[Perform-talk] Braille is beautiful, article about Idaho peace quilters' project for Commission for the Blind
penatwork at epix.net
Sun Jul 12 15:18:36 UTC 2009
As a Braille reader, advocate for Braille literacy and a knitter who
uses Braille on afghans, I was delighted to read about these sighted
quilters, who are showing how beautiful Braille is.
From: the Idaho Statesman
Boise Peace Quilters mix textile art and Braille in an effort to reach
out to the blind
BY ANNA WEBB - awebb at idahostatesman.com
Copyright: © 2009 Idaho Statesman
list of 1 items
Boise Peace Quilt
Satiny green peas. A field of white doves. Children's faces stitched in
The 44 quilts made by Boise Peace Quilt Project since 1981 have all been
But the newest quilt, an ambitious work-in-progress, ventures into
another sensory area altogether.
The quilt will be a gift to the Idaho Commission for the Blind and
Visually Impaired. It will include imagery from the four seasons that is
look at, but that translates for people who can't see - a spiky
snowflake, a constellation on a velvet ground, heavy-threaded tree bark.
Peace quilter Regina M. Brown is also beading four seasonal haikus on
the quilt, entirely in Braille.
Stitching the haikus, which were written by peace quilter Elisabeth Jay,
based on her walks through Boise, presents special challenges, Brown
making sure the beading is tight enough to stand up to thousands of hands.
The task has involved "sturdy thread," and lots of do-overs to get the
Braille perfect, Brown said.
Angela Jones, administrator at the commission, said the quilt, which the
group hopes to finish by the end of the year, will hang in the
Everyone from visiting legislators to newly blind residents living at
the commission while they learn Braille and other life skills will pass by.
Jones said blind and visually impaired staffers have been working with
the quilters, making sure rough embroidery really feels like an ice
cream cone, that
the beaded Braille next to a plush cat is a legible "meow."
"It's an honor to have the peace quilters do this for us, considering
what they've done in the past," Jones said.
The group has given quilts to statesmen, environmentalists, scientists,
to Mr. Rogers and Sen. Frank Church.
"We're quilters, but we're really activists," peace quilter Susan Hooley
The group is helping the community in another way.
For the past 20 years it has supported its work by selling note cards
printed with quilt designs.
Keeping the cards in storage got expensive, so the group donated more
than 250,000 cards to local nonprofit organizations, including the YMCA
Sanctuary to sell, or use for their own correspondence.
"Instead of getting panicky in hard economic times, the alternative is
to help each other," Hooley said.
Anna Webb: 377-6431
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