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