Well quilting friends, the blog was down for awhile there, and beyond my capacity to fix it. But then, our ISP moved our websites to a brand-new server, the blog updated itself when I wasn’t looking, and presto! It works again!

I’d like to celebrate by presenting a fabulous Show and Tell. I received the following message from Leslie Duran of Rocklin, California.

“Hi Kay! I met you at the Road to CA quilt show, and showed you my finished project using your Studio pattern from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Here are my photos. Feel free to share and post if you would like! It was a fun pattern, and I really enjoy how it turned out. I see it everyday in my office/sewing room.”

duran1

duran2

duran3

How fun! I really enjoy this fresh, modern version, with the linen-y background. It’s perfect in its space. Leslie, thank you so much for taking the time to share. It’s moments like this that lend me the support that all designers need in order to carry on.

Cheers,
Kay

By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Show & Tell!

There’s an outreach group within my quilt guild, The Allstar Quilters for Kids, who meet every two weeks and make cheery snuggle quilts for kids in need in our community. I’m sort of an honorary member; I don’t regularly attend the sew-ins, but I do try to support them however I can.

One of the members sent out a call for help making blocks for a quilt that will be used as a fundraiser for the group. I took a couple that had appliqué… because… well, you know :).

Here are my blocks, hot off the needle!

star-block

bunny-block

They’re part of the Spring Garden Sampler Quilt designed by Lydia Quigley, offered as a block-of-the-month by many quilt shops. Here’s one, Stitchin’ Heaven.

Can’t wait to see the whole quilt! It will most likely be part of the quilt auction that takes place during our guild’s annual quilt show in February.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Many thanks to those who enjoyed my musings on the holes in a button. If I get any more with fascinating hole configurations, I’ll be sure to share.

I’ve spent some time moving my “Author’s Gallery” from the old website over to the blog. Along the way I found some more projects and stuck them in there too. It was a fun trip down memory lane for me.

blast-past

If you’d like to take a look at my personal projects, show quilts, and published quilts, please visit the new “Author’s Gallery” page here at All About Appliqué.

If you’re subscribed by email or on a blog reader, you’ll need to click over to the blog itself on the internet. The tab is in the navigation bar at the top. Or, here’s a direct link to the Gallery page.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

A year ago, I put up a post entitled, “Anybody want this block?”

ugly-xmas

It was my 100 Blocks reject, Ugly Christmas Sweater.

I am so grateful to those of you who stepped up and said you would be willing to give this poor orphan a home. The randomly drawn winner was Beverly Schueneman.

Recently I received the following message from Beverly:

Dear Kay,

I have not forgotten you and your cute sweater block.

I had planned to be finished for Xmas, but I had to have surgery on my right hand on Nov. 9. That was the end of sewing for me. I wore a cast until the day before Xmas eve.

As of today the Christmas quilt has been completely quilted. Each block is one of your creations from your book. I have added buttons and bears, so it is unique. Sort of scrappy. And of course, the sweater block takes up most of the space. You had signed my book, so I copied that and placed it under the quilt.

Well, I just wanted you to know I had not forgotten my promise to turn it into a quilt.

Sincerely,
Beverly Schueneman

bev-mainHere’s Beverly’s creation!

How fun! I see designs from my book A Merry Little Christmas to Appliqué, and I even see a little doggy from another book of mine, Home.

In the Ugly Christmas Sweater tradition, Beverly has added embellishments to enhance each design.

joy

And how very cool that she copied my signature and incorporated it into the quilt! That is just so sweet!

stockings

Thank you, Beverly, for giving this block a lasting life. Glad your hand is better, and may your family enjoy the quilt next Christmas and many more to come.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

At the recent Seven Sisters Quilt Show in San Luis Obispo, California, I was met with a delightful surprise!

The board members of the Central Coast Quilters have been busy!! Close to a year ago, they contacted me to ask permission to use the designs from Teapots to Appliqué for a fundraiser opportunity quilt for their guild. I told them I would be delighted.

As it happened, the quilt was hung directly next to my booth! All weekend long I was treated to the admiring comments of passersby and those who bought tickets for a chance to win. I almost got a swelled head, but really, it was the fabulous creative work and design of the board members who pulled off this wonderful quilt.

Teacups danced around the borders. And notice how teabag labels were scanned and used for the sashing posts! What a great idea!

Thank you, Central Coast Quilters, for choosing my designs for your opportunity quilt. I hope it raises lots of funds for your good works.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

At a recent quilt show, Maryann Maiorana stopped by and told me about a banner she had made using the Studio pattern from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Maryann enlarged the size of the project to hang in a big communal sewing space that is actually known as “the studio.” :)

Maryann chose to keep this one simpler by using just one fabric for the letters in this bright and cheerful version. I told her, “I always say, you can make any little sewing room or nook into a studio, if you only hang up a sign. Your studio was always a studio, and now it is officially proclaimed!”

At another show, I met fellow appliqué enthusiast Louisa Postier, who showed me the sweetest little wall quilt that she made using one of my blocks.

Heartberries by Louisa Postier

Heartberries by Louisa Postier

Louisa added heart-shaped buttons to the stems! Adorable! They look like hearts that are just about to bloom. And the border fabric is perfect.

Heartberries is one of the designs in my book Growing Hearts to Appliqué.

Thank you, Maryann and Louisa, for taking the trouble to stop by and show me your projects. I love seeing what other quilters do with my designs.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

P.S. Another personal Show & Tell: my little teddy bear dog.

Whew! It’s been awhile. I was gone for quilt shows back to back… first a guild show in Modesto, then home one day and on the road to Road. Road to California in SoCal is a quilt show and conference on steroids. What fun to be there and experience the excitement and positive energy of 35,000 quilters gathered in one spot to enjoy their common interest. On the way home I visited the fabulous Cathy for our annual schmooze.

Before I left for Modesto I was able to finish the super secret piecing project, which I can now reveal!

Last fall, my super smart nephew Stephen, just finishing his master’s at Stanford, expressed that he would like to give his treasured girlfriend a quilt, something on an oceanic theme, since in her studies she does things like get on a cutter and sail to Antarctica with other students to do research on the waters and sea life there.

Fish quilts. I’ve seen tons of them, I admire them, but to be honest they are not in my wheelhouse. My brain was spinning. But this kid is the nicest guy in the world and never asked me for anything in his life, so I was determined to make it work. Instead of literal fish or sharks or other watery fauna, I tried to think of ocean-related patterns. At first I thought of Storm at Sea, but I get kind of seasick looking at Storm at Sea. Then I thought, Storm at Sea is based on Ocean Waves, and I like Ocean Waves! I pitched the design and coloration to Stephen, who approved it enthusiastically.

I knew I would be seeing Tammy, the dyemistress of Always Unique Hand-Dyed Fabrics, at my next show, so I pitched that type of fabric. I felt that the use of hand dyes would bring the quilt more toward the modern aesthetic for this young ‘un. Again, a hearty approval.

The Always Unique booth

I found the perfect tutorial to make the quilt in exactly the size needed… queen size. Yes people I said queen size. I was putting on my big-girl panties for this one. Thank you *so much* Janet Wickell for posting the Free Ocean Waves Quilt Pattern on about.com.

I read the pattern, studied the pattern, double checked the pattern, made a list. Invaded Tammy’s booth, picked out the colors I liked, secured the fabric for the project. My buddy Alicia the Batty Lady was at the show too. She’s a Wonderfil rep, so I asked her what thread I could use for general piecing. (The DMC I use is too light for sewing a bed quilt.) Alicia led me right to the Tutti.

The Batty Lady booth

Okay, got the pattern, got the fabric, got the thread. When I got home I took a deep breath and started cutting squares.

It was right about this time that Stephen emailed to say that he would somehow like to help with the quilt, if there was a way he could do it without any trips to the emergency room. I was flabbergasted and very pleased. How many computer science grad students want to help with a sewing project? He came down to the house, and I set him and the DH up with marking stations. They sat and marked squares to be sewn into half-square triangles, whilst visiting with Grandpa from back east who just happened to be visiting at the same time. Whew. That was some weekend.

So now I’m making half-square triangle units by the hundreds. There are to be exact 800 of them in the quilt. I did say 800 in case your eyes didn’t believe it. Dana and I sat and marked again one night, and I finally got them all sewn, cut apart, pressed, and trimmed to accurate size.

Stephen wants to help some more. Awesome! I threw a block party. I sewed a sample block, set up a couple of my booth tables in the living room, laid out all the units and triangles, and told them to have at it. They laid out (18) 20-inch blocks on top of taped-together cardboard, with pieces of ancient humongo sketch paper that had been behind my desk for 15 years in between. Now I could pick up the blocks and move them upstairs to the studio.

The beloved nephew.

The boys hard at work in the salt mines.

The fabric is so beautiful.

The background fabric is not actually white… it’s a very pale misty grey, which I thought was oceany. Now I commenced a period of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair, sewing a block or a block and a half a day, until hallalujah! they were all done and pressed. Dana and I laid them out on the floor.

It only took one more day to sew the blocks into a quilt top, 80 x 100, and it was ready to go to the quilter.

After consulting with my friends, I took it to Barbara Heno in Gilroy, California. Stephen and I chose a panto called Waterworld to go with the watery theme. Barbara had the quilt done for me in just a few days, and it came out exactly how I wanted, with big overall swirls and eddies.

I bound it in the same mist grey to give it a more modern-y look.

Barbara doesn’t have a website but if you’d like contact info, just shoot me an email.

I left for Modesto with Dana in charge of the quilt transfer. Stephen came that night and took it away, very pleased with his super secret surprise.

Along with the quilt went a small bottle of Synthrapol that Tammy gave me for the initial washing.

Sigh. I did it ya’ll. I, the appliqué enthusiast and specialist who makes wall quilts, I pieced a queen size Ocean Waves quilt. Boom!

Next time, back to appliqué and the critter who popped into my head and wouldn’t go away.

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Just finished one of the most hectic times ever. Palm Springs, followed by PIQF, followed by a visit from the in-laws, followed by a guild show. All I can say is, I lived through it, and am mighty glad to be home amid peace and quiet and down time. Happy rabbit. :)

Over this last weekend I was in Roseville, California, for the Pioneer Quilt Guild show. A quilter stopped by to let me know that she had a quilt in the show made using my Teapots 2 to Appliqué patterns. What a treat for me!

Asian Teapots by Karen Price

Thank you for the shout-out, Karen!

Beautifully hand appliquéd.

And hand quilted!

On another note, Volume 10 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks comes out later this month.


I have a block in there once again, I’m happy to say. The kickoff blog tour is November 17-21.

These blog tours are lots of fun, with many prize-winning opportunities along the way. My day is Monday, November 17. See you then!

Cheers,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

In Sonora over the weekend, Susan Florez mentioned to me that she had a dollhouse quilt in the show. I went to take a look, and OMG!

Pocket Dollhouse Quilt by Susan Florez

What a dollhouse wonderland! It’s the kind of quilt where you just stand there and look at every square inch of it, discovering delightful details at every turn.

The sewing room.

The kitchen.

The sweet girly bedroom. Wish mine looked like that.

I loved this little domestic microcosm. Here are links to the information on the label.

Designed by Jan Leifson for The Apron Lady Designs and purchased at Bearly Quilting (in Sonora).

What lucky kids!! Congratulations, Susan, on a true heirloom.

This weekend, I’ll be in Brentwood (the one in northern California, not the one near UCLA) for the Delta Quilters show.

Back one day, then headed to Palm Springs for the brand-new Quiltfest Oasis, put on by the same folks as PIQF.

See you when I’ve got time to breathe! :)
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Each month we feature and give away a beautiful appliqué book. Let’s have some followup! I’d love to see what the lucky winners have been doing with their prizes.

If you’ve won one of the monthly drawings (you know who you are), please send me a photo of a something you’ve made that was inspired by your prize, and tell me a little bit about it.

I’m at kay at kaymackenzie dot com. If you’ve made something using one of my designs, that counts too!

This will be fun. :)

If you live near gold country, hope to see you this weekend at the Sierra Quilt Guild Show in Sonora.

Until next time,
Kay

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,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

The reader who won Edyta Sitar’s Seasonal Silhouettes is No. 56, Maureen! Congratulations Maureen! I know you will enjoy these beautiful designs.

In other news, my buddy Kim of Chatterbox Quilts has been cooking up some HEAT: “Hand Embroidery Appliqué Technique.” It’s so charming, and be sure to check out the introductory pattern that’s free for a short time on Kim’s blog Chatterbox Quilts Chitchat.

At the Moonlight Quilters show last weekend, I had to stop and fish out my camera on the spot when I saw this:

Mazie of Sonoma County by Sue Gragg

What a cow!!

Sue cites artist Carolee Clark as her inspiration, along with some fancifully decorated cows that are famous in Sonoma County. To me, Mazie looked like Kaffe Fassett fabric.


Until next time,
Kay

Had a great time at the Delta Quilters Guild Show over the weekend! My favorite quilt in the show was Shirley Coble and Isabel Maya’s “Pennies From Heaven.”

So beautiful. The design is from Gretchen Gibbons‘ book Pennies From Heaven.


Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

At the recent Glendale guild show, a quilter told me that she had made one of the projects from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. I’m always thrilled to learn these things!


My version of Studio. You can make any sewing room or nook into a studio if you hang up a sign!

Marilyn said, “I made my own version of the black, white and red studio quilt. This wall hanging was made for Cindy, a friend of mine who tried quilting, but decided she prefers making clothing. Nuts, in my opinion, hence the name Crazy Couture.”

Crazy Couture
Marilyn Robinson
Hawthorne, CA
Size: 18 x 12

I love it! Very Project Runway, don’t you think?

When I told Marilyn that it means so much to me when other quilters take my designs and personalize them, she said, “I am trying to develop my creativity now, instead of just copying what others do. This is my first baby step. :-)”

I’d call it a giant step. Thanks for the Show & Tell Marilyn!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

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,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

A little bird told me that my new book Scrap-Appliqué Playground is a guest star on this week’s Part 3 of Quilt Out Loud!

Have you seen Quilt Out Loud? If not, then be sure to check out this lighthearted, fun-filled internet TV show hosted by Jodie Davis and Mark Lipinski over on QNNtv.com. The segments are free to watch for a week following their debut, so give it a whirl!

P.S. Mark obviously did not read the caption in the book for my Studio quilt LOL!

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Tuesday was the Official Publication Day for Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Happy dancing, happy dancing! It doesn’t get much more exciting for an author than that!

The publisher, Martingale, recently launched a wonderful new blog called Stitch This! (You’ll want to subscribe.)

I’m so excited that today there’s a post by Karen Johnson of the marketing team, in which she recounts her eagerness to visit the Playground, and the fun she had on her first trip! I couldn’t love it more. It’s so cool, you have to go and see. Not only that, they’re giving away a copy of the eBook hot off the digital presses!
Stitch This!

My copies are en route, in fact Brown should be paying me a visit later today. Just as soon as I have them in hand I’ll be updating my website, hopefully as early as tonight.

They’re here! The new book is now available on my website, kaymackenzie.com!

Martingale sent me this button. Notice the new birdy logo. Very cute.

Back soon,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of Bloom Creek Quilts is Michele of Manitouwadge, Ontario, Canada! Congratulations! Michele says, “Yippeee Skippeee!! This is fantastic news!! Now I know what I’ll be doing over the holidays!”

During the fall, at the quilt show in Reedley, somebody sent a friend to come see me in my booth and to look at all my appliqué quilts, but I had stepped away for a moment. Later they came back and this friend pronounced that she couldn’t find me because my booth had no sign. (This despite the appliqué quilts hung everywhere LOL.)

It got me thinking. Well, the larger shows often provide signage, but the smaller ones usually don’t. Hmm, I said to myself. Other vendors have really cute quilted signs, maybe I should have one too. So I sat down and sketched out an idea for something simple but graphic. I’ve been working on it the last couple weeks and just finished it up.

bkm-sign-450

That oughta fill the bill, don’t you think? And, maybe it will pre-answer the question that I often get, which is, “Did you do all these???”

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

P.S. The $5 off any order of $10 or more is still on at the website, through December 10! The code is 5OFF.

I just posted the most heartwarming story over on my Show & Tell Center. Please go see the post about Hearts of Joy.

on-longarm

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie

Over the weekend I was in Reedley, California, for their semiannual quilt show. Reedley is not far from Fresno. That’s right, Fresno, where the hot sun turns grapes into raisins. It was 99 degrees on Friday. My neighbor Donna and I nearly suffered heat prostration trying to get everything loaded in and set up.

I was delighted to be there, though, because the amazing Janice Whittington was one of the featured artists!

Jan Whittington

Jan Whittington

Jan’s daughter Shamara runs Second Chance Fabrics, a genius concern that rescues unused fabric out of quilters’ stashes and gives it a second chance! Jan helps out at the booth at shows, and mom and daughter have become buddies of mine.

Part of Jan’s display was a collection of Biology Quilts. Let me see if I can get the story straight. Jan’s husband Nathan, Shamara’s dad, is a high-school biology teacher. When they moved to a new building, the high ceilings made the room echo. Plus, the articulated cow skeleton couldn’t come along, so the space that had been dedicated to it in the new classroom was now bare. On top of that, the school administration sent down a decree that there could be no nails in the new walls.

Now you know what a quilter does with bare spaces and echoing halls. Jan immediately started on a series of quilts to go in that new classroom. The rebel in her came out. She went down there herself to put the nails in the walls. “They’re not MY boss,” she says LOL!

Here are some of the pieces in her amazing biology series.

poster

Octopi for Nathan

Octopi for Nathan

Inspired by her husband’s many coastal class field trips.

The Bug Collection

The Bug Collection

The first quilt Jan made to help baffle the echoes.

Wee Beasties

Wee Beasties

My personal favorite. Now how many people do you know who’ve made a bacteria quilt?

bacteria-close1

bacteria-close2

Here’s another of Jan’s quilts that I just loved.

Aztec Rose

Aztec Rose

From the Aztec Rose Garden pattern by Colette Belt. Longarm quilted by Cynthia McGunigle of Mac Quilting, Fresno.

aztec-close

Beautiful pattern, beautiful colors, beautiful appliqué.

Well done Jan!

By Sunday the temperature had gone down to “only” 85. The local residents said they were grateful for the cool weather.

Until next time,
Kay
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay

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