Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Allie gets her cochlear implant.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) Allie will have Cochlear Implant surgery. We've been working up to this point for several months now, and the day is finally here! 

Here's a bit about our story. Allie was born with bilateral hearing loss, but has always had enough gain from her hearing aids to get by. She went through early intervention therapy and tons of speech etc. But the thing is, having enough hearing to get by isn't enough. Can you imagine having to work to understand every word? I've seen it so often, that I think I can imagine it. I don't like that. 

Getting by isn't enough. Allie's hearing has dipped a bit in the past year due to a series of ear infections. We responded initially by switching her to more powerful hearing aids. These hearing aids give as much amplification as is possible (without causing hearing loss), but it's just not cutting it. We've seen Allie struggle and fight to understand. She works hard. She's so very bright. But there's that struggle. Hearing shouldn't be such hard work. We started considering cochlear implants last summer when Allie flipped out at an appointment with her ENT (cleaning out the ears, no fun). This kind of behavior is fairly normal for Allie, though we've gotten much better at handling / preventing it. Her ENT (Dr Young) looked at me and suggested that this behavior is hearing related. She thinks that Allie's regular behavior problems are a result of spending more energy than normal focusing on hearing. 

So began our journey. After testing with the CI audiologists we see that in silence (as a normal audiology booth test) Allie has an accuracy rate of about 60%, she understands about 60% of what she hears with her hearing aids - in a silent room. But adding just a tiny bit of background noise (equivalent to maybe having your car air conditioning turned on halfway), and that accuracy drops to 30%. So in a normal, everyday setting Allie is catching about 1/3 of what we're saying. Great. No wonder we're having power struggles constantly!

SO - many appointments later and here we are. Allie is excited and nervous. Mostly she's nervous about the surgery / post surgery recovery. She's excited to be able to hear better, and she's MOST excited to go swimming! She'll have a sound processor that is waterproof - which means she can go swimming without getting in trouble for not following the rules. 

Allie has always been in the hearing world. She received her first hearing aids as an infant, and from the first day she loved them. She took to the hearing immediately. We didn't know what to expect, but she astounded us. I can only hope that she'll love her cochlear implant just as much. For now though, we'll handle the recovery. 

More about Allie's hearing story can be found here, here, and here.

hearing aid proud
Soon there will be a CI processor here instead of a hearing aid! 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

QuiltCon 2015 Lanyard Swap!

I haven't posted about swaps in a while -- Here's one I just sent out! 

My lanyard swap partner likes red - so I picked out my very favorite red print for her lanyard! I hope I get a chance to meet her in person at Quiltcon! 

I followed this tutorial to make the lanyard - however I cut my strips to 2" wide and used my bias tape maker to fold the fabric. These are super easy and fun to make! 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Economy Block Quilt

I'm finally sharing pics of this quilt. I finished it ages ago, but I just didn't get around to blogging about it. 

A while back there was a quilt-along for the economy blocks. To construct the blocks, I followed a tutorial from Rita / Red Pepper Quilts. I used a stack of fabric odds and ends that had accumulated randomly on my cutting table, so this quilt is pretty representative of fabrics I'd used or purchased around that time. The blocks came together pretty easily, and I made blocks until I was bored with them.

Of course I floated the blocks in a field of Moda Bella Strawberry, which is one of my absolute favorites. I also quilted the quilt densely, using a swirl/floral pattern in the blocks, and a channeled quilting in the border. I'm pretty much in love with this quilt. I don't have a use or need for it, but it's just for me. 

Unfortunately it wasn't chosen for the show at Quiltcon, so maybe I'll put it out there for another show. I haven't found the time to do that just yet though. Maybe one day this one will hang in a show near you! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sabrina's Quilt - Finished!

This quilt has been finished for almost two months - but I just haven't taken any decent pictures of it. Winter in Chicago is so terrible for photography! 

I'm hoping to get this quilt to baby Sabrina soon - as she's totally a toddler already. :) Such is life. 

The official title of this quilt is the Giant Hoo-Ha quilt. I used the general instructions that came with the Quick Curve Ruler. I love this ruler, but it just seems that I don't have the time to use it. One of these days... I do love the ruler though. 

Monday, December 29, 2014

QuiltCon 2015 - so soon!

Quiltcon 2013, Charlotte, Emily, & Emily

I can't believe it - Quiltcon is just 7 weeks away!

I'm sitting here trying to compile a list of all the things I need to do to prepare for the trip.

Here's my list so far:

  • Order new Moo mini cards. (get a discount by following this link!) (done!)
  • Finish swap projects for my four roomies.
  • Gather some cool USA / Chicago / Ohio specific goodies for Shruti - tips? What is super USA that she should experience? 
  • Make a new bag? Maybe I'll use the Aeroplane bag I made for Sara's quilt market booth? Maybe my weekender?
  • Order buttons - I should do this right? that would be way cool. Who makes good / cheap 1" pin-back buttons? (done!)
  • Gather supplies for my workshops -- when do supply lists get sent out? (done!)
  • Get an eye exam and order new glasses from ZenniOptical.
Are you going to QuiltCon? What is left on your to-do list??

*None of these sites are sponsoring this post-- but hey if they'd like to... lol. Just kidding, I do love Moo and Zenni though. :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!

To all of you who are here for the Giveaway Day - Welcome!!
If you're new here feel free to poke about. My favorite things are tiny piecing, precision foundation paper piecing, dense free motion quilting, and pouch making! You can see my finished quilts in the tabs at the top of the page, sorted by year. My pouches are here

I sell these pouches on an order by order basis (no etsy shop yet), so if you love them just contact me!

Now for the giveaway! 

I'm offering one medium boxed pouch made out of your favorite color of sparkle vinyl (chosen from my vinyl stash). The medium boxed pouch measures 7" x 3" x 3" and it is great for storing sewing notions, make up, or really anything. 

To enter the giveaway leave a comment below telling me what you'd put in this pouch (you can make up anything- really, amuse me). 

The giveaway will be open until Friday 12/12, and the winner will be  chosen by mr random.org, and notified by 12/12. USA shipping only please.

Check out more giveaways on Sew Mama Sew!

This giveaway is now close. Mr Random.org chose comment #122 as the winner. Congrats Carmen! Please reply to the email I sent promptly so I can get your pouch on it's way to you!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Sabrina's Quilt

Today I woke up with the inkling to finish Sabrina's quilt, but I hesitated. Quilting shouldn't be like this - hesitation. I hesitated because my brother is expecting HIS quilt. He mentions it. He asks when his is coming. The fact that Sabrina's quilt top has been finished and ready for more than a year doesn't seem to matter. The fact that I don't have the money to buy fabric to make a (big) fantastic quilt for my brother and his new wife doesn't matter. I feel the expectancy of it. I don't like it.

See, I never expected to make Sabrina a quilt. From the very beginning of my cousin Lindsay's pregnancy there was no expectation. I have struggled with infertility for years. Pregnant people piss me off. Lindsay totally understands that (as a young woman, unexpectedly pregnant, she was worried about how I'd be pissed - I admire that sensitivity). I don't make baby quilts. Some people do - you have a baby, you get a quilt. Not from me. But when Sabrina was born I felt a need to process feelings, feelings about how I don't have a newborn. So I quilted. 

Sabrina's quilt top was finished very quickly. I had the desire to use it as a practice for renting out time on a longarm. I have a super intense quilt that I want to longarm myself - but first I'd need practice. So, Sabrina's quilt was set aside for a while while I sorted out how to do all that. At this point I don't think it's entirely necessary to do a whole quilt in practice. I don't need to seek the perfection that I had once intended. I need real and raw. So there is no need for me to wait to finish Sabrina's quilt (and for God's sake, she's two years old already!).

But. If I finish this quilt what will my brother say. His sweet wife won't say anything, but it seems that Dan is expecting this. I don't blame him, I just don't think he gets what making a quilt is all about - he doesn't get the creative process. I don't think he understands the difference between just whipping out a fun / easy quilt (like Sabrina's), and making a work of art - tailored to the recipient (like his will be).

I feel like quilters are always trying to express this. Quilts are a lot of work, fun, exciting, beautiful work. But to put an expectation on finishing a quilt for a specific purpose - to carry the feelings and love that I feel for my little brother - I just can't get there right now.

So do I finish Sabrina's quilt? Time will tell. Maybe I will.