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Friday, August 6, 2010

Inspiration - Quilling with Anna Krow

Here is another inspirational story of a quiller who won’t give up. Anna is a sweet lady who buys her quilling supplies from us here at Whimsiquills. When she places an order she always takes a few minutes to “visits” on the phone with Debbie or myself and tells us all about her newest projects. She told me she likes doing business with us because she gets to talk to “real people”. I was surprised when I learned she is quilling while battling Parkinson’s disease. When she told me her local newspaper was doing a story about her, I asked her to send me a copy so I could share it with other quillers. Here it is:

Nobody tells Anna Krow she can’t do something.

Krow, 78, a Parkinson’s disease patient, spends days in her senior citizen apartment on Ashburg Drive in Mechanicsburg, coiling thin strips of paper into hundreds of beautiful pictures. Quilling, also called paper filigree, is a meticulous art that involves twisting and gluing paper, sometimes the thickness of 1/8 inch, into patterned designs. The craft involves immense patience and dexterity from an average person, let alone someone with a neurological disorder.

Diagnosed with Parkinson’s 13 years ago Krow uses a wheelchair, her motor skills impaired to a degree that brushing her teeth and making a bed are at times, impossible. Still, she works with intensity on portraits of flowers and farm animals for her three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. “You can counteract Parkinson’s symptoms to some degree by willpower” said Mike Lawler, owner of Honor Healthcare Group, which provides services to elderly or disabled people living at home. “It’s like wearing a suit of armor all the time. It’s so fatiguing, but she mentally overrides it.” Lawler met Krow a year ago. It’s common for nurses with his company to walk in on Krow hunched over a table in her kitchen, multicolored pieces of paper strewn about the apartment as she works on her next masterpiece. Her pieces have won first – and second-place ribbons in the Dillsburg Community Fair.

Krow fell in love with the art 30 years ago when a friend gave her a quilled picture for Christmas that still hangs in her bathroom. She didn’t take up quilling again until a few years ago, Her disease symptoms left Krow sitting in a lounge chair most of the day when her husband Karl, surprised her with a bag of quilling materials. “I was tired of the four walls and the ceiling. I couldn’t do anything,” Krow said. “I love doing this. I could sit here all day.” She’s created a wedding picture frame for her great-niece. Roses are her favorite flower to make. The small patterns, she can do in one day.
“I like to play,” she said. “When someone tells me I can’t do something, I do it.”