All posts by designsbyheidi

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 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, 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: 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 

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















CHECK THIS OUT! A New and Different Terrific Tabard by Designs by Heidi

I’m changing things up at Design’s by Heidi. Same great patterns, but I’m looking forward to working  with different fabrics, and a sleek and smooth look, so very little to no quilting. I will always have beautiful quilting fabrics in my designs and lots of stitching, but now I want add fabrics such as silk shantung, linen, wools, etc. and add some solid colors and/or more black. I am just getting started on my “Black + A Color” collection (using my current patterns). Below, I present to you, the FIRST piece in this collection: Terrific Tabard aka “Skinny Vest.” Here is the basic pattern.

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I bought one of Mary Boalt’s beautiful “half a canvas.” I love it sew much that I was determined to use every, single, scrap! And I have. Let me show you how I did it. Below, on the right side of the vest, I used the majority of the panel. It measured approximately 18″ x 29″.  I used View “A” with the rounded front piece (near the neck area). I chose to pin my vest closed at the top instead of a button at the waist. A whole NEW look.

O.K., let’s unpack how SIMPLE this vest was to make. I think that laying it out flat shows how easy it is. 

And here are the lining pieces. Before we go any further, this is the biggest change to the Terrific Tabard pattern. Normally, all creative work is done on the wrong side of the lining/foundation piece. This time, creative stitching is done on all the outside pieces and the lining is used to create the finished outside edge. Here is the order to put this together: 1. Stitch, right sides together, the decorated pieces at the shoulders. 2. Copy that on the lining pieces. 3. With right sides together, pin the outside of the vest, to the lining of the vest. 4. Begin stitching all the way around the vest on one side of the back. 5. Stitch, stitch, all the way around until you come within 6-7″ of the beginning. 6. Turn the vest through this opening. 7. Press, add loops, buttons, etc. 

Now for some of the details. My beautiful “closure” pin. Look in your long forgotten pin drawer. Who knows, an entire vest may come from one of your treasures. 

This is the largest, leftover piece I had. Oh, great, a chunk is missing. No worries. 

Sew a piece to it. Stitch in a gentle curve (no time to make it fit exactly in the empty space). Press FIRST, then trim away excess (I have been known to trim off the WRONG edge). 

It has been pressed, trimmed, and greaaaat, there is a pleaty thing going on. No worries. This is “Art to Wear” and improvising when necessary is the name of the game.

Getting ready to trim off the excess. I use my rotary cutter, ruler, and mat, as much as possible. It increases accuracy in my cuts. 

Now the fun begins!  I’m auditioning some of my favorite fabric pieces. I always have a main fabric to key off from. In this vest I used Mary Boalt’s  (check out her work at ) hand painted and stamped canvas.  

Remember I said I use every single scrap? There is one scrap above (I added that polka dot to, and below is another scrap). has a “sort of” pocket shape. That’s it, make a pocket. 

I lay all three pieces out and pick and choose my fabrics to go with. I don’t have any idea what I really want. Ya just have to start. A few things I do know: 1. I want long, lean, lines. 2. I want at least one pocket. 3. I wont add anything to the beautiful panel piece. Taking pictures of what you are doing can really help. Also, leave it for awhile and come back with fresh eyes. This picture already shows me one thing I don’t want and that is bunnies hopping across  my waistline. That’s a horizontal line= feeling larger.

Note: Yes, I placed these pieces on top of some major piles of fabric. Acckk.. it’s an ongoing job, straightening and rearranging in my studio space.

The bunnies have hopped around to the back and I’m putting a strip of polka dots on the front and running it at an angle for a thinner look. The pocket is already on. See the thread on the the side? That is where I stopped stitching. This gives some depth to the pocket so stuff wont fall out.  And now I’m thinking about closures and buttons. What to do, what to do,….Oh, and there is another scrap (under the button), should it go there? Acck..I have to stop for a bit.I can’t decide on anything because I’m hungry.

Well, I just found out that our personal chef wants to quit. Kidding, the personal chef is ME OF COURSE! So I sent my CTO & CFO out to pick up something (that CFO, etc. I’m not kidding about, is my husband). O.K. back to it. Button, button, where is the perfect button? These are all so cool. Sandra Bruce makes the best polymer buttons and earrings. See her treasures at   

Too funny. All those beautiful buttons and I ended up with a pin. A smoother look (I wasn’t liking a tab or ties for the front). The pin is perfect.

I forgot to point out the cute little colorful ties that Mary added to her canvas. The finishing touch. I love them. 

Now I am topstitching all those pieces down. Use glue or pins to hold them in place until sewn. I have the presser foot up (needle in fabric)in this picture as I am getting ready to turn it around and stitch right into the silk. I call this cardiac stitching (goes up and down in a zigzag pattern similar to an electrocardiogram).   

I am putting a spotlight on the stitching down of the long strip that I added the polka dot fabric too. I ran it, longwise, through my serger. I got ready to press it under, but I thought, that I liked the texture that I just made, sew I stitched it down. Oh, and to the left of the bunnies, that is where the little scrap ended up (I originally had it under a button. 


There is some more stitching on the front.

Here is a rectangle of stitching from the front side. Whaat is going on here? 

Here is the wrong side. I found a scrap of a light weight canvas. I stitched it down all the way around on the wrong side of the vest front. Who cares what the fabric looks like, as the vest will be lined. But the weight is perfect to prevent puckering.

Back to the right side and stitch, stitch, stitch, up and down, back and forth, until it looks like this. I have named this method, “Stock market Ups & Downs.” 

Another rectangle ready for the stock market stitch. 

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I just had to include these next two pictures. When it gets too cold (and/ I’m doing some cleaning) in my attic studio, I bring fabrics down and  do my cutting out on my dining room table. I see four projects in this picture in various states of readiness to sew. Rubix zeroed in on the soft pile of my newest Kantha cloth acquisition. He looked pretty cute. He loved his puddle of sun so much, he stretched out on his back and……

promptly rolled right off the table. Of course he sauntered out from under the table as if to exclaim, “I meant to do that.” There are stories in this picture. Yes, that is a sewing machine table in the background. My sweet dad put that together 50+ years ago and my mom gave it to me when she downsized. It’s a treasure. The Leopard chair (ultrasuede) is from my Mother-in-law. There are two of those. Hmm…I think I have enough leopard items to do a post on “All I know about Leopard prints and why I love them so!” You saw the Kantha which is now,  another post idea coming to the forefront of my brain, “All About Kantha.” Last but NOT least is the FABULOUS Mary Boalt canvas on the chair. Of COURSE I HAD TO BUY ANOTHER ONE! After my new favorite Terrific Tabard that you just read about, the ideas just keep coming for ways to incorporate her canvases into other Designed by Heidi patterns.

Thanks for stopping by! Get creative this weekend. Hugs, to you all. Heidi

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Terrific Tabard goes to the Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Grass Valley, CA,for a Workshop!

After a fun-filled “Trunk Show” with Designs by Heidi in Grass Valley, CA,at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild (the guild I attend), I taught a workshop the next day using my Terrific Tabard Vest pattern. I had 12 amazing students.  Come see what everyone was working on….

Margaret, the workshop chair, wore her beautiful T.T. vest to the workshop. What a perfect advertisement she was. Lots of detail work.

Apologies on the blurry picture. I HAVE TO LEARN to tone down my enthusiasm for my students work until AFTER I TAKE THE PICTURES! Margaret, this is a beautiful vest and you wear it very well.  I apologize in advance, as I messed up on other pictures for Lori, Arline, Raedean…..acckk!

Jill is laying out her Kaffe Fassett stripes that will be added to some of her pre-made Kaffe blocks and pieces. She is using Terial Magic on every piece going into this vest as these stripes and shot cottons are not that tightly woven.  And she will whistle while she stitches ’cause Terial Magic makes fabrics like paper for ease of stitching. It all washes out it you want it to. 

Lynda has some stunner hand dyed fabric. She plans to use this as a foundation/lining piece (it acts for both) for one of the front pieces. 

Carolie is keying off one large scaled print to pick up all the other colored pieces for her collage styled vest. Like “Tree of Life” , view B. of the pattern. 

Holly has used a floral (the circles of flowers) to pull out other colors. She is using that rayon print (behind everything) as her lining/foundation fabric. What a fun, contemporary look. I encourage everyone to always think, “long and lean” with their raw edge collaging. And that is just what Holly is doing here. 

Pavana is using a large scale print as I did for view A in the pattern (Aussie Angle). Teal and lime are so great together and see how the large flowers fill up the space? Cut out a bunch of the large scale pieces and arrange them in a way that you like then begin filling in the empty spaces with strips and other chunks of fabric. Pavana is using that same all over print for her lining/foundation piece. The white that you see is her batting.  

Robi is contemplating her beautiful batiks. This the way you do it. Audition all your fabrics for choices. Taking a picture and looking at that, is another way to help make choices.  While the geometric piece isn’t “large scaled”, scroll down and see where it started. 

I had suggested she cut out chunks of the geometric batik and Robi went above and beyond with this intricate looking puzzle-pieced fabric. The piece in the middle is the uncut fabric. 

She is trying to decide which one she likes the best that will become her foundation/lining piece. Which one do you like best? 

Do any of you still work on the floor? Margie gets the “Miss Limber of the year award!” It is a great way to see how all the fabrics you have chosen will look. 

Margie chose this beautiful 100% linen field of flowers for her foundation fabric. One of the colorful pieces will be used for her lining. The floral piece is not long enough. So, she gathered her palette right from the flowers and will create a “piano key” strip across the bottom. Brilliant idea. 

Check this out. A fabric that looks like burlap! Go to the Connecting Threads site of the same name. It’s a solid without being solid, ha, ha. It’s like my super fav. fabric, “Grunge” which now has 180 colors. Whaaaat? That’s right (Christine Barnes told me ’cause she has the color cards). 

Julie is a great example of working with large scaled fabrics and small prints for  a resting place for the eyes. Kaffe Fassett fabrics tend to have more medium values across the board. So doing what Julie is (using large and small scales together) is perfect. 

Julie is working on the back first.  I suggest this as it is the largest “blank canvas” and if you want to make changes, those can be done on the fronts, because you will be a pro at that point! 

Oh, this is going to be fun! Now this girl put her “pedal (maybe it should be “petals”) to the metal and is already working on the fronts. She will be totally prepped to raw edge stitch. 

And look at my special treat. Julie saved all her scraps for ME! I shamelessly asked that if she was going to throw them out, I would take them. And she obliged. Thank you Julie. 

Next month the Pine Tree Quilt Guild is having a March mixer. There is not the usual Show and Tell time, but hopefully, many of my students will be WEARING their Art to Wear creations. I’ll get CLEAR pictures, I promise.

Next week I will post my own newest, latest, greatest Terrific Tabard vest and how I did it.


A late summer sunset at Zephyr Point. You could be HERE this Sept. 3rd-7th with Artistic Alchemy. We have TONS of fun. Go to for all the details.  

Have a terrific weekend. Four days for many of you. Let’s get some creative sewing done! Hugs, Heidi

A few words of wisdom from Cathy Stone (she just moved to Gig Harbor, WA, we miss you Cathy!): “Learn to Let Go, or get dragged.”  It makes you think, doesn’t it?

I Heart You!

I wanted to wish you all some Valentine LOVE today!

Thank you for visiting . When I post, I feel as if we are having ” good friend “conversation at my house, and a cuppa of tea or coffee.

The pictures below are some hearts I have collected over the years.

Jax, our, “can sit anywhere he wants”, gran-dog (remember, he’s the one who saved us from a would-be robber, and because of Jax, they caught the bad guys), is coming for the day today. I am making him a neck kerchief cause we love him lots! He’s a GOOD BOY!

Found this stitched leather heart and to me it signifies having a strong heart when life throws things our way that are hard. 

I used to sell all these little treasures at my fabric store. We made special valentines one year and of course I kept mine. It makes me smile. 

From an old quilt, had a verse attached to it: “Love one another.”

Another old quilt- a little heart pin. 

An old brass plated charm. It’s heartfelt. 

A postcard sent to me from Anthropologie. I do LOVE visiting that store and getting their catalogs in the mail. Great inspiration from color combos to new design possibilities. 

Hearts “on fire.”  I made this by putting two fabrics together and machine stitching a heart shape and cutting away some of the top layer. Easy Peasy ( Terial Magic first)!

A Valentine came in postcard form one year from my friend, Sandra Bruce.  Sew sweet. 

Have a super Valentine’s Day!  Big HUGS from, Heidi



Haute Couture Socie’te’ in Stockton, CA, where it’s CREATIVITY All the Time!

by Heidi Emmett

Last Saturday (Feb. 3rd), I made my way down to Stockton, CA in the early morning. I was giving a Trunk Show on Designs by Heidi, and a workshop in the afternoon.

If you want to see what they are all about, you must ATTEND their 50th Golden Gala, Fashion Show and Luncheon. Details below.

I arrived at a wonderfully, open, and airy, place to do my Trunk Show, and workshop, both in the same place. What could be easier? I set up my area with samples and patterns and then had time to watch the ladies file in.  Wow, wow, WOW! It was truly a fashion show on its’ own. So many wore their latest, greatest, “Art to Wear” creations. I saw felting, upcycling, quilted, and more.

As the program started, ladies who had just finished a vest challenge lined up. My pictures are NOT good at all, as I got really excited about the vests I was seeing and did not position the camera properly. I did not do any of them justice. I do have better pictures of the vest on the left (ties) and the vest on the far right, my Off The Grid vest pattern. 

Here is Marta wearing her own creation of a vest made with silk ties. I’ve never seen ties look so sophisticated. 

Kris and her Off the Grid Vest (a pattern I designed). It turned out so well. Long and lean looking and the black background makes the colorful squares really pop. She used a variegated metallic thread for all the quilting lines.  

LOOK! Kris can wear this inside out and show off the batik butterfly lining. So cool. 

And then the workshop started. I had so much fun and worked with each student, on sizing the rectangles of Tahoe to a “T” tunic to fit their own bodies. Here are a few things I learned……….my students teach the teacher all the time. I really like that.

Judy reminded me that there is a product called “Color Catcher’s” by Shout. Throw a pod in the washer and it will keep your colors from bleeding on each other. Brilliant!

Sandra went outside the box in a way I had never thought of, she used a border lace for her front and back panels. Brilliant! She said I could copy her. I have a very special off white border lace and I will put it on off white linen. Oh yeah!! Now where did I put that lace piece?

Carole has a sweet little helper with her. Little Lamb, her rescue Shitzu(puppy mill mommy) was very interested in what Carole was creating. The fabric in the chair is 100% linen and on the table are summery batiks that go with the the linen. She is not sure how she wants to make up her batik fabrics for the panels. L’il Lamb will help her decide.

Now, I did take pictures of  my students work, I’m certain I did! Can I find them? NOOO! I have no idea how they disappeared. So unfortunately, the above (which a student sent me) picture, is it.  Accccckkk!

To see more about what a “Tahoe to a T” tunic is, scroll back on the posts to Feb. 2nd’s post.  and read all about it.

Quick commercial break. Tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 10th, 2018, I am doing a short, demonstration at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop at 9:00a.m. Please join me for quick tips on making the chic, “Sling Bag”. EXCELLENT gift idea or how about one for yourself!

Next week I will show the work of Terrific Tabard student’s work from the Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Grass Valley, CA. I visited them with a Trunk Show and workshop a few days after Stockton. It was a busy week, but very satisfying for all involved. I made it up, made it fun, and they are getting their creations done! Hugs, Heidi

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You Could Make a Dozen of These!

I’m on my way tomorrow to the Haute Couture Societe’ in Stockton, CA. I’ll be doing my Trunk Show on Designs by Heidi with an afternoon workshop on making  “Tahoe To a T”, a Tunic. Wish you all could be there too.

You really could make a dozen of these, and in pretty quick order too! Once you create the pattern pieces (three rectangles), the hardest part will be picking out the fabrics you want to use!  A great thing about this pattern is that is a 4 seasons tunic. It just depends on what the base fabric is, linen, lightweight denim for summer/fall and corduroy, canvas for winter/spring.  And you can easily wear it with or without a t-shirt. I love the T.T.T. below using a turquoise light weight denim for the background and Marcia Derse quilting cottons for the panels.






But wait, here’s another one. Black linen for the base and hand painted cotton for the panels. Love it!

And here are all the teachers for the upcoming Artistic Alchemy Retreat Sept. 3-7th being held at Lake Tahoe at Zephyr Point. Check out all the particulars. Click on the icon below or go to  My workshop is jam packed with creative FUN!

Thanks so much for stopping by.  Find 15 minutes a day, that’s all I ask. Your creativity is right there waiting for you. I can’t wait to see what you do.

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Heidi’s Studio Sale, Going, going, GONE! Great Prices….

Well here it is: Heidi’s Studio Sale.

All prices include first-class (if the package is under 13 ounces) or Priority postage (it depends on the item(s) and their weight). If you decide to buy several items, I’ll consolidate the order and hopefully be able to refund some of the total postage cost.

How do you purchase something? Email me personally, at I’ll send you a Request for Money through Pay Pal. You don’t need a Pay Pal account to do this transaction. Once you pay, I will send it. Or, if you would rather, send me a check. The first person to email me that they want an item, gets it. That simple.

Everyone’s computer sees color differently. So keep that in mind. If you purchase something from me and don’t like it, I will take it back within 10 days of shipping it originally. I will refund your money after I receive the item back. I will not be able to refund any shipping charges  Here we go:

I collected some Kimono’s. They are timeless and look great for any occasion. I found that true Kimono’s are just not my thing. I am ashamed to say that I thought of cutting them up for the fabric. WHAT WAS I THINKING? So having saved them from my scissors, I now offer them to all of you. As items sell, they will be removed from the post.

Yellow Green kimono lined in a leaf print.  100% silk. Shibori is the dying technique. Beautifully hand sewn. Width from sleeve edge to middle of the back neck = 25″. Bust area (front pieces meeting= 40″. Hips with front pieces meeting= 42″. Finished length, measuring from the top of the collar to the bottom edge= 30 1/4″. Price: $29.00 plus $7. shipping. 

Cream with Shibori dyed Dark Green, Blue Green & Umber Circles & Mtns. 100% silk. So much detail in the Shibori. Beautifully hand sewn. Width from sleeve edge to middle of the back neck = 25″. Bust area (front pieces meeting)= 21″. Hips with front pieces meeting = 42″. Finished length, measuring from the top of the collar to the bottom edge= 33 1/4″. Price: $29.00 plus $7. shipping.



And now we have some beautiful items from Peruvian Connection. I collect Peruvian Connection sweaters.   I am moving some of them along while it is still winter. This one is Alpaca and Pima cotton. It is in very good condition. I wore it twice. Bust=40″, sleeve 22 1/4″ (from shoulder seam), length from center back= 50″.  A beautiful piece, colors are on the dusty, softer side, the black is a true black. All the edges are bordered in a beautiful tight single crochet (keeps it from stretching) design with picot edges in Pima cotton. The body is Alpaca with some Pima cotton. Wear with black skinny jeans or leggings and a black turtle neck. Stunning. In past catalogs these sweater coats range in price from $399-$599. Knitted in Bolivia.  $75.00 + $5. shipping. I will pay the additional $10. +

This Sweater Dress is so Boho Chic! 100% Alpaca. Size Medium. Bust 38″, Hips 40″ Sleeves (measured from Center Back to sleeve edge) 29 1/2″, Length from center back neck edge 48 1/2″. It has a nice moderate stretch. I added the little wool felted coins with a blanket stitch to give it some extra texture. They are NOT to cover any holes.  Gently worn condition. $75. plus $5. shipping. Actual shipping charges are much more but I will pay them. 

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. I will also post these in Artistic Alchemy’s blog. It is  Hugs, Heidi

Upcycles, Free Pattern offer, Inspiration, & Studio Sale!

So much to talk about, let’s do this. Snow first. It was truly magical. 4 ” (of course I measured) of the lightest, fluffiest, squeakiest  (when I walked in it), snow. 

It happened last night, January 25th, 2018

I want to, from time to time put some of my treasured items from my Studio up for sale. I call it my “Studio Sale.” Find out much more on Monday, January 29th, 2018, I’ll send out a post. 

Inspiration and upcycling in one picture. I think this is really fun and different.  I need to try this.

Maybe not all the ruffles but an ingenious way to use a favorite pair of embroidered jeans. Cut off the legs, open one up and add whatever collage you want. See the faint triangle line on the ruffles portion below? 

You know how much I love circles. Besides all the bias edge of a circle and none to very little raveling, they can be used oh so many ways. Here they are on a t-shirt. 

A few super simple upcycling ideas. I bought this top for the copius amount of fabric. But then I tried it on…..I think I want to wear it instead of cutting it up. But it’s so loose in the neck area. It is a 1X and I wear an 8-10. 

It could not be easier. Pinch it whatever amount you need on one side of the neck (can’t do too much or it will look silly) and add a favorite pin. Off- set the pinch for an asymmetric look.

I’ve seen these many times on Pinterest. You can buy one for $26.99. I think this is a terrific idea. I own so many tops that seem just a little too short for the “look” I’m after. 

Check out this weeks version (I have more coming. They are in a pile to be sewn) I started with a mini -skirt made of stretchy tiers. This one was made for someone REALLY tiny. The waist was o.k. but the hips, uhhh….not so much. How do you like my fluffy backdrop? I was too lazy to run upstairs to my studio for the white board background. This backdrop is a pillow off the couch.  I kinda like it, Ethereal looking?

I found the center back, slit it up to the waistband and inserted a triangle piece of stretch lace (from a lace t-shirt). I even have a scalloped border. 

I like the fact that depending on the over-top, I can wear the lace bit in the front, or switch it to the back. A sharper image of the “under-skirt” below and guess who else? Rubix. 

FREE PATTERN!! No strings attached. Click on the Craftsy icon below and visit my “Art to Wear” pattern line  on Look under patterns/sewing/Designs by Heidi.  When I had my fabric store, this timeless 3 tiered skirt pattern was one of my best sellers. While there are many tiered skirt patterns out there, besides this one being free, there was much thought put into exactly where the tiers would hit on many body types. Enjoy!

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The rose below is really inspiring to me. To start your own collection of inspiring pictures, go to Pinterest and do these things:  1. Follow Designs by Heidi 2. Look at some of my boards. 3. Find an interesting pin and email it to yourself. 4. Open that picture and add it to a specific folder (I labeled mine “Downloads”).

Oh, I just love those circles, don’t I. 

Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.                                    A quote by  Roxanne of Roxanne’s Wish & A Dream (a quilt shop in Carpenteria, CA , an area that has gone through fires & mudslides). Visit her site: Roxanne’s A Wish & A    Take care everyone and find time for some new creativity for yourself this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

What an Inspiring Day I Had At SWAG!

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Once a month I meet with a group of ladies who are excited about working with fiber and “stuff” that goes with all the fiber.  I have mentioned them before, and here they are again. It is the Sierra Wearable Art Group located in Nevada City, CA. Every month is sew special. We are all diversified in what we all create.  I want you to check out this months inspiration with me

Below is Janet showing what she created using fabric she bought when she was at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2 years ago. It was fabric from my stash as a fabric store owner. I brought bolts and bolts (of course I brought bolts of fabric home! I needed to insulate the attic studio my husband said)of yummy fabrics that I just had to keep for myself.

The base of the vest is elasticized denim. Isn’t it cool? ( You all would have loved my fabric store. My most favorite thing was purchasing unusual fabrics, that were not seen in any other stores.) I love Janet’s attention to details, like her Ralph Lauren labels (saved from other jeans). And all the piping details. Easy method from a Lois Ericson book (check Ebay, great reference books).  

Here’s the Vogue pattern she used. 

Kari got me into machine felting. Kari and I both have HuskyStars (made by Husqavarna). Check Ebay for machines. HuskyStars are not being made anymore though. So sad.

Kari brought her vest to show. She felted wool pieces to wool background (the grey). This is her right side.   

Here is her wrong side of the same section.

Another right side. Lots and lots of stitching. But by machine, whoo hoo, it goes so fast! 

And the same piece turned to the wrong side. 

Finished vest. Sew creative Kari!

I had to snap a picture of Janet’s bracelet. She bought it at a boutique somewhere and could not  remember the artist. I’d buy one.

Deb bought this really unusual piece of Double Gauze. She thought it was too soft in coloring and stamped it with Jacquard paints to add interest and more color. As well as silk organza. Isn’t this the coolest thing ever?

If that wasn’t enough, Deb decided to make three buttonholes on the front of her jacket using the same silk fabric. See the buttonhole in the lower right corner? Whaat? See next picture. 

Here is the back side of that same buttonhole. She placed a piece of fabric on the back side of the finished jacket, stitched a buttonhole shape, cut the buttonhole open, slipped the fabric through that hole and it came to the front of the jacket. Deb then did all the fancy stitching, tucking, stitched some more and voila! I tilted my phone in such a way that it’s blurry but I think you get it. Love this! 

I was so excited about the technique and all that I forgot to get a picture of her wearing the jacket. Trust me, it was really fun. BUT, I do have the pattern that she used: “New York Jacket” by Sewing Workshop.  While explaining her jacket techniques, Deb also passed around the book you see below. It might still be available on Amazon, or (I already purchased mine right when I came home that day) Ebay.

Linda is wearing her hand stamped, linen  vest and carrying the coolest tote bag. She “wet” felted this at a special class at the Tin Thimble in Rocklin, CA. What a great store it is. They are on the web. Looking so good Linda. 

Stephanie brought some small embroidered pieces she is working on. She started with the small piece in the center. It was cut from a special tablecloth that belonged to her mother. Stephanie said all this embroidery came about by visiting the site of Judy Hill of Spirit Cloth.  I’m going there myself, tonight! 

She brought her embroidery in a tote she made from a placemat. Really fun. And it’s reversible. Who knew? 

I found out why some my pictures from my phone look like they are moving. I get so excited about what I’m seeing that I snap 3 sometimes 6 in the blink of an eye! When I get them off the phone onto the blog, this happens. It’s “Moving Art!”

Patty, I am so sorry that my phone could not capture the absolutely gorgeous midnight blue stretch velvet you made this stunning jacket out of. She stenciled the flower  using Jacquard paints. One one the back and one on the front. Elegant and simple. And the perfect trick for hemming this sometimes slippery fabric? Use a terry towel underneath and a press cloth on the wrong side and use a double sided fusible.Such a smooth hem. Brilliant idea!

Joan brought a lovely antique button necklace she made. She made the silk cording and wired the buttons together with silver wire. What an excellent way to use some of your very special buttons that we ALL collect. 

Yep, the wobble pictures again. Joan has such a cute vest on. Funnel necklines are so flattering. And the design lines (aka princess line) and raw edging make this one fast and easy. She walked the isles of Home Depot to find the closures. Clever, so clever. Joan could not remember the pattern she used, but several of us think it was a Vogue (very easy).

Deb also brought a necklace she made for the holidays. She copied one from a catalog that she had. She refused to buy it for $200. so instead went to the Bead store and spent $100. on supplies. If she is like me, she also purchased more beads for future projects. Acckk, it’s a disease! 

Patty also brought this tote that she picked up at Diane Ericson’s studio in Ashland, Oregon. Yowzaa, let’s all go, take one of her classes, o.k., go on line and see what she is all about.  I want that stencil. Paper airplanes. So fun. P.S. my “featured image” (at the beginning of this post) is also by Diane Ericson. I found it on Pinterest. If you want your sketches to come to life, what a fun way to see what fabrics from your stash you might want to use.

Can you see why I never want to miss a month? I am also so happy to tell you that our SWAG group has a Facebook page. Come and join us that way.  Get connected and be informed about upcoming events, sales, fashion shows, etc. ——-Join the email list:        Hugs to all, Heidi























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Is It Going to Be, “Sparky Top”, Sparkalicious, Sparkle Top,……?

Remember this garment I showed you that I took to Hawaii? Well I have made 3 more prototypes and FINALLY!! on Monday first thing, the pattern pieces move to step 2 of this long process (since it’s just me doing it), the pattern grader in Napa, CA. Yeahhh!! I just had to tell you. I have a really good feeling about this new pattern. It is so much fun to make and really fast to stitch up.  Loose fitting, but really stylish. I can’t wait to get those boxes of tissue pieces from Simplicity.

Well, here are a few more of the same but really different. This one from my new “Black & White” collection that I’m working on. The Black & White collection is going to be a great post-later down the road. 

Remember this Whisper Blouse? I used Shannon Fabrics Double Gauze. Go to my home page and look under Categories- Whisper Blouse- It’s a good read.

Well, here is another proto-type using the scraps from that same group of Double Gauzes (after the Whisper Blouse picture). The perfect necklace is from my son. He gave it to me for Christmas. Of course, I love it! And I look at it thinking, how can I make one, maybe felting,  , felted circles, some polymer? Accckkk! I just can’t STOP!

O.K., the scraps are dwindling but it’s great, forces me to get creative with my piecing. I added a white on white embroidered cotton lawn, and a cross stitched linen. 

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are inspired to sew something, anything, this weekend. Hey, don’t forget to pop over to    It’s my turn this week. And there is a surprise- an added post- “Heidi’s Studio Sale”- hurry quick before they all sell.  I will do one here too, tomorrow even, different things, but I am so done for the day. Three separate posts, yowzaa, took most of this day. Hugs, Heidi



Tahoe To A “T”, A Blank Canvas for some Creative Stitching!

The possibilities are endless for fabric manipulation masterpieces! Check out what you can do with this fast and easy Art to Wear sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett.

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It really is an all season Tunic. Spring and Summer, wear it sleeveless with lightweight capris or leggings.

For Fall & Winter, wear a long sleeved or 3/4 sleeve t-shirt and leggings or skinny pants. And then it’s, belt it or not. Sooo much variety. 

Now, let the blank canvas be filled(that would be the front and back panels)! Below is a really interesting piece of hand stamped fabric. Thank you to my friends Linda and Karenanne who gave it to me. I held the fabric up to me and while it worked, the black spots really stood out. Hmm… I know!

I gathered my favorite “solids”. These are called “Grunge” by Basicgrey for Moda Fabrics. It comes in over 45 colorways. I WANT, I NEED, them all. Yes, really!

Look around the house for another circle that’s just the right side. Yes, Christmas is still up at my house. I love Christmas. This will do nicely. 

Put on your darning foot (this one is open toed so I can see better), drop the feed dogs, and stitch up a storm.  And yes, all my stitching prompted the rain to come. And do we ever need it too.

No gluing needed. I hold it down with my finger tips. Sometimes the open edges do get caught under the edge of what I am stitching down. Put the needle in the fabric and raise the pressure foot and untangle it and try again. My mindless sewing.

Time Out! Momma got a new pair of shoes. I was walking in downtown Grass Valley, CA. I was on my way to our first meeting for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2018. Check out our blog:   Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy  or tap on one of the icons.  A woman was redoing the front window of one of my favorite stores. I looked at her shoes (I do love cool shoes), and I said to myself, “You need those leopard shoes Heidi!” Taa daa. Last pair, my size, and on sale. Franco Sarto. It was meant to be. Sorry, now back to our program…

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Pinning the finished panel to the tunic front. It is a medium weight 100% linen. I see a face! Look inside the xxx circle at the top, she has pursed lips, a tiny nose, sultry eyes, and a beehive black hairdo.      I digress again! So sorry. 

This Tunic is what I call patternless sewing. Using diagrams, I show you where to place certain measurements. Then it’s just a matter of cutting out rectangles of a background fabric and the front and back panels. This Tunic will look great on an XSm up to an 18 or 20.  Long and lean rectangles really give a slimming look. If an idea I have isn’t fun and easy when I make up a proto-type(I have to try it out sometimes 3 or four times), then it wont be for you either. 

Two of my favorite tools. The “Karisma Fabric” pen puts out a super fine white chalk line (to the right of the pen). The chalk line I just made shows where I will stitch the facing piece to the top of the front.  

Taa daa! I like it.  I tucked the slit (at the top) inside to form a V-neck for a different look. 

Too fun! I like the way the slimming panels are where your eye travels first. I will feel and look at least 5 lbs. lighter wearing this Tunic and sew can you when you make your own. 

Oh my gosh! Looking at those colors above just gave me an idea for another Tahoe To A “T”. Check it out. It looks like confetti on black. It’s a fine-wale cotton corduroy. 

I tried a bunch of other fabrics. Nothing was quite right UNTIL I saw this “faux leather” chunk of fabric (THANK YOU Mary Boalt). It will be perfect for the front and back panels. I’ll keep you posted. This one will sew up super fast as I’m not going to piece anything in the panel area. 

This piece is from Ikea’s in the drapery section of the store. If you don’t live near one, check Ebay or Etsy. Ohhh, I have BIG plans for this one. There will be some Origami and another faux leather involved. Whaaat?  Again, I’ll keep you posted. Aaarrrgggh!! I don’t want to clean the house, cook dinner, or any of that stuff. I just want to sew and sew, and sew….

Thanks for stopping by. And remember, I’m just an email away: if you have any questions about any of my patterns or my book, Quilted Fashion Accessories (published by Leisure Arts. It looks to be cold and rainy or snowy this weekend. A great time to cozy up to your sewing machine. Hugs, Heidi

I DID IT!! I finished a project I started in a class 8 months ago!

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This past April I took the “Pet Portrait” class from Jane Haworth ( I had so much fun, learned lots, and while I really wanted to finish it right away, it ended up on the PIP pile (PIP=projects in progress).  I can’t wait to show it to you. Below is my subject matter: Jax.  He’s a GOOD boy!

Jax’s owner, our son, Cory. 

In class, I could not decide on a picture, and Jane said, keep it simple. Profile shot it is. 

Everyone in class (except 2 artists) said, “I can’t draw!”  Jane showed us how (using a grid system), and notice, we started with the eyes. Whaaaat!!!??? That’s the HARDEST part, isn’t it? Whine, whine, whine. 

It was slow going for me because: 1. I thought each piece had to be the perfect fabric, that took forever because I brought my entire collection of possible fabrics and 2. I visit too much and love to see what everyone else is doing. Ha, ha. 

Snip, snip, glue, glue, it was so fun to see Jax “grow” right in front of me. And then there was the day I had the “live” model. “Hey, grandmom, are you sure, that piece should go there?”

“Hey again! Why do I count 3 (THREE!) ears? PLEASE, someone make her fix that, NOW!”

After putting this project away for almost 8 months, Jax had a permanent curl in it. Hence the candle holders to hold it flat. Two changes I made below: 1. taller ears(and one less ha, ha), and 2. In the ensuing months, Jax upgraded his name tag from “turquoise bone shape” to classy, brushed brass to match his beautiful new collar.

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Finding a background took foooorever! I settled on a batik by Hoffman fabrics. It has spruce looking trees. Cory and Jax love to rock climb (only Cory does that) and both backpack. Perfect choice of background I think. 

I set my machine up with a range of black, gray, and ombre’ thread colors, and stitched and stitched, and stitched some more. I decided to make my thread painting look like a piece of art, so I put it on a museum canvas(deeper sides than a regular canvas). At the bottom of this picture you can see some of the back side of Jax and all the stitching.

Oh wow, how do I fold these corners smoothly? I just could not trim ANYTHING away just in case I did something wrong.

Maybe, this fold.

How about a combo? Then bring out the mega staple gun. Staple, staple, put a muslin back on it, and add the mounting pieces. DONE!

Check out my close up shots. The collar has Kangaroos on it (’cause Jax is a Queensland Heeler/Australian Shepherd mix). 

I love how I found mathematical symbols that I used in his brain area. This dog runs, and jumps, so fast and precisely that you can just imagine his brain activity. 

Wow, I finished 3 days (NOT 3 minutes) before Cory’s birthday and I couldn’t wait. I had to give it to him right away. 

Cory likes it! And I think Jax does too? Happy New Year everyone and thanks for visiting. Hugs, to you all and until next year (just next week, no worries), I will trust that you find time to relax and think about buying a pattern or book from me and make a an art to wear piece of your own.  Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget to tap on any icon below and see what I do.

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Christmas is Coming to Heidi’s House!

Merry Christmas everyone! The following is a grouping of pictures to show you what I have been up to for the past few weeks. I LOVE Christmas and the reason for the season! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy.

I’ve showed Mr. Mouse before, but he’s sporting a beautiful Christmas Tree. Mr. Mouse pincushion stands quite tall, a good 10-12.” He was made for me by a Lila Sugg, my 90+ year old, sewing friend.  Thank you again Lila!

Simply putting greens into a beautiful vase and adding a festive bow can be the perfect addition to any spot. 

Below are three of my latest acquisitions. Found them a few weeks ago. Hand blown Mercury Glass reindeer. I think they are quite old and possibly European. 

Sure, everyone sets their table like this for everyday. O.K., I have been preparing for having my home and my mom’s “2nd Dwelling” (she built it on our property) on a Christmas Home tour on Saturday, Dec. 9th. Check out the hand crocheted table topper. It was my Mother-In-Law’s Grandmothers. It came from Russia, via Canada, and then to my M.I.L. home via, Montana. There are woodland animals in the whole piece. It’s funny, I wasn’t planning a theme but “Woodland animals” kept popping up in each vignette I created. 

We have a simple “Woodland Themed” Charlie Brown Tree. This is actually the top of a 30 ft. tree from our neighbors yard. It’s perfect for this year.

My post is a little disjointed and late this week as I am recovering from a really BAD case of the flu. My mom caught it too and now my husband has it.  I truly was flat on my back for days. I have been binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies when not sleeping. Mom and I are doing soo much better. Robert, well, he is on day 2.  Take care dear ones and until next Friday, Big hugs, Heidi

Guest Blog post for Shannon Fabrics- Whisper Blouse

On The First Day of Christmas!

I’m a little off the sewing topic this week. I have to get my Christmas Decorating DONE by next weekend. I will have a quick, rousing, commercial at the end.  Below is the mug I use during the sometimes hectic Christmas season.

Unfortunately, kisses aren’t happening right now because I managed to catch a cold. But we blow air kisses whenever I hold up the mug. Rex the cat is always calm unless our son’s dog shows up unexpectedly. Then he and his brother Rubix, are like a cartoon, trying to gain traction on the hardwood floor to exit the area. 

Quick tip: Measure the area you want to place an item. The poinsettia looked just right in the huge store in which it was purchased. But in real life, in my home, it takes OVER that area. Yikes, money wasted. No, no, I’ll take it down to mom’s house (she built a 2nd dwelling on our property). I know the perfect place for it. 

I’m testing what I want to go on the piano. Tip: Take a picture to help with proportion, color, and “the look.”  Remember, I also tell you to do this when you are creating a piece of “Art to Wear.”  I’ve decided everything but the creche and poinsettia linen piece will have to go. Hmm…maybe the candlesticks can stay too, wait are they crooked (that’s why they were at Ross”)…..acckk. Where’s the mug?  

Yes, I bought this piece of linen at my favorite “boutique” (aka thrift shop) at Incline Village. It’s older and the simple straight embroidery stitches are done on a lovely 100% linen with a hand crocheted trim around the edges. 

Let’s look closer…..The running stitch is loose and open. Behind the stem you can see a faint wash of a different color. Very clever! The flowers were painted on first and embroidered on top. Oh, Wow! I just got a great idea to do this very same technique on an art to wear piece. I’ll be right back, I’ve got to write this down, now.  Tip: Have a sketch book close by, one that is ONLY for all the ideas you come up with. 

A better view. 

Twigs and lights make a great winter display I think. And then just a few seasonal touches. Whoo hoo, that took 45 seconds of thought and positioning. At this rate, I’ll be done in no time. 

I have to show a close up of the photograph. It was taken on my parents 50th anniversary at Empire Mine state park in Grass Valley, CA. I think candid shots are THE BEST! This shot, all the nephews, our son, and one niece (on my side) were just having fun and the photographer caught it! The oldest nephew is soaring up high, while the youngest(our son), is just getting off the ground. A metaphor for life. 

Here is a quick peek at the whole stick, light thing. I don’t mind that the lights are in the bottom portion. Wow, I really need to move the Poinsettia. Rubix! Your outta there too. 

As in decorating, with your next Art to Wear creation, think outside the box, even a little. Do you have a favorite pin that you don’t seem to wear? Well…..use it as a button. 

From my Ayala Bar collection, I have this one pin and I think it is perfect as the closure for my  “Aussie Angle” Terrific Tabard (I have just decided, I’m wearing this one to our friend’s New Years Eve party). Yes, you have time to get one done to wear for New Year’s too. Email me at: for the fastest way to get a pattern. See them all at or my Etsy store, Designs by Heidi. 




Next Saturday is the Christmas house tour, sooo…I’ll be really busy. Look for a post on Monday, December. 4th. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have time to get some of your creative going this weekend. 15 minutes a day is all I ask you to do. Hugs, Heidi

Off The Grid Vest pattern- And How it Came to Be!

Happy After Thanksgiving. I’m a day late on getting this out and still recovering, ha, ha, from 21 people at our home. 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

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ 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 ASKED 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  in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine was showing her quilt and then she said, hey, that vest idea you had, that would be great, I’ll take that too, so we can get your name out there. O.K., that sounds good, when is it? 

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!  Hugs, Heidi

Get Cozy and Rest Awhile Before The Fire…

Yesterday was the perfect day to stay indoors. Here in Cedar Ridge, CA , we received 6 inches of rain yesterday.  On days like that, I have go to “Cozy Clothes.”  Below is what I picked. I made this pullover hoody with kangaroo pockets in 1989!! Yes, 1989. I had Heidi’s Fabrics then and I could not keep PolarTec in stock during the fall and winter. “Polar Fleece” fabrics were created by Malden Mills out of Massachusetts. They are the company that started the Fleece craze. They had the BEST quality fleece on the market. At least 4 weights, 6 types, stunning prints, solids, and never EVER pilled. So sad, the mill burned to the ground in 1995 and as so many textile mills in the USA, gone for good. 

I used a Kwik Sew pattern. Oh my gosh, I just added up the years, and I have kept it for 28 years! It has truly been my “go to” cozy, comfy, feel better, pullover. All the other cozy clothes I own, and I keep pulling out this one.Who knew?  I’m certain that YOU own some cozy clothes too. Look at new piece with the eye to, “Can I upcycle this garment (make certain to use and Extra Large and Roomy for the best “Cozy” factor) to make it your new go to Cozy piece?

Found one!  Ha, ha,in fact,  I’m WEARING it as I write my post today. I found a Tommy Bahama, mens X LG , super quality French terry- like, cotton knit.  

Most important for me, a kangaroo pocket. I used Marcia Derse fabrics and used a super light weight batting (to show off the quilting), small amounts of all my fav’s so I can wear any color turtle neck underneath. I purposely lined the simple rectangle pocket (take a pattern from one you already have) with muslin, and wanted it to show as I am rolling up the sleeves. I stitched the K.P. down the middle and a few inches up the side openings so my kleenex or whatever, won’t fall out.

I added extra little pieces here and there, one on the back, and one on the front, to tie the whole thing together.

I’m feeling so cozy right now, excuse me while I go make a cup of coffee and have a piece of pumpkin pie. Be right back……

Ohh THAT was yummy. Since I spoke about Marcia Derse fabrics (check out her website or go to Ebay for older prints), I want you to see the Terrific Tabard vest I made out of this panel fabric, one of the few panels she has created. 


Email me: if you are interested in purchasing this Art to Wear vest sewing pattern. I will mail it to you for $16.00 (includes tax and shipping).

Fall is my FAVORITE time of year. Yes, my weekly blog post would not be complete without a few more pics. Below is a Norway Maple leaf. This leaf was confused. Norway maples tend to go “gold” for fall. This year branches upon branches have some leaves that were red.

The beginnings of my fall set up on my front steps. Can you spy the fake pumpkin? There is one in this picture. In fact, when Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas, and “fake” pumpkins go on sale, I buy. I mix them in with the real deal to make for a stunning (in my humble opinion, ha, ha) display. With the real pumpkins, no matter how hard I try to pick the best, I will have a casualty now and then. Pumpkin mush is a mess to clean off  brick steps. I spy the fake pumpkin, it’s the little white one. I used a felt pen to make a more realistic stem. Isn’t the red orange pumpkin gorgeous? These are called “heirloom pumpkins.”

Chinese lanterns picked at their peak. Will add these to my Thanksgiving table. 

Red maple. 

Another Red maple with sunlight coming from the back. Stunning!

This is one of my Burning Bushes. The color is just getting started. Love my Armillary. It must always point north. 

Dogwood at 5:00p.m. Such rich, saturated color. 

O.K., my husband thought I was losing it when I called him to lunch a few weeks back. I think my leaf  “table cloth”is quite inventive, thank you very much. 

The salad is, Baby spinach, Pear slices (Bartlett), shaved Parmesan, cranberries and nuts, with a pinch of Hawaiian Deep Sea salt, and a drizzle of CA  lemon infused olive oil. For crunch,  I added crushed tortilla chips.  Total yumminess. The other is an Amy’s frozen (yes, when I’m in a hurry) Mexican lasagna. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Don’t forget to go to  It’s my turn this week. Much the same as here but a few twists. Go do something creative, paint, arrange pumpkins, whatever gets you excited to finish your latest sewing project. Big hugs, Heidi

A Fine “Working” Vacation at Lake Tahoe, Part One


The last week of October I was fortunate to be up at one of my favorite places EVER! Lake Tahoe. Yes, my husband and I were volunteers at the Bear Necessities Gift Shop again. The weather was PERFECT, all week long. One morning I decided to go down to one of the groups visiting and drum up business. They were in Inspiration Point (aptly named I must say) and I met the nicest, most productive group ever, The Colfax, CA Quilt Guild. Here they are before I descended the stairs for my own meet and greet.  34 busy bees, they were. And yes, I would like to mention that right outside those double doors is where the “chase” began  (at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat) of the Bear versus Heidi, Linda, & Lisa (see The Bear post the second week of Sept.)

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I was so fortunate to visit with almost all of these lovely ladies. Sadly, I can’t find the card that listed everyone’s names and projects. I put it in a very safe place.  The first few pictures below are from this book. And take it from me, they are STUNNING!  She sews the blocks by hand and also does some machine stitching on each block.   

She has almost one dozen finished. 

And right outside Inspiration Point, the last of the roses were in bloom. So velvety, and smelled so sweet and a perfect match with the Rose of Sharon quilt work above. 

Another lovely lady, just finished her Laundry Basket quilt top. 

AMAZING! Each of these blocks, are just amazing!


And here is someone’s beautifully executed Log Cabin quilt. Each block is only about 6″ sq. Log Cabin was one of the very first blocks that I made waaaay back when. And it’s still one of my favorites. Now, I tend to make them kind of wonky.  In a few more posts I will show you what I have created- more Art to Wear. Also, check out my Off The Grid Vest pattern. Wonky L.C. sqs. in that Art to Wear. The icons below, just click on Craftsy or Etsy to view my patterns that are for sale.

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Time out! Walk, walk. Eat less, move more. That’s my mantra. I do tend to get them mixed up, as in, “Eat more, move less.” Oh dear. Look way in the distance, and you can see Cave Rock. Look how calm the water is. Very little boat traffic and check out the bench. Just right for sitting and reading and soaking in the beauty of the lake

Inside our little domain (in case you forgot, the shop we work in, it’s the middle story of a 3 story cabin that sits right on the lakes edge). Robert is meeting therapy dog, Bisoux, and her handler Janine. What a sweet dog and Janine’s pretty sweet too.  She’s a “leaner”, all 93 pounds of her. Ha, ha. 

On a walk, the peace, and stillness of the lake, very soothing. 

Back at I.P., wow, this one has some real possibilities for me. It’s called Hour Glass. She said it’s easy, hmmm……and again, beautifully done. 

On another walk, I’m walking our son’s dog, Jax. Doesn’t he look smashing along with my Simply Super Vest? The full-sized pattern pieces and complete instructions  (plus 7 other projects)are in my book, Fashion Quilted Accessories that I wrote for Leisure Arts. It’s available for purchase in my Etsy store (click on the icon below), DesignsbyHeidi and other fine quilting shops like Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Grass Valley, CA and Fabric Chicks in Minden, Nevada. Also, on Amazon.

I’ll leave you with the “fixed” balloon picture from last week. I really LOVE this shot. Have a great weekend everyone and let’s all get creative. Make it up, make it fun, and get it DONE! Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Next week, part two!

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Project-Colorful Circles Necklace and Earrings-And a Hot Air Balloon?

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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 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, 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.


The balloon is clearing Porcupine Trail (has the bridge on its’ pathway). 

My friend Sara H. who lives there 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. 

Walking along the winding road through Zephyr Point I love the view below. Only 10 months  until our Next Artistic Alchemy Retreat, 2018. Don’t forget to hop over to to see what all of the teachers are up to. Big hugs to you all. Thanks for stopping by, Heidi.

P.S. Next week I will show some scenes from the Colfax, CA quilting guilds retreat. What a great bunch of ladies working their sewing magic at Zephyr Point.

It’s Another TTF – “This and That Friday.”

The COLORS of Fall! Magnificent, this year. Let’s go Leaf Peeping for a moment. Chinese Pistachio, one of my favorite trees. Slow growing, but always a show stopper. If you are young, buy it as  bare root stock in Feb. or March. If you are older, splurge on a 15 gallon size so you can really enjoy it now. Ha, ha.

Dawn B. sent me this picture of her Rafiki Skirt. Love, LOVE this one in a blend of fabrics from Africa and USA. Why couldn’t she wear this into later fall with a turtleneck and a belt sitting on her hips and a smashing pair of boots? Great choice of fabrics and colors.

Patty B. is on a roll. This is her 2nd Zephyr Jacket in a month.It IS fast and easy to make. She found a  fall inspired batik at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) and used it for the fronts. There are leaves printed on the batik fabric here and there. Can you see the black line down the front of the jacket? The black is the front side of the front pieces and she used the batik as the front pieces lining. So she gets a hint of batik when she folds them back as well as a lean, long line with the solid black on either side. I also see a bit of black showing on the shoulder seams.

The black on the shoulder seams and the entire back piece is black. Patty “fussy cut” the leaves out (after treating them with Terial Magic). She is still in the arranging stage and will soon stitch them down. Really GREAT ideas you are using Patty. I want to try this. May I copy? I really enjoy the concept of a design feature on the front that causes us to turn around and look at the back too.

A study in black and white. Summer is over and all my off white, crisp looking, slipcovers come off (a pricey outlay, but you extend the life of the couch, as well as changing the look and feel of your room). A small portion of my chenille couch shows its’ winter self in the upper corner. And of course, Rex has chosen to sit on the freshly laundered pieces before I put them away. Awwww…

I couldn’t resist another shot of my Virginia Creeper (it just keeps getting better and better color) on my “shabby chic” fence.  I was supposed to repaint it years ago, but I kinda like the peeling paint. It’s a nice juxtaposition against the pristine paint job of the house. Ha, ha, that sounds good doesn’t it? 

This is my yard! Most of the trees were planted 25 years ago as 1 or 5 gallons. Love, all the leaves (my husband doesn’t once they fall). Sorry honey. I’ll help rake this year, oh wait, I have to get all my projects finished first. 

Hydrangea bushes in the Fall, STUNNING! Can you believe it, these beautiful blooms used to be blue!?! It’s true. The chilly evenings work their magic on the color changes. 

And now, May I introduce Janet B. as she models her version of Terrific Tabard. It too is STUNNING! Check out her fab necklace and earrings. She made them herself after taking Sandra Bruce’s Polymer Clay workshop at our Artistic Alchemy Workshop this past Sept. Click on the Artistic Alchemy icon below (HOPEFULLY, it will take you right to the blog). If not, it is,   check it out and see what we do. 

There are so many lovely, innovative, ideas in this vest. No batting, no quilting in her version (my next T.T. will also be a smoother look, tip: It will sew up that much faster). Don’t try to fix the pic below. I hit the video button by mistake. It is a little “jerky.” Sorry.

Love her double closures on the sides. Perfect, PERFECT, fitting method, no darts needed. And you can see why it’s also called the “Skinny Vest,” with the open sides. It gives a long and lean look . Great use of button choices. Do you see the Panda faces peeking out here and there? This fabric is a light weight smooth finish, canvas. Check out that pocket! Sashiko stitching, pocket attached only at the top, and the great flourish with the button and pieces of polymer, all add up to “Fabulous daaahling.” Oh and the lining of the vest is the great circles fabric she placed at the sideof the pocket.

Email me directly for the fastest way to get your own Terrific Tabard vest pattern, Rafiki skirt pattern, or Zephyr Jacket: 

For a lovely fall finish, let’s look at Joan Connelly’s Woolie ball necklace. Her own creation of course. 

Here is my first one. Sooooo easy and a great traveling project. 

While Joan’s necklace is her own creation, she used the directions below (from a Feb. 2016? not sure on the year issue of Thread’s magazine).  Now you know what to do with an old wool skirt, jacket, accckkk! MORE to collect!