Category Archives: Creative Techniques

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: WeHaveArtToWear@gmail.com        Hugs to all, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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“Hip to be Tied,” A Belt Idea Using Terial Magic.

by Heidi Emmett

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I recently saw a belt in a catalog that was very wide, embroidered, tied once on the hips, and looked fabulous! It was also $148.00! So, I decided to see what I could put together that looked just as good and at 1/10th of the price!

Materials

1/3 yard large scaled print and 1/3 yard of a smaller print fabric for the lining.  Both fabrics should be quilting cotton weight.

1 bottle Terial Magic spray.

Thread, same thread top and bobbin.

Optional, beads and fabric glue

Sewing machine and supplies.

Finished belt size is 5″ wide x 84″-90″ long (Depending on the width of the fabric).

Directions: Prepare the fashion fabric and the lining fabric with Terial Magic according to their directions.  In case you didn’t know it, I love, love, LOVE, Terial Magic for its many creative uses. 

1.From both fabrics, cut 2 strips, each strip being 5″ x width of the fabric. Seam each piece together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open.

2. Place the two pieces wrong sides together. Pin in a few places to hold together. Thread the machine with the same colored thread both top and bobbin. I put an open-toed embroidery foot on (so I could see where I was sewing), but did not lower the feed dogs. Use a straight stitch and sew all over. I sewed from the center portion out in long meandering lines. Some of my stitches (as seen below) are larger, but with all the other stitching, they aren’t noticeable.

 

Trim off the excess fabric along the edges. Cut along one of the stitching lines for an interesting shape for the belt.

The Terial Magic makes the two fabrics stiff enough for easy sewing.

The Terial Magic gives the belt “body” so that when it is tied, it will stay in place. But you can easily rinse the Terial Magic out for a softer look and feel. 

Tie the belt right on the hips. What a fun way to use some of your favorite fabrics. 

Of course, I couldn’t stop with just one belt! Check out this “house” fabric. I like to use another colorful fabric for the lining, just in case is shows.  Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

No worries where the stitching lands. It’s easy and relaxing stitching. 

This belt calls for some subtle bling. Look closely at the bottom end of the belt. 

Here’s a close up. I didn’t have time to hand sew my large seed beads down. I wanted the holes of the bead to show. Using  fabric glue and using a pair of tweezers, drag the back of the bead across some glue. Set in place.  

Wear this belt all year round with dresses, skirts, or pants. Make a bunch for gift giving too.

Visit Heidi Emmett at her blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com for more fun ideas.;Orrrr….if you are already here at my blog, you might want to visit Artistic Alchemy at: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com and read some of the past posts. There are four of us teaching at our retreat this September 4th-8th.

One more time,  I love Terial Magic and use it for so many of my creative sewing projects. See my latest projects using Terial Magic in my new book, “Fashion Quilted Accessories” by Leisure Arts. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

When It’s a Working Vacation, TAKE SOME HANDWORK ALONG!

On our way up to Tahoe, Zephyr Point, to work and play! If you love to sew/quilt/create, always tuck some hand work into a bag. The skirt below, I wore it, and no one ever knew that it was a work in progress (literally a needle and thread in the back of the skirt)!

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy 100% linen skirt (boring by itself), but add some fun spirals and, well, it’s just plain FUN! The needle and thread on the skirt allow me , when I have a moment, to do some stitching, EVEN WHILE WEARING THE SKIRT! Let me show you how it’s done. I cut some circles (3″ or larger please) and glued them down (basting glue or Elmer’s school glue). Cut some 1″ bias strips, fold in half lengthwise and press. See below: I start stitching (it’s about 1/16th of an inch seam allowance) and work the bias strip around the circle. The folded portion is in the middle of the circle. Zip on around and sew OVER where you started. Make a gentle wave of the strip and continue stitching. When you come within 3″ of the end, tuck the edges inside (short ends) so that you have a finished edge.  Another view.  Don’t have a skirt to stitch on? No worries….cut up some denim ( I use $1.00 jeans) and get your spiral going on some pieces that you can turn into little bags or in this case, denim vases.  I first saw this idea on Pinterest. She did not identify herself. But, here’s what I did.  I did say that this was a working vacation. This is the multi-million dollar  view from our deck. More pictures coming.  Here is the skirt on me! It is 100% linen. These are called status wrinkles! This is where we work for one week at a time. Cabin 8 at Zephyr Point Conference Center, Lake Tahoe, Nevada side (this is the side for Sunsets).
It is the cutest shop. The gifts and Frozen Yogurt are on the middle floor. Storage on the top floor. We live on the bottom floor. So let’s follow the deck around the side…. Go to the left and see those stairs going down? That’s where we stay. The deck with flower baskets is the gift shop portion. You can sit and rock and eat your frozen Yogurt and watch the boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and The Delta Queen float on by. Ahhhh……. 

A factoid: 7 feet of gorgeous water was added this past winter to a lake that is 22 miles long and 12 miles wide. THAT’s A WHOLE LOT OF WATER, PEOPLE!!!!

The best sunset view was our last night there. The blue oval is blue sky. Reminds me of the fun spirals I am sewing. Five minutes later. 

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Thank you so much for stopping by. It really means a lot to me. Please note the icons above and realize that you can tap on those to see my patterns that I am selling (Craftsy & Etsy), and my new book (Etsy). Or email or call me if you have questions: hmemmett@gmail.com, 530-273-8067.    Also: there is room in my workshop (tap on Artistic Alchemy logo above to visit). Big hugs to you you all, Heidi