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. 


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


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 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.


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.


]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.


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!

Some Upcyling and Artistic Alchemy

The four of us at Artistic Alchemy are gearing up for our 6th annual retreat at Zephyr Point 2nd-6th of September 2019. When you are done reading my Designs by Heidi blog post, please tap on the “Artistic Alchemy” icon below or go here

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Fall has really lasted and lasted in Cedar Ridge, CA  This is a Virginia Creeper that magically planted itself near my Shabby Chic fence. I must say, the fence has never looked better!

My upcycling project for today is this beautiful 2-ply (means it’s 2 pieces of yarn twisted to form one) cashmere sweater, made in Italy. I tried to find the sleeves that I had cut out, but to no avail. They were soooo tight fitting, I could barely get my arms in them. I think that’s why it was at the Truckee, CA Hospice thrift shop (one of my favs.).  So first thing, I cut out the sleeves and rolled the edges to the right side of the sweater and hand stitched them down. Instant vest. Oh look, another rectangle.  Yes, I gave you all a pattern for another rectangle vest idea on Aug.3, 2018 (go to the home page and look under Inspiration) Put it on this way, see below.
Wrap one long piece over your shoulder and voila, simple and sweet and oh so cozy. But WAIT JUST A MINUTE!! I have a really fun, new and improved way to wear this rectangle. Keep scrolling down.

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy In order to see the newest fun way to wear a rectangle upcycled vest, go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  Here we are from left to right, Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Jane Haworth, & me. 

I took a Mary Boalt painted panel and put it into a Terrific Tabard vest. Learn more about this particular vest by going to my home page and clicking on Terrific Tabard posts. 

Thanks for stopping by. Make it up, Make it Fun, And GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi  InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

I went to San Diego, CA last week.

We left for San Diego at “O-dark thirty” on Nov. 1st. We arrived so early that we had plenty of time to walk around.  Imagine my surprise to see a HUGE poster of a portion of Velda Newman’s “Zinnia” quilt on the side of a building.  I have known Velda for years. She lives just a few miles away from me. When I opened my fabric store in 1983, Velda was one of the first people I hired. She is an AMAZING talent. When I recovered from seeing the poster, I looked up. Whaaat? I am in front of the Visions Art Museum!!! I have always wanted to visit.  I was able to spend almost 2 hours in this special place. Velda’s Zinnia quilt was part of a previous show.

I purchased the book that has all the quilts I viewed in it. This showing is called “Connections.” 

Here is a the cover (of the book) quilt. I look at contemporary quilts as ideas for future pattern ideas or stitching ideas for my “Art to Wear Pieces.”

In the museum gift shop I found this Magazine. Right in line with what I do. 

Since San Diego is at sea level and I live at the 2800ft. level, the flora is so different. So of course, I must get pics of all the unique colors and shapes in some of the succulents that I saw. Where is my sketch pad? The ideas are starting….

The main reason we (my husband, our son, and me) came to San Diego was to make a trek into the harsh desert that is northeast of San Diego. The day we went, the air and surrounding hills where incredibly crystal clear and therefore very sharply defined. Everything around us became etched in our minds. Frankly, we are still thinking and sorting through the event,  even a week later.  Part way up a hill I turned to take a shot of where we had come from. You can see a few others in the picture near the bottom of this shot. It was slow climbing and lots of loose gravel and sand.

A nephew and his fiance’ A member of “Project Remembrance” walking through a “wash” area where the water rushes down during a downpour (doesn’t happen very often). With that water come other objects from the top of the hill as seen in the bottom of this shot. 

Below, my husband (red checked shirt) and his younger brother (in white shirt with backpack) are looking at the objects that you saw above. They are looking at part of an engine buried deep in the sand from 50 years worth of water washes coming from the top of the hill. 

Here is a  significant piece that our son found. It is part of the instrument panel of a fighter jet that clicks in the hours of flying time for this jet. It stopped at the moment of impact. 

If you would like to read more, here is the article which appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Sunday, November 4, 2018. It was quite a day for my husbands side of the family,  and one that brought us all closer too. Thank you for stopping by. I have a wonderful idea-based post already lined up for next week. So come on back. Hugs, Heidi

Day Tripping with some Creativity Mixed In!

Perfect fall temperatures make for some great “day tripping.”  Our first this past week was a hike up highway 20 , starting 5 miles outside Nevada City, CA. I had no idea that there are so MANY trails right off the highway. Look how “red” the soil is. It’s like that all over the county. That’s my husband, our son, and his dog.

The view below (or ones similar) kept popping up on our hike. We are at 4,000 ft. looking northwest. Finished our 5 mile hike and ended up at Ol’ Republic Roadhouse. What great food and many types of locally brewed beer to choose from.  Good food and drink is essential when hiking.

The next day, we were off to Downieville. You might remember that I showed some pictures about this time last year of the same town(check my post from 10/13/17). It’s a gold rush town 50 miles from Grass Valley, CA on highway 49.  What a fabulous day, soaking in the sites, sounds, and yummies available to eat. 

The buildings, most of them, are over a hundred years old. Love the stonework on the side.

A HUGE area for Mountain Biking.

Remember this vest? It is my newest Terrific Tabard vest. Check it out in my  7/13/18  blog post  titled Guest Blog post for Needle and Foot. 

For the colorful panel on the side front, go to Marcia Derse fabrics to order. It is from her Treasure Hunt collection. For the beautiful Linen window pane fabric (front side and back), go to Needle and Foot (Etsy store)

I had to wear it to Downieville this year. 

Check out this cool fence. Turns out the owner of the house (just over the bridge (with the star on it) and the “ski” fence owns the Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA. They sell some of my patterns there. ( check out the post I did about The Tin Thimble,  8/17/18 ). I showed the ski fence last year too, but I love it so much, you needed to see it at a new angle. 

You can see the star on the bridge in the middle right side in the picture below. 

I have always wanted to sit by the river and knit. So I did. Don’t laugh, I’m the worlds worst knitter. I completed 10 rows of a simple stitch pattern and have to rip it all out. Sigh…I thought the river would be relaxing. Must be the uncomfortable rock I’m sitting on. 

Oh MY GOSH! What’s in the lower right hand corner of this picture, in the water?

It’s a creature from the green lagoon.

Well….not exactly. It is a guy with all the up to date equipment to look for gold without all the messy, clumsy, dredging equipment (I know about this ’cause I once helped my brothers drag their equipment down to the American River, 45 years ago).  This guy is heading for the fork in the river (rushing on the left ) to go deep under the water to look for gold.  

I am beyond excited to show you our “SWEET” ride for day tripping! I NEVER thought I would own my own convertible. Always wanted one, but….Well our son found this one on-line and he and my husband went to look at it and bought it for ME! It’s a 1998, BMW M3. It’s in excellent condition. 

Leather interior, and the smoothest 5-speed ride around. Soooo much fun, fun, FUN!!! to drive. I only killed it once (at the worst possible intersection, yowzaa, I put it in 3rd when it should have been 1st), and have been dully humbled, ha, ha. 

Here’s the view of the South Yuba from where we had stopped the car. Great spots everywhere for fishing, camping, hiking, or in our case, driving. 

We went for leaf peeping and driving, but only a few “golden” colors were starting to show. Oh, what a shame, we’ll have to go again to see more color. 

Remember my knitting project by the river? Here are the yarns I’m using. These are all by Malabrigo. These are all so gorgeous, I could hardly choose. 

Here is my pattern. It’s out of “Book 10 Rios” by Malabrigo. Simple, right? I have already changed it up to make it “SUPER” easy for Heidi. It will involve some machine felted circles too. I’m really ready now to get to work on it in the evenings. Forget the river knitting (unless I can have a comfy chair in which to sit). Can’t wait to show you the finished product. 

Get out there for some hiking this weekend and plan a new “evening or take along” project for yourself. Thanks for stopping by. I REALLY appreciate it. Hugs, Heidi

Fall- My Inspiration!

Carry your phone (for pictures & notes) as you talk a walk. Yesterday, I walked around my own yard. Here we go! O.K., first picture was staged! Ha, ha. Such rich colors. Little treasures all over the ground.

Inspiration hits right away. Run upstairs to my Fall sweater stash (I just have a few, ha, ha, and please excuse the wrinkles). Garment idea. Look at this closely. Then go to the next shot. It is basically a giant circle with (instead of arm holes (like a vest), it has sleeves. Pull up the bottom of the circle and it becomes the collar. Clever, very clever. 

A yummy scarf is added. I will discuss this baby in another post. My students from my  2018 Artistic Alchemy workshop already have this pattern. Ladies, I’m already coming up with more new ideas for next years retreat. We will have FUN!!

Love my Dogwood trees. 

Chrysanthemums add a burst of texture. 

I walked past our little garden and spied my bumper crop of Tomatoes. Time to pick! If you like home made tomato sauce, throw everything but the kitchen sink into your Vita-mix and then simmer on top of the stove for an hour. I add more “stuff” after the simmer for the BEST pasta sauce ever!. I freeze it in 1 gallon freezer bags. 

These colors are so yummy yummy! Virginia creeper.

A different area of the same vine, yields warmer colors. Yes, inspiration just hit again (for what to wear today on our Fall leaf peeping drive). Gotta run back upstairs. Where is my fall Whisper Blouse? 

Yep, the colors above are perfect for the Whisper Blouse below. In case you didn’t know, I love Kaffe Fassett fabrics, especially his stripes. Every piece in this Whisper Blouse is different (yes, I have that many). There is a size in this pattern that will work for Misses 6-4X. This is a loose fitting, over the head blouse(no buttons or zippers). When in doubt about your size PLEASE, make a muslin first (use the front and back bodice pieces only ones needed for your muslin). 

Couldn’t resist another picture (or four),of our Dogwood tree. Last spring, all those red berries you see here, were white blossoms. Stunning, every season of the year. 

All this picture taking has tired me out. I’m going to relax now with my newest magazine subscription. Highly recommend it. 

Oh wait, I need a cuppa, and the dark chocolate w/ hazelnut candy bar our son brought us from Amsterdam/ Munich. I have to share? Whaaat? 

Want a Whisper Blouse pattern? Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com and I’ll give you the best price. $15. and free shipping. I do sell my patterns on Etsy and Craftsy but email me to save $.  I hope I inspired you for your next creative stitching adventure and thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

Terrific Tabard- aka “Skinny Vest” A Versatile Pattern to add to your Wardrobe!

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This post first appeared on Feb. 24, 2017. I have been selling many “Terrific Tabard” patterns of late and wanted to let you know that the possibilities are endless for this vest aka “Skinny Vest. I recently did a trunk show called “Art on the Wall, Art to WEAR!” for the Folsom Quilt Guild in Folsom, CA. What a delightful group. Thank you ladies for having me. I felt so welcomed and appreciated. The next day I did a workshop on the Terrific Tabard (aka Skinny Vest). What an amazing group. Let me show what they were working on:  Dorothy (on the left) and Gail came prepared with many strips (for filler sections) already sewn together. Amazing! (hmm..teacher’s pets maybe). dsc_0251

Sandi, got right to work on her Large Scaled Aboriginal print by treating it with Terial Magic first (to make it stiff like a board)  and then cutting it up into interesting shapes. I place a piece of muslin on my ironing board. Place a chunk of fabric you intend to cut shapes out of down next. Shake your bottle of Terial Magic and spray the area you intend to cut. Iron this section until dry (use a dry iron- NO STEAM!). Not stiff enough? Spray and iron again. dsc_0253

Susan also used some Aboriginal fabrics along with a few Kaffe Fassett pieces in the mix. dsc_0255

Don’t you really like how she has combined flowers and shapes. The black and white Aboriginal fabric is the great unifier.

Brenda is using the Tree of Life view in Terrific Tabard to create a collaged vest. dsc_0257

Lorraine is working with black and gold and batiks. This lady is the SPEED queen! She put pedal to the metal and got really far along in her vest Adventure. She plans to do some diagonal strips with shots of color added(via small squares) into a modern look.  dsc_0260

Brenda and Susan are working hard!

Linda has already titled her vest as” Peony Madness.” Hmm..what madness is this? I get it though. See her beautiful Kaffe Peony Fabric below? It is a large scaled print. And sometimes they just don’t work out as you planned. Keep the faith Linda. This process can take some working and re-working.Save the black and cream around those flowers and mix it along with some other black/cream prints.  Use at least one more larger scale print Linda that goes with all. That will pull it all together. dsc_0263

Mairy (with an “I”), arrived later (she had be at work), and she was a busy, busy, girl in no time at all!!  I love her use of intense yellow green and red violet, all grounded with our favorite, black and white. dsc_0264 dsc_0265

Suzanne is using sweet prints, similar in scale. That works well as a base for the beginnings of her garden scene. The little bird comes from her lining fabric (see it off to the left).


Diana is using all “happy” fabrics. I love the way she is using her strip pieces. Glue those puppies down (instead of sewing them together as “filler pieces.”) and stitch them as raw-edged collage.  Great idea. dsc_0271 dsc_0272

There’s smoke coming out of Lorraine’s sewing machine, I just know it. Whirrr….. I am teasing you Lorraine in a good way. I wish I could create that fast. dsc_0274

Susan is flying on the back of her vest. Black and white, White and black, always, always, pull the whole look together. Really fun. dsc_0281

Dorie is our Over Achiever! Not only was she “in charge” of my coming to Folsom, she is already WEARING Terrific Tabard # 3 that she has made. Yes, that’s right, three vests BEFORE the workshop. Dorie, you make me look good! Thank you. dsc_0286

Beautiful choices. Each one is so detailed! And I am so proud, bits of black make a statement in all of her vests. We ran out of time to take pics of her other two. I will see Dorie in May. I’ll get those pictures yet. dsc_0285

I like what Sheila is doing here. She’s laying out her strips first (to get ideas for placement) and then look at the difference in background choices for her large print flowers. Hands down, in my opinion, use the black. dsc_0291

We had a “walkabout” and looked at all the vest creations. We all learned from each other. Mairy, I just love your creative idea of “color” outlining. See? Brenda is pointing to them. dsc_0298


Sandi get the prize (waay up at the beginning), she temporarily suspended work on the Aboriginal (it happens, she’ll get back to it). I saw her beginning to cut out some fish , and a few days later she sent me these FABULOUS pictures! Thank you Sandi. You must post these on the Kaffe Fassett site. That little fish wants to eat your button!


Whimsical and so fun. I love it. And ladies check out that black trim, and that little bit of black in the row of flowers and white/black print. Perfect. susie-fong-fish-vest

And then, YIPPEE! Mairy sent me a picture of her completed back piece of her vest. Love, LOVE, what is happening in this piece. Mairy, this is stunning! I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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Didn’t I tell you they were a great group of sewists? A whirlwind of activity and fun in that workshop.

One last thing before you leave, check out the new Logo that has been added! Yep, my Etsy store is up and running. It’s for “hard” copies of all my patterns. Deisgns by Heidi Emmett is my store name. Thank you for stopping by and come back when you have time and visit past posts. I hope they will inspire you to get creative. Hugs, Heidi


Free Form Circles Pillow-Let’s Revisit it!

I first published this post on October 28th, 2016. Fast forward two years. It is more relevant than ever. The pattern will be available VERY SOON, via me @hmemmett.com, or Craftsy.com, or my Etsy shop. I can’t decide if I want to do it as a kit too. I also want to add on a few pages of other ways to use these cool circles (Art to Wear!!) Read on, an excerpt from my 10/28/16 post:

Modern Patchwork has my Free-form Circles Pillow project in the latest edition. It just came out, Fall 2016. Get it NOW.
Drum roll please………I LOVE these pillows and they are super fun and easy to make.

The fun pictures above helped give me the idea for this project. I was drinking water from my green depression glass(has the coolest pattern in it), and when finished, I set it onto a project I had been hand stitching.  O.K., O.K., let me go find those pictures.

The above is a “technique creating” project I did 4 years ago. I keep going back to it over and over for my “what if I try this” moments. Hmm… I will do a future post on this, how a technique only, small project, can really get those creative juices flowing. Speaking of….there is a definite change in the air. FALL is really here. Don’t laugh, but I pulled out some yarn and a pattern. It’s knitting and crocheting weather, and felting, and quilting, and, and,……I am NEVER BORED! Get your own creative started this weekend. Hugs, Heidi








Sparky Top Gets Ready for Cooler Days.

Can you even believe it’s Fall ! For once I want to have a new top before I actually need it. As the weather cools, I want longer sleeves on my Sparky Top. Hmm…Will it work? Follow along and you decide.


I’m working on my making all of my patterns in Black & White fabrics. I did a short sleeve Sparky Top as you see above, so now I need to make the sleeve longer. I want it 3/4 length. I think that you should use KNIT fabrics for a longer sleeved Sparky Top. Knits will give more ease in the back across the shoulders and where the end of the sleeve hits on your arm. I purchased a “3 pack combo” of knits in black and gray from Marci Tilton.  https://marcytilton.com/ Go there at your own risk (you’ll want it ALL). These pieces are all rayon knits. I have 4 pieces to the pattern and usually use 4 different fabrics. Since this was a 3 pack, I had fun trying different combos.

Lay down a piece of paper (in this case I used wedding runner) I’m starting with the back piece (Piece B). With a tape measure, approximate where the neck edge is and follow along the shoulder to see how long you want your sleeve to be.  Lay a long ruler on the top edge of the shoulder seam going off the tissue piece. Draw a line all the way down to where the sleeve will end.

Measure around your wrist at the sleeve ending point. Add approx. 1-2″ for ease and a 1/4″ seam. Mark it at the sleeve end.

Tip:  The slight curve of the under arm area is easier to draw if you use a dotted line. Mine isn’t perfect but can be trued up when cut out. 

Don’t forget to add some ease and seam allowance on the underarm area. Repeat this process on the front piece(piece A).

Tip: On a knit, use a stabilizing “stay” stitch on the neckline edge before attaching your neck trim (it keeps the neck edge from stretching out of shape). Also, because you are using a knit for the neck edge binding there is no need to cut it on the bias.  Remember, attach the trim on the WRONG side of the fabric.  Stitch in place.

Bring it to the front and edge stitch it down. Directions are in the pattern and are easy to follow. 

Taa Daa! What do you think? I LOVE it and can’t wait for cooler weather. This is such an easy pattern to sew. Start it in the a.m. and be done before lunch!

A quick note about my leggings. THEY ARE BLACK!! REALLY! But the time of day and my Nikon camera shows off the brown base in my most favorite leggings (it’s the little zippers on the bottom sides). Ohhhh well. Not much I can do about that. 

Whoo Hooo! It’s cool enough this evening. I’m inviting my husband out on a date so I can wear my new top. Happy sewing this weekend everyone. And thank YOU for stopping by! Hugs, Heidi     P.S. If you want your own Sparky Top pattern, email me at hmemmett@gmail.com and I will tell you how to get your own! $16. includes tissue pieces in sizes 8-26 and shipping! Looks FABULOUS on everyone, tall, short, thin, not so thin. Trust me, I’ve seen it on many, many people.

5th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat-Upcycling, And Creative Art to Wear.


Our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat wrapped up just 2 weeks ago! We had an amazing time. And it was just like I told you it would be, Fresh air, great friends, lots of learning, and fun, fun, fun! Below are mainly pictures of my group of students. There is no particular order for the pictures. Below are the intrepid teachers: Mary, me, Jane, & Sandra.

Check out Janet’s upcycled sweatshirt. She was so excited to upcycle sweatshirts in the workshop that she couldn’t help herself. She had to try one BEFORE she came. Love it!

Susan, one of my students, won a complete painting package from Dharma Trading. There were many, many, FABULOUS giveaways at our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! 

Sharonhad some painted pieces and favorite fabric pieces that she wants to incorporate into her sweatshirt. Great idea. 

The almost finished sweatshirt project will show up again in another picture. 

Kathy is just thinking (not praying, or sleeping) about fabric placement for her Off The Grid vest from the “Art to Wear” portion of my workshop. 

Her bright colorways really pop on the black fabric.

Garments are beginning to go up on “The Wall.” Kathy’s almost finished sweatshirt (gray one on the left), makes use of her leftover blocks from a quilt.Love that! 

Aprons from men’s shirts. Sweat shirts, their way. And I spy a Sparky Top and a Terrific Tabard. The dark gray sweat shirt has Sharon’s fabric pieces (from an older top she just loved so much, I sure have a few of those myself). Never thought to put them on a sweatshirt! Very cool. She isn’t quite sure yet where they will finish (pieces still hanging off the bottom). It’s good to put them on a wall and stand back and think a bit. 

The Wall keeps growing.I spy another Terrific Tabard way over to the upper right. The Terrific Tabard on the left has some lovely ladies on it(Susan got those from England). Everyone really worked outside of the box and I was so proud of ALL my students. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. 

Terrific Tabard on the right, Sandra had a rounded piece on one side and cut it off on the other. Why have I never thought to do that. Great asymmetric design idea. 

Janet, created an Amazing Sweat shirt, bottom right and I think she has 5 different shirts in the blouse above on the right. 

A glimpse of the dining room. The view, oh, we love that Lake Tahoe view. 

Sandra jumped right in to create an apron using sleeves only. 

Susan got right in there and made her apron with contrasting fabrics for pockets and ties. I have to say that all my students have come full circle. When I ask what their first sewing experience was, the usual answer (for those in middle grades) is an apron. And they didn’t have fun at all. Whaat? Look at all the smiling faces, and we’re working on APRONS! But these are NOT YOUR MOTHER”S aprons. What a hoot. We all had a great laugh over this. 

Susan whipped up her first apron so fast, that she made a second one using the men’s sleeves only. All sewing rules pretty much go “out the window” as we create these one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Kathy, what? Where is your apron? She didn’t think she wanted to do one, so not one to sit idle, she whipped up some very cute bags for the group she works with at her local hospital. I’m happy to report that she IS planning to do an apron for her daughter for “egg collecting.”

More giveaways. The Warm Company (cotton batting). And more fabric, and a Magazine you must all check out called  Uppercasemagazine.com An amazing magazine, something for every arts & crafts taste. 

Start putting aside $90. per month and by next Sept. you can be here too, with us, and creating like crazy!! (my figure also includes a little spending $$ give or take to spend at our different stores that are offered). Take a little time to get creative this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Zephyr Point- A Bird’s Eye View!

Hello everyone, I really wanted to do a wrap up of my workshop at this years 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat….I took a week (can’t believe I’ve been home a week already) off, and I am taking a few more days off….DON’T LEAVE this page, please. Read on, as this weeks post will be pictures of Lake Tahoe that many of you might not have seen before.

First: Some quick facts about Lake Tahoe. Depth: 1600ft., Size: 22 miles long, 12 miles wide, Shoreline: 72 miles, Lake clarity: 59.7 feet (2017), What does Lake Tahoe mean? The Lake of the Sky.

To get that Bird’s Eye View, you need to travel by Gondola from the Heavenly Valley floor. H-o-l-d on….here we GO!

We’re in car #99. I’m o.k., this is easy so far. Bigger view of the lake as we quietly glide up and up. 

Now you can see Zephyr Point! Looking at the lake’s shoreline go up and around past the rounded hill (on the right same side of the lake as the Casinos in the lower left). The rounded hill is appropriately called “Round Hill.” The next hill to the right Is Zephyr Point!! It is 128 acres and that encompasses all the lake facing portion and the tippy top. It is a 3 mile drive to the closest Casino. Just think if you come to the Artistic Alchemy Retreat next year, you will be right here with all this awesomeness of beauty and serenity. And you’ll stitch up a storm of fun too!

We’re at the first stop. WOW!!!

Walking around the observation area. 

To the left of this picture is a wedding venue. 

The turquoise blue colored area is the true South Shore (also the name of the town). 

The snow capped Mountains are the beginning of Desolation Wilderness. It’s a backpackers dream area to go there (so I’ve been told by my husband and son). The tallest mountain closer to the shore (but still south of the actual water), looks like it has a”T” on it in white (that’s snow) is Mount Tallac. It is 9,200ft. and they say, has a great day hike trail on it.  You can just see Mnt. Tallac from the dining room of Tallac Center at Zephyr Point. 

Awww, a closer view. And you can see Tahoe Keyes lots of boats and condos there and Pope Beach (you can see the sandy beach). 

No words necessary. Soak in the beauty.

Thanks for coming with me. All too soon, we have to get back on the Gondola and descend from the “heavens” of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. Yes, people who ski here, see THIS VIEW! Or those who Mountain bike in the summer.  Next week I’ll unpack the retreat and you will see my amazing students at work! Hugs, Heidi