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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stash enhancement level up

Earlier this year we were out to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant and noticed that there was a sign for a quilt shop in one of the neighboring windows. I was so excited! It has since opened and this last weekend while we were running errands, K suggested we stop in (he is the best – have I mentioned how the best he is?).

Keepsake Quilt Shop now open in Mount Pleasant

The Keepsake Quilt Shop is really nice! It’s spacious and well-lit, with lots of room between the rows of fabric so you can really get a good look at everything even if it’s on a lower shelf (in my experience, many quilt shops have poorer lighting and it can be difficult to really see what’s on all the levels due to shadows and cramped quarters). They’ve got a nice selection of themed prints, tiny prints, batiks and other specialty fabrics, and lines with coordinating prints by particular designers. I was especially excited about the tiny prints, of course, so I can use them to make Blythe clothing.

The staff here were very friendly without being overwhelming – no one was hovering over me while I perused, and they were curious and asked about my projects without being TOO interested. And they didn’t blink when I spoke about making doll clothes, which was awesome (some places kind of turn their noses up at uses of fabric that are not quilts). They also don’t have a minimum cut, which for me is wonderful! I don’t usually need a full yard of anything for Blythe purposes, and getting a smaller amount allows me to buy a greater variety. They also have a really nice selection of tiny prints in fat quarters and eighths. And did I mention that this shop is less than one mile from our home?

New fabrics from the Keepsake Quilt Shop

This is the small selection of fabrics I picked out. I was trying to restrain myself a bit – I don’t truly need fabric right now, so this was just for funsies.

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Walk over for some art

This is your periodic reminder to get on over to Gray’s Furniture to check out my entry in Art Walk Central!

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

A photo posted by Anne H. (@annethelibrarian) on

It will be on display through August 22! If you feel so inclined, vote for me (AWC24)!

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Art Walk Central 2015 is on! and I’m in it!

I’m super mega excited to have one of my art quilts featured in Art Walk Central this year! It’s displayed in the window at Gray’s Furniture downtown. Check it out!

My piece, Figure and Flock, in #artwalkcentral15  -  AWC24 to vote - check it out at Gray's Furniture

Shameless self-promotion: You can vote for it! My number is AWC24 and you can sign up to vote online and at ArtReach. You can also enter the instagram selfie contest! There are lots of neat pieces on display all over downtown as well as at other community venues like Park Library, The Dreamer, and Ziibiwing. Art Walk Central runs through August 22.

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needlepoint geometry

If you haven’t stopped in to the Art Reach gallery recently, you should make time to see the current exhibit: Needlepoint Geometry by C. Joanne Grabinski.

Needlepoint Geometry exhibit by C. Joanne Grabinski

Her work is detailed and so satisfyingly accurate! She works in a variety of colors and has many varied inspirations ranging from Asian art traditions to the traditional arts of the southwest.

Needlepoint Geometry exhibit by C. Joanne Grabinski

I love the colors in this one! It reminds me of my grandparents’ living room (the frame is the color of the awesome chairs I inherited from them).

Check it out! The exhibit runs through July 18th.

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Art Walk Central

We took some time this weekend to walk around and look at some of the art happening and on display for Art Walk Central 2014. There is some NEAT stuff to be experienced.

Let’s start with the Art Walk Central competition. There are a whole bunch of pieces of all different kinds of art on display around town. Most of them are inside businesses on Broadway and Main Streets, but there are also some in the art gallery on campus and in the university library, and a few outdoor pieces downtown as well. Anyone can sign up to vote online or via smartphone!

Art Walk Central 2014 entries

This piece, untitled by Velvet Underwood, is a raw edge fabric collage (on display at Art Reach).

Art Walk Central 2014 entries

I love the detail in the tone-on-tone fabric she used.

Art Walk Central 2014 entries

I would 100% love to hang this piece, untitled by Laura Coffee (also at Art Reach), in our home. Who doesn’t want to see a giant robot stalking downtown Mount Pleasant?

Emiko Screams by Corby Blem

This collage, Emiko Screams by Corby Blem (on display at the University Art Gallery), caught my eye right away, and THEN I realized that (EVEN BETTER!) it’s inspired by the scene of a woman seeing Godzilla for the first time.

August 6, 1945 Revisited (Hiroshima) by Sally Rose

One of my favorite pieces is this one, August 6, 1945 Revisited (Hiroshima) by Sally Rose (also at the UAG). After looking at it for a few moments, I realized that I took a weaving class from this artist my sophomore year in college. I loved that class! I would love to take another class or a workshop from her sometime.

Summer Reading: A Study in Greens by Ann Kowaleski

I was delighted to see a piece by one of my favorite local artists, Ann Kowaleski. Entitled Summer Reading: A Study in Greens, this piece is also at the CMU art gallery. The vibrant colors are so striking, and of course I’m also drawn to the subject matter.

Filed by Kim Kleinhardt

Finally, this is Filed by Kim Kleinhardt (also at UAG). Each section is a file folder, collaged and containing papers from each of her thirty years as an art teacher. You can open each folder (there’s a note encouraging this) to see the contents and read about that year of her life as an art instructor. SO NEAT.

Members of the community were also out and about downtown painting the crosswalks at the intersection of Broadway and Main.

painting the intersection crosswalks

You can see the Mondrian-inspired design in the middle of the intersection, which was completed earlier this month. This weekend, they were painting the crosswalks. The one above will look like a piano keyboard, I think!

There were also artists creating chalk paintings on the sidewalks on Saturday.

chalk art on Broadway

So fun! I feel so lucky to be in a community that places a high value on art – and even more, on art that anyone can participate in. I hope to enter an art quilt in the competition next year.

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FO Friday: DFTBA yarnbomb in full awesomeness

The yarnbombs went up in downtown Mount Pleasant last week and they look amazing!

DFTBA (my yarn bomb)

Here I am, being super proud of my reminder to everyone to DFTBA. I got really prime placement, too! It’s right on the corner of Main and Broadway, the intersection at the heart of downtown!

2014 Art Walk Central yarnbombs photo 2014artwalkcentralyarnbombs_zps4cfba3f6.jpg

Of course all of the projects look terrific and they really add a neat feel to the area. It’s also neat to see those made by friends of mine, some of which I saw in progress during knitting meetups.

 photo Twitter_MidMichDevCo_hankgreen_realjohngreen_seen__-_2014-08-05_114435_zps8cface4f.png

Even before I had heard that the yarnbombs were up, someone from the Middle Michigan Development Corporation did and tweeted about it! Such a neat way to learn that they were up!

Chalk graffiti piano for Art Walk Central 2014

Art Walk Central is a big deal, though, and includes a lot more than just the yarnbombs. There are a couple of chalk graffiti pianos on downtown streets, and every time I’ve been downtown recently someone has been drawing on and/or playing them. It’s so nice to hear a little music in the air. There’s also a big art competition going on, which I’ll post about more soon when I’ve had a chance to see more of it. If you’re local and haven’t registered to vote yet, do it now!

DFTBA (my yarn bomb)

Meanwhile, Don’t Forget To Be Awesome!

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FO Friday: Yarnbomb Mount Pleasant

I was pretty excited when ArtReach announced a yarnbomb project to take place in downtown Mount Pleasant this summer. (Did this have anything to do with the fact that a yarnbomb was an idea I proposed at the For the Love of Mount Pleasant workshop last fall?)

Regardless, I was happy to participate. I signed up to create one 24×27″ piece that will be wrapped around a light pole downtown. I felt super lucky that my pal Sam very generously volunteered to share her sizable stash of acrylic yarn, too! I picked out some bold colors somewhat at random and started plotting what I wanted to do.

Plotting my project for Yarn Bomb Mount Pleasant 2014 #dftba

There are some projects for which I prefer to use paper and pencil rather than plotting online – this sort of thing is definitely one of them. I grabbed the good old-fashioned graph paper and got to work! I looked at a bunch of free knitting font alphabets online but in the end none of them suited me so I just made it up myself. I wanted the letters to be a little stylized and I knew that the way that knitting stitches aren’t square would work in my favor. I graphed the letters out so I knew they’d end up looking the way I wanted after being knit up.

Doing a gauge swatch like a good person

I even made a gauge swatch, something I am usually far too lazy and impatient to do. I was really glad I did, though, as my initial gauge wasn’t exactly what the yarn suggested it might be, so I was able to adjust my plans for the whole so that it would come out at the needed dimensions.

For the center column, I wanted to spell out DFTBA (Don’t Forget To Be Awesome, for anyone unfamiliar) and then have some bright colors on the sides to grab attention. For those sides I just went with the colors I had grabbed from Sam and added in a sixth color (white) from my own stash so that I would have easy color-carrying on the stripes. My idea with the stripes is that one side is roughly Hufflepuff (not really, but it’s close-ish) and the other Slytherin, in honor of my love for Harry Potter.

Yarnbomb Mount Pleasant: DFTBA

I am pretty pleased with how it turned out! It’s a lot bigger than I pictured at first, but it is the correct dimensions according to the brief we were given – I just hadn’t really looked at the measurements to see how large it would be. I dropped it off at ArtReach earlier this week and they will be installing them at the end of the month. I’m really looking forward to seeing my piece and all the others decorating our downtown!

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