As most of our readers know, we have a deep love and admiration for our friend – and collaborator – Anna Maria Horner. She is an artist, fluent in more than one creative medium. She not only creates bold and unique fabrics, some of which we have adapted into Alabama Chanin garments, but she also designs kitchen and paper goods, writes, works as the spokesperson for Janome, and keeps up with her beautiful family, all while pregnant with baby #7.
As I read through my new copy of Anna Maria’s Needleworks Notebook, I was moved by her descriptions of family and creativity and how being surrounded by the beautiful handmade things they made influenced her life path. While my parents weren’t as prolifically artistic as Anna Maria’s, the stories of her grandmothers and their sewing resonate with me strongly.
Her family created out of necessity, of course: they repaired, hemmed, built, and painted. But, there was a drive to create for the sake of beauty. She writes, “Surely our walls would have stood even if my father hadn’t made beautiful paintings to hang on them. Yet, I could describe to you in minute detail how his bold and colorful strokes of oil paint rendered the disturbed water beside a gondola with a long ore at the center of that swirl in a scene framed in our living room.” Anna Maria, it seems, was born to create.
As a result, Anna Maria’s Needleworks Notebook feels both personal and practical throughout. The designs are beautiful and often intricate, yet she manages to make each seem possible. Like her parents, she manages to take the practical – embroidering clothing or a pocketbook – and make it beautiful. But, she gives you the knowledge and the desire to make something beautiful not simply because you can, but because the world needs more beauty.
P.S.: Come back all week for more Anna Maria Horner goodness (including a Greek Meal in her honor on Wednesday and details for a book give-away on Friday).