Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Guest blogger!

Dear blogging buddies,

I would like to introduce you to an outstanding quilter!  I believe you will be very impressed with his work and I highly recommend you give his blog a 'follow'.  I was very impressed that he posted about how he re-wired an old sewing machine and got it to work like a charm, plus he's only taken ONE quilting class before! His quilts are just awesome...thanks for sending in your photos and your story, Lane!!!

PS  My sincerest apologies to Lane - I was supposed to have his post posted to my blog on Monday, but we have had trouble the past four days with internet connectivity, sew I hope he will accept my deepest and sincerest apology!

(If you are interested in being featured on Rock n Quilts, please send an e-mail to me at rocknquilts @ live dot com !)


Hi, my name is Lane, and I’m a quilter.  A male quilter.  And, I have been since 1999. 

Lane of www.quiltfool.blogspot.com 

When I started quilting, it was very unusual to run into a man, shopping in a fabric store, and most shoppers acted like I was someone’s forgotten puppy that was in the way.  Later, when I started bringing my work in with me, I started to feel comfortable in fabric stores and enjoyed the recognition that came from being asked to spread something out so everyone could see. 

I think I love quilts because I grew up with quilts.  My Mother made a few quilts; one for each of the kids.  And, my Grandmother quilted her favorite patterns; Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill.  My Great Grandmother pieced on a machine that took up most of her living room, long after she could hand quilt the tops she made.  She made me a quilt of double knit polyester fabric that was meant to keep a bed warm on a cold night in a drafty house.  Unfortunately, I’ve never lived in a drafty house where I could fully appreciate it.  But, when I was a kid, I spent nights sweating under its weight and never questioning my comfort, just to get to sleep under that quilt.  I have many quilts passed down through my family that are now part of my collection of vintage quilts.

In 1999, I had some idea of how to piece a Log Cabin quilt from a previous failure and decided to try it again.  I bought all my fabrics and cut them with scissors into 2” strips but couldn’t find my pattern. Like so many other things I’ve done, I didn’t let not knowing what I was doing stop me.  I didn’t know that one diagonal side of a log cabin block should be light and one side dark, so mine read very medium and I sashed between the blocks instead of setting them together to form a pattern.  After a really bad hand quilting, I had my first quilt, and I still love it and love to sleep under it on cold nights. 

The next step in my quilting journey was taken with Alex Anderson on Simply Quilts.  My work truly got better with every quilt as my skills and my stash expanded.  I made 5 more queen sized, hand quilted quilts in that time and watched as my stitches got smaller and my fabric combinations got more pleasing. 

I got another real quilting break in 2006, when I met my mentor, J.C.  I got to see her work and she got to see mine and give me feedback.  J.C. has been a quilter since the 80’s, showing her work in international shows and winning a ribbon in Paducah for a lovely hand quilted Carolina Lily.  She and her mother bought almost identical Bernina 930’s, and in 2006 J.C. sold me her Mom’s machine.  J.C.’s work is truly beautiful and her caring and nurturing feedback encouraged me to work harder and harder.  She taught me to bind with sharp mitered corners and to match my points and to make the wrong side of my quilt top look as neat as the right side.  With a mentor, I could focus on a single skill and continually improve on it while still making a variety of quilts.  But, we don’t need too many bed sized quilts in Texas , so I changed the size of my work and began making wall hangings.  I can make as many of them as I like and we keep them in constant rotation on the walls and furniture.

I’ve only taken one quilting class, in 2009 at my local quilt shop.  I’d love to teach quilting and thought I should probably go to a class before I tried to teach one.  I enjoyed the class and ended up with a really beautiful quilt and had the opportunity to sew and chat with some wonderful people.  But, so far, I haven’t been able to stop quilting long enough to get my stuff ready to teach.  I wrote and shared my first pattern this year and hope to design some others that spark interest in the future.

Even with wall hangings, I still can’t make enough quilts to satisfy my love of it.  Two years ago, I committed to a quilt each month for Project Linus, plus 10 quilts for a fundraiser, and I managed to complete 19 of them.  I made a more reasonable commitment to 12 quilts this year.  I find it to be very fulfilling and donations give me a great place to practice my skills and a way to keep my stash moving so it doesn’t grow too big.  (You know how a stash can get out of control if you don’t watch it all the time.)

Project Linus collects quilts and afghans and fleece blankets and distributes them to hospitals and social workers and police officers so they can share them with children in need.  They’re distributed in hospitals and to victims of fire and to children being removed to better homes.  When I first learned of Project Linus, I knew that would be a great way for me to enjoy quilting and share it, too.

Linus Quilts for donation

I don’t quilt alone.  My family also enjoys quilts and we go as a family to as many local quilt shows as we can, where we discuss the quilts and pick our favorites.  They also tag along with me in my search for just the right fabric or thread and voice their opinions on color and design.  I don’t think they understand why I find it necessary to have so many sewing machines, but that doesn’t stop my daughter from wanting to use my vintage beauties when she wants to sew.  They haven’t seemed to mind that I’ve started dabbling in making clothes, either.  They don’t complain too much about the snips and points stuck to their clothes when they leave in the morning.  When I’m on a truly creative streak, they’ll take care of meals.  And, they’re used to picking unfinished quilts out of the trash before taking it out on Monday, just in case I don’t really hate it as bad as I said.

I also maintain an almost daily blog, That Man Quilts at www.quiltfool.blogspot.com, where I blog a bit about family or an occasional recipe and a whole lot about quilting.  My followers are like a guild for me and we freely share ideas and feedback on our events of the day.  And, I get to show off my improving skills. 

I’m often asked what my favorite part of the process is and my answer to that would have to be the quilting.  I love design and I love color combination and I love to piece, but I can be just as happy with a piece of whole cloth.  When I’m in my zone, at my machine and beautiful curves or lines or circles are appearing behind my needle, I am happy as any man that quilts can be. 


Isn't Lane a wonderful quilter?  
Show him how you enjoyed his trunk show by leaving your comment here...
thank you SEW much!!

Would you like a chance to win fat quarters, a fat quarter quilting book and $300 worth of Floriani embroidery threads?!?!?  Check THIS out:   http://cindysezsew.blogspot.com/2011/05/community-service-project-and-give-away.html


  1. Hi, Lane! I went to your blog and followed. I live just a little south of San Antonio, so not far from Austin. If you went on the Shop Hop to San Antonio, I might have seen you. I met several "men who quilt". It looks like you do some great things with your quilting. I enjoyed your guest blog post today!

  2. I love that wreath. I am inspired to make more of an effort on the quilting side of thing, as I usually favor piecing. I also appreciate that you loved your grandma's polyester quilt! What a good heart you have!

  3. One day I hope to be able to enjoy the actual quilting part as much as you do, Lane. You do great work! It was interesting to learn how you got into quilting.

    Thanks for featuring Lane, Mary Ann.

  4. Hi, Mary Ann. I just found your blog. Love the write-up on Lane. :D

    Still chuckling about pulling partials out of the trash before taking it out of the house. . .

  5. Hi Lane, I enjoy your blog but didn't realize you machine quilt your beautiful creations on your Bernina. Sweet...!

  6. Hi Lane, I loved your guest blog. You are an inspiration!

  7. Mary Ann, Thank you for having Lane as your guest today. Have no idea where he gets all his ideas and energy. Thanks again, Mary

  8. Thanks Mary Ann for having Lane as a guest blogger. I have been following his blog for awhile, but didn't know the story of how/why he started. Thanks for sharing.


Thank you for visiting! I appreciate your comments and hope you will choose to follow my blog.


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