Tag Archives: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com

Terrific Tabard goes to the Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Grass Valley, CA,for a Workshop!

After a fun-filled “Trunk Show” with Designs by Heidi in Grass Valley, CA,at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild (the guild I attend), I taught a workshop the next day using my Terrific Tabard Vest pattern. I had 12 amazing students.  Come see what everyone was working on….

Margaret, the workshop chair, wore her beautiful T.T. vest to the workshop. What a perfect advertisement she was. Lots of detail work.

Apologies on the blurry picture. I HAVE TO LEARN to tone down my enthusiasm for my students work until AFTER I TAKE THE PICTURES! Margaret, this is a beautiful vest and you wear it very well.  I apologize in advance, as I messed up on other pictures for Lori, Arline, Raedean…..acckk!

Jill is laying out her Kaffe Fassett stripes that will be added to some of her pre-made Kaffe blocks and pieces. She is using Terial Magic on every piece going into this vest as these stripes and shot cottons are not that tightly woven.  And she will whistle while she stitches ’cause Terial Magic makes fabrics like paper for ease of stitching. It all washes out it you want it to. 

Lynda has some stunner hand dyed fabric. She plans to use this as a foundation/lining piece (it acts for both) for one of the front pieces. 

Carolie is keying off one large scaled print to pick up all the other colored pieces for her collage styled vest. Like “Tree of Life” , view B. of the pattern. 

Holly has used a floral (the circles of flowers) to pull out other colors. She is using that rayon print (behind everything) as her lining/foundation fabric. What a fun, contemporary look. I encourage everyone to always think, “long and lean” with their raw edge collaging. And that is just what Holly is doing here. 

Pavana is using a large scale print as I did for view A in the pattern (Aussie Angle). Teal and lime are so great together and see how the large flowers fill up the space? Cut out a bunch of the large scale pieces and arrange them in a way that you like then begin filling in the empty spaces with strips and other chunks of fabric. Pavana is using that same all over print for her lining/foundation piece. The white that you see is her batting.  

Robi is contemplating her beautiful batiks. This the way you do it. Audition all your fabrics for choices. Taking a picture and looking at that, is another way to help make choices.  While the geometric piece isn’t “large scaled”, scroll down and see where it started. 

I had suggested she cut out chunks of the geometric batik and Robi went above and beyond with this intricate looking puzzle-pieced fabric. The piece in the middle is the uncut fabric. 

She is trying to decide which one she likes the best that will become her foundation/lining piece. Which one do you like best? 

Do any of you still work on the floor? Margie gets the “Miss Limber of the year award!” It is a great way to see how all the fabrics you have chosen will look. 

Margie chose this beautiful 100% linen field of flowers for her foundation fabric. One of the colorful pieces will be used for her lining. The floral piece is not long enough. So, she gathered her palette right from the flowers and will create a “piano key” strip across the bottom. Brilliant idea. 

Check this out. A fabric that looks like burlap! Go to the Connecting Threads site of the same name. It’s a solid without being solid, ha, ha. It’s like my super fav. fabric, “Grunge” which now has 180 colors. Whaaaat? That’s right (Christine Barnes told me ’cause she has the color cards). 

Julie is a great example of working with large scaled fabrics and small prints for  a resting place for the eyes. Kaffe Fassett fabrics tend to have more medium values across the board. So doing what Julie is (using large and small scales together) is perfect. 

Julie is working on the back first.  I suggest this as it is the largest “blank canvas” and if you want to make changes, those can be done on the fronts, because you will be a pro at that point! 

Oh, this is going to be fun! Now this girl put her “pedal (maybe it should be “petals”) to the metal and is already working on the fronts. She will be totally prepped to raw edge stitch. 

And look at my special treat. Julie saved all her scraps for ME! I shamelessly asked that if she was going to throw them out, I would take them. And she obliged. Thank you Julie. 

Next month the Pine Tree Quilt Guild is having a March mixer. There is not the usual Show and Tell time, but hopefully, many of my students will be WEARING their Art to Wear creations. I’ll get CLEAR pictures, I promise.

Next week I will post my own newest, latest, greatest Terrific Tabard vest and how I did it.


A late summer sunset at Zephyr Point. You could be HERE this Sept. 3rd-7th with Artistic Alchemy. We have TONS of fun. Go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for all the details.  

Have a terrific weekend. Four days for many of you. Let’s get some creative sewing done! Hugs, Heidi

A few words of wisdom from Cathy Stone (she just moved to Gig Harbor, WA, we miss you Cathy!): “Learn to Let Go, or get dragged.”  It makes you think, doesn’t it?

Upcycling- It’s Always Fun! And It’s The First Day of Fall!

Hello everyone! This is the beautiful sunrise I was greeted with and today is the first day of Fall! My favorite time of year. 

A little upcycling to get your “creative” going. Yowzaa! This is what I call acid green. After washing (it fluffed up the fibers a bit more, which I wanted to showcase), it’s whack, whack, with the scissors. 

Cool embroidery. Not sure how I will use all this great fabric. But I do have ideas for the cuffs. I like on the go projects (small enough to stick in my purse).  When cutting off the cuff, use your sharpest scissors and get as close to the stitching line as you can. That’s it. I guess you could do some hand stitching on the edge if there is still some raveling (this is upcycling, raveling is part of the look, so breathe and continue!). 

I use DMC floss, 3 strands. Those felted circles are reasonably priced on Ebay or Etsy. They come in a TON of colors and sizes. They have 20% wool,  but are basically very smooth.  I will throw in some circles I cut from sweaters that I felted (by mistake but that’s another story). Beads! I have to have some beads. The dollar store has those nifty pill containers (below) that are just what I need. 

Hmm..  I like what’s happening but not that button. 

I pulled out my acrylic paints and added dots of color (using the tip of my really small brushes). I could apply a matte finish of something like outdoor Modge Podge (for the washing factor).

I bury all knots underneath the circles, so that I have a mess free back. 

The whole idea is to have fun, play with fiber and not worry so much about the actual construction. And that is evident in my close up shots. But, I had lots of fun doing it. There is a time and place for perfection. 

Here is a book to get your creative going! I love it. Thank you Linda and Karenanne. No, there is no fabric involved. But it can be a part of your 15-30 minutes a day routine (I have spoken in past posts that everyone can carve out 15 min. (well now I’m upping it because I can) a day for creativity. Yes, this book is not fiber oriented but it is still working on the creative quotient. So on the days you are feeling fiber challenged, and that does not mean Metamucil, work in this book.

Jane Haworth (look at her site of the same name and see the cool stuff she creates) told our quilting guild about this book. We ALL have doubts about our abilities in the artistic sense, whether it’s fiber, painting, mixed media, etc. Love this book.  So with the book above and this one below, you will cure all self doubt and creative drain! Well, maybe not all, but you’ll sure think twice when “it” tries to creep in and take over precious brain space.   

Here’s the back cover. 

I’ll leave with a pattern idea from Designs by Heidi, Triangle Tote pattern. It was first featured as a project in this issue of Modern Patchwork: Triangle Tote pattern by Heidi Emmett. My ornery cat, Rex, sitting/guarding the tote.

Here is how Modern Patchwork photographed same tote. I was pretty surprised. Someone was NOT paying attention. This is actually the back of the tote. So sad. 

If you like what you see, you can purchase it (the pattern) directly from me. Email me at: hmemmett@gmail.com  It is $15.00 US  and that includes shipping anywhere in the world. It will come as a hard copy pattern (paper pattern, instructions, all in a plastic bag. 

Fun, fun, FUN, to make! Let’s get going and sew!  Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. Hugs, Heidi

Pinterest-Easy to Use and Fun! Sign up and Follow Me!

If I can sign up for Pinterest ALL by MYSELF, anyone can! It will open a new UNIVERSE of everything you have ever wanted to look for and see. It’s like having 200 magazine subscriptions, but none of the clutter of tearing out pages and saving them. Shameless begging right now, please, “Follow” me – Heidi Emmett- or type in Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com.  Help me get to over 10,000 followers!! It’s silly, I know……

So, today, just a few, O.K.! 10 pictures, ten only, of some of the “things” I am re-pinning on Pinterest.

This top gives me ideas of how to upcycle something I already own. 

Really different, I know, but one or two or three around the bottom edge of a pair of jeans might be kinda fun….

You just can’t beat nature pictures.


There is room in my “Wearable Art, Pick a Pattern” workshop at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe (the Nevada side). Go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com for all the information you need.

Below is from a blog that I follow called,  Blue Mountain Daisy.  She is in Australia and it is so fun to see what a quilter/flower lover’s life is like, “Down Under.”

Not sure what these are below, but I pinned them because I like circles, the design, the colors. Hmmm… fabric printing idea, quilt idea, mixed media idea, fiber jewelry idea, SEE WHAT I MEAN!! I love Pinterest. 

I love cute dogs and cats and funny sayings, and when I’m feeling blahhhh…I go to my Pinterest boards and look at my pinned pictures under the board, “Things That Make Me Laugh.”

The title on this picture makes me laugh, “Branch manager, & Assistant Branch manager.” 

I pin lots and lots of my own pictures too. This one I took, Helleborus , comes out first thing in the spring. 

Your “creative” this weekend is to sign up for Pinerest if you haven’t already and Follow all of my boards or just one or two. Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. Hugs, Heidi

Off The Grid Vest pattern….How Did it Come to Be?

Happy After Thanksgiving. I’m a day late on getting this out and still recovering, ha, ha, from 21 people at our home. 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

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ 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 ASKED 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  in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine was showing her quilt and then she said, hey, that vest idea you had, that would be great, I’ll take that too, so we can get your name out there. O.K., that sounds good, when is it? 

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!  Hugs, Heidi

I Saw a Squirrel or Two or Three….

What does that mean? Well, I know it as: I start talking or doing one thing, then suddenly, something different comes to mind so I talk about that, or walk through a room while working on something and see something else that needs doing right then and there and on and on…. O.K., if you could follow that sentence, then I bet you see squirrels too!

I’m popping this fun pinafore/apron onto the Kaffe Fassett Collective today. Go to FB and search KFC. Sign up! Anything Kaffe is on there.  Over 14,000 members. A great place.

Since it’s all about Kaffe Fassett fabrics, I’m not showing the nice deep pockets. I used a different fabric. Shhh..don’t tell.

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Isn’t this quilted flower pin fun? I  added some cotton batting, edge stitched the petals and cut off the extra fabric and  leaving  the petals with raw edges. An old pair of earrings became the center of the flower.  DSC_0023 (2) DSC_0026 (2)

So, I’m heading out the door to take my pictures and I’m hit with my first squirrel…this adorable needlepoint pillow perched near the front door. I have to take some pics and tell you that I found this needlepoint at the thrift store. I hand washed it and turned it into one of my favorite pillows.  TIP: When you visit your favorite stores, check for pillows on sale, even really ugly pillows (usually the cheapest). Unzip the cover and check the pillow form. If it’s a size and type and price that’s good, snap it up. Have you checked prices of pillow forms lately? Too expensive for me.

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Ohh yeah, another squirrel, check out the chair. I bought this chair at a church yard sale at the town of Red Dog, off You Bet Road, outside of Grass Valley, CA in 1999 for $7.00 (funny names but I live in a Gold Mining community). I believe it is an 18th Century Savannah Windsor chair.  It was put together with wooden pegs and it has not been refinished at all, just the way Antiques Road Show likes. Well, I thought I had found our son’s college money in this chair. I looked at it very carefully and discovered that someone had CUT THE LEGS DOWN! Why, oh why would you do that??!!


I just took a break to fix lunch, and forgot the  fresh corn on the cob in the microwave. Squirrel sighting,  I just learned this amazing TIP: Put an ear of corn, husk ON, in the microwave for 3 minutes. Using a pot holder and sharp knife, hold the top area using the potholder, and slice just to the corn portion all the way around the ear of corn at the bottom. Pull at either end and everything just falls off, husk, and all the silk in one fell swoop. Amazing. And be sure to cook it the day you buy it. It’s at its freshest.

I had to water my newly planted flower seeds and passed by this “Wave” petunia. They used to call them “Cascading” petunias but they changed the name and charge more. Loved the light on them at that particular time of day. They look so happy. And the colors remind me of the flower pin on the apron/pinafore at the beginning of the squirrel sightings.

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So I put the pinafore away and this issue of Modern Patchwork slid off the rather tall pile. Squirrel! Yep, there is my project for “Triangle Tote.” I will sell you a pattern for this fun flat tote bag and I will include hand drawn equalateral triangle pieces. Send a check made out to me, Heidi Emmett for $14.00 to P.O. Box 208, Cedar Ridge, CA 95924, and I will get it right out to you. DSC_0665

I love the way these long triangles work so well together. Oh dear, another squirrel. Check out my “shabby chic” picket fence. Oh well, we call that “Life Patina” at our home. Works really well, trust me. DSC_0040 DSC_0055

Looking at this tote, front and back, I am going to find my sketch pad and draw up a vest pattern possibility using these triangles. Hmm…will they make me look fat going that way? DSC_0063

Enough squirrels for one afternoon. It’s sad sometimes, my brain wont shut off, even at night. But that’s when you will find me on Pinterest. Follow me by clicking on the icon below. Have a wonderful, creative weekend! Hugs, Heidi

P.S. There is still plenty of time to sign up for my workshop with Artistic Alchemy Retreat up at Lake Tahoe in September. Go there by clicking on the Icon below!

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Creative Play Time, We all Need It!

My Artistic Alchemy partners in all things Creative and I went to the Judy Coates Perez Ephemera and Tea Bag workshop. What a great time we all had, of course!! In case you don’t know everyone, on the left is Christine Barnes, then me, (Judy C. Perez the teacher, she’s not part of our group though), Sandra Bruce, and Mary Boalt. We make up Artistic Alchemy. The 3rd annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe is coming up. There is still room in all the workshops. Please hit the Artistic Alchemy logo below and see what we are all about. I am the only “Art to Wear” workshop. Check it out, and join me for some major fun! Also, please note: I did not get the black and white memo! Ha, ha. We were supposed to wear clothes we could paint in. Who wears white to paint in I ask? Check out the painted on silk, yes, silk quilt behind all of us. Just one of many of Judy’s gorgeous pieces.

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Judy is busy explaining how to paint on tea bags, how to quilt through tea bags, how to hold them down, how to draw on them, etc. Below is some of HER gorgeous work.


This entire small piece is made completely with tea bags. She has had 20+ articles in Quilting Arts and Machine Quilting. So check your back issues.
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All right, I should not follow with my own work, but I am just learning and this is just the first layer.


We did stamping, thermofax stencils, and lots of ephemera and on and on.  DSC_0021

We even added Napkins!! Soooo much fun. Check her out at “Craft Napa” (workshops in January)DSC_0033

I even threw in a piece of lace scraps from my wedding dress of 34 years ago (upper right corner below).  I just found my scrap bag of my wedding dress that I had made. Hey, I will have to show it to you on our anniversary week in a few. Sigh, I can’t throw much away. I’m starting to get better. I HAVE TO! This is crazy! And my husband still loves me. DSC_0039 (2)

Here is Christine’s. DSC_0037 (2)

Sandra’s has fun colors.

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Mary’s is 3rd from the left in the top row. She brought the Eiffel Tower napkins so of course we all had to have one in our pieces!DSC_0040 (3)

More and more! There were 21 of us in the class. DSC_0041 (3) DSC_0042 (3)

Who knows what we will all do with our pieces but what a great time learning new and old techniques in new and exciting ways. When I got home that afternoon I spied my seed packets (ready to be planted) and thought, ohhh yes. I just might be able to use the empty packages in a mixed media project. It will be perfect. Have a creative weekend. Next week, look for my blog post on Saturday. Thanks so much for joining me today. Hugs, Heidi

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Heidi and Artistic Alchemy Goes to The Quilt Show in Grass Valley, CA

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As I dashed outside with another load to pack in the car to take to the quilt show, I stopped in my tracks as I spied one of my Peonies in full bloom! Simply stunning! Enjoy these pics while I pack the car. DSC_1215 DSC_1214 DSC_1212 DSC_1209

Phew, made it to the booth on time.  I am one of four fiber artists that make up Artist Alchemy. We decided to have a booth at our local quilt show this past weekend, “Springtime in the Pines,” a quilt show put on by the Pine Tree Quilt Guild of Grass Valley, CA. to introduce people far and wide about what we do and what we are all about.


Sandra made a Terrific Tabard vest; isn’t hers fun? She added a pocket for her cell phone. If you take my Art to Wear Workshop in September at Lake Tahoe through Artistic Alchemy, you will have a choice to make either, “Off The Grid” vest or “Terrific Tabard.”


Here we are the four muskateers: Christine, Mary, Sandra, and me. Hop over to our Blog: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com and check it all out. DSC_1203

In a display by SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group) of which I belong to, I showed my Off The Grid vest made of one piece of pre-felted fabric. This time I showed it with the wrong side out. Really, with this fabric it looks good either way.

There was a booth further down the row, called Rainbow Resource. She sells my Whisper Blouse Pattern! Check out her own beautiful hand dyed trims of all shapes, sizes and colors. DSC_1111

Order just what you want from all these choices. They can really dress up your next Whisper Blouse or Terrific Tabard.DSC_1112

I love this colorful picture. Charlene’s hand dyed trims are so color saturated. DSC_1114

Here kitty, kitty. Charlene at Rainbow Resource is happy to ship any trim she hand dyes, to any place. DSC_1115

Christine Barnes (her picture is above; from Artistic Alchemy) and I both supply Charlene (Rainbow Resource) with our Art to Wear patterns. DSC_1117

A Tuffet collection on display, from pincushions to footstools.


I’ll show you more quilts and such from the show at our next visit. Have a creative weekend. Hugs, Heidi

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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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Connecting Threads in The City Goes to The Blogger’s Quilt Festival

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Welcome everyone.  I call the little quilt below “Connecting Threads In The City.” I have entered it in The Blogger’s Quilt Festival. At the bottom of this post there is a blue logo titled Amy’s Creative Side. Click on it and you will go to Amy’s Blog which will lead you to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. You can vote for your favorite quilts in many, many categories. You will also be able to enter many drawings for all things quilting. The coolest part is that while at the festival click on any picture of a quilt and visit that persons blog. I entered my quilt into the “Mini” group. It is only 12″ square.


I started with a piece of pre-quilted cotton fabric.


Then, I started pulling out all sorts of goodies.


I knew I wanted something “citified” as the buildings that you see were hand painted pieces of paper! Yes, paper from an 6th grade art class that I pulled out of the trash!


Slivers and bits of fabric add to the painted papers, while the thread work does the connecting I was looking for.


I love, love, LOVE these pieces of paper. If only I could make fabric this way. Hmmm…..why not?



Oh yeah! Sequins from Cartwright’s.com and vintage seed beads just finish it off.


What a fun piece to make. And I like the size too.


Yummy colors to work with.


I purposely left the threads at the bottom because they remind me of the connections we can have even when we live in a city.


Thanks so much for visiting my blog today. Go ahead and click on Amy’s logo and take a trip without leaving your chair (except to get something to eat and drink), visiting so many places and learning new and creative things. Hugs, Heidi

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P.S. Check out our ArtisticAlchemyBlog  too for another quilt that I entered.Amys Creative side

Quilting Has Been Around A Looooong Time!

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Isn’t the mummified cat amazing? This one has to be over 2000 years old. This one, we’ll call it, “Meowmmy” along with 7 other mummified animals from Egypt can be found at, The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum & Planetarium in San Jose, California. Who knew? Check out Meowmmies cool wrap below its collar. Isn’t that a quilted blanket using  log cabin blocks? My husband thought I might be stretching things a bit but I’m going with it. Quilts and quilted garments have kept us warm and safe and cozy for over 2000 years. What a wonderful thought.

Here are some pictures of quilts from the Pine Tree Quilt Show this past May 2nd & 3rd held at the most beautiful fair grounds in the state of CA in Grass Valley. I am keeping with the theme of rectangles and squares queuing off of Meowmmy, above.  The School House or House Block originated in the early 1800’s and I just love the modern version of the House,  by Dorothy Fowler.


She says that “every house has a story.” Love that.  And wow, Dorothy stepped out of the norm of housing units and created such a lovely quilt that invites you in for a closer look as each house is different. And I love the batiks for backgrounds.


Lorna Tiller’s quilt below (she was the featured quilter in the show, BEAUTIFUL quilts Lorna) takes advantage of strips of modern prints cut into rectangles. I like this quilt so much because she tells us that she ran out of strips so she made a vine of flowers (out of the scraps) to run down one side. She got out of her “comfort zone.”


DSC_0147Sandra Bruce of Artistic Alchemy (goooo Sandra!) won Best of Show! She used her Material Matrix method (2″ squares) to create a fabulous composition titled, “Claire.”


I had to take a close up also to show her amazing use of color and design. All this with squares!


We will finish our small foray into a quilting timeline by going out into the universe. Please read Robin Hart’s description  of “Eye of the Cosmos.”  Hold on a second… I posted a closeup of Claire’s eye and now I’m showing “Eye of the Cosmos.” I just felt some chills, and did you notice where  Meowmmy is housed? A museum and PLANETARIUM! Am I good or what?


Did you read that Robin pieced the background in the grid method, to evoke old, pixelated NASA photos’s? Suddenly I had to take a closer look.


And closer still.  God is omniscient.


There can be found in squares and rectangles of pieces of fabric, deeper meaning if we want.

I have been exploring using rectangles and squares in my Off The Grid Vests that I have been creating. And we will explore these shapes and others in my workshop “Art on the Wall, Art to Wear” at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe this September. Click on the icon above for more information. Thanks for traveling with me through time and space withrectangles and squares. Get creative this weekend! Hugs, Heidi

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Happy Easter, Happy Spring, Happy, hoppy, HAPPY!!


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What beautiful weather we have been having, the dogwoods are all blooming almost one month ahead of schedule.

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This lovely little wall hanging will be part of a series of patterns called, “Mommy & Me & My Quilt.”This one features Mommy & Me lace vests to make and this quilt. This pattern is in the Que for completion. I will bring this quilt to my workshop, “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear” through Artistic Alchemy at Lake Tahoe. Learn my techniques that make a quilt or quilted clothing POP! Click on the Artistic Alchemy icon at the top of the page to get more information and to sign up!

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This beautiful orchid sits in my  kitchen window so I see it every day. It was given to me 2 years ago in January. I haven’t killed it yet. And it just keeps on blooming.


Look at the colors, they are the same as the Mommy & Me quilt! What is in the background, outside? I’ll focus on the background so you can see the dogwood tree I put the quilt into for pictures.




Bon jour mes amis! Rex was helping (again) in my sewing studio and I could not resist this jaunty French beret (yo, yo) picture. I can’t wait to show where I am placing these yo yo’s. It’s at Sandra Bruce’s studio right now for quilting. In a few weeks you’ll see it.

Have the happiest of Easter’s and I hope you have time to work on a project or two! Hugs, Heidi


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My Blue and Rose Period (like Picasso)!

Sampler Quilt ZephyrDid you know that Picasso had a “Blue Period” and a “Rose Period”? When he started out as an artist, selling his work,  he sold next to nothing and so he traveled with the Circus people throughout France. He loved the Circus people and felt accepted by them. He was sad though, hence the phrase, “Feeling Blue”.

The Rose Period came after he began to sell his work, while living in Paris. The phrase, “Everything is just Rosy”, came from that.

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Not right in the sun, these are much truer colors. Just one more, a close up.

Sampler Quilt ZephyrcloseypDoes this scream, 1980’s or WHAT??? 1983 to be exact. It is my first quilt ever! And yes, I had to be different and add VELVETEEN as sashing. I hand quilted ONE, yes ONE, square and said “that’s enough!” and hired someone to finish it. I opened a Full Service Fabric store, on January 2nd, 1983. I found out very quickly that I would never finish this quilt if I did not hire someone to finish it  for me. Here is one more, a wall hanging that my sweet sister-in-law Debbie made as a sample for “Heidi’s Fashion Fabrics” store.

Star Quilt, Zephyr

Is this NOT a fantastic shot with the Dixie in the background? These two quilts have a special purpose. They are being auctioned off for the first ever Quilt Auction at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference center at Lake Tahoe on October 12th.

We finished our first retreat on September 5th and found out about the auction then.  Keeping Zephyr Point moving forward, we think this is a great idea as we ALL LOVE it sew. But alas, since I do mostly clothing I did not have a current wall hanging ready to go. Surely someone will want an 80’s vibe for their home. Here’s hoping they do! Maybe you would want to attend our Artistic Alchemy Retreat next year! We are hoping to add an extra day. Please go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com and see what we do. Hugs, Heidi

Urban Ombre’s quilt pattern Changin’ it Up!



My friend and fellow Artistic Alchemy Teacher teaches this quilt of her own design. I took the class, and of course with with the leftover fabrics thought, “How can I use these pieces in a garment.” Visit Christine’s website for yummy patterns and kits, and fabrics: christinebarnes.com



First, I have to make gorgeous blocks from my scraps.



Notice that the edges of the blocks have been pressed under. I want a really clean, crisp look when I am done.  DSC_0086


I am sewing a blind hem stitch all the way around for a crisp finished look. And no, the needle is NOT going the wrong way. I am left handed! O.K., what is that stitching line above the hand sewing? DSC_0085


There it is again. And oh dear, in this close up some of my hand stitching shows. Anybody looks at it that closely when I have it on will be smacked! And there is the machine stitching line AGAIN! That line is my big tip for the day: Stitch some lines, two are plenty unless you think you need more. They take the place of pins. I hate shots, needles, and pin pricks. This was so easy and clever on my part, I am even now patting myself on the back. Let’s look one more time:



Two lines are plenty for this 5″ rectangle. I will just pick out the red violet stitching lines and then give it a good press. Please check back to see my progress and the name I will give this vest. I am off to the county fair! I have gone to this fair, here in Nevada County, CA since I was a very little girl. I’ll take a few shots to show you all that it is the prettiest fair in the whole state! Have a great, creative week. Hugs, Heidi

Picture Yourself Here!



At the Artistic Alchemy Retreat- September 2-5th. There are still a few rooms available. Take one of 4 workshops or come to Open Studio. Complete packages start at $495. for a workshop. Open Studio (you’re on your own)starts at $285.



Picture yourself HERE!  So much Creative Energy with four, fun, fabulous teachers! We ARE the Fab 4! Please visit Artisticalchemy.wordpress.com for all the information. There is still time to sign up for Crisp mountain air, no dishes, no responsibilities, just great sewing times, new friends, and learn new things in the world of quilting. I’ll see you up at Lake Tahoe where the sky touches all the worlds!   Hugs, Heidi

Whistling Thru a Wednesday-An Easy Project

I was busy this morning giving demos on machine felting at our MAQ Demo and Sale (MAQ stands for Mountain Art Quilters). We are in the higher foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, 1 1/2 hours to Lake TAHOE and Zephyr Point Conference center where we are going to have fun! Please check out our Artistic Alchemy Group Blog: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com. I just HAD to throw in that little commercial.


(Above, a cabin on the lake at Zephyr Point, that you see on a morning walk) Announcement!!! We were able to secure an extra conference room so that we can add “OPEN STUDIO”.!This is a chance to be with other quilters in a beautiful setting, while you work on your own projects. And, enjoy the evening activities, which will include giveaways and show and tell. Maybe your mini group wants to come….

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Above this picture, a sunset view of the private beach/dock that you can enjoy. Our retreat is right after Labor Day. NO crowds!! Awww….peace, quiet, scenery like the picture right above. This is the view from the deck where you can sit and chill of the gift shop. Don’t miss it. Some fun things.

All right, back to my Wednesday. Coming home after a fun morning at MAQ, I went down to help my Mom with some cushion covers! She lives 100 yards away in her new “second dwelling” (they aren’t called “Granny Units” anymore, everyone). We will whistle through this project on a Wednesday afternoon, ’cause they are easy to make. Lots of pictures to follow with a brief explanation. Here goes:













The gist of this project: buy Sunbrella type fabric. Make the cover in one piece just like a pillow case. Check for “salvage” off of the old chair cushion (we cut off the snap sections). When measuring for a pattern, allow for dips into the cushion and add extra for the end, to tuck under or not. Sew it up just like a pillowcase adding the snaps in an equal spacing. Slip it over the old cushion, and snap it closed. Wow, she will have 5 chair covers, and 3 extra throw pillows for $80.00!!! We are whistling through Wednesday on this one. Let’s have a seat and enjoy a glass of sweet tea! Have a creative rest of your week. Hugs, Heidi




I Finished Quilting the “My Quilt”

With 45 minutes to spare!



Helpers under the quilt. I couldn’t resist.


I have learned to LOVE Yoyo’s. Mine have a bit of a twist. This quilt has some fun and easy techniques for little ones and adults too. Look for it as a pattern on Craftsy.com really soon.


More lace and yoyo’s.


Here they are at the Pine Tree Quilt Show in Grass Valley, California.

One more. This is my “Deep Space Sparkle” wall hanging with oodles of spirals, several of which will be taught in my workshop with the Artistic Alchemy Group up at Zephyr Point. See all our work at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com


Tomorrow, I will share some more fun wall hangings from the show this past weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Creating Your Own Visual Style

“Create your own visual style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.”  -Orson Welles

Can you believe it! He said that, and yet, Yowza, his visual style was so unique to himself and so boldly identifiable to others. We all need to try this, in our dress, our homes, our gardens, our lives. I’m working on it. In fact here are a few pictures of concrete evidence of my own  Unique Visual Style:DSC_0793DSC_0788

My Calypso Vest Pattern. It is available for sale on Craftsy.com/sewing patterns/Heidi Emmett.


Calypso Vest in a softer, summery color way. I love the raw edge sewing. And because the strips that go round and round are cut on the bias, they never ravel!  A bonus!I love raw edge sewing but hate all the strings.


I love how the graceful bias strips swoop up into a very cool collar. I LOVE my VISUAL STYLE! It is unique to me, and someday will be identifiable to so many others!


Remember my 25 year old Carol Horn Duster Coat that I appliqued? And then…DSC_0164

25 years + later, I chopped it off and added something different to make it My Unique Visual Style…




Please visit, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to see more of my Visual Style and what I will be teaching in my workshop at our 1st annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, September 2-5, 2014!


Look what I found this past weekend! Yes, it’s another Carol Horn 25 + year old duster coat. I was obsessed with machine applique’ back then.DSC_0808DSC_0813

Hmmm…what to do on the front for “My Unique Visual Style?” What will YOU do this week in your creative time? Fifteen minutes a day, that’s all you need to get started. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Don’t forget Modern Patchwork ,Spring Edition is on stands starting TODAY!!!!! My Quilted Summer Backpack project is in there!