Today I thought I’d post my illustrations showing how to hand-appliqué points. When I was learning to appliqué, this was one of the biggest mysteries to me, and when I finally “got it” my confidence took a big boost.

To begin with, you’ll want a turning allowance of no more than 3/16″. A quarter inch is just too much bulk to stuff under a point.

The stitches are exaggerated for illustration purposes.

Sew to within two or three stitches of the point.point1.gif

Trim off the folded-under puppydog ear that is sticking out the other side of the point.point1a.gif

Fold the tip down square across.point2.gif

Take the remaining stitches to the point, the last one coming right out of the tip.

Turn the project.point4.gif

Starting at the point, tuck the turning allowance under. Don’t try to start further up and work down to the point. There will be no room at the point for the turning allowance if you try to do that. Work from the very point upwards.point5.gif

When all is arranged satisfactorily, continue to stitch.point6.gif

I hope this is helpful to you if you’ve found pointy points to be a mystery too.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

All graphics © Kay Mackenzie

I just got a note from reader Robin that she was leafing through the latest issue of McCall’s Quilting, and found my quilt! On page 36 to be exact!

cover_large.jpgWow, it must be October already. That’s when I thought the December issue was due out. My copy of the magazine hasn’t arrived yet and now I’m dying to see it!

This was the assignment that I wrote about back in May, when Gregory Case introduced me to editor Beth Hayes in the aisle during Spring Market. Beth is a wonderfully gracious and warm person and I was very lucky to meet her in this fashion.

They put a sneak peak of the project on the McCalls Quilting website. In the magazine, the project is accompanied by a photo tutorial on back-basting.

Has anybody else seen the article??

Lookin’ for the mail carrier,
By Kay Mackenzie

The item that I ordered from Keepsake Quilting to use for the new designs arrived. There’s your second clue. :)


Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

When Froncie Quinn moved to Vermont she discovered the Shelburne Museum and its collection of antique quilts. She approached the museum about patterning the quilts so that modern quilters could reproduce and enjoy them more fully. The Shelburne agreed and now Froncie offers several collections of museum-licensed patterns featuring the designs of yesteryear.

Check out her website, Hoopla Patterns. There are many great patterns, links to historical articles written by Froncie, and reproduction fabrics based on the old quilts that she has studied in the museums. A fantastic homage to our quilting heritage.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’m working on a new appliqué book! The design work is mostly done and in a couple days I’ll be ready to start the stitching.

With any book project, there are parts that are delicious fun and other parts that, well, just need to be done. I try not to do all the fun parts first, making myself do some of the grunt work along the way. I did already indulge, however, in one of the delicious-fun parts.

Let’s just say that this new collection of designs presents opportunities for using tiny trims, buttons and bows, frills and lace, beads and embroidery, etc. I went to Beverly’s, a fabric and craft store, and walked the aisles collecting those items that caught my fancy the most. I also spent a good hour plundering my studio for anything I had squirreled away in various nooks and crannies at earlier points in my quilting career. That was jolly good fun.


All of it went into a project box to await its destiny. The trims are optional, and probably only a fraction of them will end up on blocks, but it was good vicarious fun for me, this rummaging and collecting and feeling excited about the possibilities.

As a kid, I was not a girly girl. My sister and I ran all over our semi-rural neighborhood and my mother would just ring the supper bell when she wanted us to come home.


Momma wrote on the back of this, “Anne (near), Kay (far) fishing.” I grew up with a fishing pole in my hand. I can remember that neighborhood lake and sitting on the bank waiting for the cork to bob like it was yesterday.

lunchbox.gifLunch break!

tomboy.gifMy favorite striped tee shirt, with a plaid shirt… and… are those patches on the knees? Can you say tomboy? My dad took us to the barbershop for cereal-bowl haircuts, which may have added to the general effect.

But the following picture serves up proof that I did own a dress, and I had a doll. There’s your clue to the theme of the new design collection.


Check out that groovy 50s sofa fabric. I seem to remember the swirls were orange and brown. And those great legs! What happened?

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie