A Year in Pictures

by Sandra Bruce

Happy New Year to you all! Here’s to a great 2015 coming up. Today, just for fun, I’m posting my 2014 via a series of pictures. Here we go!

First, just a few shots of customers’ quilts I enjoyed quilting over the year:

IMG_7008IMG_7757Robin’s Self-Portrait….she’s a writer, in addition to being a quilter. You can see more about her here: http://robinmartinezrice.comIMG_7347

Trish’s very fun Princess Fishy IMG_7433Jane’s hippo from the Zephyr workshop IMG_8129

There’s always something new to be learned. I took a thread class from Cindy Needham.IMG_6350

I enjoyed visiting many quilt guilds in 2014. I learned so much from them all, and hope I inspired a few! I was surprised at how many Featherweights there are out there. Here’s one painted a special purple! Marty belongs to EBHQG.IMG_6924

I made so many samples in 2014!


Here’s “Octavius”, a close-up of his eye.


His suckers were made with silk organza I dyed outside on a nice warm day.


Also in the summer I took a “one block wonder” class from Cathy Stone, along with my friend Ray who came up to visit. This is a great process if you’ve never made one. Mine has red cardinals on it (made into a Christmas hanging) and Ray used an Alexander Henry print that was just made for this technique. My blocks, before sewing the rows together:IMG_7426

Ray, organizing his blocks:IMG_7997

At the July Northern California Quilt Guild’s “Meet the Teachers” I was happy to see my friend Therese May. You can check out her web site here: http://www.theresemay.com         She and I used to be neighbors and I credit her for getting me on the path to quilting!




Ahhhh…………Fall, and our much-needed rain!!!


Road trip to Oregon and Washington.  I taught in Sisters and Bend, great guilds and enthusiastic quilters!!


I watched my friend Wendy Hill make these beautiful little pies. She has inspired me as a quilter and lover of fabric.IMG_7905

Here’s Heidi when we were getting ready for the Zephyr workshop. We’re gearing up for the 2015 workshop, news and sign-up info coming soon!


This is my son Matteo, up in the air on his bike. I put it in here to see if you were paying attention (just kidding!) Yes, he is responsible for my growing number of white hairs!


My “Christmas on Emerald Court” class was a monthly class in 2014, and I’ll be repeating it in 2015, coming up soon in January. Please let me know if you are interested in taking it! Here’s a couple of shots taken over the months.


Here you can see one of my students’ finished tops on my long-arm, with mine on the wall in the background.

IMG_8275We, Heidi and Christine and I, had a polymer day with a couple of other friends. Here’s Heidi capturing Christine’s lovely makume gane polymer.


December is the time of year for oranges in California. Some friends in Sacramento let me pick to my heart’s content from their tree! They were incredibly big, juicy and sweet!


Christmas at my house. We don’t let a lack of a mantle or chimney keep us from hanging our stockings. Dearly departed loved ones get theirs hung too, in their memory.


Before I end, I want to show you one of my favorite Christmas gifts this year. My son made me a “coupon” for a massage (after a long day at the long-arm my feet will be happy for this!). Using Photoshop, he made this very funny gift. Those of you who have read the “Outlander” series, or seen the TV version will laugh as hard as I did.IMG_8389

In closing, after a great 2014 I am looking forward to an even better 2015, filled with lots of quilting, teaching, traveling, and of course, the Zephyr Point Retreat with my fellow Artistic Alchemy ladies! Cheers!!IMG_8379p.s. Christine here, to congratulate Laurie P. for winning our first giveaway, an ombré and Lustrous Squares pattern kit. Have fun with those fabrics, Laurie! And to everyone who commented, a big thank you for your thoughts. Stay tuned for more giveaways in 2015!

Christmas Stockings and Pretty Little Things by Heidi Emmett


Zephyr Point and LakeView Lodge, 2012. The biggest snow storm of that winter. And we were there, our family, for our Christmas (Dec. 22-24th).

DSC_0455A little perspective, the snow plow is going past Dobbins (the big old building where we all met at our first annual retreat. I took this shot from the steps of LakeView Lodge.

DSC_0620Snow sculptures on the edge of the dock!


Our trucks are all packed. We’re ready to tackle all roads that lead to Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center and LakeView Lodge for our  Family Christmas. We aren’t expecting this much snow. But I had to show you some shots of the beauty of Zephyr in the winter, 2012 that is.


Before we leave we had a chance to get this cool stocking over to Debbie who helped us with the Artistic Alchemy retreat this past September. AND we even gave it to her on her birthday, December 17th. Happy birthday Debbie!


Raw edge stitching and fun, spiral quilting make up this lively stocking. Make your own with all your favorite scraps.

DSC_0719One of Sandra’s signature polymer clay buttons is the finishing touch. It was very fun to fill with all kinds of sewing treasures.


From fabric pieces, a book mark, socks, felting tools, yo-yo makers, napkins, stickers,an ornament, soap, hand knit face cloth, napkins, and even more, all to keep Debbie busy sewing and quilting up a storm.


Another gift idea for busy little boys. There are polar fleece blankets for building forts, flashlights, books to read, stickies for windows and beautiful hand made star ornaments for the tree. Ornaments and blankies are fun to make.

DSC_0466One more gift idea. O.K., they aren’t quilted, but many of the pictures in the necklaces are quilts. These are sooooo easy and fun to make. I’m so bad, one for me, one for her, one for me,……ha, ha.


Aren’t they beautiful?. Each kit comes with everything you need, even the chains. Here is where you can get them:


There is still time to get creative before Christmas. Make it up and above all, HAVE FUN! Merry Christmas everyone. Hugs, Heidi

Thanksgiving at Heidi’s House…




Home made Cranberry Sauce. It’s the yummiest! The COLORS of the berries, AMAZING!

DSC_0345My Thanksgiving table is eclectic. I am using what I have and spending very little $ on any decorations, or if I do buy they must all serve dual purposes, just like my quilting/clothing techniques that I teach.

DSC_0318 What are these? My napkins of course. Years and years ago I made one dozen linen napkins (the perfect amount then), I now need one dozen more! That ain’t happenin’ so I go every other and mix them with vintage linen.

DSC_0322Jacquard paints are perfect. Collect leaves in early fall while still green. Paint the BACK side of the leaf with several colors and press it to the right side of the napkin. Heat set. DSC_0326

Tablecloths, look for bargains on washable home decorating fabrics. 54″ wide, perfect.

DSC_0338 DSC_0349For a unifying effect with all the eclectic, pinecones (from Zephyr Point of course), chargers under each plate, and loose fresh cranberries run the length of all the tables.



I’m ready! Much to be thankful for this year! Hugs, Heidi


Artistic Alchemy Retreat, Zephyr Point, September 2-5th, 2014, SUCCESS!

DSC_0638Here are some of my ladies in the “Art on The Wall, Art to Wear” workshop taught by me, Heidi Emmett. They are working hard. Go to DesignsbyHeidi.wordpress.com to get some in-depth pictures of our techniques. I’ll bring some pictures to Artistic Alchemy too, at a later date.

DSC_0730Margaret Vodika brought a couple of fun quilts for show and tell. She was my student too.

DSC_0715Kathy McDaniel, my student as well, created this quilt using a “piece as you go” method. Delightful.


Margaret showed another fun, challenge quilt that she made. Check out that Tahoe view.


Another “Piece as She Goes” from Kathy McDaniel. You saw it last week as a stain- glass quilt. All our students showed great things. More next time from other students.


Here is Carey Daly, part of the O.S.(open studio) group. Look who is right behind her. Pinto, the resident cat. She would sleep by her every day. She has the touch!


Heidi and Christine showing off Sandra’s beautiful quilt.


Christine with one of her cool Circles quilts.


That’s me, showing how I can twirl in my Whisper Blouse. Buy this pattern at Craftsy.com. Type in Heidi Emmett and my patterns will come up.

DSC_0680Showing my “Mommy & Me & My Quilt” , a new pattern to be on Craftsy very soon. Easy for Mommies and their daughters to sew.



That’s us! Your Terrific Trio of Teachers. Thank you all for coming! I have been working with Zephyr Point for next year, our 2nd Annual Artistic Alchemy Retreat. Tentative dates are Tuesday,September 8th – Saturday, September 12th. Keep your fingers crossed that we get that extra day. So far, it looks like your T.T.of Teachers will each be teaching the same workshops. We want to keep the fun going. Mark your calenders and tell your friends. What a great way to kick off the fall season. We will keep you posted! Hugs, Heidi.

Snapshots of the Retreat

It’s official: The first ever Artistic Alchemy retreat is history! The three of us had a great time, and judging from our students’ comments, so did all of you who came. The creativity quotient was high, the laughter was contagious, and the projects—wow! Below are some class images, lunchtime show-and-tell pics, and shots of Lake Tahoe and the Zephyr grounds.

Watch for details about next year’s retreat. Heidi is working with Zephyr on the dates, and we are hopeful we can add an extra day, for a total of three full days in class.

Take a look at who was there and what we did. (We were missing a few when we took this group pic.)IMG_7690IMG_7642IMG_7718IMG_7648IMG_7611IMG_7644IMG_7584IMG_7699IMG_7628

show & tell 3show and tell 4IMG_7660IMG_7716IMG_7738IMG_7710This could be YOU, next year! Stay tuned. . . .

Artistic Alchemy Retreat, Zephyr Point, The Place to Be!

We are madly rushing around getting everything ready for our retreat. packing Zephyr

There will be treasures galore that you can buy. These are some of Christine’s. Oh, those colorful ombre’s.

IMG_7561Name tages

Here is a pile of cool name tags made by Sandra. There is one in there somewhere with your name on it.


Heidi is making a mess deciding what to pack. Number one thing, BRING OWN PILLOW! And DON’T forget a colorful pillow case. Otherwise your pillow could be left behind (ask Christine about that).


We’ll see you before the sun sets on beautiful Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, Sept. 2nd. You’ll make new friends, see beautiful scenery and above all, increase your creative energy with Artistic Alchemy. Christine, Sandra, & Heidi

“You Could Be Here!”

by Heidi Emmett



At the Artistic Alchemy Retreat- September 2-5th. There are still a few rooms available. Take one of 4 workshops or come to Open Studio. Complete packages start at $495. including a workshop. Open Studio (you’re on your own)starts at $285. This picture was taken on a morning walk. Look at those colors in the water!! (This cabin does need a new flag though). Christine will have an ombre’ fabric for sale in these colors!

DSC_0264Picture yourself HERE! (that’s Cave Rock at the top right).  So much Creative Energy with four, fun, fabulous teachers! We ARE the Fab 4!  There is still time to sign up for Crisp mountain air, no dishes, no responsibilities, just great sewing times, new friends, and learn new things in the world of quilting.




There are so many shades of green in the foliage and the gorgeous blues of the water at Lake Tahoe. I had to create a technique that pays homage to all this loveliness. You will make a few of these. They would make great pockets, potholders, a bunch of these leaves would be a cool table runner. Oh, the things we will plan!



I am using linen, and cottons with this one. My thread is an ombre’ in greens.





Isn’t this fun? I like seeing the light filter through. The olive green linen background shows a wonderful weave in it.  Before I leave you this evening, I will show you a very interesting cloud formation at Zephyr taken from the swimming/dock area. And the same formation 5 minutes later.




I can’t wait to see you at Zephyr Point. Hugs, Heidi









“Polished and Published”!

Artistic Alchemy. Here are some of our latest accomplishments in the publishing world. We are all honored to have been chosen to represent all these fine publications.


Heidi Emmett: Modern Patchwork. The above issue is Spring 2014. In this issue Heidi has designed a unique, “Quilted Summer Backpack”.  She had fun using bungee cords for straps and using the “quilt as you go” method in the sewing of it.

Apr-May14cover_issue 68 Sandra Bruce: In this issue of Quilting Arts, March/April 2014, Sandra shows us her “Material Matrix” in a featured article. Many of her quilts are shown. Material Matrix, what an art inspired approach to quilt making.

Modern Patchwork cover for AA post

Christine Barnes: In this Winter issue 2013/2014 issue of Modern Patchwork, Christine has a project for a wall quilt titled “Urban Ombre”. It’s a stunning example of Christine’s use of color in her quilts.


 Sharon Alves: This full sized quilt (only the center is visible, see Sharon’s website or one of her past posts here, for a full view) is aptly named: Fyrewrks I. Sharon’s quilts look intricate at first glance but, using her own paper-piecing method, go together easily. This quilt is featured in an article that Christine wrote in McCalls Quilting Magazine.




More works from all of us are soon to be published. Come to Zephyr Point and enjoy the creative energy! We have a space waiting for YOU!

Heidi, means, “A Field of Pretty Flowers”.

by Heidi Emmett

Hello! My  name is Heidi . I am Austrian, Swiss, and Norwegian. A friend who is German told me that my name means, “a field of pretty flowers”. I have decided that it suits me just fine (whether it is true or not)! Please visit my personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com and you will see flowers everywhere, whether real or fabric.It’s just who I am.


DSC_0005 (4)


I used this pillow on the left to key off of and found fabrics similar yet different from my stash for the representational flowers.



I decided that I needed some fabric paint behind those flowers. And the close up view I am showing you is what I call, “sketch stitching”. It’s fun and easy to do. When I sketch out a design, I draw many lines to represent a leaf or flower. I will show you how to do this in a fast and fun way.



I LOVE this pillow. It is done on 100% Linen with some great stenciling behind the flowers. The stenciling makes the flowers pop.



Yes, I am keying this next pillow off of the pillow above. I LOVE these colors too. AND, I am getting really good at cutting out free form circles. Notice the dots behind, the fabric flower shapes. They are stenciled. I thought these shapes alone would be enough. But…..DSC_0925


Wow, what a difference with the leaves. I think leaves add more texture and life. Too many circles before. Please visit my Personal blog: Designsbyheidi.wordpress.com next week to see this piece finished. And of course, I can’t stop with just this pillow. I have two skirts in mind to add the funky flower shapes too. So check back. One more peek….


Aaaarrrggghh! I CAN’T SHOW this WAY COOL project to you! It goes back to Boston on “Spec” for a possible project in Stitch magazine. If YOU join MY workshop up at Zephyr, you will see it in person!

In the meantime, if you are in the Grass Valley, Nevada City, CA area, on Sunday, June 1st please consider this fun opportunity below. Until next time, enjoy the weekend. And God bless those who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms WE ALL enjoy today in these GREAT, United States! Be sure to take a moment and remember these brave people on Monday, May 26th. Hugs, Heidi





Spiraling Out of Control!

by Heidi Emmett



I love spirals and I am out of control on the ideas. I can’t STOP making them. Below are many different types of spirals. I will show you ALL of them at Zephyr, demonstrate SOME of them, and have you make SOME of these beauties in our workshop. Each month I will be showing a different technique that will be worked on by you at our retreat. All are fun and easy to do (or I wouldn’t make them)!




I love how beads, fabric, and yarn, make for some yummy spirals. Just wait until you see how I use these, and you will be able to too!



There are spirals within spirals, or is it a fractal? DSC_0599

Yarn spirals that will be attached with beads. Yum, yum!


I did this when my machine was giving me fits so excuse the weird stitch lengths. Love the sparkles in this spiral.


Beading, will be discussed and hopefully have time to try some of my techniques. So bring beads you already have. Don’t buy any, unless you have to or want to.


My helper, Rubix. What a silly cat! I leave you with visions of spirals dancing in your head. The fabulous view rooms are going, going,….so sign up soon! Love to have you in my workshop. Fun and creativity will be the name of the game. Hugs, Heidi