Show & Tell Marilyn!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m delighted today to turn the blog over to author, designer, and educator Margaret Bucklew!

Margaret just came out with a new book, Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts, and today is the first day of a fun blog hop to celebrate its release!

Take it away, Margaret!

We each have our own first quilting experiences, some with more fanfare than others.

Once I had made quilts for everyone in the immediate family, I decided to include myself, and found a pattern with pieced triangular trees interspersed with schoolhouses. I wanted to use colors to reflect fall foliage and have some leaves falling within negative space on the quilt; however, those falling leaves presented a problem. They would need to be appliquéd onto the top. Uh-Oh! I had no idea how to appliqué. To me, the falling leaves had to be on the quilt, so I cut out shapes of leaves and pinned the fabric onto the top not knowing how they would permanently be affixed.

My one and only quilt class was needleturn appliqué. What a wonderful class! I was hooked. The leaves were appliquéd, the quilt was completed, and my appliqué adventure began. I love needleturn, but it is slow going. Machine appliqué is another option.

If you are like I was, a bit afraid to try appliqué, I have a super easy free block for you to use for practice and perhaps make more blocks and turn them into a quilt or a pillow.

This graphic indicates how the block would look if you needleturned, used a blanket stitch, or used a zig zag or satin stitch. Also shown in the pattern are easy-to-follow images indicating how to put on the back pieces covered by the front pieces.

I hope you’ll use the free pattern and give appliqué a try.

I migrated from being afraid of appliqué to designing appliqué quilts! A love of portrait work led me into developing a technique to create realistic portrait and pictorial appliqué quilts.

For a few more appliqué tips, please visit the next blog in the book blog tour.

If you are interested in giving portrait or pictorial quilts a try, my “Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts” book might be just the answer for you. The book is available both in print and as an eBook.

The book’s Amazon page.

The eBook’s Kobo page.

Thank you Margaret! Be sure to follow the rest of the blog hop all this week for more fun with appliqué and information about the book. Here’s the schedule!

Sew Useful Designs

A Passion for Applique

Jackie’s Art Quilts

Quilting and Sewing Videos

Thanks again Margaret, and congratulations! Enjoy every minute.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’ve had this charming book in my cabinet for awhile now.

Baltimore’s Country Cousins
by Susan McKelvey

If you’re attracted to Baltimore album quilts and also simple, whimsical country quilts, then you would love Susan’s “country cousin” album blocks inspired by both of these forms. The designs in this beautiful book are filled with baskets, blooms, birds, berries, buds, and many more appealing folksy motifs.

The author begins with information on color and fabric selection, then moves to her own personal tips for hand appliqué. Any form of appliqué will work fine for the blocks, and the author recommends that anyone new to appliqué refer to one of the many excellent books available today that give soup-to-nuts instruction.

Stems and stitching sequence are covered, as are inking and stamping on quilts, elements that give album quilts an extra dose of charm. There’s a full pattern for a sampler quilt with a lovely appliquéd border that uses 12 of the 16 designs, also several ideas for other ways of using these utterly charming album blocks.

Published by the American Quilters Society, this gem is out of print but you can look for it on eBay or order from a reseller on Amazon.

That is if you don’t win it in the drawing! If you’d like to win my copy of Baltimore’s Country Cousins, leave a comment on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6.

Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not reply to your email subscription! Click over to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Good luck!
By Kay Mackenzie

For those who were fans of our December featured book by Janice Vaine, I have another one of her titles!

A is for Appliqué!

Thank you, Landauer, for sending this very lovely book.

For hand appliqué, Janice uses a form of back-basting preparation that she calls “Perfect Placement.” Her method and her stitching information is thoroughly explained and handsomely illustrated with great big graphics… you can’t miss it, every stitch!

She also includes a comprehensive guide to the basics of embroidery and embellishment, with an entire collection of alphabet blocks to practice on.

To see more, go to the book’s page on the Landauer site and click on the tab “Look Inside” about halfway down the page to watch a lovely video.

If you’d like to win Appliqué and Embroidery Fundamentals, please leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. California time on Wednesday, February 6. Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only.

Important note: I always get a few who reply to their email feed. This won’t get you in the drawing. Click on the title of the post and that’ll take you to to blog on the internet. You can leave your comment there, at the bottom of the post.

Good luck!
By Kay Mackenzie

Ack! I found a draft post from October that I never posted! Here’s what I meant to say back then.

My buddy Kim Jamieson-Hirst recently put up a wonderful roundup of paper-backed fusible web brands and types. Check it out at her blog, Chatterbox Quilts Chitchat.

Sorry Kim!

Okay, now back to present day. I’m packing for this weekend’s Heart of the Valley show put on by the Country Crossroads Quilters of Modesto, California. Full info on the CCQ website.

Then I’m home for exactly one day before schlepping down to SoCal for Road to California. It’s at the convention center in Ontario, California, and if you haven’t been to this one you should. It’s big and bustling and full of quiltish energy!

Got the oil changed and the well-baby checkup for the Vibe, so we’re ready to roll!

Until next time,

I have a super-sized holiday treat this month as our featured book and giveaway! Landauer Publishing sent me a copy of Janice Vaine’s The Art of Elegant Hand Embroidery, Embellishment, and Appliqué.

It’s truly something special. It’s a great big, hard-cover, spiral-bound book, and with it Landauer also sent me the companion pack of 124 Block Patterns.

If you like hand embroidery and embellishment, you are sure to drool over this fantastic award-winning publication. Go on over to the Landauer website and watch the short video about the book. Click on “Look Inside the Book.”

Here’s an inside sneak peak:

The book and the companion patterns will both go to one lucky reader. If you’d like to win them, please leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Sunday, December 9.

The fine print: Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Comments left on a different post are not eligible. Replies to an email feed are not eligible.

Many thanks to Landauer for providing us this wonderful resource for appliqué, embroidery, and embellishment enthusiasts. Good luck and happy holidays to all!!


Are you gearing up to become stuffed full of turkey or the diet-appropriate alternative choice? Hope you’re not too comatose to shop this weekend… Martingale’s having a fantastic sale.

Wow! 50% off of anything and everything! It’s a great opportunity to stock up on stocking stuffers and any of their titles that you’ve been eyeing for yourself.

A little bird told me that although the graphic says Friday through Monday, the sale will also run all of Thursday, just in case if you need a break from cooking (or eating).

Have a great holiday! Here it’s me, Dana, Max, and three gray foster fuzzybritches.

Until next time,

Anybody up for some old-school, not-quick-and-easy, very detailed, completely captivating holiday appliqué?

Then I have just the thing for you! Santa’s Loading Dock Quilt by Mary Buvia is this month’s featured book, courtesy of AQS Publishing.

Wow! What a quilt! You can see a closer photo of it on Mary’ website. This is a masterpiece, and accordingly Mary was awarded Master Quilter status by the American Quilters Society.

The book gives you all the patterns and information you’d need to recreate the entire jolly scene; however, Mary encourages you to use whatever smaller elements from it that you like to make a smaller quilt or decorate other projects.

Mary’s appliqué method involves double freezer-paper templates, starch, and glue to create prepared-edge pieces for hand appliqué. The book also gives information for raw-edge machine appliqué if that’s what you prefer.

Many of the templates are given full size; however, some of them you’ll need to enlarge 200%.

So, who’s itching for some exceedingly cute holiday stitching? If you’d like to win this book, please leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 1. Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only.

Holiday cheers,
By Kay Mackenzie

P.S. I’ll be in Lodi, California, this weekend for the Tokay Stitch ‘n Quilt Guild show. This is a lovely show put on every other year, and the ladies serve a delightful afternoon tea for all!

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