This week I had the pleasure of meeting someone I’ve only known through emails and phone calls. About a year ago, a quilting friend sent me the link to a YouTube video about Diane Rose, a totally blind quilter. Since Stephanie Michels and I had been working on stories about quilters in The Calico Heart and The Friendship Star Quilt, we agreed that if one of the quilters were to lose her sight it would make a great story.
I found Diane’s website and contacted her. I discovered that in addition to creating lovely quilts, she supports herself through public speaking. She talks to church groups about her faith and how he trusts God to meet all her needs, and the empowerment she gets from that. She readily agreed to be a resource for the book, and asked if I’d be able to help her with some of her online social media.
Since then I’ve gotten to know a lot about her, but since she lives in Waco, Texas, a trip was out of my reach – until she told me she’d been booked as a special guest speaker on a tour of Indiana’s quilt gardens! One of the stops on the tour was a two hour drive from my home, so on Wednesday I drove to Shipshewana, Indiana to meet the tour.
The tour guide, Brenda Fredrick of Outta Here Tours, was kind enough to let me join the tour for a day so that I could meet and talk with her and learn even more about this strong, independent woman. What fun! We saw some beautiful gardens, fabulous quilts, and met some fascinating people.
As for Diane, she was as amazing as she seems in her video. Take a look, and you’ll see. I shared this before, but it's worth watching again. And if you would like to help her out by sending fabric, or if you know of a group who would like to hear her speak, she would love to hear from you!