Episode 37: Textile Designer, Anna Maria Horner

Anna Maria Horner on the CRAFT-ish Podcast with Vickie Howell

Anna Maria Horner, Designer & Craft South Owner

This week Vickie spoke with textile designer, artist, and creative entrepreneur, Anna Maria Horner. Vickie had been admiring her and her work from afar for years, so it was an absolute pleasure for Vickie to finally meet her. They talked about Anna Maria’s multi-faceted career which includes: design, publishing, teaching, licensing and running her own Nashville shop, Craft South; as well as what she’s learned from her career journey so far, and how she’s balances it all with her role as a wife and a mother of seven children.

Anna Maria seems to be one of those people who it’s easy to become fast friends with. She’s bright, open, and unafraid to speak candidly. Conversation is easy with her, as you’ll see because we didn’t quite get to a proper hello before our chat was already on its way.

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Show Notes:

Anna Maria Horner grew up in a house full of her dad’s paintings and with a closet full of her mom’s handi-work. Beds were warmed by the hand-loomed wool blankets sent by her grandmother from Greece. The busy little bodies of her and her siblings were warmed by the beautiful hand-knits of their grandmother in Indiana. As a kid in the 70’s, she passed store-bought Barbie dresses and instead created her own from her mother’s fabric scraps. A simple start to a diverse path.

Anna Maria Horner Quilt

In 1995, after graduating with an Honors Fine Arts Degree in Drawing from the University of Tennessee, Anna Maria opened Handmaiden, a clothing and housewares boutique. This retail space served as the home base for Anna Maria’s clothing line which she designed and produced, together with her mom. Eventually, the label was offered to the wholesale market, where it sold at several stores across the country.

Designing clothing served an interest that she had since childhood.  Anna Maria kept her hands in many mediums on a daily basis. Her love of fabrics and patterns also spilled onto the canvas. In the midst of clothing design and production, she stayed active artistically by exhibiting in galleries regularly. Her paintings, both small and large scale, are a part of hundreds of private and commercial collections.

Anna Maria Horner Feathers on CRAFT-ish Podcast

There have been varied stops on her path to here, but a common element in all of her work, whether fashion, quilting or fine art, is a passion for the language of color. Continuing to realize her point of view in many disciplines, led to a stream of artistic growth. Somewhere around 2001, her fascination with taking an idea through all the necessary steps from her sketchbook to a store shelf sparked the momentum to create a brand. Anna Maria’s fresh perspectives within traditional markets and her vision of being surrounded by the work of her own hands has led her to partnering with more than two dozen manufacturers to design homewares, gift items, textiles, authoring three sewing books, and publishing a continuing collection of sewing and needlework patterns. Her focus has intensified in the craft and creative industry where her heart has always been.

Anna Maria Horner Fabric on the CRAFT-ish Podcast

Today Anna Maria and her husband, Jeff, make their home on a rambling and not overly maintained two acres of happiness in Nashville. Their seven children range in age from 3 to 24. Together they embrace both the charming and imperfect moments of raising a large family. She is incredibly thankful to be able to seek out her artistic goals in the presence of her family and is inspired by the constant spontaneity and tempo of life.

Enter to win an AMH Prize Pack of Goodies. To enter post a comment about your project preference: Quick & easy, or more intricate and skill oriented? Comments must be posted by 10pm on 3/29/17.

UPDATE: Winner is…Audrey! 

Anna Maria Horner Giveaway on the CRAFT-ish Podcast




AMH Website

Anna Maria on Instagram

Anna Maria on Facebook



Produced by: Vickie Howell

Edited & Mixed by: Dave Campbell

Music Provided by: Explosions in the Sky


Like us? Leave a Rating or Review on iTunes


76 Responses to “Episode 37: Textile Designer, Anna Maria Horner”

  1. Viviannette

    I like both quick and easy projects and intricate ones. They are fun to do. And sometimes I need a quick and easy one for that instant gratification thing. But not too many of those because I love a project that takes a while to complete. And really those long ones end up being my favorite ones.

    • Mary Craft

      I like easy projects when I to sit and do something mindless especially after a day at work and I am still processing my day. But then there the times I need something more involved that helps me be a part of something bigger than my day to day life… Kind of like a long term goal.

  2. Jennifer Brown

    I have loved Anna Maria’s work for years. I would love to learn more intricate and skilled content from her.

  3. Kimberly Iaquinta

    I like slow and steady. I like intricate projects and I love Anna Maria’s work. She has inspired me for years.

  4. whitney dahlberg

    I love Anna Maria &have listened 3d to several of interviews & enjoyed this one thoroughly! My preference is quick & easy!

  5. Cheryle Sue Johnson

    Enjoyed listening to Vickie and Anna Maria. One of the first things I do each day is check Anna Maria’s instagram for inspiration. Her work is beautiful.

  6. kathy

    Thanks for this interesting episode, Vickie. The scope of Anna Maria Horner’s art and craft work is amazing. As for quick and easy or intricate and slow projects, I embrace both. If I am pressed for time or quiet environment for concentration, I appreciate being able to pick up a quick and easy project to work even for a few minutes. However, when I have the time and quiet environment, I enjoy intricate, slow projects that challenge me. I usually have one of each going, so each day I can be sure to work with my hands.

  7. Carmen

    Quick and easy but with some intricate work mostly because I work 40 to 60 hours a week and want to be able to still dabble in the arts

  8. Cynthia Brooks

    I usually do quick and easy projects for the immediate need fulfillment but always have a more intricate project waiting in the wings to work on and I do end up much more proud of the project that took more skill and concentration.

  9. Stacey

    Loved this episode and listening to a conversation between two women I admire so much! I think I find most satisfaction from my projects that are more complex and take a longer time to complete – both in the process, and in the final product. Being quick and easy is not usually why I make something (although sometimes my projects are). I think I’m like Anna Maria in that it doesn’t bother me to have several projects going at one time!

  10. Sharon Aguilar

    I always have both slow intricate projects and quick projects going on at the same time, but I feel I need the slow projects. They are so steady and can be done in my down time without feeling like I need to be fast and finish in certain time. Handwork espyjas become my favorite because I can take it anywhere and be present with my family while I do it.

  11. Jill Pitzer

    I like slow, detailed and skilled. I like something I can work on for a long time.

  12. Rhonda C

    I’m moving toward the slow and intricate even though my skills are still at quick and easy. I’m finding that the best way to grow my skills is to push myself to take the time and attention to do the more complicated projects. I’m intermediate for sure. Thanks for the chance to win some goodies!

  13. Jenny Krebsbach

    I love learning some part of a new technique with every new project. How to use that template, how to work with that fabric, etc. EXcept for baby quilts. Then it is Quick and Easy and Washable!

  14. Margaret

    I like quick and easy so that I can feel good about finishing something, but I also like slower more involved projects so I can put my focus on something creative for a longer period of time.

  15. Maryann

    I knit, crochet, and am a beginner at sewing. I usually have several projects going at once. One will be larger and more time consuming, like a knit shawl. Others will be quicker items like crochet cowls so I can get the satisfaction of accomplishment.

    I often search patterns for “quick”, “easy”, or “simple”. I do have a problem with projects advertised with a completion time, like “3 hour hat”. It always takes me at least twice as long as advertised to complete the project, which makes me feel slow and a bit betrayed. I think designers have to realize that even though they may be able to complete a project in one evening, many of us are not as experienced at our crafts, and many of us are working on projects in little gaps of spare time, like in a doctor’s waiting room or in the car outside a school. Constantly stopping and starting makes a project take longer, and also means patterns must be easy to pick up and follow. Clear instructions with a stitch count at the end of every row are very helpful.

  16. Jennifer Harden

    Love them both, but quick and easy is the current stage of life! Inspired by your life and work AM!

  17. Sonya

    Love your podcast. LOVE Anna Maria Horner! The podcast was great – thank you so much for sharing. I tend toward projects that take a while to complete, something I can work on a little everyday. But there are times I want a quick craft fix, usually those are intermingled with the ongoing projects. Yes, I am one who has 100 projects happening at once.

  18. Brittany

    I like a mix of both quick and long projects. The long can be so gratifying, but sometimes too long can be daunting. Especially if I’m feeling frustrated I like a quick project I can complete to feel accomplished and inspired.

  19. Megan

    After years of looking for the quick, I find myself craving slow and intricate crafting lately. I feel no guilt about taking months to finish a project.

  20. Audrey

    There is definitely a struggle with time that makes me choose between quick and easy or slow and intricate. I do a mixture of both, but I do feel the need to get things done quickly and be productive.

  21. Amberly

    I like both quick and easy projects, great for when you are really busy and just have a few minutes for crafting, but the intricate ones challenge my creativity and make me really proud when I finish it!

  22. Rae Khoury

    Slow and intricate for me! I am into slow sewing, enjoying the process. Thanks for the chance!

  23. Amy Campbell

    At this stage in life, quick and easy. I enjoy looking at the intricate projects and someday I’ll tackle them.

  24. Hilke

    I love the intricate ones, but sometimes need a quick and easy project inbetween.

  25. Mandy

    I’m the slow and intricate type! So inspired by Anna Maria’s beautiful designs and colours.

  26. Ranelle

    I love simplistic projects. But no matter how quick and easy they should be, I’m the master of dragging them out longer than I should. Sometimes it’s just nice to savor the stitching rather than rush to finish.
    Awesome podcast! Love soaking up as much AMH as I can. 🙂 She’s such a delight in every way!!!

  27. Tricia Shaver

    I like a little of both..I’m going to make the Safe Passage quilt next. The needle turned applique is a new skill for me, I’m excited to do something a little more intricate and detail oriented.

  28. Jenna Johnston

    I love both kinds, depending on my mood, but the ones I seem to gather the most are the intricate ones.

  29. Alison Smallacombe

    I love stitching by hand and hand piecing
    Needle turn appliqué is what I am enjoying at the moment – I have been learning lots of ways to do this trying to perfect my own techniques. I love using traditional methods to put quilts together using all the wonderful modern fabrics and prints we have today

  30. Elley

    I like both – but tend to choose more involved projects. I get bored easily, and if the projects are too simple I work through them too quickly. And the more involved projects allow me to spend more time with the beautiful fabric.

  31. Amanda

    I wish it were intricate, but I love the results and satisfaction of making progress on easier projects. If only they were fast, too!

  32. Sonya Robinson

    I love hand stitching and needlework but also love quick and easy projects! And I love, love Anna Maria. She is so warm and inspiring. I have taken several workshops with her and adore everything she creates.

  33. Diana

    I like projects where I learn a new skill. So I guess they can be quick and easy or intricate. <3

  34. Jessicca

    I need both! I’m so darned slow, the “quick and easy” projects are essential to my credibility with my family and friends for actually finishing something. However, I prefer hand quilting, I love EPP, and I’m learning applique so I don’t even bat an eye lash at terribly involved designs. I just love the process of creating! Doesn’t matter how I get there.

  35. June

    I usually prefer quick and easy, but would like to challenge myself with more slow and intricate projects.

  36. Elli

    Sometimes you need a quick and easy project but given the choice I’d definitely go for slow and intricate!

  37. Emily

    I like them both, but I find it amazing how little it matters which kind it is in whether I actually finish! If I’m really feeling the project, I can keep going for months on the same thing, but a project that doesn’t speak to me can get boring after only a day or two. I don’t have a lot of time each day, so everything is inevitably going to have some pauses, and they really affect momentum!

  38. Laurie

    I’ve been admiring Anna Maria’s beautiful work for years! I tend to focus on intricate and skill-oriented projects, but I currently have so many that I need to finish! It’s nice to throw in a quick and easy project to give myself the satisfaction of completing something in between the more difficult and time-consuming projects.

  39. Jenna

    I’m a quilting newbie so for now it’s quick and easy for me until I start building on my skills … though I’ve been dreaming of attempting the Cross Country Quilt since I first saw it on an IG feed! 😍

  40. Roxanne

    I like quick and easy quilts and let the fabric choices speak. When I want a challenge I like paper piecing.

  41. Ruth

    I like both and usually have projects of each kind going at the same time. That way depending on my mood and time allotment I always have something to work on. And ALL of my projects incorporate AMH in some way or another. Love her😍😍😍

  42. Jess @ Quilty Habit

    Always more skill oriented/process based. Sometimes it’s fun to do quick projects but when I quilt, I really value the process. This was a fantastic episode; thank you!

  43. Brittany

    I like both quick and easy and intricate and skill oriented. I usually have 5-6 projects going at a time, having both types of projects makes it possible for me to have the satisfaction of getting a project done, but also immerse myself in the more time consuming projects.

  44. Lori

    Honestly, quick and easy is my first pick as a mom of three, but when I have a little time, I enjoy learning new techniques. I recently learned how to do french seams on new pillowcases for the family. Working now on an Easter dress for my 12 year old. 🙂

  45. Ramanda Nash

    As a mother of seven too, all I have time for is quick and easy but I do appreciate a more detailed, skill building project. I just know that it will take decades before I actually finish a more intricate project.

  46. Sharon

    Quilting is something I have always wanted to do but haven’t because I don’t really know where to start or put on paper what I can imagine in my mind. I love to crochet, time consuming or not. I am just starting to learn knit and I am working on a potato chip scarf since it is only knitting. Just love listening to all of the podcast because I learn so much. Thank you for your work and giving every one this opportunity!

  47. Tara Stallings

    Oh I love in depth and intricate, so long as I know the recipient can appreciate it 🙂

  48. Michelle

    Quick and easy always works for me, but I’m always looking to learn new intricate projects. 🙂

  49. Pamela Thomas

    I enjoy the intricate patterns. I love to audition the fabrics together and enjoy the process. I love to learn new techniques. I am so fond of Anna Maria’s fabrics!

  50. Rachel

    I love both quick and easy as well as difficult projects. For me it depends on how much time I have and who the recipient will be and of course my mood. Sometimes I need a quick crafty fix and other times I feel like taking my time. I always have a long term project going as well as quick projects around to do at the last minute.

  51. Judy

    I am currently working on the Delilah BOM from Craft South with delightful fabrics curated by Anna Maria’s shop. Her Safe Passage Quilt is a “can’t wait” project on my list!

  52. Kendra Buchanan

    I really enjoy more intricate projects! It keeps my mind working! I also enjoy quick projects! I have 3 boys that keep me really busy! So sometimes I need instant gratification! LOL!

  53. Lonnie

    I echo many earlier comments – life is so busy (all the women who are moms and working) so quick and easy is my first instinctive pick, but I always gravitate in the end to the intricate and skill oriented to feel more satisfied. So whether I have enough time, I like the intricate and skill oriented!

  54. Wendy Pomara

    I usually have both kinds of projects going at once! I’m currently hand embroidering a fabric from her Lou Lou Thi line…so lovely. Thanks for asking.

  55. Nikki

    AMH is my very favorite. I’ve been hoarding her fabric since Good Folks. I usually opt for quick and easy projects – because I’m a SAHM to two littles and I can’t find time (and concentration) for much more. Thanks for the lovely post and giveaway!

  56. Essie

    Love her fabric! My preference is for quick and easy, because as a working mom, I don’t necessarily have the tme or energy for longer projects!

  57. Debbie

    I am somewhere in between. If a project is too complicated I lose interest. Easy is good for instant gratification. I love bright colors and mixed fabrics. Learning appliqué so I can add another element to my creativity.

  58. Christina

    Quick and easy…though it’ll take me forever and I’m bound to screw it up! But there is still joy in the process as well as the end result (if that ever happens!). Thanks!!

  59. Kathy Worsley

    Quick and easy! If something takes too long, it becomes a WIP because I loose interest. Short attention span 😩

  60. Becky Kellum

    I like to mix it up, sometimes intricate and sometimes less so. What is always true is I love color and contrast. AMH is my all time favorite.

  61. Chris

    Oh so hard to choose – I like to have a quick and easy project at the ready and more intricate going on longer term. Love AMH I have been following her and inspired for years

  62. Betty

    I never seem to have enough time to sew, so it’s got to be quick and easy for me. I appreciate the artistry of intricate, though, so one day, years from now, I’ll make it a goal to attempt some intricate hand-sewn work.

  63. Mims

    With life right now, I’m all about the quick and easy. But I do look forward to being able to return to more intricate one day!

  64. Cynthia

    I like a challenge, so quick and easy although tempting isn’t as compelling as a more intricate long-term project.

  65. Pat Berman

    I really like Anna Maria’s work and admire all what she does. Wonder how she does it with seven children! I like to switch between quick and easy and more detailed projects.

  66. AmyDe

    I love both a quick and easy project to keep me motivated with finished goods and a really intricate project that I can dig into and work on while learning new skills. Thanks for the opportunity!

  67. Jennifer

    Normally I am all about challenging mysekf to learn a new skill but with a new baby quick and easy is the only way to go if I am going to create at all.

  68. Mary Kauffman

    I agree that sometimes having a fast doable project helps bring more crafters into the fold. Success is the best way to encourage others to try. That being said, it is fun to stretch our horizons by taking on a project just a little outside of our comfort zone.
    Hope I win!


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