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Meet the Maven Maker – Maria Thomas

We get so many amazing Maven Makes sent to us that we want to share even more indepth versions of your makes and story with our community. 

First up we’ve got Maria, a long-time friend of Mrs M and of course, the Maria Apron’s namesake. Maria Thomas is an exhibiting textile artist and lecturer and we bonded on the school run over our love of denim, a love of stitch and a loathing of cooking the tea.

Maria’s work focuses on rehousing everyday objects that have a specific association or meaning to her.  Notions of motherhood, shopping lists, food wrappers and graphic packaging – offering assistance to domestic chores – are carefully sourced, cut out and stitched before being absorbed into the fabric by patchwork and quilting techniques.  Shaping memories and experiences into her own visual language Maria’s work is a response to the events of her daily life.

Maria in her studio wearing her Apron

Do you find yourself reaching for the Maria Wrap a lot? 
Yes. I have two finished aprons that I use a lot, and several half done, waiting for their moment!  The first one I made in a dark-denim chambray fabric, this is my mucky one that I wear for my dye and print classes. The other, I have made in the MM large indigo polka dot fabric and I wear it to give talks or when I’m teaching a less messy workshop like hand embroidery. I love that it’s effortless to wear, its large pockets and there’s no straps to tie.

Maria Exhibiting at The Knitting & Stitching Show

How many have you made so far?

I’ve made around 15 aprons, some to wear and some as part of my textile art.

The Maria Apron was named after you! Why do you think that is?

Mrs M and I met on our local school run, gravitating towards each other through a joint love of fashion & textiles. We spent many a tea time musing over clothing design and avoiding the fish fingers.  So when she announced that the apron was going to be one of her pattern collection I couldn’t have been more enthusiastic and  offered to toile and test the pattern in its early stages, which I did with pleasure.

Any tips for a first-time Maria Apron maker?

Use a mid weight natural fabric like Chambray or  linen. Always wash your fabric first to avoid shrinkage and defiantly toile the pattern in your size first. An old duvet cover is perfect for this, if you haven’t got any calico.

‘Seven Sisters’

How have you personalised your Maven Pattern?

I have edged the straps and hem of my aprons in a self-made bias binding.  Sometimes I appliqué a spoon or denim pocket taken from a pair of jeans to them instead of the original pocket.  I’ve also used the apron pattern in various ways to create  ‘Seven Sisters’, a piece of work inspired by my grandmothers and their sisters, who all wore aprons at one time or another.

No Aprons here, just cheesy grins!

Many thanks to Maria for being our first Maven Maker, and for being a constant source of inspiration and joy!

You can follow Maria on instagram HERE