TEL 01206 240933
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I'm Heidi Meier and I create colourful and quirky textile artworks using a combination of appliqué techniques and hand, machine and free style embroidery.
My style resonates with people of all ages who want vibrant and fun artworks. Many of my artworks are influenced by the natural world or are contemplative studies of nostalgic subjects.
I love working with fabric and start a project with an idea and the most rudimentary of sketches.
As I begin to stitch, the mood and content of a picture can evolve, often resulting in something which may look different from that which I first envisaged, but which is hopefully all the more interesting for its journey!
Me at work in my studio
I hope you enjoying looking at my pictures, and if they are 'your thing' then why not go to my Facebook page and 'Like' my page. You will then be updated whenever I introduce new designs and run special offers.
More of my story...
I've sewn simple projects for many years but it wasn't until my daughter was born that I began to create my own textile pictures. To avoid the daily commute, I gave up a busy career in the City to focus on being a full-time mum, but decided to take the opportunity to try something completely new during the hours when the baby slept and later on when she started pre-school.
Over the years I then developed my own style of free-motion or freestyle machine embroidery, which is the skill of using thread to draw pictures, patterns or words onto fabric. In this way, I can use my sewing machine needle as a pencil, which mean that no two designs are ever the same. Each artwork is therefore entirely hand crafted in the same way that every pencil sketch is entirely hand created. It's a fun skill to learn, and I now teach workshops to other like-minded people who want to try this fascinating art form and craft for themselves.
I am also increasingly incorporating hand and ribbon embroidery into my work. This gives some great contrasts of texture and I combine them according to what I think would work best in each individual artwork. I also dye the ribbons that I use to give them further interest.
The fabrics I use are as important as the threads. I source the fabrics from various places, using vintage and recycled fabrics wherever possible, supported by beautifully patterned fabrics from local stores. I also often hand dye plain and patterned fabrics using cold water dyes, which creates a wonderful palette of unique colours that gives my work a cohesivness that is otherwise hard to obtain.
I hope you enjoying browsing the website and if you have a commission in mind, just contact me using the webform to find out more. There's no obligation to proceed and you might find your perfect artwork in this way!
Wishing you all the best and do come and chat via my Facebook page!
I worked for twenty years in finance in the City and I was pretty happy there. Of course, like every job, it had its ups and downs but on the whole it was a great place to work and build a career.
Then I had a baby and I discovered a new type of happy! But with that, I felt I couldn’t carry on commuting into London as well as enjoying life with a new baby, so decided to choose which was my greater happy. I should add here I know many people choose both and are very successful at it – but my choice was to follow just one path.
I chose my family, and I settled down to life in the country, here in this part of northern Essex, Britain’s First City of Colchester.
But despite enjoying all the challenges of new motherhood, I also felt I needed to do something else and being a pragmatist, knew that I was only going to be centre of this little person’s world for a fairly limited time, so wanted to create a new career for myself, which I could pick up with and move forward when the time was right and the baby grew up.
I discovered textile art, through the illustrations in a children’s book, and being practical too, decided to create some textile artwork to decorate my daughter’s nursery walls. When you have a new baby, you get to appreciate just how precious simple moments can be, and I wanted to create her artworks for her wall that would be colourful and delight her as she grew.
How I create my art
I am often asked how I create my artwork and because of this, I often give talks or run workshops for those who’d like to have a go themselves.
Essentially, my artworks are formed over the course of many many hours. The underlying fabric used is sourced from various places. Sometimes it is overdyed, another long process; sometimes I use it as it comes. It might be vintage or recycled, or I may buy it brand spanking new.
I use fabric as a base for my artworks and pieces raw edged appliqued on the surface to form the key shapes. Then I use hand, ribbon and free motion embroidery to form the detail of the image. Hand embroidery is very time consuming but gives gorgeous results. Ribbon embroidery adds that extra three dimensional aspect to a work and free motion embroidery, where you use a sewing machine needle to draw in freehand, is a wonderful way to add warmth and texture by layering hours of thread. Depending on the design I might also add some additional fabric or beaded embellishments. Each picture is different and whilst I will have an idea of the composition before I start, the evolution of the process means that often I will end up with something very different form that which I originally envisaged.
More recently, I am incorporating painting on fabric and various means of manipulating fabric into my work, which I am sure will lead to some fantastic results.
Each time you purchase a piece of original art, or support an artist by buying one of their cards, you are supporting traditions and techniques and enabling people such as myself to make a living from what they love doing. And in return, you potentially get to look at something each day that makes you very happy in return.
So I made my first pictures and friends and family loved them so much they asked me to make pictures for them too, and so the gem of an idea formed, namely that maybe, just maybe, I had found my new career. It was everything I wanted, so far removed from City life I couldn’t possibly be comparing it to ‘back then’ and it gave me the chance to artistically do everything I had always dreamed of doing whilst idling away time, er I mean working hard in the office.
So Textile Treasures was born, so called because I wanted the pictures to be appreciated as tiny treasures and precious in the lives of those who bought them. They are pictures to make you smile, to evoke memories of pleasant days gone by or to provide inspiration of times yet to come. They also often incorporate fabrics which glisten, shimmer and sheen, and so catch the light in ways that traditional paintings cannot.
I changed the business's name a few years ago to Heidi Meier Textiles, because my artworks were reaching a wider audience and were no longer exclusively for children. And in 2017 I created a logo for the first time (following my exhibit at the British Craft Trade Show in 2016).
Despite being completely self taught in embroidery techniques, I have professionally exhibited my work, and now teach workshops to like minded people who want to learn this fascinating way to create art.
It’s made me very happy, and I hope my work makes you happy too.