Saturday, September 3, 2011

September 2011

Hello :)

Welcome September !! School will be starting soon, the leaves will start to turn. Hardly seems possible.

Below is a article from one of our chatters.

am Blind Stitcher, I use to be Stitching Angel I am a totally blind quilter and seamstress. I have been blind for around 25 years. I have taken four years of Home Ec. In high school and loved every minute of sewing. When I became blind, I put my sewing machine away thinking that I would never be able to ever sew again. My Dad was the one that helped teach me to sew clothing and other projects before I became blind. My grandmother taught me how to do hand embroidery. If I did not get the stitches right I was to pick them out and redo them over again. I even made three of my son’s Halloween costumes, along with a little clown outfit for our family pet poodle Mimi. My son was surprised to find out that he won first place in the parade with him and Mimi being a little clown.

Now that I am blind and work on a quilt I guess I am just as fussy as she was when she was teaching me. I guess it is because of being blind and how others look at me because I am different and cannot see. Many think because you are blind you cannot do much of anything, or your just plain stupid. So imagine when they find out that I run my own sewing machines and use a computer. Sure my Mother-in-law helps me once in a while when I cannot fix a sewing machine. And yes I do take it apart and put it back together. I even cut my own quilt blocks with a rotary cutter, but not as much as the Accuquilt Go. This item makes cutting blocks easy as making a peach pie. We have tried writing letters to the sewing machine companies asking them to help make machines accessable for the blind by having speach speaking menus. Some day it will happen, but right now we have to snag older machines. My dream is to one day have a quilting machine to earn some extra money, since employers have problems hiring persons who are blind in our area.

The quilt that I made was made from 4 inch blocks that were bought from a seller on Ebay. I received second place for the angel quilt, along with a hunter green long velvet hooded cloak trimmed with white fur. First thing I did to make the angel quilt was to make a block of nine four inch blocks. Now mind you many blocks I have to imagine how they are put together, someonewas the one set me strait that the flying geese block does not, look like flying geese. Lol But with this quilt I wanted something different, so not knowing if I was using someone else’s idea I continued to lesson to the quilt as it told me what It wanted me to do. Secondly I cut the nine patches in half diagonally. Then I thought hmm, I wanted a challenge so I continued with the idea that I was getting. Thirdly I cut those two triangular pieces in half again to get two smaller triangles. Then I thought about how I could arrange the blocks to keep from using the one of the same blocks over again. Fourthly I placed the total of the four blocks from the original nine patches each on four different piles. Happy with how my design was going I continued. Then I laughed when I heard my fiancĂ©e who is also blind say, why make a block then cut apart and then put it back together again? Honey, he said that makes no sense. Lol I just laughed and continued the last step, I took a small triangle from each of the four piles, not sure that each triangle was from a different nine patch quilt block. Then after sewing the blocks back together. I then gave them a good pressing with an iron. I was tickled when I started to sew all the blocks together to form Linda’s quilt. It sure was hard not to let her know the quilt was for her. I had a friend send the quilt top out to be quilted with surprisingly with angels. It really fit the gift idea, because it was a gift for our Pastor. She has been such a bright light in our lives, that is why I thought she deserved a special quilt.

Now to tell you about my Renaissance cloak. Someone helped me cut out the lining and outer velvet for the cloak. I did the cutting of the fur that was to go around the edges for the trim. Working with seven yards of $18 a yard of velvet I sure did not want to make a mistake. So once the pieces all cut out I then had her hand me the pieces that went together and I started pinning them together. When I pin a project together I use the small quilt pins. Forget the strait pins; they sure can be dangerous when you cannot find them on the floor and they come out to easy for me. Once the two sides of the cloak was sewed together I then put the two sides of the cloak together making sure that the out sides of the cloak was facing inwards. This was the fun part, but wow what a fuzzy mess. Lol I placed the three inch fur all around the edges of the cloak trying to make sure that the seams of the fur was not right in the middle of the front of the cloak where it would show. After sewing it all together all but the bottom of the cloak, I started folding over and tucking the fur to be ready to be hand sewn down. This was the slowest part doing a blind stitch making sure that the fur would not have a spot where someone could get their fingers under the fur. Then I machine sewed all but one foot on the bottom of the cloak where I could work the cloak back through. Once this seem was done I began working the material through the one foot whole so it was turned the right side out I then hand sewed the frog or clasp up near the neck area to keep the cloak on the shoulders. Finally I tucked in the one foot seam so I could blind stitch it together to make sure that no seam showed. I was so proud of this cloak I then entered it in our county fair along with the cloak. Two days letter after dropping off my entries I found out that my cloak received first place plus best of show. If it was not for Sandy my mother-in-law incur ageing me to help her with sewing down some hems on the girls dresses that was in the wedding. I probably would have given my machine to someone or it would have just sat on the shelf gathering dust. Thanks to my dad and grandmother for giving me my taste of sewing, and Thanks to a friend who gave me the confidence that just because I could not see did not mean I had to give it up. So now I am returning the favor, I also have a group of blind quilters called the Touchable Quilters that helps others by offering tips and suggestions. So that they don’t do what I almost did by giving up and not continueing sewing the quilts and clothing that we love to create.

Thank you ever so much for letting me tell my story.

Thank you Blindsticher :)

Quiltchat's Stocking Swap sign up's open this Monday, September 5th !! If you are interested, or need more information please email me w/stocking swap in the subject line. This is truly, truly a fun activity to be part of :)

Sweetjessy has another BOW project ~~ The next Block of the week project will start September 12 at 9 pm EST The blocks will be 9 inches. Come and make some blocks, and have fun too :) At the end of the project, you will have a nice quilt.

As always, your articles are always appreciated. If you would like to share your story of what got you interested in quilting, or how your first quilt project went, email me.

Next month's newsletter will include idea's for the upcomming holidays. Small projects that can be completed in a short period of time. And even things that could be included in the stocking for your swappee <:)

Until next time,