Tag Archives: Artistic Alchemy Retreat Sept. 2016

Volunteering at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, June 2016.

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My husband and I go to Zephyr Point, home of  Artistic Alchemy retreat (it’s Sept.5-9th this year; click on the “Artistic Alchemy” logo above to learn  what my workshop is all about).  In June, we volunteer at the “Bear Necessities Gift Shop” for one week. It takes us about six hours to get there (only because I HAVE TO STOP at many thrift shops along the way).  Below are two absolute mint condition 30’s quilt tops I found at the third stop. These two tops just made my day, week, month, year!! I will sooo appreciate the beautiful stitching (all done by hand of course!) and absolute beauty of them. I wont say any more, just enjoy the pictures. I think you’ll agree, with the setup for these pictures, it’s almost as if they are stain glass pictures in the cathedral of Lake Tahoe so it is only fitting that I thank you God for this magnificent place, and the creativity you give each of us to make such lovely hand made things.

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Yes, that’s me wearing my upcycled sweat shirt with the kangaroo pocket using Marcia Derse Fabrics. And below ,an hour later, was the perfect end to a perfect day. Enjoy this show too. All pictures this week were taken from the balcony of the cabin we get to stay in while working for the week. This place, the air, the scenery, it all gets me very excited to help you create your own piece of “Art to Wear.” Please join me at my workshop with Artistic Alchemy this September 5th-9th.DSC_0105

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Hugs, Heidi

Artistic Alchemy Goes to the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley, CA

Nestled in the pine trees, This Quilt Show is held at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. And this year, Artistic Alchemy has our very own Vendor Booth. We want to introduce visitors to what we do when you come to our retreat. We sew up some storms, make lots of new friends and enjoy the Lake Tahoe Views. Click on the Artistic Alchemy logo at the bottom of the page and see or better yet, stop by our booth this weekend.

Below is Off The Grid Vest made out of a pre-felted piece of fabric. I love the way I did the collar treatment and how I used a pin to keep it closed. You can do this too. It’s on the way to the SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group) display within the quilt show.

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I’ll be wearing a vest to advertise my patterns. Maybe it will be “Aussie Angle” (below) using the Terrific Tabard aka “Skinny Vest pattern. Make a Skinny Vest if you would rather at my retreat workshop. Off The Grid or Skinny Vest, you pick. Heidi face-1I am doing demonstrations both days at the quilt show called “Going Round in Circles.” Look at these yummy silk pieces. What am I going to do with them? Come and see. 1/2 hour demo. 11:00-11:30 both Saturday and Sunday.


More of a close up on Off The Grid. Check out the cool pin by Orna Llalo. She has GREAT jewelry pieces. OFT Felted

Trish from one of my workshops will be at the quilt show too and she will be wearing her Off The Grid Vest, Hawaiian Sunset I call it. Thanks Trish.  DSC_1039

Much clearer picture of Off The Grid in the pre-felted fabric and it’s being shown the other way in this picture.  DSC_0081 (3)

Here we are! We’re takin’ off for the party at the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley. I hope we see you there! More pictures to come. DSC_1568

Make it up, make it fun, and get it DONE!!! Hugs, Heidi

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Terrific Tabard, aka “Skinny Vest” – Make One Now for Spring!

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Happy Spring Day!

Terrific Tabard Vest pattern is a perfect way to showcase large scale prints. Below is “Aussie Angle.”  I love Aboriginal fabrics. The designs are too nice to cut up into little pieces for a quilt. Let me explain how to showcase these “works of art” into your next Art to Wear piece.

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Here’s another Terrrific Tabard using Marcia Derse fabrics. LOVE, her modern, organic shapes and designs. A sophisticated look. DSC_0181 DSC_0228


“Tree of Life” is another version of Terrific Tabard that is available to make in this pattern.

When you have no large scale prints, collaged pieces are the way to go. I will explain all the easiest ways to do this.


Terrific Tabard pattern comes with sizes XSm- 4X. Print all the instructions and “tiled” patterns pieces (put each 9 x 11 sheet together like a puzzle) on your own printer, orrrr put the pdf files onto a thumb drive and go to Staples and have them print it up.

Or, one last way to get Terrific Tabard is to send a check for $14.00 to Heidi Emmett, P.O. Box 208, Cedar Ridge, CA 95924 and I will send you a hard copy (I print it up for you and include tissue pattern pieces)


I took some time out to get up close with one of our many Dogwood trees. DSC_0523DSC_0524DSC_0526

Below is one of several bluebird houses we have. Not in the best condition but the birds don’t seem to mind. In front of this birdhouse is Mahonia Aquafolium, better known as Oregon Grape. Tons of yellow blossoms getting ready to burst open. I’ll take another picture when they are in peak bloom. DSC_0528DSC_0530

Please visit the group I am teaching with this fall: Artistic Alchemy. Our blog that gives all the details for this fun and creative retreat is Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  (or click on the icon at the top!).DSC_0531

It’s hard. I’m torn, be outside, sew inside. Hmm… I’ve done it before, I’ll bring my machine outside. I’ll get the best of BOTH!  Hugs, Heidi

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Whoops, It’s Saturday, But It’s My ONLY Day to Sew!

I try to post on Fridays but this week Friday got full of other things that I HAD to do. So here we are on a Saturday afternoon. And yes, I have been sewing. I have been working on my latest, greatest, “Off The Grid Vest,” trying to get it finished in time for a fashion show for ASG (American Sewing Guild) in Sacramento, CA. ASG, what a great group! If you love to sew, check out the ASG in your town.

I got ready to “insert media” into my blog post and I don’t know what button I pushed but I came across a file of amazing pictures that I had saved and got into some weird file that I didn’t know I had. I wrote everything down so I can find it again. In the meantime I picked two random pics thinking I could not even put them into the blog. Well, well, well, here they are for you to enjoy. TOTALLY off topic but I am a day off on this post so I might as well have some extra fun: both are from Pinterest. If you have a chance, find my boards by typing in, Heidi Emmett. I love Pinterest. The cat and dog are on my board, “Things That Make me Laugh” and the quilt is on “Quilts I Love.”

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All rightie then, on to Off The Grid Vest, a different look. Below is a  view of the vest you see on the pattern front, just to refresh your memory. DSC_0316

Below is the picture I showed you last week. I am working on Off The Grid using a pre-felted fabric (so it is heavier and a little bit stiff). So this new vest wont be lined or quilted in any way. The wrong side is so cool, I didn’t want to cover it up.



It was so odd NOT to do any quilting first. The process goes so much faster without the quilting. I don’t know what the drape will be on the finished product, but I’m moving forward. Zip, zip, it feels like. Cardiac stitching on the shoulder seams and finishing the neck edge.  DSC_0049

I apologize for the yellowy pictures but I was in the sewing studio at 6:30 a.m. and the lighting for photography is awful at that hour.  I’m already attaching the neck edge of the collar to the neck edges of the front and back. I’m flying. DSC_0051 DSC_0055

A chance for you to see some of it in better light. After 2 loads of wash, make breakfast, go on a walk with my mother, answer a bunch of emails, blah, blah, blah, back in the studio at 11:30a.m. Lighting is much better. I bet it is the same for all of you. We sew whenever we have the chance. DSC_0057

Well this is all moving along nicely so why not make more work for myself? Because this fabric is felted, why don’t I add some of my yarn roving or yarn in general to the gray side so I can reverse it and have a little color against the gray?I will machine felt. So I bring back the scraps and start to play. Here is some roving (yarn teased out a bit). I like this look on the gray side: DSC_0058

How about straight yarns that I wound around with my fingers to form circles and then machine felted? What am I talking about? When you are done reading this post, go to the home page and look up some of my past posts on machine felting. DSC_0059 (2)

The blurry picture above (sorry about that) looks good on the gray side, but then I turned it over. DSC_0060 (2)

Then I turned the roving piece over too. It’s o.k., sort of, on a small scrap, but when I felted on the back shoulder area of the vest and held it up, ohhh boy, the yarn coming through to the floral side really stood out like lint blobs that NEEDED to come off!
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It will take a whole movie to watch and pick out that EASY to felt piece on the back of the vest. Sooo, lesson learned. And even though the yarn I felted (especially the circles) was clean and crisp in color, don’t felt on already felted fabric unless both sides are really plain. Did I ever mention that this felted fabric was from JoAnn’s? I really like it. $35. per yd. and using a 40% off coupon of course!

Sorry, everyone, I got a bit discouraged after the felting problem, but I will be back at it asap so you can see a finished product. So scroll back to the top and have a good laugh over the kitten and dog again. I think I need to put my “thinking cat” on to get out of this felted mess I’m in. Have a great rest of your weekend and thanks so much for visiting. Also, you must visit my other blog: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  See what our September retreat is all about. Hugs, Heidi

Just Launched, Off The Grid Vest, It’s Lift Off for Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2016


DSC_0578Announcing, Artistic Alchemy Retreat for 2016! We will convene on the beautiful shores of Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, the Nevada side. Please visit our blog for all the details.Just hit the Artistic Alchemy logo below to get all the facts.

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I have chosen for this years retreat to focus on my miracle vest pattern, “Off The Grid.”   Please read the following two testimonials to see why I call it my miracle vest:

5’2” tall-petite all over, “I thought I would swim in it, but when I fold the collar back more, I love it just the way it is.”

5’10”- classic pear shape-larger hips, small bust, “Love the length, but I need to lower the buttons on the side, it emphasizes my small bust (side buttons can go wherever it best works for you). I like that the sides are open, because there is room for my hips, but because of the long, thin rectangles, I don’t feel fat.”


These are just two of many testimonials. I will publish more later. They were all from a group of 6 women who all tried on the same Off The Grid and I wrote down what each person said as they all stood in a circle and the one with it on stood in the middle.  It just happened after a meeting of women who quilt and share ideas. It was too fun and exciting for me to see the enthusiasm over this vest.

So no more writing, but take a look at some of the fun ways you can wear this vest, even inside out! If, you can’t join us at Zephyr this fall, but want to make a vest on your own, tap on the “Craftsy” button at the top. If the button wont work, type in Craftsy.com  sewing patterns/designsbyheidi

A “Tuck and Roll” way to wear Off The Grid. Add a cool pin right under the front rolled collar. Because of the quilting, it wont easily come out of this tuck and roll.


How about an off centered, “Single Flip back.” Again, add a pin somewhere to keep it more closed. DSC_0311

Love this one: A reverse (turn the vest inside out) tuck and roll. This is starting to sound like gymnastics.


And another reverse stand up collar with flip back.


I just sold vest patterns this morning from Craftsy to someone in Boynton Beach, Florida and someone in Ivry Sur Seine, France. Welcome ladies to my blog too. Thank you for buying and joining.

I am working on two more Off The Grid Vests. I wanted to try making one without any quilting but still reversible and another one with butterflies tucked in here and there. Check them out:


The floral fabric is a heavier felted piece. I am testing out colors for the trim. I decided on the ombre red orange batik because it’s unexpected. Can’t wait to start sewing.


Love, LOVE, this combination. The gray checkered piece below everything else will be the front of the vest while the paisley chartreuse (upper left) will be the lining. DSC_0379 (2)

Grunge, shot cottons, and the strip above the butterflies (above picture) looks like a closeup of butterfly wings. This will be another fun vest to sew. This one will be quilted. DSC_0380

I am posting this and rushing upstairs to my attic studio and commence sewing. Get creative this weekend. Hugs, Heidi


Gobble, Gobble, Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


Working madly for a family crowd of 24 coming to MY house this afternoon. Am I crazy or what for writing this post at 7:00 a.m. (been up since 5:00a.m., the dog got me up). Check out this AMAZING Maple Cranberry Sauce recipe I found in the magazine insert, americanprofile.com (insert in your local newspaper). It is by Kate of ihearteating.com Already went to her site to thank her for this, the best Cranberry sauce recipe EVER! in my opinion. DSC_1698

Below is a before shot. A big snow storm coming in, snow levels down to 1500 ft. here in Grass Valley, CA, northern CA. DSC_1700

Working on and FINISHING a Terrific Tabard vest, aka “Skinny Vest” for my wholesale account, Fabric Chicks in Minden, NV. Beth picked out the Aboriginal fabrics she wanted me to use. She will wear this vest in her booth as she attends many, MANY quilt shows! Yeah, get the word out about DesignsbyHeidi. DSC_1720

Should you want to sign up for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat in September of 2016, you could make your own Terrific Tabard vest in my workshop, “Art To Wear.”  DSC_1716

Oh, by the way, Beth did not want any batting in her vest as she gets too warm. So there you go, make your own without batting. It’s still machine quilted to the lining though. DSC_1714

This vest aka “Skinny Vest” shows off its’ slimming side lines below.

Here’s the other side. Hey! What’s that white stuff in the background? DSC_1731


And here is the after shot. Wow, what an amazing storm. Not. But it was fun to have this dusting of snow to enjoy. DSC_1707

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. We all have so much to be THANKFUL for. Hugs, Heidi