Saturday, May 21, 2011

Building a McKenna Ryan Block

As a child I loved tracing, paper dolls, and Colorforms. Remember Colorforms? Vinyl shapes you could stick on the black page and restick over and over. I think of all these childhood activities when I am working on a McKenna Ryan quilt. The quilt I have just started working on is McKenna Ryan's Home Tweet Home.
I have done all the tracing and cutting out of the applique shapes and now I am ready to start building the block. I work with a light box and an applique pressing sheet, building the different components of the block on the presser sheet. McKenna Ryan art quilts are very detailed with many tiny shapes. The tweezers come in handy.

Once I have the individual components of the block assembled I can press them with a hot iron, fusing the applique parts together. Because it is still on the applique pressing sheet I can pick up the whole component, in this case the bird, and add it to the rest of the block.

The one notion that makes these quilts work is Steam A Seam 2. This applique paper is sticky on both sides and allows for repositioning the individual pieces, and from that the colorform memory.

A few glass beads for embellishment (which have a rather eerie glow in this photo) and this block is completed.

Happy Stitching,



  1. Amazing! What a detailed and beautiful block!!

  2. WOW beautiful Cheri!! There is so much detail in this block. I love the Gold Finches, they are my favorite bird :0) I have a fish block of her's that I keep meaning to do for my fishing nut son....someday.


  3. I love your birdhouses! All those details, and such lovely colours! And your way of applique is fascinating.

  4. I like the steam a seam when I do machine applique. The goldfinch is so sweet.