An Online Community for Man Quilters
Ben Hollingsworth has not received any gifts yet
Growing from one bedroom into a second and then into the basement my sewing studio overflows.
My wife set me up with a lifetime supply of fabric, but of course I have to have some of those latest and greatest designs that I see when I go to a shop or a show. I confess that I am a fabriholic. I do love me some fabric.
After retiring in from teaching art for 32 years in 2006 I started my voyage on the sea of batting that is quilting. My mother and her sisters, my mother-in-law and my wife had all been quilters. One of my aunts, Aunt Dallas, won awards for her work.
Every year my wife Jackie, and sometimes her mother, and I would attend the Bulloch Hall Quilt Show in the spring. One year I even showed some watercolor collages done in quilt patterns in the show at Bulloch Hall.
Three months after joining the Chattahoochee Evening Stars Quilt Guild in 2007 due to a program cancellation I was asked to do a program about color for the guild. As an in-kind payment for doing that program I was given beginning quilt classes.
My teacher was one of the most influential women I've had the opportunity to know. Helena Krapp is a long time quilter who comes from an art background. That fact worked in my favor in that she thinks like I do. She is an artist first and her medium is fabric. She guided me through this basic class which started with learning how to draft a quilt pattern and went all the way to using a design wall to arrange the blocks created in the class. She pushed me to go further than the rest of the class with the design process and didn't loose her patience when I would not learn how to cut properly or to make a basic quarter inch seam. While the rest of the class was arranging their blocks in rows and columns like a checkerboard, Helena wanted me to "set-on-point" my design. It turned out to be a very successful design even though I had to make an extra thirty-something blocks.
I actually have "sold" that quilt but it has not yet been delivered. When I showed it to my friend Pat she said that she wanted to buy it but she needed it to be a little bit bigger to fit on her queen-size bed. It is on my living room floor right now with the extra pieces scattered around it. I plan to finish it in the next two weeks. (I'm starting a REMO on April 1).
The next major milestone for me was getting a quilt into the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2009. It was a landscape quilt that I made long before I knew what I was doing. In some ways that's how I was successful. I didn't know that it couldn't be done that way. That has been the case with several of my other quilts. This quilt won first place for Mixed Technique, first place for Original Design and Viewer's Choice award in my first quilt show.
Since that time I have had a boat load of success and have been blessed to be a part of two great quilt guilds, The Chattahoochee Evening Stars and The East Cobb Quilt Guild and a smaller group called Fiber Art Fusion as well as my beloved WannaBees bee group.
I can joke with them about being the guild husband. Sometimes that's the best role for me.
The low point for me was October 3, 2010 when my wife of 37 years died from a long battle with breast cancer. She was the love of my life and my muse and confidant. There is big hole in my life without her.
Therefore I quilt.