As therapy, Mary began teaching herself to quilt while recovering from back surgery in the mid 1980’s. She planned to return to her career of cooking school owner, instructor and cookbook author, but after discovering the world of quilting her energies were redirected. In the years to follow she was named a five-time Fairfield Designer, a National Artisan for Bernina, and 2004 Teacher of the Year by Professional Quilter.
Her work has appeared and earned awards in numerous national shows throughout the United States, and in Australia, Austria, Canada, England, France, Iceland, and Japan. She’s appeared several time on on HGTV’s “Simply Quilts” and “Sew Perfect”. An entire episode of Fon’s & Porter’s PBS show, “Love of Quilting”, (fall 2003) featured Mary’s beaded quilts.
The International Quilt Study Center & Museum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln acquired Mary's quilt celebrity signature quilt, "Blood, Sweat, & Signatures" for their permanent collection in September 2017.
Mary has written articles and had work appear in scores of quilt magazines, trade books, and other publications She’s authored: “Embellishing with Felted Wool” - 2008, "Mary Stori Teaches You Beading On Fabric" - 2006 (DVD), “All-In-One Beading Buddy” - 2005, and “Beading Basics” - 2004, with C & T Publishing. “The Stori Of Beaded Embellishment” - 2001 with Martingale & Company, “The Wholecloth Garment Stori” - 1998, and “The Stori Book of Embellishing” - 1994, published by AQS.
She designed the Mary Stori Collection for Kona Bay Fabrics and her own line of trapunto quilting composition stencils for Quilting Creations. Her theme art quilts are created using her own hand-dyed cottons, linen, silk, hand-felted wool and are generously embellished. She loves the challenge of creating one-of-a-kind fiber art pieces!
This former Wisconsinite now lives outside of Asheville, NC, enjoying the area’s creative environment and milder winters. She exhibits regularly at the North Carolina Arboretum, Haywood County Arts Council, Woolworth’s Walk, downtown Asheville.