My name is
Sydney (Grinstead) Heimer. I am a
lifelong resident of Mitchell County. I
graduated from Osage High School and shortly after high school graduation
married my high school sweetheart, Dale Heimer.
We lived in Osage but had an opportunity to purchase Bawek’s Store in
1974 and so we moved to Stacyville. I
was a stay-at-home mom for our 2 children, Jason and Laura for many years. In 1984, I applied and became director of the
Stacyville Public Library. While there,
I took classes in Public Library Management offered by the State Library of
Iowa and have been a Certified Public Librarian since 1986. My husband, Dale, became a pilot and learned
to fly airplanes and then later helicopters.
While running Bawek’s Shoes, he also was employed as a helicopter ag
pilot. We were in Tasmania, Australia
where Dale was working spraying crops when he lost his life in a helicopter
accident. My children were adults then
and no longer living in Stacyville so I moved back to Osage to be closer to
family while still working at the Stacyville Public Library. In 2011, I was fortunate to become the
director of the Osage Public Library. It
is truly my dream job.
I have always enjoyed doing hand sewing. I learned to embroider from my mother and
grandmother at age six. My father framed
my first project and it has hung in my bedroom ever since. I made baby quilts for each of my children
and the occasional baby quilt for friends but didn’t get really serious about
quilting until 1994, when my husband brought home a very large box of
denim trimmed from jeans and bib overalls at Bawek’s. Dale said a customer had told him she made
denim quilts and could I do something with the pieces. I guess you could say I have Dale to thank
for my quilting obsession.
So being a librarian, I read books, of course and
I learned a lot of the basics from the Alex Anderson and Eleanor Burns shows on
TV. When the Sylvia’s Bridal Quilt class
was being offered at Debbie’s Quilt Shop I decided to learn some new
techniques. A 2 year class seemed like
quite a commitment but it was really worth the time spent. I learned so much from Annette Ashbach, the
instructor - just as much as I learned from Alex or
I have made many quilts over the years, most of
which I have given away including the Sylvia’s Bridal Quilt which was a
Christmas gift to my daughter, Laura and her husband. Three days later they had a house fire with
extensive water and smoke damage to the entire house. The quilt was on the bed in the room where
the firemen needed to haul the fire hoses through in order to put the fire out. There was some damage to the quilt but with a
little TLC we were able to make it look like new.
All of my early quilts were hand-quilted but as
time goes on and there are so many new patterns and techniques to try, I don’t
take the time to hand-quilt as much as I used to. I do continue to do handwork in the form of
embroidery, applique and wool projects.
I have enjoyed passing on my love of embroidery to others through NIACC
Community Education classes.