Tag Archives: applique

Video Review of Inspired by Tradition – New Applique Book by Kay Mackenzie

Welcome quilters to Day One of Kay Mackenzie’s blog tour for her newest book, Inspired by Tradition:  50 Applique Blocks in 5 Sizes.  If you’re new here, allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Maria Peagler, author of the Benjamin Franklin award-winning book Color Mastery:  10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts.  I’m a workshop instructor and I’m thrilled to have a book like Inspired by Tradition for my students.

Watch my video review of Kay’s newest title, then read on for how you can win you very own copy.

Want to learn more?  Check out all 50 blocks at Inspired by Tradition’s Amazon page.  Check back daily at Kay’s page from March 23 – March 31 to see who will be hosting Kay on their blog.

Want to win your own copy?  Just spread the word about Kay’s new book, by sharing this page with your friends, sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or sending an email to your guild’s Program Chairperson or Newsletter Editor.  I make it really easy:  simply click on any of the icons at the top or bottom of this post to share on your favorite social network or via email.  Then tell me here in the comments how you shared, and you’ll be entered to win.  Check back tomorrow when I’ll announce the lucky winner.

Orange: September’s Color of the Month

Orange is a bit of a conundrum:  it harkens fall like no other color, yet quilters have a love/hate relationship with it.  More than any other, orange is the most challenging and disliked of all colors when I survey my workshop students.  However, those quilters who love orange do so with an unwavering commitment to it and find a way to use it in almost every quilt they make.

So here’s something for quilters on both sides of the orange fence:  if you have a passion for orange, you’re really going to enjoy this month’s show, which features stunning and innovative uses of it in quilt projects both large and small.  If orange is not your favorite and you tend to stay away from it, you’ll be surprised by what you see:  one of the quilters in the show felt the same way and unexpectedly found herself relying on it for her designs.

Get advice from the pros and see their quilt designs and fabrics using orange.  This month I host Edyta Sitar, Betty Alofs, Pat Sloan, Sarah Whitney, Geri Richardson, Faith Wellman, and Laura Berringer of Marcus Fabrics.  To view the show in Full Screen mode or to embed this slideshow in your blog, just click the Menu link.  Remember to support these wonderfully creative designers by asking for their patterns and fabrics in your local quilt shops!

Autumn Antlers Table Runner

Creative Quilters, I’d like to introduce you to Autumn Antlers, the September edition of our year-long color-of-the-month enhanced e-pattern series:

September’s featured color is orange, a perennial challenge for most quilters.  Orange, more than any other color, pops up as quilters’ least favorite color in my workshops.  Well, no more.  I show you, in Autumn Antlers, how to work with orange and make it one of your favorite colors in your quilt’s color palette.

Orange is one of the brightest colors in the quilt shop, and many only think of it for halloween, pumpkins, and garish college football team colors.  That’s about to change, because I give you artist’s tips on how to work with a challenging color and make it your own.  Eric Carle, author and illustrator of gorgeous children’s books, did this with colors he didn’t like, and they became his favorites.  Orange can become one of yours too.  Trust me.

Autumn Antlers design is fun, funky, and sophisticated, and evokes fall without limiting its place on your table to only the fall months.  This runner would be welcome in any season, any month, in any home.  Timeless design, innovative color, all in one stunning runner.

Autumn Antlers Pattern Update:  $5.95 (delivered early and automatically to pattern series subscribers – keep reading!)  Add to Cart

If you can’t get to the quilt shop to select your own fabrics, no worries.  I’m offering an Autumn Antlers kit as well.  It’s best to choose your own fabrics for your color palettes, but we all have those times when life gets too busy and we just can’t get to it.  I’d rather you be able to do the lesson with a kit than not at all.

Autumn Antlers Kit: $21.95 Add to Cart

Learn by Doing

In addition to learning how to coordinate a fresh autumn color palette, you’ll also discover how to:

  • cut and place applique motifs
  • learn the best stitches to use for machine applique, including optimal stitch length and width
  • improve your machine applique skills by watching two step-by-step videos (COM Subscribers only)
  • quilt a freemotion flame design to harmonize with the antler design

So not only do you get a sophisticated and new original design, you update your skills as well.

Last Opportunity to Subscribe and Buy Patterns

September is the last month you can buy a Color-of-the-Month subscription or individual patterns.  Why?  Because these beauties will be offered in a book, along with a bed quilt using the monthly blocks, that will be available in 2011.  I’ll still be sharing the monthly table runner projects for the rest of the year, but they won’t be available for purchase:  you’ll have to wait for the book!

To order the Color Mastery Table Runners enhanced e-pattern. click here: I Want to Master Color

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!

Kits Are Here! Kits Are Here!

I’m thrilled to announce I’m offering kits to go along with each monthly table runner in the Color of the Month series.  The Winter Bird and Love Apple kits are available in the online store, and they contain the same fabrics I used in my own quilt, with a few substitutions.  No worries, though, as you’ll love the other fabrics as much or even more than the ones I used.  I had so much fun putting together these fabrics and kits.

What I love about these kits is they allow you to play with color and value and still achieve great results in your project – just without the cutting.  In a perfect world, we would all choose our own fabrics, cut them, and piece our own table runner.  Then life happens.  Work gets crazy.  The kids get sick.  Church commitments call.  Before you know it, the month is gone and you’ve haven’t been able to get to any piecing or quilting.  Think of these as a back-up plan or a sweet treat for yourself.

Pink: February’s Color-of-the-Month

In the month of hearts, roses, and valentines, pink is a natural for February. Being the only woman in my home, I enjoy touches of pink here and there, so I had a blast putting together this month’s show. Nine terrific designers and fabric companies offer their tips for using pink in a palette, and don’t miss how you can win a ginormous fabric bundle valued at over $60!  (If the text is too tiny in the presentation, click on the Full icon at the bottom to view it Full Screen.)

This is my 250th blog post and I’m celebrating with a big giveaway! I’m giving away this stunning Robert Kaufman pink fat quarter bundle when my blog reaches 150 subscribers.  So, if you haven’t subscribed already, do it now by clicking on the Subscribe buttons in the “Don’t Miss Out – Subscribe to My Blog” section of my sidebar.  When I reach 150, I’ll be giving this away to one lucky subscriber.  Ready?  Subscribe!

New Season, New Look

Easter Egg Cake

What is it about spring that makes me want to throw open the windows and swap out the winter pillows and fabrics for brighter, more light colors?  Same goes for the blog.  I’ve photographed a new header image and am trying a new WordPress theme that’s easier on the eyes.  Larger fonts, wider sidebars.  I do so much reading online now (our daily newspaper no longer delivers to our county) that I appreciate any site that gives my eyes a break.

Let’s catch up, shall we?

Girls Lunch.  Had lunch last week in Dahlonega with Jean (JeanAnnQuilts at Twitter) and her friend Julie.  We shopped at Magical Threads, savored the Tomato Bisque at Crossroads Cafe, and chatted about quilting, market, writing, and teaching.

Georgia Book Tour.  The shop owners are so excited and promoting it to their customers.  Savannah’s shop, Colonial Quilts, told three television stations and their daily newspaper!  I’m gathering the last minute details, the family is preparing to be without mom for a while.

Kay’s Book-A-Round.  Still blogging across the U.S.  Great posts and a variety of perspectives.

Easter.  Time to rejoice, reflect, and be so grateful for all the things that are important that don’t show up in the daily newspaper.

Book Swap.  Just discovered Paperbackswap.com and Bookmooch.com through my friend Malissa.  I sent three books out yesterday and I’m getting The Thirteenth Tale, hopefully in time for our Spring Break.

Facebook.  Yes, I’ve cautiously joined Facebook.  My sister uses it a lot and I decided to finally plunge in after some friends decided it was the best way to post updates of their son’s journey across the Appalachian Trail.  I’ve actually avoided Facebook for a long time, but my goal is not to get entirely sucked in.

Twitter.  I love this tool.  If you’re not using it, you really should be.  I can keep up with other quilters, UGA coach Mark Richt, NPR’s weekend anchor Scott Simon, and other really interesting people.  I’m Colormaster.  Follow me!

Birthdays.  Happy Birthday to my good friend Pat.  We share a love of family, friendship, quilting, and gardening.  Pat just got a longarm quilting machine and has returned from classes ready to take on big quilts!

Committees.  PTO.  Church.  PAC.  School.  Guild.  Yikes!  Too many meetings, too little time.  May be time to cut back.

Soon it’ll be carpool time for school, and life as author/publisher today will be done, and I’ll be mom and wife for the rest.  It’s a lovely mix, isn’t it?

Easy Applique Blocks Book Launch Party

Welcome to the launch party for Kay Mackenzie’s terrific new book, Easy Applique Blocks: 50 Designs in 5 Sizes from Martingale & Company / That Patchwork Place!

Easy Applique Blocks: 50 Designs in 5 Sizes

I’m pleased to host Kay here at Quilts and Creativity, and to be the first stop on her Book-A-Round blog tour. You’ll get to meet Kay, hear the first-hand dish on her new book on appliqué, enjoy quiltini cocktails and tasty treats (recipes follow), and everyone gets a gift from Kay and a chance to win a copy of Easy Applique Blocks. Wow – what a party!

Let’s Meet Kay

kay-mackenzie-2008.gif

Kay Mackenzie and I first met through our mutual friend and photographer, Gregory Case (The Photo Man for The Quilt Show). He introduced us and then we ran into each other at 2008 Spring Quilt Market twice!

Maria: Kay, please tell us a little about yourself, what drew you to appliqué, and your previous authoring/publishing work.

Kay: I grew up in North Carolina, went to school in Colorado, then lived in Los Angeles for a number of years. During all that time I had not one stitch of quilting heritage. I started in a beginning quilting class about 17 years ago after I got married and we were living in central Ohio. When I told my instructor that I enjoyed the Dresden Plate the most out of all the blocks in the sampler, she told me, “You just might be an appliqué person.” I still wonder whether that observation shaped my destiny, because it turned out to be so true!

A peculiar combination of interests in my strange brain led me to become an appliqué designer and a publisher of books for quilters… quilting, computer illustration, writing, editing, typography, and page layout all combined!

My company is Quilt Puppy Publications & Designs with six titles in print. Up until now my most famous books have been Teapots to Appliqué (now out of print) and Teapots 2 to Appliqué. Quilter love teapots (of course I had to put a couple of them in Easy Appliqué Blocks too).

You might ask, who’s the Quilt Puppy? He’s Willie, my little papillon dog! He’s been my boon companion in the sewing room for 14 years now.

doginbox.gif

Willie thinks that boxes of scraps are very comfy.

Ever since I started designing and publishing, I had it as a goal to be traditionally published also. I’m so very excited that my flip-side goal has come true with Easy Appliqué Blocks!

Maria: What I love about your new book is it gives quilters an EZ Button for applique. So many of my friends and students are hesitant to try the “A” word (as they like to call appliqué), and you’ve given them a no-excuses guide. You offer 50 designs for people who don’t feel confident about drawing their own, each design is in 5 sizes so you don’t have to enlarge or reduce, and you even offer different methods for applique, understanding that no one method works for everyone.

Kay: I love that! An EZ button! It’s so true! Easy Appliqué Blocks has a whole library of fresh new appliqué block designs, easy to sew, in a variety of styles ranging from traditional-looking to modern, fun, and whimsical. Something for everyone.

Appliqué fans can use their own favorite method, or learn about a new one, because the book includes detailed, illustrated instructions for three kinds of appliqué. For hand stitchers, there’s freezer-paper-on-top and back-basting (aka no-template) preparation, plus information on hand-stitching smooth curves, pointy points, and sharp notches. There’s also an overview of raw-edge fusible machine appliqué.

The bonus CD makes it a breeze! It works with PC or Mac. No more more trips to the copy shop, figuring of percentages, distortion, crooked enlarging, or tracing reversed patterns. The patterns print out ‘like butter.’ Stick the CD into your computer and print out the blocks you’ve chosen in the size you want, from 6″ up to 12″. Larger sizes will automatically print in sections that will tape back together perfectly. Reversed versions are also included.

Maria: What do you find is the biggest obstacle quilters have with applique, and how have you addressed it with your book?

Kay: Yes, the infamous “A” word thing :). I think the biggest obstacle that quilters have with appliqué is when they haven’t been shown the little things that can make a big difference. They spend a lot of time on their appliqué but aren’t happy with the results. That can lead to frustration. In this new book, I share every single thing I know about appliqué, with lots of details and illustrations that will help with smooth curves, pointy points, and sharp notches.

The second biggest obstacle is thinking they need to appliqué a certain way, or that one way is better than another. If they prefer handwork, good! If they’d rather appliqué by machine, also good! It’s all good.

Maria: How is Easy Appliqué Blocks different from other applique books?

Kay: It’s like a block library or resource center for appliqué fans. The variety of designs is right there at their fingertips whenever they need one block or many. I can’t wait to see quilters unleash their creativity and go to town with the blocks! Besides the 50 blocks, the instructions for three kinds of appliqué are great… I’m especially excited about the section on back-basting, because I think that method has been flying along under the radar. And, the bonus CD is such an added value. It was my concept and I’m so happy that Martingale went with it. They did a fantastic job.

Party Refreshments

Quiltini Cocktail

  • martini glass
  • Ocean Spray cranberry cocktail juice
  • Lemon-lime soda or club soda

Mix half cranberry cocktail juice with half lemon-lime or club soda. Stir. Enjoy.

Cheese Puffs

Crispy/airy/chewy, delicious and savory bites of flavor!

  • 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (if you like spicy, use 1/2 tsp.)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, not sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Grate cheese. (For best results, do not use pre-grated cheese.) Cream cheese together with butter. Mix dry ingredients together and add in 3 parts to cheese mixture. Roll into little marbles and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 12 minutes at 350 degrees. They should not get too brown. Cool slightly on cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Brownie Pizza

  • 1 package devil’s food cake mix w/pudding
  • 5 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12-round pizza pan with vegetable oil. Place cake mix, melted butter, milk, egg, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop, scrape down the sides, and beat 1-2 minutes more on medium speed. Pour brownie batter into pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Immediately top with chocolate chips, walnuts, and any other delicious toppings you desire.

What’s a Party without Gifts?

Kay is offering everyone at the party this gift: a downloadable Table of Contents plus the Introduction and How to Use the CD. You get the first look at Kay’s great new book! Here’s the link:


Easy Applique Blocks Table of Contents/Introduction/How to Use The CD

Win a Copy of Easy Appliqué Blocks

Kay is giving away an autographed copy of her brand new book to one lucky winner here at Quilts and Creativity. You must comment today by 6:30 p.m. EST to win, and I’ll select the winner at 7:00p.m. Leave a comment telling Kay what sounds most interesting about her book, and the name of your local quilt guild. Good luck!

Host your own Easy Appliqué Blocks party at your quilt guild or bee: members bring a completed block from the book, serve the quiltinis, cheese puffs, and brownie pizza, put all the blocks together in a top, and draw names for the winner! What a fun girls’ nite out!

Here’s where to find the book: Ask for Easy Appliqué Blocks at your favorite quilt shop. It’s also available from the Martingale website, Amazon, and Kay’s website.

Kay: Thank you so much Maria for throwing a terrific party! Readers, thanks for coming along on this first stop in the Book-A-Round. There are 9 more stops to go, so start off at All About Appliqué through April 5 and I’ll shoot you off through the blogosphere to the next location. See you there!

Maria: Thanks Kay for stopping by and joining us. Wishing you and your readers much fun and success with appliqué in Easy Appliqué Blocks: 50 Designs in 5 Sizes.

Teapots 2 Applique – Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway

Today’s gift is the beautiful book Teapots 2 Applique by Kay Mackenzie of Quilt Puppy Publications.  Kay has written an entire line of applique books, each centered around a different theme. Teapots 2 to Appliqué includes 16 creative teapots to appliqué using your favorite method.  Includes a sampler quilt pattern if you’d like to show off your whole collection of teapots.

Kay specializes in and includes instructions for back-basting (aka no-template) hand appliqué. However, as Kay says in the introduction, “Whether your style is raw-edge, prepared-edge, or needle-turn, fusing or stitching, by hand or machine — pick your favorite teapots and have fun! Make one or many, small or large. Turn them, group them, set a tea table with them. The quilts you make will celebrate your own style and personality.”

You can design your own teapot-themed wall quilts, table runners, placemats, tea towels or garments. The designs are a terrific way jump start to your creativity! No two projects will be alike as you search for that perfect fabric to represent a beautiful china pattern.

And the winner of yesterday’s Creative Grid 16.5″ ruler?  Martha B. come on down!  You’re the big winner!  Send your mailing address to me at maria [at] colormastery [dot] com.  Congratulations!