Tag Archives: Heather Brammeier

The Family Apple Tree {Spin Cycle}

Lily contemplating her Aunt Heather's art.
Lily contemplating her Aunt Heather’s art.

Lily has always loved creating art. My sisters helped cultivate her love of art; they gave her a pair of safety scissors before she was three, finger paint, and Lily’s favorite art supply: tape.

When Lily was five years old, she painted a picture that she modeled after her Aunt Heather’s paintings. She called it “Swirly Swirly.”

h and l paintings
Heather’s painting on the left, Lily’s painting on the right

My little Emmy has been singing and dancing since she could walk. When she was about two years old, Emmy’s cousin taught her Our Song by Taylor Swift.

… on your window
When we’re on the phone and you talk real slow
’cause it’s late and your mama don’t know

The first date: “Man, I didn’t kiss her, and I should have”
And when I got home … ‘fore I said amen
Asking God if he could play it again

The apples don’t fall far from the trees; Lily and Emmy’s aunts are art and music professors. Das liegt in der Familie!

Second Blooming



As I was reading blogs the other day, I came across this saying on I Got Nothing by Janice that made me laugh.

fabric stash

I already have a large box full of fabric, which is threatening to overflow. I will need another box soon. I know, however, that my small stash of fabric is nothing compared to other sewists. I received most of my stash from my mom when she died. One of my sisters and I divided it between us.

Mom loved to browse in fabrics stores and buy all sorts of fabric for her quilting. My sisters and I knew exactly what type of fabric she was drawn to, having been to fabric stores with her on numerous occasions. She loved beautiful, colorful fabrics with traditional designs and intricate patterns. She didn’t like yellow or brown, although she used yellow in her latest quilts. She tried to buy some “ugly” fabrics to bring variety to her quilting, but could just never bring herself to do it.

During our visit with our Dad over Christmas, we were looking at a quilt on the guest bed, trying to decide if Mom had made it or bought it. We all pretty much decided that Mom had bought the quilt. My sister Meredith pointed out that several of the fabrics weren’t designs that Mom would have bought, and the stitching was sloppier than Mom’s sewing style of neat stitches.

Mom saved the smallest scraps of fabric. She saved scraps with holes in them from where she had ripped out seams. Worthless scraps. Right? What can you do with a bunch of scraps?

I have those scraps now. My sister has some scraps. We are incorporating those fabric scraps in quilts of our own. Those worthless scraps are turning out to be quite beautiful.

My quilts are more modest than my sister’s. I’m still in the process of making a throw quilt, with a backing and batting, which I hope to be able to throw on my lap this winter as I sit in front of the TV watching Big Bang Theory.Scrappy Dresden Plate

Heather’s quilts are of the artist variety. Her quilts stretch long and tall with intricate designs sewn on the front. Scraps of Mom’s fabric are incorporated into her quilts as well.

Heather's quilt displayed at the Peoria Art Guild in August, 2012
Heather’s quilt displayed at the Peoria Art Guild in August, 2012

Not all scraps are tangible. My sister Meredith’s quilting consists of beautiful phrases of music.

Circle of Geese block (click the picture to hear Meredith's composition "Flock of Geese")
Circle of Geese block (click the picture to hear Meredith’s composition “Flock of Geese”)

We leave intangible scraps of ourselves all over the place. How often has someone told you, “I was thinking about you the other day!” because of something they saw or did that reminded them of you? Or perhaps you smell a certain scent in the air that reminds you of someone you love. (Cinnamon rolls equals Grandma!) Whenever I hear a Def Leppard song, I instantly think of my husband, who has every single album they ever recorded.

Little scraps of us. Not worthless, but meaningful.

(Leave a scrap of yourself below…write a comment!)


Art Matters {Spin Cycle}

I remember when my mom and dad brought my little sister home from the hospital. I thought she was the most precious baby ever! I was eight years old and couldn’t wait to hold my new baby sister. But I had the sniffles, and I was afraid I would make her sick. If I remember correctly, I washed my hands really well, and my mom placed Heather in my arms anyway.

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my sister Meredith and her music compositions for Spin Cycle. When I asked Gretchen, our Spin Cycle hostess, to provide “art” as a prompt so I could tell you about my other little sister, she kindly obliged! (Thanks, Gretchen!)

For almost as long as I can remember, Heather has been creative. Whether it was choosing her own clothes and fixing her hair in wild arrangements, sewing little blankets and clothes for her dolls, or drawing pictures, Heather had creativity in her blood. When mothers came to my classroom door and apologized for their daughters’ strange clothes or hair, I told them that my sister used to do the exact same thing and she turned out alright. Now my own daughters come to school with crazy hair and clothes, and I’m the mother shaking my head. Just like my mom did with Heather, I let my daughters express themselves in fashion, with weird and sometimes wonderful results.

When I was a horse crazy tween (although nobody used the word “tween” back then), Heather drew a picture of a horse just for me. I still treasure it. Not everyone gets a green and pink horse from their little sister!

My pink and green horse

Now a professional artist, Heather’s paintings are a little more abstract.

One of my favorites!

Heather is a professor at Bradley University. She has had several gallery exhibitions, and this August we are going to Peoria, IL for two openings. If you are in the area, stop by! Be sure to say “hi!”

See more of Heather’s artwork on her website: Heather Brammeier

Intuitive Geometry, at Pearce Gallery, Dunlap, IL
Opening Reception August 17, 2012, 6-8 p.m.

Via Alternate Descriptions, at The Peoria Art Guild, IL
Opening Reception August 18, 2012, 6-8 p.m.

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Written as part of Gretchen’s Spin Cycle prompt, “Art”.

Thank you for indulging me as I brag about my sisters! 😉


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