Tag Archives: Designs by Heidi @ Craftsy.com

My “Mini-Me-Vacation”—Part One!

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

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

 

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

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

Here they are in white. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ice Dying – WOW!!!- What Fun!!

by Heidi Emmett

Happy Thanksgiving weekend. I think Thanksgiving should be worldwide. At the very least, the Thankful part. We all much to be thankful for. So be thankful every single day. Your spirits will be lifted, guaranteed!

I had two dear friends who happen to be sisters come down from Portland, Oregon recently. I was told we would be trying Ice Dying. Well as good as is looked, dying fabric is one area I have not explored. Too messy, too much work, too much time, blah, blah, blah….

Well, the title of this post says it all! Below are some pictures of this pretty darn fun process. Enjoy.

The tension is high as the surgeons (well, Debbie gave that away with her shiny BBQ apron) not, get ready to work. Linda on the left and her sister Karenanne in the middle. ice-dying-4

“I’m certain this is the way to do it!” Linda says as she eyes her phone for the umpteenth time!  Here is the simplified version of Ice Dying: Prepare your off-white or white fabric (natural fibers) in Soda ash. Wring it out and scrunch it onto an open rack (like a cookie cooling rack). Pack ice on top. Sprinkle dry powder dye on top of the ice. Allow ice to melt and then rinse out excess dye. Hang to dry.

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Below is Linda’s dye job. Please note there are several crunched up pieces of fabric under all that ice.

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Below is a piece from one section. Yowzaa! We call it Poppies- popalicious!
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Below left is that section of Linda’s ice (really scrunched up area yields more white space) with yellow in it. Bold and beautiful. dsc_0696

Same fabric below, but different lighting. dsc_0697

Below is Heidi’s  ice with much more of the yellow and red and orange powder. ice-dying-8

Can you even believe it? Mine is the silk piece on the left and the pink textured cotton 2nd from the right. dsc_0701

Same picture in different lighting. I would say the coloring below is very much what they look like when dry.  I’m going to see if there is enough of the heavier cotton piece to make the body of a Zephyr Jacket (one of my newest Art to Wear patterns with actual tissue pieces). dsc_0704

Karenanne ( the minimalist in the group!) I can only show you the chunk on the right as she took the other piece home with her to show off to her husband. ice-dying-6

Stunning!!!! This is a piece of 100% rayon. dsc_0708

Another close up view. dsc_0709

O.K. here is the last “ice.” Debbie did this one and I have to say I took this picture and thought, “Yikes,will this even turn out? The dye is so jumbled, the colors will blend too much. I think I see brown forming already.”( I already told Debbie this so it’s o.k. to say it here ha, ha).
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Wellll…everyone, I saved the BEST for last! Unbeknownst to me, Debbie had tied her wet piece with string here and there before adding the ice and dye. Scroll back up to her ice mess, I mean REALLY? Now back down. It has such a wow factor. I love all the others but they have a more serendipitous look (except maybe Linda’s Popolicious Poppies). Debbie’s looks so purposeful and rich.

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Thanks for stopping by this post today. My next adventure with Ice Dying will be with my Artistic Alchemy “teaching buds!” I’ll post again when that happens. Hmmm… maybe right after it snows, then it is called, “Snow dying!” Have a creative week and don’t forget to visit me on Craftsy, Instagram, and Pinterest!! Hugs, Heidi

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Oscar De La Renta at The de Young Museum, San Francisco

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Greetings everyone from the Oscar de la Renta Extravaganza held in the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California. A passion flower is my feature photo as I am Passionate about great fashion designers and their collective works. There is so much to see that I will post again this weekend. Let’s GO!20160419_121644

We are so excited to see this that we were shaking with excitement. Here is Patty, our intrepid leader and getting this day together for all us. 20160419_134033

Let’s try this again, we are HERE! Now let’s go in. 20160419_134145

These pictures were all taken with my four year old Samsung phone so apologies in advance if any fall short of perfect. Pics were allowed as long as the flash was off.

A hush fell over everyone as we traveled through the large entrance doors into the inner sanctum. This ensemble immediately caught my eye (must have been the bling). Late 60’s and yes, the coat is clear plastic and encrusted with large rhinestones. 20160419_123741

Gold painted feathers cover this lovely top with a lame’ skirt. I would love to know how and what paint was applied.
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This embroidered day dress was in the same room as the top 2.  It was whetting our appetites for what lay ahead. 20160419_123959

All hand embroidered of course. 20160419_132656

Stunned is a good word to use when I walked into the next two rooms. They were filled with exquisite evening gowns, many owned and worn by the likes of Anna Wintour, Nancy Reagan, Annette de la Renta and many others. This first gown closest to you is from Annette’s own collection (and rightly so, all of hers were some of my favs.) Her gown is  heavily embroidered and beaded, all by hand. 20160419_124352

Caftans never go out of style. I’ll take one of these. 20160419_124955

This room held dresses inspired by “Gardens.” Oscar was an avid gardener himself. The dress you see in this garden shot and the arm of another were used in a Vogue magazine for a photo shoot and I think the cover. No one wore them anywhere else. How sad.

I enjoyed the “paper leaves” that lined several walls evocative of a walk in a garden. The leaves remind me of an Anthropologie window display.

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One of Oscar’s later gowns, 2011. So elegant and easy to look at.20160419_131208

Heavy satin ribbon rouching on these fanciful spirals. The gown itself, silk velvet. 20160419_131201

Love the cut of this long coat. 20160419_132006

The long lean cut of the vest below, HEY! wait a minute, that’s my Off The Grid vest pattern. It’s not an Oscar de la Renta, but I love it all the same. It transforms anyone who puts it on, the Magic Vest. By it at Craftsy.com/ sewing patterns/Designsbyheidi. Down load all the instructions via pdf format. Create 4 rectangle pieces from my instructions for this one of a kind vest. It’s Art to Wear!

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Or buy a hard copy from me: email me at hmemmett@gmail.com DSC_0316

I’m offering to help you create your own Off The Grid from start to finish in my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe this Sept. 5th-9th. Go to Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com to learn all the details. DSC_0570 DSC_0595 20160420_124954

Be passionate about whatever you are creating. More from Oscar de la Renta coming this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

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For Valentine’s Day….What will this Heart become?

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It is so fun to pull out all my pretty, Valentine colored, Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Cut a bunch of 4 – 5 inch squares. DSC_0159

Using a 5″ piece of cardboard, fold it in half and draw half a heart next to the fold line.
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Put all your squares together with 2 different pieces together, right sides up (stripes are woven so either way). Trace your heart onto the top piece of fabric. DSC_0165

Set stitch length to 10-12 stitches per inch and starting INSIDE the drawn line, follow the drawn line. When you get back to where you started, just sew to the inside a few stitches and start a new heart shape. DO NOT SEW PERFECTLY concentric circles. DSC_0183

Here’s a better view. This is supposed to be quick and easy so sew like your having fun!DSC_0182

Using your seam ripper, gently, oh so gently, coax the two fabrics apart and rip a hole just big enough to get your smaller pair of scissors into.
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Do NOT cut through both layers. You want the back piece to show through. This isn’t my best cutting work, because I sewed the different heart sizes too close together. By the time you sew all that you want, you will be a pro. And don’t forget to cut off the outside black line. What a dumb thing for me to say. Of COURSE you would cut it off.  DSC_0187

Isn’t it pretty on (#GP 109 Pink). Where are the cool Kaffe names? Oh well. DSC_0192

I had to take one more shot without the flash. Not a bad look for 6:30a.m. DSC_0196

So what will it become? The front of a potholder? A pin? How about gluing it on a card, or make a little pin cushion (I don’t know about that one; pins sticking in the heart? not a pretty picture)? Whatever you decide to make, “Make it up, make it fun, and GET IT DONE!”  Happy Valentines Day everyone and HUGS from Heidi

P.S. You can see other items I have made with this technique (I call it “Layered and Shaped Appliques,” in the blog post archives. Aarggghh! I NEED to categorize them still. Well…when you have some time, scroll through, I think all my posts are pretty good.

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

 

The First Hard Freeze! And a Crochet Piece.

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I got up one morning a couple of weeks ago. As I stood in front of my kitchen sink (with my first cup of coffee, yum, yum) I looked out on a world of amazing reds. Each leaf was lit from behind, bathed in a beautiful red glow. And this was taken through the window! DSC_1614

And even more colorful outside on the deck. This tree is a Japanese Maple that I rescued from the throw-away pile at my brother’s wholesale nursery. It was in a one gallon container and was a Charlie Brown tree. This is the tree 27 years later. This is the best fall color I can ever remember on it. So glad I rescued it. DSC_1640

I nearly killed myself walking onto the back deck for the Maple tree shots. Ice everywhere!! And I was slip sliding away!DSC_1636

Big drops of water that had pooled together and frozen.
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I love the white frost that outlines each leaf. It was so strange. Within two hours of the sun being out leaves started falling. The Walnut trees that were FILLED with beautiful golden leaves, rained down all morning. I thought that I must take a picture of all the gold on the ground. I’ll wait until there is a golden carpet. I went out a few hours later and every single golden leaf was an ugly brown! DSC_1623

It really got COLD.  O.K., this entire post was to be devoted to my very fun crocheted piece. But I want to give you the pattern for it too, and I need an hour or two to figure out what I did! Ha, ha. I love this piece and am ready to make one in blues. So here is a sneak peak: DSC_1412

The colors really remind me of the Japanese Maple tree at the top of the post. Not to worry. I will figure it out and post about it in case you want to make one of your own. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. A reminder: Artistic Alchemy will post the middle of January all the details of all the workshops. Sign ups are limited. I would love to see you at Zephyr Point in my workshop next year. We always have a good time. AND you will leave with a one of a kind,  FINISHED “Art to Wear” piece of your very own.

It’s the 4th of July! Let’s Celebrate!

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For the 4th of July, I want to honor Betsy Ross. It took a WOMAN to bring a symbol of this GREAT COUNTRY to fruition. Of all the symbols known around the world, our beautiful flag is more recognized than anything else. DSC_0282

Please visit http://www.ColonialWilliamsburg.com and read “The Truth About Betsy Ross” by Ed Crews. Here is an excerpt from his writings that speaks to who might have made that first American Flag so long ago:

The first hint that she did, however, did not surface nationally until almost a century after America declared independence from England. In 1870, her grandson, William Canby, told her story publicly for the first time, delivering a paper titled “The History of the Flag of the United States” to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. According to Canby, Ross’s involvement with the flag began in 1776, a year before Congress passed its first flag resolution. He wrote:

Sitting sewing in her shop one day with her girls around her, several gentlemen entered. She recognized one of these as the uncle of her deceased husband, Col. George Ross, a delegate from Pennsylvania to Congress. She also knew the handsome form and features of the dignified, yet graceful and polite Commander in Chief, who, while he was yet Colonel Washington had visited her shop both professionally and socially many times, (a friendship caused by her connection with the Ross family) they announced themselves as a committee of congress, and stated that they had been appointed to prepare a flag, and asked her if she thought she could make one, to which she replied, with her usual modesty and self reliance, that “she did not know but she could try; she had never made one but if the pattern were shown to her she had not doubt of her ability to do it.”

The committee produced a conceptual drawing. Seamstress Ross did not like the design and suggested improvements. Washington agreed with her, grabbed a pencil, and revised the drawing. Canby did not know what these changes were with one exception. The drawing showed six-pointed stars; seamstress Ross reportedly wanted five points. The committee members said they took too much effort. Canby wrote:

“Nothing easier” was her prompt reply and folding a piece of paper in the proper manner, with one clip of her ready scissors she quickly displayed to their astonished vision the five pointed star; which accordingly took its place in the national standard.

According to the story, things moved swiftly from there. She made a prototype flag. The committee liked it. Congress approved it. And the Philadelphia seamstress became a flag maker for the fledgling nation. Colonel Ross fronted the operation, supplying a £100 advance for materials. Canby’s tale struck a responsive chord among Americans. They loved Washington’s role in the story as well as Ross’s character—an engaging mix of can-do spirit, common sense, and homespun ability.

By 1873, the Betsy Ross story was appearing in national journals. In 1909, Canby’s brother and nephew published a book, The Evolution of the American Flag. That volume cemented widow Ross’s place in the public mind.

Oh the beautiful Red, White, & Blue. So, get out your flags and show them off. Last time I looked we STILL live in the land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE! And God, please, show your Grace on these, The United States of America!    Hugs, Heidi

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