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It’s Vacation Time at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada!

by Heidi Emmett

Some of you may know that my husband, Robert, and I volunteer for one week during the summer at the Zephyr Point gift shop. I run the retail side and Robert is the Frozen Yogurt King! Going up and staying at Zephyr Point during the summer ALWAYS gets me excited about our up coming Artistic Alchemy Retreat. This year, sadly, was quite different.

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A picture from the deck of the gift shop. Now you can see why we want to “volunteer” to work in the gift shop. We sleep down below the gift shop now known as “cabin 8.” So we have the same view from our private deck. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

The gift shop is the top floor. Our sleeping area is the lower deck, it’s a studio apt. There are no volunteers this year. But, we were able to come and pay to stay in this studio apt. from June 19th-26th. It was a REAL VACATION! Haven’t had a total week off in 3 yrs.It was an amazing but oh so different time.
This would have been our 9th year of volunteering during the summer. And of course summer is Zephyr Point’s busiest time.I started my first day there this year by walking around the grounds. The view above is of Tallac Mountain at over 9,000ft. Can you see the cross outline of snow near the top of the Mtn.?
On the walk from from our cabin to Tallac Center and the Dining room. The Dining room is closed this year. Only the cabins are open. They rent out approx. 40 cabins on site.
This is the back of Cabin # 8. It’s the only cabin on the property with the cute, carved shutters. The level you are looking at is the gift shop. Cabin #8 (the studio we stayed in) is now available to rent for the summer months only. There is no insulation.
This is cabin # 28. It is the newly revamped coffee shop on the grounds. Closed for the summer. Miss sitting out on the deck and looking at the “Peek a Boo” view of the lake, watching the birds, chipmunks, people watching, all this while sipping a cuppa.
Wandering around the beautiful grounds of the “hotel” type sleeping rooms of Tallac center. These are rooms Artistic Alchemy retreat students covet. The “Lakeside” rooms! All closed up. This is such a surreal summer.
Above and to the left is Inspiration Point. It is a two story, soaring,open and light filled conference room that is used during the Artistic Alchemy retreat. And 3 stories of more sleeping rooms of which Artistic Alchemy uses all of them. It is so eerily silent.
Go through that archway (Portal of Prayer) and step down a few steps and look at the most amazing view! A prayer of thanksgiving for this amazing place is in order too.
Look how close these rooms are to the lake itself! The views from the sleeping rooms alone are worth the price of admission to our Artistic Alchemy retreat.
Full on view of Inspiration Point. You could be here but sadly, not until September of 2021. What an “Inspiration” Inspiration Point is right now, shhh….it’s SO QUIET! Listen to the sounds of nature and the occasional boat going by.
Total relaxation in my “upcycled” tunic (by The Upcycled Closet via Etsy) and doing some hand work. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

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Oh my goodness! Can it be, Heidi working on cutting out a quilt!
Simple running stitches on a piece and contemplating adding a butterfly from scraps. Both of these are home decorating fabric scrap pieces.
My dear friend Linda made me a zippered bag (it is holding all my threads,needles, and beads that I’m working with) that has the cutest panels on it. Yep, this is me.
Or maybe this is me! For the record, I owned a pair of candy striped “cat eyed” glasses in 4th grade.I found out later (my brother married the girl next door) that my sister-in-law was very jealous of my cool glasses and wished she wore glasses. Seriously?! My hair has never been green, but during all that’s going on, I just might dye it that color to hide my dark roots.

I leave you with this inspirational picture.I took it from the deck of our cabin. I spoke with the woman who is SWIMMING! (water temp. 40-46 degrees all year round. Yowzaa!) A family member always followed her. We were at Zephyr Point the same amount of days and without fail, she swam each and every morning. She told me she wanted to push herself EVEN on the mornings she didn’t feel like it. And she always felt so good and so glad when she DID IT.

How about us? During this time in 2020 are we pushing ourselves to do things we maybe have never tried? Or started something and let it slide because we “didn’t feel like it anymore?” I most certainly include myself in this. So let’s all pick something (make a small list, not too long or we’ll be overwhelmed) and let’s “JUST DO IT.”

Blessings and hugs, Heidi

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ONCE UPON A TIME…….

by HEIDI EMMETT

Once upon a time I found a fabulous Coach hand bag at my favorite “boutique” (aka Thrift Shop) in Truckee, CA. It cost me $15. It had suede on the bottom that was dirty. I carefully scrubbed with soap and water. Sadly, the bottom stayed dirty. The year was 2014. I hung it up in my studio and thought and thought about it for a few months. What could be done? I loved the bright fuchsia color. Kaffe Fassett fabrics were strewn all over my attic studio( when aren’t they strewn about?). Hmm…WHAT IF I bring the Kaffe fabrics to my fuschsia purse? A star was born!

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I covered this one in 2015. The gluing had me worried so I had set it aside for awhile longer. I put it on the Kaffe Fassett site (via Face Book) in 2015. Tons of lovely comments. So proud, use the purse all the time in the summer months.  Fast forward to 2018. My friend Christine Barnes saw my purse on my shoulder one day and said, “Heidi did you know that Kaffe is using his fabrics on Coach Bags this year? W-H-A-AA-T!!??  Google-Kaffe Fassett Coach Bags…..Aren’t they GORGEOUS! Check the prices! I am telling you all this because I would like to think that Kaffe himself was scrolling through his Kaffe Fassett site one day and SAW WHAT I CREATED and maybe, just maybe, he copied ME? One can dream, hope, whatever. It’s fun to think about at any rate.
I really like how the colors and fabric design of this particular Kaffe Fassett fabric worked with my Coach Bag.
Within a few months after finishing my other Coach Bag, voila’ I purchased this tiny Coach Bag at another “boutique.” Same problem. Dirty suede in the corners and on the bottom. The corners were perfect for some Kaffe Fassett yo-yo’s.
Yep, it’s a Coach Bag. $4.00 for the bag used my Kaffe scraps and a small amount of glue.
Everything is glued on with Fabric Tac. You will see a picture of the bottle in a few more pics
I ,of course, could not stop with just Coach Bags. But I did keep up with using the Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Here is a sweet little cross body bag (ha, ha, I almost wrote “Body Bag” Ohhh, dear!)

Up close you can see the flowers on top of the circle are Kaffe Fabrics, while the under layer is a different fabric that goes with. 

Just 3 weeks ago I found this beauty. Sadly it is not a Coach, but I loved the color. It is all leather and in mint condition except for the usual dirty piece of suede. Did you read that first part, JUST 3 WEEKS AGO, ha, ha, and I made the cover for it THIS morning before writing my blog post. Sometimes inspiration for a post hits at the last minute!
At least I started to whittle down my fabric choices last night. This is Paperweight Kaffe Fassett.
Acck..there are so many Kaffe fabrics I can’t begin to remember them all.
Hmm…this Kaffe could work too.
How about this Baba Gabousch(spelling?) piece by Kaffe Fassett?
And one of my favorites, Turkish Delight by Kaffe Fassett. This is an oldie but after maybe 15 years they brought it back. Sew happy.

Ta da! I chose the unamed one ( I have only a  small piece with no selvages (to see a name)).
I think it is a good choice. I adore these stylized flowers and so many subtle orange variations, and the scale of the print, all work well. Kaffe Fassett is such an amazing colorist and designer!
Here’s a great trick that quilters and sewists use deciding on where to cut on a large scaled printed fabric. The inside lines of this rectangle represent the finished size of the piece I need for the purse front.  Slowly move it around until it hits your “sweet spot.”
I sewed two pieces together and included a piece of iron on-fleece (left side of picture).
I machine quilted through all layers, a simple design. I like the dimension the quilted piece gives to the overall design of the purse/tote. This one is big enough to call a tote.
My all time favorite glue, also, the most EXPENSIVE glue. It REALLY works! $14.99 for 5/6oz

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I’m not afraid to glue anymore. Really cover those outside edges with glue. Add your quilted piece and….
Here is my finished Kaffe Fassett Coach Tote Wannabe. By Designs by Heidi.
The quilting on this Kaffe Fassett fabric makes the finished product so jazzy!
Don’t you agree, these sweet petunias remind me of the Kaffe Fassett fabric in the tote.
These petunias are called “Queen of Hearts.”

All right everyone, get out there and make it up (like I did), make it fun (we wouldn’t want it ANY OTHER way), and get it done asap! Wow, it feels good to get something completed in less than a year. I want to try it again. Hugs, Heidi

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Friday! May 8th, 2020.

Hello. Everyone I have talked to lately says things like, “Do You know the date? Do you know what day it is?” Is this happening to you too?

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Well, I am giving you a little gift today. It is the “Bleu healing song.” I tried to show it to you last week but hit all the wrong buttons (NO SURPRISE THERE!).

Here is the link:

In honor of Mother’s Day I’m giving myself the gift of not doing a blog this week.

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Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Friday Feature: OFF THE GRID VEST from Anchorage, Alaska!

by Heidi Emmett

Hello spring! It has really sprung here in Northern CA. Record highs for the end of April. But wait, it’s May 1st. The dates and days are all running together in my opinion. Have you noticed that too?

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I know it’s HUGE! Surprisingly, “hugely” sweet too.
The color! Luscious.
I like how my super amazing tasting, first of the season strawberries look on my vintage tea towel. And these beauties tasted even BETTER than they look here.

Candy Tuft NEVER disappoints. Grows well in many zones. It blooms without fail every single year. I have some that is at least 25 years old. And the deer don’t like it!

And now I want to introduce to you Sandy W. from Anchorage, Alaska who made this wallhanging. Isn’t this quilt STUNNING! It is titled  “Girl With a Pearl by The Sea.” The composition, the colors, the design, the 3-dimensional quality, all come together to make for a lovely creation. It is her own design and quilting is just one of the things she does. She also creates AMAZING watercolor paintings. I can’t show you her latest as it is going into a show and can’t be seen by anyone until the show starts.  And sewing is something else she does.

Sandy, using my Art to Wear, “OFF THE GRID VEST” pattern made NOT just One, not even Two  OFF THE GRID’S, but FIVE of them, one right after the other!!  Yes, she had some time up in Anchorage, Alaska.

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Please read what Sandy had to say about her versions of OFF THE GRID VEST.
Regarding the vests, I worked steadily on each one for two and a half days. Was just on a roll, as I haven’t had so much fun sewing in years. The green one, where I put the fronts to the sides before cutting and made the collar longer, actually gave me the most trouble. Reversed front of binding multiple times.
Watercolor painting has pretty much what I have been doing daily for 20 months, being retired. I have fabrics picked out for a blue version, and might send the purple one to my 94 year old Mother.

Don’t you love how she used to basic pattern pieces and did her own thing!
I like the cool pocket Sandy added to this OFF THE GRID VEST.

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Sandy kept with the ombre’ fabric that I used in my cover shot, but the splitting of the fabric  and inserting long curving shapes gives some real depth and drama and of course the long and lean look I’m always talking about in all of my Art To Wear sewing patterns.
“Purple passion with patch pockets.” That’s what I call this OFF THE GRID VEST. I like the over and under strips that showcase the front panels.
This OFF THE GRID VEST features an Ombre’ fabric that is used so effectively in this version. It is one piece of fabric deftly cut to its’ best advantage. I think the black trim is the perfect color choice for this “Simply Elegant” look. Check out the pocket that moves over to the far side of the front, and is held in place by the finishing trim.

What’s different about this OFF THE GRID VEST? Sandy eliminated the collar piece. That’s what you do when you are on vest # 5, yes, FIVE.
The color choices for this OFF THE GRID VEST make it a stand out! Well done Sandy.
When this OFF THE GRID VEST is opened and laid out you can see all the detailing minus the collar. Sandy, SANDY! Thank you SO MUCH for this eye opening fashion show of 5 OFF THE GRID VESTS! What an amazing job! Your creativity and color sense and beautiful stitching show off my vest pattern so nicely.  You are the BEST!

Hey everyone I know this fashion show will give you ideas for your own OFF THE GRID VEST. Contact me (Heidi Emmett) at my email: hmemmett@gmail.com for ways to buy this Art to Wear pattern (or any of my others) and save $ on shipping.

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I leave you all with a song to put you in a Zen mood to get you ready for your next creative adventure. Hugs, Heidi

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We Have More Time To Sew!

by Heidi Emmett

There has been plenty of time to straighten, clean, and purge our sewing areas. And now that it is done, were you able to find treasured pieces of fabric that you forgot about? I certainly have!

Today I want to show you what Judith F. from Canada has been up to.

Judith used my Terrific Tabard vest pattern. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com and I can sell you any of my patterns directly if you like. Anyone outside the U.S. NEEDS to contact me so I can save you lots of $$ in shipping. Check out my Etsy store to see what I carry. Under “shops” type in DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. The same name applies to following me on Instagram, Pinterest, Bluprint,  & Artistic Alchemy.

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This is the inside of her Terrific Tabard. I like that you can see it all the way opened. This is what Judith said about this vest.
“I should not have chosen the Indonesian material ..too crisp ..vest is a little stiff ..steep learning curve ..but I really enjoyed making this especially using scraps to make the 6 “ squares..so fun. Thanks again ..so fun!”

Now check out the front side of Judith’s Terrific Tabard vest. The bright colors and swirling vines with what I see as fantasy flowers (I need to ask her) are so cheerful and spring-like.
The collars are open in this picture. She is also deciding on button placement. I encouraged her to put two buttons/ties on each side. The 2 will basically act as a dart. This technique is perfect for fuller busted women.
One more shot with the collar up to show even more of her collage work on this great vest. Just wearing this vest a few times will help it soften a little. But she also lives in Canada so I understand the batting and layers a little more. It gets mighty cold up there.
Here are the squares as each one is completed. I’m seeing decorative threads couched with a decorative stitch. Clever use for the myriad stitches sewing machines come with. Thank you Judith for your great show and tell of your Terrific Tabard. She told me that she has all her fabrics picked out for her next project, “Off The Grid” vest.
Dogwoods are in full bloom here in Northern California. Dogwood blossoms are a sign of new life.
Going out a bit to show the whole branch and the blue, BLUE, sky.
Here is the whole tree. The story for this tree is that 31 years ago on my husbands and my evening walk we walked to my brother’s wholesale nursery to check “the pile.” That is the place where the broken branches, or other infirmities, on the one gallon trees and bushes are thrown. What a sad dogwood it was back then. We brought it home and planted it at our little house in the woods. When we sold that house I told Robert we need to take it with us to our new home. As you can see, it loves it here all these years later.

Keep the creativity going! Hugs, Heidi

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This and That Friday!

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Spring is really in the air here in waaay Northern California (remember I live 1 hour north of Sacramento and 1 hour 22 min from the first sighting of Lake Tahoe which is due east from Grass Valley, CA). I went to my brother’s (my two older brothers) nursery today just to soak in all the flowers and color there. Most people (everyone in their masks) were trying to social distance in the vegetable isles. The soil at my house is too cold yet to plant veggies, so I’ll plant flowers instead.

I have to say, I’m not really with it lately so I’m going to entertain you with pictures of this and that this week.

I’m sure you know by now that puzzles are in very SHORT supply. My youngest brother lives in Denver has been sending mom puzzles. These came just before a shortage was called. Her other puzzles still to come are on back order until???? She has a ton of puzzles in her garage but she says she has done those. Ha, ha. Phillip (the brother in Denver) said that Mom should take her puzzles to the road and start selling them. Since there is a shortage and all. Ha, ha.
My Mom lives 150+ yards away from me in her adorable “Granny house.” She is always working on a puzzle. She works on the card table she received as a wedding gift almost 65 years ago. Love that!
My husband snapped this pic ’cause I said I was multi-tasking: a “Wear your Joy” outfit (too short of a favorite sweater, pair it with a long shirt), getting my vitamin C, and working on icckkky taxes. I really needed a stiff drink at this point.

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A half hour later, I saw that some pictures came across facebook from one of my nephews. This is his youngest son. I had the best laugh over this picture. You go Brody! Great minds think alike.

I LOVE this! Thank you Practicallyfunctional.com. What could be cozier on these very cool springtime mornings and evenings?

I really, really want to try this. I have grown some of the best strawberries only to lose them to the birds! Acckk.
Speaking of birds. This is such a cool mixed media piece.  Yes, I saw it on Pinterest. If you want more details go to my pinterest boards and look under “Mixed Media.” Search for me on Pinterest under DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
Now this has such possibilities. It was pinned by someone in Russia.
I really want to make this. Well, let’s get real here. I really want my husband to make this for me. There are so many on Pinterest of this type, but this looks much more simple to make than some of the others. This will be for my herbs this year. Ahh…just the right height for the deer too. I shall put Marigolds on the ends and some in the middle of each trough. Deer hate Marigolds. I’ll let you know if it works.
O.K., this looks cool (the twist could be a secret pocket for my kleenex), I think. On me, it might look like I messed up somehow. It needs a really drapey fabric . I say it’s worth a try.
Miss Mouse is so cute. Find her under my board called, “Adorable Stuffed Animals,” on Pinterest. Follow me on Pinterest by tapping on the Pinterest Icon below.

Jane Haworth posted this week on the “Artistic Alchemy” site. Tap on one of the ArtisticAlchemy icons below. HOPEFULLY it will take you there. Otherwise tap here.

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A few thoughts on what we are all going through:

Reminder: 9 p.m. is the time to remove your day pajamas and put your night pajamas on.

We’re about a week away from seeing everyone’s true hair color.

This is the first time in history we can save the human race just by lying in front of the TV and doing nothing all day. Let’s not screw this up people!

Home schooling is going well, although two students were suspended for fighting and one teacher was fired for drinking on the job.

Big virtual hugs to everyone, Heidi

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Its “BACK TO BASICS.”

by Heidi Emmett

Are you like me? I have lots and lots of beautiful clothes (ask my husband) but so many times I change 4 times because nothing is just right. I’m doing things a little differently now  and I can help you change it up in your own closet too. Let’s create some “GRAB AND GO” outfits so you don’t have to come home after the event you were attending to see clothes thrown everywhere in your bedroom/closet. Come on, admit it, THIS HAS HAPPENED TO YOU!

Do you have a basic color that seems to be in ALL your clothing? Maybe it’s black, charcoal gray, navy or brown. Mine is black. I have a supply of black turtlenecks, T-shirts, long sleeved and short, black blouses, even a couple of “Little Black Dresses.” And of course pants (always look for a lean look) , cropped, long, denim, and leggings, and yes skirts too.

Besides the basic black garments, I even have bunches of black shoes. Here I pair my “black basics” with a quasi poncho. No, I didn’t make this one. I have never seen fabric like this to purchase. All that’s needed to finish this outfit are some great earrings and a necklace.
I really like the fabric in this ruana (the correct term because it has a slit opening in the front). It was a warmer winter day (how about 70 degrees!! crazy) or I would have worn my, of course, black boots.
My “Simply Super Quilted Vest” is perfect for another “go to” outfit. Look how many basic colors are in this vest. This vest pattern is available in my book that I wrote for Leisure Arts. The book is called Fashion Quilted Accessories.
I have always wanted to create a garment using one of those panel pieces that are used for quilts or wall hangings. I think this cityscape  panel is very sophisticated. I do prefer all one darker color for those basic pieces to give that long, lean, look I am always talking about. It’s something we ALL want to create.

Here is the same vest gracing the cover of my book. Me, I know, amazing, isn’t it? I was asked to write a book!  It was 3 years ago this month that it came out and I think it is still very relevant in today’s apparel/accessories market.  Buy one via my Etsy shop- DesignsbyHeidiEmmett. It’s only $14.00 plus shipping. 7 great projects which include pattern pieces for 2 vests and one bag. A super deal. Or email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com and pay less shipping by dealing directly with me.
This is such a fun, longer sweater. It is 100% baby Alpaca. Truly, warmth without weight or bulk. Boots  would look great with this but I was on a roll with my pictures and did not take time to change. Whoops. The design in this sweater coat is so cool .
The back works well even with horizontal stripes (horizontal stripes are usually a no-no), because it’s cut off and realigned in the center back. What fun to copy this in crochet or knitting. And create it using bright colors, and I wont forget to add some black.

See how easy it is to start with the basics, and add one piece with pizzazz for your “GRAB AND GO”  outfit.  I’d love to hear what you might use to create some Grab and Go outfits.
After taking these Grab and Go shots, I could not resist taking pictures of my favorite first to come out in spring pictures of flowers. These are my faithful (to keep coming back and back) Hellebores. Enjoy!
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A bit blurry in the center but yummy flirty petals that are too sweet.
I never get tired of close ups!
Even with my “stabilizing” phone camera I still hold my breath for most shots.
I think this is my favorite shot. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com

Don’t leave this site yet. I found one more “Back to the Basics” look. I used my Terrific Tabard  pattern for it. Some of you have seen it before. Oh wow, I changed shoes. Good. And suddenly my hair is shorter too.

A new version of my Terrific Tabard / aka “Skinny Vest” pattern. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info. on how to purchase the feeling fine art to wear sewing pattern. It comes with all instructions and tissue patterns for all these sizes-Misses 6- 4X. All this for $15. plus shipping.
Visit my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see this pattern and all my others that are available.
I like using pins (do we ever call them brooches anymore?) as closures. This vest is a combination of Silk Shantung (the WOW lime green),a  hand painted canvas, and fun stitching here and there.

I just found this quote (I wrote on a little piece of paper) stuck in a book. I’m sorry, I don’t know who to attribute it to but I think it is something for all of us to ponder.

“Take Pride in how FAR you have come and Have FAITH in How Far You CAN GO! Big hugs to you all, Heidi

This And That Friday! It’s a Good Read.

I have had a busy week with not much sewing time. The creative ideas keep coming though.  I need the mug below.

You know that I sell my Art to Wear Sewing Patterns via directly from me; hmemmett@gmail.com, my Etsy shop (DesignsbyHeidiEmmett, and two patterns are available at Bluprint.com, and through my many distributors who sell my patterns for me to shops from the all over the U.S, Canada, and Beyond.

I sold my first pattern to South Africa! So excited about that. It was Off The Grid Vest in pdf format through Bluprint. Several blog posts ago I told you all that I am working to get ALL my patterns into a pdf format in my Etsy shop (as well as KEEPING ALL the hard copies available too). PDF/Digital formatting allows me to send easily to South Africa- z-i-i-i-p-p! That’s the sound of a PDF file zooming across space and time to land in someones inbox. They print it out on their home printer. Wow, wasn’t my explanation scientific?  Anyway, it has taken me MUCH longer than I expected to get all the patterns up and running in my Etsy shop. Soon, very soon!

In the meantime, I had to get out a large order of Terrific Tabard patterns to my distributor in the Portland, Oregon area.

A shot of Terrific Tabard vest pattern created with Australian Aboriginal fabrics by M & S Textiles. I opened the front collar pieces because I like the lining and quilting stitches to show. DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com Check it out, it’s my blog, for more cool ideas.
This is a good showing of “collaging” and working with large prints. It is all explained in the Art to Wear sewing pattern by Heidi Emmett called, Terrific Tabard.
Another great example of using large scaled prints (the Australian designed fabrics) and strip piecing other fabrics as background pieces. This is called “Aussie Angle” in the Art to Wear sewing pattern  called Terrific Tabard. Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com to learn more about purchasing this.
I like the little paw prints on the back (Aboriginal fabrics by M & S Textiles) traipsing across the Aussie prints. Terrific Tabard. Fits sizes Misses size 6-4X. Great for advanced beginners on up. If you have ever made a quilt and bound the edges, YOU can make this vest.  And the pattern shows you how to get a great fit for your body shape! hmemmett@gmail.com
Isn’t this a cool idea for using up little scraps? I like them in pairs and turned different ways. This was on a vest I rescued from the Thrift shop. I thought I could cut it up and use it, but there really isn’t enough to use. Sooo, take a picture and add it to your “ideas folder” and make some more room in your studio (by giving it BACK to the Thrift shop).

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, my Baby Lock Imagine serger. I have really used it for about 4 years (owned it much longer). I press pedal to the metal when I sew (I DO slow down when necessary). Just a few days ago, I was narrowing the legs on some leggings (o.k., o.k. on the super sale table and way to big for me, but I loved the fabric). I’m flying away and BAM!!! My machine “seized” up and I couldn’t move anything. I was in too much shock to even say bad words. I thought that I had broken it for sure! I finally released the fabric and barely got the parts to move again. I called in my sweet husband (love you honey!) and he said, ” When was the last time you oiled it?” WWWWWHHHHHAAAATTT? Oil it? Who does that? Well I sure do now let me tell you. I’m just sayin….

Isn’t this a “Tasty” sweater? Do you have a sweater with some holes in it? Or just need to jazz it up?

This lampshade is adorable! A great use of scraps. And they don’t have to be bias cut either.

O.K., besides ye olde’ Serger seizing up, my sewing chair wouldn’t roll across the floor anymore. Why not? you ask. After a few years of sewing and not always hitting the waste basket with the threads I cut off, I have this! Oh my! I spent sooooooo much time with tweezers and little scissors to free those four wheels. Sigh…

I leave you with this:
Have a great sewing/creating week ahead. 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

Artistic Alchemy Retreat- September 7th-11th, 2020! CHECK IT OUT!

Welcome! I am so happy to present to you this week, here on my blog post,  my workshop details for the 2020 Artistic Alchemy retreat being held at Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe.

I just LOVE what I do with all things fiber and I want to be able to share some of my ideas and techniques with those who sign up. The Artistic Alchemy retreat is the PERFECT place to do it. So read on….

UPCYCLING, WEARABLE CREATIVITY, & FIBER JEWELRY WORKSHOP 2020

with Heidi Emmett

This workshop is geared to those who already know how to sew clothing. This is also not a fitting class, although I will help you fit your Designs by Heidi clothing pattern if needed, on Thursday. Let’s play this week! Play with all things fiber and wearable that is. Here’s the rundown on what we’ll be doing:

Monday (Day 1) : Arrive and get settled. In the classroom by 5:00p.m. we’ll discuss the week and take a look at what you brought for Upcycling using men’s shirts and sweatshirts and T-shirts. I want to show a t-shirt technique to create a necklace.All this before 6:00p.m. dinner!

Tuesday (day 2): Upcycling continues to inspire. We’re going to grab onto this trend using your choice of men’s shirts, or large sweatshirts. The choices will be many and you’ll have lots of fun creating “your signature look.” Techniques will be shown as well as handouts given. In the morning it will be creating with Men’s shirts. In the afternoon we’ll be creating our “Off The Cuff” look using a sweatshirt.

Wednesday  (day 3): I’m going to teach you some new techniques. Ever heard of Spiralishous? or Sketch Stitching? Layered appliques that are cut? We will have fun. Each technique will be supported by paper work and actually creating it yourself. Whatever you like, you can apply to a background fabric 20″ x 20″ that I will give you. Make a pillow or tote bag from this piece. The techniques you learn today may be just what you need to add to your next days adventure with a Designs by Heidi pattern.

Thursday (day 4): Working with a “Designs by Heidi” pattern, we will focus on your choice of pattern, working on fit, and fabric choices. Individual attention from me, a few demos (techniques), will help you achieve a garment that you will love and want to wear. It will be a great start for you so you will know just how to finish it when you get home.

Friday (9:00-11:00)- I have so many ideas on fiber jewelry- I am presently still trying new techniques. I will be choosing ideas that when you make a necklace or bracelet you will actually want to wear it. I want to make the morning time we have, relaxing, and special. Everyone will leave with some jewelry in hand.

 

SUPPLY LIST FOR ALL SECTIONS

Supply List for Day 2: Upcycling- “Off the Cuff” or “Holding a Man Close.” Feel free to bring supplies for both, if you can’t decide which one to do. We’ll figure it out, and evenings are free and you can work on a second one then if you wish.

OFF THE CUFF

1-3 sweatshirts, as much cotton as possible, pre-shrink it. 2 sizes larger than what you wear is preferred. Bigger is better, as you can always take it in. Could have a logo on it (I have ways to cover them). Any colors you want.

1-3 T-Shirts, as much cotton as possible and not too thin. Pre-wash. They can be short sleeved, tank tops, long sleeved, men’s or women’s. Bring at least one size larger than what you usually wear. Bigger is fine.  We will be cutting these up (if there is a spot or even a logo on front, no worries). Colors of the t-shirts: contrasting to the sweatshirt you choose.The t-shirts can also be a printed fabric if you like.

Quilting cottons, bring some that go with your sweatshirt, 1/3 of a yard of each (will need a 12” square at least). Or bring some quilting panels or a big panel that you can cut up.

Embroidery floss (6 strand type), bring 3-5 colors that go with all the other things you are bringing. You will need embroidery needles and a thimble (definitely). If you have some trims that you think will go with, bring those too. Also, threads to match sweatshirts and t-shirts.

HOLDING A MAN CLOSE

Man’s shirts,5 of them (button up the front, long sleeved, or short sleeved,cuffs & collar preferred). Sizes, if they are all size smalls, bring an extra. They ALL need to look good together. Pre-wash. The  APRON ABOVE IS JUST ONE IDEA. I will bring many other samples. 5 shirts will give you plenty to work with.

The following items may or may not be used. Bring them if you have them. Don’t buy anything unless it is something you HAVE to have, ha, ha.

Quilting cottons: scraps or fat qtrs. Bring as many as you like, prints, solids, stripes, plaids. Jewelry,  pin/brooch or two. Buttons, ones you already have, bring your jar of buttons if you have one. Embroidery floss (six strand variety), colors that go with the shirts. Trims that you like if you have any.

LEARN SOME NEW TECHNIQUES -Day 3

These are a few samples of what we’ll be doing.

For “Technique” Day bring the following: 5 different quilting cottons (1/3 yard each printed,plain, whatever you choose), BUT all 5 must coordinate. Threads to go with and/or contrast (regular sewing thread is great), and Terial Magic (will be available at our Artistic Alchemy store). You will be able to make a tote bag, or a pillow, or maybe put what you create on the back of a jean jacket. So consider bringing backing fabric too. That piece must be at least 20 x 20. Consider a jean jacket too.

WEARABLE CREATIVITY – DAY 4

Here is Off The Grid vest, one of many patterns to choose from.

This is Calypso Vest

Calypso vest, the back.  Such a fun vest to wear. Check it out at my Etsy shop/ DesignsbyHeidiEmmett

 

Please visit my blog: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com On the home page click on “Patterns.” All the patterns fronts & backs are shown. Or go to my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett to see all the patterns I have available.Take a look at all the choices. If you have ANY questions regarding them, please, email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com

The back of each pattern tells you what is needed. I encourage thinking outside the box. Quilting cottons are just the beginning. Silk shantung, hand painted fabrics, lightweight canvas, ponte knits, let’s change it up. I’m here to help you create a one of a kind wearable.

Vests are always good. Terrific Tabard, Calypso, and Off The Grid are great choices. I will have samples to try on. Some of the vests have muslins in different sizes to try on. You might not finish your piece in the time we have but everyone will know how to finish them at home.

FIBER JEWELRY- Last morning

Whaaat?  are these. Find out at our Friday Fiber Jewelry day. Please visit Artistic Alchemy our site that tells you everything you need to know about the retreat.

You’ve worked hard these past few days. Now it’s time to relax! I will supply everything, for your remaining few hours. Let’s play! Everyone will leave with one bracelet and/or necklace and directions for more playtime at home.

SEWING SUPPLIES-for the first 3 days,bring the following:

Sewing machine and all that goes with it. Let me know if you have a special set up (table, chair, etc.) Don’t forget your foot control and cord (it has been done).

Rotary mat & cutter and ruler. Scissors, tape measure, pins, thread to match fabrics, seam ripper, thimble, all those sewing essentials you can’t be without.

We are asked not to iron on the plastic tables, so irons and ironing boards will be provided. There will be a floor mirror, and a size 12-14 pinable mannequin available.

A storm coming in to Lake Tahoe. This picture was taken from the deck of The Bear Necessities Gift Shop.

Thank you for stopping by today. Your taking the time to read my posts every week means so much to me. I love the pictures you send me (of your own cool creations) and the comments. Is your handwork project ready to pop in your tote bag for that few minutes you might have between appts.? Hugs, Heidi

An Announcement About my Etsy shop! It’s GOOD!

by HEIDI EMMETT     I have so many irons in the fire so to speak with nothing finished yet. I’m going to show one thing in progress to whet your appetite to come back for the finished product. But FIRST, a word from our sponsor, Designs by Heidi. I am pleased to announce  that I am working on bringing all my “Art to Wear” sewing patterns into PDF/DIGITAL formatting to my Etsy shop, DESIGNS BY HEIDI EMMETT   Soon, within this next week there will be 2 DIFFERENT ways to purchase my patterns on my Etsy shop. “Hard Copy” (everything packed in a plastic sleeve) is there NOW, or PDF/Digital.

Coming soon to my Etsy store, Designs by Heidi Emmett, A CHOICE!! Hard copy sewing patterns, or, PDF/Digital format (you print them up on your own printer).

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Today, Jan 17th, 2020 is Riley’s 2nd week in his forever home. What a good boy he is becoming.
We weren’t sure if we would make the 2 week mark. Constant prayers (prayer REALLY works), love, and treats. Isn’t he such a handsome guy? Found out last week that it is quite possible that he has spent a year of his life in a shelter (passed around). So EVERYTHING is new to him. Oh dear, I think I already said this last week. Sorry if I did, life around here is so upside down right now. I’m thrilled to be able to type this blog post, today, the day it’s due.

Here is a P.I.P. (project in progress) I wanted you to see. Sort of a “Boro” type thing. Learning so much.  These pieces are all from men’s shirts.

I can’t wait to show you my step by step and what I learned so that you too can do this,  MUCH easier than I did. I thought, “throw some pieces down, embroider, done.” Not true.

Cruising through Pinterest (please follow me there, type in DesignsbyHeidiEmmett) one morning and up came this tote. I really like the simplicity of this piece. A tote bag from my Men’s shirts, similar to this one, or a pillow. We’ll see. This tote is available from:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BluBohBags                      AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy
Riley and his FIRST tastes of Snow (literally, biting, running, biting, giddy running, biting, biting the snow) He loved being in it, eating it, chasing snow balls.
All that running around in the snow, and Riley needs a break. He is wearing a “light lead” as training (love, treats,praise) goes on all day, every day. Two weeks and we are TRULY seeing progress. Albeit s-l-o-w-l-y but that’s what we want they say.
Some how this quote suddenly got really small. Oh well. This is truly me. Ask my husband. Some boxes and their inserts are amazingly designed. Did you know that you can get a degree in packaging design. Or so I have heard. Yikes, I need to get out more. Can’t wait to take Riley to Doggie Day Care. He NEEDS to be with his new “buds.” And we need a break. Come on sunshine, where are you! Find 15 minutes a day for your next creative project. I’m looking for my 15 min. Uh oh, there’s the whine for “I need to go out NOW!” 15 min. will have to wait. Until next week, Hugs from Heidi

AA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

 

 

WE GOT A DOG!!!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Whaaat!?!!!  It has been 5 years since our sweet Sparky dog left us at age 16. We had rescued him at 4 years old. What a sweetie he was. Shoot, I named a pattern after him.

I want you to meet the newest member of our family, Riley.

It has been 27 years since I have taken care of a 2 year old (that is what we were told, that older puppies are like, 2 year olds).
Riley is (according to the animal shelter), German Shepherd, Golden Lab, and Husky.  He is 1 1/2 years old. It’s funny, when we took him for a walk at the shelter, he seemed of average size. We thought, 35-40 pds. max.  Well, duh, the paper work said 60 lbs. No Way! But he is.
We had to see our “Dog Whisperer” yesterday. We needed some intervention (puppy biting, and barking). Our “Pawsitive Pals” training  with Lauren Hayes (see her and her concepts on FB) doesn’t start until the END of January.  Lauren, in less than 45 minutes, taught us exactly what to do. The simplest thing of all is a “light leader.” And ALL training is done with praise, love, and of course, TREATS! Ha, ha. He is such a super fast learner. When, I first laid eyes on Riley I was thinking he could be a comfort dog. I would love to be able to take Riley to give some love to someone who needs a sweet happy face on their lap to touch and hug. I have never said anything to Lauren, but yesterday after our short lesson, she said Riley would make a fantastic service dog. Yeahhhh, my instincts were right. I’ll keep you posted on that. Right now, my husband and I realize just how out of shape we are! Where did I put my 5 lb. weights. My upper body really needs some strength training. (He saw a squirrel yesterday on one of our walks. YOWZAA! ). Take care everyone and remember my motto, “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!” Hugs, Heidi

A Little of This and That Friday!

by Heidi Emmett

Thanks for stopping by. Monday morning, Dec. 9th and this is my view as I sip my morning coffee.

The sparkles on the ends of the branches are frozen droplets. It was a chilly start to the day.
Look how fast the sky changes. This was about a minute later than my first shot.
My first stop for this Monday was my churches kitchen. Every December, they put on a Christmas Tea. 34 round tables set with beautiful Christmas themes.  The food is AMAZING! And it takes lots and lots of wonderful behind the scenes helpers for that. 340 beautiful tea plates of yummies are served.
Everything is the freshest of ingredients. Prep going on for the lemon curd.
I did lots of different things while I was there on Monday. One was to make a marinade for Mozzarella cheese.  Shar and Sherri the directors of the food portion handed me this packet of spices/herbs. Shar said the shop isn’t huge, but has EVERYTHING you could imagine. Go online and check them out.
O.K., why this picture? I like to “winterize”, “Christmasize”, my formerly summer planters.
I use fresh greens whenever I can. On the left, English Laurel. On the right Douglas Fir. Strip- off the leaves from the bottoms about, 10″ worth. 3-4 ft. long for the pieces. Laurel can go really long actually, Doug Fir, not so much as it tends to flop forward as it gets longer.
Work around the outside first. Place the branches every 6-8″. Shove them all the way in to the first group of leaves. Sometimes the Laurel looks good shoved in at an angle for a fuller look.
I left a portion open so you can see that the Doug Fir goes in the center.
Stand back and admire your work. Fill in where necessary. I want to add outdoor red balls and perhaps a red bow, but of course they weren’t put back properly, soooo will have to scour the garage another day. These will last until spring.
The following are for your entertainment. Hope you enjoy! Laughter is good for the soul.

This sign was seen somewhere in our local Sierra Nevada Mountains. I wish they had one on highway 20 just outside of our town, Grass Valley.

 

Have a great, creative weekend!  It’s back to the church for me, to decorate my table. Pictures and more next week. Hugs, Heidi

Heidi’s Look Back Over 2019. What a Busy Year!

Designs by Heidi Emmett has not stood still this year! Well, there was this one month, but more about that later. I am always pressing forward with new ideas and creations. It’s what I LOVE to do! I can’t wait to get up in the morning and see what I can be working on that is fiber related.

Throughout the year Christine Barnes and I did our famous “Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza Trunk Show.” It’s a fun, fast paced look at the amazing  color King himself; his fabric, knitting, needlepoint and more.
I first created this pillow using Kaffe Fassett stripes for a magazine project (Stitch magazine).
Part of the Kaffe Fassett trunk show includes his knitted garments. Here is my “batwing” sleeved sweater that Kaffe designed for Peruvian Connection.  Check out my earrings made from Kaffe fabric. They are a project from my book, Fashion Quilted Accessories.

There are Kaffe F. fabrics in the two vests above. This is one of my most popular vest “art to wear” patterns. Contact me at hmemmett@gmail.com for info. on purchasing this pattern directly from me.

The back of TERRIFIC TABARD using Kaffe Fabrics, including his stripes to bind the edges. One of the workshops I do is on this pattern. I also have done my own Trunk Show at Wearable Art Groups and Quilt guilds, all about creating your own Art To Wear pieces.

Whisper Blouse- In fall colored stripes, and a Kaffe Fassett sweater, it is just what I want to wear while collecting leaves for a fall display.

Send me an email – to see about purchasing my Whisper Blouse pattern, hmemmett@gmail.com

In June I was working on projects for my Artistic Alchemy retreat. I teach Upcycling projects (techniques to make a favorite top or shirt(that no longer fits well) into something you will want to wear once again and now it will FIT).  A linen top here was too short, sooo……

I am a great believer in taking classes or attending retreats myself whenever I can. The beginning of July I took an amazing Shibori class. Learning new techniques and gathering ideas for future projects, it can’t get any better than that!

I wasn’t 100% when I took the Shibori class. 6 days before the class I was nursing what I thought was a bruised muscle (sphincter muscle on the right near the small intestine. YES, there is a sphincter muscle there as well as in our eyes, and an anal one too). 3 days after the class I had an emergency appendectomy. Somewhere in those 9 days before, I ruptured my appendix. I NEVER had the pain that is usually associated with this.
I was one sick cookie. I was on 2 very high powered antibiotics while in the hospital and 2 more after the hospital. When I finally went home the parting words from the nurse were to take probiotics. Lot’s of them to replenish the flora in my gut because of the antibiotics. I started doing some research and for me, I came up with this product. The more I read, the more I discover that so MANY of health issues originate in the gut.There are many, many, pre,pro, biotics on the market. This is the one I use. Find what works for you. A good  preventative.  Proper diet and exercise go hand in hand with this. I have never felt better.

I was given a clean bill of health, on August 30th, 3 days before our Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Thank you to all my friends and family for prayers of healing. God is good! I give Him all the Glory for my complete recovery.
I was very bad at picture taking of my workshop. Too busy with my students and doing creative and fun stuff. Fiber jewelry was on the list for one session. I had amazing students this past September. The ideas, suggestions, and camaraderie that flowed, was so inspiring for all of us!  They all became my “Focus Group.” We had a serious discussion on five garments that I felt were possibilities for new “Art to Wear” patterns. Their input was so valuable to me. I have begun on pattern # 1. I can’t wait to introduce it to you. Sigh…They take months, so sometime after the new year.

We miss you already, our friends of this past Artistic Alchemy retreat. Until next year, September 7-11th, 2020.  Within days of coming home I received an invitation to go to Ottawa Canada to speak and teach workshops. I was BEYOND Honored to be asked. Two more Kaffe Trunk shows followed the retreat and in October, I had some big orders (for my patterns) to get ready for my distributors. Dozens upon dozens of patterns (all packaged by me, and printed by my husband) get sent everywhere, United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe. So exciting!
On Tuesday, November 26th at 1:07p.m. (I take snowfalls VERY seriously) it started to snow. This is my back deck one hour and 45 minutes later. We ended up with 10″ of snow + in about 12 hours. This is a FIRST for us. In the many, many, years I have lived in Cedar Ridge, CA we have NEVER had snow 2 days BEFORE Thanksgiving. The morning of the big Turkey feast, I lamented to my husband, “we forgot to get ice for the drinks.” My husband slowly turned and pointed to the outdoors. Ha, ha, ha. I was even able to put my leftovers in their original pots and pans out in the snow too. I had 26 this year for Thanksgiving. It was cozy, but a great time was had by one and all. We all had so much to be Thankful for this year. If you haven’t, please visit my personal site for new ideas DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com And if you haven’t, please visit Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to see what we four teachers are up to.  Until next time, get your creative going full steam!  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

Skirt-Upcycling! By HEIDI EMMETT

 

by Heidi Emmett:

Upcycling is SO FUN!! If you have been hesitant to get on board with it, today I’m going to show you a great project you could start with. First we need some inspiration.

Found this on Pinterest. I LOVE the way a beautiful dressy lace was paired with denim.

For me, Going to the Thrift shop is all about the fabric. I often buy a garment JUST for the fabric. This silk printed fabric is so great next to the denim in this skirt. Notice the top stitching on the denim and how it brings the fabric and denim together.

I like how this is a wrap skirt with interesting features on the front of the skirt.

THIS IS THE ONE! My skirt is so small that opening it up and adding pieces here and there like this skirt will make mine a perfect wrap skirt.

My thrifted skirt was so small but I loved the embroidery and the ragged hem, (the embroidery is the reason I purchased it, I new it would NEVER fit me as is.

The embroidery is machine done, but great colors and design.
O.K., snip, snip, snip! I cut it open all the way at the side seam opposite the embroidery.
Don’t forget to check out my cool slip on canvas tennis shoes. OF COURSE they are leopard. Remember, I said that Leopard is hot, HOT this season (in my humble opinion, Leopard anything is hot in any season).These are by Blowfish.  And so comfy almost right away.
I needed some other pieces to add on. Found this lovely woven piece in my stash. I decided to add a piece of fleece (try The Warm Company, made in the USA)  and a batik to the back of this woven.  And when I had to fish a spool of thread out of my trash bag, I found this perfectly colored piece of wool yarn.
I quilted my fabric “sandwich” together with different colored threads in an up and back motion that would show off the pattern of the fabric.
Arranging “stuff” to see if I can use some, all, or none. This is the fun part. Not sure about what you might pick out. “Test” them out as I did, by placing everything on the background of the starting skirt. Take a few pictures and look at your items objectively, through a camera lens.
Oh yes, I want this yarn and felt it down with my machine felter (mine is a Husky Star by Huskavarna). Check my past posts on “Fun Felting” to learn more.
It’s perfect.
The back side of this felted yarn is  pretty too.

It’s getting close to being finished. Think about which side you will add your quilted fabric piece to. How wide does it really need to be,and  how much of a wrap do you want? Maybe you will want to add more pieces than just the one as I did? All questions that will need answering and remember, it’s never wrong. Add something to it or cut it off and start again. I LOVE upcycling.
Check out my off-centered (ON PURPOSE, to reduce bulk, and I like how it looks) upcycled skirt. It is truly one-of-a-kind, just the way my clothing needs to be.
Maybe, I might add something else to this skirt. But right now it’s perfect as is.
Isn’t this fun! I am pairing this skirt with a red turtleneck, dark gray leggings, and my cool leopard tennies.

Upcycling is so freeing. As I said, you can do nothing wrong. I teach the upcycling portion of my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat, on the first day. It’s a great warming up exercise to get your brain to start thinking outside the box and get you ready to work on one of my “ART TO WEAR” patterns later in the week. Please visit my Etsy store: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns, to get an idea of the sewing patterns I sell. Next years Artistic Alchemy Retreat is Sept. 7-11th. It’s not too early to be thinking about it. All the information for our 2020 retreat comes out the beginning of February.

Fall at Pope Beach at South Shore Lake Tahoe, Oct. 2017. Notice how faaaarrrr out you can see the beach. It was the height of our drought. This year, same color in the trees, but the water comes all the way up now, within a foot or two of the railing.
An Aspen tree at waters’ edge of Zephyr Point Conference Center.
A storm is moving in to Zephyr Point in October. Foaming spray and big white caps.
Color trees are everywhere on the grounds of Zephyr Point. It is a great place to visit any time of the year (they do keep all roads on the grounds plowed when it snows), but fall is my favorite.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe check out your favorite Thrift shop this week (I love thrifting because your money goes to so many different great causes) and you find FABULOUS STUFF!! It’s a win, win!

I leave you with a quote: Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Follow me – DesignsbyHeidiEmmett on Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

48 colorways! They’re TO DYE FOR!!!

Today marks the 2nd week that I’ve been home from our very successful Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, on the shores of south shore Lake Tahoe (the Nevada side).

Our fabulous group. I’m telling you, sewing machines were smokin’.  Soooo many creative, and inspiring students that joined Sandra, Mary, Jane, and myself (we’re in the front row). Well, I’m in the “AZ” portion of September (I call it After Zephyr). I rested just two days, and BAM!, out there doing things. One of them was taking a dyeing class.
I’m home in this shot, rinsing, rinsing, out the excess dye. I’m glad it’s such a nice day. No way would anyone want to do this part in their home.
Don’t forget to wear gloves. There is lot’s of dye still left.
Each bag contained one fat qtr. It was a surprise, 48 times!!!  to see what emerged from the bags. Use quality plastic bags and they can be rinsed and reused for more dyeing projects.
It was so warm, I had to wear flip flops. Splatter, splatter. Rinsing, still rinsing.
We used very specific amounts of  primary colors of  dyes. One group of 12 pieces used 3 primary colors. Then for a second group we added a teeny tiny bit of black to those first 3 primary colors. It really required a team mate. Thank you Lori, you were the BEST!  We took all our baggies of dyed pieces home for the rinsing and washing process.
The rinsed pieces went out on my metal mesh table outside to sit before washing.
The first batch came out of the washer. Ohhhh, I’m just loving them! I thought I had squished the bags so much more to “even” out the dye. Wellll….I guess not. But they are just fine. So excited, I removed my gloves without realizing it. My hands were so stained, no one would shake hands with me at church the next day! Ha, ha.
Looking good! 36 of my pieces were from a bolt of white linen(light weight) that had a 2 thread black thread every 1/2″. Yes, I had a bolt, because I owned a fabric store for 16 yrs.
The last 12 pieces were from a white table cloth (brand new) that I snagged at a Thrift shop. I really like the weave.Oh, these luscious colors make me so happy.
All the rinsing, rinsing, and then the washing and hanging made me tired.  I took a much needed break out on the back deck.
Whaaaaattttt???? Our neighbor who owns a Christmas Tree farm, decided to mow the dirt. Seriously.
Yep, that’s him making trip number 2 over the same area.
Yep, he did a U-turn for trip # 3 to mow more DIRT! YIKES! my beautiful fabric pieces drying on the line!  But wait, there was a stiff breeze going on and it took ALL, I mean ALL the dust away from our house and clothes line and it all went to our other neighbors property. Whoops for them but,  Whew for me! I know, I live in the country, but this? Really? Right now?
Next morning, yes, I forgot about the rest of my pieces on the table. Check this out. Color had wicked to the top of each piece. I really, love this look. Serendipity is so fun!
Sorting through the pieces and pulling off loose string. I have plans for these loose strings, but that’s another blog post in the future.

Yummy, yummy! I have NO IDEA what to do with them, YET! You, my dear readers, will be the first to know what I do with them. All in good time.
You can really see the single black threads in my linen pieces. Linen dyes beautifully by the way. You need to get a Dharma catalog to see all the fabulous dyes, fabrics, etc. Go here.
All 48 gradated dyed pieces. Oh my! Thank you Ginny Lee for this class. I learned so much!
The tablecloth pieces are a bit heavier. But they took the dyeing process so well too. Hmm..maybe a Zephyr jacket? See all my Art to Wear patterns at my Etsy shop/ sewing patterns/DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
Here are the 4 of us intrepid teachers looking rested, and ready to have a wrap up session on our past Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe. Was it really only two weeks ago? Just to let you know that we have secured Zephyr Point ALREADY for next Sept. 7th-11th, 2020. Check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat here and check out Zephyr Point Conference Center here, just to see what it’s all about.  Get out there now and C-R-E-A-T-E something with all the “fiber”  of your being! Hugs, Heidi

Where Have I Been?

Hello everyone, I have been missing for a few weeks. I wish I could say I went on an exotic vacation, or even a regular kind of vacation. I have been recovering from a ruptured appendix that involved emergency surgery. YOWZAA!!  Quite the experience I must say. I NEVER displayed the usual symptoms for appendicitis. It is quite a story but not for today. I fully intend to have a post for next Friday, August 2nd. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope it’s not too hot where you live and I hope you can be creative in some way this weekend. Until next Friday, Hugs from Heidi  P.S. Below is a picture I took of the flowers my sweet son brought to me. These beautiful flowers were picked from a friends garden and were what everyone who entered my room saw and commented on even before they saw me! Ha, ha. I loved that they brought joy to so many.

Behind The Scenes! What Goes on At Heidi’s

I am supposed to be working on my latest “Off The Grid Vest.  I am blessed to have a beautiful high ceiling, bright natural lighting, above the garage, studio space. There is insulation but not in the floor. I went in to it for my daily bit of sewing bliss and Yowzaa, the temperature was only 43! I have a tower heater which is great but not when I walk more than a few feet away. One good thing, while up there I can layer up in my favorite Alpaca sweaters and fingerless gloves.  And they are calling for off and on snow for the next 10 days.  Hopefully, I will brave the elements long enough to FINISH this “going to be gorgeous” vest. I’ll show it off next week, fingers crossed. Oh wait, I have to take off my gloves first. 

 

I’m still working on Poochie. I found Marcia Derse fabrics are looking oh so good with what is going on. So I’m sketching up some ideas how to add in these fabrics with safety pins. Day 2 of this past week: Still too cold to stay in the attic studio very long. So I brought Poochie out into the T.V. room. I quickly ran out of safety pins. Went on line to order more.  

Quite excited, I found a box of 1200 safety pins size 1.1 inches. for only $9.79. Are you kidding me? Their idea of 1.1 inches is not the same as what my tape measure says. More like 7/8″ . I really need a much looser woven fabric for these to work. 

Had a chance to visit a Walmart yesterday. I cleaned them out of larger safety pins. Yikes, I have $25. worth of safety pins. I think I’ll have enough now. These are also better quality than my box of 1200. I think for what you get quality wise, Walmart is the best value. 

Oh, remember, I bought the cool tool for my bracelet class? See the beginnings of it on the clipboard? Black leather with real crystal beads. You REALLY need one of these Mighty Bright lights/magnifier. 

Day 3 of cold attic studio temps. So more evening movies and Taa daa. I finished my bracelet. My little antique bunny button makes it extra special. 

Yes, I have the world’s smartest cat. I couldn’t grab the camera fast enough for the best shot (paws crossed and really looking full on at the market reports). But this shot is o.k. too.Don’t forget to visit our site to read the latest on our 6th annual retreat. We are getting signups already. My workshop is full of all things upcycling, creative stitching for your Designs by Heidi pattern that you have always wanted to make, AND some cool fiber jewelry.

Day 4 of cold temps: I moved my tubs of Upcycling pieces of clothing (for cutting up or repurpusing ) out of the attic for some serious sorting/purging. I need to empty some of these bins. I cannot stack them any higher in the attic. Only buy clearish bins so at least you can look at them with some idea of what’s in each one. “I spy” an empty bin in the upper right hand corner.  

Day 5 of cold temps: I’d had it. I needed to get out of town. I drove 40 minutes to my nearest Stein Mart for inspiration (on what’s in for Spring and I always check the sale tables for cool fabrics (yes, I mainly buy at the Thrift Stores & regular stores, garments that I cut apart for the fabric).$19.92 was the rock bottom price on this pair of white pants. But WAIT! She checked, and YES, down to $4.92. These are not just ANY pair of white pants. Read on..

Pretty wild and crazy aren’t they? The lady behind me said, that one would need a lot of courage to wear those in public.  Then I told her my plans for just the appliques and she said “Really? I could do that? Are there any more back there?” (Sadly, no, and if there had been, I would have snapped those up too. Ohh, I’m so bad!). So stay tuned to find out just what I do with these colorful appliques. 

Day 6, sigh, 43 again this morning (I haven’t been in there all day): Seam ripper is ready, Hallmark Murder Mystery saved on the T.V. I will have all these off in no time(Yes, they were all stitched down by machine, easy peasy to get off). 

The snowflakes are flying again! We’ll see how much we get with this storm! A great weekend to Make it Up, Make it Fun, and Get it Done! Hugs, Heidi

My Workshop for the 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat 9/2-9/6, 2019.

We had our “Go Live” today for our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! A “go live” is our way of saying, we did it! We figured out all that needed to be written up/changed/added, etc. and published it so you can be one of the first to see what each of the four teachers are doing in their workshops. So, tap on the icon at the bottom of this post or go here and it will get you right there for the 2019 Artistic Alchemy retreat.

In order from left to right, Mary Boalt, Heidi Emmett, Jane Haworth, & Sandra Bruce, our teachers for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat.

Here is my workshop for 2019:

 

Upcycling, Wearable Creativity, & Fiber Jewelry Workshop

UPCYCLING, WEARABLE CREATIVITY, & FIBER JEWELRY WORKSHOP

with Heidi Emmett

Let’s play this week! Play with all things fiber and wearable that is. Here’s the rundown on what we’ll be doing:

Tuesday (day 1): Upcycling continues to inspire. We’re going to grab onto this trend using your choice of men’s shirts, or large sweatshirts. The choices will be many and you’ll have lots of fun creating “your signature look.” Techniques will be shown as well as handouts given.

Wednesday & Thursday (days 2 & 3): Working with a “DesignsbyHeidi” pattern, we will focus on your choice of pattern, working on fit, and fabric choices. Individual attention from me, a few demos (techniques), will help you achieve a garment that you will love and want to wear.

Friday (9:00-11:00)- I have so many ideas on fiber jewelry- I am presently still trying new techniques. I will be choosing ideas that when you make a necklace or bracelet you will actually want to wear it. I want to make the morning time we have, relaxing, and special. Everyone will leave with some jewelry in hand.

SUPPLY LIST FOR ALL 3 SECTIONS

Supply List for Day 1: Upcycling- “Off the Cuff” or “Holding a Man Close.” Feel free to bring supplies for both, if you can’t decide which one to do. We’ll figure it out, and evenings are free and you can work on a second one then if you wish.

OFF THE CUFF

1-3 sweatshirts, as much cotton as possible, pre-shrink it. 2 sizes larger than what youwear is preferred. Bigger is better, as you can always take it in. Could have a logo on it (I have ways to cover them). Any colors you want.

1-3 T-Shirts, as much cotton as possible and not too thin. Pre-wash. They can be short sleeved, tank tops, long sleeved, men’s or women’s. Bring at least one size larger than what you usually wear. Bigger is fine.  We will be cutting these up (if there is a spot or even a logo on front, no worries). Colors of the t-shirts: contrasting to the sweatshirt you choose.The t-shirts can also be a printed fabric if you like.

Quilting cottons, bring some that go with your sweatshirt, 1/3 of a yard of each (will need a 12” square at least). Or bring some quilting panels or a big panel that you can cut up.

Embroidery floss (6 strand type), bring 3-5 colors that go with all the other things you are bringing. You will need embroidery needles and a thimble (definitely). If you have some trims that you think will go with, bring those too. Also, threads to match sweatshirts and t-shirts.

HOLDING A MAN CLOSE

]Man’s shirts,5 of them (button up the front, long sleeved, cuffs & collar). Sizes, if they are all size smalls, bring an extra. They all need to look good together. Pre-wash. The  APRON ABOVE IS JUST ONE IDEA. I will bring many other samples. 5 shirts will give you plenty to work with.

The following items may or may not be used. Bring them if you have them. Don’t buy anything unless it is something you HAVE to have, ha, ha.

Quilting cottons: scraps or fat qtrs. Bring as many as you like, prints, solids, stripes, plaids. Jewelry,  pin/brooch or two. Buttons, ones you already have, bring your jar of buttons if you have one. Embroidery floss (six strand variety), colors that go with the shirts. Trims that you like.

WEARABLE CREATIVITY – DAYS 2 & 3  

This is Off The Grid vest, one of many patterns to choose from.

 

Please visit my blog: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com On the home page click on “Patterns.” All the patterns fronts & backs are shown. Take a look at all the choices. If you have ANY questions regarding them, please, email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com

The back of each pattern tells you what is needed. I encourage thinking outside the box. Quilting cottons are just the beginning. Silk shantung, hand painted fabrics, lightweight canvas, ponte knits, let’s change it up. I’m here to help you create a one of a kind wearable.

Vests are always good. Terrific Tabard, Calypso, and Off The Grid are great choices. I will have samples to try on. Some of the vests have muslins in different sizes to try on. You might not finish your piece in the two days we have but everyone will know how to finish them at home.

FIBER JEWELRY- Last morning

You’ve worked hard these past few days. Now it’s time to relax! I will supply everything, for your remaining few hours. Let’s play! Everyone will leave with one bracelet and/or necklace and directions for more playtime at home. One note: I put a Polymer picture (first one) in. IF you have polymer (with holes for attaching) bring it along. I will not have polymer but some of you might, orrrr, just thought of this, cool beads (that you have had forever) that can handle up to 1/8″ stringing supplies.

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Thank you for stopping by today. A big storm is moving in this afternoon. I have at least three handwork projects ready to go just in case we lose power! Make it up, make it fun, and get it done! Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a Brand New Year!

Hello everyone. A huge thank you to all of you that follow me. I really enjoy writing my “posts.”  I am needing one more week to get back into the groove. I appreciate your patience. My sweet Mom has been in the hospital since the middle of December. She comes home to her “Granny house” on our property on the 8th of January, and will be her independent self once again. So I leave you with Joy in my heart for a Big Brand New Year, and a few ideas from my Pinterest searches. Until next Friday,hugs to all, Heidi

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My Off The Grid Vest Pattern-Everyone’s been talking about it!

Happy After Thanksgiving. It was a great, thankful, tummy filling time, so, I’m doing a re-run that I think is worth reading again. Enjoy, and thank you so much for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi  And read more about this “miracle” vest (the sizing and how it fits). Go to my archives under, Off The Grid Vest.

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine Barnes.Check out her website here. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ (a blended gray quilting cotton) from E.E. Schneck in grey or is it gray?Throughout the class I kept thinking, all these fabrics together would make the coolest vest. But what design? So, I took my blocks, along with everyone’s scraps (I did ask them first), and put them on my design board and began to think.

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Later, Christine said she was doing a lecture at the E.E. Schenck Trends Show (a show for shop owners from all the Western states in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine had used in her quilt.  She said to me, hey, that vest idea you had Heidi, that would be great. I’ll take that to show at the show too, so we can get your name out there. O.K.,I said. That sounds good, when is the show? 

In a month. Whaaaaattt?! I have done NOTHING! The little pieces were falling off the design board, or covered by other projects that were creeping in.

An hour later, I stood at my ironing board, fabrics spread out and I said a prayer. I had a nice chat with God and said, Help!! I walked over to my little garment rack of purchased pieces (whether from a “real” store or the thrift shop)all for ideas for future project. I pulled out a super short jacket that had bad fabric and design, but the collar!! and while that jacket had a skinny front band, I liked how it connected to the collar.  

I whipped out my sketch pad and started with rectangles. I knew I wanted a long, lean, look to this vest pattern. The rectangles kept coming to mind. 

I also wanted to showcase the interesting fabrics on the front, so I made the front panels really wide . Those pieces, the rectangle  shaped log cabin blocks, and the “sticks” (remember those pieces people discarded?), again they are all rectangle shapes.  

It all came together so smoothly (remember that prayer at the ironing board?). I was sewing up a storm and it was time to add the front panel pieces. WAIT A MINUTE!! They are too short at the bottom, no, no, NO! (Oh, dear, I just told the world that I made a major measuring mistake). And NO TIME to make new front panel pieces. 

Upon further trying it on, looking, thinking, I came to the conclusion that I LIKED it that way! Who knew? I like it being “off” at the bottom edges (hint, hint, Off the Grid).  You will be happy to know that yes, I finished it in time for Christine to take up to the Portland show. She said it was a big hit. Yea….

I use Terial Magic on the strips used for the blocks and sticks. I love how this product keeps things from fraying while I”m raw edge stitching them down.

It’s so fun to use Marcia Derse prints, and other ombre’ fabrics. The blocks have their edges turned under and are edge stitched to the gray ombre’ background fabric. 

I use glue (the bottle in the picture is basting glue), but I also use basic school glue (like Elmer’s). You can see the subtle change in the background fabric. I really enjoy turning it this way and that, darker portions verses lighter sections. It’ what YOU like. That’s why I call for 3 yds. for the background (room to play). 

Notice please that I use a zig zag stitch (rectangles again), and it also encases the raw edge of the fabric. 

And I do, what I call, “Shadow quilting.” They are always done in a rectangle shape . I like the look and it adds more quilting to the piece. 

I do any all over quilting in gentle curves because it’s easier on the eyes (if they were straight it’s too hard to sew perfectly straight) and adds movement. 

Look at the SUPER COOL necklace my 93 year young friend, Lila Sugg made for me (she is a MASTER sewist). It is so perfect with my vest (a secret, shhh…the gorgeous chunks of turquoise are made from potatoes).  Google that one, people! 

And listen to this, E.E.Schenck now carries my patterns and my book! And I have been asked to come to the next Trends Show and present a trunk show on my Art to Wear patterns and book. Sharon, the buyer, said that “Art to Wear” is coming back in a big way in the quilting world and I’ll be right there!  And I did go and presented in March of 2018. It was a blast. Please visit my blog posts (archives again or by date, 3/23/18 & 3/30/18) about my Trunk Show at Trends!

I went to San Diego, CA last week.

We left for San Diego at “O-dark thirty” on Nov. 1st. We arrived so early that we had plenty of time to walk around.  Imagine my surprise to see a HUGE poster of a portion of Velda Newman’s “Zinnia” quilt on the side of a building.  I have known Velda for years. She lives just a few miles away from me. When I opened my fabric store in 1983, Velda was one of the first people I hired. She is an AMAZING talent. When I recovered from seeing the poster, I looked up. Whaaat? I am in front of the Visions Art Museum!!! I have always wanted to visit.  I was able to spend almost 2 hours in this special place. Velda’s Zinnia quilt was part of a previous show.

I purchased the book that has all the quilts I viewed in it. This showing is called “Connections.” 

Here is a the cover (of the book) quilt. I look at contemporary quilts as ideas for future pattern ideas or stitching ideas for my “Art to Wear Pieces.”

In the museum gift shop I found this Magazine. Right in line with what I do. 

Since San Diego is at sea level and I live at the 2800ft. level, the flora is so different. So of course, I must get pics of all the unique colors and shapes in some of the succulents that I saw. Where is my sketch pad? The ideas are starting….

The main reason we (my husband, our son, and me) came to San Diego was to make a trek into the harsh desert that is northeast of San Diego. The day we went, the air and surrounding hills where incredibly crystal clear and therefore very sharply defined. Everything around us became etched in our minds. Frankly, we are still thinking and sorting through the event,  even a week later.  Part way up a hill I turned to take a shot of where we had come from. You can see a few others in the picture near the bottom of this shot. It was slow climbing and lots of loose gravel and sand.

A nephew and his fiance’ A member of “Project Remembrance” walking through a “wash” area where the water rushes down during a downpour (doesn’t happen very often). With that water come other objects from the top of the hill as seen in the bottom of this shot. 

Below, my husband (red checked shirt) and his younger brother (in white shirt with backpack) are looking at the objects that you saw above. They are looking at part of an engine buried deep in the sand from 50 years worth of water washes coming from the top of the hill. 

Here is a  significant piece that our son found. It is part of the instrument panel of a fighter jet that clicks in the hours of flying time for this jet. It stopped at the moment of impact. 

If you would like to read more, here is the article which appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Sunday, November 4, 2018. It was quite a day for my husbands side of the family,  and one that brought us all closer too. Thank you for stopping by. I have a wonderful idea-based post already lined up for next week. So come on back. Hugs, Heidi

My Guest Blog Post for Needle & Foot!

by Heidi Emmett

A BIG thank you to Bernie, owner of Needle and Foot for letting me show off some of the fabric she sells using one of my patterns, Terrific Tabard. Be sure to visit her at:  Needle & Foot

Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com for a fast way to order this pattern.

I’m going for a whole new look (than the cover shot above) with the linen blends I got from Bernie’s Etsy shop. Let me show you what I did to create a sophisticated and smooth Terrific Tabard. I started with these linen blends from Bernie. I absolutely LOVE linen! And these two linens will work with ANY other color or colors.

I went to Quilt Market in Portland, OR this past May and was able to buy the black/colored panel by Marcia Derse. This panel wont be available until October. 

I also snagged some very small pieces from Marcia’s newest collection, again available in October.  My linen is sooooo perfect with some of these prints. 

Most of my patterns have tissue pattern pieces included (they always include many sizes in one). Notice I have folded out some of the tissue (closest to the side area). I am making use of every teeny, tiny, bit of this panel. I want to use as little as possible so I can make something else. 

I pinched out some, but now I have to fill it back in with something. I first cut the panel apart near the pinched out area and in the shoulder area. Tip: Always cut wherever you pinch it out. It is a fun and creative trick. 

I cut up a few of those colorful pieces and sewed them together and stitched them to either side of what I cut apart. I started with the red/orange piece (at the top of the shoulder area). 

Always line up other seams and plan to have extra on either end to trim off. I do not like to run short. Below I will just snip, snip, the red-orange fabric off in line with the shoulder seam. 

While I let the fashion layer dictate what each section will look like, I always, ALWAYS, strive for a long and lean look. I want your eyes to see the whole design in an up and down fashion. Never, side to side. I wanted to keep the back simple. So I added just a few strips of fabric. Two more Marcia Derse’s and one of the Linen. I cut out the sizes I wanted and pressed the edges under all the way around each piece. Remember, up and down, up and down. Edge stitch each piece all the way around. 

At the point you see below, in any other “quilted” version of Terrific Tabard, I would be adding batting right now (or before the shoulder seams were stitched together) and quilting all the pieces. Then the vest would be finished off with quilt binding trimming (albeit much narrower than a quilt binding). All those instructions are included in the pattern (you saw it at the very beginning). But THIS vest will have no batting. And it will be lined and not bound. This version really goes together quickly. 

The two front lining pieces are “Grunge” in black. The back piece lining is a very old (no longer being made) Kaffe Fassett stripe. Pin right sides together and stitch all the way around using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave about a 6-8″ opening somewhere on one of the sides. 

Very carefully grade the seams on the curved portions. Grading just means trimming one piece smaller than the other. When you turn the whole piece inside out and begin to press, press, press (that’s the secret to a beautifully lined piece), all the rounded edges will fall into place as you press. Tip: On dark fabrics use a press cloth (a piece of muslin works) on top of the fabric before you press. Sometimes you get a shine, even on linen. 

I have a rather large collection of buttons. Here is a group of Polymer by Sandra Bruce. She also sells earrings and pins. Check it out: SandraBruce.com   I just buy what I like, knowing that someday, I’ll have the perfect button for a project. Forget buttonholes. I use strips of fabric that have been folded and pressed and stitched into place as tabs to hold the button in place.. You’ll see this in a few pictures down.  I love my new vest. I can’t wait to wear it (not sure when since it is summer!), but I’ll be ready when the time comes. 

The button I chose is very intricate and it’s really BIG, but I think it blends in nicely. 

The two side buttons are from my glass button stash. I know, I know, it’s a sickness, but one I don’t want to get over. Ha, ha. 

One last way to style this Terrific Tabard, fold back just one side. 

 

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I wore my newest Sparky Top to town this morning. Wore it while mailing off the other two Sparky Tops in my hands. They go to the two special ladies who got me into Quilt Market, and have helped spread the joy of my pattern line to other Shop Owners around the country. Thank you!!!! Sharon & Carol. You two are the BEST!

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Here are the  intrepid leaders of Artistic Alchemy’s 5th Annual Retreat at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point. There are a few spaces left in Mary’s, Jane’s, & my workshops. Click on the icon below to find out more. From left to right: Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Jane Haworth, & me, Heidi Emmett

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I sew appreciate each and every one of you stopping by. Take time, my mantra, ” just 15 minutes a day”, to create something new this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

INSPIRATION! At The Pine Tree Quilt Guild Show.

An absolute PERFECT weekend for a quilt show at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley, CA. Here is the Artistic Alchemy Booth 2018. We were showing what they will see and do at our Retreat at Zephyr Point on Sept. 3rd-7th.

It was a time of discovery.  All of us in the sewing world have a sharing connectivity.  Let me do a “show and tell.” to explain what I mean. In the picture below, see the canvas that Mary Boalt  created in the upper left? She started creating some canvases this year in a herring bone fashion so that it could be turned into a great vest. And I’m wearing my latest “Terrific Tabard” Vest that I made using one of Mary’s canvases. This the one that got Mary to thinking about canvases that would be great for garments too. 

I took a walk down an isle of quilts at the show, and there was another Terrific Tabard Vest created by one of my students.  Go Robi! And a ribbon winner too!

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I walked back to our booth and, Patty a student from a past Artistic Alchemy Retreat is wearing her latest creation using the Zephyr Jacket pattern. Check this out! She used a batik from a recent trip to Africa.

And I had to take a picture of her necklace. She created this herself using a natural stone and pine needles!  It is a perfect necklace for this Zephyr Jacket.

Walking down another isle, I spied all the “Pet Portraits from Jane’s class. Jane Haworth is our newest teacher for Artistic Alchemy. 

Aren’t these great?  In her retreat workshop, you will go in-depth with your own portrait. And you will have time to go bigger if you want.  

Back at the booth Jane is showing what she created in Sandra’s Material Matrix class.