Born in 1972, Anna Maria was raised in a house full of her dad's paintings and with a closet full of her mom's handiwork. Beds were warmed by the hand-loomed wool blankets from her Greek grandmother and she was kept warm by beautiful hand-knits from her American grandmother. Spending hours in fabric shops with her mom and sister on the weekend was as normal as designing her Barbie's first wardrobe using the family trunk of fabric scraps.
Anna Maria earned an honors BFA in Drawing from the University of Tennessee in 1995 before opening a small handmade clothing shop with her mom the same year. Designing and sewing a clothing label while managing a shop for five years primed her for a career in textiles and small business.
Around 2001, Anna Maria's fascination with taking an idea on a development journey from her sketchbook to an admirer's hands sparked the momentum to create a brand beyond what she could make alone. After a few years of freelance partnerships with dozens of gift, paper and homewares companies her art was discovered by Donna Wilder, the founder of FreeSpirit fabrics. Since her first fabric collection debuted in 2005, her focus has intensified in the craft, sewing and quilting community where her creativity was first planted as a girl. Designing fabrics that become quilts and other sewn projects marries her love of art making and sewing. Hundreds of fabric designs later, she has authored two sewing books, one embroidery book, and self publishes a continuing collection of sewing, quilting and needlework patterns.
Traveling and sharing her creative point of view through lectures and workshops that focus on design, stitching and patchwork has become an increasingly important part of her work. Presenting her distinctively exuberant quilts and her self-taught process has taken her all over the world and keeps her passion for making alive. Visit the Events page to see where she will be next.
Anna Maria is the mother of seven children and all of her big and little ideas have been sparked in the presence of her family. In 2021 they moved from their long time home in Nashville just a little southward to Historic Franklin. Restoring a Greek Revival cottage (ca.1900) with new life and layers of handcrafted love has included the building of her new home studio. Anna Maria shares the imperfect adventures of art making, quilting, gardening, mothering, traveling and home improving @annamariahorner on Instagram.
In 2014 Anna Maria established a floating event based studio to gather like minded makers and to offer beautiful materials all in one place. In the Spring of 2015 Craft South established itself permanently in the 12thSouth district of Nashville and began hosting creative instructors like Natalie Chanin, Kathy Doughty, Denyse Schmidt, Jen Kingwell, Andrea Mowry, Kaffe Fassett & Brandon Mably, and Arounna Khounnoraj to teach from their diverse and beautiful perspectives.
Craft South relocated to the nearby Woodbine neighborhood in the Fall of 2019 to a lighter and brighter studio with more space to be inspired. As a well-loved creative destination the business has joyfully welcomed makers from all over the world to learn and peruse an expertly curated selection of fabrics, fibers, tools and delightful projects. With changes in customer shopping styles and undeniable world changes, in October of 2022 Craft South closed its Nashville location. It now exists exclusively as an online retail experience and in person pop-up events throughout the calendar. While some things do indeed change, the Craft South commitment to quality materials and expert education for beautiful projects is unchanged. Keep up with upcoming Events and beautiful new craft & sewing supplies @craftsouth on Instagram.
In 2018 Anna Maria presented a collective approach to fabric design by collaborating with some of her favorite artists around the world. All of the artists have been chosen for their genuine creative voice that reflects something unique and special. The artists have included Monika Forsberg, Nathalie Lete, Courtney Cerutti, Arounna Khounnoraj and Carolyn Gavin. Serving as curator for the group, Anna Maria translates their art into fabric designs that are printed by FreeSpirit Fabric and sold in shops around the world before they become part of beautiful quilts and sewing projects. Conservatory Craft has grown to include a very beautiful range of needlepoint kits that are printed and packaged in England and are sold exclusively through Anna Maria's studio. Stay up to date with the Conservatory Craft product launches @conservatorycraft on Instagram.