Saturday, December 17, 2011


I read on a blog I just followed, that there is a Fabric Tuesday group! I may have to join in on that one, because my rate of fabric aquisition is putting my rate of actual sewing to shame! ... and I don;t mean a kind of gentle embarrassment I mean a deep red flush and the feeling that there's nowhere big enough to swallow you up!

This is not only an emotional issue, it also has practical consequences! Firstly my cute little picnic basket is only so-big, and before long I can see a point where the lid ain't going to close! Secondly, not really being able to see what's what, means I have to work on some kind of organisational system! ... and anyone who nows me knows that I'm great at organising things in spreadshheets, but in ractice you're much more likely to find something in a nice neat pile on the floor!! ... so the more fabrrics I get the less likely I am to be able to remember what colors and patterns are on each, nor where in the pile they actually are or what will compliment them!

But it was sew night at Irondequoit Quilt Club last night and I did get through a dozen squares, which isn't a bad rate of hand stitching for a couple of hours work. :) .. it's a block for a charity quilt and I suspect I'm lagging way behind other block makers! I'm also horribly unaware of exactly how to construct my block ... I'm just pairing up squares at the moment, but should I be sewing 3 together in a line so that I can then do 3 x 3 squares to a block? This whole block system is new to me and I don't really know wat I'm aiming for!! any suggestions would be super helpful! :)

Meanwhile, a woman who sleeps in a cupboard asked me, and a few others have wondered similar things, about how easy it is to learn to recognize people when you can't see them (or in my case can't see enough detail to recognize their faces ... I just see a general outline, even as close as over the table) ... so here's is a little insight into why I'm liable to walk past you in the street unless you shout out and say "hi, it's Ms So--and-Sew from quilt club" ... or unless you wave a piece of cake in my general direction, in which case I'll stop on a dime or a sixpence, depending in which country this is happening!

Anyway, enough of the rambling, here's what I said ... and then you can get back to your cups of tea, your cakes and biscuits, and even a bit of weekend quilting, if you're not heading out to buy more fabric ....

As with everything there are some
blind people who are really good and quick at learning new voices. It
took me about 6 months at work until I really started recognising most
of the people (obviously the ones in my little team I learn more
quickly) ... the biggest challenge really is recalling which name goes
with which voice - once you begin to identify the voice you've
forgotten the name it originally came with! ... it's very helpful if
people say " hi, it's ..." rather than just hello, because often I
just end up saying hi back without really knowing who I'm talking to!
If they stop for a conversation I can ask the name but if they're just
walking past I really have no idea!

I think people who have been blind from birth are often much better at
remember all kinds of things, I guess simply because that's what you
have to do. For somebody who has been sighted most of their life, it
can take a while to train your memory to work in that way!

Thanks for taking an interest! :) :) :)


  1. Very informative post ;-) Thank you. Just out of interest have you tried any of those cds you can get that teach you how to radically improve your memory? (I havent, and probably should...)

  2. I would love to go out to coffee with you & Sarah. What fun I could have with the two of you. **mischievous grin**

  3. Rhonda, you better eat your cake before Giles arrives! hehe! ;)

    Giles, you need to learn to ask for help at this quilting group. You know how nice they are, they'll be happy to help! In all honesty though, they should have given you some directions of what size they wanted.

    Is this Tuesday fabric group a bit like an AA meeting for fabric addicts do you think? They'll have a lot of members, me included in that case!

  4. lol, yes I probably should ask for help ... but I don't want to appear like I need help with everything ... here's another tip for sighted folk, sometimes a blind person doesn't want everything done for them! For example, it's much more likely that when selecting food from a buffet selection, it's great to have the food items described, but not necessarily for the sighted person to shovel on to a plate as much as they think you want! ... if in doubt just ask "would you like me to get / do that for you?" ... the worst example of this is when people grab your arm and try and steer you in the direction they think you want to go! sometimes it's ok to be left to walk randomly around a place looking for the door or the stairs, because next time there might not be anybody to guide you and so you might want to work out where they are! ... in the past some people have tried to guide me onto a bus or a train that I've known well isn't the one I want ... I've been stood waiting for the next one and they come up and grab your arm and say "let me help you on to the bus" ... lol, just ask!!!!!!!!! ... ok rant over! I know people are only trying to help, but if they don't ask questions and just assume then they'll nevr understand! ... that's why I am glad when y'all ask questions!

    And "would you like another piece of cake" would be a great question to start with! hehe

    it's funny though, sometimes at quilt club I'm almost invisible ... I dropped my whole box of pins on the floor last night and nobody noticed me bent over trying to make sure I'd got them all, and that must have taken at least 5 minutes! But yes, they are a nice group and would be ony too happy to help me! ... the only instructions I had for this block were "9x7 and alternate a white square with a patterned one" ... but I can't work out how a 9x7 block works!

    OK, that's enough whining and wittering from me! thanks for listening ;)

  5. When it comes to organizing fabric, I label it by color. I write down the color after finding it on a color wheel, and pin it to the fabric. My favorite book is "Color Play" by Joen Wolfrom. I then have it organized by the color wheel starting with yellow. Yes, it's anal, but I hate looking for a color and have to dig through piles. If you need a tactile system, you could use a form of Braille, i.e. one dot is red, two dots are yellow. If you need it, have a sighted person help you sort/label your fabric.

    As I have epilepsy, I understand how people love to "help". They mean well, but it can get annoying at times. I use those times to educate people on epilepsy and how to help in case I have a seizure, like don't call the ER. It's a 500 dollar bill I don't want and there's nothing they can do anyway.

    If you need help with hand sewing, there's 1/4 inch wide tape that you can put on the edge of the fabric so you can feel where you are. I think it's called Tiger Tape and is used for marking if you hand quilt. Then you just peel it off when you are done.

  6. good suggestions Bethany, thank you! I have a similar system for labeling my clothes (which I haven't put into practice yet!) ... there are small metal tags with braille abbreviations on like blk for black, str for stripes and so on! ... I will remember that about not calling ER if ever I'm there when somebody is having an epileptic seizure! ... I always have to argue against going to ER when my blood sugar drops overnight to dangerous levels and the paramedics have to come and give me a glucose IV ... there would be nothing for ER to do once I've come around and am able to eat something sugary .. and that's a $500 bill I too can happily live without! :)

  7. What a great post! And how frustrating that people think that treating you like a small child is helping...I can only assume that the other members of the quilt group have seen the block as the instructions are vague to say the least!

  8. I've often tried to imagine how hard this would be. Thank you for describing it and offering the tip of self-identification!