Welcome gentle quilters!! It’s Day 3 of the 100 Blocks Volume 9 blog tour! These tours are always a rollicking good time, and I’m happy to be part of things once again.

I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my books and patterns on it, plus select notions for the appliqué enthusiast. If this is your first time visiting my blog All About Appliqué, I’m glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about all kinds of appliqué here on the blog. And, we have a featured appliqué book at the beginning of every month, given away in a drawing, which is way fun.

I’m delighted and proud to say that this is my eighth time having one of the 100 Blocks. I just love participating in these special issues!

My latest title from Martingale, Scrap-Appliqué Playground, is all about different ways to put scraps together and cut appliqués out of them. After the book came out, I started playing around with more ideas for cutting appliqués out of something other than just one fabric. I let my mind run wild, and realized that there are clever ways to use traditional pieced quilt blocks for this! It’s the best of both worlds!

Half-Log-Cabin Tulip by Kay Mackenzie.

Cutting a tulip “just so” from a traditional half-log-cabin block gives a fun, stylized look to a very traditional appliqué flower. Split leaves and a patched background complement the pieced nature of the tulip.

The magazine gives complete instructions for making the block, and includes the tulip template that fits just right on the half-log-cabin once it’s pieced. Very cool.

Of course you can change up the color of the background and the flowers. Here are just a couple of possibilities!

I hope you enjoy this block and all the other 99 fabulous and varied designs in Volume 9!

The editors of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks are sponsoring a giveaway of a copy of the magazine! If you’d like to enter to win, please leave a comment here on this post before 12:00 noon California time on Sunday, May 4.

Good luck in the drawing, and remember that if you are subscribed to the blog by email, clicking “Reply” will not enter you in the drawing. Come to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post. :)

Many thanks for your visit!
By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of Sew Embellished is No. 9, Gail! Congratulations! Gail says that her guild is just starting a splinter group for art quilters this month and the timing is great. Very cool.

I have show and tell! At the recent Desert Guilds show in Palm Springs, the show committee asked the vendors to award ribbons for their favorites. I wandered the show looking here and looking there. I saw one that was entirely to my delight, walked up to it, and hung my ribbon. Then I read the description. No wonder I loved the pattern… it’s one of Holly’s!

Holly Mabutas is a gifted artist and quiltmaker who has THE most delightful patterns over at Eat Cake Graphics. Here’s the quilt from the show, Furry Sweetness by Judy Price, quilted by Lynette Harlan. Love it, gals!

my Vendor's Choice ribbon

Furry Sweetness at Eat Cake Graphics.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’ve got a lot of fun stuff to mention today!

First off, Martingale is commemorating Worldwide Quilting Day, March 15, with several suggestions for things to do. One of them is, “Start a spark—make just one block!” To support this notion they’ve got some of their favorite block eBooks on sale. And my Easy Appliqué Blocks is one of them!

Go see the Martingale blog post!

Golly, it’s good to see those EAB blocks again.

I might just have to cook up something myself this Saturday to celebrate what is both Worldwide Quilting Day and National Quilting Day. Got my thinking cap on…

While I’m thinking, you have got to go and see what the phenomenal Darcy Ashton is working on now.

The gorgeous Miss Mermaid.

My next show is the Glendale Quilt Guild, March 21-22, newly held at the Pasadena Convention Center. After many years in Burbank, they’re moving to this new venue where the entire show can be in one giant happy room. Can’t wait, especially since I’ll get to see my special pal Cathy, she of GefiilteQuilt. Note that this is a Friday-Saturday show.

Got a lot to do to get ready! I’m also working on yet another new pattern. Stay tuned!

Until Saturday,
By Kay Mackenzie

As we ease our way into spring, it’s great to have this expanded pattern from the AQS Love to Quilt series!

Fall Into Spring is an award-winning quilt designed and made by Cheryl See in 2007. Cheryl used hand appliqué techniques, and you can use your favorite appliqué method to bring this 57½ x 57½ beauty to life.

The pattern includes humongo folded sheets inside that give you all the patterns full-size! Complete instructions, including optional trapunto and cording methods, are also on these big sheets. Cheryl notes that the fabrics in the original quilt are Marimekko® but that any gradated fabrics will work just as well, or you can piece to achieve the same effect.

If you’d like to win this pattern, please leave a comment here on the blog before 7:00 p.m. California time on Wednesday, March 5. Open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. (Remember, emails won’t enter the drawing.)

Good luck everyone!
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Commenter No. 16, Karen Pastoor, came up the winner of The Quilter’s Appliqué Workshop. Congratulations Karen! I know you will enjoy this fabulous new book.

And don’t forget that Kevin Kosbab is holding a blog tour later this week to celebrate the book’s release! It’ll go February 20-28 over at Kevin’s blog, Feed Dog Designs.

In other news, I’m gearing up for my own guild’s quilt show this weekend! We’re the Pajaro Valley Quilt Association, with members from Santa Cruz County and beyond.

The show is held at the County Fairgrounds in Watsonville. It’s a great location, we have all three buildings and there are lots of fun features and activities during the show. I’ll be in the Harvest Building this year, the same building where lunch is served and the quilt auction and fashion show are held. Hope to see you there this weekend! Saturday, February 22, 10-5, and Sunday, February 23, 10-4.

I mentioned that I was working on a new pattern. Here it is, Sunday Dress.

Originally I called it “Easter Dress,” but after thinking about it some more, I changed it to Sunday Dress so that it wouldn’t seem so seasonal. Those of you who got it at the Folsom show (thank you), I guess you could say you have a collector’s item! :)

Back on the 1st with another great appliqué book! See you then!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Finally getting my head back on straight after a week away from home at the glorious Road to California show. My goodness, what an extravaganza! The Mayor of Ontario (California) said it is their single biggest event of the year.

This year, about 50 more vendors were added, located in a structure that was variously referred to as the Bubble, the Big Top, the Tent, and officially, The Pavilion. My pal Debby, whose shop is The Quilter’s Faire in Palm Desert, was the last to get a space and it was wonderful to have a chance to visit with her in those few minutes a day when we are not bungee-corded to our booths.

Debby had been telling me that she was going to make up my pattern
A Spin in the Garden, and there it was!

A whole new look, so fresh and adorable! She had kits for the happy spring-like fabrics, and I think they sold out. If you’re interested, you can contact the store to see if they have more. The Quilter’s Faire.

The Appliqué Self-Help Brochure went over well. :) I didn’t hand out that many, because in general the visitors to the booth had lovely, positive attitudes. When I did fish one out and hand it over with a smile, it was taken in good spirit, so I think it’s going to work.

A few of you stopped by to see the new Teapot quilt, thanks! it also was well received and fit into the booth “like butter.”

I didn’t get the chance to take many photos of the show entries, but what I did notice were several variations of the good ol’ Dresden Plate, one of my favorite blocks. There were more, but here are just a couple.

Fancy Dresden Plate by Cheryl Beckendorf and Leslie Guyton, quilted by Heidi Stagno

Bloomin' Cogwheels by Janna Thomas

There’s something exciting coming to Appliqué Book Land, quite soon! Stay tuned!

Until then,
By Kay Mackenzie

Thank you so much for all of the birthday wishes!!! That was fun, and it was really fun to pull three winners this time. The readers who will receive a copy of my Teapots 2 to Appliqué are #56, Lee; #2, JuliaP; and #15, Debra. I appreciate you all so much for joining me on this blog, throughout the year.

Regular reader Beverly Schueneman made my Plum Pudding pattern to hang on her kitchen door!

So cute! I love the fabrics that she chose for the patched backgrounds, and the hard-to-find mottled browns for the puddings.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The gals at The Wooden Bear dropped me a line to let me know about their very adorable new BOM series that starts in January.

Extreme cuteness for every month of the year!

Not only that, they’re offering a free U.S. shipping special if you sign up by October 10!

As a special treat for readers of the blog, The Wooden Bear is giving away a complete kit for January, pattern plus wool plus thread included. How nice is that?

If you’d like to win the kit for this happy snowman, please leave a comment on this post here at All About Appliqué by 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 5.

Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing address only. And remember, replies to email subscriptions do not enter the drawing.

Many thanks to The Wooden Bear!
By Kay Mackenzie

Dana helped me make a little video to introduce my new pattern.

Available on the Patterns page at kaymackenzie.com.

By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of the IQA Founders Award in Houston in 2011 was a masterpiece appliqué quilt by Kathy K. Wylie called Flourish on the Vine.

Flourish was also on the cover of the April/May 2012 issue of Quilters Newsletter, so you may have seen it there!

C&T Publishing has collaborated with Kathy to publish a pattern pack with full-size pattern sheets and complete instructions to make your own version of this graceful and sophisticated quilt.

They sent me a copy to share with my readers! Thanks C&T!

Kathy used a focus fabric to pull together the soft palette she had in mind. Inspired by wrought-iron work and a Bible verse, the quilt took two years to complete. The pattern has the quilt top divided into 12 sections for ease of completion. Suitable for experienced appliquérs who like luxurious, intricate details, the cover makes the point that it also has comprehensive instructions with template tips that make it approachable for ambitious beginners.

If you’d like to win a copy of the Flourish on the Vine pattern pack, please leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Friday, August 9.

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

Good luck to all, and thanks for reading All About Appliqué!
By Kay Mackenzie

A few weeks back I showed a sneak peek of my newest pattern. Here’s the whole deal:

I love blue, and I had five out of six of these blues in my stash! Usually I work with a mix of colors, and it was a very fun departure to do a monochromatic piece. I think the Ginger Jars would also look great done up in Oriental fabrics.

This weekend I’m off to Brentwood, California. It’s time for the Delta Quilters Guild show, and they’re having it at a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, the Brentwood Community Center.

Sunday is our wedding anniversary (24 years!), and sweet DH Dana has decided to drive up to help me pack at the end of the show, and then we’ll have dinner. Anybody familiar with the area know of a nice casual place that has yummy food?


A hearty welcome to you!! It’s Day 2 of the 100 Blocks Volume 7 blog tour!

I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my books and patterns on it, plus select notions for the appliqué enthusiast. If this is your first time visiting my blog All About Appliqué, I’m glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about appliqué — all kinds — here on the blog. If you’re a regular reader or you’ve been here before for one of these hops, welcome back!

I’m delighted to say that this is my sixth time having a block in an issue of 100 Blocks. It’s so much fun! Dogs and cats often work their way into my appliqué designs. This time, I went back to my first love in animals. I was one of those horse-crazy girls, and for awhile we had a little horse Zora, named after the beloved ninth-grade English teacher that all of us kids had going through school.

Me and Zora, circa 19$%&^ oh sorry got a finger cramp. Zora was white with black specks, known as a flea-bitten gray. She was a gentle soul and and she let me ride her bareback all around the countryside for hours.

When I was looking for the photo I found another one, this time of my beautiful late mother when she was young. Maybe it runs in the family. :)

Now you know why I was so pleased that the editors of 100 Blocks chose “Dream Pony” to be in Volume 7!

For my block that’s in the magazine, pictured above, I made a buckskin pony. You can easily change the coat color, mane, and tail to make a whole herd of others!


Dapple Gray





Just a few of the wide range of wonderful ponies in the world.

There are 99 more charming and delightful quilt blocks in Volume 7, made all different ways, so there’s something for everyone. The publishers are offering a free copy of the magazine to a lucky winner! If you’d like a chance to win one, leave a comment here on this post before 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, May 6.

Thanks a million for visiting, enjoy the hop! Be sure to start each day this week at Quilty Pleasures.

By Kay Mackenzie

Dana’s loading the Vibe tomorrow morning for my trip to the environs of LA. I’ll visit Cathy Thursday morning, then it’s a short hop the rest of the way to Burbank to set up for the Glendale Quilt Guild Show.

I had a blast at this show last year and can’t wait to go again. If you’re down that way, do stop by to say hey. I’m in the same spot.

Did you see the free pattern at Bunny Hill? Adorable bunny towels!

See you next week! I have a fantastic guest tutorial coming right up!

By Kay Mackenzie

As part of my 2013 New Year’s Day post, I mentioned that I’m starting up my own line of stand-alone patterns. I showed the first couple of new ones.

Well, I’ve been a very busy girl and now I have twelve! Here are the rest of them.

These are all available at kaymackenzie.com, on the Patterns page. Some I appliquéd by hand, some by machine, but of course you can use your own favorite method. I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. It feels great to be doing something new!

Thanks for taking a look at my Show & Tell,
By Kay Mackenzie

Happy New Year!

It’s an momentous day in the Mackenzie household! It was exactly 10 years ago today that I stepped a foot into the professional side of quilting and published my first book.

Even though I’ve always been an appliqué person, I started with something that was all piecing, all the time. Dog Cabin was a huge endeavor. I had to relearn everything I had learned in my sprinkling of digital-media classes, and climb a mountain of details that ranged from procuring ISBNs to learning about distribution channels to approaching catalogs and a million more things. I was on fire, and I loved every minute of it. Dog Cabin was picked up immediately by Checker Distributors and placed in Connecting Threads, and all of a sudden I had a career.

Dog Cabin is a great little book. I really flexed my illustration muscles and included tons of graphics showing everything from:

How to straighten up the grain of the fabric to…

How to measure and rotary cut…

To the dust bunnies that will accumulate in your house when you finally bust out that novelty fabric you’ve been “saving.”

It’s a fantastic book for the beginning quilter and also, I might add, a very fun project for quilters of any flavor as you rest your right brain, engage your left brain, and sew sew sew!

To celebrate the anniversary of this classic book, read on to the end of the post to see how (if you’re in the U.S.) you can get a copy of Dog Cabin, free!

In the last 10 years I’ve published eight more of my own books, and had three books published by Martingale. I still love it and I still feel like going strong!

In the last part of 2012 I started on a new endeavor, producing a line of stand-alone patterns. It’s really exciting to be doing something new. I’ve put out some few patterns in the past, but now I’m getting organized about the whole thing. UPC codes! How long I’ve known o’ ye, and finally we meet!

My two new patterns:

This little quilt appeared in my book Easy Appliqué Blocks, now available exclusively as an eBook from the publisher. When the print copies were all gone I received the go-ahead from Martingale to publish this design on its own. It’s been the most-requested pattern in my booth, so I’m so delighted to be able to offer it now!

Sandy Klop of American Jane is a buddy of mine. I LOVE her fabric from Moda! When I heard she was coming out with a new line called Savonnerie (Soap Factory) I kept an eagle eye out for it. As soon as the images went up on the Moda website, I knew it would be perfect for this pattern that I had in mind for a classic Dresden Plate. Moda graciously sent me some cuts of fabric, and I’ve been industriously working on the wall quilt ever since. I went all old-school and hand-quilted it! It really is like riding a bike and it felt good to go back to my roots as a quilter.

Okay, back to Dog Cabins and 10-Year Anniversaries. In celebration of this milestone, for the next week, through January 7, 2013, if you order one of these patterns… or anything at all… from kaymackenzie.com you’ll receive a copy of Dog Cabin absolutely free. That’s right, you can order a package of needles and you’ll get the book, and I’ll even cover any extra shipping. Limit one, U.S. customers only, while supplies last.

Happy 2013!
By Kay Mackenzie

A new Olympic sport!

Yeah, not really. A couple months ago I received notice from Digital River that the shopping-cart and credit-card processing platform that I had been using on my website for 10 years, CCNow, is going away. Like gone, poof, at the end of the year.

Oy vey. After considering a few different options, I decided to go with PayPal, especially since they now have a weight-based shipping option, something I strongly believe in since it’s the closest to actual you can get.

I’ve spent some time converting my website to PayPal checkout, and gulp, I uploaded the new pages today. May the overlords of HTML smile down on me.

Also new on the website: a brand-new pattern, Flying Fan Kites.

As I was working on Scrap-Appliqué Playground, which whacks together scraps and cuts appliqués out of them, I jotted down ideas for taking the idea on a tangent and using traditional pieced blocks.

Flying Fan Kites is the first pattern from that list! You piece a fan and then cut a kite and kite-tails out of it! It’s fun! This is a little guy, 12″ x 16″.

The kites are paper-pieced. Do not groan. Do not fear the paper-piecing. I made it so systematic, so no-brainer, you will not get confused or sew a piece into place that won’t cover when flipped. The full-size foundations are included and ready to use.

Once the fans are pieced, I use paper-backed fusible web for the machine-appliquéd kites and kite-tails. I’ve now started to offer SoftFuse in the 10-pack, and that’s up on my website too, on the Notions page.

I’ve set the shipping to zero on these two new items, through November 22. That’s right, free shipping on Flying Fan Kites and SoftFuse, just in time for a post-turkey-coma Black Friday project!

Fingers crossed that I’ve coded everything correctly, please let me know if you have trouble with anything!


Today I am utterly delighted to turn the blog over to Iris Frank, contributing editor to American Quilter magazine, friend, and and current president of my home guild, PVQA.

Iris has a wonderful Show & Tell for us. Take it away Iris!

Marina Rosario was a member of our PVQA Small Quilt Group and is very accomplished appliquér. She was such a loss when she left the area and we still talk about how much we miss her and her inspiration. The year after she moved to Oregon, Marina sent me a quilt entitled Tea is for the Birds for entry in our local annual PVQA Quilt Show.

Tea is For the Birds by Marina Rosario

Tea is For the Birds by Marina Rosario

I’m an avid feeder of backyard birds and the minute I opened the box and saw the quilt, I fell in love with it! I emailed Marina to ask if she would consider selling it. Her reply was, “Oh, no, I spent over a year making that quilt.” After the show, I was asked if I thought Marina would consider letting the quilt stay in Santa Cruz for a couple of months so it could be used as a decoration for the upcoming UC-Santa Cruz Mother’s Day Tea, since it was so perfect. Marina agreed and I had the privilege of enjoying the quilt for the intervening time period.

After the tea, I emailed Marina to let her know I was packing it up to return to her and begged her again to sell it to me. To my delight, after explaining her cats would probably just use the quilt as their bed anyway since she didn’t have enough wall space to hang it, she guessed she would let me purchase it!! It’s currently decorating my living room wall and everyone who sees it has a positive comment about it…the design (a Marina original) is wonderful and the workmanship is absolutely exquisite! And I love it!!

I love it too! What a masterpiece. Good news! All nine block patterns are available in Marina’s Runs With Scizzors Etsy shop.

Here are a few closeups for your enjoyment.

Thanks Iris!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Whenever I go to Market, I roam the aisles with an eye out for appliqué designers that I haven’t seen before. In Kansas City, I picked up literature from each one I spied, and I finally got the chance to add them to the lists of links (aka blogroll) in the right-hand sidebar.

(If you don’t see any sidebars right now, it means that you’re subscribed to my blog either in a blog reader or by email. To see the entire blog with all of its bits and parts, just click on the title of this post and you’ll be whisked away to the internet home of All About Appliqué.)

New in the blogroll:

Appliqué After Hours
Angela Lawrence

Blackberry Primitives
Wool appliqué

Marcia Layton Designs
Embellished wall quilts

Meeting House Hill Designs
Wool appliqué

Castilleja Cotton Patterns
Eclectic appliqué patterns

Cleo and Me
Whimsical quilts, embroidery, and more

In other news, this weekend I’ll be at the Piecemakers Quilt Guild Show held at Ohlone College in Newark, California. If you’re in the Bay Area, hope to see you there!

And, I just released a new, super simple, very cute little pattern.

These cookie jars can hold treats for our furry friends or for human kids as well!

I’ll have the new pattern with me this weekend, or it’s now available on the Patterns page on my website.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Random.org has declared that the winner of Janet Pittman’s Appliqué: The Basics & Beyond is… Number 3, Melody!

Melody says that this book will be perfect since she is just learning how to do applique, and she’s very excited. Welcome to appliqué, Melody!

I must apologize for stating that the contest ended Friday, June 7. As they say on TV, I can explain! You see, I’m calendar-challenged. My whole life I have never been able to wrap my head around the fact that calendars split the weekend and put Sunday at the beginning. It’s a deep-seated conceptual thing that I’ve never overcome. So, just for the future, if my day and date don’t line up, go by the day, not the date LOL! I looked at the end of the week, which to me is Friday, and it said 7.

You remember during our recent Book-A-Round that Erin Russek was turning her darling appliqué design into a pattern? She named it Miss Kay and I feel very highly honored. You can check out Miss Kay in Erin’s Etsy shop. Thank you Erin! It’s not every day that one is immortalized in a gorgeous appliqué pattern.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Fran V. wrote:

I have found that there are a lot of assumptions made when it comes to actually stitching the pieces together and in what order. For some blocks it is rather obvious, but for others not so much, especially in more complicated blocks. Some direction here would be nice.

Fran, there are two ways of thinking about what a pattern should provide. Some patterns come with little numbers all over them indicating stitching order of the pieces. To me they look like they have the measles LOL. I’m in the other camp. You know that old expression, “If somebody’s hungry, you can give them a fish, or you can teach them to fish.”

numbered-roseRose block from Easy Appliqué Blocks.

The same process applies whether the pattern is simple and the order is obvious, or when the pattern is quite complicated and has many pieces and layers. Take charge! Just look and see which pieces are partially behind others, and start with them. Build from the back to the front. If it helps you, you can jot down your own measles on your master pattern. :)

Fran also wrote,

Also some hints on deep curves and points would be nice. Could you use your wavy blades to cut these out to eliminate the fray while you work with them?

We’re covered points, notches, and curves in previous posts. As for the wavy blades… wow! Now that’s a thought! A scary one! It’s a good thing Clover makes microserrated scissors with this very idea in mind. They’re like teeny tiny pinking shears. I carry them on my website in the 5″ hand-scissor size, on the Kits & Notions page.


Karen Kay Buckley also has her own brand in a larger and a smaller size on her website.

Miscroserrated scissors don’t exactly eliminate fraying. I don’t think anything can — it’s cut fabric after all — but they do make the cut edge less prone to fraying.

Hope this helps! Thanks for your question Fran! So glad you are enjoying the blog.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

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