Monthly Archives: March 2018

Road Trip/ Business Trip Part 2!

I’m still at the Trends show in Portland, Oregon. I’m meeting and greeting as many new people as I can to tell them about my love (or is it obsession?) with all things “Art to Wear!” I even had my picture taken at two “booths” just for 50’s fun. That was the theme for the Spring Trends Show. Some great costumes were walking around. I even spotted Elvis.


I spotted this cool necklace and asked its’ owner if I could take a picture.  These beads were plastic but how about polymer clay, or fiber pieces? Hmm..I will file this in fiber/polymer jewelry… I really like how it is strung (she bought it at Macy’s years ago).

Someone won, YES, won, this adorable 50’s “kitschy”  display made by Mr. Kelly. It was about 4′ x 4′. 

This show took place in a GINORMOUS warehouse. Look up and beautiful quilts were on display. These were entered by shop owners across the western states. Iowa was the furthest east that I met. Yes, those are shopping carts. Big ones, easy to fill, use as many as you need, load up on the latest, greatest, of fabrics and notions. Ackk! I want to do that too!

Aisle after aisle, after aisle! It boggles the mind. Ladies had their “shopping” lists in hand and wheeled their carts down all the isles. Fill one up, just park it in a special place and get another one.  

This is Miss Elizabeth. She is the Iris Apfel of the West Coast. She called her coat, “The Four Seasons.” It goes all the way to her ankles. I thought the flowers on the front were quite intriguing. Let’s go in for a closer look. 

Some kind of Origami. I think they are fun. This is the “Spring” side she said. 

Below, a lady and I are trying to arrange my “Sensational Scarf Vest” She is from Eastern Washington (so sweet)). She gave me the BEST idea for Scarf Vest. Using fabric paints, stamp or stencil on plain (any color)silk Georgette, to make your own beautiful fabric. In case you didn’t know, Scarf vest is made up of two layers of the same sheer fabric so there is some lovely pattern on patterns created. 

Work is done, LET’S PLAY!! Five hour drive south  from Portland on Interstate 5 brings us to Ashland, Oregon.  Here I am in Lithia Park. It is so lovely. It is a 99 acre park in the middle of the town and has a large stream running through it’s length. A very European feel. It is also home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The top of the hills behind this picture all had a dusting of snow behind them. Brrrr…

Lovely homes everywhere. This one is on East Main St. 

And THE FOOD!! Ohh so yummy. An Antipasti plate. 

Another view, everything so fresh. Can you see what my glass of wine says? This is Pie and Vine, with wood fire ovens for that fabulous “Pie” below.  We liked the food sooo much, we went back a second time. 

We took a little drive in the outskirts of Ashland. 

And then, on to the play! Center seats and four rows up!! This playbill cover is so cool don’t you think? It was really well done! We had never seen a Jane Austen in play form. Kate Hamill did a wonderful job. Love, love, LOVED everything, the town, the food, the shops (more about Sew Creative and Web-sters in another post!), the plays, the scenery. Sheesh, it sounds as if I don’t get out much. Oh dear, that’s kinda true. Oh well, I enjoy it that MUCH more when I do get out and about. 

We’re in California now and this is a stunner of a view from the car, on Interstate 5 looking at Mount Shasta. 

The mountain, all 14, 412 feet, is all covered clouds. The taller mountains make their own weather patterns. Mount Shasta is particularly stunning as it is a classically shaped volcano all by itself. They say the last time Mount Shasta errupted, was 1786, when Sir Francis Drake was busy discovering places along the northern coast of California , and made a log entry that he had seen an eruption to the east.  

And that cloud shape above the other cloud layer, I think, gives an eerie, other worldly look to it. That is a “lenticular” cloud and caused by lots of wind.  Historical facts, meteorological facts, that’s what a road trip is all about. Ha, ha.  

I have other pictures and fun factoids but I will leave those to be mixed into other posts. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Easter to all, Spring, and rebirth!    Hugs, Heidi

Road Trip/Business Trip, Part One!

Last Thursday, my husband and I drove north to Portland, Oregon. One of my distributors, E.E. Schenck, had a show for shop owners in their ginormous warehouse. They invited me to come and speak all about “Art To Wear” patterns, MY patterns. I was so honored to be asked. And I decided I had sooooo much eye candy to show that I would need to bring it up myself (not on a plane).  And, it was time for a road trip. So pull up a chair, and pour a cuppa, as you travel from Cedar Ridge, CA to Portland, OR .  It’s still winter so snow and rain greeted us right outside Lake Shasta. We were stopped along with 1000’s of other vehicles for 2 1/2 hours while they cleared two jack-knifed big rigs because of snow. Everyone involved were o.k.  Mount Shasta was totally covered by clouds so I got this picture of an “itty bitty” cinder cone that is next to 14,162ft.  Mt. Shasta.

Whaaat?? A business owner likes color as much as I do…this came up so fast I couldn’t get a panoramic shot. Every color of the rainbow, trucks lined up out front. 

A much needed break for coffee in Yreka, CA. Look, more color, but better yet, love these, half oval shapes.  Perfect for some machine stitching. When this idea pops up in one of my designs, I will remind you of this very picture. 

Ohhh, what cool patterns, shapes, and colors we have here. 

At last, over the border into Oregon. First thing I noticed barns and ranches and happy cows, sheep, and horses, and green grass everywhere! Again, in the barn I see rectangles, washed colors, and depth of design. 

Cottage Grove, Oregon. Blooming ornamental plum trees, EVERYWHERE! Gorgeous!

The largest pansy flowers I have ever seen.

I see an entire palette in this picture. Hmm…does all that moss on this plum trees trunk mean lots of rain to go with? Well, Oregon is noted for it’s rain, rain, and more rain. 

And SUDDENLY here I am in my “Meet and Greet” area, after my Trunk Show. The beautiful quilts behind me, sadly, are not mine, but they are each made of only one fabric that is produced by E.E. Schenck. This is called “Gelato”, and each piece in the line is what we call  “ombre” fabric. I am wearing my Off The Grid Vest, and the base of it is this same Gelato fabric in Gray.  I love, it sew much.  Schenck is adding new colorways to this line as well.  If you want some now but can’t find it in your local shops, visit, ChristineBarnes.com She carries it in her online store. I’m holding my Tahoe to A “T” (black & white) and my latest Terrific Tabard. And showin’ off all the projects in my book, “Quilted Fashion Accessories.”

More about my trunk show and other pictures in “Part 2” next week. Thank you for stopping by. I have to cut this short as I have to get out a ton of orders for my patterns and books. And that’s a GOOD thing! Hugs, Heidi

Busy weekend!

I’m on a road trip to Portland, OR.  I was asked to speak at the Trends fabric show at one of my distributors of my  patterns.  Excited to get show shopowners what I do and how easy my patterns are to use and actually enjoy wearing.

I’ll tell you all about it next week. Make time for some sewing or other creativity  this weekend. Check out Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to see what our creative retreat is all about. Hugs, Heidi

Let’s Machine Felt and Throw In a Little Quilting too!

We finally got some winter around here in Cedar Ridge (that white stuff, called SNOW! Yippee). So of course, I need to work with yarn. I have had this beautiful extra thick and soft Cashmere sweater (thrift score!) for the longest time. And now with the colder weather I want to add some pizzazz and WEAR IT!

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Auditioning fabric and yarn. These are perfect. I used the “Fibs & Fables” by Westminster Fabrics and found yarn to go with it. 

I talk more about my felting machine, how it works, yarns, ideas, fibers you can use, etc., in other posts. Visit the home page and check the categories on the side (look for fun felting and upcycling).

I pulled some yarn right off the ball of yarn, positioned it into a circle onto one of the bell sleeves.

My “glue” of choice is a piece of regular netting, NOT tulle netting. I just place it right over the circle of yarn and push it all under the 5 needles (they are inside the protective cover). Whirrr…….whirrr…..whirr….I just LOVE this little magical machine. Remove the netting and voila’

Here are a few more “felties”, that’s what I call them, off one skein of yarn. 

Wait. I have to tell you about a very cool tool I just discovered. It is called a “Gleener.” It has three different edges to take fuzzies off of wool, acrylic, polyester, and fine fabrics. And has a velvet lint brush on the back and it’s own little carrying case with instructions.

Two of the blades sit inside and the third one is on the outside edge, ready to use. In one word, “AMAZING.”

I think I’m done with this bell sleeve edge. There are felties all the way around. Took maybe 20 minutes for one sleeve. Pretty sweet, right? 

I have to have a kangaroo pocket. Adds tremendous cozy factor in my opinion. Before attaching the pocket to the sweater, I have to do a little quilting on my regular sewing machine. Attach a darning foot (I like open toed so I can see better), lower the feed dogs, and start outlining or doodling across the sandwich of lining/batting/fashion fabric. I have also pre-sewn the sandwich together, right sides together, turned through a 5″+ opening and pressed. Back to the stitching process. Whaaat fun. Very relaxing, just like adding the felties. 

After pinning the kangaroo pocket to the sweater front, I got a cool idea. Look for the flower headed pins (one orange and one yellow).  Follow the faint white (chalk) line from the orange pin head down to the center of the pocket. Another yellow pin running horizontally. Stitch in a “V” formation through all thicknesses. Also, through all thicknesses, at the top of the pocket and leave the middle section of the pocket open (still talking about the top. Sew all the way across the bottom edge.  DO NOT stitchthe short ends (like I did, oh, Heidi, Heidi). I need a place to put my hands. Silly me.

Sew I stitched down the pocket and now I need to add some felties around the pocket and around the lower back. But first a cuppa in my special open cup to savor the rich coffee smell. I set it down and looked at it and remembered something very special to me. 

I remembered my Grandma Castleberg (my mother’s mother) and a friend of hers (a photography student) wanting to take a Black and White study of Grandma for a class project. And here it is. I love this picture and will treasure it always. I feel that I get my extra dose of creativity from my my Aunt Rose on my father’s side. I’ll share that story another time. 

Back to felties. It’s done! Check out the “V” pocket idea I had. I like it. 

I received these violas from a friend. What a great idea to brighten someones day. Buy a tiny clay pot (this one is 3 1/2″) and gently place a Viola (from a pony-pack) inside the clay pot. It has to be placed somewhere close by for the maximum happy quotient. Also, you’ll remember to check it every day for a possible drink of water.  Mine sits on the edge of my kitchen sink. Who will you pick to brighten their day with this simple idea? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy Have a “Make it Up, Make it Fun, Get it Done” weekend! Hugs, Heidi

Whisper Blouse, Art to Wear in Shannon Fabrics Double Gauze

by Heidi Emmett  

Hello, My name is Heidi Emmett and I am an “Art to Wear” sewing pattern designer.  I was recently given the opportunity to work with some beautiful Double Gauze from Shannon Fabrics.   The version of Whisper Blouse below, features 10 different double gauze pieces from a full range of solids and prints in their Embrace line. I will list all the gauze prints used, at the end of this post.

I have never sewn on Double Gauze, so I wasn’t sure what to expect.

It was like sewing through “butter.” Ha, ha. Double gauze is a loosely woven cotton, two layers of it put together by a secret machining technique. And the result is one piece, light as a feather and whisper soft. 

Below are the front and back covers of my Whisper Blouse pattern. 

Ten different pieces, where do I place them? I literally lay out the pieces in a “quasai”  Whisper Blouse look and audition the pieces for each spot. I’m showing this layout as it was the first one I tried, but clearly not the last. When in doubt, pick your  favorite fabric for the bodice and then work out from there. Always take a picture of your work. It helps you visualize the finished blouse.

I wanted you to see the skirt pieces put together. It looks quite random, but there is a method. I chose the Mariposa-Multi (butterflies) for the center panels and side panels. Pretend this is a clock face. 6 o’clock is the center front. 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock are the side panels. You will never see the whole skirt at once so placement isn’t that crucial as you can see. The picture below shows the inside neck edge. I am using a double folded bias tape to finish the neck edge. The super tightly woven bias tape is a perfect stabilizer for the loosely woven gauze. It makes for a beautifully flat neck edge. I give clear instructions in pattern on how to apply the bias tape.

Below is a bottle of your new best friend. Go to their website, Terial Magic.com, to see all the uses it has. I spot spray it in regards to sewing. Works best on 100% cotton, which double gauze is.  Lay a piece of muslin on your ironing board. Spray T.M.  where you need stabilization of the fabric (hem of the skirt pieces in this picture). Iron it dry with a dry iron set on cotton. When it’s dry it will feel like a piece of paper. Press up the hems and stitch in place. You can easily remove the stiffness by getting the stiff area wet, to rinse out the T.M. and squeeze out the excess and iron dry. 

I can’t wait to wear my new Whisper Blouse. Twirling is a must with Shannon Fabrics Double Gauze. I truly enjoyed working with this fabric so much that I have almost finished two more  projects and am ready to cut out a third.  I will bring those to you in a future post. 

Here are the pieces I used: Queen Anne’s Lace-Coral, Mariposa- Multi, Premier Garden Toile-Colbalt, Floral Fields-Teal, Premier Dandelion-Aruba, Plumage-Teal, Premier Blooms-Aruba, Herringbone-Steel, Fun Dot-Malibu, Aim High-Teal.

Thanks for stopping by. Please visit my personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com for more creative sewing ideas. And click on the Craftsy or Etsy logos to see my collection of “Art to Wear” sewing pattern.  Hugs, Heidi

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Denim Daze!

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In case you didn’t know, I love to upcycle or repurpose  garments. Today it’s denim! I was on PInterest at 6:00a.m. today and denim things just kept popping up. Let’s look at some of my latest “pins” and then I’ll show you two of my own easy, peasy, projects. Aren’t the totes below, cute. While you’re thrifting, look for purses/totes that have handles you can reuse.

I like the way this vest uses several different denim colors to create a really distinctive look.

I love, love, LOVE this denim coat. Don’t use too heavy of denim pieces or you will never want to wear it. 

Great use of jean pockets. 

A super creative use of denim and belts. 

A very creative way to lengthen a top and use light weight denim. I believe they started with a denim shirt. 

A very fun way to use bits of denim and some favorite dress fabrics. 

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Below are two projects. The bottom piece is a duvet cover, designed and created by Christine Barnes for a Sunset Book, project. Look for a copy of this book, Reinvent Series, Kid’s Rooms, by Christine Barnes for Sunset Books. You can find them on Ebay. This Duvet cover is one of the great quilting projects in the book. Today, though,  I will show you the pillow project that I designed (sitting on the duvet cover).  

I call the pillows “Rods and Reels”, because the design on the front reminds me of a rod & reel that you fish with. This was a “denim” issue that included my “vintage” denim pillow project. I enjoyed designing projects for Stitch and wouldn’t ya know it,  Interweave dropped the magazine. You might be able to find back issues on Ebay. 

I used all Kaffe Fassett striped fabrics. Yummy colors. I pre-stitched some denim pieces WRONG sides together and zig-zagged the seams open. Then I washed and dried the pieces so the white area would fringe some more. 

Terial Magic sprayed on all the striped fabrics really helped in the sewing process. Check it out at Terialmagic.com 

Laying out the rods and reels

I am using basting glue for this project. While it is a wonderful product, it is a bear for me  to get out of the tube. I have constant clogging issues. Sew, I have now started using good ol’ Elmer’s school glue. My hands don’t ache anymore. 

I put on my open-toed darning foot, lower the feed dogs, and have fun!

Below is my version of denim catch-all containers. 

Cut up the legs of a men’s pair of regular legged jeans(I have bins for legs, bins for waistbands, bins for pockets, ackk, I’m “binned out”).

Then I went to the shortsleeved shirt bin, sigh, it’s a disease, but I AM EMBRACING IT! Notice that the sleeve fit perfectly onto the leg piece. I did stitch out the fullness of the sleeve at the under arm portion   

I call the these “mock box pleats.” Make certain that they are of equal distance on both sides. 

Whirrrr…..stitching around the top edge. The hemmed edge of the shirt sleeve is turned to the right side of the container. Done!

A winterscape at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada side.  This is where we will hold our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Aren’t you glad we will be there September 3rd-7th instead? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy    Tap on the Artistic Alchemy icon for more

What is that white thing on the end of the dock? 

We went in for a closer look. My whole side of the family was up at Zephyr Point a few years back. The “thing” on the dock is a  snow sculpture made by a nephew. Here I am with hubby, and son.   Brrrrrr…..  it was really cold but we all had a great time!

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Stay cozy this weekend. A perfect time for some handwork. It feels like crochet time, embroidery, polymer, knitting, fiber jewelry time. Accckkk! By the time I decide, the snow (that’s expected) will have melted. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi