This is Important!

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

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

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

This lace is pretty unique that is on the back. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A back view. 

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

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

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

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

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

Running HOT then COLD!!!!

 

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My Guest Blog Post for Needle & Foot!

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This Dianthus looks like a fireworks display. 

Columbine.

Lupine and Blue Salvia.

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

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

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

More Columbine. They look like shooting star fireworks. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crazy kitties! 

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

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

Acck….you’re squishing me, Rubix!

Relax Rex,just close your eyes.

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

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

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

Here is my version:

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

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

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

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

It’s growing, section by section. 

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

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

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

A possible patch pocket idea. 

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

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

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

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is Your Art To Wear Piece TSA Approved?

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

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

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

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

Here are two of my favorite tools to mark with. 

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

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

Sandra sells her buttons at SandraBruce.com

Working on the front facing. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

INSPIRATION! At The Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I just read Mary’s post at Artistic Alchemy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s some pictures of our booth. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Easy Felting Ideas- Soothing Circles…..

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

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

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

Oh wait, there will be no “hmmming” if I don’t use my crisp netting (acts as a glue to hold the yarn in place) to cover the circle. This netting is the type used in petticoats. 

You can barely see 3 circles under the netting. Once the circles are felted, pull off the netting. I am only placing one layer of it (folding this back just to show the netting) on my felties. 

Taa daa! Just a few felties dancing across the bottom of the vest add some pizzazz!

Commercial break: Don’t forget to visit my Pattern site at Craftsy.com (or click on the Craftsy icon below  and it should take you to my pattern site). I designed this pattern over 20 years ago. Yes, I know, there are many tiered skirt patterns out there, BUT, not like mine. I made the tiers specific lengths to flatter in the hip area and accommodate different heights. I sold tons of these patterns over the years at my fabric store. I’m offering it for FREE at Craftsy. I want you to see what my pattern store at that site is all about. And to see how easy it is to use.  I think the 3 tiered skirt is a timeless pattern. The 2 below were made in Kaffe Fassett rayons. I LOVE the drape of rayon in this pattern. Linen and cotton work too, but add a crispness. To have those fibers hug a little closer to the body, use the broomstick method (perfect for traveling). Pick up the pattern to learn about that. 

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Now where was I…. Look it happened again. Found some fabric that goes with the yarn and felties. 

Look closely at the upper and lower pictures. When I can’t decide what to put a feltie on, and I’m in the mood to felt, I pull out my scraps of bridal illusion or tulle (veils are made of this).It comes in many colors (not that important really, this piece was a remnant). Wind the yarn into a circle and place onto the tulle (one layer is fine). Don’t forget to add the netting. “hmmm….hmmm…” ahhh, such soothing circles. I just LOVE working with fiber whether yarn or fabric! I keep them on their tulle until ready for use. Then I cut away, carefully, the tulle around the outer edge of the felties. They are sufficiently felted at this point so that you could just stitch them down by machine, in the ditch around the outer edge, or machine felt them down. You do not need netting at this point. 

I wanted you to see what this yarn looks like when circled. Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Soothing circles, soothing sunset at Lake Tahoe too. Click on the Artistic Alchemy icon above to see what’s going on with us: Heidi, Sandra, Mary, & Jane. 

This is what a 6 year old side garden looks like in the Spring. Azaleas (background), Phlox (lavender), Genesta (foreground low growing not in bloom yet), and the large bush with white flowers (foreground left) a Viburnum. 

Viburnum blossoms close up. Soothing to my eyes. I’m into soothing anything today apparently. Ahhh….these are lovely to gaze upon. Hugs, Heidi

 

Cruising Pinterest and I Found This!

Something new for Coach. I was intrigued. Hey, I’ve been doing something similar for quite a few years! Let’s take a closer look. These bags range in price from $375-$495.  These are by  Keith Haring.

Each bag/purse has applique’s AND some simply stitched fabric pieces on it! We can do this on our own Coach’s. Wait a minute, I DID do that! I was ahead of the curve on this. Keep looking. 

Many Coach bags have split leather on the bottoms. They get dirty fast and look, not so nice. The bags below, I scored while Thrifting. I took them home and cleaned the smooth leather and scrubbed the split leather and canvas portion (yes, I used a soft scrub brush with cool, sudsy water). The split leather darkened a bit (because of the washing) but still looked dirty. So I covered it up. And I love the results. Yes, I showed it last year but after seeing the above NEW coach collection, I had to bring them out again. Besides, mine are perfect for spring.

Quilted some Kaffe Fassett fabric first, and cut out and stitched it to fit. I used Fabric Tac Glue (This stuff REALLY holds nicely). Here are the beginnings of my second Coach “upcycling.”

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The colors in the yo-yo’s reminds me of the little Pansy’s STILL blooming at my kitchen sink. I have had this one and kept it alive! since the end of January. 

A cozy day for Rex, sleeping by the fire. We had a dusting of snow a few days back. 

And for Rubix too. 

Packaging materials I arranged because I liked what the shadows and their natural shapes created. I’ll file these pictures into my “ideas for ???” folder. 

On the sunny days I took some pictures. I loved the play of light and color. 

This one kinda looks like it’s floating. I like that too. I’ll file these in the same folder as my paper designs. 

My mom has always said that it isn’t Spring in Nevada County, CA until the snow falls on the Daffodils. 

She’s right. And for the next 5 + days, it will be in the low 70’s! The ground is too wet to garden( I think it is), sew I will be stitching and felting and upcycling this weekend for the “boutique” section of the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley, CA the first weekend in May. Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget to pop over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to see what the four of us teachers have planned for this years, 5th annual creative retreat. We’d love to see YOU there!

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Upcycling, Its Time! And Some Student Creations From My Patterns!

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I’m getting ready to begin upcycling some of my men’s shirt. It’s TIME! It is so easy for me to fill my bins with fabulous shirts that I buy when thrifting.  I often start sketching ideas or look at Pinterest. Here are some recent pics from Pinterest.  Upcycling will be a big part of my next week projects. But I need some ideas to get started!

And next week, I plan to have a denim day. One project is already on it’s way to being finished but that never stops me from finding NEW!! ideas. Love these two totes. 

O.K. I scored several pairs of gorgeous jeans in a size that I might have worn when I was 12. I am determined, I say DETERMINED to make them fit me! I really think the ideas below are going to be quite workable. They all used ribbing (the stuff you buy by the inch, and it is used for cuffs, waistbands, and necklines. Amazon.) This is so clever, the low riding jeans, I’m ALWAYS hiking them up! I wont buy “mom” jeans but this should do the trick. 

I tried and TRIED to edit out the “maternity” part(of the picture below), but to no avail. So, la, la, la, disregarding the verbage, check out the clever idea of opening up the waistband with ribbing in the pocket area.

This next one looks like a little more work, but stretch lace, again, very clever.

At our last Pine Tree Quilt Guild meeting, in Grass Valley, CA, some of my intrepid students came and showed off their latest “Art to Wear” creations. Thank you ladies!

Margaret did the coolest thing! She made Zephyr jacket in a wool plaid and the front panels in turquoise blue silk. The wool drapes beautifully and looks good. But what I really, really like, is the addition of the long raspberry colored silk scarf. She said she added it because the wool scratched her neck! Who knew? I think it adds a layer of sophistication and pretty color around her face. 

Jill took Terrific Tabard to a whole new level using only Kaffe lighter weight cottons (so she can wear it all year round).

I wanted you to see the darts she put into her vest for a smooth fit. Darts are added before any embellishing or quilting is done. Easy to do, try on the vest when shoulder seams of the foundation fabric have been sewn, wrong side out. Pin the sides together where you think the tab and buttons should go. If you see any “gaposis”, then it’s time for darts. Pinch out whatever amount is needed to make it smooth  and pin it, in the shape of a dart. Stitch the dart and for the other side, take measurements from the first side.  

Love, love, Jill’s embellishments! 

Marta found a heavier weight rayon (sort of  an ombre’) and worked it into a BEAUTIFUL Whisper Blouse.

She placed the rayons in the perfect figure flattering combination.  She is a beautiful seamstress. AND, she has nailed the “twirling” aspect of Whisper Blouse. 

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy Thank you for stopping by. What will you work on this weekend? Remember only 15 minutes a day is all you need to get your creative going. Hugs, Heidi 

Check This Out! From these to THESE!!

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I used to design and create cool projects for Stitch magazine. It was really fun. The magazine is gone now but I bet you can find copies on Ebay or Etsy.  Spring/Fall leaves was one of my projects. It is such a versatile,easy peasy idea.

That’s my project in the upper left corner of the picture below. 

And here it is again as seen in the magazine. I also did a lovely summer version, two completely different projects (for their Stitch summer E-book).

I used Alison Glass cotton batiks and for the center portion, a batik type muslin by Marcus Brothers. 

Here I mixed silk shantung with glorious Alison Glass cotton batiks. Love this. 

Here is the first “summer” version I sent them. These fabrics are all Marcia Derse fabrics. Our sweet rescue dog, Sparky. We miss him so…16 1/2 years we had him. 

Second summer version shown here is the one they chose. 

Close ups. I think by looking at the next few pictures, you will be able to figure out this project. I do tell you how in a past post (that I forgot to categorize, acck). Sometime in the Fall of 2015.  I’ll tell you next week I promise, no time today to search. These leaves are like the Lays potato chip slogan.  Except, I say, “You can’t make just one!” Addictive!

Another hint, batiked fabrics (like below) are more tightly woven so there is automatically less raveling (perfect for raw edged designs), and have no right or wrong side, although one side typically looks a teeny tiny bit lighter. 

Well,we now come to the part where the title of this weeks blog comes into play: From the projects above to the projects below.  I decided it was time to use my leftover leaves and this is what I came up with. LOVE these Kimonos now. I keyed off the linings of the two of them. See below.

The lining of this Kimono is a beautiful leaf printed silk(whoops forgot to take a picture). The leaves are purposely off-set, because they are hand cut, they will never match, and I really don’t want them too. I had to take pictures of this one in place but not sewn. Phew, I beat the rain!

Also, I’m part of a great group of “Art to Wear” fiber artists and we are having a “Pop Up” Sale at 485, 12 Bridges Drive,Lincoln, CA. It runs from 1:00p.m.-5:00p.m.  Clothing/accessories/jewelry, so many beautiful items. Maybe we’ll see you there !! Hugs, Heidi

 

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Road Trip/ Business Trip Part 2!

I’m still at the Trends show in Portland, Oregon. I’m meeting and greeting as many new people as I can to tell them about my love (or is it obsession?) with all things “Art to Wear!” I even had my picture taken at two “booths” just for 50’s fun. That was the theme for the Spring Trends Show. Some great costumes were walking around. I even spotted Elvis.


I spotted this cool necklace and asked its’ owner if I could take a picture.  These beads were plastic but how about polymer clay, or fiber pieces? Hmm..I will file this in fiber/polymer jewelry… I really like how it is strung (she bought it at Macy’s years ago).

Someone won, YES, won, this adorable 50’s “kitschy”  display made by Mr. Kelly. It was about 4′ x 4′. 

This show took place in a GINORMOUS warehouse. Look up and beautiful quilts were on display. These were entered by shop owners across the western states. Iowa was the furthest east that I met. Yes, those are shopping carts. Big ones, easy to fill, use as many as you need, load up on the latest, greatest, of fabrics and notions. Ackk! I want to do that too!

Aisle after aisle, after aisle! It boggles the mind. Ladies had their “shopping” lists in hand and wheeled their carts down all the isles. Fill one up, just park it in a special place and get another one.  

This is Miss Elizabeth. She is the Iris Apfel of the West Coast. She called her coat, “The Four Seasons.” It goes all the way to her ankles. I thought the flowers on the front were quite intriguing. Let’s go in for a closer look. 

Some kind of Origami. I think they are fun. This is the “Spring” side she said. 

Below, a lady and I are trying to arrange my “Sensational Scarf Vest” She is from Eastern Washington (so sweet)). She gave me the BEST idea for Scarf Vest. Using fabric paints, stamp or stencil on plain (any color)silk Georgette, to make your own beautiful fabric. In case you didn’t know, Scarf vest is made up of two layers of the same sheer fabric so there is some lovely pattern on patterns created. 

Work is done, LET’S PLAY!! Five hour drive south  from Portland on Interstate 5 brings us to Ashland, Oregon.  Here I am in Lithia Park. It is so lovely. It is a 99 acre park in the middle of the town and has a large stream running through it’s length. A very European feel. It is also home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The top of the hills behind this picture all had a dusting of snow behind them. Brrrr…

Lovely homes everywhere. This one is on East Main St. 

And THE FOOD!! Ohh so yummy. An Antipasti plate. 

Another view, everything so fresh. Can you see what my glass of wine says? This is Pie and Vine, with wood fire ovens for that fabulous “Pie” below.  We liked the food sooo much, we went back a second time. 

We took a little drive in the outskirts of Ashland. 

And then, on to the play! Center seats and four rows up!! This playbill cover is so cool don’t you think? It was really well done! We had never seen a Jane Austen in play form. Kate Hamill did a wonderful job. Love, love, LOVED everything, the town, the food, the shops (more about Sew Creative and Web-sters in another post!), the plays, the scenery. Sheesh, it sounds as if I don’t get out much. Oh dear, that’s kinda true. Oh well, I enjoy it that MUCH more when I do get out and about. 

We’re in California now and this is a stunner of a view from the car, on Interstate 5 looking at Mount Shasta. 

The mountain, all 14, 412 feet, is all covered clouds. The taller mountains make their own weather patterns. Mount Shasta is particularly stunning as it is a classically shaped volcano all by itself. They say the last time Mount Shasta errupted, was 1786, when Sir Francis Drake was busy discovering places along the northern coast of California , and made a log entry that he had seen an eruption to the east.  

And that cloud shape above the other cloud layer, I think, gives an eerie, other worldly look to it. That is a “lenticular” cloud and caused by lots of wind.  Historical facts, meteorological facts, that’s what a road trip is all about. Ha, ha.  

I have other pictures and fun factoids but I will leave those to be mixed into other posts. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Easter to all, Spring, and rebirth!    Hugs, Heidi

Road Trip/Business Trip, Part One!

Last Thursday, my husband and I drove north to Portland, Oregon. One of my distributors, E.E. Schenck, had a show for shop owners in their ginormous warehouse. They invited me to come and speak all about “Art To Wear” patterns, MY patterns. I was so honored to be asked. And I decided I had sooooo much eye candy to show that I would need to bring it up myself (not on a plane).  And, it was time for a road trip. So pull up a chair, and pour a cuppa, as you travel from Cedar Ridge, CA to Portland, OR .  It’s still winter so snow and rain greeted us right outside Lake Shasta. We were stopped along with 1000’s of other vehicles for 2 1/2 hours while they cleared two jack-knifed big rigs because of snow. Everyone involved were o.k.  Mount Shasta was totally covered by clouds so I got this picture of an “itty bitty” cinder cone that is next to 14,162ft.  Mt. Shasta.

Whaaat?? A business owner likes color as much as I do…this came up so fast I couldn’t get a panoramic shot. Every color of the rainbow, trucks lined up out front. 

A much needed break for coffee in Yreka, CA. Look, more color, but better yet, love these, half oval shapes.  Perfect for some machine stitching. When this idea pops up in one of my designs, I will remind you of this very picture. 

Ohhh, what cool patterns, shapes, and colors we have here. 

At last, over the border into Oregon. First thing I noticed barns and ranches and happy cows, sheep, and horses, and green grass everywhere! Again, in the barn I see rectangles, washed colors, and depth of design. 

Cottage Grove, Oregon. Blooming ornamental plum trees, EVERYWHERE! Gorgeous!

The largest pansy flowers I have ever seen.

I see an entire palette in this picture. Hmm…does all that moss on this plum trees trunk mean lots of rain to go with? Well, Oregon is noted for it’s rain, rain, and more rain. 

And SUDDENLY here I am in my “Meet and Greet” area, after my Trunk Show. The beautiful quilts behind me, sadly, are not mine, but they are each made of only one fabric that is produced by E.E. Schenck. This is called “Gelato”, and each piece in the line is what we call  “ombre” fabric. I am wearing my Off The Grid Vest, and the base of it is this same Gelato fabric in Gray.  I love, it sew much.  Schenck is adding new colorways to this line as well.  If you want some now but can’t find it in your local shops, visit, ChristineBarnes.com She carries it in her online store. I’m holding my Tahoe to A “T” (black & white) and my latest Terrific Tabard. And showin’ off all the projects in my book, “Quilted Fashion Accessories.”

More about my trunk show and other pictures in “Part 2” next week. Thank you for stopping by. I have to cut this short as I have to get out a ton of orders for my patterns and books. And that’s a GOOD thing! Hugs, Heidi

Busy weekend!

I’m on a road trip to Portland, OR.  I was asked to speak at the Trends fabric show at one of my distributors of my  patterns.  Excited to get show shopowners what I do and how easy my patterns are to use and actually enjoy wearing.

I’ll tell you all about it next week. Make time for some sewing or other creativity  this weekend. Check out Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to see what our creative retreat is all about. Hugs, Heidi

Let’s Machine Felt and Throw In a Little Quilting too!

We finally got some winter around here in Cedar Ridge (that white stuff, called SNOW! Yippee). So of course, I need to work with yarn. I have had this beautiful extra thick and soft Cashmere sweater (thrift score!) for the longest time. And now with the colder weather I want to add some pizzazz and WEAR IT!

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Auditioning fabric and yarn. These are perfect. I used the “Fibs & Fables” by Westminster Fabrics and found yarn to go with it. 

I talk more about my felting machine, how it works, yarns, ideas, fibers you can use, etc., in other posts. Visit the home page and check the categories on the side (look for fun felting and upcycling).

I pulled some yarn right off the ball of yarn, positioned it into a circle onto one of the bell sleeves.

My “glue” of choice is a piece of regular netting, NOT tulle netting. I just place it right over the circle of yarn and push it all under the 5 needles (they are inside the protective cover). Whirrr…….whirrr…..whirr….I just LOVE this little magical machine. Remove the netting and voila’

Here are a few more “felties”, that’s what I call them, off one skein of yarn. 

Wait. I have to tell you about a very cool tool I just discovered. It is called a “Gleener.” It has three different edges to take fuzzies off of wool, acrylic, polyester, and fine fabrics. And has a velvet lint brush on the back and it’s own little carrying case with instructions.

Two of the blades sit inside and the third one is on the outside edge, ready to use. In one word, “AMAZING.”

I think I’m done with this bell sleeve edge. There are felties all the way around. Took maybe 20 minutes for one sleeve. Pretty sweet, right? 

I have to have a kangaroo pocket. Adds tremendous cozy factor in my opinion. Before attaching the pocket to the sweater, I have to do a little quilting on my regular sewing machine. Attach a darning foot (I like open toed so I can see better), lower the feed dogs, and start outlining or doodling across the sandwich of lining/batting/fashion fabric. I have also pre-sewn the sandwich together, right sides together, turned through a 5″+ opening and pressed. Back to the stitching process. Whaaat fun. Very relaxing, just like adding the felties. 

After pinning the kangaroo pocket to the sweater front, I got a cool idea. Look for the flower headed pins (one orange and one yellow).  Follow the faint white (chalk) line from the orange pin head down to the center of the pocket. Another yellow pin running horizontally. Stitch in a “V” formation through all thicknesses. Also, through all thicknesses, at the top of the pocket and leave the middle section of the pocket open (still talking about the top. Sew all the way across the bottom edge.  DO NOT stitchthe short ends (like I did, oh, Heidi, Heidi). I need a place to put my hands. Silly me.

Sew I stitched down the pocket and now I need to add some felties around the pocket and around the lower back. But first a cuppa in my special open cup to savor the rich coffee smell. I set it down and looked at it and remembered something very special to me. 

I remembered my Grandma Castleberg (my mother’s mother) and a friend of hers (a photography student) wanting to take a Black and White study of Grandma for a class project. And here it is. I love this picture and will treasure it always. I feel that I get my extra dose of creativity from my my Aunt Rose on my father’s side. I’ll share that story another time. 

Back to felties. It’s done! Check out the “V” pocket idea I had. I like it. 

I received these violas from a friend. What a great idea to brighten someones day. Buy a tiny clay pot (this one is 3 1/2″) and gently place a Viola (from a pony-pack) inside the clay pot. It has to be placed somewhere close by for the maximum happy quotient. Also, you’ll remember to check it every day for a possible drink of water.  Mine sits on the edge of my kitchen sink. Who will you pick to brighten their day with this simple idea? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy Have a “Make it Up, Make it Fun, Get it Done” weekend! Hugs, Heidi

Whisper Blouse, Art to Wear in Shannon Fabrics Double Gauze

by Heidi Emmett  

Hello, My name is Heidi Emmett and I am an “Art to Wear” sewing pattern designer.  I was recently given the opportunity to work with some beautiful Double Gauze from Shannon Fabrics.   The version of Whisper Blouse below, features 10 different double gauze pieces from a full range of solids and prints in their Embrace line. I will list all the gauze prints used, at the end of this post.

I have never sewn on Double Gauze, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was like sewing through “butter.” Ha, ha. Double gauze is a loosely woven cotton, two layers of it put together by a secret machining technique. And the result is one piece, light as a feather and whisper soft. 

Below are the front and back covers of my Whisper Blouse pattern. 

Ten different pieces, where do I place them? I literally lay out the pieces in a “quasai”  Whisper Blouse look and audition the pieces for each spot. I’m showing this layout as it was the first one I tried, but clearly not the last. When in doubt, pick your  favorite fabric for the bodice and then work out from there. Always take a picture of your work. It helps you visualize the finished blouse.

I wanted you to see the skirt pieces put together. It looks quite random, but there is a method. I chose the Mariposa-Multi (butterflies) for the center panels and side panels. Pretend this is a clock face. 6 o’clock is the center front. 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock are the side panels. You will never see the whole skirt at once so placement isn’t that crucial as you can see. The picture below shows the inside neck edge. I am using a double folded bias tape to finish the neck edge. The super tightly woven bias tape is a perfect stabilizer for the loosely woven gauze. It makes for a beautifully flat neck edge. I give clear instructions in pattern on how to apply the bias tape.

Below is a bottle of your new best friend. Go to their website, Terial Magic.com, to see all the uses it has. I spot spray it in regards to sewing. Works best on 100% cotton, which double gauze is.  Lay a piece of muslin on your ironing board. Spray T.M.  where you need stabilization of the fabric (hem of the skirt pieces in this picture). Iron it dry with a dry iron set on cotton. When it’s dry it will feel like a piece of paper. Press up the hems and stitch in place. You can easily remove the stiffness by getting the stiff area wet, to rinse out the T.M. and squeeze out the excess and iron dry. 

I can’t wait to wear my new Whisper Blouse. Twirling is a must with Shannon Fabrics Double Gauze. I truly enjoyed working with this fabric so much that I have almost finished two more  projects and am ready to cut out a third.  I will bring those to you in a future post. 

Here are the pieces I used: Queen Anne’s Lace-Coral, Mariposa- Multi, Premier Garden Toile-Colbalt, Floral Fields-Teal, Premier Dandelion-Aruba, Plumage-Teal, Premier Blooms-Aruba, Herringbone-Steel, Fun Dot-Malibu, Aim High-Teal.

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit my personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com for more creative sewing ideas. And click on the Craftsy or Etsy logos to see my collection of “Art to Wear” sewing pattern.  Hugs, Heidi

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