review: Go Big, Go Bold

Go Big, Go Bold

Go Big, Go Bold: Large-scale modern quilts by Barbara Cain

Modern quilt – it’s a term that can be defined in a number of ways, but probably falls into the ‘I know it when I see it’ category. One common feature is the use of large blocks, larger than you’d commonly see in many traditional quilt styles, anyway. That’s the basis of these ten quilt designs, each of which includes a list of materials, a cutting list, directions for making templates, fabric recommendations, step-by-step piecing instructions, and palette suggestions.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the East Lansing Public Library via the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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review: Quilted Celebrations

Quilted Celebrations

Quilted Celebrations: 18 Designs to Capture Life’s Milestones with Needle and Thread by Amanda Murphy

There’s virtually no limit to the number of occasions on which you could gift a quilt. Murphy includes ten designs for new baby, birthdays, religious rites, graduation, wedding, anniversary, and commemorating a life here. She also includes ideas for personalizing the quilt to the specific recipient. These ten projects utilize a variety of quilt blocking techniques, and could easily be adapted to suit another occasion or no occasion at all. Templates are included.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the East Lansing Public Library via the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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Halloween Blythe Swap!

The Halloween Blythe Swap was a lot of fun again this year! My partner has now had the chance to post her photos of her received package, so I, in turn, was able to upload my video of what I sent to her.

What I sent:

And what I received:

Thanks to both my partners, Jane and Jenna, for such an awesome swap!

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We Can Fix This

Anti-gerrymandering art quilt is probably not a phrase that too many people have found occasion to utter, but it’s been on my tongue for the last few months as I worked on this piece.

We Can Fix This - art quilt by Anne Heidemann

I’m happy to say that you can currently see it in person if you can get to Mount Pleasant this month, as it’s part of the Pop Up Show currently happening at the Morey Gallery at Art Reach.

In this year of What-In-The-World-Is-Happening-Here 2017, politics feel super messed up and there are so many people in power doing terrible things that hurt all of us, but especially the most vulnerable among us. How those politicians can live with themselves, I can’t imagine, except that I guess human brains are pretty good at justifying things that are in one’s own self-interest and the generally Old White Dudes in power have a lot of practice. It feels so overwhelming – how do we fix what’s wrong when many of our elected officials are actively undoing the good we’ve been able to achieve in the past? It can be hard to know what to do or where to even start, but I’ve been trying to identify smallish things that I can actively take part in that might help. Working to end gerrymandering is one of those things and this art quilt is an expression of my frustration with the current system and an attempt to bring attention to this problem. As part of the gallery show, it is, if anyone is interested, for sale. If it does sell I’ll be donating half the proceeds to Voters Not Politicians, an anti-gerrymandering group in Michigan. And I fully encourage y’all to donate to this good cause regardless! Michigandalfs (and everyone) deserve better.

Pop up show at @artreachofmidmi - postcard featuring yours truly's piece (top center)! #mtpleasantmi #artquilt #art

You can also check out a process video of me working on this piece:

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Blythe Quilt Swap

This month I participated in a swap – as usual, for Blythe, but this time specifically for a 12×12″ quilt. This swap originated in an online group for Blythe sewing enthusiasts and I was super geeked to see it. I’ve been thinking of making a Blythe-sized quilt for some time and this was the perfect excuse!

My partner and I have swapped before so we kind of know each other’s tastes a bit, which made this so much fun. Here’s a video of me unwrapping the quilt she sent me (also includes pics of the one I sent to her).

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review: Wise Craft Quilts

Wise Craft Quilts

Wise Craft Quilts: A guide to turning beloved fabrics into meaningful patchwork by Blair Stocker

So many people I know have quilts like this – created from shirts and other items that have special meaning. I have not seen many books focused specifically on these, though, so this is nice to see. Stocker offers 21 designs using a variety of types of material, including baby clothes, a wedding dress, table linens, and even bike race numbers (used to create a picnic blanket). Surprisingly, a t-shirt quilt is not among the projects here, but there are tons of instructions for creating those online. Many of these projects could be adapted to use whatever material you want to use – it wouldn’t have to be reuse of something existing, or could be a combination of reuse and purchased fabrics. There are a lot of options here, as well as inspiration for repurposing existing materials.

full disclosure: I borrowed this from my local public library, the Chippewa River District Library System

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review: Visual Guide to Working in a Series

Visual Guide to Working in a Series

Visual Guide to Working in a Series: Next steps in inspired design – gallery of 200+ art quilts by Elizabeth Barton

Many artists work in series and art quilters are no exception. Barton offers examples of the things that can tie a series of art quilts together, using some of her own quilts as well as those by other well-known quilt artists. These examples are meant to provide inspiration and the accompanying information a guide to developing one’s own style. Barton also shares some of her own creative process, such as taking a photograph, making it into a tracing, and then piecing a quilt based on that outline (just one of many possibilities explored here). General artistic techniques and information are also provided, such as positive and negative space, color theory, value, and creating the illusion of depth. This book is a good choice for those wishing to learn as well as those just looking for inspiration.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Capital Area District Library through the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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review: Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop

Designer Joi's Fashion Sewing Workshop

Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop: Practical skills for stylish garment design by Joi Mahon

Mahon is a designer and teacher who teaches throughout the US and has created patterns for McCall’s. Here she outlines the processes of designing, sketching, and patternmaking (flat pattern, draping, drafting, and computer-generated). She also devotes a chapter to designing for “the real body” which includes details about taking measurements and modifying commercial patterns. This is an overarching book that contains a lot of information garment sewists will want to know. It is not a source for patterns themselves, but hopefully the reader will be able to construct their own or alter commercially available patterns after reading.

full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the Kent District Library through the MeLCat interlibrary loan system

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Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

The latest Blythe swap theme was Blythe is a Bookworm. What a perfect theme for me! I had a lot in common with my partner, also a librarian, and also a fan of Harry Potter and lots of other reading things. Here’s a peek at what I sent:

I made some dresses and a sweater for Kate’s Blythes:

dress for Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

dress for Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

dress for Blythe is a Bookworm Swap

Doesn’t this sweater seem like something Molly Weasley would wear? #goals

Gryffindor Long Cable Cardigan for Blythe

And I made the tiniest cross stitch ever, on 28 count fabric.

Tiny cross stitch pillow

Amiibo figure for scale (figure is 2″ high).

Tiny cross stitch pillow

I’m still shaking my head at my hubris taking on a project on this tiny scale. I now own a magnifier, though, so that should be useful for future miniature crafts. And I’m so pleased with how it turned out, so it was super worth it.

AND, here’s what I received!

Blythe is a Bookworm Swap - goodies recieved from Kate

Thanks so much, Kate! This was such a fun swap!

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