At the recent Glendale guild show, a quilter told me that she had made one of the projects from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. I’m always thrilled to learn these things!

My version of Studio. You can make any sewing room or nook into a studio if you hang up a sign!

Marilyn said, “I made my own version of the black, white and red studio quilt. This wall hanging was made for Cindy, a friend of mine who tried quilting, but decided she prefers making clothing. Nuts, in my opinion, hence the name Crazy Couture.”

Crazy Couture
Marilyn Robinson
Hawthorne, CA
Size: 18 x 12

I love it! Very Project Runway, don’t you think?

When I told Marilyn that it means so much to me when other quilters take my designs and personalize them, she said, “I am trying to develop my creativity now, instead of just copying what others do. This is my first baby step. :-)”

I’d call it a giant step. Thanks for the Show & Tell Marilyn!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Hello everyone! Back safe and sound from SoCal. I’m excited… this post has been cooking for over a year now! I met Australian quilter and stitcher extraordinaire Helen Stubbings at Market a couple of times, and we finally got it together for her to do a guest post on her method of appliqué! You are going to love this! Take it away Helen!

Glue stick Applique
By Helen Stubbings of Hugs ‘n Kisses

This easy or some would say ‘cheats’ method of needleturn applique takes the scare factor out of needleturn. Most of the work is in the preparation, leaving the actual stitching as the easy bit.

The method uses two products – Hugs ‘n Kisses Applique Paper and a glue pen – I use the Sewline Water-Soluble Glue Pen.

Place a sheet of applique paper with the shiny (glue) side down on top of your template or design printed sheet. It is semitransparent so you can easily see the design through the paper. Trace each design or template shape onto the paper – I like to use a Sewline Ceramic pencil which glides on nicely. Note: if your applique design is directional you need to reverse it for this method.

Cut out each shape carefully on the traced lines. This is the important part – be as careful as possible as this determines your final shape.

Fuse each shape to the wrong side of your chosen fabrics. You need to leave a large ¼” between shapes for seam allowances.

If you wish, you can fussy-cut your fabrics by positioning the shapes to suit.

Cut out each shape leaving an approximate 1/8” seam allowance.

Using the glue pen, run a line of glue along the edge of the paper template –- it only needs to be light and right on the edge.

Using your thumb and forefinger, gently press over the seam allowance onto the glue. You want to fold the fabric on the edge of the paper –- but you don’t want to fold the paper as well, it doesn’t take too long to get the feel of the edge of the paper and where to fold to.

If the end of your applique piece is going to be under another piece in the final design you do not need to glue and fold these edges over.

You do not need to clip into outer curves. Our seam allowance is small and often on the bias so clipping is not necessary. Just gently fold/pleat around curves a small step at a time so you do not get points. If you are having trouble eliminating points try trimming back the seam allowance a little further.

If you have tails like on this leaf, just leave those and they will be dealt with later.

Your prepared shape!

You will need to clip on inner curves – but not as much as you may be used to. Just clip where you absolutely need to to enable the seam allowances to fold in nicely. Inner points need to be clipped to the edge of the paper.

Continue glueing until all shapes are prepared.

Position your background fabric over the design sheet. Use a light box if you cannot easily see through the fabric.

Position and layer all applique pieces following the design you can see underneath. Use the glue pen or for larger projects Roxanne’s Glue baste it to secure all pieces at once. Just layer them up until the complete block is ready for stitching.

Now you can stitch all pieces down as you would for your normal applique method. I use Hugs ‘n Kisses applique needles and Superior Bottom Line threads but you can use your thread of choice. When stitching down those tails that are showing, stitch to the point and do a double stitch to hold, tuck under the tail with the tip of your needle and continue in the new direction.

No need to remove the papers – when it is washed they will just dissolve and soften into safe fibres in your quilt project.

All of our Hugs ‘n Kisses applique patterns include the full design sheet along with reversed where necessary templates and applique shapes for tracing. We are considering including pre-printed Applique Paper in our patterns in the future –- so you can just cut out, glue and stitch!

Happy appliquéing!

Headed south

Filed Under Patterns, Quilt shows | Comments Off on Headed south

Dana’s loading the Vibe tomorrow morning for my trip to the environs of LA. I’ll visit Cathy Thursday morning, then it’s a short hop the rest of the way to Burbank to set up for the Glendale Quilt Guild Show.

I had a blast at this show last year and can’t wait to go again. If you’re down that way, do stop by to say hey. I’m in the same spot.

Did you see the free pattern at Bunny Hill? Adorable bunny towels!

See you next week! I have a fantastic guest tutorial coming right up!

By Kay Mackenzie

I’m delighted today to turn the blog over to author, designer, and educator Margaret Bucklew!

Margaret just came out with a new book, Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts, and today is the first day of a fun blog hop to celebrate its release!

Take it away, Margaret!

We each have our own first quilting experiences, some with more fanfare than others.

Once I had made quilts for everyone in the immediate family, I decided to include myself, and found a pattern with pieced triangular trees interspersed with schoolhouses. I wanted to use colors to reflect fall foliage and have some leaves falling within negative space on the quilt; however, those falling leaves presented a problem. They would need to be appliquéd onto the top. Uh-Oh! I had no idea how to appliqué. To me, the falling leaves had to be on the quilt, so I cut out shapes of leaves and pinned the fabric onto the top not knowing how they would permanently be affixed.

My one and only quilt class was needleturn appliqué. What a wonderful class! I was hooked. The leaves were appliquéd, the quilt was completed, and my appliqué adventure began. I love needleturn, but it is slow going. Machine appliqué is another option.

If you are like I was, a bit afraid to try appliqué, I have a super easy free block for you to use for practice and perhaps make more blocks and turn them into a quilt or a pillow.

This graphic indicates how the block would look if you needleturned, used a blanket stitch, or used a zig zag or satin stitch. Also shown in the pattern are easy-to-follow images indicating how to put on the back pieces covered by the front pieces.

I hope you’ll use the free pattern and give appliqué a try.

I migrated from being afraid of appliqué to designing appliqué quilts! A love of portrait work led me into developing a technique to create realistic portrait and pictorial appliqué quilts.

For a few more appliqué tips, please visit the next blog in the book blog tour.

If you are interested in giving portrait or pictorial quilts a try, my “Step by Step Portrait Art Quilts: Learn to Create Realistic Portrait and Pictorial Quilts” book might be just the answer for you. The book is available both in print and as an eBook.

The book’s Amazon page.

The eBook’s Kobo page.

Thank you Margaret! Be sure to follow the rest of the blog hop all this week for more fun with appliqué and information about the book. Here’s the schedule!

Sew Useful Designs

A Passion for Applique

Jackie’s Art Quilts

Quilting and Sewing Videos

Thanks again Margaret, and congratulations! Enjoy every minute.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

The lucky winner of Baltimore’s Country Cousins is No. 6, Karen Crosby. Congratulations Karen! You’ll enjoy these folk-art influenced designs.

In other news: Right now, on the Quiltmaker blog Quilty Pleasures, they’re having a giveaway contest of the new issue of Quilts From 100 Blocks.

Go on over and enter for a chance to win one of 25 copies! The contest ends Friday so go now.

Speaking of 100 Blocks, I was thrilled to hear that I have a block in the upcoming Volume 7! My block is so very dear to my heart and I hope you’ll enjoy it too. (Yes, it’s an animal, but maybe not the one you’d expect.) I’ll be participating in the blog hop March 29 through May 3 and I’ll show it then.

Last bit of news! Next week author, designer, and educator Margaret Bucklew is celebrating the release of her brand-new book, and she asked me to be in her blog tour! I’m kicking off on Day 1 with a neat guest post from Margaret. You won’t want to miss it… she has a nice surprise for you.

Until Monday,
By Kay Mackenzie

I’ve had this charming book in my cabinet for awhile now.

Baltimore’s Country Cousins
by Susan McKelvey

If you’re attracted to Baltimore album quilts and also simple, whimsical country quilts, then you would love Susan’s “country cousin” album blocks inspired by both of these forms. The designs in this beautiful book are filled with baskets, blooms, birds, berries, buds, and many more appealing folksy motifs.

The author begins with information on color and fabric selection, then moves to her own personal tips for hand appliqué. Any form of appliqué will work fine for the blocks, and the author recommends that anyone new to appliqué refer to one of the many excellent books available today that give soup-to-nuts instruction.

Stems and stitching sequence are covered, as are inking and stamping on quilts, elements that give album quilts an extra dose of charm. There’s a full pattern for a sampler quilt with a lovely appliquéd border that uses 12 of the 16 designs, also several ideas for other ways of using these utterly charming album blocks.

Published by the American Quilters Society, this gem is out of print but you can look for it on eBay or order from a reseller on Amazon.

That is if you don’t win it in the drawing! If you’d like to win my copy of Baltimore’s Country Cousins, leave a comment on this post before 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6.

Contest open to U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Do not reply to your email subscription! Click over to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post.

Good luck!
By Kay Mackenzie