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,
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,
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.


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,
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.


Until next time,
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.


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?



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.


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,
By Kay Mackenzie

Before the lights went out in San Diego, I was tromping up the aisle, and someone was taking a picture of a quilt. Naturally I turned my head, and then I put on the brakes hard. I can spot my teapots at 50 paces! There was the most glorious oriental teapot quilt. I stood there with my jaw on the floor.

Tea Ceremony by Marjorie Kilcrease, 109 x 120

Tea Ceremony by Marjorie Kilcrease, 109 x 120

Most of the teapots are from my Teapots 2 to Appliqué. I got the chance to talk with Marjorie a couple times during the show. She was beaming with pride over her quilt and so was I. Here’s the story of this masterpiece, from Marjorie herself.

When I saw Kay’s book on teapots, I fell in love with it. However, I kept thinking “Are you crazy? This is applique!” I collected oriental fabrics for about two years while I was trying to figure out how to display the teapots. Then I found the center panel with the Geisha holding the teacup.


Next, I found the block pattern called BQ2 by Maple Island Quilts and it looked very oriental to me. I was ready to sew!

This was my second appliqued quilt. I used the directions in the book to enlarge the patterns by 150% so they would fit on a 12″ block. I used a freezer-paper method (ironed to the back) with spray starch to anchor the edges down. Then I used the liquid basting to adhere the teapot parts to the block. The final step was machine-stitching the teapots. My husband designed three blocks for me too. The whole project took about four months.


The quilter, Wendy Knight, did custom quilting. In the black horizontal strips are names of tea or words like ‘happiness’, ‘peace’, etc. The vertical black strips have bamboo quilted in.

I had bought a large backing but still needed to enlarge it to make sure there was enough for the quilter. My husband helped me mimic the front design and we offset the black strips (instead of centering them) and then I used another panel that I found to add a decorative touch.


The quilt is for us and will take its turn on our king-size bed. However, all of my friends want me to put it in our will and leave it to them! They’ll need to discuss that with our two daughters though! :)

What Marjorie didn’t mention is that her quilt won First Place in Viewer’s Choice!


Congratulations Marjorie!!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Welcome to the North Pole goes to… Debbie St. Germain! Congratulations!

Debbie is a regular blog reader and reports that she has been trying to get this book from the library but apparently someone liked it a little too much to bring it back. She plans to use the designs for some Christmas things this year, so hopefully we’ll see some photos soon! But Debbie, no pressure :).

In other news, I’m about to embark on a busy spell of traveling to quilt shows. I just finished a couple of mini quilts made out of single blocks from my Baskets to Appliqué Pattern Pack to hang underneath the sampler quilt.

Daisy Basket

Daisy Basket

Knitting Basket. This one is actually a combination of two different designs. It's fun to mix and match the contents with the baskets.

Knitting Basket. This one is actually a combination of two different designs. It's fun to mix and match the contents with the baskets.

Here’s where I’ll be.

Sept 8-10, 2011
San Diego Quilt Show
It’s the 30th annual show of the San Diego Quilt Association! The show is held at the beautiful San Diego Convention Center, right on the water.

Sept 17-18, 2011
Quilts & Threads Show
This is the Sierra Quilt Guild’s 22nd annual show, held at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora, California.

Sept 24-25, 2011
Kings River Quilt Festival
The Kings River Quilt Guild puts on this 300-quilt show in Reedley, California.

I’ll be home in between times, so I hope to get a few posts in there.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Next I went to see Cynthia Tomaszewski present her new book Quilting Those Flirty ’30s.

quilting -those-flirty -30s

All the projects in this book are super cute, ’30s style, and all incorporate a touch of appliqué. I’ll try to get my hands on a copy of this book in the future.

By then it was time for a little lunch. At Market you sit down wherever, and usually end up striking up a conversation with your neighbors. I started chatting with a couple gals and found out that they were sisters and co-authors of the new book Circle of Nine.

circle-of-nineThe subtitle is “24 Stunning and Creative Quilts: One Unique Quilt Setting.” A beautiful way to set a collection of nine blocks!

Holy cow, these gals are Janet Houts and Jean Ann Wright, who was editor-in-chief of Quilt Magazine for 20 years! What a great lunch!

The Checker Distributors Newsletter has a lot of great photos from Market. Pat Sloan also has fun Market recaps up on her blog, and recorded some radio interviews while she was there. More to come from me, including a lot of great information addressing some of the questions in the recent call for topics.

For those of you in the greater Los Angeles area, I’ll be in Northridge this weekend for Quilting in the Valley 2011, an annual show put on jointly by two area quilt guilds. Full information at quiltinginthevalley.com. Hope to see you there!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The trip to Salt Lake City for Spring Quilt Market went “like butter.” I had a blast and a half. The good times started just as soon as the plane out of San Jose finished loading. My seat neighbor turned out to be going where I was going, so naturally we chattered like magpies the whole flight.

Julie operates an on-line boutique fabric shop, The Intrepid Thread, stocked with fresh modern fabrics. (And a whole lot of new ones coming after she saw the fabulous lines debuting at Market.)

And get this… Julie said her friend Sally, who was picking her up at the airport, would give me a ride to my hotel too! How’s that for nice? No Supershuttling! They even picked me up and took me back to the airport for the flight home!

julie-sallyThese are the sweet gals who adopted me. Julie, left, and Sally, right.

Sally Keller’s shop is Sally’s Angelworks, offering darling mini art quilts, unique fabric camera-strap covers, and other handmade items.

Julie and Sally were there to shop, of course, and also to help out Amanda Herring at the Quilted Fish booth. All of them are part of the Riley Blake design team. Whew, these young quilter gals! Enough energy to power Salt Lake City for a week! Both of them have nice Market photos and stories on their blogs.

Thursday was Schoolhouse, which is a series of short break-out sessions geared toward the shop owner, to introduce what’s new and exciting. This is how it works. Two hours before the whole deal starts, you can get the schedule. There was a huge room full of chairs where you could sit and study the offerings, plotting and scheming on which ones you wanted to go to. There were about 20 sessions in each time slot, so if there were two at once you liked, you had to pick the one you wanted most!

When each session ended, it was that silly thing that happens when elevator doors open… people wanting to get out and people wanting to get in at the same time. There were thousands of bodies, everybody had wheelie bags, and it was one great big milling churn dash. I’ll share the first couple sessions that I went to, and I’ll put up more information later, in bites.

First on the docket I chose to go hear Dan Purcell. Dan is the boy genius son of Bob and Heather Purcell of Superior Threads. Dan, a smartywhistle techie extraordinaire, grew up in the quilting industry and is the nicest, friendliest young guy you would ever want to meet. Dan operates Websites for Quilters, a company offering a whole bunch of services for quilters who want to be on the web and need a little or a lot of help.

One of the great things that Dan told us about is his FindMyFabric.com, a fabric, quilting, and sewing supply search engine. You can search for products offered by hundreds of online stores to find exactly what you are looking for. You can also search by uploading a photo of the fabric you need more of! How cool is that?? And totally free, this one.

Dan also operates QuilterBlogs.com, a directory of quilting blogs that you can check out to see what’s out there in the blogosphere.


I bought Dan’s book so I can learn more valuable nuggets about having a quilting website.

Next I went to the presentation by Stacey Michell of Shades Textiles. Stacey’s main product is SoftFuse, a paper-backed fusible web that has become my favorite. It’s the lightest weight, and it actually works the way this type of product is supposed to work! What a concept! It fuses quickly, the paper comes off right away, and like I said it is extremely lightweight and flexible.

Stacey’s mom is Marti Michell. They were both there at the session to show us how you can use the product to do a prepared-edge type of appliqué for either hand or machine stitching. It’s fused, and the edges are turned! Very interesting! I’ll be giving this a try myself and will report the results here on the blog. I ordered some SoftFuse so I’ll be able to offer it on my website soon.

This was my favorite entry in the quilt display.


I’m Watching You by Barbara McKie of Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Much more to come,
By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of the Rose of Sharon Block Book and note cards is… Jen! Congratulations! Enjoy these beautiful items, courtesy of That Patchwork Place.

I’d now like to go back two weeks in time to the Delta Quilters Guild show in Antioch, California. I was there as a merchant, and after I finished setting up my booth I took a tour of the show buildings. I came around a corner and was flabbergasted to see a beautiful quilt made from my first collection of teapot designs on special display against the wall.

As I drew closer, I saw that this was a memorial area for two of the guild’s members who had passed away during the year. My heart filled up and I felt so honored that the daughter of the lovely lady who had made this teapot quilt had chosen it to represent her mother in the display.



Helen Holoch, quiltmaker.

Her are some closeup shots of individual pots. This lady had a very special collection of fabrics, I’d say!




Thank you, Helen, and thanks to your daughter Nancy, and also to guild member Terry Matejcek, who helped me round up the information about the quilt and gave me permission to post the photos and the story.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Several months ago I bumped into a fellow PVQA member in the elevator while at Festival in Long Beach. She started telling me about a project that she and a group of friends were working on, inspired by my Dolls & Dresses to Appliqué. Each member of the group was making a self-portrait Red Hat doll!

It wasn’t until the October PVQA meeting that I had a chance to see the completed quilt. So exciting!! It was red-hat-letter day for me, as there’s nothing better than seeing what others have done with your designs.


How darling! I didn’t know a lot about the Red Hat Society, so I asked them to send me some information about it.

The Red Hat Cats, who created this self-portrait quilt from your book, is a local chapter of the Red Hat Society. Two of us purchased your book at the last PVQA show, and the members worked from the books together to create the blocks in the quilt.

The Red Hat Society-Fun and Friendship After Fifty-is a “disorganization” of women. Sue Ellen Cooper, the founder and Exalted Queen Mother was inspired by the “When I am an Old Woman” poem written by Jenny Joseph. The very first Red Hat, given to a friend of hers who was turning 50, is now in the Smithsonian.

We get together to have fun, and we are very good at it. Our chapter meets once a month to sew together, and we have monthly field trips (most recently to Half Moon Bay for lunch and pumpkin picking) and what are now traditional yearly events such as a Holiday Cookie Exchange, Summer Potluck and Croquet tournament, and a Winter Soup Potluck. We all belong to other organizations, but we tell ourselves often that this group is the one that we cherish most. There’s a huge span of ages from a Pink Hat (under 50) teacher in her thirties to women in their late seventies. Everyone is supportive, active, and FUN. I’m sure you can tell that from the blocks on the quilt.

Thank you for inspiring us with your book. We loved making the quilt blocks, and Shary Lewis had fun assembling the quilt. Carole Donovan quilted it at one of our sewing sessions, and we are super pleased with the result.

For more information about the Red Hat Society, contact their website at www.redhatsociety.com.

Denise Martin, current Queen Mother of the Red Hat Cats of Los Gatos.

It was great to learn more about the disorganization and about the Red Hat Cats :).

Here are some closeups so you can see more of the personalization and detail that each member put on to portray themselves.






This flapper lost a shoe in all the excitement, poor dear.

This flapper lost a shoe in all the excitement, poor dear.



I love all the little details, embellishments, and additions. They really took my patterns and soared! Not all of the members are quilters, but I heard that they enjoyed learning how to fuse from the ones who are.

We enjoyed sharing our quilt with you at the meeting. We really had a great time creating our “dolls.” Several gals had never done any fusing and they thought this was great fun. We hope to put it in the PVQA Quilt Show and also the SCVQA Quilt Show in 2011. We will take turns hosting the quilt for a month at a time in our homes. My whole family was able to pick out me immediately and it will be fun to hear if other families can do the same.

Participants were: Denise Martin (Queen Mum), Jacquie Christensen, Linda Collins, Karen Cognac, Kimberly Cognac, Carole Donovan, Dee Hallett, Pat Havey, Jeanne Holmes, Shary Lewis, Anhela Oropeza, Joyce Schellenberg, Fay Taylor and Janeanne Walters.

Thanks for a really fun pattern, I am hoping to do it with my granddaughter (she will be 8 in January).

Shary Lewis

My pleasure, one and all!!!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The Fall Into Fall Quilt Bloggers Giveaway is in full swing! If you haven’t checked it out yet, by all means do so. Winners will be drawn on October 15. Visit my giveaway here.

Now to today’s topic. I recently received the most amazing message from Rebecca Hoffmann of Plant City, Florida. It made my day and then some!!

I am a member of Feather Princess Appliqué Guild of Tampa, Florida. One of the sewing circles of the guild is “Sewrority Sisters Appliqué Sewciety.” We meet once a month for four hours of sewing and fun at one of the local libraries. We wanted to give something to the library for allowing us to use one of their rooms, so we decided to make a raffle quilt and donate all the proceeds to the Riverview Library.

I contacted you last year about using your basket patterns for a raffle quilt, and you gave us permission. My group has finally finished the quilt and I’m sending a photo of it.

Basket Quilt by the SSAS,  80 x 100

Basket Quilt by the SSAS, 80 x 100

Is this not a masterpiece of a quilt? I am totally blown away. This is a group of gals who are not afraid of appliqué! They enlarged the blocks, designed a new setting, and embellished many of the blocks in a most delightful fashion, I love it!

Rebecca continues:

Each person donated $10 towards the cost of fabric, batting, etc., for the quilt. Sixteen women volunteered to make blocks, one person did the piecing, another the quilting and another the binding. We used your 16 patterns from Baskets to Appliqué, and I designed four more to make a total of 20 blocks.

My friend Shari Gillis and I designed the sashing for setting the 12″ blocks. Some of the women added their own designs to the baskets and one person changed it completely. The quilt is finished, and we are now in the process of selling the raffle tickets. This is a beautiful quilt, I wish you could see it in person. Thank you so much for allowing us to use your patterns. We are hoping to make a large donation to the library.

Oh my goodness, I should think so! Huge thanks to you and your group, Rebecca, for choosing my basket designs for your quilt. I feel honored. You have elevated the designs and you’ve inspired me!

Here are some closeups of the blocks.



I’m so glad Rebecca sent me closeups so that I could see the delightful sewing doodads that were added to these blocks. How fun! My hat’s off!



rebeccas-blocksHere are the four blocks that Rebecca designed herself. As I told her, they’re so lovely and entirely to my taste. Do we see a new pattern designer emerging here?

Here are two labels for the quilt that Rebecca did up in EQ7.


label bask (2)Great job with the computer work!!

Now a word of news about Baskets to Appliqué. Gentle quilters, it’s very nearly out of print. That’s right, there are now exactly 14 copies left in captivity. But never fear, the designs will still be available once these copies are gone. I’ll be offering all 16 designs in a different format, an unbound pattern pack in a baggie. There won’t be any color photos or instructions, just the designs for your appliqué pleasure. The baskets will go on!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

One of the most amazing women I know is fellow Santa Cruz quilter and fabric designer ellen edith. She makes story quilts about the many wacky and also meaningful things that have happened in her life. These quilts are so full of color, life, verve, and a million other energetic words. It’s a style I greatly admire.

Recently ellen sent out photos of her latest quilt, First Date.


I just finished a new story quilt celebrating the day I met Larry. I want to share the finished quilt, story and a few close-up details with you:


My first date with Larry was bicycling to the monarch butterfly preserve. He was so cute & I was so nervous I was yacking away. He finally said “If you would lie down & be quiet the butterflies might land on you!” Right then I knew I could relax & be myself around him. We have had 15 wonderful years.


I painted his favorite shirt with dog paw prints & the motto “Down Boy Down!”


I used some of my own butterfly fabric, dressed myself in bright colors & added a vintage pin as a hair ornament.

Santa Cruz is in the migratory path of the Monarch Butterfly. Each fall we look forward to their visit. I can just picture this lovely scene at Natural Bridges State Park.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

On Sunday night I had a date with four men.

My husband, my father-in-law, my father-in-law’s brother, my nephew, and me! It was a rare occasion that all of us would be in the same part of the U.S. at the same time, and it was a total blast.

I wanted to send the older menfolk home with little quilty tokens for their ladies, both of whom I am quite fond, so on Saturday I set out to make a couple of mini-quilts.


These are about 7″ x 9″. Conceived of, fused, stitched, quilted, signed, and bound, and all done by 4:00 p.m.

The men were crazy about them (it’s funny to see the light bulbs go off over relatives’ heads when they finally gain some small inkling of what it is that you do) and I hope the gals like them too.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Over at Kay’s Show & Tell Center, I received a submission from a faraway land!

First of all, I need to tell you that this project is not made based on your design (not one of your books is available here in Indonesia, too bad), but I love to show you one of the blankets I made, it’s 97% hand-made.

I snagged this right over to All About Appliqué.

Blanket for Baby Dev by Nana of Depok, West Java, Indonesia

Blanket for Baby Dev by Nana of Depok, West Java, Indonesia

Sometimes I am desperate to find some new simple pattern that inspire me to make things, but other times the idea just popped up. This is my original idea. It just came up and I put it in paper and voila….

Dev is one of my grandkids. He was 3 months old at that time. We went on a weekend holiday. And one very early morning, Dev’s frantical cry woke me up. His mother told me that he couldn’t stand the chilly whether. That inspired me to make something to keep him warm, and one month later, I saw him sleeping like a rock tugged in the blanket I made. His mother appreciate me a lot for this. It gives me terrific feelings when people appreciate my projects.


I’m sure his mother did appreciate you a lot for this darling, original, one-of-a-kind quilt! And Baby Dev too!

I always finished the project I made with something I call ‘personal touch’ on which I wrote the name of the person who will have my project, date and what this person call me. For example as picture I attached, my personal touch says: made by dadong for Dev Oct 2009 (‘dadong’ is what Dev calls me, means grandma).


Nan would love to hear feedback about her project of love.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

A couple of years ago I blogged about Sheril Drummond’s quilt Remembering Barbaro.

Last October at PIQF she had the most amazing, huge butterfly quilt called “Flights of Fancy.”

Flights of Fancy by Sheril Drummond

Flights of Fancy by Sheril Drummond


I checked Sheril’s blog Serendipity and was delighted to learn that she is now offering patterns and on-line classes to help others achieve the stunning look of her quilts. While you’re there be sure to send virtual scritchies to the Cavalier King Charles spaniel :).

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Look what I found this time! It’s a teapot extravaganza!

Tualatin Valley Quilt Guild opportunity quilt

Lura Gordy of Sherwood, Oregon, was the driving force behind this beautiful masterpiece. Here’s her story:


I enjoy the process of appliqué. In fact, I learned needle-turn appliqué using the patterns in your Teapots 2 book. I wanted to make my sister a table runner and six placemats as a gift. I started out using a faux appliqué method but was unable to get the fine details. I went to your blog and tried several of your methods. I also attended the monthly appliqué club meetings that are connected to the quilt guild of which I am a member. The more I learned, the more I liked what I was doing.

I suffer from restless leg syndrome and by doing appliqué work in the evenings, I keep the restlessness away. Once the table runner and placemats were finished, I appliquéd enough blocks to make another set.

The first of the year, I volunteered to be a member of a committee to design and make a raffle quilt for the Tualatin Valley Quilt Guild in Sherwood, Oregon. I suggested a quilt with appliquéd teapots and I volunteered to appliqué the blocks. I used the patterns from both of your teapot pattern books to make 24 blocks. We used 22 of the blocks (10″) which made a very large king size quilt. The center block was appliquéd by Ann Hartman who is in charge of the appliqué club and a member of the guild.

Now I am working on patterns from your book of baskets. I am trying new techniques and new ways of embellishing the blocks. I enjoy your patterns and books.

Thank you,
Lura Gordy

tualatin-closeupHere’s a closeup of the center block. The basket (not one of mine but it sure is beautiful) is surrounded by cups and saucers, cream and sugar, and a plate of cookies from my Teapots books.

Erin Davis of In Stitches Quilting in Newberg, Oregon, was the one who took the quilt to a retreat for Show & Tell, which led me to find it on the Anyone Can Quilt blog. Erin was kind enough to send me a great picture, and she reports, “On behalf of the Tualatin Valley Quilt Guild, it was a fun project to work on and we are proud of the outcome.”

Me too! Big time! What a huge treat! Thank you, Lura and all the members of the Tualatin quilters, for such a spectacular job. I hope the quilt raises lots of funds for the guild.

Until next time,

I met Gloria Foley a couple years ago at my home guild’s quilt show when she came into my booth and spotted my Baskets to Appliqué designs. Gloria is the proprietress of The Victorian Quilter, a traveling quilt-show shop specializing in patterns and fabrics with that romantic, Victorian patina.

Gloria gave me an order on the spot for a batch of the books and told me of her plans to make a sample to hang in her booth. Since that time she has become a wonderful friend and a mentor to me, sharing her knowledge of area quilt shows and giving me great tips. Every time I would talk to her or see her at a show she would tell me that the baskets were coming along. Last spring I saw the blocks, completed but not set together yet. They were just gorgeous… soft and rich looking.

Well, at the recent River City Quilt Guild show in Sacramento, I checked in with her during setup and there was the quilt, finished and up on the wall.

Victorian Baskets by Gloria Foley

Victorian Baskets by Gloria Foley

Wow!!! Look at that red setting. Talk about punch! It looks so different from mine, I love it! Gloria used needleturn appliqué and, instead of a dogtooth border, she used prairie points in the border.

Sixteen Baskets by Kay Mackenzie

Sixteen Baskets by Kay Mackenzie



At the Sacramento show, people had fun walking back and forth between our booths to look at the two versions.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Full Disclosure Statement:

Cathy Perlmutter and I became fast friends a number of years ago over a bunch of commonalities that we just kept discovering: we’re both quilters, both writers, both working on illustrating, writing, and laying out books, both have scientists for husbands, both have papillon dogs (Wuli and Willie), and we both know the words to Tzena Tsena Tzena. (Okay, so Cathy’s Jewish and I’m of just about Puritan stock, but I did go to Israeli folk dance camp as a teenager and some things just stay with you.) When Cathy and I get together in person we’re like old shoes.

uncommon-yarmulkeCathy’s book is now out, and I have to say that my heart has been stolen away.
The Uncommon Yarmulke: Easy, Fun, and Spiritually-Loaded Little Jewish Hats is the most extraordinary book, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend. This is a gem.

Not only will you learn every single thing there is to know about making four-panel or six-panel yarmulkes from any kind of fabric there is, you will laugh out loud at Cathy’s excellent and completely thorough instructions filtered through her sense of humor. The section on fussy-cutting fabrics includes advice on how to avoid partial kittens, 4 ¾ Commandments, etc. She did regret slicing off the tails of some endangered manatees, “as if they hadn’t suffered enough.”

You needn’t be Jewish to appreciate this book. If you know anybody who would appreciate a personalized yarmulke, you would be doing such a mitzvah to sew them a kippah from a fabric that’s meaningful for them!

Besides that, the book contains a lot of valuable information about fabrics, templates, cutting, sewing, binding, and embellishment that any sewing enthusiast could benefit from. Or for that matter anybody who can thread a sewing machine, that’s how complete and thorough the information is, plus Cathy’s plentiful illustrations are out of this world. And, I learned some really interesting things about Judaism and Jewish culture along the way.

Cathy made a ‘barkmulke’ for Wuli, so of course I had to make one for Willie.


The hat's okay but did I really have to wake up out of a nap for this?

The hat's okay but did I really have to wake up out of a nap for this?

I also wanted to make an appliquéd and quilted kippah, so I made this one for Cathy, to show that I consider her a sewing star!


I used an idea that I’ve been playing with for a future project… magnets! I had these tiny spools that I picked up somewhere over the years, I had super-strong magnets, and I had a roll of sticky-backed magnetic tape. A super-strong magnet on either side of the hat and a little bit of sticky-backed magnetic tape applied to the spool and voila!



The hats are reversible, giving the maker another opportunity to carry out the theme. The magnetic hood ornament is easy to switch from side to side!


I had a ball making these. The Uncommon Yarmulke is available at Cathy’s website, Judaiquilt.com.

By Kay Mackenzie

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,
By Kay Mackenzie

← Previous PageNext Page →