About a month ago, my sister Joan forwarded this video to me about the astonishing work of a blind quilter named Diane Rose. Totally blind since 1984, this wonder woman has produced over 600 beautiful quilts. I couldn’t help but be inspired by the story, but that wasn’t to be the end of it. First, though, here’s the video:
I watched the story about this woman in dumb disbelief. Until my cataracts and double vision reared their annoying heads, I was a dedicated seamstress. If there was anything in the house made of cloth, I had probably made it, or at least wished I had. But that was before my eyesight kept flaking out on me. When I couldn’t even thread the sewing machine needle, I figured it was time to hang up my tape measure and rest on my home-sewing laurels. Here, though, was somebody WAY worse off than me who was successfully stitching along like gangbusters.
After I watched the video, I emailed a comment that simply said: “How do you thread the needles?” It was kind of like an aimless, idle question fired off into virtual space – and then I promptly forgot about it.
Last week, I had a phone call: “Patricia?” the voice said. “This is Diane Rose. I’m so sorry to take so long to get back to you.”
Ford Video has a client named Diane Rose so, at first, I thought it was she, but then the voice said, “What kind of sewing machine do you have?”
Bewildered, I said “My sewing machine? It’s an Elna.”
“Do you have an automatic threader?” asked the voice.
“Yes”, I said, slowly figuring out whom I was talking to, “But I’m having an awful time getting it to thread anymore. I can’t see the grooves right.”
“That’s okay”, she said. “Stop trying to see them. Feel them. Trust your thumb and index finger and use their sense of feeling. Those two fingers are the most sensitive assets you have when it comes to sewing. With or without an automatic threader, they will help you thread a needle.”
What followed was one of the most unforgettable conversations I’ve had in my life. It wasn’t just learning how to thread needles in spite of tricky eyesight. It was being influenced by Diane Rose’s monumental, irrepressible spirit and encouragement.
Sometime when you’re having a bad day, introduce yourself to this lady. Click here for her website: http://theamazingquilter.com/index.htm
It’s not just about making quilts. It’s about using the potential you didn’t know you had.