Saturday, October 1, 2011

Men Quilt Too!

 Welcome. My name is Jay Martin and I'm a relatively new quilter.  When I saw discussions about the Men Quilt Too! online show hosted by Thearica Burroughs at Pigtales and Quilts, I was excited to take part.  Now, after seeing the talent and workmanship of the men who've already submitted for the show, I am a bit intimidated, but what the heck, they all started somewhere too right?  Plus, it might be beneficial to show the various levels of experience and technique of men quilters and the fact there seems to be a lot more of us than people think!

Who am I and how did I end up quilting?

Well, I'm a musician by training and profession and currently live in the D.C. area.  As for the quilting just kinda happened.  Really, it came down to a couple of factors; 1. I need a creative outlet that wasn't related to my 'day job.' 2. My wife is involved in a variety of fabric arts, so she's got a ton of books & magazines and a pretty good fabric stash! So, finally one day after always looking through her books and stuff (just at the pictures, I didn't bother to read anything) I decided I needed to give quilting a try.  She showed me how to use the sewing machine and sent me on my way.  The result of that first attempt is the quilt above.
That was just over a year ago.  (I still haven't read any of the books, I prefer to just dive in and figure it out.)

At some point, I'd really should take a class or get to a workshop and really learn some things, but I'm enjoying the freedom that comes with ignorance:) I do have the benefit of another quilter in the house though, so Angela helps me out when I get stuck and has been a great tutor.  We have also worked together on some quilts and are looking forward to combining our styles and strengths as we both grow as quilters.

Not being active in any quilting groups and the only other quilter I really know is my wife, I look to blogs and Flickr for inspiration and motivation.  There are a couple quilters in particular who's work constantly motivates me Marianne Haak , and Victoria Gertenbach.

What I've been up to:

Gavin's Quilt.

Luke's Quilt. 

Improv 1

Improv 2


Yep, it's a clock.
Okay, not really a quilt, but it is pieced! 

 A couple of WIPS:
This is the top panel of a quilt Angela and I are working on. When completed it will have a large tree of life applique in the center with this panel and its mirror above and below.
Um, not sure where this is going yet....I like it that way.


  1. Looks like you are doing just fine without workshops etc - just keep going and have fun!

  2. Jay.. I never took a class either but I had both of my grandmothers as tutors. I think you are doing extremely well just the way you are...and look at it this way... If you don't take the workshops, the work is out of YOUR head... noone else's. Keep up the great work!

    Thanks so much for being a part of the quilt show!

  3. You have hit on exactly why I like to "just jump in" also. I don't always like rules as I feel that they limit being creative. So glad you joined the ranks of quilters. You are really starting to fine tune your style. I especially like improve 2 and also your latest "don't know where it is going yet" Thanks for sharing Georgeann

  4. I like what you said about the freedom of being ignorant. I like to put fabric together and see what turns out. I can always cut it up again and make it into something new. Thanks for sharing.

  5. It was wonderful to meet you and yes you are right...every one has a beginning. I think ignorance has treated you well. Keep up the good work.

  6. I sew and quilt since 18 months now. I know what you mean by "dive in and try". I think following a bought (or free) pattern is too easy and making up one's own pattern is already a huge part of creativity, isn't it? Unfortunately trial doesn't work without error, so the seamripper is always close by ;o)
    So happy quilting-diving to you!