Heavy Metal Quilting: Classes, An Interview, Awesomeness

Heavy Metal Quilting: Classes, An Interview, Awesomeness

Tess Wilson
Jul 1, 2011

I've been really wanting to learn how to make a quilt lately, but doing nothing about it. Though I don't think any quilt I'd make would be quite as metal as Ben Venom's "Mega Quilt", reading about his quilting experiences has gotten me so pumped!

Meighan O'Toole of My Love For You Is A Stampede Of Horses recently visited Ben Venom at the Guerrero Gallery, where he is finishing up his most ambitious heavy-metal quilt yet, the "Mega Quilt". The resulting highly-entertaining interview is chock-full of helpful tips (and adorable quotes: "Old ladies love me!"), especially for beginner or self-taught quilters.

• He's been inspired by the book Gee's Bend: Architecture of the Quilt, and the Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown exhibit at the De Young.
• I love his advice to ask tons of questions every time you go to the fabric store, then go home and try out everything you learned. Sometimes a quick conversation with the lady cutting your fabric is more valuable than reading a stack of books!
• Ben's discussion of the juxtaposition of quilting and metal really needs to be read in its entirety, but I'll leave you with this quote: "Heavy Metal has always had this over the top mentality with the 70's and 80's dominated by all these dudes wearing makeup and looking like strippers. Even dressed up in some ridiculous clothing and makeup these dudes scored all the babes! So … I was thinking about that absolute contradiction, and thought by combining quilts with Metal I would be able to achieve a similar result." Love it!

See all the gloriously metal images and read the full interview at My Love For You Is A Stampede Of Horses, and check out the classes Ben is teaching/assisting: "Full Tilt Quilting" at WorkshopSF in July, and a free "Heavy Metal Quilting" workshop at YBCA in August. (And don't forget the subversive heirloom quilts of Quiltsr├┐che!)

Images: Ben & Quilt by Ryan Hendon, Quilt Detail by Meighan O'Toole, both from My Love For You Is A Stampede of Horses

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