December 3, 2010

Fabric Art Pillows - "Mrs. Hoot!"

My mom had the cutest idea - creating a little owl art quilt pillow. It began with the fabric which you see on the eyes of this whimsical little owl - she looked at it and said "This fabric would make perfect owl eyes!!" So, she just began free-cutting shapes and fused them together - then added bits of dainty vintage lace, and vintage jewelry pieces - and look how sweet it turned out!!

Mrs. Hoot has dressed herself up for a little party, making her own "Altered Couture" style of vintage clothing - (she's obviously been reading Belle Armoire magazine) - all dressed up in her finest pretties and jewels. Wonder what kind of party she'll attend? : )

This owl pillow features silk sari ribbon textile art remnants (leftover from my art pillows on etsy), bright printed fabrics, vintage lace and jewels, rose-shaped acrylic cabochon eyes, free-motion embroidery, and 3d layering for a really unique little pillow on green damask weave fabric.

This pillow sold the very day I listed it on etsy, so I created another -
this might end up being a very fun series!! : )

Sometimes leftover scraps from old projects make the *best* embellishments for new projects!

~ Enjoy!! ~

November 22, 2010

Wire Cookie Rack - Whimsical Mixed Media House

My girls and I just LOVED the cover art on Cloth Paper Scissors latest issue - (November/December 2010). It shows Andrea Ockey Parr's "Quirky Cookie Houses" made from wire cookie cooling racks!
They are so whimsical and adorable - and my girls love to get messy in the art room, so we had a great time making these! They are very easy to do - just go thrift-store shopping for a few wire racks to cut up (we discovered that the thinner ones work best) and prepare to get a little messy!

Bryanne's is finished - her favorite colors are yellow and orange, as you can see! She wants to add a bit more embellishment later - but I couldn't resist sharing her latest creation : )

I hope you adore her little creation as much as I do!

~ Enjoy! ~

November 21, 2010

Holiday Art Quilt - Little Red Cardinal

One of my favorite back issues - "Quilting Arts" Issue #34 - In this issue, there is a wonderful article by Karin Winter called "Quilted Pet Portraits" - I decided to try creating a bird from several different layered scraps of fabric combined with thread painting, as her how-to article describes.

Here are some photographs of how my little red cardinals came out! : )

And so - I had to create a little "home" for this particular bird, as he was so sweet!
I used the "Impressionistic" style art quilting to create a background for him, with greens and bits of red and white and yellow for contrast - I also used some pre-cut felt snowflakes, the kind you find in a craft store for making kids' crafts! They were perfect trapped under the tulle - added a little bit of wintery effect to the sky, especially when overstitched with metallic silver thread!

I chose to bind this little 16.5" x 15" quilt with forest green binding strips - added an even more festive effect than my usual black binding - reds and greens and blues are great for a holiday feel.

~ Enjoy! ~

November 12, 2010

Little Prince Art Quilt #3

This is my newest "Little Prince" art quilt, version #3. I'm so happy with it! I took some of the best components of the previous two quilts, added fur-type fabric for the sheep, and added an additional character to this quilt - the fox! He was a bit of a challenge - but LOTS of fun, and I love how he looks : ) I might have to make a few more little foxes on different backgrounds for fun!

I'd love to share (with permission) what my friend Sheri said about this quilt when she first saw the photographs. It was the most amazing "review" of my work - I've never heard things described in this way - she is a brilliant writer about art - just chatting with her on etsy gave me such inspiration and clear definition of my own styles. She wrote this and had it sent back to me within 15 minutes of me sending her the link to the photographs - so I know it was an instant response, honest and heartfelt - pure emotion after viewing this piece - she called it "spontaneous combustion" in another note! ; ) Pretty amazing writing for a "combustion!" Anyway, I just had to share this - because it isn't every day you receive a response like this to your work, where you realize someone else in this world TRULY "GETS" your message!!

Here was her response:

"I love the how you've selected fully saturated colors, mixed with pops of bright and vivid jewel tones. Even the hematite grey of the planet is so rich! The green, red, and yellow primaries are an eye magnet, but there's so much energy and movement all around, that my eyes bounce back and forth from the main focal elements (prince and rose), then to the sheep, the fox; then to the glittering background sky, the dense foliage, down the trunk of the tree, and back to the little prince again!

I am still in awe of how you've incorporated all of our best loved characters, and married them with your ingenious interpretation of that enormously majestic baobab tree emerging boldly from its floral textured planet, fantastical shimmering multihued sky, twinkling golden stars, and splendid swirls (which remind me of other galaxies)! The fox is perfect and so pretty. He looks proud, wise, and oh so proper in his sitting posture! Maybe his big fluffy tail makes him just a tinge vain. hehe ;) Your sweet little conflicted sheep, has a such a stressed out expression, as if he has doubts about being bad (nibbling on the rose). The little guy is also so soft visually (and probably more so in person) that I want to gently touch him with my index finger, through the monitor, just to feel the bounce of the cushy fabric.

Last, but the most special is our hero, the little prince in reclined pose, with his ever concerned thoughts of caring for his vulnerable, yet surly precious rose . . . extending one arm tenderly as if to hug and protect her. Very, very, sweet!!!"

Thank you so much, Sheri - for sharing with me your response
to seeing this quilt for the first time - it was so touching and inspiring to me : )

Here is a link to the "Photobucket" slide show - feel free to visit the link
to see even more photographs of this new quilt! : )

~ Enjoy! ~

November 5, 2010

Purple, Silver & Gold - Sari Ribbon Baby Album

This is a special album cover I created for an etsy order - featuring the layered silk sari ribbons and loopy spine trim. The purchaser wanted this album cover for a 12" x 12" album, for her first baby, and requested purple since she didn't know the gender of the baby yet.
Donna at Field's Fabrics helped me out quite a bit with selecting coordinating fabrics, as I was a little stumped on how to include silver and gold - as I haven't ever really combined the two colors together! She was a huge help to me (I love shopping there!) - and I'm so grateful!!

Here is how it turned out! : )

~ Thank you for looking! ~

October 27, 2010

"The Little Prince" Customized Art Quilt

I have been in communication with a new friend via etsy - and all I can say is that it has been SO fun and inspiring!! I was asked to create a special, large wall-hanging style art quilt featuring "The Little Prince" and his Rose, in a similar style to the quilt I had published in Quilting Arts Magazine - except much, much larger! Whimsical images paired with textured fabrics and an "Impressionistic" style background make this piece unique and delightful - reminiscent of the original book's illustrations (the inspiration for this piece).
On this piece I experimented with some new background surface design - building up layers of fibers and stitching mixed with Shiva paintsticks and hand-stitching. The combination of even machine stitching against the scattered, uneven hand stitching creates even more surface interest than in some of my previous pieces.
I also played with some hand-dyed lace, used as appliqued leaves for the Rose - which is also extra-special, created from special silk ribbon in variegated reds using ribbon-embroidery (classic spider-web rose).
I pulled out "all the stops" on this piece, because I knew it would be a treasured keepsake - a very special gift - and I wanted it to be worthy of the occasion it commemorates for its new owner.
In the photos you'll see so many different techniques - those mentioned above, plus many more embellishment and surface design and art quilting techniques - this was truly one of those pieces for me that was difficult to stop - as I realllly enjoyed this theme and the creative freedom I was given - this is truly "my style" art quilting : )

Finished piece measures aprox 30" wide:

The Little Prince is tending to his Rose....

Ribbon-Embroidered Rose with hand-dyed lace leaf applqiues:

"Falling Star" - Fairy Frost Fabric appliqued and surface-embellished with Shiva Paintstiks, with trailing tendrils of metallic mesh - outline stitched by machine and by hand,
with hand-sewn twisted gold bugle beads:

Left:  Extensive overstitching on sunrays, in variegated threads, then overpainted with fabric dye.
Right:  "Orbits" and background planets created using fussy-cut swirly motifs from Van Gogh's "Starry Nights" commercially printed cotton fabric (purchased at Field's Fabrics!):

"Impressionistic" style background in variegated blues created
a perfect "Celestial" background for this "Little Prince" planet scene:

~ Thank you for veiwing my latest project!! ~

October 18, 2010

Latest etsy project - French/Parisian Inspired Journal Cover

Recently I got an order for a custom journal cover which was so fun, I just had to share.
It is "French Inspired" - and I was given a specific color palette to work with: pale pink, black, and silver.
It was a LOT of fun to work in this range! And I love how "Diva" the results are - which is exactly the kind of effect she was going for!
(Here is a link to her website - where you can see her GORGEOUS hand-painted furniture - it's amazing!)

This customized cover is made to cover a 12"x12" journal/photo album, and features layered/textured sari ribbon fiber art for the main background. In the center a wavy-edged inner "frame" is created using pink textured silk, with glitzy silver metallic ric rac edging - all around the central embroidery, which is "The Family Of" - then the family's name - all free-motion embroidered in a fancy swirling script text. The cover is also adorned with large, trailing black rose appliques, which have satin-stitched vines/leaves, and large organza petals with ribbon-embroidered centers for the roses. It is all topped off with small pink swavorski hot-fix crystals to add some sparkle and glitz, and a dozen different coordinating ribbons adorn the spine to add a romantic feminine touch as well as tactile interaction.
The result is a truly gorgeous, one-of-a-kind, completely customized piece of art to grace the cover of a very special photograph album, art journal, or book.

Here are a few photos of the finished cover:

I am happy to create another custom art journal cover,
either in a similar theme/color selection, or in your own colors!
Please email me at for details,
or visit my etsy store at:

October 14, 2010

Wildflowers - Mini Art Quilt

"Wildflowers" is a frameable small art quilt featuring lustrous silk sari ribbon flowers, with batik fabrics for the sky and foliage. A sweet floral scene with variegated overstitching embellishment. It is mounted on heavy white matboard and is titled and signed. Art quilt piece measures 4.5" wide by 6.25" tall, and the matboard measures 8.5" x 11" (standard size).
My mom and I actually collaborated on this piece as well - we had a LOT of fun picking out fabrics and layering the backgrounds!! : ) I'm in the process of making several of these, in different variations. I really love combining all of these little pieces of fabric - it's so fun!! I've started researching different flower types, especially wildflowers, and began a journal to draw outlines of the flowers - repetitively - to help me get the feel for their different shapes. I think this will help a lot when I cut them out - I'd like to be able to say I free-cut them instead of drawing the outlines first. I'm looking for a couple of good books that might have the vintage-style, very simple coloring and outlining, with the common names for various wildflowers - it should be a fun hunt!! A few I'd like to try so far are Coneflowers and Iris (which I'm trying to perfect) - and Lily of the Valley, Aster, Bachelor Buttons, Crocus, and Forget-Me-Not - and maybe some violets. Oh! And Pansies - for my grandmother : )

"Wildflowers" Matted Art Quilt by Heather J. Reid

A close-up view of the flower and stitching detail:

Last, here is a quick snapshot of the back, to see how much stitching there is on this one tiny piece!
(You can see why I use "Bottom Line" thread for the backs of pieces like this!!)

This piece is available in my etsy store at:

(If you don't see this piece available anymore for purchase, let me know - I can create something especially for you or reproduce this particular piece.)


Try making some mini art quilts for yourself!!
They are super fun - if there is anybody out there who would like to trade with me some batik fabrics or cotton printed fabrics (ones which might be suitable for this kind of scene) - I'm especially short on beiges and ivory...I'd be happy to do a "swap" with you! Just email me (

October 1, 2010

Sailboat on Lake Michigan - A Fiber Art Quilt Collaboration

"Sailboat on Lake Michigan"

by Carole Nyenhuis & Heather Reid
September, 2010

This is a collaborative art piece, created by me and my mother. She tossed me this magnificent art quilt and said "I'm just sick of it." Ha! Have a look - and marvel with me at why she was frustrated ????! All it needed was a sailboat - and a little "thread painting."

This quilt is created using over 40 different types of fabrics, and 20+ types of threads. Texture....texture.

Pieced together textured fabrics create a base for confetti art quilting, fiber art, and thread stitching and painting. And then there is MORE thread painting...I simply couldn't stop!

The foliage and beach is reminiscent of Lake Michigan in the summertime, complete with a sailboat meandering along the water.

Detail Photographs:

This quilt is available for sale on etsy at:

Please feel free to leave comments -
I really want my mom to know what a wonderful job she did!! : )


September 18, 2010

Color Palette Challenge - Cream, Olive, and Rust

My friend Rosanna asked me to create a special art journal for her friend's birthday. Rosanna already had an art journal I had made using the silk sari ribbon, frayed and sewn in rows in layers with beading - for her friend she wanted something similar but with a completely different color scheme. I gravitate towards bright colors - and a lot of them! - so it was a real creative challenge for me to use a specified set of colors, but it really inspired me to begin thinking more about the colors I don't normally use. The more I worked with this color set, the more I liked it! Plus, it feels very "fall" - and fall is definitely here in Michigan. I'm happy with how this turned out - and I'm already thinking of ways to incorporate these colors into my other pieces - I love the sophisticated effect they have!

I rummaged through my fabrics and supplies, and discovered that I didn't really have very many materials to work with in this color range - I had a LOT of of fun shopping and picking up some fresh new fabrics and beads - here are the supplies I ended up working from. I share these photos because maybe now this color palette will inspire someone else as well! : )

Last but not least, the silk sari ribbons! : )

Here is the finished art journal:

Front Cover - Layered Silk Sari Ribbon stitched in rows, embellished with beading, along with black stamped letters on canvas - all layered onto a colorful batik, then candlelight silk dupioni, and an olive/cream foliage themed batik background.

Ribbons on spine laced through grommets inset in the spine, which not only looks pretty but is functional too as it anchors the inner rings which hold the inside pages.

Close-up view of the silk sari ribbon panel - it was difficult to choose which beads to use, because I love them all! : )

Inside front cover - customized label.

Inside pages - a "variety pack" of special papers, including handmade, vellum, metallic inclusion, botanical inclusion, foiled, stamped, glassine envelopes, and handmade paper.

My art journals are available for custom order at:

~ Embrace the colors of fall! ~