Faculty 2009

Maria Tamaoka
Croton-on-Hudson, NY


Maria is one of our vendor teachers and will be teaching a class “Diawabo Coin Purse.”

The picture was taken at Ueno Park in Tokyo, Japan during Sakura Season (Cherry Blossom.)

More about Maria.

I began quilting in 1985 after reuniting with a High School Classmate who was quilting. My mother always sewed clothing, but never quilted, and I always loved sewing but hated the results of the clothes I made, so, I tried quilting and was hooked. I was recently divorced and was teaching Music K-6, taking care of my handicapped son, and quilting until 3:00 in the morning. (Yes, I definitely was hooked.) But actually, it was my time to unwind.

I remarried and moved from Rockford, IL where I grew up to NY. There, I took quilting classes and started teaching groups of Japanese businessmen’s wives on a weekly basis. They wanted their projects to look exactly like mine. Therefore, I started my quilting store. I call it Pinwheels, because I like the way it sounds in Japanese “kazeguruma.” Plus, I like the way a pinwheel revolves, constantly moving, constantly changing. I can relate to that.

I became involved in Japanese fabric and quilting after many trips to Japan with my husband (he’s Japanese.) I tried replicating the quilts and fabric I saw in Japan using US goods without success. After many tries, I was able to convince my husband to talk to the manufacturer of the fabulous fabric I saw, and, finally we were able to import Daiwabo Taupe.

I love traveling and always joke there is a suitcase packed at all times. One of the pleasures of traveling is meeting new people in different parts of the world. In 2007, we vended in St. Marie Aux Mines, France and met our French customers. Since then, they sent us our mascot, Jeannette, a bunny made with Daiwabo Taupe fabric. Jeannette and her “sister” Seraphine write postcards to each other. Jeannette loves writing about all the quilt shows she attends.

Currently I am a “stage mother” to our daughter, Anna, who is studying Classical Voice (Opera Studies) at Boston Conservatory. (She was with us at Rd. in 2007.) Of course, she is the most talented and beautiful student at BoCo. (She will be a Junior, Fall 2008.) Hilo, my husband, and I love to go to the opera and are actively involved in our community Opera in NY. (He is the stage manager, I am the “go for.”)

Michael, my son, is 28 (which is hard to believe since I’m only 25) and lives on an organic farm in the NY Catskills. This farm is a fabulous place with children and adults with disabilities. Their philosophy is to “maximize individuals to their full potential.” What a wonderful philosophy for all of us!

I can hardly wait to have you in class to make our coin purse. Be prepared to have a hands on experience using a variety of techniques and enjoying each other’s company.