Yesterday afternoon, Brown came rumbling in and delivered the “first pages” of my upcoming book from That Patchwork Place. This was right on schedule so, unlike last time, no new gray hairs were added to my head!

whig rose3First pages are like galley proofs, where the author gets to see the book laid out for the first time (instead of the words being separate from the illustrations being separate from the photos). It’s quite an exciting and nervous time for an author. Just as before, the tyvek envelope and its super gumglue defeated me, and I called the DH for scissors. Finally into the package, I took out the contents and glimpsed the cover. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!” It is sooooooo beautiful. White with colorful blocks and a lovely typeface for the title.

And that title is now official! I’m pleased to announce that Inspired by Tradition: 50 Appliqué Blocks in 5 Sizes is due out in March 2011! It’ll have the CD with it just like Easy Appliqué Blocks, so you can print the patterns in the size you want. As soon as I get the go-ahead from the publisher, I’ll show you the cover!

I couldn’t be more pleased with the name. As you may know, in traditional publishing the author does not have decision power over the title and things like that. I’m so happy — this was one of my first choices. It describes perfectly the intent of the blocks. Not necessarily exact renditions of traditional appliqué blocks, nevertheless they’re all inspired by that vintage look and feel.

Now I have to settle back to earth, find a good editing pen, and get to work.

Happy dancin’,
By Kay Mackenzie

A celebrity quilt

Filed Under History, Patterns, Quilt shows | Comments Off on A celebrity quilt

My pal Pam Crooks is a pal of Penny Tucker, who writes a delightful blog that you’ll be interested in, The Dedicated Appliquist.

At one of our Nite Needler meetings, Pam told me about a quilt that was making the rounds of the internet, having achieved celebrity status after its debut at the Spring International Quilt Festival earlier this year.

I was fascinated with this concept of celebrity quilts, so of course I had to check out the quilt known as 19th Century Folk Art by Maker Unknown or The English Medallion Quilt.

First glance and small photos do not do this piece justice. Once you see some of the closeups, you’ll be delighted with this forgotten appliqué artist’s sense of design.

Penny’s blog post from May pulls together lots of links about the quilt and about some reproductions of it. Pam sent me one more from Threadbare in Australia.

What are some other celebrity quilts that have “gone viral?”

Until next time,

I’ve long been an advocate of finding your own method of appliqué, one that’s right for you and gives you results you like. That’s not the same for everyone, and I believe there’s no right and no wrong way, only what pleases you. When quilters stop by my booth at shows and make faces at the “A” word, I tell them they just haven’t found their method.

So I was delighted to take note of a new book by Laurel Anderson called Appliqué Workshop: Mix and Match 10 Techniques to Unlock Your Creativity!


Here’s some information straight from the author herself.

Laurel Anderson:

I wrote this book with the idea that everyone has different design needs and different technique requirements.

The quilter who wants to occupy her time while on a fishing boat or in a doctor’s waiting room will be more interested in hand appliqué or cutting out fused shapes for three-dimensional or fused appliqué. The mother of four with limited time may be delighted with the speed of machine appliqué or the raw-edge technique. The artist who wants creative freedom may mix many methods into one piece of fiber art.

The techniques in the book are grouped into turned-edge, raw-edge and needle-turn appliqué. Each technique has a summery of its best uses. For instance: the Turned Edge with Starch or Glue makes very sharp points on leaves or petals. The 3D Broderie Perse method makes fast and easy daisy petal shapes for wall hangings. It is easier to be creative if you have your choice of many design tools.

Coneflowers by Laurel Anderson

Coneflowers by Laurel Anderson

The book offers ten appliqué methods, two edge-finishing facings, and several different template ideas. As a bonus, there’s a section on color and a chapter on dying fabric for flower quilts. The pullout section gives six full-size, ready-to-use patterns. The instructions teach several techniques for each pattern. If you make them all you will have tried all the techniques!

The book is available from Laurel’s website, Whisper Color. Laurel says to be sure to send her a message in an email telling her who to sign to book to. (There’s a Contact button on the website.) And while you’re on the site, check out the 100% bamboo batting and Laurel’s latest stand-alone pattern, Winter Amaryllis.

Winter Amaryllis pattern

Winter Amaryllis pattern

Isn’t this gorgeous?

Thank you, Laurel, for telling us about your exciting new book. I’ll be directing those face-makers to it!!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of More Fabulous Flowers was Lynn D. in N.C. Congratulations!

The SewCalGal is holding a Pets on Quilts show!

Everything’s pet-related, from the quilts in the show to the prizes donated by the sponsors. Of course I’m a sponsor, being such a dog person as I am. I put up copies of my first book, Dog Cabin and Others: A Fast Fun Theme-Quilt Project, which has poodles on the cover.


(Okay I’m a cat person too. I haven’t told you this before, but this summer I’m a foster mom for kittens from the shelter. I have three cuddlebugs right now.)

But back to the topic at hand. The Pets on Quilts show runs through August 21 and you can enter now! Be sure to read the rules of the show… if you have a blog you can enter that way, if you don’t have a blog you can still enter your pet-on-quilt. Or, you can simply enjoy all the entries in the show!

Until next time,

I have to say that I’m just a flat appliqué girl myself. But I truly appreciate dimensional appliqué and our book look for August is a fantastic celebration of floral forms that stand up and sing!


More Fabulous Flowers: Mini-Quilts in Dimensional Appliqué by Sharon K. Baker gives a ton of information on how to make faced, double-fused, prairie-point, double-folded prairie-point, ruched, strip-pieced, and yo-yo leaves and flowers. The detailed, illustrated instructions in the book go soup-to-nuts, from fabrics and supplies to pre-quilting the background to making stems to constructing all those luscious leaves and petals to embellishing them with beads and yarns to finishing the darling mini-quilts.


The book includes 20 little quilt projects to spark your imagination, and you can go anywhere from there. “The designs in this book are like ingredients in a recipe,” says Sharon. “Combine the ingredients as you like to whip up your own special creation. Use the flowers to embellish quilts or wearable art, or simply wear then as decorative pins on clothing. Combine the flowers, explore your own creativity and style, and create a peaceful garden for the mind and soul.”

Many thanks once again to Martingale & Company / That Patchwork Place for providing a copy of More Fabulous Flowers for a lucky reader. If you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, August 9. U.S. and Canada only due to the cost of postage.

Those subscribed by email, remember, don’t reply to the email to leave a comment. Instead, click over to the blog itself. The comments link is at the bottom of the post.

Good luck!
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Jennifer Rounds, co-author of A Dozen Roses (our featured book last month), was delighted to read the wonderful comments about the book. She sent me a premium to offer to one of my readers who already has the book (or who has definite plans to acquire it).


Her pattern “Rose Wreath” is a spinoff of the coverlet project from A Dozen Roses that we were all slavering over. The instructions in the book are the foundation for the pattern’s how-to’s so Jennifer says that it’s better to be familiar with the process in order to complete the project.

If you are already the proud owner of the book (and yes, Barbara you’re eligible :) ), leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. California time on Thursday, August 5, for a chance to win this beautiful pattern.

The pattern is available at Rosie Quilters.

Next time, a look at More Fabulous Flowers: Mini-Quilts in Dimensional Appliqué by Sharon Baker.

Until then,
By Kay Mackenzie