December 14, 2009

Artful Appliqué by Jane Townswick

“Having been a die-hard patchwork fan for many years,” begins Jane in the introduction, “I thought there was very little reason for appliqué quilts to exist — until Nancy Pearson’s “Techny Chimes” stopped me dead in my tracks.”

I’m right there with you on that one, Jane. Here’s a page from my inspiration scrapbook. That’s Techny Chimes on the lower right.


“Beautiful hand appliqué is as individual as a fingerprint,” Jane continues.
I really appreciate this sentiment of encouraging individuality and de-emphasizing the need for exact copying and perfection, which IMO takes away from the pleasure of the work.

In the book Jane presents many unusual (to me) and innovative techniques for creating motifs — partial stitching, modified cutwork, and unit construction. (Just goes to show how different brains work differently.) These methods enable tiny, rich details that still have turned edges.

The appliqué information also shows how to achieve precision where precision is important, and individual, artful results where precision is less important.

Leaves don’t have to be green, did you know that? I know that, but I mostly forget it when I reach for my fabrics. You’ll see some stunning results in the book’s gallery of quilts where the quilters have reached past the green box.

The gallery includes many beautiful quilts made by Jane and her students. The author then includes 16 appliqué blocks, each one with complete skill-building instructions. It’s easy to see why this one is still in print after nine years, it’s a classic.

artapp2Artful Appliqué II: Introducing Scrapliqué and 12 New Floral Designs

I can tell from the cover that the floral designs are even more free-form, natural, and detailed. Never fear, Jane takes you step-by-step through her way of mastering this realism. She does advises beginners to consult one of her previous books or another reference book for the basics of appliqué.

In this book Jane introduces Scrapliqué, a technique for creating mosaic-like fabric compositions for your motifs without having to stitch tiny pieces together. There’s also information on unit appliqué, where you can stitch an entire flower before stitching it to the background. Jane explains several advantages to this strategy.

The book has sections on color blending, free-form stems and branches, and a unique way of stitching sharp points. There’s a gorgeous gallery of quilts and 12 floral blocks with step-by-step instructions and photos. You’ll find anemone, camellia, iris, lady’s slipper, pansies, sweet peas, and more! All so detailed you wouldn’t believe it.


Martingale recently published an interview with Jane on their blog. Be sure to go and read that for more information on the artist.

Happiest holidays to you!
By Kay Mackenzie


80 Responses to “Double the Artful Appliqué!”

  1. Maria Hrabovsky on December 14th, 2009 9:56 am

    What can I say but that these would be two fantastically wonderful books to learn from and add to my collection!

    Thanks for the fun of this contest, Kay! It gives me the deliciously childlike excitement of possibilities! :-)

    I’m adding a notice of this give-away to my blog today.

    Wishing you a most Happy Birthday!


  2. Barb Rohrmayr on December 14th, 2009 11:38 am

    How wonderful to have a chance to win two beautiful applique books. They would find a very welcoming home on my applique shelf, right next to your books. Barb on Oahu

  3. Jane Weston on December 14th, 2009 11:52 am

    Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

    The giveaway looks so generous…please count me in.

  4. Cara on December 14th, 2009 12:01 pm

    WOW those books look stunning. Even if I don’t win I may have to track them down.

  5. Veronica Klosiewski on December 14th, 2009 12:30 pm

    Happy Birthday!! How nice of you to give gifts for your birthday instead of getting them. I’d like to win, these books might help me learn to do applique. I love the beauty of applique but haven’t learned it yet!

  6. Sarah Vee on December 14th, 2009 12:36 pm

    Kay I think your birthday is my 3rd favourite holiday – behind mine and Christmas! I love to take my birthday as a me day and do what I want for me. These books could really help me out this year:)I can’t wait to wish you Happy Birthday!

  7. Ruth C on December 14th, 2009 12:42 pm

    I do love applique! Those books look gorgeous!

    And Happy Birthday!

  8. Jane on December 14th, 2009 12:47 pm

    Happy Birthday Kay. And a thoughtful gift you are having to celebrate. I would love the applique books on my shelf.
    It is one of my favourite pastimes and I’d love to learn more.

  9. Bonnie on December 14th, 2009 12:55 pm

    How kind of you to share your birthday joy with your many appreciative readers by giving us a chance to win two of your books. And, congratulations on the new book contract! I’m hoping I get lucky with this drawing because I REALLY want those books!


  10. Lura Gordy on December 14th, 2009 12:59 pm

    Happy Birthday, Kay. Thank you for the opportunity you are providing for someone to grow in their applique skills. I learned to do needle turn applique a year ago and I love learning and trying new techniques. I would love to add “Artful Applique” to my collection of applique books.

  11. Carol from Rock Hill, SC on December 14th, 2009 1:05 pm

    Hasppy Birthday! Thanks for your generous sharing of Jane Townswick’s books. It would be fantastic to have these books. Thanks again!

  12. Barb Colvin on December 14th, 2009 1:13 pm

    I love applique, but only do raw edge so far. Don’t know why, I love to do hand embroidery and probably would love doing hand-turn applique, too. This combo of books just might be the inspiration I need to give it a try!
    Thanks for the great giveaway and Happy Birthday!!!!

  13. Mary Anne Ciccotelli on December 14th, 2009 2:02 pm

    Thanks for the heads ups. Looks like a great give-a-way! Happy Birthday and pick me, pick me!!!!!

  14. betsy on December 14th, 2009 2:14 pm

    Kay thank you for a chance at winning these great books. Happy Birthday and happy holidays

  15. Kathleen C on December 14th, 2009 2:30 pm

    I absolutely love everything about applique: the finished appearance of the turned-under edges, the beauty of the antique applique quilts, the inspiration from today’s quilts, and calmness and peacefulness that I feel when I am hand appliquing, and the sense of satisfaction that the technique gives me.

    I’ve not had a new applique book in a very long time, and this giveaway is exciting to me. I’ve long admired the first edition of Artful Applique; the new methods and free style designs sound great.
    Happy Birthday, and maybe I’ll win a Christmas gift for myself! Thank you.
    Kathleen C.

  16. Sheila on December 14th, 2009 2:33 pm

    Happy Birthday. I am always trying to learn more ways to applique. I love applique.
    I have been reading about your quilt dog. I have one too only he is an 8yr old rescued Lhasa Apso named Andy. Dogs are on equal footing in my life with my quilting. Never know what will be here since I may just have our 3 or ?? many fosters.
    Have a wonderful day.

  17. carol denning on December 14th, 2009 2:35 pm

    I too, share your birthday month…it is always a festive time of year…everyone always seems more cheerful >>SO here’s your confetti >>>><<<<< and best wishes for many more Happy Birthdays!!
    I would be delighted to win even one of those nice books; please enter me in your giveaway.

  18. Liz Arbaugh on December 14th, 2009 2:41 pm

    Your applique is just beautiful. What a great way to celebrate your birthday. Hope you have a special day.

  19. Emily on December 14th, 2009 3:03 pm

    Hooray for colors other than green!

  20. Debbie on December 14th, 2009 3:06 pm

    great giveaway – love those books

  21. Reeze on December 14th, 2009 3:19 pm

    Happy Birthday Kay. What a great way to celebrate. And what a great present to give away. Enter me in your drawing. I always love your books and designs, and read you blog often. Best day of the year to you.
    Happy Day, Reeze

  22. Anne on December 14th, 2009 3:20 pm

    What a great giveaway! I would really love to learn about the color blending in applique. Happy Birthday!

  23. Ruth B on December 14th, 2009 3:21 pm

    Those books are gorgeous and the white flower is stunning! I think I need one of those flowers in my house. Great giveaway Kay!

  24. Judy DeWald on December 14th, 2009 3:30 pm

    Kay, what a nice thing to do! As an applique artist, these books would be a great addition and would help fuel the fire I feel when it comes my passion. Hope your birthday is a whole lot of fun!!

  25. Kate on December 14th, 2009 3:42 pm

    Please have a nice birthday and toss in an entry for me.
    Yes, I know Pam (our treasurer). Hope to see you soon.

  26. Janice Park on December 14th, 2009 4:00 pm

    Kay, I love to applique, it slows me down so that I can enjoy life. I never realized that applique doesn’t have to be an exact copy of the pattern you are doing, it just never occurred to me, thank you for that statement. The books are beautiful and I would enjoy learning more about applique. Have a great birthday and a Joyful Holiday. Janice Park

  27. Sue on December 14th, 2009 4:27 pm

    Thanks for sharing about these beautiful books and techniques ! And have a joyful birthday !!

  28. Roberta on December 14th, 2009 4:31 pm

    Happy Birthday, Kay.

    And thank you for sharing the applique book(s). From one passionate appliquer to another.


  29. Quentin O'Keefe on December 14th, 2009 4:41 pm

    Happy birthday, Kay! Wishing you a lovely birthday with lots of wonderful surprises!

    And many thanks for sharing these gorgeous applique books with us.

    looking forward to a hot Christmas at home in Yarragon South, Victoria, Australia

  30. Kathy J on December 14th, 2009 5:07 pm

    Happy Birthday Kay!!!! Great books on applique, can’t wait for the Dolls and Dresses in February. Thanks for all the applique books for inspiration. Have a wonderful Holiday!!

    Kathy J

  31. Barbara on December 14th, 2009 5:40 pm

    Happy Birthday! I love your site—its my
    applique tutor. Even if I don’t win, I’ll still be a regular visitor.
    from Beautiful Perry County, PA

  32. Winnifred Masson on December 14th, 2009 6:27 pm

    I just found your blog through Maria Michaels site. It’s wonderful. I’ll be a frequent visitor. I am a fan of Jane Townswick and would love to have both books. Maybe..

    Have a great birthday on the 17th.
    Winnifred in Braeside, Ontario.

  33. Kim Q on December 14th, 2009 6:28 pm

    Those books look fantastic! Thanks for doing the giveaway, it’s very generous of you…Happy Birthday!

  34. Mary on Lake Pulaski on December 14th, 2009 7:35 pm

    You can just read the excitement in your “voice” when you talk about wonderful applique Kay!! Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your excitement of applique!!

  35. Debby Buck on December 14th, 2009 7:55 pm

    Thank you — your blog is one of my favorites. Just took up quilting this year and trying to devour all the good tips I can. May you have a Wonderful Birthday Kay!

  36. SewLindaAnn on December 14th, 2009 8:14 pm

    Thank you for celebrating your upcoming birthday with such generosity!! I wish you many, many more!!

  37. Jane Bissell on December 14th, 2009 8:17 pm

    Those two books look like an absolute droolfest in the waiting. Happy Birthday!

  38. Mindy Peterson on December 14th, 2009 8:33 pm

    Love both books! I have the first book so if I win both, the first one will make a wonderful birthday gift for my best friend since she loves applique. The second one, however, would be all mine!!!

  39. Cindy Davis on December 14th, 2009 10:53 pm

    Applique’ is so much fun. I enjoy reading your blog. How nice of you to share your birthday with us.

  40. Suze on December 14th, 2009 11:54 pm

    Happy Happy Birthday to You!

    Those look like really cool books…

  41. Judy Morin on December 15th, 2009 2:33 am

    Techny Chimes was always one of my favorite quilts. Seeing the Artful Applique books is inspiring me to revisit applique techniques.

  42. Laura on December 15th, 2009 3:05 am

    The flowers remind me of Georgia O’Keefe paintings! I would love to win these books, but I never seem to win anything… have a wonderful birthday, what a great and generous way to celebrate!

  43. Kris S on December 15th, 2009 5:18 am

    I am struggling with some tiny applique pieces right now. This sounds just like what I need. The photos are beautiful and I would love to own each book. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  44. Kim Jamieson-Hirst on December 15th, 2009 5:44 am

    Hi Kay:
    First, have a happy birthday on Thursday – I already had it marked on my calendar, but thanks for the reminder!
    I’d love to win both of these books. I’m always looking for more information about applique and these would make a great addition to my bookshelf.

  45. Jeanne H on December 15th, 2009 6:17 am

    Happy Birthday Kay!! Thanks so much for the opportunity to win some awesome books! Count me in please I want to win.

  46. Evelyn Franklin on December 15th, 2009 6:30 am

    I love love love applique because it is so personal. I think applique says more about the creator’s personality than piecework.
    Hope I am the lucky winner (got my fingers and toes crossed)

  47. Jeanette Shouse on December 15th, 2009 6:56 am

    Happy Birthday! I love the work of both these ladies. The books look like they will be very helpful and a feast for the eyes, as well.


  48. Lou Ann Bucheimer on December 15th, 2009 7:21 am

    Happy Birthday! Your books look wonderful and I will be ordering soon!!!

  49. Lesa on December 15th, 2009 7:45 am

    My BD is Dec. 8th. Nothing like having all your holidays (and BD) all fall in the same frantic month hey? Please enter my name in the drawing. I’m a very beginner appliquer and would love to have the two books.

  50. Marion on December 15th, 2009 7:53 am

    How great would this be, if I won the books!!
    Here’s wishing you a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
    Hope all your wishes come true. :) Marion

  51. Darlene on December 15th, 2009 7:59 am

    I’m learning hand applique and your site is real teaser. Thank you!

  52. julie luca on December 15th, 2009 8:27 am

    Sign me up. Looks wonderful.

  53. Mary Iasiello on December 15th, 2009 8:37 am

    I love applique. Especially your teapots. These books look wonderful!

  54. Linda Carhill on December 15th, 2009 9:02 am

    Happy Birthday! Love the covers of the books and applique. My birthday is January 18th. Great gift!

  55. Debbie St.Germain on December 15th, 2009 9:02 am

    Both look like wonderful books to learn more about creating with applique and the techniques. I am almost done with gift giving projects, and then I can start working on some creative quilting for fun.


  56. Sylvia on December 15th, 2009 9:11 am

    Happy Birthday Kay! I hope you have a wonderful Day!

  57. Jodi Savage on December 15th, 2009 9:46 am

    I love hand applique and have been collecting books for a while. These would be wonderful! Happy Birthday to YOU!

  58. babareeba on December 15th, 2009 10:45 am

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! MAY YOUR YEAR BE FULLOF BLESSINGS! I am just a beginner. Applique is so exciting and expressive, it teaches me to think out of the pattern packet. These books certainly emphasize that creativity.

  59. Joanna N on December 15th, 2009 10:51 am

    I’d love to learn more about the scraplique technique in the new book. I’m new to your website and love it! Happy Birthday!

  60. THERESA WESTRUP on December 15th, 2009 11:21 am

    Applique is such a wonderful way to spend a day. I would love to win the Jane Townswick books.

    Thank you for a great blog.

  61. Brenda Cornell on December 15th, 2009 1:59 pm

    I hope you have a very happy birthday, Kay. Thanks so much for sharing all your hard work. I find you so inspirational.

  62. Michele DuBreck on December 15th, 2009 2:28 pm

    I would love to win these books. Applique is my favorite thing to do. I feel like I shouldn’t watch TV without applique in my hands. Any and all instructions are very helpful so these books would be GREAT…

  63. Caryn Sakaguchi on December 15th, 2009 4:14 pm

    These are two very cool looking books that would be helpful to me as a beginner.

  64. Joan Powell on December 15th, 2009 4:16 pm

    Wonderful work on your applique. I have tried it some, but see where books like this would be helpful. Handwork is soooo relaxing!!! Have a good day.

  65. Sereen Hunter on December 15th, 2009 4:59 pm

    These look like really good books. I am just a beginner at applique. I have order a couple of your books lately and am enjoying them. Hope to order more after Christmas. Hope you have a great birthday.

  66. Eileen Taylor on December 15th, 2009 5:47 pm

    Happy birthday! And thanks for sharing your birthday with us by giving away those great books. There’s a lot in those books to learn and I would be thrilled to be the lucky winner.

  67. Dee Johnson on December 15th, 2009 6:08 pm

    Happy Birthday To You, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Deaaaaarrrr Kay, Happy Birthday to you! My birthday was December 6th – what a wonderful possibility for a gift. Thank you for the opportunity.

  68. Carrie P. on December 15th, 2009 7:09 pm

    Happy Birthday, there sure are a lot December birthdays. Have a great one.
    What a great giveaway. I don’t have either one of those books so it would be great to win. Thanks for a chance.

  69. Brenda m on December 15th, 2009 8:19 pm

    These books look fabulous, I could learn a lot from them I am sure.
    Happy Birthday (my mom’s is the 20th)

  70. Paula on December 16th, 2009 4:34 am

    I’m excited that Jane has a new book out. LOve, love,love to applique.
    My bday was yesterday.
    Happy Birthday to all us December Babes.

  71. Connie C. on December 16th, 2009 7:14 am

    Happy Happy Birthday! My husband’s birthday is the 28th and our 43rd anniversary is the 29th. What were we thinking! The books look fabulous – what a wonderful gift!

  72. Judy F. on December 16th, 2009 9:28 am

    Even if I don’t win, I will have the books on my Christmas List. I LOVE applique. Hope you have a wonderful birthday!

  73. shari on December 16th, 2009 10:36 am

    I am just learning about applique and I am intrigued. Just found your blog. Love it!
    Thought I would give it a shot to maybe win.
    Happy Birthday to YOU.

  74. Christine Olah on December 16th, 2009 10:42 am

    I feel I am meant to win these 2 wonderful looking books since you posted this on my birthday! Did your mom find it difficult to keep your birthday separate from Christmas? I always felt that Christmas was a part of my birthday-decorating, baking-my birthday lasted longer than my siblings, so I always felt lucky! Happy birthday to you, Kay-may the joy last extra long!

  75. Bonnie on December 16th, 2009 1:36 pm

    Would love to have these.

  76. Sue on December 16th, 2009 4:05 pm

    I’m trying to improve my applique skills and always look forward to new books that could help. I would love to win these! Happy Birthday!

  77. Cathy Norris on December 16th, 2009 10:39 pm

    I’ve appliqued some of Jane’s patterns and love her methods. Would LOVE these books! Count me in and happy birthday to you!

  78. Barbara Bieraugel on December 16th, 2009 11:08 pm

    Happy Birthday Kay, The new book by Jane looks gorgeous just like her others. I love reading all the new and improved methods that our quilting club comes up with.

    May you have a wonderful day for your birthday and congratulations on the new book. I look forward to seeing it when it comes to completion.

  79. Marcella Peek on December 17th, 2009 11:44 am

    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday to you!
    Happy Birthday dear Kay
    Happy Birthday to you!

    Hope you are being completely spoiled today.

  80. Karen Buchs on December 17th, 2009 3:09 pm

    Wow! I have wanted to learn how to applique like that, and these books look beautiful. Thanks for giving us this chance to win such a collection. Happy birthday. Did you turn 35 as my daughter did yesterday?