Girls’ Day Applique!

My buddy and applique guru Kay Mackenzie (Easy Appliqué Blocks)  has a brand new book out called Dolls & Dress to Appliqué and it’s just perfect for the mom, grandmom, or woman wanting to play with fabric paper dolls!  Here’s my exclusive interview with Kay about her newest offering:

Q: What was your inspiration for Dolls & Dresses to Applique?

A: The original idea was ‘Paper Dolls to Appliqué.’ But when I drew them with their hands and feet out into the seam allowances so that they would connect up when the blocks were sewn together, I was not a fan of the look, so it became just Dolls. Then, I had so much fun thinking about the fabrics for the dresses, it evolved into Dolls & Dresses to Appliqué.

Q: What fabrics do you recommend for the doll faces?  For their dresses?  What should we look for?

A: I ordered the Complexion Medley from Keepsake Quilting, but I think it’s discontinued now. You can use any solid or near-solid that looks like skin-tone to you. Or hey, maybe you can find freckle fabric! For the dresses, whatever looks good to you and represents the flavor you’re going for! One thing to think about is scale.

Q: What advice do you have for quilters who are still a bit intimidated by appliqué?

A: I would say, find your method. There are a gazillion ways to appliqué and they’re all good. Some prefer to work by hand, others like machine sewing. Some want a prepared edge, others have no issue with turning the edge as they go. Some are glue or starch gals, some like freezer paper templates, I could go on and on. Just find the method that works for you and gives you satisfaction in your results. Don’t think you have to do it a certain way. There’s lots of information about appliqué, all kinds, on my blog All About Appliqué. There are photo tutorials and links to other sites that have tutorials too. Just investigate the Categories and enjoy!

Q: What was the most fun part of developing this project?

A: Choosing the dress fabrics and the embellishments. I used the embellishments with restraint but I have a tub full of ribbons and beads and buttons and flowers and lace and rosettes and bows… it was so much fun rummaging through that stash to fund just the right touch! Including a little dog that is a 3-dimensional scrapbooking sticker.

Q: Did you ever do paper dolls as a young girl?

A: That’s funny. Not so much! I ran around the neighborhood in dungarees, went fishing, and rode the horse for miles through the countryside. I did a blog post about the dichotomy of the tub o’ doodads and my tomboy childhood.  Now I love floral fabrics and the shabby chic look.

Q: I just created some paper dolls with the kids in the Sunday School class I teach.  One little girl wanted to do paper dogs, and asked me to draw them:  that was a challenge!

A: Now that’s a cool little girl. I’m a total dog person.

Q: Have you thought of combining your teapots (in Kay’s books Teapots to Appliqué and Teapots 2 to Appliqué) and your dolls for the ultimate little girl tea party quilt?

A:  What a great idea! Synergy! A friend of mine, Kim Jamieson-Hirst, already combined one of the dolls with a dog design from my book Easy Appliqué Blocks into a Wizard of Oz project. I love it!

Thanks Kay for stopping by and chatting about such a fun appliqué book that’s bursting with possibilities!  You can win your own copy of Dolls & Dresses to Applique!  Just leave a comment here and I’ll choose the winner on Friday.  Good luck!

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