Does That Man Quilt?

Yes, that man quilts. My name is Lane and I’m a quilter. When I started quilting, I couldn’t find another man that quilted and now, just a few years later, we’re having shows that feature men who quilt. Isn't that wonderful?

I started quilting in 1990. A friend had shared some fabric and a pattern to get me started several years earlier. I had lost the pattern, but having read it, I thought I could make a log cabin quilt. And, I did. But, it’s not like most log cabin quilts. Doesn’t matter, tho. It’s still a warm and comfortable quilt that sees its share of use in our infrequent bouts of cold Texas weather.

At the time, I only knew hand quilting. I'd grown up around quilts, made by my foremothers and all of them were hand quilted. In my narrow definition of "quilt", all quilts were big enough to fit a bed. They could be pieced by machine, but quilting was done by hand.

I made a half dozen queen sized, hand-quilted quilts and then I started trying to quilt by machine. I struggled and had some complete disasters and then, in 1996, a quilting friend shared her Mother’s Bernina 930 with me and she became my mentor. She taught me about the finer points of quilting, like perfect binding, straight edges and making the wrong side of a quilt top as nice as the right side so no loose threads showed through. She taught me about the perfect quarter inch seam, which explained so many things about why my piecing had been so irregular and we went to stores, where she explained fabrics and color combinations. I’ve only taken one actual quilting class. With a mentor like mine, who needed them?

I’ve used that Bernina to quilt every quilt I’ve made since. I love the power in the machine and the silence. I take care of her and she takes care of me. Her name is Evelyn.

My partner and I live in Central Texas with our daughter, various animals, and a dozen sewing machines. We’re busy. Raising children is hard work. I have a full time job. I cook, garden, knit, and recently,my daughter taught me to crochet. And, I sew. I sew a lot. This year, I even started making garments and right now, my daughter and I are making an elaborate Halloween costume.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve begun collecting vintage sewing machines and cleaning them up to use. I do my own rewiring and service all my own machines (except my computerized machine). Thanks to my Dad, for teaching me the basics of home repair and rewiring. I’ve made quilts on all my machines and gladly profess that machines don’t make great quilts. Practice makes great quilts. So, I use my older machines to piece and I quilt on my Bernina 930.

Since that first quilt in 1990, I’ve made many others. Some great. Some not so great. Some gifts and many donations to Project Linus. I’ve gone from queen sized quilts to small wall hangings that are densely quilted enough to stand up on their own. I want to try every pattern, but am restrained by the same problem all quilters have. There’s just not enough time to make them all.

So that’s how I started to quilt. My thanks go to Thearica who put the Men Quilt, Too show together. If you haven’t been over yet, now is a good time. There are 21 quilts in the show. I just dropped in for a second to check out the competition and I know I’m going to have to go back and study the quilts closer before I can vote, because as much as I’d like to just vote for me, there’s some stiff competition out there. Lane


Thearica said...

Welcome to the show Lane! The quilts in the competition are awesome!

I envy you the handquilting! I handquilted up until 2006 when I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel so now I quilt on a Gammill. I miss the hand quilting dearly because I could get lost in it for hours.

Your work is fantastic and I am so proud to have met you through this event!

Coloradolady said...

Lane, I have seen many of your quilts, but that log cabin has got to be a favorite! I love it. But I guess the running theme is I say that about every thing you do!!! You have a wonderful life and use your wonderful talent in such a way it is inspiring.

There is some great quilts in the show...yours right up there with the rest of them! This is going to be fun meeting all of these wonderful guy quilters. Very fun.

Have a most wonderful weekend and enjoy the quilt shows!!!

Tammy said...

Hi Lane,
Good luck with the quilt show. Thanks for sharing your quilting, sewing machine and life stories with us.

Oh, you have insprired me to practice sewing free motion leaves on my Bernina 930. Thanks tons!

Melissa @ Sew BitterSweet Designs said...

Good luck in the show, I love your first quilt - the fabric choices are gorgeous! I am a new follower and would love a follow back :)

Quilter in the Gap said...

Thank you for sharing your story and your quilt. Have a great day.

Mom C said...

Thanks for your story. I love to hear how everyone got into quilting. I too thought everything had to be big and hand quilted. Mostly I tied my quilts and didn't feel I was a real quilter. Now I do most machine quilting on my Bernina and I love it but I figure I was a real quilter even back in the tieing days.

Connie said...

Hi Lane, nice to meet you! It has been fun meeting the men that quilt. It is amazing that so many (me included)started out hand-quilting. My first quilt took me over a year and then I started quilting by machine!

Anonymous said...

Lane- I loved reading your story. As a retired Home Economics teacher who had boys in my sewing class, my advice is 'keep up the great work' The more you do the better you will get and like you, I continue to learn by reading blogs and following blog hops. From California, thanks for sharing.