DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com Comes to the Artistic Alchemy Blog Post This Week!

by HEIDI EMMETT

This was supposed to be the week of our 8th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point, on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Less than 24 hours after the decision was made for Jane, & Sandra, and me to postpone our retreat until next September,  two of my dear friends from Portland, Oregon (who always drive down for this event), called to boost my spirits and said to me, “we’ll figure something out, how about our own Open Studio?”

Fast forward to the last week of August. These same two friends, Linda and Karenanne, rolled into Grass Valley after 10 hours on the road. They were so excited to be back in the Grass Valley area for a whole week of sewing fun. Are you kidding! I was so happy to have them here too because over the years when they come down two days before the Artistic Alchemy Retreat, THEY COOK FOR ME AND MY HUSBAND! This time it’s many, many gourmet meals to come. They cook, I clean up. Works for me.

The set up was fast. First thing the next morning. We re-arranged as more machines were added. We had a couple of sergers and another sewing machine (mine) a better ironing set up and design walls to come.
The dining table was perfect for cutting out our projects. Open Studio via Heidi’s house, ready to go in under 1/2 hour.  Karenanne began her project immediately, a quilt for her step-daughter and son-in-law. They love everything to do with “Day of The Dead.”
A beautiful book by Tula Pink & Angela Walters from which Karenanne found her “Day of the Dead” project, skulls. It’s the project right in the middle (blues and grays) above.
Design wall up and being used. It’s flannel on a stand. 5’x5′. More about this later. The beautiful blue fabrics are discussed in last weeks post. Go here if you missed it.
Riley the “helper” dog checking out Karenanne’s progress on her sewing table set-up.
Karenanne & Linda were soooo smart. Before we even greeted each other upon their arrival, they had treats for Riley. It’s their first meet and greet with our dog and they knew just how to win him over. Riley is in love! His tail is wagging so fast it’s a blur.
There it is, My “Sweet Sixteen.” I purchased it used, 3 years ago.
Somewhere within the first 6 months I actually quilted this Terrific Tabard on the Sweet 16.
Trying it out, Sadly, I really had no idea what I was doing. I watched 2 short videos. How I managed to get this vest quilted is beyond me. What IS that “thunk, thunk, thunk,” sound? Acckk…Ohhh forget it! Yep, I walked away from it. It has been sitting for over 2 years until NOW!       I LOVE YOU LINDA! She told me on Sunday afternoon, that on Tuesday morning, right after breakfast, be prepared to sit with her and we WILL LEARN HOW TO USE THIS MACHINE! She had the perfect opportunity to see if she wanted one herself. O.K. I’ll do it as I dragged myself up the stairs.  Only 1 hour later, a bunch of videos, sample tests, checking the manual, and Linda was quilting a baby quilt she had put together ahead of time. WOW! I can do this! The “thunking” sound from before, gone! (thinking the needle was placed in the wrong direction).  I have a quilt sandwiched together and will quilt on my own after I get this blog post published.
Another project of mine, a baby quilt. After the 2nd time I blew it on piecing the backing to fit correctly ( I mean REALLY Heidi, you can’t piece the backing properly the first time?…sigh…) It was sort of folded, wadded, in the corner of this same room. “Heidi, let’s get this quilt finished so you can give it to the baby while she is still a toddler,” was Linda’s comment to me. I had actually thought that as long as she got it before college I would be o.k. with that. Ha, Ha. Linda calls finishing projects, “Closing Windows.” Her job at home is in technology (in a very BIG way. She is in charge of soft wear implementation in hospitals and clinics in western states with over 100 people working under her) She said she is sooo tired of hearing people at work tell her, “this or that project is finished, but…  No more BUTS. Let’s CLOSE THE WINDOW!
I did whine about not knowing how to quilt it. Linda said, it’s a baby quilt. Keep it simple. She used a simple serpentine stitch on her super big open armed Janomie and zipped zipped right through this quilt.
Whoo hoo, almost finished. At one point, all three of us were sewing bindings on various quilts at the exact same time. We were in a circle facing each other, and laughing, and talking, and having the BEST time. We thought that this must be what an old-fashioned quilting bee was like.

I cut out this quilt while up at Zephyr Point in June. So I pulled it out (gotta close another window!) and got started on it. Villa Rosa has great fabric and quilting patterns for sale on line. Go here to check out this weeks special.
Looking good. Some progress. Sigh…”I spy” some strips (black ones) that are either too narrow or too wide. “Rippp” goes yee olde seam ripper. That’s o.k. I have always felt that the mark of a good sewist is one who knows how to rip out their seams properly.
How about my cool design wall? It is perfect when you are short on wall space.
I haven’t been able to find a web site for these design walls. Yes, I own 3 different sizes. But here’s a number and address. Love mine and they are really well made.
I was tired of lugging my heavy, older Bernina up and down the stairs for classes or whatever. This Baby Lock “Joy” (I got it 2 days before the shutdown here in CA in March) and it does just what I need for “classroom” sewing. It purrs along very nicely. Some things are in different places than what I’m used to, but for $175. it will pay for itself in no time (no more chiropractic fees for the bad back). Ha, ha.
A few more of Karenanne’s and Linda’s “favorite things” that they gave to me. These little clips are so strong and handy for holding bindings in place. No more blood on a quilt or hand done hem (when using straight pins).
How about this Yo,Yo magnifier/LED light? You NEED one of these puppies. Love led lights.

I have tried oodles of granolas. This one is by far my favorite. Linda made some last year for the first time and ohh yes! They brought some for us this year. We like Muesli for breakfast and with the fresh fruits of summer this granola is perfect. Then add about a cup of 2% plain, Greek yogurt  (good for your gut, high in protein) and on top add a tsp. of cinnamon (lowers blood sugar). Recipe below.

This is just a smidge of all we did at “Open Studio” at Heidi’s with Linda and Karenanne. I can’t wait to share more next week. Please join me at DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com if you can. I hope you will have time for some creativity this weekend,  even if it is by yourself. Thank you so much for stopping by. Big hugs to you all, Heidi

5 thoughts on “DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com Comes to the Artistic Alchemy Blog Post This Week!

  1. Heidi, Sandra here, looks like you guys had so much fun…I love all the quilts. Especially the skull one, I might have to make one. And Riley is cute with his wagging tail.
    I was thinking of us all week! 🙂

  2. It sounds like your Open Studio was a resounding success!!! Your stick-to-it-ness and creativity are an inspiration! Just what I needed as Fall thunders into Toronto Canada. I may need to organize my own socially-distant creative circle experience soon.

    • Arlene, It was indeed! Thank you for your kind words. And good, good, get that creative circle going really soon. Go, Canada! Hugs, Heidi P.S. I really like the “creative circle” analogy. And you could do it with masks, or in our case, outside, and no masks, but wine. I’m certain the alcohol was good for us. Hugs, Heidi P.S. We did not hug once, either when they came or left.

  3. I enjoyed reading your story. I could feel the fun in the air and felt the friendship and laughter as if I were there. I hated to have it end. You were very inspiring, and have added Split Charms to my list. Google Cheryl Ann’s Design Walls and go to Off the Wall Quilts. I have used them for parts and they are very quick and reasonably priced.

    • Jeanetta, First, what a lovely name! Thank you so very much for your kind words. Thank you for more info. on Cheryl Ann’s Design Walls. This is good. Wait until you read next weeks installment (make sure you go to my personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com) That post will involve flour, and egg yolks, and more quilts. Hugs, Heidi

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