Tag Archives: Art to Wear book “Fashion Quilted Accessories” by Heidi Emmett and Leisure Arts

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

Easy Felting Ideas- Soothing Circles…..

Remember my trip to Ashland, Oregon?  Well, I stopped at Webster’s to gaze upon their yummy yarns. Well, well, these four beautiful skeins jumped into my basket, saying buy me, buy me! These are Bamboo Bloom Handpaints by Universal Yarn.

Oh look, I didn’t plan this but the fabric (fat eighth’s) from Sew Creative I had purchased the day before goes perfectly with one of my skeins. 

More about those yarns further down. Felting was the right thing to do this week. I pulled out projects that I had intended to add my “felties” (little circles of yarn) too, rolled some yarn circles and fired up the felting machine. “hmmm” is the sound it makes while poking the yarn into its’ intended background. In this project, a crocheted circle vest. 

Oh wait, there will be no “hmmming” if I don’t use my crisp netting (acts as a glue to hold the yarn in place) to cover the circle. This netting is the type used in petticoats. 

You can barely see 3 circles under the netting. Once the circles are felted, pull off the netting. I am only placing one layer of it (folding this back just to show the netting) on my felties. 

Taa daa! Just a few felties dancing across the bottom of the vest add some pizzazz!

Commercial break: Don’t forget to visit my Pattern site at Craftsy.com (or click on the Craftsy icon below  and it should take you to my pattern site). I designed this pattern over 20 years ago. Yes, I know, there are many tiered skirt patterns out there, BUT, not like mine. I made the tiers specific lengths to flatter in the hip area and accommodate different heights. I sold tons of these patterns over the years at my fabric store. I’m offering it for FREE at Craftsy. I want you to see what my pattern store at that site is all about. And to see how easy it is to use.  I think the 3 tiered skirt is a timeless pattern. The 2 below were made in Kaffe Fassett rayons. I LOVE the drape of rayon in this pattern. Linen and cotton work too, but add a crispness. To have those fibers hug a little closer to the body, use the broomstick method (perfect for traveling). Pick up the pattern to learn about that. 

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Now where was I…. Look it happened again. Found some fabric that goes with the yarn and felties. 

Look closely at the upper and lower pictures. When I can’t decide what to put a feltie on, and I’m in the mood to felt, I pull out my scraps of bridal illusion or tulle (veils are made of this).It comes in many colors (not that important really, this piece was a remnant). Wind the yarn into a circle and place onto the tulle (one layer is fine). Don’t forget to add the netting. “hmmm….hmmm…” ahhh, such soothing circles. I just LOVE working with fiber whether yarn or fabric! I keep them on their tulle until ready for use. Then I cut away, carefully, the tulle around the outer edge of the felties. They are sufficiently felted at this point so that you could just stitch them down by machine, in the ditch around the outer edge, or machine felt them down. You do not need netting at this point. 

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Soothing circles, soothing sunset at Lake Tahoe too. Click on the Artistic Alchemy icon above to see what’s going on with us: Heidi, Sandra, Mary, & Jane. 

This is what a 6 year old side garden looks like in the Spring. Azaleas (background), Phlox (lavender), Genesta (foreground low growing not in bloom yet), and the large bush with white flowers (foreground left) a Viburnum. 

Viburnum blossoms close up. Soothing to my eyes. I’m into soothing anything today apparently. Ahhh….these are lovely to gaze upon. Hugs, Heidi

 

Cruising Pinterest and I Found This!

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

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

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

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

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

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

And for Rubix too. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Check This Out! From these to THESE!!

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I used to design and create cool projects for Stitch magazine. It was really fun. The magazine is gone now but I bet you can find copies on Ebay or Etsy.  Spring/Fall leaves was one of my projects. It is such a versatile,easy peasy idea.

That’s my project in the upper left corner of the picture below. 

And here it is again as seen in the magazine. I also did a lovely summer version, two completely different projects (for their Stitch summer E-book).

I used Alison Glass cotton batiks and for the center portion, a batik type muslin by Marcus Brothers. 

Here I mixed silk shantung with glorious Alison Glass cotton batiks. Love this. 

Here is the first “summer” version I sent them. These fabrics are all Marcia Derse fabrics. Our sweet rescue dog, Sparky. We miss him so…16 1/2 years we had him. 

Second summer version shown here is the one they chose. 

Close ups. I think by looking at the next few pictures, you will be able to figure out this project. I do tell you how in a past post (that I forgot to categorize, acck). Sometime in the Fall of 2015.  I’ll tell you next week I promise, no time today to search. These leaves are like the Lays potato chip slogan.  Except, I say, “You can’t make just one!” Addictive!

Another hint, batiked fabrics (like below) are more tightly woven so there is automatically less raveling (perfect for raw edged designs), and have no right or wrong side, although one side typically looks a teeny tiny bit lighter. 

Well,we now come to the part where the title of this weeks blog comes into play: From the projects above to the projects below.  I decided it was time to use my leftover leaves and this is what I came up with. LOVE these Kimonos now. I keyed off the linings of the two of them. See below.

The lining of this Kimono is a beautiful leaf printed silk(whoops forgot to take a picture). The leaves are purposely off-set, because they are hand cut, they will never match, and I really don’t want them too. I had to take pictures of this one in place but not sewn. Phew, I beat the rain!

Also, I’m part of a great group of “Art to Wear” fiber artists and we are having a “Pop Up” Sale at 485, 12 Bridges Drive,Lincoln, CA. It runs from 1:00p.m.-5:00p.m.  Clothing/accessories/jewelry, so many beautiful items. Maybe we’ll see you there !! Hugs, Heidi

 

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

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

It happened last night, January 25th, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What an Inspiring Day I Had At SWAG!

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

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

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

Here’s the Vogue pattern she used. 

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

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

Here is her wrong side of the same section.

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

And the same piece turned to the wrong side. 

Finished vest. Sew creative Kari!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Jax’s owner, our son, Cory. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe, this fold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“Steampunk” your next Calypso Vest!

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

 

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

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

I love these “skeleton” leaves. I’ll use those too. So, spray, spray, with Terial Magic, and iron to a crispy finish with a dry iron. 

Snip, snip, all around the design I want to use. 

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

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

 

Beginning the first row of the big bias circle. Notice the yellow and red headed pins. 

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

Whoo hoo, first round of bias stripping is done! Continue adding 6 more strips. BREAK TIME! Actually, I take a break after each round (best for ye old neck and shoulders).

On the way out the door to photograph my finished vest, YOWZAA!! when did all the trees start to change color? Can you even believe it is the very end of September?! 

I love the blue, blue skies of fall. 

Taa daa! Here is Beth’s finished sample. I just LOVE the fabrics she chose and how much fun I had playing with all the choices.

I know, I know, I took a ton of pics. But I couldn’t stop. This could be in a Jane Austen flick, or even Outlander? Maybe? Am I stretching things here?  

A shout out to my friend Judi Biley . Happy anniversary! Thank you for your continued support in what I do. And to all of you, my blog peeps, thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you all. It’s a great day to be creative. So get out there and “Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE!  Heidi InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy 

This And That. Easy, Breezy, thoughts on a Hot Summer Day!

We all have to grocery shop. We maybe don’t enjoy it or we’re just rushed. Well here is my tip to make it a more enjoyable time. Next time you go, first thing, take 2 minutes and walk through the floral dept. Deep breathe while you walk among the beauty and color and designs that you see. Ahhhhh…….. Sometimes I even buy some flowers. Even carrying them in the squeaky cart (I ALWAYS manage to pick one of those, or the wheels are weird), calms me down. 

Wasn’t that nice? As I wheel into the fruit and veggie area next, the color and design doesn’t stop. I look at these beauties below with fresh eyes. Dragon Fruit, have you tried it? Neither have I. But as in your sewing experiences, it’s time to step out of the box now and then and try a new technique, work with colors you don’t usually gravitate toward…. 

Pineapple, we see it ALL the time. We use it quite a bit too. Have you ever barbecued it? Well, I had not either until I tried it at my friend Jean’s Bunco party. Ohh my gosh!! Totally fabulous! Fresh Pineapple BBQ’d (complete with grill marks). It looks fancy too. And so easy too. Slice it, add a tiny bit of oil, and pop them on the grill. That’s it. Thanks Jean!!

Oh, and corn. Here is the fastest, best way EVER! to cook it. Here it is, in its’ cute packaging. LEAVE ALL THE PACKAGING on and pop 2 ears at a time into the microwave. Cook according to your microwave. Pull out, let cool for a few minutes, and then open. Watch out for steam. Everything just sort of slides off as you pull on it. Amazing.

O.K. I’m on a food kick today. And I know the 4th is long gone (where HAS this month gone?), but I had to show you my flag cake. This was the first time in 2 years that we were home for the fourth. So good to be home with family. Check out the fresh blueberries. Again, I feel so fortunate being able to walk down to my mom’s house and pick fresh blueberries in the cool of the evening.  Chocolate cake (whatever flavor you like).  Fresh raspberries, washed and carefully dried.
Use a cream cheese frosting, frosted in a “rustic” manner (the sides are not frosted as I ran out)ha, ha. A lace cap hydrangea. It was mis-marked at the nursery, but I have grown to like it, because it’s different.  Just can’t get enough of these colors and designs.  It took a few years, but we finally re-painted our vintage wrought iron table and chairs. My job was to cover the chair seats. Label your chairs F & B and chair #. (mainly for the screw-in portions as each chair was different (on the sides).  Buy the very best quality of outdoor furniture fabric you can (did you know that NASA developed the coated portion of this terrific fabric that keeps it waterproof?). The method that I use is the fast and easy way as I want to get it done and enjoy them. Pull the fabric tight enough so it  takes up all the slack. Put a few staples in the middle of one side. Go to the opposite side and staple the same way as the first. And do the same on the other two sides.  The corners are then brought up and folded, whatever way you want to, but be consistent. I trimmed off the little tails. 

Taa daa! It’s like having a brand new set. We use it every day for at least one meal. 

More beautiful flowers to leave you with. Wish this was a bouquet I did on my own. Cosmos and Zinnias. But the next best thing is having a fabulous calendar by Workman Publishing. 

some easy, breezy, summer ideas this week. Thanks for stopping by. I will have a step by step project next week. Hugs everyone, Heidi

A Summer Project That will Keep You Cool. Let’s SEW!

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Grab a glass of iced tea and let’s take some time to be creative. Let’s make some fiber jewelry. Pull out your copy of my new book, Fashion Quilted Accessories. What? You don’t have it yet? I sell them at my Etsy store/DesignsbyHeidi, Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Grass Valley, CA sells them, and yes, find it on Amazon. Only $12.99 for some nifty projects. Two pull out patterns included. A great gift idea. On page 2, the first project is the Easy and Fun, Circles Earrings and Necklace. 

Here’s a quick synopsis. Sew two of your favorite, small scaled, fabrics together. Mindless sewing, rows and rows of stiching, straight, gentle waves, Whrrrrrrr…..  Here is the reverse side and one circle cut out.  Before cutting out the circles some spiral stitching is done. This is time consuming. I only do it on the earrings. Adds some interest and weight to the earrings. 

Whoa, are you dizzy yet?  They are so addictive to make, these cute circles. Use little black eyelets to give a nice finished look. Attach them to cording and voila!   I mailed all my projects off in the early fall of 2016. I had to take a picture of them, as I thought I would never see them again. As you can see, these work all year!  Here are 4 more pieces I stitched, ready to be cut out.  I try to have some pieces ready to go at all times and ready to stitch( with that mindless stitching (great time for thinking up NEW projects!). 

Finished and ready to wear!

I could NOT resist showing you one of my Hydrangea blooms. Deep rich colors. Perfect colors for a new necklace and earrings: deep blue violet with a hint of chartreuse, and a rich fuchsia. What a lovely color combination.   

Please come back for another visit to my blog. I’ll pull another project from Fashion Quilted Accessories for us to explore. 

Also, time is running out, but I still have room in my Artistic Alchemy workshop (Zephyr Point Conference Center, Sept. 4th-8th). Join the fun of “Pick a Pattern.” Learn new techniques, make new friends, enjoy the view, and sew, sew, SEW!!! Click on the Artistic Icon below. It will take you to our blog for more information. Hugs, Heidi

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Maui, Hawaii—–Listen, you can almost hear the waves.

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Aloha! And in case you didn’t know (there are new signups every week, to which I say thank you), my husband and I went to Maui to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. I brought along my newest “Proto-type.”  It’s a top/blouse and its’ working title is  “The Sparky Top.” I feel sparkly” when I put it on and it’s also in honor of our sweet dog, Sparky, who would be curled up in his bed right next to me as I wrote my blog posts or worked on my patterns and projects.

Besides the new “Sparky Top” check out the sand. Yes, It really is  really dark brown almost black. The beach in front of our condo. has at least 5 different sands. Each one is very defined. We are at the “black beach” section.  

As Heidi looks towards Molokai you can see that this top will be a wonderful addition to your 3 season wardrobe. It has an all in one cap sleeve, bias taped neckline, and falls longer in the back than the front. There is a back yoke which is a little blank canvas for, piecing, quilting, embroidery, whatever you choose.

Tell me what you think. Too long, too loose, just right? Do I need a better description?

76-82 degrees for the entire time we were there. It sprinkled once, for 15 minutes.

Flowers from the tropics.  I don’t know all the names. They remind me of the flowers in the fabrics I used in my new pattern to be (three more months until publishing, argghh).  I know this is a Kaffe Fassett fabric but I’m at a loss to say which one (I had no selvage to look at). Also, I only had scraps left for this back yoke. So, I stiffened more scraps with Terial Magic and raw edge stitched around the fussy cut flowers to hide my seam. 

Even under the sea creatures (at the Maui Ocean Center) reminded me of the colors and shapes in the fabrics. These are sooo cool! I shot this straight on using my Nikon on Auto (I have no time for “Raw”) and no flash.

Below are Coral that are iridescent. They are such glowing colors in very low light. The shutter speed was sooo slow, hence the blurring (and I forgot to hold my breath). But the colors, check the colors.!  This flower is a little tired but the shapes of the petals on the stem and the original color next to the rich green leaves, it’s a keeper. 

The only blue violet flower I saw. Stunning.

Some flowers need no words. Thanks for visiting Hawaii with me this week.

I still have room in my”Pick a Pattern” workshop at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat in Sept. Let’s create your own Art to Wear Piece. Mahalo, Heidi

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Mini-Me-Vacation, Part 2!

Sew many ideas and sew little time! Four days wasn’t enough. Below, it’s a family affair. Two daughters, Wynn on the left, Alex on the right and mom, Helen.These three were always busy, busy and they got projects DONE!!

We took this picture at the last moment on Thursday morning. Several had already left.  The amount of talent, generosity of sharing what they know, enthusiasm, and just plain fun to be around, that these beautiful women had was simply amazing.  I made so MANY new friends. 

Two racks of clothes to copy off the patterns if we wanted to. What great creations to check out. Did we bring enough bridal runner cloth to use for copying (great idea by the way)?

We all had our own sewing areas but were all in the same well lit,huge, room together.Check out Victoria’s shoes (in the middle). I want a pair of those.

Another great idea, the Ikea lights on giant clamps, on Mary’s and Patty’s machines. I have one too but it sits on the table. BEST direct lighting ever! I can work at night on black fabric with one of these puppies. $12.99-$14.99 range.

Mary is so smart. She brings everything but the kitchen sink to work with and puts it in this tiered cabinet. She has been enough times to know NOT to bring lots of little boxes. 

Cutting tables, nice and high, JUST for tracing, and cutting out projects. How nice not to have to clear an area somewhere (like I do at home). At home, a flat surface is for covering up with myriad projects, and the like. 

The FREE and Buy it table. New things were added several times each day! Every thing from fabric (all types) patterns, yarn, books. Toooo much fun! I’ll show you in the months to come what I gleaned from this magical, ever changing table. 

Kari’s  fabulous top in an “Alabama Chanin” style. Two t-shirts put together with Sashiko stitching.  A little painting, cutting, and stitching and voila’ !  Of course, as soon as I got home, I purchased two t-shirts to try this technique myself. Her underneath olive colored shirt barely shows above the collar of the black shirt.

Every day we had a show and tell.  Very cool things. These talented women really think outside the box. I loved this part so much, as the creative juices were really flowing in and through all of us. Terry (on the left) is wearing her own “Meiko Minsk” styled vest using a purchased piece of Kantha Cloth. Gayle looks like she is wearing some Merimekko fabric. Love the bold design. 

Below, Gayle and Helen are showing off their super cool Jean jackets. I will talk more in another post about this project that I want to make too. Acckk! Didn’t I say sew much to do and sew little time!

 

Look what Victoria gave me. She also brought, besides clothing projects, her latest quilting idea. Whaaat!!?? I could have brought quilting projects too? I put this square on a black table just to show it off. Victoria laughed at me and said, “It’s just a block Heidi (Log Cabin to be exact).” It’s the design, the fabrics, and colors she used. The black and gray print is a Valori Wells fabric.  Very modern, hmm..where is my sketch pad? 

Then, Mary brought her way cool fabric, so soft and drapey. Whaaat!!?? you PRINTED this yourself? Well, of course she did, and I should have known (she is one of our teachers at the Annual Artistic Alchemy retreat this Sept.)Go to: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  to learn more. A fun time on Lake Tahoe. 

Terry is trying on what Mary made out of her fabulous printed fabric. It is a very fun, cozy sweater/coat with a built- in collar.  Contact Mary Boalt at  Squeakypieces@gmail.com  She will get you an email address of Jenny,  the woman who will draw up a pattern for you too for $25. It is such a designer look. 

The back…

And three lovely models wearing three different fabrics in the same pattern. Helen (in the middle) made hers using 3 1/2 yds worth of cut up t-shirts. She made it in just a few hours. Really!! We all saw it. Heidi was still deciding, cut something out, sew something, I brought, hmm..how about using my felting machine, oh, wait, I could trace the pattern for the cute dress Mary is wearing right now, aaccckk! What to do, what to do.  

Here’s the cute dress I was telling you about, that Mary let us all trace patterns from.

Helen is busy at work helping Roxanne with her very own Jean jacket.

Here is Roxanne working with Helen. Several ladies watched a video on the whole project. A Dremel is also involved in this project. Really! Terry showed us. Another post, another post…..Are you feeling it too? Sensory overload! I need to take another walk and breathe. 

Thank you one and all for joining me today. Much more to show you. In a later post. Happy Easter to everyone. Talk again soon!  Hugs, Heidi

My “Mini-Me-Vacation”—Part One!

I have been home one week from my “Sewing Sistas” Retreat held at the St. Francis Retreat Center in San Juan Bautista, CA. I had such a wonderful time with my Sewing Sistas. I have never been to anything like this. I am so overwhelmed (in a good way!) that I am dividing it up. Part one consists of the Flora on the grounds. I took walks everyday and at different times of the day. The natural lighting was fabulous.

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What a peaceful, beautiful place. Enjoy the pictures. Below is the chapel on the grounds.

 

This picture, we are looking up the hill toward the dining and conference room areas. Aren’t the fuchsia colored flowering trees gorgeous. These are native to CA, called Red Bud. They grow well (but slowly) from Sea level to 3000ft. 

African Daisies. Taken at 9:00a.m. I like the shadows. There’s that Fuschia color again. 

Here they are in white. 

All the water droplets are from a gentle rain the night before. Look at the difference in color on the back of the petals. 

Scabiosis, also known as “Pincushion” flower. Perfectly named as these flowers surrounded the fountain that the Sewing Sistas walked around while carrying our myriad sewing supplies (would you believe I had 1/2 of a king cab truck, a TRUCK!, filled with my sewing paraphernalia )and Kari, my sewing friend who drove us there had the other half. Oh, the little black dots are ants. 

The grape vines are just starting to leaf out (in the foreground). California wine grapes love the central valley and coastal areas. 

Eucalyptus trees, so many species abound along the coast and into the valleys. I love the way the bark peels off every year (there is some left in the branch crevices). The colors of the bark are amazing. A great color palette for any project you have in mind. Google that.

One of many vistas. Old, old, oak trees dot the hill sides that slope gently to the valley below. The hills in the background are toward the east. The San Luis Rey Reservoir is just past the tallest peak. It’s FULL!! The first time in 6 years. The drought is really over.  

Stunning, massive, solid, strong, just a few descriptive words for these oak trees. 

All of us who live up north in California (near Lake Tahoe four of us) commented that we could not believe there were so many beautiful shades of green. After taking the oak tree picture above, I looked down at my feet and just look at the lush grass and beautifully striped leaves of a spent fuchsia colored Thistle.

We were told this small lake on the property had been dry for quite a few years until this past winter. 

One large cluster of lilies at one end of the lake.

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Look what arrived while I was gone! All my lovely projects came home. Now I can show people the projects with my new book. I am so excited to hear that Fashioned Quilted Accessories is selling well. Buy it on Amazon and if you are so inclined, leave a comment to help boost my number up some notches from the bottom! Ha, ha. Hugs to you for that. 

I hope my flora pictures will inspire you to pull out some fresh colors of spring fabrics and stitch up something that makes you happy. Until next Friday, Hugs from Heidi

FASHION QUILTED ACCESSORIES— A book by Heidi Emmett

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Taaa Daaa! It’s here! My new book by Leisure Arts, “Fashion Quilted Accessories!”

Eight projects total. 2 vests and 6 accessories. And the vest PATTERN PIECES are INCLUDED in the book! And all this for only $12.99!!  The following pictures show some of  the projects.

I have my first EVER book signing this Saturday, March 11th, at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop, here in Grass Valley, CA. It is from 11:00-1:00p.m.  Maybe I’ll see some of you there!

I just know that you will enjoy making all the projects in this book, after all my motto is “Make it up, make it FUN, and get it DONE!

And don’t forget, pdf patterns, hard copy patterns, and soon books, are available at Craftsy or Etsy. Just click on one of the icons below.  Have a super weekend and thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you all, Heidi

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