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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

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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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And another reverse stand up collar with flip back.

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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:

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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.

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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

 

At Lake Tahoe with Artistic Alchemy Retreat! Teaching, “Off The Grid” Vest

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Hello everyone! Let’s get right to it. I had an amazing week at Lake Tahoe with my equally amazing students. Truly, we are all “kindred spirits” with our love of making Art to Wear!! We laughed, and laughed, and they sewed, and sewed. I am so proud of each of your vests. When you all are done reading this post, be sure to pop over to Artistic Alchemy and read my other post. There are different pictures for the most part and other good words that go with them.  DSC_0844

Here are Pat K. on the left and Sylvia on the right. Look at those two! They are wearing the colors that they are sewing with and more below. Each of my students made such different vests. I loved it! On a different day, you can see much progress. Pat on the left used a black dobby as her background fabric and Sylvia on the right, dark navy. You’ll see more closeups soon but Pat K’s fabrics are so fun with the vivid orange that she had a title for her vest before it was even complete. “Fiesta!” A perfect title.

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We had resident cat, “Pinto”, and one of the Open Studio gals brought Pinto a toy with treats(found at Safeway she said). Pinto was busy with it and very protective of it too.

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Here are two more of my students, Trish on the left and Pat S. on the right. DSC_0839

An afternoon of fabric shopping was a nice diversion. Fabric Chics from Minden, Nevada came over the pass with tons of good stuff. Most of it is behind this picture. DSC_0840

Here is one of Trish’s off-centered log cabin blocks. Love it. DSC_0878

I love how this vest has a rich, midnight blue “Grunge” for the background fabric. There are also a few pieces of beautiful wool felt in there too. This is Pat S’s vest.
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Trish is using the grey ombre fabric that I made my very first “Off the Grid Vest” I really like how different color ways that are sewn on top look so different and so good.This ombre is available at Christine Barnes’ website. She’s out right now (hmm… I wonder why?). It should be back in beginning of October.  DSC_0962

You can’t really see it to well but Pat S. is using one color for the background on her vest fronts (they have all the extra, colorful pieces)on one side and a different one on the other side. DSC_0850

Oh my gosh. On the last morning, Trish had FINISHED her vest! Fantastic! Looks so good Trish.DSC_1039

On Thursday early evening, I took this shot outside the dining room. It has the same colors as Trish’s vest. Yummy. DSC_1046

Busy, busy, are my “minions.” O.K., you just had to be there. It was all in good fun. What a wonderful team of ladies I had. They gave me some great ideas which I will be passing along on another post of “Off The Grid” vest ideas.

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Sylvia added an extra detail across the upper back of her gorgeous vest. Her colors reminded me of the deep blue sea and gems that you see hidden in the depths. She used a beautiful batik for her background fabric. DSC_0978

I have more to share with you but enough for now. I have to get ready for a “gig” tomorrow in Roseville. I hope I can get some pictures. Christine is the main speaker but I was asked to bring my patterns and clothing to model and sell patterns. This is for ASG (American Sewing Guild) and the main emphasis is clothing. Love that.

Have a creative weekend. Get your “Off The Grid Vest” pattern on Craftsy.com or email me  at hmemmett@gmail.com and I can send you one. Hugs, Heidi

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Check Out My FIRST Rectangle Designs!

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I am cleaning, cleaning! Look what I found. My Heidi doll by Remco, from 1964. I was so excited to get her! I was 8 years old and in the 4th grade (O.K., O.K., I’m 58!!). Mom gave up on the toy sewing machine that Christmas and let me go directly to the pink colored “Wizard,” Brother sewing machine.DSC_0583

There it is my first couture collection for “Heidi” circa 1964. DSC_0586

Check out all the RECTANGLES! Truly, I have come FULL circle with my “Off The Grid” vest pattern (all rectangles). I was into blue felt and I so remember cutting little slits for armholes. The pink object is a clutch!DSC_0587

I learned how to knit that year. I was in Mrs. Valley’s 4th grade class and I would bring my knitting to class! I’ll never forget (I guess our class was extra difficult), she told us she was going back to kindergarten. Ha, ha, she got my little brother!!! the next year in her Kindergarten class.  I loved her though.Check out the rockin’ rick rack? It was all the rage then. DSC_0588

Burlap, REALLY? Sack cloth? No, no, no, It was my answer to linen. And linen is my absolute favorite fabric to work with and to wear today. And satin and lace, I love lace. I am getting ready to cut out and sew up an all different laces in my best selling pattern, “Whisper Blouse.”
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I bet Kate Spade DID NOT make a pink clutch with mother of pearl closure and contrasting red stitching when she was 8 years old. I was sooooo way ahead of my time!

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Love those rectangles and love my “Off The Grid” Vest pattern. Check it out at Craftsy.com
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Let’s Take A Moment…

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…to remember friends. I am remembering Dee Jones. I had known her for at least 40 years. What a talented (in all things fiber, and life in general) woman. She was one of the first to sign up for my workshop at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat #1 last year. She was 88 years young and kept up with all the others even with eye problems. God bless you Dee, and these restful pictures of a Lake Tahoe Sunset I took on June 11th, the day you left us, were taken in your honor.

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DSC_0375The Delta Queen coming into Zephyr Cove.

When packing for our one week volunteering stint at the “Bear Necessities Gift Shop”  at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center (same place we have Artistic Alchemy Retreats), I brought no less than TEN (10), yes, ten projects to work on in our off hours. That doesn’t count the cool things I bought at the FOUR (4), yes, four thrift shops on the way up to Zephyr Point.
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While walking from group to group that was up there to advertise our Frozen Yogurt, I arrived at Sandra Mollin and Kevin Kosbab’s Applique’ retreat. Ohhh my! Go to their websites (use their names). Beautiful creations going on there. And of course, I bought some of this butterfly fabric. I have already cut out some butterflies from the edge.

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and began to tuck them under some of the “Grunge” and “Peppered cottons” I bought from their store too. Hello to all the wonderful ladies I met, Helen, Diane, to name a few. DSC_0380And check out (no pun intended)the Robert Kaufman ombre’ checks I also found, here in Grass Valley, the day after I got home.  I wanted you to see how I pick and choose for a quilting project.DSC_0578DSC_0311

Yep, the Grunge, Peppered Cottons, and Butterflies will be perfect for another Off The Grid Vest. My pattern has been selling well in spite of a lack of marketing on my part. Craftsy.com makes me such an International Success. What fun! You can buy my patterns there or email me, hmemmett@gmail.com and I can send you a pattern through the mail instead of PDF format.

DSC_0433We did NOT want to come home from Tahoe as it was sooo HOT the closer we got to Grass Valley. I was refreshed though as I picked a bowl of fresh blueberries from my mom’s yard and turned a bit to look at her gorgeous Hydrangeas. Blueberries forgotten, for just a little while, I snapped a few pictures for you to enjoy. Can’t you just feel the coolness of the early evening wash over you?

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DSC_0418DSC_0450DSC_0449I have so many ” in progress projects” I could show you, but those aren’t fun to look at. I want you to see FINISHED projects.

These flowers are inspiring though. Color ideas, shapes, all combining to form another creative project. So get busy everyone. I am taking a week off, as I am going on a little vacation. Of course, I will take projects with me, maybe those 10 I talked about earlier since I was too tired by the end of each day at the gift shop to work on them!! Hugs, Heidi

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.”

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

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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?

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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.

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And closer still.  God is omniscient.

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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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Off The Grid Vest Pattern, The vest that Everyone is Talking About!

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Thank you to everyone who has purchased “Off the Grid” my newest pattern! I have had such wonderful comments too, on line and in person and I have sold “OTG” to people in the U.K., USA, and New Zealand! Remember, if you ever have any questions, I am just an email away- hmemmett@gmail.com

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Yes, I’m showing even MORE pictures of Off the Grid, BUT, notice the piece of bling too. I love  this gorgeous turquoise and silver necklace.

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My friend, Lila Sugg put this together for ME!!!! I think it is a perfect compliment to my Off the Grid vest. Lila used to come in to Heidi’s fabrics (yep, that was my store for 16 years) and show us her latest creations. People, Lila is in her early 90’s and STILL creates amazing, AMAZING, things, quilts, dolls, rugs, clothing… and jewelry! Lila, I want to be just like you when I am in my 90’s, Lord willing I ever get there.

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Well guess what? YOU can own a turquoise necklace similar to this one (mine is one of a kind) because the turquoise isn’t really real turquoise, these gorgeous chunks are made from potatoes. That’s right, Russet Potatoes!

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And in the beautifully wrapped box that held my necklace is the “recipe” for A Potato Necklace. Lila said I could pass it on to all of you:

Potato Necklace—Use Russet potatoes. Peel and cut into 1/2″ pieces (round off). Put small holes in some (for a realistic stone look when dry). Make a hole in the potato piece with a small knitting needle. Leave on the knitting needle to dry. It takes three days or more in the hot sun. Paint with acrylic black paint first. Then with “Desert Turquoise.” You may add a little green. Make necklace and add silver beads. Have fun. Lila

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I didn’t forget, the winner of my giveaway of an Off The Grid Vest pattern is:  Cathy Stone! Thank you to all who submitted a comment. Cathy, email me (address at the top of post) so I can get one to you.

Everything is coming out in my “country garden.” This is another way of saying I really, really, need to get in there and divide and conquer the weeds and over grown things. Oh well, I’ll do that tomorrow. I’ll enjoy these beautiful peonies today. Enjoy all creativity you get to see and be a part of. Hugs, Heidi

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“Off the Grid” Vest Pattern, has been Published! You can buy it NOW!

 

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First, I want to thank the good ladies and gentleman at the Loomis Fiber and Quilt Guild. It was their invitation to me to come and do a Trunk Show at their monthly meeting that spurred me on to get going on getting this vest pattern published. What a fun group and good time we had this past Wednesday. P.S., the guild is having their Quilt Show this weekend, April 18th & 19th, so if you live near Loomis, CA (right off interstate 80) plan to attend and what a beautiful weekend for a show too.

I really have a winner of a design. Long and thin rectangles everywhere give the feeling that you too are taller and thinner! In the pattern, read honest accounts from 7 women of all shapes and heights who tried on the vest. And just 5 minutes ago (I’m serious here), a neighbor came to my house(to drop off papers) and I made her try Off the Grid on. Fran is 5′ 1″ tall and very tiny. She thought she would swim in it. I folded the collar way back and other than putting a button or pin on the front to close it, it looked FABULOUS on her. It really is a miracle garment.

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Drop me a note at  hmemmett@gmail.com and I can send you one in the mail, $14.00 includes tax and shipping. Overseas ladies and anyone else who want to, can buy it via Craftsy  for $9.95 (you will download 8 pages).  To view gobs more pictures, go to my new header in the menu bar up above, titled, Off The Grid Vest. So many more pictures on there that I could not put into the pattern itself.

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Remember, “Off the Grid” is the second in a series of patterns made with simple shapes that YOU will draw following my easy directions. Off The Grid is made up of only 4 rectangles! And remember, I will absolutely get you started on a vest or make a “skinny mini” wall hanging from this cool set of techniques in my workshop “Art to Wear, Art on the Wall, ”  at Zephyr Point at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, Sept. 7-11, 2015. I hope to see you there.

I am so excited to get this out into the wearable art world and am doing a giveaway. Comment on this post and I will enter your name in a drawing for your very own Off The Grid vest pattern. I will announce the winner next Friday. I wont be able to post all your comments as I will be madly working on my next pattern in the que. Thank you sooooo much for visiting me today on my blog. I do appreciate it, more than you know.

Enjoy this beautiful weather and your lawn, and such before we can’t water it any more (those of us who live in CA). Until next week….. CREATE! Hugs, Heidi

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