…a large percentage of male quilters are retired engineers. The former high school principal from Maple Ridge, B.C., has a theory about that. She had always wondered why boys seemed attracted to the geometrical wall-hangings in her office, unlike girls. Then she realized they were fascinated by the geometry.
Heslop sees the math connection too. “It does involve some trigonometry,” he says. (…)
Other men are drawn to quilting by the complex long-arm quilting machines they get to use, says Sparrow. “My daughters’ friends’ fathers come over and they’re right down on their knees looking at how it all works,” he says. “Men see it as pretty much just a big power tool.”
Before quilting, Sparrow was a website developer. But within weeks of purchasing his own long-arm, he quit his Web job because he had so many requests from female quilters to help them finish the stitching on their pieces. His romance with the craft started one day when his wife was struggling to stitch together a multi-layered quilt.
“I wasn’t confident she was doing it the right way, so I looked it up on the Internet,” he says. “She wasn’t.”
He wasn’t afraid to tell her. That’s one of the biggest differences between male and female quilters, according to Sparrow. “Women will look at each other’s projects and tell them how fabulous it is, even when it’s not,” he says.
“But I’ve noticed that men can take one look at something you’ve been working on for years and they’ll tell you the truth right away.”