May 4, 2016

Welcome to All About Appliqué on this third day of the 100 Blocks Blog Tour!

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, I’m so glad you’re here! You’ll find a wealth of information about all kinds of appliqué here, so take your time clicking around the categories, and use the keyword search as well.

My block was inspired by the famous and beloved quilt by Susan McCord, Trailing Vines, which is in the Henry Ford Museum. Here’s a closeup of her fantastical leaves (photo courtesy of the museum). I have passionately loved and admired the inclusion of red and blue.


I design my appliqué blocks in Adobe Illustrator, a vector graphics program. Usually I do not use color to fill in the shapes, because what happens is that I become attached to those colors and drive myself crazy trying to match them in fabric.

Well guess what, that’s exactly what happened this time LOL. I started playing around with color, and it was all over. Here’s my digital mockup, seeing what the leaves would look like cut out of strip sets.


Predictably, I couldn’t rest until I replicated what I saw on my computer screen. Most of the colors I found with ease, but I tore my stash apart looking for that just-right light tan. Finally found it! Yay!


The background is a light misty gray hand-dyed fabric from Always Unique. It’s gonna give it somewhat of a moderny look.

Here’s my pile o’ strips.


Laid out into two different strip sets.


And here’s my finished block, Make Beleaf. I used raw-edge fusible machine appliqué.

I love combining patchwork with appliqué, so these stripped leaves are right up my alley. Of course you can use all sorts of different colors, and the leaves can be used in a million different ways. Templates and complete instructions are found in the magazine. Have fun making yours!

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 Tuesday, May 10.

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 (click on the title of the article) and leave your comment at the bottom of the post. :)

Thanks so much for stopping by on the blog hop!

By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop


128 Responses to “Make Beleaf”

  1. Sandra Jantzi on May 4th, 2016 1:23 am

    Very nice block. So versatile and a great way to use up strings.

  2. Betsy on May 4th, 2016 2:07 am

    Kay ,definitely a wonderful block. Good way to make a modern version of Susan’s quilt

  3. Janet Parde on May 4th, 2016 2:09 am

    I like the multi-leaves!

  4. KT on May 4th, 2016 2:58 am

    Love your strip pieced leaves!

  5. Martina on May 4th, 2016 3:15 am

    Fun way for applique! I love the stripes in the leaves!

  6. Monica on May 4th, 2016 3:21 am

    I love the idea of using your scraps.

  7. Diane Oakes on May 4th, 2016 3:32 am

    Love the scrappy leaves in your block. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Kathy L on May 4th, 2016 3:54 am

    What a wonderful project. Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Diane Paul on May 4th, 2016 4:04 am

    I have used strips to make fusible appliques for children’s charity quilts for my guild. It’s a great way to use up scraps and by enlarging charm tack patterns you get a lot of interesting applique patterns that can easily be used with this method but doing leaves with a lot of seams and hand appliquing them looks very challenging.

  10. kay caldwell on May 4th, 2016 4:04 am

    How fun…. scraps and applique :)
    I like it…

  11. Deb G. in VA on May 4th, 2016 4:16 am

    I love Susan McCord’s quilt and your modern version!

  12. Verna on May 4th, 2016 4:41 am

    What a pretty block! I really like applique but have never used a piece with seams.

  13. Dana Gaffney on May 4th, 2016 4:48 am

    I love this and I really love the scrappy way you made it, thanks.

  14. Michele on May 4th, 2016 4:48 am

    I’ve always loved the quilt you used for inspiration. It’s on my bucket list, but I think I will give your block a try now.

  15. Lori Smanski on May 4th, 2016 5:01 am

    congratulations. what a fun way to make leaves. thanks for sharing.

  16. Cyndy Knapp on May 4th, 2016 5:10 am

    I never would have thought to make multi color leaves. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Debra Kay Neiman on May 4th, 2016 5:49 am

    I love applique and this block rocks. crystalbluern at tds dot net

  18. Jill Hicks on May 4th, 2016 6:03 am

    Fun block, a beautiful way to use up scraps.

  19. anna Brown on May 4th, 2016 6:19 am

    Now that’s an idea i never thought of for strings tytyty loved it……

  20. Tammy Wiseman on May 4th, 2016 6:30 am

    Nice scrappy block. You inspire me.

  21. Wanda on May 4th, 2016 6:36 am

    I love applique and your ideas are great. Can’t wait to get started on this.

  22. Loris Mills on May 4th, 2016 6:39 am

    I can see why you were inspired. The Trailing Vines is lovely. However…you brought it right into the 21st century :-) with your cool pieced leaves and perfect colors. This is cool!

  23. Pat K on May 4th, 2016 6:44 am

    Your striped leaves are really striking — they “jump” off the background fabric.

  24. Debbie Rhodes on May 4th, 2016 6:53 am

    Love this… opens many ideas… thanks can’t wait to see the magazine.

  25. Joanna on May 4th, 2016 6:54 am

    Your block would look great in a border. Using scraps would be my way to go. It’s a really useful design.

  26. Terri on May 4th, 2016 6:57 am

    What a neat idea! I love the results and can’t wait to use it in my next project. Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. Lee Ann L. on May 4th, 2016 7:06 am

    That is one cool block. Loving the multi colored leaves. Congrats!

  28. Rosalind Gutierrez on May 4th, 2016 7:15 am

    These unique leaves would make a great quilt border.

  29. Sam on May 4th, 2016 7:22 am

    Love blocks that help reduce the scrap stash.

  30. Tina Jeo on May 4th, 2016 7:31 am

    Love this! Thank you. I miss Santa Cruz. I live in Montana now and love the mountain views but miss the ocean!

  31. Kristina on May 4th, 2016 7:33 am

    I love being able to use up my scraps or at least keep the pile manageable. LOL

  32. Melody Lutz on May 4th, 2016 7:43 am

    I quickly thought of my bucket of strings, thanks for the inspiration! Santa Cruz must be quite a complement to quilting, I am in Southern California and reading where you’re from made me say Ahhhhhhhh! Beautiful place.

  33. Tac on May 4th, 2016 7:52 am

    What a stunning way to make the leaves! Thanks for sharing.

  34. Donna W on May 4th, 2016 8:04 am

    What a fun way to make leaves. Love it!

  35. Kathleen on May 4th, 2016 8:05 am

    Love this leafy vine. Raw edge fusible applique is the only method I have attempted in applique so far. Thanks for the opportunity to win.

  36. Joellyn P. on May 4th, 2016 8:07 am

    Cute block with the strip pieced leaves and applique!

  37. Jocelyn on May 4th, 2016 8:11 am

    Love your block. I like the strip colored leaves.

  38. Lea Anne Brummett on May 4th, 2016 8:16 am

    This is so cute, and great idea for using up small pieces of fabric scraps. I’ve been cutting my leftovers for days. There’s some tiny pieces that would work perfectly for this block. Thanks for the fun and the chance to win my favorite magazine!

  39. Beth T. on May 4th, 2016 8:17 am

    I love hearing the stories behind blocks. I, too, fall in love with a particular color, or an idea, and get fixated on it, driven to distraction until I’ve satisfied my vision of it. But when I do: heaven. I’m always happy when I see that block, or quilt. Or leaf. Whatever it is. Quilting is so quirky, or perhaps quilters are. Thank you for sharing.

  40. Rochelle Summers on May 4th, 2016 8:20 am

    Beautiful block. Must have been hard to hand applique those leaves with all the seams.

  41. NancyB from Many LA on May 4th, 2016 8:25 am

    I love your pieced appliqué petals- really good idea!

  42. Susan Green on May 4th, 2016 8:27 am

    Pretty block! I’ve never appliqued with strip sets.

  43. Donna A. on May 4th, 2016 8:27 am

    I love how you combined piecing with applique. Lovely!

  44. Becki morrison on May 4th, 2016 8:33 am

    I love the interesting piecing with applique, just gives you that much more to enjoy looking at, eye candy!

  45. Judi J R on May 4th, 2016 8:46 am

    I love how you really got scrappy and appliqué together! Appliqué tends to be a great way to use up some scraps, but this lets me use a lot of those small leftover strips. Hope I Win!

  46. Summer on May 4th, 2016 8:49 am

    What a neat technique! Piecing then cutting out applique pieces. I’ll definitely put this in my bag of tricks!

  47. Mary ripple on May 4th, 2016 9:07 am

    What a great idea! Love the leaves

  48. Janis T on May 4th, 2016 9:20 am

    I love the colorful leaves!

  49. Dot on May 4th, 2016 9:42 am

    My favorite part is the graceful line of the stem! (Of course I love the leaves, too.) Is it kitten season yet? I’m looking forward to photos.

  50. Caryn on May 4th, 2016 10:02 am

    Looks beautiful! I love the cheerful scrappy look.

  51. Brenda E. on May 4th, 2016 10:04 am

    I have a bag of strings waiting for a quick project!

  52. Allison CB on May 4th, 2016 10:36 am

    Interesting approach!! Nice leaves!!!

  53. Amy Walter on May 4th, 2016 10:46 am

    Very pretty.

  54. Janet T on May 4th, 2016 10:50 am

    Love that idea. Might have to rethink the border I am working on!

  55. Trina Aultman on May 4th, 2016 10:52 am

    Love those Leaves

  56. Barbara Kelly on May 4th, 2016 11:27 am

    That is a great idea. Love the look.

  57. Quilting Tangent on May 4th, 2016 11:28 am

    I like your strip leaves, give them move interest then a single piece of fabric.

  58. sharon on May 4th, 2016 11:37 am

    I love your leaves. I think I will make a make beleaf border on my next quilt

  59. Kris S on May 4th, 2016 11:38 am

    I love this idea and making the strip sets makes it so easy. Striped fabric would be great too. Thanks for sharing.

  60. Jamie Todhunter on May 4th, 2016 11:43 am

    Thank you for a chance to win. I love the combining of strip piecing and appliqué to make your leaves.

  61. Rhonda D in KY on May 4th, 2016 11:51 am

    Love the leaves. So many possibilities. Also love the title!

  62. Sandi on May 4th, 2016 12:05 pm

    I would have never thought to make leaves like that but they are beautiful! Thanks for a chance to win a copy of the magazine.

  63. Kathie L on May 4th, 2016 12:16 pm

    Great use of small pieces of fabric.

  64. Jan on May 4th, 2016 12:52 pm

    Kay, what a beautiful block! I can already see in my mind some various layouts, and am imagining what to put into an oval formed by 4 blocks in mirroring.

    Thank you for a chance to win the magazine!


  65. Margaret Andrews on May 4th, 2016 12:56 pm

    I enjoyed your explanation of making this block. I like your color combinations and it looks like a fun block to make. Thanks so much for sharing your talent.

  66. Carol Sc on May 4th, 2016 12:58 pm

    I, too, have always liked Susan McCord’s quilt — you have done a wonderful interpretation of it.

  67. Brenda Cornell on May 4th, 2016 1:29 pm

    Kay, you have come up with another winner. Thanks for offering the drawing.

  68. Donna on May 4th, 2016 1:34 pm

    Great job of using strips of left over fabric. From now on I will be saving those narrow strips of fabric I usually toss out. The leaves with red tips are my favorite.
    Thanks for sharing

  69. judy valentino on May 4th, 2016 1:42 pm

    love your block!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Lisa Marie on May 4th, 2016 1:47 pm

    Super cute! I love the scrappy look and I’m a big fan of leaves on quilts. I’m excited to get my hands on this magazine.

  71. Cecilia on May 4th, 2016 2:07 pm

    I love the striped leaves! Thanks for the block and giveaway.

  72. Diane Bowron on May 4th, 2016 2:16 pm

    I love to combine patchwork and applique as well.

  73. Lori Morton on May 4th, 2016 2:39 pm

    LOOOOOVE your Leaves!! So creative..great idea…and I definitely want to try! :) Thank you for sharing..& chance to win your Give-a-way!

  74. ritainalaska on May 4th, 2016 3:11 pm

    love your block! my kind of thing to make! and thanx for the link to the trailing vines quilt.

  75. Karen J. on May 4th, 2016 3:16 pm

    String leaves – love them!

  76. Elizabeth Engman on May 4th, 2016 3:31 pm

    What a cool derivation/variation! I’d try them with gradations.

  77. Diane S on May 4th, 2016 4:00 pm

    I love leaves and your striped ones are so much fun!

  78. rrjane011749 on May 4th, 2016 4:23 pm

    Absolutely love your leaf block!

  79. Jeanne in Ohio on May 4th, 2016 4:30 pm

    Love your block, especially the string piecing aspect.

  80. Loriann Fish on May 4th, 2016 4:30 pm

    These leaves would make a really cool border. Great idea!

  81. Rachell Reilly on May 4th, 2016 4:47 pm

    Hi! I found your blog two years ago, when I started searching to teach myself Hawaiian-style appliqué. Now my other appliqué skills are growing!
    Cute leaves!

  82. Lee on May 4th, 2016 4:55 pm

    What a fun block! congrats!

  83. Debbie St Germain on May 4th, 2016 5:01 pm

    Wonderful block and nice choice of colors, that is always the fun part to me.


  84. Bonnie on May 4th, 2016 5:01 pm

    What a great block! I love the idea of using strip sets for the leaves.

  85. Joy P on May 4th, 2016 6:08 pm

    I love the pieced leaves – definitely gives them a modern look.

  86. JoyceLM on May 4th, 2016 6:11 pm

    Lovely block – thanks.

  87. Emily C on May 4th, 2016 6:15 pm

    Very interesting technique. I could see doing leaves in different shades of green, instead of a rainbow.

  88. Nancy on May 4th, 2016 6:23 pm

    I love the strip pieced leaves. Congratulations for being selected.

  89. Darlene B on May 4th, 2016 6:32 pm

    What a great way to make interesting leaves!

  90. Pamela R on May 4th, 2016 6:41 pm

    there is never an appliqued leaf I don’t like and yours is no exception. what a great table runner…or border this could be. thanks

  91. Joye Cox on May 4th, 2016 6:41 pm

    Such fun leaves. Congratulations on being in the issue.

  92. usairdoll on May 4th, 2016 7:20 pm

    I enjoy appliqué and I love your block. I love the touch of blue as well.

    Thanks for a chance to win.


  93. Annie on May 4th, 2016 7:23 pm

    I like the idea – and look – of pairing piecing with applique!

  94. Chris on May 4th, 2016 7:35 pm

    I really like the way the leaves look so I will remember this for sure.

  95. Nancysue on May 4th, 2016 7:37 pm

    I love the leaves!!! Congrats on your block! One of a kind!

  96. Cathryn H on May 4th, 2016 7:42 pm

    Interesting block. Would not have thought of making leaves that way.

  97. Karen Thurn on May 4th, 2016 8:01 pm

    Very nice leaves. Unique!

  98. kathy pfaltzgraff on May 4th, 2016 8:29 pm

    “Strip piecing” is something I just haven’t done, but your design makes it tempting. Kathy in colo

  99. Lori Butler on May 4th, 2016 8:42 pm

    Love how you were inspired to create this. Very nice.

  100. Judy on May 4th, 2016 9:15 pm

    I love your striped leaves. They look very fun to make.

  101. Barb on May 4th, 2016 9:20 pm

    What a wonderful idea. I’m going to use it for the alphabet and lots of other things.

  102. Barbara Young on May 4th, 2016 9:39 pm

    This is a really great idea. You could do just a few colors – or make each one different. Thanks for sharing.

  103. Karen on May 4th, 2016 9:49 pm

    Very clever way to use up scraps.

  104. Paige on May 4th, 2016 9:52 pm

    I love applique, what a great design!

  105. Michelle Taylor on May 4th, 2016 10:02 pm

    Your leaves are so neat! Love the colors!

  106. marta manole on May 4th, 2016 10:14 pm

    very pretty …it’s a great way to use up scraps …thank you…marta

  107. Elizabeth McDonald on May 5th, 2016 1:25 am

    I like your combo of applique and piecing – great block!

  108. Allison Evrard on May 5th, 2016 4:01 am

    Your leaves are terrific! I’ll have to try this technique.

  109. Mrs. Plum on May 5th, 2016 4:30 am

    Fun block, Kay!

  110. Kathy h on May 5th, 2016 6:07 am

    Great block. I have really gotten to like the pieced applique pieces lately so your block was just perfect.

  111. Kathy Callahan on May 5th, 2016 6:48 am

    Interesting look, will have to give it a try.

  112. Debbie P on May 5th, 2016 7:58 am

    Nice leaves!! It will definitely look great in a project or to enhance a border!

  113. Diantha Howard on May 5th, 2016 8:24 am

    What a great idea! I love the idea of appliqueing with the piece cut from strip sets.

  114. Karen Martin on May 5th, 2016 8:36 am

    I’ve always loved the Susan McCord quilt–this is a fun take off!

  115. Mary D on May 5th, 2016 11:15 am

    Love the leaves. Great idea to strip piece and then cut the applique pieces. Now I have even more to make with my scraps.

  116. Carolyn Dell on May 5th, 2016 1:08 pm

    I love your Raw-Edge Applique. Especially the leaves. I need to make that block!!

  117. Lynn on May 5th, 2016 4:04 pm

    The strips of colour give a great look to the leaves

  118. Judith Williams on May 5th, 2016 4:42 pm

    Love Applique, can’t wait to try the leaves…so unique!

  119. debra moxley on May 5th, 2016 5:55 pm

    Love this!

  120. Bella Harriger on May 5th, 2016 9:16 pm

    What brightly colored leaves!

  121. Sandy W. on May 6th, 2016 12:14 am

    What a great block. Love the idea and the colors and the ability to use up scraps.

  122. Nancy Green on May 6th, 2016 7:06 am

    I love the look of those stip pieced leaves!

  123. Karen on May 6th, 2016 7:12 am

    A great way to use my scraps. I love the leaves.

  124. Susan Pepper on May 7th, 2016 7:32 am

    This is just so cute. My son is getting married in October and my soon-to-be daughter-in-law has asked me to make some table runners. This is just right thing for an autumn wedding.

  125. Lisa E on May 7th, 2016 9:53 am

    I love the strip piecing in the leaves. Great idea.

  126. Helen LeBrett on May 7th, 2016 6:12 pm

    What a great leaf block!!! I love that the strips can totally change it!! Hugs, H

  127. Doris McCarty on May 8th, 2016 6:51 am

    Strip piecing and applique. What could be better!

  128. bernaljuank on May 12th, 2016 3:04 pm

    Great idea i love the leaves, visit our site you can get some ideas from there and if there is any way we can share some of your articles