I came across this entry on longarm quilter Nancy Gambrel’s blog, where she shows off her customers’ quilts and the beautiful quilting she’s done on them.

Lo and behold, there’s an absolutely beautiful teapot quilt made by Pat Besenhofer, and I recognize it as being from my Teapots 2 to Appliqué.

Teapots 2 to applique by Kay Mackenzie

What an internet find! Pat and Nancy both graciously agreed to let me use the photos and put up a Show & Tell of my own.

Asian Teapot quilt made by Pat Besenhofer, quilted by Nancy Gambrel.

Asian Teapot quilt made by Pat Besenhofer, quilted by Nancy Gambrel.

Pat writes,

This is so cool. My quilt is indeed based on your book Teapots to Applique 2. I would be thrilled to have my quilt shown on your website. And to think it isn’t even bound yet! I’m glad that Nancy and I spent so much time exchanging ideas about the quilting, I think the frame she did works beautifully with the teapots and the corner diamonds.

I’ve been a tea person all of my life, and I get so tired of patterns featuring coffee, espresso’s and latte’s, etc., so I snatched up this book (as well as the first one) when I saw it at the all-the-quilt-books-in-the-world vendor at the Rosemont, Illinois, Quilt Festival a a year or two ago.

This is the first quilt I’ve made with a definite location in mind; it’s going to go in my kitchen. I’ve been second-guessing myself on the pattern, wondering if I should have placed one or more teapots going the other way, or adding a teacup in one spot for a bit of whimsy. I’m happy that you like it as is.

Pat told me that the quilt was done with fusible raw-edge applique. In order to get the teapots facing the ‘correct’ way, she copied the positive images, then flipped the paper to create a reverse image to draw on the fusible web. Pat, that’s just the way I do it. Nancy stitched down the edges of the fusible applique with clear thread.

A beautiful job, both Pat and Nancy!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Writer Dawn Goldsmith invited me to do a guest post on her blog, Subversive Stitchers: Women Armed with Needles.

sm-needlesOf course I wanted to do that! What a great name, and an admirable spirit! I’m not all that subversive actually, but I am totally armed with needles. I wrote a post about the three main sharp implements in my life, showing a few examples of what I’ve done with them.

Be sure to check out Subversive Stitchers, a blog about the abounding creativity of women who wield all sorts of needles.

Thank you, Dawn, one writer to another. What a treat for me.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

b943_c.jpg

I’ve been looking forward to delving into this month’s book, Dream Landscapes: Artful Quilts with Fast-Piece Appliqué by Rose Hughes. Landscapes, art quilts…. totally out of my arena and it’s always interesting to learn new things to throw into one’s appliqué bag of tricks.

Rose tells us, “Fast-Piece Appliqué is a method of construction that makes easy work of sewing curves, circles, and many designs that you thought were too difficult to put together.”

Once I read through the process, it was one of those V8 Moments. Wow, it really makes a lot of sense!

Rose’s method employs tracing paper, freezer paper templates, and machine-sewing the pieces together from the front… simple and direct. She takes us through a small teaching project first and then provides several patterns and a beautiful gallery of her own and her students’ work for inspiration.

example1.jpgLook at those beautiful flowing curves!

example2.jpgCircles sewn without clipping or pinning!

The book includes a quick tutorial on color, full and detailed step-by-step instructions for Fast-Piece Appliqué, and a lot of information on yarn, which is couched over the top of the stitching lines to delineate the shapes and cover raw edges. The couching also provides the initial quilting.

Then the author takes us through the steps of sandwiching, further quilting, and binding these pieces of wall art, followed by a wonderful section on embellishing with embroidery stitches and beading.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

laura.jpgArt quilter Laura Wasilowski of Elgin, Illinois, is a founding member of the Chicago School of Fusing. In fact, she’s the Dean of Corrections.

Kay: To me, the CSOF is more about a state of mind that an ivy-covered institution. It’s standing up tall and saying, “I fuse and I’m proud.”

Laura: The mission of the Chicago School of Fusing is to encourage the technique of fusing to create art work. We know that it is the quickest way to get from that idea in your head to the implementation of that idea in fabric. Fusing gives you endless possibilities for making art.

Kay: Were you always a confirmed fuser?

Laura: No, I started out as a piecer as a teenager but as an adult I wanted to make pictorial art. Fusing allowed me to make those organic shapes so important in picture making.

Kay: The readers are going to want to know what’s your favorite kind of fusible web.

Laura: I use paper-backed Wonder Under #805 (regular weight). The release paper that comes with it is so important in creating fused art quilts. You can use the paper for collage building, pattern transfer, protecting the quilt top, and storing fused elements or large fused shapes. It always releases a fused fabric.

Kay: You prefer to use hand-dyed fabric, yes? You dye your own and also offer it in your Artfabrik store. Tell us why these types of fabrics are better for the fused quilts.

Laura: A hand-dyed or batik fabric works best for these raw-edged fused applique quilts. First, there is no finish on these fabrics so they will adhere better (but wash out the starch in a batik fabric). Most importantly, the color penetrates all the way through hand-dyed and batik fabrics so the edges of fabric elements show the color. A printed fabric will have a white background and you will see that white edge around each cut element.

Kay: You also offer beautiful hand-dyed thread. How can it be used?

Laura: I love hand embroidery with my hand-dyed threads. It adds that extra hit of color, texture, detail, or pattern to the surface that cannot be done with fabric. It draws the viewer closer and brings the quilt to life. These threads can be used for any of the needle arts — crochet, knitting, weaving, needle punch, needle point, couching, machine quilting, and bobbin work.

Kay: How do you finish the edges of the motifs in your quilts?

Laura: They are not finished. Steam-setting the glue keeps the fabric permanently adhered to the other fabrics and batting.

Kay: How do you quilt them?

Laura: I first stitch by hand through just the batting and top layer. Then I free-motion machine quilt through all the layers. My Janome 6500 is a work horse and does beautiful free-motion work.

Kay: You’ve authored two books and a DVD. Tell us a little bit about each one.

fusing-fun.jpgLaura: My first book, Fusing Fun: Fast Fearless Art Quilts, is a great book for new fusing enthusiasts who want to learn as much as they can about the fine art of fusing. There are six projects with variations, basic fusing terms and instruction, a section of binding and display, and a gallery of fused art work by other artists.

fuse-and-tell.jpgFuse and Tell Journal Quilts shows readers how to translate their stories or ideas into fabric. From sketches, to photos, to design triggers, each of the six projects helps you make the quilt in the book and tells you how to make your art work using those techniques. The wrapped binding is introduced along with tips on bias fusing, working with cheesecloth, and improvisational design.

dvd.jpgThe DVD, Laura Wasilowski Teaches You to Create Fused Art Quilts, has a project from start to finish, a tour of my sewing and dye studios, and a gallery of quilts with commentary. And as the Dean of Corrections I go over the rules of fusing from the Chicago School of Fusing. I also sing the fight song sung by the Iron Maidens as they go into battle.

Kay: You’ve been on Simply Quilts and on The Quilt Show. Were those fun?

Laura: Yes, the hosts and crew made it really easy and inviting. As a ham, it was right up my alley! It was also an opportunity for me to hone my teaching skills and to be able to articulate what I do in a short amount of time.

Kay: I hear you’ve become a Serial Quilter. Tell us about this process.

Laura: I have a tendency to work in a series. I’ll take a theme and make quilt after quilt based upon that idea. For instance, in the blue chair series I have my blue chair reading a book, putting its feet up, down at the beach, and plugged in (the Blue Electric Chair). This way I only have to come up with one idea and can make many versions of it before moving on to the next idea.

bluebook-1.jpgbluebeachchair.JPGblueelectricchair.JPG

Kay: You travel a lot for workshops and lectures. How do you enjoy this lifestyle?

Laura: I enjoy meeting new people and seeing new parts of the world. The airports I could live without, but it’s part of my job.

Kay: What are you working on now?

bettysbloomers13.jpgLaura: Hand-stitched small quilts (see Betty’s Bloomers #13, above), new patterns, dyeing fabric and thread, preparing for workshops and vending, and keeping my head above water until December when my teaching season ends and I collapse into a puddle of colorful water on the floor.

Kay: You’re a bit of a songbird. Would you care to leave us with the lyrics of one of your compositions?

Laura: Sure, here are the lyrics to one of my favorites:

*A Sewer from North Illinois*
(sung to Sweet Betsy from Pike)

There once was a quilter from North Illinois,

She exercised often and ate lots of soy.

But a hot flash it killed her as she sewed her last seam,

They found her there clutching her sewing machine.

So take all her fabrics and pile them high,

Take all her quilt tops that reach to the sky,

Take all her needles and bright colored thread,

I hope that I get them,

Now that she’s dead.

Thank you, Laura, for that inspirational ditty, and for visiting All About Appliqué.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Just got this comment from Joleen on my Fusible web management post. I’m bumping her question to this new post.

Hi Kay,

I LOVE your site!
I am new to sewing and living in a non English speaking country. I have, due to much hard work and determination, found some sort of fusible web at the local fabric market. I have it in two forms…a small tape ( like scotch tape) and by the meter sheet. However, I am REALLY confused by how to use it. There is NO backing paper…..

I would be so grateful for any tips of hints you can give me on how to use this stuff….

Joleen, I think the strippy stuff is like a sewing notion called Stitch Witchery. A ‘tetch’ of this can be useful in appliqué situations where you need just a little strip to tack something down or to effect a repair of some ilk. I have some in my drawer of “things on a roll.”

In past appliqué explorations, I’ve tried using non-paper-backed fusible web, and I’ve always come back to the paper-backed kind. I actually can’t remember how to use the naked web. This is like Misty Fuse I’m thinking. Appliqué enthusiasts, please chime in! Joleen in another country needs your help!

Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

As I was roaming the aisles of Spring Quilt Market with my eye attuned to everything appliqué, I was stopped by a display wall of product. “Fusible Web” jumped out at me. This was the Bosal Foam and Fiber booth and the nice gentleman there gifted me with a package of their paper-backed product for me to try.

bosal1.gif

Here’s what the fusible side looks like.

bosal2.gif

I used it to stitch up a new block.

bosal3.gifI’m happy to report that the product worked quite nicely for me. It’s a bit heftier that the Wonder Under that I normally use, but since I cut out the centers of my templates, the finished block was not any stiffer at all.

On a couple of the pieces, the edges of the fusible were wanting to separate from the template, but with careful handling I didn’t have to redo anything. Once fused and cut out, the edges of the motifs were crisp, with almost no fraying. Yay! (Note: this may have more to do with fabric choice than with fusible web choice. I’m just sayin’.)

bosal4.gif

One thing I like is the really good explanation on the back of the package about the variables involved in getting a successful bond. “Time, heat, and pressure are the three key elements,” it begins, and goes on from there with some very good information about these variables. Note: it refers to ‘interfacing’ throughout, which to my mind is a different product from ‘fusible web.’ Maybe they use the same info on their interfacing packages, or maybe the company refers to fusible web as interfacing? In any case, it’s good information for either.

I contacted the Bosal company to learn more about the product, and received a prompt and comprehensive reply. I’ll just quote most of what Drew Serbin, Director of Operations, wrote me.

“Bosal is pronounced Beau-suhl. Our website is www.bosalonline.com and it is quite comprehensive, including information about all interfacings produced by Bosal Foam and Fiber as well as the myriad other craft products we produce, including urethane foam, bonded polyester battings, polyester fiber fill, and vellux craft kits.

If quilters go to our website and go to the “Where to Buy” section, they will see a list of distributors and high-volume retailers. If they click on the “Map” link they will actually see a map of the United States and can click on individual states to find a retailer.”

I clicked on the Bay area on the map and came up with Beverly’s, which we have right here in Santa Cruz. I’ll have to check it out next time I go.

I asked whether polyamide is the same fusible that’s used on other brands, and Drew told me that yes, it’s the same adhesive that’s used on nearly all fusible web, including Wonder Under. My needle didn’t gum up or anything like that, worked fine.

Drew also sent me some great information about other types of Bosal products. These things are beyond my personal ken but they may be of interest to all you crafty people, so I include the info here. Over to you, Drew.

“I would also add that Bosal has one of the most extensive lines of quilters’ fleeces in the market, including two weights of sew-in, scrim supported fleeces, the heaviest-weight fusible fleece in the industry, plus cotton/wool, Bamboo, Bamboo/Cotton and Soy Silk/Cotton fleece.

In addition to the fleeces, your readers might also be interested in our extensive line of embroidery stabilizers, which are available rolled on board or slit rolls in popular hoop sizes. The embroidery stabilizer line includes three water solubles, two tearaways, two cutaways, and a flame-retardant perforated for childrens’ wear.”

Here’s something that sounds interesting for those of you who make your own garment or handbag patterns.

“About eight months ago we launched Bosal Create-A-Pattern, it is a nonwoven tracing material that is is packed in a 46″ wide by either 5 or 10
yard roll. The beauty of Create-A-Pattern versus Swedish tracing paper or the like, is that it is a nonwoven, therefore you can crunch it up into a
ball and it lays right back down flat. Additionally, unlike traditional pattern papers and tracing papers, these goods will not tear and can be pinned. Thus it can be used over and over again without damaging the pattern.”

Thank you Drew for all of the info. If you are a machine appliquér and you see Bosal Fusible Web, you might want to pick up a package and give it a try for yourself. Another one for your appliqué bag of tricks!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

I’m not one that’s at all talented at the arty photography, don’t ya know. But I may have taken my first arty picture, by accident.

Four Roses quilt by Kay MackenzieThis is Four Roses, a wall quilt that I made using one of the designs from Easy Appliqué Blocks after the book went to print.

I followed all that good advice about taking the photo outdoors in the shade, taping it up on my sliding-glass door and taking the photo whilst standing outside on the patio. Here’s what emerged… not only does the quilt look like it’s floating in space, there’s a really cool double exposure effect of the patio being reflected in the glass, plus, you can see inside the house a little bit too! If you look closely you’ll see cat Pixel snoozing on the sofa.

This quilt was machine appliquéd using fusible web and a small machine blanket stitch.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Today I’d like to pass along a few little tips about how to wrangle your fusible web… the kind that comes on a bolt.

My web of choice for raw-edge fusible machine appliqué is Pellon’s Wonder-Under, regular weight. Your mileage may vary. I’ve kind-of got it down now, but it was not always so. When it comes to paper-backed fusible web, I suffer from separation anxiety. As in, the web separates from the paper backing before I get a chance to use it. Arggh!

In the past, I’ve tried passing an iron over it on top of a teflon appliqué pressing sheet in an attempt to stick it back to the paper… what a mess. Now I just chuck it when I find that’s it separated.

Here’s what I do now to alleviate the separation issue.

First of all, don’t let the clerks in the store roll it up for you. You know what happens, say, if you place one towel on top of another and roll them up together? The top one ooches along and ends up sticking out farther than the bottom one by the time you get there. I don’t know which law of physics makes this so, but the same thing happens with fusible web and its paper backing. Rolling the product encourages separation. Just ask them to fold it loosely for you.

Then, as soon as you get home, cut it into squares. This is information that I got from my pal Pam Crooks, who got it from the estimable Sue Nickels, machine appliquér extraordinaire. I keep a separate rotary cutter for cutting paper and this purpose. The width of the product is 17″, so if you cut it into 8 1/2″ squares that’s just right, and the squares fit perfectly into a gallon-size zippy bag.

fusible1.gifNot only are they flat and happy and much easier to work with than a big floppy hunk, keeping the squares in a bag prevents them from drying out, another culprit in the separation issue.

fusible2.gif
I keep scraps in an old box lid that fits into the zippy bag when not in use.

As I work on a pattern I start with the smaller pieces and only start a new square when there’s a motif that’s bigger than my biggest scrap of fusible. It’s soooo nice to reach into that bag and pull out a nice fresh, flat sheet in such a manageable size.

Here’s another tip for working with paper-backed fusible web: trace the smaller pieces inside the larger pieces. I learned from Sue Nickels in her book Machine Applique: A Sampler of Techniques to cut out the center of the fusible-web templates. This strategy reduces stiffness in the quilt, and it can save product too if you use that cut-out area to make another template.

flower-basket.gifLet’s say we’re starting with a pattern like this.

fusible3.gif
The leaves will fit inside the basket with enough room to spare to cut everything out roughly.

While you’re at it, go ahead and trace the flower center inside the flower.

fusible5.gif

fusible4.gifUse a circle template tool to trace nice round circles. Use a size that is a little bit bigger than the circle. (When you trace, the circle shrinks.)

The arrow is my attempt at telestration in Photoshop.

Last tip for working with fusible web: the smallest, itty-bitty pieces like flower centers are too small to cut the center out of. Then it can be hard to get the paper backing started to peel it off when you’re ready to fuse. I tried the ‘scratch it with a pin’ technique but somehow was never skilled enough to do it without fraying a thread or two. My new favorite strategy is that, once the motif is rough-cut, I peel up one side of the paper, going into the motif area a little bit.

fusible6.gifThen I lay the paper back down and cut out the motif on the drawn line. When I’m ready to take the backing off, part of it has already been started. In this case, separation is good. :)

Okay, that is my most sage advice for fusible web management. I hope it proves to be of use to you.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

And here’s my quilt of the same name.

Tis the Season by Kay Mackenzie

I made this little 18 x 18 wall quilt last year, just putting together some motifs from A Merry Little Christmas to Appliqué and filling in the white space with some cute red and green buttons. I used different prints and widths for side and top and bottom borders, something I’ve become fond of doing. The Christmas cracker is tied with embroidery thread. This one’s machine appliquéd and machine quilted.

If you’d like to see more Christmassy quilts, click on the ‘Holiday’ category in the left sidebar and that’ll bring up the ones I posted last year.

A very happy holiday time to you all! See you next year.

Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Kim Jamieson-Hirst of Chatterbox Quilts in Calgary, Alberta, has posted a very nice article on her website giving lots of tips and information about fusible-web appliqué. Visit Chatterbox Quilts and click on the Tips and Techniques page.

Bundle Up pattern from Chatterbox Quilts
You can use Kim’s information to make her brand-new, exceedingly cute table runner pattern, Bundle Up. It’s on the Patterns page at Chatterbox, or go directly to
Kim’s Etsy shop.

Happy holidays, and bundle up!
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

The past few years, I’ve really been trying to avoid that horrible credit card bill that comes in January. So I’ve been putting my thinking cap on to figure out ways to make gifts instead of buying them. After all, I’m a creative, crafty person, right? Last year I unearthed some small stained-glass quilts that I’d made umpteen years ago, added some more quilting to them, wrapped them up, and sent them to all the relatives. This year I hit upon the idea of making some quilty note cards.

I had fused fabric to paper once before, when we moved to California and I decorated moving announcements that way. And, although I haven’t read it, I knew that Elly Sienkiewicz had done a whole book about it called Appliqué Paper Greetings. Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Paper Greetings: A Quilt Approach to Scrapbooking

blanks.gifA quick Google search found me CardBlanks.com, and I immediately knew what I wanted. A flecked line of blank note cards came in coffee, cream, and sugar LOL! I ordered the sugar.

A rummage through my stash turned up a set of pieced borders that had never made it onto a quilt. There were my fabrics, all color-coordinated! I drew some very simple appliqué motifs that would fit on the cards and printed them out in reverse for fusible appliqué.

I wasn’t sure whether I needed to use regular-weight or heavy-duty fusible for this, so I started with the regular. Worked fine. My favorite is Soft Fuse; your mileage may vary.

For fusing on paper, I didn’t bother with cutting out the interior of each motif (although that does make it easier to get the paper backing off) and I didn’t worry about precise placement either. I just eyeballed it, and used a dry iron throughout.

cards.gifHow simple, yet cute. A creative, crafty, handmade gift.

back.gifI even signed the back of each card. The relatives like that.

package.gifI slipped four with matching envelopes into some flat cellophane bags that I had had kicking around forever, and voila! Ready to put in with the holiday card, shipping cost an extra Nutcracker stamp.

When we were kids we used to ask my Scottish grandmother, “Grandma, what do you want for Christmas?” Or, “What do you want for your birthday?” She just would shrug and reply in her thick brogue, “I don’t need all that I’ve got.” Really, most of the people on my gift list have all that they need and want, for that matter. I think they really appreciate receiving something original and unique, even if it’s just a little something.

Now admittedly this isn’t going to fly for the teenaged nephews, but I think it’ll work for just about everybody else on my list. What’s your creative, crafty solution?

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Before Elly’s lecture began (see the November 6 post), I was looking around the shop when I heard my name called. I turned around and, happy day! it was the podcaster extraordinaire Annie Smith, whom I hardly ever get to see due to her incredibly active traveling, teaching, and speaking schedule.

Annie was teaching a class next door to our lecture and had just a minute before her class was going to start. “Did you see my coat at PIQF?” she asked me with excitement. I had to confess that although I had admired the garments, I missed entirely the fact that one of them was hers and also that the special exhibit “Off the Bed — On the Back” had been curated by one of my own guild members, Rachel Clark.

Annie sent me pictures of the coat and the accompanying quilt, along with the story of how they were made (which reads a little like The Perils of Pauline). Here’s the sometimes harrowing account:

“Rachel asked me to be a part of the exhibit when she saw my West of Baltimore quilt.

Each of the pieces in the exhibit was to be a specific technique of quilt making, (i.e.: log cabin, paper piecing, Hawaiian quilting, Baltimore appliqué — which was mine).

gardencoat4web.jpg
coatback4web.jpg

My quilter, Melodee Wade, quilted each of the coat pieces first, then the appliqué was designed and stitched to the coat. The hard part was that I was working like crazy to get the coat finished and Rachel asked me what the name of my quilt was.

Quilt?!

Oh yeah, I remember now… after a conversation LAST October…. little quilts, the quilt design is put on the coat… yeah, right. So I stopped working on the coat design — I was having quilter’s block anyway after being seized with ultimate stress of doing a quilt too — and began the quilt. The vase in the center of the quilt is on the back of the coat, and then I wanted to do some simple vines for the border. Or at least, what I thought was simple. I have to remember that the quilt will always tell you what it wants, and the quilt just grew on my design wall. I knew when to stop and that it was perfect — when I added all of the little yellow dots as detail.

My friend Aneda Phillips, who made the West of Baltimore pattern cover quilt, stitched all of the appliqué while I went back to finishing the coat. When she returned the pieces of the quilt so I could assemble it, I mis-cut the center [Ed. note: GASP] and had to make another one from scratch and do all of the stitching on it, as Aneda was finishing up her quilts for her Market booth.

gardenquilt4web.jpg

Then back to the coat. It had to be done in panels, appliqué then sew the seams together, then connect the design. The hardest part was the two flowers that are on the side seams of the coat. At that point, the coat was wearing me while I stitched them down! I do fusible, fine machine appliqué where I use a tiny blanket stitch and match all of the threads to the appliqué fabrics. There is some hand embroidery on the quilt and coat. I even made covered buttons with little appliqué flowers on them.

The name of the quilt is “Midnight in the Garden” and the coat is “A Rose Tree in a Baltimore Garden”. A Rose Tree is a traditional Baltimore appliqué pattern which I used for the shawl collar of the coat.

rosetreecollarfront.jpg
rosetreecollarback.jpg

The appliqué fabrics and coat lining were generously donated by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I used Peggy Toole’s “Florentine II” fabric as the lining and focus fabric for all of the appliqué. You can a little bit of the gorgeous lining fabric in the front collar picture. The fabric is amazing.

All in all, I worked on the quilt and coat for three weeks, 12 to 18 hours a day to get it done in time for PIQF. And then, I didn’t even get to attend the show, as I was teaching in Canada!

Melodee is an incredible quilter. I just gave her the pieces and let her do her thing. She did some neat swirled feathers in places that aren’t covered by appliqué — and that’s the thing, she had no idea where the appliqué was going. She just quilted as if they were separate whole cloth quilts. I was amazed when I sewed the panels together — the quilting from one dovetailed into the other and in some places it’s hard to see the seam line. I know that it was totally random, but I love when magic happens like that.

I use Melodee exclusively to do the quilting for me. She always enhances everything I do, making my pieces better. Mel does it all free-motion on a non-computerized Gammill.”

Kay here… I’ll add that in addition to her quilting talents, Melodee is one of the nicest, most gracious people you could ever hope to meet. Her contact is melodeewade@aol.com if you’re interested in contacting her for your longarm quilting needs.

On her latest podcast,(11/10/08), Annie tells more about the creation of the coat and jacket, describing how they grew on her design wall and what a wonderful experience it was for her to let go and let that happen. Go give a listen, and you’ll also hear a hilarious story of how dedicated a quilter can be when it comes to acquiring an industrial Bernina for $100.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Leafing through my Keepsake Quilting catalog, I noticed a darling pattern for an appliquéd calico cat gazing at me with green eyes from atop a patchwork quilt. I went googling to find out more about the pattern. I was delighted to find out on Roberta Williams’ website that Hillary is the 18-year-old cat of Roberta’s good friend Diane Gaudynski, and that the two designers are donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this pattern to the Morris Animal Foundation.

That’s a lovely thing to do and I applaud them.

I’m off to Long Beach tomorrow to show my wares at the International Quilt Festival. I’m pretty darned excited! I’ve trained the DH Dana as a cashier. He’s being an awfully good sport. See you when I get back!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

While I was at Quilt Market in Portland, I saw the display by Ackfeld Manufacturing of bunches of darling wire hangers, and it got my mind spinning with ideas. I ordered some of the little hangers and as soon as I got home I set out making some little quilts. I love small things so this was a barrel of fun for me, and it also have me a chance to show off the motifs from my new book Home: A Heartfelt Nap Quilt and how you can use them different ways.

lq5web.jpg
lq3web.jpg
lq4web.jpg
lq6web.jpg
lq7web.jpg

These are all machine appliquéd with a blanket stitch, and I just used scraps left over from making the original Home quilt. I didn’t really plan anything out in advance, just chose the motifs and played around until I thought, ‘hey, that looks good,’ then fused them down. It’s great working this way in between fussier projects!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs
web-home.jpg

At Quilt Market, I stopped by the Patchworks Studio booth to meet Canadians Daphne Greig and Susan Purney Mark. Daphne and Susan are well known for their wildly popular books Fat Quarter Frenzy and Fat Quarter Frenzy Two. I found out they’ve also developed a very cool appliqué style they call Give and Take Appliqué™.

My husband the scientist would call it “figure and ground illusion.” Whatever you call it, it’s really very striking and an idea whose time has come! Visit the Patchworks Studio patterns page to check out Give and Take Appliqué™.

More to come from Quilt Market,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

I found the most fabulous photo tutorial on designer Barbara Brandeburg’s blog. She has posted a wonderful step-by-step visual guide to creating raw-edge fusible appliqué. Hurry over to her blog and look on the righthand sidebar for “Easy Appliqué Tutorial” and have it all laid out before your eyes.

While you’re there, read her posts answering questions about appliqué. It’s a treasure trove over there. Thank you Barbara! You can also shop for her highly attractive patterns.

Barbara’s blog

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Not that long ago, American Patchwork & Quilting magazine launched a companion website called AllPeopleQuilt … APQ, get it? I was intrigued by a mention in the latest print magazine about quilting classes on-line, so I surfed on over to check it out.

Two appliqué classes head up their list of offerings. Linda Hohag is demonstrating a starch technique, and Pat Sloan is showing how to she does fusible appliqué. It looks like these are on-demand videos.

On the site, there’s also an area called “Try Techniques.” Click on the Appliqué section for gobs of free tips and tricks for a variety of methods.

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Designer Darcy Ashton has devised a darling way to use raw-edge hand appliqué to make raggedy bunnies. I would never have thought of it!

Here’s a picture of one of Darcy’s bunnies, after appliquéing and before quilting and fluffifying.

bunny-by-darcy-ashton.jpgPhoto courtesy of Darcy Ashton.

Now go to Darcy’s blog to see the finished quilt with the bunnies fluffed up. Adorable!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Look at this cute thing I just stitched up to hang in my booth at quilt shows!

A Spot of Tea by Kay Mackenzie

I made this version of “A Little More Tea” smaller than the sampler pattern in Teapots 2 to Appliqué…it has 9 of the 16 designs. I call this one “A Spot of Tea.”

The appliqué notes in Teapots 2 are all about the back-basting, or no-template prep method for hand appliqué. For this cheery sample I used fusible appliqué with a small machine blanket stitch.

Sometimes I pull fabrics and make blocks, then go hunting for a border that will work with them. In this case I started with the border fabric and pulled the teapot fabrics from there.

Cheerio,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Here’s a fabulous guest post by Diane Dixon of Metro Quiltworks about how your choice of thread can work a little magic on the look of your machine appliqué. Thank you, Diane, for this wonderful article!

Let’s Have Some Fun with Thread Color!

Thoughts about thread choices by Diane Dixon of Metro Quiltworks

The color of thread can be a very important feature for you to consider with your next appliqué project. The way the thread color interacts with the fabric can make the stitching either stand out in a bold contrast, or it can create subtle outlining of the appliqué piece without much contrast at all.

Some basic points to consider:

Matching thread color to fabric color:
Do you want the thread color to match the color of the fabric? This will create a subtle look that blends well with the appliqué pieces and may emphasize the overall look of the project since the thread color blends much more into the background.

Here’s an example of a lily flower having the thread in the same color family as the fabric. By using the blue thread in the center, the flower is more formal and contained. Notice the use of yellow thread on the yellow petals. Although both fabric and thread are in the same color family, there is still a subtle contrast because the fabric is lighter in some places than in others. Subtle, but not dull! Also, the lily pads are sewn with green or brown stitches to keep the pieces from getting too “busy” since the batiks used here are quite wild.

lilypad.jpg

Contrasting thread color to fabric color:
Do you want the thread color to contrast with color of the fabric? Using contrast can create a wonderful visual look that can define edges and give excitement to individual appliqué pieces.

Here is an example of two pears on a plate. The purple stitching in different shades really defines the green pear from the green plate. Notice the yellow stitching on the green leaf, the outside plate stitching, and the effective purple on the stem as well.

pears.jpg

In the close-up of the red floral appliqué example, there’s a combination of techniques to make this flower sing! Notice the center has a bright red center that uses the same thread color on both the center, and on the interior petals. By using the same thread color on different fabrics, another subtlety comes out. The bright blue stitching on the outside petals, and the red on the green leaf brings all of the colors to another level!

redfloral.jpg

I sometimes enjoy using this technique specifically with smaller projects such as miniature wall hangings, pillows, or table runners because the thread choices really stand out in a more intimate piece – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try this out with larger pieces as well!

Thread colors play important roles and can change the look of any project. Don’t be afraid to go for it and have lots of fun!

Diane Dixon

Kay here again — be sure to visit Diane’s website to check out her colorful contemporary patterns for quilts, table runners, and wall hangings at Metro Quiltworks – A fresh look at quilt design. Thanks again Diane! I’ve been a “matcher” so far but now I’m inspired to try mixing it up!

Until next time,
Kay
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

← Previous PageNext Page →