A This and That Friday!

by HEIDI EMMETT

I’m trying everyday to straighten up my upstairs (over the garage) studio. Just a little bit, I would never go overboard (as in all day, or many hours), ha, ha, I need to create, or whatever else that doesn’t involve the words ” cleaning or purging.” You have to realize that I have been collecting fabric/notions/beads, etc. since before I was married (which was 38 years ago!)and I owned a fabric store and I love everything I own (or I would not have brought it into my “happy place” in the FIRST PLACE). I would also like to say at this time that I have the world’s most PATIENT husband. Love you honey! All rightie then, so glad I got that off my chest. As I was doing my tiding up bit, I found a pile of clothing that needed some “upcycling” to make the pieces wearable for me.

LET’S CHECK THEM OUT!

I think this is such a cute top. Great fabric design and colors. It was too tight to go over my hips. Sooo…..
On one side of the front and the back I made a slit. For me it was 8″ from the side seam and stopping 14″ up from the bottom. These measurements can all vary but don’t have it go into the bust area. That would not be a good look (like an arrow pointing the way, ha, ha).
Doesn’t everyone have a pile (o.k., o.k. I have several piles, all color coordinated now, thank you very much) of “cutable” clothing pieces that will be just the right “zinger” piece for a project? This top is perfect for my insert pieces. If any of you EVER see fabric like this on a bolt get me 2 yards please. I’ll spend up to $20. per yard and of course pay for shipping. Yes, I like it THAT much.
I had to work with this knit on the bias to yield the biggest pieces. A knit on the bias is not a problem. Cutting out matching diamond shaped pieces took a little math and creative cutting.
A close up of the inserted piece on the front.
I like the way it turned out. It’s ready to wear. The long diamond shape helps the eye travel in that long, lean, line I like so much.
This is the first top I added diamonds to several years back.
I started with a dark gray cotton knit fabric. I like adding knits to knits just to keep things easier to sew.
This close up shows a cool lace piece I took off of the bottom of a skirt. They were in sections all the way around.
This next piece is by Maude Andrade. Look her up at her site: Maudeandrade.com She hails out of Albuquerque New Mexico. She’s young and hip, and I just discovered (on her site), her T-shirts. I want the black one with a slinky on the front.
Anyway, (please notice the word is ANYWAY. There is no “s” at the end to make it Anyways). There is NO SUCH WORD! That just bugs me (I am married to a former English/History teacher). No where was I? Right, on the tag it says, Painted Chenille.
I originally bought the jacket as a “cutter” but the more I looked at it and tried it on, I thought just add some (handwoven cotton from a skirt) pockets and call it a “Chic Car Coat.” Remember them from the 40’s , usually in a wool plaid, and often made by Pendleton Wool Mills?
Isn’t this back the coolest? Hand painted Chenille. Who knew such a thing existed?
One last one for the day. This is a Peruvian Connection sweater I bought on Ebay 4 years ago. I almost resold it! ’cause I didn’t want to cut it (that seemed unacceptable somehow) Well, that was then. It is such a cool design and GORGEOUS colors. It could easily be a “Kaffe Fassett” sweater but there were no tags saying that. It fit really well except the sleeves were so long that it looked silly on me. Notice that the sleeves start off the shoulder. This is a sure sign that this sweater is late 80’s-early 90’s. Easiest fix, as I did above is at the sleeve seam, pull it up to where you want it and stitch all the way around tapering somewhat at the lower portion (under the arms).
These are the PERFECT scissors to use for this. I own all three sizes. These are so super sharp. Keep that white scissor sleeve on when not in use. Snip, snip, snip. Done! Wait don’t forget to zigzag the edges or serge the edges. Hand knits can unravel.
Gorgeous and now the sleeves fit perfectly.
The back is the same as the front. So happy to be able to wear it now.
Scrumptious colors as only Peruvian Connection can do.
Just one more close up. This is a good weekend to look in your pile of “fix its,” “upcycle this,” whatever you want to call it. It’s time to whittle down that pile. Remember, I’m always saying “find 15 minutes in your day for some creativity.” Thank you for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

Zephyr Jacket-Make it In Kantha Cloth

by HEIDI EMMETT

Happy New Year! Zephyr Jacket, one of my “Art to Wear” patterns was a recent blog post made in a Black printed Kantha cloth. Well that was last year, ha, ha. I truly had so much fun making a more “quilted” Zephyr Jacket that I needed to make another one. This time I wanted it longer, more like a coat.

Zephyr Jacket pattern by Heidi Emmett. My Etsy shop is DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns. The jacket in the pattern above is made from a cotton (body of jacket) with a silk piece for one side of the front side and another color of silk for the lining.
This is the back view of the Zephyr Jacket Pattern
Here is my latest Kantha cloth Zephyr “Coat” using my Zephyr Jacket pattern.
I know I had mentioned in another blog post to split the tissue to add the extra length. This time I decided to add the extra length to the bottom edge as you can see above.
I used a 6″ ruler and a blue marking piece (by Clover) to add the length.
Here is the front side (on left) and wrong side (on right). Kantha cloth is two fabrics put together wrong side to wrong side and stitched together with thicker cotton threads, BY HAND, using large running stitches.
The other thing that helps the Kantha fabric stitch up into a jacket faster is that there is no lining for piece B (front piece facing and facing lining). Stitch this one piece (remember you don’t need a lining piece) to the front piece. Well then, how do I finish the edges?
To finish the edges, I found the perfect Kaffe Fassett cotton piece (a “stripe-ish” piece) above. I cut strips and created an edging that goes all the way around. Oh, I also made 2 lined pockets to add to the front. These new techniques will be added as extra pages to future orders of my Zephyr Jacket pattern.
The front of Red Kantha Zephyr Jacket with front facings overlapping each other.
Shoulder detailing, a close up of Red Kantha Jacket.
The back of Red Kantha Zephyr Jacket.
The Black Kantha Zephyr Jacket (note it is the length of the tissue pattern pieces, no added length). DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/Esty shop
The black Kantha Zephyr Jacket, back view. DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/Etsy shop
Yes, I have purchased more Kantha pieces. This one is from Etsy at the shop called, EmbroideryIndianArt by Narendra Singh.
Same Kantha piece but in Red! Etsy shop, EmbroideryIndianArt by Narendra Singh.
Sunset over Grass Valley, CA in December, 2020. We were waiting for the showing of the “Christmas Star” or the “Convergence” where Jupiter and Saturn pass each other in their orbit around the Sun.
And THERE IT IS! Do you see it? Up in the evening blue sky.
I’m trying so hard to follow my own advice this new year. 15 minutes a day working on something creative! That’s all it takes to help you decompress and find a “happy place.” Hugs, Heidi

We Need A Little Felting, Right This Very Minute!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Feel free to hum along as you read this post! I have tried several ways of felting. By far my favorite is using a Felting machine. After you read this post, you might want to go to the “home” page of my blog and under the “category” section, look up felting/machine felting.

Here is my finished product. I am really pleased with it. And best of all, it was fast and easy to create. Of course it took 3 years to collect everything for it but who cares? I first saw this idea (using circles of fabric) from a wonderful “Art to Wear” artist whose name is Diane Prekup. You can see her exquisite pieces for sale at The SantaFeWeavingCompany.com Diane also uses square shapes in her scarves.
I only looked at her scarves one time. I wanted to do my own thing. I knew that I wanted to overlap the circles so that on first glance the piece would sort of look like a long scarf.
I am not going into the mechanics of the felting machine in this post. Look under (on my home page) “Categories” and look for felting projects for more information.
I first saw these cool scraps of 100% wool fabric in the trash! Yes, I was at a sewing retreat and walked by the fabric/paper only trash can and there they were, right on top. Snatched these puppies up in an instant. Forward two years….
I wasn’t sure how big to use the circles so I stood in front of a mirror and first held up a salad plate and then a tea cup saucer. Hmm…I picked the salad plate size.I wanted to have plenty of room for felting the yarn pieces. I used a blue, Clover marking piece on the wool.
I thought it would look great to “Serge” the edge of the circle. Even though I steamed and steamed it, I could not get it to lay flat. I was short on scraps at this point so I carefully cut that serged edge off. I’ll never tell you where in the scarf it ended up(it is a wee bit smaller).
I first measured a scarf length I liked and then overlapped pieces accordingly. One pin each to hold in place until felted.
Once I overlapped two circles, I placed a piece of netting over the area to be felted. Don’t forget to remove the pin! Lay a piece of large holed netting over the piece and felt in place. Remove the netting and felt all the rest of the overlapped circles the same way.
Begin covering with yarn. I chose 3 different ones to use. The super thick black with white thread worried me a bit but slowing way down to a “chug, chug” worked just fine.
Before any felting make sure to cover the area with the netting. It acts like a bunch of pins or fabric glue. I can’t felt without this element .
Twirl and whorl the yarn pieces any way you want.
Check out my yarn choices. I only picked 3 ’cause I think the wool scraps are busy on their own. And yep, you can use your machine pretty much anywhere you want. It appears that I am sitting at a long coffee table and hovering on the edge of a couch (I am, but I want to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie while felting).
Uh ohh…just getting things lined up and thinking about yarns, when who should suddenly appear…
One giant dog (but no reindeer) who felt he needed a closer look see. A little slobber wont hurt this piece.
Time out! It suddenly turned very cold around Grass Valley, CA and Riley’s doggie day care said short furred dogs needed a coat. Who knew? Robert brought one home from the pet store. Whaaat? You paid $55.00? for a coat? Riley wouldn’t try it on very well, but I got the idea that it was way too big. I’ll make him one. Taa daa! One old rain coat from me and one older fleece throw later and we have a new coat for Riley. Untangling the giant ball of velcro parts (still don’t know how that happened) took longer than sewing this coat up. One HUGE tip: Dog will be more likely to wear a coat if the static is taken out first (and having a treat close by doesn’t hurt either). Throw it in the dryer with a dryer sheet or in my case I just ran the dryer sheet it over the fleece portion while holding the sheet in my hand.
I am so happy how this scarf turned out.
Who knew that scraps of yarn and wool fabric could yield this! And don’t forget to visit Diane Prekup at SantaFeWeavingCompany.com Buying one of her incredible pieces of Art to Wear is on my wish list!
I can’t wait to go through my other wool pieces and my myriad skeins of yarn and create more of these fun scarves. I’ll keep you posted.

MAY THE CHRISTMAS SEASON BRING HOPE TO YOUR HEART, GRACE TO YOUR SPIRIT, AND PEACE TO YOUR LIFE.
Jesus is the reason for the season
Hugs, Heidi

OFF THE GRID VEST, A New One!

by HEIDI EMMETT

I‘m so excited. I finished my latest OFF THE GRID VEST that I started, ohh…let’s see, 18 months ago. BUT, IT’S FINISHED (still needs buttons and some threads need to be buried but the bulk of it is FINITO)! I can’t wait to show it to you.

Here is the pattern front cover if you aren’t familiar with Off The Grid vest.
TAA DAA!!
I started with a Marcia Derse “panel” print titled, “Art History.”
I normally don’t put anything on the side panels but I wanted a pocket this time. It is the black and coral pieced square on the vest’s right side.
I love this back! I took a fun class from Mel Beach on “wonky” type quilting squares, came home and made these few right away. I set them aside until I really got into this Off The Grid vest. And the trim (zig-zaggy black & offwhite)it’s from RainbowResource.com
Nothing else on the back of the collar. I outlined stitched the printed designs on the front of the collar going through the flannel interlining to the actual lining piece. I like how the stitching echoes the quilting squares.
A close up view of the collar back of Off The Grid Vest. I really like how this all came together.
Isn’t this a beautiful trim. It’s 100% cotton. The quilting squares will be edge stitched down.
I did much repositioning of blocks and trims and thinking, will these even work? I even took pictures and looked at those to help me decide where things should be placed.
I outlined stitched in orange quilting thread. I pulled the bobbin thread to the front and tied them off and threaded the two threads into a larger eyed needle and buried the threads into the flannel interlining. Trim off the excess thread when it’s pulled back out the front.
One of the most satisfying sewing tip is after two edges have been bound, then they are stitched together with a zig-zag stitch, the blackish (aka Grunge fabric) ones.
Butt the folded edges of the trim together (DONT overlap) and set the zig zag stitch pretty wide and yet fairly close together. There is the sound of a satisfying “Thwack” as they are held together by the zig zag (in my mind this is happening, ha, ha). I’m thinking I made it up, but I bet someone else out there has done it too.
Time to take a break. I have to get dinner started. Look, just look at these lucious tomatoes. This is the last, truly the last of our summer tasties. They stored very nicely in the garage.
The bottom fabric is: “marcia derse Pattern No. 43184 treasure hunt.” This is the panel piece. It was the beginning of this vest. As soon as I saw this panel I just knew it had to be an Off The Grid Vest.
One last look at my latest OFF THE GRID VEST.

Don’t forget to visit my Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett for a look at ALL my “Art to WEAR” sewing patterns. I sell both hard copies and pdf/digital formats.

Thank you for stopping by. And it’s a good time to remind you, “Only 15 minutes a day.” That’s all it takes to get started and get something done on your next creative project. Hugs, Heidi

Zephyr Jacket. Check Out What I have Just Finished!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Hello everyone. I want to get right to it this week. My Zephyr Jacket “Art to Wear” sewing pattern is the perfect topper for where YOU live.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! my newest Zephyr Jacket. I finally got with the program and have pulled out my “Kantha” cloth. It was time to cut them up. This was an inexpensive “printed” not pieced, bed topper.
A close up of a section of this “kantha” cloth. Kantha cloth is usually made in India. Know in advance that it is made of thinner cottons, two pieces and then hand stitched together with a thicker cotton thread (short staple cotton that shreds).
This is the back side of this particular Kantha cloth. It is a solid black.
I like the wool (yes, I mix cotton and wool often) flat trim on the shoulders with a small piping that I added on either side of the plain wool trim.
I added pockets on this Zephyr Jacket. you can barely see them as the fabric is a little busy.
A better view of what the Kantha cloth looks like. Whoops, uhh…my pocket is NOT straight. I looked at it and asked myself if it would be worth taking it apart and re-make it. Nope. It would take too much time and I put it on the jacket and voila’ it blends right in. Crisis averted.
I wanted BIG pockets! To make these I put the Kantha and a lining right sides together, stitched all the way around leaving about a 2″ opening. Turn inside out, stitched opening closed and topstitched onto the jacket.
My Zephyr Jacket pattern. Contact me at my email: hmemmett@gmail.com and hear about purchasing directly from me. ORRR….go to my Etsy shop and see all “Art To Wear” patterns. Etsy shop name: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
Purchase my patterns from me by contacting me at hmemmett@gmail.com OR from my Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
Zephyr Jacket can be layered (like a Bell sleeved sweater underneath), or made in a heavier weight fabric for added warmth. Yep, an older picture with me in braces! Glad I did it, but EXTRA GLAD it’s over. Ha, ha.
I like how it flutters to a longer length in back. This is the jacket pictured on the pattern back (that picture is really soft in color). The main body is a Kaffe Fassett fabric called “Turkish Delight.” They just brought it back and in some new colorways. Check your local quilt shop. The front pieces are made from a silk piece (o.k., o.k., I found a brand new pair of silk pants at the Thrift shop).
The quilting cotton weight is perfect for warmer days and evenings.
Shoulder work on the Kaffe Zephyr Jacket. I explain it all in the instruction section.
The body of this Zephyr Jacket is a heavier cotton/linen blend. An unusual netted “scuba fabric” was placed over the top of a turquoise green cotton and treated as one piece of fabric.
I added length to this Zephyr Jacket by splitting the tissue pattern pieces across horizontally and added the same amount on each piece.
Check out all the stitching I did on the back (and some on the front too). I used orange quilting thread. It is a running stitch BUT I cheated! I used my Sashiko machine. More about it below.
The Sashiko Machine is a very COOL TOOL! It is made by Baby Lock. It makes the BEST “Shashiko” stitch (running stitch that looks hand done) and you can use different weights of thread. Sadly, it is a big and bulky machine (weighs close to 35 pounds).On the left side I added little tied pieces of floss on top of the scuba netting.
The body of this Zephyr Jacket is another Kaffe Fassett fabric. I like how the fronts fold back just a little to reveal a different parasol fabric.
I mixed silk and cotton and a rayon (the black background parasols) for a unique late summer top The solid aqua green silk came from a silk skirt . On the upper postion of the Zephyr jacket front I have a dragonfly pin.
This dragonfly pin was a really fun find. I tried and tried to find a company name for you all but to no avail. My pin landed on a beautiful hand embroidered fiber/bead necklace. This necklace was my very first purchase on Etsy some 10 years ago from a shop in Australia. I’d give you her shop name in a flash but she took it down. Sooo sad.
I leave you with this quote. Let’s all follow it. Hugs and much creative energy to you, Heidi

BEAUTY SURROUNDS US!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Walk with me to see the Beauty That Surrounds Us. Start looking at things with this thought even as you work through your day and all that must get done. Stop and take at least one deep breath and look around you. Find the beauty in simple things, such as, the sky has never been so blue, or the one leaf left on the tree, twirling around and around trying to let go, or little birds taking an afternoon bath in a little fountain.

I forget the name of this evergreen bush. It gets the coolest thumb-nail sized berries on it in the fall.They look sticky but they aren’t. Looks good in arrangements.
Kangusaku (spelling) Japanese maple. What a stunning red this year with the sun shining through.
This is the first year that they have turned really red.
Right out my kitchen window (at my kitchen sink). In case you can’t read my metal sign which is dripping crystals it says, “Beauty Surrounds Us.”
This time of year, I need to machine felt or crochet or knit. It’s the weather change I’m sure. Granny Squares of all kinds are all the rage right now. With the beautiful ombre’ yarns out there now, somehow the Granny squares don’t look so “Granny” anymore. Please, no disrespect to Grandmother’s, WE LOVE OUR GRANDMOTHER’S! I think you know what I mean. The above book has several Granny Square projects in it that all look updated.
This project is titled “Hex On.” I made one using Noro yarns.
Here’s the back of “Hex On.”
I used Noro yarns for mine too but in a wild colorful combo. I really like this “shawlette.” That’s my name for it. It’s just enough warmth for inside on a cooler day.
The hexagon shapes are unique enough (most Granny Squares are usually square(duh Heidi, the name, Granny Square ha, ha) and sometimes round and even rectangles too.
Happy colors to work on and fast and easy to create.
I just can’t get enough of the Fall color this year. A maple tree (not sure of the species though) with the light shining just right. Beauty surrounds us right! On our most recent walk (I walk with my mother almost every single day rain or shine), my mother suggested that the season is called Fall because the leaves fall from the trees. I think it is as good as any other explanation. What do you think?
More crochet to enjoy. This sweater is at least 30 years old. It is so special to me. It is done in the Kaffe Fassett styling. One of my customers from “Heidi’s Fabrics” created this with the intention of keeping it for herself. It is her own design and while mostly single crochet, there are knitted areas too.
A close up of her beautiful work. She used “Knit crocheen” as well as six strands of various embroidery flosses to create the beautiful ombre’ coloration. She came into my store one day and said that she decided that I needed to own it. I quite agreed and some money exchanged hands and I still wear it today! It’s timeless and such a treasured piece.
Super simple single crochet scarf.
Isn’t this a great ombre’ yarn? And a one button closure finishes it off.
Here are my fun felted mitts. They zip together so fast. Great gift idea people. Noro yarn and single crochet again.
Pretty sure I show this every year, but I don’t get tired of showing or wearing it either. I used all my favorite red, orange red, fiery pinky reds, etc. yarns that I have been collecting.
This is made of half double crochet. It’s my own design but, hello, not hard at all. It is just a giant “Granny Circle ” with armholes.
I did it again in blues and purples. Check out some of the different yarns I used.
I don’t know what happened (I think the stitches were too loose as well as all double crochet instead of the tighter half double crochet) but it when I put it on it felt like I was wearing an afghan. So I sold it at our quilt show boutique!

Picture titled, “Dog Contemplating a Fall Afternoon.” OR “If I went out into the cold could I catch that squirrel?”
Working on a few new Zephyr Jackets. Please stop by my post next week to see them completed. Great gift idea for someone special, hey, you are special so think about making one for you!
Contact me, Heidi Emmett using my email, hmemmett@gmail.com if you’d like to buy from me personally, or check out my Etsy shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see all my other patterns that are available for purchase.
May we all contemplate the above message as we get our creative going this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Another Beautiful Fall Day!

by HEIDI EMMETT

The title speaks to Fall and the first picture is a piece of Christmas fabric. Huh? Read on.

This piece of fabric (a Prairie Christmas) has been in my stash for over 25 years! Yes, it came from my fabric store, “Heidi’s Fashion Fabrics.” The angel images are perfect for “Pocket Prayer Quilts.” Go to Shabby Fabrics.com and see the great things they teach you at their YouTube channel, Pocket prayer quilts being one of them.
The other reason I wanted to show you this fabric is the really fun napkins, YES NAPKINS, that Linda and Karenanne made for me. I usually have a table at our churches annual “Christmas Tea,” and these napkins were the impetus for the whole tablescape. Sadly, for the first time in 32 years it wont be happening this year.
These are so cute (see how easy they are to make at JordanFabrics.com, they have a great You Tube section), I can’t pack them away. I am using them now! Thank you Karenanne and Linda.
The napkins will look perfect with this Fall centerpiece that Karenanne and Linda made for me too. I did show show it before but I had to show it one more time.
This center piece was made from scraps by Linda. And fun hand stitching and beading done by Karenanne.
O.K., I still can’t find how to edit or even delete photos once they are in the post, sooooo, you get to see a 3rd shot of my centerpiece. See the little Raku tile that the bird sits on? My friend Patty made a bunch of these and gave each of us who went to her home for coffee, as little gifties. Thank you again Patty. I love it.
I had to include this picture of an opened Camellia. There are some strange goings on in the plant world in our area. Sasanqua camellias start to bloom in Early January. This one started in October. I was in town a few weeks ago and saw a group of Iris blooming! What? they usually bloom in May. And my Mom’s huge Rhododendron (that didn’t bloom at all this past May) is in full bloom right now. It is all topsy turvy right now, just like life.
Here is one of those same camellias as it is just opening. I love the crepe like edges.
A boy and his dog. That’s MY boy and his dog. I love this shot at the edge of the runway at the Paradise, CA airport.
I am took this shot 30 minutes before the heavens opened up and by the time the rain stopped we had 4 ” of liquid gold in our rain guage. Fire season is officially OVER here in northern CA. We are so THANKFUL! I took this from our neighbors field of Christmas trees into our backyard. Can you see the white outline of one of our dining room windows?
This shot was taken on my way back to my house. We planted every single tree and bush (except the Walnut trees ( we built our home in a walnut orchard)) on our property at least 32 years ago. Look how TALL the Sequoia Gigantea has become! It’s on the very left. That and many of our dogwoods, maples, well really, EVERYTHING, came from my two oldest brothers nursery. Just a side note, I worked for them starting at age 12, planting seedbeds, seedlings, potting trees, etc. and I bought fabric or shoes with my monies. And still love them both to this day, the fabric and shoes that is. Oh all right, I love my brothers too, all three of them. Have a wonderful, creative and cozy weekend everyone. Hugs, Heidi.

It’s FRIDAY!

by HEIDI EMMETT

This week has zipped by! Have I tried working on the new format here at my WordPress “dashboard?” That would be NO, NO, NO! I have stumbled through for 5 years quite nicely and then WordPress upended the whole thing and I am more confused than ever. They HAVE to be twenty-somethings who think “new and improved” will be great. WRONG!

Dog gone it, that awful “P.E.B.C.A.C.” has come back! My son (a former IT specialist) told me that’s what I have. It is an acronym for, “Problem Exists Between Computer And Chair!”

Let’s see what I have been up to: Two fun pictures first.

Remember this picture?
And this one. Working on a new pair of fingerless mitts while watching the Lake Tahoe world go by. Ahhh….so lovely.
Blocked the pieces and now I am looking through my hand dyed wool scraps. If you can’t purchase hand dyes in person, purchasing from Etsy or Ebay is always a great option.
The straight pin marks the right side. I’ve also cut out my “flowers and leaves.”
As I prepare these pieces for machine felting, I look out of my nearest window which is the BEST window seat view for leaf peeping. This is one of the perks of having a second story.
Lay a piece of nylon netting (like they use in square dancing slips) over the prepared piece that’s ready to felt. Whrrr….goes the machine. I timed this one. 2 minutes 30 seconds. Whoo hoo! Remember, look in my past posts for more detailed instructions on using a felting machine. I thought you could look under my archives under “Machine Felting” but it appears that the archives only show months. Acckk…Well then look under late fall and early winter months.
Taa daa! Felted but lacking some pizzazz. What to add?
Some beads from my very small, ha, ha, HA! bead stash! I spent hours and hours and countless movies sorting through my beads and findings. All done and then I found another tub full of beading supplies left over from my fabric store. And you thought I only sold fabric. I tucked that tub back under my big cutting table for another time. Sigh…
Now, using my other pair as a pattern I slip one corner (at the top) over the other corner and hand stitch to hold in place. I like to use matching yarn if I can. Then the same thing on the bottom portion. Always try it on first to give the best estimate for where your thumb would go. Here is the pattern should you want to try a pair: Two skeins of wool (each one at least 109 yards or 50 grams and I like ombre’) Ombre means color changes. I used a size “G” crochet hook. Chain 35-40. Wrap around the widest portion of your hand to make sure it will slip over fairly easily. Use single crochet throughout for at least 6″. You can vary the length if you’d like. If you are using an ombre’, for the second mitt, start with the second skein and HOPEFULLY when you find the beginning point of the skein the ombre’ will be a fairly close match in lining up as the first one.
Thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you all. Heidi

Friday Fun, Take a Look!

Last week my two sister friends were back down for a few days, flights are very reasonable from Portland to Sacramento and Karenanne needed a haircut (she likes my hair stylist). Fabulous food is always at the top of the list and for the sewing part, this time handwork . Also, Karenanne wanted to try out my Sweet Sixteen.

Remember that Robert caught a beautiful Mackinaw fish in October. He only caught one on this trip (second in on the right). The fish has been waiting patiently in the freezer for “the sisters” to come.
Isn’t it a beauty? You MUST try Linda’s recipe. Super simple and if the fish is from the depths of Lake Tahoe, ohhhh soooo delicious. Here it is: Tarragon (fresh sprigs), thin lemon slices, olive oil, thin sliced shallots, sea salt/freshly ground pepper, and garlic powder. Wrap in parchment paper and bake in a 400degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Karenanne wore her new Liberty Shirt ( a pattern from The Sewing Workshop). She said I had inspired her with my upcycling projects using vintage linens.
She used a 100% linen tablecloth that was her grandmothers. As well as buttons from her grandmothers button jar.
a CLOSE UP of the faggoting on the sleeve. This was a brilliant idea to cut out the sleeves from the tablecloth (faggoting on the outward edge) that makes it look as if there is a cuff at the bottom of the sleeves. Beautifully done Karenanne.
The bed isn’t properly made but these brother kitties, Rubix and Rex don’t care. The weather is turning colder and FINALLY a storm (REAL rain , our first in almost 6 months!!) with snow in the Mtns.is on the way. Snow level (so they say )will be as low as 3500ft.
Fall foliage in my yard.
I took my Mom “leaf peeping” the other day. Her first trip in our vintagy (is that a word?) convertible. I even found a “proper” hat for her to wear. What a fun time we had. It was 72 degrees that day and now, two days later it’s only 48. Check out her 10 year old maple tree that is just behind us.
What’s this you ask? It is my “Ode to the Birch tree.” My friend Patty P. gave me these branches. Some are pretty big and heavy too. I packed them in my car (several came all the way from the back to touch my windshield, ha, ha). When I brought them home (last year) I called friends. I even offered to cut them up a bit. No takers. My display sits on the side of our driveway next to our Giant sequoia and I love the juxtaposition of stark white next to the deep bluegreen of the tree. My husband laughs every time he looks at it. “Only you Heidi” is all he will say.
I cannot find the “edit” button for pictures (to make it smaller. I told you they have completely changed the editing and writing process of my blog. Icck, ICCK!). So, we will enjoy LARGE pictures for now. Did I even brush my hair that morning? And what is that machine in the middle of the picture (more about it later)? The 3 of us are removing all the machine quilting stitches from the quilt Karenanne was quilting on the Sweet Sixteen. For her first machine quilting she was really doing an EXCELLENT job! only to have the bobbin thread “wigging” out. The stitching and ripping happened so many times we lost count. Note to selves: Check bobbin stitching once in awhile. But what a pain when you are stitching away. The only thing we can figure is that there might have been too much sizing on the backing fabric. Not sure, even now. I need to do more research.
She took it back home and finished quilting it and binding it on her home machine (a ginormous Janome with lots of space to work on a quilt). I showed you this pattern from the Tula Pink quilting book. So sorry for all that trouble on the Sweet Sixteen. I think that Karenanne has embodied the following quote:
“Growth and Comfort will never coexist. So Embrace that thought.” Ginni Rometty, Executive chairwoman IBM
You GO KARENANNE!!
The machine in the picture is my felting machine (Huskystar by Huskavarna). You all have seen it in past blogposts. As soon as the weather turns cooler, out come the bins of yarn and possible clothing or pieces to felt on. The mess of yarn at the bottom is the yarn I used. I like how the two colors in each color change make my circles look like little “whirls” of color. I was showing Linda how to do this. She was working on a scarf (bottom left of that picture with the machine in it). She wants one now. The Huskystar is no longer being made but you might try Ebay (there are other companies making them). And then it hit me. I used to teach classes on Machine felting (4 years ago) and truly just remembered at that moment that I HAD purchased a 2nd Huskystar felting machine (on Ebay) just in case someone might need it or want to buy it in a class. How Great for Linda.
Linda was working on her Sue Spargo blocks (look up Sue Spargo). Sorry, that ding dang edit button, I WILL FIND IT FOR NEXT WEEK I PROMISE!
Linda has basted down all her pieces and is getting ready to embroider all the pretty stitches around the edges of the felted wool pieces. She uses this very cool tool by Sewline (sorry you get to look it up as I can’t find the Link button either, grrr….). She dials in the color of chalk she want . See the faint white line to the side of the pen? They come with four colors to choose from. They click into place . Look at the cool stem (in green). It is made of several stitches combined.
I had to show you these “Crisp and Thins” that Linda found. OH MY! Delicious and only 130 calories per serving (12). Of course, one should not have multiple servings, but sometimes…….it’s necessary, ha, ha. Thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate each and every one of you so much. And now a couple of highway signs to make you laugh.
I leave you with another quote, from the Bible: “A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken Spirit dries the bones. Proverbs 17:22.Hugs, Heidi

What I Did on My 5 Days Off!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

I’m Working on an Online Class!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

BY HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 4, “My Friends Are Golden!”

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 cup mayonnaise

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

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Directions

Mix ingredients together and serve with Ritz crackers and celery

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

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

 

 

 

 

My Two Friends are Golden!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Friday With Friends and Sewing!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

 

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

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

August 7th, 2020. This and That Friday!

By Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside staircase of the Salvadore Dali museum.

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

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

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

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

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings and hugs, Heidi

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OFF THE GRID VEST- Check This One Out!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com

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

Follow me on Instagram/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

Follow me on Pinterest/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

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

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

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

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

 

 

ONCE UPON A TIME…….

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 4th of July, 2020!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

Sandy W. Does it AGAIN!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winfree-studio.com

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

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

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

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

JUST DO IT!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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