Let’s Hear It for the Boys: Men Who Quilt
Each November, men around the world commit to Movember by growing mustaches all month long in an effort to raise funds and spark awareness about men’s health issues. Some women even get in on the trend, donning faux facial hair for the cause! In honor of Movember, we thought now would be the perfect time to spotlight some males in the quilting industry.
Photo via Joe Cunningham
Joe Cunningham: aka Joe the Quilter
Joe Cunningham made the transition from a 10-year music career to a love of quilt history almost seamlessly. Innovating on traditional techniques, Joe began making quilts that reflected his unique style. He displayed his first quilt in a gallery more than 30 years ago, and has exhibited at numerous museums and galleries since. A prolific writer, Joe also authored 11 books, including Men and the Art of Quiltmaking, the first book to discuss gender as it relates to quilting. He also writes a regular column for American Quilter’s Society’s magazine The Quilt Life, and has made many TV appearances.
What you might not realize is that Joe never really left behind his love of music after all these years. Among his traveling teaching opportunities and lectures, he frequently reenacts a 90-minute quilting musical for guilds and theaters nationwide. You can watch the full presentation at his website, Joe the Quilter.
Learn more about Joe and enjoy his lively instruction in his liberating class Pattern-Free Quiltmaking.
Photo via Luke Haynes
Los Angeles quilter Luke Haynes quilted this piece, titled On My Bed #3 in 2010. The self-portrait is appliquéd over a pieced log cabin quilt. Though his quilts are frequently on display at galleries and museums, Luke is drawn to the practical function of quilts and says he used this piece on his bed, as intended. Many of his pieces explore cloth in a new way, and he may use recycled clothing or bed linens into his modern art quilts.
What’s the story behind this striking quilt featuring a bar code and quilted letters and numbers? Designer Thomas Knauer studied art and taught design at the collegiate level before entering the quilting industry as a fabric designer. Sewing for his daughter was Thomas’s first foray into quilting. His recent work is comprised of thought-provoking quilts, such as In Defense of Handmade (pictured above), which was featured at QuiltCon earlier this year. Thomas shares more about the quilt design and its story in this video for The Quilt Alliance. His book Modern Quilt Perspectives is scheduled to be released in February 2014.
Kaleidoscope #2 by quilter Ricky Tims is one piece in a series of striking medallion quilts. Ricky’s love of both music (he’s a pianist, composer and producer) and quilting has translated into a passionate career. The author and award-winning quilter travels as a speaker and teacher, sharing his knowledge of quilt and fabric design. As co-founder and co-host of The Quilt Show, he shares screen time with Alex Anderson.
More Men Who Quilt
- John Q. Adams is a quilter, author and supporter of the online quilting community. He frequently contributes to Fat Quarterly and shares bits of his family and quilting life via his blog, Quilt Dad.
- Bill Kerr makes up half of the quilting duo known as Modern Quilt Studio. Along with Weeks Ringle, Bill has authored six books and worked in fabric and pattern design.
- Craftsy member Kevin Kosbab has designed quilts for a number of publications, including Stitch magazine, where he has served as contributing editor. His book The Quilter’s Applique Workshop will release with Interweave February 2014. Kevin blogs at Feed Dog.
- Mark Lipinski is a well-known force in the quilting industry as a quilter, fabric designer and teacher. He spends much of his time generously promoting the work of other creatives via his popular blog, Pickle Road Studios.
- Dan Rouse shares impressive and innovative quilting work via his blog, Piece and Press.
- Ryan Walsh is a quilting blogger whose work has been featured in numerous publications. He blogs at Ryan Walsh Quilts.
Don’t see your favorite male quilters listed here? Nacho Grandma’s Quilts has compiled an extensive list of male quilters! If you are a male quilter, check out the online community ManQuilters, which is nearly 400 members strong.
Don’t forget November is Movember Crafting Month here at Craftsy! If you’re a man who quilts, we want to see your work and hear your story! Of, if you sew quilts for an important man in your life, tell us about him! Learn how to share your projects for a chance to be featured on the Craftsy blog here.