Happy Anniversary 2017

On December 27, 2012 I wrote my very first blog post. I was determined to overcome my fear of technology, and I wanted to document my ongoing journey with cloth—quilts, clothing, and more. I had no idea that maintaining a blog would become an integral part of my life as an artist. I did not know that it would become a tool for teaching, a method for documenting, and a means of connecting with the larger world of makers.

371 blog posts later, I am still writing.

I am a bit disappointed that I wrote only 37 blog posts this year. My goal for 2018 is 72 which seems outrageous, but I have a plan.

In celebration of my blog’s birthday, I always post the top ten reads for the year. I hope you find a post that you missed or want to revisit. Here we go.

10. A Few Things You Should Know
I think the biggest learning curve in my life right now is getting my act together as a teacher. I am continually trying new things–some work, some don’t. The bottom line is that I truly care about each student, and her success, but as I try to be all things to all students, I sometimes fail. I hope you will stick with me while I figure this out.

9. Art Quilts International Abstract & Geometric by Martha Sielman
Dance Party at Tamara’s House was selected to be part of this amazing book of eye candy. If you didn’t get it for Christmas, you can still buy it for yourself. It is loaded with excellent visual inspiration.

Dance Party Small Cropped & Turned

8. Meeting New People
There was a time early in my life as a quilt maker that I was afraid of meeting new people—this is the story of how I changed that up.

7.  Hot Crossed Squares
It took two years, but I finally had all of my small works, which I call Hot Crossed Squares, photographed and uploaded to their own gallery on my website.

6. Improv Patchwork—Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape  and Blog Hop-Improv Patchwork
I am combining these two posts because they are next to each other on the count down, and they are essentially the same. They are posts related the book Improv Patchwork–Dynamic Quilts Made with Line & Shape by me. If you want a signed copy, you can get one here


5. Teaching Schedule July 2017 – July 2018
Today, I updated and expanded this post, so if you want the latest on when and where I will be, check it out. Especially if you just happen to be on the Big Island in January! I am teaching on January 4th and 9th at Quilt Passions, Kailua Kona.

4. How to Build a Quilt
I think this might be my only tutorial for the year. I explore ways to get off the grid and build a quilt improvisation-ally.


3. A Few Thoughts on Sharing
I think this was the most difficult post I wrote all year. The one that I heamed and hawed about until I finally just hit the publish button and turned my computer off. A Few More Thoughts on Sharing is a follow up post that I also like a lot.


2. Fleece Flannel Blankets
This post was written in 2013 and it has been in the top ten every year but one. Every one needs a fleece flannel blanket.

thumb_IMG_0904_10241. The Perfect Beginners Top Down Sweater
I wrote this post in February of 2015—more than two years ago. This year, I finished my very first top down sweater. I used the My Favorite Sweater pattern by Fancy Tiger Crafts. It is a great beginner pattern. My version is super thick. I call it my cast iron sweater. It looks and feels like a cast iron skillet. Every time I wear it, I debate about making it longer. I know I should, but do I want to?

I have written a Happy Anniversary post every year to celebrate another trip around the sun. You can read them here.

Happy Anniversary 2016
Happy Anniversary 2015
Happy Anniversary 2014
Happy Anniversary 

In writing these posts, I have discovered the best way to search for past entries on my blog is to go to my ABOUT  page. There, you can search for individual entries by subject or month. I know it would be nice to have that feature on my home page, but the WordPress template I use doesn’t allow for it. The plus side to this is a CLEAN home page. The negative is that you can’t easily find old posts. Which kind of stinks.

What what kind of posts would you like to read next year? Did your favorite post make the list? I would love to know.

Thank you for being along for the ride. It means a lot to me to know that you are out there reading and maybe even thinking about something I wrote. One stitch at a time we are learning what it is to be human at this dot on the timeline, at this moment in history. Let’s make it better. It’s kind of our job.


I will leave you with my most recent selfie. I took this in front of my friend Colleen Kole’s work to prove I was there. Two seconds later, security was trailing me to make sure I didn’t do that again. Turns out this was a no photo exhibit. 

Happy New Year People!

This entry was published on December 28, 2017 at 5:34 PM. It’s filed under News And Events and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary 2017

  1. pamrocco on said:

    I find all of your posts interesting, Maria. I’m interested in how you think, and that shines through in everything you write. Most of all, I enjoy your company while I read what you wrote. Here’s to 72 posts in the New Year (or whatever you can come up with). I promise I will read them all.

  2. Jo Vandermey on said:

    I love your well crafted, entertaining and thought provoking posts. Having been a follower (lurker) for a while, meeting you briefly in Houston, getting your book signed at the Cand T booth and have read it cover to cover 3 times I am trying to figure out how to incorporate what I love so much about the Maria Shell work I see – clean lines, pattern out of non patterned fabric, use of the historical blocks and history of quilting , learn from it but make a quilt that comes and is a sum of me in essence a Jo quilt.
    So that is going to be my path this year. To study what I love of my “quilt rock stars” ( that’s how I discribe how excited I was to meet so many of my kind of stars in Houston to my friends and family) and develop a sense of Jo. I liken it to studying the masters and then coming into your own.
    I can’t and don’t want to be a “Maria Shell” (although I love your clothes and sense of openness) but I sure am excited to find out who Jo Quilter is…
    I love reading your posts and look forward to them. And hopefully take a class it I can from you someday in person.
    Thank you for sharing yourself – it is appreciated!
    Who is inspired to become Jo because of wonderful people who share their essence with others!

  3. Maria,

    It is hilarious that you got kicked out of a quilt show for taking a selfie! I’ve heard some quilt shows are very strict but I haven’t heard of that happening. My favorite post(s) are the “Few Thoughts On Sharing” pair. I had missed the second one so I’m glad they made the list.

    Your warm, open-book personality comes through so clearly in your writing, Maria. I’m glad to get to visit with you in this way. Thank you for writing a blog and sharing yourself with us.

  4. Congrats on your blog and success this past year. Your perseverance and determination has paid off and I enjoy your authenticity in writing your posts.

    I, too, enjoyed A Few Thoughts on Sharing. There is a fine line between protecting what is ours and sharing the gift of art and sewing with others. I didn’t have a clue how to thread a needle until I was in my 30’s and thank the teacher who shared with abandon her tricks. When I can’t share my skills or my work becomes too precious to show others then my britches are just too big.

    Hey and thanks for that photo! Love that you got caught you troublemaker.

  5. Happy Anniversary! I enjoyed looking back at some of your articles. I have your book and the Martha Seilman book and am enjoying them both! Hope to see you here or there in the coming year.

Leave a Reply