Some Boro Chic Mixed With Denim Upcycling! It WORKS!

by HEIDI EMMETT

I have been working on this for months. I used the very method I tell YOU all to use. 15 minutes a day and before you know it, you are so close to being done that you WANT to get it done NOW!

Designs by Heidi finished a project! It’s all about Upcycling.
This is the back of my “Boro/denim” flat tote bag. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com will tell you how easy this is to create.
I cut off the back portion above the pockets. I love how these jeans have worn and frayed pieces. People pay BIG BUCKS for jeans like these, ha, ha. These are some jeans that my husband wore and wore and wore…you get the idea.

After cutting away the top portion, I opened up the legs and stitched up the left overs in the derriere area (sounds nicer than crotch!).  I trimmed away the excess and…
covered up the seam with the that back YOKE (gosh I couldn’t think of what that piece was called), brain is finally engaging here.  Oh dear, a hole at the bottom of the yoke (green olfa mat shows through).
No problem…I just added a left over piece underneath it all and stitched it all in place using orange thread, using a straight stitch going up and down and all over. Back of tote is done and I set it aside. I also made handles out of the bottom portion of the jean legs.

Here is another example of “How to Keep a Man Close” (make an apron out of a man’s shirt) in my upcycling portion of my workshop at my Artistic Alchemy workshop.Go here to learn more.  And you see a little scrap of this orange and yellow checked shirt in my Boro piece. I have the worst time throwing any scraps out. Sigh… it is a sickness I know.

Let’s talk about this “Boro” piecing and stitching. My understanding of Boro is a technique of fabric pieces laid out in a random fashion on a background fabric (Japanese started it by stitching on pieces of Kimono fabrics  with Sashiko stitching also known as a running stitch).

For my piece of Boro fabric I started with leftovers from this “Gathering” apron (my design)  that I teach in my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, this Sept. 7th-11th. Check it out here. I would love to have you join my workshop. Nothing but fun.
Using an off white textured piece of cotton as the base, I arranged squares of left over pieces of Men’s shirts (all 100% cotton) and pinned them down, some over and some under. The sleeve in the upper left of the picture is the left over from the Gathering Apron. This shirt is 100% linen. I do love linen!
If only I had used the Terial Magic FIRST THING, I would have saved myself so much grief. My thinking was smallish pieces, easy to stitch down. But,everything was too soft and floppy. The pins poked me and I thought that using the basting stitch on my machine would help. Nope. I have told you in the past that Terial Magic takes a piece of natural fibered fabric (linen, cotton, silk, etc.) and once sprayed and ironed dry,even the background piece, it becomes like a piece of paper. With this method, I would have added each piece one at a time. There is enough friction from spraying the background and the  small pieces too, they sort of stick together naturally.  It all worked out in the end, but I would have enjoyed the process more had I used Terial Magic first.

I used 3 strands of embroidery floss. DMC is my go to floss brand. Then I ran out of the orange I was using. Imagine that! In my STASH of floss, I ran out of a color. So I went to my stash of “Knit Crocheen,” the ball above. Works just fine. I chose bolder, thicker threads as I wanted it to show. Use “Sharps” as your needle of choice so it pokes into the tightly woven fabrics easily.

This closeup is fun. I loved working with these happy colors. I’m ready to start another Boro piece that I can stash in my Tote Bag for the moments of time inbetween appts. or just because.

One last look. Boro + Denim, all upcycled. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
On the Riley dog front. It is 6 weeks today that we picked Riley to be part of our family. The improvements all the way around are vast! We finished week 2 of a 5 week training course.
Rubix wants only to view Riley from a distance. This will be the tough part. Sigh… Ha, ha, this looks like a “pin up” shot of this cat.
Rex has already had one encounter with Riley. Rex is very brave and will stand up for himself. Much hissing, and clawing (all “air claws”) and barking ensued. Both retreated to try again another day. Sigh…. again.  These two brother cats are almost 8 years old. When they were kittens meeting  our older, easy going, Sparky  dog, the meet and greet was sooooo easy.

Don’t forget that YOU could check out this view from Robin’s Flight (a gazillion stairs but the view is worth the climb) in PERSON if you join us at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat this Sept. 7th-11th. On the home page look under Workshops for information on mine.
Or visit the private beach. If your husband tags along he could take a fishing charter from the dock. Or there’s golfing, hiking, bike riding, etc. so close.

Have a great weekend. I can’t wait to see ( I love pictures ) or hear what you are up to in your creative adventures. Hugs, Heidi

Artistic Alchemy Retreat- September 7th-11th, 2020! CHECK IT OUT!

Welcome! I am so happy to present to you this week, here on my blog post,  my workshop details for the 2020 Artistic Alchemy retreat being held at Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe.

I just LOVE what I do with all things fiber and I want to be able to share some of my ideas and techniques with those who sign up. The Artistic Alchemy retreat is the PERFECT place to do it. So read on….

UPCYCLING, WEARABLE CREATIVITY, & FIBER JEWELRY WORKSHOP 2020

with Heidi Emmett

This workshop is geared to those who already know how to sew clothing. This is also not a fitting class, although I will help you fit your Designs by Heidi clothing pattern if needed, on Thursday. Let’s play this week! Play with all things fiber and wearable that is. Here’s the rundown on what we’ll be doing:

Monday (Day 1) : Arrive and get settled. In the classroom by 5:00p.m. we’ll discuss the week and take a look at what you brought for Upcycling using men’s shirts and sweatshirts and T-shirts. I want to show a t-shirt technique to create a necklace.All this before 6:00p.m. dinner!

Tuesday (day 2): Upcycling continues to inspire. We’re going to grab onto this trend using your choice of men’s shirts, or large sweatshirts. The choices will be many and you’ll have lots of fun creating “your signature look.” Techniques will be shown as well as handouts given. In the morning it will be creating with Men’s shirts. In the afternoon we’ll be creating our “Off The Cuff” look using a sweatshirt.

Wednesday  (day 3): I’m going to teach you some new techniques. Ever heard of Spiralishous? or Sketch Stitching? Layered appliques that are cut? We will have fun. Each technique will be supported by paper work and actually creating it yourself. Whatever you like, you can apply to a background fabric 20″ x 20″ that I will give you. Make a pillow or tote bag from this piece. The techniques you learn today may be just what you need to add to your next days adventure with a Designs by Heidi pattern.

Thursday (day 4): Working with a “Designs by Heidi” pattern, we will focus on your choice of pattern, working on fit, and fabric choices. Individual attention from me, a few demos (techniques), will help you achieve a garment that you will love and want to wear. It will be a great start for you so you will know just how to finish it when you get home.

Friday (9:00-11:00)- I have so many ideas on fiber jewelry- I am presently still trying new techniques. I will be choosing ideas that when you make a necklace or bracelet you will actually want to wear it. I want to make the morning time we have, relaxing, and special. Everyone will leave with some jewelry in hand.

 

SUPPLY LIST FOR ALL SECTIONS

Supply List for Day 2: Upcycling- “Off the Cuff” or “Holding a Man Close.” Feel free to bring supplies for both, if you can’t decide which one to do. We’ll figure it out, and evenings are free and you can work on a second one then if you wish.

OFF THE CUFF

1-3 sweatshirts, as much cotton as possible, pre-shrink it. 2 sizes larger than what you wear is preferred. Bigger is better, as you can always take it in. Could have a logo on it (I have ways to cover them). Any colors you want.

1-3 T-Shirts, as much cotton as possible and not too thin. Pre-wash. They can be short sleeved, tank tops, long sleeved, men’s or women’s. Bring at least one size larger than what you usually wear. Bigger is fine.  We will be cutting these up (if there is a spot or even a logo on front, no worries). Colors of the t-shirts: contrasting to the sweatshirt you choose.The t-shirts can also be a printed fabric if you like.

Quilting cottons, bring some that go with your sweatshirt, 1/3 of a yard of each (will need a 12” square at least). Or bring some quilting panels or a big panel that you can cut up.

Embroidery floss (6 strand type), bring 3-5 colors that go with all the other things you are bringing. You will need embroidery needles and a thimble (definitely). If you have some trims that you think will go with, bring those too. Also, threads to match sweatshirts and t-shirts.

HOLDING A MAN CLOSE

Man’s shirts,5 of them (button up the front, long sleeved, or short sleeved,cuffs & collar preferred). Sizes, if they are all size smalls, bring an extra. They ALL need to look good together. Pre-wash. The  APRON ABOVE IS JUST ONE IDEA. I will bring many other samples. 5 shirts will give you plenty to work with.

The following items may or may not be used. Bring them if you have them. Don’t buy anything unless it is something you HAVE to have, ha, ha.

Quilting cottons: scraps or fat qtrs. Bring as many as you like, prints, solids, stripes, plaids. Jewelry,  pin/brooch or two. Buttons, ones you already have, bring your jar of buttons if you have one. Embroidery floss (six strand variety), colors that go with the shirts. Trims that you like if you have any.

LEARN SOME NEW TECHNIQUES -Day 3

These are a few samples of what we’ll be doing.

For “Technique” Day bring the following: 5 different quilting cottons (1/3 yard each printed,plain, whatever you choose), BUT all 5 must coordinate. Threads to go with and/or contrast (regular sewing thread is great), and Terial Magic (will be available at our Artistic Alchemy store). You will be able to make a tote bag, or a pillow, or maybe put what you create on the back of a jean jacket. So consider bringing backing fabric too. That piece must be at least 20 x 20. Consider a jean jacket too.

WEARABLE CREATIVITY – DAY 4

Here is Off The Grid vest, one of many patterns to choose from.

This is Calypso Vest

Calypso vest, the back.  Such a fun vest to wear. Check it out at my Etsy shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

 

Please visit my blog: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com On the home page click on “Patterns.” All the patterns fronts & backs are shown. Or go to my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see all the patterns I have available.Take a look at all the choices. If you have ANY questions regarding them, please, email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com

The back of each pattern tells you what is needed. I encourage thinking outside the box. Quilting cottons are just the beginning. Silk shantung, hand painted fabrics, lightweight canvas, ponte knits, let’s change it up. I’m here to help you create a one of a kind wearable.

Vests are always good. Terrific Tabard, Calypso, and Off The Grid are great choices. I will have samples to try on. Some of the vests have muslins in different sizes to try on. You might not finish your piece in the time we have but everyone will know how to finish them at home.

FIBER JEWELRY- Last morning

Whaaat?  are these. Find out at our Friday Fiber Jewelry day. Please visit Artistic Alchemy our site that tells you everything you need to know about the retreat.

You’ve worked hard these past few days. Now it’s time to relax! I will supply everything, for your remaining few hours. Let’s play! Everyone will leave with one bracelet and/or necklace and directions for more playtime at home.

SEWING SUPPLIES-for the first 3 days,bring the following:

Sewing machine and all that goes with it. Let me know if you have a special set up (table, chair, etc.) Don’t forget your foot control and cord (it has been done).

Rotary mat & cutter and ruler. Scissors, tape measure, pins, thread to match fabrics, seam ripper, thimble, all those sewing essentials you can’t be without.

We are asked not to iron on the plastic tables, so irons and ironing boards will be provided. There will be a floor mirror, and a size 12-14 pinable mannequin available.

A storm coming in to Lake Tahoe. This picture was taken from the deck of The Bear Necessities Gift Shop.

Thank you for stopping by today. Your taking the time to read my posts every week means so much to me. I love the pictures you send me (of your own cool creations) and the comments. Is your handwork project ready to pop in your tote bag for that few minutes you might have between appts.? Hugs, Heidi

What are my SWAG Friends Doing? PART 2!

There is STILL so much to show you, I couldn’t resist one more week of SWAG  “Show and Tell.” I hope you find it inspiring.

Sue purchased this necklace made of felt on a trip to Italy.
I think this picture shows  how it is created.  This would be fun to try.
It makes all the difference to use 100% wool. The quality is so much better.
This fun necklace was purchased by Christine at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Show). They used a beautiful batik.
A close up shows you that it is a very fine black thread/yarn creating a chain stitch via crochet. I think I have already figured out an easy way to create this necklace (using cording instead, for those who don’t crochet). Look for it in a future post.
I’m not sure if you can zero in on the necklace that Christine is wearing. It is the same necklace above. She is the one sitting with the “cool” black boots. It was such a brrrr….COLD day! We all wore boots. As did Sue who is wearing a great denim jacket she created. She looks like she just came in from the Alps! The jacket is entirely upcycled (using jeans and lace doilies and fabric from her stash). Acck…..is it Pat who made this cool necklace? SOOOO MUCH is shown and trying to take pictures and write notes, sometimes impossible! The smaller beads are silk over wooden beads. The great beads in between, sigh.. I missed that part. Was it Tyvek and painted? hm… not sure. Pretty cool though right?
Oh MY GOSH! I absolutely LOVE this necklace!! Look how good it goes with my Kaffe Fassett hand knit sweater (not by him but ladies in Peru. Check out Peruvian Connection.com).
A close up of Mary’s necklace show little beads as flower centers.
This is such a beautifully created necklace. And such exquitite detail.
You could use all your favorite pieces of silk, linen thread, beads, and bungee cord (for everything to attach too. Just so beautiful Mary.
Oh, Mary also had time to make a coat too! How about that “back pack” attached to the back of her jacket. Love that.
Sorry, I can’t tell you what pattern (but you know that Mary added and subtracted to make it her own) creation.
The base of the coat is a pre-printed canvas weight cotton. Her use of trims and detailing make it an exceptional piece.
A close up of a simple vest pattern that Patty used  to create a backdrop for her hand painted canvas circles. The fuchsia fabric is silk noil.  The black embroidered running stitches are the perfect finishing touch. I want to show you more of this garment at a later date.


Some of you know that I started a retreat at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point in 2013. This year will be our 7th year. We have our “GO LIVE” next Friday, on February 7th. So be certain to check out our site, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com, to get all the information. It promises to be a fun and fabulous time! Enjoy your creative time this week. It’s therapeutic for me. Hugs, Heidi

What Have the Ladies in my SWAG group been up to?

by HEIDI EMMETT

What is SWAG you ask?It stands for Sierra Wearable Art Group.  It is a creative clothing/accessories group that meets once a month to showcase and teach, and give ideas for anything using FIBER! Let’s see what they are up to this month.

Vicky took a piece she created in Mary Boalt’s class (painting on painting on-fusible-web) and turned it into a clever shopping tote. She did some textured stitches here and there to make certain areas “pop.”
I wanted to show you what I created with a panel of this same type of creative painting. I made an Off The Grid Vest with mine. The side panels were made of “scuba fabric” from JoAnn’s.
Here is a picture of the panel as a whole. I did not make this. I purchased it from Mary Boalt who teaches classes on this technique. I have saved EVERY SCRAP of the left overs. I have plans for them too. Someday….

In case you have never seen it (ha, ha, I show it a lot I know), this is the pattern I used for the purchased panel by Mary Boalt.

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Get the pattern at my Etsy shop or contact me: hmemmett@gmail.com to purchase directly from me.

Suzanne is holding a beautiful felted scarf she created. We need to see this up close.
Her first layer is cream viscose, then wool yarn right off the skein in interesting designs and then a top layer of the cream viscose again.
I really want to try this method.
Stephanie finished her splendid Sashiko stitched vest. Lovely, just lovely.
A close up of her stitching all done by hand. She started with a thrift shop vest (with all this stitching, make CERTAIN that you like the vest you are buying). Ha, ha, I’ll take it if she doesn’t. Surface stitching on denim has to be hard. A thimble is definitely called for.
I caught Joan to take a quick shot of the front of her AMAZING vest. A bit of the front panel is a little twisted at the bottom though. It also has front pockets. The side fronts are a solid black fabric as are the pockets.
Check out the BACK? It is a single back piece of felted gorgeousness!
A close up of this back panel. I want this!!!  O.K. I’ll make my own. This vest was made for Joan by her friend Vicky.
More of a closeup. The black yarn that overlays the white and gold portion almost looks like it was created first with a really open crochet and then lightly felted in.

Tomorrow is our first session of Obedience Training for Riley. I guess we get trained too! 8 other doggies are in it too. I’ll keep you posted. Find some creative time this weekend. It will make you feel good. Hugs, Heidi

 

An Announcement About my Etsy shop! It’s GOOD!

by HEIDI EMMETT     I have so many irons in the fire so to speak with nothing finished yet. I’m going to show one thing in progress to whet your appetite to come back for the finished product. But FIRST, a word from our sponsor, Designs by Heidi. I am pleased to announce  that I am working on bringing all my “Art to Wear” sewing patterns into PDF/DIGITAL formatting to my Etsy shop, DESIGNS BY HEIDI EMMETT   Soon, within this next week there will be 2 DIFFERENT ways to purchase my patterns on my Etsy shop. “Hard Copy” (everything packed in a plastic sleeve) is there NOW, or PDF/Digital.

Coming soon to my Etsy store, Designs by Heidi Emmett, A CHOICE!! Hard copy sewing patterns, or, PDF/Digital format (you print them up on your own printer).

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Today, Jan 17th, 2020 is Riley’s 2nd week in his forever home. What a good boy he is becoming.
We weren’t sure if we would make the 2 week mark. Constant prayers (prayer REALLY works), love, and treats. Isn’t he such a handsome guy? Found out last week that it is quite possible that he has spent a year of his life in a shelter (passed around). So EVERYTHING is new to him. Oh dear, I think I already said this last week. Sorry if I did, life around here is so upside down right now. I’m thrilled to be able to type this blog post, today, the day it’s due.

Here is a P.I.P. (project in progress) I wanted you to see. Sort of a “Boro” type thing. Learning so much.  These pieces are all from men’s shirts.

I can’t wait to show you my step by step and what I learned so that you too can do this,  MUCH easier than I did. I thought, “throw some pieces down, embroider, done.” Not true.

Cruising through Pinterest (please follow me there, type in DesignsbyHeidiEmmett) one morning and up came this tote. I really like the simplicity of this piece. A tote bag from my Men’s shirts, similar to this one, or a pillow. We’ll see. This tote is available from:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BluBohBags                      AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy
Riley and his FIRST tastes of Snow (literally, biting, running, biting, giddy running, biting, biting the snow) He loved being in it, eating it, chasing snow balls.
All that running around in the snow, and Riley needs a break. He is wearing a “light lead” as training (love, treats,praise) goes on all day, every day. Two weeks and we are TRULY seeing progress. Albeit s-l-o-w-l-y but that’s what we want they say.
Some how this quote suddenly got really small. Oh well. This is truly me. Ask my husband. Some boxes and their inserts are amazingly designed. Did you know that you can get a degree in packaging design. Or so I have heard. Yikes, I need to get out more. Can’t wait to take Riley to Doggie Day Care. He NEEDS to be with his new “buds.” And we need a break. Come on sunshine, where are you! Find 15 minutes a day for your next creative project. I’m looking for my 15 min. Uh oh, there’s the whine for “I need to go out NOW!” 15 min. will have to wait. Until next week, Hugs from Heidi

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WE GOT A DOG!!!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Whaaat!?!!!  It has been 5 years since our sweet Sparky dog left us at age 16. We had rescued him at 4 years old. What a sweetie he was. Shoot, I named a pattern after him.

I want you to meet the newest member of our family, Riley.

It has been 27 years since I have taken care of a 2 year old (that is what we were told, that older puppies are like, 2 year olds).
Riley is (according to the animal shelter), German Shepherd, Golden Lab, and Husky.  He is 1 1/2 years old. It’s funny, when we took him for a walk at the shelter, he seemed of average size. We thought, 35-40 pds. max.  Well, duh, the paper work said 60 lbs. No Way! But he is.
We had to see our “Dog Whisperer” yesterday. We needed some intervention (puppy biting, and barking). Our “Pawsitive Pals” training  with Lauren Hayes (see her and her concepts on FB) doesn’t start until the END of January.  Lauren, in less than 45 minutes, taught us exactly what to do. The simplest thing of all is a “light leader.” And ALL training is done with praise, love, and of course, TREATS! Ha, ha. He is such a super fast learner. When, I first laid eyes on Riley I was thinking he could be a comfort dog. I would love to be able to take Riley to give some love to someone who needs a sweet happy face on their lap to touch and hug. I have never said anything to Lauren, but yesterday after our short lesson, she said Riley would make a fantastic service dog. Yeahhhh, my instincts were right. I’ll keep you posted on that. Right now, my husband and I realize just how out of shape we are! Where did I put my 5 lb. weights. My upper body really needs some strength training. (He saw a squirrel yesterday on one of our walks. YOWZAA! ). Take care everyone and remember my motto, “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!” Hugs, Heidi

What’s the First Thing You Want to Create in 2020?

by HEIDI EMMETT

Now we can get down to the business of all things creative.  All the get- togethers and parties are over. Decorations all put away (nope, not at my house. I LOVE Christmas). The “creative” I plan to do for January is FIBER JEWELRY! It’s easy to get started. Check out the pieces below. They will help you plan something fun.

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What an interesting use of fiber, feathers, findings and beads.
This is a felted scarf but I can see it as a very unusual necklace too.
I’m thinking we all might have on hand what would be needed for this cool necklace. An old necklace, release the chain in the middle and attach it to the backs of an arrangement of different sized fiber flowers and trim pieces. I could work on one of these right now!

I could not get this picture any bigger, but they look like teardrop shapes of silk,stuffed and then attached to a necklace chain. Use your favorite silk scraps or ties.
What a simple but “catch your eye” fun necklace. They are teeny tiny stuffed pillows. Looks like they were embroidered first with running stitches. Add colorful beads on cord Take the cord through each “pillow”, add a bead, and continue taking the cord through another pillow on the diagonal.
THIS is so interesting! And the use of African Fabrics make it truly unique. I’m not sure of the technique but I thinking folded long pieces that are then folded over a nylon cord. Very successful.
Do you like to embroider or have a special piece already? This is the piece for you to create.
I know this isn’t a piece of jewelry, but a dream catcher. Well now, I want to make the feathers and use them to form a necklace. Use your favorite super special yarn for this.
Now THIS is truly a STATEMENT piece. I don’t need to say anymore than that!
Do you have a favorite smallish scarf? Make a fiber necklace to go with the scarf. What a great pairing of the two.
And one more. Ohhh, the possibilities!
This piece is so yummy in many ways. I like the fabric choices for the tubular waterfall , the metal piece that is used for the front. And the way all the tubes attach at the top. So unique.

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I like to say, “15 minutes a day will get you on your way! with any new creative project. ” So pick one of these or use another that you had in mind. I would love to see what you create! Send me a picture of a finished piece of fiber jewelry  by January 31st 2020 and I will post it AND send you a free pattern of your choice from my collection! Happy New Year Hugs, Heidi

 

Wear Your Joy! Friday, December 27th, 2019.

by HEIDI EMMETT                       I had posted some weeks back that I really enjoyed a series of classes taught by Kelly Rae Roberts. The class I use all the time, is titled, “Wear Your Joy. ” It is 30 days long, talking about acceptance of our bodies the way they are right now, celebrating our unique “style,” and much more. Visit her site here and see if it might be something you would want for yourself for the new year!  I think it would be a great way to get you going on wanting to create more “ART TO WEAR” clothing using patterns by me!

I’m wearing my joy today! I did not make anything I am wearing. That’s o.k. The tunic length blouse is from my new favorite label, Aratta Silent Journey. I love it because it is my style. Lots of colors, fabrics, and embroidery!
It’s all about the fabric choices in this tunic.
You can barely see the butterflies (love butterflies) on my shoulder. And check out the back!
It’s all done by machine (the embroidery) on a beautiful drapey rayon velvet.
Umm….so pretty. And lovely stitching details too.
Remember this idea from last weeks post? Line a pot with aluminum foil, drop in some baking soda, and add boiling water just to cover item. Drop in silver plated, or sterling item and VOILA’! Shiny and new looking again.
I am FINALLY looking at some of my silver pieces that I have had for years and years. Not sure what the stone is in the above pendant. Haven’t worn it for years because it was too much work to clean. Ha, ha, ha. Not anymore.
Oh dear! Terrible photo, but you can still see the shiny silver. This one I had to rub a little harder to get the black off.  Not sure why.
Digging a bit in my earring drawers (yep, I have drawers and I love them all!) I found these perfect drop earrings. They looked pretty sad but not anymore. Wow, I see that with this super closeup I need more attention to the cleaning around jump rings.

Like my top, this bracelet has a little of everything in it. Very fun to wear.
This has been my “go to” coffee mug during this holiday season.
This was given to me at least 30 years ago. It was a thankyou gift for playing a “party goer” (no toe shoes necessary, ha, ha!) in our local Nutcracker. I loved ballet class as an adult and being in it at Christmas was so much fun. I think this ballerina is “Wearing her Joy” as she twirls among the branches of my Christmas Tree. Until the NEW YEAR, hugs to all of you, my creative fiber friends. Heidi

Another This and That Friday! Check THIS out!

by HEIDI EMMETT

I had a wonderful time at the Christmas Tea that was held at my church last Saturday. I have some pictures of tablescapes that might give you ideas for a  luncheon of your own.

Check this out! Row after Row of plates. All items perfectly positioned exactly the same way on each plate.
I wanted you to have a peak at how 320 (I said 340 last week) luncheon plates are created.
Nine different things will end up on this plate. So far there is (room temp. items), Sundried Tomato skewered marinated Mozzarella, Rowdy root vegetable salad, Cheery Chai Spice scone, and colorful Cranberry pistachio fudge. FIVE more items will be added. Luscious Lemon curd, and  devonshire cream, all handmade, accompany this group of  “drop dead delicious” food.
No wonder tickets sell out in no time. Is it the food or the “hunky” waiters? Hmm……
Now for a few of the tables.  This one is all silver and white. So sparkly and elegant. The center piece is a light fixture!! Lynda put battery powered lights inside and voila! Gorgeous.
Love the plaid centerpiece undercovering with fur trim. “Elegant woodsy” is this theme. Each person has their own salt and pepper shakers too. The wood chargers are perfect.
My table  has glittery wired ribbon running through each table setting( lay the ribbon across the table 5 times x 2 = 10 place settings)  and for napkin rings more ribbon tied on to the napkin. The centerpiece is surrounded by nativity sets that I have collected over the years. Nothing beats real candlelight. The take home gifts (every table has them) are the chalk painted ornament that says, “Unwrapped.” One of the table hostesses hand lettered all 320 of them. She is the one with the swollen hand! They are a lovely finishing touch.
The center piece on this table is so unique. I love him.
What a festive table and I like the unmatched tea cups. A great way to use the collection that 90% of us have.
So simple and sweet, “Don’t cha Nome!” What a great tablecloth color and there are more of those unmatched tea cups.
What a stunner of a table! Super elegant with the fresh flowers, white ceramic nativity set and the deep spruce colored tablecloth really makes the silverwear and plates pop.

Simply LOVELY! Placing the napkin in the waterglass and the menu under the fork and spoon is such a clever idea. I like the glittery gold fabric in the middle with its’ elegant folds.
Icy blue and white with an amazing hand crocheted center cloth. And check out the napkins wrapped around a votive.  What a lovely touch.

I learned this trick while setting our tables. Lynda (she had the crystal light fixture centerpiece and STUNNING silverwear) taught me about cleaning tarnished silver. I came home (thinking it will never work, it can’t work, it’s too easy) and pulled out some silver ornaments that I would not use on the Christmas tree because, well, you can see, practically black.
Line a pan  with aluminum foil (doesn’t matter which brand). Toss in some baking soda. I used about a 1/4 cup. Boil some water and fill the pan to cover whatever is going into the pan.
Do you see the ornament at the bottom of the pan? I placed it there with a pair of tongs. I’m telling you it was MAGIC! I had let it go into the pan and INSTANTLY off came the tarnish in tiny little slivers. No scrubbing or rubbing needed.
It is so happy to be back on the tree all shiny and silvery!
This one has bits of tarnish still in some of the nooks and crannies. I like that as I think it gives some dimension to the piece. Never do this method on silver with gold accents. The gold will turn black and NEVER look the same.
Isn’t “little Miss Snow” a cutie? I’ve seen her each year for years when we have Christmas Bunco at Fay’s house. I really, really, want to copy her. Maybe this will be the year!
Is there any one else out there like me? I see many things that I like and say to myself, “I can make that!” And then life goes on and I forget about it. Until the next season and there it is staring at me again and the cycle repeats. Ha, ha. I think I shall make a real effort to BREAK that cycle! I’ll keep you posted.
I HAD to show you this! Think back to 2006, A Hallmark Christmas movie called, “The Christmas Card.” Ed Asner was in it. It was filmed here in Nevada City, CA. That’s only about 3 miles from where I live.  Remember the cafe where Faith (the heroine who sent Christmas cards to people in the military) picked up the famous Curly fries?
I have wanted to visit the “Christmas Card” cafe FOREVER! and only a decade plus years later I did! It is now owned by a French couple and they serve AMAZING French food. Yes, two views of my Banana/chocolate crepe with a real French cup of Espresso. Divine!
There, right there by those counter stools, Faith stood and picked up her Curly fries. Ha, ha. And Cody was right there because of the mix up. Awww….yes, I have to watch the movie every year, just because. That is Genevieve, one of the owners behind the counter. I love her French clothes and of course, her accent.
The sweet mural behind the tables shows Broad Street in Nevada City. One of the  fun facts about that movie is that it was filmed in April and it snowed every other day for almost two weeks. And it was always just the right amount for filming. I could be wrong but I think it was one of the first Hallmark Christmas movies that didn’t need white batting for snow banks. Ha, ha. Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate you all so much. Merry, Merry, Christmas! And remember, Jesus IS the reason for the season. Hugs, Heidi

A Little of This and That Friday!

by Heidi Emmett

Thanks for stopping by. Monday morning, Dec. 9th and this is my view as I sip my morning coffee.

The sparkles on the ends of the branches are frozen droplets. It was a chilly start to the day.
Look how fast the sky changes. This was about a minute later than my first shot.
My first stop for this Monday was my churches kitchen. Every December, they put on a Christmas Tea. 34 round tables set with beautiful Christmas themes.  The food is AMAZING! And it takes lots and lots of wonderful behind the scenes helpers for that. 340 beautiful tea plates of yummies are served.
Everything is the freshest of ingredients. Prep going on for the lemon curd.
I did lots of different things while I was there on Monday. One was to make a marinade for Mozzarella cheese.  Shar and Sherri the directors of the food portion handed me this packet of spices/herbs. Shar said the shop isn’t huge, but has EVERYTHING you could imagine. Go online and check them out.
O.K., why this picture? I like to “winterize”, “Christmasize”, my formerly summer planters.
I use fresh greens whenever I can. On the left, English Laurel. On the right Douglas Fir. Strip- off the leaves from the bottoms about, 10″ worth. 3-4 ft. long for the pieces. Laurel can go really long actually, Doug Fir, not so much as it tends to flop forward as it gets longer.
Work around the outside first. Place the branches every 6-8″. Shove them all the way in to the first group of leaves. Sometimes the Laurel looks good shoved in at an angle for a fuller look.
I left a portion open so you can see that the Doug Fir goes in the center.
Stand back and admire your work. Fill in where necessary. I want to add outdoor red balls and perhaps a red bow, but of course they weren’t put back properly, soooo will have to scour the garage another day. These will last until spring.
The following are for your entertainment. Hope you enjoy! Laughter is good for the soul.

This sign was seen somewhere in our local Sierra Nevada Mountains. I wish they had one on highway 20 just outside of our town, Grass Valley.

 

Have a great, creative weekend!  It’s back to the church for me, to decorate my table. Pictures and more next week. Hugs, Heidi

Heidi’s Look Back Over 2019. What a Busy Year!

Designs by Heidi Emmett has not stood still this year! Well, there was this one month, but more about that later. I am always pressing forward with new ideas and creations. It’s what I LOVE to do! I can’t wait to get up in the morning and see what I can be working on that is fiber related.

Throughout the year Christine Barnes and I did our famous “Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza Trunk Show.” It’s a fun, fast paced look at the amazing  color King himself; his fabric, knitting, needlepoint and more.
I first created this pillow using Kaffe Fassett stripes for a magazine project (Stitch magazine).
Part of the Kaffe Fassett trunk show includes his knitted garments. Here is my “batwing” sleeved sweater that Kaffe designed for Peruvian Connection.  Check out my earrings made from Kaffe fabric. They are a project from my book, Fashion Quilted Accessories.

There are Kaffe F. fabrics in the two vests above. This is one of my most popular vest “art to wear” patterns. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info. on purchasing this pattern directly from me.

The back of TERRIFIC TABARD using Kaffe Fabrics, including his stripes to bind the edges. One of the workshops I do is on this pattern. I also have done my own Trunk Show at Wearable Art Groups and Quilt guilds, all about creating your own Art To Wear pieces.

Whisper Blouse- In fall colored stripes, and a Kaffe Fassett sweater, it is just what I want to wear while collecting leaves for a fall display.

Send me an email – to see about purchasing my Whisper Blouse pattern, hmemmett@gmail.com

In June I was working on projects for my Artistic Alchemy retreat. I teach Upcycling projects (techniques to make a favorite top or shirt(that no longer fits well) into something you will want to wear once again and now it will FIT).  A linen top here was too short, sooo……

I am a great believer in taking classes or attending retreats myself whenever I can. The beginning of July I took an amazing Shibori class. Learning new techniques and gathering ideas for future projects, it can’t get any better than that!

I wasn’t 100% when I took the Shibori class. 6 days before the class I was nursing what I thought was a bruised muscle (sphincter muscle on the right near the small intestine. YES, there is a sphincter muscle there as well as in our eyes, and an anal one too). 3 days after the class I had an emergency appendectomy. Somewhere in those 9 days before, I ruptured my appendix. I NEVER had the pain that is usually associated with this.
I was one sick cookie. I was on 2 very high powered antibiotics while in the hospital and 2 more after the hospital. When I finally went home the parting words from the nurse were to take probiotics. Lot’s of them to replenish the flora in my gut because of the antibiotics. I started doing some research and for me, I came up with this product. The more I read, the more I discover that so MANY of health issues originate in the gut.There are many, many, pre,pro, biotics on the market. This is the one I use. Find what works for you. A good  preventative.  Proper diet and exercise go hand in hand with this. I have never felt better.

I was given a clean bill of health, on August 30th, 3 days before our Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Thank you to all my friends and family for prayers of healing. God is good! I give Him all the Glory for my complete recovery.
I was very bad at picture taking of my workshop. Too busy with my students and doing creative and fun stuff. Fiber jewelry was on the list for one session. I had amazing students this past September. The ideas, suggestions, and camaraderie that flowed, was so inspiring for all of us!  They all became my “Focus Group.” We had a serious discussion on five garments that I felt were possibilities for new “Art to Wear” patterns. Their input was so valuable to me. I have begun on pattern # 1. I can’t wait to introduce it to you. Sigh…They take months, so sometime after the new year.

We miss you already, our friends of this past Artistic Alchemy retreat. Until next year, September 7-11th, 2020.  Within days of coming home I received an invitation to go to Ottawa Canada to speak and teach workshops. I was BEYOND Honored to be asked. Two more Kaffe Trunk shows followed the retreat and in October, I had some big orders (for my patterns) to get ready for my distributors. Dozens upon dozens of patterns (all packaged by me, and printed by my husband) get sent everywhere, United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. So exciting!
On Tuesday, November 26th at 1:07p.m. (I take snowfalls VERY seriously) it started to snow. This is my back deck one hour and 45 minutes later. We ended up with 10″ of snow + in about 12 hours. This is a FIRST for us. In the many, many, years I have lived in Cedar Ridge, CA we have NEVER had snow 2 days BEFORE Thanksgiving. The morning of the big Turkey feast, I lamented to my husband, “we forgot to get ice for the drinks.” My husband slowly turned and pointed to the outdoors. Ha, ha, ha. I was even able to put my leftovers in their original pots and pans out in the snow too. I had 26 this year for Thanksgiving. It was cozy, but a great time was had by one and all. We all had so much to be Thankful for this year. If you haven’t, please visit my personal site for new ideas DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com And if you haven’t, please visit Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to see what we four teachers are up to.  Until next time, get your creative going full steam!  Hugs, Heidi

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know, I’m early. But this post includes next Friday too. I’m hosting 26 this year in my house (it will be cozy, but lots of fun). We have so much to be Thankful for.

I had a great time at our SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group)meeting this past Wednesday.It was held at a members home as the Library was closed because we were having another  power shut off due to high winds. 7:00a.m. shutoff changed to 11:00a.m. Canceled at 1:00p.m. Sigh….My husband was sad (we just got a generator and he had it all ready to go!). Sigh…again.  Let’s forget all that power shut off stuff and I’ll show you some cool things!

Sunrise, November 20, 2019. From my back deck.
Promises to be a beautiful Fall day.
I love the reflection in the table top.
There’s a rain gauge in the lower right area. It has been waiting, waiting, waiting….not sure when.
Meet Joan and her festive jacket.
A combination of piecing, needle turned applique’, and raw edged applique’.
Lori said she knew her “snowflake” wasn’t “fiber” oriented but she just had to show it. I’m so glad she did. Look closely. She made it out of white plastic hangers, zip ties, and added white lights.  I need some of these hanging in trees outside. Speaking of snowflakes. I just heard the weather report for next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Snow level down to 2,000ft. What!? We are at 3,000ft. 26 people coming. Excuse me while I go have a quiet cry.
O.K., I’m back. Deep breathing. Check out Carolyn’s jacket. I really like her asymmetrical pieces that she cut and stitched on before she made buttonholes.
Trish worked on a challenge project for January (she’s early). Using bits of old laces, doilies, linen tablecloths, etc.  Trish put them into a fabulous weekender/carpet bag using pieces from denim jeans. What a wonderful upcycling project.
The inside features her own indigo dyed fabric. Way to go!
These AMAZING tennis shoes were created by Kathy! Love these! Want these! Must have these!
Kathy used some of my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabrics. What a great way to use some scraps.
Work on a new pair of tennies, whatever brand you want, your choice. This look is so HOT right now!
Pattern is by Lenore Crawford and purchased via Lenore’s Etsy shop.
Was given some Meyer Lemons. What a pretty picture they make. And yummy too.
Speaking of tennis shoes, I thought I’d bring back this picture. I discovered that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (infused with Dawn) is PERFECT to clean up the white edges near the soles of tennis shoes. It works like a charm.
This is how my head feels after reading a book or magazine on creative stuff or being on Pinterest .  Take time out this weekend for something creative! It will make you happy. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

This and That For Friday!

Hello all. My phone is not sending all the pics I had taken of this project in process. I took a WHOLE ENTIRE DAY & EVENING to finish some projects and continue working on others. For the tote bag below, we need to go waaaay back to September 24, 2010.  Sandy Poteet, a fiber artist (she works on Art Quilts), taught a class on a “bleaching” technique. So much information and good instruction. I do remember that. I came home with a finished 18″ x 18″ piece.
Whirrr…whirr…cut…stitch…press….whirr, whirr….and Voila! Here is my  “grocery bag” styled tote bag.
Ikea canvas (drapery weight, buy it by the yard at Ikea) scraps from a “free table.” This is the back of the tote and the lining too. I also added a few pockets inside and out. The first cut I made was wrong. I stared at what I had just done and laughed. I have matured I think. A few years back I would have been very upset with my  “bad cut” but now, no worries, I’ll make it work.  It must be all the upcycling I have been doing of late.
The “tracing, bleaching, putting color back in, and outline stitching” was fun to do. I started with an 8 x 10 photo and worked from there with all the things I described.
Our sweet, sweet, rescue dog, “Sparky.” He was such a faithful friend. We miss him so. He put up with quite a few rescued cats and kittens too. The last two cats came as kittens and Sparky was very patient with them as they grew up.
Not sure if Rubix (one of the last two kittens in Sparky’s long and happy, life) is being contemplative, irratating, or…..
Awww….I’m going with contemplative over missing the ONE dog in his 9 years of living that he got along with (they even slept in the dog’s bed together). You were a “good boy Sparky! I miss you Sparky-dog,” says Rubix.
I’m not sure what this actually means but it makes me laugh. Shouldn’t it be Stiletto’s? As in a pair? Whatever…..
I love this one. Ha, ha.
If you haven’t already, you MUST look up this amazing 90+ year old. She is amazing. And accessorize is her middle name. Love her!

Have a great weekend and get yourself into stitches! Hugs, Heidi

Marcia Derse Fabrics Meet Terrific Tabard Vest Pattern!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Check out what I created using the latest group of Marcia Derse fabrics. It all started with my Terrific Tabard Vest pattern.

 

Sometimes the best way to figure out how best to use a bunch of different fabrics is to take a picture and look at it. Something you thought was perfect like the lime green “grunge” jumps out too much. I ended up eliminating it. All except the lining are Marcia Derse.
Laying out the tissue pieces ahead to think through what you are doing is very helpful.
You are looking at wrong side of the bright colored Marcia Derse piece. Once the basic pieces are cut out I Terial Magic each piece. There is no batting in this version of Terrific Tabard, a vest pattern by DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. I need body in the pieces so they are easier to sew together, applique’, and stitch down. I put a piece of muslin onto my ironing board and spray the pieces with Terial Magic and Iron (Dry iron on Cotton setting) until dry. Not stiff enough, spray again and iron again.
I cut out smaller pieces to stitch on top later. Yes, treat those with Terial Magic too. I have a small scrap of muslin underneath for overspray. My bottle looks squished because it has traveled up and back from sea level to 7200ft. It still works just fine. Strange though.

There are only 2 pieces to my Terrific Tabard Vest pattern. A front piece (cut 2), and a back piece (cut one on the fold).  Designs by Heidi Emmett. I sell this pattern in my Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns or email me directly (especially if you are overseas). I’m making this version of Terrific Tabard differently than either of the views on the cover. 1. There is no batting. 2. All the extra raw edge applique’ or whatever I choose to do is done AFTER the vest is together. 3. There is no outside trim attached either. Bear with me here. This is SO EASY! and FAST! 1. Stitch fashion pieces together at the shoulders (wild Marcia D. fabrics above) 2. Stitch the lining pieces together at the shoulders (black confetti looking fabric). 3. With right sides together stitch all the way around the vest using a 1/4″ seam allowance and leave an opening at the side back about 5″ for turning. 4. Turn the vest inside out through the opening. 5. Press and continue with embellishing the vest and adding tabs (topstitch in place). Phew you didn’t even break a sweat! Make it up, make it fun, and get it DONE!

Grade the seams before turning inside out (pick one side it doesn’t matter which one and trim it to 1/8″). This where the magic of the Terial Magic on each piece really, really helps you. 1. First, sewing the pieces together all the way around is so much easier. I didn’t even use pins. The T.M. adds a bit of friction and keeps the pieces in place while you stitch. Of course, you must always check your progress and keep seams lined up. 2. Because the edges are crisp it was sooo much easier to grade the seam. 3. After pulling the vest through the opening, pressing the entire vest is so much easier because of the T.M. It just seems to smooth out (no wrinkles or extra fabric) on its’ own. There! 3 fantastic reasons to use Terial Magic. I pressed under the edges of the black and white pieces I’d cut out earlier and placed them where I wanted on the back of the vest. No pins needed. Held each piece in place with my fingers while edge stitching through the top layer and the lining.
On the front I picked some  shapes and did some random stitching (crooked ON PURPOSE, I promise). I stitched through both the fashion fabric and the lining.
This one is a bit of a wobbly one, but I think it gives more interest. Marcia Derse Fabrics. Designs by Heidi’s Terrific Tabard Vest Pattern.

Stitching on the outside, when I’m finished I do not backstitch and trim.Instead, I pull the thread either to the fashion side or the lining side. Tug on either the top thread or the bobbin thread and a little loop appears. Be gentle. Pull gently on the loop then both threads will appear on one side. Knot the threads twice (like you are tying your shoelace (just not the bow part).Go to next picture.
Thread those two threads that have been double knotted onto a needle and run the needle in between the top fabric and the lining. This is called “burying the thread.” Clip off the excess thread.
Marcia Derse fabric meets Terrific Tabard vest pattern. Check out my Etsy store for this pattern and others. Live overseas? Contact me directly and I’ll save you $$ on shipping. hmemmett@gmail.com
I used random widths of the black and whites (I only had fat qtrs. so I just made it work)for the left side of the vest. You can see my “random” stitching on the colorful part too.
Closures should be interesting and kinda “wonky” when stitched onto the vest. The buttons have not been chosen yet. But I always leave some room in the loop portion  for whatever size is chosen. The loop can be stitched closed more if needed. I would never make a new one.
Side closures aren’t seen as much so I keep them simple. I like tying knots on the ends and trim excess off as close to the knot as I can get.
Check out this very cool pumpkin. I had to make a trip to the Dentist  while right in the middle of my vest making. I went for my “Coronation.” I even gave a royal wave as I exited the building. O.K., I got my permanent crown for my tooth. I love this pumpkin. Here’s what the receptionist said: Punch holes in the top of a pumpkin (holes should equal how many succulents you have. Gently place root into hole. Pack some dirt around root and hole. Hot glue (just a small amount) moss around to hide the dirt. No watering needed. I want to try this!
Hydrangeas, as happy as can be in this mild November weather.
Such an exquisite color.
Dogwood leaves. More exquisite colors.

So true sometimes. Sigh… But I always say, I could have worse habits. Ha, ha.  Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

How my Pattern, “Off The Grid Came to Be.”

5 power shutoffs,because of Wildfire danger, in under 5 weeks. 2 in one week. Learning to cope, bought a generator. WE DO HAVE OUR HOME! So, gratitude, gratitude. Thank you Lord for your watchcare over us. We did evacuate last Sunday afternoon. We live in the Grass Valley, CA area. It wasn’t mandatory, but a fire was started (someone who is homeless) and in 45 mile an hour gusts we wanted to get out. We have “Go” bags, the whole bit. My 88 yr. young mother lives on our property in her little Granny house. Went to get her and her “Go” bag and sigh….she had put everything back (when the rains started last Nov.) SIGH…….Our “Go” time ended up being 20 minutes (we’re working on getting that time waaay down). Thank God it turned out to be a practice run… but I tell you all this because I don’t care where you live, GET A GO BAG together, escape routes, and designated ways to be in contact. Your life could depend on it! All right, enough of the somber stuff. I am so backlogged with “stuff” for my business that I pulled a post out of the archives.

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ from E.E. Schneck in grey or is it gray?Throughout the class I kept thinking, all these fabrics together would make the coolest vest. But what design? So, I took my blocks, along with everyone’s scraps (I ASKED them first), and put them on my design board and began to think.

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Later, Christine said she was doing a lecture at the E.E. Schenck Trends Show (a show for shop owners  in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine was showing her quilt and then she said, hey, that vest idea you had, that would be great, I’ll take that too, so we can get your name out there. O.K., that sounds good, when is it? 

In a month. Whaaaaattt?! I have done NOTHING! The little pieces were falling off the design board, or covered by other projects that were creeping in.

An hour later, I stood at my ironing board, fabrics spread out and I said a prayer. I had a nice chat with God and said, Help!! I walked over to my little garment rack of purchased pieces (whether from a “Real” store or the thrift shop)all for ideas for future project. I pulled out a super short jacket that had bad fabric and design, but the collar!! and while that jacket had a skinny front band, I liked how it connected to the collar.  

I whipped out my sketch pad and started with rectangles. I knew I wanted a long, lean, look to this vest pattern. The rectangles kept coming to mind. 

I also wanted to showcase the interesting fabrics on the front, so I made the front panels really wide . Those pieces, the rectangle  shaped log cabin blocks, and the “sticks” (remember those pieces people discarded?), again they are all rectangle shapes.  

It all came together so smoothly (remember that prayer at the ironing board?). I was sewing up a storm and it was time to add the front panel pieces. WAIT A MINUTE!! They are too short at the bottom, no, no, NO! (Oh, dear, I just told the world that I made a major measuring mistake). And NO TIME to make new front panel pieces. 

Upon further trying it on, looking, thinking, I came to the conclusion that I LIKED it that way! Who knew? I like it being “off” at the bottom edges (hint, hint, Off the Grid).  You will be happy to know that yes, I finished it in time for Christine to take up to the Portland show. She said it was a big hit. Yea….

I use Terial Magic on the strips used for the blocks and sticks. I love how this product keeps things from fraying while I”m raw edge stitching them down.

It’s so fun to use Marcia Derse prints, and other ombre’ fabrics. The blocks have their edges turned under and are edge stitched to the gray ombre’ background fabric. 

I use glue (the bottle in the picture is basting glue), but I also use basic school glue (like Elmer’s). You can see the subtle change in the background fabric. I really enjoy turning it this way and that, darker portions verses lighter sections. It’ what YOU like. That’s why I call for 3 yds. for the background (room to play). 

Notice please that I use a zig zag stitch (rectangles again), and it also encases the raw edge of the fabric. 

And I do, what I call, “Shadow quilting.” They are always done in a rectangle shape . I like the look and it adds more quilting to the piece. 

I do any all over quilting in gentle curves because it’s easier on the eyes (if they were straight it’s too hard to sew perfectly straight) and adds movement. 

Look at the SUPER COOL necklace my 93 year young friend, Lila Sugg made for me (she is a MASTER sewist). It is so perfect with my vest (a secret, shhh…the gorgeous chunks of turquoise are made from potatoes).  Google that one, people! 

And listen to this, E.E.Schenck now carries my patterns and my book! And I have been asked to come to the next Trends Show and present a trunk show on my Art to Wear patterns and book. Sharon, the buyer, said that “Art to Wear” is coming back in a big way in the quilting world and I’ll be right there!  Hugs, Heidi

What do You Feel Like Wearing Today?

By Heidi Emmett

I work from home. I have had a hard time prioritizing my workday which can include sewing my sample garments, creating patterns,writing, packing patterns,etc, to housework, to gardening, exercising, cooking, etc.  Sometimes, yes, I’m admitting this, I don’t get dressed in “real” clothes until 11:00a.m.(I do love what I call “my cozy clothes”) I have lots of beautiful clothes that I have made, thrifted, upcycled, purchased,whatever. But I rarely have worn them at home. Why dress up when working on deadlines in my office, or stitching up a storm in my attic studio, I’m also doing so many other “house” things?  Well, all that has changed. Now, I’m following the “Wear Your Joy” plan from Kelly Rae Roberts.

I took her on-line class she offers called “Wear Your Joy.” And I’m finishing up the #wearyourjoy  7 day challenge. Pick out an outfit for the next day, the night before. What a concept. And by golly, I’m going to wear some of my nicer clothes  and if I have to scrub the bathroom, I’ll wear an apron.

I took the class because I thought there would be ideas on how to help the ladies I interact with feel better about their body shapes and how dressing up can be a huge morale booster. Please go check out this class. It doesn’t hurt to look. Kelly Rae Roberts.com
My Terrific Tabard is the perfect sewing pattern for layering. This time I made it with a panel from Marcia Derse fabrics.
I like something going on all the way around my outfits. So the back of this Terrific Tabard, while the small pieces are Marcia Derse, the back piece itself is a Japanese cotton/linen blend. They are the perfect weight for this pattern. No batting is needed as it has only a lining. Lightweight to wear all seasons and no need to add the outside trim(as in the original vests on the pattern). Check out my archived posts under Terrific Tabard).
I found this fun scarf at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival). It’s perfect with my Terrific Tabard.  Oh, and the necklace is resin by Orna Lalo.
What fun I had putting this “Wear your Joy” outfit together. I used my 3 -Tiered Skirt pattern (available for FREE! on Bluprint). Type in DIY patterns/DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns. It will be a one page pdf pattern.
The fabric I chose is by Kaffe Fassett and is called “Millefiori.” It was perfect for “Heidi’s Easy- 3 Tiered skirt pattern.
Check out the close up of my Pima Cotton sweater. It was just made for this skirt.
The jewelry I picked out for it is created by hand. The artist is Ayala Bar (Israel). She is of international fame. I LOVE her jewelry. I can’t afford it in the boutiques, BUT, check out Ebay.  Every piece has some actual fabric in it. She too loves fabric.

Find it for FREE on Bluprint. Look under DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns. It will be pdf format.

This is a fun, upcycled top that I would usually only wear in the summer. But, adding a short sleeved turtleneck gives me more time to wear it in the fall too.
I love my “ballet” flats. I got mine on Ebay, brand new in the box, Jessica Simpson. And the finishing touch, polka dot leggings.
I know you all have seen this “Mommy & Me” vest that I made. But you haven’t seen it with the shoes, and the leggings, and blouse. I’m liking showing a complete outfit. I’m Wearing my Joy people. Ha, ha.  Check out my LITFOOT shoes. All leather and soooo comfy. Brand new, thrifted, my size, my color, my price!
Hand stitching when it’s kinda wonky (meaning, I just stitch) is especially soothing. There is no way I could be perfect on this Boucle’ wool fabric. Extra fun are the felted circles.

This is the pattern I used for the perriwinkle colored wool vest above. Very comfy and fits little girls up to Misses size 18. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing this pattern. A red stemmed  Maple Tree. Kangu Saku (spelling, sorry). And the berries on that Berry bush (can’t remember the name!). They are huge.
Some sights of fall in my back yard. Thanks for stopping by my Blog. Have a fire safe weekend to all of us that live here in way Northern CA. Our power will go off again (4th time in less than 4 1/2 weeks). So go ahead and contact me, but we don’t have a generator (yet), so everything is OFF! Gotta get that handwork read to go. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. “Every time you are able to find some humor in a difficult situation, you win!

Skirt-Upcycling! By HEIDI EMMETT

 

by Heidi Emmett:

Upcycling is SO FUN!! If you have been hesitant to get on board with it, today I’m going to show you a great project you could start with. First we need some inspiration.

Found this on Pinterest. I LOVE the way a beautiful dressy lace was paired with denim.

For me, Going to the Thrift shop is all about the fabric. I often buy a garment JUST for the fabric. This silk printed fabric is so great next to the denim in this skirt. Notice the top stitching on the denim and how it brings the fabric and denim together.

I like how this is a wrap skirt with interesting features on the front of the skirt.

THIS IS THE ONE! My skirt is so small that opening it up and adding pieces here and there like this skirt will make mine a perfect wrap skirt.

My thrifted skirt was so small but I loved the embroidery and the ragged hem, (the embroidery is the reason I purchased it, I new it would NEVER fit me as is.

The embroidery is machine done, but great colors and design.
O.K., snip, snip, snip! I cut it open all the way at the side seam opposite the embroidery.
Don’t forget to check out my cool slip on canvas tennis shoes. OF COURSE they are leopard. Remember, I said that Leopard is hot, HOT this season (in my humble opinion, Leopard anything is hot in any season).These are by Blowfish.  And so comfy almost right away.
I needed some other pieces to add on. Found this lovely woven piece in my stash. I decided to add a piece of fleece (try The Warm Company, made in the USA)  and a batik to the back of this woven.  And when I had to fish a spool of thread out of my trash bag, I found this perfectly colored piece of wool yarn.
I quilted my fabric “sandwich” together with different colored threads in an up and back motion that would show off the pattern of the fabric.
Arranging “stuff” to see if I can use some, all, or none. This is the fun part. Not sure about what you might pick out. “Test” them out as I did, by placing everything on the background of the starting skirt. Take a few pictures and look at your items objectively, through a camera lens.
Oh yes, I want this yarn and felt it down with my machine felter (mine is a Husky Star by Huskavarna). Check my past posts on “Fun Felting” to learn more.
It’s perfect.
The back side of this felted yarn is  pretty too.

It’s getting close to being finished. Think about which side you will add your quilted fabric piece to. How wide does it really need to be,and  how much of a wrap do you want? Maybe you will want to add more pieces than just the one as I did? All questions that will need answering and remember, it’s never wrong. Add something to it or cut it off and start again. I LOVE upcycling.
Check out my off-centered (ON PURPOSE, to reduce bulk, and I like how it looks) upcycled skirt. It is truly one-of-a-kind, just the way my clothing needs to be.
Maybe, I might add something else to this skirt. But right now it’s perfect as is.
Isn’t this fun! I am pairing this skirt with a red turtleneck, dark gray leggings, and my cool leopard tennies.

Upcycling is so freeing. As I said, you can do nothing wrong. I teach the upcycling portion of my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat, on the first day. It’s a great warming up exercise to get your brain to start thinking outside the box and get you ready to work on one of my “ART TO WEAR” patterns later in the week. Please visit my Etsy store: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns, to get an idea of the sewing patterns I sell. Next years Artistic Alchemy Retreat is Sept. 7-11th. It’s not too early to be thinking about it. All the information for our 2020 retreat comes out the beginning of February.

Fall at Pope Beach at South Shore Lake Tahoe, Oct. 2017. Notice how faaaarrrr out you can see the beach. It was the height of our drought. This year, same color in the trees, but the water comes all the way up now, within a foot or two of the railing.
An Aspen tree at waters’ edge of Zephyr Point Conference Center.
A storm is moving in to Zephyr Point in October. Foaming spray and big white caps.
Color trees are everywhere on the grounds of Zephyr Point. It is a great place to visit any time of the year (they do keep all roads on the grounds plowed when it snows), but fall is my favorite.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe check out your favorite Thrift shop this week (I love thrifting because your money goes to so many different great causes) and you find FABULOUS STUFF!! It’s a win, win!

I leave you with a quote: Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Follow me – DesignsbyHeidiEmmett on Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Power Means, no Internet, Landline phone, Cellphone, t.v., etc. Accckk….!

Hello everyone,

Yes, I was one of the 800,000 P.G. & E. (Pacific Gas and Electric) customers to get power cut off because of high winds and fire danger.

All the above is back up and running.  I am so far behind  that I am dropping in some cool pictures from Pinterest instead of a normal post. Enjoy!

Until next Friday then…… Hugs, Heidi

Driving into downtown Nevada City, California on Monday, Oct. 7th, 2019, 5:00p.m.

Driving over one of the (3) bridges in Downtown Downieville, CA, 12:30p.m.,10/7/19. Beautiful day for a drive.

OFF THE GRID is the Art to Wear Vest Sewing Pattern YOU NEED for Fall!

It’s a beautiful Fall day here in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.You need to be on TOP of your game today! Make my Off The Grid Vest and you will be ready for anything! You will feel IN CHARGE, TALLER, and THINNER!

Email me directly at: hmemmett@gmail.com to order OFF THE GRID vest pattern and shipping is only $1.00. Payment is through Paypal. Patterns are $15. (includes tax).
My OFF THE GRID vest pattern is fully lined (you could even wear it inside out).
Check out that long, lean, illusion at the sides of the vest (the secret, no seams! and wear black underneath top and bottom).
Colors and prints, ONLY sew with what you LOVE!
Here is a great TIP: Always quilt larger, straight areas up and down (long & lean looking), and never aim for a straight line. Always stitch in gentle curved lines (if just ONE of your straight lines is crooked, it will really stand out).
Shirley has been wearing her vest for a few years now, and told me she always gets compliments when she does. Thanks for the pictures Shirley.
Shirley has “opened” out her vest so you can see the back too. Navy and lime greens always look great together.

Sherrie was a student in my Artistic Alchemy workshop. The warm beige and black combo. worked really well in her Off The Grid vest.
I loved the back of her vest so much (we each bought this city scape panel) I asked if I could use her idea in my new book that I was writing for Leisure Arts. She said YES! Thank you Sherrie.
Liz chose Asian fabrics and metallic threads for her Off The Grid vest.
The back metallic thread stitching looks just like rain falling. And she chose to stitch many, many more lines, weaving in and out of each other.

I had to get a picture of this Off The Grid vest inside out. I LOVE butterflies and I think it’s really lovely as the lining. AND, she can wear it either way. DesignsbyHeidi-Off The Grid.
Carol sent me pictures all the way from New Zealand. She made it to celebrate a milestone birthday. She made it to wear at her birthday party with family in Switzerland! She lives in two Amazing places and I’m honored that she chose to make Off The Grid for her own birthday party!
I call this Off The Grid vest that Carol sent me a picture of, “Kiwi” in honor of her New Zealand home.
Trish, another student in my Artistic Alchemy Retreat workshop, completed her “Hawaiian Sunset” Off The Grid vest while at the retreat.
Trish lived in Hawaii  for a few years teaching Scuba Diving as well as being a Captain of different vessels. WOW!
This is my own, latest Off The Grid. All the background fabric is black, but it certainly didn’t photograph that color. Yep, it would work in Chocolate brown too.

Please visit the “archives” of my blog site and go under “Off The Grid” vest for more ideas on this truly amazing (AMAZING because so many sizes and heights look great in it and don’t need to change a thing on the pieces) vest. And it’s amazing because each one is truly unique, one of a kind!

Pat from another one of my workshops at Zephyr Point sent me her pictures of her Off The Grid vest. I’m calling this one, “Midnight Song.”

Off The Grid vest pattern. Created by Heidi Emmett of Designs by Heidi Emmett

 

A friend sent this on a “walk-about” somewhere outside of Denver, CO. The Aspens are in full-on golden mode. I do see a hint of blush in the upper left. Thanks Dee.

I had this experience standing in line at the UPS store just yesterday.

Sigh……this IS ME!! Take care everyone. I want to hear everyone’s sewing machines humming along this weekend. And I leave you with this quote: “Always be kinder than you feel.”  Hugs, Heidi

I Call it “A.Z.” and I’m Working on Stuff!

I can’t believe that Artistic Alchemy was only three weeks ago. I put too much on my “A.Z.” calendar (that’s “After Zephyr”) without realizing it. Everything relating to Artistic Alchemy is put away until another workshop and I am relaxing by working on, inbetween other things,  a NEW Art to Wear pattern AND some Fiber Jewelry.

A few pictures from the Artistic Alchemy retreat. I’m wearing my favorite new, upcycled pants, and my super favorite (have been for 2 years) and very “hot” for fall (anything leopard print), my loafers.

I LOVE, LOVE, these loafers. I was walking by a store in my little town and a woman was working on a display for the window of the store. She was up a few feet off the ground. I couldn’t tell you what she was wearing except that I zeroed in on her shoes. Rushed into the store and asked about the shoes. They had one pair left(my size), AND ON SALE TOO!
Had these pants for 4 years (size 4, yeah maybe they would have fit me when I was 4, ha, ha) before I saw a picture on Pinterest with this idea. Open up the entire side and insert a piece of (in this case stretch denim) whatever the width needed.  I serged the piece into the pants.No other finishing. Rolled the hems, left the waistband alone(as a sweater hides the raw edges at the waist).
I actually like the little flap at the top. It makes it really easy to pull them up and over “ye olde hips”.
My upcycling includes using scraps, really, small, scraps. I make bracelets.
Fabrics cut on the bias make fun bracelets too (and no strings hanging off).
Here I am showing samples of some bracelets as well assome of the  many supplies you can use.
More fiber jewelry using a headband and attaching my own polymer clay pieces to it using embroidery floss. The headband is now a necklace. Fun, fun.

Let’s take a moment and look at the view. Lake Tahoe is always stunning. (Taken at 7:17p.m. on Sept. 3rd, 2019 through a screen window, no flash of course and with my old Nikon D40).
I was experimenting at home (trying out ideas for my “Fiber jewelry” section ofmy workshop at Zephyr).  These scraps are a bit larger than some others I have used.
I was on TOP OF THE WORLD with my first EVER fabric scrap bead! Check out the globe. It’s so cute and it lights up too!
It’s a pretty sorry looking fabric bead, but HEY, it was my first one.

I have gotten much better at this whole process as you can see. My students seemed really excited about them too. Thank you ladies! What a fabulous group they were too!
I made up these bracelets myself. I cruised the isles of Home Depot and found the clear tubing. It comes in some great sizes (plumbing isle).
Here is one of my bracelets. I’m thinking for next year, devoting one whole day to creating “Fiber Jewelry.” I’d love to know what you think about that.

Some of the beautiful ribbon “yarns” that I collect to make the plastic tubing bracelets.
Yes, I collect beads too! I have LOTS of beads. You must think about coming to Zephyr Point next year ( Sept. 7th-11th, 2020) for my workshop, at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. All the information about next years workshops will come out the first part of February, 2020. I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend and find some time for your creative outlet!  And wow I was outside today and heard and watched the Canadian Geese heading south. And look at how quickly the Virginia Creeper is changing. Here in Grass Valley, CA we went from 88 degrees (the high) yesterday to only 71 degrees today for the high. And rain is coming maybe tomorrow. It really feels like Fall. My favorite time of year!  Except for all the raking of leaves! It’s really funny, you plant the 5 gallon Maple tree and it’s so pretty.But you FORGET that they do grow and 30 years later, WOW! So many more leaves. And of course, we had to plant a BUNCH of Maple trees. Sigh….Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

48 colorways! They’re TO DYE FOR!!!

Today marks the 2nd week that I’ve been home from our very successful Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, on the shores of south shore Lake Tahoe (the Nevada side).

Our fabulous group. I’m telling you, sewing machines were smokin’.  Soooo many creative, and inspiring students that joined Sandra, Mary, Jane, and myself (we’re in the front row). Well, I’m in the “AZ” portion of September (I call it After Zephyr). I rested just two days, and BAM!, out there doing things. One of them was taking a dyeing class.
I’m home in this shot, rinsing, rinsing, out the excess dye. I’m glad it’s such a nice day. No way would anyone want to do this part in their home.
Don’t forget to wear gloves. There is lot’s of dye still left.
Each bag contained one fat qtr. It was a surprise, 48 times!!!  to see what emerged from the bags. Use quality plastic bags and they can be rinsed and reused for more dyeing projects.
It was so warm, I had to wear flip flops. Splatter, splatter. Rinsing, still rinsing.
We used very specific amounts of  primary colors of  dyes. One group of 12 pieces used 3 primary colors. Then for a second group we added a teeny tiny bit of black to those first 3 primary colors. It really required a team mate. Thank you Lori, you were the BEST!  We took all our baggies of dyed pieces home for the rinsing and washing process.
The rinsed pieces went out on my metal mesh table outside to sit before washing.
The first batch came out of the washer. Ohhhh, I’m just loving them! I thought I had squished the bags so much more to “even” out the dye. Wellll….I guess not. But they are just fine. So excited, I removed my gloves without realizing it. My hands were so stained, no one would shake hands with me at church the next day! Ha, ha.
Looking good! 36 of my pieces were from a bolt of white linen(light weight) that had a 2 thread black thread every 1/2″. Yes, I had a bolt, because I owned a fabric store for 16 yrs.
The last 12 pieces were from a white table cloth (brand new) that I snagged at a Thrift shop. I really like the weave.Oh, these luscious colors make me so happy.
All the rinsing, rinsing, and then the washing and hanging made me tired.  I took a much needed break out on the back deck.
Whaaaaattttt???? Our neighbor who owns a Christmas Tree farm, decided to mow the dirt. Seriously.
Yep, that’s him making trip number 2 over the same area.
Yep, he did a U-turn for trip # 3 to mow more DIRT! YIKES! my beautiful fabric pieces drying on the line!  But wait, there was a stiff breeze going on and it took ALL, I mean ALL the dust away from our house and clothes line and it all went to our other neighbors property. Whoops for them but,  Whew for me! I know, I live in the country, but this? Really? Right now?
Next morning, yes, I forgot about the rest of my pieces on the table. Check this out. Color had wicked to the top of each piece. I really, love this look. Serendipity is so fun!
Sorting through the pieces and pulling off loose string. I have plans for these loose strings, but that’s another blog post in the future.

Yummy, yummy! I have NO IDEA what to do with them, YET! You, my dear readers, will be the first to know what I do with them. All in good time.
You can really see the single black threads in my linen pieces. Linen dyes beautifully by the way. You need to get a Dharma catalog to see all the fabulous dyes, fabrics, etc. Go here.
All 48 gradated dyed pieces. Oh my! Thank you Ginny Lee for this class. I learned so much!
The tablecloth pieces are a bit heavier. But they took the dyeing process so well too. Hmm..maybe a Zephyr jacket? See all my Art to Wear patterns at my Etsy shop/ sewing patterns/DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
Here are the 4 of us intrepid teachers looking rested, and ready to have a wrap up session on our past Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe. Was it really only two weeks ago? Just to let you know that we have secured Zephyr Point ALREADY for next Sept. 7th-11th, 2020. Check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat here and check out Zephyr Point Conference Center here, just to see what it’s all about.  Get out there now and C-R-E-A-T-E something with all the “fiber”  of your being! Hugs, Heidi

A Taste of The Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe

Hello everyone, This is a short post today. It has been go, go, go, since I returned from our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Much more to come in future posts. I had a fabulous group of ladies. YOU MUST WATCH a short, 4 minute video at the end of this post. Terry McFeely took it and shows a quick overview of the week.
The evening of our arrival. It was during a show and tell of students work, I had to take this shot (through a screen window).  So serene.
Check out this mirror imaged Ecco Dyeing project on silk.
The group, checking out show and tell pieces as they are being passed around the room.
Unbelievable hand made Kimono. She went to Japan for A MONTH to learn Many, many, Japanese creative techniques that are still used today. They are hundreds of years old.
Such creativity using men’s ties in a “fiber” necklace.
A center panel in the back of a Jean jacket. A chenille technique.
More creative clothing, showing painting techniques. These are the two who went to Japan.
More “Art to Wear” items were worn this year by students and teachers alike. A fashion show every morning in the line for breakfast.
There was no lack of fabulous quilts either. She just has one more eye to finish on this sweet Doe.
In this quilt, all the blocks were won through her quilt guild. She put it together to pay homage to the Poloroid Camera. Amazing detail in each of the “pictures.”

What a wonderful, colorful, spiderweb quilt.

One of the students, Terry McFeely put together a video for a quick overview of what was happening at our 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! Please go here to see it!

What a wonderful group we had this year. Think about joining us next year. Visit our site here to see what the Artistic Alchemy Retreat is all about.

May it be a perfect weekend for some creativity in your sewing world! Hugs, Heidi

Getting Ready for Our 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat!

My list gets bigger every year of all the things to bring. Machines alone, I’m bringing 3 different ones! I have so much to share with my students. You MUST come next year. Check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat here. We are going to have a great time. It is held at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Conference Center (look them up here).This year, our 6th annual retreat, runs from September 2nd- 6th.

Terrific Tabard – It’s a blank canvas. Quilted, unquilted, silks, Kantha cloth, all one piece, oodles of pieces (collage style), so many ideas…..

The pattern fits so many sizes. It’s only $15.00 plus shipping. See all my patterns at my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.

Zephyr Jacket, Whisper Blouse, Calypso, so colorful.
Calypso vest, Mommy & Me & My Quilted Vests, and Whisper Blouse, all fun patterns that are available via Heidi Emmett at: hmemmett@gmail.com or visit my Etsy shop: Look for DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.
I put samples of some of my patterns out on our back deck. I liked the look so much that I took pictures  just for fun.
The back of a Sparky Top  (love, love wearing this one, I feel like I’m floating) with that center back panel from a Maxi Dress. The dress was made from silk chiffon. See the back of a Whisper Blouse, and there is a Zephyr Jacket (doing what it should, blowing in the breeze).
In the background is my Simply Super Vest from my book Fashion Quilted Accessories. And then in front is a Zephyr Jacket in which I went a little over the top with my “duding it up.” But , hey, we gotta have fun right?
While out on the deck hanging up all my samples, I stopped and admired my beautiful Geranium. The biggest most prolific I’d grown in a while. The picture does NOT do it justice.  I’m sure glad I took this picture because the very next day, all but 4 blossom clusters were chewed off by a deer! Grrrr…..

Some great summer reading. I love this book. Read the chapter on the “Safety Pin.”
Here is another good read. All about how today’s palette of color came about. The chapter on Indigo was an eye opener for me.
I can’t believe that the deer missed my miniature roses! Right next to the chomped on geranium.
This is a close up of one of my miniature roses. Isn’t she a beauty? Have a wonderful weekend.  Hugs, Heidi     P.S. Don’t miss the funny pics below.

This is SO ME!!! My husband ALWAYS diverts my attention away from these side of the road items.
A friend sent me this. Yep, this is me. It’s all about the THRILL OF THE HUNT!!

Look at These Cuties!

The outfits and the ladies that are wearing them!

The first one is a Whisper Blouse made by Bonnie.
Bonnie is like me, she likes color too! What fun. She wore her Whisper Blouse to a Quilt Guild meeting so I had to take a few pics. Nice job.
A perfect top for warm days. Whisper Blouse, make it all in one fabric or each panel a different fabric.
There is such vibrancy in the prints she used. Really well done my dear!

The next one is Zephyr Jacket. It really is a breeze to sew. And a blank canvas for different ways to sew it up. Another Art to Wear sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett.
Patty and I were recently in a class together and we had literally just a couple of minutes to snap these pics before class started.  Isn’t the back wonderful? I had not thought of adding something cool to the back of this pattern. Of course, I want to do that now!
Someday soon I’ll get some stylin’ photos of Patty in her remarkable Zephyr Jacket. Remarkable (besides the jacket) in that you can see her back brace. Patty made this jacket a week after her 10 hour back surgery! AMAZING! She said she felt so much better after the surgery she wanted to work on her idea for a new Zephyr Jacket. Now THAT’S what I call perseverance!
She created  wavy strips in orange to go with the cool print. And this is the lining!
The back panel she designed herself. It is a navy background with traditional Sashiko (Japanese embroidery) stitching in white. Patty then hand appliqued mostly marbleized fabrics (not the rainbow butterfly above) around and on the Sashiko.
Beautiful stitching on the Sashiko as well as the hand appliqued butterflies. Great job Patty.

I think these two marbleized (the fabric , it was hand done as well) butterflies are my favorites. Patty says she LOVES my Zephyr Jacket pattern. It’s very versatile and the actual sewing up of the jacket goes quickly. Thanks for sharing Patty. Please contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing these patterns. Check them out on Etsy (I have a baker’s dozen  of patterns right now). If you buy 2 or more through me at hmemmett@gmail.com I’ll do free shipping anywhere in the world!  All patterns are in English.

A recent sunset at Zephyr Point right on the water at South Shore, Lake Tahoe. Ahhh….I love this shot. I’m going to be there very soon to teach my workshop at the  Artistic Alchemy retreat. It’s called “Upcycling, Wearable Creativity, and Fiber Jewelry.” We will have sooo much FUN! Just being on the shores of Lake Tahoe,take a few slow, deep breaths and you will immediately feel more relaxed and ready to create! Join me next year. I leave you with this quote: ” Dressing well is a form of good manners.” Hugs, Heidi

What’s Black & White & Chartreuse?

I found a 100% linen knit top, and yes, at a Thrift Shoppe (I added the extra “p” and “e” to give it cache’ ha,ha).  The top was too short for me as is. I’m going to have some sewing fun.  Let’s Upcycle!

I love LOVE 100% linen. I wear it all summer long. Yes, it looks fabulous crisp and pressed, but “lived in” (aka, wrinkles), is my favorite. And I think it just gets better and better the more it’s washed and worn.  I have even made a set of linen sheets. Very nice.  They lasted quite a few years before they became too thin (I put my foot right through). Ha, Ha.
I looked through my scraps and found some leftover bits that I had used in another project (look up that OTHER project under past posts, called, Rectangle pieced dress) . I love black and white and one more color. This time I’m using chartreuse. Note the black and white “tubettes.”

I call them “tubettes” because as you can see they can be opened up and stitched down. Test a cotton knit or other fibered knit for stretchy-ness and the curl factor. Cut a strip in the direction of the curl.  I don’t cut any under 1 inch in width. Use your fingers to open it up and stitch it down the middle. I stitched my tubettes for added texture and shhh.. don’t tell anyone, to hide some poor stitching (it was too loose and really showed).
I tried on the top to determine where I wanted to place my pieced fabric length. Then I carefully cut the top apart (keep it in a circle shape) so I could insert the piece. Two things, if you look closely, it’s uneven on the left side. Make sure That you add a piece ( in this case I added a wedge) or cut away so that it is even all the way around. The second thing, if you are adding fabric that has words or letters make certain they are going in the right direction. Oh yea, do you hear the riiip, rip, rip, of my seam ripper. Sigh…..  Determine how much you need of the pieced fabric and sew the ends together to form a circle that matches the top (if it’s a knitted top, DON’T stretch it).

When attaching the pieces together, divide the top portion of the top into four sections (use pins to mark  the sections). Do this on the bottom portion of the top as well, AND BOTH the top and bottom of the pieced section.

If you are Serging the pieces together, just go for it. No Serger, no problem. The trick for sewing the pieces together on a home sewing machine is to make CERTAIN that the knitted fabric is underneath. It has to do with the feed dogs and how they feed the fabric through. Trust me on this one or you will be using that seam ripper again. Ha, ha.

Uh OHHHH! I broke my own rule. And it’s my number ONE rule, “Always think long and lean, think up and down with design features.” So I fixed it, sort of……
I added more “tubettes”  going in an up and down  free form design.
I really like it now.
A friend gave me the “hand made” sew in tag.  Thank you Lisa.
A word about taking pictures outside, at high noon. Don’t do it. All the blacks in the pictures are really deep black, in person.  I was taught by the Sunset photographers (of the book division of Sunset magazine of which my friend Christine Barnes worked for back in the day) to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon. Never in overhead sun, even if you are in the shade. I couldn’t wait, my hubby was home and I needed the pics right then and there!
I think the top turned out to be a fun addition to my wardrobe.

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m putting on my Artistic Alchemy Retreat hat now to say pop on over to today’s post to read about what the four of us teachers are doing to prepare for this years retreat, September 2nd-September 6th. Carve out some creative time where you can. Hugs, Heidi

A CARNIVALE TOP – Let’s Upcycle!

I found this really uniquely designed tunic top in an equally unique color scheme. It was made in Brazil. It was too tight in the hips(even though the fabric is a rayon knit) but I liked the design so I was determined to make it work for me. Fun design, contrasting coloring, made in Brazil – Carnivale comes to mind, sew let’s have FUN!

Whoa, this is a bit low cut. I will be wearing a t-top of some kind underneath. I think the design is fun. I did add the interesting detailing in red around the neckline. I will talk about how to do that in another post.

The back was so tight fitting. It had a convenient seam in the middle of the back. Snip, snip. I’m gonna make it fit!
It’s a nice stretch rayon knit, give a little tension on one side, easy to cut.
I chose this “plaid” Marcia Derse quilting cotton for the back insert. It really matches the bits of red on the front. I cut it out in a giant, wide at the apex (for some gathers) triangle.
I had already decided that I couldn’t leave that insert plain. I needed some colorful yo-yo accents. Whaaat? So I pulled out some fabrics that I thought might work. The top piece is filled with giant butterflies.
I go through a yo-yo phase every now and then. I make a bunch when I need some handwork. Clover has a yo-yo maker in lots of different sizes. Fast and fun. Now where did I put my bag of yo-yos? Found it! These will do nicely.
Placement is easy when you take a picture first. Then move them around.  Put one pin in each yo-yo to hold in place.
Attach a closed-darning foot, lower the feed dogs and start stitching around the outside edge. I even sew off the edge around and around (upper right) a few times for added interest. The yo-yos look good but it needs one extra touch. Hmm….
Yep, that’s my book. Just a couple of years old, but timeless projects. $14.00 includes tax. For the month of August 2019, buy one from me and I will ship it free. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to buy one. I am choosing the project in the upper right corner.
This is a fast and fun way to attach “fussy cut” pieces to a background. I love butterflies. From my current book,  Fashion Quilted Accessories, by Heidi Emmett for Leisure Arts.
Naturally, I chose to fussy cut a colorful butterfly for this project too. Apply Terial Magic before you cut it out. The antennas, ouch, I had to cut them off. It’s too hard to stitch around when the fabric is floppy. But you’ll see my remedy for stitching the antennae.
This technique is explained really well in the book, but here’s the quick version. Choose a thread to be used on the outside edges. It can be ombre or plain. Whatever you like. I was already into lots of “color” so why stop now. Ha, ha. This time I’m using an “opened”-toed darning foot for better vision. Lower the feed dogs. Set your machine to a mid-sized zig-zag stitch. Stitch length pretty close (but you will have control over that on your own). Start slowly, let the machine do the work (I don’t even glue it down, the Terial Magic helps the fabric stick to the background). Hands on either side of the foot and gently move from side to side just a teeny bit to give that jagged look and to fill in. You don’t want spaces. You can go forward or backward to help fill it in.
Don’t forget tear-away stabilizer on the back. As you can see, I sure did. Piece it if you need to. I did and I did a really poor job at it. Trust me, you WANT the stabilizer. It does just what it says. Tear it off when you are finished stitching!
Taa-Daa! Kinda fun don’t ya think? I’m going to wear a white tank under it and my white, slim capris.
It is all about the color for this tunic top. It’s so different than the front. Eye catching I think.
Don’t look too closely, but my butterfly’s antenna’s need some attention. Didn’t I say take your time, and go back and forth if you must to fill in? Sheesh, I can’t follow my own advice.
I’m wearing my “Carnivale” Tunic to our County Fair tomorrow. Have a great, creative weekend, and don’t forget, free shipping if you buy a book from me during August 2019. Hugs, Heidi

Indigo Dying – WHAT FUN!

It was a bright, summer day. Perfect for playing with fabric and Indigo dyes. With very little experience with this process, I was ready to jump right in.

Our teacher, Ginny Lee, showing samples and explaining the process.
So, Indigo is the dye bath we put our item in after it has been manipulated in some way with Shibori techniques.
Here is an example of Kumo Shibori. Love it, and it is the first one I tried on a linen top.
Here is the wrong side and the right side (both are cool) of a Shibori technique that involves using wine corks (I always wondered what to do with mine, ha, ha) and rubber bands.
O.K., here goes my first attempt at Kimo Shibori using a linen top. Wrap at an angle, tightly, but not too tight.
Ginny is showing me how to wrap and pull down on those wraps (to fit the whole thing on the tube.
Here are some very interesting wraps. Notice the printed fabrics too.
I love all these really wild and different wrappings, foldings, and clothes pins! These pieces have been soaked in water and are waiting their turn in the dye bath.
Indigo is a plant. Yes, it is found in Asia, India, and I just learned this, there were large plantations of Indigo in South Carolina in the middle to late 19th century.  Not really a hard process to make up a batch of the Indigo.  Really messy though.
This is my linen top coming out of the dye bath. Whaaat? Why is it Chartreuse? Where’s the blue? It turns this green color in the dye bath and as it’s exposed to the air, it begins to change over to Indigo Blue.
I like this cotton shirt and floppy hat.
Taa daa! My linen top! There is still some green in one bottom corner. 5 min. later, blue.
This piece is so interesting. Ginny said to bring yellow or orange fabrics as a base fabric. Such an interesting piece all wrapped and folded with 1/2 moon shapes.
I think this T-shirt is really cool. There is the yellow and orange(tie dyed before) with a hint of Indigo here and there.
This T-shirt was pinched and pleated in the top area only using larger clips. What a cool design.
I sure wish this was my piece. Again, it started with a pale yellow fabric. I like the combo of styles within one piece.
I brought a baby quilt that I got at the thrift store. The quilting, HAND QUILTING, is so precise, and the stitching is so small. It had languished in my “what do I do with this?” container for years. It was white, well dingy white. It took awhile but I bunched up little poofs of fabric and held them in place with plastic stretchy hair ties. I really like how it turned out. I hope to make a vest out of it using one of my patterns. Maybe a “Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest” only it will be a quilted.
Someone brought this book.  I might need to own this. Filled with great pics and ideas.

It was suggested that we bring fat qtrs. to be able to try many different techniques. Brilliant idea. One student did that, and even went further by prepping some of her pieces at home with some of the more time consuming folding, pinching, whatever processes.
This same student took home 12 different techniques with just fat qtrs. I’m jealous!
Another pale yellow piece of fabric to start (a tablecloth actually).
A really fun day and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully sooner than later.
I came home and went to the back deck doors and said, “What? ” Rex was sound asleep, thinking he was a dog? Trying to cool off? Pretty funny.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone and try something new. Take a class. It will open your mind to what is possible. Hugs, Heidi

Where Have I Been?

Hello everyone, I have been missing for a few weeks. I wish I could say I went on an exotic vacation, or even a regular kind of vacation. I have been recovering from a ruptured appendix that involved emergency surgery. YOWZAA!!  Quite the experience I must say. I NEVER displayed the usual symptoms for appendicitis. It is quite a story but not for today. I fully intend to have a post for next Friday, August 2nd. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope it’s not too hot where you live and I hope you can be creative in some way this weekend. Until next Friday, Hugs from Heidi  P.S. Below is a picture I took of the flowers my sweet son brought to me. These beautiful flowers were picked from a friends garden and were what everyone who entered my room saw and commented on even before they saw me! Ha, ha. I loved that they brought joy to so many.

Happy Independence Day, July 4th, 2019!

I trust that you all enjoyed your 4th of July with family and friends, food and fun!
WOW! It’s Blueberry season! These little orbs of juicy goodness are at their best right off the bush.  There are a bunch of bushes in my Mom’s yard.
And just look at all the green ones just waiting their turn. Yummy, yummy!
Are you like me? The container takes FOREVER to fill because I’m eating them on the spot!
I like this closeup. This is one of our summertime (well anytime, because I do freeze some just- picked berries) breakfast go to’s.