View Full Version : Laments from a Quilter's Husband

November 6th, 2011, 09:22 AM
I copied this post from Fons & Porter site and thought you might enjoy.

There Will Be Pins: How to be a Quilter's Husband
Submitted by Patrick Cook, the husband of Valorie Cook from Grand Rapids, MI

So your wife is a quilter. That doesn't seem so bad, does it? It's a nice quiet hobby, conjuring up images of our sturdy pioneer mothers, keeping their families warm and creating beauty out of old shirts and printed feedbags. You think of plump grannies in rocking chairs, piecing a Log Cabin block by firelight, cat asleep at her feet. An idyllic picture, right?

You're living in a dream world, buddy. They buy their fabric whole now, in yardage and "fat quarters" (whatever they are). They cut this perfectly good cloth into smaller pieces, and then painstakingly, by hand, sew them back together. This process calls into question all the advances of the industrial revolution.

Quilting generates a blizzard of debris. Fabric scraps and batting clog and burn out your vacuum cleaner. (Hint: don't go barefoot. Your feet were never meant to be pincushions). The cat frequently swallows a length of discarded thread. Soon, one of two things will happen; you won't like either of them.

This is not the end of your problems. There are frequent expensive trips to the fabric store, and even more expensive quilt shows in faraway cities. There are bees, which are little groups of quilters who get together occasionally to complain about their husbands and children. These bees may meet in church basements, but occasionally they come to your house and take over the dining room table. Your presence in the next room won't intimidate them.

Quilting also tends to take up more and more of the house. Sure, your wife might decide at some point that she has enough fabric. I've never seen this myself, but it could happen. More likely, your home will become a candidate for that TV show where some poor fellow's dead body is found under a collapsed pile of old newspapers. In your case, it will be a tower of yardage and color-matched prints.

As far as I know, there is no twelve-step program for quilters, but you may avoid codependency by following these tips:

Set up a space outside the living area for the quilting equipment and fabric storage. I have refinished the basement, and we are moving everything down there. Other husbands have constructed pole barns, rented industrial space, or moved to another city under an assumed name.
Have your wife make a small business out of her hobby. Internet sales can be lucrative. They might even partially make up for the enormous sums she spends. Very important: Do not participate in the business yourself. First thing you know, you'll be maintaining complicated machinery, acting as an errand boy, and dealing with the post office. You have better things to do.
Don't be tempted to accompany your wife to quilt shows, thinking that time together will add spark to your relationship. You won't see her all day. You'll wander around aimlessly among the booths, finding nothing remotely interesting. Sure, you could meet other lost husbands, and find camaraderie in the nearest bar. Usually, though, a woman in a quilted vest will mistake you for a fabric vendor. She will try to hustle you for free samples.
Don't try to distract your wife with other activities, such as gardening, cooking or housework. Though she may have done these things in the past, that's all over now. Quilting is her life. Accept your fate. Learn to cook and run the vacuum. Get a hobby of your own. You could join a softball team-slow-pitch, preferably-or learn simple carpentry skills. Then build a pole barn and move into it yourself.
Finally, remember you are not alone. There are plenty of other quilt-widowers out there.

November 6th, 2011, 09:27 AM
Too funny!

November 6th, 2011, 10:36 AM
Omg I cant show DH that it would scare him! LOL

stitching woman
November 6th, 2011, 10:47 AM
Oh there is so much truth in that! My DH always reminds me that my mom made beautiful quilts out of scraps, needle, thread, scissors and a thimble and I have a whole room full of stuff. What does he know?

November 6th, 2011, 11:07 AM

November 6th, 2011, 12:29 PM
Very cute, Monique!

November 6th, 2011, 12:36 PM
Oh dear, Barb, wonder if he's planning on moving you or him. But just think, if he moves out there...how much more space you'll have for more fabric and supplies!

Monique...I love it...thanks for sharing!

My husband is very much aware of all of these things, so I'll not be reminding him. :)

November 6th, 2011, 12:56 PM
This is so very my house. Thanks for sharing. Every now and then I lose a grandchild or two.

November 6th, 2011, 01:56 PM
Love Patrick's write-up. Good thing that we're in 700 sq ft - Don might be safe. His hobby is classic cars, I have a long way to go to catch up with his expenditures. Only difference is...the economy the last three years! Man I hope it gets better, I have a lot of catching up to do!!!

November 6th, 2011, 02:27 PM
Although I'm not an experienced quilter, I loooooooooove the quilting "stuff"---fabrics, rulers, books, etc., and my husband recently commented that he didn't realize that sewing was such an expensive hobby. He has no idea that I've only just begun...

I'd be embarrassed for someone to see all of the things I've accumulated and have instructed my dear old friend that if I should suddenly leave this world (!), she has my permission to clean out the cabinets before anyone else can even see what's in them. She'd need a truck.

November 6th, 2011, 02:31 PM
Love it, Monique! My husband is starting to see some of those things. I agree with others...I won't be showing him this. :-)

November 6th, 2011, 02:50 PM
This made me laugh out loud ;)


Divine Daisy
November 6th, 2011, 03:15 PM
i read this to Mr Daisy who said........
eeeeeeeeeeeee thats right pet! your quilting is against my human rights n sh*t

November 6th, 2011, 04:08 PM
Too darned cute and I so needed that laugh today.

November 6th, 2011, 05:25 PM
Oh this is so true, I've only been quilting a sort while and already I have taken over the spare room.
Spent way tooo much money but don't tell the real price lol, but hey, I'm enjoying myself. :)