A Garment from 1915 was my Inspiration for This Pattern!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

       AA Logo1

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

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

       AA Logo1

 

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

     AA Logo1

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

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

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

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

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

A Cup of Tea For You & Me!

by Heidi Emmett

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

        AA Logo1

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

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

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

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

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

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

        AA Logo1

Whirrr….whirrr….and sew it goes.

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

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

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

        AA Logo1

 

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

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

Friday! May 8th, 2020.

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

        AA Logo1

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

Here is the link:

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

        AA Logo1

Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Heidi

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

by Heidi Emmett

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

     AA Logo1

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

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

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

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

     AA Logo1

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

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

     AA Logo1
Sandy kept with the ombre’ fabric that I used in my cover shot, but the splitting of the fabric  and inserting long curving shapes gives some real depth and drama and of course the long and lean look I’m always talking about in all of my Art To Wear sewing patterns.
“Purple passion with patch pockets.” That’s what I call this OFF THE GRID VEST. I like the over and under strips that showcase the front panels.
This OFF THE GRID VEST features an Ombre’ fabric that is used so effectively in this version. It is one piece of fabric deftly cut to its’ best advantage. I think the black trim is the perfect color choice for this “Simply Elegant” look. Check out the pocket that moves over to the far side of the front, and is held in place by the finishing trim.

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

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

     AA Logo1

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

     AA Logo1

We Have More Time To Sew!

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

        AA Logo1

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

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

Keep the creativity going! Hugs, Heidi

        AA Logo1

This and That Friday!

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

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

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

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

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy
A half hour later, I saw that some pictures came across facebook from one of my nephews. This is his youngest son. I had the best laugh over this picture. You go Brody! Great minds think alike.

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

I really, really want to try this. I have grown some of the best strawberries only to lose them to the birds! Acckk.
Speaking of birds. This is such a cool mixed media piece.  Yes, I saw it on Pinterest. If you want more details go to my pinterest boards and look under “Mixed Media.” Search for me on Pinterest under DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
Now this has such possibilities. It was pinned by someone in Russia.
I really want to make this. Well, let’s get real here. I really want my husband to make this for me. There are so many on Pinterest of this type, but this looks much more simple to make than some of the others. This will be for my herbs this year. Ahh…just the right height for the deer too. I shall put Marigolds on the ends and some in the middle of each trough. Deer hate Marigolds. I’ll let you know if it works.
O.K., this looks cool (the twist could be a secret pocket for my kleenex), I think. On me, it might look like I messed up somehow. It needs a really drapey fabric . I say it’s worth a try.
Miss Mouse is so cute. Find her under my board called, “Adorable Stuffed Animals,” on Pinterest. Follow me on Pinterest by tapping on the Pinterest Icon below.

Jane Haworth posted this week on the “Artistic Alchemy” site. Tap on one of the ArtisticAlchemy icons below. HOPEFULLY it will take you there. Otherwise tap here.

AA Logo1Pinterest-PinnedetsyAA Logo1Pinterest-PinnedetsyAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

A few thoughts on what we are all going through:

Reminder: 9 p.m. is the time to remove your day pajamas and put your night pajamas on.

We’re about a week away from seeing everyone’s true hair color.

This is the first time in history we can save the human race just by lying in front of the TV and doing nothing all day. Let’s not screw this up people!

Home schooling is going well, although two students were suspended for fighting and one teacher was fired for drinking on the job.

Big virtual hugs to everyone, Heidi

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

 

 

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Bling It On!

by Heidi Emmett 

I don’t mean bling in the “shiny, fancy,” fabrics way.  I mean it’s TIME to dress “UP” not dress “down.” Get out of your sweats and put on something that you love so much but have been saving it for “good.” Don’t we all have what we call “everyday” clothes and “good” clothes? That’s how I grew up and I let the trend continue. Well guess what?

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY!!  So let’s start dressing accordingly!

Oh, Happy Day! I’m wearing some “good clothes” while washing windows inside ( I only wash one room at a time, as I am easily bored).  And I wear an apron too! Ha, ha.
If I had just brushed my hair a little better in the back. Oops, now I really drew attention to it. This is Marcia Derse’s very first panel. It was printed when she was with Troy Textiles (it’s at least 6 years old).
This close up of my “Marcia Derse” inspired Terrific Tabard(my “Art to Wear” sewing pattern) shows that I love adding black edging fabric strips all the way around the vest on the outside edges for a slimming look.
I do a lot of raw edge applique’ (the zig zag stitches) and stitching in general. I like to change colors of thread too for added interest.

It’s easy to add stitching to a fabric “panel” piece. There are no seams to sew over or slow you down. And you still get a great quilted affect. There is a very thin batting in this vest.

Yes, this vest is the Tree of Life version of my Terrific Tabard using a Marcia Derse printed panel. It’s part panel and some collage work. All raw edge.
I did it again. Went to my closet and found some pieces I’ve never worn together and have only kept them for “good.”  I like what I put together and the “eye popping” pink vest showcases my polymer necklace.
How about my boots by “Mucks”  I love, love, LOVE them. And comfy too. They are my go to rain and snow boots.
I went to my jewelry “board” ( I bought a corkboard and added push pins. Perfect way to display necklaces and pins/brooches) and found this polymer necklace. I made it at least 3 years ago.  I have never worn it! Whaaat?? I took a fabulous polymer class from Sandra Bruce (of Material Matrix fame, check her out here).  She said I could copy her necklace. So, after the class, I took a bunch of pictures of her necklace and over a week I created my version. I was SO HAPPY wearing this. Why did I wait so long? I’m wearing it again this weekend. I have just decided I want to do more Polymer this weekend too. It is a very soothing art form in my opinion.
Aww….that’s a GOOD Boy! Riley is REALLY coming along. It is 13 weeks today since we adopted him. We think he’s FINALLY feeling like he’s part of the family now.
Here’s the mask pattern I have been using. A huge thank you to “Sinderelamom.” Don’t know her as this pattern was first sent to me by a friend.  The 12.5 line is in centimeters. It should measure 5.” I whacked off the short end to make it fit. Send me an email and I’ll send you this picture so you can print it up.     hmemmett@gmail.com

A mask ready to sew together. Two pieces of Batik for the front, 2 for the lining, and 2 pieces of 100% cotton batting for the interlining. My elastic is a headband, that is cut into 2, 7″ pieces.
Yes, I’m saving my batik scraps for another project that I have in mind.
A few of the many masks I’ve made. I’ve lost count, but it is at least 20.
O.K. remember I said it’s hard for me to throw anything/or very much away? This is a picture of all the thread bits from those masks. And the next picture shows you what I did with them.

A THREAD BEAD! What a hoot, all the thread so fluffy and a fairly big blob of it, comes down, and down to 3/4″     I think it’s cool.  Oh what we can do with extra time on our hands.
A bag is starting to fill up with the scraps from the batting. These scraps are headed to a lady in my quilt guild who makes dog beds for dogs at the local shelters. How cool is that?
There is beauty everywhere if we just look. In this case, my English Laurel, and I had to look up (the last snow we had smashed the branches down enough to be surprised by this).
Each flowerette is so perfect.

We will, together, believe and have faith to weather this surreal situation. God bless. Hugs, Heidi

It Goes Without Saying…

We are all practicing our Social distancing and being careful. We need grateful hearts for all that we do have and know that we will come out on the other side of this better and stronger than ever.

I have decided to “dress up” and act like I am working and creating in my studio. I am practicing this every day. I am picking out my outfits for each day in a totally different way than they have been worn before.

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy
I own a gazillion scarves (ask my husband). I was leafing through a “Sundance” catalog (you must get one for all the IDEAS!) I saw a scarf really similar to the one above. It is so cheerful looking I think. Where did I put that scarf? Found it! at the bottom of the scarf bin. I had never worn it. It’s time! My scarf is actually woven. It measures 130″ long (YES, this is correct) and only 4″ wide.
Let me show you how I turned an “Anaconda” of a scarf into one that is easily worn. Fold it basically in half (somewhat off by 6-8″ at the open ends. Bring the loop (where it is folded in half) over your shoulder down to whatever is a nice length for you. The loop is in MY left hand. The lo-o-n-n-g tails are draped around the other side of your shoulders.

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy
Bring the tails across the front of you and  and over the loop on the left side and around your back and back to the front and let the ends dangle. The ends are on my right side again but shorter now.
Fluff out and enjoy. I’m wearing a 1/4 zip sweatshirt flared tunic . It’s 100% cotton. The scarf is mostly cotton. Everything  “kinda”sticks together nicely.

Hey, hey, cool idea. If you’re like me you NEVER throw yarn scraps away! I DO own a felting machine! What a GREAT way to use those scraps and when you run out, just add another and keep knitting. The perfect thing to work on if you get tired of cards, puzzles, cooking, reading, whatever.

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

I was going to show more knitted stuff but I am now part of the “mask makers.” It feels so good to be able to do something for those on the front lines. I live in Northern Ca. The masks I’m making are going to Grant’s Pass, Oregon for EMT’s and Paramedics.
My elastic was too wide. I went to my jewelry making supplies. Elastic headbands (from the dollar store)work very nicely. The doubled black one is my elastic cording (pretty thin so I doubled it) from JoAnn’s. I’m ordering “Bungee” cord from Amazon. But will use up all this first.

Everyone is using a tightly woven 100% cotton (Batiks are perfect). Have you ever seen a batik with handwriting on it? I was so ahead of my time (all the font fabric available now). This fabric is 30+ years old. I sold it in my fabric store in the 80’s. Yes, yes, I told you, I can’t get rid of much of anything!  To the left is an interlining of very thin 100% cotton batting. And below that is one of the elastic headbands I’m using.
My masks have a more rounded shaping to them instead of the usual flat rectangles with tucks. My friend said this type is more comfy to wear with more room over the nose and mouth. I can forward the pattern to anyone who wants it. Drop me a note at hmemmett@gmail.com

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

These spring clouds meant business! I like the sun shining on the pine trees beyond the Italian Cypress.  Within minutes after taking this shot, it hailed so much that everything was covered in about an inch within 15 minutes.  Blessings and hugs, Heidi

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

My Trip to Santa Cruz! March 7th-10th.

by Heidi Emmett

I have a trunk show. It’s part of the repertoire of Designs by Heidi. It is called “A Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza!” I created it to do with my friend Christine Barnes. This past March 7th-10th we traveled to The Santa Cruz area of California to give this trunk show. The drive down was very rainy (which was good actually as we have had no measurable rain the entire month of February). We arrived in Capitola around 3p.m. Our hostess felt we needed a walk right away.She was right. The rain had stopped. Let’s go to the beach! The following pictures aren’t in any order. But can be enjoyed regardless.

A great view of the town of Capitola. The Capitola pier in the upper left. I forget what they call the row of colorful cottages.  But they a cheerful addition to the town.
Our hostess and her dog, Kahuna. Christine is to her right. You can barely see some hills straight ahead across the water. That is Monterrey.

A small walking alley going toward the beach. Sew festive and fun.

One of the colorful “row of cottages.” This one is on the end with an unobstructed beach view. I was told that it was for sale and snapped up by Oprah Winfrey for $4+ million.
We are crossing a bridge that goes over a river that empties into the ocean.
On the beach walk, there is a short sitting wall that faces the beach. It is lined with hundreds and hundreds of tiles that were all created by the villagers. I love, the umbrellas, some open, some closed.
We were a great walking group. Starting on the left: Linda (Christine’s sister-in-law)holding her dog Buddy, Christine, me, Lori (co-hostess of our grand time in Capitola), and our hostess Pat with Kahuna.
I made Lori put her hand near one of the Hen’s & Chicks succulents. I have never EVER seen these so extraordinarily LARGE!!
I did not have to get very close for my close up shot. Ha, ha. I think the shades of green are so yummy.
One of many murals that line the streets we walked. All graffiti free! This one is especially sweet and so well done.
There is some major erosion happening to the cliffs in the area (top left). Hence all the boulders below. Pat said it has been happening for the last 50 years or so. What was once a highway that followed the cliff edge has since narrowed to a foot path where 2 can barely walk side by side. Front yards (tiny ones)  come right up to the path.
A few more tiles to enjoy.
I just noticed the glass tile borders above and below the tiles. The seaweed tile (lower left) would make GREAT fabric. So would the umbrellas. I’m always looking at things as possible design ideas.

Christine taught a quilting workshop the day before our Trunk Show. It was based on her “Swizzle Stick” pattern. Her teaching quilt is above all the fabrics that this industrious student was auditioning for blocks. Check out Christine’s pattern here.
A few of Christine’s student work. Really lovely.  Swizzle Sticks, a pattern by Christine Barnes. I enjoyed being her “assistant” in the workshop.
A beautiful colorway with this block. The more I look at these blocks the more I see myself doing some on a vest, ohh how about Off The Grid? Heidi is thinking, thinking.
This block decided to angle itself differently. I like it. I like the colors/prints that were used as well.
Oh MY!! This student wore her “Persian Poppies” vest (vest pattern designed by Kaffe Fassett). Her mother knit it for her and if I’m not mistaken, made 6 more for other family members. Gorgeous colors. The night we gave our Trunk show, I had her stand up so the audience could see another Kaffe sweater.

This was one of Kaffe’s first books. It was printed in 1985. Find copies of this book on Ebay or maybe an Etsy shop.  Knitted pieces that Kaffe created are what I talk about in our trunk show. I also bring some of my own pieces to show that I have collected over the years.
The back cover shows the Persian Poppy vest that the student had. Kaffe is known to use 40-60 different colors in a sweater or vest or coat.
On the morning of our Trunk Show we are both seen wearing our own Kaffe Fassett sweaters. These were purchased from a company called Peruvian Connection. Kaffe and P.C. began a wonderful collaboration on knitted garments starting in 2002. Kaffe designed the sweaters and Peruvian connection hired Peruvian ladies to HAND KNIT each sweater. Any Kaffe sweater from Peruvian Connection is either made out of Alpaca or Pima cotton.
Kaffe also loves mosaics of any kind. At Gayle’s Bakery (41 years it has been in the same location) Gayle created all the mosaic tables. Don’t they remind you of a fabric or garment that Kaffe might have designed?These tables are treasures indeed.

And how about this wall mosaic behind the counter at Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, CA Scroll back up to the picture of the two of us wearing our Kaffe sweaters and you will see this mosaic behind us and more mosaics at the ordering counter.
And this fabulous market painting! The colors and design elements. C’est Magnifique!
The French women are doing their daily shopping. Don’t anyone dare splash 1/2 and 1/2 on this piece!
This is just one of case after case of tres bon! pastries. All a feast for the eyes and taste buds.
I snapped a shot right after one of the cakes with the rose on top was sold. At least I got a picture of this one.
A close up of the funnest, bestest, valance treatment I’ve ever seen. Gayle made these using vintage table cloths. There is a lot of math(to get the proportions just right) in each of these treatments that are around the store. The plates above  the valance treatments are the finishing touch.

Even the cafe’ chairs are European and really comfortable so you can relax and enjoy your food. Oh, and the fireplace is in the next dining area. There is dining all around.
More succulents abound right outside the door. Such a cheerful yellow.
I bought this the morning we left for home. I made it last for 4 days. My husband wants me to get in touch with the bakery and see if they mail. He’s ready (and so am I) for more.
I like this picture. Pat’s dog is such a cutie pie. All of 12 pounds I think. Very nicely mannered and knows his commands. Of course he is 10 years old. THAT REALLY HELPS. And now you can see the back of my “Kilim” sweater designed by Kaffe Fassett.

Home again and I am trying to recreate the same lovely gentle walking with my dog, Riley. I am wearing a vest (called a jumper in England) that uses the pattern on the front cover of the book (Pictured above) called Glorious Knits. The pattern is called, “Outlined Stars.”
Acccccckkkk!…… Riley wants to go HIS way, NOT mine! Please note, this is NOT really happening. I am exaggerating for a fun picture. Riley is wearing what is called a “gentle lead” around his muzzle to help with training. There ARE times when Riley catches a scent and ALL bets are off! He is so much better though. The new commands are “Leave It!”and “Watch Me!”  They really work!

Take care everyone! Prayers going up for this great country we live in, and all the people  and beyond our shores.  We will all get through this surreal time. I’m sheltering in place in my happy place, my attic studio. Hugs, Heidi

A Short Post This Week!

I just returned from 4 days in the Santa Cruz area. I do a Trunk Show with Christine Barnes called “Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza.” It’s fun, fast paced and we show quilts, knitwear, and  Art to Wear garments. Christine also taught a workshop using one of her quilts. I was her assistant. Busy, busy, BUSY! we were. For some odd reason, we have both been exhausted since we came home. In light of all that is going on in the world, maybe you have been feeling it too.

I will regale you next week with all the happenings in Capitola, California. Today, I will tell you about what Riley has been up to. All 56.4 pounds of him.

After the first week, we did consider taking him back. The ENERGY! the biting (puppy type, but he was already 1 1/2 yrs. old). At least he was totally potty trained. We have a dog trainer. She taught us so much because we couldn’t get him into Obedience training for a month. She thought he had been in the shelter most of his young life. It has been hard, really hard consistent work, but we were determined.

The professional photographer took this picture at the shelter. I know you saw this already but he wont sit still long enough for me to take any others.

The photographer took this one too. Isn’t he adorable looking. When Riley is happy, one ear goes down. He always seems to be happy. Yea for that!

At 5 weeks of being here in our forever home, he got a D- at Doggie Day care for not playing well with one dog (JUST ONE! darn it) AND NOT LISTENING to his trainer (she runs the doggie daycare). Riley was banished from afternoons (mornings are A+) at doggie day care. Sigh….Lauren the trainer offered to take Riley HOME with her for more training, but wanted to wait until after his last obedience class (this Saturday). He LOVES people, LOVES other dogs (except for that one ), but ohhhh the nervousness I felt about having people in my home to meet him. I know this dog can sense it from me. We talked about having Lauren take him for a week, but decided to wait until I got home from Santa Cruz. Let’s pray for this dog.  I’m serious and I believe in the power of prayer. I left for the coast a few hours later.

Fast forward to the afternoon I returned home.

Oh MY, oh MY! What a difference. Robert only put the “light lead” (for training purposes) on Riley when he goes outside for walks and training. And he let him off his leash in the house so he can just be a dog. Oh MY oh MY!  we have a NEW dog! Read the sign above again. For us, it’s only been 10 weeks today!! And don’t forget that prayer!  Awwwww……Riley only turned around and around 4 times to find the sweet spot on the couch which he isn’t supposed to be sitting on. Sigh…. I just couldn’t move him. We’re not seeing the need at all for him to go home with Lauren, and mornings at Doggie Day Care (2 x a week) has worked out well too.

Next week, it’s Capitola, CA. Thanks so much for stopping by. Virtual hugs to all, Heidi

Its “BACK TO BASICS.”

by Heidi Emmett

Are you like me? I have lots and lots of beautiful clothes (ask my husband) but so many times I change 4 times because nothing is just right. I’m doing things a little differently now  and I can help you change it up in your own closet too. Let’s create some “GRAB AND GO” outfits so you don’t have to come home after the event you were attending to see clothes thrown everywhere in your bedroom/closet. Come on, admit it, THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU!

Do you have a basic color that seems to be in ALL your clothing? Maybe it’s black, charcoal gray, navy or brown. Mine is black. I have a supply of black turtlenecks, T-shirts, long sleeved and short, black blouses, even a couple of “Little Black Dresses.” And of course pants (always look for a lean look) , cropped, long, denim, and leggings, and yes skirts too.

Besides the basic black garments, I even have bunches of black shoes. Here I pair my “black basics” with a quasi poncho. No, I didn’t make this one. I have never seen fabric like this to purchase. All that’s needed to finish this outfit are some great earrings and a necklace.
I really like the fabric in this ruana (the correct term because it has a slit opening in the front). It was a warmer winter day (how about 70 degrees!! crazy) or I would have worn my, of course, black boots.
My “Simply Super Quilted Vest” is perfect for another “go to” outfit. Look how many basic colors are in this vest. This vest pattern is available in my book that I wrote for Leisure Arts. The book is called Fashion Quilted Accessories.
I have always wanted to create a garment using one of those panel pieces that are used for quilts or wall hangings. I think this cityscape  panel is very sophisticated. I do prefer all one darker color for those basic pieces to give that long, lean, look I am always talking about. It’s something we ALL want to create.

Here is the same vest gracing the cover of my book. Me, I know, amazing, isn’t it? I was asked to write a book!  It was 3 years ago this month that it came out and I think it is still very relevant in today’s apparel/accessories market.  Buy one via my Etsy shop- DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. It’s only $14.00 plus shipping. 7 great projects which include pattern pieces for 2 vests and one bag. A super deal. Or email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com and pay less shipping by dealing directly with me.
This is such a fun, longer sweater. It is 100% baby Alpaca. Truly, warmth without weight or bulk. Boots  would look great with this but I was on a roll with my pictures and did not take time to change. Whoops. The design in this sweater coat is so cool .
The back works well even with horizontal stripes (horizontal stripes are usually a no-no), because it’s cut off and realigned in the center back. What fun to copy this in crochet or knitting. And create it using bright colors, and I wont forget to add some black.

See how easy it is to start with the basics, and add one piece with pizzazz for your “GRAB AND GO”  outfit.  I’d love to hear what you might use to create some Grab and Go outfits.
After taking these Grab and Go shots, I could not resist taking pictures of my favorite first to come out in spring pictures of flowers. These are my faithful (to keep coming back and back) Hellebores. Enjoy!
DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
A bit blurry in the center but yummy flirty petals that are too sweet.
I never get tired of close ups!
Even with my “stabilizing” phone camera I still hold my breath for most shots.
I think this is my favorite shot. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

Don’t leave this site yet. I found one more “Back to the Basics” look. I used my Terrific Tabard  pattern for it. Some of you have seen it before. Oh wow, I changed shoes. Good. And suddenly my hair is shorter too.

A new version of my Terrific Tabard / aka “Skinny Vest” pattern. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info. on how to purchase the feeling fine art to wear sewing pattern. It comes with all instructions and tissue patterns for all these sizes-Misses 6- 4X. All this for $15. plus shipping.
Visit my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see this pattern and all my others that are available.
I like using pins (do we ever call them brooches anymore?) as closures. This vest is a combination of Silk Shantung (the WOW lime green),a  hand painted canvas, and fun stitching here and there.

I just found this quote (I wrote on a little piece of paper) stuck in a book. I’m sorry, I don’t know who to attribute it to but I think it is something for all of us to ponder.

“Take Pride in how FAR you have come and Have FAITH in How Far You CAN GO! Big hugs to you all, Heidi

This And That Friday! It’s a Good Read.

I have had a busy week with not much sewing time. The creative ideas keep coming though.  I need the mug below.

You know that I sell my Art to Wear Sewing Patterns via directly from me; hmemmett@gmail.com, my Etsy shop (DesignsbyHeidiEmmett, and two patterns are available at Bluprint.com, and through my many distributors who sell my patterns for me to shops from the all over the U.S, Canada, and Beyond.

I sold my first pattern to South Africa! So excited about that. It was Off The Grid Vest in pdf format through Bluprint. Several blog posts ago I told you all that I am working to get ALL my patterns into a pdf format in my Etsy shop (as well as KEEPING ALL the hard copies available too). PDF/Digital formatting allows me to send easily to South Africa- z-i-i-i-p-p! That’s the sound of a PDF file zooming across space and time to land in someones inbox. They print it out on their home printer. Wow, wasn’t my explanation scientific?  Anyway, it has taken me MUCH longer than I expected to get all the patterns up and running in my Etsy shop. Soon, very soon!

In the meantime, I had to get out a large order of Terrific Tabard patterns to my distributor in the Portland, Oregon area.

A shot of Terrific Tabard vest pattern created with Australian Aboriginal fabrics by M & S Textiles. I opened the front collar pieces because I like the lining and quilting stitches to show. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com Check it out, it’s my blog, for more cool ideas.
This is a good showing of “collaging” and working with large prints. It is all explained in the Art to Wear sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett called, Terrific Tabard.
Another great example of using large scaled prints (the Australian designed fabrics) and strip piecing other fabrics as background pieces. This is called “Aussie Angle” in the Art to Wear sewing pattern  called Terrific Tabard. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to learn more about purchasing this.
I like the little paw prints on the back (Aboriginal fabrics by M & S Textiles) traipsing across the Aussie prints. Terrific Tabard. Fits sizes Misses size 6-4X. Great for advanced beginners on up. If you have ever made a quilt and bound the edges, YOU can make this vest.  And the pattern shows you how to get a great fit for your body shape! hmemmett@gmail.com
Isn’t this a cool idea for using up little scraps? I like them in pairs and turned different ways. This was on a vest I rescued from the Thrift shop. I thought I could cut it up and use it, but there really isn’t enough to use. Sooo, take a picture and add it to your “ideas folder” and make some more room in your studio (by giving it BACK to the Thrift shop).

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, my Baby Lock Imagine serger. I have really used it for about 4 years (owned it much longer). I press pedal to the metal when I sew (I DO slow down when necessary). Just a few days ago, I was narrowing the legs on some leggings (o.k., o.k. on the super sale table and way to big for me, but I loved the fabric). I’m flying away and BAM!!! My machine “seized” up and I couldn’t move anything. I was in too much shock to even say bad words. I thought that I had broken it for sure! I finally released the fabric and barely got the parts to move again. I called in my sweet husband (love you honey!) and he said, ” When was the last time you oiled it?” WWWWWHHHHHAAAATTT? Oil it? Who does that? Well I sure do now let me tell you. I’m just sayin….

Isn’t this a “Tasty” sweater? Do you have a sweater with some holes in it? Or just need to jazz it up?

This lampshade is adorable! A great use of scraps. And they don’t have to be bias cut either.

O.K., besides ye olde’ Serger seizing up, my sewing chair wouldn’t roll across the floor anymore. Why not? you ask. After a few years of sewing and not always hitting the waste basket with the threads I cut off, I have this! Oh my! I spent sooooooo much time with tweezers and little scissors to free those four wheels. Sigh…

I leave you with this:
Have a great sewing/creating week ahead. Hugs, Heidi

Check out This Off The Grid Vest!

Off The Grid Vest is one of my best selling patterns.  It is always such a treat to see how others have interpreted this pattern. This week I want to show you what Sherry from Alabama did.

Here is the pattern cover for Off The Grid. Contact me, hmemmett@gmail.com if you want to purchase one (shipping is cheaper from my house to yours). Or visit my Etsy shop/DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

Here are some excerpts from an email that Sherry sent to me regarding Off The Grid vest pattern along with these pictures. Can you tell which side is the right or “other” side of her vest? I had suggested in the pattern that it can be worn “even inside out.” And she did it! Read on….

“I had sew much fun creating my version of your vest pattern. I haven’t sewn clothing for decades. I did alot in high school and college. Now I quilt, mostly art quilts, and a bed quilt every now and then. I’m in my studio everyday, it’s my favorite place.”
Sherry listed some of her modifications. 1. Made it reversible.(Indeed she did.) 2. Added a button to the front. I stitched both front and reverse buttons on together, so you couldn’t see the stitching. On one side, the button is on the right & on the reverse it’s on the left. There is only one loop.
I think this is the right side of her Off The Grid Vest. You can really see the “Echo” stitching from the pieces on the other side. I like the” Greek Key” look where she stitched around her Log Cabin block.
This is her reversed side. I like the use of the Batik fabric. And Sherry added some extra “sticks” and a Log Cabin square, which isn’t in the original instructions .
On this close up, when I first saw it I thought, “Sherry did hand stitched quilting stitches in the wavy lines.” I was shocked when she said in her notes, 3. Used my Babylock Sashiko machine for the quilting ( I HAVE one of those machines). What a great idea for the Off The Grid vest I have cut out and ready to work on. Thanks Sherry.
More of Sherry’s notes: 4. Added pockets on the outside and inside of the vest on the side panel pieces, stitching the smaller one on first, then the larger one on the reverse side. Clever idea Sherry.
5. Sherry did a continuous binding around the edges (like a quilt with mitered corners). 6. She used the tiny blanket stitch on her machine to applique all the sticks and blocks.
It looks like her “sticks” (this word is in the pattern and refers to the long skinny pieces of fabric) are floating. This is the inside of her Off The Grid Vest.
7. Sherry used a double blanket stitch (reduced to match the applique blanket stitching) & her Edge Sewing pressure foot (she really loves that foot). It made the job so easy, just butted the binding edges up to the foot & it kept the stitching even on each side. Another clever idea by Sherry. A BIG THANK YOU to Sherry of Alabama for letting me showcase her “Off The Grid Vest” for all of you to see.  I have one more idea for you all to use in your creative fabric sewing. Check below.

You NEED this product. I use it constantly in all my sewing where I need stabilization of fabrics that are being attached, folded, fancy stitched down, taking the stretch out (temporarily), for a three-D affect, embroidering, beaded on, the list goes on and on! Check out on You Tube, Terial Arts for more information. Or go to their website here for more info.

Don’t forget to visit Artistic Alchemy– the blog, to learn more about the Artistic Alchemy retreat and MY WORKSHOP! It’s all about creativity and having fun!

Here in the TRUE Northern California (near Lake Tahoe), we are enjoying Spring weather (kinda crazy, we might go the entire month of February with NO precipitation). I want to work outside in between my creative stitching. Whatever the weather will be for you, make some time for your own creative endeavors. Hugs, Heidi

Some Boro Chic Mixed With Denim Upcycling! It WORKS!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPCYCLING, WEARABLE CREATIVITY, & FIBER JEWELRY WORKSHOP 2020

with Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SUPPLY LIST FOR ALL SECTIONS

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

OFF THE CUFF

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

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

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

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

HOLDING A MAN CLOSE

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

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

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

LEARN SOME NEW TECHNIQUES -Day 3

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

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

WEARABLE CREATIVITY – DAY 4

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

This is Calypso Vest

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

 

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

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

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

FIBER JEWELRY- Last morning

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are my SWAG Friends Doing? PART 2!

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

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


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

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

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

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

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

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

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

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

 

 

WE GOT A DOG!!!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

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

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

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

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

 

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

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

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

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

Another This and That Friday! Check THIS out!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

A Little of This and That Friday!

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

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

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

Sunrise, November 20, 2019. From my back deck.
Promises to be a beautiful Fall day.
I love the reflection in the table top.
There’s a rain gauge in the lower right area. It has been waiting, waiting, waiting….not sure when.
Meet Joan and her festive jacket.
A combination of piecing, needle turned applique’, and raw edged applique’.
Lori said she knew her “snowflake” wasn’t “fiber” oriented but she just had to show it. I’m so glad she did. Look closely. She made it out of white plastic hangers, zip ties, and added white lights.  I need some of these hanging in trees outside. Speaking of snowflakes. I just heard the weather report for next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Snow level down to 2,000ft. What!? We are at 3,000ft. 26 people coming. Excuse me while I go have a quiet cry.
O.K., I’m back. Deep breathing. Check out Carolyn’s jacket. I really like her asymmetrical pieces that she cut and stitched on before she made buttonholes.