Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Wonkiest Straight Line in the World

So on Monday I turned up at Center for the Visually Impaired (CVI)for the first quilting class. This class has been running for 3 years and some of the people have attended all that time so are rather proficient to say the least! Others like me are more new to it. I'd estimate a dozen people turned up, each gaily entering with a "hello ladies!"... to which the organizer would add "we've got a new member. A man!"... I'm getting used to being the token man already! I don't care, I've always enjoyed sewing, even if it is maybe 25 years since I last did much!

Back in high school I made a great spider, tie-dying the material and sewing and stuffing and adding eyes and sewing on legs. I also made a sleeveless t-shirt with a trebble clef on it (screen printed), so I was quite a creative school kid! Years later when I wanted a small pouch to keep some runes in, I thought nothing of cutting out some nice corduroy material, sewing it up and adding an elastic draw string. Photos of the spider coming soon hopefully!

This week we all pitched in with a communal quilt making effort, sewing up squares which would then form a quilt to be auctioned at the CVI annual fund raiser. It took most people about 20 minutes to sew up three rows of squares. In an hour I did one, creating the wonkiest straight line in the world. I hope the supervisor has unpicked it and re-done it, since I'd hate to lower the excellent quality of the other quilters! If I had a camera I'd have taken a photo for posterity (for those who can see them).

This weekend I aim to practice some straight line stitching on a scrap of fabric, or a duster if I can't find any scraps. I'm sure I'll get the hang of this feel then stitch process, rather rather trying to rely on my eyes, which can't see something the size of a bus, let alone a tiny stitch!

Next week I'm going to get to start on my own quilt, first task selecting the colours of fabric I want to use. I'm thinking of blues and beiges, but we'll see what's in the box! Any suggestions?

Welcome to Touch and Sew!

Hello! This is my blog to chat about all things sewing. Since losing most of my eyesight 3 years ago I've been struggling to find work (like millions of others, sighted and blind alike), plus feeling lost when trying to think about how to do the creative things I used to do.

Then one day I made a comment about some hair accessories for an outfit Magpie Mimi was making and I thought a hat would go well with that. I've always liked hats and thought, wouldn't it be cool to try and make one. And I thought, well why not!

So here I am. Not starting with hat making but rather with quilting, since there's a class just started up at Center for the Visually Impaired here in Atlanta. So that's what I'm doing, and my plans for the year extend beyond that to felt making and then hats.

Of course for someone who hasn't picked up a needle and thread in 25 years this poses something a challenge. Even if I could see the eye of the needle I'd strugggle to get that thread in... I'll talk about accessories that are available to help blind / low vision folk in later posts.

The title Touch And Sew is chosen because I discovered at class one that that's the way to try and keep in a straight line. Put some sticky tape along the edge you wish to sew up and feel for the tape, making your stitches close to that marking. Also feel for your last stitch as you make the next one, so you can sew close to it and in line with it. Well, that's the theory! More about my experiences at the first class very soon! Suffice to say it's a very touchy-feely kind of thing!

Thanks for stopping by to read this. Please come back and follow it and chat in the comments. I'd like to hear other people's sewing activities, whether a newcomer or a pro, 20:20 vision or blind as a bat!