Greetings! It’s Day 1 of the 100 Blocks Volume 5 blog hop!

I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my stuff on it. If this is your first time visiting my blog All About Appliqué, you are very welcome! If you’re a regular reader or you’ve been here before, I’m glad you’re back!

It’s so much fun to have a block in these very special magazines. Here’s a little backstory for my design.

When I was a newlywed living in Ohio, three little kittens followed us home one day. They stayed for 18 years.

Maikai was the beauty of the family, a striking calico with big round eyes.

During those long years my husband and I learned a lot about cats and what they know to be true. We compiled a list of Cat Caveats, such as:

• If there is a piece of paper anywhere in a room, it must be sat upon.

• Loose objects need moving around.

• What’s on the other side of a door is not interesting until the door is closed.

There are many more, including the fact that bags, boxes, baskets, and any other type of open containers are there for the sole purpose of being climbed into by a cat.

When it came time to design a block for Volume 5 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, I started with this silhouette of Maikai…

… and sat her in a basket.

And here it is, Block #410!

I used hand appliqué for this one, but of course you can use your own favorite method.

Below is another example I stitched up using fusible web and a small machine blanket stitch. I thought it would be fun to play with feedsack-y and 30s type fabrics.

Came out pretty cute!

In the following alternate version I was going for sort of a porcelain figurine look. One of the most fun things about quilting is that you can make your block look so many different ways with just the choice of fabrics!

Be sure to follow the blog tour all week, through May 4. There are multiple bloggers participating each day, with lots of prize-winning goodness at every turn. Start out at Quiltmaker and they’ll send you on your way.

I have a copy of Volume 5 to give away! To enter my drawing, leave a comment at the bottom of this post before 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2. You don’t have to be a cat person :). There are 99 other varied and wonderful blocks to choose from!

I’ll also draw a second winner, who will receive my book Growing Hearts to Appliqué.

Best of luck to everyone!

By Kay Mackenzie

I subscribe to the Checker Newsletter blog. Checker Distributors is one of the major suppliers of everything for our independent quilt shops, and Penny Haren, author of the Pieced Appliqué books, does a wonderful job of writing about all of the new and intriguing products that are coming down the pike. Lo and behold, yesterday Penny talked about a gorgeous new floral bouquet fabric that is just coming on the market! Maybe they’ll make a comeback!

On my last post, a reader asked for some help: “I saw a lady who gave a Quilting with Crayons demo, and I have lost the demo, but she really did a great job showing how to do it well, at least for me. I would love to find her again. No, I did not remember her name.”

Jeanne, could you be thinking of Creative Quilts from Your Crayon Box by Terrie Kygar?

Neat things coming up:

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, Volume 5 Blog Tour is next week, April 30 through May 4. My day is April 30! The tour will continue all week with visits to lots of other designers who have a block in the magazine. Be sure to tune in for prize-winning opportunities all week long.

On Friday I’m driving down the coast to beautiful San Luis Obispo to set up for the annual Seven Sisters Quilt Show at the historic Madonna Inn. I was at this show the last two years and it has become one of my favorites.

Back soon,
By Kay Mackenzie

A hearty welcome to new readers who’ve found the blog by way of Stitch This! I hope you’ll take some time to poke around the Bookstore, Blogroll, and Categories. There’s a ton of information about appliqué here!

After my recent post about broderie perse, Angie SoCal asked, “Curious – did you find that bouquet in home decorating fabric? I don’t see much fabric like that in the stores.”

Nope! It’s a regular quilter’s cotton. I rummaged through my tub of florals and found the rest of the hunk I had.

“Rose Garden from Marti Michell and Maywood Studio.” Like most of the fabric in my stash, it goes back a few years.

While I was rummaging I pulled out a few other examples of fabrics that would make good candidates for broderie perse. Like I said, these particular fabrics are “aged to perfection” so you probably won’t find the exact same ones today. But if you’re at all interested in broderie perse and you see some beautiful bouquet fabrics like these, grab ’em!

“Nancy Kirk Civil War II for Benartex.”

“Vintage Cottons by Hoffman International Fabrics.”

I don’t have the selvedge of this one but I know it’s a Lakehouse fabric by Holly Holderman.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Tuesday was the Official Publication Day for Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Happy dancing, happy dancing! It doesn’t get much more exciting for an author than that!

The publisher, Martingale, recently launched a wonderful new blog called Stitch This! (You’ll want to subscribe.)

I’m so excited that today there’s a post by Karen Johnson of the marketing team, in which she recounts her eagerness to visit the Playground, and the fun she had on her first trip! I couldn’t love it more. It’s so cool, you have to go and see. Not only that, they’re giving away a copy of the eBook hot off the digital presses!
Stitch This!

My copies are en route, in fact Brown should be paying me a visit later today. Just as soon as I have them in hand I’ll be updating my website, hopefully as early as tonight.

They’re here! The new book is now available on my website,!

Martingale sent me this button. Notice the new birdy logo. Very cute.

Back soon,
By Kay Mackenzie

Tricia wrote, “Do you have any knowledge of Broderie Perse appliqué? I heard that it is an old technique using chintz fabric?”

Broderie perse is French for “Persian embroidery” though I don’t know exactly why.

According to the book Art of the Needle: 100 Masterpiece Quilts from the Shelburne Museum by Henry Joyce, European-made chintzes were introduced to America in the 1900s. Chintz fabric cost a pretty penny back then, and quilters made crafty use of it by cutting out motifs, spreading them out in pleasing arrangements, and appliquéing them onto a larger background.

“Chintz fabrics were extremely expensive, and by cutting pieces to appliqué on a quilt, a small amount of costly fabric could be used to provide a design for a much larger surface. Only well-to-do women could afford the fabrics and had the leisure to make chintz appliquéd quilts.”

In our modern times, when I think of broderie perse, I think of Judy Severson.

Judy once gave a lecture at my quilt guild, where she showed us glorious examples of the broderie perse method of appliqué that she is so wonderful at. She told us that one of the secrets for success is to find a perfect match in the color of the background fabric that you’re going to use and the background of the printed motifs that you’re going to cut out.

The noted quilt historian Barbara Brackman wrote about Judy on her blog Material Culture. In the post she also includes information on how to see examples of antique broderie perse quilts on the website of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum.

Christine Maxwell Bonney has a gorgeous slide show over on her blog Garden Cottage Quilts that shows Judy’s work in addition to some historical examples of broderie perse.

Here’s my one foray into the form.

It’s an example in my book Baskets to Appliqué, to show how you can get creative with the designs. I used fusible web, cut the bouquet out, stuck it in a basket, and stitched it with a small machine blanket stitch. Judy, move over! (Not.)

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I finally found a way to code the blog so that the comments on each post are numbered. Finally I don’t have to manually count (and count again to be sure) to find the winning comment. Yay!

The winner of Nancy Mahoney’s Fast, Fusible Flower Quilts is… drumroll… Number 27, Susan!

Susan says she is thrilled, being a big fan of Nancy’s work. I know she will enjoy the book.

Just got home yesterday from a long weekend trip to Reno, where Dana was playing in a chess tournament. I went to three fabric stores. The first one was Mill End Fabrics. When I saw the sign for it, I thought, “Oh, it’s in that big building.” When I got out of the car and walked inside, it was like, “No, it’s the WHOLE building.”

I felt like I was in Mood! A huge building full to the rafters with every type of material and trim you can think of. I meandered around and looked at everything, and finally found the cottons section. After some sleuthing I did discover some very good bolts of high-quality quilter’s cottons.

Then I went to Windy Moon. A delightful visit as always, with gorgeous arrays of fabrics. It was a special treat to spy my Teapots 2 to Appliqué in one of their displays!

The next day I revisited Sew-n-Such, an airy, happy, cheerful quilt shop. It was just a fresh and friendly as the first time.

Here are my fabric purchases from the trip. I was apparently on a deep-red-and-cream jag.

Admin note: Early last week our ISP moved all of our websites and blogs to a new server, and upgraded the blogs to the latest version of WordPress. This was not without a fair amount of angst. By now, most of the wrinkles have been smoothed out, but if you notice anything funky about the blog (such as missing images), please let me know.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Our featured book this month is by none other than Nancy Mahoney, my current technical editor at Martingale!

Nancy has been publishing with Martingale for a long time. Today, thanks to Martingale, we get to explore her Fast, Fusible Flower Quilts.


Like many quilters, Nancy loves to garden as well as quilt. She has created this special collection of 11 quilts that combine a patchwork garden backdrop with beautiful flowers in bloom.

Precious Peonies

Precious Peonies

Like all Martingale books, this one includes quiltmaking basics, and also goes into detail on two ways to prepare your appliqué motifs. Starch-and-template produces a turned edge, and fusible-web results in raw-edge appliqué. Nancy gives detailed, illustrated information about both.

A-Tisket A-Tasket

A-Tisket A-Tasket

Star-Flower Baskets

Star-Flower Baskets

The quilts are so very appealing, aren’t they? As you can see, they’re beautifully photographed in a garden setting. The book includes full flat shots of each quilt as well, along with complete instructions for making them.

Congratulations, Nancy one another great one!

I have a copy of the book to give away in a drawing. If you’d like to win Fast, Fusible Flower Quilts, please leave a comment here on the blog before 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, April 9.

The fine print: Drawing open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Don’t reply to your email feed; instead, click over to the blog itself and leave your comment at the bottom of this post. Good luck to you!

Until then,
By Kay Mackenzie