“Steampunk” Your Next Calypso Vest”

By HEIDI EMMETT    What is Steampunk? It has the look and feel of Victorian,and  Industrial but with a modern twist. It is in fashion, home decorating, parties,groups that get together, camping, tiny houses. I like it.  Below is my Calypso Vest pattern that I started with.

Great stash buster.  Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  or email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com

Everyone this is blog post from September 29th, 2017. I have a big “trunk show/demos” gig with my fellow teachers of Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for ASG (American Sewing Guild) in Sacramento, CA tomorrow and I ran out of time for a new post. So enjoy this blast from the past.

 

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The hardest decision is what fabrics to use on the back of the vest. Always, treat them with Terial Magic first, then cut them up. Beth, the owner of Fabric Chicks in Gardnerville, NV, asked me to make a sample of Calypso Vest to display in her booth. You can find her Fabric Chicks booth at many quilt shows and sewing shows throughout western states.Her booth spaces are AWESOME! You will want everything. Look for her at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival). She sent me the fabrics she wanted me to use. All by Tim Holtz (I think his look is totally Steampunk). I’ll take you through the making of this, really, really, cool piece of true, “Art to Wear.” Here are the fabrics I’m using. I have already cut them into the bias strips. There are rounds and rounds of bias strips (7 total) that make this pattern so unique. Oh, a smidge of the back (on the left), shows too.

The hardest decision is what fabrics to use on the back of the vest. Always, treat them with Terial Magic first, then cut them up.

I love these “skeleton” leaves. I’ll use those too. So, spray, spray, with Terial Magic, and iron to a crispy finish with a dry iron. Snip, snip, all around the design I want to use. Snip, snip, all around the design I want to use.

Getting an idea of placement using the back piece tissue as my guide.

Getting an idea of placement using the back piece tissue as my guide., Whirr, whrrrr, such a satisfying feeling to sew these pieces down. To get that great feeling, USE the Terial Magic, and glue down each piece with whatever fabric glue you like. My preference is Elmer’s school glue.  Use a darning foot (open or closed, this time I grabbed the closed one) and lower the feed dogs.

Beginning the first row of the big bias circle. Notice the yellow and red headed pins. The pins are telling me where to make a pleat (pleats add better fit over the hips). Beginning the first row of the big bias circle. Notice the yellow and red headed pins. The pins are telling me where to make a pleat (pleats add better fit over the hips). When I have stitched all the way around the circle, I need to finish it off (complete the circle). So I open up the strip, and pinch right sides together (it needs to lay flat and smooth) and stitch up the seam. Refold it and stitch the strip down. Subsequent rounds really are easy. This first one is the hardest. But it is all spelled out in the pattern.

The pins are telling me where to make a pleat (pleats add better fit over the hips). When I have stitched all the way around the circle, I need to finish it off (complete the circle). So I open up the strip, and pinch right sides together (it needs to lay flat and smooth) and stitch up the seam. Refold it and stitch the strip down. Subsequent rounds really are easy. This first one is the hardest. But it is all spelled out in the pattern. Whoo hoo, first round of bias stripping is done! Continue adding 6 more strips. BREAK TIME! Actually, I take a break after each round (best for ye old neck and shoulders).

Whoo hoo, first round of bias stripping is done! Continue adding 6 more strips. BREAK TIME! Actually, I take a break after each round (best for ye old neck and shoulders).On the way out the door to photograph my finished vest.

I love the blue, blue skies of fall.  Taa daa! Here is Beth’s finished sample. I just LOVE the fabrics she chose and how much fun I had playing with all the choices. Calypso Vest by Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on Claypso Vest.

I know, I know, I took a ton of pics. But I couldn’t stop. This could be in a Jane Austen flick, or even Outlander? Maybe? Am I stretching things here?   A close up of Calypso Vest.
I love adding raw edged pieces to the back of this vest.
Tim Holtz fabrics for more pretties on the back of Calypso Vest.

And to all of you, my blog peeps, thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you all. It’s a great weekend to play and to be creative. So get out there and “Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE!  Heidi InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy 

“I HAD A FAVORITE DRESS”

Didn’t You? When you were little too?

This book is ADORABLE!!  Sure it’s for little girls but I bought it for myself (I wish I had thought to write it). I found it at one of my favorite stores for ideas, clothes to buy/and or copy on my own, and accessories like this book.

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I have loved clothes and shoes and purses, and jewelry, and on and on for the longest time.
A few weeks after purchasing “I Had a Favorite Dress” I spied this little top in J.C.Penney’s. It reminded me of the dress from the book. Of course I had to buy it just because.
And then rummaging through a box of old jewelry pieces I spied this piece that was made from real French wired ribbon, antique buttons and French flower pieces.  So sweet it’s a perfect match for the “Favorite Dress.”
Here is another Favorite Top of mine in what else, shades of Pink!

Here is the back. Uh oh, “Clean up on aisle 9.” The back neck edge, whaaaat did I do? Hmm…. to fix that issue I could carefully pick out the stitches and re-attach the trim. Acckk too much time. I will raw edge stitch another flower right over that “owie.” Problem solved.

I am going to give a quick run through of all my Best Selling patterns. Should you want to own one of your own, email me: hmemmett@gmail.com  If you buy two or more patterns, you get free shipping.  Patterns run $15.00 each (includes tax) plus shipping.

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I am changing the word “crafting” to “sewing/creating”  But I do this on a regular basis. Ha, ha.
Let’s use this, “ALWAYS!”  Ha, ha.

My mom gave me some of the Iris that are growing in her yard. Aren’t these stunning?  I like the background too as it shows the beauty of different spring “greens” that are flourishing.
One word for this Iris “STUNNING!”
Have you ever seen such depth in this particular purple?
The light from the sun gives this Iris a stained glass look. Thanks for stopping by today. You know I appreciate each one of you so much.  Hugs and may you have creative energy for your endeavors this weekend, whether out in your own garden or at your sewing machine. Heidi        AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

 

SAQA, Terial Magic, Wisteria, and Fun Stuff!

This warm weather has really pushed the bloom time up. I just got back from a 3 day trip to the Bay Area to help Terry McFeely with her Terial Magic Booth at the SAQA convention.

SAQA means, Studio Art Quilt Associates. Terial Magic Booth at SAQA show 2019 in San Jose, CA 
Me, with Terry McFeely, Creator and Owner of Terial Magic. Check out Terry’s latest video on her You Tube Channel / Terial Arts/ Making Happi Coat bookmarks.  It’s so easy and fun.
Explaining how I use Terial Magic  in my “Art to Wear” clothing.
We had so much fun and showed sooooo many of the SAQA attendees how helpful Terial Magic is for their Art Quilts/Wearables.
All my fun, quilted techniques for my Art to Wear are so much easier with Terial Magic.
I really enjoy creating spirals using Terial Magic first and then because the stitching is on the bias, when I wash them, they are soft edged, not a lot of fraying. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com 
Leaf shapes have straighter lines so there is more fraying. That’s what leaves do.
The same goes for machine applique. Pre-treating with Terial Magic makes for a really nice satin stitch (and the needle doesn’t gum up).
This jacket is my version of an out of print, Vogue pattern by Carol Horn.

I’m sending you pictures today of the Wisteria that would be blooming in a parking lot in Grass Valley, CA  (where I live). I was so upset when they cut the Wisteria out. These are from three years ago. They give me joy just to look at and may they be an inspiration for you.

This beautiful picture looks like a building somewhere in Europe. And to think it is in downtown Grass Valley, CA  in a PARKING LOT!!!
Designs by Heidi loves to take pictures.
Such intense coloring on this Wisteria.
What a great color combination for a Terrific Tabard or Whisper Blouse. 
An old door perhaps from a mine long ago shut down here in “Gold Country.”
Another great color combination. Can I find silk shantung in that shade of blue? Oh what a yummy  base for any of my vest patterns.
A shot of my “Circle Pillows” that a friend made for her sister. They were a project in Modern Patchwork several years ago. Sadly the magazine is gone. But I sell the pattern for it. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested.

Love this piece of fiber jewelry. Hmm…this would be a great project for my Workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat up at Lake Tahoe. Check it out.

I think I have shown this before, but I really like the concept of a Yo-yo vest.

This tote is a fabulous example of collage and big straight stitching.

What a great idea to raise the leg of a pair of pants. Some tucks and some buttons. Thanks for stopping by this week. I hope you were inspired. Oh, guess what? Today is national Textile Day. I think we need to celebrate that by buying some fabric this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

It’s Just a Safety Pin!

by HEIDI EMMETT  Two years ago at a sewing retreat I saw a woman, Helen, working on an upcycled denim project and she was using safety pins in place of stitching(to hold it together). My project is in honor of Helen, an Octogenarian Ball of Creative Fire!

Remember “Poochie?” Well, well, he used a pittance of safety pins. Visit the Poochie story at DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com  my post for 3/15/19. Look under Up-Cycled Stuff, Inspiration, or Creative Techniques

Here is the pattern, I started with. There’s quite a bit packed into this pattern. Buy it from me directly (email me: hmemmett@gmail.com) or see it at my Etsy store: Designs by Heidi

 

I cut out the vest pieces and serged all the edges. This fabric is a beautiful linen and has no right or wrong side. So I laid out all the pieces and after deciding the right sides, I put a safety pin in the upper portion of each piece to keep it all right in my mind.

I overlapped it for a “seam allowance” and placed safety pins here and there to keep it within its seam boundries.
Fill in the “seams” with all sizes of safety pins and in any direction you wish.
I chose to put mine in all one direction. Went faster.
I sit with a large book on my lap. I place the area needing pinning on top of the book ( a flat surface like a book is perfect to slide the pins into place. I have a tin filled with many sizes of safety pins to just grab and not worry about which size.
I don’t think anyone would ever recognize this as the “Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest & Quilt pattern.
I like the addition of the pocket on the front. This pattern, Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest and quilt, is a blank canvas for a variety of inventive vests.
I added the fabric scrap squares because they echo the subtle woven pattern of the background linen.  The squares came from a charm pack of Star Grunge fabric by Moda.
I think the “Bling” of the safety pins is quite eye-catching. I haven’t worn it yet, but I’ll let you know what kind of comments I get. It will be interesting I’m sure. Ha, ha, the expressions alone will be worth it.
The little squares (also serged and straight stitched onto the pieces) looked lonely, so I put some safety pins on them as well.
Ahh, here is a nice closeup of the front pocket. I took it off of another vest. I love the whole concept of a loose pocket. I stitched it down a few inches (on the edge) on the upper left side. It was buttoned onto the other side, but wait, not a button, I’ll use safety pins!
I can’t get over how heavy the vest is now with all the safety pins.
Can you believe it, I found this safety pin in my pin box with black beads on it. How perfect is that. I need to do some more like that at some point.
The finishing touch is my rubber tire tube necklace.  Easy to make. I talk about it in a DesignsbyHeidi. wordpress.com post, Creative Techniques, I think.
Where did the inspiration for the Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest pattern come from? Well, that’s me (Heidi at age 21) sitting. Waaaay back then lace was really hot too and I designed this pattern and became a production sewer and made these on my beautiful Bernina 830 (top of the line in 1974). That was my high school graduation present from my parents. I sold these vests at Artist fairs and Craft shows up and down the state for a short while. Then I started teaching quilting and sewing (art to wear way back then, who knew) classes.
My friends from left to right, Dale M., my sister-in-law Debbie W., me, and Linda M. my super special sewing buddy. Wow, what a sewing adventure I was having back then. Fast forward just a few years ( Yowzaa!!! I just did the math), 41 years (gentle sobbing can be heard) and as I said, lace, anything lace, is popular again. Upcycling at it’s finest. Thanks for stopping by.  Maybe you have something from your sewing past that you might want to revisit too. I love to see what you come up with. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Please hop over to our Artistic Alchemy blog. I wrote the post today and I don’t want you to miss it!

 

A Quilt Show is Coming to Grass Valley & Artistic Alchemy Will be There!

Mark your calendars. Pine Tree Quilt Guild in Grass Valley, CA is having their annual “Springtime in the Pines Quilt Show” and you’re invited! It is being held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on May 4th & 5th.

Artistic Alchemy will be there. We are a group of four women who each have a unique style in their quilting and stitching (wearables/accessories) areas. Come and see our booth and we can answer any questions you might have about our annual sewing/quilting retreat. This year it will be Monday, Sept. 2nd-Sept. 6th at the Zephyr Point Retreat Center on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for more information.

Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Jane Haworth, & Heidi Emmett the four teaching enthusiasts!
Sandra-Material Matrix, Mary-Steam-a-Seam, Jane-Pet Portraits, & Heidi- Upcycling clothing, Wearable Creativity & Fiber Jewelry!
Our booth at the Quilt Show last year.
Sandra Bruce will be the “FEATURED QUILTER” this year at the Pine Tree Quilt Guilds Show! This is a BIG deal. Here is her quilt Chuck Close.
Some of my “Art to Wear” sewing patterns. Try them on and see which patterns you need to own!
One more of Featured quilter, Sandra Bruce’s Material Matrix quilts- Dame Lorraine.
One of Mary Boalt’s creative hand painted canvases. This year it will be “all about Steam-a-Seam” and creating your own fabulous fabric.
One of Jane Haworth’s Amazing Pet Portraits.

Another of Jane’s Pet Portaits.  I love the colors in this guy.
Some of Jane’s student’s work.
More student’s own Pet Portaits- a class taught by Jane Haworth.
Here I am wearing my Terrific Tabard pattern- a new look for it using one of Mary Boalt’s hand painted canvas pieces.
This vest is from the “Wearable Creativity” portion of my workshop. Take one of my Wearable Patterns and let me help you create your own Designed by YOU look. Heads will turn when you wear it and you’ll be able to say, “I designed and made it myself.”
One more version of the “Wearable Creativity” section of my workshop. Let me help you fit one of the patterns you pick to your body type. And with YOUR fabric choices, design the perfect wearable that YOU will WANT to wear.

 

One of my patterns that you  might pick for the Wearable Creativity portion of Heidi’s workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat this year.

I just had to take a moment to show you that Jane Haworth, one of the teachers at the Artistic Alchemy retreat made the  cover of  Quilting Arts  with “Tilly,” one of her Pet Portraits. This is a really BIG DEAL! A very, small, percentage of talented artists make the cover of a magazine. Look at all the talent available in one wonderful retreat. Come join us!
And when I saw this HUGE, I mean, “HUGE!” Wisteria vine at the Rocklin, CA, Pottery World, I thought of the colors in “Tilly.”
Wisteria with Fountain.

Can’t you just smell the perfume of these exquisite blossoms?

Artistic Alchemy’s Sewing/Quilting retreat is where you want to be this year from Sept.2nd-6th.  Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope it is sunshiny this weekend where you live. Take a “Creative” walk, make time for it. A creative walk is simply walking and soaking in possible ideas for your next project, with the colors, sights, and sounds of things outside. Don’t forget to take your phone for pictures. Hugs, Heidi

 

Free Styling & Spiraling! – A Piecing Technique! Check This Out!

by  Heidi Emmett

I love taking fiber classes! And today is the day I’m taking one from Mel Beach. If you ever have a chance, take one of her classes. Here I am, packed and ready to go. But wait, commercial break: What am I wearing? Why it’s my Terrific Tabard vest. It is the ” Tree of Life” version of this pattern. Look, there are even small circular spirals at the shoulders. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for the easiest, fastest, way to get your own copy.

Be sure to check my other blog posts on Terrific Tabard for more ideas

Oh my, I’m going to learn how to make these rectangled spirals? Yes, yes.
Different fabrics make each spiral “pop” in a unique way.
These are all the teachers samples. She did suggest Ombre’s for added sparkle. For some great ombre’ fabrics, head on over to Christine Barnes’ site
Mel Beach has such a way with her modern sense of pattern play in piecing and quilting.
Samples abound and we ALL loved making spiraling triangles too.
I told Mel that I can’t wait to try these on even a smaller scale for my “Art to Wear Garments.” Mel knows that I work in wearables not quilts on the walls. And she said that she too was thinking about these cool rectangles, squares, triangles, etc. would be a perfect fit for my different vest patterns.
Above is how the whole process begins. It’s just like a courthouse steps pattern with just a couple tweaks. So hard to imagine, but she had us “improving” like crazy and it was all before lunch!
Here are some student work. Mine are the triangles and squares closest to the tables edge. I have so MANY ombres (at home) to choose from. Now that I know what to do, I will play with shaping the spirals better, and background choices. Ohhhh, what fun!
Back home, on a walk this morning, Mahonia aquafolium (Oregon Grape) has the prettiest blossom clusters this year.
The daffodils are especially nice in upper Northern CA where I live (one hour north of Sacramento, in the foothills). They have never bloomed this long before. And the sunny yellow is so cheerful.
O.K. these are “store bought.” Our tulips are closed so tightly right now. But I couldn’t wait. Don’t forget to dash over to Artistic Alchemy’s blog post this week. Sandra Bruce is posting. Sandra, Jane, & I still have some room in our workshops. Mary’s is full. Maybe I’ll see YOU in my workshop this year up at Zephyr Point. It’s all about learning new creative ways with fiber, making new friends, and enjoying all the beauty that Lake Tahoe has to offer.

Here is a terrific view of a cabin on the property. Cave rock is w-a-y in the distance. This is Porcupine trail where you get a bird’s eye view of Lake Tahoe and the Zephyr Point property. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have time for some creative sewing this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Love Pats! You Need to Make Some!

A Love Pat is a heart shaped piece of warm love to place where it hurts. Make a pattern first. Fold a piece of paper in half (we will draw half of the heart around the fold). Make a pencil point 4 3/4″ from the fold. This is the roundest part of the heart shape. Make another dot on the fold ,about an inch above the roundest part. Measure down 5″ on the fold and make another pencil dot. Now, sketch from dot to dot the heart shape. When you are happy with the 1/2 of a heart shape cut it out.

Pin your paper heart shape to some fun quilting cotton weight fabric , 2 pieces right, sides together and cut it out. But wait! Don’t forget to add a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut out the exact shape again from 2 pieces of flannel. Add a piece of flannel on either side of the fun fabric, on the wrong side. Look at the picture above and stitch all the way around the heart, leaving about a 3″ opening on one side.
Carefully clip the inside of the heart shape right to the seam.  Turn the heart inside out and gently work out the heart shape and the heart point. This is the point when the first half of the heart is filled, with, ta da!, uncooked rice.
Find a small funnel or make one out of paper and you will also need a 1/3 cup measuring piece.

I use rice in my “Love Pats.” The more expensive the rice like Jasmine, or Basmati, the lovelier the aroma when it is heated up. Dried lavender can also be added.
Please ignore the seam you can see in the picture. Pretend it isn’t there. Add the 1/3 cup of rice. Then pick up the heart and let the rice fall to the side opposite the opening.
Now you can stitch it down the middle. Make certain that ALL the rice is out of the way of the needle (voice of experience talking here). Now you can fill the OTHER side of the heart (would that be the right ventricle? hmm….) and hand stitch the opening closed.
Finished “Love Pats” ready for their homes. It makes me happy to use Kaffe Fassett cottons.

I just got back from a wonderful 4 day trip to the central coast area of California, San Juan Bautista. The trip was ALL sewing, ALL Day & Night (if you wanted). Here are some stunning Oak Trees from one of my walks.

Can you see the support for some of the branches? These Oaks have to be about 100 years old.

What a pastoral scene.
Step a few feet forward and this scene, wild mustard, green velvet hills, puffy clouds, and a rainbow are what you see. So serene… I could sit and enjoy for hours.
I took my Love Pats to this sewing event and gave one to each participant. My little gift to them.

Any natural fabric will work. Do you have a special piece of embroidery? Or a handwoven? Or even a tightly knitted piece (maybe from a cashmere sweater). Try those for a Love Pat.
Pop them in the microwave for no more than 70 seconds. The smaller amount of rice is just perfect to mold across a shoulder, back of a neck, even on a tummy. Ahhhh…just right.
You know how it is, lay things out and “They Will Come.” (Don’t worry ladies, I lint-rollered each one so there is no cat fur to be found. Aarrggh….

Thank you for stopping by. I love each one of you, all my followers and appreciate your support. Big hugs to you all, Heidi  P.S.     ” Love is not an emotion, it is who we are.” Rumi via my new friend, Annie from the sewing retreat.

Follow me on Instagram- DesignsbyHeidiEmmett And don’t forget to check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat to see what’s happening this September at Lake Tahoe. 

Sparky Top on Parade! It’s Spring!

They say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. In my case it’s true. Sew, I took my mannequin over to “the other side of the fence” (the neighbors Christmas tree farm) and yes, soft, spring green grass. I’m taking some pictures and bask in this glorious sunshine while doing it!

A brief advertisement. My sewing patterns are available:

  1. Right from me! Email me via: hmemmett@gmail.com   A hard copy will be sent to you with payment to Paypal or a check to me. Look at all my patterns here on the blog to see what you want.  $15.00 each (this includes tax) plus shipping. Order 3 or more from me, and the shipping is free.
  2. I have an Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett  These patterns are all hard copies too. Go there also to view all the patterns. Any questions about any of them email me at the above address.
  3. Bluprint (formerly Craftsy.com) carries only 2 of my patterns, in PDF(digital) format.
  4. I have new ideas for the look of my Blog site and a new platform for PDF/Digital patterns. More about those things in the coming weeks. Below, are the front and back of Sparky Top, my latest “Art to Wear” sewing pattern. You need to make one. Great for beginners and advanced alike. Very little fitting is required.

I made this Sparky Top last summer for a casual outdoor wedding. The colors/prints from Kaffe Fassett fabric were keyed off of the hand painted silk center back piece.And the front piece, normally one fabric, well…I ran out and improvised. I like what I did. You can too.

The center back piece, hand painted silk chiffon, was cut from a dress.

The back piece (near the shoulders), well, I was short on that fabric (I was working with scraps actually), so I pieced  it together and added appliques cut from the side panel fabric.
I stitched cut out appliques over the seam. Use Terial Magic first.  It’s a fantastic spray that stiffens fabric just enough to easily stitch down.

Isn’t the hand painted silk chiffon in the center back gorgeous? I love how it floats in the breeze and the Kaffe Fassett  pieces are perfect with the silk to create a most lovely Sparky Top. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  tells you how to purchase this sewing pattern.

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Follow me at all these places. I have so much fun posting at these places. Join in by  going to one of these places, signing up and typing in  “Designs by Heidi Emmett.”

Quilting cottons are a great weight for Sparky Top.

There is a white long camisole under the front portion. The front piece is a voile that with the spirals of fabric strips stitched down. From Joann’s. I think the look is perfect for this top.

This is one of the first Sparky Top’s that I made. It is also on the back cover of pattern.
I really like the combination of the Kaffe Fassett cottons and a little sparkle of the front panel and the back panel .

On the back piece, I ran out of fabric so I did the trick I’ve come to use many times, add some raw edge appliques. I tend to use circle shapes as they are more of a bias cut all the way around and fray less.
The subtle colors, the small sequins, and the sheerness of this JoAnn’s fabric is great for my Sparky Top.
This Sparky Top makes use of Marci Tilton’s fabrics. This group was a “combo pack.”
Sparky Top is a perfect pattern for knits. This combo pack (3 yards, 1 yard each of 3 prints)is a knit that is 100% rayon. So soft and it drapes beautifully.
I used another combo set of knits, 100% rayon in this Sparky Top. BUT WAIT!! It has long sleeves. What? That’s not in the original pattern! Go to my home page of this Blog and look at the post under “Sparky Top” 9/28/18, titled,” Sparky Top gets ready for cooler days.”

This IS the perfect top for cooler days and I have a beautiful black soft woolen shawl to go with if I need more warmth. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

Job well done! And oh, the sunshine felt good too.

You know how I love flowers. On the way back to my house, I found some. I have Helleborus / also known as “Lenten Rose.”  Overnight, they started blooming. Stunning, shapes, colors, and textures. Helliborus/ Lenten Rose. Small and delicate looking, they are tough, some of the first flowers of Spring, they often have snow on them and just keep on blooming.

Another Lenten Rose just opening up. Behind, one closed up tight.

There are many varieties and colors of Helliborus available.
The only thing I don’t like about Lenten Roses is that they droop over. You cannot see their gorgeousness unless you turn them up yourself. Sad but true. Thank you for stopping by and seeing what I’m up to.                    I just read this, “You can never have too much happy.” Think on that one awhile. And go have some “happy” with your next creative project. Hugs, Heidi

“Poochie.”

All I had on hand were a couple of safety pins when thinking about attaching a special collaged pet portrait to a piece of clothing, So….let’s take a look.

I already had the Donna Karan coat.

I purchased “Poochie” from Jane Haworth, a teacher at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat each fall at Lake Tahoe. Check out what Jane does, here. And Poochie hung around my house for months (I didn’t want to frame him) and then one day I had an idea, put him on a piece of clothing! I couldn’t find my pincushion to pin him on the jacket, BUT, I had a safety pin. Well, well, one thing led to another and I got together some other supplies ….            Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com 

I grabbed my Serger. I absolutely LOVE, did I say it loud enough, LOVE!! my Baby Lock Imagine. It’s the only serger on the market that “air sucks” the thread through the upper and lower loopers! Do you have any idea the time that saves?  I found mine on Ebay, used, for half the price of a new one. I couldn’t be happier. Oh dear, I spy lots of lint down low. Time to clean.

Here is my other “cool tool.” It’s called a “Crop-A-Dial.” It is a 6″ long reach hole punch, eyelet, snap and grommet setter.

The packaging might have changed (I’ve had mine about 10 years). It can punch through, paper, leather, fabric, plastic, thin tin, chipboard and more.

And bam, bam, eyelets in!
These circles would make cute earrings too! Hmm…but for now, I’m using safety pins and attaching them to more fabric .
Stitch two circles together, wrong sides together, sew they are the same on both sides. And just cut them out. You can stitch just inside the outside of the circle. But, it’s mostly on the bias so there will be very little fraying.
I serged the edges of the same fabric for a fun look.
I top-stitched them onto the cuff and added a few safety pins too.

I’m having so much fun, serging, knotting, and pinning other pieces of fabric together. It really is freeing to try new and different things. There doesn’t have to be a particular way to do anything! I used a few Marcia Derse fabrics for some of the tails.
Check out the bicycle pin made from wire and attached with, what else, a safety pin.
There are just a few touches of safety pins on the front. By the time someone says, “Wait a minute, are those safety pins on that jacket?” Well, they’ll turn around and see the back.
Poochie will really garner some attention! My husband calls the long strips below Poochie, “doggie tails.” I just call them fun.
I want to challenge YOU to find a fun way to use safety pins (Walmart carries the best safety pins for the best price). Show me what you can do. I already have a vest in mind for more safety pins. It’s the perfect watch a movie project. Ouch, don’t watch the movie too closely.

I think this is just the right amount of “stuff” to add to this simple jacket, check out my other blog posts too at: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
What’s in the pocket there. A little burlap bag.
If you like what you see here, please take a look here. This is just one way to upcycle  and it is just part of the workshop that I teach at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, this Sept. When you click on (please take a look here)it will go directly to our home page. In the menu bar click on “workshops” and scroll down and read what each of us four teachers  are doing this Sept. 2nd-6th up at gorgeous Lake Tahoe .  And people, WE ARE RIGHT ON THE LAKE! We have the multi, multi-million dollar views AND we are usually the only group up there. The retreat starts on Labor Day.
I took some shots outside and discovered these sweet violets growing in the lawn. Heralding Spring.

So you saw my little burlap bag?  I’m thinking that when I wear this jacket and people are in need of a safety pin, I will carry extras in my little bag to pass around. Ha, ha.  Information on the safety pin: It was invented by Walter Hunt in 1848. Paleontologists would estimate that some form of safety pin or another had been around since the Neolithic Period. Yet somehow man had never got it right until Walter. A single factory today turns out a billion safety pins a year. WOW!  Hugs, blessings, and creative sewing time to all, Heidi

It’s Denim Daze!

Don’t you just love the softness and drape of worn denim? I think we all have a few favorite “go to” pairs of jeans we grab. And what about the ubiquitous “jean jacket.”  I had no plans to cut up any of my favorites, but that’s when I discovered the jeans racks at my favorite thrifting places. Oodles of colors, and softness or not.  InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Don’t you just love these pillows? You are seeing two of the same pillows, the left is the front of the pillow, and on the right is the back. And what about that Duvet cover under the pillows? Click here to learn more about Christine Barnes. She designed and made this duvet cover  for Sunset books. It is called, “Reinvent Your Kids Room. Check Ebay for this book.

I call this pillow, “Rods and Reels.” For fishing tackle.

Because I used jeans, I had pockets, and pieces of legs to use. Upcycling is so fun!

Rod’s & Reels pillow, by Heidi Emmett for “Stitch” magazine. Easy to make.

Back of “Rods & Reels” pillow. Created by me, Heidi Emmett for “Stitch” magazine.

After stitching a seam, I zig-zagged  down the pressed open seam for strength and because it looked good. And I pulled some of the blue threads to make it fray (the white threads).

After spraying Kaffe Fassett striped cottons with Terial Magic, I cut them out into different sized circles.

I used a basting glue to hold them all in place.

Stiffened (Terial Magic)fabric, glued down and ready to sew in place.

Whirrrr. whirr, goes the stitching to hold everything in place. Love the spiral stitching and what I call “Cardiac stitching” on the rod portions.

Nice close up (except the long thread coming out of the “open toed” darning foot (my fav. cause I can SEE WHAT I’M STITCHING!).

I had to show you this, my first setup, but, it’s  ho hum, boring.

I’m liking this arrangement. Need to work on it a bit more. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

And here it is in THIS issue of Stitch magazine. Sadly, oh so sadly, they no longer exist, but try Ebay.  Creating projects for magazines is fun. Sometimes hectic and fast, but FUN!

All of you, my fabulous readers of my blog  Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com wont even need directions, but it’s fun to look anyway.

Oh, yes. I love to see my name in print. That’s me, Heidi Emmett. Put these Rods & Reels on anything you like, maybe a vest, jacket, or the bottom of a skirt. Have fun and be creative.

Let’s take a look below at some AMAZING creations in denim. I could never have the patience to create these, but WOW!

What a great slipcover. If it get’s dirty, throw it in the wash. Denim, so versatile and easy care!

Save EVERY PIECE. Just look at this pillow! All waistbands that were stitched onto a background fabric.

I want this wing back chair and ottoman.

It is a lovely, warm, summer evening here at Zephyr Point where I will be teaching my workshop, “Upcycling, Creating Art to Wear, and Fiber Jewelry.” I’m wearing my Whisper Blouse, with a bodice of denim.  Come, join me, for some super creative fun for 4+ days.

Check out the back bodice made of denim with a floaty skirt using, hand dyes, Kaffe Fassett’s, and other great designer pieces. Whisper Blouse is an art to wear pattern by Heidi Emmett. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com    Also,check out Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to learn more about the Artistic Alchemy retreat.

The back bodice has some strips of bias and echo quilting in the denim background.

The front bodice of Whisper Blouse a sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett. a denim background and  an Alison Glass fabric bouquet.

I want this outfit! What a perfect costume.  InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Hope springs eternal. (Alexander Pope) Spring is coming my friends (even though it’s snowing right now as I write, sigh….)  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I appreciate each and every one you! Blessings and hugs, Heidi

 

It’s The Perfect Time of Year for Machine Felting!

Take one of my patterns, this time Mommy & Me & My Vest. Time out here…..While this design looks “cutesy”  in the picture on the pattern front, it can be very sophisticated. How about a black wool double knit? O.K., My felted piece that you will see isn’t sophisticated per se, but it certainly garners lots of attention. O.K., it’s just plain FUN!

Gather some yarn, this is “Gina” by Plymouth.

The following pictures are really out of order today. Apologies.

I made yo-yo’s out of Kaffe fabric and machine felted them in place with some of the Gina yarn. There is also hand stitching here and there in a bold running stitch.

I picked out some beads that go with and added them to the centers of the yo-yo’s.

Here is the yarn going around and around the yo-yo, letting the machine shove the wool fibers into the wool boucle’ background.

A close up of the needles doing the work, go slowly so you don’t break a needle or two or three, in my case I have 5 needles that could break.

This is my FUN version of stitching on a Perriwinkle wool boucle’ background on the Mommy & Me & My Vest & Quilt pattern.

Lots of hand stitching, I call it “Rice Stitching” .

Pieces of yarn, spiraled by hand and machine felted down. Hand stitched around each one.

The yo-yo’s and trim is all done in a Kaffe fabric called Mille Fiore or Paperweights (those two fabrics are similar).

This vest pattern is so easy, a front piece, back piece, and two facing pieces for the neck. A great pattern for beginner sewists. See the yarn that was used for the felted circles, the “Knit cro-sheen” for the hand rice stitching, and the Kaffe fabric for the trim. Mommy & Me & My Vest and Quilt pattern. Lot’s of sizes in one pattern, including kids.

Here it is, my Husky Star- 5 needle felting machine. See more in depth felting and how it’s done by looking in the “Category” section (Fun Felting) on the home page of my blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com.

Yo-yo’s are falling from the sky!

My “Rex” is dreaming about Yo-yo’s.

A machine felted pillow. This one is worked on a dobby weave, heavy cotton duck.

Find a cool picture or sketch one and treat the background fabric as your canvas and paint (machine felt) with wool yarn.

The picture on the right was my inspiration for a machine felted pillow.

A machine felted piece of art. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com for more felting inspiration.

A close up of the machine felted vase. I feathered out pieces of yarn before stitching them down. Little rectangle pieces of felt were laid down first and “teased” yarn put on top and then the whole thing was machine felted.

“Knobby” yarn was used for the flowers and bits of fabric and machine stitched for the leaves.

A close up of flowers and leaves, machine felted. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

Upcycled denim (from a dress I cut up). I love the stitching on this piece.

Machine felting in between the white spirals stitched on denim.

I’m not sure what to make yet, but I love the effect of Machine felted pieces of yarn on the white stitched spirals of this cut up denim dress.

Don’t forget to check out my book, Fashion quilted accessories, by me, Heidi Emmett, for Leisure Arts. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on how to get one. It’s filled with easy to make and fun to wear pieces. Only $12.99 plus tax & shipping.

Don’t forget to stop in at the Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  See what our group of four teachers are doing this year at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat, Sept. 2nd-6th at Zephyr Point. Workshops are filling very nicely this year.

Thanks for stopping by today. Hugs to you all,  and ALWAYS believe something wonderful is about to happen! Heidi

Off The Grid Vest- My Newest Version – Check It Out!

Take one really unique vest pattern (fits so many sizes and shapes and heights) and pair it with one of Mary Boalt’s famous one-of-a-kind hand painted canvases.

Here are a variety of women who have tried on  the same Off the Grid Vest and their honest comments:   5″6″ tall-classic pear shape, larger hips, not much of a bustline: “Love the length, it covers my hips but isn’t too long to feel bulky. If I fold the collar back a little and no front buttoning, I will feel very comfortable in this.”

One more: 5’9″ tall-classic apple shape, hips, waist, and bust are all similar measurements (and on the larger size), “I didn’t think I could pull this off, but I like the rectangles, they make me feel thinner, if that’s possible. I feel like I might need more width on the front and back pieces.”    More comments are in the pattern package.

Here is Mary’s beautiful hand painted and stitched panel (with silk organza covering the whole piece). The stitching holds down the organza and gives this piece a real WOW factor.

I had to be really careful how I cut this panel into pieces.

I deemed the piece above (right below the canvas) to be the lining of my new vest. AND I’m using the wrong side of it.

The piece above (from JoAnn’s) called a “Scuba” fabric is used for the side panels and the back piece. There is no batting in this vest. I did stitch the Scuba fabric (diamond shapes have netting inside) to the lining fabric to hold it all together. There is a hint of the lining showing through and I think it adds a bit of mystery.

Deciding  which piece will be the binding for the vest.

Hands down, it is the “Grunge” by Moda (at least 50 colors to choose from this one is black)

Slices of polished Agate found at a Gem and Mineral show.

Ohhh, these pieces of Agate look yummy on the hand painted panel piece.

And here it is, Taa Daa! My newest, sophisticated looking (in my opinion), OFF THE GRID VEST! I keyed everything about this vest with Mary’s Boalt’s “perfectly painted panel.”

Off The Grid Vest pattern ,  using really unusual fabrics. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

Side view of my newest Off The Grid Vest. Scuba fabric on the side. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

Close up of the front of Off The Grid Vest. An Art to Wear sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett.

Such an interesting combination of fabrics, beads, and stone.

Every bit from Mary Boalt’s hand painted canvas was thought out before cutting into it.

There is diaganol stitching on the back piece to hold the lining to the Scuba fabric.

Another wired piece of Agate for the side closures.

This panel was a piece of artwork on its’ own. It was hard to make that first cut. But worth it in the end.  Thank you for creating this one of a kind piece Mary Boalt.

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Buy this pattern 3 easy ways:   1. contact me personally at hmemmett@gmail.com and I can send one out to you using Paypal payment of $16.00, 2. via Bluprint.com /sewing patterns by Heidi Emmett in a digital format or 3. my Etsy shop (Look under sewing patterns/Heidi Emmett) for a hard copy.

I do LOVE how this piece of Agate for the front closure turned out.

Sunrise  this past week. Lot’s of storms equal more sewing and creating time. Love that! Thanks for stopping by. Make it up, make it FUN, FUN, and GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi

You Have To Try This!

Denim is always popular. But I am seeing even more for Spring this year. Here are a few pieces of denim that I bet you have never seen before or would ever have thought to make:

I saw these denim cuties in an Anthropologie store. What a cool way to upcycle denim scraps. 

I want all of these. Hey, I have never asked if they sell their displays. Hmm….

I love the way they added fun and flare to these denim capris  above. 

After seeing these denim pants on pinterest I knew just what I would do with a pair of denim jeans I owned but never fit. 

Yes, I bought these at my favorite store in Truckee (aka Truckee Hospice Thrift Store) because I loved the flocked denim. 

I know I could make them fit me after seeing those first two pictures above, on Pinterest. I’m testing different denims to see which one I like best. 

The other jeans were solid denim with floral inserts. I’m going to do the opposite.   What’s that song, “The first cut is the deepest…” I’m certain they didn’t mean cutting up something you love with scissors. 

Getting around a few rivets was tricky and DO NOT FORGET THEY ARE THERE!!! when you stitch in the inserts. Yowzaa, that would be bad. 

Here is the pair of denim jeans I’m using for the side inset pieces. Notice I am cutting into a back pocket. I don’t waste anything if I need the length. Seam ripper took that pocket right off. The entire pair of jeans was too small from the waist to the ankle. So I cut through the entire pair of jeans. It made it so much easier. If they are too loose at the waist afterwards, add a belt or take a dart. Too small still at the waist? Cut the insert in more of a wedge shape. 

I LOVE THEM, I CAN’T WAIT TO WEAR THEM OUT.

So sorry for the blurry pics. It is FREEZING outside and in the room I take these pics. They looked fine in a one inch square of my camera. It is snowing here in Cedar Ridge, CA by the way. Brrr…wonder how much we’re going to get?

I used my Serger to add these inserts and left the hem undone to fray out at the bottom. 

I like the cuffs turned up too. YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!

Here’s a sneak peak of my latest OFF THE GRID VEST, still in progress. Dare I say next week you will see it posted? Gosh, it’s only been 3 weeks. I have to think of ways to keep you coming back. And, I THANK YOU for coming back! I am loving using Mary Boalt’s hand printed canvas piece. It was my starting point. You’ll see lots of pics when it’s all done. 

I love how the diamond shaped cut outs in the “Scuba fabric” are “see through”  even through the lining fabric. I think it will be worth the wait!

Here is the pattern in case you are new to my blog and wonder, What is she talking about?  The pattern is $15. + shipping. Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com for easy details on getting one of your own.

Stay warm and let me know what you are creating this weekend? Hugs, Heidi

Behind The Scenes! What Goes on At Heidi’s

I am supposed to be working on my latest “Off The Grid Vest.  I am blessed to have a beautiful high ceiling, bright natural lighting, above the garage, studio space. There is insulation but not in the floor. I went in to it for my daily bit of sewing bliss and Yowzaa, the temperature was only 43! I have a tower heater which is great but not when I walk more than a few feet away. One good thing, while up there I can layer up in my favorite Alpaca sweaters and fingerless gloves.  And they are calling for off and on snow for the next 10 days.  Hopefully, I will brave the elements long enough to FINISH this “going to be gorgeous” vest. I’ll show it off next week, fingers crossed. Oh wait, I have to take off my gloves first. 

 

I’m still working on Poochie. I found Marcia Derse fabrics are looking oh so good with what is going on. So I’m sketching up some ideas how to add in these fabrics with safety pins. Day 2 of this past week: Still too cold to stay in the attic studio very long. So I brought Poochie out into the T.V. room. I quickly ran out of safety pins. Went on line to order more.  

Quite excited, I found a box of 1200 safety pins size 1.1 inches. for only $9.79. Are you kidding me? Their idea of 1.1 inches is not the same as what my tape measure says. More like 7/8″ . I really need a much looser woven fabric for these to work. 

Had a chance to visit a Walmart yesterday. I cleaned them out of larger safety pins. Yikes, I have $25. worth of safety pins. I think I’ll have enough now. These are also better quality than my box of 1200. I think for what you get quality wise, Walmart is the best value. 

Oh, remember, I bought the cool tool for my bracelet class? See the beginnings of it on the clipboard? Black leather with real crystal beads. You REALLY need one of these Mighty Bright lights/magnifier. 

Day 3 of cold attic studio temps. So more evening movies and Taa daa. I finished my bracelet. My little antique bunny button makes it extra special. 

Yes, I have the world’s smartest cat. I couldn’t grab the camera fast enough for the best shot (paws crossed and really looking full on at the market reports). But this shot is o.k. too.Don’t forget to visit our site to read the latest on our 6th annual retreat. We are getting signups already. My workshop is full of all things upcycling, creative stitching for your Designs by Heidi pattern that you have always wanted to make, AND some cool fiber jewelry.

Day 4 of cold temps: I moved my tubs of Upcycling pieces of clothing (for cutting up or repurpusing ) out of the attic for some serious sorting/purging. I need to empty some of these bins. I cannot stack them any higher in the attic. Only buy clearish bins so at least you can look at them with some idea of what’s in each one. “I spy” an empty bin in the upper right hand corner.  

Day 5 of cold temps: I’d had it. I needed to get out of town. I drove 40 minutes to my nearest Stein Mart for inspiration (on what’s in for Spring and I always check the sale tables for cool fabrics (yes, I mainly buy at the Thrift Stores & regular stores, garments that I cut apart for the fabric).$19.92 was the rock bottom price on this pair of white pants. But WAIT! She checked, and YES, down to $4.92. These are not just ANY pair of white pants. Read on..

Pretty wild and crazy aren’t they? The lady behind me said, that one would need a lot of courage to wear those in public.  Then I told her my plans for just the appliques and she said “Really? I could do that? Are there any more back there?” (Sadly, no, and if there had been, I would have snapped those up too. Ohh, I’m so bad!). So stay tuned to find out just what I do with these colorful appliques. 

Day 6, sigh, 43 again this morning (I haven’t been in there all day): Seam ripper is ready, Hallmark Murder Mystery saved on the T.V. I will have all these off in no time(Yes, they were all stitched down by machine, easy peasy to get off). 

The snowflakes are flying again! We’ll see how much we get with this storm! A great weekend to Make it Up, Make it Fun, and Get it Done! Hugs, Heidi

My Workshop for the 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat 9/2-9/6, 2019.

We had our “Go Live” today for our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! A “go live” is our way of saying, we did it! We figured out all that needed to be written up/changed/added, etc. and published it so you can be one of the first to see what each of the four teachers are doing in their workshops. So, tap on the icon at the bottom of this post or go here and it will get you right there for the 2019 Artistic Alchemy retreat.

In order from left to right, Mary Boalt, Heidi Emmett, Jane Haworth, & Sandra Bruce, our teachers for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat.

Here is my workshop for 2019:

 

Upcycling, Wearable Creativity, & Fiber Jewelry Workshop

UPCYCLING, WEARABLE CREATIVITY, & FIBER JEWELRY WORKSHOP

with Heidi Emmett

Let’s play this week! Play with all things fiber and wearable that is. Here’s the rundown on what we’ll be doing:

Tuesday (day 1): Upcycling continues to inspire. We’re going to grab onto this trend using your choice of men’s shirts, or large sweatshirts. The choices will be many and you’ll have lots of fun creating “your signature look.” Techniques will be shown as well as handouts given.

Wednesday & Thursday (days 2 & 3): Working with a “DesignsbyHeidi” pattern, we will focus on your choice of pattern, working on fit, and fabric choices. Individual attention from me, a few demos (techniques), will help you achieve a garment that you will love and want to wear.

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

SUPPLY LIST FOR ALL 3 SECTIONS

Supply List for Day 1: Upcycling- “Off the Cuff” or “Holding a Man Close.” Feel free to bring supplies for both, if you can’t decide which one to do. We’ll figure it out, and evenings are free and you can work on a second one then if you wish.

OFF THE CUFF

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

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

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

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

HOLDING A MAN CLOSE

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

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

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

WEARABLE CREATIVITY – DAYS 2 & 3  

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

 

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

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

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

FIBER JEWELRY- Last morning

You’ve worked hard these past few days. Now it’s time to relax! I will supply everything, for your remaining few hours. Let’s play! Everyone will leave with one bracelet and/or necklace and directions for more playtime at home. One note: I put a Polymer picture (first one) in. IF you have polymer (with holes for attaching) bring it along. I will not have polymer but some of you might, orrrr, just thought of this, cool beads (that you have had forever) that can handle up to 1/8″ stringing supplies.

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Thank you for stopping by today. A big storm is moving in this afternoon. I have at least three handwork projects ready to go just in case we lose power! Make it up, make it fun, and get it done! Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hocus Pocus, Heidi, for Pete’s Sake, WOULD YOU FOCUS!

Accckk! The ideas, the projects are coming so fast and furiously I NEED to stand STILL and FOCUS!  Lot’s to cover this week so here we go:

I just posted a few hours ago on Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com that next week, on February 1st we “Go Live” on our latest, greatest, Artistic Alchemy Retreat. It will be our 6th year. Check it out (after reading this one), there is some good information about the retreat posted today. Below are Mary, Heidi, Jane, and Sandra of Artistic Alchemy! And a nice shot on the lawn that leads down to Lake Tahoe at Zephyr Point where we hold the retreat.

 

 

 

On to the next project. The weather has been rainy and cold and gloomy. Perfect to take classes at the local bead shop, right? I showed you my metal smithed earrings a few weeks ago.  Well, right after that class, a week later, I took a wrapped bracelet class. Alas, not quite finished but almost. It’s on the clipboard below. Crystals with black leather with the thinnest super strong thread I’ve ever seen. No, let me rephrase that, I COULDN’T SEE IT! Then the teacher showed me the COOLEST TOOL EVER!  Check it out below. It’s a light (led),magnifier, magnet , all in one. Oh my gosh. Happy camper now. I will show you the finished product (wrapped bracelet soon). You need this tool, it’s called a Mighty Bright.

I was rummaging for something in my attic studio space just yesterday (can’t even remember what I was looking for at first (yes, it’s getting really bad in my brain)) when I came across this AMAZING piece of embroidery. Yep, I found it at a Thrift shop years ago. It was a chair seat cushion. I removed all the red, yes red velveteen piping and part of the cushion, carefully hand washed it and WOW, it is such a stunning piece and I want to do it justice so there it sits, while I try to figure out the best possible project for it. 

Focus, focus. I bought this stunning canvas from Mary Boalt last May at our quilt show. Well, well, I finally got up the nerve to cut out an Off The Grid Vest yesterday. Acckk, sometimes as you have ALL experienced, the “timid factor” was alive and well for months with this one. 

I went to a Gem and Mineral show this past October. Now that was an expensive 2 hours. I purchased so many polished pieces of Agate for closure ideas for this same vest(I couldn’t decide so why not get a whole bunch? Acck…) 

Deciding where to cut, there went another few hours. Back and forth. Go walk a few laps and come back to look at it again. Sigh…..

Oh my gosh, I got a gift certificate to Joann’s in my stocking and picked up (also spent waaaaay over that gift certificate)this super cool “scuba” fabric. It feels and looks (except for the diamond cutouts) like a scuba diving suit fabric. Well not as thick. It will be perfect for the sides and back of Off The Grid vest.  

Oh yes, here are those pieces on the panel. Not as sharp of picture as I wanted, but you get the idea. 

I pulled out all the “blacks” I thought might look good as the trim on Off The Grid…hm…which one to choose. Hands down “Grunge” in black is the best! Yikes, whaaat!  I’m down to 1/4 of a yard! That will not work. Oh what a shame. I have to dash over to our newest quilt shop in town, Villa Rosa Desgins. She sells every single Grunge color they make. I have to dash. I WILL SHOW a FINISHED project very soon. I promise.

Here is a Picture of Off The Grid Vest, a pattern by me, Designs by Heidi. Email me at hmemmett@gmail. com for more information on how to get your own pattern.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Get going on some of your own creativity this week. Hugs, Heidi

Bluprint.com – formerly called Craftsy.com and my OFF THE GRID VEST pattern

Last week I told you that the Craftsy name has changed. It is still a GREAT place to go to purchase a class (that you keep forever!), fabric, notions, kits, and, THIS IS MY AREA, DIY pattern designer patterns. My patterns fall under the Art to Wear Sewing patterns. These patterns and ALL the patterns on Bluprint are digital, also known as pdf format. You can print them up at home on your printer. I recently received an email that told me besides changing the name from Craftsy to Bluprint, that in the DIY pattern area they were eliminating many, many, accounts. They said they were going from 200,000 to 20,000. I held my breath and continued to read. THEY ARE KEEPING MY ACCOUNT!!! That is such an honor to me. The newly streamlined pattern arena of which I am still a part should be fully operational by the end of January. Whoo hoo!

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Below is my best selling pattern in the past 3 months on Bluprint, at my Etsy shop, and from me directly (which you can do, just email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info.).

Sandra Bruce of Artistic Alchemy (of which I am a part of) took the picture of this lovely lady she saw this past Quilt Market in November in Houston! Yummy warm color palette. How amazing, thousands of people and Sandra walks around a corner and sees my vest pattern made up!

Here is a close up of vest on the cover of my pattern. 

A student’s vest she made while in my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. I named it Hawaiian sunset in honor of the fact that she was a ship’s captain in Hawaii!

A lovely lady who lives in New Zealand who wanted to make Off The Grid Vest for her birthday visit to family in Switzerland. I call hers “Kiwi” in honor of her home in New Zealand.

I thought outside the box with this machine felted fabric. It is heavy enough to not need any quilting. I trimmed it in an ombre’ fabric. I really like the color change it makes (cut it crosswise for the color change to happen). The gray and black is the wrong side of the fabric which I really like showing around the face. With just showcasing the fabric itself (no added pieces or quilting), it went together in just a few hours. 

From a lovely lady in Stockton, CA who did this on her own and brought it to show me at a trunk show I gave for their group called “Haute Couture Societe’.” What a great group of ladies. You should join them if you live anywhere near this city. 

Another student from my  Artistic Alchemy workshop a few years back. Another one with a black background. The black background print add a deep richness to the overall effect. Dress it up or down.  

Here are a few finds from perusing Pinterest (please follow me, I have some GREAT boards. Look under DesignsbyHeidi or even Heidi Emmett).

I leave you with this next picture that should make you smile or laugh out loud. We need more laughter in our lives and more sewing time. Carve out time for YOU to do some creating this next week. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi 

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Upcycling with NO SEWING!

First things first. No more Craftsy!! It’s now called Bluprint. They changed the name of the company. And there are big changes happening in the DIY pattern portion. I will send out a separate post. But never fear, Bluprint will still be a place to get digital patterns from me, in about a month. Or email me at hmemmett@gmail.com and you can purchase patterns directly from me.

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I don’t have the new Bluprint “button” yet.

All rightie then, on to the no-sewing upcycling project I am working on.  I have to show you the messenger bag I scored first. It is so different I had to buy it. I threw it in the washer first and line dried it. Washed up beautifully.  I really liked it because of the Zipper on the side.

Amazingly I want to keep it as is for now. I just can’t get over that GIANT zipper. 

I want to show you the details close up of my upcycling with NO SEWING! jacket. This also washed up well. There are some great details going on here.  

Here is my special “No Sew” upcyling idea. This adorable “Poochie”  has been waiting and waiting to grace a garment. I think safety pins are a Pefect way to showcase him! I’ve only just started. I want them to go all the way around Poochie and then add safety pins to the front in some way with bits of fabric in the same colorways as this collaged piece. 

Poochie was created by Jane Haworth. She is our newest teacher at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point Lake Tahoe. We will start taking sign ups for our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy retreat during February. Please visit Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com (just tap on the icon at the beginning or end of this post) to see what’s going on in my other world. 

More fine detailing on this jacket by DKNY. 

I take classes on techniques whenever I can. Or I plan on days at home where I create 12″ x 12″ pieces of different fiber pieces/techniques. I enjoy making things up and combining all manner of creativity to my 12×12’s. This would be a fun challenge for yourself and/or a few friends. I made two fabulous Poppies in another class. Ohh, those would look great on one of my many jean jackets that I own. Start looking for your perfect 12×12 to “pin” on a garment.

One last thing for you to check out. I took a Beginning Metal Smithing class and made the earrings below (thank you Patty P. for telling me about this class). I had no expectations whatsoever going in to it. I only knew that I got to pound “stuff” and I REALLY wanted to do that. Below is my first attempt. I made everything myself from the ear wires to the metal pieces to the jump rings. I worked with fire, hammers (several types), tin snips (lady sized, WHAT A DIFFERENCE), wire cutters (also lady sized) and different wires, metals, acid washes, liver of sulfer (stinky), etc.  OH MY WHAT A GREAT TIME I HAD! 

It felt so good to do something completely different than fiber. What do you think? 

I learned so much in such a short amount of time. Accccckkkk! No, no! Not another art form to pursue. The wheels were really turning before class was over. I was very careful on the tools I purchased this time. They had to have other ways to use them to make it seem a worthwhile purchase. 

And of course another piece of 26 gauge copper (that is what those earrings are made of) and actual copper wire. I  have a great way (already sketched it after class) to combine metal and fabric for more Fiber Jewelry. Hopefully my ideas will work. I’ll keep you posted. 

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Thank you for stopping by. Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi

It’s a Brand New Year!

Hello everyone. A huge thank you to all of you that follow me. I really enjoy writing my “posts.”  I am needing one more week to get back into the groove. I appreciate your patience. My sweet Mom has been in the hospital since the middle of December. She comes home to her “Granny house” on our property on the 8th of January, and will be her independent self once again. So I leave you with Joy in my heart for a Big Brand New Year, and a few ideas from my Pinterest searches. Until next Friday,hugs to all, Heidi

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A Little of This & That

Welcome to my blog post. I always say yes to more than I should in December. Do you? So deep, slow, breaths are in order. I have decided that my next 3 Blog posts will be short and sweet with fun pictures and always filled with inspiration.  Enjoy!

The picture below I took on a morning walk. Love the sharp contrasts. This was our first “real” rain storm the beginning of November. Over 5″ 

A former student made this necklace for me. She dyed the pine needles black and wove them around the stone slice. 

I have this thing for adorable stuffed animals. Follow my board, “Adorable Stuffed Animals” on Pinterest. To follow me or any of my boards I am under, acckk, I forget, is it Designs by Heidi or maybe it’s Heidi Emmett. 

Love, love, LOVE this sweater. A must try in January. 

Awww…that’s a good boy!

I really like this design. But maybe a smaller hook and thinner yarn for me.

This is the coolest closure idea. It doesn’t  have to be a zipper either, one could try a row of buttons, it’s the outside rectangle piece in black and white that gives it some simple but effective eye candy. 

This jacket is sooo much fun! A perfect project when watching t.v. 

Isn’t this the cutest little sign? The neighbor right behind our house. It is so FUN to watch little kids and adults too, searching for the perfect Christmas Tree. Hugs to everyone, Heidi

Have You Made One yet? Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest Pattern

I love lace in clothing. And over the past few years, I’ve seen so much available. I think that lace is timeless in cream, white, or black. Why not consider it for a stunning vest, that will have heads turning as you walk by wearing your piece of Art to Wear. Here’s the pattern to use:

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I like the black underneath this vest. It gives it some drama. For these two vests (they are also on the cover of the pattern) I used a double border lace that is a copy of an Irish lace.

I thought I would throw in a summer view just for kicks. I really like how it works with my silk tunic (Chico’s). They are both the same length.
O.K., I am actually showcasing the Gladiolas behind the lace vest, and a beautiful candle and holder my mother-in-law gave me. She also gave me the REAL, yes REAL half a clam shell and the Japanese float (clear green ball). Again, a nice summer look.

I wanted to do something different for my next lace vest. I kept the front and side pieces as regular lace, but the back use some of my favorite laces, fabric butterflies (black and gray), and Abaca Paper. Not heard of it before? It is made from Banana leaves and is off white and really sheer. Below you can see that I have pulled out a ton of possibilities and started placing them onto the Abaca Paper. I wanted a really light and airy look, as if the butterflies were floating.

I used a butterfly fabric by Tim Holz. Before cutting them out, I sprayed Terial Magic  

on the fabric first, and ironed it dry. I cut out a bazillion butterflies (put the extras in a box for future use).  

I tea-dyed some of the trims. I wet the trim with water first (for even dying), and soaked it in some strong tea water. 

The now tea dyed lace is the horizontal piece at the bottom of the picture. 

I started  stitching down the lace. No problem. Then the butterflies. What WAS I THINKING!!?? The stitching on the butterflies was making holes in the Abaca paper. I changed feet, I changed thread, I changed stitch length. To no avail. I almost wadded into a ball to throw away. But I had one expensive piece of antique lace (the vertical piece on the left above) that stopped me. I tucked the whole thing away to contemplate how to finish it. Months went by and I was ready to try again. I placed a piece of “musical” fabric behind it all and did cardiac stitching all over the back to hide any holes. Below is the finished piece.

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I really like it now. I will wear it for the holidays with all black underneath. Chic and classy. Abaca paper is hand washable so if and when it ever needs cleaning….

My mom & I went to visit a 99 year young family friend whose name is Dottie. She used to love to sew for her three daughters and enjoys seeing what I’ve been working on. She pulled out a  board of trim (below) that she wanted me to have. She said it was her grandmother’s (she taught her to sew). You do the math as to how old this trim is. I can’t wait to add it to my  “musical butterfly” vest and show it to Dottie.

Hugs to all of you for stopping by. Thank you. A quote for you to think about while you are doing some “creating” this weekend: “Stop focusing on how STRESSED you are and remember how BLESSED you are.”   Heidi

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Everyone’s Loving It! My book, Fashion Quilted Accessories!

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My Art to Wear project book by Heidi Emmett for Leisure Arts contains 8, fun and doable (for all sewing levels) projects. Today, I want to focus on the Colorful Circle Necklace and Earring project below (on the back of the book).

Amazon sells my book and so do I! Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information. A great gift idea for your Art to Wear Friends. It’s only $12.99.  All 8 of the projects would also be great gifts for YOU or a sewing friend. 

This necklace can be as colorful as you want and the fabric possibilities are endless. Tying each circle onto corded elastic is fast. 

I decided to change it up a little on this pair of earrings. Bigger circles, some Kaffe Fassett fabric, and I took apart some other earrings (the beads matched so well), and put part of them (beads) on the front of the colorful circles. 

 

These earrings work really well with my Kaffe Fassett sweater from Peruvian Connection. Check out their site, Peruvianconnection.com for the latest in “Kaffe Sweaters”.  

My friend Trish changed it up a little by making her circles larger and way MORE of them. I love it! Thanks for sending a picture Trish.  And using a colorful plaid, too fun. 

O.K., the Balloon shots below have nothing to do with anything above, hmm…wait, the balloon is a circle shape? That works. I was walking on the road that winds through Zephyr Point one morning and I heard a WHOOOSHING sound. I thought a cabins’ propane tank was having issues. Then I heard it again. It was coming from above. Wow, I’d never seen a hot air balloon over Zephyr Point before (we can see them at Emerald Bay, 12 miles away). Spectacular is all I can say. My photos just don’t do it justice. That close to it, that was a BIG balloon. Those are tulip flowers around the bottom edge.

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The balloon is clearing Porcupine Trail (has the bridge on its’ pathway). 

My friend Sara H. who lives at Zephyr Point with her husband (the director) took the picture below from her living room window 6 months ago. Just stunning, I think. The balloon had just finished inflating and was taking off from the barge that follows the balloon around the lake. The upper right hand corner shows Cave Rock. I’m sorry, her picture was perfection, but to get it into this post, not so much. But it has an ethereal quality none the less. 

FYI, Only 10 months  until our Next Artistic Alchemy Retreat, 2019. Don’t forget to hop over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to see what all of the teachers are up to. Big hugs to you all. Thanks for stopping by, Heidi.

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My Off The Grid Vest Pattern-Everyone’s been talking about it!

Happy After Thanksgiving. It was a great, thankful, tummy filling time, so, I’m doing a re-run that I think is worth reading again. Enjoy, and thank you so much for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi  And read more about this “miracle” vest (the sizing and how it fits). Go to my archives under, Off The Grid Vest.

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine Barnes.Check out her website here. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ (a blended gray quilting cotton) from E.E. Schneck in grey or is it gray?Throughout the class I kept thinking, all these fabrics together would make the coolest vest. But what design? So, I took my blocks, along with everyone’s scraps (I did ask them first), and put them on my design board and began to think.

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Later, Christine said she was doing a lecture at the E.E. Schenck Trends Show (a show for shop owners from all the Western states in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine had used in her quilt.  She said to me, hey, that vest idea you had Heidi, that would be great. I’ll take that to show at the show too, so we can get your name out there. O.K.,I said. That sounds good, when is the show? 

In a month. Whaaaaattt?! I have done NOTHING! The little pieces were falling off the design board, or covered by other projects that were creeping in.

An hour later, I stood at my ironing board, fabrics spread out and I said a prayer. I had a nice chat with God and said, Help!! I walked over to my little garment rack of purchased pieces (whether from a “real” store or the thrift shop)all for ideas for future project. I pulled out a super short jacket that had bad fabric and design, but the collar!! and while that jacket had a skinny front band, I liked how it connected to the collar.  

I whipped out my sketch pad and started with rectangles. I knew I wanted a long, lean, look to this vest pattern. The rectangles kept coming to mind. 

I also wanted to showcase the interesting fabrics on the front, so I made the front panels really wide . Those pieces, the rectangle  shaped log cabin blocks, and the “sticks” (remember those pieces people discarded?), again they are all rectangle shapes.  

It all came together so smoothly (remember that prayer at the ironing board?). I was sewing up a storm and it was time to add the front panel pieces. WAIT A MINUTE!! They are too short at the bottom, no, no, NO! (Oh, dear, I just told the world that I made a major measuring mistake). And NO TIME to make new front panel pieces. 

Upon further trying it on, looking, thinking, I came to the conclusion that I LIKED it that way! Who knew? I like it being “off” at the bottom edges (hint, hint, Off the Grid).  You will be happy to know that yes, I finished it in time for Christine to take up to the Portland show. She said it was a big hit. Yea….

I use Terial Magic on the strips used for the blocks and sticks. I love how this product keeps things from fraying while I”m raw edge stitching them down.

It’s so fun to use Marcia Derse prints, and other ombre’ fabrics. The blocks have their edges turned under and are edge stitched to the gray ombre’ background fabric. 

I use glue (the bottle in the picture is basting glue), but I also use basic school glue (like Elmer’s). You can see the subtle change in the background fabric. I really enjoy turning it this way and that, darker portions verses lighter sections. It’ what YOU like. That’s why I call for 3 yds. for the background (room to play). 

Notice please that I use a zig zag stitch (rectangles again), and it also encases the raw edge of the fabric. 

And I do, what I call, “Shadow quilting.” They are always done in a rectangle shape . I like the look and it adds more quilting to the piece. 

I do any all over quilting in gentle curves because it’s easier on the eyes (if they were straight it’s too hard to sew perfectly straight) and adds movement. 

Look at the SUPER COOL necklace my 93 year young friend, Lila Sugg made for me (she is a MASTER sewist). It is so perfect with my vest (a secret, shhh…the gorgeous chunks of turquoise are made from potatoes).  Google that one, people! 

And listen to this, E.E.Schenck now carries my patterns and my book! And I have been asked to come to the next Trends Show and present a trunk show on my Art to Wear patterns and book. Sharon, the buyer, said that “Art to Wear” is coming back in a big way in the quilting world and I’ll be right there!  And I did go and presented in March of 2018. It was a blast. Please visit my blog posts (archives again or by date, 3/23/18 & 3/30/18) about my Trunk Show at Trends!