Wednesday, April 13, 2005

And now for something completely different....

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his." (Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest)

I've been getting complaints that I haven't been updating this any more, so it's time to get back to writing again. I'm just amazed that people are actually reading this! I'm also getting reports of my quilts showing up as screensavers on random that's scary!

This last weekend I had the opportunity to tell a few of my "guy quilter" stories, and I decided this would make a good topic for a blog entry. It's sort of an interesting experience being a male quilter. The experience starts the second you walk into a quilt store. Normally, you get one of two reactions. The first reaction is to ignore you...after all, you're probably only there because your wife dragged you along, so there's no need to help you. The other reaction is to immediately see if you need any help, because you're either a) lost, or b) sent to pick up something from the afore-mentioned wife. On the plus side, once they get to know you, you are remembered the moment you walk back into the shop! I'm recognized now in quilt shops from Boston to Alaska, which is sort of neat.

There have been a number of particularly amusing incidents. A couple of years ago, I took a quilting class from the Quilter's Compass in Quincy, MA. I showed up 15-20 minutes for the class, with my wheeled sewing machine carrier in tow, along with another case of quilting tools. One of the workers at the store commented on how nice I was for "carrying in my wife's quilting stuff". She was a little embarrassed when I pointed out that *I* was the one who was there for the class. Some of the women at that class were embarassed that I owned a better sewing machine than they did :-)

At one of the quilting weekends I took at the Henry Farm Inn in Vermont, we actually had 3 men in the class. Myself, my friend Ken from Connecticut, and Bart, who Ken and I convinced to give quilting a try. Bart's wife Kathy had taught him how to sew, and this was Bart's very first quilting class. We took a break at mid day on Saturday, and ran into nearby Chester, Vt to shop at the Country Treasures quilt shop. This run is a fairly standard part of these classes, so they were expecting us there. First through the door was one of the teachers, Susan Raban, who announced "the quilters are here!". Next through the door came Ken, Bart, and I, which prompted the owner to remark "Oh, how nice, the husbands came along too...". Uh, no, *we're* the quilters!

One of my favorite quilt shops is Quilter's Way, in Concord, MA. Quilter's Way works well for a "car challenged" city dweller like myself. It's right next to the West Concord train station, which makes it easy for me to get to. On the down side, I'm at the mercy of the train schedule, which generally requires me to hang around for a couple of hours whenever I go there. This is a pretty dangerous thing, forcing me to wander around a quilt shop for a couple of hours, particularly a quilt shop with a fabric selection as nice as Quilter's Way.

Anyway, I was hanging around the shop on Saturday afternoon, and the husband of Jane, the shop owner, stopped in. Jane introduced him around, and commented "got dragged along too, huh?". He was a little embarrassed when Jane pointed out that I was one of her better customers.

And finally, the last "guy quilter" incident. I was visiting my sister Shirley in Alaska last summer, and we stopped into a quilt shop in Glenallen. Shirley was looking for some fabric for a pattern she had picked up, and I was helping her audition different fabrics for the quilt. As I was doing this, the owner remarked to my sister that "he actually seems to know what he's doing". I've actually made more quilts than Shirley has :-)

Oh well, that's enough for the first time back. After this, it's back to documenting my quilts again. I've only got about 3 years left to go!


At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

your quilts are truely amazing! you have inspired me so much! well done on your amazing talent

At 2:20 PM, Blogger steve gaynes said...

Read your blog with real interest. I have been quilting on and off for the past two and a half years and want to meet other male quilters for ideas and moral support.

Look forward to hearing from you.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger steve gaynes said...

Just read your posting and would welcome the opportunity to hear some of your "guy quilter" stories and also learn about other male quilters in CT and around the New England area.

Hope to hear from you.

Best. Steve Gaynes, Fairfield, CT.

At 4:06 PM, Blogger Rick McGuire said...


Thanks for your comments on my blog. I've not updated this in a while, but I'm no longer in Boston, but living in your neck of the woods. I'm In Sandy Hook, CT now, just off of exit 10 of I-84. I'm going to be teaching a few quilting classes in Bethel this year after getting a little arm twisting applied by the shop owner.



Post a Comment

<< Home