It’s a Late Fall Day….

by Heidi Emmett

Welcome to all who our new Artistic Alchemy blog sign ups! Check out my bio on the home page. I am the “Art to Wear” workshop teacher when you come to our retreat in September at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe.

Below is a picture that my friend Sara (who LIVES at Zephyr Point) took from her living room window. Can you even believe how gorgeous this is? The hot air balloon was just inflated and is sitting on the barge that follows the balloon around Lake Tahoe.

I am working on what my workshop will be for 2018. It will be Art to Wear,of course, but exactly what…. still sewing, planning…. I enjoy creating so many things that all relate to the Art to Wear Theme.

Upcycling is soooo popular.  I want to show you one simple upcycling thing you could do today.

Yesterday was the perfect day to stay indoors. Here in Cedar Ridge, CA , we received 6 inches of rain. On days like that, I have to wear “Cozy Clothes.”  Below is what I picked. I made this pullover hoody with kangaroo pockets in 1989! Yes, 1989. I had Heidi’s Fabrics then and I could not keep PolarTec in stock during the fall and winter. “Polar Fleece” fabrics were created by Malden Mills out of Massachusetts. They are the company that started the Fleece craze. They had the BEST quality fleece on the market. At least 4 weights, 6 types, stunning prints, solids, and never EVER pilled. So sad, the mill burned to the ground in 1995 and as so many textile mills in the USA, gone for good. 

I used a Kwik Sew pattern. Oh my gosh, I just added up the years, and I have kept it for 28 years! It has truly been my “go to” cozy, comfy, feel better, pullover. All the other cozy clothes I own, and I keep pulling out this one.Who knew?  I’m certain that YOU own some cozy clothes too. Look at a new piece with the eye to, “Can I upcycle this garment? (make certain to use one that is an Extra Large and Roomy for the best “Cozy” factor) to make it your new, go to, Cozy piece.

Here’s mine. Ha, ha,in fact,  I’m WEARING it as I write my post today. I found a Tommy Bahama, mens X LG , super quality French terry- like, cotton knit.  

Most important for me, a kangaroo pocket. I used Marcia Derse fabrics and used a super light weight batting (to show off the quilting), small amounts of all my fav’s so I can wear any color turtle neck underneath. I purposely lined the simple rectangle pocket (take a pattern from one you already have) with muslin, and wanted it to show as I am rolling up the sleeves. I stitched the K.P. down the middle and a few inches up the side openings so my chocolate stash or whatever, won’t fall out.

I added extra little pieces here and there, one on the back, and one on the front, to tie the whole thing together.

I’m feeling so cozy right now, excuse me while I go make a cup of coffee and have a piece of pumpkin pie. Be right back……

Ohh THAT was yummy. Since I spoke about Marcia Derse fabrics (check out her website of the same name, or go to Ebay for older prints), I want you to see the Terrific Tabard vest I made out of this panel fabric, one of the few panels she has created. 

Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com if you are interested in purchasing this Art to Wear vest sewing pattern. I will mail it to you for $16.00 (includes tax and shipping).

A little bit more on creativity and how meeting as a group or in a workshop is so inspiring. I belong to a group called SWAG (Sierra Wearable Art Group).My brain starts churning out so many different ideas when I’m there and I scramble to write them down.  What I want to do for you in the next workshop I teach at Zephyr Point is: Let’s think outside the box together and create a unique piece of Art to Wear that will fit and you will want to wear.

Here is a sampling from our last meeting: 

Patty P. first made a dress from this DROP DEAD GORGEOUS (super expensive but worth every penny) wool fabric she purchased at Britex Fabrics. She didn’t care for the dress, so she cut it up again and re-purposed it into this stunning vest. She loves it now.

Joan C. is at it again with her great fiber jewelry. Stunning what pieces of silk from silk scarves will do to make a great look. How about those old scarves you can’t bear to get rid of but you just don’t wear anymore, hmmm…. 

The beginnings of my fall set up on my front steps. Can you spy the fake pumpkin? There is one in this picture. In fact, when Thanksgiving gives way to Christmas, and “fake” pumpkins go on sale, I buy. I mix them in with the real deal to make for a stunning (in my humble opinion, ha, ha) display. With the real pumpkins, no matter how hard I try to pick the best, I will have a casualty now and then. Pumpkin mush is a mess to clean off  brick steps. I spy the fake pumpkin, it’s the little white one. I used a felt pen to make a more realistic stem. Isn’t the large red orange pumpkin gorgeous? These are called “heirloom pumpkins.”

Chinese lanterns picked at their peak. Will add these to my Thanksgiving table. 

A Red maple with sunlight coming from the back. Stunning!

Thank you so much for stopping by everyone. Don’t forget to visit my personal blog, an all things creative blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  Have a Happy Thanksgiving. We all have much to be Thankful for. Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

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Is That a BEAR?- Exciting and Creative Times at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2017

September 4th-8th, I was busy, busy,  at Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe.  Two mornings into the retreat, my friend from Portland, Oregon, Linda & I were enjoying our early morning coffee (7:15a.m.) at the edge of Lake Tahoe. I turned to see another student about 20 ft. away. Started to say hi, and saw a bear about 20 ft. behind her. OMG!!!!! Wha’ do we do? Wha’ do we do? The pictures of the teenage bear are courtesy of Marti (another student at her second floor window). We took off at a very, very, fast walk and so DID THE BEAR! We have lived to tell the tale. And I didn’t spill a drop of coffee in the race to the door to get inside. Ha, ha, ha. In fact, I didn’t need anymore coffee the rest of the day!

The clearing where we were enjoying the view. The bear entered, stage right, from behind the boulder. We were to the left of the “Portal of Prayer” sign (my prayers were short, and to the point, “Dear Lord, HELP!). 

Now,back to some creative fun. Candace, one of my students,  was very productive. In fact, she was the first of ALL the students in the whole retreat who started and completed her first project, less than half way through the 3 full days retreat! She even brought her serger to speed things along.

My workshop was called “Pick a Pattern.” Each student brought two different patterns from my collection, or my new book. We discussed fabrics for each project via emails. My students had so much creativity on their own. I was there to help with fit and design ideas that would make it, their very own “Art to Wear” piece. Candace’s first piece was the Rafiki Skirt.

We hung her Rafiki skirt on the design wall and after an afternoon swim, she got started on a second project, Whisper Blouse.

Each one of my students gave me, GREAT ideas that I had NEVER thought of.  Candace had a marvelous way of putting the tie into the skirt. A buttonhole goes in the front. Make the tie belt and thread each end in the buttonhole. 

The tie belt must be threaded in a circle first. The circle fits right under the top edge that will be folded down to form the casing.

She folds the casing right over the tie making certain that the piece is out of the way when she stitches down the casing all the way around the skirt. Sooo simple! Thank you Candace.

Here is Patty, another student. Patty wanted to create her own “Earthy colored” Terrific Tabard vest for her first project.

Patty has been ALL OVER THE WORLD! She has amazing stories to tell. She has promised to show me her photo albums. I love seeing and traveling with others through pictures and stories. When we spoke about her fabric choices she said, “Oh, I have silks from my travels to India, Vietnam, Asia, and I just picked up a beautiful batik when I was in Morocco.” WOW, wow, let’s see what she creates. 

Isn’t it beautiful? She was very happy with her creation. Patty celebrated by going for an early afternoon kayaking break. When she returned she whipped out the cutest purse with her vest scraps.

Oh, then she decided to make the cutest fabric earrings  from more scraps. Silk is perfect for these “frayed” earrings.

Carol, another one of my creative students wanted to use a picture panel that she had saved for something special. She decided to make my “Simply Super Vest” pattern from my new book, Fashion Quilted Accessories. This is the pattern,on the cover. It is a unique way to use your favorite picture panel piece. 

Here’s Carol with the back of the vest and one front piece up on her design board. 

I encourage everyone to get their projects up on a design board and stand back to get a good view of what they are creating. Carol has such a good eye for placement. She tells me that she used to teach math and it shows in the great care she took in measuring and placement.

This vest is really coming along……then her trusty, older Singer started giving her problems. And then she began suffering from a terrible case of Vertigo. In spite of how badly she felt, she was determined to continue to work on her vest AND wanted to discuss her second project, her version of Rafiki skirt.  

Below is Candace’s second project (almost done out of silks that a family member brought back from Hong Kong 30+ years ago). 

We also had lightening, thunder, and rain almost every afternoon. After all the heat we had all suffered through, the rain, oh the blessed rain, and drop in temperature was such a relief. 

Here are the teachers from another successful year of workshops at our annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. From the left, Mary Boalt, Sandra Bruce, me, Heidi Emmett, and Christine Barnes. 

Maybe YOU will attend next year! Please visit and sign up for my personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  for more creative ideas,  My mantra, “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done!” Hugs, Heidi

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“Hip To Be Tied” A New Type of Belt using Terial Magic

by Heidi Emmett

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I recently saw a belt in a catalog that was very wide, embroidered, tied once on the hips, and looked fabulous! It was also $148.00! So, I decided to see what I could put together that looked just as good and at 1/10th of the price!

Materials

1/3 yard large scaled print and 1/3 yard of a smaller print fabric for the lining.  Both fabrics should be quilting cotton weight.

1 bottle Terial Magic spray.

Thread, same thread top and bobbin.

Optional, beads and fabric glue

Sewing machine and supplies.

Finished belt size is 5″ wide x 84″-90″ long (Depending on the width of the fabric).

Directions: Prepare the fashion fabric and the lining fabric with Terial Magic according to their directions.  In case you didn’t know it, I love, love, LOVE, Terial Magic for its many creative uses. 

1.From both fabrics, cut 2 strips, each strip being 5″ x width of the fabric. Seam each piece together with a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press the seam open.

2. Place the two pieces wrong sides together. Pin in a few places to hold together. Thread the machine with the same colored thread both top and bobbin. I put an open-toed embroidery foot on (so I could see where I was sewing), but did not lower the feed dogs. Use a straight stitch and sew all over. I sewed from the center portion out in long meandering lines. Some of my stitches (as seen below) are larger, but with all the other stitching, they aren’t noticeable.

 

Trim off the excess fabric along the edges. Cut along one of the stitching lines for an interesting shape for the belt.

The Terial Magic makes the two fabrics stiff enough for easy sewing.

The Terial Magic gives the belt “body” so that when it is tied, it will stay in place. But you can easily rinse the Terial Magic out for a softer look and feel. 

Tie the belt right on the hips. What a fun way to use some of your favorite fabrics. 

Of course, I couldn’t stop with just one belt! Check out this “house” fabric. I like to use another colorful fabric for the lining, just in case is shows.  Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

No worries where the stitching lands. It’s easy and relaxing stitching. 

This belt calls for some subtle bling. Look closely at the bottom end of the belt. 

Here’s a close up. I didn’t have time to hand sew my large seed beads down. I wanted the holes of the bead to show. Using  fabric glue and using a pair of tweezers, drag the back of the bead across some glue. Set in place.  

Wear this belt all year round with dresses, skirts, or pants. Make a bunch for gift giving too.

Visit Heidi Emmett at her blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com for more fun ideas.;Orrrr….if you are already here at my blog, you might want to visit Artistic Alchemy at: Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com and read some of the past posts. There are four of us teaching at our retreat this September 4th-8th.

One more time,  I love Terial Magic and use it for so many of my creative sewing projects. See my latest projects using Terial Magic in my new book, “Fashion Quilted Accessories” by Leisure Arts. Thanks so much for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi

A Quick and Easy Summer Project- and then some..

by Heidi Emmett

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Grab a glass of iced tea and let’s take some time to be creative. Let’s make some fiber jewelry. Pull out your copy of my new book, Fashion Quilted Accessories. What? You don’t have it yet? I sell them at my Etsy store/DesignsbyHeidi, Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Grass Valley, CA sells them, and yes, find it on Amazon. Only $12.99 for some nifty projects. Two pull out patterns included. A great gift idea. On page 2, the first project is the Easy and Fun, Circles Earrings and Necklace. 

Here’s a quick synopsis. Sew two of your favorite, small scaled, fabrics together. Mindless sewing, rows and rows of stiching, straight, gentle waves, Whrrrrrrr…..  Here is the reverse side and one circle cut out.  Before cutting out the circles some spiral stitching is done. This is time consuming. I only do it on the earrings. Adds some interest and weight to the earrings. 

Whoa, are you dizzy yet?  They are so addictive to make, these cute circles. Use little black eyelets to give a nice finished look. Attach them to cording and voila!   I mailed all my projects off in the early fall of 2016. I had to take a picture of them, as I thought I would never see them again. As you can see, these work all year!  Here are 4 more pieces I stitched, ready to be cut out.  I try to have some pieces ready to go at all times and ready to stitch( with that mindless stitching (great time for thinking up NEW projects!). 

Finished and ready to wear! There is still room in my workshop, Mary’s, and Sandra’s. Do something fun for yourself this year, and sign up to come to Zephyr Point! You wont regret it. Make new friends, enjoy a great view, and learn new things. And you don’t have to cook!

Speaking of “Thinking up More Projects,” I came up with a fun ring idea. You will need one of those pull tabs from 1/2 & 1/2, orange juice, and the like(next picture). Cut out a circle of stitched fabric about 2 1/2″ or larger. Picture #2, wrong side showing, shows the spiral shape I cut out. Form it into a flower shape (picture #3) and glue that shape in place and then fabric glue the flower to the top of the pull tab thingy. I wear mine as a pinky ring. If you cut that ring open at the bottom, it will open up more to fit any finger. Thanks for stopping by and get creative this weekend! Hugs, Heidi

Running Hot and Cold!

by Heidi Emmett

“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

 

A Good Time to Start…….

by Heidi Emmett

A Good Time to Start, what? How about feeling better so you have more energy to get your creative going. I had a Sciatica bout 1 1/2 weeks ago. So painful. This is what my chiropractor told me: “You got this because, you don’t stand up straight, you sit waaaay to much and you slouch while you do sit. You haven’t been walking much either (I guess my strolls with mom didn’t count at all, rats).” All rightie then. How did he know all this about me? Duh, Heidi, he said much of his practice is Sciatica related. All that I was doing or not doing can apply to all of us at ANY time of life.

So put your “Fit Bit” on and set the alarm so that you get up after 15 minutes of sitting. Buy some really good walking shoes. I love my Skechers with memory foam insoles (like walking on pillows).And start walking, just good, fairly brisk, walking. It doesn’t have to be much, even 50 yards. And stand up straight and tall while you walk.

 

 

Drink a glass of water (8 oz.) after you wake up. You have just broken a fast of not drinking any liquids for about 8 hours. No, coffee or tea doesn’t count. Think of bathing all your cells to get them revved up for your day. I could not understand why I was light headed by 10 or 11 in the a.m. Started drinking that one glass before breakfast and voila, light head — gone!

Read labels. Avoid hidden sugars. Limit sugar to real sugar (nothing fake) and try to only eat something sugary,once a day. For me, my sugar is a glass of wine.

The rest of the pictures are pretty flowers (check out the Genesta-the yellow flowers) and happy brother cats

 

 

 

and an upcycling project I am working on. If you go over to Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com you will read more about the project.

 

Sign up for my workshop—-“Pick A Pattern” There is still room. I promise you will have fun and maybe even get to wear what you have created home!

 

How fun is that! Have a wonderful, creative, filled with lots of fresh air walks, Memorial weekend. And a HUGE THANK YOU to all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have in our great America!

Hugs, Heidi

 

 

 

 

 

“Off The Grid” Vest Pattern—How it Came to Be!”

by Heidi Emmett

Once upon a time, I took the Urban Ombre’s quilt class from Christine. It was great fun. It was the first time I had seen the Diawabo ombre’ from E.E. Schneck in grey or is it gray?Throughout the class I kept thinking, all these fabrics together would make the coolest vest. But what design? So, I took my blocks, along with everyone’s scraps (I ASKED them first), and put them on my design board and began to think.

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Later, Christine said she was doing a lecture at the E.E. Schenck Trends Show (a show for shop owners from western states and the Asian Pacific The show is located 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! 

My workshop is called “Pick a Pattern.” I have at least 9 patterns to choose from or you could pick some from my NEW book! It’s out now! Buy it from me, your quilt shop, or Amazon. I’d love to see YOU in my workshop this September at Zephyr Point.

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