Neither had quilted before, but they worked together to make miniature quilts for the beds. Kent fell in love with the process, as many woodworkers do—since it’s all about fitting the pieces together.
Kent has created many quilts since then in his unique masculine-influenced style. After designing them, he pieces and quilts his quilts on a domestic machine. He loves quilting and helping people learn to quilt and improve their quilting skills.
Here are a few snips from an interview that the Rosa Salter Rodriguez from the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana, conducted with Kent in 2007:
Where do you get the inspiration for your designs—do you use books?
“I do the designs myself. I will use traditional patterns, though, like the Mariner’s Compass or the Log Cabin. I kind of develop some from the ground up, and sometimes you use a design and make changes. I use paper and draw (the quilt) out first on the paper. But sometimes I don’t know where it comes from. It just comes from my head.”
You said you and your wife quilt together now. Was she the first quilter in the family?
“No, she actually started out at the same time I did. Right after we got married, I bought her a sewing machine, so she was a sewer. She made doll clothes and children’s clothes. She’s probably my biggest supporter. We kind of critique each other, but we don’t tell each other what to do. But I will ask her, “What do you think of this color or fabric?” and she’ll say “yes” or “no.”
Quilts are very labor intensive. So does this sort of take over your life?
“Well, I do it on the evenings and the weekends, and most of my quilts take two to eight months to do. But I’ve done some that have taken a year to do. It has taught me patience, I’ll say, because you can’t do it quickly. And yeah, there will be times when I’ll be lying in bed and I’ll be thinking about it and seeing them (patterns) in my head. There are times you get started and swear you’ll get up from the chair at 8:00 p.m., and you’ll look up and it’ll be 1:10 in the morning.”
Did you ever think you’d enjoy quilting this much?
“I would not have guessed it. My dad was very artistic, though. So I may have picked it up from there. It kind of has a stereotype to it, but I look at it as an artistic endeavor. I think there’s a lot of men who would enjoy it. If you’re comfortable with yourself, you should have no problems with doing it. I’m comfortable with myself, and I’m comfortable working in what people think is a woman’s domain.
Kent is the author of two brand new AQS publications, Free Motion Quilting on Your Home Sewing Machine and Borders, Assembly, & Binding. You can find them HERE.