Monthly Archives: February 2017

“Wear-With-All,” And My Students had the Wherewithal to Create their Own!

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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. dsc_0253

Susan also used some Aboriginal fabrics along with a few Kaffe Fassett piecesin 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.
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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!
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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).

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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

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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!

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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


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I’m Feeling Blue—-In a GOOD Way!

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Rain, rain, rain. I don’t mind it though, because I have more time to sew! Did I tell you that I live, “as the crow flies,” 50 miles from the Oroville Dam, in Oroville, CA. Some of you may have heard about the problems. All the ruckus started last Sunday, late afternoon. Their fixes seem to be working. The water behind the spillway is down 30+ feet (and still falling), while last Sunday, 2 feet OVER!  A very Scary time for all those people.

I’m feeling blue, because I want to get those little yo-yos onto my “Mommy & Me” vest that I showed you in my 1/20/17 post titled- “Yikes, Black & Blue ……..” I’m using a gorgeous Perriwinkle blue, boucle’ wool for the base (from my stash, yeahhh).

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Here is the pattern I used. I wore it for the first time this past Tuesday and received rave reviews wherever I went. Easy to make the foundation vest, but do all the embellishments you want BEFORE you sew it together.

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Of course, never one to follow my OWN rules, I am NOW adding the yo-yo’s. It isn’t bad doing things later as this vest is nice and loose. dsc_0006

Felting down a yo-yo. Or you could stitch it by machine, or by hand. I like the yarn idea. The picture below was taken at night, lousy light, just like the video, my very FIRST one that I posted to FB. Did you see it? My FB is DesignsbyHeidi. The video is good, for my first one, ever, it’s just the bad lighting.  The video goes with the sweater further down the page.

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I will add beads tonight. I just can’t STOP!!! dsc_0308 dsc_0365 dsc_0367

Rex came up to help while I felted. He blends right in doesn’t he? Check out the pillow he is lounging against. 1/2 off but still $50.00.  I bought it for the felting and wool fabric manipulation ideas. It looks good on the couch upstairs in our t.v. room. That’s where I usually felt so I can watch t.v. too.

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Here is the yarn I used to felt down the yo-yos. Amazing amount of other colors. I LOVE this yarn, called Gina by Plymouth yarns. dsc_0309

I pulled some off the skein to use and check out what happened to this yarn. dsc_0342

Here’s a close up. Maybe one of you marvelous knitters can tell me why it twisting up on itself so much? I reeled off just what I needed and took it to the ironing board and with the iron set to wool and steam, gently tugged the “kinks” out of it. It worked really well.  A close up of the kinks below. dsc_0344

Then I proceeded to felt it to my gorgeous Eileen Fisher, Perriwinkle Blue, Merino wool, sweater. The “hole” reason I was felting is that I discovered a real hole in the sweater. I thought I will cover it up with bits of yarn felted down. Well…, you’ll see that I really did NOT check to see where the hole really was. Here’s the back. dsc_0346

I saw something similar on a gorgeous sweater from an Anthropologie catalog from 5 years ago. Did I ever say that I can’t throw much away? I treasure those catalogs and others for an abundance of future ideas. dsc_0347 dsc_0349

Taa daa!! There is the hole. I guess I will sew it closed (by hand) and then continue on with the yarn felting. The single strand felting of yarn is VERY fast, and very fun to do. dsc_0356 dsc_0360

Maybe it’s raining where you live. It’s a perfect time to start a new project! Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget to find my felting video on my  FB business page (DesignsbyHeidi).  I will learn how to get it to the blog posts and to You Tube, but I just had to try it right then and there, last night.

P.P.S. Sign ups for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat have begun. I have my first student! So yeahh for that. Remember, my workshop is called, “Pick A Pattern.” Click on the logo below and you’ll get all the information you need to sign up.

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Patternless Sewing! It’s Easy!

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Start with my Off the Grid Vest pattern (the miracle vest!).

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Add some beautiful batiks (these are by Alison Glass) and a fabulous foundation ombre fabric (buy it at Christine Barnes.com)

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Prepare fabric pieces with Terial Magic and cut strips from them.
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Stitch up some off-centered Log Cabin blocks (it’s all in the pattern instructions, not to worry).  Whirrr…… pedal to the metal! dsc_0093

Gather some highly technical tools to create your own pattern pieces from the measurements I give you. It really is easy. dsc_0149

Have fun setting out the pieces to create your own unique design. dsc_0136

Add some simple, let me say that again for emphasis, SIMPLE, quilting lines on the vest back, then arrange some strips. and using either Basting glue or Elmer’s school glue, glue them to the vest back. dsc_0114

Log cabin squares pinned to the fronts and then glued. Ready to stitch in place. dsc_0146-2

Some more stitching and echo stitching to create a slimming, linear look. dsc_0247 dsc_0227

A nifty finishing technique for all the edges and a cool flat stitched seam allowance. Simple instructions are included of course.
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You have to get this pattern for a truly, Art to Wear piece. You will be walking on air with all the compliments you receive. I’m not joking! dsc_0311 dsc_0592 dsc_0556

And here it is inside out! So many ways to wear it! dsc_0316

Isn’t THIS a cool look? My friend, Lila Sugg made this fabulous necklace for ME! I think it is a perfect compliment for my vest. Lila is 92 years young! You are one amazingly, talented woman Lila. Oh, did I mention its made using real potatoes? I posted about this, a long time ago. I HAVE to get my past posts organized. Soon….img_20150409_160828

A student’s vest (Pat from the Bay Area) from my Art to Wear workshop at one of our Artistic Alchemy Retreats. Love the deep rich colors. pat-vest-front-open-draped

Carolyn from New Zealand created this stunner after purchasing my pattern online. Carolyn is 82 years young (you go girlfriend) and made this to celebrate her birthday with family in Switzerland. I just love it!new-zealand-ca

And Trish, at an Artistic Alchemy retreat, made her version of Off The Grid vest. She walked out of workshop wearing hers!!! You are the BEST!dsc_1038

And at last years retreat, Sherri also walked out at the end of the retreat with HER FINISHED Off The Grid vest. Beautiful work Sherri. And she added her own twist to the back.

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I LOVE the back of this vest that uses a quilting panel piece. Thank you again Sherri, for saying yes to my using your panel idea in a project for my upcoming book. It’s going to press next week!! I’ll  keep you all posted.

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Commercial break: Here we are in order from the left, Mary Boalt, Sandra Bruce, Christine Barnes, and me. Sign ups for Artistic Alchemy #4 have just opened! Sign up soon. I hope to see some of you in my workshop this year: “Pick A Pattern.”  Click on the A.A. logo below to learn more.
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Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you all have time to do something creative this weekend (cleaning up after recent storms does NOT count). Hugs, Heidi

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Anatomy of My Modern Patchwork Project!

I love hearing from those who have made one of my projects! Thank you so much for taking the time to write and send pictures. Modern Patchwork,  Fall 2016 is the latest magazine project.
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I received this picture from Karenanne from Portland, Oregon. She made these two Free-Form Circles pillows for her sister for Christmas. And then, she had so much fun with those, that she created her own design for a third pillow.  Way to go Karenanne! I love them on your red couch. karenannes-pictures

Carolyn from New Zealand made her version of F.F. Circles Pillow for a friend for Christmas. Love the black background to make the colors pop!fullsizerender-6

Carolyn had so much fun with that one she said and her friend liked it so much that she made her another one. Way to go Carolyn! fullsizerender

Another woman from North Carolina emailed me. She hasn’t sent pictures yet, I hope later. She asked if she could teach this project to her beginning machine quilters. Love that idea!

Now who is this? Jax, is our son’s dog. We were dog sitting and we spoil this dog. He can sit anywhere he wants! Jax saved us from a would-be robber who was casing the neighborhood. 30 robberies had been committed in our neighborhood. It was broad daylight and the robber came to the door on the pretext of needing to use the phone. Jax is very well trained, but lunged out the door and my husband had to pull him hard, back into the house. Long story short, the guy exited quickly after that and we called the Sheriff and they caught him.  Jax is a hero in my book. Rescue dogs and cats are the BEST! dsc_0165

Saw a squirrel, sorry about that, now back to our story about Free-form Circle Pillow. 20160924_120349-2

Long ago, in a room filled with fabric, I collected a bunch of “Grunge” fabrics by Moda. I fanned them out and thought and thought. These colors are so yummy next to each other, how about stacking them some simple way? P.S. Those flowers in the picture are Oragami Roses my son made for me for Valentine’s Day, years ago. Best gift EVER! dsc_0961

Now to get to work. I found three circle objects of varying sizes and traced them onto stiffened fabric (using Terial Magic) and cut them out.  Take note of the scraps in the upper right corner. You’ll see them again shortly.dsc_0532

Fanning them out just to look at them. dsc_0556

While fanning out the circles, I glanced over to those scraps I mentioned. Uh oh, I saw a squirrel. What if……?dsc_0540

And look at these felt balls that are mere inches away from the scraps. dsc_0577

Oh my, I turn to a pile of Alison Glass (Andover fabrics)and yowzaa look at that Medallion piece (I CAN NOT cut that up, it will forever remain like that I’m sure). All these colors and designs are fun together. Aacckk! dsc_0547

And yes, there is paper in my life too. The piece below was wrapped around a house plant. I believe the house plant is long gone, but I love the design on the paper.  I just know I can incorporate this design with everything above.  dsc_0549dsc_0599

More scraps of shapes, color, and design. So it’s O.K. to have some playtime with scraps. You never know where it will lead. It’s no wonder I have a hard time falling asleep. dsc_0596

O.K., O.K. back to free form stitching. These circles are NOT supposed to be perfectly, evenly, stitched. That is the whole idea for the project. Freedom to enjoy the process. I had to include this black and white picture, for a rest from all the color. I used iron on fleece for the batting. It is great to work with and never hangs up on the feed dogs. dsc_1232

Super, handy hint for you. When free form machine quilting, if you backtack a few stitches when you first begin, you can go in with your scissors and trim off the excess. Otherwise, that open toed darning foot can get hung up on loose threads and cause you angst. dsc_1240

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If you want a copy of Modern Patchwork, Fall 2016, I have a few left for sale. There are some great projects in that issue. hmemmett@gmail.com Be sure to dash over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com We are GOING LIVE to tell you all about the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe this Sept. 4-8th. Fun and more FUN!! Hugs, Heidi