Friday, September 30, 2011

An Englishman in new York... Quilting

icon of a pencilPen Portrait
Name: Giles
Age: 38
Hometown:Harrogate, England
Current City: Rochester, NY
Quilting Since: March 2011

I grew up in England, spent my early adult life in Wales, and moved to the USA in 2007 when I married Michelle and we moved to Atlanta, GA. I began quilting earlier in 2011 and have just finished my first quilt - the one I've submitted in the Men Quilt Too! show.

Men Quilt Too! logo

I've been legally blind since 2008 and I began quilting largely because I felt a bit remote from the creative things I used to do when I could see more. I began this blog to be able to talk about my progress, about the challenges of doing it blind, and to meet the wonderful friends who also quilt and blog!

photo of me surrounded by rows of fabric (in Joanne's

I'm just starting a second quilt and I've got several projects lined up which I can't wait to try my hand at - including quilted flowers, bowls and bags. I joined the local Irondequoit Quilt Club and am contributing a 9x7 square block to one of the charity quilts, so those are all things that will be mentioned in on this blog between now and Christmas!

Outside of quilting I enjoy all kinds of music - I play a bit of jazz trumpet / flugelhorn and classical piano, and I used to write and blog about all types of pop, rock and electronic music! I love books and writing, and I'm very partial to a cup of tea (hot with milk, not iced) and a slice of cake!

Thhanks for stopping by. You'll find a good dose of humor, as well asquilting stories and photos, and lots of good advice from others on this blog. If you want to know more then look out for the podcast by Quilter in the Gap - there is an interview with me in the next edition, anticipated on October 5th... and of course feel free to follow me and leave a comment to let me know the name of your blog too!

See you soon!



  1. Hi Giles... Please come to my blog - and use the Linky Tool at the bottom of the quilt show post to link up here to your blog.

    I will make the quilt show post go live in 15 minutes so if you are still awake, you can be the very first quilter to link up! :)

    I sent you an email with my phone number if you need me to give you some more insight into linking up. I will be up for at least 30 more minutes so please feel free to call.

  2. Love your blog and welcome to quilting. We need more men in our world.

    Just wanted to add that I've worked with blind people before and if you need help in modifying something, let me know. My dad would set up computers and the software for blind people to use and I would help. Your pictures come though beautifully so don't worry about that.

    Love your machine as well. I hope she works wonders for you.

    If need help with 1/4 inch seams on a machine, they make specific feet with a guide on the edge so you can feel your way through the seams. Brother should carry one for about 5 dollars. JoAnn Fabrics might carry one or you might have to order online.

  3. WoooHoooo! It's up! I'll do a linky post now! Well done!

  4. Good luck! Wonderful group of quilts in this show.

  5. That is so awesome that you are working on your second quilt....

  6. I must say that establishing a goal of making your first quilt, then actually doing it and finishing is definately a good thing! I am sure you will become quickly addicted to the whole process!!

  7. Terrific to read/know about you and all you do.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

  8. I am touring all you Gentlemen Quilters now. Thanks for sharing and looking forward to Wednesday.

  9. I heard you shout out about men's quilting and decided to check out the noise....grin. I never finish much myself mostly just blocks. My friend calls me a blockhead.

  10. I live in Batavia, not far from you. Museum Quilt Guild meets the 3rd Saturday morning of the month at the VA. We do have a man amongst us!
    I love to see men being creative! Good for you!

  11. Hi Giles, it is great to find your blog and read about your quilting!

  12. Oh I cannot wait to hear Rhonda's take on you - home you didn't tease her too much like I did! x

  13. I'm your newest follower! So glad to have found your blog....jumped over here from Thearica's post about the men who are quilting! We women are moving over so you can have a seat in the circle!

  14. Welcome to quilting! I live near the Atlanta area as well (southwest) and I enjoyed perusing your blog! Good luck with quilt number 2!

  15. Welcome to the quilt world Giles. Great seeing so many men participating now days. I've seen some wonderful work by people who are vision impaired. Your first quilt looks much better then mine - that is for sure. : )

  16. Isn't it exciting to discover how quickly something just fits. Quilting this year and there is already a technological support.

  17. I love a cup of tea too - and a slice of cake.
    Aunt Sally
    erm, I mean 'Auntie Rona' :)

  18. Wow that was a popular post! I learned two new things about you. =)

  19. Giles-I think it's great that you've discovered quilting. When I was student teaching years ago I drove a blind colleague and his dog to our school and it always amazed me how he could predict the weather better than the professionals and could tell if I was driving behind a "big-rig" One weekend his wife, also a teacher, was stranded at her school due to a flood, so I called to see if he needed some help. His hobbies included barbecuing and repairing readios(in the day of tube radios).He assured me he was fine with his "six-pack and TV dinners!" He was more self-sufficient than other men I knew. At first the students "tested" him, but he had developed techniques to combat their shenanigans and eventually earned his respect. From California, thanks for sharing.