An Online Community for Man Quilters
Hey all I wonder if you have any issue being accepted as a quilter in a woman's world. Being a guy I sometimes get the awful look of death when they see me shopping for fabric for quilts in the local quilt store.
I have to stop and say to them yes men quilt too!! Some are just overwhelmed with joy while others are standoffish.
I am thinking about joining the local quilters guild but not sure how I will be accepted since this is mostly a woman's world.
Have any of you had issues with this? How did you combat this?
Would love to know your opinions on this and how you succeed in breaking down this barrier in the quilting world.
Stefen in Nashville
Hey there Stefen - welcome to manquilters. Seems there was a similar discussion somewhere on here before. I do get some weird looks from shop owners on rare ocassion and if they want my business they better lighten up.
Quilters' guilds aren't my scene so I really can't comment on them. But it would be great to meet other men quilters that way.
I've been quilting for thirteen months now, and worked for a quilt shop for about four of those months. My experiences have all been positive. Most of the people I've met are excited to meet a guy quilter and eager to know more. A few have been a little reserved, but not in a negative way. A guy quilter is just a new sight to some, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Just new.
Some of my local ladies have tried to talk me into joining a guild, but I wasn't really interested. I prefer to do things at my own speed, and follow my own inspiration. They've all made it clear, however, that a guy would be perfectly welcome, and I don't know why the same wouldn't hold true for you.
Hope this helps. Good luck, Stefen!
Thanks guys for the replies. I am going to try to attend a guild meeting this evening to see how everyone responds.
I have been to the LQS and some ladies are estatic but others just want you to buy their stuff and get out no questions. I hate it when owners want your business but not your friendship and only treat you like a customer.
Alex i understand you dont want to join a guild, why not? Is there some chicken killing thing or what :).
I know I am a very social person but again being new like some of you, I need all the contacts out there. I just have a hard time getting them to understand that men can quilt too.
My first post here. I have loved quilting for 40+ yrs, but only had the chance to get fully into it when I lost my job in 2009. After a couple of years "doing it on my own", I finally joined the local guild. I already knew some of the quilting ladies from my church, but most of the gals in the guild were surprised to see me.
They have welcomed me completely. To the point that I have accepted a leadership position to chair the next Show (2014). It will be a relief to take the microphone and say "Now, Ladies!" and not have to feel left out. LOL
I have found the greatest advantage is to see what other people are doing. I may not like it, but it may spur me to do things better, or more efficiently, or to try new things. I am still searching for my voice in this art, but what a trip! Join a guild. You can always decide you don't like it and leave.
Bruce in Anacortes, WA
I have been quilting for many years now, and decided to join a guild about 5 years ago or so. My experience has been almost purely positive. Gotta watch about getting caught up in their drama. As you are more than likely aware, any time you get a group of women together, there's bound to be back-stabbing, gossiping, etc. I avoid those situations. Overall, it's a great experience. I have even accepted a leadership role for next year. I find that sometimes the women respond to me better than they would some of the other women in the guild. Is that because I'm a man or my charisma? who knows, but it works.
Whatever you choose, jump in with both feet, and enjoy.
Ronald from Monmouth, IL
I haven't had much of a problem being accepted here in Kansas CIty as a male quilter. They shops are always excited to see what I make and love our Guild here in St. Joseph. We actually had another guy join, so I am not alone. I have been teaching at local shops lately, and seems to have helped my acceptance in more places. You may want to attend some local quilt shows or an AQS show if you can. I met a lot of people at those and the have all been accepting.
I see this thread has been going for close to 2 months, but I thought I would add my 2 cents. The first quilt guild I visited seemed to welcome me, and they even gave me a membership form to join. So next meeting I wrote a check and filled out the form. The meeting after I was pulled aside and said that some women complained and didn't want 'my kind' in their group, they just wanted women. I was devastated for quite a while, but I eventually found 2 other nearby guilds that welcomed me with open arms, and I am the only male member in each, and have been on the board of one for 5 or so years.
So the moral of the story is, if at first you don't find what you are looking for, keep looking.
-- So why do I like quilt guilds? Well, they tend to bring in really good speakers and have workshops with these speakers. And both of the guilds I belong to have auctions. I am the auctioneer at one of the guilds. At the other guild, they have their fabric auction every year, and they like the fact that I bid on things, driving up the prices for the women who buy - the money goes to benefit the guild. Now at the end of the auction, I usually take home a big bag or two of the unsold fabric lots, as a gift. So it is a great way to pick up fabric, quilt kits, quilt tops, and quilts at bargain basement prices. Many times the yardage works out to $1/yd or less. And $200 quilt kits, partially completed, for $20-$30!
Over the decades that I have been quilting I have found that for the most part the women in the guilds are quite helpful and generous. (If you are looking for a female soul mate there is no better place to look.) Many of the guilds do more charitable work than many of the churches for very worthy causes. But there is always politics in any group of humans and so some of the women do express their dislike or distrust of men or more likely of you personally. If you enjoy quilting and sharing your crafts then most likely you will have a good time. Joe Easton
90% of my guild has accepted me, and offer me advice and encouragement. The other 10%, I think, feel threatened by a male in the meetings. Usually these unaccepting members are older ladies and I am sorry to say, the most experienced quilters. I am one of only 2 guys that are in my guild. I try to compensate by helping set up tables and chairs, lifting machines for the ladies, and doing "manly" things. I am hoping that eventually they will be appreciate my help and completely accept me as an equal. This is a long standing guild and I have only been a member for about 2 years now.
We've all been there. It's weird... I love when they ask me of I'm looking for my wife. Oi vay. There's not much you can do but find the people you click with and just hang out with them.
I agree with Dana about 90 % of the women accepted me but some of the other 10% made me feel like I was back in the days when I needed my bullet proof armor and helmet for basic protection. I hang out with the ones who like me and avoid the others. It has been really hard when I enter into judged shows because I have such a distinctive style and I do use unusual materials.
I own a quilt shop with my wife so I get it on the other side, " look theres a man working in the quilt shop, no point asking questions today" Most are very surprised when they find out that the quilts they had been admiring had been designed and pieced by me and not a woman.