May 20, 2011

Orange & Yellow "OWL" Composition Book Cover

Last night I completed a little gift for my middle daughter - she LOVES orange and yellow, and she absolutely LOVES anything featuring owls. : ) I know she's going to be thrilled!!

This is a standard composition notebook cover (so it is easily refillable), with five special fabrics - three on the front, the lining, and the pockets which the notebook slips into. I chose some vivid orange and yellow batiks, and decided to feature this sweet multi-colored owl print fabric - it was just too adorable!! : )

It's all tied up with a pretty little satin ribbon with owls printed on it - seemed to be the perfect finishing touch!

A couple of things I did differently from my "usual" quilted notebook covers:
The spine is a fancy fabric trim sewn vertically along the halfway point between the two sides. Makes a nice finished look on the "bound" edge of the notebook when closed. (Just have to have something like this that matches the color of your fabrics!! Mental note...find more wide fabric trims...)

Also - this time instead of wrapping fibers and couching them down, I used some special orange metallic ric-rac, some yellow and gold braided trim, and some very fancy ribbon-embroidered trim along the wavy edges of the fabric seamlines.

I can't wait for my daughter to see this!! : )  I'm making several of these to have personalized gifts on hand, and for listing on etsy - it's really fun to coordinate the fabrics and trims - instant gratification type projects : )

If you'd like a personalized notebook cover featuring YOUR favorite colors, theme, or size of notebook - just contact me at - I'm always happy to help : )

~ Enjoy!! ~

May 19, 2011

Betsy Tacy Tib - Childrens' Books as Inspiration

Art Quilt inspired by "Betsy-Tacy and Tib"
Children's Book by Maud Hart Lovelace

I'm finding more and more that childrens' books offer the BEST inspiration - don't we all have those few special books which hold a huge amount of sentimental value?  We can remember snuggling up with someone we love, spending hours listening and gazing, being captivated and mesmerized by the possibilities of imagination...having different worlds revealed to us with the simple opening of a book - enveloping us more and more with the turn of each page - teaching us morals, culture, history, and so much more... ("Read to your children or grandchildren!!!")

I have recently discovered "Betsy-Tacy and Tib," after receiving a request via etsy to create a custom art quilt featuring an illustration from one of the books in the series. The woman who requested this piece has a particular fondess for these sweet stories. : )  They were published between 1940 and 1955, and were written by Maud Hart Lovelace. They follow the adventures of Betsy Ray (a character based on the author herself) and her friends and family, and they take place in the very late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the incidents in the books actually happened to Lovelace, and the other characters are based on the author's actual friends and family. The illustrations in the book are absolutely charming!!

Here is the illustration which my artwork was based on:

I was particularly inspired by this illustration for a couple of reasons. First, because the image of three little girls reminded me of my own three daughters - and second, because I love to include large trees in my "illustrated" type art quilts - somehow trees often make their way into childrens' stories (The Little Prince's Baobab trees, for example) and sometimes are even the *center* of the "The Giving Tree."

As additional inspiration, the owner of this piece also provided me with a quote she chose from one of the books when she originally asked me to create this piece:

"It was June, and the world smelled of roses.
The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside."

Here are some photos of how the project turned out - it was delightful to get to work on!! : )

I chose a frame for this piece that looked both "vintage" and "girly" - and which complements the color of the tree. I left the glass off of the frame, so that the detailed texture can be seen more clearly.

Here is one close-up shot - I added some lace to the bodice of one's dress, and did a lot of overstitching - plus added a few more flowers and ground foliage
than shown in the original illustration.

Here is a closeup shot of the foliage at the bottom of the tree -
it is difficult to tell from the above photos,
but each individual fern was cut out and placed with tweezers!! : )

This piece, measuring only 8" x 10", was created using 35+ different fabrics and fibers, either chopped up or fussy cut - plus at least 15 different colors of thread. It was really fun to get to choose the fabrics for their dresses - I shopped at several places to find some "period" style fabrics, with prints in a small enough scale. I found some "reproduction vintage prints" which I really think added to the overall feel of the scene - I think these prints give it a sense of time. 
(Plus, it was just plain fun for me to get to shop around and pick them out ; )

In researching the Betsy-Tacy books for this piece, I found out that there is an active "Betsy-Tacy Society!"  They were so helpful and gracious, and replied immediately to my questions via email from their website:

Here is a link to view another Betsy-Tacy quilt, with really awesome work!
by "The Curious Quilter":


Here is a link to my etsy store, in case someone
would like for me to create a similar piece,
or a piece inspired by a different children's book:

If you're unable to view that link, please feel free to email me at:

I'm always delighted to create custom items - especially those which will be treasured for sentimental reasons - it's my favorite sort of project to get to work on : )

~ Thank you for looking! ~

May 9, 2011

California Mountain Garden Art Quilt

This last weekend I completed a project I've been working on for MONTHS!
This is a 32" tall x 60" wide piece called "California Mountain Garden Art Quilt."
This piece is based on a photograph of a woman's personal garden - with gorgeous apple trees, ferns, lush foliage and flower gardens - and an amazing stone path trailing through it all. I fell in love with the original photograph, and was so pleased to get to work on a piece of this size - created all in one huge piece!
This qult features a combination of pieced together fabrics, fussy cut commercial print fabrics, and some of my own floral designs printed on fabric - plus "confetti fabric." I built this quilt up in layers by section, and did lots of stitching and overstitching - and used several different fibers for the background trees, plus some Angelia fibers for sparkle and a "sunlit" effect over the entire quilt that is not really captured by these photographs.

Here is one of the original photograph from which I worked - taken by Lynn Shannon of her personal garden. Additional photographs of the garden areas in full bloom were also supplied by Lynn; I superimposed and combined several images to create the final piece.

It was an absolute delight to get to translate her photograph into a huge fiber arts piece - it is my hope that every time she looks at this art quilt, it "feels" like looking at her own garden in full bloom! 
Also - I hope my respect for all of her hard work and artistic vision to create such an amazing garden is conveyed in this art quilt. : )

California Mountain Garden Art Quilt
by Heather J. Reid
32" tall x 60" wide
Original Photography & Inspiration by Lynn Shannon
May, 2011

Ground cover & florals with overstitching:

Pieced together floral fabrics & fussy cut fabrics with quilting and thread painting:

Apple tree with white fussy cut blossoms (all cut individually) with confetti background:

Ground Cover at the base of the Apple Trees - fussy cut ferns:

A snapshot of the back of the quilt on the lower left corner - lots of stitching!!

~ ENJOY!! ~