The Artistic Alchemy 2019 Retreat in Photos

by Sandra Bruce

Today I am simply going to let the photos I have of our retreat tell the story of some of the fun, creativeness, and learning that occurred in our 2019 Retreat at Zephyr Point. We 4, Jane, Heidi, Mary and myself thank all the participants for giving us yet another successful year! Following are photos of teachers, students, Open Studio ladies, Show and Tell, and some of the fantastic work that was created.

We look forward to 2020!

And last but not least, our annual group shot….the serious one, and my favorite, the silly one!

Fall Has Arrived at Zephyr Point!


My husband and I went for a week of R&R at our favorite place at Lake Tahoe, Cabin A at Zephyr Point. Colors were at their peak. It was a working vacation too. I made a trip to Minden, Nevada while there.  I went to visit Beth at Fabric Chicks. Fabric Chicks was the fabric store we had visit us at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. What a HUGE, FABULOUS, brick and mortar store she has. 21 minutes from Zephyr Point and a beautiful drive. Check it out. I have exciting news about some of my “Art to Wear” patterns via Beth at Fabric Chicks! More about that in my next post.

I want to show you my last project for Stitch E-Parties via Stitch magazine. What a great run I had with Stitch. This was my 6th and final project for that magazine. Sadly, after the winter issue, Stitch is closing up shop. They were just hitting their stride too. Below are the Marcia Derse prints I used along with the Kaffe shot cotton for the center. This is a two different pieces project. DSC_0293

Below the Summer/Fall leaves  were made into a wall hanging but I like it on my front door to herald the beginning of Fall.


Wow, in a door at the other end of the house it has a stained glass look. leaves 2

I love Marcia Derse fabrics.


My leaves remind me of the beautiful Aspen leaves at Zephyr Point. I need to make a new batch of leaves in these yummy fall colors below.


Working on the set up for my “Summer Fun Leaves” projects. Oh my, I was too busy to clean up my other projects first.

leaves lined up summer on board

Watching me work on making a flurry of leaves was exhausting for Rubix. leaves Ribix

And there it is, I’m even on the cover for the Stitch Parties, E-projects book. Check it out at F&W.

And here is the 2nd part, a quick and easy leaf centerpiece or hey, it could be a placemat too.Leaves, Summer, Stitch in Vase

A wonderful, much needed storm, came flying through for a few hours while we were there. FYI, in a good year, the water comes to within 3 feet of the little boathouse (on the left).

A view on the side of the road on the Eastern Shore drive of Lake Tahoe. Aspens, rocks, water, three

Turn around and another great view. Beautiful Aspens close up

This golden, glorious view is only a 1/4 mile away from the major casinos. Amazing. We pulled over to the side of the road and click, click, click.

More Aspens in field

Have a wonderful fall weekend, and take time to run through the leaves. Hugs, Heidi

Look What My Students Made! September 2015 at the Artistic Alchemy Retreat!

by  Heidi Emmett


Artistic Alchemy Retreat #2, HUGE SUCCESS! My workshop was “Art to Wear, Art on The Wall,” with all emphasis on the wearing part. All of them decided  to make my “Off The Grid Vest” (above) Please visit my past post about Off The Grid vest from 3/27/15!  Here are my students: meet Pat K. who hails from Susanville. DSC_0841

Below is Pat S. She comes all the way from the Benicia, near San Francisco.


Below, meet Sylvia, she is from Napa.Her vest is in the deep navy to the right.


Below is Trish. She is from Nevada City. This picture shows Trish well on her way into the making of her “Off The Grid Vest.”


We needed to lightly stiffen some of our fabrics first. We used Terial Magic I was able to find a place that had an o.k. view (kidding of course!) for the pieces to dry. We walked about 5 steps from our classroom. Ahhh, love this view.


We had Fabric Chicks store from Minden, Nevada come and entice us to buy luscious fabrics. Beth’s fabric selection wound way behind this shot and practically out the door. What fun.


I need to say that I had the most amazing students! Not only do they first have to create the pattern pieces themselves (created them on paper for a permanent pattern) , they were totally focused on getting their vests finished before the week at Tahoe was done. We were a synergistic group indeed, that included much laughter, and fun. At the beginning I told them it was a miracle vest in it’s sizing and after trying one of mine on, they all had to agree. I am so proud of my group and 3 of them went home with their vests 90-95% finished. I will show more pictures of finished vests next time we meet (you three ladies, you know who you are, a gentle reminder, send me pictures).

Below is Trish wearing her FINISHED, yes, FINISHED Off the Grid vest! We all love it and you look fabulous in it too! Trish’s background ombre’ fabric is the same  ombre’ fabric as my vest (shown at the beginning).I love how she used “Tahoe Sunset” colors in hers (Pat K. said Sunset, I added Tahoe, because it fits). See below.

DSC_1045Sunset shot outside of our Dining area, Thursday evening, 6:45 p.m., Sept. 10th. And below is Trish wearing “Tahoe Sunset.” DSC_1037


You go girl! A finished “Ready To Wear,” smashing vest made during our Artistic Alchemy Retreat! Not many can claim that title! And there are three others right behind you!

Newsflash!!!! My 3 other students finished theirs within 3 days of coming home. Can’t wait to show you their pics next time.

Thank you again to Pat K, Sylvia, Pat S., and Trish, for making it a most FUN and CREATIVE time here at Zephyr Point, on Lake Tahoe. Maybe some of YOU will want to join this creative endeavor next time. Hugs, Heidi




“Art on The Wall, Art to Wear”- Fun Ways to Use Large Prints

by Heidi Emmett

Do you have large prints languishing in your fabric stash? Do you say things like, “Why did I buy this, what will I do with this, WHAT was I thinking?” Bring it/them up to my workshop, “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear” and I will show you some fun ways to use them. Below is my Art to Wear vest pattern, Terrific Tabard (aka Skinny Vest) using one large Aboriginal print (and a bunch of other fabrics too). NIK_2670 DSC_0831

I love my Ayala Bar pin as my button closure. I like to tweak things whether it’s in a quilt, a garment itself or with unusual closures. DSC_0933

In Marcia Derse’s second fabric collection she had one large print (printed in squares). Perfect for another version of Skinny Vest/ Terrific Tabard. DSC_0228

Yikes, I forgot, you will see issues with the stitching. Get your machine in good working order. I stupidly waited and caused a further succession of issues.  DSC_0673

Another great use of large prints is using them in my “Whisper Blouse” pattern. The blouse below shows large prints, a different one in each panel. I have EXCITING news regarding Whisper Blouse: keep scrolling down to read. NIK_2657 NIK_2569


Below is a pattern piece from Whisper Blouse. There have been two ways to get the pattern pieces off of when you buy my pattern, tiled (as below) or large filed to put on a thumb drive. “Tiled” comes off your home computer and each pattern piece has separate pieces to tape together to form that particular piece. It isn’t hard, just takes time. My exciting news is that TISSUE PATTERNS are ON THE WAY!!! I am so excited.  . Yeahhh! Available at Zephyr Point.





Love this large print by Anna Marie Horner. See what I did with it at our workshop. DSC_0803

O.K. this Whisper Blouse below will be pretty wild, guaranteed! I just finished cutting it out yesterday and will sew it up today. Check out the large scaled print in the center of this pile of yumminess. This one is by Alison Glass. Wait until you see how I use it. I want to open your eyes to a great world of large-scaled prints.

This gouping is made up of all prints that I have collected for over 30 years (yes, you read that right!) of Liberty of London and Tootal prints (also from England) and my beautiful lace collection. Check out that large stitched flower to the left. I cut it out of a t-shirt. DSC_0461

And then I spied this large scaled print. Hmmm… the ideas are percolating. A new Whisper Blouse, put some of these on the one above, acckkk! Too many ideas, so little time!!!DSC_0465

Oops, I saw a Squirrel (a term many of us use when we get side tracked, and in my case, ask my husband, it happens quite often!). Isn’t this Gladiola pretty? I have a whole vase full and I just had to stop everything and take this picture. DSC_0452I love what I do and I love showing you how easy and fun it all is. Wont you join me at Zephyr Point in early September to create, relax, create some more, and laugh and play with fabric? Hugs, Heidi


Spring Green is Everywhere!

by Heidi Emmett

As thunder boomed and lightening was streaking across the skies, I was saying thank you, THANK YOU, for rain, any amount of rain. Ahhh, it came at 2:30 a.m. a real, “gullywasher.” The fast moving storm, cleaned off ALL the pollen and gave us much needed nitrogen, to green up all the leaves and blades of grass. Below are Hostas just finishing their unfurling. I just love the colors of green and the wrinkles that show off their newness.



A walk to our outdoor garden yielded more spring green leaves of ivy. The “X” ivy runs remind me of one of one of the techniques/projects in my workshop, Art on the Wall, Art to Wear. This technique teaches, leaf shape sewing, stem inserts, gentle curve inserts, and lots of fun top stitching.




Holding a single piece to the light gives a stained glass look.



I brought the “Skinny Mini” back into the house. I love it on the back of the chair. How about turning the skinny mini into two chair covers (on chairs at each end of the table) and a centerpiece of greenery? Simple elegance to celebrate spring and summer.


Join me, Heidi Emmett, at the Artistic Alchemy retreat and learn how to make the most of all the techniques you will learn. It is “Art on the Wall, Art to Wear.” Enjoy your creativity. Hugs, Heidi

P.S. I just sent the fourth (yes 4th) project off to Stitch magazine. They all involve ‘Leaves.’ Two will be available in an E-book in June. The other two will be in Stitch the Fall 2015 issue. I will have all four projects at the workshop for you to see and learn.

P.P.S. Hop on over to my own blog, to see what’s up.

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We Are Celebrating Spring!

A Spring storm rolling by Zephyr Point, with the barest hint of snow at the peak of Tallac Mountain.

by Heidi Emmett, Christine Barnes, & Sandra Bruce

m&m lace 3

Heidi Emmett here. I’m celebrating Spring by hanging a new quilt in the beautiful Dogwood tree in my yard. I love the lace and silk spiral flowers mixed with an Aboriginal background fabric.

m&m lace 4

This little quilt will be part of a series of patterns called, “Mommy & Me & My Quilt. Included in this pattern will be a Mommy & Me Lace Vest to sew. I will really be celebrating Spring when this pattern is done.


This quilt will be at the retreat. I will show you how to create  interesting textural embellishing ideas for your quilts or clothing. My workshop, “Art on The Wall, Art To Wear” has a few places left. Sign up now.

 Sandra next!

Below you see my latest quilt in progress…it is pieced but not yet quilted, and what I’ve been doing in every minute of spare time in the last 6 weeks. It will be called “Claire”, after the young lady in the photo. It will be my MAQ Challenge piece in July, the theme is “Triad” (as in color scheme).


I have also been working on new polymer buttons and earrings. I’m getting ready for a trip down south to Carson, CA for the SCCQC “Meet the Teachers” later in April.


I have not been able to be outside much enjoying Spring, but I do have a beautiful orchid in my studio that I am appreciating! I hope to be able to spend some outdoor time soon.IMG_8913


And to wrap up our spring-has-sprung theme, Christine here!

What do I do when I need a break from working on a major quilt? Lately, it’s been Japanese X and Plus blocks. As usual, it’s the planning that takes the time; they go together in a snap

Made up in Kaffe Fassett prints and a wonderful Moda B&W: C1 X + block, red 8 and 72 copy

Believe it or not, below is the same block, this time in wild-and-crazy Kim Schaefer prints and scrumptious solids (though in this version, I did break the center rectangle into three horizontal squares):X Plus, B&W squaresWhat a difference a few fabrics make, yes?!

I saw a bit of spring on the coast two weeks ago. Here’s a shot at the Mendocino Botanical Gardens on a very dark day. Such lovely fragile color. Until next time . . .

Mendo bot garden 2015 F

“Off The Grid”, The Vest That Everyone is Talking About!

by Heidi Emmett

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I’m  fine tuning my new vest pattern and will be publishing it on as well as making it available to mail to you. There are many comments by many women who have tried it on and can’t wait for the pattern. I have found a winner of a design in  “Off The Grid Vest.” The main colorful fabrics in this vest are by Marcia Derse and the grey ombre is found at Christine Barnes’ website.


I am most excited that I will be able to offer it to you as part of my “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear” workshop at Zephyr Point in September. Click the register button and sign up soon before the workshop fills up. We only take 10 students per workshop.


Dress it up or down, but skinny black jeans or leggings, and a black-T are always a perfect pairing.


If “off The Grid” the vest, is a little more than you want to get started on, we will learn the  techniques that make this vest unique AND you can turn it into a “Skinny Mini.”


What’s a Skinny Mini? It is like one of the panels in the front of the vest, long and lean. It’s just what you need in that space on your wall by the front door. Or I love it on an entry table or on a dining table as a table runner.


These are some of the fabric choices for a different  Off The Grid vest. The colorful batiks (yes they ARE batiks are by Allison Glass for Andover Fabrics). The grey ombre is by Fabri-quilt (in my stash). Grey ombre is a must for just the right background look to showcase your absolute favorite prints.


The vest will require about 9 different “off set” log cabin blocks. A Skinny Mini only takes 3 or 4.


Oh the colors of the water in Lake Tahoe. We have a color of fabric for THAT! Check out our  “store” when you come to the retreat. “Gradations” is the ombre fabric with these exact colors.Own a little bit of Lake Tahoe when you put this fabric in your Off The Grid, Skinny Mini wall piece or vest.


Come on go Off The Grid and join me, at my workshop,  “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear.”   Hugs, Heidi

P.S.  Zephyr Point is over there on the right side of the picture. This was taken from the first stop on the gondola at Heavenly Valley.

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Get a Handle on Spirals and Simply Circles by Heidi Emmett

DSC_0458by Heidi Emmett 

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Happy Friday everyone! Check out one of the projects we will make in my “Art on the Wall, Art to Wear” workshop. Every technique we will work on each day can either be transitioned into a wallhanging or accessory (like the tote bag here) or quilted clothing.


I started with a cute and colorful panel piece. Oh, before I forget, bring one if you have one that you have loved but could not think what to do with it. A close up below shows some of the felted pieces I beaded and then how I attached those.

DSC_0003These “simply circles are very addictive to make. And sew easy.


Yep, they are double sided. And then folded a bit. Oh yeah, love that fabric manipulation.



Which side to fold it to? Try them both.


The size of these Simply Circles can be any size you want. The set up and uses are endless.


The picture below is the back of the tote. Let’s have fun with creative stitching to make some fantasy flowers.


“Getting a handle on Spirals” is the easiest most unique way to create a handle, a belt, a bracelet, or decorative finish to a garment or quilt. Below, next to the fanciful flowers is one of the totes handles.


Terial Magic is a must for some of the techniques we will work on. If it is not available where you live, I will be selling it in the Artistic Alchemy Store.



Fold and roll, fold and roll, and sew, sew, sew.


Voila! Look what you can make. Everything I invite you to make in our workshop is fast and easy. I love to sew and come up with interesting concepts. I would love to share them with you at our Retreat with Artistic Alchemy, September 7th-11th at beautiful Lake Tahoe.


Every day brings something new at beautiful Zephyr Point, Lake Tahoe. I hope to see you there in “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear”, my workshop. Hugs, Heidi


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Stitch Magazine, Winter-2015, Rods & Reels Pillow by Heidi Emmett


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On news stands now. I am proud to present my latest project, “Rods and Reels” pillow.



Below, I am working on two. I always do that with any project, whether for a magazine or for a retreat workshop. I want to make sure my ideas work!


Here it is just before I shipped it off to Stitch Magazine for their photography for the magazine. Front….

DSC_0868and back.


This segues perfectly into one of the projects we will be doing in my workshop, “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear”.  Below, I have started a a pillow using a piece of striped fabric for color ideas. Our project is called, “Sketch Stiching and Easy Stamping”. The Sketch Stitching is in the Rods and Reels pillow above and the stamping is shown in the following pictures.




We will finish the pillow top in class. I have a very cool way to add piping to pillows, clothes, or quilts.  Whoo hoo, so nice to have an extra day to complete projects. Please visit my personal blog for more pictures and fun chats about what I am up to. Hugs, Heidi

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