The highways and byways have brought me home from the wonderful Road to California show. It was so exciting to be there… thousands of quilters enjoyed the spectacular displays and varied merchant offerings. My booth was busy as bees; many readers stopped by to say that they enjoy the blog, and thank you so much for your words of encouragement.

The blue drapes were lovely, the lighting was good, and I liked my position just one space inside the doors to the ballroom. My neighbors on the corner were the Pin Peddlers. They’re from my home state of North Carolina and this was their first show in California! The ladies lined up to ooh and aah over their cute, cute cloisonne pins and charms.

I took photos of some grand appliqué quilts.

Spring Blooms by the Pass Patchers Quilt Guild and Lynette S. Harlan. I loved the colors in this one.

Welcome to My Tea Party by Joan Lebsack. Verna Mosquera's patterns are always right up my alley.

Once is Enough by Fairy Earnest and Diane Beauchamp. I had to laugh at the name.

Here's a detail of this incredible Sue Garman design.

More info from Road next time!

By Kay Mackenzie

Ack! I found a draft post from October that I never posted! Here’s what I meant to say back then.

My buddy Kim Jamieson-Hirst recently put up a wonderful roundup of paper-backed fusible web brands and types. Check it out at her blog, Chatterbox Quilts Chitchat.

Sorry Kim!

Okay, now back to present day. I’m packing for this weekend’s Heart of the Valley show put on by the Country Crossroads Quilters of Modesto, California. Full info on the CCQ website.

Then I’m home for exactly one day before schlepping down to SoCal for Road to California. It’s at the convention center in Ontario, California, and if you haven’t been to this one you should. It’s big and bustling and full of quiltish energy!

Got the oil changed and the well-baby checkup for the Vibe, so we’re ready to roll!

Until next time,

Wow, what a treasure! Over on the Martingale blog Stitch This! there’s a hand appliqué tutorial from appliqué icon Mimi Dietrich.

Mimi is the author of many wonderful appliqué titles. In this illustrated tutorial she gives the “freezer paper on the back” method, complete with stitching tips. Thanks Mimi!

Not only that, Martingale has put her book Mimi Dietrich’s Favorite Appliqué Quilts on sale at 40% off this week. And I was very tickled to see that this sale also includes my book Inspired by Tradition. Now that’s good company!

By Kay Mackenzie

By popular demand, the very first volume of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks has been reprinted!

This was the issue that started it all, and it proved so popular and sold out so fast that the editors at Quiltmaker jumped on the speeding train and turned the idea into a twice-yearly series.

We’re now up to Volume 6, but readers who missed out on the chance to get Volume 1 have been begging for it to come back, and now it has!

And, very cool, they’re giving away a bunch of copies and some of the mugs too!

Hurry over to Quilty Pleasures and read the post there about how to enter.

Please note: You’ll leave your comment over at Quilty Pleasures, not here, to enter the giveaway.

Here’s my block that was in Volume 1. Hey, remember those tulips I showed you yesterday? Funny how things go… they just happen to have something to do with this Watering Can block, which I will be showing you later!

Good luck in the drawing for the magazines and the mugs!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

I have a significant amount of presbyopia… that stiffening of the focusing mechanism in the eye also known as Over-40-Eyes. I can’t see small things close up whatsoever. To compensate, I wear monovision contacts during the day.

They vastly improve my near vision, but they don’t exactly, shall we say, correct it.

When I’m sewing, I put on reading glasses over my contacts, and then I can really see!

So I go from two eyes to four eyes to six eyes. Hey, whatever it takes for the sewing!

A sneak peek of what I’m using my six eyes for right now.

My pal Cathy Perlmutter recently reviewed a geek-chic contraption she swears by, called MagEyes. From the looks of this thing it’s reading glasses on steroids! It was invented by a lady to aid in her hand smocking. Go read Cathy’s hilarious Gefiltequilt post, How You Look vs. How You See.

Don’t forget the Dog Cabin special is still on, through Tuesday, January 7, 2013!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Happy New Year!

It’s an momentous day in the Mackenzie household! It was exactly 10 years ago today that I stepped a foot into the professional side of quilting and published my first book.

Even though I’ve always been an appliqué person, I started with something that was all piecing, all the time. Dog Cabin was a huge endeavor. I had to relearn everything I had learned in my sprinkling of digital-media classes, and climb a mountain of details that ranged from procuring ISBNs to learning about distribution channels to approaching catalogs and a million more things. I was on fire, and I loved every minute of it. Dog Cabin was picked up immediately by Checker Distributors and placed in Connecting Threads, and all of a sudden I had a career.

Dog Cabin is a great little book. I really flexed my illustration muscles and included tons of graphics showing everything from:

How to straighten up the grain of the fabric to…

How to measure and rotary cut…

To the dust bunnies that will accumulate in your house when you finally bust out that novelty fabric you’ve been “saving.”

It’s a fantastic book for the beginning quilter and also, I might add, a very fun project for quilters of any flavor as you rest your right brain, engage your left brain, and sew sew sew!

To celebrate the anniversary of this classic book, read on to the end of the post to see how (if you’re in the U.S.) you can get a copy of Dog Cabin, free!

In the last 10 years I’ve published eight more of my own books, and had three books published by Martingale. I still love it and I still feel like going strong!

In the last part of 2012 I started on a new endeavor, producing a line of stand-alone patterns. It’s really exciting to be doing something new. I’ve put out some few patterns in the past, but now I’m getting organized about the whole thing. UPC codes! How long I’ve known o’ ye, and finally we meet!

My two new patterns:

This little quilt appeared in my book Easy Appliqué Blocks, now available exclusively as an eBook from the publisher. When the print copies were all gone I received the go-ahead from Martingale to publish this design on its own. It’s been the most-requested pattern in my booth, so I’m so delighted to be able to offer it now!

Sandy Klop of American Jane is a buddy of mine. I LOVE her fabric from Moda! When I heard she was coming out with a new line called Savonnerie (Soap Factory) I kept an eagle eye out for it. As soon as the images went up on the Moda website, I knew it would be perfect for this pattern that I had in mind for a classic Dresden Plate. Moda graciously sent me some cuts of fabric, and I’ve been industriously working on the wall quilt ever since. I went all old-school and hand-quilted it! It really is like riding a bike and it felt good to go back to my roots as a quilter.

Okay, back to Dog Cabins and 10-Year Anniversaries. In celebration of this milestone, for the next week, through January 7, 2013, if you order one of these patterns… or anything at all… from you’ll receive a copy of Dog Cabin absolutely free. That’s right, you can order a package of needles and you’ll get the book, and I’ll even cover any extra shipping. Limit one, U.S. customers only, while supplies last.

Happy 2013!
By Kay Mackenzie