August 7th, 2020. This and That Friday!

By Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inside staircase of the Salvadore Dali museum.

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

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

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

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

by Heidi Emmett

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings and hugs, Heidi

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OFF THE GRID VEST- Check This One Out!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com

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

Follow me on Instagram/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

Follow me on Pinterest/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

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

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

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

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

 

 

ONCE UPON A TIME…….

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Happy 4th of July, 2020!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

Sandy W. Does it AGAIN!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winfree-studio.com

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

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

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

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

JUST DO IT!

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s time people! JUST DO IT! Get your creative going this weekend in the garden, at your sewing machine, with your knitting needles, etc.

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

Hugs, Heidi

Friday, A Great Day To Upcycle!

by Heidi Emmett

I’m certain that I’m the only one who does this…..buys a garment either at a store or Thrift shop that doesn’t fit with the GREAT intention of making it work, l-a-t-e-r! That pile for me got so big it fell over. I went through the pile and cut it in half by donating, and/or cutting up for fabric, some of the garments. FINALLY with all this so-called time on my hands I am diving in to the pile to make a few work for me.

I bought a blouse just for the fabric. The fabric is such luscious colors. I’m going to use it to make an existing blouse longer and a pair of capris wider. Let’s see if you like what I’ve done.
A close up of the blouse fabric reveals some pretty embroidery on fine stretch netting. I love ANYTHING with embroidery. And flowers! Even better.
I cut off the bottom 7″ of the blouse. I ran a gathering stitch where I cut it off and very slightly gathered it. I tucked the gathered portion right under the original hem on the bottom of the embroidered blouse and stitched it down. Ta da! Instant hem on the bottom from the blouse I cut off the 7″ and cute little slits (they were the side slits on the blouse) one at the center of my newly lengthened blouse and one in the center back. Yep, that’s right, a NEW look for me. I’m not about to rip it off and reposition two little slits. I created something new, and I like it. Ha, ha. No, I do really like it.
I like the smoothness of the new piece aka not enough fabric to gather very much but I truly think it’s good.
On to the capris. It’s amazing what adding 1 1/2″ to the sides of super skin tight capris will do. I cut the side seams all the way up from the bottom slit through the top (hence the little cutaway portion at the bottom of the capris (they had a little finished slit on the sides that I didn’t want to mess with as I wanted to get these puppies done!) Each side is completely open allowing me to insert a 2″ strip (that’s how much I needed 1/4″ seam allowance).
I like mixing different fabrics and jewelry together for a Bohemian Chic look.
Another close up of the capris. Can you see that the capri fabric is a jacquard (a pattern woven into the fabric). This is a satin jacquard so the design is a little bit shiny. It is also has some stretch  in it too(most helpful to get them on ha, ha).
One more look see. I’m ready for SUMMER! Go check your clothes. Is there something you could change so you could enjoy it and wear it once again?

I had to show you this beautiful pin by Helen. So sweet from scraps of fabric. Alas, the pin sold in 2014 but it is still fluttering around Pinterest.

I love this beautiful shot. I wish had taken it. It had no name on it (to give them credit) when I pinned it. Doesn’t it speak of summer? All rightie, let’s all get going on something fun for summer whether you start with a favorite piece of fabric from your stash or pluck something out of the “remake” pile. Happy sewing. Hugs, Heidi

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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.”

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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

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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?

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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This and That Friday!

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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!
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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.