What I Did on My 5 Days Off!


Acckk.. I wouldn’t have to hear the bang, bang, beep , beep, beep(equipment going backwards. Don’t they EVER go forward?), the LOUD (and sometimes quite vulgar)talking and noise (they call it rap), and the smells (toxic paint products, instant headache, asphalt). For 32 years we have enjoyed an empty field on one whole side of our property. Well, not anymore. Of course the home being built “feels” like it is right on our property line, but it is very large. I needed to get away! NOW!

With the shutdowns here in CA we ventured to our favorite place (that’s only 2 hours away), Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada side. Nevada has lifted or at least really softened their restrictions. O.K. enough of all that, let’s go relax.

Our first full day, we drove up to Sand Harbor ( the most pristine and building free shoreline is the entire Eastern shore which is all in Nevada) and walked the new trail that stretches from Sand Harbor, 3 miles to Incline Village.
I am not faking the color of the water! I take all my pictures now on my “Google Pixel” phone. Best camera on the market right now.
This trail is wide and mostly level. We saw bicycles, people jogging, walking, and of course lots of “puppskies!” It was a doggie fashion show. We lost track of the different breeds. Wish we could have brought Mr. Riley. Believe me, he was “Living the life of Riley” at doggie day/night care. BUT, we have plans to do a day trip back to this trail (before the snow starts to fly) so we can show off our dog too.
Every vista is a treasure.
There is a spot on the trail that goes under the highway and goes up and up so the vistas become higher and broader.
A gust of wind across the water adds sparkling diamonds to the view.
All to soon the trail was reaching its end with the docks coming into view (this is the beginning of Incline Village). 3 miles one way. But WAIT. It’s all good because we just turned around and saw new vistas as we made our way back to Sand Harbor. 2 hours it took us to walk almost 6 miles. There were many many stops along the way.
Look closely. That’s my husband on board “The Professor.” And Captain Andy is at the helm. Robert’s going fishing! They are zipping along to find the Minnow traps that Andrew uses for bait. Live bait to a depth of 200+ feet. Robert texted me later that he caught the first fish. It was his only fish. 18″+ and a Mackinaw (native to Lake Tahoe). Captain Andy said the deep water fish and the clear water make for very tasty fish. There were a total of 5 people fishing + the captain.
After Robert went flying by the lower deck of our cabin I grabbed my “handwork” and went to the upstairs deck for some sunshine. First time EVER that I didn’t bring a machine of some type (sewing, felting, Serger,etc.). And not the usual 5 bags of paraphernalia to go with the machines. I brought one small bag of books/magazines and one bag of handwork projects. Perfect.
I almost took this scarf back to the Thriftshop (in a bag with other stuff to go to the TS). How boring I thought, it’s off white. J.Crew, super soft wool (no tag, but thinking baby Alpaca) and I like the crinkly look. Perfect for using some of my expensive threads that are ombre’ dyed. The running stitch was the “mindless” choice. And the crinkly fabric just adds to my wonky stitch work.
I am also using a tapestry needle for ease of going through the wool and the giant eye (for ease of threading). Ha, ha.
Check out this super old poster that hangs on the back of a door in our Cabin #8. Now scroll down one picture to see the same view today.
O.K. I really need to move to the right a bit. But if I did that I would be on a giant boulder that is now surrounded by shrubs and a couple of shorter deciduous trees and would I wouldn’t get the shot. Isn’t this a great Fall look? A couple of Aspens add the finishing touch.
On one of the 3+ walks a day. We’re on the dock at the private beach at Zephyr Point. Very few were braving the water (as in no one on this day). Brrrrr….
Can you even believe the color of this water? It’s about 8 feet deep and I took it on the other side of the same dock . There are only rocks and sand at the bottom.
Walking up “Robin’s flight.” Only a gazillion steps (or so it seems at 6,300ft.) Blue salvia? Maybe?
This one I know, California Poppy.
Project # 2. I wanted to make another pair of fingerless mitts(just like the ones I’m wearing). I chose yarn by Plymouth Yarns called, “Gina.” It is 100% wool. Lovely to work with. I chose to crochet (again, a mindless, project) using single crochet throughout. Ombre’ yarn is my favorite (ombre’ yarn in the mitts above (that yarn is by Noro). I guess it’s the lazy way to change colors. No make that the SMART way.
Awww….sitting outside on the deck with glorious weather and doing my mindless crocheting and listening to the gentle lapping of the water against the rocks.
It just doesn’t get any better than this. So happy, happy, happy. I will trust that you will have a chance to get away from it all even if it’s only a walk. Breathe deeply, the clean air, and take the time to count your blessings. Hugs, Heidi

I’m Working on an Online Class!


Hello everyone. What a dizzying time. I’m excited about creating a class for online distribution. It will be one that you will own forever and go back to again and again. I want it clear, concise, filled with pictures, and videos, and above all FUN! and easy to create yourself. This first class will be everything you need to know about re-creating a sweatshirt.

I want you to feel as if I am sitting with you as you work with all the information I’m giving you. But WOW this is harder than I thought. It will take time. I am hoping once I get one completed, making more classes will be so much easier. One can hope.

And then out of the BLUE, WordPress my provider for this blog, up and changed the ENTIRE format for my creating my own posts. I am so upset (I did yell at the monitor, like that helped), I’m not ready for a change, don’t want a change, but it appears I have no choice. So, here’s hoping this one will get to you intact (as in how I tried to set it up). Aaaarrrgggh..

I’m showing you two different sweatshirt recreations. Basic Gray is always a winner.
I love the back with a repurposed t-shirt and a bit of embroidery.
The front is a real mixture of things and I will talk about it all in the class and some do’s and don’ts.
I love polka dots and I like how this back looks. It’s from a cardigan sweater.
A small sampling of my work!
I’m taking deep breaths right now to calm down. Please enjoy my friend Judi’s absolutely exquisite Zinnias.
Stunning, just stunning and I don’t see mildew (mine always get it, not enough sun I guess). And these are the real deal. I don’t care for the miniatures. I want the old-fashioned BIG and TALL zinnias.
I love the addition of a little yard art to finish off the space.
This is one of my favorite shots at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point, Nevada side.

And hopefully I will see the balloons again starting next week for 5 days. When I come back I should be rested and ready to tackle this @#$%^& new and supposedly “improved” version of WordPress. Sigh…Until the next time, get some creativity going my friends. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

We’re Going on a Short Road Trip Today and then Talking “Zephyr Jacket” (using my Art to Wear Pattern).


Last Friday, my husband and I took Riley (he enjoys rides in the car)on a road trip to the Sierraville, Loyalton, and Vinton areas. These towns are about 25 miles north of the town of Truckee, California.

This is cattle country. The elevation is low 5,000’s. And HUGE meadow areas (miles and miles) with the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the edges. The soil is so sandy that it’s a wonder anything grows in it. But there are natural springs that meander all through these areas. The sky is so clear. No smoke.
Normally not my favorite type of scenery, but when one has only been to and from the grocery store for months and months, this is gorgeous. And look, a bull. And he is really, really BIG! And don’t forget, a beautiful, blue sky.
This is a scene played out on many outbuildings in these little towns. Giant, painted Quilt Blocks. The Downieville Quilt guild started this and instead of a “leaf peeping” tour, it’s the Quilt Block tour. I saw at least 3 more but did not have a chance to get good shots.
There were barns and sheds everywhere that were on their last “legs” so to speak. As one who values “Yard Art” and buildings with rustic finishes,I think that these would be fabulous. Hmm..  maybe next trip honey, we could stop and ask. KIDDING! Robert says I can give away but NOT bring more home.
Pretend this is a different quilt block even though it’s just a different view. The mountains waaay off in the distance have all burned. A year ago. 60,000 acres. The fire started at the town dump by lightening. The people working at the dump had a huge dozer and called the Forest service (state Forest service of the state of California) and said, “Hey, we can put this out in no time with our dozer.” The Forest service told them NOT to touch it! It was THEIR jurisdiction and that’s how the Great State of California operates on ohh, soo, many things. And that’s how a tiny fire ended up destroying 60,000 acres of beautiful land.
So many of these buildings are really old, early 1900’s.
All the scrubby stuff is mostly hay stubbles. The hay was harvested months ago. It is such a lovely golden color. Just once more, taking deep breaths of the beautiful, clear, air.
How about this one room school house at one time had 1st-12th grades in it. Now it is a library that services about a 100 mile radius and 5 or 6 little towns.
On the way back we stopped at this restaurant for lunch. It’s called Jax. Love this curved glass block. We had to sit outside (no inside seating). But we liked that because our dog Riley could join us along with a menagerie of other dogs and people.
This is an original dining car from the 40’s. Truckee was the busiest, largest town from the gold mining days (1850’s onward). All the trains stopped here. They came up from San Francisco over Donner Pass (elevation 7,239) and down into Truckee before moving on to Reno, Nevada.
Look at all the stainless steel and the ceiling.
So much is the original dining car.

I took this shot just as a freight train was comin’ through town. Many of the buildings are from the late 1800’s.

Let’s take a moment to appreciate my artichokes. YES I GREW THESE MYSELF! I have one plant. I had NO IDEA that one plant could grow so large. 6 total artichokes. They say you usually don’t get any artichokes the first year. BUT I DID! Haven’t tried them yet. The one at the top has black edges on it. It was just a tiny young thing when we had a week of high 90’s. So the tips were burned.
The fabric on the left is a Kaffe Fassett, called “Parasols.” The fabric on the right is a heavy rayon made into a long wrap skirt (yes a thrifting find). But look! Little parasols. It’s perfect.

Do you see my fingers on the left side? This fusible is fantastic! It does exactly what it says, “adds shape while maintaining drapability.” Yes, I have a bolt of it (I think they still make it) that is hmm…20 + years old. It is perfect for knits or wovens. And is never stiff. It adds just the right amount of drapability to this front collar.
The rich aqua green Tussah silk  long collar fronts are lined in the pretty black parasol rayon. Wear the collar pieces several ways.  This is a fun and fast to make jacket, perfect for cool Fall days. Dress it up or down. Buy this Art to Wear sewing pattern from me directly for the month of October and I will ship FREE. Zephyr Jacket has all sizes included XSm-4X. All instructions and tissue pattern pieces included for $15.00 U.S. I bill via Paypal. Contact me at my personal email—hmemmett@gmail.com

I had to show you this very “COOL TOOL” for those whose eyes aren’t as young as we’d like. But also, for working with dark threads at night. Mine is on the way. Thank you Patty P. for this idea. Also, works great over glasses.

Take care now, and have a pleasant (may the air be smoke free where you live!), creatively productive weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Part 4, “My Friends Are Golden!”


This is the last installment on my “Golden Friends.” We had the best time EVER! I have more recipes, more sewing and quilting thoughts….for another post.

Karenanne is on the left, me in the center, and Linda on the right. The Swift sisters from Portland, Oregon. We have already begun to plan our next get together.
Look at me! Please note my EXCITED countenance. I am making pasta for the very FIRST TIME!
Adding flour in their little piles to keep them from sticking together. Gosh, I sure look “wild-eyed” don’t I? I am just so excited to learn how to use a pasta machine. See those long yellowy pieces (they have really yellow yolks from the neighbors beautiful “range free” chicken’s eggs)? I did thatNext step is fettucini. It really is easy. Karenanne taught me. And you can freeze the dough, and it keeps and keeps in the fridge.
Karenanne made a beautiful sauce using my “Sun Sugar” (cherry types) tomatoes. Grated fresh parmesan cheese. Ohhhh, I’m in heaven. And served this time with a wine that I picked up at the Health Food Store. It’s true! The owner loves to buy cool wines when he sees them. I figure it’s good for us as it came from the health food store. There is resveratrol in it. And that IS good for us and it’s only found in red wine.   Isn’t the label terrific? Is that how you pick a wine?
I even like the design on the foil. Looking for ideas everywhere. A great fabric idea. Silver and black. Two colors only. This could work. Where is my sketch pad?
We went shopping at our local Ben Franklin store. They have lots of fabric. It was on sale. I was proud of myself. I took a picture first (so I could think about it) of the two pieces on the right. I was only going to get one of them. Guess which I chose.
Yep, the pinks and purples. The ombre’ with the little squares I think will be perfect for an OFF THE GRID VEST. What? You don’t know about it!

This is my OFF THE GRID VEST pattern. I can’t wait to show you what I have in mind with those fabrics from above. Karenanne helped me pick the “Grunge” by Moda.

Remember this picture?  Riley was in “LOVE” with Karenanne and Linda.
Yes, this was Riley two hours after they left. Sad. He was sooooo sad!
Where are they? Where are my treats? They gave me tummy rubs…….I’m so sad.

Check out one last special gift that I received from Karenanne and Linda. Yes, it is a beautiful walnut box and the Omnigrid (this size is my favorite) slides on and off to reveal a deep space to hold whatever you want. Am I not the luckiest person to have such great friends? I miss you two. We are keeping up with each other and our current projects. I will keep you posted. And of course there were more recipes. Look for the mouthwatering, BEST EVER baked chicken recipe soon. It will be perfect for fall.

Take care now. Let’s all get creative this weekend. We need to finish some projects, no wait, “We need to CLOSE a window!” as Linda would say. Hugs, Heidi

We’re On a Sewing Roll Now! My Friends Are Golden, Part 3!


I have something to say before I continue. Diane Ericson, needs our help. She lives right outside of Ashland, Oregon. Her home was reduced to ashes in one of the many fires up there. She got out with her sewing machine, computer and not much else. Diane is a Fiber Artist extraordinaire.  I have yet to take one of her classes/workshops (want to), but I like her patterns and stencils and own some of those. Here is a link to her go fund me page.  Every little bit would help. Diane lost her husband a year ago and now this. I can’t even begin to imagine this latest loss too.

We are moving along now. A sewing storm is letting loose at Heidi’s Open Studio with Karenanne and Linda, my dear friends from Portland, OR

I had to start with another view of Mom’s “Love” quilt withLove to my mom who is in the picture. She uses it every day during her afternoon rest.

Sue Spargo embroidery reigned for Linda and Karenanne at our handwork session one afternoon. Visit her shop here. Christine Barnes was our visitor for the afternoon. She brought some knitting with her for the day. Visit Christine’s fantastic site here.
Check out Karenanne’s FABULOUS! absolutely MEGA FABULOUS,  wall quilt that she made using a “Block a month” kit by Sue Spargo. My pictures are not good. I so wanted to get pictures, close ups of each block and the AMAZING embroidery in each one.
The colors are so crisp and clear in person.  Karenanne will send me more pictures and I will post them. There are 11 blocks in this wallhanging. Karenanne finished hers in 2 years. People! there are so many different, difficult stitches in each block. 2 years is SPEEDY in my opinion. Linda is working on block #9 of the same kit. She carries her blocks everywhere to grab a few minutes of embroidery time.  These girls have had so much “stuff” going on in their lives of late. That is one of the reasons for coming to “Heidi’s Open Studio.” And  coming so far along with their Sue Spargo projects is a testament to the saying “When the Going Gets Tough, the TOUGH get going!” Having ANY kind of handwork project right now is such a great idea. It’s a rest for your brain with all the other things going on in the world these days.
And then their is Heidi’s “handwork” project. It is as far from the “challenging” end (such as a Sue Spargo) as you can get. But it was fun and mindless and sometimes that’s all I can handle ha, ha.  I started my project by digging through my bag of yo-yo’s to somehow attach to the top below.
I liked the idea of a “double” tank top (kinda blah with the top portion hiding what was underneath). Just so you all know, I purchased this at a “REAL” store. This is what my son would say. I made all his shirts and shorts until 3rd grade. And we sprinkled in trips to the thrift shop. One day, in the third grade, he (I distinctly remember this as it was so sad to me) crossed his arms and boldly proclaimed, “Mom, I don’t want you to sew anything else for me to wear. I want to go to a “REAL” store.” And we did. It was the end of an era, but I looked at it as more time for “me” sewing ha, ha.
Taa daa! Finished and wearing in one afternoon!
I A close up of the handwork. I slit the front of the “lace” and peeled it back from nothing to a few inches (maybe 4) at the bottom.The lace part floats across the cute print underneath. I tacked the peeled back part down by hand. Then tacked down my little yo-yos all the way around each one on the lace only. I have been wearing it a bunch since finishing it.

Will you look at this! My dear friends have been using this wool pressing mat for a few years now, and brought me one.

How did I live without my new wool (it’s thick about over 1/2″) pressing mat? I have a very wide ironing board so it fits perfectly and I can just whisk it off if I need the regular surface. Pressing seams and the pain (sometimes from the steam) in my fingers isn’t as bad with the wool surface. It absorbs so much of the heat from the iron.

Of course if there is a problem with burned finger tips they gave me a set of thermal tips. How cool are these? Hm…I wonder if these would work on the BBQ when I have to use my fingers to reposition something. O.K. I’ll just keep using the Tongs. I’ll save these for sewing.
During our hand work afternoon my friends made and served us a wonderful nosh. You HAVE to make this. Make it exactly as stated and do serve it with what it says. Your mouth will thank you and for some reason, your mind will go back to the 60’s & 70’s. I think it is the Ritz crackers.

Grandma Knowlton’s Pimento Cheese Dip  by Karenanne & Linda P.S. It’s not their Grandma, it’s just the name from a recipe they found on paprikarecipes.com

1 1/2 cups packed grated extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese.

1 1/2  cups packed grated extra sharp white cheddar cheese.

1 cup mayonnaise

2 1/2 ounces Peppadew peppers or pimentos, drained and chopped

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


Mix ingredients together and serve with Ritz crackers and celery

Next week I’ll tell you about our little shopping trips, more fabulous food, and cool stuff in the final installment of “My Friends are Golden!”

Thanks so much for stopping by. Make it up, make it fun, and let’s close those windows (from last weeks post) ! Ha, ha. Hugs, Heidi





My Two Friends are Golden!


This was supposed to be the week of our 8th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Less than 24 hours after the decision was made for Jane, & Sandra, and me to postpone our retreat until next September,  two of my dear friends from Portland, Oregon (who always drive down for this event), called to boost my spirits and said to me, “we’ll figure something out, how about our own Open Studio?”

Fast forward to the last week of August. These same two friends, Linda and Karenanne, rolled into Grass Valley after 10 hours on the road. They were so excited to be back in the Grass Valley area for a whole week of sewing fun. Are you kidding! I was so happy to have them here too because over the years when they come down two days before the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, THEY COOK FOR ME AND MY HUSBAND! This time it’s many, many gourmet meals to come. They cook, I clean up. Works for me.

The set up was fast. First thing the next morning. We re-arranged as more machines were added. We had a couple of sergers and another sewing machine (mine) a better ironing set up and design walls to come.
The dining table was perfect for cutting out our projects. Open Studio via Heidi’s house, ready to go in under 1/2 hour.  Karenanne began her project immediately, a quilt for her step-daughter and son-in-law. They love everything to do with “Day of The Dead.”
A beautiful book by Tula Pink & Angela Walters from which Karenanne found her “Day of the Dead” project, skulls. It’s the project right in the middle (blues and grays) above.
Design wall up and being used. It’s flannel on a stand. 5’x5′. More about this later. The beautiful blue fabrics are discussed in last weeks post. Go here if you missed it.
Riley the “helper” dog checking out Karenanne’s progress on her sewing table set-up.
Karenanne & Linda were soooo smart. Before we even greeted each other upon their arrival, they had treats for Riley. It’s their first meet and greet with our dog and they knew just how to win him over. Riley is in love! His tail is wagging so fast it’s a blur.
There it is, My “Sweet Sixteen.” I purchased it used, 3 years ago.
Somewhere within the first 6 months I actually quilted this Terrific Tabard on the Sweet 16.
Trying it out, Sadly, I really had no idea what I was doing. I watched 2 short videos. How I managed to get this vest quilted is beyond me. What IS that “thunk, thunk, thunk,” sound? Acckk…Ohhh forget it! Yep, I walked away from it. It has been sitting for over 2 years until NOW!       I LOVE YOU LINDA! She told me on Sunday afternoon, that on Tuesday morning, right after breakfast, be prepared to sit with her and we WILL LEARN HOW TO USE THIS MACHINE! She had the perfect opportunity to see if she wanted one herself. O.K. I’ll do it as I dragged myself up the stairs.  Only 1 hour later, a bunch of videos, sample tests, checking the manual, and Linda was quilting a baby quilt she had put together ahead of time. WOW! I can do this! The “thunking” sound from before, gone! (thinking the needle was placed in the wrong direction).  I have a quilt sandwiched together and will quilt on my own after I get this blog post published.
Another project of mine, a baby quilt. After the 2nd time I blew it on piecing the backing to fit correctly ( I mean REALLY Heidi, you can’t piece the backing properly the first time?…sigh…) It was sort of folded, wadded, in the corner of this same room. “Heidi, let’s get this quilt finished so you can give it to the baby while she is still a toddler,” was Linda’s comment to me. I had actually thought that as long as she got it before college I would be o.k. with that. Ha, Ha. Linda calls finishing projects, “Closing Windows.” Her job at home is in technology (in a very BIG way. She is in charge of soft wear implementation in hospitals and clinics in western states with over 100 people working under her) She said she is sooo tired of hearing people at work tell her, “this or that project is finished, but…  No more BUTS. Let’s CLOSE THE WINDOW!
I did whine about not knowing how to quilt it. Linda said, it’s a baby quilt. Keep it simple. She used a simple serpentine stitch on her super big open armed Janomie and zipped zipped right through this quilt.
Whoo hoo, almost finished. At one point, all three of us were sewing bindings on various quilts at the exact same time. We were in a circle facing each other, and laughing, and talking, and having the BEST time. We thought that this must be what an old-fashioned quilting bee was like.

I cut out this quilt while up at Zephyr Point in June. So I pulled it out (gotta close another window!) and got started on it. Villa Rosa has great fabric and quilting patterns for sale on line. Go here to check out this weeks special.
Looking good. Some progress. Sigh…”I spy” some strips (black ones) that are either too narrow or too wide. “Rippp” goes yee olde seam ripper. That’s o.k. I have always felt that the mark of a good sewist is one who knows how to rip out their seams properly.
How about my cool design wall? It is perfect when you are short on wall space.
I haven’t been able to find a web site for these design walls. Yes, I own 3 different sizes. But here’s a number and address. Love mine and they are really well made.
I was tired of lugging my heavy, older Bernina up and down the stairs for classes or whatever. This Baby Lock “Joy” (I got it 2 days before the shutdown here in CA in March) and it does just what I need for “classroom” sewing. It purrs along very nicely. Some things are in different places than what I’m used to, but for $175. it will pay for itself in no time (no more chiropractic fees for the bad back). Ha, ha.
A few more of Karenanne’s and Linda’s “favorite things” that they gave to me. These little clips are so strong and handy for holding bindings in place. No more blood on a quilt or hand done hem (when using straight pins).
How about this Yo,Yo magnifier/LED light? You NEED one of these puppies. Love led lights.

I have tried oodles of granolas. This one is by far my favorite. Linda made some last year for the first time and ohh yes! They brought some for us this year. We like Muesli for breakfast and with the fresh fruits of summer this granola is perfect. Then add about a cup of 2% plain, Greek yogurt  (good for your gut, high in protein) and on top add a tsp. of cinnamon (lowers blood sugar). Recipe below.

This is just a smidge of all we did at “Open Studio” at Heidi’s with Linda and Karenanne. I can’t wait to share more next week. Please join me at DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com if you can. I hope you will have time for some creativity this weekend,  even if it is by yourself. Thank you so much for stopping by. Big hugs to you all, Heidi

A Friday With Friends and Sewing!


Welcome! Some of you may have noticed my absence last week. I had my two “sewing sisters” visiting from Portland, OR. What a terrific time we had! I have blog post material for weeks and weeks to come. From the moment they walked in the door (10 hour drive and did it in one day so as NOT to miss a single stitching and creating moment!), I was showered with lovely and meaningful gifts and the promise of FABULOUS meals to come. Did I mention that Linda and Karenanne are also gourmet cooks besides all their sewing talents? I can’t wait to share with you so let’s get started!

First, they gave me this beautiful quilt, so meaningful and heartfelt, It is made with all my happy colors and “sewing” prints from a Tula Pink collection. The pattern is from Missouri Star quilts and they had Sandra Bruce do the quilting.
I absolutely love it and yes, they gave me the flowers too.
And look, they had enough fabric to make my Mom a lap quilt. And check out the beautiful bouquet they had delivered to her. Our bouquets match our quilts! Amazing. We will never be able to thank you enough Karenanne and Linda!
Here is one of our first suppers. It was so tasty that it needed no other accompaniment. I’m the type that if one item is good then add even more. But this recipe is a testament to portion control is a good thing and that no one flavor overpowers the others. I think you can see all the salad ingredients except maybe the artichoke hearts. A sliver of the hearts shows right in the front and the meat you see is chicken.  The Zesty Red Wine Vinaigrette was the perfect light, summer dressing. Here is that recipe as you really will want to use it on your summer salads. ZESTY RED WINE VINAIGRETTE: 1/2 cup grated (really fine) Parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, store-bought or homemade, 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, 1/2 tsp. freshly-cracked black pepper, and 1/4 tsp. garlic powder. Whisk together and toss with the salad.  Serve with your favorite white wine or Rose’. And don’t forget to sit outside and have great music playing on your listening device. Tonight, Linda chose, “The Piano Guys.”

O.K., we went shopping at Villa Rosa (only 1.1 miles away from my house!).  Tap on the red lettering and you will go directly to her online site. I was ready to make a new Rafiki Skirt (from my Art to Wear sewing pattern collection) Tap on my Etsy logo below (takes you right to my shop) or email me(hmemmett@gmail.com) if you want to buy the pattern directly from me. It’s only $15.00 U.S.  and for the month of August, if you buy directly from me, I will pay shipping, even international orders. Look at the gorgeous fabrics I found, Shibori “wanna be’s” but so beautifully done in rich and gorgeous Indigo blues (picture doesn’t do them justice). These prints (at least 12 in the collection) are  by Debbie Maddy for Moda fabrics. My Rafiki Skirt pattern requires, 7 different prints, 1/2 yard each. Continuing on in the pictures below, I give a synopsis of making the Rafiki skirt.

     AA Logo1

Acck… still not their true colors, but it will have to do. I have cut the 7 fabrics WOF (width of fabric) and placed them into two piles so that no two are right next to each other across from each other.
Each strip in one pile is sewn together WOF as you can see above. All 7 fabrics are used.
Sewing these strips together using a 4 thread Serger makes it a breeze. We girls chatted earlier and we had 3, count ’em, 3 Sergers available, each one with a different thread color so we were all set. We were so clever. Oh, look, little tiny scraps falling off the blade. I can’t wait to make some beads (another post needed for those). Not today. Yes, YES, I know, I save EVERYTHING! It’s my thing I guess so laugh all you want, I don’t care. Please send your scraps to: Heidi Emmett P.O. Box 208 Cedar Ridge, CA 95924.
O.K., when 3 women get together to sew much conversation goes on (husband has his headphones on in his office upstairs but oddly, he can hear the call for a meal). Hmm.. Back to my Rafiki Skirt; whaaat happened? I finished stitching the 2 different ordered piles together and laid them out on the floor. I peeled back the top layer and whaaat? The medium blue wavy print is right next to itself on the other pile. Accck…I turned it around but that didn’t work either. Instead of ripping out serged stitching (not FUN at all) I cut off the seams (this is a VERY FORGIVING pattern, you will love it) and did some more rearranging. HINT: Take a picture of your two piles of fabric and their order so you can refer to it from time to time if need be. And STOP talking for awhile, at least long enough to sew the strips together properly.
Taa daa! It worked. Notice the border print fabric in two colorways. Loved that as it acted like an 8th fabric.
The Rafiki Skirt pattern teaches you how to create a pattern piece for the skirt using your own measurements(It’s the African way). A custom made pattern just for you! I copied it a second time to move the cutting process along. Those two piles, after being sewn together WOF, are placed RST (right sides together and the pattern pieces are placed on top cutting through two layers at a time. The second pattern piece I made is placed in the opposite direction. A lot of turning is going on. A total of 8 pieced sections are cut out.
Here are two layers cut out and placed side by side.
It doesn’t take long to Serge all 8 panels together. Check and double check before stitching and ha, ha, NO talking or sipping of wine during this process!
It’s time to decide on elastic or a drawstring tie. I chose the later.
This is just one of the MANY, MANY cool tools that Linda and Karenanne gave to me while here. I can’t wait to show them all to you as the weeks go along.
Taa daa! DONE and boy am I ever feeling cool and comfortable.
Notice that the seams don’t match up. That of course is the WHOLE IDEA of this unique skirt.
Rafiki Skirt, so easy and fast to make, you won’t stop at just one.
On my way to see what the girls have in mind for dinner tonight! They cook, I clean up. Works for all of us. Have a creative weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi


The Heat, The Fire, It Makes me Unproductive, Tired and Sad.

by Heidi Emmett

In case you didn’t know it, I live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I live in the town of Grass Valley, CA. It is 50 miles north of Sacramento. Look up ReadyNevadaCounty.com  to see the “Jones” fire. It was lightening caused. Suffice it to say it has been a CrAzzzY week!

This picture is from our local newspaper. The Union.  We have an air attack base right here in Grass Valley. Super THANKFUL for that!  6 planes have been working this fire. But as with many wildfires, when the smoke is so thick, the planes can’t fly. There are over 600 personnel on the ground.
No one expected the lightening. Since Monday at 3:00a.m. there have been over 12,000 lightening strikes in CA. 357 different fires going on in the whole state.
All I can do is handwork. Besides the fire of which we did NOT have to evacuate (Super Thankful for that),  the heat has been horrible. Record highs everywhere. The heat has moderated a bit today. We’ll take whatever we can get.
My miniature roses are doing well. Sheesh, I guess I just want to focus on the leaves.
One more just opening up. Fun colors. Well, well, I’m out of focus and the world is out of focus. YIKES. It’s time for some levity. Please enjoy the following.

Take care everyone. Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

Today,Some Cleaning, A Little Upcycling, And It’s Stinkin’ HOT! And one other Stinky thing!


When it is THIS STINKIN’ HOT (It is summer after all, and guess what? the heat record, 106 degrees)will be broken in Sacramento, CA today (the last time it was this hot on this day was 1920!).For the next five days here in Grass Valley, CA (95-99 degrees everyday, whoo hoo! at least we’re not in the triple digits, ha, ha, ha,*).  *Uncontrollable laughter here.  So in preparation for this heat wave, I will be planning on handwork only, in the coolest area of the house (that would be on top of an A.C. vent). Kidding, sort of.

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Commercial break, really fast, I promise. Consider my book of Fashion Quilted Accessories by Heidi Emmett and Leisure Arts for some easy and fun for sewing newbies and advanced sewing enthusiasts. That’s my drawstring tote project that is on the cover. A great “stash buster.”

Rafiki skirt is perfect to wear during the summer months. Make it out of cotton or linen. Find a nice body of water to wear it by or on. You’ll feel even cooler. The picture above was taken at the dock of the private beach at Zephyr Point Conference Center. Aww….I wish I was there today! The high at Lake Tahoe (I looked it up) will be a whopping 84 degrees….


My latest post card that shows three of my Art to Wear patterns. Email me at my personal email if you are interested in my patterns, hmemmett@gmail.com  or…check them all out at my Etsy shop/DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewingpatterns and buy there or from me. All my hard copies are $15. each plus shipping or pdf/digital for $9.95 each.


Started some cleaning by going through a tub of scarves. You can fit a myriad of scarves in a large tub(so it took awhile). Isn’t that a great word, myriad? Growing up, once a week at the dinner table my dad would find a new word in the dictionary for us to learn. We had to use the new word in a sentence. After maybe a month the new word a week dropped off BUT to this day, decades later, I still remember and use the first word my Dad gave us. Whoops, that darn squirrel showed up again, but my Dad is smiling from heaven as I write this. Thanks Daddy. Check out this cool scarf and the way it is being worn.
Here is a side view with the rest of the scarf off to my left side instead of the center.
A blurry but open view of the scarf. Can you see the button up near my waist that hold the scarf together? Let’s try this again.
The breeze from the ceiling fan really shows off this gorgeous paisley silk chiffon. I forgot to take a picture of this same scarf being worn as a poncho. There are “myriad” ways (there I go again) to wear this terrific idea for a length of silk chiffon! I purchased it over a decade ago at a CABI party (Carol Anderson By Invitation). This idea will NEVER go out of style in my humble opinion. And of course, it’s a rectangle (you must already know how much I use and love rectangles in my art to wear designs). Here are the measurements for this idea: First you should use silk chiffon to get the drape just right (light or heavy weight will be perfect). This piece measures, 62″ long by 20 1/2″ wide. 14 1/2″ up from the short side, along the long end, add a small button. Then down at the end of that same side, 14 1/2″ up from the short side make a loop out of thread to hold the button.  BAM! You’re done. What a great gift idea too.
In my cleaning I found these items together. What did I have in mind here? Who knows but I see some hand stitching in my future (In the lime green) using the beautiful variegated Perle #8 cotton by WonderFi Eleganza. Thank you from my friend Christine Barnes on the Perle cotton. Go here to see what Christine does. You’ll love it.
Taa Daa! Cleaning, purging, labeling, my fabrics. There are even some empty tubs (not for long trust me).
In a “Linen” box I found a blouse with 3/4 sleeves with elastic. Hmm…it’s so “stinkin” hot and I love the cooling shape of this blouse, and it fits me except for the 3/4 sleeves so I cut off the elastic and pushed it aside.
And hidden beside some tubs (don’t laugh) I found this “sleeve” ironing board. Where have you been my friend?
Oh my goodness. How long have I been sewing and have all the cool tools and YET I managed to forget about this VERY cool tool. Press, press, done in record time instead of burned fingers while working little hems on a regular ironing board. Sigh…
Here I am wearing my newly improved (yet not ironed) linen blouse and what’s that in my hair? Yep, it’s that left over piece of linen with the elastic in it. Whoo hoo! I match. But you know, it’s very comfortable. Oh, I do love upcycling, reusing, whatever we want to call it.

Riley update. He’s doing just fine now. Sigh… last Friday you heard about the puncture wound. Well, the very same night as that Friday post, 10:30 p.m.(he went out by himself in our fenced in back yard), to do his pee-pee walk before bed. Well, Riley met a skunk, face to upturned tail!! You guessed it. S-P-R-A-Y!!!!!!  Please, read about skunk spraying and how to get rid of the smell and keep them from getting sick. We did our best( used Dawn and water) but 30 hours after getting sprayed Riley did get sick (we didn’t use the right ingredients). It’s Hydrogen Peroxide, Baking Soda, some Dawn, and water. That was at 4:00a.m.  By noon that same day he was eating cooked rice and chicken and drinking water. Thank you to our son and a friend who gave us good advice. So, staples are out, skunk smell is gone and Mr. Riley is back to his fun loving self. Yea! Until next time get creative and watch out for skunks! Hugs, Heidi


August 7th, 2020. This and That Friday!

By Heidi Emmett

I just realized I had not even turned the calendar to a new month.  Sigh…I feel so miscombooberated! (YES, it’s a word, my word) And then the weather got really hot. 95 degrees or thereabouts every day for days and days (I am grateful to have A.C. AND solar, but we don’t run our A.C. at night). So all my thoughts of designing, creating,  purge the closets, sew ALL the projects I have cut out, work on two more “proto-types” for new patterns, dust (what’s that?), etc. went out the dirty window(I still need to wash them). I had enough energy to walk the dog (barely as he likes a fast pace), and read.

Weather has changed, thank you thank you! and my creative juices are overflowing. To the point where I work on this project for 15 min., bored, move to next project, hey, what’s that piece of fabric sticking out of that tub, oh wow, I forgot about that piece, it would make a great Zephyr Jacket, found what I wanted to go with the original piece, bored, next project, and on and on. I have seen so many “squirrels” lately that I’m getting “squirrelly.”

So today, since I can’t seem settle down on any one particular thing, take a look at some of the things I’ve been sort of working on. Ha, ha.

I love this rectangle top (the working title). I made it umm, four years ago? Maybe more. It will be another “patternless” pattern (just rectangles again, like Off The Grid Vest. I want to get this pattern done.  It will be another perfect PDF pattern in my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett.  It is super comfy to wear and so cool on warmer days.

Check out the pocket (use your favorite scraps, and all rectangles, of course). And the bracelet. It starts with the linen scraps, hmm…maybe I’ll include how to make one in the pattern too.

The back is the same as the front (except for the pocket). Sew, here’s an idea, spill something on the front, just turn it around. Ha, ha.

Different topic now. Here is our number #1 son (are only child). We are so proud of him. Scary proud (whaat? does that even mean)! Well, this is me as a Mom speaking right now. Here he is with a grin that can’t get much wider. He has completed another solo (and back in the air)landing at different airports He has to log in a bunch of landings and takeoffs at different airports before he can take the written test that will give him his actual pilots license.  He called a few months back to say he would be soloing for the first time very soon. NOOOOOO!!! Don’t tell me That! Deep breaths,  prayers for safety, more deep breaths. All rightie then, but you may tell me only AFTER you have COMPLETED your first solo.
And yes, same son,  the very next weekend finally getting a chance to race again. There is a great track in Willows, CA for racing on a regular race track or a dirt track. About five years ago, our son took me as a passenger (in a different car) on the dirt track. Dirt flying everywhere as he peeled around the corners. I HAD THE BEST TIME! I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. I still want a “beater” car of my own and try it myself some day. Dirt or track, you are racing against your own time.

Sometimes  it’s BMW’s only, Miata’s only, etc. out on the regular track. Our son’s favorite is the regular track. Long story short, it will be two years ago this November that he has even raced. His pride and joy a BMW, M-class that he bought and rebuilt himself to race, burned up in the Paradise, CA fire (he had it stored at a friend’s home in Paradise). He said he lost just a car. But his friend’s home(where he was leaving the car for just a week) and his business burned up. Absolutely devastating fire.    An aside here: Ron Howard just released a documentary about the Paradise fire so look it up. Ron Howard wanted to do this documentary as his mother-in-law had once lived in the town of Paradise..

Our son had 3 other friends that he raced regularly with. One of them called our son and asked if he was ready to race again. Cory said he would LOVE to but still had no car and could not afford the time or money to build one right now (he had just started not one but 2 companies which are super stories themselves but for another time). Two hours later he got a call from another of the racing trio and that racer said he’d just purchased another car that he loves to race now and that if our son would take him out for a beer, the car above, would be Cory’s. Yes, people, all that for a beer!!! We really wanted to watch our son race this past weekend, but as you can see above our dog, Riley had other plans. The big “owwie” wasn’t his fault and it was more of a puncture wound (but eww, ick, the Vet had to make it bigger to get it all cleaned out) . This picture was taken a few days later. I rolled his favorite tennis balls to him and he didn’t budge. He’s fine, fine, now, even back to doggie day care (2X’s a week), where he plays and plays all day and just loves it! He even has a girlfriend there and her name is Daisy.

Then a few days after Riley’s episode, Rex, above (he’s fine too, but..), I was out at 10:00p.m. to call the cats in (we have two you’ve seen them in other posts) for the night and this odd looking thing, animal? came walking up the driveway. That can’t be Rex I thought, he’s fluffy. It’s tail was in the air but so skinny. Rex was moving very slowly (but when a treat is involved to get him in the house, he wont miss it). Whaatt!!? He was sopping wet. How? Where? Then I remembered, my husband was repairing our hard sided Spa cover and had covered the spa with just a tarp, no tie downs (to make it taut). I ask this my readers, Do our best friends (our pets) have Guardian Angels? To this day, we have NO idea how he could get out but we thank God that he did.
Have you ever grown Italian sweet peppers? This is my first year. I had no idea they got this big and oh so sweet. Wish I’d planted a couple more bushes. Peppers freeze beautifully. Wash, cut in half, take out seeds, dry them off and pop them in a freezer bag. I feel so smart during the winter months when I pull a bag out of the freezer to use in my favorite Chili or Spaghetti sauce.
I decided to start a new Zephyr Jacket sample. The big parasol fabric will be the body of the jacket and the little parasol fabric will be the front collar piece. It will go together fast, maybe this afternoon. (yes, the big parasol fabric is the tiny corner I mentioned seeing in my box)
But first, it’s Friday, and it’s summer, so I’ll be taking my Mom out to lunch at the Happy Apple Kitchen in Chicago Park, CA . My mom lives on our property in a Granny house. She is 89 years young I am so grateful that she lives on our property. Thank you God  that she is so close by. I’ve been thanking God so much lately.  Gratitude is an important component of our lives or if not, it should be.  Even when it feels like things are falling apart all around, being grateful allows me to let go of the things I have no control over and let God take care of them. He’s in charge anyway. I’m certainly not. Here is my Mom’s favorite verse from the Bible, “Be still and know that I am God.”

I love summer flowers. On the left are pink petunias with white spots and the limey green plant is Creeping Jenny, and a grass of some kind in back. Waaaay too bright of a picture. Noon is NOT a good time, I know that. But they looked so happy.  Thanks for stopping by. Big hugs and make some time to find 5 things to be grateful for. Heidi

Would You Wear This? Great Inspiration! Some Creative Ideas!


Some years back I was so fortunate to be able to visit the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersberg, Florida. Pictures at the end of this post. I was so inspired. He was an amazingly talented man. The inspiration I got from my visit was maybe a basic idea, “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.” But it was so helpful for me as I had felt I was stuck in a sewing rut. I think I’ve come a long way in the “create for fun and enjoyment” aspect of sewing and designing. 

This top was on the “Sale” rack at Stein Mart. At the counter I pointed out the snags on the front and back and ended up paying only $12.95 (not returnable, are you kidding me! I would NEVER want to return it, I LOVE IT!).

This is a heavier, sheerish (is that a word), rayon knit. It is the perfect weight for this top as it should NOT cling in anyway to the body.

The little black squares on the back here and there….well that is the way I covered up the snags. Read on to find out what they are.

There are more little black squares on the front. And in odd places but I don’t think it takes away from the overall garment. This over-blouse (what to call it?) is by Dor Dor Couture. Their site says that each piece of fabric is HAND PAINTED! Fabulous. Just the fabric alone makes me want to try painting my own fabric. I almost forgot, part of the title of this weeks post asks, “Would you wear this?”  I showed this gorgeous top to last year’s workshop students and asked them would you buy a pattern like this? Before I tell you their answers, I would like to hear from you. I’m considering creating a pattern. Yes/No. Let me know.  (workshop at our Artistic Alchemy retreat) 

Whoo hoo! A little twirl. Yes, that’s a cat’s tail (Rex) below my knee not a tail coming from me! Ha, ha.
Right….back to fixing the snags. This is a better look see of the little squares I stitched over the snags. They are squares I cut from an inner tube from a Mountain Bike. Whaaat?? Yes, that’s it. And then I stitched off the edge on either end as I wanted the stitches to show.

And while I’m at it, the necklace I’m holding above is also made of inner tube pieces and strung on an elastic cord. My own design thank you very much. Trying to think outside the box here. Go to my Pinterest site (DesignsbyHeidiEmmett) and look through all my boards until you see a board called “Leather/Rubber Tire Jewelry.”  Whoops, I just noticed that I called it “Rubber TIRE” instead of “Innertube”    Shhh…don’t tell anyone. At any rate there are lots and lots of fun ideas for you to peruse.
Salvadore Dali museum (one of only 2 in the whole world) in  St. Petersberg, Florida

Inside staircase of the Salvadore Dali museum.

Another angle of the front of the Salvadore Dali museum.
One of the Salvadore Dali paintings hanging in the St. Petersberg museum.

Salvadore liked exotic animals as pets. How about an Anteater on a leash coming out of a subway station in New York City? Look up Salvadore on your browser and TONS of great pics will come up.
This painting by Salvadore Dali, also in the museum in St. Petersberg is only about 15′ tall. That’s right ! You turn a corner and BAM! the tall ones hit you in the face. They are so BIG! and FANTASTIC at the same time! Just amazing.
The window design work just BLEW ME AWAY! Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com visits the Salvadore Dali museum in St. Petersberg, Florida USA

Look at the top right and you can see even more of the different window shapes at the top floor of the museum. This museum, The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersberg Fl is the perfect place to soak in all the OVER THE TOP AMAZING PIECES OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE!  It will help you start thinking outside of the “box.” Go, have fun this weekend and don’t forget your sketch pad as you look around you, always thinking outside the box! Hugs, Heidi

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It’s Vacation Time at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada!

by Heidi Emmett

Some of you may know that my husband, Robert, and I volunteer for one week during the summer at the Zephyr Point gift shop. I run the retail side and Robert is the Frozen Yogurt King! Going up and staying at Zephyr Point during the summer ALWAYS gets me excited about our up coming Artistic Alchemy Retreat. This year, sadly, was quite different.

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A picture from the deck of the gift shop. Now you can see why we want to “volunteer” to work in the gift shop. We sleep down below the gift shop now known as “cabin 8.” So we have the same view from our private deck. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

The gift shop is the top floor. Our sleeping area is the lower deck, it’s a studio apt. There are no volunteers this year. But, we were able to come and pay to stay in this studio apt. from June 19th-26th. It was a REAL VACATION! Haven’t had a total week off in 3 yrs.It was an amazing but oh so different time.
This would have been our 9th year of volunteering during the summer. And of course summer is Zephyr Point’s busiest time.I started my first day there this year by walking around the grounds. The view above is of Tallac Mountain at over 9,000ft. Can you see the cross outline of snow near the top of the Mtn.?
On the walk from from our cabin to Tallac Center and the Dining room. The Dining room is closed this year. Only the cabins are open. They rent out approx. 40 cabins on site.
This is the back of Cabin # 8. It’s the only cabin on the property with the cute, carved shutters. The level you are looking at is the gift shop. Cabin #8 (the studio we stayed in) is now available to rent for the summer months only. There is no insulation.
This is cabin # 28. It is the newly revamped coffee shop on the grounds. Closed for the summer. Miss sitting out on the deck and looking at the “Peek a Boo” view of the lake, watching the birds, chipmunks, people watching, all this while sipping a cuppa.
Wandering around the beautiful grounds of the “hotel” type sleeping rooms of Tallac center. These are rooms Artistic Alchemy retreat students covet. The “Lakeside” rooms! All closed up. This is such a surreal summer.
Above and to the left is Inspiration Point. It is a two story, soaring,open and light filled conference room that is used during the Artistic Alchemy retreat. And 3 stories of more sleeping rooms of which Artistic Alchemy uses all of them. It is so eerily silent.
Go through that archway (Portal of Prayer) and step down a few steps and look at the most amazing view! A prayer of thanksgiving for this amazing place is in order too.
Look how close these rooms are to the lake itself! The views from the sleeping rooms alone are worth the price of admission to our Artistic Alchemy retreat.
Full on view of Inspiration Point. You could be here but sadly, not until September of 2021. What an “Inspiration” Inspiration Point is right now, shhh….it’s SO QUIET! Listen to the sounds of nature and the occasional boat going by.
Total relaxation in my “upcycled” tunic (by The Upcycled Closet via Etsy) and doing some hand work. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

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Oh my goodness! Can it be, Heidi working on cutting out a quilt!
Simple running stitches on a piece and contemplating adding a butterfly from scraps. Both of these are home decorating fabric scrap pieces.
My dear friend Linda made me a zippered bag (it is holding all my threads,needles, and beads that I’m working with) that has the cutest panels on it. Yep, this is me.
Or maybe this is me! For the record, I owned a pair of candy striped “cat eyed” glasses in 4th grade.I found out later (my brother married the girl next door) that my sister-in-law was very jealous of my cool glasses and wished she wore glasses. Seriously?! My hair has never been green, but during all that’s going on, I just might dye it that color to hide my dark roots.

I leave you with this inspirational picture.I took it from the deck of our cabin. I spoke with the woman who is SWIMMING! (water temp. 40-46 degrees all year round. Yowzaa!) A family member always followed her. We were at Zephyr Point the same amount of days and without fail, she swam each and every morning. She told me she wanted to push herself EVEN on the mornings she didn’t feel like it. And she always felt so good and so glad when she DID IT.

How about us? During this time in 2020 are we pushing ourselves to do things we maybe have never tried? Or started something and let it slide because we “didn’t feel like it anymore?” I most certainly include myself in this. So let’s all pick something (make a small list, not too long or we’ll be overwhelmed) and let’s “JUST DO IT.”

Blessings and hugs, Heidi

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OFF THE GRID VEST- Check This One Out!


Today I want to show you what a former student from one of my Artistic Alchemy Retreat Workshops has created using Off The Grid Vest, a pattern from my “Art to Wear” collection.

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This is the basic pattern for a jumping off point to create your own uniquely quilted piece of wearable art! Created by Designs by Heidi- contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com to purchase this pattern or go to my Etsy shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see more of my designs.

Patty P. is an AMAZING sewist to begin with. She had signed up for my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat- go here to check out what Artistic Alchemy is about.
Patty’s version of my Art to Wear pattern, Off The Grid Vest, is OFF THE CHARTS WITH PIZZAZZ AND SOPHISTICATION!!  Check out my blog  DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com or email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on purchasing this pattern.

Patty brought her base fabric to the workshop, a black cotton Dobby (type of weave) that was high in texture and interest. It did not need any batting.
A closeup of the color shows the background fabric beautifully. Patty wanted a classic black and white look with hints of fuchsia.
She used fuchsia thread both top and bobbin. I like the criss- crossing of the quilting lines.
She auditioned many black and white fabrics and a few fuchsias until she settled on the perfect amount. This part takes time. But it’s also so much fun as each vest piece starts as a blank canvas.
Patty felt that the vest needed more than just the sticks of fabric. But what? Different sized dots of crisp white fabric that first had an iron on adhesive attached to the back. She ran the piece through her Cricut machine. Voila’, instant dots, oodles of them! She placed them for the best effect and then IRONED them down. NO STITCHING! I love this idea. She said she has had an occasional dot fall off (if rubbed the wrong way, ha, ha. She has extra dots at the ready should she need them.      Off The Grid Vest sewing pattern by Designsbyheidi email her for more information at hmemmett@gmail.com
The sides of the vest are open except for one button with a button loop. She used polymer  clay buttons by Sandra Bruce (Sandra Bruce, one of the teachers at Artistic Alchemy will soon have a line of polymer buttons and earrings available via an Etsy shop)
Patty chose not to use mock “log cabin blocks.” She used “sticks” only. Her attention to the details of placement of each piece and the hint of fuchsia is perfection.
Each fabric stick has been pressed under and rather than zig zag stitch around each stick she chose a simple blanket stitch (on her machine) to hold them in place.
Patty P., thank you so much for sharing your version of OFF THE GRID VEST with everyone. Truly, it is a fabulous ART TO WEAR piece.

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Bluprint – a word about them (they used to be Craftsy where I also sold my patterns). They closed up shop in late April or around there.  They announced just recently that they are coming back! sometime in September. New owners and new CEO. I’ll keep you posted.

Follow me on Instagram/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

Follow me on Pinterest/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

Check out ALL my other “Art to Wear” patterns at my Etsy Shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett  A word to my other “country” purchasers(other than the U.S.). Don’t buy via Etsy UNLESS it is for PDF/digital. For “hard copy” patterns, email me directly so I can save you money on shipping charges. My email address is hmemmett@gmail.com

You can also tap on any of the icons below to get to these places too.

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Thank you for stopping by today. May your scissors, rotary cutter blades, and your MIND, be sharp as you navigate this amazing world of stitching creativity! Hugs, Heidi

I leave you with two pictures of summer fun, Lily of The Nile flowers.





Once upon a time I found a fabulous Coach hand bag at my favorite “boutique” (aka Thrift Shop) in Truckee, CA. It cost me $15. It had suede on the bottom that was dirty. I carefully scrubbed with soap and water. Sadly, the bottom stayed dirty. The year was 2014. I hung it up in my studio and thought and thought about it for a few months. What could be done? I loved the bright fuchsia color. Kaffe Fassett fabrics were strewn all over my attic studio( when aren’t they strewn about?). Hmm…WHAT IF I bring the Kaffe fabrics to my fuschsia purse? A star was born!

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I covered this one in 2015. The gluing had me worried so I had set it aside for awhile longer. I put it on the Kaffe Fassett site (via Face Book) in 2015. Tons of lovely comments. So proud, use the purse all the time in the summer months.  Fast forward to 2018. My friend Christine Barnes saw my purse on my shoulder one day and said, “Heidi did you know that Kaffe is using his fabrics on Coach Bags this year? W-H-A-AA-T!!??  Google-Kaffe Fassett Coach Bags…..Aren’t they GORGEOUS! Check the prices! I am telling you all this because I would like to think that Kaffe himself was scrolling through his Kaffe Fassett site one day and SAW WHAT I CREATED and maybe, just maybe, he copied ME? One can dream, hope, whatever. It’s fun to think about at any rate.
I really like how the colors and fabric design of this particular Kaffe Fassett fabric worked with my Coach Bag.
Within a few months after finishing my other Coach Bag, voila’ I purchased this tiny Coach Bag at another “boutique.” Same problem. Dirty suede in the corners and on the bottom. The corners were perfect for some Kaffe Fassett yo-yo’s.
Yep, it’s a Coach Bag. $4.00 for the bag used my Kaffe scraps and a small amount of glue.
Everything is glued on with Fabric Tac. You will see a picture of the bottle in a few more pics
I ,of course, could not stop with just Coach Bags. But I did keep up with using the Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Here is a sweet little cross body bag (ha, ha, I almost wrote “Body Bag” Ohhh, dear!)

Up close you can see the flowers on top of the circle are Kaffe Fabrics, while the under layer is a different fabric that goes with. 

Just 3 weeks ago I found this beauty. Sadly it is not a Coach, but I loved the color. It is all leather and in mint condition except for the usual dirty piece of suede. Did you read that first part, JUST 3 WEEKS AGO, ha, ha, and I made the cover for it THIS morning before writing my blog post. Sometimes inspiration for a post hits at the last minute!
At least I started to whittle down my fabric choices last night. This is Paperweight Kaffe Fassett.
Acck..there are so many Kaffe fabrics I can’t begin to remember them all.
Hmm…this Kaffe could work too.
How about this Baba Gabousch(spelling?) piece by Kaffe Fassett?
And one of my favorites, Turkish Delight by Kaffe Fassett. This is an oldie but after maybe 15 years they brought it back. Sew happy.

Ta da! I chose the unamed one ( I have only a  small piece with no selvages (to see a name)).
I think it is a good choice. I adore these stylized flowers and so many subtle orange variations, and the scale of the print, all work well. Kaffe Fassett is such an amazing colorist and designer!
Here’s a great trick that quilters and sewists use deciding on where to cut on a large scaled printed fabric. The inside lines of this rectangle represent the finished size of the piece I need for the purse front.  Slowly move it around until it hits your “sweet spot.”
I sewed two pieces together and included a piece of iron on-fleece (left side of picture).
I machine quilted through all layers, a simple design. I like the dimension the quilted piece gives to the overall design of the purse/tote. This one is big enough to call a tote.
My all time favorite glue, also, the most EXPENSIVE glue. It REALLY works! $14.99 for 5/6oz

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I’m not afraid to glue anymore. Really cover those outside edges with glue. Add your quilted piece and….
Here is my finished Kaffe Fassett Coach Tote Wannabe. By Designs by Heidi.
The quilting on this Kaffe Fassett fabric makes the finished product so jazzy!
Don’t you agree, these sweet petunias remind me of the Kaffe Fassett fabric in the tote.
These petunias are called “Queen of Hearts.”

All right everyone, get out there and make it up (like I did), make it fun (we wouldn’t want it ANY OTHER way), and get it done asap! Wow, it feels good to get something completed in less than a year. I want to try it again. Hugs, Heidi

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Happy 4th of July, 2020!


I know it will be different for all of us this year but may the Patriotism and Gratefulness we all feel for this great country we call America shine through.   Please enjoy these pictures from years past that I have put together for you.

I use this pincushion shot every year because I LOVE the 4th of July and I LOVE to sew!
A 4th of July we spent at Zephyr Point (we were volunteers in the Bear Store).
A stunner of a sunset on the 4th of July weekend at Lake Tahoe 5 years ago. The Dixie paddle wheel boat is outlined on the horizon. Like clockwork, 8:45p.m. coming in to Zephyr Cove for the evening.
Totally untouched photo. 4th of July  5 years ago at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. A couple of phenomenal storms that weekend. Maybe that’s why the sunsets were extra gorgeous. This shot looks directly across to Emerald Bay. 10-12 miles away. There was a water spout and hail the size of quarters at Emerald Bay. AMAZING. It made the local paper. So unusual for summer, or any time really!
I just can’t get enough of this view. The intense colors of the water and FOURTH OF JULY!!!
Just one more shot…..Lake Tahoe, so soothing and calm after a storm.
We have only missed a few of the AMAZING spreads and fun, fun, fun, that goes on at my brother’s and his wife’s home every 4th of July. All right, which one of my 9 great nephews put their finger in MY FAMOUS flag cake? And stole a raspberry too?
They even make the copious flower pots that are poolside, match the days color scheme.

Tradition!! (Makes me think of Tevia in Fiddler on the Roof singing that rousing song about traditions). We all have them and my family is no exception. “Heidi’s Flag Cake” year 10?

The blueberries are just coming in. Fresh picked at my Mom’s house just this morning.

Rex the cat looks so intense or maybe he is reflecting on the 4th.
Happy 4th of July to you all! Until next week, hugs from Heidi

Sandy W. Does it AGAIN!


Sandy is from Anchorage, Alaska. A few posts back I showed you 5 (yes FIVE) of her Off The Grid Vests that she had created using my Off The Grid Vest Pattern. You all realize that the sun barely goes down in Anchorage, AK during the summer. I bet that’s why vegetables grow so large, mosquitoes get so big, and Sandy gets so many Off The Grid vests made. My goodness, let’s take a look.

Here is the pattern (above) she started with. It was a blank canvas for Sandy.

This vest has a hint of her own Eco Dyeing in it. I believe this one is for her 90+ yr. old Mom.


The cityscape fabric is the PERFECT starting point for this vest. I love the rich colors and how she lined up the print so the flowers are at the bottom.

What a perfect use for these earthy colored Eco Dyes. Go here to check out a book on Eco-Dyeing. I have yet to try it myself but it looks very interesting.

Sandy’s this vest has such good examples of Eco-Dyeing. Nicely done!

She added a pocket (great idea). I need to do that on a few of mine too. I always need a place to put a kleenex (allergies).

Look what else Sandy does. She told me she was just playing with David Lobenberg’s coloring ideas. Sandy! These are so cool! You are an artist in many ways besides fabric.

And here is her husband, Robert who is also an artist. Visit Sandy and her work at


This kinda looks like our sweet Riley Dog. He is getting Rattlesnake training this weekend (sadly we have rattlesnakes in our county) soooo he might not think we are so wonderful. But we want him to stay safe!

It’s that time of year again! The hydrangeas are deciding what colors they want to be.

Creativity is just a few steps away- have some handwork in a little bag or box so you can take it wherever you go.

Wherever you are today, may the sun shine on you. Whatever you do today, may it give you a sense of peace and completion…Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God! Hugs, Heidi



With all my “gigs” canceled or postponed, I’m seeing it as a great opportunity. The purging and cleaning part, JUST DO IT! I am starting to feel that I can accomplish more within my creative life as the slate is being “wiped clean” so to speak.

I just “purged” my email account. Oh my! I was going to be so good to keep that one up…I have 4 categories in my email account and just to give you an idea of how many emails I keep around, in the “Updates” category alone, I had 20,639 emails. Whoo hooooo! All gone! So if you don’t hear from me and you wrote to me via email about something, try again.

It is so hard to work from home people! And that brings up something else, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, can really take a chunk out of ones “working” time.  I only really use Pinterest and only in the mornings, 15 minutes, well it has stretched to 40-60min. ha, ha.  I don’t message on FB, Pinterest, or Instagram. I honestly don’t know how and have no time for it (I know, your saying, she’s too busy on Pinterest). I’m not saying these platforms aren’t good, I like them for my business’ sake.

Email me if you want to ask me a question or comment . And now that I have cleaned out my emails I will see your email that much faster. So, JUST DO IT!  Email is so “last year” but it is MY way of communicating. Here is my email address: hmemmett@gmail.com  P.S. I do respond to my blog post comments.

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I am so excited to tell you that, I JUST DID IT!, my Etsy store has been UPDATED to now include every one of my patterns in a pdf/digital format. Now you have two choices, “hard copy” (everything in a plastic sleeve), or pdf/digital (cheaper but you print out everything at home).  You can always buy directly from me as well for either a hard copy or pdf. Email address again: hmemmett@gmail.com   ESPECIALLY good for overseas orders. I can save you $ in shipping charges.  

I have also been looking into creating on-line classes. I want them fun and informative. They will be technique oriented. I’m very excited about it and now I have time so I will JUST DO IT!

And I have a couple more patterns that need to be finished too. Heidi, JUST DO IT!

Please peruse through my “Art to Wear” pattern line below and to get more information about them, tap on the Etsy icon (sprinkled throughout this post).  Remember, my patterns are all “blank canvases” for you to try your own techniques, fabrics, and colors.

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Having a year off from  the Artistic Alchemy Retreat is going to put new ideas into the mix to truly make 2021 the best retreat ever!  So keep coming to our blog (tap on the icon in the “lineup” of icons above). We will continue to bring you things that are happening in all 3 of our creative filled lives that make up the whole idea of ARTISTIC ALCHEMY.

It’s time people! JUST DO IT! Get your creative going this weekend in the garden, at your sewing machine, with your knitting needles, etc.

I leave you with these thoughts: Wherever you are today, may the sun shine on you. Whatever you do today, may it give you a sense of peace and completion…Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God!

Hugs, Heidi

Friday, A Great Day To Upcycle!

by Heidi Emmett

I’m certain that I’m the only one who does this…..buys a garment either at a store or Thrift shop that doesn’t fit with the GREAT intention of making it work, l-a-t-e-r! That pile for me got so big it fell over. I went through the pile and cut it in half by donating, and/or cutting up for fabric, some of the garments. FINALLY with all this so-called time on my hands I am diving in to the pile to make a few work for me.

I bought a blouse just for the fabric. The fabric is such luscious colors. I’m going to use it to make an existing blouse longer and a pair of capris wider. Let’s see if you like what I’ve done.
A close up of the blouse fabric reveals some pretty embroidery on fine stretch netting. I love ANYTHING with embroidery. And flowers! Even better.
I cut off the bottom 7″ of the blouse. I ran a gathering stitch where I cut it off and very slightly gathered it. I tucked the gathered portion right under the original hem on the bottom of the embroidered blouse and stitched it down. Ta da! Instant hem on the bottom from the blouse I cut off the 7″ and cute little slits (they were the side slits on the blouse) one at the center of my newly lengthened blouse and one in the center back. Yep, that’s right, a NEW look for me. I’m not about to rip it off and reposition two little slits. I created something new, and I like it. Ha, ha. No, I do really like it.
I like the smoothness of the new piece aka not enough fabric to gather very much but I truly think it’s good.
On to the capris. It’s amazing what adding 1 1/2″ to the sides of super skin tight capris will do. I cut the side seams all the way up from the bottom slit through the top (hence the little cutaway portion at the bottom of the capris (they had a little finished slit on the sides that I didn’t want to mess with as I wanted to get these puppies done!) Each side is completely open allowing me to insert a 2″ strip (that’s how much I needed 1/4″ seam allowance).
I like mixing different fabrics and jewelry together for a Bohemian Chic look.
Another close up of the capris. Can you see that the capri fabric is a jacquard (a pattern woven into the fabric). This is a satin jacquard so the design is a little bit shiny. It is also has some stretch  in it too(most helpful to get them on ha, ha).
One more look see. I’m ready for SUMMER! Go check your clothes. Is there something you could change so you could enjoy it and wear it once again?

I had to show you this beautiful pin by Helen. So sweet from scraps of fabric. Alas, the pin sold in 2014 but it is still fluttering around Pinterest.

I love this beautiful shot. I wish had taken it. It had no name on it (to give them credit) when I pinned it. Doesn’t it speak of summer? All rightie, let’s all get going on something fun for summer whether you start with a favorite piece of fabric from your stash or pluck something out of the “remake” pile. Happy sewing. Hugs, Heidi

A Garment from 1915 was my Inspiration for This Pattern!


What? Something that is 105 years old inspired one of my “Art to Wear” pattern for today! Who knew?

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This is the front cover of my pattern. To see all my patterns go to my Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett or tap on the Etsy icon above the front cover.
This great book by Dover publications  and was printed in 1976.  Erte’ was mainly a designer for the Theater. He also did covers for Harper’s Bizar (yep, only one “Z”) from 1915 to 1936.

I sit (usually watching a movie) and thumb through the book and sketch possibilities that I might like to try. This “frock” is where the Mommy & Me was born. I love the deep “V’s” and keyed off of those. Ebay has a few of these books available. Every page is a creative sewists delight.

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This is the little “me” version of Mommy & Me & My Quilted Vest and Quilt.
The long title, there is a reason. I fear we are losing a whole generation of sewists and quilters. Why not create a fun pattern that brings together young and older alike to enjoy sewing and quilting again!

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And while I was at it I threw in some major eye popping color. The flowers and leaves are Kaffe Fassett fabrics. The “petals” were fussy cut from pre-treated (using Terial Magic) Suzani fabric by Kaffe.  Stylized Peonies maybe? Terial Magic I talk about it alot. Go here to learn more.
This pattern is so easy to make you will want more than just one. While these in the picture are quilted, they certainly don’t have to be. You’ll see one at the end that is wool boucle.” That makes for a softer, more drapey look.

A Peony from my yard. I thought the lighting was terrific for this shot. Please enjoy one more shot of these exquisite flowers. Don’t the flowers in the vests look like this? Well, very stylized I should say. The real deal is so sophisticated.

I was busy arranging the pieces for a photo shoot. Rubix are second cat (I showed Rex last week-the Lizard catcher) decided he needed to check out my set up.
Of the two brothers, Rubix is the most curious. The following pictures are like one of those flip books. I love these pictures. Enjoy.
“Sew that’s how you finish off the binding.”
“I need a closer look. I think you missed a thread.”
“It’s in here somewhere.”
“O.K., how do I get out of here?”
“Does anyone see me? This could be a great hiding place.”
“A perfect bird watching hideout.”
” I love it here. No one will notice I’m wearing people clothes.” Rubix has one front paw over the other. Too cute!
Same vest pattern but this one is a yummy wool boucle’ with Sashiko stitching and felted yarn circles and some fabric yo-yo’s.
A close up of the Sashiko stitching and the felted yarn circles.
The stitching on a textured wool boucle’ is best done using a “knit crocheen”  thread (it’s thicker and shows up better). This one came variegated.
Rex had to get in on the act while I was having fun making the fabric yo-yo’s for the boucle’ vest.  Mommy & Me & My Quilted Vest and Quilt. See it as a blank canvas for a new technique you might have learned and want to attach to an “Art To Wear” piece.

Be sure to stop by the Artistic Alchemy Blog. We have an important announcement for our retreat this September. Go here to see it.

My Art to Wear patterns are available via my Etsy shop or contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com  for information on cheaper shipping (for hard copies). I’m continuing to add patterns at my Etsy shop that are in pdf format too as well as hard copies. Tap on the Etsy icon above (waay above near the start of the post) to get there or my Etsy shop is called– DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. Hugs, Heidi

A Cup of Tea For You & Me!

by Heidi Emmett

Sometimes we need to MAKE time to work on a new technique or start a brand new project after perusing through our”stuff” in our sewing space.

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Almost 10 years ago, I bought this card by Sue Mattero of East Haven, CT while waiting in line to check out at Trader Joe’s.  She is a Graphic Designer that has created cards for Trader Joe’s. I wanted to give you an address to see more of her cards but it came up “unsecured” so I will let you explore it on your own. I have kept this card out where I could see it(in my attic studio) for at least 5 years.I kept saying to myself, someday you will create your own tea cup. Last Sunday afternoon, IT HAPPENED!!! I was inspired to CREATE! I have always liked  black “scratchy, scribbly,”outlines. They remind me of my “sketch stitching” by machine that I have been doing for years. But THIS time I have Terial Magic to help me. What? is that. Read on.

Any time I can create using my “Grunge” textiles by Moda, I will. I have pulled what I want to use, plus some muslin (for the cup). See the white specks on the Turquoise grunge? That is the residue from stiffing my fabrics with Terial Magic. Just brush those little bits off. I”m telling you, I can’t work  WITHOUT it. Check it out here if you don’t know about its many uses.
I am sketching my own cup on a piece of printer paper. I like that size because it is easier to sew on AND I get it completed faster.
I cut out some free form circles  and placed them on the paper cut-out of the cup just for a quick look-see, then replaced the paper with the muslin fabric. I LOVE the texture of even small pieces of Grunge. I believe Villa Rosa Designs carries every single color they make (sigh….75+…I need the cream colored one but muslin will do fine today). Villa Rosa sells on line.

Because all the pieces of fabric (including the background) were treated with Terial Magic

I have no need to glue or pin the pieces in place. There seems to be just enough friction to hold everything in place.

Now for the tools you need to create “free form stitching.” A brand new needle size 12 or 14 Universal is a must. Lower the feed dogs (pencil lead is pointing to them). Lowering the feed dogs puts YOU in control of the machine. A darning foot is put on (your machine may call it something else, look for machine embroidery foot). The foot on the right is a regular darning foot (I couldn’t see much with that one), so I bought a foot that is called an “open toed” darning foot. Ahh….. much, much better for me. For thread I used regular sewing thread, same thread top and bobbin. I was so excited to begin stitching that I forgot to do a step by step. Next pictures are the finished product. Enjoy.

I LOVED, LOVED, creating this little piece. There is no rhyme or reason for where I stitched first, well, now that I think about it, I stitched the polka dots first. They are tiny and I didn’t want them moving. I just held each one in place for a few seconds to get 7 or sew stitches in before letting go and stitching “round n round.”

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Whirrr….whirrr….and sew it goes.

Relax your shoulders, hold onto the piece lightly. Awww…now we’re enjoying the process.
Not one pin, not one drop of glue, not one basting stitch was used to create this piece!
It looks a bit messy (the black stitches) I suppose for those who are not into raw-edged machine applique’ but it is just the look I was going for. Try one yourself. And be freeee….
Yowzaa! I scored a few of these Iris beauties from my Mom’s garden. I think I have showed them to you each year. I have seen bunches of Iris in my time, but NONE quite like this.
My Georgia O’Keefe view.
Another “Georgia” view. I own a Google Pixel phone (my son’s suggestion) because of the camera.
The top petals are outlined! Do you see that?
I took these shots on a cloudy day at approximately 3:00p.m.

Here is my excellent helper for this shoot. Rex is a 9 year old rescue (along with his brother Rubix) barn cats.  Rex loves to bring lizards into the house (very much alive, don’t know how he does that part) so he can play with them.  Lizards are going to run up my legs I just know it, so my reaction is always the same: scream, find a tupperware to put over them (they are in such shock from being carried into the house), throw the cat outside, yell for my husband, and then shout directions from a different room that I want it put waaaaaay out into the neighbors field. My husband is so patient, “Love you honey.” You need to know that I grew up with 3 brothers (in the country) who loved seeing my reaction to different things. One scenerio, chasing me around our big yard with a dead rattlesnake on a big stick. Now you know why I act as I do. Ha, ha, ha. It’s amazing we all grew up without killing each other and get along really well now. I love my brothers. Sometimes though, growing up I didn’t like them very much.

Now get up to your happy place (wherever you stitch) and have FUN! That’s an order. Hugs, Heidi

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Upcycling Friday! Men’s Shirts & Working at the “Growing Grounds”

by Heidi Emmett

Hello everyone. Upcyling is one of my things as you all know. I have bins and bins of men’s shirts. I really enjoy designing and creating cool things from them. I save every bit of a shirt. To get this Friday post off to a funny start (WE NEED LAUGHTER!), please watch this 14 second video my friend sent me, on one way to upcycle a man’s shirt.

Check out my tunic. I purchased it from the “Upcycled Closet”, an  Etsy store.  I love all the details that she has put into it such as, little pockets here and there, the “men’s shirts” even unbutton to show off more “stuff” underneath. Such clever ideas. You must visit her store. “Upcycled Closet.”
More of a close up on some details of this “Upcyled Closet” tunic top.
O.K. holding a phone and trying to take a picture, well, it can be awkward. So what you see is my left hand in the right side  pocket.

All rightie then, I want to try this myself. Starting with the t-shirt (this one really and truly shrunk in length) and adding some men’s shirt and one linen skirt. I’m off to a good start I think.
A close-up of the t-shirt. There are lots of colors in it. Hmm….the printing seems a bit off, but no matter. It will be so BUSY when I’m done, no one will notice. But, this is as far as I have come on this project. I have had to detour out of sewing for awhile. A “growing” need has arisen (puns intended).
My brothers have owned a nursery for over 50 years (it started as a wholesale nursery from our parents property as a project for one brother (I have 3)for high school FFA)! In the spring they have always offered locally grown vegetable and herb starts. Over the years they have learned how long the season (for veggie starts) will last and plant accordingly. Because of what has been going on EVERYONE (it seems) wants to have a “Victory Garden” of sorts. They are coming as far as 50 miles away to get their starts. The nursery was considered “essential” right from the get go as they sold “food products.” How about 28 varieties of tomatoes (who knew ), 12 types of Peppers, and on and on and on. They have been so desperate for help because of the demand, they even acquiesced to asking their little sister to come and help.   FYI- Peppers, no matter the variety take f-o-r-ever to come up. (see above).  I have such a NEW appreciation to what goes into the growing of food stuffs. Read on.
We are down to the last of the last of the “pots” to fill. Waiting, waiting, for a new shipment of these 4″ pots. They come from Illinois (slowed down because of SNOW, what!!). The soil is very specialized and comes from ———(shhh…can’t tell you where ’cause it’s a secret) very far away because it has a specialized peat moss mixed in to help seeds germinate faster, and seedlings grow better.  There is the coolest machine (BIG, very BIG) on the property that takes three people to run. It is used to fill all these pots with soil.
These are specialized “flats” that have seeds dropped into them. All these flats, and the pots, that have been seeded, are all placed by hand.
A close up view of one flat of Genovese basil. These germinated in less than a week.
When the basil is big enough they are popped out of the first flat (a micro sized ice cube tray of sorts and transferred to the four inch pot and labeled. Again it’s all done by hand. DesignsbyHeidi helps at her brother’s nursery. I LOVE IT! Truly. I’m helping in another way besides making masks. A nice change.
All the propagation is done outside of the greenhouse (too warm to be in all day). Once that’s done, they are moved into greenhouses like the one above. It is a really carefully planned process and when one thing doesn’t happen (like the run on seeds from the distributors,suddenly, everyone wants them) it can upset this “well oiled” process.  Oh, see the little blue and yellow squares hanging a few feet above the plants? Those are very sticky to catch teeny, tiny, mites that can come in when a door is kept open too long. I know this as I got my hair caught in several (I kept forgetting they were there), ick, ick and ouch!

At the far end of the greenhouse is the giant sized swamp cooler. Water constantly dribbles down from the top of the black metal mesh units while equally giant fans are blowing into the greenhouse (from the outside) air through the black meshy type metal.  They can regulate the air to be cooler at one end (so certain plants basically stop growing), as is the case for the pumpkins above.
Take a walk outside a greenhouse and you can really tell we live in California. Eschultzia Californica, California Poppy. Did you know they can bloom twice? Out in the wild it’s only once, in April or May. But at home, with extra water, you can get a fall bloom too.
California poppies make me so happy to look at. Especially a field of them.

The color! Such a brilliant color. I live in Gold Country, and CA poppies are our state flower. Did you know that the largest gold producing mine in the state of CA is only 1/2 mile from my home here in Grass Valley? Another interesting story for another time. Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you can have some “dirt therapy” time this weekend planting and tending your own garden.Hugs,  Heidi

Friday! May 8th, 2020.

Hello. Everyone I have talked to lately says things like, “Do You know the date? Do you know what day it is?” Is this happening to you too?

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Well, I am giving you a little gift today. It is the “Bleu healing song.” I tried to show it to you last week but hit all the wrong buttons (NO SURPRISE THERE!).

Here is the link:

In honor of Mother’s Day I’m giving myself the gift of not doing a blog this week.

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Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Friday Feature: OFF THE GRID VEST from Anchorage, Alaska!

by Heidi Emmett

Hello spring! It has really sprung here in Northern CA. Record highs for the end of April. But wait, it’s May 1st. The dates and days are all running together in my opinion. Have you noticed that too?

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I know it’s HUGE! Surprisingly, “hugely” sweet too.
The color! Luscious.
I like how my super amazing tasting, first of the season strawberries look on my vintage tea towel. And these beauties tasted even BETTER than they look here.

Candy Tuft NEVER disappoints. Grows well in many zones. It blooms without fail every single year. I have some that is at least 25 years old. And the deer don’t like it!

And now I want to introduce to you Sandy W. from Anchorage, Alaska who made this wallhanging. Isn’t this quilt STUNNING! It is titled  “Girl With a Pearl by The Sea.” The composition, the colors, the design, the 3-dimensional quality, all come together to make for a lovely creation. It is her own design and quilting is just one of the things she does. She also creates AMAZING watercolor paintings. I can’t show you her latest as it is going into a show and can’t be seen by anyone until the show starts.  And sewing is something else she does.

Sandy, using my Art to Wear, “OFF THE GRID VEST” pattern made NOT just One, not even Two  OFF THE GRID’S, but FIVE of them, one right after the other!!  Yes, she had some time up in Anchorage, Alaska.

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Please read what Sandy had to say about her versions of OFF THE GRID VEST.
Regarding the vests, I worked steadily on each one for two and a half days. Was just on a roll, as I haven’t had so much fun sewing in years. The green one, where I put the fronts to the sides before cutting and made the collar longer, actually gave me the most trouble. Reversed front of binding multiple times.
Watercolor painting has pretty much what I have been doing daily for 20 months, being retired. I have fabrics picked out for a blue version, and might send the purple one to my 94 year old Mother.

Don’t you love how she used to basic pattern pieces and did her own thing!
I like the cool pocket Sandy added to this OFF THE GRID VEST.

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Sandy kept with the ombre’ fabric that I used in my cover shot, but the splitting of the fabric  and inserting long curving shapes gives some real depth and drama and of course the long and lean look I’m always talking about in all of my Art To Wear sewing patterns.
“Purple passion with patch pockets.” That’s what I call this OFF THE GRID VEST. I like the over and under strips that showcase the front panels.
This OFF THE GRID VEST features an Ombre’ fabric that is used so effectively in this version. It is one piece of fabric deftly cut to its’ best advantage. I think the black trim is the perfect color choice for this “Simply Elegant” look. Check out the pocket that moves over to the far side of the front, and is held in place by the finishing trim.

What’s different about this OFF THE GRID VEST? Sandy eliminated the collar piece. That’s what you do when you are on vest # 5, yes, FIVE.
The color choices for this OFF THE GRID VEST make it a stand out! Well done Sandy.
When this OFF THE GRID VEST is opened and laid out you can see all the detailing minus the collar. Sandy, SANDY! Thank you SO MUCH for this eye opening fashion show of 5 OFF THE GRID VESTS! What an amazing job! Your creativity and color sense and beautiful stitching show off my vest pattern so nicely.  You are the BEST!

Hey everyone I know this fashion show will give you ideas for your own OFF THE GRID VEST. Contact me (Heidi Emmett) at my email: hmemmett@gmail.com for ways to buy this Art to Wear pattern (or any of my others) and save $ on shipping.

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I leave you all with a song to put you in a Zen mood to get you ready for your next creative adventure. Hugs, Heidi

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We Have More Time To Sew!

by Heidi Emmett

There has been plenty of time to straighten, clean, and purge our sewing areas. And now that it is done, were you able to find treasured pieces of fabric that you forgot about? I certainly have!

Today I want to show you what Judith F. from Canada has been up to.

Judith used my Terrific Tabard vest pattern. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com and I can sell you any of my patterns directly if you like. Anyone outside the U.S. NEEDS to contact me so I can save you lots of $$ in shipping. Check out my Etsy store to see what I carry. Under “shops” type in DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. The same name applies to following me on Instagram, Pinterest, Bluprint,  & Artistic Alchemy.

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This is the inside of her Terrific Tabard. I like that you can see it all the way opened. This is what Judith said about this vest.
“I should not have chosen the Indonesian material ..too crisp ..vest is a little stiff ..steep learning curve ..but I really enjoyed making this especially using scraps to make the 6 “ squares..so fun. Thanks again ..so fun!”

Now check out the front side of Judith’s Terrific Tabard vest. The bright colors and swirling vines with what I see as fantasy flowers (I need to ask her) are so cheerful and spring-like.
The collars are open in this picture. She is also deciding on button placement. I encouraged her to put two buttons/ties on each side. The 2 will basically act as a dart. This technique is perfect for fuller busted women.
One more shot with the collar up to show even more of her collage work on this great vest. Just wearing this vest a few times will help it soften a little. But she also lives in Canada so I understand the batting and layers a little more. It gets mighty cold up there.
Here are the squares as each one is completed. I’m seeing decorative threads couched with a decorative stitch. Clever use for the myriad stitches sewing machines come with. Thank you Judith for your great show and tell of your Terrific Tabard. She told me that she has all her fabrics picked out for her next project, “Off The Grid” vest.
Dogwoods are in full bloom here in Northern California. Dogwood blossoms are a sign of new life.
Going out a bit to show the whole branch and the blue, BLUE, sky.
Here is the whole tree. The story for this tree is that 31 years ago on my husbands and my evening walk we walked to my brother’s wholesale nursery to check “the pile.” That is the place where the broken branches, or other infirmities, on the one gallon trees and bushes are thrown. What a sad dogwood it was back then. We brought it home and planted it at our little house in the woods. When we sold that house I told Robert we need to take it with us to our new home. As you can see, it loves it here all these years later.

Keep the creativity going! Hugs, Heidi

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This and That Friday!

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Spring is really in the air here in waaay Northern California (remember I live 1 hour north of Sacramento and 1 hour 22 min from the first sighting of Lake Tahoe which is due east from Grass Valley, CA). I went to my brother’s (my two older brothers) nursery today just to soak in all the flowers and color there. Most people (everyone in their masks) were trying to social distance in the vegetable isles. The soil at my house is too cold yet to plant veggies, so I’ll plant flowers instead.

I have to say, I’m not really with it lately so I’m going to entertain you with pictures of this and that this week.

I’m sure you know by now that puzzles are in very SHORT supply. My youngest brother lives in Denver has been sending mom puzzles. These came just before a shortage was called. Her other puzzles still to come are on back order until???? She has a ton of puzzles in her garage but she says she has done those. Ha, ha. Phillip (the brother in Denver) said that Mom should take her puzzles to the road and start selling them. Since there is a shortage and all. Ha, ha.
My Mom lives 150+ yards away from me in her adorable “Granny house.” She is always working on a puzzle. She works on the card table she received as a wedding gift almost 65 years ago. Love that!
My husband snapped this pic ’cause I said I was multi-tasking: a “Wear your Joy” outfit (too short of a favorite sweater, pair it with a long shirt), getting my vitamin C, and working on icckkky taxes. I really needed a stiff drink at this point.

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A half hour later, I saw that some pictures came across facebook from one of my nephews. This is his youngest son. I had the best laugh over this picture. You go Brody! Great minds think alike.

I LOVE this! Thank you Practicallyfunctional.com. What could be cozier on these very cool springtime mornings and evenings?

I really, really want to try this. I have grown some of the best strawberries only to lose them to the birds! Acckk.
Speaking of birds. This is such a cool mixed media piece.  Yes, I saw it on Pinterest.