No, I do not have a new quilting studio. Just the same cozy little one where I probably feel the most at home of anywhere in the world.
But, I did finish my new Studio banner. I’ve made several versions of this project and it’s always a fun and engaging process putting the scraps and strips together into patchwork compositions. I’ve now updated the pattern cover.
It’s available from my new Square shop, or Etsy if you prefer. The links to both are at the bottom of the post. Here’s a 10% off coupon if you’re interested: Use the code THANKS at checkout. (It’ll be good on your whole order.)
Oh, and if you already ordered this pattern recently I’ll be sending you a copy of the new cover.
Now that that’s done, I’ll be gearing up for the Pacific International Quilt Festival in about two weeks time. Monster show, love it!! There’s no football game at the nearby stadium this year so everything should be smooooth sailing.
I’m working on a new version of my Studio banner.
I absolutely love the black, white, and red version that was in Scrap-Appliqué Playground, but to be honest it looks better in person than it does reduced and printed on a pattern cover. The scraps with the white background seem to fall away and blend into the background too much at a small size.
This time I gravitated toward my beloved palette of red and blue with a touch of green. It’s gonna pop a lot more on the pattern cover!
I’ve got my scraps sewn together and the letters cut out. The rectangles will compose the border. Right now I’m just waiting on some fabric that I ordered for the background. You see, I’m slightly obsessed with polka dotted backgrounds, but when I dug through my stash I found out that I had used all the pieces until there wasn’t a hunk big enough! As soon as the fabric arrives, I’ll be ready to go.
In the meantime, my summer hiatus is over and I’m headed to Sonora, California, this weekend for the Sierra Quilt Guild’s show. I really enjoy this annual trip up to gold country.
I’ve been enjoying the ‘black and white and red all over’ color scheme a lot lately. It’s the first thing I thought of when I started developing my new chicken pattern.
You may think of white chickens, or Rhode Island Reds, but I was inspired by a short story I once read about “Dominikers” or black-and-white Dominique chickens.
Here’s my new pattern, Cluck & Co. Four fancy chicks are stepping out in style!
I used raw-edge fusible machine appliqué for my version. For a refresher on that method, here’s a link to my Raw-Edge Fusible Demo. Of course you can always use your own method if you favor another one. It’s all good!
Another trick that I pulled out of the bag for this one was the double-layer strategy for the heads, to avoid shadow-through when putting light over dark. Just fuse two layers of light fabric together, then use this composed fabric just like the others in your project.
Hope you are enjoying your summer! I have a couple months off from shows and have been knee-deep in foster kittens!
In my booth at shows, one of the most universally popular and pattern-requested quilts has been “Studio.”
I always say that any sewing room or little nook can be a studio, if you only hang up a sign!
Studio was one of the projects from my book Scrap-Appliqué Playground. If you have that book, then you have this pattern. If not, and you’ve admired the quilt at shows, the pattern is finally here!
This is such a fun one. Putting scraps together and then cutting shapes out of them adds a little twinkle to appliqué. And, gentle quilter, you may just have scraps… I mean just possibly… I venture to say it’s not out of the realm of probability… but even if you want to use fabric that has never been cut into, it’s okay! You have permission!
Two of my books with Martingale have gone out of print. That’s bittersweet. Sad face, there aren’t any more copies of the books. Glad face, the rights have reverted to me and I can now develop and offer patterns using the designs! :)
The very first pattern that I worked on was the “Love” block from Easy Appliqué Blocks. It’s one of my favorite blocks from the book so it was an easy choice to go first.
Here’s the new pattern, Lovely Hearts.
It’s a 16 x 16 mini-quilt that can go up on any little wall space, proclaiming your affection for the world’s best emotion. I used raw-edge fusible machine appliqué, but of course you can use your own favorite method.
In my booth at shows, tons of quilters ask me if I have the kit for a certain pattern. I always reply that no, I’m a designer, I’m not a shop with bolts of fabric, and I work out of my own stash just like everybody else.
Earlier this year, however, I took the plunge, ordered bolts, and kitted my new pattern Rose Wreath Runner.
I put together complete fabric kits to make the runner, including the backing. The pattern comes included with the kit.
You have your choice of either a red print or a cream print for the backing. All of the fabrics are from Windham.
This may be my one foray into kitting, so that’s why I classify these babies as rare. :)
While I was on the road to Road to California, I got an email from my longtime friend, fellow designer and publisher Darcy Ashton. If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know how much I admire Darcy’s designs. In addition, for years and years she has been to me a boon companion, consultant, source of support and freely given information, in short a wonderful mentor.
Now I find out that Darcy will be at the show as well! I’m so surprised and delighted! Darcy hails from Oklahoma and this is her first trip west of the Rockies. She’s with the Anna’s Awesome Appliqué Designs booth. Anna digitizes designs so that you can stitch them in the hoop if you have one of those nifty embroidery machines.
I couldn’t wait to see Darcy in person!
Me ‘n Darcy.
It was thoroughly wonderful to get a chance to meet, greet, sit down, and chat in person. At a show like this, you have to steal the minutes, but we visited as much as we could, and I had a chance to look around Anna’s booth.
The quilt behind the two of us is “Owls With Attitude,” featuring designs from Darcy’s newest book, Outstanding Owls for Appliqué. I wrote about the book in September.
I also spied some of Darcy’s other animals, including her famous bunnies and the Darling Little Dogs.
Anna works with other designers to digitize their designs.
Fiesta de Talavera, designed by J. Michelle Watts based on Mexican hand-painted tiles.
The incredible Jacobean appliqué of the late great Pat Campbell.
I hope Darcy had a great time in California and comes back soon!!
A very happy new year to you! Hope you’re warm and safe, wherever you may be.
I finished a new pattern!
Four appliqué Rose Wreath blocks, set on point, framed and sashed with the gorgeous prints of your choice. It’s a lovely table runner, or a banner!
I used fusible machine appliqué for the blocks. Here’s a link to a photo tutorial on the method.
I made a new version of Love My Stash!
It’s really is made 100% from my stash. Can you tell I love blue and red and ivory, florals and toiles and polka dots??
Speaking of the stash, here’s a blast from the past involving two big kittens and their midnight tippytoe excursion.
And, a Fabric Surprise filmed by the DH!
When my first teapots book Teapots to Appliqué went out of print, I created a whole new set of designs and published Teapots 2 to Appliqué. T2 is now in its fifth printing! Yay!
I didn’t want those first 16 teapots to go away, so I put out a pattern pack that includes all the designs plus the sampler quilt pattern, but no additives, preservatives, or appliqué instructions… use your favorite method.
Going a step further, over the summer I produced individual downloadable versions of the first collection. They’re available over on Etsy!
Here’s an example of what they look like!
To see all the single-block downloadables, head on over to the Appliqué Block section of my Etsy shop. (You’ll also see the individual blocks from Baskets to Appliqué.)
To see the 16-block pattern packs that are printed on good ol’ paper, click over to the Quilting Patterns section at Etsy.
I’ve got a couple new patterns!
These were so much fun to work on. I used fusible appliqué to tell these little stories, but of course you can use whatever method you like. They’re are up on my website now, along with all the others, on the Patterns page.
Something wonderful coming soon to the blog from the inestimable Darcy Ashton!
Got a couple months now with no shows. I consider this type of stretch a hiatus, and I make a long list of things to work on. Things get done and crossed of the list (I’m a scribbler), then more stuff gets added on, it’s always a work in progress, and it ends up looking like this.
One of the things on my list was to publish Spice Pinks. I wrote about this project back in April, when the May/June issue of Quiltmaker came out.
Spice Pinks is an old block that I first saw 25 years ago when I signed up for my Beginning Quilting class. It was included in the sampler we were going to make, and I was captivated. When I started the class, I was slightly disappointed to find out that another block had been substituted. But I never forgot Spice Pinks, and here’s my version of it!
A little appliqué reimagining eliminates curved piecing, and a non-traditional palette gives it a modern zing. Of course you can make it with any colors you like!
If you missed it in the magazine, the pattern is now available on my website, on the Patterns page.
More stuff to come from The List!
I’ve been working hard on my Etsy Shop!
I just added a new section, Appliqué Blocks. The section contains individual downloadable blocks from my out-of-print book Baskets to Appliqué.
Here’s the Apple Basket
All 16 basket blocks are available individually for instant download. You can pick your favorites to use in the project of your choice! Use the appliqué method of your choice.
Of course, if you’d rather have all 16 basket blocks in printed form, you can always get the Baskets to Appliqué Pattern Pack from the Appliqué Patterns section.
To celebrate all the work I’ve done in getting the Etsy Shop up and running, I’m holding a Grand Opening Celebration!
Use the following coupon code during checkout to receive $5 off an order of $10 or more, before tax and shipping.
Have fun shopping! You’ll find my books and patterns, tools and supplies, beautiful button magnets, and a few other fun things I’ve made.
The coupon expires Saturday, June 6, at midnight. Feel free to share with your friends!
Thank you so much!
Kay’s Etsy Shop
I’ve been working on stuff. Well, I’m always working on stuff, and sometimes I have something to show for it. :)
A new pattern! I pulled hunks and scraps out of my stash, anything I liked, and put them all together for this important quilter’s statement piece. Your hunks and scraps will be completely different than mine, but your quilt will make the same proud pronouncement.
Also, I made a stand-alone set of instructions for back-basting.
This illustrated guide includes the 9″ Heart and Flower practice block, illustrated back-basting instructions, hand stitching tips, and my guide to points and notches.
Note: If you have Teapots 2 to Appliqué or Inspired by Tradition, you have these instructions built-in.
This weekend I’ll be at the show put on the the Guild of Quilters of Contra Costa County in Concord (say that 10 times fast). Hope to see you there if you’re in the area!
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie
No, I did not get another kitten LOL (though kitten season is beginning and I should have new fosters soon).
No, the fabulous Darcy Ashton got a new kitten, and made the most amazing pattern!
Pumpkin Jr., side-by-side with his fabric rendition.
Darcy is famous for her blanket-stitched appliqués, and this is an example of her more realistic work. I’m blown away.
“My Little Orange Kitten” is available as an instant download at Darcy’s Etsy Shop.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie
Sometimes, when I get an idea for a new pattern, the title and the layout jump into my head fully formed. So it was with my latest.
I saw in my head what I wanted to do. Once I got the heffalumps drawn, I thought of making them in batiks. I pulled a few out of my stash, and purchased a couple more. Then a brain storm occurred. I thought, what am I doing!? I’ve got these precious hand-dyes left over from the super secret piecing project! Back the batiks went into the stash, and it was full speed ahead.
In choosing the colors, I did a rather primitive mockup on the design wall with chunks of fabric.
I think I ended up changing one ear.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie
Greetings gentle quilters, here’s wishing that the new year treats you well!
The delightful Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs is launching a new free-pattern-every-month that she’s calling the Snow Happy Hearts Club. It’s a series of ornaments, one a month that you can make featuring Anne’s super adorable designs. Check it out!
Myself I’ve been working hard on a couple of projects over the holidays… one is a super secret piecing project (that’s right, I said piecing believe it or not) that I will be able to reveal soon. The other is a new appliqué pattern featuring an animal that popped into my head one day and wouldn’t leave :) Stay tuned. also coming soon.
Update to Kitten Cavalcade:
Giselle, now called Corkie, has gone to live with Minnie! That’s right, Helen decided to get her kitten a kitten, and these buddies are now lifelong companions.
Gunther was adopted the same day by a nice family that I was lucky enough to meet down at the shelter. He’s now known as Milo.
We thought we were done for the season and packed everything up. However, on new Year’s Eve I received a call from the shelter that there was one more, very late little kitten that needed foster. I couldn’t get her off my mind, so the next day I went down there to see if they had found anyone yet. They had not, so I brought the tiny little black thing home with me.
It’s hard to get a photo of Molly… she’s a kitten in motion, a spunky, feisty little mighty mite.
Dana got this shot of her in a moment of repose.
Single kittens tend to treat human hands like other kittens and treat them accordingly, but we’re working on it and she is learning to be an exceedingly sweet kitty. She’s a total lap cat, and sleeps on our heads at night.
Until next time,
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!
By Kay Mackenzie
Last year when the tents folded on International Quilt Festival-Long Beach, I wasn’t sure whether I would drive to Portland for the new, rebranded Quilt! Knit! Stitch! show. I decided to give it a whirl! Now I’m excited about this brand-new show from the folks at Quilts, Inc.
They sent me a very cool button!
The show is at the Oregon Convention Center, a location I’ve visited twice before to attend Quilt Market, so it’s nice to have a mental map in advance of the event. It’s a great venue and I hope you’ve thought about getting together with some quilting and/or stitching buddies to come enjoy the show.
In the category of other news:
I’ve got a couple new wall quilt patterns.
Over 20 years ago, when I signed up for my Beginning Quilting class, I got a look at the four-block sampler we were going to make. One of the blocks was Spice Pinks. But when the class began I found out that another block had been substituted, so I didn’t get to make it. I’ve never forgotten that beautiful block from all those years ago, and here it is re-engineered through the miracle of appliqué to avoid curved piecing.
Another project I just finished is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time… figure out a way to show the projects from the patterns more closely on the website. I do my own coding, and wasn’t quite sure how to do it, but I tried it the simplest way, and yippy skippy, it worked! You can now click on the pattern cover and a larger version of the quilt will come up in a separate window.
Lastly, I added my notecards to the website. They’re on the Notions page. They come four to a pack, with envelopes, and you can get all one style or an assortment. These notecards are great for dashing off a note to a quilty friend, or as a gift.
Thanks for listening to what I’ve been up to lately. I’m off to San Luis Obispo on Friday to set up for the annual Seven Sisters show. Hope to see you there this weekend!
By Kay Mackenzie
The first year I was at the Seven Sisters show in San Luis Obispo, I kept hearing the volunteers talking about the slow quilters. I filed this away in my brain as a curiosity. It took me awhile to figure out they were saying SLO quilters, as in San Luis Obispo LOL!
SLO is three hours drive down the coast from me, and I always look forward to rolling up on the beautiful and very pink Madonna Inn, with horses grazing in adjoining pastures. This year the show is June 28-29.
For the first time, they’ve added a workshop to the festivities!
Jan Krentz is well known for her books on star and diamond quilts. Jan will be giving a one-day class called Quick Starburst on both Saturday and Sunday, in two different locations.
In addition, Jan is giving the keynote address on Saturday evening, entitled “Design Inspiration from Everyday Life.”
You can register for these events at the show’s website, aqgcc.org.
If you’ve attended this show before, you’re used to finding me tucked away in the little side room, but this year I’ll be out on the main show floor. Hope to see you there!
By Kay Mackenzie