Alaskan Quilter and Quilt Teacher, Maria Shell, will be traveling from Anchorage, Alaska to teach four classes at Road to California 2019:
Maria Shell was drawn to sewing when she was 4 years old and hasn’t stopped since. She had a Barbie Doll clothing business as a young girl and worked in the costume shop in college. Quilt making didn’t come until 1999 when her family moved to Valdez, Alaska, which happens to be a very active quilt community. Maria’s first workshop was a Debbie Caffery Mystery Quilt and she has been making quilts ever since. Other quiltmakers that have inspired Maria’s work are Gwen Marston, Nancy Crow, and books by Paula Nadelstern.
When Maria moved to Alaska, she designed a large studio so that her sons (who were young at the time) had plenty of room to horse around in the studio while she worked. Today, her studio includes a sewing station, an L-shaped cutting station, and a Gammil Classic Plus. What are Maria’s favorite tools found in her studio? “I cannot do without my 4’’ x 14’’ Omnigrid ruler, my Olfa straight handled 60mm rotary cutter, my Kai scissors and snips, and my Bernina sewing machine.”
Besides quilting, Maria has been learning to knit for the past few years and says that “I am a bit addicted to making socks.” She also loves hiking and walking; trying out new plant based recipes; and reading or listening to books on tape.
Maria started teaching quilt making almost as soon as she finished taking her first quilt workshop which means she has been teaching for about seventeen years. She started teaching nationally in 2015. Teaching quilt classes is a personal learning experience says Maria. It “makes me a better quilt-maker and a better teacher.”
Road to California 2019 will be her first time at the show. She is hoping to enjoy all that Road has to offer—as well as the famous sunny weather in January. Maria also wants her Road students to leave her classes knowing that “everything they need to be an amazing quilter exists inside of them.” Beyond that, “it is all about practice.”
To learn more about Maria, please visit her website.