Monthly Archives: August 2019

Getting Ready for Our 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat!

My list gets bigger every year of all the things to bring. Machines alone, I’m bringing 3 different ones! I have so much to share with my students. You MUST come next year. Check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat here. We are going to have a great time. It is held at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Conference Center (look them up here).This year, our 6th annual retreat, runs from September 2nd- 6th.

Terrific Tabard – It’s a blank canvas. Quilted, unquilted, silks, Kantha cloth, all one piece, oodles of pieces (collage style), so many ideas…..

The pattern fits so many sizes. It’s only $15.00 plus shipping. See all my patterns at my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.

Zephyr Jacket, Whisper Blouse, Calypso, so colorful.
Calypso vest, Mommy & Me & My Quilted Vests, and Whisper Blouse, all fun patterns that are available via Heidi Emmett at: hmemmett@gmail.com or visit my Etsy shop: Look for DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.
I put samples of some of my patterns out on our back deck. I liked the look so much that I took pictures  just for fun.
The back of a Sparky Top  (love, love wearing this one, I feel like I’m floating) with that center back panel from a Maxi Dress. The dress was made from silk chiffon. See the back of a Whisper Blouse, and there is a Zephyr Jacket (doing what it should, blowing in the breeze).
In the background is my Simply Super Vest from my book Fashion Quilted Accessories. And then in front is a Zephyr Jacket in which I went a little over the top with my “duding it up.” But , hey, we gotta have fun right?
While out on the deck hanging up all my samples, I stopped and admired my beautiful Geranium. The biggest most prolific I’d grown in a while. The picture does NOT do it justice.  I’m sure glad I took this picture because the very next day, all but 4 blossom clusters were chewed off by a deer! Grrrr…..

Some great summer reading. I love this book. Read the chapter on the “Safety Pin.”
Here is another good read. All about how today’s palette of color came about. The chapter on Indigo was an eye opener for me.
I can’t believe that the deer missed my miniature roses! Right next to the chomped on geranium.
This is a close up of one of my miniature roses. Isn’t she a beauty? Have a wonderful weekend.  Hugs, Heidi     P.S. Don’t miss the funny pics below.

This is SO ME!!! My husband ALWAYS diverts my attention away from these side of the road items.
A friend sent me this. Yep, this is me. It’s all about the THRILL OF THE HUNT!!

Look at These Cuties!

The outfits and the ladies that are wearing them!

The first one is a Whisper Blouse made by Bonnie.
Bonnie is like me, she likes color too! What fun. She wore her Whisper Blouse to a Quilt Guild meeting so I had to take a few pics. Nice job.
A perfect top for warm days. Whisper Blouse, make it all in one fabric or each panel a different fabric.
There is such vibrancy in the prints she used. Really well done my dear!

The next one is Zephyr Jacket. It really is a breeze to sew. And a blank canvas for different ways to sew it up. Another Art to Wear sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett.
Patty and I were recently in a class together and we had literally just a couple of minutes to snap these pics before class started.  Isn’t the back wonderful? I had not thought of adding something cool to the back of this pattern. Of course, I want to do that now!
Someday soon I’ll get some stylin’ photos of Patty in her remarkable Zephyr Jacket. Remarkable (besides the jacket) in that you can see her back brace. Patty made this jacket a week after her 10 hour back surgery! AMAZING! She said she felt so much better after the surgery she wanted to work on her idea for a new Zephyr Jacket. Now THAT’S what I call perseverance!
She created  wavy strips in orange to go with the cool print. And this is the lining!
The back panel she designed herself. It is a navy background with traditional Sashiko (Japanese embroidery) stitching in white. Patty then hand appliqued mostly marbleized fabrics (not the rainbow butterfly above) around and on the Sashiko.
Beautiful stitching on the Sashiko as well as the hand appliqued butterflies. Great job Patty.

I think these two marbleized (the fabric , it was hand done as well) butterflies are my favorites. Patty says she LOVES my Zephyr Jacket pattern. It’s very versatile and the actual sewing up of the jacket goes quickly. Thanks for sharing Patty. Please contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing these patterns. Check them out on Etsy (I have a baker’s dozen  of patterns right now). If you buy 2 or more through me at hmemmett@gmail.com I’ll do free shipping anywhere in the world!  All patterns are in English.

A recent sunset at Zephyr Point right on the water at South Shore, Lake Tahoe. Ahhh….I love this shot. I’m going to be there very soon to teach my workshop at the  Artistic Alchemy retreat. It’s called “Upcycling, Wearable Creativity, and Fiber Jewelry.” We will have sooo much FUN! Just being on the shores of Lake Tahoe,take a few slow, deep breaths and you will immediately feel more relaxed and ready to create! Join me next year. I leave you with this quote: ” Dressing well is a form of good manners.” Hugs, Heidi

What’s Black & White & Chartreuse?

I found a 100% linen knit top, and yes, at a Thrift Shoppe (I added the extra “p” and “e” to give it cache’ ha,ha).  The top was too short for me as is. I’m going to have some sewing fun.  Let’s Upcycle!

I love LOVE 100% linen. I wear it all summer long. Yes, it looks fabulous crisp and pressed, but “lived in” (aka, wrinkles), is my favorite. And I think it just gets better and better the more it’s washed and worn.  I have even made a set of linen sheets. Very nice.  They lasted quite a few years before they became too thin (I put my foot right through). Ha, Ha.
I looked through my scraps and found some leftover bits that I had used in another project (look up that OTHER project under past posts, called, Rectangle pieced dress) . I love black and white and one more color. This time I’m using chartreuse. Note the black and white “tubettes.”

I call them “tubettes” because as you can see they can be opened up and stitched down. Test a cotton knit or other fibered knit for stretchy-ness and the curl factor. Cut a strip in the direction of the curl.  I don’t cut any under 1 inch in width. Use your fingers to open it up and stitch it down the middle. I stitched my tubettes for added texture and shhh.. don’t tell anyone, to hide some poor stitching (it was too loose and really showed).
I tried on the top to determine where I wanted to place my pieced fabric length. Then I carefully cut the top apart (keep it in a circle shape) so I could insert the piece. Two things, if you look closely, it’s uneven on the left side. Make sure That you add a piece ( in this case I added a wedge) or cut away so that it is even all the way around. The second thing, if you are adding fabric that has words or letters make certain they are going in the right direction. Oh yea, do you hear the riiip, rip, rip, of my seam ripper. Sigh…..  Determine how much you need of the pieced fabric and sew the ends together to form a circle that matches the top (if it’s a knitted top, DON’T stretch it).

When attaching the pieces together, divide the top portion of the top into four sections (use pins to mark  the sections). Do this on the bottom portion of the top as well, AND BOTH the top and bottom of the pieced section.

If you are Serging the pieces together, just go for it. No Serger, no problem. The trick for sewing the pieces together on a home sewing machine is to make CERTAIN that the knitted fabric is underneath. It has to do with the feed dogs and how they feed the fabric through. Trust me on this one or you will be using that seam ripper again. Ha, ha.

Uh OHHHH! I broke my own rule. And it’s my number ONE rule, “Always think long and lean, think up and down with design features.” So I fixed it, sort of……
I added more “tubettes”  going in an up and down  free form design.
I really like it now.
A friend gave me the “hand made” sew in tag.  Thank you Lisa.
A word about taking pictures outside, at high noon. Don’t do it. All the blacks in the pictures are really deep black, in person.  I was taught by the Sunset photographers (of the book division of Sunset magazine of which my friend Christine Barnes worked for back in the day) to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon. Never in overhead sun, even if you are in the shade. I couldn’t wait, my hubby was home and I needed the pics right then and there!
I think the top turned out to be a fun addition to my wardrobe.

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m putting on my Artistic Alchemy Retreat hat now to say pop on over to today’s post to read about what the four of us teachers are doing to prepare for this years retreat, September 2nd-September 6th. Carve out some creative time where you can. Hugs, Heidi

A CARNIVALE TOP – Let’s Upcycle!

I found this really uniquely designed tunic top in an equally unique color scheme. It was made in Brazil. It was too tight in the hips(even though the fabric is a rayon knit) but I liked the design so I was determined to make it work for me. Fun design, contrasting coloring, made in Brazil – Carnivale comes to mind, sew let’s have FUN!

Whoa, this is a bit low cut. I will be wearing a t-top of some kind underneath. I think the design is fun. I did add the interesting detailing in red around the neckline. I will talk about how to do that in another post.

The back was so tight fitting. It had a convenient seam in the middle of the back. Snip, snip. I’m gonna make it fit!
It’s a nice stretch rayon knit, give a little tension on one side, easy to cut.
I chose this “plaid” Marcia Derse quilting cotton for the back insert. It really matches the bits of red on the front. I cut it out in a giant, wide at the apex (for some gathers) triangle.
I had already decided that I couldn’t leave that insert plain. I needed some colorful yo-yo accents. Whaaat? So I pulled out some fabrics that I thought might work. The top piece is filled with giant butterflies.
I go through a yo-yo phase every now and then. I make a bunch when I need some handwork. Clover has a yo-yo maker in lots of different sizes. Fast and fun. Now where did I put my bag of yo-yos? Found it! These will do nicely.
Placement is easy when you take a picture first. Then move them around.  Put one pin in each yo-yo to hold in place.
Attach a closed-darning foot, lower the feed dogs and start stitching around the outside edge. I even sew off the edge around and around (upper right) a few times for added interest. The yo-yos look good but it needs one extra touch. Hmm….
Yep, that’s my book. Just a couple of years old, but timeless projects. $14.00 includes tax. For the month of August 2019, buy one from me and I will ship it free. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to buy one. I am choosing the project in the upper right corner.
This is a fast and fun way to attach “fussy cut” pieces to a background. I love butterflies. From my current book,  Fashion Quilted Accessories, by Heidi Emmett for Leisure Arts.
Naturally, I chose to fussy cut a colorful butterfly for this project too. Apply Terial Magic before you cut it out. The antennas, ouch, I had to cut them off. It’s too hard to stitch around when the fabric is floppy. But you’ll see my remedy for stitching the antennae.
This technique is explained really well in the book, but here’s the quick version. Choose a thread to be used on the outside edges. It can be ombre or plain. Whatever you like. I was already into lots of “color” so why stop now. Ha, ha. This time I’m using an “opened”-toed darning foot for better vision. Lower the feed dogs. Set your machine to a mid-sized zig-zag stitch. Stitch length pretty close (but you will have control over that on your own). Start slowly, let the machine do the work (I don’t even glue it down, the Terial Magic helps the fabric stick to the background). Hands on either side of the foot and gently move from side to side just a teeny bit to give that jagged look and to fill in. You don’t want spaces. You can go forward or backward to help fill it in.
Don’t forget tear-away stabilizer on the back. As you can see, I sure did. Piece it if you need to. I did and I did a really poor job at it. Trust me, you WANT the stabilizer. It does just what it says. Tear it off when you are finished stitching!
Taa-Daa! Kinda fun don’t ya think? I’m going to wear a white tank under it and my white, slim capris.
It is all about the color for this tunic top. It’s so different than the front. Eye catching I think.
Don’t look too closely, but my butterfly’s antenna’s need some attention. Didn’t I say take your time, and go back and forth if you must to fill in? Sheesh, I can’t follow my own advice.
I’m wearing my “Carnivale” Tunic to our County Fair tomorrow. Have a great, creative weekend, and don’t forget, free shipping if you buy a book from me during August 2019. Hugs, Heidi

Indigo Dying – WHAT FUN!

It was a bright, summer day. Perfect for playing with fabric and Indigo dyes. With very little experience with this process, I was ready to jump right in.

Our teacher, Ginny Lee, showing samples and explaining the process.
So, Indigo is the dye bath we put our item in after it has been manipulated in some way with Shibori techniques.
Here is an example of Kumo Shibori. Love it, and it is the first one I tried on a linen top.
Here is the wrong side and the right side (both are cool) of a Shibori technique that involves using wine corks (I always wondered what to do with mine, ha, ha) and rubber bands.
O.K., here goes my first attempt at Kimo Shibori using a linen top. Wrap at an angle, tightly, but not too tight.
Ginny is showing me how to wrap and pull down on those wraps (to fit the whole thing on the tube.
Here are some very interesting wraps. Notice the printed fabrics too.
I love all these really wild and different wrappings, foldings, and clothes pins! These pieces have been soaked in water and are waiting their turn in the dye bath.
Indigo is a plant. Yes, it is found in Asia, India, and I just learned this, there were large plantations of Indigo in South Carolina in the middle to late 19th century.  Not really a hard process to make up a batch of the Indigo.  Really messy though.
This is my linen top coming out of the dye bath. Whaaat? Why is it Chartreuse? Where’s the blue? It turns this green color in the dye bath and as it’s exposed to the air, it begins to change over to Indigo Blue.
I like this cotton shirt and floppy hat.
Taa daa! My linen top! There is still some green in one bottom corner. 5 min. later, blue.
This piece is so interesting. Ginny said to bring yellow or orange fabrics as a base fabric. Such an interesting piece all wrapped and folded with 1/2 moon shapes.
I think this T-shirt is really cool. There is the yellow and orange(tie dyed before) with a hint of Indigo here and there.
This T-shirt was pinched and pleated in the top area only using larger clips. What a cool design.
I sure wish this was my piece. Again, it started with a pale yellow fabric. I like the combo of styles within one piece.
I brought a baby quilt that I got at the thrift store. The quilting, HAND QUILTING, is so precise, and the stitching is so small. It had languished in my “what do I do with this?” container for years. It was white, well dingy white. It took awhile but I bunched up little poofs of fabric and held them in place with plastic stretchy hair ties. I really like how it turned out. I hope to make a vest out of it using one of my patterns. Maybe a “Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest” only it will be a quilted.
Someone brought this book.  I might need to own this. Filled with great pics and ideas.

It was suggested that we bring fat qtrs. to be able to try many different techniques. Brilliant idea. One student did that, and even went further by prepping some of her pieces at home with some of the more time consuming folding, pinching, whatever processes.
This same student took home 12 different techniques with just fat qtrs. I’m jealous!
Another pale yellow piece of fabric to start (a tablecloth actually).
A really fun day and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully sooner than later.
I came home and went to the back deck doors and said, “What? ” Rex was sound asleep, thinking he was a dog? Trying to cool off? Pretty funny.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone and try something new. Take a class. It will open your mind to what is possible. Hugs, Heidi