Back on Valentine’s Day, I showed some four-patch hearts that I had been working on. The project is all finished up now!

The hearts are made from four-patches (and the backgrounds too). Gives them a little zing!

The pattern for I Heart You is available in my Etsy shop or on my website, links below.

By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop
Instagram • kaymacquilts

As I was working on this little quilt, I was thinking about the expression “wearing many hats,” as in serving many functions in life. We all wear many hats in the course of our busy lives.

In my home life, I’m a domestic engineer, chief cook (but thankfully not bottle washer), dog cuddler/care overseer, cat lap provider/care overseer, foster kitten mom, vet clinic assistant, quilter, and the list goes on.

In my professional life, I’m a designer, quiltmaker, illustrator, writer, page layout, typographer, editor, publisher, marketing department, paperwork shuffler, accountant, stock room supervisor, fulfillment services, the entire packing and shipping department. For my booth at shows I’m the schlepper, setter upper, public relations, the information desk, educational department, sales representative, customer service, cashier, and whatever else I need to be.

I called this quilt More Than One Hat to represent all the hats that each one of us wears every day. I know your list is just as long as mine. :) How many will you wear today? Here’s hoping they are your favorites!

Pattern available in the Etsy shop or the website, links below!
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Lovely Hearts

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Two of my books with Martingale have gone out of print. That’s bittersweet. Sad face, there aren’t any more copies of the books. Glad face, the rights have reverted to me and I can now develop and offer patterns using the designs! :)

The very first pattern that I worked on was the “Love” block from Easy Appliqué Blocks. It’s one of my favorite blocks from the book so it was an easy choice to go first.

Here’s the new pattern, Lovely Hearts.


It’s a 16 x 16 mini-quilt that can go up on any little wall space, proclaiming your affection for the world’s best emotion. I used raw-edge fusible machine appliqué, but of course you can use your own favorite method.

Until next time, with more!
By Kay Mackenzie
Kay’s Etsy Shop

Last night Brown came and delivered the most beautiful book. I’m holding it in my hands, I see my name on the cover, and I can hardly believe it’s mine!


It’s been just over a year since I was given the green light from That Patchwork Place for this new book. I’ve blogged about the process a little bit from time to time. (If you look at the Categories in the left-hand sidebar you can click on ‘A story of another book’ to read those posts if you like.)

Inspired by Tradition: 50 Appliqué Blocks in 5 Sizes is presented in the same format as Easy Appliqué Blocks, my first book from TPP… 50 blocks shown in a thumbnail library so you can choose your block, and a CD that you stick into your computer, choose any one of 5 sizes, and print right at home! No figuring of percentages or folding, copying, and matching back up crooked sections! We even give reversed versions of each pattern, since you need that for some forms of appliqué.

The designs in this new book are all vintage and old-timey in look and feel, hence the name Inspired by Tradition. The publishers did an amazing job on the pages within… graceful, colorful, and pretty, and so well suited for showing off these blocks with traditional appeal. I couldn’t be happier with how it looks.

In addition to the blocks, there’s a Little Gallery of Ideas to get you thinking. We’ve included the dimensions of all the blocks, sashing, borders, etc. in case you’d like to make something similar. There are also extensive illustrated instructions for back-basting hand appliqué and raw-edge fusible machine appliqué, and a section of appliqué questions and answers compiled from what quilters talk about when they come into my booth at shows.

What I have right now is my advance copy. The book ships to quilt shops March 7. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon now, and at a great price too. And, if you go look at it on Amazon and click on ‘see all product images,’ you can see all 50 of the blocks! That’s right, the publisher uploaded beautiful images of all 50 blocks, stitched by moi!

If you’d like to wait for a copy signed by me, I’ll have it on my website March 7 as well.

Thank you for taking a look at my new baby. I’m just a little bit excited. :)

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

At the Road to California show in January, I had the excellent fortune to sit at the breakfast table with Carol Gilham Jones and Bobbi Finley. Several friends of mine were staying at the hotel, and they were also friends of Carol and Bobbi, so introductions were made–on a first-name basis–and Bobbi was flabbergasted when I asked her, “Are you Bobbi Finley??” That was a very familiar name to me after years of hanging around with active members of the American Quilt Study Group.

Carol and Bobbi had a special exhibit of their tile quilts in the show. Passing these at warp speed as I did the first time, these beautiful pieces have a stained-glass look, but lighter and airier. Bobbi says that a lot of people compare them to stained-glass quilts, but they’re not. Construction-wise, instead of “leading” applied over the raw edges of the shapes, these shapes are finished with turned edges, and the background is left exposed to create the spaces between shapes.

Tile Quilt Revival

Tile Quilt Revival: Reinventing a Forgotten Form is Carol and Bobbi’s fascinating, educational, and inviting book that reintroduces this “unique and somewhat obscure” form of appliqué quilt.

Tile quilts are explained this way:

Traditional tile quilts… are constructed with small pieces of cotton fabric appliquéd in a random manner to a white background, leaving a narrow space between the pieces; this white space serves as the “grout” between the tiles or “mortar” between the pavers or stones.

The books starts out with a brief history of tile quilts, with great photos showing examples from the past. Then comes a section on how to make a tile quilt, reinterpreted for today. When I read the following, the heavens opened up and I heard the heavenly choir!

The tile quilt technique, with its large and simple shapes, creates an ideal showcase for bold, contemporary fabrics. Interesting, large-scale prints are will suited for the tile pieces. If you’ve ever found yourself admiring some of the daring prints now available but wondering how to use them, a tile quilt is an idea project for putting them to good use.

Hallelujah! I have a tub of fabrics in my stash labeled “Modern” that has been… well… sitting there.


Now my “daring” prints have a destiny!

The techniques used in the book are so simple they’re ingenious! No need to consider seam allowances, to reverse patterns, or to figure out where to place the pieces. Another really great thing about this book is that it has fantastic appliqué instructions… needle-turn by hand, turned-edge machine-appliqué and fusible machine appliqué too, all expertly explained and illustrated. If you’re reading this blog, you probably like appliqué already, but how about this section where the authors say:

Even if you don’t love to appliqué or don’t consider yourself to be skilled at it, chances are you will enjoy the tile quilt process because it is not exacting. The tile-and-grout form is quite forgiving, and the inevitable deviations from strict uniformity in the grout add to the visual interest and appeal of a piece.

How cool is that?? Get your A-word friends to take a look!

After the appliqué information, there are instructions for several projects with full-size pull-out patterns.


Then there’s a Gallery of Contemporary Tile Quilts. These are fun and inspiring to look at as you see what quilters of today are doing to reinvent the form.


C&T Publishing is graciously sponsoring a giveaway of a copy of Tile Quilt Revival! Leave a comment before 7:00 p.m. California time on Friday, March 5, to be in the drawing. U.S. and Canada only, unless you’d be willing to pay the shipping.

Those subscribed by email, click over the the blog itself and scroll to the bottom of the post to leave a comment.

I wanna start a tile quilt right now, but dang I have deadlines!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Even though this is the ninth time, it’s still so exciting when I get that call to come pick up cartons of new books, hot off the presses.

Dolls & Dresses to Appliqué
is officially in print!

Front cover of Dolls & Dresses to Applique by Kay Mackenzie

There are a dozen dolls and cute dresses, plus instructions for a sampler quilt to show off the entire collection.

Doll Shoppe by Kay Mackenzie

Doll Shoppe by Kay Mackenzie

Dolls & Dresses is available at By Kay Mackenzie. As my Valentine for you, gentle readers, I created a coupon just for readers of this blog and my newsletter (but feel free to tell your friends). If you’d like to appliqué some dolls, or order anything else from the website, put 2OFF in the coupon code area of the shopping cart and you’ll save $2 bucks off your next order! Coupon expires 12/31/10. Plus, the current company special is a free copy of Home: A Heartfelt Nap Quilt with any book order. Such a deal!

Oh yeah… as if pushing out a new book from my company and working on a new book for Martingale weren’t enough, I decided to put out a new pattern too. Meet Sweet!

Sweet! pattern by Kay Mackenzie

Available on the Patterns page at the website.

Until next time,
Doin’ the happy new-book dance,
By Kay Mackenzie

A journey to a book ~ Part 6

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Being the sixth in a series of posts about a book proposal, from concept to print.

Since the plan was to not include any projects in Easy Appliqué Blocks, Martingale returned my sample quilt. Now I needed to stitch up those eight blocks independently to complete the stack of 50. I also started working on my writing sample and Table of Contents. They had sent me the set of Author Guidelines, which included information on how the manuscript was to be coded. I actually loved coding the manuscript! It’s a way of indicating what’s a heading, what’s a subheading, what’s a caption, what’s a box, where the photos and illustrations go, etc. Fun! (If you’re a little nerdy like me.)

During this time I sent a couple questions.. The first was, did we name specific products? The answer was no, they preferred not to name specific products or fabrics. Not a problem, just needed to know.

Second, per their author guidelines, did they really want me to send just printouts of all of my patterns and illustrations? Surely they would want me to send them my computer files…??

The answer came back no. Just send printouts, and their illustrators would take it from there. I was puzzled. That was going to be a lot of work for them, and actually I was a little apprehensive that the patterns would lose some little essence of “me” when re-rendered. But, I knew going into this that I would not have control, so I rolled with it.

teddybear.gifBefore my December 7 deadline, I sent in the eight blocks, the writing sample, printouts of the illustrations that corresponded, and the Table of Contents. I also had to send my date of birth for the Library of Congress. ( How exciting! Well, I already have an authority record actually, but it’s pretty cool to think about.) Plus a copy of my schedule. I pulled together all of the show dates for the next year when I would be busy with my booth, plus one measly vacation (that never happened) and Shop Hop, etc. I thought it mighty considerate of the company to ask for my schedule so that they could work around it.

The next step would be to receive feedback from Karen about the sample chapter and my coding skills. Stay tuned!

Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

Thoughts of Home

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I traveled to Portland last weekend to attend Quilt Market, the semiannual behemoth trade show for the quilting industry. I had THE most fabulous time. Saw old friends, made new ones, put lots of faces together with names, and learned a ton of new things. I was scouting the appliqué! Over the next couple weeks I’ll be posting interesting nuggets from my trip.

First though, I need to introduce my newest design! I got the pattern booklet back from the printer just three days before the trip.

Home: A Heartfelt Nap Quilt
Home: A Heartfelt Nap Quilt

Home is filled with symbols of warmth and welcome. As the years go by, I appreciate more and more the simple comforts of home and shelter. From beloved pets to pie and coffee to the feeling that “home is where the heart is,” this nap-size quilt with its cozy and familiar motifs is my commemoration to the places we make our own.

I did have a wonderful trip, but it’s nice to be home :).

Front cover of HomeHome is available on the Quilt Puppy website.

The 16-page booklet has full-size patterns plus complete construction information. Use any form of appliqué — nothing fancy required!

Until next time,
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s finally here, March 1st… the official publication date of my new book, Teapots 2 to Appliqué!

Teapots 2 to Appliqué

It’s an exciting time. After months and months of work designing the motifs, stitching them up, handing out the patterns to willing appliqué friends, waiting to see what they come up with, writing the text, creating the illustrations, laying out the pages, shepherding the projects through photography, and at last taking the finished file to the printers, then comes the nail-biting period waiting for “the call” that the books are finished and ready to be picked up. Once I finally have a book in my hands and it’s just what I wanted, that’s the happy dance time, as in now. Yay!

Teapots 2 has 16 new teapot designs for you to appliqué using your own favorite method. Since my last book came out, I learned the back-basting, aka no-template preparation method for hand appliqué and have become a big fan. This new book has step-by-step instructions for back-basting prep in case you’re a hand appliquér as well and would like to learn what that’s all about.

My first teapot book, Teapots to Appliqué, is now out of print. That’s a bittersweet thought. I sent off the very last copies the same week I got the new one. Couldn’t have timed it better if I’d planned it that way!

Teapots 2 is available on my website, Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs.

Until next time (happy dance, happy dance),
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs

It’s leap year!

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There are 29 days in February this year. The way my adorably geeky husband Dana explains it, this happens every 4 years, except when the year ends in 00 (like 1800 or 1900) when it doesn’t, except every 400 years, when it does. Thank you, Pope Gregory XIII, for your venerable calendar that keeps this all straight.

When Dana and I lived in Ohio, February meant the first stirrings of spring, as I saw the little snowdrops come up and felt I might make it through the winter. Now, even though we live in California, February still means early spring to me.


In honor of the promise of spring, I thought I’d put up a picture of my little row quilt, A Spin in the Garden. The pattern is available on my website, Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs. I just love the chubby bunnies. In fact, people always refer to this one as “the bunny quilt.”

Over at Quilt Puppy, I like to run some sort of special each month. For Leap Year February, I’ve got a really fantastic one! Save 20% on the bunny quilt pattern, and in fact, your entire purchase! That’s right, through February 29, 2008, everything is 20% off, and the savings are calculated right in the shopping cart.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day too!

Until next time,
Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs