Artistic Alchemy 2021- Here’s Something You Won’t Want to Miss!

by Heidi Emmett

If you have considered coming to one of our retreats before, but delayed for one reason or another, thinking one day you would, THIS IS THE YEAR!

From the left Heidi Emmett, Jane Haworth, and Sandra Bruce.

If you have had a desire to take a workshop from Jane Haworth or Sandra Bruce, THIS IS THE YEAR TO DO IT! 2021 will be the last time Jane and Sandra’s “in person” workshops will be available through the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Heidi Emmett is at the retreat as acting liaison for the whole retreat as well as being in Open Studio.

Both Jane and Sandra are teachers in demand; don’t miss this opportunity to have one-on-one attention and guidance from these two pros.

For more information on pricing of workshops which include all food and lodging, go to the registration page (on the home page).

This year marks our 7th year of Artistic Alchemy Retreats with workshops. Many wonderful memories have been created along the way. What’s better than time spent with amazing creative people and of course all the new friends we have made on this journey. We are making all efforts and planning for this retreat to be as good or better than previous ones. From short evening programs, to giveaways, show and tell, and “break out sessions”, we aim to please.

Ladies, this doesn’t mean that Artistic Alchemy Retreats are ending, just the “in person” workshops. We are already pondering ideas for 2022.  If given the opportunity for a 2022 Open Studio Artistic Alchemy Retreat, would you want to attend?

Here are a few pictures of Jane’s workshop.

Jane Haworth has a fresh approach to teaching fabric collage to create fabulous pet or animal portraits.
Start with your favorite picture of your pet. Awww…that’s a good dog.
Jane offers some very fun ways of “mark making.” Check out her complete workshop description on the home page under workshops Jane Haworth.

Open Studio is another choice. Read on.

Linda is one of THEE MOST productive people in Open Studio that I have ever seen. We still have spaces left. I, Heidi Emmett, will be your facilitator for your Open Studio experience should you choose that.
This is a great time to work on whatever you want to. Sew, and sew some more. Take a walk. Do your own yoga on the dock and of course, MORE sewing. Make new friends all with sewing creativity galore. Whether you want to sew “Art to Wear”, Quilts, hand stitching,or jewelry making, it’s all up to you. Everyone will have a six foot table of their own to use and plenty of irons and ironing boards are available.

Sandra Bruce teaches Material Matrix. Check out some of her students work from past Artistic Alchemy Retreats.

A Material Matrix quilt, “Josaphine”, by student France Courteau.

This student is showing great progress. Check out Sandra’s workshop particulars. On the home page, open the drop down menu labeled, “Workshops.”
Another of Sandra’s students transferring details for fabric placement.

For pricing on the workshops, which include all food and lodging, go to the registration page.

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To the right in the picture are 3 stories of rooms reserved for the Artistic Alchemy Retreat. And it’s just steps to the outside lawn, and to the conference rooms where we hold the workshops, the dining room (Zephyr hired a NEW chef) and the shore of Lake Tahoe. You will never find a more reasonably priced venue than Zephyr Point anywhere else on Lake Tahoe.
There are always special goodies to purchase.

Don’t miss a single sunset this year, September 6-10th.

There are still a few spaces left in Jane and Sandra’s workshops and Open Studio. So don’t delay- SIGN UP NOW! Make this year, 2021, YOUR YEAR to get away, relax, learn something new, enjoy the views, and be with friends, in person. Any questions you might have, don’t hesitate to email any of us: Sandra Bruce, sandrabruce@pacbell.net, Jane Haworth, janehhaworth@gmail.com, Heidi Emmett, hmemmett@gmail.com. Let’s all get CREATIVE at Lake Tahoe this year!

So What Are We Thinking Regarding, “Break out Sessions?”

by HEIDI EMMETT

Hello everyone. While I am taking a break from teaching a “workshop” this upcoming Artistic Alchemy Retreat, I really want to teach techniques in “breakout sessions” during the evenings. Here are some of our thoughts on them so far:

It looks like Jane will teach one (she’ll talk about it at some point), Sandra said not this year, and Heidi, possibly one a night starting Tuesday evening.

  1. We have decided they will be about 1-1 1/2 hours long.
  2. They will be hand work only (maybe some stitching by machine that can be done later).
  3. Each session will come with a (mostly) complete kit to work with.
  4. Basic sewing supplies as in, scissors, pins, thimble, etc. you would bring to the session.
  5. 10 kits for each session more than likely, a more doable size of class for all concerned.
  6. Bring your favorite refreshment and sit, sip, and stitch!
  7. Pricing/signups, all the little details will be posted probably in June maybe even July.
  8. The following pictures are IDEAS that I am THINKING ABOUT. That’s all. Just IDEAS.
You can most certainly bring your latest knitting or crocheting project to do on your own time. I think this lady and/or gentleman got a little carried away with their project.Ha, ha. It’s really the cutest picture and I had to include it (found it on pinterest).
Let’s make a really unique scarf?
Fiber jewelry maybe.
More fiber jewelry.
Fiber jewelry with a mixture of WHAT??? Rubber tire innertubes.
Ribbon yarn, ya gotta love it for fiber jewelry.
Hmmm…Fiber jewelry with beads, wire, and ribbon yarn.
This is a possibility, but wait those are machine stitched. Keeping it as a possible, thinking, I’m thinking.
This is a possibility from my book. My book is called “Fashion Quilted Accessories” Hmmm…again, there is that machine stitching.
Orrr….I can show you what I do with tiny fabric pieces. This one could really work!
The colors are so vibrant in this picture, I just had to include it. These are all Kaffe Fassett stripes. Hmmm…I could include a piece of double needle stitched fabric in the kit and do some handwork on the little squares to hold in place. Thinking, thinking……
I have a really super technique to create these fabric twisted pieces. These are bracelets.

Do you see my dilemma? Soooo MANY IDEAS. In the coming few months I will be testing them all out and others too. My motto in picking them out is: “Make it up, make it fun, and get it done! Hugs, Heidi

I LOVE SCARVES!

by Heidi Emmett

Welcome everyone! First a quick update on Artistic Alchemy Retreat, September 6-10th, 2021. We are on track to have our retreat as scheduled. Wont it be so fabulous to see each other IN PERSON! So a reminder that we “GO LIVE” on February 5th where you will get all the latest, greatest information on what’s coming for ARTISTIC ALCHEMY RETREAT 2021!

In the meantime, this is my week to chat about Designs by Heidi and what I’m up to.

Some New Zephyr Jackets and I want to Show Them Off!

by HEIDI EMMETT

Hello everyone. It has been a quiet teaching time these past months and months (as it has been for all of us in the teaching world) But many, Jane being the first of our group have been quietly creating a new niche market for themselves. Everything ONLINE! Classes, lectures, etc. Sandra has just finished creating her class too. Go to CourseCraft.com to see Jane and Sandra’s classes that are available NOW! Mine is started but you wont see the finished product until the first of the new year.

A quick word about Artistic Alchemy 2021. We on track for our Retreat at Lake Tahoe for September 6-10th, 2021. I have been in touch with Zephyr Point Conference Center and they want to be completely up and running in April, 2021. We will keep the faith.

As you know, I am the “Art to Wear” instructor for Artistic Alchemy. I want to get right to it this week. My Zephyr Jacket “Art to Wear” sewing pattern is the perfect topper for where YOU live.

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! my newest Zephyr Jacket. I finally got with the program and have pulled out my “Kantha” cloth. It was time to cut them up. This was an inexpensive “printed” not pieced, bed topper.
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A close up of a section of this “kantha” cloth. Kantha cloth is usually made in India. Know in advance that it is made of thinner cottons, two pieces and then hand stitched together with a thicker cotton thread (short staple cotton that shreds).
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This is the back side of this particular Kantha cloth. It is a solid black.
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I like the wool (yes, I mix cotton and wool often) flat trim on the shoulders with a small piping that I added on either side of the plain wool trim.
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I added pockets on this Zephyr Jacket. you can barely see them as the fabric is a little busy.
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A better view of what the Kantha cloth looks like. Whoops, uhh…my pocket is NOT straight. I looked at it and asked myself if it would be worth taking it apart and re-make it. Nope. It would take too much time and I put it on the jacket and voila’ it blends right in. Crisis averted.
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I wanted BIG pockets! To make these I put the Kantha and a lining right sides together, stitched all the way around leaving about a 2″ opening. Turn inside out, stitched opening closed and topstitched onto the jacket.
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My Zephyr Jacket pattern. Contact me at my email: hmemmett@gmail.com and hear about purchasing directly from me. ORRR….go to my Etsy shop and see all “Art To Wear” patterns. Etsy shop name: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
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Purchase my patterns from me by contacting me at hmemmett@gmail.com OR from my Etsy shop: DesignsbyHeidiEmmett
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Zephyr Jacket can be layered (like a Bell sleeved sweater underneath), or made in a heavier weight fabric for added warmth. Yep, an older picture with me in braces! Glad I did it, but EXTRA GLAD it’s over. Ha, ha.
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I like how it flutters to a longer length in back. This is the jacket pictured on the pattern back (that picture is really soft in color). The main body is a Kaffe Fassett fabric called “Turkish Delight.” They just brought it back and in some new colorways. Check your local quilt shop. The front pieces are made from a silk piece (o.k., o.k., I found a brand new pair of silk pants at the Thrift shop).
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The quilting cotton weight is perfect for warmer days and evenings.
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Shoulder work on the Kaffe Zephyr Jacket. I explain it all in the instruction section.
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The body of this Zephyr Jacket is a heavier cotton/linen blend. An unusual netted “scuba fabric” was placed over the top of a turquoise green cotton and treated as one piece of fabric.
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I added length to this Zephyr Jacket by splitting the tissue pattern pieces across horizontally and added the same amount on each piece.
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Check out all the stitching I did on the back (and some on the front too). I used orange quilting thread. It is a running stitch BUT I cheated! I used my Sashiko machine. More about it below.
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The Sashiko Machine is a very COOL TOOL! It is made by Baby Lock. It makes the BEST “Shashiko” stitch (running stitch that looks hand done) and you can use different weights of thread. Sadly, it is a big and bulky machine (weighs close to 35 pounds).On the left side I added little tied pieces of floss on top of the scuba netting.
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The body of this Zephyr Jacket is another Kaffe Fassett fabric. I like how the fronts fold back just a little to reveal a different parasol fabric.
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I mixed silk and cotton and a rayon (the black background parasols) for a unique late summer top The solid aqua green silk came from a silk skirt . On the upper postion of the Zephyr jacket front I have a dragonfly pin.
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This dragonfly pin was a really fun find. I tried and tried to find a company name for you all but to no avail. My pin landed on a beautiful hand embroidered fiber/bead necklace. This necklace was my very first purchase on Etsy some 10 years ago from a shop in Australia. I’d give you her shop name in a flash but she took it down. Sooo sad.
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I leave you with this quote. Let’s all follow it. Hugs and much creative energy to you, Heidi

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

by HEIDI EMMETT

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

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

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

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

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

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

A “Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza” Trunk Show in Santa Cruz, CA

by Heidi Emmett  

Before I tell you about this fun trip, a word about The Artistic Alchemy Retreat at Zephyr Point from Sept. 7th-11th. I have been in contact with The conference center and while no one knows the future, we are VERY HOPEFUL to be able to have our retreat in September as planned. There is still room in all the workshops. By Sept. we will all need a BIG break and I can’t think of a better place to be than Lake Tahoe, with all our “stitching” friends. Going forward, whoever is posting for that week will keep you updated on the Artistic Alchemy Retreat-September 7th -11th, 2020.

I have a trunk show. It’s part of the repertoire of Designs by Heidi. It is called “A Kaffe Fassett Extravaganza!” I created it to do with my friend Christine Barnes. This past March 7th-10th we traveled to The Santa Cruz area of California to give this trunk show. The drive down was very rainy (which was good actually as we have had no measurable rain the entire month of February). We arrived in Capitola around 3p.m. Our hostess felt we needed a walk right away.She was right. The rain had stopped. Let’s go to the beach! The following pictures aren’t in any order. But can be enjoyed regardless.

A great view of the town of Capitola. The Capitola pier in the upper left. I forget what they call the row of colorful cottages.  But they a cheerful addition to the town.
Our hostess and her dog, Kahuna. Christine is to her right. You can barely see some hills straight ahead across the water. That is Monterrey.

A small walking alley going toward the beach. Sew festive and fun.

One of the colorful “row of cottages.” This one is on the end with an unobstructed beach view. I was told that it was for sale and snapped up by Oprah Winfrey for $4+ million.
We are crossing a bridge that goes over a river that empties into the ocean.
On the beach walk, there is a short sitting wall that faces the beach. It is lined with hundreds and hundreds of tiles that were all created by the villagers. I love, the umbrellas, some open, some closed.
We were a great walking group. Starting on the left: Linda (Christine’s sister-in-law)holding her dog Buddy, Christine, me, Lori (co-hostess of our grand time in Capitola), and our hostess Pat with Kahuna.
I made Lori put her hand near one of the Hen’s & Chicks succulents. I have never EVER seen these so extraordinarily LARGE!!
I did not have to get very close for my close up shot. Ha, ha. I think the shades of green are so yummy.
One of many murals that line the streets we walked. All graffiti free! This one is especially sweet and so well done.
There is some major erosion happening to the cliffs in the area (top left). Hence all the boulders below. Pat said it has been happening for the last 50 years or so. What was once a highway that followed the cliff edge has since narrowed to a foot path where 2 can barely walk side by side. Front yards (tiny ones)  come right up to the path.
A few more tiles to enjoy.
I just noticed the glass tile borders above and below the tiles. The seaweed tile (lower left) would make GREAT fabric. So would the umbrellas. I’m always looking at things as possible design ideas.

Christine taught a quilting workshop the day before our Trunk Show. It was based on her “Swizzle Stick” pattern. Her teaching quilt is above all the fabrics that this industrious student was auditioning for blocks. Check out Christine’s pattern here.
A few of Christine’s student work. Really lovely.  Swizzle Sticks, a pattern by Christine Barnes. I enjoyed being her “assistant” in the workshop.
A beautiful colorway with this block. The more I look at these blocks the more I see myself doing some on a vest, ohh how about Off The Grid? Heidi is thinking, thinking.
This block decided to angle itself differently. I like it. I like the colors/prints that were used as well.
Oh MY!! This student wore her “Persian Poppies” vest (vest pattern designed by Kaffe Fassett). Her mother knit it for her and if I’m not mistaken, made 6 more for other family members. Gorgeous colors. The night we gave our Trunk show, I had her stand up so the audience could see another Kaffe sweater.

This was one of Kaffe’s first books. It was printed in 1985. Find copies of this book on Ebay or maybe an Etsy shop.  Knitted pieces that Kaffe created are what I talk about in our trunk show. I also bring some of my own pieces to show that I have collected over the years.
The back cover shows the Persian Poppy vest that the student had. Kaffe is known to use 40-60 different colors in a sweater or vest or coat.
On the morning of our Trunk Show we are both seen wearing our own Kaffe Fassett sweaters. These were purchased from a company called Peruvian Connection. Kaffe and P.C. began a wonderful collaboration on knitted garments starting in 2002. Kaffe designed the sweaters and Peruvian connection hired Peruvian ladies to HAND KNIT each sweater. Any Kaffe sweater from Peruvian Connection is either made out of Alpaca or Pima cotton.
Kaffe also loves mosaics of any kind. At Gayle’s Bakery (41 years it has been in the same location) Gayle created all the mosaic tables. Don’t they remind you of a fabric or garment that Kaffe might have designed?These tables are treasures indeed.

And how about this wall mosaic behind the counter at Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, CA Scroll back up to the picture of the two of us wearing our Kaffe sweaters and you will see this mosaic behind us and more mosaics at the ordering counter.
And this fabulous market painting! The colors and design elements. C’est Magnifique!
The French women are doing their daily shopping. Don’t anyone dare splash 1/2 and 1/2 on this piece!
This is just one of case after case of tres bon! pastries. All a feast for the eyes and taste buds.
I snapped a shot right after one of the cakes with the rose on top was sold. At least I got a picture of this one.
A close up of the funnest, bestest, valance treatment I’ve ever seen. Gayle made these using vintage table cloths. There is a lot of math(to get the proportions just right) in each of these treatments that are around the store. The plates above  the valance treatments are the finishing touch.

Even the cafe’ chairs are European and really comfortable so you can relax and enjoy your food. Oh, and the fireplace is in the next dining area. There is dining all around.
More succulents abound right outside the door. Such a cheerful yellow.
I bought this the morning we left for home. I made it last for 4 days. My husband wants me to get in touch with the bakery and see if they mail. He’s ready (and so am I) for more.
I like this picture. Pat’s dog is such a cutie pie. All of 12 pounds I think. Very nicely mannered and knows his commands. Of course he is 10 years old. THAT REALLY HELPS. And now you can see the back of my “Kilim” sweater designed by Kaffe Fassett.

Home again and I am trying to recreate the same lovely gentle walking with my dog, Riley. I am wearing a vest (called a jumper in England) that uses the pattern on the front cover of the book (Pictured above) called Glorious Knits. The pattern is called, “Outlined Stars.”
Acccccckkkk!…… Riley wants to go HIS way, NOT mine! Please note, this is NOT really happening. I am exaggerating for a fun picture. Riley is wearing what is called a “gentle lead” around his muzzle to help with training. There ARE times when Riley catches a scent and ALL bets are off! He is so much better though. The new commands are “Leave It!”and “Watch Me!”  They really work!

Take care everyone! Prayers going up for this great country we live in, and all the people  and beyond our shores.  We will all get through this surreal time. I’m sheltering in place in my happy place, my attic studio. Hugs, Heidi

Announcing our 7th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat – September 7th-11th, 2020

Welcome everyone to our 2020 line up of workshops and Open Studio!

We accidentally hit the “PUBLISH” button the other night before everything was perfectly in place. So, here’s a chance to view the IMPROVED version. And we’re here to answer questions.

Please note that the date seems later, but it’s just the way the calendar worked out this year. Arrive on Monday (Labor Day), the 7th and return home late morning of Friday, the 11th.

Mary Boalt will not be with us for 2020 because of personal family obligations. We have REALLY enjoyed working with Mary and she will be greatly missed.

Another change this year for 2020 is that we are planning on having Open Studio in its own room. We want you to enjoy working at your own pace, staying up all night (if you want); bring all your UFO’s, and enjoy being with other Open Studio attendees. Be inspired by the nightly programs, the scenery,and the new friends you will make. To enable this “private space” to happen we will need a good showing of attendees. So sign up early! Open studio prices are listed on the registration form and the prices include your sleeping room and your working space, etc.

As you check out the workshops, please read all the way through each one. All the workshops have sewing skill parameters and we want you to be aware of each teacher’s needs for the BEST possible experience for YOU! If you have any questions, email that teacher before you sign up. We’ll get back to you asap.

Thank you for stopping by. Start by perusing the updated 2020 drop down Menu Bar. We hope to see YOU at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat this year.

All the best from Sandra, Heidi and Jane.

Indigo Dying- You gotta Try This!

by HEIDI EMMETT

It was a bright, summer day. Perfect for playing with fabric and Indigo dyes. With very little experience with this process, I was ready to jump right in. And it is all the more fun with a large group of “like-minded” friends.

Our teacher, Ginny Lee, showing samples and explaining the process.
So, Indigo is the dye bath we put our item in after it has been manipulated in some way with Shibori techniques.
Here is an example of Kumo Shibori. Love it, and it is the first one I tried on a linen top.
Here is the wrong side and the right side (both are cool) of a Shibori technique that involves using wine corks (I always wondered what to do with mine, ha, ha) and rubber bands.
O.K., here goes my first attempt at Kimo Shibori using a linen top. Wrap at an angle, tightly, but not too tight.
Ginny is showing me how to wrap and pull down on those wraps (to fit the whole thing on the tube.
Here are some very interesting wraps. Notice the printed fabrics too.
I love all these really wild and different wrappings, foldings, and clothes pins! These pieces have been soaked in water and are waiting their turn in the dye bath.
Indigo is a plant. Yes, it is found in Asia, India, and I just learned this, there were large plantations of Indigo in South Carolina in the middle to late 19th century.  Not really a hard process to make up a batch of the Indigo.  Really messy though.
This is my linen top coming out of the dye bath. Whaaat? Why is it Chartreuse? Where’s the blue? It turns this green color in the dye bath and as it’s exposed to the air, it begins to change over to Indigo Blue.
I like this cotton shirt and floppy hat.
Taa daa! My linen top! There is still some green in one bottom corner. 5 min. later, blue.
This piece is so interesting. Ginny said to bring yellow or orange fabrics as a base fabric. Such an interesting piece all wrapped and folded with 1/2 moon shapes.
I think this T-shirt is really cool. There is the yellow and orange(tie dyed before) with a hint of Indigo here and there.
This T-shirt was pinched and pleated in the top area only using larger clips. What a cool design.
I sure wish this was my piece. Again, it started with a pale yellow fabric. I like the combo of styles within one piece.
I brought a baby quilt that I got at the thrift store. The quilting, HAND QUILTING, is so precise, and the stitching is so small. It had languished in my “what do I do with this?” container for years. It was white, well dingy white. It took awhile but I bunched up little poofs of fabric and held them in place with plastic stretchy hair ties. I really like how it turned out. I hope to make a vest out of it using one of my patterns. Maybe a “Mommy & Me & My Lace Vest” only it will be a quilted.
Someone brought this book.  I might need to own this. Filled with great pics and ideas.

It was suggested that we bring fat qtrs. to be able to try many different techniques. Brilliant idea. One student did that, and even went further by prepping some of her pieces at home with some of the more time consuming folding, pinching, whatever processes.
This same student took home 12 different techniques with just fat qtrs. I’m jealous!
Another pale yellow piece of fabric to start (a tablecloth actually).
A really fun day and I can’t wait to do it again, hopefully sooner than later.
I came home and went to the back deck doors and said, “What? ” Rex was sound asleep, thinking he was a dog? Trying to cool off? Pretty funny.  The 2019 Artistic Alchemy Retreat is only 29 days away. All the teachers are madly finalizing this and that to make it your PERFECT getaway. See you all soon.  Hugs, Heidi

Announcing our 6th

Welcome! Please peruse all the drop down boxes on the Menu bar. Any questions you may have, fill out the form in the Contact link on the menu bar.

 

We hope to see YOU this year at Lake Tahoe for our  7 TH ANNUAL ARTISTIC ALCHEMY RETREAT!

From the team, Heidi, Sandra, & Jane.

 

We Are Almost Ready to ‘Go Live!’ for Our Artistic Alchemy Retreat 2019.

All of us at Artistic Alchemy (Heidi, Sandra, Mary, & Jane) welcome you to our site. We are finalizing all the details for our 6th Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. It will take place  September 2nd-6th, 2019, at Zephyr Point Conference Center, which is located on the south shore of beautiful Lake Tahoe, on the Nevada side.

Next Friday, February 1st, revisit this site to see what all of us are offering in our workshops for this year’s retreat. Each of our four workshops promises much creativity, learning, and fun. All this is in a peaceful, blissfully quiet (we are usually the only large group on the entire 128 acre site), exquisitely beautiful Alpine lake view property. We are a small retreat on purpose. Each workshop has a student limit of 10-12. We strive to have the BEST student to teacher ratio. We teachers LOVE what we do and want to give you the BEST experience possible.

Our retreat also offers short evening programs, with a chance to learn more about the teachers, as well as to enjoy the creativity of the students through “show and tell.”

Every evening there is a chance for you to continue stitching/sewing/creating as LATE as you want in your classroom. Also, every evening, after the short program, you can make new friends and/or do some handwork together in the large room (complete with couches, comfy chairs, and a fireplace) in the foyer.

The four of us teachers will have an Artistic Alchemy “store” with many one-of-a-kind items (just for our retreat guests) as well as our own patterns, accessories, fabrics,etc, for sale.Our store is open every day of the retreat (pay up on the last evening). There will also be two visiting “stores” on two different days this year! There will be a scissor sharpening service available. And there will be several days filled with opportunities for massages.

The following Lake Tahoe pictures are to get you excited for the views you will have as you travel on the Eastern shore of the lake to Zephyr Point, the home of the retreat.

You HAVE ARRIVED! at your destination! Zephyr Point. Deep breathing of the delicious sights, smells and rarefied air will have you relaxed and ready for your time at our Artistic Alchemy Retreat.

Sew, MARK your calendars. Next Friday, February 1st, visit this site and reserve YOUR spot at our 6th annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. And one last important note: Lakeview rooms are LIMITED! So if a beautiful, Lake Tahoe view outside your sleeping room window is important, sign up sooner than later (we give room assignments according to the postmarked date of deposits).