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A Male Quilter’s Point of View

A Male Quilter’s Point of View

By Eric Suszynski, guest author

My name is Eric Suszynski, also known as, Eric The Quilter. I’ve been quilting for 14 months now, and I’ve been mildly productive. I’m at 20 quilt tops completed and 7 completed quilts, as well as a few quilted pillows and small things like that. I also run my own blog at www.ericthequilter.com.
As a 24 year old guy in a field dominated by more mature women, it can be a little intimidating at times. The woman who taught me to quilt is middle aged, and she and I have been friends for over 4 years now. We still talk at least 3 times a week and fill the other in on our current projects. I’ve been to a few quilting groups where the women were not into having anyone younger than 50 involved, and especially a MAN! On the other hand, some of the groups I have gone to, have welcomed me with open arms. Sometimes I even have women in their 50s fawning over me and asking me to help them with their color ways. It’s quite wonderful at times!
I did get rather intimidated at the first Quilt Guild meeting I had ever been to at Minnesota Quilters. It was a blast! Out of about 100 people, I was one of the only three men, and I was the only person there under 30. After the show and tell phase, where I showed off the 6 quilt tops I had made in 2 months, an older woman came up to me and said, “I don’t believe ‘you’ made all of those in that amount of time. I don’t believe they’re yours.” It kind of hurt to have someone tell me that they didn’t believe I was talented enough to sew the tops I had worked very hard on. It actually made me not want to go back to another meeting. Thank goodness by the end of the night I had many more people come up to me and say how much they loved my work. One woman even gave me her email and phone number so I could get some free quilting supplies from her. That act of quilting kindness will always stick with me.
Don’t get me wrong, being 24 and a guy in the quilting world has it’s plus side as well. To some more mature women, I’m an exotic commodity. They just love the fact that I am young and a guy. I think people are even more shocked when they meet me. I’m not a tiny passive man. I don’t know why people get that imagine in their head. I’m a 6’6″ big burly guy who works as a professional mover part time. So, I get a few looks of shock when people have heard of me, but haven’t actually met me before.

 

Eric Suszynski is a prolific young quilter and blogger from Minnesota.  You can visit his blog at www.ericthequilter.com.

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