Known as the Blind Quilter, Diane Rose of Waco shared her life story with members of the Crossroads to Texas Quilt Guild on Monday and gave a demonstration of her quilting techniques.

Rose suffered from glaucoma since birth and lost all vision in 1984.

“When I had some vision, I was scared of what I couldn’t see,” Rose said. “But now that I’m completely in the dark, I’m not scared of anything.”

Barbara Fairchild, a country music entertainer, told Rose she would poke herself with a needle if she tried to sew. That turned out to be a pivotal moment in Rose’s life.

“One day in 1998, I was visiting a lady out in the country who asked if I knew how to use a sewing machine and when I said, ‘Yes,’ she taught me how to quilt,” Rose said. “I’m the kind of person if you tell me I can’t do something, I will do it just because you said I can’t.”

Rose received a Barbara Jordan Media Award in 2009 for her story “Quilting By Hand” featured on Texas Country Reporter. She travels the country as a motivational speaker and missionary.

“I will go anywhere and, the way I look at it, if I can do what I have done without sight, how much can you do?” Rose said.

To fund her missionary programs, she accepts donations of quilting items and sells her quilts online at

“People ask where my supplies come from, and I tell them from God,” Rose said. “People donate material to me and that allows me to bless other people with my quilts. I am very honored to work for God and do what I do for Him. He is my boss.”

Rose is a student as well as a teacher. “If there is anyone who would like to come spend the day with me and cut out a new quilt pattern and help me learn a new quilt pattern, I would enjoy it so much.” Rose said.

Guild member Suzanne Paine said Rose’s story was inspirational.

“It gave me hope because I have glaucoma, too, and whenever you have a problem with your eyes, you imagine what it would be like to be blind,” Paine said. “Now I know that even if I go blind I can probably still quilt, and if I can’t still quilt, God will give me another something to do.”

For more information, call Rose at (254) 799-7990.

Herald/ Kathryn Leisinger

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