December 28, 2011

First of all, thank you so much to everyone who responded with warm enthusiasm for my foster kitten stories. There’s a followup… but I’ll save that for later.

Several of the projects that appear in my book A Merry Little Christmas to Appliqué are on loan to my pal Debby at the Quilter’s Faire in Palm Desert, California.

When a traveling quilt-show vendor specializing in Christmas expressed an interest in carrying the book, I thought I’d make another version of the project that’s the most popular one… Plum Pudding!

The original.

The original.

It was loads of fun rummaging for the fabrics, and also a little scary. It’s been awhile now since the book came out, but in the scrap bag I found a few leftover squares of the original fabrics used for the patched background! I also had enough of the red sashing and all three fabrics that were used for the puddings!

In my files, I even found the original pattern and tracing-paper overlay! Since the pattern is blown up 200%, this saved me a step. That’s why I keep stuff. You never know.


Once I’d pulled all the fabrics, I started thinking about the great expanse of white that makes up the ‘hard sauce’ part of the pattern. It would be covering a weensy bit of the brown, and also the patched background, and I didn’t want those to shadow through.

Usually, for machine appliqué I would use a double layer to create a light-over-dark motif by first fusing two layers of fabric together and then using that composed fabric to create the motif. This time, the area was so large, and I didn’t want the stiffness from the extra fusible. I thought I’d try something new.

I started out by making two motifs just the same, both with the inside of the fusible web cut out.





I removed the paper backing from both, placed one on top of the other on a nontick appliqué pressing sheet, and tacked them together with a hot iron.


If there are are inconsistencies in the two shapes, just use your scissors and trim them to match.

A little haircut needed here.

A little haircut needed here.

All trimmed and tidy.

All trimmed and tidy.

Now the motif is double-layer and with no fusible web in the middle to make it stiff! Try it! It worked for me.

Stitched block.

Stitched block.

Finished project: Plum Pudding 2

Finished project: Plum Pudding 2

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie


7 Responses to “What I did over Christmas vacation”

  1. Debbie St.Germain on December 28th, 2011 8:02 pm

    I am sorry to hear about Willie, all those cute kitties had me so distracted, I didn’t even see that:(

    Love your applique methods, I am just too lazy to be perfect, lol. I started back on my wool quilt tonight, too many distractions lately, so trying to get back into a routine.


  2. liegewelsch on December 31st, 2011 10:42 am

    Excelente idéia!!!
    Vou experimentar quando for nescessario!!!
    Excelente 2012 para você e obrigado pelas suas aulas de apliqué!!!!

  3. Sally on January 1st, 2012 10:33 am

    Cool idea. Lovely project.

  4. Quiltmaker’s Countdown to Christmas, Day 2 | Quilty Pleasures Blog on December 3rd, 2012 11:03 pm

    […] using this great tip from applique expert Kay Mackenzie. In this tutorial, she’ll teach you how to handle white fabric so that darker fabrics don’t show through. Kay Mackenzie's Plum […]

  5. Jamie Todhunter on December 3rd, 2012 11:57 pm

    I enjoyed reading your tip today. What a simple solution to keeping your white pieces clean and not too stiff.

  6. Chestnuts roasting etc. : All About Applique on December 3rd, 2015 11:00 am

    […] And here’s a photo tutorial of how I handled a large piece of white appliquéd over other fabrics, without shadow-through. The hard sauce on the Plum Pudding! […]

  7. Linda on December 4th, 2015 5:59 pm

    Thank you Kay! I love receiving your updates and helpful tips. Your encouragement is needed!!