Tag Archives: DesignsbyHeidi sewing patterns at my Etsy Store

How my Pattern, “Off The Grid Came to Be.”

5 power shutoffs,because of Wildfire danger, in under 5 weeks. 2 in one week. Learning to cope, bought a generator. WE DO HAVE OUR HOME! So, gratitude, gratitude. Thank you Lord for your watchcare over us. We did evacuate last Sunday afternoon. We live in the Grass Valley, CA area. It wasn’t mandatory, but a fire was started (someone who is homeless) and in 45 mile an hour gusts we wanted to get out. We have “Go” bags, the whole bit. My 88 yr. young mother lives on our property in her little Granny house. Went to get her and her “Go” bag and sigh….she had put everything back (when the rains started last Nov.) SIGH…….Our “Go” time ended up being 20 minutes (we’re working on getting that time waaay down). Thank God it turned out to be a practice run… but I tell you all this because I don’t care where you live, GET A GO BAG together, escape routes, and designated ways to be in contact. Your life could depend on it! All right, enough of the somber stuff. I am so backlogged with “stuff” for my business that I pulled a post out of the archives.

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.

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

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

Skirt-Upcycling! By HEIDI EMMETT

 

by Heidi Emmett:

Upcycling is SO FUN!! If you have been hesitant to get on board with it, today I’m going to show you a great project you could start with. First we need some inspiration.

Found this on Pinterest. I LOVE the way a beautiful dressy lace was paired with denim.

For me, Going to the Thrift shop is all about the fabric. I often buy a garment JUST for the fabric. This silk printed fabric is so great next to the denim in this skirt. Notice the top stitching on the denim and how it brings the fabric and denim together.

I like how this is a wrap skirt with interesting features on the front of the skirt.

THIS IS THE ONE! My skirt is so small that opening it up and adding pieces here and there like this skirt will make mine a perfect wrap skirt.

My thrifted skirt was so small but I loved the embroidery and the ragged hem, (the embroidery is the reason I purchased it, I new it would NEVER fit me as is.

The embroidery is machine done, but great colors and design.
O.K., snip, snip, snip! I cut it open all the way at the side seam opposite the embroidery.
Don’t forget to check out my cool slip on canvas tennis shoes. OF COURSE they are leopard. Remember, I said that Leopard is hot, HOT this season (in my humble opinion, Leopard anything is hot in any season).These are by Blowfish.  And so comfy almost right away.
I needed some other pieces to add on. Found this lovely woven piece in my stash. I decided to add a piece of fleece (try The Warm Company, made in the USA)  and a batik to the back of this woven.  And when I had to fish a spool of thread out of my trash bag, I found this perfectly colored piece of wool yarn.
I quilted my fabric “sandwich” together with different colored threads in an up and back motion that would show off the pattern of the fabric.
Arranging “stuff” to see if I can use some, all, or none. This is the fun part. Not sure about what you might pick out. “Test” them out as I did, by placing everything on the background of the starting skirt. Take a few pictures and look at your items objectively, through a camera lens.
Oh yes, I want this yarn and felt it down with my machine felter (mine is a Husky Star by Huskavarna). Check my past posts on “Fun Felting” to learn more.
It’s perfect.
The back side of this felted yarn is  pretty too.

It’s getting close to being finished. Think about which side you will add your quilted fabric piece to. How wide does it really need to be,and  how much of a wrap do you want? Maybe you will want to add more pieces than just the one as I did? All questions that will need answering and remember, it’s never wrong. Add something to it or cut it off and start again. I LOVE upcycling.
Check out my off-centered (ON PURPOSE, to reduce bulk, and I like how it looks) upcycled skirt. It is truly one-of-a-kind, just the way my clothing needs to be.
Maybe, I might add something else to this skirt. But right now it’s perfect as is.
Isn’t this fun! I am pairing this skirt with a red turtleneck, dark gray leggings, and my cool leopard tennies.

Upcycling is so freeing. As I said, you can do nothing wrong. I teach the upcycling portion of my workshop at the Artistic Alchemy retreat, on the first day. It’s a great warming up exercise to get your brain to start thinking outside the box and get you ready to work on one of my “ART TO WEAR” patterns later in the week. Please visit my Etsy store: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett/sewing patterns, to get an idea of the sewing patterns I sell. Next years Artistic Alchemy Retreat is Sept. 7-11th. It’s not too early to be thinking about it. All the information for our 2020 retreat comes out the beginning of February.

Fall at Pope Beach at South Shore Lake Tahoe, Oct. 2017. Notice how faaaarrrr out you can see the beach. It was the height of our drought. This year, same color in the trees, but the water comes all the way up now, within a foot or two of the railing.
An Aspen tree at waters’ edge of Zephyr Point Conference Center.
A storm is moving in to Zephyr Point in October. Foaming spray and big white caps.
Color trees are everywhere on the grounds of Zephyr Point. It is a great place to visit any time of the year (they do keep all roads on the grounds plowed when it snows), but fall is my favorite.

Thanks for stopping by and maybe check out your favorite Thrift shop this week (I love thrifting because your money goes to so many different great causes) and you find FABULOUS STUFF!! It’s a win, win!

I leave you with a quote: Be decisive. Right or wrong, make a decision. The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn’t make a decision. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. Follow me – DesignsbyHeidiEmmett on Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indigo Dying – WHAT FUN!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Love Pats! You Need to Make Some!

A Love Pat is a heart shaped piece of warm love to place where it hurts. Make a pattern first. Fold a piece of paper in half (we will draw half of the heart around the fold). Make a pencil point 4 3/4″ from the fold. This is the roundest part of the heart shape. Make another dot on the fold ,about an inch above the roundest part. Measure down 5″ on the fold and make another pencil dot. Now, sketch from dot to dot the heart shape. When you are happy with the 1/2 of a heart shape cut it out.

Pin your paper heart shape to some fun quilting cotton weight fabric , 2 pieces right, sides together and cut it out. But wait! Don’t forget to add a 1/4″ seam allowance. Cut out the exact shape again from 2 pieces of flannel. Add a piece of flannel on either side of the fun fabric, on the wrong side. Look at the picture above and stitch all the way around the heart, leaving about a 3″ opening on one side.
Carefully clip the inside of the heart shape right to the seam.  Turn the heart inside out and gently work out the heart shape and the heart point. This is the point when the first half of the heart is filled, with, ta da!, uncooked rice.
Find a small funnel or make one out of paper and you will also need a 1/3 cup measuring piece.

I use rice in my “Love Pats.” The more expensive the rice like Jasmine, or Basmati, the lovelier the aroma when it is heated up. Dried lavender can also be added.
Please ignore the seam you can see in the picture. Pretend it isn’t there. Add the 1/3 cup of rice. Then pick up the heart and let the rice fall to the side opposite the opening.
Now you can stitch it down the middle. Make certain that ALL the rice is out of the way of the needle (voice of experience talking here). Now you can fill the OTHER side of the heart (would that be the right ventricle? hmm….) and hand stitch the opening closed.
Finished “Love Pats” ready for their homes. It makes me happy to use Kaffe Fassett cottons.

I just got back from a wonderful 4 day trip to the central coast area of California, San Juan Bautista. The trip was ALL sewing, ALL Day & Night (if you wanted). Here are some stunning Oak Trees from one of my walks.

Can you see the support for some of the branches? These Oaks have to be about 100 years old.

What a pastoral scene.
Step a few feet forward and this scene, wild mustard, green velvet hills, puffy clouds, and a rainbow are what you see. So serene… I could sit and enjoy for hours.
I took my Love Pats to this sewing event and gave one to each participant. My little gift to them.

Any natural fabric will work. Do you have a special piece of embroidery? Or a handwoven? Or even a tightly knitted piece (maybe from a cashmere sweater). Try those for a Love Pat.
Pop them in the microwave for no more than 70 seconds. The smaller amount of rice is just perfect to mold across a shoulder, back of a neck, even on a tummy. Ahhhh…just right.
You know how it is, lay things out and “They Will Come.” (Don’t worry ladies, I lint-rollered each one so there is no cat fur to be found. Aarrggh….

Thank you for stopping by. I love each one of you, all my followers and appreciate your support. Big hugs to you all, Heidi  P.S.     ” Love is not an emotion, it is who we are.” Rumi via my new friend, Annie from the sewing retreat.

Follow me on Instagram- DesignsbyHeidiEmmett And don’t forget to check out Artistic Alchemy Retreat to see what’s happening this September at Lake Tahoe. 

“Poochie.”

All I had on hand were a couple of safety pins when thinking about attaching a special collaged pet portrait to a piece of clothing, So….let’s take a look.

I already had the Donna Karan coat.

I purchased “Poochie” from Jane Haworth, a teacher at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat each fall at Lake Tahoe. Check out what Jane does, here. And Poochie hung around my house for months (I didn’t want to frame him) and then one day I had an idea, put him on a piece of clothing! I couldn’t find my pincushion to pin him on the jacket, BUT, I had a safety pin. Well, well, one thing led to another and I got together some other supplies ….            Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com 

I grabbed my Serger. I absolutely LOVE, did I say it loud enough, LOVE!! my Baby Lock Imagine. It’s the only serger on the market that “air sucks” the thread through the upper and lower loopers! Do you have any idea the time that saves?  I found mine on Ebay, used, for half the price of a new one. I couldn’t be happier. Oh dear, I spy lots of lint down low. Time to clean.

Here is my other “cool tool.” It’s called a “Crop-A-Dial.” It is a 6″ long reach hole punch, eyelet, snap and grommet setter.

The packaging might have changed (I’ve had mine about 10 years). It can punch through, paper, leather, fabric, plastic, thin tin, chipboard and more.

And bam, bam, eyelets in!
These circles would make cute earrings too! Hmm…but for now, I’m using safety pins and attaching them to more fabric .
Stitch two circles together, wrong sides together, sew they are the same on both sides. And just cut them out. You can stitch just inside the outside of the circle. But, it’s mostly on the bias so there will be very little fraying.
I serged the edges of the same fabric for a fun look.
I top-stitched them onto the cuff and added a few safety pins too.

I’m having so much fun, serging, knotting, and pinning other pieces of fabric together. It really is freeing to try new and different things. There doesn’t have to be a particular way to do anything! I used a few Marcia Derse fabrics for some of the tails.
Check out the bicycle pin made from wire and attached with, what else, a safety pin.
There are just a few touches of safety pins on the front. By the time someone says, “Wait a minute, are those safety pins on that jacket?” Well, they’ll turn around and see the back.
Poochie will really garner some attention! My husband calls the long strips below Poochie, “doggie tails.” I just call them fun.
I want to challenge YOU to find a fun way to use safety pins (Walmart carries the best safety pins for the best price). Show me what you can do. I already have a vest in mind for more safety pins. It’s the perfect watch a movie project. Ouch, don’t watch the movie too closely.

I think this is just the right amount of “stuff” to add to this simple jacket, check out my other blog posts too at: DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com
What’s in the pocket there. A little burlap bag.
If you like what you see here, please take a look here. This is just one way to upcycle  and it is just part of the workshop that I teach at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, this Sept. When you click on (please take a look here)it will go directly to our home page. In the menu bar click on “workshops” and scroll down and read what each of us four teachers  are doing this Sept. 2nd-6th up at gorgeous Lake Tahoe .  And people, WE ARE RIGHT ON THE LAKE! We have the multi, multi-million dollar views AND we are usually the only group up there. The retreat starts on Labor Day.
I took some shots outside and discovered these sweet violets growing in the lawn. Heralding Spring.

So you saw my little burlap bag?  I’m thinking that when I wear this jacket and people are in need of a safety pin, I will carry extras in my little bag to pass around. Ha, ha.  Information on the safety pin: It was invented by Walter Hunt in 1848. Paleontologists would estimate that some form of safety pin or another had been around since the Neolithic Period. Yet somehow man had never got it right until Walter. A single factory today turns out a billion safety pins a year. WOW!  Hugs, blessings, and creative sewing time to all, Heidi

Hocus Pocus, Heidi, for Pete’s Sake, WOULD YOU FOCUS!

Accckk! The ideas, the projects are coming so fast and furiously I NEED to stand STILL and FOCUS!  Lot’s to cover this week so here we go:

I just posted a few hours ago on Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com that next week, on February 1st we “Go Live” on our latest, greatest, Artistic Alchemy Retreat. It will be our 6th year. Check it out (after reading this one), there is some good information about the retreat posted today. Below are Mary, Heidi, Jane, and Sandra of Artistic Alchemy! And a nice shot on the lawn that leads down to Lake Tahoe at Zephyr Point where we hold the retreat.

 

 

 

On to the next project. The weather has been rainy and cold and gloomy. Perfect to take classes at the local bead shop, right? I showed you my metal smithed earrings a few weeks ago.  Well, right after that class, a week later, I took a wrapped bracelet class. Alas, not quite finished but almost. It’s on the clipboard below. Crystals with black leather with the thinnest super strong thread I’ve ever seen. No, let me rephrase that, I COULDN’T SEE IT! Then the teacher showed me the COOLEST TOOL EVER!  Check it out below. It’s a light (led),magnifier, magnet , all in one. Oh my gosh. Happy camper now. I will show you the finished product (wrapped bracelet soon). You need this tool, it’s called a Mighty Bright.

I was rummaging for something in my attic studio space just yesterday (can’t even remember what I was looking for at first (yes, it’s getting really bad in my brain)) when I came across this AMAZING piece of embroidery. Yep, I found it at a Thrift shop years ago. It was a chair seat cushion. I removed all the red, yes red velveteen piping and part of the cushion, carefully hand washed it and WOW, it is such a stunning piece and I want to do it justice so there it sits, while I try to figure out the best possible project for it. 

Focus, focus. I bought this stunning canvas from Mary Boalt last May at our quilt show. Well, well, I finally got up the nerve to cut out an Off The Grid Vest yesterday. Acckk, sometimes as you have ALL experienced, the “timid factor” was alive and well for months with this one. 

I went to a Gem and Mineral show this past October. Now that was an expensive 2 hours. I purchased so many polished pieces of Agate for closure ideas for this same vest(I couldn’t decide so why not get a whole bunch? Acck…) 

Deciding where to cut, there went another few hours. Back and forth. Go walk a few laps and come back to look at it again. Sigh…..

Oh my gosh, I got a gift certificate to Joann’s in my stocking and picked up (also spent waaaaay over that gift certificate)this super cool “scuba” fabric. It feels and looks (except for the diamond cutouts) like a scuba diving suit fabric. Well not as thick. It will be perfect for the sides and back of Off The Grid vest.  

Oh yes, here are those pieces on the panel. Not as sharp of picture as I wanted, but you get the idea. 

I pulled out all the “blacks” I thought might look good as the trim on Off The Grid…hm…which one to choose. Hands down “Grunge” in black is the best! Yikes, whaaat!  I’m down to 1/4 of a yard! That will not work. Oh what a shame. I have to dash over to our newest quilt shop in town, Villa Rosa Desgins. She sells every single Grunge color they make. I have to dash. I WILL SHOW a FINISHED project very soon. I promise.

Here is a Picture of Off The Grid Vest, a pattern by me, Designs by Heidi. Email me at hmemmett@gmail. com for more information on how to get your own pattern.

 

Thanks for stopping by. Get going on some of your own creativity this week. Hugs, Heidi

My Off The Grid Vest Pattern-Everyone’s been talking about it!

Happy After Thanksgiving. 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  And read more about this “miracle” vest (the sizing and how it fits). Go to my archives under, Off The Grid Vest.

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine Barnes.Check out her website here. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ (a blended gray quilting cotton) 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 did ask them first), and put them on my design board and began to think.

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Later, Christine said she was doing a lecture at the E.E. Schenck Trends Show (a show for shop owners from all the Western states in Porland, OR). Since Schenck sells the grey background fabric Christine had used in her quilt.  She said to me, hey, that vest idea you had Heidi, that would be great. I’ll take that to show at the show too, so we can get your name out there. O.K.,I said. That sounds good, when is the show? 

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!  And I did go and presented in March of 2018. It was a blast. Please visit my blog posts (archives again or by date, 3/23/18 & 3/30/18) about my Trunk Show at Trends!

Day Tripping with some Creativity Mixed In!

Perfect fall temperatures make for some great “day tripping.”  Our first this past week was a hike up highway 20 , starting 5 miles outside Nevada City, CA. I had no idea that there are so MANY trails right off the highway. Look how “red” the soil is. It’s like that all over the county. That’s my husband, our son, and his dog.

The view below (or ones similar) kept popping up on our hike. We are at 4,000 ft. looking northwest. Finished our 5 mile hike and ended up at Ol’ Republic Roadhouse. What great food and many types of locally brewed beer to choose from.  Good food and drink is essential when hiking.

The next day, we were off to Downieville. You might remember that I showed some pictures about this time last year of the same town(check my post from 10/13/17). It’s a gold rush town 50 miles from Grass Valley, CA on highway 49.  What a fabulous day, soaking in the sites, sounds, and yummies available to eat. 

The buildings, most of them, are over a hundred years old. Love the stonework on the side.

A HUGE area for Mountain Biking.

Remember this vest? It is my newest Terrific Tabard vest. Check it out in my  7/13/18  blog post  titled Guest Blog post for Needle and Foot. 

For the colorful panel on the side front, go to Marcia Derse fabrics to order. It is from her Treasure Hunt collection. For the beautiful Linen window pane fabric (front side and back), go to Needle and Foot (Etsy store)

I had to wear it to Downieville this year. 

Check out this cool fence. Turns out the owner of the house (just over the bridge (with the star on it) and the “ski” fence owns the Tin Thimble in Loomis, CA. They sell some of my patterns there. ( check out the post I did about The Tin Thimble,  8/17/18 ). I showed the ski fence last year too, but I love it so much, you needed to see it at a new angle. 

You can see the star on the bridge in the middle right side in the picture below. 

I have always wanted to sit by the river and knit. So I did. Don’t laugh, I’m the worlds worst knitter. I completed 10 rows of a simple stitch pattern and have to rip it all out. Sigh…I thought the river would be relaxing. Must be the uncomfortable rock I’m sitting on. 

Oh MY GOSH! What’s in the lower right hand corner of this picture, in the water?

It’s a creature from the green lagoon.

Well….not exactly. It is a guy with all the up to date equipment to look for gold without all the messy, clumsy, dredging equipment (I know about this ’cause I once helped my brothers drag their equipment down to the American River, 45 years ago).  This guy is heading for the fork in the river (rushing on the left ) to go deep under the water to look for gold.  

I am beyond excited to show you our “SWEET” ride for day tripping! I NEVER thought I would own my own convertible. Always wanted one, but….Well our son found this one on-line and he and my husband went to look at it and bought it for ME! It’s a 1998, BMW M3. It’s in excellent condition. 

Leather interior, and the smoothest 5-speed ride around. Soooo much fun, fun, FUN!!! to drive. I only killed it once (at the worst possible intersection, yowzaa, I put it in 3rd when it should have been 1st), and have been dully humbled, ha, ha. 

Here’s the view of the South Yuba from where we had stopped the car. Great spots everywhere for fishing, camping, hiking, or in our case, driving. 

We went for leaf peeping and driving, but only a few “golden” colors were starting to show. Oh, what a shame, we’ll have to go again to see more color. 

Remember my knitting project by the river? Here are the yarns I’m using. These are all by Malabrigo. These are all so gorgeous, I could hardly choose. 

Here is my pattern. It’s out of “Book 10 Rios” by Malabrigo. Simple, right? I have already changed it up to make it “SUPER” easy for Heidi. It will involve some machine felted circles too. I’m really ready now to get to work on it in the evenings. Forget the river knitting (unless I can have a comfy chair in which to sit). Can’t wait to show you the finished product. 

Get out there for some hiking this weekend and plan a new “evening or take along” project for yourself. Thanks for stopping by. I REALLY appreciate it. Hugs, Heidi

Terrific Tabard- aka “Skinny Vest” A Versatile Pattern to add to your Wardrobe!

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This post first appeared on Feb. 24, 2017. I have been selling many “Terrific Tabard” patterns of late and wanted to let you know that the possibilities are endless for this vest aka “Skinny Vest. I recently did a trunk show called “Art on the Wall, Art to WEAR!” for the Folsom Quilt Guild in Folsom, CA. What a delightful group. Thank you ladies for having me. I felt so welcomed and appreciated. The next day I did a workshop on the Terrific Tabard (aka Skinny Vest). What an amazing group. Let me show what they were working on:  Dorothy (on the left) and Gail came prepared with many strips (for filler sections) already sewn together. Amazing! (hmm..teacher’s pets maybe). dsc_0251

Sandi, got right to work on her Large Scaled Aboriginal print by treating it with Terial Magic first (to make it stiff like a board)  and then cutting it up into interesting shapes. I place a piece of muslin on my ironing board. Place a chunk of fabric you intend to cut shapes out of down next. Shake your bottle of Terial Magic and spray the area you intend to cut. Iron this section until dry (use a dry iron- NO STEAM!). Not stiff enough? Spray and iron again. dsc_0253

Susan also used some Aboriginal fabrics along with a few Kaffe Fassett pieces in the mix. dsc_0255

Don’t you really like how she has combined flowers and shapes. The black and white Aboriginal fabric is the great unifier.
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Brenda is using the Tree of Life view in Terrific Tabard to create a collaged vest. dsc_0257

Lorraine is working with black and gold and batiks. This lady is the SPEED queen! She put pedal to the metal and got really far along in her vest Adventure. She plans to do some diagonal strips with shots of color added(via small squares) into a modern look.  dsc_0260

Brenda and Susan are working hard!
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Linda has already titled her vest as” Peony Madness.” Hmm..what madness is this? I get it though. See her beautiful Kaffe Peony Fabric below? It is a large scaled print. And sometimes they just don’t work out as you planned. Keep the faith Linda. This process can take some working and re-working.Save the black and cream around those flowers and mix it along with some other black/cream prints.  Use at least one more larger scale print Linda that goes with all. That will pull it all together. dsc_0263

Mairy (with an “I”), arrived later (she had be at work), and she was a busy, busy, girl in no time at all!!  I love her use of intense yellow green and red violet, all grounded with our favorite, black and white. dsc_0264 dsc_0265

Suzanne is using sweet prints, similar in scale. That works well as a base for the beginnings of her garden scene. The little bird comes from her lining fabric (see it off to the left).

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Diana is using all “happy” fabrics. I love the way she is using her strip pieces. Glue those puppies down (instead of sewing them together as “filler pieces.”) and stitch them as raw-edged collage.  Great idea. dsc_0271 dsc_0272

There’s smoke coming out of Lorraine’s sewing machine, I just know it. Whirrr….. I am teasing you Lorraine in a good way. I wish I could create that fast. dsc_0274

Susan is flying on the back of her vest. Black and white, White and black, always, always, pull the whole look together. Really fun. dsc_0281

Dorie is our Over Achiever! Not only was she “in charge” of my coming to Folsom, she is already WEARING Terrific Tabard # 3 that she has made. Yes, that’s right, three vests BEFORE the workshop. Dorie, you make me look good! Thank you. dsc_0286

Beautiful choices. Each one is so detailed! And I am so proud, bits of black make a statement in all of her vests. We ran out of time to take pics of her other two. I will see Dorie in May. I’ll get those pictures yet. dsc_0285

I like what Sheila is doing here. She’s laying out her strips first (to get ideas for placement) and then look at the difference in background choices for her large print flowers. Hands down, in my opinion, use the black. dsc_0291

We had a “walkabout” and looked at all the vest creations. We all learned from each other. Mairy, I just love your creative idea of “color” outlining. See? Brenda is pointing to them. dsc_0298

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Sandi get the prize (waay up at the beginning), she temporarily suspended work on the Aboriginal (it happens, she’ll get back to it). I saw her beginning to cut out some fish , and a few days later she sent me these FABULOUS pictures! Thank you Sandi. You must post these on the Kaffe Fassett site. That little fish wants to eat your button!

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Whimsical and so fun. I love it. And ladies check out that black trim, and that little bit of black in the row of flowers and white/black print. Perfect. susie-fong-fish-vest

And then, YIPPEE! Mairy sent me a picture of her completed back piece of her vest. Love, LOVE, what is happening in this piece. Mairy, this is stunning! I can’t wait to see what’s next.
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Didn’t I tell you they were a great group of sewists? A whirlwind of activity and fun in that workshop.

One last thing before you leave, check out the new Logo that has been added! Yep, my Etsy store is up and running. It’s for “hard” copies of all my patterns. Deisgns by Heidi Emmett is my store name. Thank you for stopping by and come back when you have time and visit past posts. I hope they will inspire you to get creative. Hugs, Heidi


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Free Form Circles Pillow-Let’s Revisit it!

I first published this post on October 28th, 2016. Fast forward two years. It is more relevant than ever. The pattern will be available VERY SOON, via me @hmemmett.com, or Craftsy.com, or my Etsy shop. I can’t decide if I want to do it as a kit too. I also want to add on a few pages of other ways to use these cool circles (Art to Wear!!) Read on, an excerpt from my 10/28/16 post:

Modern Patchwork has my Free-form Circles Pillow project in the latest edition. It just came out, Fall 2016. Get it NOW.
Drum roll please………I LOVE these pillows and they are super fun and easy to make.
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The fun pictures above helped give me the idea for this project. I was drinking water from my green depression glass(has the coolest pattern in it), and when finished, I set it onto a project I had been hand stitching.  O.K., O.K., let me go find those pictures.

The above is a “technique creating” project I did 4 years ago. I keep going back to it over and over for my “what if I try this” moments. Hmm… I will do a future post on this, how a technique only, small project, can really get those creative juices flowing. Speaking of….there is a definite change in the air. FALL is really here. Don’t laugh, but I pulled out some yarn and a pattern. It’s knitting and crocheting weather, and felting, and quilting, and, and,……I am NEVER BORED! Get your own creative started this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

It’s Summer. Feel the Breeze and See the Lush Greens & Blue Greens of the Season.

by HEIDI EMMETT    I bought a beautiful Maxi-Dress at “My Favorite Store” (aka thrift store) in Truckee, CA.  It is made of exquisite hand-painted silk chiffon. All the seams are French seams.  I bought it for the silk.  I hand washed it and gloated over the fabulous amount of fabric I had in my hands. What to do with it? I want to make another Sparky Top! That silk, with other perfect fabrics will look lush and green and light and floaty when there is a breeze. Perfect for the last days of summer.

 

I laid it out on my work table for a few days (this is how I always approach a new project) and pulled out other fabrics from time to time that I thought might work and placed them beside my “focus” fabric. As you can see, I found some Kaffe Fassett fabrics that work perfectly with the silk chiffon.The floral is at least 10 years old so I don’t even know it’s name.  I ran out of one stripe and had to seam the back piece. Below, I’m trying different arrangements of the large blooms from the Kaffe Fabric.

I like this more random selection. 

Because I treated this Kaffe with Terial Magic, I just placed them on the stripe (Terial Magic on it as well), I didn’t even have to glue it or pin the flowers down. 

I like my “open” darning foot, so I can see where I’m stitching. Whirrrr, whirr, I go….

I have the stitching of the neck trim down to a science. I have been using this method for  30+ years! I made quilted vests, and jackets to sell in Artist fairs when I was 19. It is basically a quilt binding. I do everything by machine, because I neededt to get the outfit done quickly, but efficiently. This trim folds over so smoothly and perfectly. Ahh…what a pleasure to stitch when I know it fits. I tell you just how to do it in the Sparky Top pattern.

Taa daa!!!! 

Yes, I had to piece the front too. I thought I would add more stitched flowers, but nixed that idea in favor of a great necklace instead. 

Pressing is always big in my book. Press, press, press, as I’m stitching. I was so excited to take pics of this Sparky Top, I forgot to press the back as I spell out in the actual pattern. So take a look.  This top is really fast and easy to make. I’ve said it before, you’ll spend more time deciding what fabrics to use than the actual sewing portion. Ha, ha. 

I’m going to our nephew’s wedding tomorrow, at a Winery in Chico, CA. I think this would be perfect to wear. Hmm…what shoes, jewelry?

The Sparky Top above really reminds me of my Mom’s Hydrangeas growing beautifully right now. I have to show you. 

That lush, green, beauty of summer time.

Well, well, I received some pictures from Janet B. I LOVE her Sparky Top. It looks like a linen, cotton grouping of fabrics. Great with jeans. And check out her earrings and necklace. They are her own designs that she created with Polymer clay. 

Thanks Janet, I really enjoy showing everyone what can be made with this pattern and any of my other Art to Wear patterns. Sew, send them to hmemmett@gmail.com    Want your own Sparky Top pattern (complete with tissue pieces)? Talk to me at the above email address. 

May your creativity abound this weekend. And if you have some down time, look for me at any of the icons below. Hugs, Heidi

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Wear This Every Which Way! Is It a Vest, Poncho, Shawl? All That & More!

You see them around. I purchased this one at our local Quilt Show.   You could practically make this with your eyes closed!  Who is that slinking out of the shot? Make it, place it, fold it, etc. and THEY (the cats) will come! Silly kitties.

Let’s look at several ways to wear this piece and then I will give you dimensions so you can create your own. 

I dropped my hands (from the above shot) and let it float and fold around me.

A back shot. Simple, elegant. Dress it up or down. 

Here it is with my holding the long side up ( it is now upside down). 

Throw one portion  over your shoulder. It will be shorter in the back. 

O.K., this is supposed to be a poncho look which I’m not quite sure how to pull off. Ha, ha. You will need to try this one on your own. The lady showed my how, but my brain was a sieve so….Maybe, put both armholes over my head…. 

Experiment,  and see what you come up with. Meet, “Roxy”, my new mannequin. She will show you a few other ways to wear this piece. She sports my size right on her stomach (thanks Roxy for announcing it to the world), and also tells everyone that she has a collapsible shoulder. Would someone, anyone out there, please tell me what that’s all about? 

There are some tails on this piece. Try tying them in the front.

And with the long portion held up high (like me in the very first shot), let it fall to the back so you have a shawl. 

One armhole over the head, and arm through the other, that’s it! I remember now, and you have a poncho look. Your other arm will have fabric on it. Here it is on the front. The armhole spreads a bit to form a slight v-shape. 

A back view. 

See! I told you. She’s announcing things that should be kept private. Ha, ha. But I noticed that all the great blog’s and websites have their own Roxy’s, so I decided to follow the pack mentality. I can wheel her about the house too. I like that. She is VERY heavy though. So she pretty much will stay indoors. 

All right, here are the dimensions for our Chameleon Vest(I like that name ’cause it is ever-changing): 55″ high (from the tips at the top to the straight across bottom) and 58″ across.  Use the picture below for reference on the rest of these directions. Fold the fabric piece in half (the 58″ width will have the fold line). You will be cutting through two layers of fabric at once. Mark with a pin 16″ down on the fold. If you feel unsure to just take your scissors to the fabric, you can pin the cutting line first or use a disappearing pen. Start at the top edge, round off and then start cutting down and out toward the 16″ mark you first pinned. Nice job. Now for the armholes. Let’s make a pattern first. On a piece of paper (that’s at least 12″ long), draw a line down the middle of the paper. Fold the paper in half along that line.  Draw a line away from the fold line 1 1/4″ out, parallel to the fold line.  Draw that line 11″ long. Round off the ends. Cut out your oval shaped armhole pattern. Take this pattern piece to the still folded piece of fabric. Pin it to the fabric— 5 1/2″ away from the fold (the long portion of the pattern piece parallel to the fold of the fabric. The top of the armhole pattern needs to be 5 1/2″ from the cut edge (where it swoops down, look at the picture below again). Pin it to the fabric and cut out the armholes (two layers worth).  Taa Daa!! You did it!

Serge all the edges. Don’t forget the armholes. DONE!! No Serger, no worries. Use a zigzag stitch on your regular sewing machine that is fairly close together. Sheer polyesters are perfect for this project and they usually come 60″ wide. Fabulous for travel. Also,a  great gift idea.

Phew, that was a lot of reading. So go take a break and drink your water. Hydrate, everyone! Learn to drink at least 8 oz. of plain water right after you get out of bed in the morning. You just went 8 hours (give or take) without any water. You are breaking the fast (hence the name for that first meal of the day, breakfast) and what better thing to do first, but drink some water.

Have a good weekend. Take a break and do some handwork outside if you can. Hugs, Heidi P.S. Don’t forget to visit my pattern shop at Craftsy.com I have a FREE, 3-tiered skirt pattern available for you.   Craftsy.com/Sewing Patterns/DesignsbyHeidi

Running HOT then COLD!!!!

 

by Heidi Emmett

Hello everyone! I ran out of time this week to finish my post. Please enjoy this from June 23, 2017. It’s also a good time to say, Explore my back posts. It will kinda be like reading a book with LOT’S of pictures.

“Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza!” That is the name of our Trunk Show. Christine Barnes and I have long had an interest in all things Kaffe, from fabric to his knitwear, to his needlepoint, mosaics, and of course, quilts. So we were off to Merced for Trunk Show # 1, this past Monday. Below is the coolest Mosaic in the hottest part of the day, 108 degrees! I saw this as part of a wall to sit on. That streak of white is the blazing sun.  The A.C. was on and the quilt guild in Merced was a hot group! They were such a creative, lively, and nice group.
And look what Lora Wheeler made, her own Mommy & Me vest! I love it. She bought the pattern at our Artistic Alchemy Booth at the Pine Tree Quilt Show back in May in Grass Valley, CA. It is always so fun to see what you all create with one of my patterns. She used a fabulous puckery type of rayon. I thought it was silk.

I just love what you did Lora. You were thinking outside the box! I sure wish I could come back and take your “upcycling” workshop-taking four shirts to create one.

On to San Francisco! It was 63 degrees when we arrived! Ahhhhhhh, so refreshing. As soon as we got to our hotel, I took a walk across the street to Sutro Park. It has tons of Nasturtiums, they are such a happy plant. Great colors.

I came close to the edge of a trail and stopped in my tracks! Yes, this was my view. It is just astonishing! That large green patch is the beginning of Golden Gate Park! Did you know that it is 3 1/2 miles long and 1/2 mile wide? Wow. And check out that HUGE beach area.  A lovely rose. Sutro park is 128 acres of loveliness. Adolph Sutro purchased that acreage in 1881 and built a Mansion, Conservatory, and a Parapette. When he passed, the whole place went to ruin. All the buildings were torn down but all the foliage stayed. It is now a city park within San Francisco.   

These homes border the park on one side.These home owners can walk down the hill to the Cliff House restaurant.  Don’t they look like places on the Cote d’Azure in France?  Succulents in front of the hotel, Seal Rock Inn. Cool and crisp looking.  There it is, Seal Rock Inn from Sutro park. 

The ladies of the S.F. Quilt Guild were also a delight. We had a great time telling them  some things they didn’t know about Kaffe Fassett. He grew up at Nepenthe which is near Big Sur, just down Highway One, south of San Francisco. Thank you Cathy and Laura, you were great hostesses.

No, NO! Christine and I didn’t want to leave. A 63 degree high, I had to dig through my Kaffe samples and find my Kaffe Alpaca sweater to wear. Who knew?  

Thanks for stopping by. At our Artistic Alchemy Retreat in September, my workshop, “Pick a Pattern”(Designs by Heidi patterns) is still taking students. Maybe you will want to design and create your own Mommy & Me Vest. I would love to have you in my workshop. I will help you fit whichever pattern you choose. Let’s all get our creative going. Hugs, Heidi

Marcia Derse 2018 Fall Collection- What Will I do With It?

by Heidi Emmett

Here I am at the Marcia Derse booth at Quilt Market. I arrived at the precise moment she finished her little talk on her newest line of fabrics, “Art History:101″ So sad to miss it. But I was able to score 5″ squares of all 26 of her Art History collection. And later on, I was able to get one panel of the black(on the back wall to the left). Today, I’m going to focus on those 5” squares.

Here they all are, out flat, and sort of lined up. There are two more, but I forgot them as I had them set aside. You’ll see them later. 

As with ANY collection of ANY designer, all the fabrics are meant to go together (this is to encourage us to buy more, not a problem for me).  Marcia’s fabric collections are so unique and visual, each piece a little gem. And I have found, as my collection  grows, each collection works with all her other previous groupings. Love that. I see a squirrel, and must follow it. After visiting for a few minutes with Marcia, I said goodbye and walked around the corner. I noticed the back of this ladies jacket. It’s a beautiful “little” modern quilt. I like that idea, so of course, I needed a picture. The must do this someday is now  on record. O.K., I’m back.

“Upcycling” is a big part of my workshop for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point this September 3rd-7th.  There are just a few places left, so if you are thinking about it, now is the time. Below is just “touching the surface” for upcycling of a favorite top.  Yes, this is a great top as is, but I had to have a spark of color.

Sew, I took some random (truly, TRULY, don’t over think it, be brave, just pick!) pieces from that 5″ stack. I cut some into smaller pieces and pressed the edges under a tiny bit all the way around each piece. I always try to cut long and lean looking. The exception for ME is I want the “illusion” of a bust, hence a full 5″ square and sideways rectangle in the upper area. Hey, no laughing, it’s worth a try.

Here’s what I ended up with for the top, left section. 

I hate pins and poking, so it’s Elmer’s glue for me to hold the piece in place. I run a very small bead (and smear it) in the center of wrong side, about the size of a quarter. That’s it. One bit of glue on each piece. Let dry and edge stitch in place. 

Below is what NOT to do. And of course it’s the first one I sewed done and smack dab in the front. I will remove the stitches and redo, but of course, I have a deadline. Good for you all to see that I’m not perfect. Ha, ha, ha.

I love, love, LOVE my new top. And the bleached out sections, while I did not do these on this store bought top, I have done it and will give you some do’s and don’t in the workshop (we wont actually do it though, not enough time).  I leave you with pictures of my Golden Chain Tree. It was the prettiest season EVER for this very s-l-o-w growing tree.

Have a great sewing weekend. Hugs, Heidi  P.S. Whatever site you view THIS particular post on, Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com, OR, Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com  you will see the same post on both (I need more sewing time!)

Flyin’ On a Jet Plane to Portland, Oregon, for QUILT MARKET!

Hello everyone! When you read this I will already be in Portland getting ready for….

a book signing party at the E.E. Schenck booth! I was asked to be there to sign copies of Fashion Quilted Accessories, by Heidi Emmett (that’s me!) .  I have to tell you that I never, ever, thought I would be signing books at Quilt Market! It is held twice yearly for shop owners. It is a REALLY  BIG DEAL! People and businesses come from all over the world! It is AMAZING, BUSY, OVERWHELMING, and FUN! I’ll keep you posted  via Instagram and then tell you more via a post. 

Also, more news, Sparky Top is finished! Taa Daa! The tissue pieces arrived this past week. So, Sparky Top is also ready to show at Quilt Market. It too will be in the E.E. Schenck booth. Schenck is one of my distributors of my patterns and my book.

The week of May 28th, I will get Sparky Top onto Craftsy and into my Etsy store. If you want to purchase it directly from me, that’s fine too. A hard copy from me (all sizes includes  8-6x) will cost $16.00 (includes tax and shipping). Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com.

Perfect top for beginners and super sewists alike. Fast and easy. It is a blank canvas. Make it using all your favorite fabrics, even light weight knits. Here is a close up of the neckline trim and the front fabric (has cute little spiral circles (already sewn on. I did NOT do that myself). 

The one time it’s o.k. to press gathers (in the back) flat! There are so many gathers that the “flat” pressing allows for a smoother finished look.

The front and center back are made from a light weight, re-embroidered mesh  (acts like a knit). 

Some raw-edge stitching for a more decorative look (to cover a seam as I had run out of fabric). 

The next two Sparky Top samples are made from Double gauze scraps from Shannon Fabrics. You might see these on the Shannon Fabrics Blog in the near future. This fabric is a DREAM to sew!

 

The back shows that I really ran out of double gauze scraps. I found a re-embroidered cotton in my stash and had to add a little ruffle at the bottom because I didn’t have enough length. 

And the linen bits came from a skirt that I bought on the super sale rack at Stein Mart (love that store).  100% linen skirt I washed first to pre-shrink it. 

This is one of the side panels. I had so little to work with so major improve was going on. I could not follow ANY type of grain line, but it just adds to the charm. I would call this Upcycling, indeed. This is one of the things we will be doing in my workshop up at Zephyr. UPCYCLING! Oh yeah, what FUN! There are still a few spaces left in my workshop.

Maybe I’ll see YOU at Zephyr Point this year. I’ll tell you all about my adventures at Quilt Market when I get home. Take care and find a block of time to sew this weekend. It can be so relaxing and we all need some down time. Hugs, Heidi

Easy Felting Ideas- Soothing Circles…..

Remember my trip to Ashland, Oregon?  Well, I stopped at Webster’s to gaze upon their yummy yarns. Well, well, these four beautiful skeins jumped into my basket, saying buy me, buy me! These are Bamboo Bloom Handpaints by Universal Yarn.

Oh look, I didn’t plan this but the fabric (fat eighth’s) from Sew Creative I had purchased the day before goes perfectly with one of my skeins. 

More about those yarns further down. Felting was the right thing to do this week. I pulled out projects that I had intended to add my “felties” (little circles of yarn) too, rolled some yarn circles and fired up the felting machine. “hmmm” is the sound it makes while poking the yarn into its’ intended background. In this project, a crocheted circle vest. 

Oh wait, there will be no “hmmming” if I don’t use my crisp netting (acts as a glue to hold the yarn in place) to cover the circle. This netting is the type used in petticoats. 

You can barely see 3 circles under the netting. Once the circles are felted, pull off the netting. I am only placing one layer of it (folding this back just to show the netting) on my felties. 

Taa daa! Just a few felties dancing across the bottom of the vest add some pizzazz!

Commercial break: Don’t forget to visit my Pattern site at Craftsy.com (or click on the Craftsy icon below  and it should take you to my pattern site). I designed this pattern over 20 years ago. Yes, I know, there are many tiered skirt patterns out there, BUT, not like mine. I made the tiers specific lengths to flatter in the hip area and accommodate different heights. I sold tons of these patterns over the years at my fabric store. I’m offering it for FREE at Craftsy. I want you to see what my pattern store at that site is all about. And to see how easy it is to use.  I think the 3 tiered skirt is a timeless pattern. The 2 below were made in Kaffe Fassett rayons. I LOVE the drape of rayon in this pattern. Linen and cotton work too, but add a crispness. To have those fibers hug a little closer to the body, use the broomstick method (perfect for traveling). Pick up the pattern to learn about that. 

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Now where was I…. Look it happened again. Found some fabric that goes with the yarn and felties. 

Look closely at the upper and lower pictures. When I can’t decide what to put a feltie on, and I’m in the mood to felt, I pull out my scraps of bridal illusion or tulle (veils are made of this).It comes in many colors (not that important really, this piece was a remnant). Wind the yarn into a circle and place onto the tulle (one layer is fine). Don’t forget to add the netting. “hmmm….hmmm…” ahhh, such soothing circles. I just LOVE working with fiber whether yarn or fabric! I keep them on their tulle until ready for use. Then I cut away, carefully, the tulle around the outer edge of the felties. They are sufficiently felted at this point so that you could just stitch them down by machine, in the ditch around the outer edge, or machine felt them down. You do not need netting at this point. 

I wanted you to see what this yarn looks like when circled. Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

Soothing circles, soothing sunset at Lake Tahoe too. Click on the Artistic Alchemy icon above to see what’s going on with us: Heidi, Sandra, Mary, & Jane. 

This is what a 6 year old side garden looks like in the Spring. Azaleas (background), Phlox (lavender), Genesta (foreground low growing not in bloom yet), and the large bush with white flowers (foreground left) a Viburnum. 

Viburnum blossoms close up. Soothing to my eyes. I’m into soothing anything today apparently. Ahhh….these are lovely to gaze upon. Hugs, Heidi

 

Road Trip/ Business Trip Part 2!

I’m still at the Trends show in Portland, Oregon. I’m meeting and greeting as many new people as I can to tell them about my love (or is it obsession?) with all things “Art to Wear!” I even had my picture taken at two “booths” just for 50’s fun. That was the theme for the Spring Trends Show. Some great costumes were walking around. I even spotted Elvis.


I spotted this cool necklace and asked its’ owner if I could take a picture.  These beads were plastic but how about polymer clay, or fiber pieces? Hmm..I will file this in fiber/polymer jewelry… I really like how it is strung (she bought it at Macy’s years ago).

Someone won, YES, won, this adorable 50’s “kitschy”  display made by Mr. Kelly. It was about 4′ x 4′. 

This show took place in a GINORMOUS warehouse. Look up and beautiful quilts were on display. These were entered by shop owners across the western states. Iowa was the furthest east that I met. Yes, those are shopping carts. Big ones, easy to fill, use as many as you need, load up on the latest, greatest, of fabrics and notions. Ackk! I want to do that too!

Aisle after aisle, after aisle! It boggles the mind. Ladies had their “shopping” lists in hand and wheeled their carts down all the isles. Fill one up, just park it in a special place and get another one.  

This is Miss Elizabeth. She is the Iris Apfel of the West Coast. She called her coat, “The Four Seasons.” It goes all the way to her ankles. I thought the flowers on the front were quite intriguing. Let’s go in for a closer look. 

Some kind of Origami. I think they are fun. This is the “Spring” side she said. 

Below, a lady and I are trying to arrange my “Sensational Scarf Vest” She is from Eastern Washington (so sweet)). She gave me the BEST idea for Scarf Vest. Using fabric paints, stamp or stencil on plain (any color)silk Georgette, to make your own beautiful fabric. In case you didn’t know, Scarf vest is made up of two layers of the same sheer fabric so there is some lovely pattern on patterns created. 

Work is done, LET’S PLAY!! Five hour drive south  from Portland on Interstate 5 brings us to Ashland, Oregon.  Here I am in Lithia Park. It is so lovely. It is a 99 acre park in the middle of the town and has a large stream running through it’s length. A very European feel. It is also home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

The top of the hills behind this picture all had a dusting of snow behind them. Brrrr…

Lovely homes everywhere. This one is on East Main St. 

And THE FOOD!! Ohh so yummy. An Antipasti plate. 

Another view, everything so fresh. Can you see what my glass of wine says? This is Pie and Vine, with wood fire ovens for that fabulous “Pie” below.  We liked the food sooo much, we went back a second time. 

We took a little drive in the outskirts of Ashland. 

And then, on to the play! Center seats and four rows up!! This playbill cover is so cool don’t you think? It was really well done! We had never seen a Jane Austen in play form. Kate Hamill did a wonderful job. Love, love, LOVED everything, the town, the food, the shops (more about Sew Creative and Web-sters in another post!), the plays, the scenery. Sheesh, it sounds as if I don’t get out much. Oh dear, that’s kinda true. Oh well, I enjoy it that MUCH more when I do get out and about. 

We’re in California now and this is a stunner of a view from the car, on Interstate 5 looking at Mount Shasta. 

The mountain, all 14, 412 feet, is all covered clouds. The taller mountains make their own weather patterns. Mount Shasta is particularly stunning as it is a classically shaped volcano all by itself. They say the last time Mount Shasta errupted, was 1786, when Sir Francis Drake was busy discovering places along the northern coast of California , and made a log entry that he had seen an eruption to the east.  

And that cloud shape above the other cloud layer, I think, gives an eerie, other worldly look to it. That is a “lenticular” cloud and caused by lots of wind.  Historical facts, meteorological facts, that’s what a road trip is all about. Ha, ha.  

I have other pictures and fun factoids but I will leave those to be mixed into other posts. Thanks for stopping by. Happy Easter to all, Spring, and rebirth!    Hugs, Heidi

Let’s Machine Felt and Throw In a Little Quilting too!

We finally got some winter around here in Cedar Ridge (that white stuff, called SNOW! Yippee). So of course, I need to work with yarn. I have had this beautiful extra thick and soft Cashmere sweater (thrift score!) for the longest time. And now with the colder weather I want to add some pizzazz and WEAR IT!

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Auditioning fabric and yarn. These are perfect. I used the “Fibs & Fables” by Westminster Fabrics and found yarn to go with it. 

I talk more about my felting machine, how it works, yarns, ideas, fibers you can use, etc., in other posts. Visit the home page and check the categories on the side (look for fun felting and upcycling).

I pulled some yarn right off the ball of yarn, positioned it into a circle onto one of the bell sleeves.

My “glue” of choice is a piece of regular netting, NOT tulle netting. I just place it right over the circle of yarn and push it all under the 5 needles (they are inside the protective cover). Whirrr…….whirrr…..whirr….I just LOVE this little magical machine. Remove the netting and voila’

Here are a few more “felties”, that’s what I call them, off one skein of yarn. 

Wait. I have to tell you about a very cool tool I just discovered. It is called a “Gleener.” It has three different edges to take fuzzies off of wool, acrylic, polyester, and fine fabrics. And has a velvet lint brush on the back and it’s own little carrying case with instructions.

Two of the blades sit inside and the third one is on the outside edge, ready to use. In one word, “AMAZING.”

I think I’m done with this bell sleeve edge. There are felties all the way around. Took maybe 20 minutes for one sleeve. Pretty sweet, right? 

I have to have a kangaroo pocket. Adds tremendous cozy factor in my opinion. Before attaching the pocket to the sweater, I have to do a little quilting on my regular sewing machine. Attach a darning foot (I like open toed so I can see better), lower the feed dogs, and start outlining or doodling across the sandwich of lining/batting/fashion fabric. I have also pre-sewn the sandwich together, right sides together, turned through a 5″+ opening and pressed. Back to the stitching process. Whaaat fun. Very relaxing, just like adding the felties. 

After pinning the kangaroo pocket to the sweater front, I got a cool idea. Look for the flower headed pins (one orange and one yellow).  Follow the faint white (chalk) line from the orange pin head down to the center of the pocket. Another yellow pin running horizontally. Stitch in a “V” formation through all thicknesses. Also, through all thicknesses, at the top of the pocket and leave the middle section of the pocket open (still talking about the top. Sew all the way across the bottom edge.  DO NOT stitchthe short ends (like I did, oh, Heidi, Heidi). I need a place to put my hands. Silly me.

Sew I stitched down the pocket and now I need to add some felties around the pocket and around the lower back. But first a cuppa in my special open cup to savor the rich coffee smell. I set it down and looked at it and remembered something very special to me. 

I remembered my Grandma Castleberg (my mother’s mother) and a friend of hers (a photography student) wanting to take a Black and White study of Grandma for a class project. And here it is. I love this picture and will treasure it always. I feel that I get my extra dose of creativity from my my Aunt Rose on my father’s side. I’ll share that story another time. 

Back to felties. It’s done! Check out the “V” pocket idea I had. I like it. 

I received these violas from a friend. What a great idea to brighten someones day. Buy a tiny clay pot (this one is 3 1/2″) and gently place a Viola (from a pony-pack) inside the clay pot. It has to be placed somewhere close by for the maximum happy quotient. Also, you’ll remember to check it every day for a possible drink of water.  Mine sits on the edge of my kitchen sink. Who will you pick to brighten their day with this simple idea? Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy Have a “Make it Up, Make it Fun, Get it Done” weekend! Hugs, Heidi