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Friday, September 25, 2009

Quilling with the Visually Impaired & Evangeline (Part 2)

In my August 7th post (Evangeline Enns & Quilling with the blind), I told you that Evangeline Enns was going to be working with some visually impaired people who wanted to learn to quill. We got a lot of feedback from that post, and I thought I would take a few minutes to update you on how it was going. I spoke with Evangeline yesterday. She has had two classes already and was busy preparing for her next class. She made shape charts for her “students” by gluing the actual quilled shapes to the chart (instead of printed shapes). This would give the new quillers a point of reference, they could feel the shape she was teaching them, and then make one of their own. She has her group finger rolling and said they seem to be pretty comfortable with that. They are working with ¼” wide strips and they are measuring and cutting them on their own. At their first session, (I forgot to ask how long each class is), she had them making teardrop shapes for flower petals, and they learned how to shape short strips to use as stems. At the next meeting she had them make marquises so they could add leaves to their flowers. She says they are an enthusiastic group and some of them want to make snowflakes! We talked about how they could do that with no visual pattern . . . but decided that if it were a simple snowflake to start, they would be able to feel the different shapes used . . . but the placement? I know many sighted quillers do use a pattern to get their snowflakes nice and even and suggested copying the patterns and then using a ball point pen or an embossing tool to go over the lines of the pattern. That would make a raised pattern on the back side of the paper. Most quillers that I know, who do use patterns, put a sheet of waxed paper or Mylar over the pattern and then lay their pieces on the pattern. I would think that using a piece of plastic food wrap instead of the waxed paper would allow them to “feel” the pattern through the plastic wrap. Once again I am asking for any suggestions or feedback from you, the readers, this is definitely a “learn as you go” project, but a very exciting one.

I also spoke with a quilling friend of mine who is legally blind, and who had put her quilling away when she lost her sight. When I told her about Evangeline’s classes, she decided to give it a try, once again. I will let you know how she makes out. We talked about the necessity for good organization for the blind . . . for those of us who are blessed with sight; we can have a messy workspace and just pick out the appropriate color strip from the pile on our tabletop. Perhaps organizing strips by color could be done by using the label makers available in office supply stores to label the front of plastic drawers or the top of the bags the strips come in. Once again, I am open for any suggestions.

3 comments:

Connie Godleski said...

The backing that comes off the adhesive mounting board (from American Frame) I use for fabric backgrounds is very 'non-stick' and could easily be embossed. I'd be glad to send whatever I have to use for snowflake patterns and whatever else you want. Connie Godleski bcgod@ptd.net

Patsy said...

Perhaps paper-pricking may provide a more raised surface than dry embossing, though it may be tougher to prepare. But pricking could also be done directly onto the wax paper or any plastic as long as they don't tear easily, so the pattern may be re-used and there's no need for another plastic to cover the pattern?

Quilling with Whimsiquills said...

These are both good ideas that I will be sure to pass on . . .