Fall- My Inspiration!

Carry your phone (for pictures & notes) as you talk a walk. Yesterday, I walked around my own yard. Here we go! O.K., first picture was staged! Ha, ha. Such rich colors. Little treasures all over the ground.

Inspiration hits right away. Run upstairs to my Fall sweater stash (I just have a few, ha, ha, and please excuse the wrinkles). Garment idea. Look at this closely. Then go to the next shot. It is basically a giant circle with (instead of arm holes (like a vest), it has sleeves. Pull up the bottom of the circle and it becomes the collar. Clever, very clever. 

A yummy scarf is added. I will discuss this baby in another post. My students from my  2018 Artistic Alchemy workshop already have this pattern. Ladies, I’m already coming up with more new ideas for next years retreat. We will have FUN!!

Love my Dogwood trees. 

Chrysanthemums add a burst of texture. 

I walked past our little garden and spied my bumper crop of Tomatoes. Time to pick! If you like home made tomato sauce, throw everything but the kitchen sink into your Vita-mix and then simmer on top of the stove for an hour. I add more “stuff” after the simmer for the BEST pasta sauce ever!. I freeze it in 1 gallon freezer bags. 

These colors are so yummy yummy! Virginia creeper.

A different area of the same vine, yields warmer colors. Yes, inspiration just hit again (for what to wear today on our Fall leaf peeping drive). Gotta run back upstairs. Where is my fall Whisper Blouse? 

Yep, the colors above are perfect for the Whisper Blouse below. In case you didn’t know, I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics, especially his stripes. Every piece in this Whisper Blouse is different (yes, I have that many). There is a size in this pattern that will work for Misses 6-4X. This is a loose fitting, over the head blouse(no buttons or zippers). When in doubt about your size PLEASE, make a muslin first (use the front and back bodice pieces only ones needed for your muslin). 

Couldn’t resist another picture (or four),of our Dogwood tree. Last spring, all those red berries you see here, were white blossoms. Stunning, every season of the year. 

All this picture taking has tired me out. I’m going to relax now with my newest magazine subscription. Highly recommend it. 

Oh wait, I need a cuppa, and the dark chocolate w/ hazelnut candy bar our son brought us from Amsterdam/ Munich. I have to share? Whaaat? 

Want a Whisper Blouse pattern? Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com and I’ll give you the best price. $15. and free shipping. I do sell my patterns on Etsy and Craftsy but email me to save $.  I hope I inspired you for your next creative stitching adventure and thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

Terrific Tabard- aka “Skinny Vest” A Versatile Pattern to add to your Wardrobe!

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This post first appeared on Feb. 24, 2017. I have been selling many “Terrific Tabard” patterns of late and wanted to let you know that the possibilities are endless for this vest aka “Skinny Vest. I recently did a trunk show called “Art on the Wall, Art to WEAR!” for the Folsom Quilt Guild in Folsom, CA. What a delightful group. Thank you ladies for having me. I felt so welcomed and appreciated. The next day I did a workshop on the Terrific Tabard (aka Skinny Vest). What an amazing group. Let me show what they were working on:  Dorothy (on the left) and Gail came prepared with many strips (for filler sections) already sewn together. Amazing! (hmm..teacher’s pets maybe). dsc_0251

Sandi, got right to work on her Large Scaled Aboriginal print by treating it with Terial Magic first (to make it stiff like a board)  and then cutting it up into interesting shapes. I place a piece of muslin on my ironing board. Place a chunk of fabric you intend to cut shapes out of down next. Shake your bottle of Terial Magic and spray the area you intend to cut. Iron this section until dry (use a dry iron- NO STEAM!). Not stiff enough? Spray and iron again. dsc_0253

Susan also used some Aboriginal fabrics along with a few Kaffe Fassett pieces in the mix. dsc_0255

Don’t you really like how she has combined flowers and shapes. The black and white Aboriginal fabric is the great unifier.

Brenda is using the Tree of Life view in Terrific Tabard to create a collaged vest. dsc_0257

Lorraine is working with black and gold and batiks. This lady is the SPEED queen! She put pedal to the metal and got really far along in her vest Adventure. She plans to do some diagonal strips with shots of color added(via small squares) into a modern look.  dsc_0260

Brenda and Susan are working hard!

Linda has already titled her vest as” Peony Madness.” Hmm..what madness is this? I get it though. See her beautiful Kaffe Peony Fabric below? It is a large scaled print. And sometimes they just don’t work out as you planned. Keep the faith Linda. This process can take some working and re-working.Save the black and cream around those flowers and mix it along with some other black/cream prints.  Use at least one more larger scale print Linda that goes with all. That will pull it all together. dsc_0263

Mairy (with an “I”), arrived later (she had be at work), and she was a busy, busy, girl in no time at all!!  I love her use of intense yellow green and red violet, all grounded with our favorite, black and white. dsc_0264 dsc_0265

Suzanne is using sweet prints, similar in scale. That works well as a base for the beginnings of her garden scene. The little bird comes from her lining fabric (see it off to the left).


Diana is using all “happy” fabrics. I love the way she is using her strip pieces. Glue those puppies down (instead of sewing them together as “filler pieces.”) and stitch them as raw-edged collage.  Great idea. dsc_0271 dsc_0272

There’s smoke coming out of Lorraine’s sewing machine, I just know it. Whirrr….. I am teasing you Lorraine in a good way. I wish I could create that fast. dsc_0274

Susan is flying on the back of her vest. Black and white, White and black, always, always, pull the whole look together. Really fun. dsc_0281

Dorie is our Over Achiever! Not only was she “in charge” of my coming to Folsom, she is already WEARING Terrific Tabard # 3 that she has made. Yes, that’s right, three vests BEFORE the workshop. Dorie, you make me look good! Thank you. dsc_0286

Beautiful choices. Each one is so detailed! And I am so proud, bits of black make a statement in all of her vests. We ran out of time to take pics of her other two. I will see Dorie in May. I’ll get those pictures yet. dsc_0285

I like what Sheila is doing here. She’s laying out her strips first (to get ideas for placement) and then look at the difference in background choices for her large print flowers. Hands down, in my opinion, use the black. dsc_0291

We had a “walkabout” and looked at all the vest creations. We all learned from each other. Mairy, I just love your creative idea of “color” outlining. See? Brenda is pointing to them. dsc_0298


Sandi get the prize (waay up at the beginning), she temporarily suspended work on the Aboriginal (it happens, she’ll get back to it). I saw her beginning to cut out some fish , and a few days later she sent me these FABULOUS pictures! Thank you Sandi. You must post these on the Kaffe Fassett site. That little fish wants to eat your button!


Whimsical and so fun. I love it. And ladies check out that black trim, and that little bit of black in the row of flowers and white/black print. Perfect. susie-fong-fish-vest

And then, YIPPEE! Mairy sent me a picture of her completed back piece of her vest. Love, LOVE, what is happening in this piece. Mairy, this is stunning! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Didn’t I tell you they were a great group of sewists? A whirlwind of activity and fun in that workshop.

One last thing before you leave, check out the new Logo that has been added! Yep, my Etsy store is up and running. It’s for “hard” copies of all my patterns. Deisgns by Heidi Emmett is my store name. Thank you for stopping by and come back when you have time and visit past posts. I hope they will inspire you to get creative. Hugs, Heidi


Free Form Circles Pillow-Let’s Revisit it!

I first published this post on October 28th, 2016. Fast forward two years. It is more relevant than ever. The pattern will be available VERY SOON, via me @hmemmett.com, or Craftsy.com, or my Etsy shop. I can’t decide if I want to do it as a kit too. I also want to add on a few pages of other ways to use these cool circles (Art to Wear!!) Read on, an excerpt from my 10/28/16 post:

Modern Patchwork has my Free-form Circles Pillow project in the latest edition. It just came out, Fall 2016. Get it NOW.
Drum roll please………I LOVE these pillows and they are super fun and easy to make.

The fun pictures above helped give me the idea for this project. I was drinking water from my green depression glass(has the coolest pattern in it), and when finished, I set it onto a project I had been hand stitching.  O.K., O.K., let me go find those pictures.

The above is a “technique creating” project I did 4 years ago. I keep going back to it over and over for my “what if I try this” moments. Hmm… I will do a future post on this, how a technique only, small project, can really get those creative juices flowing. Speaking of….there is a definite change in the air. FALL is really here. Don’t laugh, but I pulled out some yarn and a pattern. It’s knitting and crocheting weather, and felting, and quilting, and, and,……I am NEVER BORED! Get your own creative started this weekend. Hugs, Heidi








Sparky Top Gets Ready for Cooler Days.

Can you even believe it’s Fall ! For once I want to have a new top before I actually need it. As the weather cools, I want longer sleeves on my Sparky Top. Hmm…Will it work? Follow along and you decide.


I’m working on my making all of my patterns in Black & White fabrics. I did a short sleeve Sparky Top as you see above, so now I need to make the sleeve longer. I want it 3/4 length. I think that you should use KNIT fabrics for a longer sleeved Sparky Top. Knits will give more ease in the back across the shoulders and where the end of the sleeve hits on your arm. I purchased a “3 pack combo” of knits in black and gray from Marci Tilton.  https://marcytilton.com/ Go there at your own risk (you’ll want it ALL). These pieces are all rayon knits. I have 4 pieces to the pattern and usually use 4 different fabrics. Since this was a 3 pack, I had fun trying different combos.

Lay down a piece of paper (in this case I used wedding runner) I’m starting with the back piece (Piece B). With a tape measure, approximate where the neck edge is and follow along the shoulder to see how long you want your sleeve to be.  Lay a long ruler on the top edge of the shoulder seam going off the tissue piece. Draw a line all the way down to where the sleeve will end.

Measure around your wrist at the sleeve ending point. Add approx. 1-2″ for ease and a 1/4″ seam. Mark it at the sleeve end.

Tip:  The slight curve of the under arm area is easier to draw if you use a dotted line. Mine isn’t perfect but can be trued up when cut out. 

Don’t forget to add some ease and seam allowance on the underarm area. Repeat this process on the front piece(piece A).

Tip: On a knit, use a stabilizing “stay” stitch on the neckline edge before attaching your neck trim (it keeps the neck edge from stretching out of shape). Also, because you are using a knit for the neck edge binding there is no need to cut it on the bias.  Remember, attach the trim on the WRONG side of the fabric.  Stitch in place.

Bring it to the front and edge stitch it down. Directions are in the pattern and are easy to follow. 

Taa Daa! What do you think? I LOVE it and can’t wait for cooler weather. This is such an easy pattern to sew. Start it in the a.m. and be done before lunch!

A quick note about my leggings. THEY ARE BLACK!! REALLY! But the time of day and my Nikon camera shows off the brown base in my most favorite leggings (it’s the little zippers on the bottom sides). Ohhhh well. Not much I can do about that. 

Whoo Hooo! It’s cool enough this evening. I’m inviting my husband out on a date so I can wear my new top. Happy sewing this weekend everyone. And thank YOU for stopping by! Hugs, Heidi     P.S. If you want your own Sparky Top pattern, email me at hmemmett@gmail.com and I will tell you how to get your own! $16. includes tissue pieces in sizes 8-26 and shipping! Looks FABULOUS on everyone, tall, short, thin, not so thin. Trust me, I’ve seen it on many, many people.

5th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat-Upcycling, And Creative Art to Wear.


Our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat wrapped up just 2 weeks ago! We had an amazing time. And it was just like I told you it would be, Fresh air, great friends, lots of learning, and fun, fun, fun! Below are mainly pictures of my group of students. There is no particular order for the pictures. Below are the intrepid teachers: Mary, me, Jane, & Sandra.

Check out Janet’s upcycled sweatshirt. She was so excited to upcycle sweatshirts in the workshop that she couldn’t help herself. She had to try one BEFORE she came. Love it!

Susan, one of my students, won a complete painting package from Dharma Trading. There were many, many, FABULOUS giveaways at our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! 

Sharonhad some painted pieces and favorite fabric pieces that she wants to incorporate into her sweatshirt. Great idea. 

The almost finished sweatshirt project will show up again in another picture. 

Kathy is just thinking (not praying, or sleeping) about fabric placement for her Off The Grid vest from the “Art to Wear” portion of my workshop. 

Her bright colorways really pop on the black fabric.

Garments are beginning to go up on “The Wall.” Kathy’s almost finished sweatshirt (gray one on the left), makes use of her leftover blocks from a quilt.Love that! 

Aprons from men’s shirts. Sweat shirts, their way. And I spy a Sparky Top and a Terrific Tabard. The dark gray sweat shirt has Sharon’s fabric pieces (from an older top she just loved so much, I sure have a few of those myself). Never thought to put them on a sweatshirt! Very cool. She isn’t quite sure yet where they will finish (pieces still hanging off the bottom). It’s good to put them on a wall and stand back and think a bit. 

The Wall keeps growing.I spy another Terrific Tabard way over to the upper right. The Terrific Tabard on the left has some lovely ladies on it(Susan got those from England). Everyone really worked outside of the box and I was so proud of ALL my students. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. 

Terrific Tabard on the right, Sandra had a rounded piece on one side and cut it off on the other. Why have I never thought to do that. Great asymmetric design idea. 

Janet, created an Amazing Sweat shirt, bottom right and I think she has 5 different shirts in the blouse above on the right. 

A glimpse of the dining room. The view, oh, we love that Lake Tahoe view. 

Sandra jumped right in to create an apron using sleeves only. 

Susan got right in there and made her apron with contrasting fabrics for pockets and ties. I have to say that all my students have come full circle. When I ask what their first sewing experience was, the usual answer (for those in middle grades) is an apron. And they didn’t have fun at all. Whaat? Look at all the smiling faces, and we’re working on APRONS! But these are NOT YOUR MOTHER”S aprons. What a hoot. We all had a great laugh over this. 

Susan whipped up her first apron so fast, that she made a second one using the men’s sleeves only. All sewing rules pretty much go “out the window” as we create these one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Kathy, what? Where is your apron? She didn’t think she wanted to do one, so not one to sit idle, she whipped up some very cute bags for the group she works with at her local hospital. I’m happy to report that she IS planning to do an apron for her daughter for “egg collecting.”

More giveaways. The Warm Company (cotton batting). And more fabric, and a Magazine you must all check out called  Uppercasemagazine.com An amazing magazine, something for every arts & crafts taste. 

Start putting aside $90. per month and by next Sept. you can be here too, with us, and creating like crazy!! (my figure also includes a little spending $$ give or take to spend at our different stores that are offered). Take a little time to get creative this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Zephyr Point- A Bird’s Eye View!

Hello everyone, I really wanted to do a wrap up of my workshop at this years 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat….I took a week (can’t believe I’ve been home a week already) off, and I am taking a few more days off….DON’T LEAVE this page, please. Read on, as this weeks post will be pictures of Lake Tahoe that many of you might not have seen before.

First: Some quick facts about Lake Tahoe. Depth: 1600ft., Size: 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, Shoreline: 72 miles, Lake clarity: 59.7 feet (2017), What does Lake Tahoe mean? The Lake of the Sky.

To get that Bird’s Eye View, you need to travel by Gondola from the Heavenly Valley floor. H-o-l-d on….here we GO!

We’re in car #99. I’m o.k., this is easy so far. Bigger view of the lake as we quietly glide up and up. 

Now you can see Zephyr Point! Looking at the lake’s shoreline go up and around past the rounded hill (on the right same side of the lake as the Casinos in the lower left). The rounded hill is appropriately called “Round Hill.” The next hill to the right Is Zephyr Point!! It is 128 acres and that encompasses all the lake facing portion and the tippy top. It is a 3 mile drive to the closest Casino. Just think if you come to the Artistic Alchemy Retreat next year, you will be right here with all this awesomeness of beauty and serenity. And you’ll stitch up a storm of fun too!

We’re at the first stop. WOW!!!

Walking around the observation area. 

To the left of this picture is a wedding venue. 

The turquoise blue colored area is the true South Shore (also the name of the town). 

The snow capped Mountains are the beginning of Desolation Wilderness. It’s a backpackers dream area to go there (so I’ve been told by my husband and son). The tallest mountain closer to the shore (but still south of the actual water), looks like it has a”T” on it in white (that’s snow) is Mount Tallac. It is 9,200ft. and they say, has a great day hike trail on it.  You can just see Mnt. Tallac from the dining room of Tallac Center at Zephyr Point. 

Awww, a closer view. And you can see Tahoe Keyes lots of boats and condos there and Pope Beach (you can see the sandy beach). 

No words necessary. Soak in the beauty.

Thanks for coming with me. All too soon, we have to get back on the Gondola and descend from the “heavens” of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. Yes, people who ski here, see THIS VIEW! Or those who Mountain bike in the summer.  Next week I’ll unpack the retreat and you will see my amazing students at work! Hugs, Heidi

The Wedding!

Yes, I wore my newly made Sparky Top to my nephews wedding! It was held at the White Ranch in Chico, CA  Come and have a look with me. I thought it was a winery. Well, I was wrong. And this ranch is such an oasis and a perfect venue.  Don’t you love how all the “groom squad” and groomsmen get ready in the building with all the ranch equipment? The ladies had the spacious, special, room with A.C.

See, I wore my newest Sparky Top. So comfortable and cool in the 91 degree heat. Alas, that is not cloud cover but smoke from all the fires (most are 95% or more out). The two good things about the smoke, we really didn’t smell it, and it did keep the heat down.

There is a lake behind the Willow tree. We were really early arrivals so I walked around a bit

It’s starting! Great nephew Brody. 

Here is groom Mark walking his mother to her seat. Mark is the nephew who was born on my husbands and my wedding day! What a handsome young man. His two older brothers were his “Bestmen.” 

Check out the tractor holding gifts. 

And here come the groom squad!This is Wesley, a great nephew. 

A set of twin great nephews. NOW I can tell them apart (one has dyed his hair blonde). Ruby, the rescue dog is part of the wedding too. Awwww..

Ashley, the beautiful bride on her dad’s arm. 

We need to see her again in her gorgeous gown. 

Lush greenery everywhere as the bride and groom and bridal party get together afterward for pictures. 

I  turned to the left and there was Wesley checking out the fountain (on low) in the middle of the lake. What a little ham.

I strolled down a series of arches toward the dinner venue. Isn’t this lovely?

I have never seen children so happy at a wedding. There were at least 18 kids, ages 10 and under. There was an actual playground about 100ft. from where the food was being served.  Great nephew Aaron is having fun on the swing set. It was a BIG one. 

The flowers were big too! This hibiscus was as large as a dinner plate. 

A small out building that was decked out in lights as were all the other stops within the venue for eating and dancing. The dining area was all round tables with crisp white tablecloths and draped canopies with lights inside and, YES, Crystal Chandeliers. It was so pretty in the evening. 

The Bride and Groom had wedding cake. All the rest of us had ice cream with all these different toppings. What fun!

We danced, and laughed, ate yummy food,and heard silly and sweet stories about the bride and groom. It was such a good time, sipping drinks under the stars and seeing old friends and family, and meeting new friends and family too. Let’s all raise our glasses to the Bride and Groom. May God bless these two with many, many, happy years together. Thanks for coming with me all of you. Hugs, Heidi

It’s Summer. Feel the Breeze and See the Lush Greens & Blue Greens of the Season.

by HEIDI EMMETT    I bought a beautiful Maxi-Dress at “My Favorite Store” (aka thrift store) in Truckee, CA.  It is made of exquisite hand-painted silk chiffon. All the seams are French seams.  I bought it for the silk.  I hand washed it and gloated over the fabulous amount of fabric I had in my hands. What to do with it? I want to make another Sparky Top! That silk, with other perfect fabrics will look lush and green and light and floaty when there is a breeze. Perfect for the last days of summer.


I laid it out on my work table for a few days (this is how I always approach a new project) and pulled out other fabrics from time to time that I thought might work and placed them beside my “focus” fabric. As you can see, I found some Kaffe Fassett fabrics that work perfectly with the silk chiffon.The floral is at least 10 years old so I don’t even know it’s name.  I ran out of one stripe and had to seam the back piece. Below, I’m trying different arrangements of the large blooms from the Kaffe Fabric.

I like this more random selection. 

Because I treated this Kaffe with Terial Magic, I just placed them on the stripe (Terial Magic on it as well), I didn’t even have to glue it or pin the flowers down. 

I like my “open” darning foot, so I can see where I’m stitching. Whirrrr, whirr, I go….

I have the stitching of the neck trim down to a science. I have been using this method for  30+ years! I made quilted vests, and jackets to sell in Artist fairs when I was 19. It is basically a quilt binding. I do everything by machine, because I neededt to get the outfit done quickly, but efficiently. This trim folds over so smoothly and perfectly. Ahh…what a pleasure to stitch when I know it fits. I tell you just how to do it in the Sparky Top pattern.

Taa daa!!!! 

Yes, I had to piece the front too. I thought I would add more stitched flowers, but nixed that idea in favor of a great necklace instead. 

Pressing is always big in my book. Press, press, press, as I’m stitching. I was so excited to take pics of this Sparky Top, I forgot to press the back as I spell out in the actual pattern. So take a look.  This top is really fast and easy to make. I’ve said it before, you’ll spend more time deciding what fabrics to use than the actual sewing portion. Ha, ha. 

I’m going to our nephew’s wedding tomorrow, at a Winery in Chico, CA. I think this would be perfect to wear. Hmm…what shoes, jewelry?

The Sparky Top above really reminds me of my Mom’s Hydrangeas growing beautifully right now. I have to show you. 

That lush, green, beauty of summer time.

Well, well, I received some pictures from Janet B. I LOVE her Sparky Top. It looks like a linen, cotton grouping of fabrics. Great with jeans. And check out her earrings and necklace. They are her own designs that she created with Polymer clay. 

Thanks Janet, I really enjoy showing everyone what can be made with this pattern and any of my other Art to Wear patterns. Sew, send them to hmemmett@gmail.com    Want your own Sparky Top pattern (complete with tissue pieces)? Talk to me at the above email address. 

May your creativity abound this weekend. And if you have some down time, look for me at any of the icons below. Hugs, Heidi

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The Tin Thimble- An Imaginative Store in Loomis, CA

In July, I had finished a Trunk Show (this one with Christine Barnes, we did our Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza- with all things KAFFE!)in the Bay area. On the way home we stopped at Tin Thimble in  Loomis, CA. This is such a unique, store. It is in what was once a Fruit packing shed. They play up the “rustic” charm. Let me take you on a tour. How about Vintage buttons! They are on both sides of the hanging curtains. Look in the bottom right corner. The lovely watercolor looking painting is not as it seems. It’s felted AND it’s a class. It’s taught by Tetyana Huffman.

Christine has fabric in hand to purchase. Hey, don’t take it all, I might want some too (we seem to gravitate toward the same fabrics, too funny).There are adorable vintage aprons to make (patterns for them) or buy, like the ones on the little clothes line around the island. And a “wet felted” landscape on the table. 

More aprons, lots of interesting fabrics, and vintage patterns to buy. 

There are stacks of white boxes on the table, ready to be cut. Did you know that cheesecloth comes in four different densities of weave? I put those boxes there. I need to buy some. that fabric is for me to “experiment” with. Hmm….it’s 100% cotton, pure white, so, I could dye it, gather it, acck, too much I can do, so little time. 

And the wool roving, the silk charmeuse, the wool yarns!! There is so much available for Wet and Dry felting projects. 

Local jewelry designers selling their work. 

This is lace that has been “Nuno felted” onto silk. Be STILL my beating heart. These samples are stunning.  And there’s a CLASS for that too!

Actually a bunch of classes. Check it out here:    Tin Thimble

Silk for sale on the tubes along the wall and more classes in the front on mannequins. 

And NOW they are offering Shibori Dying classes. And some items are for sale if you aren’t able to take a class. 

Above is the back of the blouse, below is the front. Silk satin, oh my, the drape, the depth of color, and the vintage style. 

Here are some samples of creativity for the Shibori class. Thank you for visiting my Blog. I so appreciate your being a part of the creativity I love sharing. Blessings and hugs, Heidi Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy     P.S. The icon next to Craftsy is an Instagram logo (I need to update THAT one!). Click on any of the icons and you should be taken right to my part of these places that I am a part of.

This is Important!

Hello, IT’S FRIDAY!!! Yes, Friday is important because it means the weekend is almost here! But, if you keep reading you will read about why this post is important.

Sparky Top, my fastest selling pattern thus far. Thank you all for your purchases. I am slowly working on my “Black & White Collection” (using black and white fabrics and sometimes a bit of color too with all my patterns). I talked about this one very briefly, but there’s MORE to it.Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Here is the Sparky Top I wanted you to see today. It is  “French Inspired .” The front piece reminds me of the Rose windows in Notre Dame. If using circles for a front, think about where they will land on your body before cutting that piece out.

This lace is pretty unique that is on the back. 

I found it “in a dress” at my favorite store at King’s Beach. Never worn. I still hand washed it. I was able to get the entire back piece out of the skirt portion of the dress. I like the way the white underlay shows off the pattern. So, I used the pale, pale, gray portion of my Gelato print from Diawabo. Hint: I love using the gray Gelato from Diawabo as the background fabric in my Off The Grid Vest (see past posts). 

The dress below, again, brand new, had tons of beautiful striped fabric in it. It is a knit. And there is no brown in it (even though it looks like it in the picture). Which brings up another great idea for Sparky Top. Mix up your fabric types. It works in this piece. A knit is especially good for the back piece (along the shoulders) as it allows for some extra ease in the back and the cap sleeve area. 

Here is the dress with the stripe skirt portion cut off. And wow, a slip was underneath. Perfect to make shorter, keep the width and maybe add a wide, as in 10″ wide, piece of lace. This gives you an instant slinky slip to wear under a longer top. A short (mini-skirt short)  slip will keep any top from riding up your back. 

I wanted you to see that I used an ombre’ fabric for the side panels. Ombre’s are especially good because you have choices, darker, middle, or lighter.  

O.K., here is THE IMPORTANT PART!!! And it requires all caps because I don’t want you to miss it. I made a mistake when drawing Piece C (the side panel piece). Look at the picture below. Piece C is the top portion of the picture. When the notches are matched up to Piece D (the center back), acckkk…Piece C is off by 2 1/2″. It is the same amount no matter what size is cut out.  There are 2 simple ways to fix this:

  1. Leave the tissue piece of Piece C. alone. Cut out the pieces as usual. Sew the top together, matching up the notches. Before hemming the bottom edge, true the bottom edge. Using this method, the top will be a little shorter on the side closest to the back. Perfect for anyone who is 5’4″ or shorter!

2. Make tissue Piece D longer (so it will match to Piece c.). The following method will keep the bottom edge of piece D from getting distorted. So, 5″ from the center bottom of piece D (longest portion on the fold side), and from side to side of the piece, cut apart the tissue in a straight line (see picture below). Add a piece of paper underneath and evenly spread the tissue pieces apart 2 1/2″ and tape the paper in place. Cut out the pieces as usual and sew the top together matching notches. Before hemming, try on the Sparky Top to determine if any adjustment to the length is needed.

Any one who needs a written out piece on how this is done, email me and I will send you a separate copy by snail mail orrr…. will email a copy that you can print up. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com  I am sorry for this inconvenience. But as you can see below and pictures that I am gathering for a future “look book” on Sparky Top, this simple adjustment is really worth it in all the compliments you will receive AND the fact that you will feel really good while wearing your own Sparky Top.

Thank you ALL for visiting my blog every week. I hope to inspire and give ideas that are fun and easy to do. My motto is, “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done.” Hugs, Heidi

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Wear This Every Which Way! Is It a Vest, Poncho, Shawl? All That & More!

You see them around. I purchased this one at our local Quilt Show.   You could practically make this with your eyes closed!  Who is that slinking out of the shot? Make it, place it, fold it, etc. and THEY (the cats) will come! Silly kitties.

Let’s look at several ways to wear this piece and then I will give you dimensions so you can create your own. 

I dropped my hands (from the above shot) and let it float and fold around me.

A back shot. Simple, elegant. Dress it up or down. 

Here it is with my holding the long side up ( it is now upside down). 

Throw one portion  over your shoulder. It will be shorter in the back. 

O.K., this is supposed to be a poncho look which I’m not quite sure how to pull off. Ha, ha. You will need to try this one on your own. The lady showed my how, but my brain was a sieve so….Maybe, put both armholes over my head…. 

Experiment,  and see what you come up with. Meet, “Roxy”, my new mannequin. She will show you a few other ways to wear this piece. She sports my size right on her stomach (thanks Roxy for announcing it to the world), and also tells everyone that she has a collapsible shoulder. Would someone, anyone out there, please tell me what that’s all about? 

There are some tails on this piece. Try tying them in the front.

And with the long portion held up high (like me in the very first shot), let it fall to the back so you have a shawl. 

One armhole over the head, and arm through the other, that’s it! I remember now, and you have a poncho look. Your other arm will have fabric on it. Here it is on the front. The armhole spreads a bit to form a slight v-shape. 

A back view. 

See! I told you. She’s announcing things that should be kept private. Ha, ha. But I noticed that all the great blog’s and websites have their own Roxy’s, so I decided to follow the pack mentality. I can wheel her about the house too. I like that. She is VERY heavy though. So she pretty much will stay indoors. 

All right, here are the dimensions for our Chameleon Vest(I like that name ’cause it is ever-changing): 55″ high (from the tips at the top to the straight across bottom) and 58″ across.  Use the picture below for reference on the rest of these directions. Fold the fabric piece in half (the 58″ width will have the fold line). You will be cutting through two layers of fabric at once. Mark with a pin 16″ down on the fold. If you feel unsure to just take your scissors to the fabric, you can pin the cutting line first or use a disappearing pen. Start at the top edge, round off and then start cutting down and out toward the 16″ mark you first pinned. Nice job. Now for the armholes. Let’s make a pattern first. On a piece of paper (that’s at least 12″ long), draw a line down the middle of the paper. Fold the paper in half along that line.  Draw a line away from the fold line 1 1/4″ out, parallel to the fold line.  Draw that line 11″ long. Round off the ends. Cut out your oval shaped armhole pattern. Take this pattern piece to the still folded piece of fabric. Pin it to the fabric— 5 1/2″ away from the fold (the long portion of the pattern piece parallel to the fold of the fabric. The top of the armhole pattern needs to be 5 1/2″ from the cut edge (where it swoops down, look at the picture below again). Pin it to the fabric and cut out the armholes (two layers worth).  Taa Daa!! You did it!

Serge all the edges. Don’t forget the armholes. DONE!! No Serger, no worries. Use a zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine that is fairly close together. Sheer polyesters are perfect for this project and they usually come 60″ wide. Fabulous for travel. Also,a  great gift idea.

Phew, that was a lot of reading. So go take a break and drink your water. Hydrate, everyone! Learn to drink at least 8 oz. of plain water right after you get out of bed in the morning. You just went 8 hours (give or take) without any water. You are breaking the fast (hence the name for that first meal of the day, breakfast) and what better thing to do first, but drink some water.

Have a good weekend. Take a break and do some handwork outside if you can. Hugs, Heidi P.S. Don’t forget to visit my pattern shop at Craftsy.com I have a FREE, 3-tiered skirt pattern available for you.   Craftsy.com/Sewing Patterns/DesignsbyHeidi

Running HOT then COLD!!!!


by Heidi Emmett

Hello everyone! I ran out of time this week to finish my post. Please enjoy this from June 23, 2017. It’s also a good time to say, Explore my back posts. It will kinda be like reading a book with LOT’S of pictures.

“Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza!” That is the name of our Trunk Show. Christine Barnes and I have long had an interest in all things Kaffe, from fabric to his knitwear, to his needlepoint, mosaics, and of course, quilts. So we were off to Merced for Trunk Show # 1, this past Monday. Below is the coolest Mosaic in the hottest part of the day, 108 degrees! I saw this as part of a wall to sit on. That streak of white is the blazing sun.  The A.C. was on and the quilt guild in Merced was a hot group! They were such a creative, lively, and nice group.
And look what Lora Wheeler made, her own Mommy & Me vest! I love it. She bought the pattern at our Artistic Alchemy Booth at the Pine Tree Quilt Show back in May in Grass Valley, CA. It is always so fun to see what you all create with one of my patterns. She used a fabulous puckery type of rayon. I thought it was silk.

I just love what you did Lora. You were thinking outside the box! I sure wish I could come back and take your “upcycling” workshop-taking four shirts to create one.

On to San Francisco! It was 63 degrees when we arrived! Ahhhhhhh, so refreshing. As soon as we got to our hotel, I took a walk across the street to Sutro Park. It has tons of Nasturtiums, they are such a happy plant. Great colors.

I came close to the edge of a trail and stopped in my tracks! Yes, this was my view. It is just astonishing! That large green patch is the beginning of Golden Gate Park! Did you know that it is 3 1/2 miles long and 1/2 mile wide? Wow. And check out that HUGE beach area.  A lovely rose. Sutro park is 128 acres of loveliness. Adolph Sutro purchased that acreage in 1881 and built a Mansion, Conservatory, and a Parapette. When he passed, the whole place went to ruin. All the buildings were torn down but all the foliage stayed. It is now a city park within San Francisco.   

These homes border the park on one side.These home owners can walk down the hill to the Cliff House restaurant.  Don’t they look like places on the Cote d’Azure in France?  Succulents in front of the hotel, Seal Rock Inn. Cool and crisp looking.  There it is, Seal Rock Inn from Sutro park. 

The ladies of the S.F. Quilt Guild were also a delight. We had a great time telling them  some things they didn’t know about Kaffe Fassett. He grew up at Nepenthe which is near Big Sur, just down Highway One, south of San Francisco. Thank you Cathy and Laura, you were great hostesses.

No, NO! Christine and I didn’t want to leave. A 63 degree high, I had to dig through my Kaffe samples and find my Kaffe Alpaca sweater to wear. Who knew?  

Thanks for stopping by. At our Artistic Alchemy Retreat in September, my workshop, “Pick a Pattern”(Designs by Heidi patterns) is still taking students. Maybe you will want to design and create your own Mommy & Me Vest. I would love to have you in my workshop. I will help you fit whichever pattern you choose. Let’s all get our creative going. Hugs, Heidi

My Guest Blog Post for Needle & Foot!

by Heidi Emmett

A BIG thank you to Bernie, owner of Needle and Foot for letting me show off some of the fabric she sells using one of my patterns, Terrific Tabard. Be sure to visit her at:  Needle & Foot

Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com for a fast way to order this pattern.

I’m going for a whole new look (than the cover shot above) with the linen blends I got from Bernie’s Etsy shop. Let me show you what I did to create a sophisticated and smooth Terrific Tabard. I started with these linen blends from Bernie. I absolutely LOVE linen! And these two linens will work with ANY other color or colors.

I went to Quilt Market in Portland, OR this past May and was able to buy the black/colored panel by Marcia Derse. This panel wont be available until October. 

I also snagged some very small pieces from Marcia’s newest collection, again available in October.  My linen is sooooo perfect with some of these prints. 

Most of my patterns have tissue pattern pieces included (they always include many sizes in one). Notice I have folded out some of the tissue (closest to the side area). I am making use of every teeny, tiny, bit of this panel. I want to use as little as possible so I can make something else. 

I pinched out some, but now I have to fill it back in with something. I first cut the panel apart near the pinched out area and in the shoulder area. Tip: Always cut wherever you pinch it out. It is a fun and creative trick. 

I cut up a few of those colorful pieces and sewed them together and stitched them to either side of what I cut apart. I started with the red/orange piece (at the top of the shoulder area). 

Always line up other seams and plan to have extra on either end to trim off. I do not like to run short. Below I will just snip, snip, the red-orange fabric off in line with the shoulder seam. 

While I let the fashion layer dictate what each section will look like, I always, ALWAYS, strive for a long and lean look. I want your eyes to see the whole design in an up and down fashion. Never, side to side. I wanted to keep the back simple. So I added just a few strips of fabric. Two more Marcia Derse’s and one of the Linen. I cut out the sizes I wanted and pressed the edges under all the way around each piece. Remember, up and down, up and down. Edge stitch each piece all the way around. 

At the point you see below, in any other “quilted” version of Terrific Tabard, I would be adding batting right now (or before the shoulder seams were stitched together) and quilting all the pieces. Then the vest would be finished off with quilt binding trimming (albeit much narrower than a quilt binding). All those instructions are included in the pattern (you saw it at the very beginning). But THIS vest will have no batting. And it will be lined and not bound. This version really goes together quickly. 

The two front lining pieces are “Grunge” in black. The back piece lining is a very old (no longer being made) Kaffe Fassett stripe. Pin right sides together and stitch all the way around using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave about a 6-8″ opening somewhere on one of the sides. 

Very carefully grade the seams on the curved portions. Grading just means trimming one piece smaller than the other. When you turn the whole piece inside out and begin to press, press, press (that’s the secret to a beautifully lined piece), all the rounded edges will fall into place as you press. Tip: On dark fabrics use a press cloth (a piece of muslin works) on top of the fabric before you press. Sometimes you get a shine, even on linen. 

I have a rather large collection of buttons. Here is a group of Polymer by Sandra Bruce. She also sells earrings and pins. Check it out: SandraBruce.com   I just buy what I like, knowing that someday, I’ll have the perfect button for a project. Forget buttonholes. I use strips of fabric that have been folded and pressed and stitched into place as tabs to hold the button in place.. You’ll see this in a few pictures down.  I love my new vest. I can’t wait to wear it (not sure when since it is summer!), but I’ll be ready when the time comes. 

The button I chose is very intricate and it’s really BIG, but I think it blends in nicely. 

The two side buttons are from my glass button stash. I know, I know, it’s a sickness, but one I don’t want to get over. Ha, ha. 

One last way to style this Terrific Tabard, fold back just one side. 


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I wore my newest Sparky Top to town this morning. Wore it while mailing off the other two Sparky Tops in my hands. They go to the two special ladies who got me into Quilt Market, and have helped spread the joy of my pattern line to other Shop Owners around the country. Thank you!!!! Sharon & Carol. You two are the BEST!

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Here are the  intrepid leaders of Artistic Alchemy’s 5th Annual Retreat at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point. There are a few spaces left in Mary’s, Jane’s, & my workshops. Click on the icon below to find out more. From left to right: Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Jane Haworth, & me, Heidi Emmett

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I sew appreciate each and every one of you stopping by. Take time, my mantra, ” just 15 minutes a day”, to create something new this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA—Let’s Savor the Moments We are There!

A week at a time, during the summer months(this year 3 x’s), my husband and I go to Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe to work in the “Bear Necessities” gift shoppe. Robert runs the Frozen Yogurt Machine and I do the retail end, selling T-shirts, etc. We are going by Sand Harbor, a place that on one side is a boat launching spot and waaay around the other side is a Huge amphitheater for Shakespeare and other plays right on the lake and next to that a beautiful sandy beach. Yes, I took this picture from the car (a teeny bit blurry) but this sight means we are only 22 more minutes from Zephyr Point!

Can you believe it, this lovely picture was in the Safeway parking lot at King’s Beach.

Our first night at Zephyr out on our deck. The Multi-million dollar view. 

And it just got better and better. Sunset, 8:22p.m. 

Commercial break, “Sparky Top” has become my TOP selling pattern. I am so excited. It has been out for only 8 weeks and wow! Thank you all who have purchased it. It is really fast and easy to make with many options (fabric choices that is) to make your very own signature “Sparky Top”.  Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on how to purchase a pattern.


I made three more before coming up to Zephyr. I love taking pictures on the dock of the private beach. Some tips for your upcoming making of a Sparky Top: 1. Buy garments ( at the thrift store) just for the fabric. I have been going a little crazy lately on garments for my black and white collection. Below, the front piece of the S.T. I’m wearing was cut from a skirt. The skirt had a black band at the bottom. I realize that the band is NOT running in my usual “long and lean” look (as in up and down), but I think it works because this front piece is flat, shorter than the back and the piece itself  has it’s own built in long and lean look to it. I also made sure to have a black polka dots as the side pieces. That black piece looked lonely so I added a piece of beautiful black cotton lace (from a sleeve of a black blouse).

The back piece (near the shoulders) on all three S.T.’s are fabulous pieces of lace. Each back piece was cut from 3 different dresses. 2: If you have broad shoulders, consider a piece of knit for the back piece. The stretch in the knit will give enough room so it doesn’t feel tight.  

3. I also suggest LIGHT weight knits (for one or all of the pieces). 4. On the back shoulder pieces of all three of these tops, I did place an underlining of fabric to show off the beautiful lace patterns.  

One day we drove the Kingsbury Grade (over 7200ft at the summit) to check out the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Range.  On the right side of the picture below, see the long lines in the mountain, that is the back side of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. During the summer you can ride up on a Gondola (starting at Lake level) and see FOREVER as you travel up the mountain. We were able to stand (after a little hike) at the highest point of that mountain (9500ft. +) and get a 360 degree view. The term Heavenly is perfect. 

I tried for a close up as we are traveling down, down, down, into the Carson Valley.

Phew, we made it. This picture is right outside the teeny tiny town of Genoa, Nevada. It’s the oldest town in all of Nevada. Came to be because of the Silver mining in the middle 1800’s. 

The valley is ruggedly beautiful.  The mountains in the distance are a Mtn. Range running down the middle of Nevada. They aren’t very high (3-4500ft.)

Back at the store, here is a young one (he’s five as you can see)in for his daily dose of frozen yogurt. I asked if I could take a picture of his shirt. I like the concept and told his dad that his shirt would make an interesting quilt/or section on an art to wear piece. Reverse applique’. 

Oh yes, he insisted on my taking a pic of his lost teeth. What a cutie. 

Shortly after, a young man staying in Lakeview Lodge for a family reunion, wore his tie-dyed (with bleach) t-shirt into the store. The original black is right behind him. Very stylin’. Turns out I knew the Matriarch of the family reunion. She even taught at my fabric store a hundred years ago!! What a small world. 

To start up the store each morning, we had to walk to the top and pick up the bag o’ money.  We would walk up and down “Robyn’s Flight” to get there (150+ stairs). At 6400′, I always take those stairs V-e-r-y slowly so I don’t pass out, ha, ha! I enjoy the view and take pictures of the flowers that grow in the stone boxes on the stairs. The roof of the cabin to the left is where the director lives. Can you EVEN IMAGINE waking up to this stunning view every single day!!! 

This Dianthus looks like a fireworks display. 


Lupine and Blue Salvia.

Love the wood shutters on the Bear Store. And that wraparound porch. The BEST part.

Snap, snap,(camera sounds) walk a few more steps, and….

snap, snap, some more. The incredible vistas, never end. Good thing I have a digital camera.  Oh dear, I think I’m giving away my age. Ha, ha. 

More Columbine. They look like shooting star fireworks. 

Who, Who?, or more like What, What? is this? I bought a little bag while Thrifting on our way up and around the lake. It is a poor, one eyed Owl, or is it winking at me? He’s so cute. He was a little bag, so I cut it out, gave him a bath, and hung him up to dry out on our deck. I’ll keep you posted on what I do with him. I have some ideas. 

I’m doing a double run again this week. I am posting at Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com and over at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com. Thanks for stopping by and I leave you today with a quote from Sammy Davis Jr., “Savor the moments that are warm and special and giggly.” Hugs, Heidi

Rafiki Skirt–Rafiki means FRIEND in Swahili! Let’s be Friends.

Here is my friend Judy Stokes. She designed the Rafiki Skirt. I took over and created the “how to” portion with input from Judy. She taught me the African Way to make patterns. You need to know that patterns (with tissue pieces) as we know them here in the states are unheard of in Africa. Judy created and taught a curriculum for these beautiful ladies and others (widows and some young men) to have their own livelihood. A portion of Rafiki Skirt pattern sales goes to Rafiki Foundation so Judy can continue this great work.

Here is the original skirt I purchased from Judy that was made by someone in Jos, Nigeria.

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It’s almost summer! The perfect time to stitch up a Rafiki Skirt. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com if you want to purchase directly from me. Orrrr..tap on the Craftsy logo or the Etsy logo for another way to buy the pattern. Use all your favorite fabrics. You will need 3/4 yard of 7 different fabrics.

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I’m on my way soon up to Zephyr Point, to take more pictures. This time my black and white collection of, Taa Daa, Sparky Tops. I can’t wait to show them to you. 

Crazy kitties! 

Marcia Derse fabrics are perfect for Rafiki Skirt if you can’t find real African Prints. 

Another Marcia Derse grouping. So “organic”, I say it again, perfect for Rafiki!

Acck….you’re squishing me, Rubix!

Relax Rex,just close your eyes.

 Stay cool wherever you live. It’s going to be HOT in Northern Ca. I live an hour north of Sacramento. They are saying 96 here in Cedar Ridge on Sat. 106 in Sacramento. So turn up the A.C. and sew a Rafiki skirt to wear to your next BBQ event.      Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Don’t forget to visit Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  A few spots are still available.

Rectangles of Yummy Fabrics+a T-Shirt= One Fabulous Dress!

by Heidi Emmett  On one of my late night forays into Pinterest, I came upon this picture. I MUST MAKE THIS, was my first thought at 12:15a.m.  Note to self: Do NOT look at Pinterest late at night as a relaxation technique to help me fall asleep.

Here is my version:

My friend Victoria W. gave me a Log cabin square she had made (shown below) and that’s all I needed to get started on my own dress, tunic, long shirt, acck. I have to come up with a name. For now, the “working title” is Rectangle Pieced Dress (so you can reference it at my home page later).

You know me and my love of rectangle pieces, so I started cutting strips and rectangles and had fun, fun, fun, stitching, cutting more, adding, taking away. 

I used my serger so I could really fly. Did I say how much I love having a Babylock Serger (mine is an Imagine- 4 cone). It has a very special air device that pulls in the upper and lower looper threads making it easy peasy to thread. 

What a great way to use some of my favorite pieces from my collection. 

It’s growing, section by section. 

R-e-x! His ears have that “look”.  Don’t TOUCH me. I am King Kat. I can sits wherever I want!

Adding a side seam pocket. Yes, I did put right sides together before stitching. But, ha, ha, (please refer to the picture of me in my new outfit) another note to self:  Try on or at least do some proper measurements BEFORE adding an inseam pocket. I am trying really hard to be nonchalant in the picture, but I can barely reach that pocket. It is so far down. I have decided to cut it off and make a patch pocket or two on the front instead. 

The pictures below show folding down the fabrics to form the edge that runs under the bodice area and all the way around. 

A possible patch pocket idea. 

There’s that hand-in-pocket s-t-r-e-t-c-h again. I had so much fun with this that I’m adding it to this years workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. It will be another possibility to pursue. To my students that are already signed up, I will send info. about it (with a name for it too!) sometime in July. There are a couple places left in my workshop. Keep it in mind and click on the icon at the bottom (Artistic Alchemy) and go right to the site to learn more.

It’s READY! SPARKY TOP IS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE NOW!! Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to buy a hard copy or (after 4:00p.m. today, June 15th) purchase via pdf on Craftsy.com, Have a super sewing stint this weekend. May you be blessed with the energy and TIME to create something new. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Deborah D. from Arkansas,  your Sparky Top hard copy goes out in today’s mail!

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Marcia Derse 2018 Fall Collection- What Will I do With It?

by Heidi Emmett

Here I am at the Marcia Derse booth at Quilt Market. I arrived at the precise moment she finished her little talk on her newest line of fabrics, “Art History:101″ So sad to miss it. But I was able to score 5″ squares of all 26 of her Art History collection. And later on, I was able to get one panel of the black(on the back wall to the left). Today, I’m going to focus on those 5” squares.

Here they all are, out flat, and sort of lined up. There are two more, but I forgot them as I had them set aside. You’ll see them later. 

As with ANY collection of ANY designer, all the fabrics are meant to go together (this is to encourage us to buy more, not a problem for me).  Marcia’s fabric collections are so unique and visual, each piece a little gem. And I have found, as my collection  grows, each collection works with all her other previous groupings. Love that. I see a squirrel, and must follow it. After visiting for a few minutes with Marcia, I said goodbye and walked around the corner. I noticed the back of this ladies jacket. It’s a beautiful “little” modern quilt. I like that idea, so of course, I needed a picture. The must do this someday is now  on record. O.K., I’m back.

“Upcycling” is a big part of my workshop for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point this September 3rd-7th.  There are just a few places left, so if you are thinking about it, now is the time. Below is just “touching the surface” for upcycling of a favorite top.  Yes, this is a great top as is, but I had to have a spark of color.

Sew, I took some random (truly, TRULY, don’t over think it, be brave, just pick!) pieces from that 5″ stack. I cut some into smaller pieces and pressed the edges under a tiny bit all the way around each piece. I always try to cut long and lean looking. The exception for ME is I want the “illusion” of a bust, hence a full 5″ square and sideways rectangle in the upper area. Hey, no laughing, it’s worth a try.

Here’s what I ended up with for the top, left section. 

I hate pins and poking, so it’s Elmer’s glue for me to hold the piece in place. I run a very small bead (and smear it) in the center of wrong side, about the size of a quarter. That’s it. One bit of glue on each piece. Let dry and edge stitch in place. 

Below is what NOT to do. And of course it’s the first one I sewed done and smack dab in the front. I will remove the stitches and redo, but of course, I have a deadline. Good for you all to see that I’m not perfect. Ha, ha, ha.

I love, love, LOVE my new top. And the bleached out sections, while I did not do these on this store bought top, I have done it and will give you some do’s and don’t in the workshop (we wont actually do it though, not enough time).  I leave you with pictures of my Golden Chain Tree. It was the prettiest season EVER for this very s-l-o-w growing tree.

Have a great sewing weekend. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Whatever site you view THIS particular post on, Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com, OR, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  you will see the same post on both (I need more sewing time!)

And the FUN Continues at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon!

Check this out. Row after row, after row, of yummy, delicious stuff. Below is the Anna Maria Horner booth for Free Spirit fabrics (the one with the anchor, sorry for the interrupt).

I was SEW HAPPY to see more clothing and accessories at almost every booth. Yea!! And I have cards from the booths where I think would be the best fit for my “Art to Wear”  patterns. The emails to these companies start today, lots of networking, I have to do. Can’t wait to see where it all leads. The pictures below are all for fabrics from RJR.  

One large area was filled with quilts and more quilts. They were from individual quiltmakers. Ribbons were given. 

On Friday, I walked around (wearing my Off The Grid Vest with a pattern pinned to my back) just soaking in all the sights. Yowzaa!! Check out this NEW fabric designer. He is an actor in New York City and decided he wanted to create a line of fabric on the side. 

Can’t WAIT until this comes out (October). His fabrics “Quantum” are with Andover. 

He was so nice and so genuine, I had to have a picture taken with him. Yep, his designer name is Guicey, Guice!

On Saturday at 11:30a.m. I did my “speel” in the demo booth at E.E. Schenck. It went well considering, the order write ups for both patterns and books. Don’t ya love the static cling on the back of my silk Terrific Tabard? Ohh well, static happens! 

Taa daa!  There I am, smack dab in the middle. 

You can tell how overwhelming it can all get. And lost! I got lost many times. Ha, ha. Soakin’ it all in and having a blast. Wearing a pattern on my back was THE BEST advertising ever. A great conversation starter. Being at Quilt Market was so inspiring for me. I want to pass all I soaked in to you. I found this quote by Salvador Dali: “A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”  Thanks for stopping by! Hugs, Heidi

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy     There are a few spots left in my workshop at Artistic Alchemy. Click on the logo above to see what that’s all about. And you must follow me on Pinterest and Instagram. I love to post fun things on those sites.

Is Your Art To Wear Piece TSA Approved?

I had a FANTASTIC time at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon this past weekend! My hand cramped up from all that book signing. Kidding. I did sign a bunch of books though and met such nice shop owners. I am determined to get the word out about “Art to Wear” and how it’s fun to create and wear. They came from Iowa, Ohio, Canada, Utah, Washington, Japan, Italy, and of course, Oregon to name a few. I will tell you interesting factoids as the weeks go by. But first, I must tell you a story as I stood in the TSA line about my “Tahoe to a “T” Tunic pictured below. This tunic has inner-tube pieces (from a Mountain Bike tire) sewn onto it. 

So here’s the story. Coming home from Portland, I wore this tunic. At the airport, everyone had to do the security check. I breezed up to the big round tube thingy. Place feet here, hold, arms like so.”Beep,Beep,Beep.” Madam, step aside over here. ” Yep, I had to have a pat down. Whaaat!!!!! Two ladies were with me (both of them nice). One did the pat down and the other was there to supervise(I even had to have my hands swabbed for possible residue). They showed me the areas that set off the alarm and yes indeedy, it was the inner tube pieces I sewed on. The entire time I was being twirled around, felt all over (not liking that one bit), the supervisor was (as she stood to the side) commenting on my cool outfit. She asked how I sewed them on, could I wash it (yes you can no problem), etc. When the other one was done, she too said, that is the coolest top ever. Who would ever have guessed, that inner tubes would set off security alarms? I would have given them my card but I was a little out of sorts after that episode.  Sew, that was a HEADS UP! on, is YOUR OUTFIT TSA approved!

Check this out close up. I love to think outside the box with interesting techniques and additions that you might never have envisioned.

And polymer buttons by Sandra Bruce to close the open sides. 

Here are two of my favorite tools to mark with. 

Look at the bottom of the picture below.  It is the mountain bike inner tube. I slit it open all the way around. There is talc inside. Throw it into the washing machine to get rid of the talc (gentle, cold water). Hang to dry. Cut out shapes. 

I’m experimenting on this piece. Drop the feed dogs, use an open toed darning foot and feed the pieces through as you sew. No gluing or pinning in place is needed. Works like a charm. You might have to do a teeny bit of tugging as the tube is a little sticky under the foot. 

Sandra sells her buttons at SandraBruce.com

Working on the front facing. 

This pattern is a blank canvas for all sorts of different looks. Check out my other posts (go to the home page and look at the categories. Tap on Tahoe to a “T”

Here is another cool tool. I have a large thimble finger, just at the tip (I slammed it in the car door when I was little, didn’t break it but double ouch!). This Ultra Thimble is so nice.  

Can’t wait to show you what I’m working on. It is from the “Mommy & Me & My Vest and Quilt” pattern. Soon. I take handwork with me everywhere. 

Here are just a few pictures (more in another post) of Quilt Market. It was held at the convention center in downtown Portland. 

Did you hear the news? The Cotton & Steel designer team of 5 are no longer working for the RJR fabric company (The initials stand for the 3 brothers). Can you believe it, one of the brothers was my fabric rep. when I had “Heidi’s Fabrics.” Anyway…..two of the designers are pictured below. This is their last collection for RJR that they were contracted for. But don’t worry, they are such a talented group, we’ll see them at another company or maybe they will start their own. 

The esteemed Marcia Derse!! Lovely, LOVELY woman. Christine Barnes introduced me to her fabrics and her 6 years ago. I absolutely LOVE her fabrics. Everything you see from any of these booths that I’m showing you, will be available  Oct. or Nov. So you all are getting a sneak peak. Those are her only two panels (pictured right behind her).  Buy these (eventually) at her website, or via Windham fabrics. 

Anna Maria Horner, also with Windham (I think). She was there too, but, I just missed her. 

That’s it for now. Every week, I want to share something about Quilt Market and my own experiences there. Networking is hard when you are trying to sell yourself. But I have become an advocate for all things “Art to Wear” so it gets easier all the time. Thanks for stopping by. My head is overwhelmed with all things creative. Ahhh…let’s all do some hand stitching (wait until I show you the Sue Spargo wool quilts, YOWZAA!). Hugs to all, Heidi

Flyin’ On a Jet Plane to Portland, Oregon, for QUILT MARKET!

Hello everyone! When you read this I will already be in Portland getting ready for….

a book signing party at the E.E. Schenck booth! I was asked to be there to sign copies of Fashion Quilted Accessories, by Heidi Emmett (that’s me!) .  I have to tell you that I never, ever, thought I would be signing books at Quilt Market! It is held twice yearly for shop owners. It is a REALLY  BIG DEAL! People and businesses come from all over the world! It is AMAZING, BUSY, OVERWHELMING, and FUN! I’ll keep you posted  via Instagram and then tell you more via a post. 

Also, more news, Sparky Top is finished! Taa Daa! The tissue pieces arrived this past week. So, Sparky Top is also ready to show at Quilt Market. It too will be in the E.E. Schenck booth. Schenck is one of my distributors of my patterns and my book.

The week of May 28th, I will get Sparky Top onto Craftsy and into my Etsy store. If you want to purchase it directly from me, that’s fine too. A hard copy from me (all sizes includes  8-6x) will cost $16.00 (includes tax and shipping). Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com.

Perfect top for beginners and super sewists alike. Fast and easy. It is a blank canvas. Make it using all your favorite fabrics, even light weight knits. Here is a close up of the neckline trim and the front fabric (has cute little spiral circles (already sewn on. I did NOT do that myself). 

The one time it’s o.k. to press gathers (in the back) flat! There are so many gathers that the “flat” pressing allows for a smoother finished look.

The front and center back are made from a light weight, re-embroidered mesh  (acts like a knit). 

Some raw-edge stitching for a more decorative look (to cover a seam as I had run out of fabric). 

The next two Sparky Top samples are made from Double gauze scraps from Shannon Fabrics. You might see these on the Shannon Fabrics Blog in the near future. This fabric is a DREAM to sew!


The back shows that I really ran out of double gauze scraps. I found a re-embroidered cotton in my stash and had to add a little ruffle at the bottom because I didn’t have enough length. 

And the linen bits came from a skirt that I bought on the super sale rack at Stein Mart (love that store).  100% linen skirt I washed first to pre-shrink it. 

This is one of the side panels. I had so little to work with so major improve was going on. I could not follow ANY type of grain line, but it just adds to the charm. I would call this Upcycling, indeed. This is one of the things we will be doing in my workshop up at Zephyr. UPCYCLING! Oh yeah, what FUN! There are still a few spaces left in my workshop.

Maybe I’ll see YOU at Zephyr Point this year. I’ll tell you all about my adventures at Quilt Market when I get home. Take care and find a block of time to sew this weekend. It can be so relaxing and we all need some down time. Hugs, Heidi

INSPIRATION! At The Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show.

An absolute PERFECT weekend for a quilt show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, CA. Here is the Artistic Alchemy Booth 2018. We were showing what they will see and do at our Retreat at Zephyr Point on Sept. 3rd-7th.

It was a time of discovery.  All of us in the sewing world have a sharing connectivity.  Let me do a “show and tell.” to explain what I mean. In the picture below, see the canvas that Mary Boalt  created in the upper left? She started creating some canvases this year in a herring bone fashion so that it could be turned into a great vest. And I’m wearing my latest “Terrific Tabard” Vest that I made using one of Mary’s canvases. This the one that got Mary to thinking about canvases that would be great for garments too. 

I took a walk down an isle of quilts at the show, and there was another Terrific Tabard Vest created by one of my students.  Go Robi! And a ribbon winner too!

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I walked back to our booth and, Patty a student from a past Artistic Alchemy Retreat is wearing her latest creation using the Zephyr Jacket pattern. Check this out! She used a batik from a recent trip to Africa.

And I had to take a picture of her necklace. She created this herself using a natural stone and pine needles!  It is a perfect necklace for this Zephyr Jacket.

Walking down another isle, I spied all the “Pet Portraits from Jane’s class. Jane Haworth is our newest teacher for Artistic Alchemy. 

Aren’t these great?  In her retreat workshop, you will go in-depth with your own portrait. And you will have time to go bigger if you want.  

Back at the booth Jane is showing what she created in Sandra’s Material Matrix class. 

Sandra’s polymer buttons, earrings, pins, add the finishing touch to our numerous garments, totes, etc. I use them many times on my own creations. We have a “store” up at the retreat where the four of us sell our creations.  Did I not say there is a creative “connectivity” ? And we experienced it all weekend. 

I just read Mary’s post at Artistic Alchemy

I had already written the above but felt compelled to add her last paragraph to my own post. We were having a mind melding moment there and didn’t know it. Ha, ha.

Our day as Artistic Alchemy at the Pine Tree Quilt show was another success. We received 5 new sign ups for our Zephyr Retreat. Welcome ladies! We are dwindling down to just a few spaces left in the classes. If you are on the fence, here are some things to consider; there is NOTHING in the creative world as satisfying as being with like minded people. It’s as if you have found your tribe. Your creative juices will be quadrupled by spending time talking and sharing with them. And our show and tell in the evenings will blow your socks off. The weather is beautiful that time of year and the crowds have all gone home for the summer. You will leave with some projects and knowledge you didn’t have before. Perhaps you’re designing something for yourself or just getting ideas for gifts. What a great time to enjoy yourself, make new friends and learn a new technique.

I can NOT leave you all without a little wander through my yard. This intense color in the Dogwoods are rapidly fading, but that’s o.k. I have these pictures.

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And–In The News!- I will be at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon on the 18th, 19th, & 20th. This is a twice yearly show for shop owners only. I will be signing my book in the E.E. Schenck booth and demonstrating one or two of the techniques from it. What? You don’t know about my book? Here is a picture. Until next week, let’s get our creative juices humming! Hugs, Heidi

Pine Tree Quilt Show- Grass Valley, CA -Nevada County Fairgrounds- May 7th-8th!

It’s going to be a beautiful weekend for a quilt show. And it’s being held at the best fairgrounds in the state! Pine trees everywhere.

If you are close by or not, please come! And don’t forget to stop by the Artistic Alchemy booth. Here is our booth from a past year. And guess what? My braces are GONE!!! MY BRACES ARE GONE! Yes, I shouted it out, So you can congratulate me on that ha, ha.

Here’s some pictures of our booth. 

Come see the samples from my patterns and my book. I will be selling patterns and books. 

Here is my newest version of Terrific Tabard aka Skinny Vest. I’ll be wearing it one of the days of the show. One half of the vest is a Mary Boalt canvas.  If you are on the fence about coming to the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point this September, come by the booth to see what each teacher will be teaching. And then you NEED to ask one of us about something special if you sign up for the retreat this weekend!

AND….you need to meet our newest member, Jane Haworth.  You’ll love what she teaches. 

The day we took shots for our yearly postcard, some of us had just noticed Sandra’s car. 

Yes, Heidi is the drama queen. Well now, Mary comes in a close second. Sandra is explaining it, while Jane is doing what we were all supposed to be doing, smiling for the cameraman. 

Two spring items that I took pictures of on a walk yesterday. 

Hope to see you at the quilt show. It is always so inspiring! Hugs, Heidi

Easy Felting Ideas- Soothing Circles…..

Remember my trip to Ashland, Oregon?  Well, I stopped at Webster’s to gaze upon their yummy yarns. Well, well, these four beautiful skeins jumped into my basket, saying buy me, buy me! These are Bamboo Bloom Handpaints by Universal Yarn.

Oh look, I didn’t plan this but the fabric (fat eighth’s) from Sew Creative I had purchased the day before goes perfectly with one of my skeins. 

More about those yarns further down. Felting was the right thing to do this week. I pulled out projects that I had intended to add my “felties” (little circles of yarn) too, rolled some yarn circles and fired up the felting machine. “hmmm” is the sound it makes while poking the yarn into its’ intended background. In this project, a crocheted circle vest. 

Oh wait, there will be no “hmmming” if I don’t use m