Art Walk Central wrap-up

Modern Venus - on display at Helios Art Gallery

Here’s a much better photo of Modern Venus on display at Helios Art Gallery! I went in with the DSLR and of course managed some higher quality shots.

I am so honored that my art was displayed in this gallery! It made my Art Walk Central experience so much richer this year – big thanks to the folks at Helios for welcoming me, being interested to know more about the piece, and encouraging me in every way during every interaction we had throughout the festival. It was such a pleasure to be involved with such good people.

Overall my experience this year was a bit of an up-and-down. I had received a call from ArtReach informing me that my piece was in the judges’ top ten and I was both stunned and elated! But then when we attended the judges’ round table discussing their top picks, mine was not among them. I felt so embarrassed in that moment, even though as far as I know, K and I were the only ones expecting to see mine in the slide show. I am pretty sure that someone confused my name with the other art quilter from Mount Pleasant (named Ann, oddly enough) on their contact list and called me by mistake. The folks at ArtReach were extremely apologetic about it and really did everything they could to make things right, so I have no ill feelings on that front, just a little residual disappointment and embarrassment that I had to then tell everyone that my big happy announcement was the result of an error.

Listening to the judges discuss their top picks was extremely enlightening. It’s clear that they both appreciate fiber art, which is awesome (the top 10 had two art quilts, which seems unlikely to happen very often). They both also spoke a lot about political art and how much they value pieces that address specific current events (#blacklivesmatter and the Flint water crisis in particular featured in several of the top ten). For me as an artist, I think I’m less likely to address a specific event – I think that my work, so far at least, is less likely to be so direct and specific. I would rather address a theme or idea in less literal ways, I guess. I wonder if this is a current movement among art critics or in the art world in general? Or maybe it’s always a preference some folks have? I should ask the Art Assignment! It was also interesting to note that the judges seemed to be very in sync with one another – I don’t think I heard either of them express an opinion that the other didn’t echo. I wonder if it’s a challenge, when working in that capacity, to keep one’s own voice strong and distinct. It could be that they were just that in tune with each other.

I also quite enjoyed the artist talks that I got to attend. I could have signed up to do one myself, but I was so intimidated that I didn’t. Having seen some others now, I think that I could manage it, though I’m sure I’d still be quite nervous. It was reassuring/notable to me that the artists I heard all took somewhat different approaches to the talk – and all seemed to be equally acceptable. That gives me a bit more confidence for the future as well.

For now, I’m still working on the planning stages of my next piece, so I need to get to the drawing board for that. Once again, big thanks to everyone I worked with this year and big congrats to all the other artists!


Art Walk Central 2016!

My piece, Modern Venus, is on display at Helios Art Gallery as part of this year’s Art Walk Central! I am so geeked and honored to have my art hanging in a bona fide art gallery!

Modern Venus by Anne Heidemann at Art Walk Central 2016 - Helios Gallery

For some reason the pics we took on our first visit didn’t turn out very crisply – I think that the overcast weather outside made the lighting weird or something. I’ll try to get some better ones!

Local folks, you can vote for me in the people’s choice contest! Register to vote at Art Reach or the CMU Art Gallery!

Modern Venus by Anne Heidemann at Art Walk Central 2016 - Helios Gallery


2016 Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show

Saturday we spent most of the day over in Shepherd at the Maple Syrup Festival. It was a friend’s birthday on Friday, so we treated the day as a celebration for her as well!

There are a lot of activities going on in Shepherd every year during this festival. We walked all around the village – the weather was glorious! It was sunny but not too warm and with a nice cool breeze.

Of course one of my favorite events was the Festival of Quilts. I was pretty disappointed that they apparently lost my registration information so none of my information was listed (except my name, misspelled, boo!) for my feature quilt, Modern Venus:

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show 2016

My Fall Frolic challenge quilt was also on display and several people mentioned to me that they liked it, so that was cool:

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show 2016

I also enjoyed this feature quilt by Sharon Jarczynski:

Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show 2016

Most of the other quilts on display were family heirlooms or quilts that were created from published patterns/kits, so I was pleased to see another representational quilt.

We also enjoyed the pancake and sausage dinner, bingo, the craft show, the classic car show, the carnival, yard and jumble sales, and of course the petting zoo, where we met this adorbs goat:

Met this goat at the maple syrup festival today. A++

It was a lovely day!


WIP Wednesday: leaves, leaves, and more leaves

The deadline for finishing this quilt is looming, so I spent nearly all of my crafting time last weekend working on it. Of course my plans for this quilt mean that there are a TON of leaves to attach, and of course I decided to do them all by hand, which takes longer than if I did them with a fusable product or by machine.

Art quilt WIP:Fall Frolic

I started out by placing the leaves where I wanted them, just arranging without fastening anything in place.

ALL THE PINS #artquilt

Then I pinned everything in place. USE ALL THE PINS!

Art quilt WIP:Fall Frolic

Then I started sewing them on. Thank goodness for the Ott Light I got on a super deal at Joann last year – the light was awful this weekend as it was snowing, sleeting, and raining pretty much the whole time.

Art quilt WIP:Fall Frolic

Many hours of podcasts later, all the leaves were stitched in place! I finished off the weekend by cutting out the batting and backing fabric. I will hopefully grab a few minutes each weeknight this week to make the quilt sandwich and start quilting!


WIP Wednesday: more background

I carved out a little more time this past weekend to work on my current art quilt. I pieced together the ground section, which I did in a log cabin-ish type of pattern (truth: I haven’t actually ever followed a pattern to make a log cabin quilt! I’ve just admired photos and looked at patterns in books). I generally do most of my quilting by the seat of my pants – whatever feels like it’ll work, I’ll try.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

Here’s the start, at the center, of the ground section.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

And the back view. Isn’t that just pleasing to look at? Maybe I’m the only one who loves to see the underside of quilting when it looks so tidy?

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

After piecing together the entire ground section, I added blue to the sky, clouds, and put the ground and sky sections together.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

Most of the photos I’ve used for reference have clouds at the point where the sky turns from sunset colors to blue, and I think it works really nicely.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

I’m going for a frayed-y look around the edges of the clouds, so I removed some threads where it was easy to do so. These edges will also get more frayed-y looking as I work with the quilt top. So far so good! Now I really need to figure out what I’m doing with the figure(s) so I can work on that this coming weekend.


WIP Wednesday: Fall Frolic begins

My next art quilt project is officially underway! This piece is for the themed competition at the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival quilt show, and this year’s theme is Fall Frolic.

I started picking out fabrics last week. The competition requires the use of one particular fabric which must be incorporated in some way.

Working on my next art quilt - themed Fall Frolic, for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show competition

You can see that required fabric on top of the stack on the right side of that photo – it’s a leaf print which has a lot of red, yellow, and green in it.

My concept for this image is a scene featuring a witch (gotta go with inspiration from one of my favorite parts of fall: Halloween!) in the woods, frolicking in some way as the sun sets. I’m still figuring out what I want to do for the figure and trees, but I have started working on the background.

Looking at some photos for reference, I tried to get a sense for what sunset usually looks like in Michigan, if you’re in a place where you can really see it. Sunset tends to be orange at the horizon, then move into gold and yellow and then as you get toward the ‘top’ of the sky, fades into blues. There are often clouds in Michigan in fall, so I’ll use those as well but they’ll go on top of the background layer.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

I cut strips and started lining up the fabrics for the orange/gold/yellow section of the sky.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

I’m sewing these strips together unevenly – meaning that each strip will not necessarily be the same height as the strips above and below it, and wont’ necessarily be the same width all the way across, either.

Art quilt WIP: Fall Frolic

I’m once again trying to use fabrics from my stash almost if not completely exclusively, so I haven’t purchased anything for this project – just shopping my stash to find what I want. So far so good! Next I will work on the upper/blue portion of the sky, and then the land at the horizon and foreground. I’m so excited to be working on a new project!


wrapping up 2015 and embracing 2016

It’s hard to believe another year has passed. I mean, calendar years are kind of arbitrary, but it does feel a little useful to think about the bigger picture periodically. And it’s a great excuse to crack open some spreadsheets and do a little analysis! (Spreadsheets are my raindrops on roses.) Some of the web services I use also provided me with some fun year-end wrap up, so let’s take a look.

First off, Goodreads. I love this site as a tool for tracking which books I’ve read. As a lover of mystery series and of non-fiction books on specific topics that often have very similar titles, there’s no way I’d be able to remember which ones I’ve read or not without some kind of tool.

Goodreads 2015 summary photo Goodreads_Annersquos_Year_in_Books_-_2016-01-01_09.48.04_zpsc2jx3jxf.png

Wow, almost 10000 pages read (according to this metric)! That is a nice number. Funny that the longest book I read was a YA novel, which sometimes have a rep for being fluffy.

Goodreads 2015 stats comparison photo Goodreads_My_Review_Stats_-_2016-01-01_09.51.31_zps26wyboi5.png

This 29 seems low! Looking at the actual books Goodreads says I’ve read, that only includes the fiction. I read a ton of non-fiction but that doesn’t seem to show up in these metrics (I believe this is because I usually add fiction books to my to-read list first, and then move them to my currently reading list when I start them. NF books I tend to just add after I’ve completed them so they don’t have a span of time covered on the site). I counted up and, to some extent, I read 186 non-fiction books in addition to the 29 fiction. To some extent because that does include some I didn’t read cover to cover, of course, especially cookbooks. Either way, I’m not feeling bad about the 29 being down from last year’s 40.

2015 was a pretty good year for me in terms of blogging consistently – 132 posts throughout the year!

2015 LibrariAnne posting patterns photo posting patterns 2015_zpswaumqmyl.png

My most popular post was eff the shave-triarchy. Eff yeah! Update while I’m at it: I feel like I have saved SO MUCH time since quitting shaving. My showers are super quick and I’m probably saving a bunch of water, too. Feminism wins again!

As ever, I made a whole lot of stuff in 2015. Thanks to the magical tool that is Ravelry, I know that I completed 94 knitting projects this year!

2015 knitting projects pie chart photo 2015 knitting projects pie chart_zpsqqitgrie.png

I kept five of these knitting projects for myself (not including Blythe stuff) and gifted 26 of them to others. The Blythe stuff was a mix of samples and things that have made their way into my Blythe wardrobe.

I also spent a lot of time sewing this year. I sort of slacked on Blythe sewing until the last quarter of the year, but I made up for it by making a bunch of bags and several quilts earlier on. Once we moved into Firefly Cottage, it was a lot easier for me to spend time sewing since I have so much more room now.

Here’s a sample of the Blythe sewing I did:

2015 Blythe sewing sampler photo Blythe Sewing 2015 collage_zps3vose6lc.jpg

I made 11 projects from Dog Under My Desk patterns (actually I did a few more! But I haven’t gotten around to taking photos yet, so I’m only counting these).

2015 DUMD projects photo DUMD 2015 projects collage_zpsulzmibhb.jpg

These patterns, for anyone who is considering making a bag, are THE BEST EVER. Seriously, I never felt like I could accomplish a professional look or a durable-enough-for-actual-use bag until I found Erin’s patterns. They are amazingly detailed and you really feel confident that your project is going to turn out to meet or even exceed your expectations. I use my Take-Off Tote every time I travel, as well as many of the Essential Wristlets. I also use my enlarged Date Night as my everyday purse and it’s still going strong after months of daily use.

Quilts were also a big part of my sewing this year.

To start things off, I made a challenge quilt for the Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival Quilt Show. The theme was Spring Fling and my quilt won a gold star for Best Portrayal of Theme.

Best portrayal of Spring Fling theme:gold

SO EXCITING!! I won some maple syrup, which was of course amazing, but the feeling of having my work recognized was mega amazing.

The Figure and Flock quilt I made in 2014 was featured in that same show, as well as in the window of Grey’s Furniture during Art Walk Central in the summer.

Check it out! My piece, "Figure and Flock" is in #artwalkcentral15 at Gray's Furniture! Vote AWC24!

These were some of my first public showings of my art quilts, so it was really exciting for me. I hope to have more opportunities to share with the public in 2016! I haven’t started the challenge quilt for the Maple Syrup Festival yet, but I am mulling ideas already. The theme will be Fall Frolic, so it’ll be interesting to make it during a different season than it is focused on. As autumn is my favorite season, I’m sure it won’t be too challenging.

I’m still working on the very large art quilt I started in 2014. The length of time it’s taking is a lot more than I anticipated, but I did have to put it on hold for much of 2015 until I got a larger workspace, and it is a much larger art piece than I’ve done before. It’s in the home stretch, though, so I hope to have it finished soon!

I also made a couple of quilts for two Skatey-Eight babies who were born in 2015.

First off, this Back to the Future inspired quilt, made for Dan’s new daughter:

Back to the Future Quilt

And second, this Star Wars inspired quilt, made for Michael’s son:

Star Wars Quilt

I also had a pretty productive year in terms of AnneArchy biz!

2015 AnneArchy wrapup photo 2015 annearchy wrapup_zpspuxpn1wq.png

Wow, 31 patterns feels like a lot to have published in one year! I’m also thrilled to have had so many of my patterns faved on Ravelry. That is huge! I appreciate SO MUCH that folks are interested in knitting the patterns I write.

My most popular items this year were half Blythe, half Firefly.

2015 most popular AnneArchy patterns photo most popular annearchy patterns 2015 collage_zpsojgtb7vd.jpg

Last year at the beginning of January, I set a few goals:

  • Blog regularly (keeping this one)
  • Participate as a swapper in the Blythe Swap Group at least a few times (keeping this one again)
  • Find ways to be excellent to others on a regular basis
  • Write up and publish the remainder of the Blythe knitting patterns I have started working on
  • Complete my current art quilt project
  • Spend time with near- and far-flung friends more often

  • How did I do?

  • Blogging – did well (see above)
  • Swapping – did well! I participated in several swaps and am currently signed up for the next one
  • Being excellent – I would like to hope I did this
  • Writing up Blythe knitting patterns – I probably got about half of these done, which leaves me with more to do in 2016!
  • Complete art quilt – NOT DONE YET, but in the home stretch
  • Spend time with friends – somewhat? I am going to continue to strive for this one

    Sooooo, now that I’ve thought about all of these things from 2015, what am I looking forward to in 2016? I’m looking forward to a lot of things!

    Things I want to do and work on include:

    • complete the big WIP art quilt
    • complete the Fall Frolic challenge quilt by the April 23, 2016 deadline
    • learn how to do silk ribbon embroidery (I have the supplies and books in hand!)
    • compose a plan for Firefly Cottage gardens, and get a start on implementing it
    • continue writing and publishing knitting patterns
    • do whatever else strikes my fancy

    All in all, I’m excited for 2016! There are so many things to be made and plants to cultivate and people to enjoy life with. Here’s to kindness, happiness, productivity, and fulfillment in the new year!


  • pretty Pantone floral

    This weekend I cut into one of the fabrics I picked up at the new local quilt shop.

    New fabrics from the Keepsake Quilt Shop

    I like the combination of straight lines and the wee floral motif on this fabric. The pink and blue in the floral reminded me of the 2016 Pantone colors of the year, rose quartz and serenity.

    Dahlia's new posy dress

    When I looked closely at this fabric, I knew it would be perfect for a frock for Dahlia. It suits her very well, I think! For some reason, I has never occurred to me until now to press or steam the gathered skirt piece before sewing it to the bodice. I think that it made it easier to construct! I didn’t do a firm press, just a light one mostly relying on steam, but it helped the gathers to stay where I wanted them. How did I not think of this until now? Sometimes it seems like the most obvious things wait to reveal themselves.