Pieces of Flora: A Visit with Kay Mackenzie

Today we’re excited to welcome designer Kay Mackenzie as a guest blogger on Quilty Pleasures! Kay is going to tell us about the inspiration for her Pieces of Flora appliqué quilt that is patterned in our Quilts From Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Spring ’17 special issue.

Hi everyone! I’m Kay Mackenzie, a designer and author in Santa Cruz, California. My website is By Kay Mackenzie, which has all of my books and patterns on it, plus select notions for the appliqué enthusiast. I also have a site dedicated to appliqué, all kinds. You’ll find a wealth of information at All About Appliqué, so take your time clicking around the categories, and use the keyword search as well.

For awhile now I’ve been making pieced fabric compositions and then cutting appliqués out of them. It gives appliqué an extra twinkle, and uses up scraps… win/win!

Pieces of Flora came from my block Make Beleaf in Volume 13 of 100 Blocks.

km image1 Pieces of Flora: A Visit with Kay Mackenzie

Make Beleaf block

The design was inspired by the famous and beloved quilt by Susan McCord, Trailing Vines, which is in The Henry Ford Museum. Here’s a closeup of her fantastical leaves (photo courtesy of the museum). I have passionately loved and admired the inclusion of red and blue.

trailing vines Pieces of Flora: A Visit with Kay Mackenzie

Trailing Vines | The Henry Ford

I sewed together strip sets and then cut the leaves out of them. Of course you can use all sorts of different colors, solids or prints, and the leaves can be used in a million different ways.

For the wall hanging design in Quilts From 100 Blocks, I filled in the negative space with additional gently curving branches, and added simple borders to make the flora the star. Tricia Patterson did a fabulous job making the quilt! And how did she know… I love scrappy bindings!

flora quilt Pieces of Flora: A Visit with Kay Mackenzie

Pieces of Flora quilt

I hope you enjoy making our own version of Pieces of Flora. It will look great on your wall and remind you of the many colors of nature all year long.

kay mackenzie Pieces of Flora: A Visit with Kay Mackenzie

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Thank you for joining us today, Kay!

If you’d like to make Pieces of Flora and don’t have a copy of our Quilts From Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Spring ’17 issue, print and digital copies are available in our online store. 

digital pattern is also available for Pieces of Flora.

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