Big day coming up on October 1! There’s going to be a great big blog event called the Fall into Fall Quilt Bloggers Giveaway and I’m participating as a sponsor.


Tune in on October 1 to see what I’m giving away. I’ll also provide a link to the Fall into Fall Giveaway Central so you can see all the participating blogs and visit them too! There are tons of bloggers and businesses signed up already so there’ll be a boatload of chances to win things.

If you write a blog and you’d like to participate, visit organizer Debi to get all the details.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

You may recall how I made some patchy hearts out of random hunks of patchwork from my UFO pile.

patchy4 For awhile I looked at that fluffy stack and waited for inspiration to come. I wanted to make a quilt top to give to the AllStar Quilters For Kids, an offshoot of my guild that makes quilts for kids in need. It wasn’t too long before I got an idea, and I sketched it out in my illustration Program, Adobe Illustrator.

Illustrator is not a quilt-dedicated program, but it has a grid and a “snap to grid” function so I can easily lay out quilts to get an idea of what they’ll look like and what the dimensions are.

I decided to use the blue and the yellow hearts, and sorted through the stack to pull those out. I hallucinated in my head that I needed 6 blue and 3 yellow hearts, and snap! that’s exactly how many I had. Kismet!

Yeah right. When I went to put things together I realized that I needed 4 yellows. Off I went to those large scraps of patchwork that I had fished out of the trash LOL! I sewed the two largest ones together, added a couple of little pieces to one end, and had enough for that fourth heart!

Here’s what I made.


I fused the hearts to the background fabric, top-stitched around the edges, and cut away the background fabric and the fusible interfacing behind the hearts.


The alternating squares are all from stash fabrics that were happy to find a home. I had to go out and look for the two border fabrics (because I don’t have very many large pieces in my stash).

Now, what to do with the remaining colors of hearts in that pancake stack… hmmm…

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I got an email newsletter from Hancock’s of Paducah that had a link to a fabric line called Baltimore Album by Mary Koval. Of course I had to go and check that out!

This is a beautiful set of fabrics for the appliqué enthusiast! There’s a gorgeous printed panel and a whole range of fabrics that are perfect for this type of project.

wf31662xOn the Hancock’s of Paducah website, if you click on the panel fabric, there’s a free download pattern by Mary Koval. Very cool!

Until next time,
(patchy project nearing completion),
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

Thank you so much to everyone who left warm wonderful words about my new book. I’m kinda sorta thrilled about it and can’t wait to show it off. Now, on to our monthly feature!

In her new book, Cynthia Tomaszewski’s message is that paradise is not a place, or a destination, but really the journey.


Little pieces of paradise are right there in our daily lives (if we have the wisdom to recognize them), and quilts made from these spaces in our heads are quilts from paradise. The designs in this book will lead you to Cynthia’s personal idea of paradise… the magical spirit of a tropical isle.

Filled with hot tropical colors, this book takes you step-by-step through 12 different quilt projects. Names like Falling Water, Natural Beauties, Tequila Sunrise, and Tropical Whimsy will give you an idea.

Tropical Whimsy by Cynthia Tomaszewski

Tropical Whimsy by Cynthia Tomaszewski

There’s also a cute Island Tote and a darling rounded purse called Romancing the Bag.

All the appliqué templates are given full-size, and besides placement guides and detailed instructions for each project, Cynthia includes quiltmaking basics and an introduction to appliqué. Here she covers fusible appliqué with hand embroidery stitches for finishing the edges, freezer-paper appliqué with the freezer paper on the back or on the front, needle-turn appliqué, bias stems and vines, and embellishments.

I’ve always found it so fascinating that Cynthia lives in Abu Dhabi. The bio in the back of the book says that she and her husband plan to relocate one day to some land they have in Fiji. Until then, these colorful tropical quilts will remind her (and us) of island paradise.

I have a copy of Quilts From Paradise to give away to a lucky reader of the blog, courtesy of That Patchwork Place. If you’d like to leave your hometown behind for awhile and immerse yourself in tropical quiltmaking, leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. California time on Tuesday, September 7, 2010. U.S. and Canada only due to the cost of shipping.

Until then,
By Kay Mackenzie