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Blind Quilter Makes Quilts in TX, Diane Rose in Waco ~ Texas

Growing up on a farm and helping to manage her and her husband's homestead, Cindy has acquired a wealth of knowledge to share with others.

This is not her quilt but is an example of a strip pieced quilt.

This is not her quilt but is an example of a strip pieced quilt.

Diane Rose is one of the most amazing people I have ever heard about. Let me share some of the amazing things that she has been able to accomplish in her lifetime.

Ms. Rose began quilting in 1998, and since then has made 100’s of them. When she began in 1998, she made a goal for herself – to make 500 quilts by August 14, 2008 (her 10th anniversary of quilt making). She accomplished that goal. Then she made another goal – to make 1,000 quilts by August 14, 2013 (her 15th anniversary of quilt making) and she has already made a substantial dent in that goal. That’s a lot of quilts.

Ms. Rose is a motivational speaker, teacher and evangelist. She uses her skills to teach about encouragement, reassurance, walking by faith, and putting your talents to work. Her ministry is called “Rose of Sharon Ministries”.

She is also very immersed in the Nashville music scene as a journalist. She has rubbed shoulders with some of Nashville’s top stars, including Charlie Daniels and Loretta Lynn.

All of the above is quite an accomplishment all by itself. But what if I told you that Diane Rose is blind? Yes, I did say blind. And yes, she is. She does not consider her blindness to be a handicap, however, just an inconvenience.

The way I look at it, if I can do what I have done, without sight, how much can you do?

— Diane Rose

That’s a remarkable question, and I’m afraid that I have to blush when I read it, because she puts me to shame. When you watch the video (below) you will see that she truly does not consider blindness to be a handicap.

Ms. Rose has been vision-impaired with glaucoma her whole life. In 1984, she was preparing for a miracle to occur in her life – the miracle of sight. That year she was scheduled to undergo a cornea transplant to improve her eyesight. Four days before the surgery was scheduled to take place, however, an unfortunate accident left Ms. Rose permanently blind.

But this amazing woman has not missed a beat. She uses her ‘lack of sight’ to motivate others to reach their full potential. Who wouldn’t be inspired by this woman!

She takes great pride in the fact that Loretta Lynn and President George W. Bush both have quilts of hers. The quilt that President Bush has is hanging in his office at his Texas ranch.

Although this is not her work, this picture provides you with an example of applique work. The hearts are cut out, the edges turned under, and then hand-stitched using tiny stitches securing the hearts to the white background using needle and thread.

Although not exactly like the quilt she is describing, this quilt gives you an example of stripped pieces laid horizontally and then vertically.

Although not exactly like the quilt she is describing, this quilt gives you an example of stripped pieces laid horizontally and then vertically.

Diane Rose makes her quilts by feel. Through the sense of feel, she does a lot of applique work. She states, “. . . you can feel where the stitch is because it’s smooth against the main part of the quilt, while the part that’s not yet stitched is not smooth.” She does require assistance in the initial cutting out of the applique pieces, but she is able to place them and stitch them with no assistance.

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The pieced quilt she makes most frequently, which she is able to assemble without any assistance, is a pattern called the “split rail pattern”. She explains that she will “lay out four pieces of fabric, 12 inches by 3 inches, side by side, and stitch them together to make a square.” She then alternates the squares horizontally and vertically as she assembles her quilt.

She does not sell her quilts during any of her speaking engagements. She explains that she uses them to show what can be done in spite of the obstacles that she has had to face stressing that God has helped her overcome these obstacles. She states, “I couldn’t do it without God’s talent.”

Below is a video of an interview with Diane Rose by Texas Country Reporter. This video also shows her working on her quilts. She essentially sees with her fingers.

Barbara Jordan Media Achievement Disability Award

In February 2009, Diane Rose received the Barbara Jordan Media Achievement Disability Award. The Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities honors achievements of Texans with disabilities. Their mission is to advance opportunities for disabled Texans to “enjoy full . . . lives of independence, productivity, and self-determination.”

The Barbara Jordan Media Awards recognizes “outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations of the communications media. . . Contributions are recognized for eliminating attitudinal, social, and physical barriers and encouraging accurate and progressive portrayals of people with disabilities.”

If You Would Like to Help...

Most of the supplies she uses are donated by people cleaning out closets and attics. If you would like to donate supplies to this amazing woman, the following is always needed:

  • Fabrics in cotton or denim - 2 or more yards of solid cotton colors, all different shades of the rainbow!
  • Any cotton fabric with prints for children
  • Any Christmas print cotton fabric
  • Thread in all colors, black and white are the ones she uses the most
  • Rolls of 1/2" and 1" sew-on Velcro
  • Bags of buttons
  • Wide bias binding in all colors
  • Ribbon all sizes and colors
  • Yard increments of "Wonder Under"
  • T-Shirt transfer paper
  • Colorfast sew-in fabric sheets
  • Schmetz Universal Needles #1709
  • 60mm rotary cutter blades