A little over a year ago, I got a letter from Carl Rohr, a well-known quilter in western Montana, inviting all Montana men who quilt to participate in a group quilt and traveling exhibit. The only requirement was to provide a 12-inch (finished size) block “in cotton or batik.” OK… Well, as expected, Carl got almost a dozen very different blocks., in all different colors and styles, from traditional to unique to “arty.” What he did with them is nothing short of astounding. I could describe it, but you have to see it. String piecing skillfully transitioned from one color theme to another; a center medallion section surrounded by blocks randomly set in a nine-patch background, and “Montana Men Quilt” spelled in fussy-cut letters down the right side.
The quilt debuted at the Mission Mountain Quilt Guild show in Ronan, where Carl lives, and, with a collection of individual quilts made by each of us, made the rounds of quilt shops in Missoula and Great Falls, a display at the Bitterroot Quilters Guild, and finished up at the Flathead Quilt Show in Kalispell in September 2009. Then, Carl entered the group quilt for consideration in the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum’s biennial Men’s quilting exhibit, and it was accepted. The exhibit runs from Februrary 2 through April 30, 2010 in RMQM’s new facility in downtown Golden, Colorado.
Now, this is, for us guys anyway, a Big Deal. You would think that quilts by men would be rare and they would take all they could get, but not so–there are a lot of very talented and skilled quilt artists out there who just happen to be men. I entered the quilt I made for the traveling show, and it didn’t make the cut. But, I’m glad to be part of the group effort.
My contribution is the airplane block in the lower right center. The block above it was made by John Flynn, nationally-known quilter from Billings, MT.