Epic Journey

Hello dear readers. I know I’ve been gone way too long. Thank you for your patience.

I don’t know why, but when I neglect my blog, it is SO hard to get back at. It’s all about discipline–like exercising or eating healthy, and it is totally worth it once you get going, but dragging yourself to the starting line is a real battle of personalities.

Personality #1–Lazy lady who would rather read other people’s blogs instead of write one of her own.


Pensonality #2 Productive busy bee who knows documenting and sharing her process and journey is a good thing.

A couple of “Where the hell are you?” emails, helped get me back on track.

So what have I been doing? This is the hi-light blog post with more in-depth discussion to follow once I truly do unpack.

On Saturday afternoon October 17, we drove to the airport and I boarded a plane with my final destination being Columbus, Ohio.

Epic Journey Maria ShellAfter about sixteen hours of travel, I arrived at the hotel ready for a single week of study at the Crow Barn with Nancy Crow.

Epic Journey Maria ShellFor the first time ever (in my studies), we arrived to set up on Sunday afternoon and were given A PRE-ASSIGNEMENT. Yikes. I had the far back corner with two empty walls to fill.

Epic Journey Maria ShellI will share more about that later–I promise, but in the meantime, you should know that I burned through an entire spool of Aurifil 50wt thread in the process. It was a fabulous week. One of those deep moments where the energy of the group elevated us all.

Epic Journey Maria ShellNext up was Houston. This was my third trip to the International Quilt Festival and my first year teaching. There is really nothing else like it.

Epic Journey Maria ShellOn Wednesday, I taught my first hands on class called Modern Broderie Perse.

Epic Journey Maria ShellIt was great fun to see dozens of traditional quilt makers jump out of their boxes and make really lovely original work.

Epic Journey Maria ShellAnd the Quilts! I am always so overwhelmed by the visual stimulation. My solution is to take in only the quilts that inspire me. There is too information on the show floor, and if I start to look at quilts that disappointment me, it is depressing. So, I don’t. And when I come home, I have loads of gorgeous images of the BEST what was there–like Dot by Kathy York.

Epic Journey Maria ShellThen it was a SUPER early flight to Portland, Oregon via Phoenix.

Epic Journey Maria ShellAt the Portland airport, I met my cousin who lives in Vancouver and my son who flew in from Anchorage. We spent the night in Vancouver, rented a car, and then set out on a 1,025 mile trek from Portland, Oregon to Monterey Bay, California. We stopped in about a dozen college towns along the way.

Epic Journey Maria ShellI am not that fond of driving–in fact that is a big time understate understatement. I don’t like to drive, but I did it. I feel really fortunate to have gotten the chance to have such an adventure with our oldest son.

Maria Shell Epic JourneyI loved Ashland, Oregon

Maria Shell Epic Journeyand Southern Oregon State.

Maria Shell Epic JourneyBut I also loved the Redwoods,

Maria Shell Epic Journeythe Bart,

Maria Shell Epic Journeyand pizza in Berkeley.

Maria Shell Epic JourneyOur final destination was Santa Cruz where I had my first EVER teaching gig for an official guild.

Maria Shell Epic JourneyThe South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild invited me to teach the workshop Making Prints out of Solids. Here are the samples I brought to inspire my students.

Maria Shell Epic JourneyIt was a great day of stitching.

Maria Shell Epic JourneyFinally, on Sunday November 8, Son Number One and I boarded a plane headed north, but not before a sweet visit to the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. It was the opening of three amazing quilt shows, and I got to a part of that excitement.

Okay, the luggage is still in the entry way

Maria Shell Epic Journeyand my studio looks like it survived the rains I witnessed in Houston.

I am  going to clean these messes up, and then I will be back with details! In the meantime, I would love to hear what all of you have been up to. Have you had an epic journey of your own?

This entry was published on November 14, 2015 at 1:37 PM. It’s filed under About Teaching, News And Events and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

12 thoughts on “Epic Journey

  1. So glad to hear from you, and you made me laugh with your description of blog writing vs reading. Totally been there. You are making me want to go back to the Crow barn.

    I have been on an epic journey too and much of it intersected with yours. Loved the workshop and just the chance to chat in person. Mine ended with adopting a darling little dog! Hoping to get back in the studio this next week. And looking forward to reading more of your adventures 😉

    • That is great! Adopting a new pet is always so much fun. Our lives would be so boring without animal companions. Good for you! It was great to meet you and I look forward to following your adventures too!

  2. lsproull2013 on said:

    Welcome back!

  3. whoa, no wonder you haven’t been blogging. that was one heck of a month. definitely excited to hear more about your Crow adventures. And Houston. that will be nice if number 1 son goes to school in the NW. and yayayayayay for the first guild teaching job!

    • Thanky you Tonya! Your ears must have been burning while I was in Houston. I went to dinner with two friends who were very excited about some word quilts they had made using your book! That is awesome.

  4. metaphysicalquilter on said:

    Just reading your post, makes me wonder how you have to write the post. Love the quilt “Dot”.

  5. Isn’t Dot fabulous. I bid on and won a SAQA quilt by Kathy York. I have always loved her work, but now I am a bit of stalker…just the the quilts not the maker.

  6. You’re back!

    Wow, have YOU been busy. Ashland is really nice, isn’t it? Especially this time of year (3 years ago I was driving back and forth between Portland & San Francisco when we were moving to the latter).

    Oh, I really like ‘Dot’.

    I haven’t started really an epic journey, per se, but more like a long plod? One foot in front of the other and I’ll go somewhere eventually. I’ve started learning how to machine quilt. Thank you again for your class notes.

    • I am in love with Ashland. That would be my pick for a school. It is in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program which means if he gets in, we get reduced tutition. It is so beautiful there, but it also has a cool college town feel. Plodding is good! I am always amazed at what happens when I plod. It is slow, but then there is a point when you look back and can really see that you have made progress. Good luck with the machine quilting. That is a long plod for sure!

  7. OMG Maria… you have been one BUSY girl… and TEACHER LADY! Awesome! Can’t wait to hear your take on IQF with photos please! And have your entered MY CORNER OF THE WORLD Saqa Exhibition – entry deadline Nov. 30th – no dealine for when the work had to be made! We NEED your work here in Canada to tour for a couple of years… and open at the Stratford Perth Museum May 21st – Come on! It’s only an entry deadline… you have time! here’s the Prospectus link… I know you have photos of a favourite piece!


    And this is for all the rest of you SAQA members reading this who we so want to participate too!

  8. Bethany- Good idea to spread the word about this exhibition. It should be fabulous. I really wanted to create new work for the show, but I ran out of time. I have a few pieces that are very much about Alaska, we will see. Happy Holidays Bethany! As always it is good to hear from you!

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