Coming Out of the Garage Instead of the Closet
Real Men Quilt!
In February, 2009, on an impulse buy, I bought Frank a Singer 99 sewing machine at an antique shop. It was one of the old ones with the gold lettering (it was a lot heavier than my Singer Featherweight that quilters love to use). I took it home, told Frank I bought him something and handed it to him. He proceeded to look at it while I looked for a manual on the internet for him to use. He cleaned it up and he had that baby purring like a kitten in no time (although he wanted to give it "more power"). I didn't realize that he would take up quilting when I bought that machine!
While at the local WalMart, my sister and I were looking at fabric while Frank, being a dutiful husband and brother-in-law, followed us around. He picked up some VERY cheap fabric ($2.00/yard if that tells you anything) for himself. We told him that it was cheap fabric and would probably warp but he didn't want to spend "good money" on something he "might not even like to do". He then poured over my quilting books, looking for the PATTERN that he liked. After finding one, he cut out the pieces and meticulously sewed his first quilt top. He is a carpenter by heart and a heavy equipment operator by trade. I told him instead of coming out of the closet, he was coming out of the garage. Yes, his son, Carl, really teased him about men quilters. I told Carl that there were men quilters and he replied, "Yes, gay men quilters".
The following week, his son, Carl, told his dad that hwanted make him to make his son, Cody, a University of Kentucky quilt for his bed (surprise, surprise after all the ribbing he got for quilting). My husband made the UK quilt but also made it two-sided, the back being football/basketball fabric (his own design) since his grandson played these sports. I had created a monster!
He then made a Turning Twenty quilt top, then the pattern of Clay's Choice, and ended up making 13 quilt tops that first year while working full time. Did I mention he had quit smoking? I razzed him about how many quilt tops he could have made if he had quit smoking earlier in life. He would get up a couple of hours before work to sew and spend his evenings sewing these tops after running bulldozers, etc. all day long. He would cut the fabric and sew it to perfection (because of the carpentry skills, I'm assuming).
During this time period, we were at a shop purchasing fabric for a quilt and a man was watching Frank carrying fabric around the store. The man looked at Frank and said, "If you are nice to her, she might make you a dress" and laughed. I looked the man straight in the eye and told him it wasn't my material, that it was my husband's! The man's mouth dropped open and I proceeded to laugh!
We went on to purchase a longarm quilting machine and he quilted the quilts and I did the applique and bindings. He built two large cabinets for fabric. He thought that I had plenty of fabric before he started quilting and quickly found out a person can never have too much fabric!
Needless to say, I am proud of my husband. REAL MEN DO QUILT!
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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