Admin note: The Giveaway for Kids has drawn to a close.

Awhile ago I instituted a Giveaway for Kids. I’ll repeat the post here.

Due to a printing glitch and subsequent reprinting, I ended up with way more copies of In a Twinkle: Youthful Quilt Designs than I needed. It’s time for them to move away from home!

If you’re a member of a group that makes and donates quilts for kids in need, email me at “kay at kaymackenzie dot com” and tell me about your group. I’ll send you 6 copies (as many as I can stuff in a bubble mailer) by the “slow boat to China,” Media Mail. If you feel like paying me back for the postage, you can PayPal a couple bucks to the same address.

If you’re not a member of such a group but you know somebody who is, feel free to spread the word.

frontcoveriat.jpg

This book includes step-by-step, illustrated instructions for five easy quilts and a comfy cozy flannel blankie, plus detailed instructions on the fusible-interfacing method for machine-appliquéing big, simple shapes.

There are only a few more packets of In a Twinkle waiting to go to a good home. So if your group has not yet received any, now’s the time to let me know that you’d like one for the use of your group’s worthy efforts. U.S. and Canada only.

Thank you for what you do for kids,
Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Our featured book this month is from author Sarah M. Bisel, courtesy of That Patchwork Place.

fff

So cute!!!

See the feedsack-repro look of the fabrics on the cover quilt? Yet a fresh, modern sensibility? The whole book breathes fresh air into quiltmaking, combining striking fabrics, simple patchwork, and a touch of whimsical appliqué. These are projects that anyone would love to have around their house.

charming-garden

This is Charming Garden, which can be made using precut 5″ charm squares for even speedier results. How simple, and how charming! I love the rickrack piping and the bias striped binding. Sarah provides coaching on how to use the values within the charm pack.

bday-cake

How about this cute Birthday Bash? You can hang it whenever there’s a birthday at your house.

Fast, Flirty, and Fun
starts out with sections on “Color and Value” and “All About Fabric.” As the author says, ‘Nothing will do more to make or break a quilt than these artistic qualities.” Her quilts certainly demonstrate her savvy with both! Then we move on to cutting and piecing principles. My favorite one is, “Don’t use your rotary cutter when you’re tired.”

The section on Appliqué Basics includes information on fusible-interfacing, raw-edge, and wool appliqué. All on the easier side and very good methods to have in your appliqué bag of tricks.

There’s a section on quilting and finishing, and 11 darling projects ranging from wall quilts to table toppers to nap quilts. They all have that fresh, modern sensibility that is so in tune with today.

Sarah Bisel

Sarah Bisel

A fresh young face as well! Sarah blogs at Milk and Honey Designs.

If you’d like to win a copy of the book, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 4. Drawing open to U.S. and Canada only please.

Good luck!
Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Seasons Greetings!

Admin note: the previous drawing for a year’s subscription to the new Quilt Pattern Magazine in still underway. The winner will be chosen the first week of January.

Now on to today’s post. Last year at this time I did a special double giveaway to celebrate my birthday on the 17th (not to mention the other holidays). It was so much fun and made me feel like my birthday lasted for a week! So we’re doing it again this year.

When the nephews were kids, Dana and I used to travel to Minneapolis for Christmas. Now that the boys are all tall and college-y, we stay home and enjoy the comforts of our own living room at Christmastime. Much as I loved seeing the boys dive through their presents, now I love our quiet celebration at home.

And so, in keeping with that theme, I’ve selected two titles that play on the theme of Comfort.

First we have ‘Tis the Season: Quilts and Other Comforts.

Tis-the-Season-B1030

As the authors Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks say, “Adding just a few accents to a room can change the feel of that space from everyday to holiday.” In that spirit, the book offers simple and charming quilts and projects to “keep your home well dressed for winter!”

Screen shot 2010-12-14 at 9.21.40 AM

Jeanne and Shelley should be experts in the field, since they live in Saskatchewan, Canada.

Brrr!

The book starts out with basic information on fabric selection and preparation, then moves on the the authors’ favorite special techniques. Included here are fusible-web appliqué, fusible-interfacing appliqué, working with wool, hand-embroidering, making vines, and finishing basics.

Then, on to the projects! There are detailed instructions for very cute pillows and wall quilts to welcome Santa and the season (you can see one on the cover), cozy lap quilts, cheery welcoming table toppers, a whimsical primitive wool runner, and tons of inspirational decorating ideas.

joy-pillow

wool-runner

What I really like about these projects is all the words! Plus, the templates given in the book are full-size and already reversed for your ease of use in fusible-web appliqué.

Our second offering is Country Comforts: Quilts for Casual Living.

B1038-Country-Comforts

Country Comforts by Cheryl Wall is full of that comfy old-fashioned primitive style that I appreciate so well.

The author’s introduction is an inspiration unto itself. “I’m drawn to the primitive style of quilting and crafting because of the freedom it allows me to make projects that are less than perfect but still beautiful,” says Cheryl. “I believe that the creative process should be fun and soul satisfying.” Right on sister! Worrying about stuff only robs us of the enjoyment of quiltmaking.

The books starts out with the basics of quiltmaking, including supplies you’ll need and some info on the types of fabrics that work well for this style, also rotary cutting, chain piecing, pressing, freezer-paper-on-top hand appliqué, wool appliqué, and hand-embroidery stitches. Finishing your quilt is covered too.

Most of the warm and inviting projects in the book are a combination of patchwork and appliqué, a combo platter that just always works. You’ll find quilts for laps, beds, tables, walls, or just plain draping over something. All of them will lend your home that air of casual comfort and relaxation.

mountains-meadows

baskets-blooms

If you’d like to enter the drawing to win these two titles courtesy of That Patchwork Place, leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. California time on Saturday, December 18.

Those subscribed by email or feed reader, remember that you’re not actually on the blog when you read the posts. You’ll need to click the title of the post to be taken to All About Appliqué on the internet, where you’ll be able to leave a comment at the bottom of the post and enter the drawing. U.S. and Canada only due to the cost of shipping.

Good luck everyone and I hope you are having a happy holiday season!

Until next time,
Kay, Dana, and Willie!
By Kay Mackenzie

willie-mys-val2

You may recall how I made some patchy hearts out of random hunks of patchwork from my UFO pile.

patchy4 For awhile I looked at that fluffy stack and waited for inspiration to come. I wanted to make a quilt top to give to the AllStar Quilters For Kids, an offshoot of my guild that makes quilts for kids in need. It wasn’t too long before I got an idea, and I sketched it out in my illustration Program, Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrator is not a quilt-dedicated program, but it has a grid and a “snap to grid” function so I can easily lay out quilts to get an idea of what they’ll look like and what the dimensions are.

I decided to use the blue and the yellow hearts, and sorted through the stack to pull those out. I hallucinated in my head that I needed 6 blue and 3 yellow hearts, and snap! that’s exactly how many I had. Kismet!

Yeah right. When I went to put things together I realized that I needed 4 yellows. Off I went to those large scraps of patchwork that I had fished out of the trash LOL! I sewed the two largest ones together, added a couple of little pieces to one end, and had enough for that fourth heart!

Here’s what I made.

blue-yellow-hearts

I fused the hearts to the background fabric, top-stitched around the edges, and cut away the background fabric and the fusible interfacing behind the hearts.

by-detail

The alternating squares are all from stash fabrics that were happy to find a home. I had to go out and look for the two border fabrics (because I don’t have very many large pieces in my stash).

Now, what to do with the remaining colors of hearts in that pancake stack… hmmm…

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m resting up from a week in Long Beach. The trip went well despite a dead battery on the way down. I handled it (I am woman, etc.) and after that everything went as planned, within normal operating parameters.

You may remember me posting about some random hunks of patchwork I had dug out of the UFO pile.

I had an idea! I thought of the fusible interfacing method for turned-edge appliqué! I felt this was a natural for making something appliqué with all those seams.

I marked the hearts on the smooth size of the interfacing and pinned in place over the right side of the patchwork.

patchy1

I did a whole tutorial on this method over at the Show & Tell Center. Check out The Anatomy of a Lollipop for a refresher.

Shortened up the stitch length a bit and sewed all the way around each shape, on the drawn line.

patchy2

Cut out the hearts, leaving a 1/8″ seam allowance. Clipped the notches.

patchy3

Cut a slit in the interfacing and turned the hearts. A quick run along the seam with a craft stick and a poke at the tip with a stylus and that’s it! They look like a stack of fluffy pancakes.

patchy4

I know from making gobs and buckets of lollipops that these will smooth out and flatten when they’re fused to their backgrounds.patchy5

I thought I was now done with those hunks of patchwork. However, as the project went along, I found myself pulling the bigger scraps back out of the trash. Will this never end!!!?

patchy6

Now what am I going to do with the hearts? Hmmm…

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Admin note: The Giveaway for Kids has drawn to a close. All of the books have gone to good homes. Since the giveaway began, I’ve heard from quilters in about every state in this country. Each one has a heartfelt story to tell of the wonderful warming efforts that they and their groups put forth. It makes me know the depth of caring among quilters. We are a wonderful bunch and I’m happy to be a member of the community.

Due to a printing glitch and subsequent reprinting, I ended up with way more copies of In a Twinkle: Youthful Quilt Designs than I needed. It’s time for them to move away from home!

If you’re a member of a group that makes and donates quilts for kids in need, email me at “kay at kaymackenzie dot com” and tell me about your group. Include your address. I’ll send you 6 copies (as many as I can stuff in a bubble mailer) by the “slow boat to China,” Media Mail. If you feel like paying me back for the postage, you can PayPal a couple bucks to the same address.

If you’re not a member of such a group but you know somebody who is, feel free to spread the word.

frontcoveriat.jpgThis book includes step-by-step. illustrated instructions for five easy quilts and a comfy cozy flannel blankie, plus detailed instructions on the fusible-interfacing method for machine-appliquéing big, simple shapes.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

I posted a little photo tutorial over on the Quilt Puppy Show & Tell Center about making lollipops using fusible interfacing.

The fusible interfacing method is great for big, simple shapes. The edges are turned, you can use any kind of machine appliqué that you like, and the the product only fuses to the background, not to the motif, so it can be trimmed away after stitching and does not remain in the quilt.

It’s another method for your appliqué bag of tricks!

Until next time,
Kay