Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

I’m working on something new. :)


By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop
Instagram • kaymacquilts

Well quilting friends, the blog was down for awhile there, and beyond my capacity to fix it. But then, our ISP moved our websites to a brand-new server, the blog updated itself when I wasn’t looking, and presto! It works again!

I’d like to celebrate by presenting a fabulous Show and Tell. I received the following message from Leslie Duran of Rocklin, California.

“Hi Kay! I met you at the Road to CA quilt show, and showed you my finished project using your Studio pattern from Scrap-Appliqué Playground. Here are my photos. Feel free to share and post if you would like! It was a fun pattern, and I really enjoy how it turned out. I see it everyday in my office/sewing room.”




How fun! I really enjoy this fresh, modern version, with the linen-y background. It’s perfect in its space. Leslie, thank you so much for taking the time to share. It’s moments like this that lend me the support that all designers need in order to carry on.


By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Waitin’ on polka dots

Filed Under Patched appliqué, Patterns | Comments Off on Waitin’ on polka dots

I’m working on a new version of my Studio banner.


I absolutely love the black, white, and red version that was in Scrap-Appliqué Playground, but to be honest it looks better in person than it does reduced and printed on a pattern cover. The scraps with the white background seem to fall away and blend into the background too much at a small size.

This time I gravitated toward my beloved palette of red and blue with a touch of green. It’s gonna pop a lot more on the pattern cover!


I’ve got my scraps sewn together and the letters cut out. The rectangles will compose the border. Right now I’m just waiting on some fabric that I ordered for the background. You see, I’m slightly obsessed with polka dotted backgrounds, but when I dug through my stash I found out that I had used all the pieces until there wasn’t a hunk big enough! As soon as the fabric arrives, I’ll be ready to go.

In the meantime, my summer hiatus is over and I’m headed to Sonora, California, this weekend for the Sierra Quilt Guild’s show. I really enjoy this annual trip up to gold country.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Greetings gentle quilters!! It’s Kickoff Day of the 100 Blocks Volume 10 blog tour! I’m so happy to have a block in this landmark issue.

I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my books and patterns on it, plus select notions for the appliqué enthusiast. If this is your first time visiting my blog All About Appliqué, I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about all kinds of appliqué here on the blog, so take your time clicking around the categories, and use the keyword search as well.

I’m delighted and proud to say that this is my ninth time having one of the 100 Blocks. (I must have been asleep at the switch for Volume 2.) I just love participating in these special issues, and golly! Ten times ten, that’s 100 different original blocks that have been published since the whole thing started. Quite an accomplishment… comgratulations to the Quiltmaker staff!

My latest title from Martingale, Scrap-Appliqué Playground, is all about different ways to put scraps together and cut appliqués out of them. After the book came out, I started playing around with more ideas for cutting appliqués out of something other than just one fabric. In the last issue I had Half-Log-Cabin Tulips. Another clever way to use a traditional pieced quilt block for appliqué is Nine-Patch Posies!

Cutting a flower “just so” from a traditional nine-patch block gives a fun, stylized look to a very traditional appliqué motif. Of course you can change up the colors as you like.

The magazine gives complete instructions for making the block, and includes the flower template that fits just right on the pieced nine-patch. Awesome.

I hope you enjoy this block and all the other 99 fabulous and varied designs in Volume 10!

The editors of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks are sponsoring a giveaway of a copy of the magazine! If you’d like to enter to win, please leave a comment here on this post before 12:00 noon California time on Friday, November 21.

Good luck in the drawing, and remember that if you are subscribed to the blog by email, clicking “Reply” will not enter you in the drawing. Come to the blog on the internet and leave your comment at the bottom of the post. :)

Many thanks for your visit!
By Kay Mackenzie

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

A little bird told me that my new book Scrap-Appliqué Playground is a guest star on this week’s Part 3 of Quilt Out Loud!

Have you seen Quilt Out Loud? If not, then be sure to check out this lighthearted, fun-filled internet TV show hosted by Jodie Davis and Mark Lipinski over on QNNtv.com. The segments are free to watch for a week following their debut, so give it a whirl!

P.S. Mark obviously did not read the caption in the book for my Studio quilt LOL!

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, kaymackenzie.com!

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

Back soon,
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’m resting up from a week in Long Beach. The trip went well despite a dead battery on the way down. I handled it (I am woman, etc.) and after that everything went as planned, within normal operating parameters.

You may remember me posting about some random hunks of patchwork I had dug out of the UFO pile.

I had an idea! I thought of the fusible interfacing method for turned-edge appliqué! I felt this was a natural for making something appliqué with all those seams.

I marked the hearts on the smooth size of the interfacing and pinned in place over the right side of the patchwork.


I did a whole tutorial on this method over at the Show & Tell Center. Check out The Anatomy of a Lollipop for a refresher.

Shortened up the stitch length a bit and sewed all the way around each shape, on the drawn line.


Cut out the hearts, leaving a 1/8″ seam allowance. Clipped the notches.


Cut a slit in the interfacing and turned the hearts. A quick run along the seam with a craft stick and a poke at the tip with a stylus and that’s it! They look like a stack of fluffy pancakes.


I know from making gobs and buckets of lollipops that these will smooth out and flatten when they’re fused to their backgrounds.patchy5

I thought I was now done with those hunks of patchwork. However, as the project went along, I found myself pulling the bigger scraps back out of the trash. Will this never end!!!?


Now what am I going to do with the hearts? Hmmm…

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie