The Evolution of a Reluctant Painter

by Mary Boalt

I never set out to be a painter. I can’t draw. It just sort of crept up on me the way extra calories do. I think it started when my sister, a paper artist, started sending me unsolicited rubber stamps. “No!” I complained. “I don’t want a new hobby.” “I have enough craft supplies already!” “Where am I going to put this stuff?” After attending three Design Outside the Lines retreats sponsored by Marcy Tilton and Diane Ericson, I started investing in stencils, silk screens and paint. All of these supplies could still fit in a drawer. I was safe. It was still manageable. Under control.

Then I was asked to teach painting on steam a seam at a fiber artists/quilters dream store in Sacramento. And to keep the “beast” well fed, they sold Diane’s stencils, Lois Ericson’s stamps and Jacquard paints. Right in the store! Right under my nose! In mass quantities! These new tools were taunting me and whispering  in my ear, “You need me. Take me home. Think of what cute things you could do with me!”

Soon Rubbermaid totes full of supplies were being wheeled into the classroom on a dolly. I sincerely believed that my students deserved to have plenty of supplies to work with. Heaven forbid they should get bored with a stale assortment of toys to play with.

But the turning point came when Gayle Ortiz of gayleygirlblogspot.com taught me how to paint graffiti style on canvas, cut it up and sew it into purses. OMG! The heavens opened up and a blinding light struck me. This was way too much fun. The ability to design ones own fabric! And no “mistakes” can be made when it’s graffiti style.

Christine, Heidi and Sandra saw what I was doing and must have thought that I knew how to paint. So now here I am having the best time exploring new ways to put paint to canvas and showing others what I’ve learned. I now own:

80 stencils

55 foam and rubber stamps

3 sets of alphabet stencils

8 Diane Ericson stencils

20 silkscreens

21 texture plates

5 Gelli plates

6 sets of foam alphabet stamps in different fonts

a large assortment of pool noodles, furniture feet and other found objects for stamping

several roller graphs and GALLONS OF PAINT

So in preparation for the Pine Tree Quilt Show I have been painting up a storm. My contribution to the booth will be large canvasses ( enough for two totes ), half canvasses, purses and patterns. Enjoy the photos.  And please stop by our booth May 6 and 7 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds to say hi and to see what new treasures Heidi and Sandra will have.

I still have just a couple of spaces left in my retreat class. So if this looks interesting and you would like to let loose your inner painter, we would love to have you join us. I have plenty of toys for you to play with!

I Don’t Lie, I Embellish!

by Mary Boalt

Do you get excited by the unexpected addition of hardware on clothing? Perhaps something unusual for closures? Or something ordinary used in an unordinary way?  I’m a sucker for all of it. The weirder the better. I love those clever details that make a garment unique.

Let’s start with some images from Pinterest and go from there. I’d love to know what kind of staples these are. I would definitely start stapling my clothes together.

Or these! What cool buckle/clips!

And now let’s move on to grommets with a kind of jump ring to connect the pieces. Or not.

Or laces.

And this from Diane Ericson. I’ve used grommets before but not quite like this. This darling idea is going on the list of things to try very soon. This type of grommet is extremely easy to install. You can find them in the drapery section at Joann.

And now for things that I have tried. These parachute clips will be revisited on another garment. They were easy to add and I like the way they work.

This is Butterick 6381. I added the hanging pocket.

This one keeps the hanging pocket closed.

This is a Marcy Tilton pattern from Vogue. #8934.  It’s a preprinted stretch denim that I found at an outlet store in San Francisco a few years ago. The idea to use carabiner clips came from my friend Helen. She has been known to sew door hinges onto her garments!

The back features a giant “snack pocket” with the upper flap piped with zipper teeth.

And speaking of zippers…..I found these zippers at the same place I bought this fabric. My sister, who lives near Phoenix, takes me to SAS fabric warehouse. We humorously refer to it as the Topless Bar Fabric store since it is around the corner from….you guessed it, a topless bar. But hey! Fabric can be purchased by the pound there! What’s not to like about that?

Zippers closed.

Zippers open.

Again, zippers used as trim on the outside of the pocket opening.

I bought this bicycle panel from Diane Ericson and then went to work adding the hardware; zippers, brass jumbo hook and eye tape and iron on metal dots.

This is the zipper that goes to no where. It’s just trim.

This is jumbo hook and eye tape. And a shirt “borrowed” from my husband.

Grommet tape down the sleeve.

No piece of zipper goes to waste. This extension is inserted in the collar and wraps around and snaps in place to keep the collar closed.

This is The Peony Vest from The Sewing Workshop.

Interesting button found at Ben Franklin in Grass Valley. It’s layered with a copper button that was gifted to me.

And the addition of grommet tape with jump rings. This comes in black or white at Sugar Pine Quilt Shop in Grass Valley.

Here’s another of Diane Ericson’s fabric panels. This time the Snap To It Jacket pattern from Louise Cutting was used. Along with lots of snap tape and the addition of another hanging pocket. Yup! Gotta love those hanging pockets…..an idea gleaned from a Diane Ericson pattern. Can you say “groupie”?

Snap tape in the split cuff.

One more. And yes, it’s another Diane Ericson jacket. The Ventana. I used cafe rings and clips for the front closures as well as for the side flaps that wrap around to the front. It’s a very interesting pattern that just screams for cool hardware.

Have you been inspired to put some hardware in your next garment? Use zipper teeth as piping? How about some drapery hooks or grommets. Although I can’t quite bring myself to use door hinges, there is some garter tape in my stash that’s calling my name.

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FASHION QUILTED ACCESSORIES-A Book by Heidi Emmett & Leisure Arts

FASHION QUILTED ACCESSORIES by HEIDI EMMETT & LEISURE ARTS

My new book, Fashion Quilted Accessories, is for anyone who enjoys sewing, quilting, and creating something new and different. Each project is geared toward my motto: “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done! I hope this book will inspire you to want to take my workshop, “Pick a Pattern.” It doesn’t have to be clothing. Pick several of the projects in my NEW book.

I’d love to tell you what inspired me to create the projects for this book.

The cover of the book shows Simply Super Quilted Vest. With a cityscape panel as the centerpiece, I auditioned other fabrics around it. A textured home decorating fabric that has a quilted ‘look and feel’ became the foundation of the vest. Panel pieces are really popular. Whatever panel you choose, use this vest pattern to create your own-one-of-a-kind Art-to-Wear piece.

I have really enjoyed the “big” necklaces that are out there. I own a couple. By the end of the day, my neck is so tired by the weight of all those ‘jewels’! I was sitting at my sewing machine and looking at a scrap of heavily machine quilted fabric. The colors of the fabric and stitching reminded me of faceted jewels. What if…… and yes, the “Colorful Circles Necklace and Earrings” project was born. Fun to make and light as a feather, you won’t want to stop at just one set!

I knew I wanted to create a really different scarf and make a headband (or hat band) to match. I started walking the isles of Joann’s. The allover butterflies in the quilting fabric section caught my eye. I carried that bolt over to the home decorating fabric department. I needed a “sheer” fabric that had some texture to hold the scarf knot in place and be easy to sew on. Use Terial Magic and an easy method to stitch down the motifs. What a chic and easy project to create.

Check out the picture of the 1960’s tote from South America. I had to bring it home from the thrift shop. It was so different from anything I had seen. As I looked at it more closely, it reminded me of saddlebags used by the Pony Express riders. I added the unusual idea of using a belt as the handle for this tote. I like being able to make the handle shorter or longer. Use all your favorite quilting fabrics in this one.

From this to to what is below. Only I could take that leap! Ha, ha.

 

I have a little draw-string jewelry holder which I use when I travel. I love how it almost opens flat, so I can find all the jewelry pieces that are stored inside.  I took the same circle and drawstring idea and blew it waaay up. The large circle I made needed to be a fun design in itself. Pinwheels are so interesting to look at, so that’s what I did. Use four of your favorite colors together in this Pinwheel purse.

There are so many beautiful scarf weight fabrics out there. Some are silk, rayon, or polyesters. I was looking at a printed piece that I had and doubled it in my hands and looked again. I loved the way the print showed through so subtly. The design had to be simple and easier to sew (very few seams) because of the slippery nature of the fabric. I had been looking through a design book by the great designer of the early 20th century, Erte’. His designs, while very intricate in nature, inspired me to go in reverse with my thinking. I started sketching what design would add a slimming silhouette while showing off a doubled sheer fabric to its best advantage. This vest will be a sensational piece to add to your wardrobe!

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I think I have succeeded in creating accessories that fit all levels of sewing skills from beginner to advanced. I want you to take your quilting to another level with these eye-catching fashions that show off your passion for beautiful fabrics!

Thanks so much for visiting with me today. Also, visit my own blog to see what other fun projects I’m working on now: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com Buy this book at Amazon (and leave a comment pretty please? help boost me in my Amazon #’s). Hugs, Heidi

Uncommon Sources

by Mary Boalt

As a lover of textiles and all things fabric, I find inspiration in all sorts of places. You probably do too. When I was introduced to piecing garments together, it opened up a whole new world to me. Fabric didn’t have to come by the yard from the fabric store. Cost Plus World Market and it’s beautiful array of cloth napkins became a primary source of a new kind of fabric hoarding. I still check them out from time to time. And I never leave a thrift store without checking out the men’s ties. Especially Jerry Garcia ties. Already cut on the bias, they make great piping, cording or just flat bias tape which can be used in a Koos Van Den Akker style. And of course, we’ve all been tempted by upholstery  fabric. Sometimes with more success than other times.

I thought  I’d share a few of my garments incorporating fabric from uncommon sources. First, IKEA. This is a linen drapery panel with a wild contemporary print. This Vogue pattern has been used many MANY times over the years. Added to it are some plain and striped t shirt knits for the pockets, sleeve interest and back flap definition.img_3468img_3467img_3499Sticking to the drapery panel theme, let’s drive over to Cost Plus World Market. This is a skirt that was blogged about last summer. The perfect summer lightweight cotton crinkle skirt. They are still being sold and come in a cute little matching bag. No need for a pattern with this skirt. Just cut two rectangles, sew together and insert elastic around the waist. And no need to hem. Just use the one provided.img_3474img_3475

And now over in the accessories department we find kantha scarves. Two of them made this summer weight vest. The pattern is now available in a downloadable version. Is downloadable a word? As I’m writing this it just doesn’t sound quite right. img_3476

There was just enough left to make a small pocket. The armhole edges and neck were finished with purchased bias tape.

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Down the street is Target. This piece, also previously blogged about, came about from a “challenge” our local sewing group initiated. Could we make something  from dish towels? YES! Target had these adorable soft cotton dish towels. After stocking up with five towels, the hems were removed and there was enough fabric to accommodate the pattern pieces.img_3469img_3464

This next one is really scraping the bottom of the barrel. You know how wallpaper books come with matching fabric samples in them? This was just the fabric samples. I found this discarded book with a beautiful cover at a recycling store. The samples inside were beautiful, all coordinating. They got mixed with some dupioni silk scraps, hand stitching and a butter soft suede cloth.img_3479img_3481img_3483img_3484

The next two garments come from my desire to be Diane Ericson in my next life. Made from a textured suede cloth, my bar stools were once covered in this fabric.img_3488img_3489img_3490img_3485

These stencils are available to be used when you attend my Zephyr Retreat classes. Along with about fifty others.

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Here’s another idea from Diane; using socks as a collar. Well, these aren’t socks but they looked like socks when I saw them. On sale at a local boutique, these are fingerless gloves. Along with some scraps from my sister, these gloves found their home in this jacket.img_2516img_2517img_3493img_3498img_3492img_3494

Because I regularly thin my closet, I no longer have the dresses I’ve made from bed sheets and cotton shower curtains or the jackets from Kantha bedspreads….Sandra now owns the “bird” shower curtain dress, also from Cost Plus World Market.  Ask to see it sometime.  While reviewing these uncommon sources of fabric, I realized almost all of my wardrobe has a “story”. The next blog will be about the uncommon hardware and trims used in some of the pieces. What unusual things have you been able to sew into your clothes? Do they bring you joy? Are you proud of your resourcefulness and the ability to make your clothes unique? I hope you are and continue to look in unlikely places for inspiration. But please share! I want to know your sources!

I want to give a huge shout out and a hearty congratulations to Heidi Emmett on her newly published book Fashion Quilted Accessories. If you’d like to pick up your copy and have Heidi sign it, there will be a book signing at Sugar Pine Quilt shop in Grass Valley on Saturday March 11 from 11:00-1:00. I can’t wait to get mine to see all the goodies she’s been keeping secret these past many months. Way to go Heidi!!!!

 

Designs by Heidi goes to San Francisco!

Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy     by Heidi Emmett

It was a cold, snowy, morning.  I couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge and zip to San Francisco with my friends. I needed to recharge and get some fresh ideas generating. dsc_0212

Ladies and gentlemen, for what it is worth, you are reading two blog posts by me, Heidi Emmett at two different sites. Designs by Heidi. wordpress.com and over at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com. If you haven’t seen one or the other, please check out one AND the other. Both will give you a nice break in your day.

Yes, Christine talked about the de Young museum (located in Golden Gate Park) last week. But I have different pics and a different take. And that’s what is so fun about what we do as 4 very different workshops at our Artistic Alchemy retreat at Zephyr. My workshop is called “Pick a Pattern.”  Go see the patterns under workshops/ Heidi Emmett, and you can choose from my new book too!

My BOOK!! It’s OUT! Joann’s and independent quilt shops and fabric stores (if they pre-ordered) next week. Amazon, RIGHT NOW! Here is a picture of the cover (from a cell phone at Leisure Arts). I did NOT make it up. It really happened.So, pick a pattern and join the fun in my workshop at Artistic Alchemy this September.

book-cover

Now, back to our program: What a gorgeous day we picked to go to San Francisco. After, a stop at Fabrix, a fabulous shop on Clement St. where designer fabrics abound at super prices, we booked it over to the de Young museum. Taking advantage of that bright, yellow orb in the sky(haven’t seen it much), we sat outside the museum to eat our brown bag lunches and soak up some  Vitamin D (which has been in short supply of late).

Look how they wrapped an ordinary cement structure (except for the scrunchy portion) in steel mesh. Pretty cool looking. See the bank of windows near the top? That is the observation room. What great views of the city from there. No time to go up today.
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Love the red orange and yellow gold of this opening flower. I think there is an entire universe in each and every flower we look at. The precise detailing, the colors, the shapes!

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We get inside purchase our tickets and shazamm! Staring me in the face is a fabulous mural by (Christine told us his name last week)…. It’s huge and colorful. It’s worth another look. Here is a close-up first. Look at the 3-D qualities in the lower right area. Hm…layered applique.’ Tuck away idea number one.

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The people standing there give you a sense of scale. I was so surprised by the vastness of the room (it held the mural perfectly) and I am snapping pictures left and right when what do I spy in my viewfinder? A GUARD! YIKES! He’s shaking his finger at me. Big whoops! I had the flash on!!!! dsc_0216

So, it’s kind of like eating dessert first, except we are in a museum and several of us decided to hit the GIFT SHOP first.  Stuff and ideas are myriad in a gift shop. dsc_0218

Check out this very cool silk scarf with flotsam and jetsam (aka fabric scraps) stitched down. We can do this. Do I have that many silk scraps?   This scarf is really worth the $115.00. Lots of work. dsc_0219

Ohh, I like these cross-body bags, or whatever they are called. I have some great home dec weight fabric, that would work.
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Uhhh, do ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? I turned and a clerk was giving me a not so nice look. Hey, I had the flash OFF! But I forgot to ask permission. Exit quickly, stage right.

In the hushed quiet of the “Embroidery” room, we all gaze at the many examples of beautiful handwork over the centuries.

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A close-up of a woman’s Mola Blouse, mid 20th century. Panama, San Blas Islands. Reverse applique’. I’ve been doing a little bit of that. Nothing like this gorgeous example. I would show more examples of embroidery, but, well….my battery drained in my camera. That’s what I get for not asking permission and using a flash!  dsc_0227

Thanks go to Patty Park for the rest of these deYoung pictures.

Wow, wow, who knew that charred pieces of wood could make such a statement. It’s organized chaos suspended in air. About 16 ft. high and 10 feet deep. A study in black and white. Hmm… I see stamping on fabric maybe. And don’t forget the 3-D looking wood bench in front of the Mobile burned wood.img_3198

That’s my back (to give scale) next to this amazingly large metal-like piece (individual pieces of aluminum covers from Whiskey bottles (now THAT’S a LOT of Whiskey). It really has so much movement to it. It’s very cool. A woven bodice that shimmers…how about using embroidered lame’ instead of Whiskey bottle covers.img_3197

This beautiful sculpture is by Nicolas Africano (b.1948) and it is Cast Glass. I didn’t know one could even “cast” glass. Exquisite.img_3187

An amazing basket. It’s hard enough making a basic basket. I see great quilting designs on one of my vests. Or how about Sashiko stitching in wavy lines like this on a vest?img_3181

Ahhh, Chihuly glass. Great color combinations for blocks in my Off The Grid vest. img_3176

That’s me wearing my own simple Sashiko inspired vest (From my Mommy & Me, Vest pattern), standing  in front of a true work of art Sashiko vest/wall hanging/apron? I was so blown away by the embroidery that I forgot to read about the piece. img_3135img_3138

Onward we traveled to Stone Mountain & Daughter in Berkeley where after much idea matter going in and out of my brain, I was forced, yes, FORCED to buy more fabric so I could make those ideas come to life. New ideas need new fabrics! That’s my motto this week.

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Hard copies of my patterns are now available for purchase in my newly minted Etsy shop. It’s called Designs by Heidi Emmett. Please visit.


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Thank you one and all for stopping by. I leave you with this quote from Miles Davis: “My future starts when I wake up every morning….Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”        Hugs, Heidi

Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2017 Info

Mary, Sandra, Christine, Heidifinal-aa-2017

We are super excited to announce the workshops for our fourth Artistic Alchemy retreat, September 4–8 at Zephyr Point. You’ll find the basic information on our Workshops page, and from there you can click on each teacher’s page for the details of each class.

Important note: If, when you go the Workshops page, last year’s information comes up, “refresh” the page to see the new class descriptions.

Great news this year: The price has not changed! Check out the Registration Form on the Workshops page and on each teacher’s page for the lodging options and prices.

This year we’ll have company at Zephyr—a chapter of the American Sewing Guild from the Bay Area will be there at the same time. There will be plenty of room for all of us, and we know they’ll be a lot of fun, but the number of lake-view rooms will be limited somewhat. So if you know you’re coming, sign up early.

Questions? Write to us individually at our email addresses (found on the Registration Form) or at InfoArtisticAlchemy@gmail.com.

We’re looking forward to another creative year learning, laughing, and just loving being at Tahoe. Join us!

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Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2017—Details!

Mary, Sandra, Christine, and Heidifinal-aa-2017

We are super excited to announce the workshops for our fourth Artistic Alchemy retreat, September 4–8 at Zephyr Point. You’ll find the basic information on our Workshops page, and from there you can click on each teacher’s page for the details of each class.

Important note: If, when you go the Workshops page, last year’s information comes up, “refresh” the page to see the new class descriptions.

Great news this year: The price has not changed! Check out the Registration Form on the Workshops page and on each teacher’s page for the lodging options and prices.

This year we’ll have company at Zephyr—a chapter of the American Sewing Guild from the Bay Area will be there at the same time. There will be plenty of room for all of us, and we know they’ll be a lot of fun, but the number of lake-view rooms will be limited somewhat. So if you know you’re coming, sign up early.

Questions? Write to us individually at our email addresses (found on the Registration Form) or at InfoArtisticAlchemy@gmail.com.

We’re looking forward to another creative year learning, laughing, and just loving being at Tahoe. Join us!

 

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