Man with Parkinson's Turns to Quilting
Story originally published in the Vincennes Sun-Commericial
David Peter, Dean of the Learning Resources Center at Vincennes University in Vincennes, Indiana, was in a meeting when a colleague pointed out a slight tremor in his hand. Weeks passed and the tremor continued before David finally decided to consult a doctor, where he was given a devastating diagnosis. David had early-onset Parkinson's disease.
Before David was faced with a life-changing disease, he was popular around campus for his collection of handmade bowties. Unwilling to be phased by his diagnosis, Peter was eager to take on a new challenge in the effort of keeping his motor skills sharp-and that's where quilting came in.
After three years of living with Parkinson's disease, David has constructed more than 30 quilts, each one containing more than just diverse patterns and color combinations, but a creative outlet for David to show his disease doesn't control him.
"On good days, the lines were extremely straight, every seam, every cut was right," said Peter to the Vincennes Sun-Commercial. "If it happened to be a bad day, those lines wobble a bit. Nothing lines up as well."
Peter's quilts were selected for a month-long display at The Open Gallery, a venue owned by his colleague, Rebecca Mullen, and her husband. Not looking like the typical quilter, Mullen was shocked to discover his newfound hobby, describing his work as amazing.
Indulging in quilting has kept Peter's brain engaged and slowed the symptoms of his early-onset Parkinson's disease. He's constantly thinking about what his next project will be and continues to stay active in the quilting realm.
"I won't be fool-hearted and say I'll be able to do this forever," said Peter. "Some just stop, shut down and wait for the end, but not me. I want people to say, ‘Hey, a guy with Parkinson's did all this.'"