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Show 2208: Maria Shell - Improv Patchwork

Featuring: Maria Shell

Posts On: April 8, 2018


Inspired by an antique quilt, Alex starts things off by sharing her updated version of that quilt and discusses the problems encountered when trying to mimic the original quilt‘s border. Using lemons to make lemonade, Alex shares her ‘super improv’ new and out of the box triangle border.
The improv continues as Maria Shell, an Alaskan quilter who refers to herself as a ‘bit maker’, shares her method for creating visually vibrant and patterned quilts created by sewing small units or strips together. It is through sewing, cutting, and joining a large number of strip set units that Maria pushes a design as far she can with the end result being an entirely new design.
Maria also shares tips for cutting both with and without a ruler for very different and organic design finishes. Being a quilter in close knit Alaska allows Maria to share her talents with others through a community no-sew quilt project. We also visit her Alaska home studio and summer cabin.

Show Information

Links to Artists:

Maria Shell

From Chapter One:

Alex works on creating an updated version of an antique quilt. She talks about strip piecing and her 'super inprov' triangle border.

Cutting for 8” x 8” finished strip block:

            Strips - 2 ½” x 8 ½”
                         2 ½” x 2 ½”

            Half Square Triangles - 3 7/8” squares

From Chapter Two:

Alex and Ricky welcome Maria Shell to the set. Maria discusses growing up in rural Kansas and how she is based in traditional quilting. She pushes the traidtional element in the block to see where it will lead. She considers herself a bit maker and makes lots of bits that springboard ideas to another quilt series. Her degrees in Journalism have come full circle by allowing her to express ideas via a blog and now a book.

From Chapter Three:

Maria walks us through the process of taking small solid fabric strip set units and then pushing the envelope to create an entirely new design.

From Chapter Four:

Maria has a heart for helping others and shares a community quilt made by former chronically homeless people. Her simplified step-out prep method means that anyone can make a no-sew fused quilt block. This activity gives the participants the confidence to do something creative.

We also look at images of her Alaska home studio and summer cabin.

After Set:

Maria talks about her summer cabin in McCarthy, AK, where she works and teaches. She was also part of the artist residency program at the Wrangell Mountain Center in Alaska.

Products and Artists Mentioned:

#11 Holly Butterfield 2019-01-05 22:59
Holly Butterfield
#10 colorcode 2018-06-18 10:11
Alex, I just love your color sense and composition. You infuse so much vitality into your teaching as well as down to earth practicality. You modestly make us feel that what you do, we can do, even tho you are a quilt giant. Alex, please teach often on The Quilt Show.
#9 jmhall55 2018-04-13 21:37
Not happy...
.I got half way thru and it stopped and I can't get it going again. I have never had this problem in all these years. I have been a member for a long time.
So sad to see this.
#8 NuttyKin 2018-04-12 10:25
Loved this show! I am going to use the community quilt idea with my grandchildren!
Also, when sewing strip sets together: in addition to ironing after each seam, if you sew the first strip going down the strip, sew the next strip going in the opposite direction. Continue sewing each strip going in the opposite direction from the previous one. This helps avoid the curve forming on the strip set.
#7 fairbanks 2018-04-10 08:01
Unable to have show on Apple TV. The icon to choose iPad or tv viewing gone. Very unhappy about this. Please fix this.
#6 JOHNANDERSON 2018-04-09 15:59
We have reinstalled a new version of the Show and you should now get a full screen version. YouTube changed its policy about March 26 to punish people showing videos on their sites. For now, we will switch back to Vimeo to get the full screen on tablets. Let us know if you have any troubles with the Vimeo format. The good side is that we will now be able to set up Chapters again.
#5 AlexAnderson 2018-04-09 14:57
Pnunnik - This is a u tube issue and relatively new. Thanks for pointing it out. In the mean time, go to the show and then go directly to U tube. There you can get full screen.
#4 pnunnink 2018-04-09 13:12
This site is awful. No full screen on iPad? Really sorry I renewed membership m
#3 jeanniebench 2018-04-09 10:45
So much fun to watch, congratulations , Maria! Maria is such a generous, gifted, and hard-working artist. I'm so impressed by the openness of her spirit in sharing her skills and process, and her support of other people in their journeys.
#2 FiberontheMt 2018-04-08 20:54
Loved the show. Hearing and watching other artists creative process is a true learning experience and is the best value of the show and any class. Thank you Maria and Alex and Ricky!
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