Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Men Are So Talented, Meet Russell Lord..Husband, Quilter, Stained Glass Designer

I am just amazed at how talented men are. I don't know if they just get bored easily, must be on the go all the time, like using their hands more or what it is, but in so many ways and I can admit it, they are much more talented or well rounded than I am.

For instance, my husband is a cable technician, computer geek, was a radiation protection technician in the past, can change the oil in a car one minute, and re-wire electrical the next. Jerry is amazing at the many things he can do and I am not good at any of them. Seriously, my one obsession is quilting and maybe writing. Computer problems? Forget it, I have no patience.

Cable? I don't know as much about the remote as my grandchildren do.

I say the above without remorse or without intention to insult any women out there, I am just amazed at some of the hobbies men have and how wonderfully creative they are. That said, it is my utmost pleasure to introduce you to Russell Lord, a man who quilts and as you will learn, does other things as well.

A Man Quilts, An Interview With Russell Lord: If you are reading this interview, than you know by now I am spending this week at the hospital in Olympia. At the helm of this blog is my husband Jerry and my best friend John. In anticipation for this, I was blessed to be able to Email Russell Lord, a man who makes wonderful quilts and find out more about how he got started.

Ranny – How did you get into quilting and when did you start quilting?

Russell Lord - I began quilting in 1989-90 after having met James Niles thru' my work as a landscaper. He asked me to help him roll a quilt???? after completing my work for him. I did so , and saw his unbelievable stash of fabric, much of which was pre-cut in 4" sqs. He used these sqs. to create twin size Around The World quilts, for charity .thru an organization he put together in the mid 80's.
Being a multi-media artist, I was very intrigued by this new (to me) color pallet in fabric. James then showed me his collection of DRAGONS, that he created over a number of years, and I was hooked. He told me he would teach me how to piece and applique if I was serious about learning the craft, of fabric art. It’s now been 20 years, and probably 150-200 quilts later, of all sizes, both pieced and appliqued and mostly hand quilted.
Ranny: What was the first quilt you ever made, how large was it and how long did it take you to make it?
Russell - The very first quilt was a crib size, pieced, and monogrammed for our 1st. grandson who will be 19 in May.It took several months.
Ranny: Do you pre-wash your fabrics or not? Expound on your reasons behind your theory.
Russell -I Do pre-wash some, and some not. Very strong colors, I pre-wash to avoid bleeds from dyes. Others I feel my have shrinkage issues.
Ranny: What is your favorite quilters tool?
Russell - Rotary cutters, omni grid ruler, and mat.
Ranny: You have made some amazing art quilts, do you make other quilts and how did you ever begin making an art quilt?
Russell - like taking images from photos and nature to create an art quilt. I also do many pieced quilts designs. I really like the old fashioned quilt patterns, like Lamoime Star Around the World Churn dash etc.
Ranny: When you first took on quilting, what were the reactions to this from friends and family?
Russell - My wife said that’s just what I need is a new hobby....But thought it a great one as it might slow me down some. The next 2 years I made 6 King sized, hand appliqued and hand quilted pieces. So much for the slow down. The rest of the family loved all the quilts. Very supportive!!
Ranny: Does your wife quilt? If not, what does she think of your quilting? (My husband thinks I am crazy, there are to many projects going on at once, to much fabric, why do quilters need so much fabric, etc. & yet, for all his mock complaining, I know he supports me)
Russell -My wife does not share this hobby with me. But she loves to shop for fabric and pick out things for me to make. We do share the hobby of Stained Glass. We both have a passion for this media as well! And yes , we buy lots of glass and have a giant stash of that as well as fabric. **Ranny says what a great idea to get our spouses and families involved, let them help shop for fabric. I love it!**
Ranny: How many men are in Clark County Quilters? (NOTE TO SELF, MAKE LINK WHEN BLOGGING)
Russell - I'm guessing aprox 6-to 10. I'd have to look at the roster. We are dinosars of the quilt world.. But not as famous as Ricky Tims.
Ranny: If you feel comfortable, can you share a bit of your life with my readers? Background and how you knew quilting was for you.
Russell - As I stated in question 1, I am a multi-media artist - quilt, stained glass, photography, oil paint, acrylics, water color, and recently got into leaf castings, they are super neat too! I worked landscape maintenance, sole proprietor for 45 years under the name of The Groundgroomer, and retired in 2002. Have been married for 45 years(Same wife) and have 2 kids, 5 grandkids. As I said, when I saw James Niles stash of fabric and his tremendous work as a fabric artist I wanted to try it out.
Ranny: Do you have a studio, special room or other area where you quilt?
Russell - We have a studio in our basement that we use for glass and quilting both. I converted my son bedroom, to accommodate both hobbies. Works well for us!
Ranny: Do you take quilting with you when you go on vacations, to the doctors office, etc.? ( I always take something with me when I am going to have to sit and wait).
Russell - Very seldom do I take projects with, as they are usually so big I could not. And I don't care to hand quilt on my lap and I need really great lighting.
Ranny: What are your favorite colors for quilts?
Russell - not really pick a single color, though favor beige to browns, grays to blues. But really get into bright colors for floral quilts too! Currently working on an 8" sq. multi-large florals, on point, with black sash. Really striking. (I would really love to see this one when it is finished! I will ask Russell to send me a picture to post.)
Ranny: Do you had quilt or machine quilt and or tie your quilts or does it depend on the quilt?
Russell - Some machine quilting, not really very good at machine quilting , mostly hand quilting for the good stuff, lots of tied, for the charity work !!
Ranny: -How do you get an idea for a quilt? Once that idea is going to become a reality, how do you choose your fabric and colors?
Russell -I take lots of tours thru my photo morg, for my landscape quilts, and floral patterns, some come from requests for a specific old patterns, and then the colors seem to be a matter of either my own personal likes or also by request for certain color schemes.
Ranny: Do you have one special quilt shop you prefer to get fabric or does it depend on where you are at the moment?
Russell - No special shop. really like them all!!!!!!!!!
Ranny: Do you visit quilt shops when you go on vacations?
Russell - Yes we visit both glass and fabric shop, most of the places we go.
Ranny: Thinking of all the quilt shops you have been to and where, which would be your favorite and why?
Russell - I really can't think of anything shops that stands above them all!!
Ranny: Do you sell your quilts, keep your quilts or give them away?
Russell - Yes I sell, some I keep, most I give away!!!!!!!! (I think most of us dedicated to quilting, give many away).
Ranny: Any Favorite quilting stories, jokes or sayings to share?
Russell - When I 1st started quilting , I had pieced a Windmill block, large lap robe size, for my daughter. Well I took the finished sandwich to a local shop to match up some binding material. The owner , somewhat frowned and said she could tell I was having some problems with my machine?? Then pointed out to me that all the seams coming together @ those eight corners were supposed to be matched perfectly.. Well I thought they had come out pretty good, but not according to her standards. Soooo , I decided I would hide those intersections with a covered buttons, and no one would ever see how the seams came together. I told that story to our guild members, and they called me Button man for several years after. ( I have also added buttons to places in my quilts so no one will see an oops!).
Ranny: Anything else you want to share with my readers?
Russell - I can only say, quilting and my other hobbies have surely kept me out the taverns though I do enjoy a beer, and most outdoor sporting events.

To see some of the beautiful quilts Russell has made, please check out the site, Real Men Do Quilt. You can leave Emails for Russell there, or post them to me here and when I get out of the hospital and am up to blogging again, I will pass them onto Russell.

**The pictures shown on this page are the exclusive quilts of Russell Lord and he graciously granted me me permission to copy and use these for this interview. Do not copy, reprint, or post these without the permission of the designer.**

No comments: