Part of My Workshop Includes – UPCYCLING. Today, Let’s Upcycle a Skirt!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re Invited! Two special events featuring Artistic Alchemy!

by HEIDI EMMETT  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 our 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!

COMING ON SATURDAY, MAY 18th- ASG Spring Event! Featuring Artistic Alchemy! Read on: This is the Sacramento chapter. Click on anything in blue to take you to the ASG site.

What is ASG? It is a nationwide sewing group and the ASG stands for: American Sewing Guild  

WHEN: May 18, 2019   9:00a.m.- 2:00p.m.

WHERE :Spring Event with Artistic Alchemy
Timberlake Ballroom
7050 Del Webb Blvd.
Roseville, CA

WHAT: Artistic Alchemy will present an EXTRAVAGANZA of all that we are and do. Enjoy a fashion show from each of us. As you watch, learn about each of the teachers that make up Artistic Alchemy. We will offer demonstrations to give you a taste of the workshops offered at our annual retreat. We will also have shopping time! Mary will have some “new painted offerings” , Heidi will have “Art to Wear” sewing patterns and her book, Jane will have Pet portrait jackets and such, and Sandra will have her famous Polymer clay earrings, buttons, and pins. All this ladies, and a beautiful lunch too! Join us and get a taste of what you can enjoy at our Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Lake Tahoe!

$35 ASG Members
$50 non-Members
Online Registration

Additional Details

Thanks for stopping by. Don’t forget to visit my personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com  to see what I’m up to. I post each Friday afternoon. Hugs, Heidi

Time to Breathe

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Heidi, Mary, Sandra and Jane want to say a huge “Thank You” to all the students who attended our 5th annual retreat at Zephyr Point. We all had an amazing, creative and inspiring time and we will be back with our usual blog posts come October. Now we are taking a well deserved break.

Looks like all our attendees had wonderful fun time too!

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Sign up or keep looking up the blog for details of when to sign up for the retreat 2019

Rushing to Get it All together And THEN—– IT Happened!

by Heidi Emmett

Wow, it was hot in my attic studio that day. I was working on a project for the “Upcyling” portion of my workshop.To the left of my sewing machine I store all my Kaffe Fassett fabrics. One-handed, I reached in for the perfect piece (in the middle of all the cubes) for my current project. Hmm..it wont come out. I’ll just give it a little tug…You guessed it! I watched my “tower” of fabric and large sewing notions in S-LO-W motion, CRASH! ON TOP OF MY SEWING MACHINE!  I just stared at it. I didn’t even say bad words because I knew that it was never IF the whole thing would fall, it was WHEN! And then I saw my sewing machine. Thank you Lord! The metal from the cubes rested in just the right place on my sewing machine. Machine is SAFE and FINE!  It’s old, but runs beautifully, and does everything I need a machine to do.

I’m sorry, once again I am not able to write above each picture. So I must tell the rest of the story here and you can scroll down for the rest of the pictures. I must say, just cleaning and rearranging that small area has put me in a new, quiet, relaxed place. I also show one picture of an “upcycling” project I was working on at the time of the crash, using a large scaled fabric and a man’s shirt. It’s too funny, I don’t remember WHAT piece I HAD to HAVE when the accident occurred!

Also, I had to include a picture of a few flowers and a fescue that were sooo sad when I planted them, and look at them now! Just a little fertilizer, who knew? I’m packing things up even now for the Retreat. All you students should receive your itineraries in the next few days. Room assignments will come next week. We’re working on getting as many lake view rooms as possible! Have a creative weekend everyone and thanks for stopping by. Hugs, Heidi  Craftsy-Logo InstagramAA Logo1Pinterest-Pinnedetsy

 

 

 

My Guest Blog Post for Needle & Foot

 

by Heidi Emmett

A BIG thank you to Bernie, owner of Needle and Foot for letting me show off some of the fabric she sells using one of my patterns, Terrific Tabard. Be sure to visit at her Etsy store by the same name or her web site at:  Needle & Foot

Email me: hmemmett@gmail.com for a fast way to order this pattern.

I’m going for a whole new look (than the cover shot above) with the linen blends I got from Bernie’s Etsy shop. Let me show you what I did to create a sophisticated and smooth Terrific Tabard. I started with these linen blends from Bernie. I absolutely LOVE linen! And these two linens will work with ANY other color or colors.

I went to Quilt Market in Portland, OR this past May and was able to buy the black/colored panel by Marcia Derse. This panel wont be available until October. 

I also snagged some very small pieces from Marcia’s newest collection, again available in October.  My linen is sooooo perfect with some of these prints. 

Most of my patterns have tissue pattern pieces included (they always include many sizes in one). Notice I have folded out some of the tissue (closest to the side area). I am making use of every teeny, tiny, bit of this panel. I want to use as little as possible so I can make something else. 

I pinched out some, but now I have to fill it back in with something. I first cut the panel apart near the pinched out area and in the shoulder area. Tip: Always cut wherever you pinch it out. It is a fun and creative trick. 

I cut up a few of those colorful pieces and sewed them together and stitched them to either side of what I cut apart. I started with the red/orange piece (at the top of the shoulder area). 

Always line up other seams and plan to have extra on either end to trim off. I do not like to run short. Below I will just snip, snip, the red-orange fabric off in line with the shoulder seam. 

While I let the fashion layer dictate what each section will look like, I always, ALWAYS, strive for a long and lean look. I want your eyes to see the whole design in an up and down fashion. Never, side to side. I wanted to keep the back simple. So I added just a few strips of fabric. Two more Marcia Derse’s and one of the Linen. I cut out the sizes I wanted and pressed the edges under all the way around each piece. Remember, up and down, up and down. Edge stitch each piece all the way around. 

At the point you see below, in any other “quilted” version of Terrific Tabard, I would be adding batting right now (or before the shoulder seams were stitched together) and quilting all the pieces. Then the vest would be finished off with quilt binding trimming (albeit much narrower than a quilt binding). All those instructions are included in the pattern (you saw it at the very beginning). But THIS vest will have no batting. And it will be lined and not bound. This version really goes together quickly. 

The two front lining pieces are “Grunge” in black. The back piece lining is a very old (no longer being made) Kaffe Fassett stripe. Pin right sides together and stitch all the way around using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Be sure to leave about a 6-8″ opening somewhere on one of the sides. 

Very carefully grade the seams on the curved portions. Grading just means trimming one piece smaller than the other. When you turn the whole piece inside out and begin to press, press, press (that’s the secret to a beautifully lined piece), all the rounded edges will fall into place as you press. Tip: On dark fabrics use a press cloth (a piece of muslin works) on top of the fabric before you press. Sometimes you get a shine, even on linen. 

I have a rather large collection of buttons. Here is a group of Polymer by Sandra Bruce. She also sells earrings and pins. Check it out: SandraBruce.com   I just buy what I like, knowing that someday, I’ll have the perfect button for a project. Forget buttonholes. I use strips of fabric that have been folded and pressed and stitched into place as tabs to hold the button in place.. You’ll see this in a few pictures down.  I love my new vest. I can’t wait to wear it (not sure when since it is summer!), but I’ll be ready when the time comes. 

The button I chose is very intricate and it’s really BIG, but I think it blends in nicely. 

The two side buttons are from my glass button stash. I know, I know, it’s a sickness, but one I don’t want to get over. Ha, ha. 

One last way to style this Terrific Tabard, fold back just one side. 

 

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I wore my newest Sparky Top to town this morning. Wore it while mailing off the other two Sparky Tops in my hands. They go to the two special ladies who got me into Quilt Market, and have helped spread the joy of my pattern line to other Shop Owners around the country. Thank you!!!! Sharon & Carol. You two are the BEST!

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Here are the  intrepid leaders of Artistic Alchemy’s 5th Annual Retreat at Lake Tahoe, Zephyr Point. There are a few spaces left in Mary’s, Jane’s, & my workshops. Click on the icon below to find out more. From left to right: Sandra Bruce, Mary Boalt, Jane Haworth, & me, Heidi Emmett

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I sew appreciate each and every one of you stopping by. Take time, my mantra, ” just 15 minutes a day”, to create something new this weekend. Hugs, Heidi

Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe, Nevada, USA- Savor Each Moment You Are There!

by Heidi Emmett

A week at a time, during the summer months(this year 3 x’s), my husband and I go to Zephyr Point at Lake Tahoe to work in the “Bear Necessities” gift shoppe. Robert runs the Frozen Yogurt Machine and I do the retail end, selling T-shirts, etc. We are going by Sand Harbor, a place that on one side is a boat launching spot and waaay around the other side is a Huge amphitheater for Shakespeare and other plays right on the lake and next to that a beautiful sandy beach. Yes, I took this picture from the car (a teeny bit blurry) but this sight means we are only 22 more minutes from Zephyr Point!

Can you believe it, this lovely picture was in the Safeway parking lot at King’s Beach.

Our first night at Zephyr out on our deck. The Multi-million dollar view. 

And it just got better and better. Sunset, 8:22p.m. 

Commercial break, “Sparky Top” has become my TOP selling pattern. I am so excited. It has been out for only 8 weeks and wow! Thank you all who have purchased it. It is really fast and easy to make with many options (fabric choices that is) to make your very own signature “Sparky Top”.  Email me at hmemmett@gmail.com for more information on how to purchase a pattern.

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I made three more before coming up to Zephyr. I love taking pictures on the dock of the private beach. Some tips for your upcoming making of a Sparky Top: 1. Buy garments ( at the thrift store) just for the fabric. I have been going a little crazy lately on garments for my black and white collection. Below, the front piece of the S.T. I’m wearing was cut from a skirt. The skirt had a black band at the bottom. I realize that the band is NOT running in my usual “long and lean” look (as in up and down), but I think it works because this front piece is flat, shorter than the back and the piece itself  has it’s own built in long and lean look to it. I also made sure to have a black polka dots as the side pieces. That black piece looked lonely so I added a piece of beautiful black cotton lace (from a sleeve of a black blouse).

The back piece (near the shoulders) on all three S.T.’s are fabulous pieces of lace. Each back piece was cut from 3 different dresses. 2: If you have broad shoulders, consider a piece of knit for the back piece. The stretch in the knit will give enough room so it doesn’t feel tight.  

3. I also suggest LIGHT weight knits (for one or all of the pieces). 4. On the back shoulder pieces of all three of these tops, I did place an underlining of fabric to show off the beautiful lace patterns.  

One day we drove the Kingsbury Grade (over 7200ft at the summit) to check out the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Range.  On the right side of the picture below, see the long lines in the mountain, that is the back side of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. During the summer you can ride up on a Gondola (starting at Lake level) and see FOREVER as you travel up the mountain. We were able to stand (after a little hike) at the highest point of that mountain (9500ft. +) and get a 360 degree view. The term Heavenly is perfect. 

I tried for a close up as we are traveling down, down, down, into the Carson Valley.

Phew, we made it. This picture is right outside the teeny tiny town of Genoa, Nevada. It’s the oldest town in all of Nevada. Came to be because of the Silver mining in the middle 1800’s. 

The valley is ruggedly beautiful.  The mountains in the distance are a Mtn. Range running down the middle of Nevada. They aren’t very high (3-4500ft.)

Back at the store, here is a young one (he’s five as you can see)in for his daily dose of frozen yogurt. I asked if I could take a picture of his shirt. I like the concept and told his dad that his shirt would make an interesting quilt/or section on an art to wear piece. Reverse applique’. 

Oh yes, he insisted on my taking a pic of his lost teeth. What a cutie. 

Shortly after, a young man staying in Lakeview Lodge for a family reunion, wore his tie-dyed (with bleach) t-shirt into the store. The original black is right behind him. Very stylin’. Turns out I knew the Matriarch of the family reunion. She even taught at my fabric store a hundred years ago!! What a small world. 

To start up the store each morning, we had to walk to the top and pick up the bag o’ money.  We would walk up and down “Robyn’s Flight” to get there (150+ stairs). At 6400′, I always take those stairs V-e-r-y slowly so I don’t pass out, ha, ha! I enjoy the view and take pictures of the flowers that grow in the stone boxes on the stairs. The roof of the cabin to the left is where the director lives. Can you EVEN IMAGINE waking up to this stunning view every single day!!! 

This Dianthus looks like a fireworks display. 

Columbine.

Lupine and Blue Salvia.

Love the wood shutters on the Bear Store. And that wraparound porch. The BEST part.

Snap, snap,(camera sounds) walk a few more steps, and….

snap, snap, some more. The incredible vistas, never end. Good thing I have a digital camera.  Oh dear, I think I’m giving away my age. Ha, ha. 

More Columbine. They look like shooting star fireworks. 

Who, Who?, or more like What, What? is this? I bought a little bag while Thrifting on our way up and around the lake. It is a poor, one eyed Owl, or is it winking at me? He’s so cute. He was a little bag, so I cut it out, gave him a bath, and hung him up to dry out on our deck. I’ll keep you posted on what I do with him. I have some ideas. 

I’m doing a double run again this week. I am posting at Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com and over at Artisticalchemyblog.wordpress.com. Thanks for stopping by and I leave you today with a quote from Sammy Davis Jr., “Savor the moments that are warm and special and giggly.” Hugs, Heidi

Marcia Derse, Fabric Collection Fall 2018, What should 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. Many of you might already know that I was asked to sign my book, Fashion Quilted Accessories, in the E.E. Schenck booth, at Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon. Pop over to my blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com   to read more posts about Quilt Market.

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.

“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 to sign up. Below is just “touching the surface” for upcycling of a 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 stitched 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!)