Category Archives: Creative Techniques

Would You Wear This? Great Inspiration! Some Creative Ideas!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Some years back I was so fortunate to be able to visit the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersberg, Florida. Pictures at the end of this post. I was so inspired. He was an amazingly talented man. The inspiration I got from my visit was maybe a basic idea, “THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.” But it was so helpful for me as I had felt I was stuck in a sewing rut. I think I’ve come a long way in the “create for fun and enjoyment” aspect of sewing and designing. 

This top was on the “Sale” rack at Stein Mart. At the counter I pointed out the snags on the front and back and ended up paying only $12.95 (not returnable, are you kidding me! I would NEVER want to return it, I LOVE IT!).

This is a heavier, sheerish (is that a word), rayon knit. It is the perfect weight for this top as it should NOT cling in anyway to the body.

The little black squares on the back here and there….well that is the way I covered up the snags. Read on to find out what they are.

There are more little black squares on the front. And in odd places but I don’t think it takes away from the overall garment. This over-blouse (what to call it?) is by Dor Dor Couture. Their site says that each piece of fabric is HAND PAINTED! Fabulous. Just the fabric alone makes me want to try painting my own fabric. I almost forgot, part of the title of this weeks post asks, “Would you wear this?”  I showed this gorgeous top to last year’s workshop students and asked them would you buy a pattern like this? Before I tell you their answers, I would like to hear from you. I’m considering creating a pattern. Yes/No. Let me know.  (workshop at our Artistic Alchemy retreat) 

Whoo hoo! A little twirl. Yes, that’s a cat’s tail (Rex) below my knee not a tail coming from me! Ha, ha.
Right….back to fixing the snags. This is a better look see of the little squares I stitched over the snags. They are squares I cut from an inner tube from a Mountain Bike. Whaaat?? Yes, that’s it. And then I stitched off the edge on either end as I wanted the stitches to show.

And while I’m at it, the necklace I’m holding above is also made of inner tube pieces and strung on an elastic cord. My own design thank you very much. Trying to think outside the box here. Go to my Pinterest site (DesignsbyHeidiEmmett) and look through all my boards until you see a board called “Leather/Rubber Tire Jewelry.”  Whoops, I just noticed that I called it “Rubber TIRE” instead of “Innertube”    Shhh…don’t tell anyone. At any rate there are lots and lots of fun ideas for you to peruse.
Salvadore Dali museum (one of only 2 in the whole world) in  St. Petersberg, Florida

Inside staircase of the Salvadore Dali museum.

Another angle of the front of the Salvadore Dali museum.
One of the Salvadore Dali paintings hanging in the St. Petersberg museum.

Salvadore liked exotic animals as pets. How about an Anteater on a leash coming out of a subway station in New York City? Look up Salvadore on your browser and TONS of great pics will come up.
This painting by Salvadore Dali, also in the museum in St. Petersberg is only about 15′ tall. That’s right ! You turn a corner and BAM! the tall ones hit you in the face. They are so BIG! and FANTASTIC at the same time! Just amazing.
The window design work just BLEW ME AWAY! Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com visits the Salvadore Dali museum in St. Petersberg, Florida USA

Look at the top right and you can see even more of the different window shapes at the top floor of the museum. This museum, The Salvadore Dali Museum in St. Petersberg Fl is the perfect place to soak in all the OVER THE TOP AMAZING PIECES OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE!  It will help you start thinking outside of the “box.” Go, have fun this weekend and don’t forget your sketch pad as you look around you, always thinking outside the box! Hugs, Heidi

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Friday, A Great Day To Upcycle!

by Heidi Emmett

I’m certain that I’m the only one who does this…..buys a garment either at a store or Thrift shop that doesn’t fit with the GREAT intention of making it work, l-a-t-e-r! That pile for me got so big it fell over. I went through the pile and cut it in half by donating, and/or cutting up for fabric, some of the garments. FINALLY with all this so-called time on my hands I am diving in to the pile to make a few work for me.

I bought a blouse just for the fabric. The fabric is such luscious colors. I’m going to use it to make an existing blouse longer and a pair of capris wider. Let’s see if you like what I’ve done.
A close up of the blouse fabric reveals some pretty embroidery on fine stretch netting. I love ANYTHING with embroidery. And flowers! Even better.
I cut off the bottom 7″ of the blouse. I ran a gathering stitch where I cut it off and very slightly gathered it. I tucked the gathered portion right under the original hem on the bottom of the embroidered blouse and stitched it down. Ta da! Instant hem on the bottom from the blouse I cut off the 7″ and cute little slits (they were the side slits on the blouse) one at the center of my newly lengthened blouse and one in the center back. Yep, that’s right, a NEW look for me. I’m not about to rip it off and reposition two little slits. I created something new, and I like it. Ha, ha. No, I do really like it.
I like the smoothness of the new piece aka not enough fabric to gather very much but I truly think it’s good.
On to the capris. It’s amazing what adding 1 1/2″ to the sides of super skin tight capris will do. I cut the side seams all the way up from the bottom slit through the top (hence the little cutaway portion at the bottom of the capris (they had a little finished slit on the sides that I didn’t want to mess with as I wanted to get these puppies done!) Each side is completely open allowing me to insert a 2″ strip (that’s how much I needed 1/4″ seam allowance).
I like mixing different fabrics and jewelry together for a Bohemian Chic look.
Another close up of the capris. Can you see that the capri fabric is a jacquard (a pattern woven into the fabric). This is a satin jacquard so the design is a little bit shiny. It is also has some stretch  in it too(most helpful to get them on ha, ha).
One more look see. I’m ready for SUMMER! Go check your clothes. Is there something you could change so you could enjoy it and wear it once again?

I had to show you this beautiful pin by Helen. So sweet from scraps of fabric. Alas, the pin sold in 2014 but it is still fluttering around Pinterest.

I love this beautiful shot. I wish had taken it. It had no name on it (to give them credit) when I pinned it. Doesn’t it speak of summer? All rightie, let’s all get going on something fun for summer whether you start with a favorite piece of fabric from your stash or pluck something out of the “remake” pile. Happy sewing. Hugs, Heidi

A Cup of Tea For You & Me!

by Heidi Emmett

Sometimes we need to MAKE time to work on a new technique or start a brand new project after perusing through our”stuff” in our sewing space.

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Almost 10 years ago, I bought this card by Sue Mattero of East Haven, CT while waiting in line to check out at Trader Joe’s.  She is a Graphic Designer that has created cards for Trader Joe’s. I wanted to give you an address to see more of her cards but it came up “unsecured” so I will let you explore it on your own. I have kept this card out where I could see it(in my attic studio) for at least 5 years.I kept saying to myself, someday you will create your own tea cup. Last Sunday afternoon, IT HAPPENED!!! I was inspired to CREATE! I have always liked  black “scratchy, scribbly,”outlines. They remind me of my “sketch stitching” by machine that I have been doing for years. But THIS time I have Terial Magic to help me. What? is that. Read on.

Any time I can create using my “Grunge” textiles by Moda, I will. I have pulled what I want to use, plus some muslin (for the cup). See the white specks on the Turquoise grunge? That is the residue from stiffing my fabrics with Terial Magic. Just brush those little bits off. I”m telling you, I can’t work  WITHOUT it. Check it out here if you don’t know about its many uses.
I am sketching my own cup on a piece of printer paper. I like that size because it is easier to sew on AND I get it completed faster.
I cut out some free form circles  and placed them on the paper cut-out of the cup just for a quick look-see, then replaced the paper with the muslin fabric. I LOVE the texture of even small pieces of Grunge. I believe Villa Rosa Designs carries every single color they make (sigh….75+…I need the cream colored one but muslin will do fine today). Villa Rosa sells on line.

Because all the pieces of fabric (including the background) were treated with Terial Magic

I have no need to glue or pin the pieces in place. There seems to be just enough friction to hold everything in place.

Now for the tools you need to create “free form stitching.” A brand new needle size 12 or 14 Universal is a must. Lower the feed dogs (pencil lead is pointing to them). Lowering the feed dogs puts YOU in control of the machine. A darning foot is put on (your machine may call it something else, look for machine embroidery foot). The foot on the right is a regular darning foot (I couldn’t see much with that one), so I bought a foot that is called an “open toed” darning foot. Ahh….. much, much better for me. For thread I used regular sewing thread, same thread top and bobbin. I was so excited to begin stitching that I forgot to do a step by step. Next pictures are the finished product. Enjoy.

I LOVED, LOVED, creating this little piece. There is no rhyme or reason for where I stitched first, well, now that I think about it, I stitched the polka dots first. They are tiny and I didn’t want them moving. I just held each one in place for a few seconds to get 7 or sew stitches in before letting go and stitching “round n round.”

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Whirrr….whirrr….and sew it goes.

Relax your shoulders, hold onto the piece lightly. Awww…now we’re enjoying the process.
Not one pin, not one drop of glue, not one basting stitch was used to create this piece!
It looks a bit messy (the black stitches) I suppose for those who are not into raw-edged machine applique’ but it is just the look I was going for. Try one yourself. And be freeee….
Yowzaa! I scored a few of these Iris beauties from my Mom’s garden. I think I have showed them to you each year. I have seen bunches of Iris in my time, but NONE quite like this.
My Georgia O’Keefe view.
Another “Georgia” view. I own a Google Pixel phone (my son’s suggestion) because of the camera.
The top petals are outlined! Do you see that?
I took these shots on a cloudy day at approximately 3:00p.m.

Here is my excellent helper for this shoot. Rex is a 9 year old rescue (along with his brother Rubix) barn cats.  Rex loves to bring lizards into the house (very much alive, don’t know how he does that part) so he can play with them.  Lizards are going to run up my legs I just know it, so my reaction is always the same: scream, find a tupperware to put over them (they are in such shock from being carried into the house), throw the cat outside, yell for my husband, and then shout directions from a different room that I want it put waaaaaay out into the neighbors field. My husband is so patient, “Love you honey.” You need to know that I grew up with 3 brothers (in the country) who loved seeing my reaction to different things. One scenerio, chasing me around our big yard with a dead rattlesnake on a big stick. Now you know why I act as I do. Ha, ha, ha. It’s amazing we all grew up without killing each other and get along really well now. I love my brothers. Sometimes though, growing up I didn’t like them very much.

Now get up to your happy place (wherever you stitch) and have FUN! That’s an order. Hugs, Heidi

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Bling It On!

by Heidi Emmett 

I don’t mean bling in the “shiny, fancy,” fabrics way.  I mean it’s TIME to dress “UP” not dress “down.” Get out of your sweats and put on something that you love so much but have been saving it for “good.” Don’t we all have what we call “everyday” clothes and “good” clothes? That’s how I grew up and I let the trend continue. Well guess what?

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY!!  So let’s start dressing accordingly!

Oh, Happy Day! I’m wearing some “good clothes” while washing windows inside ( I only wash one room at a time, as I am easily bored).  And I wear an apron too! Ha, ha.
If I had just brushed my hair a little better in the back. Oops, now I really drew attention to it. This is Marcia Derse’s very first panel. It was printed when she was with Troy Textiles (it’s at least 6 years old).
This close up of my “Marcia Derse” inspired Terrific Tabard(my “Art to Wear” sewing pattern) shows that I love adding black edging fabric strips all the way around the vest on the outside edges for a slimming look.
I do a lot of raw edge applique’ (the zig zag stitches) and stitching in general. I like to change colors of thread too for added interest.

It’s easy to add stitching to a fabric “panel” piece. There are no seams to sew over or slow you down. And you still get a great quilted affect. There is a very thin batting in this vest.

Yes, this vest is the Tree of Life version of my Terrific Tabard using a Marcia Derse printed panel. It’s part panel and some collage work. All raw edge.
I did it again. Went to my closet and found some pieces I’ve never worn together and have only kept them for “good.”  I like what I put together and the “eye popping” pink vest showcases my polymer necklace.
How about my boots by “Mucks”  I love, love, LOVE them. And comfy too. They are my go to rain and snow boots.
I went to my jewelry “board” ( I bought a corkboard and added push pins. Perfect way to display necklaces and pins/brooches) and found this polymer necklace. I made it at least 3 years ago.  I have never worn it! Whaaat?? I took a fabulous polymer class from Sandra Bruce (of Material Matrix fame, check her out here).  She said I could copy her necklace. So, after the class, I took a bunch of pictures of her necklace and over a week I created my version. I was SO HAPPY wearing this. Why did I wait so long? I’m wearing it again this weekend. I have just decided I want to do more Polymer this weekend too. It is a very soothing art form in my opinion.
Aww….that’s a GOOD Boy! Riley is REALLY coming along. It is 13 weeks today since we adopted him. We think he’s FINALLY feeling like he’s part of the family now.
Here’s the mask pattern I have been using. A huge thank you to “Sinderelamom.” Don’t know her as this pattern was first sent to me by a friend.  The 12.5 line is in centimeters. It should measure 5.” I whacked off the short end to make it fit. Send me an email and I’ll send you this picture so you can print it up.     hmemmett@gmail.com

A mask ready to sew together. Two pieces of Batik for the front, 2 for the lining, and 2 pieces of 100% cotton batting for the interlining. My elastic is a headband, that is cut into 2, 7″ pieces.
Yes, I’m saving my batik scraps for another project that I have in mind.
A few of the many masks I’ve made. I’ve lost count, but it is at least 20.
O.K. remember I said it’s hard for me to throw anything/or very much away? This is a picture of all the thread bits from those masks. And the next picture shows you what I did with them.

A THREAD BEAD! What a hoot, all the thread so fluffy and a fairly big blob of it, comes down, and down to 3/4″     I think it’s cool.  Oh what we can do with extra time on our hands.
A bag is starting to fill up with the scraps from the batting. These scraps are headed to a lady in my quilt guild who makes dog beds for dogs at the local shelters. How cool is that?
There is beauty everywhere if we just look. In this case, my English Laurel, and I had to look up (the last snow we had smashed the branches down enough to be surprised by this).
Each flowerette is so perfect.

We will, together, believe and have faith to weather this surreal situation. God bless. Hugs, Heidi

Some Boro Chic Mixed With Denim Upcycling! It WORKS!

by HEIDI EMMETT

I have been working on this for months. I used the very method I tell YOU all to use. 15 minutes a day and before you know it, you are so close to being done that you WANT to get it done NOW!

Designs by Heidi finished a project! It’s all about Upcycling.
This is the back of my “Boro/denim” flat tote bag. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com will tell you how easy this is to create.
I cut off the back portion above the pockets. I love how these jeans have worn and frayed pieces. People pay BIG BUCKS for jeans like these, ha, ha. These are some jeans that my husband wore and wore and wore…you get the idea.

After cutting away the top portion, I opened up the legs and stitched up the left overs in the derriere area (sounds nicer than crotch!).  I trimmed away the excess and…
covered up the seam with the that back YOKE (gosh I couldn’t think of what that piece was called), brain is finally engaging here.  Oh dear, a hole at the bottom of the yoke (green olfa mat shows through).
No problem…I just added a left over piece underneath it all and stitched it all in place using orange thread, using a straight stitch going up and down and all over. Back of tote is done and I set it aside. I also made handles out of the bottom portion of the jean legs.

Here is another example of “How to Keep a Man Close” (make an apron out of a man’s shirt) in my upcycling portion of my workshop at my Artistic Alchemy workshop.Go here to learn more.  And you see a little scrap of this orange and yellow checked shirt in my Boro piece. I have the worst time throwing any scraps out. Sigh… it is a sickness I know.

Let’s talk about this “Boro” piecing and stitching. My understanding of Boro is a technique of fabric pieces laid out in a random fashion on a background fabric (Japanese started it by stitching on pieces of Kimono fabrics  with Sashiko stitching also known as a running stitch).

For my piece of Boro fabric I started with leftovers from this “Gathering” apron (my design)  that I teach in my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, this Sept. 7th-11th. Check it out here. I would love to have you join my workshop. Nothing but fun.
Using an off white textured piece of cotton as the base, I arranged squares of left over pieces of Men’s shirts (all 100% cotton) and pinned them down, some over and some under. The sleeve in the upper left of the picture is the left over from the Gathering Apron. This shirt is 100% linen. I do love linen!
If only I had used the Terial Magic FIRST THING, I would have saved myself so much grief. My thinking was smallish pieces, easy to stitch down. But,everything was too soft and floppy. The pins poked me and I thought that using the basting stitch on my machine would help. Nope. I have told you in the past that Terial Magic takes a piece of natural fibered fabric (linen, cotton, silk, etc.) and once sprayed and ironed dry,even the background piece, it becomes like a piece of paper. With this method, I would have added each piece one at a time. There is enough friction from spraying the background and the  small pieces too, they sort of stick together naturally.  It all worked out in the end, but I would have enjoyed the process more had I used Terial Magic first.

I used 3 strands of embroidery floss. DMC is my go to floss brand. Then I ran out of the orange I was using. Imagine that! In my STASH of floss, I ran out of a color. So I went to my stash of “Knit Crocheen,” the ball above. Works just fine. I chose bolder, thicker threads as I wanted it to show. Use “Sharps” as your needle of choice so it pokes into the tightly woven fabrics easily.

This closeup is fun. I loved working with these happy colors. I’m ready to start another Boro piece that I can stash in my Tote Bag for the moments of time inbetween appts. or just because.

One last look. Boro + Denim, all upcycled. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
On the Riley dog front. It is 6 weeks today that we picked Riley to be part of our family. The improvements all the way around are vast! We finished week 2 of a 5 week training course.
Rubix wants only to view Riley from a distance. This will be the tough part. Sigh… Ha, ha, this looks like a “pin up” shot of this cat.
Rex has already had one encounter with Riley. Rex is very brave and will stand up for himself. Much hissing, and clawing (all “air claws”) and barking ensued. Both retreated to try again another day. Sigh…. again.  These two brother cats are almost 8 years old. When they were kittens meeting  our older, easy going, Sparky  dog, the meet and greet was sooooo easy.

Don’t forget that YOU could check out this view from Robin’s Flight (a gazillion stairs but the view is worth the climb) in PERSON if you join us at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat this Sept. 7th-11th. On the home page look under Workshops for information on mine.
Or visit the private beach. If your husband tags along he could take a fishing charter from the dock. Or there’s golfing, hiking, bike riding, etc. so close.

Have a great weekend. I can’t wait to see ( I love pictures ) or hear what you are up to in your creative adventures. Hugs, Heidi

What’s the First Thing You Want to Create in 2020?

by HEIDI EMMETT

Now we can get down to the business of all things creative.  All the get- togethers and parties are over. Decorations all put away (nope, not at my house. I LOVE Christmas). The “creative” I plan to do for January is FIBER JEWELRY! It’s easy to get started. Check out the pieces below. They will help you plan something fun.

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What an interesting use of fiber, feathers, findings and beads.
This is a felted scarf but I can see it as a very unusual necklace too.
I’m thinking we all might have on hand what would be needed for this cool necklace. An old necklace, release the chain in the middle and attach it to the backs of an arrangement of different sized fiber flowers and trim pieces. I could work on one of these right now!

I could not get this picture any bigger, but they look like teardrop shapes of silk,stuffed and then attached to a necklace chain. Use your favorite silk scraps or ties.
What a simple but “catch your eye” fun necklace. They are teeny tiny stuffed pillows. Looks like they were embroidered first with running stitches. Add colorful beads on cord Take the cord through each “pillow”, add a bead, and continue taking the cord through another pillow on the diagonal.
THIS is so interesting! And the use of African Fabrics make it truly unique. I’m not sure of the technique but I thinking folded long pieces that are then folded over a nylon cord. Very successful.
Do you like to embroider or have a special piece already? This is the piece for you to create.
I know this isn’t a piece of jewelry, but a dream catcher. Well now, I want to make the feathers and use them to form a necklace. Use your favorite super special yarn for this.
Now THIS is truly a STATEMENT piece. I don’t need to say anymore than that!
Do you have a favorite smallish scarf? Make a fiber necklace to go with the scarf. What a great pairing of the two.
And one more. Ohhh, the possibilities!
This piece is so yummy in many ways. I like the fabric choices for the tubular waterfall , the metal piece that is used for the front. And the way all the tubes attach at the top. So unique.

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I like to say, “15 minutes a day will get you on your way! with any new creative project. ” So pick one of these or use another that you had in mind. I would love to see what you create! Send me a picture of a finished piece of fiber jewelry  by January 31st 2020 and I will post it AND send you a free pattern of your choice from my collection! Happy New Year Hugs, Heidi

 

Wear Your Joy! Friday, December 27th, 2019.

by HEIDI EMMETT                       I had posted some weeks back that I really enjoyed a series of classes taught by Kelly Rae Roberts. The class I use all the time, is titled, “Wear Your Joy. ” It is 30 days long, talking about acceptance of our bodies the way they are right now, celebrating our unique “style,” and much more. Visit her site here and see if it might be something you would want for yourself for the new year!  I think it would be a great way to get you going on wanting to create more “ART TO WEAR” clothing using patterns by me!

I’m wearing my joy today! I did not make anything I am wearing. That’s o.k. The tunic length blouse is from my new favorite label, Aratta Silent Journey. I love it because it is my style. Lots of colors, fabrics, and embroidery!
It’s all about the fabric choices in this tunic.
You can barely see the butterflies (love butterflies) on my shoulder. And check out the back!
It’s all done by machine (the embroidery) on a beautiful drapey rayon velvet.
Umm….so pretty. And lovely stitching details too.
Remember this idea from last weeks post? Line a pot with aluminum foil, drop in some baking soda, and add boiling water just to cover item. Drop in silver plated, or sterling item and VOILA’! Shiny and new looking again.
I am FINALLY looking at some of my silver pieces that I have had for years and years. Not sure what the stone is in the above pendant. Haven’t worn it for years because it was too much work to clean. Ha, ha, ha. Not anymore.
Oh dear! Terrible photo, but you can still see the shiny silver. This one I had to rub a little harder to get the black off.  Not sure why.
Digging a bit in my earring drawers (yep, I have drawers and I love them all!) I found these perfect drop earrings. They looked pretty sad but not anymore. Wow, I see that with this super closeup I need more attention to the cleaning around jump rings.

Like my top, this bracelet has a little of everything in it. Very fun to wear.
This has been my “go to” coffee mug during this holiday season.
This was given to me at least 30 years ago. It was a thankyou gift for playing a “party goer” (no toe shoes necessary, ha, ha!) in our local Nutcracker. I loved ballet class as an adult and being in it at Christmas was so much fun. I think this ballerina is “Wearing her Joy” as she twirls among the branches of my Christmas Tree. Until the NEW YEAR, hugs to all of you, my creative fiber friends. Heidi

Happy Thanksgiving!

I know, I’m early. But this post includes next Friday too. I’m hosting 26 this year in my house (it will be cozy, but lots of fun). We have so much to be Thankful for.

I had a great time at our SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group)meeting this past Wednesday.It was held at a members home as the Library was closed because we were having another  power shut off due to high winds. 7:00a.m. shutoff changed to 11:00a.m. Canceled at 1:00p.m. Sigh….My husband was sad (we just got a generator and he had it all ready to go!). Sigh…again.  Let’s forget all that power shut off stuff and I’ll show you some cool things!

Sunrise, November 20, 2019. From my back deck.
Promises to be a beautiful Fall day.
I love the reflection in the table top.
There’s a rain gauge in the lower right area. It has been waiting, waiting, waiting….not sure when.
Meet Joan and her festive jacket.
A combination of piecing, needle turned applique’, and raw edged applique’.
Lori said she knew her “snowflake” wasn’t “fiber” oriented but she just had to show it. I’m so glad she did. Look closely. She made it out of white plastic hangers, zip ties, and added white lights.  I need some of these hanging in trees outside. Speaking of snowflakes. I just heard the weather report for next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Snow level down to 2,000ft. What!? We are at 3,000ft. 26 people coming. Excuse me while I go have a quiet cry.
O.K., I’m back. Deep breathing. Check out Carolyn’s jacket. I really like her asymmetrical pieces that she cut and stitched on before she made buttonholes.
Trish worked on a challenge project for January (she’s early). Using bits of old laces, doilies, linen tablecloths, etc.  Trish put them into a fabulous weekender/carpet bag using pieces from denim jeans. What a wonderful upcycling project.
The inside features her own indigo dyed fabric. Way to go!
These AMAZING tennis shoes were created by Kathy! Love these! Want these! Must have these!
Kathy used some of my favorite Kaffe Fassett fabrics. What a great way to use some scraps.
Work on a new pair of tennies, whatever brand you want, your choice. This look is so HOT right now!
Pattern is by Lenore Crawford and purchased via Lenore’s Etsy shop.
Was given some Meyer Lemons. What a pretty picture they make. And yummy too.
Speaking of tennis shoes, I thought I’d bring back this picture. I discovered that the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser (infused with Dawn) is PERFECT to clean up the white edges near the soles of tennis shoes. It works like a charm.
This is how my head feels after reading a book or magazine on creative stuff or being on Pinterest .  Take time out this weekend for something creative! It will make you happy. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

This and That For Friday!

Hello all. My phone is not sending all the pics I had taken of this project in process. I took a WHOLE ENTIRE DAY & EVENING to finish some projects and continue working on others. For the tote bag below, we need to go waaaay back to September 24, 2010.  Sandy Poteet, a fiber artist (she works on Art Quilts), taught a class on a “bleaching” technique. So much information and good instruction. I do remember that. I came home with a finished 18″ x 18″ piece.
Whirrr…whirr…cut…stitch…press….whirr, whirr….and Voila! Here is my  “grocery bag” styled tote bag.
Ikea canvas (drapery weight, buy it by the yard at Ikea) scraps from a “free table.” This is the back of the tote and the lining too. I also added a few pockets inside and out. The first cut I made was wrong. I stared at what I had just done and laughed. I have matured I think. A few years back I would have been very upset with my  “bad cut” but now, no worries, I’ll make it work.  It must be all the upcycling I have been doing of late.
The “tracing, bleaching, putting color back in, and outline stitching” was fun to do. I started with an 8 x 10 photo and worked from there with all the things I described.
Our sweet, sweet, rescue dog, “Sparky.” He was such a faithful friend. We miss him so. He put up with quite a few rescued cats and kittens too. The last two cats came as kittens and Sparky was very patient with them as they grew up.
Not sure if Rubix (one of the last two kittens in Sparky’s long and happy, life) is being contemplative, irratating, or…..
Awww….I’m going with contemplative over missing the ONE dog in his 9 years of living that he got along with (they even slept in the dog’s bed together). You were a “good boy Sparky! I miss you Sparky-dog,” says Rubix.
I’m not sure what this actually means but it makes me laugh. Shouldn’t it be Stiletto’s? As in a pair? Whatever…..
I love this one. Ha, ha.
If you haven’t already, you MUST look up this amazing 90+ year old. She is amazing. And accessorize is her middle name. Love her!

Have a great weekend and get yourself into stitches! Hugs, Heidi

I Call it “A.Z.” and I’m Working on Stuff!

I can’t believe that Artistic Alchemy was only three weeks ago. I put too much on my “A.Z.” calendar (that’s “After Zephyr”) without realizing it. Everything relating to Artistic Alchemy is put away until another workshop and I am relaxing by working on, inbetween other things,  a NEW Art to Wear pattern AND some Fiber Jewelry.

A few pictures from the Artistic Alchemy retreat. I’m wearing my favorite new, upcycled pants, and my super favorite (have been for 2 years) and very “hot” for fall (anything leopard print), my loafers.

I LOVE, LOVE, these loafers. I was walking by a store in my little town and a woman was working on a display for the window of the store. She was up a few feet off the ground. I couldn’t tell you what she was wearing except that I zeroed in on her shoes. Rushed into the store and asked about the shoes. They had one pair left(my size), AND ON SALE TOO!
Had these pants for 4 years (size 4, yeah maybe they would have fit me when I was 4, ha, ha) before I saw a picture on Pinterest with this idea. Open up the entire side and insert a piece of (in this case stretch denim) whatever the width needed.  I serged the piece into the pants.No other finishing. Rolled the hems, left the waistband alone(as a sweater hides the raw edges at the waist).
I actually like the little flap at the top. It makes it really easy to pull them up and over “ye olde hips”.
My upcycling includes using scraps, really, small, scraps. I make bracelets.
Fabrics cut on the bias make fun bracelets too (and no strings hanging off).
Here I am showing samples of some bracelets as well assome of the  many supplies you can use.
More fiber jewelry using a headband and attaching my own polymer clay pieces to it using embroidery floss. The headband is now a necklace. Fun, fun.

Let’s take a moment and look at the view. Lake Tahoe is always stunning. (Taken at 7:17p.m. on Sept. 3rd, 2019 through a screen window, no flash of course and with my old Nikon D40).
I was experimenting at home (trying out ideas for my “Fiber jewelry” section ofmy workshop at Zephyr).  These scraps are a bit larger than some others I have used.
I was on TOP OF THE WORLD with my first EVER fabric scrap bead! Check out the globe. It’s so cute and it lights up too!
It’s a pretty sorry looking fabric bead, but HEY, it was my first one.

I have gotten much better at this whole process as you can see. My students seemed really excited about them too. Thank you ladies! What a fabulous group they were too!
I made up these bracelets myself. I cruised the isles of Home Depot and found the clear tubing. It comes in some great sizes (plumbing isle).
Here is one of my bracelets. I’m thinking for next year, devoting one whole day to creating “Fiber Jewelry.” I’d love to know what you think about that.

Some of the beautiful ribbon “yarns” that I collect to make the plastic tubing bracelets.
Yes, I collect beads too! I have LOTS of beads. You must think about coming to Zephyr Point next year ( Sept. 7th-11th, 2020) for my workshop, at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. All the information about next years workshops will come out the first part of February, 2020. I’ll keep you posted.

Have a great weekend and find some time for your creative outlet!  And wow I was outside today and heard and watched the Canadian Geese heading south. And look at how quickly the Virginia Creeper is changing. Here in Grass Valley, CA we went from 88 degrees (the high) yesterday to only 71 degrees today for the high. And rain is coming maybe tomorrow. It really feels like Fall. My favorite time of year!  Except for all the raking of leaves! It’s really funny, you plant the 5 gallon Maple tree and it’s so pretty.But you FORGET that they do grow and 30 years later, WOW! So many more leaves. And of course, we had to plant a BUNCH of Maple trees. Sigh….Thanks for stopping by. 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

See my “Circles Necklace” Project on my first EVER Video!!

by HEIDI EMMETT

 

See my very first “You Tube Video” at the Terial Magic, You Tube Channel. It’s about the project in my first ever book, Circles Necklace and Earrings.

The Circles Necklace and Earrings project are shown on the back of the book.
What a beautiful model Leisure Arts used to show off my super fun and easy project. You need to own this book!

I have decided that I need to wear my projects from my book. This is the first time I have worn The Circles Necklace. You first saw it on my now famous video ha, ha. It was my first ever, just remember that. And In case you forgot, it’s on the You Tube Channel for Terial Magic.

A closer view of the Circles Necklace project.
Circle Necklaces are like potato chips…..you can’t make just one!
I love this pen. I use it for marking the circles. My son left it at our house awhile back and it has been added to my must haves. No, I am not giving it back. I’m the Mom.

A view of the new colorways as a finished necklace. Both fabrics are Kaffe Fassett.
Two part or one part eyelets work perfectly for this project.
There are many eyelet attaching tools out there. Here is a good quality one from Germany.
One more necklace in a black and gray colorway. LOVE this.
Here is a close up of the fabrics stitched together. This fabric is the perfect scale for this necklace.
We have had some thunder and lightening storms lately. This was our Sunset one evening. The sky just glowed.
Not the clearest of shots but wow, a rainbow. Who knew until I zoomed in.
Two nights later this is the Sunset (looking away from the sun) at a friends house. Double rainbows.
Here is the smoothie you saw (hopefully) on Insta-gram. And I promised you the recipe. I’m drinking one, in fact, as I’m finishing this post. Double YUMMY!

I cup plain Greek Yogurt, 1 cup Pomegranate Juice, 2 cups Blueberries, 4 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal, a handful of ice cubes.    Combine all in your blender.   Hugs, Heidi

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“Steampunk” Your Next Calypso Vest”

By HEIDI EMMETT    What is Steampunk? It has the look and feel of Victorian,and  Industrial but with a modern twist. It is in fashion, home decorating, parties,groups that get together, camping, tiny houses. I like it.  Below is my Calypso Vest pattern that I started with.

Great stash buster.  Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  or email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com

Everyone this is blog post from September 29th, 2017. I have a big “trunk show/demos” gig with my fellow teachers of Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for ASG (American Sewing Guild) in Sacramento, CA tomorrow and I ran out of time for a new post. So enjoy this blast from the past.

 

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The hardest decision is what fabrics to use on the back of the vest. Always, treat them with Terial Magic first, then cut them up. Beth, the owner of Fabric Chicks in Gardnerville, NV, asked me to make a sample of Calypso Vest to display in her booth. You can find her Fabric Chicks booth at many quilt shows and sewing shows throughout western states.Her booth spaces are AWESOME! You will want everything. Look for her at PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival). She sent me the fabrics she wanted me to use. All by Tim Holtz (I think his look is totally Steampunk). I’ll take you through the making of this, really, really, cool piece of true, “Art to Wear.” Here are the fabrics I’m using. I have already cut them into the bias strips. There are rounds and rounds of bias strips (7 total) that make this pattern so unique. Oh, a smidge of the back (on the left), shows too.

The hardest decision is what fabrics to use on the back of the vest. Always, treat them with Terial Magic first, then cut them up.

I love these “skeleton” leaves. I’ll use those too. So, spray, spray, with Terial Magic, and iron to a crispy finish with a dry iron. Snip, snip, all around the design I want to use. Snip, snip, all around the design I want to use.

Getting an idea of placement using the back piece tissue as my guide.

Getting an idea of placement using the back piece tissue as my guide., Whirr, whrrrr, such a satisfying feeling to sew these pieces down. To get that great feeling, USE the Terial Magic, and glue down each piece with whatever fabric glue you like. My preference is Elmer’s school glue.  Use a darning foot (open or closed, this time I grabbed the closed one) and lower the feed dogs.

Beginning the first row of the big bias circle. Notice the yellow and red headed pins. The pins are telling me where to make a pleat (pleats add better fit over the hips). Beginning the first row of the big bias circle. Notice the yellow and red headed pins. The pins are telling me where to make a pleat (pleats add better fit over the hips). When I have stitched all the way around the circle, I need to finish it off (complete the circle). So I open up the strip, and pinch right sides together (it needs to lay flat and smooth) and stitch up the seam. Refold it and stitch the strip down. Subsequent rounds really are easy. This first one is the hardest. But it is all spelled out in the pattern.

The pins are telling me where to make a pleat (pleats add better fit over the hips). When I have stitched all the way around the circle, I need to finish it off (complete the circle). So I open up the strip, and pinch right sides together (it needs to lay flat and smooth) and stitch up the seam. Refold it and stitch the strip down. Subsequent rounds really are easy. This first one is the hardest. But it is all spelled out in the pattern. Whoo hoo, first round of bias stripping is done! Continue adding 6 more strips. BREAK TIME! Actually, I take a break after each round (best for ye old neck and shoulders).

Whoo hoo, first round of bias stripping is done! Continue adding 6 more strips. BREAK TIME! Actually, I take a break after each round (best for ye old neck and shoulders).On the way out the door to photograph my finished vest.

I love the blue, blue skies of fall.  Taa daa! Here is Beth’s finished sample. I just LOVE the fabrics she chose and how much fun I had playing with all the choices. Calypso Vest by Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on Claypso Vest.

I know, I know, I took a ton of pics. But I couldn’t stop. This could be in a Jane Austen flick, or even Outlander? Maybe? Am I stretching things here?   A close up of Calypso Vest.
I love adding raw edged pieces to the back of this vest.
Tim Holtz fabrics for more pretties on the back of Calypso Vest.

And to all of you, my blog peeps, thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you all. It’s a great weekend to play and to be creative. So get out there and “Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE!  Heidi InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy 

“I HAD A FAVORITE DRESS”

Didn’t You? When you were little too?

This book is ADORABLE!!  Sure it’s for little girls but I bought it for myself (I wish I had thought to write it). I found it at one of my favorite stores for ideas, clothes to buy/and or copy on my own, and accessories like this book.

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I have loved clothes and shoes and purses, and jewelry, and on and on for the longest time.
A few weeks after purchasing “I Had a Favorite Dress” I spied this little top in J.C.Penney’s. It reminded me of the dress from the book. Of course I had to buy it just because.
And then rummaging through a box of old jewelry pieces I spied this piece that was made from real French wired ribbon, antique buttons and French flower pieces.  So sweet it’s a perfect match for the “Favorite Dress.”
Here is another Favorite Top of mine in what else, shades of Pink!

Here is the back. Uh oh, “Clean up on aisle 9.” The back neck edge, whaaaat did I do? Hmm…. to fix that issue I could carefully pick out the stitches and re-attach the trim. Acckk too much time. I will raw edge stitch another flower right over that “owie.” Problem solved.

I am going to give a quick run through of all my Best Selling patterns. Should you want to own one of your own, email me: hmemmett@gmail.com  If you buy two or more patterns, you get free shipping.  Patterns run $15.00 each (includes tax) plus shipping.

I

I am changing the word “crafting” to “sewing/creating”  But I do this on a regular basis. Ha, ha.
Let’s use this, “ALWAYS!”  Ha, ha.

My mom gave me some of the Iris that are growing in her yard. Aren’t these stunning?  I like the background too as it shows the beauty of different spring “greens” that are flourishing.
One word for this Iris “STUNNING!”
Have you ever seen such depth in this particular purple?
The light from the sun gives this Iris a stained glass look. Thanks for stopping by today. You know I appreciate each one of you so much.  Hugs and may you have creative energy for your endeavors this weekend, whether out in your own garden or at your sewing machine. Heidi        AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

 

SAQA, Terial Magic, Wisteria, and Fun Stuff!

This warm weather has really pushed the bloom time up. I just got back from a 3 day trip to the Bay Area to help Terry McFeely with her Terial Magic Booth at the SAQA convention.

SAQA means, Studio Art Quilt Associates. Terial Magic Booth at SAQA show 2019 in San Jose, CA 
Me, with Terry McFeely, Creator and Owner of Terial Magic. Check out Terry’s latest video on her You Tube Channel / Terial Arts/ Making Happi Coat bookmarks.  It’s so easy and fun.
Explaining how I use Terial Magic  in my “Art to Wear” clothing.
We had so much fun and showed sooooo many of the SAQA attendees how helpful Terial Magic is for their Art Quilts/Wearables.
All my fun, quilted techniques for my Art to Wear are so much easier with Terial Magic.
I really enjoy creating spirals using Terial Magic first and then because the stitching is on the bias, when I wash them, they are soft edged, not a lot of fraying. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com 
Leaf shapes have straighter lines so there is more fraying. That’s what leaves do.
The same goes for machine applique. Pre-treating with Terial Magic makes for a really nice satin stitch (and the needle doesn’t gum up).
This jacket is my version of an out of print, Vogue pattern by Carol Horn.

I’m sending you pictures today of the Wisteria that would be blooming in a parking lot in Grass Valley, CA  (where I live). I was so upset when they cut the Wisteria out. These are from three years ago. They give me joy just to look at and may they be an inspiration for you.

This beautiful picture looks like a building somewhere in Europe. And to think it is in downtown Grass Valley, CA  in a PARKING LOT!!!
Designs by Heidi loves to take pictures.
Such intense coloring on this Wisteria.
What a great color combination for a Terrific Tabard or Whisper Blouse. 
An old door perhaps from a mine long ago shut down here in “Gold Country.”
Another great color combination. Can I find silk shantung in that shade of blue? Oh what a yummy  base for any of my vest patterns.
A shot of my “Circle Pillows” that a friend made for her sister. They were a project in Modern Patchwork several years ago. Sadly the magazine is gone. But I sell the pattern for it. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested.

Love this piece of fiber jewelry. Hmm…this would be a great project for my Workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat up at Lake Tahoe. Check it out.

I think I have shown this before, but I really like the concept of a Yo-yo vest.

This tote is a fabulous example of collage and big straight stitching.

What a great idea to raise the leg of a pair of pants. Some tucks and some buttons. Thanks for stopping by this week. I hope you were inspired. Oh, guess what? Today is national Textile Day. I think we need to celebrate that by buying some fabric this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Love Pats! You Need to Make Some!

A Love Pat is a heart shaped piece of warm love to place where it hurts. Make a pattern first. Fold a piece of paper in half (we will draw half of the heart around the fold). Make a pencil point 4 3/4″ from the fold. This is the roundest part of the heart shape. Make another dot on the fold ,about an inch above the roundest part. Measure down 5″ on the fold and make another pencil dot. Now, sketch from dot to dot the heart shape. When you are happy with the 1/2 of a heart shape cut it out.

Pin your paper heart shape to some fun quilting cotton weight fabric , 2 pieces right, sides together and cut it out. But wait! Don’t forget to add a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut out the exact shape again from 2 pieces of flannel. Add a piece of flannel on either side of the fun fabric, on the wrong side. Look at the picture above and stitch all the way around the heart, leaving about a 3″ opening on one side.
Carefully clip the inside of the heart shape right to the seam.  Turn the heart inside out and gently work out the heart shape and the heart point. This is the point when the first half of the heart is filled, with, ta da!, uncooked rice.
Find a small funnel or make one out of paper and you will also need a 1/3 cup measuring piece.

I use rice in my “Love Pats.” The more expensive the rice like Jasmine, or Basmati, the lovelier the aroma when it is heated up. Dried lavender can also be added.
Please ignore the seam you can see in the picture. Pretend it isn’t there. Add the 1/3 cup of rice. Then pick up the heart and let the rice fall to the side opposite the opening.
Now you can stitch it down the middle. Make certain that ALL the rice is out of the way of the needle (voice of experience talking here). Now you can fill the OTHER side of the heart (would that be the right ventricle? hmm….) and hand stitch the opening closed.
Finished “Love Pats” ready for their homes. It makes me happy to use Kaffe Fassett cottons.

I just got back from a wonderful 4 day trip to the central coast area of California, San Juan Bautista. The trip was ALL sewing, ALL Day & Night (if you wanted). Here are some stunning Oak Trees from one of my walks.

Can you see the support for some of the branches? These Oaks have to be about 100 years old.

What a pastoral scene.
Step a few feet forward and this scene, wild mustard, green velvet hills, puffy clouds, and a rainbow are what you see. So serene… I could sit and enjoy for hours.
I took my Love Pats to this sewing event and gave one to each participant. My little gift to them.

Any natural fabric will work. Do you have a special piece of embroidery? Or a handwoven? Or even a tightly knitted piece (maybe from a cashmere sweater). Try those for a Love Pat.
Pop them in the microwave for no more than 70 seconds. The smaller amount of rice is just perfect to mold across a shoulder, back of a neck, even on a tummy. Ahhhh…just right.
You know how it is, lay things out and “They Will Come.” (Don’t worry ladies, I lint-rollered each one so there is no cat fur to be found. Aarrggh….

Thank you for stopping by. I love each one of you, all my followers and appreciate your support. Big hugs to you all, Heidi  P.S.     ” Love is not an emotion, it is who we are.” Rumi via my new friend, Annie from the sewing retreat.

Follow me on Instagram- DesignsbyHeidiEmmett And don’t forget to check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat to see what’s happening this September at Lake Tahoe. 

“Poochie.”

All I had on hand were a couple of safety pins when thinking about attaching a special collaged pet portrait to a piece of clothing, So….let’s take a look.

I already had the Donna Karan coat.

I purchased “Poochie” from Jane Haworth, a teacher at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat each fall at Lake Tahoe. Check out what Jane does, here. And Poochie hung around my house for months (I didn’t want to frame him) and then one day I had an idea, put him on a piece of clothing! I couldn’t find my pincushion to pin him on the jacket, BUT, I had a safety pin. Well, well, one thing led to another and I got together some other supplies ….            Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com 

I grabbed my Serger. I absolutely LOVE, did I say it loud enough, LOVE!! my Baby Lock Imagine. It’s the only serger on the market that “air sucks” the thread through the upper and lower loopers! Do you have any idea the time that saves?  I found mine on Ebay, used, for half the price of a new one. I couldn’t be happier. Oh dear, I spy lots of lint down low. Time to clean.

Here is my other “cool tool.” It’s called a “Crop-A-Dial.” It is a 6″ long reach hole punch, eyelet, snap and grommet setter.

The packaging might have changed (I’ve had mine about 10 years). It can punch through, paper, leather, fabric, plastic, thin tin, chipboard and more.

And bam, bam, eyelets in!
These circles would make cute earrings too! Hmm…but for now, I’m using safety pins and attaching them to more fabric .
Stitch two circles together, wrong sides together, sew they are the same on both sides. And just cut them out. You can stitch just inside the outside of the circle. But, it’s mostly on the bias so there will be very little fraying.
I serged the edges of the same fabric for a fun look.
I top-stitched them onto the cuff and added a few safety pins too.

I’m having so much fun, serging, knotting, and pinning other pieces of fabric together. It really is freeing to try new and different things. There doesn’t have to be a particular way to do anything! I used a few Marcia Derse fabrics for some of the tails.
Check out the bicycle pin made from wire and attached with, what else, a safety pin.
There are just a few touches of safety pins on the front. By the time someone says, “Wait a minute, are those safety pins on that jacket?” Well, they’ll turn around and see the back.
Poochie will really garner some attention! My husband calls the long strips below Poochie, “doggie tails.” I just call them fun.
I want to challenge YOU to find a fun way to use safety pins (Walmart carries the best safety pins for the best price). Show me what you can do. I already have a vest in mind for more safety pins. It’s the perfect watch a movie project. Ouch, don’t watch the movie too closely.

I think this is just the right amount of “stuff” to add to this simple jacket, check out my other blog posts too at: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
What’s in the pocket there. A little burlap bag.
If you like what you see here, please take a look here. This is just one way to upcycle  and it is just part of the workshop that I teach at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, this Sept. When you click on (please take a look here)it will go directly to our home page. In the menu bar click on “workshops” and scroll down and read what each of us four teachers  are doing this Sept. 2nd-6th up at gorgeous Lake Tahoe .  And people, WE ARE RIGHT ON THE LAKE! We have the multi, multi-million dollar views AND we are usually the only group up there. The retreat starts on Labor Day.
I took some shots outside and discovered these sweet violets growing in the lawn. Heralding Spring.

So you saw my little burlap bag?  I’m thinking that when I wear this jacket and people are in need of a safety pin, I will carry extras in my little bag to pass around. Ha, ha.  Information on the safety pin: It was invented by Walter Hunt in 1848. Paleontologists would estimate that some form of safety pin or another had been around since the Neolithic Period. Yet somehow man had never got it right until Walter. A single factory today turns out a billion safety pins a year. WOW!  Hugs, blessings, and creative sewing time to all, Heidi

It’s Denim Daze!

Don’t you just love the softness and drape of worn denim? I think we all have a few favorite “go to” pairs of jeans we grab. And what about the ubiquitous “jean jacket.”  I had no plans to cut up any of my favorites, but that’s when I discovered the jeans racks at my favorite thrifting places. Oodles of colors, and softness or not.  InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Don’t you just love these pillows? You are seeing two of the same pillows, the left is the front of the pillow, and on the right is the back. And what about that Duvet cover under the pillows? Click here to learn more about Christine Barnes. She designed and made this duvet cover  for Sunset books. It is called, “Reinvent Your Kids Room. Check Ebay for this book.

I call this pillow, “Rods and Reels.” For fishing tackle.

Because I used jeans, I had pockets, and pieces of legs to use. Upcycling is so fun!

Rod’s & Reels pillow, by Heidi Emmett for “Stitch” magazine. Easy to make.

Back of “Rods & Reels” pillow. Created by me, Heidi Emmett for “Stitch” magazine.

After stitching a seam, I zig-zagged  down the pressed open seam for strength and because it looked good. And I pulled some of the blue threads to make it fray (the white threads).

After spraying Kaffe Fassett striped cottons with Terial Magic, I cut them out into different sized circles.

I used a basting glue to hold them all in place.

Stiffened (Terial Magic)fabric, glued down and ready to sew in place.

Whirrrr. whirr, goes the stitching to hold everything in place. Love the spiral stitching and what I call “Cardiac stitching” on the rod portions.

Nice close up (except the long thread coming out of the “open toed” darning foot (my fav. cause I can SEE WHAT I’M STITCHING!).

I had to show you this, my first setup, but, it’s  ho hum, boring.

I’m liking this arrangement. Need to work on it a bit more. Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com

And here it is in THIS issue of Stitch magazine. Sadly, oh so sadly, they no longer exist, but try Ebay.  Creating projects for magazines is fun. Sometimes hectic and fast, but FUN!

All of you, my fabulous readers of my blog  Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com wont even need directions, but it’s fun to look anyway.

Oh, yes. I love to see my name in print. That’s me, Heidi Emmett. Put these Rods & Reels on anything you like, maybe a vest, jacket, or the bottom of a skirt. Have fun and be creative.

Let’s take a look below at some AMAZING creations in denim. I could never have the patience to create these, but WOW!

What a great slipcover. If it get’s dirty, throw it in the wash. Denim, so versatile and easy care!

Save EVERY PIECE. Just look at this pillow! All waistbands that were stitched onto a background fabric.

I want this wing back chair and ottoman.

It is a lovely, warm, summer evening here at Zephyr Point where I will be teaching my workshop, “Upcycling, Creating Art to Wear, and Fiber Jewelry.” I’m wearing my Whisper Blouse, with a bodice of denim.  Come, join me, for some super creative fun for 4+ days.

Check out the back bodice made of denim with a floaty skirt using, hand dyes, Kaffe Fassett’s, and other great designer pieces. Whisper Blouse is an art to wear pattern by Heidi Emmett. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com    Also,check out Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to learn more about the Artistic Alchemy retreat.

The back bodice has some strips of bias and echo quilting in the denim background.

The front bodice of Whisper Blouse a sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett. a denim background and  an Alison Glass fabric bouquet.

I want this outfit! What a perfect costume.  InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Hope springs eternal. (Alexander Pope) Spring is coming my friends (even though it’s snowing right now as I write, sigh….)  Thank you so much for stopping by.  I appreciate each and every one you! Blessings and hugs, Heidi

 

You Have To Try This!

Denim is always popular. But I am seeing even more for Spring this year. Here are a few pieces of denim that I bet you have never seen before or would ever have thought to make:

I saw these denim cuties in an Anthropologie store. What a cool way to upcycle denim scraps. 

I want all of these. Hey, I have never asked if they sell their displays. Hmm….

I love the way they added fun and flare to these denim capris  above. 

After seeing these denim pants on pinterest I knew just what I would do with a pair of denim jeans I owned but never fit. 

Yes, I bought these at my favorite store in Truckee (aka Truckee Hospice Thrift Store) because I loved the flocked denim. 

I know I could make them fit me after seeing those first two pictures above, on Pinterest. I’m testing different denims to see which one I like best. 

The other jeans were solid denim with floral inserts. I’m going to do the opposite.   What’s that song, “The first cut is the deepest…” I’m certain they didn’t mean cutting up something you love with scissors. 

Getting around a few rivets was tricky and DO NOT FORGET THEY ARE THERE!!! when you stitch in the inserts. Yowzaa, that would be bad. 

Here is the pair of denim jeans I’m using for the side inset pieces. Notice I am cutting into a back pocket. I don’t waste anything if I need the length. Seam ripper took that pocket right off. The entire pair of jeans was too small from the waist to the ankle. So I cut through the entire pair of jeans. It made it so much easier. If they are too loose at the waist afterwards, add a belt or take a dart. Too small still at the waist? Cut the insert in more of a wedge shape. 

I LOVE THEM, I CAN’T WAIT TO WEAR THEM OUT.

So sorry for the blurry pics. It is FREEZING outside and in the room I take these pics. They looked fine in a one inch square of my camera. It is snowing here in Cedar Ridge, CA by the way. Brrr…wonder how much we’re going to get?

I used my Serger to add these inserts and left the hem undone to fray out at the bottom. 

I like the cuffs turned up too. YOU HAVE TO TRY THIS!

Here’s a sneak peak of my latest OFF THE GRID VEST, still in progress. Dare I say next week you will see it posted? Gosh, it’s only been 3 weeks. I have to think of ways to keep you coming back. And, I THANK YOU for coming back! I am loving using Mary Boalt’s hand printed canvas piece. It was my starting point. You’ll see lots of pics when it’s all done. 

I love how the diamond shaped cut outs in the “Scuba fabric” are “see through”  even through the lining fabric. I think it will be worth the wait!

Here is the pattern in case you are new to my blog and wonder, What is she talking about?  The pattern is $15. + shipping. Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com for easy details on getting one of your own.

Stay warm and let me know what you are creating this weekend? Hugs, Heidi

Bluprint.com – formerly called Craftsy.com and my OFF THE GRID VEST pattern

Last week I told you that the Craftsy name has changed. It is still a GREAT place to go to purchase a class (that you keep forever!), fabric, notions, kits, and, THIS IS MY AREA, DIY pattern designer patterns. My patterns fall under the Art to Wear Sewing patterns. These patterns and ALL the patterns on Bluprint are digital, also known as pdf format. You can print them up at home on your printer. I recently received an email that told me besides changing the name from Craftsy to Bluprint, that in the DIY pattern area they were eliminating many, many, accounts. They said they were going from 200,000 to 20,000. I held my breath and continued to read. THEY ARE KEEPING MY ACCOUNT!!! That is such an honor to me. The newly streamlined pattern arena of which I am still a part should be fully operational by the end of January. Whoo hoo!

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Below is my best selling pattern in the past 3 months on Bluprint, at my Etsy shop, and from me directly (which you can do, just email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info.).

Sandra Bruce of Artistic Alchemy (of which I am a part of) took the picture of this lovely lady she saw this past Quilt Market in November in Houston! Yummy warm color palette. How amazing, thousands of people and Sandra walks around a corner and sees my vest pattern made up!

Here is a close up of vest on the cover of my pattern. 

A student’s vest she made while in my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. I named it Hawaiian sunset in honor of the fact that she was a ship’s captain in Hawaii!

A lovely lady who lives in New Zealand who wanted to make Off The Grid Vest for her birthday visit to family in Switzerland. I call hers “Kiwi” in honor of her home in New Zealand.

I thought outside the box with this machine felted fabric. It is heavy enough to not need any quilting. I trimmed it in an ombre’ fabric. I really like the color change it makes (cut it crosswise for the color change to happen). The gray and black is the wrong side of the fabric which I really like showing around the face. With just showcasing the fabric itself (no added pieces or quilting), it went together in just a few hours. 

From a lovely lady in Stockton, CA who did this on her own and brought it to show me at a trunk show I gave for their group called “Haute Couture Societe’.” What a great group of ladies. You should join them if you live anywhere near this city. 

Another student from my  Artistic Alchemy workshop a few years back. Another one with a black background. The black background print add a deep richness to the overall effect. Dress it up or down.  

Here are a few finds from perusing Pinterest (please follow me, I have some GREAT boards. Look under DesignsbyHeidi or even Heidi Emmett).

I leave you with this next picture that should make you smile or laugh out loud. We need more laughter in our lives and more sewing time. Carve out time for YOU to do some creating this next week. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi 

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Upcycling with NO SEWING!

First things first. No more Craftsy!! It’s now called Bluprint. They changed the name of the company. And there are big changes happening in the DIY pattern portion. I will send out a separate post. But never fear, Bluprint will still be a place to get digital patterns from me, in about a month. Or email me at hmemmett@gmail.com and you can purchase patterns directly from me.

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I don’t have the new Bluprint “button” yet.

All rightie then, on to the no-sewing upcycling project I am working on.  I have to show you the messenger bag I scored first. It is so different I had to buy it. I threw it in the washer first and line dried it. Washed up beautifully.  I really liked it because of the Zipper on the side.

Amazingly I want to keep it as is for now. I just can’t get over that GIANT zipper. 

I want to show you the details close up of my upcycling with NO SEWING! jacket. This also washed up well. There are some great details going on here.  

Here is my special “No Sew” upcyling idea. This adorable “Poochie”  has been waiting and waiting to grace a garment. I think safety pins are a Pefect way to showcase him! I’ve only just started. I want them to go all the way around Poochie and then add safety pins to the front in some way with bits of fabric in the same colorways as this collaged piece. 

Poochie was created by Jane Haworth. She is our newest teacher at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point Lake Tahoe. We will start taking sign ups for our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy retreat during February. Please visit Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com (just tap on the icon at the beginning or end of this post) to see what’s going on in my other world. 

More fine detailing on this jacket by DKNY. 

I take classes on techniques whenever I can. Or I plan on days at home where I create 12″ x 12″ pieces of different fiber pieces/techniques. I enjoy making things up and combining all manner of creativity to my 12×12’s. This would be a fun challenge for yourself and/or a few friends. I made two fabulous Poppies in another class. Ohh, those would look great on one of my many jean jackets that I own. Start looking for your perfect 12×12 to “pin” on a garment.

One last thing for you to check out. I took a Beginning Metal Smithing class and made the earrings below (thank you Patty P. for telling me about this class). I had no expectations whatsoever going in to it. I only knew that I got to pound “stuff” and I REALLY wanted to do that. Below is my first attempt. I made everything myself from the ear wires to the metal pieces to the jump rings. I worked with fire, hammers (several types), tin snips (lady sized, WHAT A DIFFERENCE), wire cutters (also lady sized) and different wires, metals, acid washes, liver of sulfer (stinky), etc.  OH MY WHAT A GREAT TIME I HAD! 

It felt so good to do something completely different than fiber. What do you think? 

I learned so much in such a short amount of time. Accccckkkk! No, no! Not another art form to pursue. The wheels were really turning before class was over. I was very careful on the tools I purchased this time. They had to have other ways to use them to make it seem a worthwhile purchase. 

And of course another piece of 26 gauge copper (that is what those earrings are made of) and actual copper wire. I  have a great way (already sketched it after class) to combine metal and fabric for more Fiber Jewelry. Hopefully my ideas will work. I’ll keep you posted. 

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Thank you for stopping by. Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi

Free Form Circles Pillow-Let’s Revisit it!

I first published this post on October 28th, 2016. Fast forward two years. It is more relevant than ever. The pattern will be available VERY SOON, via me @hmemmett.com, or Craftsy.com, or my Etsy shop. I can’t decide if I want to do it as a kit too. I also want to add on a few pages of other ways to use these cool circles (Art to Wear!!) Read on, an excerpt from my 10/28/16 post:

Modern Patchwork has my Free-form Circles Pillow project in the latest edition. It just came out, Fall 2016. Get it NOW.
Drum roll please………I LOVE these pillows and they are super fun and easy to make.
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The fun pictures above helped give me the idea for this project. I was drinking water from my green depression glass(has the coolest pattern in it), and when finished, I set it onto a project I had been hand stitching.  O.K., O.K., let me go find those pictures.

The above is a “technique creating” project I did 4 years ago. I keep going back to it over and over for my “what if I try this” moments. Hmm… I will do a future post on this, how a technique only, small project, can really get those creative juices flowing. Speaking of….there is a definite change in the air. FALL is really here. Don’t laugh, but I pulled out some yarn and a pattern. It’s knitting and crocheting weather, and felting, and quilting, and, and,……I am NEVER BORED! Get your own creative started this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

5th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat-Upcycling, And Creative Art to Wear.

 

Our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat wrapped up just 2 weeks ago! We had an amazing time. And it was just like I told you it would be, Fresh air, great friends, lots of learning, and fun, fun, fun! Below are mainly pictures of my group of students. There is no particular order for the pictures. Below are the intrepid teachers: Mary, me, Jane, & Sandra.

Check out Janet’s upcycled sweatshirt. She was so excited to upcycle sweatshirts in the workshop that she couldn’t help herself. She had to try one BEFORE she came. Love it!

Susan, one of my students, won a complete painting package from Dharma Trading. There were many, many, FABULOUS giveaways at our 5th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! 

Sharonhad some painted pieces and favorite fabric pieces that she wants to incorporate into her sweatshirt. Great idea. 

The almost finished sweatshirt project will show up again in another picture. 

Kathy is just thinking (not praying, or sleeping) about fabric placement for her Off The Grid vest from the “Art to Wear” portion of my workshop. 

Her bright colorways really pop on the black fabric.

Garments are beginning to go up on “The Wall.” Kathy’s almost finished sweatshirt (gray one on the left), makes use of her leftover blocks from a quilt.Love that! 

Aprons from men’s shirts. Sweat shirts, their way. And I spy a Sparky Top and a Terrific Tabard. The dark gray sweat shirt has Sharon’s fabric pieces (from an older top she just loved so much, I sure have a few of those myself). Never thought to put them on a sweatshirt! Very cool. She isn’t quite sure yet where they will finish (pieces still hanging off the bottom). It’s good to put them on a wall and stand back and think a bit. 

The Wall keeps growing.I spy another Terrific Tabard way over to the upper right. The Terrific Tabard on the left has some lovely ladies on it(Susan got those from England). Everyone really worked outside of the box and I was so proud of ALL my students. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. 

Terrific Tabard on the right, Sandra had a rounded piece on one side and cut it off on the other. Why have I never thought to do that. Great asymmetric design idea. 

Janet, created an Amazing Sweat shirt, bottom right and I think she has 5 different shirts in the blouse above on the right. 

A glimpse of the dining room. The view, oh, we love that Lake Tahoe view. 

Sandra jumped right in to create an apron using sleeves only. 

Susan got right in there and made her apron with contrasting fabrics for pockets and ties. I have to say that all my students have come full circle. When I ask what their first sewing experience was, the usual answer (for those in middle grades) is an apron. And they didn’t have fun at all. Whaat? Look at all the smiling faces, and we’re working on APRONS! But these are NOT YOUR MOTHER”S aprons. What a hoot. We all had a great laugh over this. 

Susan whipped up her first apron so fast, that she made a second one using the men’s sleeves only. All sewing rules pretty much go “out the window” as we create these one-of-a-kind pieces. 

Kathy, what? Where is your apron? She didn’t think she wanted to do one, so not one to sit idle, she whipped up some very cute bags for the group she works with at her local hospital. I’m happy to report that she IS planning to do an apron for her daughter for “egg collecting.”