Monthly Archives: August 2015

RAFIKI Skirt Pattern, I’m so EXCITED! about this one!

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May I introduce Rafiki Skirt Pattern,  which will publish on  by Friday!!! That’s TODAY!! Go look for it. Hit the Craftsy button above. But first, read more, it’s just too exciting.



This is my friend Judy Stokes with some of her beautiful students from  Rafiki  in Josh, Nigeria.

The Rafiki skirt is an a-line skirt that flares at the bottom edge and has a draw string waist. This is a great skirt pattern for beginner sewists.

It is made up of 8 panels. Each panel has 7 fabrics in it. They are first strip pieced and then cut into 8 separate panels.

The Rafiki skirt is the 3rd pattern in a series using simple shapes. You will make one skirt panel pattern the African way (using measurements). I will take you through this process step by step. Really, it’s easy. One panel pattern piece is all you will need to create.

Rafiki skirt is not copyrighted. Use this pattern to make skirts for yourself, friends and family, or to sell. Please, give credit to the Rafiki Foundation and Judy Stokes the designer. Print up the accompanying story (in the pattern when you purchase it) so that others will learn about the   If you feel led to donate a portion of your sales or to donate to Rafiki, please do it in Judy Stokes’ name. Monies that are donated will enable Judy to work at the main offices in Eustace, Florida with her continuing program writing. A large portion of the monies from the sale of this pattern will go to Judy through Rafiki.

Here I am at Zephyr Point in the original Rafiki Skirt that I bought from Judy after coming home from Africa .


It’s very comfortable and really and truly, the easiest and most fun you will have sewing a garment. I will teach you the African way to make your own pattern, just like Judy does for her students.


Here is my Western version in Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Bright and colorful. Oh, and one Marcia Derse fabric (the red violet stripe). DSC_0031

Thank you for considering the purchase of this pattern. It’s a win, win, WIN! all the way around. As I write this post I am already thinking that my next Rafiki skirt will be out of Aboriginal fabrics (I certainly have a few of those)! And,  a little girls version will follow soon too!! Oh, yeah, the possibilities just keep coming. Have a creative weekend. Hugs, Heidi

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Heidi’s Triangle Tote from Modern Patchwork Winter 2014 by Jayne N.

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Jayne from Florida got in touch with me and sent pictures of her Triangle Tote that she had made from my project for Modern Patchwork. I just had to show it off.

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Here is mine, the front side, with “Sparky dog and Rex the cat”, and the back of it, below. DSC_0064

Hi Jayne, Your tote bag turned out soooo CUTE! and I love that you are modeling it for us.

Triangle Tote #2

I showed mine with my animals and Jayne shows her tote bag  by her very inviting swimming pool. What a great job you did on it Jayne, love the colors. And Jayne gave me design credit by putting a lovely tag that she embroidered right inside the tote. It was a great picture but as much as I tried and tried I could not get it to my blog site. Triangle ToteOnce again, great job Jayne and enjoy totin’ things in your new Triangle Tote bag. And remember people, magazines these days are like books, and books are our friends. I have a gazillion friends in my studio right now, and I love going through them over and over.  So go sit in a hammock and look at magazines (preferably one that I have a project in, ha, ha) and get your creative going! Hugs, Heidi

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Anatomy of a Project For Stitch Fall 2015

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I am always honored to be picked to do a project for a magazine. Stitch is the one for this Fall. I thought I would show you how it works. From idea to finished product. These are some highlights.Stitch Fall 2015 COVER

The call comes through email for submissions needed for such and such a season. All the parameters are spelled out including color schemes. Sketches are okay after you have done it a few times otherwise, you send pictures of what you have created or the item itself. So below are some of my ideas for using my fabric leaves. I sent these leaves and two pages filled with sketches off to Stitch. DSC_0045

When I make the leaves I always use Terial Magic first. It gives just enough body to make it easier to sew them together. DSC_0017

Two of my ideas were accepted and I discussed with the editor my fabric thoughts using their colorways provided. The apricot runner portion is Silk Shantung and the leaves are all Marcia Derse fabrics.

Sew it up and write out ALL the directions. And it needs to be right or you get an email from the technical editor. DSC_0015 (3)

I was so “to the wire” on this project. So my picture is really bad. But I always take one before I ship it off so there is a record, just in case. See the branches with leaves on them? Well they were project number 2. I did not see them in the magazine nor were they returned to me. So, I will have to find out what’s what. They really are cool. I give a trick on how to help them slip over a branch (the twigs are fake and have wire in them). DSC_0040 (2)

Well, I sent the above off to Stitch. They received them just fine but the editor, Amber Eden (who by the way is OVER worked), did not like my apricot silk shantung. I get that, even looking at the photo above, I could do better. She suggested teal and I ran ALL over town to find teal ANYTHING! I had to make a complete new set of 36+ leaves and get it made and mailed and correct the fabrics, threads, etc. Below is the picture I sent to her and I hounded her (sorry Amber) until she said yes or no on this change. DSC_0050


Taa daaa! It worked out. I love it! You have to buy a Stitch magazine (more like a book I think) and make your own table runner. You will really get hooked on making these leaves. They are truly easy and FUN!Emmett Fall Leaves Runner


I was so pleased. Three weeks after they received the teal runner I got an email saying they liked the leaves so much that they wanted a summer version and picked two from my many other ideas that I had sketched out. Below is the grouping of fabrics I sent to Amber and she picked from them. These are shot cottons by Kaffe Fassett and Marcia Derse prints.  These “summer green” projects were going to be featured in an E-book, coming out in June. Well, June is gone, and I have not seen or heard anything. I did sign a contract. Another question for Veronica on Monday. I do get it. They are always thinking about future books, magazines, and e-books. It might happen and it may be tabled until next summer. Oh, the world of publishing. Crazy and ohhh the deadlines!


I sure sewed up the leaves for these two projects. I put a book on tape in and just settled in for the pure joy of being creative. leaves for stitchThanks for walking through a project with me. All the stress and deadline issues fall away when I hold the finished magazine in my hands. Go out and find some creative time. Hugs, Heidi

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Just Published in Stitch, Fall, 2015! Designs by Heidi, Fall Leaves Project

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My project Fun Fall Leaves has just come out in Stitch, Fall, 2015! It’s on the news stands now! It is so fun to see one of my projects in a National Magazine. Stitch now has a new focus, “Sewing with Quilters in Mind.”   Emmett Fall Leaves Runner


Go to to order a copy.
Stitch Fall 2015 COVER

I love the simplicity of my fall leaves project and how changing up the colors of the leaves and the runner portion, creates a whole new look (I’ll do “Anatomy of Fun Fall Leaves project in my next blog post). Kinda fun to see how I start the whole process. StitchF15_Project-Gallery-IndexI want to give credit to for his photography.  This issue has some really yummy projects in it. Mine sews up quickly and would make a great gift for someone. Until next time, get creative! Hugs, Heidi

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Beets! Who knew? And Lessons Learned.

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I know you have heard, natural dyes are great. Well, I found these astounding sized beets at the grocery store and thought I’ll make roasted beets, save the juice and dye some fabric.

These puppies measure at almost 4″ across, each one! And stunning colors in the stems.


And the leaves, a beautiful study in complementary colors.



And slicing them in half to fit into the pan. LOVE that color!!


Check out this magnificent coloring on Bird’s eye picque’ and a chunk of skirt cut from an Albert Nipon skirt (great texturing). After soaking for 20+ hours in beet juice, I rinsed them out. Shock of shocks, ALL the color came OUT! Bird’s Eye pique had to be 100% poly (throwing that one away, bummer) and the Nipon tag said only 10% was poly (white strands here and there). So I had the brilliant idea to add white vinegar (it’s a mordant, right?) I went to town, with bright pink fingertips (forgot gloves), and came home to this: DSC_0679 DSC_0680

Wow! and WOW! I guess vinegar isn’t a mordant, but a reactive to the beet juice. Lessons learned. Here they are all rinsed.



It has been hot here, flirting with 100 degrees. Our cats even came in during the day to enjoy the a.c. Rex loves to sleep this way. And Rubix, the one on my leopard ultrasuede chair (has some mental issues ever since he tried to play superman with a paper bag(the handles were caught around his neck) as he literally “flew” up the stairs, down the stairs, around the house until we could finally grab him. Wont touch a bag or a box to this day. He is a sweetie though.DSC_0636 DSC_0639

I had been sewing for awhile last Saturday and went out on our back deck to stretch a bit. That was no thunder head. This was a fire cloud.It started at 2:30 and I took this shot at 3:15. It was moving fast. I really first thought it was near two of my brothers homes(it was 15 miles away from them). And then the lights flickered and went out, came on, went out.The fire had hit a large transfer station.  No one was home at my brothers homes. This fire which looks so close was actually 20 miles away (as the crow flies).  Kinda scary. God bless all the firemen and women in the air and on the ground!



No homes were lost, only one structure burned, but 6 firemen were hurt. And today, a week and one day later (85% contained) there are a total of 24 larger fires burning mainly in northern CA.

Have a plan people. You just never know when a fire could hit. A fire came within a football field length of our home 6 years ago this week (a man down the hill in back of us MOWING a path to his fruit trees hit a rock). Scariest thing EVER and we had no plan! I was in shock as a huge pine tree exploded in our neighbors field and sent chunks of firey tree bits toward our house. And then it came, one of those beautiful airtankers. He dumped a load of water all around. We got two drops and also the CalFire crews arrived. Did you know they can unload one of those huge bulldozers in less than a minute? They create the fire lines. They built one at our neighbors tree farm. The fire got sooo close to their home. The firemen told us later that because our neighbor watered his trees and we watered our big lawn area, that is what saved us. So have that plan. What are ya gonna take?

DSC_0657All this smoke makes me weary. So, I’m going to have a nice glass of wine, take some hand sewing to the t.v. room, and watch a chick flick.I’ll show you a fabulous tote bag in a couple of days.  Hugs, Heidi

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