An Ode To Jane

I’ve decided that today will probably be the last day of my
Qulting course
Mainly because i don’t have anything else i need the woman to teach me and because the
Bed covers
Can be done at home. So i thought i’d writhow much i appreciate her since i’d get all emotional if i said it directly. I’ve baught her a little candle to show my appreciation for her too. I don’t normally use names, but i’ll probably only mention her name once. Here goes:

Dear Jane

Thank you so much for teaching me over this last year. First of all thank you for willing to let me try the quilting even though i am blind. Other sewinshops thought it would be too complicated but you said why not give it a go. I think you were a little nervous about teaching a person how to sew but you didn’t show it.

I liked how you improvised and braught a roll of masking tape along to help me stitch along. You were really thinking and it wasn’t to look good.

When I said that straight lines were boring you went with the flow and let me follow my stitches.

You let me experiment and didn’t criticise me. You let me prick my finger without rushing to get a plaster or to not allow me to sew because i pricked my finger.

You totally understood when i said that i would get a bag to carry my sewing stuff in since it would be hard to work a dog and carry a bag in my hand.

When i kept knotting the thread, you kept untangling it for me and didn’t care how much thread i wasted. You even got me thread that i could feel as the normal thread was too thin. Was it egyptian cotton i wonder that i use? I’m not sure. You even gave me wool to see if that worked.

You braught different needles until we found the right one for me to work with.

You let me sew little beeds then moving onto bigger ones. You didn’t mind that i liked the smaller ones!

When you explained how to tie a knot in the end of my thread you were incredibly patient until i got it.

When i couldn’t thread my needle you went and got me a packet of needle threaders. I couldn’t sew without them now! When the needle threaders broke you didn’t care and kept letting me work.

You described colours to me and weren’t afraid to use normal words like look and see.

You were patient when i took ages to stitch something.

If there were roadworks, or it was too windy or if it was snowing, you came and got me and didn’t mind having Ushi in your car.

You didn’t have a dog but you were and are extremely kind to Ushi scratching her ears and just loving her company. You didn’t mind if you went home covered in dog hair or got licked a million times.

When Ushi was attacked you checked her over thoroughly and even offered to drive me home if i needed it going home.

If there were obsticles you always acompanied me and Ushi until Ushi was able to get past them.

You didn’t mind at the very start how unsettled Ushi was.

If i slept in, you didn’t mind at all and always told me to “chill”. (I was panicking!).

You always had something to tell me whether about your family or stitching.

When you were explaining a stitch you always let me find my own way of doing it.

If we did a stitch wrong, we just took it out and started off again.

You even baught three cheap pairs of jeans from a charity shop for me to make ushi’s bed cover. You didn’t think it was silly or anything when i came to you with the idea.

You were always taking an interest in what i was doing and how i was getting on.

You even took me to an exhibition because you had heard it was for blind people and wondered why it hadn’t been more advertised.

You are even going to a concert next week with me but i’ll write more on that later this week.

When you guided me you were a total pro at it and it had been like you had done it for years.

You understood right from the start that Ushi couldn’t have any human food.

You always explained things in detail.

When you saw me outside of our time together you talked to me.

You are an amazing woman and i thank you so so much for letting me try to quilt and succeeding. I really hope you don’t think it is anything personal as to why i am leaving, and hopefully we can stay in contact.

Take care and thank you again.


A very contented woman and guide dog.

I know that was longer than i had planned but who cares.

In other news

My sister is going to be going to belfast on her own and is staying at my Uncles house. It is going to be very strange not having her around because i am normally the social butterfly. I hope i don’t get emotional or anything when she comes back though. She’ll only be gone for a day. I’m glad she is getting the confidence to be more social but i will deffinetly miss her company especially as we share a room. I’m sure it had to happen sometime though and if i can be a social butterfly why can’t she? I hope she enjoys herself, and i hope i find something to occupy my time. Everyone else will still be there in the house though. I’ll just notice it more since i spend alot of my time up here in my bedroom with her.

I’m off to bed now but just thought i’d write that beforehand.

Me And The Quilting

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was hopefully
Going to quilt
Shortly. Well we agreed to meet the following Monday after our first meeting. She found me a
Quilting Hoop
Over that weekend, and we were off.

So for the past couple of mondays we’ve been meeting in our local coffee shop to quilt. I think it’s great not just for me but for Ushi too. It gets her more experience of being in a coffee shop and means that she has to stay lying down for most of the time without fussing or anything. It also gives our Monday mornings a purpose, which means no stopping! That is a massive massive bonus.

The quilting has actually been quite easy really. We started by experimenting with some different threads. We first tried really thin thread, a slightly thicker one which tended to break when I pulled it, which meant that the needle came off all the time, and finally we have settled on a thread called “chrochet cotton” I think it’s called. It didn’t come off the needle nearly as much as the other threads did!

I have only been doing basic stitches so far, but it seems pritty interesting. The woman can’t believe how good my stitches are lol!

We have had a little trouble after about half an hour to an hour with Ushi getting a little bored and sitting up, but apart from that she is grand! I let her sit up because she isn’t harming anyone, and as long as she sits quietly I don’t mind. She did get very nosey today when there were a couple of three year olds behind our table. She kept trying to go over so I had to get up and get her over with me again. (I always keep a hold of the lead so I know where she is). She also tried to eat the crumbs on the floor, but a quick correction soon helped that. After that she just lay down and slept for the rest of the session.

I am really enjoying it and appreciate how thorough the woman is being. I told her today that I appreciated her trying with me, and she said that I can put my mind to anything which was good to hear. I even find that I don’t need the masking tape that I use for making a line now as I can follow the lines that I have already done! I find the time just whizzes by when we’re busy doing it and chatting.

We had a slight incident today going home though. There were some road works going on, and I think they confused Ushi. They were across the road but we ended up an entry. I asked a nice kind woman and she helped me on my way again. Ushi then wouldn’t find her zebra crossing that we needed to find to start the homeward trek, but after going back a few times she finally found it.

I am pleased with how things are going, and hope that I continue to enjoy it!

Finally Up And Running?

Remember about 7 or 8 months ago I mentioned about
And how possible it would be to do it? Well I might just have found the answer!

I was put in touch with a lady who did quilting. I contacted her on and off, and she agreed to meet with me to see if we could sort something out.

Each time we have agreed to meet though, life has got in the way. What with me going on class with Ushi, to just not being free.

I sent her a message just on the off chance that she would be free sometime this week. I got a message back last night saying that she was indeed free to meet with me today at our local coffee shop. Iwas thrilled. Was this it finally getting up and running?

I got up bright and early this morning. I wasn’t meeting the woman until about 11 o’clockish, so decided to leave at 10 just in case we had any problems.

We arrived with plenty of time to spare, at approximately half past 10 lol. So maybe leaving early wasn’t needed lol.

I got Ushi to find the counter, but we were at the wrong end of it lol. A kind lady took me down to the bottom end though which was good. I ordered an orange juice and then was taken to a table. I was very impressed about how helpful they were. Once I was seated, I got the dog settled. It was one of those bench things that are like couches. It was very narrow at the table, so I just got Ushi to lie down just beside the table. It meant that she had more room if she wanted to sleep or anything.

I sat anxiously checking the time, and wondering if the woman would turn up. While I was waiting, the lady that served me I think came over and asked if she could pet Ushi. I told her I really appreciated her asking, and that alot of people didn’t ask. She said it was no problem. We chatted for a while, until the woman came.

I let her and Ushi say hello (I had her off harness) first, and explained a bit about how the dog comes to be with me or any other owner really. I didn’t go into alot of detail though. She thought it was fascinating. She then went on to tell me about how she had seen a woman working the dogs and she thought that one of them was me (that was my instructor when she was working Ushi and all before I went on class). I then explained about the training we both had to go through and that.
We then got talking about the actual quilting. She says that there is no reason why I can’t do it. She says she will get me a hoop (I think it’s like a frame and the fabric sits between the two parts of it). I thought the hoop was one of those ones that schools use for PE! She says I can use thicker thread, and that it wouldn’t matter what colour the quilt turned out to be. She suggested that I could use a piece of masking tape or something so that I could feel it and work along that line. I was so pleased that she was willing to give it a go and that she was wanting me to be able to do it. Happy days!

She is going to get me a needle threader as she says it might be easier than threading the needles myself.
So on Monday we are going to meet again and we will decide where we will go from there. She will look for the hoop for me and then we will get started!

I can’t wait to get started. I am so glad that she is willing to give it a go. She said that her aunt was blind so she at least knew a little about visual impairment which was good.

We then talked some more about Ushi and how I use a computer and stuff like that.

She was a very nice woman but she did like to talk! I suppose it’s better than silence though.

She says that we are going to have breakfast on Monday so I hope that she knows that Ushi can’t be fed anything!

Ushi was grand throughout the whole thing. She did sit up once or twice but I just let her since she wasn’t doing anybody any harm or anything. Most of the time she just dozed though. This was really my first time totally on my own in a coffee shop. I’m so glad I could control her and that she behaved!

She did rush a bit on the way home though, and there was one point where I wasn’t really on the ball and thought that we were going the wrong way!

Apart from that, it was a fabulous day. I’m so glad that the quilting might get up and running finally! I’ll let you know how Monday goes. Hopefully Ushi will be just as behaved as today!

Blind Quilting-Is It Possible?

Recently, I enquired about quilting. I would always love to try it and see how it works and stuff.

Last year i think it was, i got my dad to check around to see if our local sewing shops knew how this would work, and how I could actually quilt. They said it would be rather complicated, so i thought right. This year, i was asked what courses i would like to do since i have finished the
Essential Skills
Course. I thought i would check out the quilting again, since i thought the people in the sewing shop were just being ignorant, and saying that i couldn’t do it just for the sake of it.

There is a woman who does teach quilting locally, but i want to know more. My friend found me this rather old article on
Quilting Tips
From a blind person, but it doesn’t give me that much information, and i can’t seem to access the newsletter the article refers to, since it’s from 2006, and i don’t think they have back issues of the newsletter.

I was just wondering is it possible to quilt when blind? I know
Does Crocheting, which isn’t really the same thing, but it’s a start. So Ro if you have any tips, pass them this way!!

Seriously though, any other tips for a beginner quilter? I have never sewed, and would just like to try it.

I know it probably seems a bit boring, but who cares.

Thanks for any tips!