Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Blind Quilter

For quite some time now...since Cindy's great Wonder Woman Bracelet
post...I've been thinking about something.  How would it be - what would it feel like to
'sew without seeing'??!!  Cindy's amazing bracelet with the seemingly random stitches gathering more in some places than in others had sparked the idea.  
What if you did it all Only by Feel? 
I thought a lot this as I sewed my Soar Feather for Jude's Magic Feather Project.
So tonight, as research for this post (haha) I finally tried it.
Sitting on the couch, I closed my eyes and added some stitches to my Chicken Cloth. 
I knew I was at a corner, so I tried to stitch a circle.  Feeling and visualizing as I went.
As you can see below, my bright blue thread ended up in a square-like shape.  Well, pretty close.  Then I decided this was not the most scientifically planned experiment since I knew what my cloth looked like and planned to sew in the available corner, thus sighting there Before closing my eyes.  No fair Nancy, that's cheating!!!  So, I quickly closed my eyes again and tried a few more stitches (you can see them to the right of the 'square').  

Bright blue stitches added while my eyes were closed

This was an interesting experiment that told me how insensitive my fingertips really are!
That is why this video I found tonight is all the more impressive. 
Watch it and see what you think!
Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2012


If you would like to read more about  Diane Rose her website is here.  And be sure to check out her 'about' page, as it gives a lot of details about how she works.

  Photo by Nancy A. Erisman ©2012


joe said...

simply amazing! and what an awe-inspiring story...thank you so much for sharing it with us!

i remember back in college, experimenting with clay for a class in this manner. we were blindfolded and had to sculpt a specified object (mine was a bowl) with only our fingertips and imagination to guide us. it was equally enlightening...

thank you again! there were chills racing up and down my spine as i watched that video...


deanna7trees said...

she is an inspiration. i have seen this video many times before. there are no excuses, are there...we can do anything we put our mind to.

Ms. ∆×∆p×≥h/4π said...

When my old friend wen totally blind, I used to try to navigate my space here with an eye mask on. It was an exercise I repeated many times that year. Eventually my friend went ''home' across the country to live with her sister. But the experience of that year were branded. My own sight is becoming more problematic, and I found myself reviving the exercise recently, now that my space is way more cluttered. I use my hands. The other thing I note is whether or not I'm in balance, where the weight is distributed on my feet. This same exercise feeds back into yoga practice. I am favoring one side above another, and have to
adjust. It's a lesson in humility too. My compass is mine, neither right nor wrong, simply what it is. This quilter's spirit is inspiring indeed.

Jeannie said...

I always feared about loosing my sight until I saw this video. Amazing and inspiring, to learn to truly listen to your heart and stitch and create such beauty has me in awe.

Nancy said...

Joe- I bet blindfolded pottery would be a sensory dream! SO glad you enjoyed this.

Deanna- Yes inspiration!

Michelle- You've reminded me that as a child, while walking home from school, I would close my eyes for several paces to see if I could do it, continuing straight.

Jeannie- I have always felt that loosing my sight would be awful. It's a scary thought to me.

handstories said...

oh, thank you for your sweet words. i was so angry/floored that i couldn't even see straight while stitching that-
but this woman-wow! i've gone through my finger on a machine-while watching it happen!
i like your chicken cloth stitches (chicken scratches?)- very fun & brave.

Nancy said...

Cindy- I can't tell you how often I've thought of your bracelet! I meant to let you know of this post, but kept forgetting. Glad you came by :)
Yes-chicken scratches!!

Yvonne said...

How amazing! And I love that you tried stitching blind.

woman with wings said...

Nancy, thanks for the video. I had no idea. Wow.

I'm going to try this stitching with eyes closed. I like that a lot. Closing off one sense to strengthen another. Hmmm. We'll see. Or not, in this case. ;-)

Nancy said...

Yvonne- Yes, I'd been wanting to for a long while.

Peggy- Let us know how you do with your blind stitching!