Carl Quiltman makes an appearance in his own story, titled - Gray Handed Quilter. Here is an excerpt where he bares his heart to anyone that will read his story:
Candy heard the door open but didn't lift her eyes from her work. She knew it would be Carl. Natalie had a look on her face of quiet desperation. Annette and Sarah braced themselves for whatever weirdness was coming. Whatever was left of Carl's mental abilities he utilized in writing quilt mysteries. He self published his stories on the Internet. It was sad to see his damaged brain struggling to express one coherent thought. After a longarm quilting machine fell and cracked his skull open like an egg, he was never the same. He entered the room, still dressed in nothing but his food stained bathrobe, and said, 'They trashed me again.”
“What?” Sarah asked, trying to grasp what Carl was talking about. Candy, Annette, even Natalie – his own wife - tried to ignore him. Natalie had to exercise every ounce of her patience in dealing with Carl. She realized his mental problems weren't his fault. They were nobody's fault. He was a victim of chaos, a random accident that could have happened to anyone. Still, Carl annoyed her, which was her own shortcoming – and that annoyed her too.
“My last story. My heart bled to write it. My soul was in it. It was my child. My baby. And they ripped it to shreds, left my baby's body, bloody and beaten, a carcass for the vultures to swoop down and eat.” Carl began to weep. He held his head in his hands and wept with long wailing cries of agony. It annoyed the women, but out of respect for Natalie and Carl's brain damage, they tolerated the interruption.
Natalie said in soothing tones, “That's too bad, Carl. We'll talk about it tonight. Right now, go back home and try to relax.”
Annette put aside her needle. She had lost her creative flow for the moment. Her arthritis. Carl's crying. Put it all together and it was a creativity killer. Annette said, “Look, Carl, don't let it get you down. It doesn't mean anything. Everyone hates something. Everyone loves something. Maybe they don't get what it is you're doing. Some criticizers read quickly and arrogantly, like David Mitchell wrote about in Cloud Atlas.” Annette flinched from a sudden, sharp burst of arthritic pain.
When Carl took his hands from his face and let them fall to his sides, his bathrobe fell off, dropping to the floor in a heap. He didn't seem to notice his nakedness, his gaze never straying from the Lone Star quilt spread across the table. Most of his pudgy body was ignored by the women, except for his one asset - and that was of biblical proportions.