We’re excited to introduce you to Salome. Salome comes from a long line of women who create. Although she’s crocheted and embroidered for most of her life, Salome only started quilting in 2004. But she quickly made up for lost time and now has 100+ quilts to her name! Salome has been using her CraftOptics magnifier/light combo for a few months and has a critical message for readers of this blog, “I should not have waited. I should not have waited. I should NOT have waited!”
Long ago, I was a police dispatcher, and I could block everything out and focus on just what I was doing. I go back to that world when I’m sewing. The house could blow up and I wouldn’t know it as long as I was able to sit and quilt. Creating also helps me deal with my anxiety. I had a stroke when I was 47 and ever since then, I’ve had anxiety. But when I’m sewing, my heart doesn’t race, and I don’t have chest tightness. There’s a quilter I like to follow, Angela Walters, and she says, “Quilting is my therapy and threads are my meds.” That statement fits me to a tee.
Quilting became a sort of therapy after my stroke. They made me do puzzles in rehab. As a former nurse I knew I was supposed to see designs when shown inkblot cards, but I only saw ink blots. I also know I run a very high risk of developing stroke-related dementia and I’m fighting it with every inch of my being.
Quilting to me is an adult version of a puzzle, with the bonus of getting something beautiful out of it at the end. It forces me to see patterns. It keeps my mind active.
I made a king-sized double wedding ring quilt for my niece using her colors. It had a lot of tiny pieces—somewhere between 3,000 and 5,000 I figured out—and took a long, long time.
I just got them in January of 2021. Being on a fixed budget, I have to account for every penny to pay my bills and eat. I saved up and the fact that you take Care Credit meant I could order my CraftOptics sooner.
The difference is night and day. They’ve opened up a whole world that was lost to me because I couldn’t see well enough to do the things I wanted to do.
I can also see individual stitches like I used to in my 20s. Without using my CraftOptics, the individual stitches blur together and just look like a long line. I’ve gotten back to crocheting—I like doing thread crochet to make little lacy doilies. But you have to be able to see the little, tiny hook and the holes and count stitches. Before CraftOptics I couldn’t do that.
I want to go back to counted cross stitch. I couldn’t see the detail well enough to even attempt this and I’d just make a big ol’ mess. I’d also like to get into making jewelry, but I haven’t done that yet. That’s why I got the mid-range [Regular focal distance of 14-16″] CraftOptics—the median of up close and far away. So I could do a range of projects.
I decided to get the glasses and the light and that light is wonderful! The light goes exactly where the lenses are pointed and I can see! When you age, you need better light to see certain things. I don’t have to wait to sew anymore because I don’t have to go outside in the sunlight to do detailed work. I can sit inside and sew anytime – day or night.
As women we tend to let our husbands buy the tools they need to make their lives easier, but we don’t do that for ourselves. The tools we need to do what we want and need to do are just as important—I’m very adamant about that.
When you need a tool, spend what you can afford on the best tools you can get.
Over the years, I bought plenty of $20-$30 magnifying glasses. That was money I should have just flushed down the toilet—I would have at least had the excitement of watching it go down the bowl!
For my review of CraftOptics, I said, “I could kick myself for waiting as long as I did.” And that’s the truth. My husband tried to steal my CraftOptics. I’ve told him to get his own! These are mine.