Tag Archives: Artistic Alchemy 6th Annual Sewing/Quilting Retreat at Zephyr Point Lake Tahoe in September of 2019

A Taste of The Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe

Hello everyone, This is a short post today. It has been go, go, go, since I returned from our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Much more to come in future posts. I had a fabulous group of ladies. YOU MUST WATCH a short, 4 minute video at the end of this post. Terry McFeely took it and shows a quick overview of the week.
The evening of our arrival. It was during a show and tell of students work, I had to take this shot (through a screen window).  So serene.
Check out this mirror imaged Ecco Dyeing project on silk.
The group, checking out show and tell pieces as they are being passed around the room.
Unbelievable hand made Kimono. She went to Japan for A MONTH to learn Many, many, Japanese creative techniques that are still used today. They are hundreds of years old.
Such creativity using men’s ties in a “fiber” necklace.
A center panel in the back of a Jean jacket. A chenille technique.
More creative clothing, showing painting techniques. These are the two who went to Japan.
More “Art to Wear” items were worn this year by students and teachers alike. A fashion show every morning in the line for breakfast.
There was no lack of fabulous quilts either. She just has one more eye to finish on this sweet Doe.
In this quilt, all the blocks were won through her quilt guild. She put it together to pay homage to the Poloroid Camera. Amazing detail in each of the “pictures.”

What a wonderful, colorful, spiderweb quilt.

One of the students, Terry McFeely put together a video for a quick overview of what was happening at our 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat! Please go here to see it!

What a wonderful group we had this year. Think about joining us next year. Visit our site here to see what the Artistic Alchemy Retreat is all about.

May it be a perfect weekend for some creativity in your sewing world! Hugs, Heidi

Getting Ready for Our 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat!

My list gets bigger every year of all the things to bring. Machines alone, I’m bringing 3 different ones! I have so much to share with my students. You MUST come next year. Check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat here. We are going to have a great time. It is held at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point Conference Center (look them up here).This year, our 6th annual retreat, runs from September 2nd- 6th.

Terrific Tabard – It’s a blank canvas. Quilted, unquilted, silks, Kantha cloth, all one piece, oodles of pieces (collage style), so many ideas…..

The pattern fits so many sizes. It’s only $15.00 plus shipping. See all my patterns at my Etsy shop, DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.

Zephyr Jacket, Whisper Blouse, Calypso, so colorful.
Calypso vest, Mommy & Me & My Quilted Vests, and Whisper Blouse, all fun patterns that are available via Heidi Emmett at: hmemmett@gmail.com or visit my Etsy shop: Look for DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/ sewing patterns.
I put samples of some of my patterns out on our back deck. I liked the look so much that I took pictures  just for fun.
The back of a Sparky Top  (love, love wearing this one, I feel like I’m floating) with that center back panel from a Maxi Dress. The dress was made from silk chiffon. See the back of a Whisper Blouse, and there is a Zephyr Jacket (doing what it should, blowing in the breeze).
In the background is my Simply Super Vest from my book Fashion Quilted Accessories. And then in front is a Zephyr Jacket in which I went a little over the top with my “duding it up.” But , hey, we gotta have fun right?
While out on the deck hanging up all my samples, I stopped and admired my beautiful Geranium. The biggest most prolific I’d grown in a while. The picture does NOT do it justice.  I’m sure glad I took this picture because the very next day, all but 4 blossom clusters were chewed off by a deer! Grrrr…..

Some great summer reading. I love this book. Read the chapter on the “Safety Pin.”
Here is another good read. All about how today’s palette of color came about. The chapter on Indigo was an eye opener for me.
I can’t believe that the deer missed my miniature roses! Right next to the chomped on geranium.
This is a close up of one of my miniature roses. Isn’t she a beauty? Have a wonderful weekend.  Hugs, Heidi     P.S. Don’t miss the funny pics below.

This is SO ME!!! My husband ALWAYS diverts my attention away from these side of the road items.
A friend sent me this. Yep, this is me. It’s all about the THRILL OF THE HUNT!!

What’s Black & White & Chartreuse?

I found a 100% linen knit top, and yes, at a Thrift Shoppe (I added the extra “p” and “e” to give it cache’ ha,ha).  The top was too short for me as is. I’m going to have some sewing fun.  Let’s Upcycle!

I love LOVE 100% linen. I wear it all summer long. Yes, it looks fabulous crisp and pressed, but “lived in” (aka, wrinkles), is my favorite. And I think it just gets better and better the more it’s washed and worn.  I have even made a set of linen sheets. Very nice.  They lasted quite a few years before they became too thin (I put my foot right through). Ha, Ha.
I looked through my scraps and found some leftover bits that I had used in another project (look up that OTHER project under past posts, called, Rectangle pieced dress) . I love black and white and one more color. This time I’m using chartreuse. Note the black and white “tubettes.”

I call them “tubettes” because as you can see they can be opened up and stitched down. Test a cotton knit or other fibered knit for stretchy-ness and the curl factor. Cut a strip in the direction of the curl.  I don’t cut any under 1 inch in width. Use your fingers to open it up and stitch it down the middle. I stitched my tubettes for added texture and shhh.. don’t tell anyone, to hide some poor stitching (it was too loose and really showed).
I tried on the top to determine where I wanted to place my pieced fabric length. Then I carefully cut the top apart (keep it in a circle shape) so I could insert the piece. Two things, if you look closely, it’s uneven on the left side. Make sure That you add a piece ( in this case I added a wedge) or cut away so that it is even all the way around. The second thing, if you are adding fabric that has words or letters make certain they are going in the right direction. Oh yea, do you hear the riiip, rip, rip, of my seam ripper. Sigh…..  Determine how much you need of the pieced fabric and sew the ends together to form a circle that matches the top (if it’s a knitted top, DON’T stretch it).

When attaching the pieces together, divide the top portion of the top into four sections (use pins to mark  the sections). Do this on the bottom portion of the top as well, AND BOTH the top and bottom of the pieced section.

If you are Serging the pieces together, just go for it. No Serger, no problem. The trick for sewing the pieces together on a home sewing machine is to make CERTAIN that the knitted fabric is underneath. It has to do with the feed dogs and how they feed the fabric through. Trust me on this one or you will be using that seam ripper again. Ha, ha.

Uh OHHHH! I broke my own rule. And it’s my number ONE rule, “Always think long and lean, think up and down with design features.” So I fixed it, sort of……
I added more “tubettes”  going in an up and down  free form design.
I really like it now.
A friend gave me the “hand made” sew in tag.  Thank you Lisa.
A word about taking pictures outside, at high noon. Don’t do it. All the blacks in the pictures are really deep black, in person.  I was taught by the Sunset photographers (of the book division of Sunset magazine of which my friend Christine Barnes worked for back in the day) to take pictures in the early morning or late afternoon. Never in overhead sun, even if you are in the shade. I couldn’t wait, my hubby was home and I needed the pics right then and there!
I think the top turned out to be a fun addition to my wardrobe.

Thanks for stopping by today. I’m putting on my Artistic Alchemy Retreat hat now to say pop on over to today’s post to read about what the four of us teachers are doing to prepare for this years retreat, September 2nd-September 6th. Carve out some creative time where you can. Hugs, Heidi

Indigo Dying – WHAT FUN!

It was a bright, summer day. Perfect for playing with fabric and Indigo dyes. With very little experience with this process, I was ready to jump right in.

Our teacher, Ginny Lee, showing samples and explaining the process.
So, Indigo is the dye bath we put our item in after it has been manipulated in some way with Shibori techniques.
Here is an example of Kumo Shibori. Love it, and it is the first one I tried on a linen top.
Here is the wrong side and the right side (both are cool) of a Shibori technique that involves using wine corks (I always wondered what to do with mine, ha, ha) and rubber bands.
O.K., here goes my first attempt at Kimo Shibori using a linen top. Wrap at an angle, tightly, but not too tight.
Ginny is showing me how to wrap and pull down on those wraps (to fit the whole thing on the tube.
Here are some very interesting wraps. Notice the printed fabrics too.
I love all these really wild and different wrappings, foldings, and clothes pins! These pieces have been soaked in water and are waiting their turn in the dye bath.
Indigo is a plant. Yes, it is found in Asia, India, and I just learned this, there were large plantations of Indigo in South Carolina in the middle to late 19th century.  Not really a hard process to make up a batch of the Indigo.  Really messy though.
This is my linen top coming out of the dye bath. Whaaat? Why is it Chartreuse? Where’s the blue? It turns this green color in the dye bath and as it’s exposed to the air, it begins to change over to Indigo Blue.
I like this cotton shirt and floppy hat.
Taa daa! My linen top! There is still some green in one bottom corner. 5 min. later, blue.
This piece is so interesting. Ginny said to bring yellow or orange fabrics as a base fabric. Such an interesting piece all wrapped and folded with 1/2 moon shapes.
I think this T-shirt is really cool. There is the yellow and orange(tie dyed before) with a hint of Indigo here and there.
This T-shirt was pinched and pleated in the top area only using larger clips. What a cool design.
I sure wish this was my piece. Again, it started with a pale yellow fabric. I like the combo of styles within one piece.
I brought a baby quilt that I got at the thrift store. The quilting, HAND QUILTING, is so precise, and the stitching is so small. It had languished in my “what do I do with this?” container for years. It was white, well dingy white. It took awhile but I bunched up little poofs of fabric and held them in place with plastic stretchy hair ties. I really like how it turned out. I hope to make a vest out of it using one of my patterns. Maybe a “Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest” only it will be a quilted.
Someone brought this book.  I might need to own this. Filled with great pics and ideas.

It was suggested that we bring fat qtrs. to be able to try many different techniques. Brilliant idea. One student did that, and even went further by prepping some of her pieces at home with some of the more time consuming folding, pinching, whatever processes.
This same student took home 12 different techniques with just fat qtrs. I’m jealous!
Another pale yellow piece of fabric to start (a tablecloth actually).
A really fun day and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully sooner than later.
I came home and went to the back deck doors and said, “What? ” Rex was sound asleep, thinking he was a dog? Trying to cool off? Pretty funny.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone and try something new. Take a class. It will open your mind to what is possible. Hugs, Heidi

Has This EVER Happened to You?

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Do you like my “tease?”  Of course,  I put it at the end of the post. Ohh, the suspense ha, ha.

At our latest SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group) we had a challenge and this past Wed. was the “reveal.” One of our members had a friend who was letting go of her vast linen collection (doilies,napkins, trims, tablecloths, etc). We all picked up some pieces that we liked with the idea of “repurposing” them. One of the “doilies” I chose was perfect for the back of a jacket I had purchased.
This beautifully crocheted doily was  pre-treated it with Terial Magic.
Just a few pins were needed to hold it in place while I stitched it to the back of the jacket.
Once I stitched down the middle of the entire doily (I removed the pins as I went), I was able to just hold it in place (because of the Terial Magic) as I stitched through the outside edge all the way around. I used off white thread on the top and denim blue for the bobbin. I also stitched here and there in the middle areas of the doily because I didn’t want it to droop when it was upright.
There is so much going on on this jacket, all the design work has been hand stenciled on. The stencil reminds me of a doily. So……
That is what I did. I placed the doily on the back where there was a faded section of denim. This is the simplest of ideas,  I actually didn’t want to show it, as this was all I had time to do. Oh well, NOW we’ll look at some AMAZINGLY  creative ideas.
Love this top made from a tablecloth that was first dyed using Procion dyes from Dharma. The next hour was such a whirlwind of great ideas, hence the rather blurry picture here. I just didn’t have the space to include all of creative pieces. But I have some highlights. Julie created this bright pink top.
Isn’t this felted piece Amazing?! Julie did this one too. She  first dyed a piece (I think it was a dresser scarf)then added some yarn/roving to the same dye bath. Creating her own felted fabric she added bits of the dyed yarn/roving and voila, what a COOL piece was created.
Here is a closeup of the dyed dresser scarf. I love how the threads shrunk into squiggles. An aside on this hand felted vest. She took a class at The Tin Thimble. And lucky me, I’m taking a class there too to learn about “Nuno” felting. Go here to learn more.
Can you believe this darling summer top was once a table cloth? Dee went all out using every inch of this piece.
Oh my gosh! Elyse used every piece she picked up! You go girl! Her vest was made of one crocheted piece (dyed first). The jacket and purse include, doilies, dresser scarves, collar pieces, trim pieces, etc., etc. Some real thought went into each of these pieces.
What, you ask is Kari holding? She took this challenge to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL!

Kari took a hand crocheted tablecloth and pressed it into a slab of clay that she shaped on a mannequin. Absolutely stunning!!! I liked that she kept it a creamy colored glaze just like the piece she started with.

And this piece, Kari made it for the woman who offered up all her linens to us. What a great remembrance for her. My head is still spinning from all the ideas I saw.

Tap on one of the icons below to see what is going on at Artistic Alchemy, My Pinterest boards, or my Etsy shop. Remember too, contact me directly at hmemmett@gmail.com for my Art to Wear patterns as well.

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This is where I was last week. My husband and I worked in the Bear Necessities gift shop. The middle story is the gift shop. The story below the gift shop is a small studio apt. where we stay. This shop is on the Zephyr Point Conference Center property. Check it out here. This Conference Center is where I and 3 other talented women will host our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Check out our retreat here.
I took this picture from the right side of the deck just outside of the gift shop at Zephyr Point Conference Center.
And how about this view from the left side of the deck at the gift shop where I get to work at Zephyr Point. Ahhhh……so beautiful and restful.
I have never seen this so close to Lake Tahoe. We were walking on a beach area right on the Lake. Someone who has yet to come to their vacation home this summer will be very surprised. A beaver had felled this Aspen tree only to discover that the “pond” he intended this piece for was Lake Tahoe (a mere 30 ft. or less away). Not funny for the home owner, but really! What was that Beaver thinking?
This Crab Apple tree (Ornamental) is on the Zephyr property right in front of one of the giant cafeterias. I say ditch those bushes that are blocking the Lake view.
The blossoms were everywhere. It looks like a sweet carpet for a wedding venue.
Delightful view of a Crab Apple tree in its’ full glory on the Zephyr Point Conference Grounds.
Crab Apple blossoms at their peak along the shores of Lake Tahoe. Wish they would be in bloom for our Artistic Alchemy Retreat this September. Zephyr Point.
We had time for a side trip over the mountains to the Carson Valley. I had my husband take this shot of the back of Heavenly Mountain  (leaving Carson City). Sorry, there is some “buggage” on the window of the car right above the mtns. It is NOT smoke. Did you know that as of June 9th, the Sierra Nevada Mountains were at 202% of their snow pack? No, that is NOT a typo, 202%!!!! And the runoff hasn’t even really started! So amazing.

At last, the “Has This Ever Happened to You” part. My husband and I were sitting in our car in  the parking lot at a fancy coffee shop (O.K., O.K., it was McDonald’s, we like their coffee and the little chocolate chip cookies (only on vacations)fresh from the oven).  All rightie, back to the story.  We had the windows open and were prepping our coffee’s for the journey over the pass and back to Zephyr Point.  I was noshing on a cookie and sipping coffee and a Sparrow landed on my driver’s side mirror. It cocked its’ little head and I slowly extended my hand that held a cookie crumb between my fingers. It took it in its’ beak right then and there!!! Whaaat?!  I maintained my cool (if any of you know me, that was VERY HARD to do), and tried it again. This time little Sparrow slid down the side of the mirror (so cute) and took the bigger crumb and flew off with it. Stunned silence in our car. I have never had that happen before. Have you? What a wondrous gift that was.

God said he takes care of the sparrows and how much more He Cares for us. And this event reminded me of the song, “Everything” by Lauren Daigle.  The first part of the song goes like this, “Even the sparrow has a place to lay its head, so why would I let worry steal my breath”…… Thank you so much for stopping by. Creativity surrounds us. Go out and find yours this week. Hugs, Heidi

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A Quilt Show is Coming to Grass Valley & Artistic Alchemy Will be There!

Mark your calendars. Pine Tree Quilt Guild in Grass Valley, CA is having their annual “Springtime in the Pines Quilt Show” and you’re invited! It is being held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds on May 4th & 5th.

Artistic Alchemy will be there. We are a group of four women who each have a unique style in their quilting and stitching (wearables/accessories) areas. Come and see our booth and we can answer any questions you might have about our annual sewing/quilting retreat. This year it will be Monday, Sept. 2nd-Sept. 6th at the Zephyr Point Retreat Center on the shores of Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for more information.

Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Jane Haworth, & Heidi Emmett the four teaching enthusiasts!
Sandra-Material Matrix, Mary-Steam-a-Seam, Jane-Pet Portraits, & Heidi- Upcycling clothing, Wearable Creativity & Fiber Jewelry!
Our booth at the Quilt Show last year.
Sandra Bruce will be the “FEATURED QUILTER” this year at the Pine Tree Quilt Guilds Show! This is a BIG deal. Here is her quilt Chuck Close.
Some of my “Art to Wear” sewing patterns. Try them on and see which patterns you need to own!
One more of Featured quilter, Sandra Bruce’s Material Matrix quilts- Dame Lorraine.
One of Mary Boalt’s creative hand painted canvases. This year it will be “all about Steam-a-Seam” and creating your own fabulous fabric.
One of Jane Haworth’s Amazing Pet Portraits.

Another of Jane’s Pet Portaits.  I love the colors in this guy.
Some of Jane’s student’s work.
More student’s own Pet Portaits- a class taught by Jane Haworth.
Here I am wearing my Terrific Tabard pattern- a new look for it using one of Mary Boalt’s hand painted canvas pieces.
This vest is from the “Wearable Creativity” portion of my workshop. Take one of my Wearable Patterns and let me help you create your own Designed by YOU look. Heads will turn when you wear it and you’ll be able to say, “I designed and made it myself.”
One more version of the “Wearable Creativity” section of my workshop. Let me help you fit one of the patterns you pick to your body type. And with YOUR fabric choices, design the perfect wearable that YOU will WANT to wear.

 

One of my patterns that you  might pick for the Wearable Creativity portion of Heidi’s workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat this year.

I just had to take a moment to show you that Jane Haworth, one of the teachers at the Artistic Alchemy retreat made the  cover of  Quilting Arts  with “Tilly,” one of her Pet Portraits. This is a really BIG DEAL! A very, small, percentage of talented artists make the cover of a magazine. Look at all the talent available in one wonderful retreat. Come join us!
And when I saw this HUGE, I mean, “HUGE!” Wisteria vine at the Rocklin, CA, Pottery World, I thought of the colors in “Tilly.”
Wisteria with Fountain.

Can’t you just smell the perfume of these exquisite blossoms?

Artistic Alchemy’s Sewing/Quilting retreat is where you want to be this year from Sept.2nd-6th.  Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope it is sunshiny this weekend where you live. Take a “Creative” walk, make time for it. A creative walk is simply walking and soaking in possible ideas for your next project, with the colors, sights, and sounds of things outside. Don’t forget to take your phone for pictures. Hugs, Heidi