Category Archives: Creative Techniques

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.

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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.”

More giveaways. The Warm Company (cotton batting). And more fabric, and a Magazine you must all check out called  Uppercasemagazine.com An amazing magazine, something for every arts & crafts taste. 

Start putting aside $90. per month and by next Sept. you can be here too, with us, and creating like crazy!! (my figure also includes a little spending $$ give or take to spend at our different stores that are offered). Take a little time to get creative this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

The Tin Thimble- An Imaginative Store in Loomis, CA

In July, I had finished a Trunk Show (this one with Christine Barnes, we did our Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza- with all things KAFFE!)in the Bay area. On the way home we stopped at Tin Thimble in  Loomis, CA. This is such a unique, store. It is in what was once a Fruit packing shed. They play up the “rustic” charm. Let me take you on a tour. How about Vintage buttons! They are on both sides of the hanging curtains. Look in the bottom right corner. The lovely watercolor looking painting is not as it seems. It’s felted AND it’s a class. It’s taught by Tetyana Huffman.

Christine has fabric in hand to purchase. Hey, don’t take it all, I might want some too (we seem to gravitate toward the same fabrics, too funny).There are adorable vintage aprons to make (patterns for them) or buy, like the ones on the little clothes line around the island. And a “wet felted” landscape on the table. 

More aprons, lots of interesting fabrics, and vintage patterns to buy. 

There are stacks of white boxes on the table, ready to be cut. Did you know that cheesecloth comes in four different densities of weave? I put those boxes there. I need to buy some. that fabric is for me to “experiment” with. Hmm….it’s 100% cotton, pure white, so, I could dye it, gather it, acck, too much I can do, so little time. 

And the wool roving, the silk charmeuse, the wool yarns!! There is so much available for Wet and Dry felting projects. 

Local jewelry designers selling their work. 

This is lace that has been “Nuno felted” onto silk. Be STILL my beating heart. These samples are stunning.  And there’s a CLASS for that too!

Actually a bunch of classes. Check it out here:    Tin Thimble

Silk for sale on the tubes along the wall and more classes in the front on mannequins. 

And NOW they are offering Shibori Dying classes. And some items are for sale if you aren’t able to take a class. 

Above is the back of the blouse, below is the front. Silk satin, oh my, the drape, the depth of color, and the vintage style. 

Here are some samples of creativity for the Shibori class. Thank you for visiting my Blog. I so appreciate your being a part of the creativity I love sharing. Blessings and hugs, Heidi Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy     P.S. The icon next to Craftsy is an Instagram logo (I need to update THAT one!). Click on any of the icons and you should be taken right to my part of these places that I am a part of.

Wear This Every Which Way! Is It a Vest, Poncho, Shawl? All That & More!

You see them around. I purchased this one at our local Quilt Show.   You could practically make this with your eyes closed!  Who is that slinking out of the shot? Make it, place it, fold it, etc. and THEY (the cats) will come! Silly kitties.

Let’s look at several ways to wear this piece and then I will give you dimensions so you can create your own. 

I dropped my hands (from the above shot) and let it float and fold around me.

A back shot. Simple, elegant. Dress it up or down. 

Here it is with my holding the long side up ( it is now upside down). 

Throw one portion  over your shoulder. It will be shorter in the back. 

O.K., this is supposed to be a poncho look which I’m not quite sure how to pull off. Ha, ha. You will need to try this one on your own. The lady showed my how, but my brain was a sieve so….Maybe, put both armholes over my head…. 

Experiment,  and see what you come up with. Meet, “Roxy”, my new mannequin. She will show you a few other ways to wear this piece. She sports my size right on her stomach (thanks Roxy for announcing it to the world), and also tells everyone that she has a collapsible shoulder. Would someone, anyone out there, please tell me what that’s all about? 

There are some tails on this piece. Try tying them in the front.

And with the long portion held up high (like me in the very first shot), let it fall to the back so you have a shawl. 

One armhole over the head, and arm through the other, that’s it! I remember now, and you have a poncho look. Your other arm will have fabric on it. Here it is on the front. The armhole spreads a bit to form a slight v-shape. 

A back view. 

See! I told you. She’s announcing things that should be kept private. Ha, ha. But I noticed that all the great blog’s and websites have their own Roxy’s, so I decided to follow the pack mentality. I can wheel her about the house too. I like that. She is VERY heavy though. So she pretty much will stay indoors. 

All right, here are the dimensions for our Chameleon Vest(I like that name ’cause it is ever-changing): 55″ high (from the tips at the top to the straight across bottom) and 58″ across.  Use the picture below for reference on the rest of these directions. Fold the fabric piece in half (the 58″ width will have the fold line). You will be cutting through two layers of fabric at once. Mark with a pin 16″ down on the fold. If you feel unsure to just take your scissors to the fabric, you can pin the cutting line first or use a disappearing pen. Start at the top edge, round off and then start cutting down and out toward the 16″ mark you first pinned. Nice job. Now for the armholes. Let’s make a pattern first. On a piece of paper (that’s at least 12″ long), draw a line down the middle of the paper. Fold the paper in half along that line.  Draw a line away from the fold line 1 1/4″ out, parallel to the fold line.  Draw that line 11″ long. Round off the ends. Cut out your oval shaped armhole pattern. Take this pattern piece to the still folded piece of fabric. Pin it to the fabric— 5 1/2″ away from the fold (the long portion of the pattern piece parallel to the fold of the fabric. The top of the armhole pattern needs to be 5 1/2″ from the cut edge (where it swoops down, look at the picture below again). Pin it to the fabric and cut out the armholes (two layers worth).  Taa Daa!! You did it!

Serge all the edges. Don’t forget the armholes. DONE!! No Serger, no worries. Use a zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine that is fairly close together. Sheer polyesters are perfect for this project and they usually come 60″ wide. Fabulous for travel. Also,a  great gift idea.

Phew, that was a lot of reading. So go take a break and drink your water. Hydrate, everyone! Learn to drink at least 8 oz. of plain water right after you get out of bed in the morning. You just went 8 hours (give or take) without any water. You are breaking the fast (hence the name for that first meal of the day, breakfast) and what better thing to do first, but drink some water.

Have a good weekend. Take a break and do some handwork outside if you can. Hugs, Heidi P.S. Don’t forget to visit my pattern shop at Craftsy.com I have a FREE, 3-tiered skirt pattern available for you.   Craftsy.com/Sewing Patterns/DesignsbyHeidi

Rectangles of Yummy Fabrics+a T-Shirt= One Fabulous Dress!

by Heidi Emmett  On one of my late night forays into Pinterest, I came upon this picture. I MUST MAKE THIS, was my first thought at 12:15a.m.  Note to self: Do NOT look at Pinterest late at night as a relaxation technique to help me fall asleep.

Here is my version:

My friend Victoria W. gave me a Log cabin square she had made (shown below) and that’s all I needed to get started on my own dress, tunic, long shirt, acck. I have to come up with a name. For now, the “working title” is Rectangle Pieced Dress (so you can reference it at my home page later).

You know me and my love of rectangle pieces, so I started cutting strips and rectangles and had fun, fun, fun, stitching, cutting more, adding, taking away. 

I used my serger so I could really fly. Did I say how much I love having a Babylock Serger (mine is an Imagine- 4 cone). It has a very special air device that pulls in the upper and lower looper threads making it easy peasy to thread. 

What a great way to use some of my favorite pieces from my collection. 

It’s growing, section by section. 

R-e-x! His ears have that “look”.  Don’t TOUCH me. I am King Kat. I can sits wherever I want!

Adding a side seam pocket. Yes, I did put right sides together before stitching. But, ha, ha, (please refer to the picture of me in my new outfit) another note to self:  Try on or at least do some proper measurements BEFORE adding an inseam pocket. I am trying really hard to be nonchalant in the picture, but I can barely reach that pocket. It is so far down. I have decided to cut it off and make a patch pocket or two on the front instead. 

The pictures below show folding down the fabrics to form the edge that runs under the bodice area and all the way around. 

A possible patch pocket idea. 

There’s that hand-in-pocket s-t-r-e-t-c-h again. I had so much fun with this that I’m adding it to this years workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. It will be another possibility to pursue. To my students that are already signed up, I will send info. about it (with a name for it too!) sometime in July. There are a couple places left in my workshop. Keep it in mind and click on the icon at the bottom (Artistic Alchemy) and go right to the site to learn more.

It’s READY! SPARKY TOP IS AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE NOW!! Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to buy a hard copy or (after 4:00p.m. today, June 15th) purchase via pdf on Craftsy.com, Have a super sewing stint this weekend. May you be blessed with the energy and TIME to create something new. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Deborah D. from Arkansas,  your Sparky Top hard copy goes out in today’s mail!

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Marcia Derse 2018 Fall Collection- What Will I do With It?

by Heidi Emmett

Here I am at the Marcia Derse booth at Quilt Market. I arrived at the precise moment she finished her little talk on her newest line of fabrics, “Art History:101″ So sad to miss it. But I was able to score 5″ squares of all 26 of her Art History collection. And later on, I was able to get one panel of the black(on the back wall to the left). Today, I’m going to focus on those 5” squares.

Here they all are, out flat, and sort of lined up. There are two more, but I forgot them as I had them set aside. You’ll see them later. 

As with ANY collection of ANY designer, all the fabrics are meant to go together (this is to encourage us to buy more, not a problem for me).  Marcia’s fabric collections are so unique and visual, each piece a little gem. And I have found, as my collection  grows, each collection works with all her other previous groupings. Love that. I see a squirrel, and must follow it. After visiting for a few minutes with Marcia, I said goodbye and walked around the corner. I noticed the back of this ladies jacket. It’s a beautiful “little” modern quilt. I like that idea, so of course, I needed a picture. The must do this someday is now  on record. O.K., I’m back.

“Upcycling” is a big part of my workshop for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point this September 3rd-7th.  There are just a few places left, so if you are thinking about it, now is the time. Below is just “touching the surface” for upcycling of a favorite top.  Yes, this is a great top as is, but I had to have a spark of color.

Sew, I took some random (truly, TRULY, don’t over think it, be brave, just pick!) pieces from that 5″ stack. I cut some into smaller pieces and pressed the edges under a tiny bit all the way around each piece. I always try to cut long and lean looking. The exception for ME is I want the “illusion” of a bust, hence a full 5″ square and sideways rectangle in the upper area. Hey, no laughing, it’s worth a try.

Here’s what I ended up with for the top, left section. 

I hate pins and poking, so it’s Elmer’s glue for me to hold the piece in place. I run a very small bead (and smear it) in the center of wrong side, about the size of a quarter. That’s it. One bit of glue on each piece. Let dry and edge stitch in place. 

Below is what NOT to do. And of course it’s the first one I sewed done and smack dab in the front. I will remove the stitches and redo, but of course, I have a deadline. Good for you all to see that I’m not perfect. Ha, ha, ha.

I love, love, LOVE my new top. And the bleached out sections, while I did not do these on this store bought top, I have done it and will give you some do’s and don’t in the workshop (we wont actually do it though, not enough time).  I leave you with pictures of my Golden Chain Tree. It was the prettiest season EVER for this very s-l-o-w growing tree.

Have a great sewing weekend. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Whatever site you view THIS particular post on, Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com, OR, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  you will see the same post on both (I need more sewing time!)

Is Your Art To Wear Piece TSA Approved?

I had a FANTASTIC time at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon this past weekend! My hand cramped up from all that book signing. Kidding. I did sign a bunch of books though and met such nice shop owners. I am determined to get the word out about “Art to Wear” and how it’s fun to create and wear. They came from Iowa, Ohio, Canada, Utah, Washington, Japan, Italy, and of course, Oregon to name a few. I will tell you interesting factoids as the weeks go by. But first, I must tell you a story as I stood in the TSA line about my “Tahoe to a “T” Tunic pictured below. This tunic has inner-tube pieces (from a Mountain Bike tire) sewn onto it. 

So here’s the story. Coming home from Portland, I wore this tunic. At the airport, everyone had to do the security check. I breezed up to the big round tube thingy. Place feet here, hold, arms like so.”Beep,Beep,Beep.” Madam, step aside over here. ” Yep, I had to have a pat down. Whaaat!!!!! Two ladies were with me (both of them nice). One did the pat down and the other was there to supervise(I even had to have my hands swabbed for possible residue). They showed me the areas that set off the alarm and yes indeedy, it was the inner tube pieces I sewed on. The entire time I was being twirled around, felt all over (not liking that one bit), the supervisor was (as she stood to the side) commenting on my cool outfit. She asked how I sewed them on, could I wash it (yes you can no problem), etc. When the other one was done, she too said, that is the coolest top ever. Who would ever have guessed, that inner tubes would set off security alarms? I would have given them my card but I was a little out of sorts after that episode.  Sew, that was a HEADS UP! on, is YOUR OUTFIT TSA approved!

Check this out close up. I love to think outside the box with interesting techniques and additions that you might never have envisioned.

And polymer buttons by Sandra Bruce to close the open sides. 

Here are two of my favorite tools to mark with. 

Look at the bottom of the picture below.  It is the mountain bike inner tube. I slit it open all the way around. There is talc inside. Throw it into the washing machine to get rid of the talc (gentle, cold water). Hang to dry. Cut out shapes. 

I’m experimenting on this piece. Drop the feed dogs, use an open toed darning foot and feed the pieces through as you sew. No gluing or pinning in place is needed. Works like a charm. You might have to do a teeny bit of tugging as the tube is a little sticky under the foot. 

Sandra sells her buttons at SandraBruce.com

Working on the front facing. 

This pattern is a blank canvas for all sorts of different looks. Check out my other posts (go to the home page and look at the categories. Tap on Tahoe to a “T”

Here is another cool tool. I have a large thimble finger, just at the tip (I slammed it in the car door when I was little, didn’t break it but double ouch!). This Ultra Thimble is so nice.  

Can’t wait to show you what I’m working on. It is from the “Mommy & Me & My Vest and Quilt” pattern. Soon. I take handwork with me everywhere. 

Here are just a few pictures (more in another post) of Quilt Market. It was held at the convention center in downtown Portland. 

Did you hear the news? The Cotton & Steel designer team of 5 are no longer working for the RJR fabric company (The initials stand for the 3 brothers). Can you believe it, one of the brothers was my fabric rep. when I had “Heidi’s Fabrics.” Anyway…..two of the designers are pictured below. This is their last collection for RJR that they were contracted for. But don’t worry, they are such a talented group, we’ll see them at another company or maybe they will start their own. 

The esteemed Marcia Derse!! Lovely, LOVELY woman. Christine Barnes introduced me to her fabrics and her 6 years ago. I absolutely LOVE her fabrics. Everything you see from any of these booths that I’m showing you, will be available  Oct. or Nov. So you all are getting a sneak peak. Those are her only two panels (pictured right behind her).  Buy these (eventually) at her website, or via Windham fabrics. 

Anna Maria Horner, also with Windham (I think). She was there too, but, I just missed her. 

That’s it for now. Every week, I want to share something about Quilt Market and my own experiences there. Networking is hard when you are trying to sell yourself. But I have become an advocate for all things “Art to Wear” so it gets easier all the time. Thanks for stopping by. My head is overwhelmed with all things creative. Ahhh…let’s all do some hand stitching (wait until I show you the Sue Spargo wool quilts, YOWZAA!). Hugs to all, Heidi

Cruising Pinterest and I Found This!

Something new for Coach. I was intrigued. Hey, I’ve been doing something similar for quite a few years! Let’s take a closer look. These bags range in price from $375-$495.  These are by  Keith Haring.

Each bag/purse has applique’s AND some simply stitched fabric pieces on it! We can do this on our own Coach’s. Wait a minute, I DID do that! I was ahead of the curve on this. Keep looking. 

Many Coach bags have split leather on the bottoms. They get dirty fast and look, not so nice. The bags below, I scored while Thrifting. I took them home and cleaned the smooth leather and scrubbed the split leather and canvas portion (yes, I used a soft scrub brush with cool, sudsy water). The split leather darkened a bit (because of the washing) but still looked dirty. So I covered it up. And I love the results. Yes, I showed it last year but after seeing the above NEW coach collection, I had to bring them out again. Besides, mine are perfect for spring.

Quilted some Kaffe Fassett fabric first, and cut out and stitched it to fit. I used Fabric Tac Glue (This stuff REALLY holds nicely). Here are the beginnings of my second Coach “upcycling.”

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The colors in the yo-yo’s reminds me of the little Pansy’s STILL blooming at my kitchen sink. I have had this one and kept it alive! since the end of January. 

A cozy day for Rex, sleeping by the fire. We had a dusting of snow a few days back. 

And for Rubix too. 

Packaging materials I arranged because I liked what the shadows and their natural shapes created. I’ll file these pictures into my “ideas for ???” folder. 

On the sunny days I took some pictures. I loved the play of light and color. 

This one kinda looks like it’s floating. I like that too. I’ll file these in the same folder as my paper designs. 

My mom has always said that it isn’t Spring in Nevada County, CA until the snow falls on the Daffodils. 

She’s right. And for the next 5 + days, it will be in the low 70’s! The ground is too wet to garden( I think it is), sew I will be stitching and felting and upcycling this weekend for the “boutique” section of the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley, CA the first weekend in May. Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE! Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget to pop over to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to see what the four of us teachers have planned for this years, 5th annual creative retreat. We’d love to see YOU there!

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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?