First of all, thank you so much for all of the nice words about the brochure. The encouragement is highly appreciated, and I’ll let you know how it goes over!

Those of you who have visited my booth have seen the nine-block teapot sampler that I hang to show some of the designs in Teapots 2 to Appliqué.

That quilt has been universally loved. People exclaim over it, and those who get the book want to take photos of it, so they can “remember the colors.” (I point out that it’s red, white, and blue LOL.)

In the last little while, those teapots have started to whisper to me. “Mackenzie,” they say, “We’re tired. We want to stay home.” It’s true they have done a yeoman’s service. So over the holiday hiatus I made a new nine-block sampler. Here are a couple of the new teapots.

As you can see, they’re still red, white, and blue, but in a richer scheme. The white is now ivory, the 30s and toile prints now French and Civil War. I hope this new collection will hit the spot for viewers.

The quilt will make its debut at the upcoming Road to California show. If you’re planning on attending this quilting extravaganza, come on by and see it! I’ll be in the ballroom.

I’m on the road to Road on Tuesday, for a week. See you when I get back, if not before!


Here’s some very cool news: The delightful Laura Wasilowski will be an instructor at the upcoming World Quilt Show Florida!

I interviewed Laura awhile back for the blog, If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check out the Spotlight on LW. Laura’s a proud fuser, in fact she’s Dean of Corrections of the famous Chicago School of Fusing.

The Mancuso team, who put on this Florida show as well as PIQF here in California and many others, have also arranged a special hotel and show package for your winter getaway enjoyment.

Here’s more info on Laura’s luncheon talk.

Hope you get a chance to snow-bird it to Florida for the show.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The lucky reader who came up the winner of the Quilt Art 2014 Engagement Calendar is… No. 1, Carolyn! Congratulations Carolyn! May it help you stay very organized and quilty in 2014.

Before I talk about what’s coming down the pike, my heartfelt thanks to everyone who chimed in on the subject of an appliqué self-help brochure. Your very thoughtful observations are all going into the pot as I think the subject over. I’ll revisit this in a later post.

Now: Some fun things are coming!

My last show of the year is put on by the Pioneer Quilt Guild in Roseville, California, November 9-10. I really enjoyed this show the last two years and am looking forward to it once again. It’s a nice facility, and a really nice group of gals.

Next: Volume 8 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks is coming out soon!

To celebrate the release of this newest block collection, Quiltmaker is throwing a big party in the form of a blog tour with lots of prize-winning opportunities along the way.

The tour goes Monday, November 11, through Friday, November 15. Start each day at the Quiltmaker blog Quilty Pleasures and they’ll send you on your way to visit the blogs of many of the designers who have blocks in the issue.

My day is Friday, November 15. And here comes another fun thing… I’ll be auto-scheduling the post to go up that day, because DH Dana and I will be in the U.K.!

Dana’s attending a statistics conference in London.

You knew that it’s The International Year of Statistics, right?

As soon as my quilt show and Dana’s conference are over, I’m flying out to join him. We’ll spend a few days in London and then travel north to Scotland, from whence my Grandmother Logan hailed. I’ll meet a second cousin and tour Inverurie, the ancestral homeplace.

Inverurie is just a little north of Aberdeen. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time.

See you when I get back! I’m hoping to visit some fabric and quilt stores while I’m across the pond.

By Kay Mackenzie

I survived the beast that is PIQF! When I say beast I mean it in the best way, but it sure is good to be home and resting up. :)

I had hardly a chance to get out and take photos, but since I was close to the international exhibits I did spot this wondrous appliqué entry from New Zealand.

Sue Bee's Flower Garden by Sue Burnett


A 21-day wonder based on a Kim McLean pattern, with no appliqué experience, completed during a time of personal challenge. Awesome. And very beautiful too.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Look at these wonderful flowers designed by my buddy Cathy Van Bruggen and executed beautifully by Linda Aydelott. This quilt was hanging in the Sierra Quilt Guild show in Sonora that I just came back from.

My Love of Appliqué & Flowers by Linda Aydelott

I also loved this quilt. Those are totally my colors.

Morning Glories by Ann Carr

Two days at home, then up the road again to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California, for the Quilt, Craft, & Sewing Expo. It’s a Thursday through Saturday show, three days of fun with all kinds of sewing and crafting stuff.

Here’s a coupon for free admission! (I think you may still have to pay to park).

It’s the same weekend as Quilting in the Garden at Alden Lane Nursery in nearby Livermore, so why not swing by both? A twofer!

Hope to see you this weekend!

By Kay Mackenzie

Had a fun weekend in Walnacrick oops Walnut Creek. (When we lived in central Ohio there was a town over in Amish country Walnut Creek but they pronounced it Walnacrick so that’s been a running family gag ever since.)

Nancy S. Brown was the featured quilter and I’ve been a huge fan of her work for years, so it was great to have the chance to meet her in person and chat. As she put it, “Us appliquérs have to stick together.” Here are a couple of the fabulous hand-appliquéd quilts in her display.

Jaguar by Nancy S. Brown

Giraffes by Nancy S. Brown

One of Nancy’s most famous quilts is the incredible “Sunday in the Park with Mittens,” which you can see on her website, upper right. I took a closeup of the papillon, the happy little doggie who reminds me so much of my dear departed Willie.

Sunday in the Park with Mittens, detail, Nancy S. Brown

There were more spectacular appliqué quilts in the show.

A Matter of Morris by Mary Mix

Sabor Latino by Laura Fraga

Woodland Animals by Sue Mead

Woodland Animals, detail, Sue Mead

A good time was had by all at this biennial show put on by the Diablo Valley Quilters.

Next stop… Sonora! The latest word is that the Rim Fire is under control so no worries. We’ll be there this weekend, with bells on. All the info is at the Sierra Quilt Guild website.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The reader who won a copy of A Batch of Quilt Soup is…. No. 18, Dora! Congratulations Dora! I know you will enjoy Barbara’s designs.

I have a busy September, but Max is busy every month. :) Dana made a video proving that Cats Can Fetch Too!

Just like last year, September is packed with quilt shows and I’m on the road every weekend. Here’s my schedule:

Sept 7-8, 2013 Los Banos Arts Center Quilt Show
This nice show is put on by the Pacheco Pass Quilters in Los Banos, California. Special preview plus wine and cheese tasting tonight, Friday night, September 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m! Find out more at the Los Banos Arts Council.

Sept 14-15, 2013 Diablo Valley Quilters Show
This biennial show takes place in Walnut Creek, California. The featured quilter is the renowned appliqué artist Nancy S. Brown!! I’m so excited! You can find out more about the show at the guild website.

Sept 21-22, 2013 Sierra Quilt Guild Show
A lovely show held at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in beautiful and historic Sonora, California. All the information is at the guild website.

Sept 26-28, 2013 Quilt, Craft & Sewing Festival Pleasanton
The super-nice guys at Rusty Barn put on this show devoted to quilting, sewing, and crafting held at the fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California. All the info at Here’s a free admission ticket!

By Kay Mackenzie

Goin’ to Tehachapi

Filed Under Quilt shows | Comments Off on Goin’ to Tehachapi

This weekend I’m off to the Tehachapi Mountain Quilters Show.

I just love saying “Tehachapi.” I’ve never been there before, and I always enjoy visiting new places. According to the Chamber of Commerce, “The beautiful Tehachapi Valley is an oasis located in the mountains between the San Joaquin Valley and the Mojave Desert, offering a cool haven from the arid desert heat and the sprawling lowlands of the valley.” I’m glad about the words cool and oasis. :)

If you’re in that area, I hope to see you there!

Don’t forget the Christmas in August free shipping special on selected items, through the end of this month.

Until next time,

Congratulations go to Kathy Lancaster! She came up the winner of the Flourish on the Vine pattern pack! Kathy, I hope you enjoy this gorgeous project. More giveaway goodness next month, so stay tuned.

The quilt exhibit in Long Beach was fabulous, as always. After I put up the post mentioning that I was leaving for the show, I received this comment from Carli Heinrichs:

Hi Kay,

If you get to see the “O Canada” exhibit, you’ll have to check out my little ditty there, look for ‘Beach House Crazy Quilt.” I’d love to see a photo by someone I know out there in blog-land that may have come across my little part of the vast world of quilting. Send me a photo, I’d drool for that!

All the best,

Of course I sought out Carli’s entry and found it right away in the O Canada exhibit. So darling!

Thanks for dropping me the note, Carli!

The next appliqué quilt that made me stop and get out my camera:

Never Again...Again by Joan Dorsay

Strikingly beautiful against the black background.

A friend stopped by my booth and told me that she had seen a Christmas quilt by a Japanese quiltmaker that had made her brain full for the day. I neglected to ask her the name of it, and it took me a couple days to track it down, but when I found it, it was worth the wait. OMG. I’m not usually one for Daiwabo taupe (I just don’t live in the neutral world) but I’m telling you…

Christmas Song For You by Hiromi Yokota

This was the type of piece that had you standing there studying, taking in all of the precious detail.


When I uploaded my Long Beach photos to my ‘puter, I was dismayed to discover that I hadn’t captured the label for another one of the spectacular appliqué quilts. After some show program and internet research, I found it! The quilt photos are mine, but the label is from a different show, probably the Rosemont Festival.

Bird of Paradise by Connie Watkins

I just love the folk-art quality of this quilt.

It was the last International Quilt Festival in Long Beach. Next year the summer edition of Festival from Quilts, Inc., is moving to Portland, Oregon, and is rebranding itself as Quilt! Knit! Stitch!

I’m sorry to see it leave California. Portland is a loooong drive for me and I wouldn’t look forward to that. The fact that the show is reaching out to a broader base of stitchery-types is good, but it might dilute the number of attendees who are interested in appliqué. The jury is out on whether I’ll be there, as it was for many of my fellow vendors. What do you think?

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m leaving Wednesday for International Quilt Festival in Long Beach. My car knows the way. I’ve been there every single year since its inception, plus, before I got married I lived in the area for a long time.

This year the show has some wonderful special exhibits lined up. Here’s one that I’m really looking forward to seeing.

This is the last Festival in California. So if you’ve been meaning to come but have been putting it off, now’s the time!

Hope to see you there,
Back next week with our feature and giveaway for August!
By Kay Mackenzie

Got home from Eureka on Monday. A whole eight days before I hit the road for Long Beach!

Oh my good golly, there were a couple of stunning quilts in the show. These both were hand appliquéd and hand quilted. Diane’s was hand pieced as well.

I Wanted to be a Baltimore by Diane Pialorsi

Quilt in Bloom by Linda Benzel

Extraordinary! Diane and Linda, congratulations on these traditional masterpieces!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Just got home from my neighboring state to the north from the Oregon Summer Quilt Expo. Whew, what a drive! Parts of it were very beautiful, like alongside Klamath Lake, but overall the trip was a mite long for my taste.

I took photos of a couple of striking appliqué quilts that hung nearby my booth.

Roses for Travis and Sharon by Peggy Gelbrich

Peggy Gelbrich of Yellow House Quilter was one of the featured quilters in the expo.

Hand appliqué and hand quilting!

On the other side were quilts by one of the expo’s teachers, Nancy Lee Chong of the Pacific Rim Quilt Company.

A quilt honoring the Hawaiian goddess of snow

Hand appliquéd with silver lamé! And hand quilted. Gorgeous.

Home for two days, then headed back north again to Eureka, California, for the Redwood Empire Quilters Guild show this weekend, July 20-21.

I’ve never been to Eureka, but 29 years ago, just out of grad school, my husband Dana journeyed to nearby Humboldt State for a math conference and thought it was the most beautiful campus and region he had ever visited. “Anyone who has ever seen the redwoods there can’t help but be amazed. I’d read about them before the trip, that they were ‘God’s idea of a forest,’ and I wasn’t disappointed. They’re so immense and they make you feel so small.”

When Dana found out I was going, he decided to come too! Hooray! He’ll do the driving! Thank you DH!!

Back next week,
By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of Jeanne Sullivan’s
Simply Successful Appliqué is No. 1, Linda Klauer! Congratulations Linda,
I know you will enjoy the book.

Here’s a quilt tale from the road.

Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes, was displeased last weekend.

I was in Madera, California, at a quilt show, and this was my view.

This is a very pleasing quilt made from all Hawaiian-themed fabrics. Upon closer inspection (which I had plenty of time to conduct), it appeared as though the sleeve had been applied to the wrong end and the quilt was hanging upside down.

Note the boats sailing in the sky, the palm trees growing like Miracle Tomatoes, the motorcycle shack hanging from the ceiling.

Pele displayed her displeasure. It was 104&#186 when I arrived for setup.

Wished I had Sue’s sunbonnet during load-in. Putting the booth up was quite the challenge. At one point I lay down on the cement floor. It felt good but I thought I might scare somebody so I got up.

I learned a new term, that of “swamp cooler.” Alicia explained to me that it’s when air is blown over water (as opposed to refrigeration) for cooling.

Swamp coolers are what we had at the Madera District Fairgrounds. But we were told that two air-conditioning units were being brought in, so we had hopes that the days of the show would be better.

According to the Vibe it was 85º at 9:00 the next morning.

My neighbors were good buddies Shawn of the Rusty Crow and Alicia the Batty Lady.

The Rusty Crow, featuring “Anything Primitive and Scrappy.”

The Batty Lady can answer any question you may have about batting, and probably carries the type you want.

Shawn wished for a piña colada.

Alicia was frying eggs on the metal loading door.

Shawn had thermometers in her booth. Yes, that does read 90º inside.

Here were our two a/c units, demo models at a vendor booth on the other side of the building.

My knitting needles had been in the suitcase in the car.

As you can imagine, the crowds stayed away in droves. But there were some beautiful appliqué quilts in the show.

Celtic Spring by Virginia McClaren

Daisy Dance by Melinda Worstein

Civility by Barbara Haggard

And they had the loveliest retrospective displays I’ve ever seen.

The guild members were very supportive, bringing us cold water, encouraging us to take our time packing out, and helping us tear down. Thank you, ladies.

It was 105º as I headed home.

When I got to Casa de Fruta it was 92º and their chocolate goodies were melting and stuck together. I received a discount on my fudge-covered oreo.

By the time I got back to Santa Cruz it was 66º. I told Dana, “It’s freezing over here!” I was mighty glad to get home.

I hope you are staying cool,
By Kay Mackenzie

Just finished up a hand appliqué project for the November/December issue of Quiltmaker. Whew! It’s always a load off my mind when I get to the end of this type of assignment. And yes, they really do work this far ahead.

It’s a really cute piece. Kind of holiday-y but also very much in the red-and-green appliqué tradition. The article will include back-basting, so be on the lookout for it.

Next weekend I’m driving up to Santa Rosa, California, for the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County show. That’s wine country! Dana tells me that we drove past on a trip that we took one time to Napa, but this will be the first time I’ve really been in Santa Rosa. I’m really looking forward to it. That’s one of the great things about being a traveling quilt-show vendor… I’m getting to explore lots of cool places in this wonderful state.

The featured quilter is the one and only Judy Mathieson!!

Judy is known for her extraordinary Mariner’s Compass quilts. She’s also a dog person so she’s all right in my book :).

Until next time,
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?


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

Thanks so much to everyone who entered the draw for Mimi Dietrich’s beautiful book Baltimore Blocks for Beginners. has declared that the winner is No. 16, Suzanne McFadden! Congratulations! Suzanne says she’s always wanted to do a Baltimore Album quilt. This’ll get you started Suzanne!

A few of you pointed out that I wrote March 5 instead of April 5. Fear not, gentle readers! If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that I am perennially calendar-challenged. Even when I go back in and correct the date, if the email feed has already gone out, those of you who are subscribed by email will not see the fix. So if I ever write anything having to do with a date that doesn’t make sense, just have faith! :)

In other news, I’ve updated the Events page here on the blog and on my website. I think that’s it for 2013! I was a mite surprised when I finished the updates to realize that I have 16 more shows this year! In 2012 there were a number of guild shows that were every other year. I thought I might have some gaps in my schedule, so I signed up for things right and left, and all of a sudden my calendar is more packed than ever! I love it!

Here’s what’s coming up this month!

April 20-21, 2013


This biennial show put on by the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association takes place in the same venue as PIQF. Last time we had a great show and I’m looking forward to it once again. This time we have the primo spot, Hall A! The show theme is “Shower of Stars.”

April 27-28, 2013

Seven Sisters Quilt Show

I love driving down the coast for this show held at the lovely and historic Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. DH Dana just took a day trip down to SLO for an interview and came home raving about how beautiful it was down there. Plus I told him about the Apple Farm and he went and got his favorite, an apple dumpling. All the info about the quilt show is at

In between shows I’ve been working on a new pattern. Here’s a sneak peek!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Headed south

Filed Under Patterns, Quilt shows | Comments Off on Headed south

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

The highways and byways have brought me home from the wonderful Road to California show. It was so exciting to be there… thousands of quilters enjoyed the spectacular displays and varied merchant offerings. My booth was busy as bees; many readers stopped by to say that they enjoy the blog, and thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

The blue drapes were lovely, the lighting was good, and I liked my position just one space inside the doors to the ballroom. My neighbors on the corner were the Pin Peddlers. They’re from my home state of North Carolina and this was their first show in California! The ladies lined up to ooh and aah over their cute, cute cloisonne pins and charms.

I took photos of some grand appliqué quilts.

Spring Blooms by the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild and Lynette S. Harlan. I loved the colors in this one.

Welcome to My Tea Party by Joan Lebsack. Verna Mosquera's patterns are always right up my alley.

Once is Enough by Fairy Earnest and Diane Beauchamp. I had to laugh at the name.

Here's a detail of this incredible Sue Garman design.

More info from Road next time!

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,

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