Thursday, September 1, 2016

Elizabeth Burns the blind quilter

Our quilt guild invited Elizabeth Burns to be our August speaker. Her presentation was extremely inspiring. She shared with us her tragedy and how she became a quilter. She completely lost her sight, and almost her life in a car accident when she was 29.

See the stack of quilts on the table behind her? She has them all organized and each one is lovely. She even showed us how she threads a needle. Her blindness is complete. She says she only sees black without shadows or glimmer. But she still sees color in her head and plans what she is going to do.

When she made her first quilt, a nine patch block, she didn't even own a sewing machine. She has a very supportive husband, and they married after her accident. He cuts for her, and lays piles out for her, and helps her select fabric.  When she would run into a roadblock, they would work to find a solution.
My pictures of her quilts were afterthoughts, as I was mesmerized by her story. I was often emotional, as I realized how very hard she has worked and how difficult a journey it has been. And that as we watch each quilt unfolded, and see the colors and the pieces, I was struck with the idea that she has never seen any of them and will not in this life.

But isn't that the heart of a quilter - to make beauty with our hearts and then send t out into the world to maybe lift another?

She had a great sense of humor as well. When her husband saw this quilt ( 1 inch squares) he said that if she wasn't blind already she would be after this quilt.

"The next time that you see a really beautiful quilt, I would like for you to say to yourself, 'I can make that.' What I would like for you to say to yourself is, 'Oh good grief, if a blind woman can do it, I know I can,'"
Here is more of her story

I'm linking to:

My Quilt Infatuation

oh scrap

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