“Off The Cuff”

One of the projects that Gayle showed us at our “Sewing Sistas” retreat started with a sweatshirt. She got the idea from a visiting teacher (tracking down her name) at another event. I love, love, LOVE this project. If you can sew a straight seam, you too can make one of these. My husband named this pullover for me, “Off The Cuff.” You will see why soon. Commercial break first.

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Yes, my newest thing is my Etsy shop. Look for the name, “Designs by Heidi Emmett.” All my hard copy patterns and my new book (selling really well, thanks to all of you!) are available there.

Alright, let’s get started. Find a preferably plain sweatshirt. Yes, this men’s XXL is the exact color I wanted. The fish, hmm…we’ll see. Buy the sweatshirt larger than you normally wear.Big and loose is the look we are going for. Remember big and loose on top, tighter fitting on the bottom. Baggy tops and bottoms are not a good look for anyone.

I thought I had taken pictures of this project while at the retreat, but I didn’t, so I did it from memory improvising here and there. So it’s safe to say, you just CAN’T mess this up! Begin by NEATLY cutting off the neck, cuffs, and bottom ribbing. Notice that I cut beyond the stitching line of each piece, right into the sweatshirt itself, beyond the stitching. After the sweatshirt is complete you will throw it into the washer and dryer and some of the edges will roll or curl a little. You want that curled look. 

Step 2. Look at the cuff above and the pile of “string” below. Cut ONLY the ribbing off of each piece, EXCEPT the neck. Set the ribbing aside. The circle of “string” just below is from the bottom ribbing. Leave the neck and cuff pieces in circles. That FISH!! Hmm…still thinking…

For the back,If you have a tank top that you can cut up, great. I did not. I used a white mock turtleneck (had a hole in the sleeve) and took a tank top that I had (as a pattern) and cut out a piece. I left the hem on. 

Ah ha!! Great idea to hide that FISH! I covered it up with a pocket placed at an angle. 

I love “text” fabrics. The pocket measures about 6 x 9″ and I stitched down 3 sides (one long end is open). It has become a secret pocket. 

I stitched the white “tank” cut out onto the back , along on the edges. I remember a circle of hand stitching on the back. What to use, salad plate or soup bowl? 

The pen reads, “Fine Point Disappearing Ink Pen.” Works beautifully. Never, EVER, put one in your purse and write a check with it, like a customer at my store did. Ha, ha. Good thing she was a local. Even the bank had a good laugh. 

Three strands of a taupe colored embroidery floss, and two rows of stitching. Nice. 

The unveiling of “Off The Cuff.” Whoops, I forgot to tell you to stitch down the circles after weaving in the strip cut off of the bottom ribbing. Leave the neck edge alone as well as the bottom edge. Roll up the sleeves.

This is the most freeing project you will make! There are no mistakes, just new possibilities. I had so much fun that I promptly went to the thrift shop the next day and yes, found (some)  sweatshirts in the men’s section. O.K., O.K., I found six, but my husband snagged two of them. Give it a try, and a HUGE thank you to Gayle for this fab, fun, Off the Cuff, super creative idea. Oh, I almost forgot, I wore mine the very next day, went to three events, and got mobbed at each one because they all loved my Off the Cuff. I can’t wait to see what you make with your sweatshirt. I leave you with flowers of Spring. Enjoy your creative weekend. Take time for deep breathing. It’s a great stress reliever. Hugs, Heidi  

These are right out of the wrap from the florist. Don’t forget to check out my workshop, “Pick a Pattern” at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Go to: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for all the details (at home page, tap on Workshops). I’d love to have you join the fun!

Snap, snap. This one with the sun behind the tulip. These colors are so yummy. 

Rubix came up for a sniff just as I snapped this one. I had to include it too. 

 

 

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Mini-Me-Vacation, Part 2!

Sew many ideas and sew little time! Four days wasn’t enough. Below, it’s a family affair. Two daughters, Wynn on the left, Alex on the right and mom, Helen.These three were always busy, busy and they got projects DONE!!

We took this picture at the last moment on Thursday morning. Several had already left.  The amount of talent, generosity of sharing what they know, enthusiasm, and just plain fun to be around, that these beautiful women had was simply amazing.  I made so MANY new friends. 

Two racks of clothes to copy off the patterns if we wanted to. What great creations to check out. Did we bring enough bridal runner cloth to use for copying (great idea by the way)?

We all had our own sewing areas but were all in the same well lit,huge, room together.Check out Victoria’s shoes (in the middle). I want a pair of those.

Another great idea, the Ikea lights on giant clamps, on Mary’s and Patty’s machines. I have one too but it sits on the table. BEST direct lighting ever! I can work at night on black fabric with one of these puppies. $12.99-$14.99 range.

Mary is so smart. She brings everything but the kitchen sink to work with and puts it in this tiered cabinet. She has been enough times to know NOT to bring lots of little boxes. 

Cutting tables, nice and high, JUST for tracing, and cutting out projects. How nice not to have to clear an area somewhere (like I do at home). At home, a flat surface is for covering up with myriad projects, and the like. 

The FREE and Buy it table. New things were added several times each day! Every thing from fabric (all types) patterns, yarn, books. Toooo much fun! I’ll show you in the months to come what I gleaned from this magical, ever changing table. 

Kari’s  fabulous top in an “Alabama Chanin” style. Two t-shirts put together with Sashiko stitching.  A little painting, cutting, and stitching and voila’ !  Of course, as soon as I got home, I purchased two t-shirts to try this technique myself. Her underneath olive colored shirt barely shows above the collar of the black shirt.

Every day we had a show and tell.  Very cool things. These talented women really think outside the box. I loved this part so much, as the creative juices were really flowing in and through all of us. Terry (on the left) is wearing her own “Meiko Minsk” styled vest using a purchased piece of Kantha Cloth. Gayle looks like she is wearing some Merimekko fabric. Love the bold design. 

Below, Gayle and Helen are showing off their super cool Jean jackets. I will talk more in another post about this project that I want to make too. Acckk! Didn’t I say sew much to do and sew little time!

 

Look what Victoria gave me. She also brought, besides clothing projects, her latest quilting idea. Whaaat!!?? I could have brought quilting projects too? I put this square on a black table just to show it off. Victoria laughed at me and said, “It’s just a block Heidi (Log Cabin to be exact).” It’s the design, the fabrics, and colors she used. The black and gray print is a Valori Wells fabric.  Very modern, hmm..where is my sketch pad? 

Then, Mary brought her way cool fabric, so soft and drapey. Whaaat!!?? you PRINTED this yourself? Well, of course she did, and I should have known (she is one of our teachers at the Annual Artistic Alchemy retreat this Sept.)Go to: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to learn more. A fun time on Lake Tahoe. 

Terry is trying on what Mary made out of her fabulous printed fabric. It is a very fun, cozy sweater/coat with a built- in collar.  Contact Mary Boalt at  Squeakypieces@gmail.com  She will get you an email address of Jenny,  the woman who will draw up a pattern for you too for $25. It is such a designer look. 

The back…

And three lovely models wearing three different fabrics in the same pattern. Helen (in the middle) made hers using 3 1/2 yds worth of cut up t-shirts. She made it in just a few hours. Really!! We all saw it. Heidi was still deciding, cut something out, sew something, I brought, hmm..how about using my felting machine, oh, wait, I could trace the pattern for the cute dress Mary is wearing right now, aaccckk! What to do, what to do.  

Here’s the cute dress I was telling you about, that Mary let us all trace patterns from.

Helen is busy at work helping Roxanne with her very own Jean jacket.

Here is Roxanne working with Helen. Several ladies watched a video on the whole project. A Dremel is also involved in this project. Really! Terry showed us. Another post, another post…..Are you feeling it too? Sensory overload! I need to take another walk and breathe. 

Thank you one and all for joining me today. Much more to show you. In a later post. Happy Easter to everyone. Talk again soon!  Hugs, Heidi

My “Mini-Me-Vacation”—Part One!

I have been home one week from my “Sewing Sistas” Retreat held at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, CA. I had such a wonderful time with my Sewing Sistas. I have never been to anything like this. I am so overwhelmed (in a good way!) that I am dividing it up. Part one consists of the Flora on the grounds. I took walks everyday and at different times of the day. The natural lighting was fabulous.

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What a peaceful, beautiful place. Enjoy the pictures. Below is the chapel on the grounds.

 

This picture, we are looking up the hill toward the dining and conference room areas. Aren’t the fuchsia colored flowering trees gorgeous. These are native to CA, called Red Bud. They grow well (but slowly) from Sea level to 3000ft. 

African Daisies. Taken at 9:00a.m. I like the shadows. There’s that Fuschia color again. 

Here they are in white. 

All the water droplets are from a gentle rain the night before. Look at the difference in color on the back of the petals. 

Scabiosis, also known as “Pincushion” flower. Perfectly named as these flowers surrounded the fountain that the Sewing Sistas walked around while carrying our myriad sewing supplies (would you believe I had 1/2 of a king cab truck, a TRUCK!, filled with my sewing paraphernalia )and Kari, my sewing friend who drove us there had the other half. Oh, the little black dots are ants. 

The grape vines are just starting to leaf out (in the foreground). California wine grapes love the central valley and coastal areas. 

Eucalyptus trees, so many species abound along the coast and into the valleys. I love the way the bark peels off every year (there is some left in the branch crevices). The colors of the bark are amazing. A great color palette for any project you have in mind. Google that.

One of many vistas. Old, old, oak trees dot the hill sides that slope gently to the valley below. The hills in the background are toward the east. The San Luis Rey Reservoir is just past the tallest peak. It’s FULL!! The first time in 6 years. The drought is really over.  

Stunning, massive, solid, strong, just a few descriptive words for these oak trees. 

All of us who live up north in California (near Lake Tahoe four of us) commented that we could not believe there were so many beautiful shades of green. After taking the oak tree picture above, I looked down at my feet and just look at the lush grass and beautifully striped leaves of a spent fuchsia colored Thistle.

We were told this small lake on the property had been dry for quite a few years until this past winter. 

One large cluster of lilies at one end of the lake.

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Look what arrived while I was gone! All my lovely projects came home. Now I can show people the projects with my new book. I am so excited to hear that Fashioned Quilted Accessories is selling well. Buy it on Amazon and if you are so inclined, leave a comment to help boost my number up some notches from the bottom! Ha, ha. Hugs to you for that. 

I hope my flora pictures will inspire you to pull out some fresh colors of spring fabrics and stitch up something that makes you happy. Until next Friday, Hugs from Heidi

Customize Any Tote Bag with Terial Magic! by Heidi Emmett

 

Customize Any Tote Bag with Terial Magic!

Let’s start thinking about Spring! Don’t you love the tote bags and cross-body bags out there? Let’s add some raw-edged circles to make them playful and fun.

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I chose to add circles because when they’re cut from fabric that has been treated with Terial Magic, there is very little fraying. So, gather a few items together, and let’s create!

 

What You’ll Need:

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  • One tote bag or cross-body bag of any size, color and material (Note: This technique works on leather, faux leather, plastic, etc.)
  • 1/4 yard of several cotton quilting fabrics (Note: Smaller designs will show up better)
  • 1 yard of cotton muslin
  • Thread to match fabrics
  • Basic machine sewing supplies
  • Terial Magic fabric stablizer
  • Fabric glue
  • Iron

Step One

Let’s get started! Before we cut the fabrics we want to treat them with Terial Magic so we will have nice clean cuts that lay flat and are fray-free. Watch this short video on how to  treat fabric with Terial Magic to make sure you are treating it correctly. It’s simple: 1) Spray to saturate 2) hang for 5-10 minutes to let it soak in 3) iron to dry and smooth. From here cut each of your fabrics in half so they measure approximately 9″ x 22 1/2″. Next, decide where you want to place the circles and measure across that area. 

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Step Two

Since this area measure 9″ across, I’m going to make the largest circle 3″ across. Every tote will be different, so measure, then draw a little sketch. Maybe yours will have 4 or even 5 circles across. And the amount going up is dictated by the height of your tote.

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Step Three

Search around the house for items you can trace. You will need two, one larger than the other. Using ap encil and on the back or inner side of the fabric, trace abunch of cicles. Then cut them out.

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Step Four

Your fabric circles should feel paper-like if you followed the instructions for use above, so you can see how clean and fray-free the treated fabric cuts! Begin stacking a smaller cicle on top of the larger circles. No gluing or pinning is necessary as they stay together as is.

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Step Five

Set up your sewing machine with thread to mach, a new needle (I used size 12 universal) and a regular sewing foot (a clear one might make it easier to see). Start sewing in the center of the circle. Slowing sew to the outside edge of each layer in a continuous spiral motion. Backstitch at the beginning and end. Then trim the threads. Repeat with all other circles.

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Step Six

Mark the halfway point on the width of the tote at the bottom area where the first row is. With fabric glue on the back of a circle stack, place the first cicle on that mark. Continue glueing and placing circles on either side of the center circle. Eyeball the placement of those. Mark the halfway point on the next row up and continue with subsequent rows in the same way as the first. You did it! Wasn’t that fun? Here’s the final result with the coral cross-body bag on the left.


My name is Heidi Emmett and I have been working in all things fabric since I was 7 years old. For the past few years I have been creating a line of Art to Wear patterns. Terial Magic has changed my fabric-creating life! It has allowed me to expand into more creative sewing and quilting adventures than ever before and I am excited to show some of them to you as a guest blogger, for Terial Magic.

For more information about Heidi, visit her blog at Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com or check out Heidi’s pattern line on Craftsy.com

Tags: Inspire, TERIAL-MAGIC, Terial Arts, Latest, Recent

TTF, it means “This and That Friday.”

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I am miscombobulated today! I have had so much going on this past week. And starting this weekend, for 5 whole days I will be at a sewing retreat called, “Sewing Sistas.” I can’t WAIT!! This is the first time EVER!!, that I get to go away and just sew, and sew, and sew some more.  I will keep you posted via Instagram. I’m under DesignsbyHeidi or Heidi Emmett. Let’s take some time to smell some Spring flowers:  Happy Daffodils via Safeway. Buy them closed, rubber banded, and in bunches of 10 for $1.67. Bring home, snip off 1/2″ from bottom, insert into a cool watered vase and voila’ days and days of sunshine in your home.

I took the picture of my primroses one day after they were totally covered in 4″ of snow. You would never know it by looking at this picture. Love these sweet hardworking (to stay blooming) flowers. 

I walked around the corner of the house and BAM!! Forsythia in full glory. On a stormy spring day, I enjoy looking out the windows to see these bastions of spring, looking fabulous. We enjoy this hardy bush all four seasons. 

More sunshine in my life. Thank you Christine for these pictures. Some of my friends coming to my first EVER book signing party this past March 11th! Bonnie has a new stack of my books for sale that just came in. From the left: Connie, Bonnie, Heidi, & Kris. Luv to all of you who came that day. We all got the memo, wear some black!! What a shot girlfriends.

Another friend Terry McFeely. Terry invented Terial Magic of which I cannot work without. It is showcased in the project I am wearing and the cool headband and scarf project that I’m holding. Terial Magic is available through iii. I just did a guest blog post for them last Friday. Acckk, I forgot to share it! iii is Imagination International Incorporated. I’ll share it to my FB page in a few minutes. 

The following week I dashed down to the huge Sewing Show at Cal Expo in Sacramento. I stopped at Dorie Javier’s booth D’s Designs and she was wearing her version of my Mommy & Me Quilted Vest & Quilt pattern. 

Look at her gorgeous Sashiko quilting and fun designs shapes. 

Yes, this was the vest she saw me wearing just a few weeks ago. 

And here is the pattern. Look how different the above two vests are. I’d love to see what you might create. Easy peasy to make and VERY comfortable to wear. I have a new one cut out and will work on it next week. Oh my GOSH! Do you all realize, no cooking, no cleaning, no working in the garden, no book work, just sew, sew, sew. Ahhhhhh..

And a week before Sacramento, I opened my email to find pictures from Jeanette Floyd of San Diego, CA. She created her own “Off the Grid Vest” using my pattern below.

 

I love Jeannette’s wavy quilting lines. I’m calling this “San Diego Sunset” with the off white background and the yummy warm colors in her own version.

I just love this! Look at her button closure people! A perfect finishing touch. 

I love creating fun and easy to sew, Art to Wear patterns for sewists (doesn’t that sound fancy?) of all levels. I can’t wait to see what you all create this weekend. Thank you so much for stopping by. It means so much! Hugs, Heidi

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“Are you “Wearin’ the Green?” Maybe in some Irish crochet?

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Yes, I married an Irishman, and he was named after the great Irish martyr, Robert O. Emmett.  Before I go into Irish crochet,  let’s take our first commercial break…..

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Yes, my first book that I have authored is OUT NOW! You can purchase one at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Grass Valley, CA . “Fashion Quilted Accessories” will also be available to buy at my Etsy store (on Monday, March 20th). My shop name is Designs by Heidi Emmett (or tap on the logo above).  Amazon, Joann’s, and other independent shops have it too.

I am very happy with how this book turned out. I think it has a beautiful quality to the pictures. There are two full sized patterns inside, 8 ,fun and easy projects, and all this for only $12.99.

My workshop at Zephyr Point this coming September,  is called “Pick a Pattern.” This year it will include, besides all my other patterns that are available, projects out of my new book, “Fashion Quilted Accessories.” Whatever project you choose to create, tips and tricks for success will be given on an individual basis. We will have so much fun! Check it out at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com or click on the Artistic Alchemy button at the top.

Have you ever heard of Irish Crochet? It was born out of the potato famine in Ireland. Young ladies needed jobs and if they had any talent in the finer needlework skills, they were taught how to crochet using really fine threads and super small crochet hooks. I have been fascinated by Irish crochet for many years. When I made and sold my lace vests (pattern now available, called Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest and quilt), I used a beautiful lace that was a copy of an original Irish lace pattern. Below is a vest I own that is Irish Lace. 

I saw a squirrel, look at the vest above and see the crown? Yes, everyone should have their own metal crown. Anyway, underneath the crown is a piece of crochet surrounding petal shaped pieces of linen. I don’t think this is Irish crochet (not small enough stitches) but it is beautifully done. 

I don’t mind all the back lighting in this shot as it shows off the back of my vest even more.

Irish crochet is also a more free-form type of crochet. Pieces (like the lavender flower) are made separately and then placed on a pattern shape (a vest back perhaps). Fill in stitches connect all the separate pieces (the ochre colored thread) together. 

The few pieces I own are so special to me that I keep them near my “go” bag in case we have to leave in a hurry. This is true. I really appreciate the skill and time and creativity in these pieces. 

Traditional Irish crochet has always been done in cream or white. Here is a close up of my cream sleeveless top. 

Wedding dresses during Edwardian times were popular in Irish crochet. 

If you want to see more Irish Crochet, go to Pinterest and type it in the search bar. Ebay might have some too, or the patterns for it too. Eastern countries like Russia, Latvia, etc. have an interest in Irish crochet too, but that’s another story. Today is all about the Irish.

I think I’ll wear my vest tonight and celebrate Saint Patty’s Day with my husband. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

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FASHION QUILTED ACCESSORIES— A book by Heidi Emmett

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Taaa Daaa! It’s here! My new book by Leisure Arts, “Fashion Quilted Accessories!”

Eight projects total. 2 vests and 6 accessories. And the vest PATTERN PIECES are INCLUDED in the book! And all this for only $12.99!!  The following pictures show some of  the projects.

I have my first EVER book signing this Saturday, March 11th, at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, here in Grass Valley, CA. It is from 11:00-1:00p.m.  Maybe I’ll see some of you there!

I just know that you will enjoy making all the projects in this book, after all my motto is “Make it up, make it FUN, and get it DONE!

And don’t forget, pdf patterns, hard copy patterns, and soon books, are available at Craftsy or Etsy. Just click on one of the icons below.  Have a super weekend and thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you all, Heidi

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Designs By Heidi goes to San Francisco!

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It was a cold, snowy, morning.  I couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge and zip to San Francisco with my friends. I needed to recharge and get some fresh ideas generating. dsc_0212

Ladies and gentlemen, for what it is worth, you are reading two blog posts by me, Heidi Emmett at two different sites. Designs by Heidi. wordpress.com and over at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com. If you haven’t seen one or the other, please check out one AND the other. Both will give you a nice break in your day.

Yes, Christine talked about the de Young museum (located in Golden Gate Park) last week. But I have different pics and a different take. And that’s what is so fun about what we do as 4 very different workshops at our Artistic Alchemy retreat at Zephyr. My workshop is called “Pick a Pattern.”  Go see the patterns under workshops/ Heidi Emmett, and you can choose from my new book too!

My BOOK!! It’s OUT! Joann’s and independent quilt shops and fabric stores (if they pre-ordered) next week. Amazon, RIGHT NOW! Here is a picture of the cover (from a cell phone at Leisure Arts). I did NOT make it up. It really happened.So, pick a pattern and join the fun in my workshop at Artistic Alchemy this September.

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Now, back to our program: What a gorgeous day we picked to go to San Francisco. After, a stop at Fabrix, a fabulous shop on Clement St. where designer fabrics abound at super prices, we booked it over to the de Young museum. Taking advantage of that bright, yellow orb in the sky(haven’t seen it much), we sat outside the museum to eat our brown bag lunches and soak up some  Vitamin D (which has been in short supply of late).

Look how they wrapped an ordinary cement structure (except for the scrunchy portion) in steel mesh. Pretty cool looking. See the bank of windows near the top? That is the observation room. What great views of the city from there. No time to go up today.
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Love the red orange and yellow gold of this opening flower. I think there is an entire universe in each and every flower we look at. The precise detailing, the colors, the shapes!

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We get inside purchase our tickets and shazamm! Staring me in the face is a fabulous mural by (Christine told us his name last week)…. It’s huge and colorful. It’s worth another look. Here is a close-up first. Look at the 3-D qualities in the lower right area. Hm…layered applique.’ Tuck away idea number one.

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The people standing there give you a sense of scale. I was so surprised by the vastness of the room (it held the mural perfectly) and I am snapping pictures left and right when what do I spy in my viewfinder? A GUARD! YIKES! He’s shaking his finger at me. Big whoops! I had the flash on!!!! dsc_0216

So, it’s kind of like eating dessert first, except we are in a museum and several of us decided to hit the GIFT SHOP first.  Stuff and ideas are myriad in a gift shop. dsc_0218

Check out this very cool silk scarf with flotsam and jetsam (aka fabric scraps) stitched down. We can do this. Do I have that many silk scraps?   This scarf is really worth the $115.00. Lots of work. dsc_0219

Ohh, I like these cross-body bags, or whatever they are called. I have some great home dec weight fabric, that would work.
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Uhhh, do ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? I turned and a clerk was giving me a not so nice look. Hey, I had the flash OFF! But I forgot to ask permission. Exit quickly, stage right.

In the hushed quiet of the “Embroidery” room, we all gaze at the many examples of beautiful handwork over the centuries.

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A close-up of a woman’s Mola Blouse, mid 20th century. Panama, San Blas Islands. Reverse applique’. I’ve been doing a little bit of that. Nothing like this gorgeous example. I would show more examples of embroidery, but, well….my battery drained in my camera. That’s what I get for not asking permission and using a flash!  dsc_0227

Thanks go to Patty Park for the rest of these deYoung pictures.

Wow, wow, who knew that charred pieces of wood could make such a statement. It’s organized chaos suspended in air. About 16 ft. high and 10 feet deep. A study in black and white. Hmm… I see stamping on fabric maybe. And don’t forget the 3-D looking wood bench in front of the Mobile burned wood.img_3198

That’s my back (to give scale) next to this amazingly large metal-like piece (individual pieces of aluminum covers from Whiskey bottles (now THAT’S a LOT of Whiskey). It really has so much movement to it. It’s very cool. A woven bodice that shimmers…how about using embroidered lame’ instead of Whiskey bottle covers.img_3197

This beautiful sculpture is by Nicolas Africano (b.1948) and it is Cast Glass. I didn’t know one could even “cast” glass. Exquisite.img_3187

An amazing basket. It’s hard enough making a basic basket. I see great quilting designs on one of my vests. Or how about Sashiko stitching in wavy lines like this on a vest?img_3181

Ahhh, Chihuly glass. Great color combinations for blocks in my Off The Grid vest. img_3176

That’s me wearing my own simple Sashiko inspired vest (From my Mommy & Me, Vest pattern), standing  in front of a true work of art Sashiko vest/wall hanging/apron? I was so blown away by the embroidery that I forgot to read about the piece. img_3135 img_3138

Onward we traveled to Stone Mountain & Daughter in Berkeley where after much idea matter going in and out of my brain, I was forced, yes, FORCED to buy more fabric so I could make those ideas come to life. New ideas need new fabrics! That’s my motto this week.

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Hard copies of my patterns are now available for purchase in my newly minted Etsy shop. It’s called Designs by Heidi Emmett. Please visit.


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Thank you one and all for stopping by. I leave you with this quote from Miles Davis: “My future starts when I wake up every morning….Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”        Hugs, Heidi

“Wear-With-All,” And My Students had the Wherewithal to Create their Own!

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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. dsc_0253

Susan also used some Aboriginal fabrics along with a few Kaffe Fassett piecesin 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.
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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!
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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).

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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

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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!

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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


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I’m Feeling Blue—-In a GOOD Way!

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Rain, rain, rain. I don’t mind it though, because I have more time to sew! Did I tell you that I live, “as the crow flies,” 50 miles from the Oroville Dam, in Oroville, CA. Some of you may have heard about the problems. All the ruckus started last Sunday, late afternoon. Their fixes seem to be working. The water behind the spillway is down 30+ feet (and still falling), while last Sunday, 2 feet OVER!  A very Scary time for all those people.

I’m feeling blue, because I want to get those little yo-yos onto my “Mommy & Me” vest that I showed you in my 1/20/17 post titled- “Yikes, Black & Blue ……..” I’m using a gorgeous Perriwinkle blue, boucle’ wool for the base (from my stash, yeahhh).

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Here is the pattern I used. I wore it for the first time this past Tuesday and received rave reviews wherever I went. Easy to make the foundation vest, but do all the embellishments you want BEFORE you sew it together.

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Of course, never one to follow my OWN rules, I am NOW adding the yo-yo’s. It isn’t bad doing things later as this vest is nice and loose. dsc_0006

Felting down a yo-yo. Or you could stitch it by machine, or by hand. I like the yarn idea. The picture below was taken at night, lousy light, just like the video, my very FIRST one that I posted to FB. Did you see it? My FB is DesignsbyHeidi. The video is good, for my first one, ever, it’s just the bad lighting.  The video goes with the sweater further down the page.

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I will add beads tonight. I just can’t STOP!!! dsc_0308 dsc_0365 dsc_0367

Rex came up to help while I felted. He blends right in doesn’t he? Check out the pillow he is lounging against. 1/2 off but still $50.00.  I bought it for the felting and wool fabric manipulation ideas. It looks good on the couch upstairs in our t.v. room. That’s where I usually felt so I can watch t.v. too.

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Here is the yarn I used to felt down the yo-yos. Amazing amount of other colors. I LOVE this yarn, called Gina by Plymouth yarns. dsc_0309

I pulled some off the skein to use and check out what happened to this yarn. dsc_0342

Here’s a close up. Maybe one of you marvelous knitters can tell me why it twisting up on itself so much? I reeled off just what I needed and took it to the ironing board and with the iron set to wool and steam, gently tugged the “kinks” out of it. It worked really well.  A close up of the kinks below. dsc_0344

Then I proceeded to felt it to my gorgeous Eileen Fisher, Perriwinkle Blue, Merino wool, sweater. The “hole” reason I was felting is that I discovered a real hole in the sweater. I thought I will cover it up with bits of yarn felted down. Well…, you’ll see that I really did NOT check to see where the hole really was. Here’s the back. dsc_0346

I saw something similar on a gorgeous sweater from an Anthropologie catalog from 5 years ago. Did I ever say that I can’t throw much away? I treasure those catalogs and others for an abundance of future ideas. dsc_0347 dsc_0349

Taa daa!! There is the hole. I guess I will sew it closed (by hand) and then continue on with the yarn felting. The single strand felting of yarn is VERY fast, and very fun to do. dsc_0356 dsc_0360

Maybe it’s raining where you live. It’s a perfect time to start a new project! Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget to find my felting video on my  FB business page (DesignsbyHeidi).  I will learn how to get it to the blog posts and to You Tube, but I just had to try it right then and there, last night.

P.P.S. Sign ups for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat have begun. I have my first student! So yeahh for that. Remember, my workshop is called, “Pick A Pattern.” Click on the logo below and you’ll get all the information you need to sign up.

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Patternless Sewing! It’s Easy!

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Start with my Off the Grid Vest pattern (the miracle vest!).

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Add some beautiful batiks (these are by Alison Glass) and a fabulous foundation ombre fabric (buy it at Christine Barnes.com)

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Prepare fabric pieces with Terial Magic and cut strips from them.
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Stitch up some off-centered Log Cabin blocks (it’s all in the pattern instructions, not to worry).  Whirrr…… pedal to the metal! dsc_0093

Gather some highly technical tools to create your own pattern pieces from the measurements I give you. It really is easy. dsc_0149

Have fun setting out the pieces to create your own unique design. dsc_0136

Add some simple, let me say that again for emphasis, SIMPLE, quilting lines on the vest back, then arrange some strips. and using either Basting glue or Elmer’s school glue, glue them to the vest back. dsc_0114

Log cabin squares pinned to the fronts and then glued. Ready to stitch in place. dsc_0146-2

Some more stitching and echo stitching to create a slimming, linear look. dsc_0247 dsc_0227

A nifty finishing technique for all the edges and a cool flat stitched seam allowance. Simple instructions are included of course.
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You have to get this pattern for a truly, Art to Wear piece. You will be walking on air with all the compliments you receive. I’m not joking! dsc_0311 dsc_0592 dsc_0556

And here it is inside out! So many ways to wear it! dsc_0316

Isn’t THIS a cool look? My friend, Lila Sugg made this fabulous necklace for ME! I think it is a perfect compliment for my vest. Lila is 92 years young! You are one amazingly, talented woman Lila. Oh, did I mention its made using real potatoes? I posted about this, a long time ago. I HAVE to get my past posts organized. Soon….img_20150409_160828

A student’s vest (Pat from the Bay Area) from my Art to Wear workshop at one of our Artistic Alchemy Retreats. Love the deep rich colors. pat-vest-front-open-draped

Carolyn from New Zealand created this stunner after purchasing my pattern online. Carolyn is 82 years young (you go girlfriend) and made this to celebrate her birthday with family in Switzerland. I just love it!new-zealand-ca

And Trish, at an Artistic Alchemy retreat, made her version of Off The Grid vest. She walked out of workshop wearing hers!!! You are the BEST!dsc_1038

And at last years retreat, Sherri also walked out at the end of the retreat with HER FINISHED Off The Grid vest. Beautiful work Sherri. And she added her own twist to the back.

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I LOVE the back of this vest that uses a quilting panel piece. Thank you again Sherri, for saying yes to my using your panel idea in a project for my upcoming book. It’s going to press next week!! I’ll  keep you all posted.

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Commercial break: Here we are in order from the left, Mary Boalt, Sandra Bruce, Christine Barnes, and me. Sign ups for Artistic Alchemy #4 have just opened! Sign up soon. I hope to see some of you in my workshop this year: “Pick A Pattern.”  Click on the A.A. logo below to learn more.
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Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you all have time to do something creative this weekend (cleaning up after recent storms does NOT count). Hugs, Heidi

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Anatomy of My Modern Patchwork Project!

I love hearing from those who have made one of my projects! Thank you so much for taking the time to write and send pictures. Modern Patchwork,  Fall 2016 is the latest magazine project.
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I received this picture from Karenanne from Portland, Oregon. She made these two Free-Form Circles pillows for her sister for Christmas. And then, she had so much fun with those, that she created her own design for a third pillow.  Way to go Karenanne! I love them on your red couch. karenannes-pictures

Carolyn from New Zealand made her version of F.F. Circles Pillow for a friend for Christmas. Love the black background to make the colors pop!fullsizerender-6

Carolyn had so much fun with that one she said and her friend liked it so much that she made her another one. Way to go Carolyn! fullsizerender

Another woman from North Carolina emailed me. She hasn’t sent pictures yet, I hope later. She asked if she could teach this project to her beginning machine quilters. Love that idea!

Now who is this? Jax, is our son’s dog. We were dog sitting and we spoil this dog. He can sit anywhere he wants! Jax saved us from a would-be robber who was casing the neighborhood. 30 robberies had been committed in our neighborhood. It was broad daylight and the robber came to the door on the pretext of needing to use the phone. Jax is very well trained, but lunged out the door and my husband had to pull him hard, back into the house. Long story short, the guy exited quickly after that and we called the Sheriff and they caught him.  Jax is a hero in my book. Rescue dogs and cats are the BEST! dsc_0165

Saw a squirrel, sorry about that, now back to our story about Free-form Circle Pillow. 20160924_120349-2

Long ago, in a room filled with fabric, I collected a bunch of “Grunge” fabrics by Moda. I fanned them out and thought and thought. These colors are so yummy next to each other, how about stacking them some simple way? P.S. Those flowers in the picture are Oragami Roses my son made for me for Valentine’s Day, years ago. Best gift EVER! dsc_0961

Now to get to work. I found three circle objects of varying sizes and traced them onto stiffened fabric (using Terial Magic) and cut them out.  Take note of the scraps in the upper right corner. You’ll see them again shortly.dsc_0532

Fanning them out just to look at them. dsc_0556

While fanning out the circles, I glanced over to those scraps I mentioned. Uh oh, I saw a squirrel. What if……?dsc_0540

And look at these felt balls that are mere inches away from the scraps. dsc_0577

Oh my, I turn to a pile of Alison Glass (Andover fabrics)and yowzaa look at that Medallion piece (I CAN NOT cut that up, it will forever remain like that I’m sure). All these colors and designs are fun together. Aacckk! dsc_0547

And yes, there is paper in my life too. The piece below was wrapped around a house plant. I believe the house plant is long gone, but I love the design on the paper.  I just know I can incorporate this design with everything above.  dsc_0549dsc_0599

More scraps of shapes, color, and design. So it’s O.K. to have some playtime with scraps. You never know where it will lead. It’s no wonder I have a hard time falling asleep. dsc_0596

O.K., O.K. back to free form stitching. These circles are NOT supposed to be perfectly, evenly, stitched. That is the whole idea for the project. Freedom to enjoy the process. I had to include this black and white picture, for a rest from all the color. I used iron on fleece for the batting. It is great to work with and never hangs up on the feed dogs. dsc_1232

Super, handy hint for you. When free form machine quilting, if you backtack a few stitches when you first begin, you can go in with your scissors and trim off the excess. Otherwise, that open toed darning foot can get hung up on loose threads and cause you angst. dsc_1240

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If you want a copy of Modern Patchwork, Fall 2016, I have a few left for sale. There are some great projects in that issue. hmemmett@gmail.com Be sure to dash over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com We are GOING LIVE to tell you all about the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe this Sept. 4-8th. Fun and more FUN!! Hugs, Heidi

Designs by Heidi meets Artistic Alchemy

by HEIDI EMMETT    Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinned    

Welcome to all the new and returning people to our blog for Artistic Alchemy and to my lovely peeps from my personal blog! We appreciate you stopping by. Today, our “Go Live” for our Artistic Alchemy Sept. 2017 retreat is……….delayed. Aarrrgghh! Technical difficulties.Part of the technical difficulties are missing pictures from past blog posts by me, Heidi Emmett, and ALL pictures from our newest teacher, Mary Boalt. So please, allow me to re- introduce myself: nik_2670I have been working with all things fabric since I was 7 and have developed many talents in the fiber arena:  I have been a full-service fabric store owner for 16 years, a quilting teacher, an “Art to Wear” pattern designer(see my full line of patterns at Craftsy.com/sewing patterns/designsbyheidi), a magazine project contributor, a blogger (designsbyheidi.wordpress.com) a guest blogger, a retreat creator/organizer (Artistic Alchemy, yeah!), and just recently, a book author on my Art to Wear! I love to, “Make it up, make it fun and get it done!”

My workshop for Artistic Alchemy is titled, “Pick a Pattern.” Don’t be afraid of wearables. You have made plenty of quilts – it’s time to WEAR some of your creations!

Together, with easy techniques, we will make one of my Art to Wear patterns to fit your body shape. Below are two examples. “Off the Grid” vest (requires little to NO alterations – ask my past students, it’s a miracle vest!)

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Two versions of “Terrific Tabard” vest pattern (also know as “Skinny” vest).

dsc_0308And as a newly minted “author” of a book, there will be two sweeeet vest patterns in the new book by Leisure Arts, of which, sadly, I can show you nothing right now. The book (no title yet either), will debut on the shelves of every Joann’s store by early spring.Then, it’ll be picked up by independent fabric and quilt shops around the world. I am beyond excited!!  dsc_0100

Barring any other issues, our “Go Live” for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, 2017, will happen next Friday, February 3rd. Mary Boalt will reintroduce herself on Feb. 10th with all new pictures of some of her newest, never before seen, painted pieces! Sew ready, set, go, and kick your “artistic alchemy” into high gear this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

 

Yikes, Black and Blue all Over!

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Did I get your attention? Fortunately I’m not black and blue, but the fabrics I’ve been working with are. And then I must mix in purple, blue and red violets too! Such yummy colors together. Read on….
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In case you are new to my blog (welcome by the way and thank you for visiting), I have posted a few of these pictures of my Three Tiered Skirt Pattern in other colorways. Easy to make. It is  luscious in Colbalt Millefiori fabric by Kaffe Fassett. I wear it summer and winter too. dsc_0109-2

A summer early evening at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point, Nevada side. dsc_0115-2

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Remember this? Just a few posts ago. It is from my “Mommy & Me & My Vest & Quilt” pattern. And yes I said it was a P.I.P. (Project in Progress) that I had finished! finally! Well….dsc_0542I was working on those yo-yo’s. I can’t stop making them. I am playing with the layout on the vest above.
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Lots of ways to add these to the vest.
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I think I will add them in the way you see them below. Yes, there are yo-yos inside the yarn and beads. I will lay the yo-yo down and to hold it in place, I will machine felt it in place with yarn. Oh, don’t forget I’ll add beads too. The pictures below are from a “techniques” wall quilt where I try lots of new ideas I have sketched out. dsc_0010

Rats, what I thought was done(the vest)….less is more…well, I think more is more better!! dsc_0012

And yes, another P.I.P. in the black and blue arena is my circle crochet vest. This goes waaay back in the post archives (I really need to organize my 4 years worth of posts). In another post the same vest is in red yarns. I tend to buy yarns one skein at a time. I’m easily bored and like to switch often. Also, I buy different yarns for machine felting.

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Love this black and blue, and red and blue violets swirling around. It will be done soon and I’ll post it with the red one along with the pattern. Fun, and easy to make.dsc_0497

I’m off to an Artistic Alchemy meeting! We are in middle of figuring out the whole program for September 2017. I really hope to see some of you in my workshop this fall. It will be Art to Wear with techniques sprinkled here and there to keep it exciting. Talk soon, and have fun creating something new and different this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

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I Was Seeing “RED!”

Yes!! I was seeing red. Firstly, I didn’t get this post done on Friday as I should have. Secondly, I was seeing beautiful red fabrics and stitching and working it all together into a FABULOUS, NEW, Terrific Tabard Vest.

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Mary Boalt, from our Artistic Alchemy group introduced me to Kantha cloth. She had made her piece into a jacket.  My piece below is a “throw” size, which is about 50″ x 60.” Kantha cloth is two pieces of fabric sewn together (no batting) by hand, using a heavy thread and straight running stitches. Looking at this  I just knew I had to add Kaffe Fassett fabrics. dsc_0510

They needed a certain “stiffness” to work my magic so I threw pieces of Kaffe fabrics into a bag and sprayed them with Terial Magic. dsc_0057

While they were still wet, I pressed each one until dry. dsc_0060

Coming back to this project, I began to lay them out on the wrong side (plain red with stitches showing). I say coming back to it, because everything got wrinkled in the bag. See how stiff Terial Magic makes them. It’s perfect for all the top-stitching  I do.
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I used one Mille Fiori piece, colorway “Red,” and stripes, and one Shirting stripe, all from Kaffe Fassett. dsc_0358

After finding the perfect layout I glued all the pieces down. Aim for a very thin stream of glue, not the blob I have coming out of the glue bottle. Too big of a stream and two things happen, it spots the fabric (it will wash out but who wants to do that?) and the needle really clunks through everything when its being stitched down. Oh, look at that. I just happen to be wearing my Peruvian Connection, Kaffe Fassett, Alpaca, hand knit sweater. Love, LOVE, it. I will own this sweater FOREVER! I’m telling you. dsc_0364

While letting the glue dry I was flipping through my “FLOWERS” calendar and saw this page (Jan. 14 & 15, 2017). A vibrant floral tapestry of cut bouquets at a market in Kumming, China (Workman publishing (my favorite calendars), New York). This totally reminds me of Kaffe Fassett MilleFiori, and Paperweight fabrics. dsc_0438

Thousands of stitches later and TaDAAAA!! Isn’t my Terrific Tabard aka Skinny Vest gorgeous? Feast your eyes on this Boho Chic vest. Christine Barnes, another member of Artistic Alchemy told me that basically, Boho Chic is another name for Hippie clothing of the 60’s. dsc_0440 dsc_0447 dsc_0448 dsc_0454 dsc_0455 dsc_0460 dsc_0463 dsc_0464 dsc_0468 dsc_0469 dsc_0471

Now it’s time to turn it inside out. I love this with denim. A long sleeved t-shirt and skinny jeans and boots. Perfect. dsc_0483
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You too can purchase a T.T. pattern by me, from Craftsy.com (click on the button there on the left) for a pdf filed pattern (you print it up on your own printer), or contact me via email: hmemmett@gmail.com and I will send you a hard copy that is complete with a tissue pattern sizes XSM-4X.

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Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog and view my myriad pictures. I hope they give you just the creative spark you need. dsc_0489

My beautiful hand carved wooden butterfly pin that serves as a button on the pieced side of the vest. My mom got it for me on a cruise my mom and dad took from the top of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin to the gulf of Mexico near Louisiana (from the Bayous of LA).

Happy stitching in whatever medium you choose. I just love to sew and quilt, don’t you? Hugs, Heidi

P.I.P. – Que up the Band! I finished One!

What, you say, is a P.I.P.? I call it  “Projects in Progress.” I have so many, so YES!, Que up the Band and let’s take a look.

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Once upon a time Heidi sold a most beautiful boucle’ wool in her fabric store. It was  Perriwinkle Blue. As one of Heidi’s favorite colors, she spirited some of it home. Fast forward 20+ years (please note that I “spirited” lots of pieces of fabric home for future use). At the present time my husband feels that I brought it home to provide better insulation for my attic studio. Ha, ha, ha. I needed a proto-type of something that wasn’t quilted to create a “Mommy & Me & My Vest.” This wool fabric is perfect. dsc_0201

I started stitching and felting on the much too plain fabric. I made big stitches (like Kantha cloth) using Knit Crosheen thread. For the felting, I found a lovely wool yarn (and several others too). And somehow I would use my piece of  Kaffe Fassett’s  “Paperweight” fabric in the project too. dsc_0207

One of my newest patterns is below and I wanted to see the drape of a fabric other than something quilted, so that’s why I chose the wool boucle’. Let’s find out.

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This pattern is available to purchase through Craftsy.com (PDF file only) or as a hard copy from me by contacting me via email at hmemmett@gmail.com about it.

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I took the pieces with me wherever I had time to spare for stitching the running lines. Wow, I forgot how wool gets hot when it’s draped across one’s legs during summer. So, it got put away until cooler weather. Yes, a P.I.P.dsc_0208 dsc_0209

In the meantime I discovered (hidden in my stash), another great Kaffe fabric, Mille Fiori. Oh yeah, I need to make some yo-yo’s for my vest. Clover makes the coolest tool for creating yo-yo’s. I own every size they make. dsc_0531 dsc_0535

Start with a squareish piece of fabric. Lighter orange circle is on the right side of the fabric. Darker orange “petal” looking circle pops into the wrong side of fabric into the lighter circle. dsc_0523

Trim off the excess to about 3/8″ all the way around. dsc_0526

Stitch down the excess fabric following manufacturer’s directions and voila! Adorable little puckery, fluffy, circles of yumminess. dsc_0528

Where will I place these yo-yo’s? dsc_0553

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I think the story of this P.I.P. ends well. I love my vest/jumper. And don’t you think it has a nice drape? I finished it just in time to include it somewhere in the Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza trunk show that Christine and I are giving in the Bay area next week. And, I’m going to post it right now on the Kaffe Fassett Collective on FB. Check it out. Anyone can join. You will love what you see from all over the world. Sew up a storm this weekend! Perfect sewing weather for me as we are going to have a whopper of a rain storm. They are predicting “up to a foot of rain!” Hugs, Heidi

Happy New Year-2017!

This day in winter dawns with a storm a comin’.  They’re talking snow by New Year’s Day!
dsc_0279Before the storm rolls in, all the critters are snug by the fire. dsc_0247O.K., I admit it, both pictures of “the critters” are two years old (Sweet Sparky dog is gone now) but the snow, and by the fire, that is all really happening this New Year’s weekend. And I love these pics. They are awwww…. pictures. dsc_0245

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Are you looking to make a Show Stopping Terrific Tabard Vest? This is one of my best selling patterns. I started with an allover large scaled print by M & S Textiles, an Aboriginal (it is 5th from the left). The other fabrics are cut into strips to work with that  Aboriginal. dsc_0552

This vest took a few days of walking back and forth, looking, moving, sewing, ripping, placing, taking pics…don’t be in a hurry. Relax and have fun with the process. I also cut up the large scaled fabric in interesting ways that could be used in the Terrific Tabard  (see below). I played and played with this one aboriginal and decided it needed a 2nd bold piece to go with everything.dsc_0555-2

Testing the first print, I like it so far. Hey, those gourds look good in the mix don’t they? dsc_0647

Do you see it? It’s the more blue toned (another Aboriginal) large scaled piece in the middle of the picture below. It was an “aha” moment. When making the Terrific Tabard using the view called “Aussie Angle” you are starting with a blank slate. Always key off your favorite large-scaled fabric and you will have a great palette to work with. Have a second or third large-scaled fabric at the ready, just in case. Notice the tissue piece on the right side of the picture. I often lay the tissue pieces over what I am working on so I don’t sew morestrips and pieces together than is necessary. dsc_0074-2My VERY FIRST QUILTING project on my “new” (to me), Sweet Sixteen by Handiquilter!dsc_0093A whole new world has opened up to me with this amazing machine. The room, the precision (well, I’m still working on that), the lighting, it’s so fun!!dsc_0095Here’s one of the front pieces all quilted and ready to trim to fit the tissue pattern. dsc_0099

Adding the outside trim pieces (late at night, hence the poorly lit pictures). dsc_0159Working on the shoulder strips (to cover raw edges) and bring the edging strip to the front of the vest. dsc_0165

Another MAJOR “aha” moment. How long have I owned this Bernina? Ohhh, since, 1986. See the picture below of the needle position, up or down? Pick down and you will have sooooooo much MORE control of smaller pieces that you are sewing together. We get used to things the way they are and don’t look at new ways of thinking.Hmm. this could be a New Year’s resolution: look at things from new angles! It will keep life interesting.  dsc_0164

Taa Daa! I love it. And Katie does too. dsc_0266

I made this vest as a thank you to Katie McCollum with Checker Distributing. Thank you Katie for getting my hard copy patterns in their “Art to Wear” pattern group for distribution all over the world! So exciting for me.   dsc_0269dsc_0278

Happy New Year everyone. And a parting shot of Lake Tahoe at Zephyr Point in the early morning after a snow storm. Great things are happening at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat scheduled for September 4th-8th, 2017. Details coming the end of January. Hugs, Heidi

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“We Need a Little Christmas, Right this Very Minute….”

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I have been setting up Christmas a little bit at a time. Yes, I’m late, but that’s o.k., ’cause I leave everything up for a month after Christmas! That all started with the first 15 ft. Christmas tree we put up. I was raised on a Christmas Tree farm and the tree has to be real and as tall as I can get.

Below is a picture of a fun centerpiece that was made for my fabric store. It’s at least 20 years old. I think the process and end result are timeless and worth showing again. I’m bringing the idea BACK!

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This started with a pre-quilted placemat (do they even make pre-quilted yardage like this anymore?). Sprinkle pieces of ephemera (flat of course), ribbons, sparkles, across the face of it. Place a piece of clear plastic on top and machine quilt it about 2-3 inches apart. Yes, some of the trim will move around but that’s the fun. Cut off the scraggly edges and either glue or stitch a piece of trim around the edge. Voila! Perfect for when you “need a little Christmas.” dsc_0009 dsc_0011 dsc_0012

Well, that got me to thinking, and I pulled my checkbook (yes, I still write the occasional check!)out of the black hole of my black lined, black on the outside too, purse. Check it out! I NEVER lose this checkbook cover. Sparkle, sparkle!!!dsc_0015

I have kept this so long (20+ years) that the stitching (in black) is wearing off. It is the same process as the centerpiece, but it is lined with a pocket to hold the checks. dsc_0016 dsc_0020

Use any fabric for a background and load up on the bling. A Jeans needle worked for me.
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We need a little Christmas, right this very minute….do you Christmas shop like I Christmas shop?….A present for me, a present for someone else, repeat.dsc_0086

This is an upside down clear vase in an oval shape, stuffed with little white lights. I said, “I can make that, I should make that, then went to the “SALE” section and voila!, One of these cuties at 1/2 price because it had a scratch became mine. I did a close up so you wont see the scratch. It sits in my window and I plug it in first thing in the morning and it’s the last thing off at night. Festive. dsc_0088

I never showed you my Ice- Dyed scarf all pressed and arranged nicely. dsc_0253 dsc_0255 dsc_0257

Isn’t it beautiful? NEXT YEAR, you WILL try ice-dying and make some of these for gifts. Everyone who has notdone this will be very impressed. January would be a good time to do this because it is also called Snow-dying, remember? Look it up at Darhma. dsc_0259 dsc_0259

I flipped it open so you could see that one half (on the diaganol)is so light in color. Serendipity, a great word to say, let alone achieve great results. dsc_0251 dsc_0264

Here’s a quote from Salvador Dali—“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.” So we all need to relax more and enjoy the process of creating. dsc_0252

Thank you for stopping by, and until next week, let’s create something unique. Carve out a few minutes here and there, and always have some handwork to carry with you while you hurry up and wait somewhere. Hugs, Heidi

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“On The Ninth Day of Christmas….”

On the 9th day of Christmas, there’s still time to make more! Or you could do like I used to do:  wrap the pattern and fabric for sewing up “later.”

One year (I was 15) I wrapped everyone’s gifts (5 at the time) the same as usual, pattern and fabric. They were opened with the usual, oh great, thanks, we’ll see these in June, remarks. When all were opened, I brought from another room, all 5 finished bathrobes. It was shock and awe! on their faces. That was a beautiful thing.

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So here are some of my patterns in no particular order, all great projects for you or a loved one.

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Easy, use your favorite rayon or cotton fabric. 
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Use favorite cottons (all of similar weights)

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PDF files of all the patterns (download them from your home printer) are available at Craftsy.com/sewing patterns/Heidi Emmett

Hard copies (everything in a one package) email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com

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Or…find a cool sweater and add “FELTIES.” They are are little yarn circles attached to the sweater using a felting machine. The funny thing with this sweater is that it didn’t even have any holes in it that needed covering. I wanted a way to showcase some of my favorite yarns. dsc_0106 dsc_0115

Or go buy a beautiful scarf as a gift. A true accessory piece that will never go out of style. Thank you Linda and Karenanne for my beautiful scarf for my birthday. It is the softest wool ever and made in Japan by Butapana.

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Get your craft going this weekend! More ideas next week. Hugs, Heidi

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Fresh Ideas For Friday…..Fabulous

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I have a folder of photos labeled “Blog Pictures” 2016. Throughout the year I put pictures in it that have no other home. Many Fridays I know exactly what I want to do a post on. On the Fridays where my mind can’t settle on something specific, I go to the Blog Pictures file. I scroll through them and jot down the numbers of any photos that catch my eye. Then I plug them into the post and look again. I rearrange a few and take out a few. This weeks pics had a recurring theme: color. Specific colors, golden pear to blushing magenta. Take a look. dsc_0484

This is my Chinese Pistachio tree. Below is the same tree, I just moved the camera to a different section.  Start looking at the shapes and colors you see in the following pictures. dsc_0485

This year was the most prolific for the berries on my Pyracantha bush.

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Love the shape and color changes. Big, round, almost bursting berries. dsc_0492

I “saw a squirrel” below. Quick idea for cold nights or aching muscles. Make your own rice packs (sew a muslin pocket and add uncooked rice, then stitch opening closed). The plain muslin isn’t so nice. I cut the sleeves off a t-shirt (please notice the pyracantha berry color)and cut off the excess sleeve (black lines), sewed it to fit and voila, see below. dsc_0545

I made two. The hem of the sleeve I kept and use it as the opening. Heat these puppies up (in the microwave)and place them in your bed 15 minutes before your head hits the pillow. Ahhh, “berry” warm. O.K. crafting break over. dsc_0547

I rearranged my Kaleidoscope quilt on my banister and saw new squares that had been hidden. Wild and crazy is this quilt. I love it.

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I have been saving gobs of fiber jewelry pictures that I find on Pinterest. Below is one. Someday, soon, I will make my own and then I will show you how to make them too.
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And then there is Polymer clay. Sandra Bruce taught me and it’s just like quilting and sewing Art to Wear, I can’t get enough of it. I want to make something like this piece.

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Ohh, my goodness. Is this quilt Spiralicious or what!!?

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A close up of my Aussie Angle, Terrific Tabard vest. Some Kaffe Fassett fabrics and M & S textiles Aboriginal fabric. I love the wired pom pom trimmed I stitched down (the black).dsc_0042

I had just washed this exquisite pear and had to take a picture of it before slicing it up for dinner. Again, the color and shape, yummy.

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Check out this way cool fiber jewelry piece. Golden pear again.

fiber-jewelry-aWhat will inspire you to create this weekend? Enjoy your weekend and make some rice packs. I hear that the entire U.S. will get colder than normal next week. Thanks for stopping by today. Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ice Dying – WOW!!!- What Fun!!

by Heidi Emmett

Happy Thanksgiving weekend. I think Thanksgiving should be worldwide. At the very least, the Thankful part. We all much to be thankful for. So be thankful every single day. Your spirits will be lifted, guaranteed!

I had two dear friends who happen to be sisters come down from Portland, Oregon recently. I was told we would be trying Ice Dying. Well as good as is looked, dying fabric is one area I have not explored. Too messy, too much work, too much time, blah, blah, blah….

Well, the title of this post says it all! Below are some pictures of this pretty darn fun process. Enjoy.

The tension is high as the surgeons (well, Debbie gave that away with her shiny BBQ apron) not, get ready to work. Linda on the left and her sister Karenanne in the middle. ice-dying-4

“I’m certain this is the way to do it!” Linda says as she eyes her phone for the umpteenth time!  Here is the simplified version of Ice Dying: Prepare your off-white or white fabric (natural fibers) in Soda ash. Wring it out and scrunch it onto an open rack (like a cookie cooling rack). Pack ice on top. Sprinkle dry powder dye on top of the ice. Allow ice to melt and then rinse out excess dye. Hang to dry.

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Below is Linda’s dye job. Please note there are several crunched up pieces of fabric under all that ice.

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Below is a piece from one section. Yowzaa! We call it Poppies- popalicious!
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Below left is that section of Linda’s ice (really scrunched up area yields more white space) with yellow in it. Bold and beautiful. dsc_0696

Same fabric below, but different lighting. dsc_0697

Below is Heidi’s  ice with much more of the yellow and red and orange powder. ice-dying-8

Can you even believe it? Mine is the silk piece on the left and the pink textured cotton 2nd from the right. dsc_0701

Same picture in different lighting. I would say the coloring below is very much what they look like when dry.  I’m going to see if there is enough of the heavier cotton piece to make the body of a Zephyr Jacket (one of my newest Art to Wear patterns with actual tissue pieces). dsc_0704

Karenanne ( the minimalist in the group!) I can only show you the chunk on the right as she took the other piece home with her to show off to her husband. ice-dying-6

Stunning!!!! This is a piece of 100% rayon. dsc_0708

Another close up view. dsc_0709

O.K. here is the last “ice.” Debbie did this one and I have to say I took this picture and thought, “Yikes,will this even turn out? The dye is so jumbled, the colors will blend too much. I think I see brown forming already.”( I already told Debbie this so it’s o.k. to say it here ha, ha).
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Wellll…everyone, I saved the BEST for last! Unbeknownst to me, Debbie had tied her wet piece with string here and there before adding the ice and dye. Scroll back up to her ice mess, I mean REALLY? Now back down. It has such a wow factor. I love all the others but they have a more serendipitous look (except maybe Linda’s Popolicious Poppies). Debbie’s looks so purposeful and rich.

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Thanks for stopping by this post today. My next adventure with Ice Dying will be with my Artistic Alchemy “teaching buds!” I’ll post again when that happens. Hmmm… maybe right after it snows, then it is called, “Snow dying!” Have a creative week and don’t forget to visit me on Craftsy, Instagram, and Pinterest!! Hugs, Heidi

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A Day For This and That……………………..

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Good evening everyone! Ahhhh, the weekend is starting! May you enjoy every creative moment of it.  On occasion I have a “This and That” kind of post. And so it is for this Friday. Below are a few more pics from my adventure to PIQF(Pacific International Quilt Festival).

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This wall hanging is stunning. Beautifully quilted and much of it quilted using the decorative stitches on her sewing machine. dsc_0100

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I love the confetti beading that adds sparkle. dsc_0102

I planted these Zinnias and Chrysanthemums myself. The Zinnias were from seed. I planted them too late in the season. What you see in the bouquet below is the sum total . I love Zinnias, they are such a happy flower. So one happy little bouquet is good! dsc_0578

Rex had to be involved of course. dsc_0593

The temperature got down to 32.7 and I KNEW there were more tomatoes to pick. I picked this bowl and some cracked a few hours later. We’re eating them anyway! And if nothing else, I’ll chop them up for a yummy soup. November 18th, the last of the garden. Pretty good. dsc_0746

I have a houseful of family coming for Thanksgiving. I must say, I enjoy creating tablescapes more than I like cooking. dsc_0749

These are my “Fun Fall Leaves” project from the now kaput, “Stitch” magazine. I will turn this into a pattern that I will offer for $.99. That should be my next one available on Craftsy. Look for it soon. Hit the Craftsy logo above and it should take you to all the patterns I have available. Or go to Craftsy.com/Sewing patterns/Heidi Emmettdsc_0750

I put some leaves on a silk Dupioni (it was a dress I got from the thrift shop and washed). It has gorgeous texture.  dsc_0751

Look at the adorable little credit card holder someone made that I got as a party favor for riding the bus to PIQF. dsc_0754

It’s just the cutest. Thank you so much for visiting my blog post today. I was late getting it out as I had an Artistic Alchemy meeting today. We were discussing the January launch date for our next September 2017 retreat. Sandra and I are teaching different things than we did last year. Pop on over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to see what we have been up to. Hugs, Heidi. dsc_0755

Fall—–the colors MOTIVATE me with Creative Ideas!

Fall, and all the colors! And I’m excited to start machine felting again, and crocheting, and knitting, and sewing with wool, and, and……the list keeps growing. Thank you for stopping by today. I mentioned machine felting.  There are two kind of felting: wet (like what happens to your favorite sweater being put in the washer AND dryer) felting, and dry felting. You can do dry felting by hand (quite tiring if large areas need to be covered) or use a machine like mine in the picture below. dsc_0691

There are 5 needles on my mine, but they have no eyes, so there is nothing to thread, just hit the gas and watch the magic happen (the yarn is forced into the background piece by the up and down motion of the needles). Isn’t the sweater (size 4) below just the cutest little thing. Surprise! It’s so colorful.

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I walk away for just a minute and look what happens! Silly kitty.
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Choosing the yarn is always the best part! I’m always on the hunt for unusual yarns. One skein will last a very long time. dsc_0506

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So many choices but I narrowed it down to this one.
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And SURPRISE! It’s circles AGAIN! Sheesh, I’ve got to get out of the circle rut I’m in. Yes, I’m always goin’ round in circles, ha, ha… But look at what texture and movement I get from my circles. dsc_0519

Only Heidi would think to put her Free-form Circles pillows in the same picture as her little girls sweater.  Don’t forget, Modern Patchwork this issue, Fall 2016, will show you how to make these AMAZING PILLOWS! dsc_0528

I sprinkled circles all around the bottom of this sweater. dsc_0535

Since I’m on the subject of color, I visited PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) in Santa Clara, CA and took pictures of EVERYTHING that interested me until my camera battery died. Below is a fun contemporary quilt that is really has a joy of color and design to it. dsc_0095

I love the use of black and white stripes for accents, just like I use in many of my Art to Wear patterns. Check them out at Craftsy.com/sewing patterns/Designs by Heidi (easier to hit the Craftsy icon at the bottom).  And check out her quilting details below. I’m gonna get to my new Sweet Sixteen THIS weekend for sure (how long have I been saying that?).dsc_0096

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Who would ever guess that her design represented the staircase? I Love It!dsc_0541

 I leave you with this sweet Bonsai that planted itself in the container where the expensive Juniper bonsai once lived (died ohhh, within one month of purchase). Creativity, the spice of life. Enjoy! Hugs, Heidi 

 

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