Highlights from Men & the Art of Quiltmaking


Joe Cunningham’s book, Men and the Art of Quiltmaking, offers an interesting peek inside the minds and hearts of some of the best-known male quilters today.

The author sat down with 30 men to learn about how and why they do what they do.

Click here to purchase the book in print

Click here to get it as a digital download

Here are a few that really caught my attention:

Bob Adams tells us about his design process:

I never have used a pattern. I either just sketch it and go for it, or just go freelance.

Perhaps it is my love of order, spreadsheets and straight lines, but this is going to be a stretch for me. Working a curve (mostly because I can’t draw straight) will take some work!

Don Beld on why he took up stitching:

I took up needlepoint and cross-stitching in the 1970s as a stress management technique, but switched to quilting in 1992 when I took a 12-week class on traditional hand piecing and hand quilting techniques.

The manual dexterity required to do what Don does is quite a challenge for me. My wife still teases me because I started preschool late because my fine motor skills weren’t developed!

Andre Emmell on reactions to his quilting:

Any guys I talk to, when they ask me what I’m into, I’ll say, “Well, my hobby is making quilts.” And then the guys will look at me and want to start talking about sports. And I’ll think, “Are you out of your mind? I’m about as interested in sports as donkeys flying.”

Now this I understand. Except, I’d be quite interested in seeing a donkey fly!

Luke Haynes changes people’s minds:

Whenever I tell people what I do, you know, they will raise an eyebrow or dismiss it out of hand. Then when I show them pictures of what I do, it’s a whole different world as soon as they see images of what I work with.

William Shakespeare tried to teach us that a name is just a name “What’s in a name?” Maybe he’s onto something with quilting, it’s time to call myself a fiber artist instead!

 Scott Murkin on gaining acceptance as a quilter:

One of the guild members who is closer to my age came over to me and said, “So, why do you make quilts?” … And I said, “Well, I just really like fabric.” And she said, “Oh, I really like fabric too!” and that was it: I was in.

There’s a lesson in here for all of us. We quilters are united more by what we enjoy than by who we are.


Perhaps the most compelling statement comes from Jonathan Shannon

When Air Show won Best of Show at AQS I stood in front of it for three days and talked to quilters from all over the world. What was especially interesting was that a lot of husbands came up to me and said, “You know, when I look at this quilt I really begin to understand what my wife has been doing all these years.”

Enjoy these and other words of wisdom and inside stories from Men and the Art of Quiltmaking

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