Inside points, notches, whatever you call ’em, hand appliquér extraordinaire Susan Taylor Propst has posted an illustrated tutorial to stitching these potentially pesky areas, over on the Martingale blog.

And, my pal Cathy put up a post on machine quilting that is hilarious and inspired, with a touch of genius, and at once bittersweet if you are a Trekker or even an MI fan.

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie

Cathy Perlmutter is my special friend that I visit with whenever I’m in her area for a quilt show. She writes the fabulous blog Gefiltequilt about her wondrously creative projects. When I took a look at this month’s featured book, I knew that it was right up Cathy’s alley. Yay, she agreed to write a guest post!!

Take it away, Cathy!

How lucky am I that Kay Mackenzie loaned me a copy of Cheryl Lynch’s new book, Sew Embellished! Artistic Little Quilts, Personalized with Easy Techniques, published by Martingale in 2012.

This book is a delight, and packed with useful information. For everyone who would like to start embellishing, or be inspired by new ideas, this book is a must-have.

The book starts out as an embellishment encyclopedia. Cheryl shows how to attach a wide variety of beads, buttons, and miscellaneous hardware – anything, as she says, that has a hole in it. She shows how she uses trims as whimsical border treatments. There’s an explanation of how to make custom buttons and beads from polymer clay. She takes us through a wide variety of threads and yarns, and graphs the main embroidery stitches that quilters need.

Cheryl also offers a variety of ways to add words–whether applique, computer printing, embroidery, polymer clay plates, and more. She has a lot of really interesting binding and edging techniques, including folded shapes.

All that alone would be worth the price of admission, but we’re not even halfway through the book yet! Cheryl’s projects, which involve both piecing and applique, celebrate family, pets, nature and love. She turns unfinished blocks into works of art. My favorite are her brooches with shrink-plastic photos stitched on; a stunning appliqued “tranquility tree”, and her accordion-fold heart & home standing book.

I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning embellishment techniques or acquiring more; and who would like a reference and inspiration for personalized and unique art quilt gifts. I am buying myself a copy. It is a keeper that I will refer to again and again!

Kay here… thank you Cathy! Cathy has to get her own copy because we’re giving this one away! If you’d like to enter the drawing, please leave a comment before 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday, April 7.

It is with a sorrowful sigh that I must say that these drawings are now open to U.S. mailing addresses only. I found out with a shock that one of the changes in our recent USPS postal rate increase is that the cost to Canada has more than tripled. Apologies to my quilting neighbors to the north. :(.

Many thanks for reading All About Appliqué,
Kay and Cathy

When Cathy says so, I pay attention. Go on over to Cathy Perlmutter’s blog GefilteQuilt to see which new book has received this hugely important title! And you’ll have a chance to win a copy!


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

For years I’ve been encouraging my wonderful friend Cathy Perlmutter, author of The Uncommon Yarmulke, to think about blogging. She’s a quilter, she’s a writer, and she’s funnier than all get-out. At long last her new blog is up and running! It’s not all that often that we get to follow a blog from its infancy, so I urge you to go see GefilteQuilt: a mish-mosh.

Start from the first post and catch up to the present. Cathy’s projects are wildly creative, vibrant, and (as you might tell from the title) eclectic. Her stories and generally the things that come out of her brains are humorous and easy to identify with.

Hope you enjoy GefilteQuilt as much as I do.

By Kay Mackenzie

Full Disclosure Statement:

Cathy Perlmutter and I became fast friends a number of years ago over a bunch of commonalities that we just kept discovering: we’re both quilters, both writers, both working on illustrating, writing, and laying out books, both have scientists for husbands, both have papillon dogs (Wuli and Willie), and we both know the words to Tzena Tsena Tzena. (Okay, so Cathy’s Jewish and I’m of just about Puritan stock, but I did go to Israeli folk dance camp as a teenager and some things just stay with you.) When Cathy and I get together in person we’re like old shoes.

uncommon-yarmulkeCathy’s book is now out, and I have to say that my heart has been stolen away.
The Uncommon Yarmulke: Easy, Fun, and Spiritually-Loaded Little Jewish Hats is the most extraordinary book, and I’m not just saying that because she’s my friend. This is a gem.

Not only will you learn every single thing there is to know about making four-panel or six-panel yarmulkes from any kind of fabric there is, you will laugh out loud at Cathy’s excellent and completely thorough instructions filtered through her sense of humor. The section on fussy-cutting fabrics includes advice on how to avoid partial kittens, 4 ¾ Commandments, etc. She did regret slicing off the tails of some endangered manatees, “as if they hadn’t suffered enough.”

You needn’t be Jewish to appreciate this book. If you know anybody who would appreciate a personalized yarmulke, you would be doing such a mitzvah to sew them a kippah from a fabric that’s meaningful for them!

Besides that, the book contains a lot of valuable information about fabrics, templates, cutting, sewing, binding, and embellishment that any sewing enthusiast could benefit from. Or for that matter anybody who can thread a sewing machine, that’s how complete and thorough the information is, plus Cathy’s plentiful illustrations are out of this world. And, I learned some really interesting things about Judaism and Jewish culture along the way.

Cathy made a ‘barkmulke’ for Wuli, so of course I had to make one for Willie.


The hat's okay but did I really have to wake up out of a nap for this?

The hat's okay but did I really have to wake up out of a nap for this?

I also wanted to make an appliquéd and quilted kippah, so I made this one for Cathy, to show that I consider her a sewing star!


I used an idea that I’ve been playing with for a future project… magnets! I had these tiny spools that I picked up somewhere over the years, I had super-strong magnets, and I had a roll of sticky-backed magnetic tape. A super-strong magnet on either side of the hat and a little bit of sticky-backed magnetic tape applied to the spool and voila!



The hats are reversible, giving the maker another opportunity to carry out the theme. The magnetic hood ornament is easy to switch from side to side!


I had a ball making these. The Uncommon Yarmulke is available at Cathy’s website,

By Kay Mackenzie