In contemplating thankfulness, I’d like to shout out a great big Thank You to all of you who follow All About Appliqué. I thoroughly enjoy writing this blog, and it’s gratifying to know that someone is reading. No matter what form of quilting we employ, we all have one thing in common… we are appliqué enthusiasts! Yay!

Ready, Shop, Sew!

In appreciation, I’ve created a coupon for $5 off any order of $10 or more on my website, where all my stuff is. The coupon code is 5OFF and is good through December 10, 2011, for your holiday shopping pleasure. U.S. and Canada only, regular shipping charges apply.

Here are some great ways to take advantage of the coupon. Stocking stuffers for your quilty friends!

When you click on the links below, you’ll be taken to the page on the website where the item is found. If you don’t see it right away, just scroll down.

Vol 4-500Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 4. Only $6.99.

A cute little pattern for your friend who would like to hang this in her sewing room. Just $6.


Magnetic Needleminder, $9.50. These look like beautiful cameos and make fantastic gifties. There are 10 different styles to choose from.


John James #10 Straw/Milliner needles, $3.00. My favorites for hand appliqué.


Clover 5″ miscroserrated scissors, fantastic for appliqué. They’re very grippy on the fabric and the cut edge is less prone to fraying. $23.50

The coupon is good on anything you’d like to order from By Kay Mackenzie, including all of my books, patterns and notions. Maybe you’d like to get a gift for yourself! Have you been looking at Sew the Perfect Gift, Inspired by Tradition, or Teapots 2 to Appliqué? Now’s the time!




Hope you had a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Many thanks to Kim Q., the only one who offered any insights into the subject of permanent wearable appliqués. She said,

If you’re going to applique clothing, keep the fabric contents similar…don’t use a shrinkable cotton on a synthetic garment. I’ve mounted the applique using Heat N Bond, by using a plain old stationery store glue stick, or by using Sulky’s KK2000 spray. The Heat N Bond is permanent, but not my favorite, since it makes that portion of the clothing stiff, just like it does on quilt blocks. If you use one of the other two methods, and it’s a larger sized patch, then you can also use straight pins to anchor it too. Then you’d run a satin or zig zag stitch around the applique.

Since personally I am very quilt-centric, specifically in the area of decorative pieces, I’m always focused on the lightest-weight fusible I can find. If it’s any help, I’m going to offer a list of all the manufacturers that I know of. Again these are very quilty, and there may be products out there that fit more into the industrial or manufacturing scheme. If you know of any, please chime in.

Best of luck, Susan and Lee, in finding the product that works for your needs.

Bosal Foam and Fiber
Heat n Bond (Therm o Web)
Steam a Seam (The Warm Company)

Until next time,

By Kay Mackenzie

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who visited during last week’s 100 Block blog hop. I so appreciate all the nice things you said!

Today’s post puts forth a couple of reader questions. I recently received the following:

I would like to know how you put an appliqué on a garment that will not wrinkle when washed or dried. I had appliqués on the uniform for work and they washed and dried w/o ever turning up at the corners or wrinkling , stayed flat wash after wash.

I want to put an appiqué on my hoodie but don’t want it to wrinkle when it is washed. I got NO help from the employees at the two stores I went to :( so thought maybe you could help me please.

Thank you, Susan

A few days later, the following question came along:

I have spent a lot of time researching lately on fabric decorating techniques and came across your All About Applique website. It is full of amazing information and I hardly knew where to begin! Since you apparently have extensive knowledge on this subject, I wanted to ask you a question but first I will briefly explain what I am doing.

I am a designer currently working on some fashion pieces for apparel and home decor. I use a variety of decorating methods from heat-applied vinyls to hand-screen printing (I will try anything!). My project at hand is a line of rugby shirts and jackets which bear strong graphic elements like patches and stripes. I do not manufacture the garments, I use pre-existing blank clothing and apply my designs to that. I wanted to find out if there is a reliable way in which to fuse certain elements to the fabric permanently with no concern about them coming off in wearing or washing?? This comes into play when I want a small textural detail on, maybe, a sleeve or a collar, etc. and may, as well, be used for applying my own screen printed inner tags to the pieces for brand identity.

I have seen products such as fusible web and an adhesive for applying patches specifically, but having no experience with these, I don’t know how they hold up nor what kind of hand feel they give to the fabrics.

I so appreciate any help you can offer, your experience on the subject is certainly obvious!


Susan and Lee, since wearables are not in my wheelhouse, I’m throwing your questions out to the community. I bet there are lots of readers who know about these things. Please chime in with help for Susan and Lee! Thanks!

By Kay Mackenzie

Lucky Kathy H. is the winner of a copy of the brand-new 100 Blocks Volume 4. Congratulations! Kathy reports that she already has the second and third editions and just loves them, so this’ll be a great one to add to her collection.

Elizabeth came up the winner of a copy of my book Dolls & Dresses to Appliqué. The cool thing is, Elizabeth said in her comment, “Thanks so much for the opportunity to win the book Dolls and Dresses. I have wanted to get it.” How cool is that? Sometimes knows what it’s doing.

Until next time, with a couple of reader questions.

By Kay Mackenzie

A heartfelt welcome to those who are visiting today courtesy of the Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour! So glad you came by! This blog is devoted to appliqué ~ any kind. You’ll find a wealth of information here by exploring the Categories and the lists of links to designers and pattern companies. You can also search the archives by keyword if there’s something in particular you’re interested in.

Vol 4-500

Today I’m writing about my entry in Volume 4 of 100 Blocks, a very special collector’s edition of Quiltmaker magazine that hit the newsstands this week.

I’m on the cover again! That’s my block Heartlets with the pink plaid hearts. How very fun.

This is part of a fantastic blog hop that takes you on a trip through cyberspace to find out more about the designers and what inspired them to create their blocks.

Since it’s me we’re talkin’ about, of course my block was going to be applique. I love hearts, and decided to grow some on a sort-of heart-shaped vine. I stitched it up by machine using raw-edge fusible appliqué and sent it in.


Here it is, months later, Block #312!


The designers who contributed blocks were also invited to send in projects showing the block in a different way. When I looked at Heartlets I thought it would be very cute done up in Christmas colors, so I made this little wall quilt for the holidays. I’m happy to say that it made it into the projects sections of the magazine, and is now hanging in the Quiltmaker offices in Golden, Colorado!


The 100 Blocks magazine includes a pull-out section of full-size templates so no worries about blowing up patterns. I already received my advance copy, and let me tell you, each block is more spectacular than the last, whether appliquéd, pieced, foundation-pieced, or mixed-technique. This truly is a treasure trove… you’ll want to save it for your future use again and again.

Today is the last day of the tour, but if you haven’t already done so, be sure to visit Quilty Pleasures, because there are prize drawings still going on.

I happen to have a couple prizes of my own! I have a copy of the magazine to give away, and I’m also going to draw another winner, who will receive my book Dolls and Dresses to Appliqué.


So leave a comment before 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, November 14, to enter the drawings! U.S. and Canada addresses only. Thanks for visiting, come again soon!

By Kay Mackenzie

It’s Day 1 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 4 Blog Tour!

Vol 4-500

The tour lasts all week, with visits to designers who contributed a block to this issue. Be sure to follow the tour all week, because there will be lots of goodies and prize-winning possibilities. Start each day at the 100 Blocks blog.

My day on the tour is this Friday, November 11. I’ll show you my block and tell you a little bit about it, and I’ll have my drawing for a couple of prizes!

Hey, here’s an extra special treat. My buddy Sarah Vee has a block on the cover too. In fact, it’s right next to mine, how cool is that! Sarah has created a special coupon just for my readers. It’s valid at her Etsy store: SewJoy Creations, and will give you 50% off Sarah’s e-patterns! The coupon kicks in today, Nov. 7, and ends Nov. 13th.

The coupon code is: 100blockskay

Wow, I never had a coupon named after me before. I’m honored.

See you back here on Friday!

By Kay Mackenzie

The winner of Cheryl Almgren Taylor’s Inspirational Appliqué is Debra B.! Debra says that she is very new at quilting and it’s something she has a deep desire to learn about. She’s very excited to get Cheryl’s book and try some new techniques. Congratulations Debra, and welcome to quilting!

I just got home from the Pioneer Quilt Guild show in Roseville, California. It was a lovely weekend and I got a nice surprise! Hanging in the show was a beautiful basket sampler quilt made using the designs in my Baskets to Appliqué.

What's in Your Basket? by Clareen Bolton

What's in Your Basket? by Clareen Bolton


I read on the label that Clareen made this quilt during a class with Betty Kisbey at the Quilter’s Stash. The shop is closed now, but while it was open Betty used to teach appliqué using my patterns, which I appreciated so much. Thank you, Betty and Clareen!

Another quilt that grabbed me with strong magnetic attraction was one using my favorite pattern in the whole wide world, Fairmeadow by Jeana Kimball.

Fair Meadow in Lincoln by Clareen Bolton

Fair Meadow in Lincoln by Clareen Bolton


And it turned out to be by the same quiltmaker, with the same teacher! Fun.

Until tomorrow, with the start of the 100 Blocks blog hop,

By Kay Mackenzie

I want to thank Kay for inviting me to her blog today. I had the opportunity to be a guest on her blog once before and enjoyed the experience very much.

CATFor those of you who don’t know me, I’m Cheryl Almgren Taylor, a quilter and designer who specializes in fusible-web appliqué. In certain quilting circles, making this admission is like admitting you feed your kids hot dogs and goldfish crackers for dinner every night! However, I find this method to be very user-friendly and it enables me to create fabulous, intricate shapes with ease. It also incorporates thread as a design element which gives me the opportunity to add more color and texture.

I have a brand-new book just released by Martingale & Company / That Patchwork Place: Inspirational Applique: Reflections of Faith, Hope, & Love.


The book is a collection of scripture-inspired quilts, wallhangings, and small projects. I am a pastor’s wife and as a person of faith, I enjoyed being able to create tangible objects that express my beliefs through my quilting. That is one of my favorite things about quilting—our ability as quilters to convey our thoughts and beliefs through the medium of fabric and thread and color.

As I worked on the book, I felt a connection to the quilters of past generations who also used their quilting skills to express their beliefs and dreams. If you study the Baltimore Albums of the 19th century, most of those beautiful creations give us glimpses into the lives of their makers. Even the plainer, patchwork quilts from the past sometimes include tantalizing personal insights left by the quilter. And one of the common practices in historic quilts was to include a deliberate mistake to express their religious faith, the belief that nothing is perfect except God. I’ve never had to create a deliberate mistake in a quilt—I’m quite proficient at providing numerous mistakes without any extra effort, but I enjoy this tradition and the significance it held for the quilters who did this.

I am happy, though, that I have access to the wonderful world of quilting that we live in now, with rotary cutters and electric irons and fabulous computerized sewing machines. I own several sewing machines and like a man and his car, I am bonded with my machines.

As I mentioned before, my favorite technique is fusible-web appliqué. I always recommend using a lightweight fusible web and the “doughnut” method of construction, which has you cut out the center portion of the web from large pieces before fusing it to the back of your motif fabric. This makes the quilt soft and pliable rather than stiff, which is a common complaint about quilts made with fusible web. However, when using a lightweight fusible web, you must sew a finishing stitch around each unfinished edge in the appliqué design. I prefer a very small blanket stitch, but it is possible to use a satin stitch or zigzag—it just gives a slightly different look to the finished piece.

In creating the quilts for the book, I discovered a new technique that I think a lot of people would enjoy knowing about. One of the designs in the book, “Daily Bread,” features a neg done in gold and blue tones.


A neg is a bundle of wheat that is set out in wintertime in Scandinavian countries for the animals. Because the design featured a number of strands of wheat bundled together, there are a large number of overlapping wheat kernels to be appliquéd. All of them needed to be finished with a blanket stitch. If you are a fusible appliquér, you know that sometimes as you sew around overlapping pieces, you do not end up in the right spot for the next shape. Then you have to stop, trim your threads, move the fabric, and start over again. By accident, I discovered a traveling technique that makes it easy to move from piece to piece.

I discovered that after finishing the blanket stitch on a piece, I could change the machine setting from the blanket stitch to a straight stitch and travel to the next piece along the edge of the pattern pieces. (The pieces do have to be overlapping.) This can be done before or after using the blanket stitch on the design. If I traveled before finishing the edge, the blanket stitch laid over the top of the straight stitching and couldn’t be seen. If the blanket stitch was already sewn along the edge, the straight stitch went on top of the edge stitch and still couldn’t be seen. Of course, you must be using the same color of thread on the next piece, but for my overlapping wheat kernels, it was an outstanding technique.

I used traditional bias strips for the border vine in “Birds of the Air.”


But, in two other projects I used another trick — cutting fusible web-backed fabric pieces rather than creating bias strips for vines. For the tablecloth “I Am the Vine,” I traced the vine shapes onto fusible backing, fused the vines to the background, and finished the edges with a blanket stitch. It looks great and was much easier than fussing with bias strips.


I hope these tips will help you in your quilting journey and, for those of you who have never tried fusing, I hope you will become inspired to try this wonderful and easy technique!

Happy quilting!~Cheryl

Kay here — Thanks a million Cheryl for those two fabulous appliqué tips! The traveling straight stitch to another shape is something I been playing with myself. Thank you for legitimizing it!

Courtesy of the publisher, we have a copy of Inspirational Appliqué to give away to a reader. If you’d like to enter the drawing for the book, leave a comment by 7:00 p.m. California time on Sunday, November 5. U.S. and Canada addresses only, and remember to resist the temptation to hit “reply” to your email subscription. Instead, click over to the blog itself.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie