I’m a member of an internet discussion group among quilt-pattern designers. Our conversations range far and wide, and recently the topic of blogs, blog feeds, and email subscriptions came up.

I myself am subscribed to the blogs I follow through Google Reader, an RSS feed reader that keeps everything organized in a browser tab.

Many people subscribe to blogs that way, while others prefer to subscribe by email. They’re more familiar with email and prefer having a post’s content delivered right to their in-box.

We who write blogs are ecstatic that you’re following us! Any which a way you like! But did you know that if you subscribe through a feed reader or by email, you’re missing a lot?

You’re getting each post in its bare-bones form. You see the text, you see the photos. But we work hard to format our posts, making them look pretty with text lined up and wrapping the right way with the pictures. This formatting is usually stripped away when posts are delivered remotely.

Also, you’re not seeing the blog’s sidebars, which are rich with possibilities.

Have you reviewed lately what All About Appliqué‘s sidebars have to offer? Take a moment to click over to the blog itself. Just click on the title of this post and you’ll be whisked away to the blog.

Are we there now? See how nice the content looks in its intended form? See all the good stuff in the sidebars? Let’s take a tour.

Top left… the Appliqué Bookshop, powered by Amazon. All appliqué titles, hand-picked by me for your browsing pleasure. Just below that is the Appliqué DVD Store.

Next comes a rotating ad from Amazon, with juicy titles to catch your eye.

Below that is a search function for the blog. Type some keywords here and it will search the entire archive, bringing up any post no matter how old. A very handy feature when you’re looking for information on a designer or a technique!

Then come the Categories. These are categories that I assign each blog post so that if you’re looking for info on a certain subject, you can click on one and all posts assigned that category will come up. Another way to search the blog, and very useful when looking for information.

Then there are a couple of blog rings. Click on these logos and you’ll be taken to another blog that belongs to the same ring. You can keep going around from blog to blog for a long time :).

Lastly on the left are the Archives, filed by month. If you want to look back and see all the posts for a certain month, that’s how you can do it.

Now we move to the right-hand side.

Up top are two ways to subscribe, by email or by feed reader. Both of these are great ways to receive automatic notification when a blog post goes up. Just remember, you’re only seeing a stripped-down version of the post when you get them this way, and clicking over to the blog itself is a good thing to do every once in awhile.

Below that are two linked logos, one for the new on-line Quilt Pattern Magazine, and one for the first issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, both of which I had stuff in.

Then there’s a link to the All About Appliqué Flickr group, which you can post your appliqué photos to, or just go and enjoy the eye candy!

Below that is a linked image for the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round from 2009. Ooh, that was a fun one.

rose basket3Guess what… there’s another one coming down the pike! That’s right, look for Book-A-Round 2, Inspired by Tradition coming your way in March or April. There will be tons of info about the new book as well as lots of chances to win a copy.

Below that is the blogroll, with lots of linky love for appliqué designers and pattern companies. Another rich resource for appliqué enthusiasts.

That’s it! Thanks for coming on the sidebar tour with me. And thanks for reading the blog, and subscribing to it!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m home for one day. Today is actually my 20th wedding anniversary. I should show you a picture of me and the DH Dana but actually right now I look like something the cat dragged in. Got home from Pittsburgh last night at midnight and today is my one day to do the laundry and pack again for our anniversary trip to Kauai tomorrow!

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I had THE most fabulous time at Spring Market and I do have a few pictures to share when I get home and my head stops spinning. In the meantime, here’s a typical market story. On Saturday, I’m in the ladies’ room when another gal eyes me, yells “Kay!’ and charges forward. I get a look at her just in time to recognize Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio and reply, “It’s a miracle!” before we were able to give each other a big hug. Kathy has been an internet pal and she participated in my Book-A-Round, but this is the first time we had met in person.

We left the ladies room and started chatting in the lobby. We were just saying, “Now how are we going to find Susan?” when Susan Brubaker Knapp herself of Blue Moon River, another Book-A-Round blogger, approached. Kathy and Susan had met up the year before but this was my first chance to meet either one of them. It was just one of those kismet things, and such a happy occurrence. We were so excited, we chattered like magpies.

So when I say ‘Let Susan do it,” I mean go to her Blue Moon River blog and read her fabulous posts about Quilt Market. She’s already got a wonderful one done with lots of pictures, including one of the three of us!

Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill also has fabulous and funny Market posts.

Aloha,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

During the recent Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Around, Sarah Vanderburgh of Espanola, Ontario, Canada, won a copy on Day 4.

Pineapple Welcome Banner by Sarah VanderburghThat gal is fast! She’s already made a project and is it ever nifty! Check out Sarah’s Pineapple Welcome Banner on her blog Sew Joy.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Greetings fellow appliqué enthusiasts! I hope you enjoyed our 10-day tour of the blogosphere, visiting quilting blogs all over the northern continent. Myself, I had the most fun since the 1962 North Carolina State Fair!

Thanks a million to all the bloggers who participated, and to the readers who followed the trail of breadcrumbs through cyberspace. Today I’d like to hear your feedback. Leave a comment about the blog tour… how did you enjoy it? What was your favorite part? I’ll give away one more copy of Easy Appliqué Blocks, and I’ll draw the winner Tuesday morning.

It’s time for Show & Tell. Here’s one more little quilt that appears in the book’s “Little Gallery of Ideas.”

ThereThis cute thing is called ‘There’s One in Every Crowd’. (The working title was ‘Renegade Terrier’.) If you read my article series ‘A journey to a book’ you may recall my surprise at finding out that according to the dictionary the little white guy who’s crashing the Scottie party is a West Highland white terrier instead of a West Highland White Terrier. It’s one of those things that may *be* right but just *looks* wrong IMO so I settled for calling him a Westie. I have friends in Ohio who have a bunch of Westies and I couldn’t wait to show them this quilt. This one’s machine appliquéd.

Now for our party refreshments:

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Kay’s Cakey Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar

1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
2 large eggs

¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
2¼ cups cake flour

12 oz pkg semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugars. Add vanilla and eggs and mix well.

In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Add to wet ingredients and mix well.

Add chocolate chips and mix well.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time, about 12 minutes or until very lightly browned around edges. Let cool on pan 5 minutes before removing. Makes about 6 dozen.

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Enjoy!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 10, the final day of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. I hope you have enjoyed the easy travel of the internet as we went from one side of the country, toured Canada, and hopped down the west coast. Today we end up in the Heartland, Oklahoma City.


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Darcy Ashton’s new book Bunnies & More is the latest in her long line of darling appliqué books from Ashton Publications. Today Darcy is hosting a guest post from me, where I get to talk about one of the quilts shown in Easy Appliqué Blocks, “The Mackenzie Family Quilt.” Join me at Darcy’s Ashton Publications blog.

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 9 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. Today we move further down the California coast to land in Yorba Linda, just 10 miles from Disneyland.


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Gina Halladay writes one of the most widely read blogs for quilters, Quilters Buzz. She is such a busy lady… in addition to blogging, she has a Gammill dealership and a longarm quilting businees, Cranberry Quiltworks, a pattern company, Threaded Pear Studio, and just opened a fabric store in the same location, Fresh Picked Fabrics. Whew! I hear she doesn’t sleep much.

Off to discover the Quilters Buzz on Easy Appliqué Blocks!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Welcome to Day 8 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. This 10-day tour takes hardly any energy at all! Ready for a short hop from San Jose to Hollister, California?


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Let’s drop in on Holly Mabutas of Eat Cake Graphics, rubber stamp and quilt designer of the highest-cuteness-factor-ever.

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Holly, the little red-haired girl, with Puppy Tucker.

I hear Holly plans to show some of the blocks from the book that she’s appliquéd. Show & Tell! Show & Tell! Off to Holly’s blog, Sprinkles of Thought.

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

And we’re back! After a lovely trip to the emergency room to see if she had rebroken her foot (she hadn’t, but it’s a bad sprain), Annie is ready to receive us. It’s Day 7 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. Today we fly through cyberspace down the west coast to San Jose, California. (We’re getting close to my stomping grounds here in Santa Cruz.) We’re visiting with Annie Smith of Simple Arts.


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annie-at-es.gifHere’s Annie being Artist-in-Residence at Empty Spools earlier this month.

If you haven’t heard of it, Annie has the most wonderful, warm podcast for quilters, Annie’s Quilting Stash. The information and insight she brings us through her passion for quilting combined with her years of podcasting are incredible. Today you’ll find a recorded interview where we talk about Easy Appliqué Blocks and how it all came about. We recorded it at a retreat and it was just wonderful to be able to talk with other quilters about things they were curious about.

If you haven’t listened to a podcast before, never fear. You don’t need an iPod… you can listen to it right on your computer! Off to Quilting Stash!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Just as in the best-laid travel plans, stuff happens. Take a rest, relax, and enjoy your break from the virtual tour. The blogosphere has a frog in its throat but never fear… we’ll get Annie’s podcast to you ASAP!

Stay tuned,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 6 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. Are you having a good time visiting our stops on the tour? Today we re-enter Canada, zigging northeast to Calgary, Alberta. You might know Calgary from the 1988 Winter Olympics, or their famous Greatest Outdoor Event on Earth, aka the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede.


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Kim Jamieson-Hirst, a mother of two, designs quilt patterns and works part-time at her local quilt shop, Along Came Quilting, which provides her with lots of inspiration. Kim’s website is Chatterbox Quilts, where you can see her adorable patterns. Kim also has some great podcasts on her blog. Today she’s writing about the very cool CD that comes with Easy Appliqué Blocks and what a wonderful convenience it is for the appliqué enthusiast. Let’s go visit Kim at her Chatterbox Quilts Blog.

See you there!
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 5 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. Today we hop back to the continental USA and visit Kathy Mack on Bainbridge Island, Washington, in the middle of Puget Sound.


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Kathy Mack’s Pink Chalk Fabrics has a gorgeous array of contemporary fabrics for quilting and creative sewing, plus unique patterns for purses, accessories, toys, and more. Kathy writes a beautiful, inspirational, and informative blog at Pink Chalk Studio. Click on over to read an interview with ‘moi’ and see what Kathy has done with a block from the book!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 4 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. North to Alaska! We leave Canada, head north and west, and land in Seward, Alaska. Marguerita McManus hosts us today.


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Seward is famous for three things… the Kenai Fjords National Park with its calving glaciers and whales, the race to the top of Mt. Marathon on the 4th of July, and the Silver Salmon Derby in August. Marguerita says, “In the winter it’s as dead as a doornail, but the summer fishing, fun and daylight make it a great place to visit or live.”

Marguerita is an Alaskan quilter, teacher, and co-author of the book Crazy Shortcut Quilts. She shares her quilting studio with a pet rabbit. Let’s go visit her blog Crazy Shortcut Quilts!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 3 of our Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. Today we head north once again, leaving the U.S. behind and entering a whole ‘nother country!


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Mississauga, Ontario, the sixth largest city in Canada, is home to Maria Michaels Designs. Maria is a quilter, quilt designer, online quilt teacher at QuiltCampus.net and a web designer. Maria recently started blogging after publishing a fabulous newsletter for many years. If you never got her newsletter, you’re in for a treat, because she’s pulling a lot of her fantastic archived articles over to the blog.

So click on up to Mississauga, just across the border from Buffalo and Niagara Falls, for a visit to Maria’s Quilt Scraps, where Maria talks about the appliqué instructions in Easy Appliqué Blocks – three different kinds!

No passport required!
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s Day 2 of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. Today we’re hopping north from Georgia up to Mooresville, North Carolina, a little town north of Charlotte.


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(I couldn’t resist putting in an additional place marker for my hometown, Chapel Hill.)

susan-bk.gifSusan Brubaker Knapp is a quilt artist, designer, and teacher who lives in Mooresville with her husband, Rob, and two daughters. Susan teaches quilting classes at local quilt shops and online through joggles.com.

Susan loves traditional hand quilting and needleturn appliqué, but has also embraced innovative machine techniques and makes “art quilts” — works of art executed in fabrics and fibers. Her award-winning quilts have been exhibited at national and international venues.

Today Susan tells us more about Easy Appliqué Blocks and shows some of the blocks that she’s stitched up. I can’t wait to see what she’s done with them! Here we go, off to Susan’s blog Blue Moon River!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s a party!! Today’s the kickoff of the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round. For the next ten days, visit a different blog, find out tons of great information about my new book, and have a chance to win a copy. Start here each day and I’ll send you off on your virtual trip to far-flung places!

Check the Book-A-Round page for the tour schedule.

Today we’re flying through cyberspace to the hills of Jasper, Georgia.


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Maria Peagler, author of Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts, is graciously hosting the Official Launch Party. She’s got all sorts of fun (and delicious) things in store, so go visit her blog Quilts and Creativity for a quilty good time!

See you at the party!
Kay

The Easy Appliqué Blocks Blog Book-A-Round starts tomorrow! Pack your virtual bags for a trip to the official Launch Party. It’s going to be quite a bash!

Then, for nine more days, start here and follow the clicks to visit another fabulous blog stop on the virtual tour. We’ll be giving away a copy of my brand-new book Easy Appliqué Blocks: 50 Designs in 5 Sizes from That Patchwork Place at each stop, so come on along!

See you tomorrow, bright and early!
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

P.S. Here’s where I am… Santa Cruz, California, on the Pacific coast between Monterey and San Francisco.


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Starting next Friday, we’re going on a virtual book tour! No ticket required… we’re zooming through the blogosphere to tour ten blogs in ten days from the comfort of your own home. Don’t dress up… these tour stops are suitable for pajama attire!

The first day of the tour is Friday, March 27. Start here and I’ll send you off to the Easy Appliqué Blocks launch party! Maria Peagler is throwing the party and everyone’s invited! Loads of fun things at the party, and we’ll give away a copy of the book, so don’t miss it.

Come back here every day through April 5 and I’ll shoot you through cyberspace to the next stop on the tour. We’re traveling from the southern U.S. up the east coast and across Canada to Alaska, down the west coast, and ending up our tour in the Heartland. Check out my Book-A-Round page for more information and a really cool Google map.

Each one of these quilty blogs is fantastic to visit, and there will be chances for a prize at each stop, so strap yourself in for a fantastic tour!

See you then!
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs