Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Singing Squares - Quilt Now issue 15!

This month's issue of Quilt Now magazine includes my Singing Squares quilt and pillow. This is probably one of my very favorite quilts I've made in a long time. It's no surprise that I adore Anna Maria Horner's fabrics, and her Folk Song line is one of the best fabric lines in a long time. It speaks to me. Much more than just that, the line of fabric splits so easily into warm / cool stacks. That was my inspiration for this quilt - playing with scale and negative space, warm and cool. I also wanted to make this quilt very charm square friendly. I have already used my stack of AMH charms (so sweetly gifted to me by a friend who participated in the AMH Charm Swap a few years back), but I know so many people still have those charms and are waiting for the perfect project to use them! This project is the one! 

This quilt comes together quickly, it uses about half a FQ bundle (or a bunch of charms / scraps), and paired with linen the colors really pop!

The pillow was a bit of an extra - and I backed it with some scraps of Anna Maria Horner's velveteen. It's so cozy! 

If you make a quilt using this pattern I would love to see it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Color Gradient Pouch - Quilt Now Magazine!

When you submit items to magazines a lot of the time you don't really have a solid date as to when they'll hit the newsstands... so imagine my excitement when I realized that two of my projects are in magazines this month! 

My Color Gradient Pouch is in this month's Quilt Now Magazine! I love this pouch! Here's the story - last spring I was really geeking out over this teal / coral combo. I just NEEDED it in my life. (I'm still in love with it - what's not to love?) Anyway, I just wanted to go buy all the coral fabrics. My husband and I had a morning off, and we decided to go to the fabric store together. It was totally sweet. Wally and I were stacking bolts of solids, and playing with color options. He was impressed that that sort of thing is a regular happening at a quilt shop! He helped me pick out these colors - and as the shop ladies cut it from the bolts I dashed around to the Art Gallery shelf to find a coordinating print. Wally was adorable, talking me up to the shop owner. It was pretty sweet. I'm glad that he's interested enough in my projects to join in a little bit!

Ok. So the details about the pouch - it measures at about 10" x 10" It's flat on the bottom, and a layer of Fusible Fleece inside there keeps it sturdy enough to stand on it's own. And yes, those are 1/2" finished stripes. :)  I hope you'll go grab a copy of Quilt Now issue 14 and make one for yourself! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Fusible Flex Foam Blog Tour!

Two 5" x 5" squares fused to the 2-Sided Fusible Flex Foam. Quilted in strait lines with no walking foot. I encountered no puckering and no shifting. This is a perfect product for mug rugs and pouches!
I'm so excited to be a part of the blog tour for the Pellon Fusible Flex Foam release! I've been playing with samples of this stuff and it has a ton of great possibilities! 

For those who are not familiar, Flex Foam is sew-in stabilizer typically used to add structure to bags and pouches. It's a great product, and now it's being expanded to include two fusible options, a one and a two sided fusible.

Once fused the fabric is tight against the surface of the Flex Foam. The fabrics and foam stabilizer act as one!
Last week I spent the afternoon playing around and testing the 1 Sided Fusible Flex Foam (FF78F1) and 2 Sided Fusible Flex Foam (FF79F2). It has been really great. The fusible is everything you would expect from Pellon. It's completely sew-able, not gummy. It fuses really quickly, and best of all, it keeps your fabrics nice and crisp! 

I have big plans for some dense free motion quilting using the 2-Sided Fusible Flex Foam. I tested it out, it's perfect. Typically, thick stabilizers are prone to puckering or stretching when doing dense free motion work, but since the 2-Sided Fusible Flex Foam fuses down to both the top and backing fabric it is perfect for dense quilting! I'm looking forward to the intense texture on pouches and mug rugs!

Zipper Pull
Today's stop on the blog tour is my super sweet Zipper Pull. It's the icing on the cake for any fabulous zippered pouch! You can get the project download here. 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the Blog Tour:
9/8 – Pellon9/8 – Swoon Sewing Patterns9/9 – Mommy’s Nap Time9/10 – Cut to Pieces9/11 – My Crafty Crap9/13 – Pellon9/14 – Baby Rozen Design9/15 – Sew Sweetness9/16 – Love to Color My World9/17 – Anjeanette Klinder9/18 – Pellon

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Leafy Pouch, Make Modern Magazine!

Whew! Summer is winding down and we're finally settling back into the school routine here. I am ready to have my weekly afternoon of sewing back! I feel like I didn't sew very much this summer, but mostly, I just did a lot at the beginning of the summer. One of those early summer finishes is now available in the fall issue of Make Modern Magazine!

Here is my Leafy Pouch! This little guy was originally made for my fall-loving daughter, and was recreated for the magazine. 

Go check out issue 7 of Make Modern. It's a digital magazine from Australia and it's full of great projects. You can get the current issue here

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sparkle Pouches!

sparkle vinyl various sized zippered pouches

I've been taking custom orders for my sparkle pouches for a while now. They're so much fun to make, that I just can't bear to keep them all for myself. I have made bout two-hundred pouches in the past year or two. It's amazing to know that people keep coming back to order more! 

The pouches above were made for a college friend, Allie. Allie has ordered a ton of pouches from me and I just love working with her on these! She uses them for everything and has even commissioned a pouch sized specifically for her allergy meds! I love it! 

I recently purchased a teflon foot for my Juki. I can't believe I have sewn vinyl for so long without it - but I tend to not buy things that aren't necessary. I finally broke down and bought the foot - it was only a couple dollars on ebay, and it works great. Now I can topstitch vinyl at full speed!

If you're ever interested in ordering a sparkle pouch from me, just drop me a line and we'll work out the details ($12 - $17 for box pouches, $8 for flat). I don't like the business end of things, so I don't keep an Etsy store. I tend to do pouches in spurts - when I get an order I'll post the call out on social media in case anyone else wants to order one at the same time. :) Typically I do more around Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

Pimp My Hearing Aid / Cochlear Implant - another type of crafting.

There has been another type of crafting happening around here. Every month or so I settle in for a session of hearing aid / cochlear implant decorating. In the online community (mostly in the UK, since their healthcare system rarely allows for anything but flesh-toned hearing gear), they call this "pimping". It's pretty cool, and it exemplifies the feeling of owning one's hearing loss. Own it. This is me, don't ignore it, don't hide it. Love yourself. 

I hope that Allie always feels this way about her hearing gear. She has always had purple hearing aids, and now her CI processors are pink (Naida) and red (Neptune). She chooses a different color for her ear mold every time - for now it's hot pink. She gladly shows off her glittery and shiny "pimped" hearing aid and CI. 

Every month or so when it's time to refresh her look, Allie weighs in and tells me what color / what stickers / what gems. And after she goes to sleep I get to work. It really doesn't take long, and those tiny embroidery scissors help so much!

For now I'm glad that Allie is happy. She likes to pick out charms to hang from her hearing aid tube. She picks the rhinestones, and the tapes. (We've even had Hello Kitty tape!). 

AB Naida

These pictures show the hearing aids / CI decorated using washi tape (paper tape), plastic craft tape (marketed for teen crafting), stick-on rhinestones (from the scrapbooking isle). The hanging items are charms either for jewelry making, or for loom band crafts. I used small, sharp, embroidery scissors to trim around the edges. The main goal is to use a gentle, removable product - nothing permanent, nothing that requires acetone to remove. Don't cover any buttons or microphones. 

For more information please request acceptance on the facebook page Pimp My Hearing Aids / Cochlear Implants - UK.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quilt Labels - Screen Printed

This quilt label has been more than a year in the making. It seems like I've had this plan for ages... but it took me a while to take the plunge and decide on what I wanted it to say! 
I've always been lazy about labeling my quilts. I don't like hand stitching, I don't care for written labels, and I leave the labeling to the last moment - which means it doesn't end up getting done. 

About a year ago I saw Rossie's screen print quilt label. I loved the idea of using one standard label - printed onto the quilt backing. It would be quick, pretty, and permanent. 

So. I decided to do it. I'd order a screen with my details on it - I'd screen print my labels. The more I thought about it though, the more hung up I got. I don't know how to use a vector program, I don't feel well versed in graphic design. I just wanted it to be "me" but I sorta froze just thinking about it. Eventually I put a shout-out on facebook and my friend Samantha offered to do it for me. :) I was able to commission her to simplify my existing blog header (the header was designed by Shruti years ago). We worked together to decide how to incorporate my name, my nickname, and my blog name. Samantha did such a great job  - and I am so pleased that I didn't have to worry about all the little details!!

Next I ordered a Thermofax screen to be made from the image. I ordered it from Rossie's friend, and it turned out so nicely! I went with the large size, and I think next time I'll shrink it down a little. I do like the nice large size though!

So now I'm screen printing my labels to the back of my quilts. I have done a couple of them so far. I would prefer to screen print the label before quilting, but both these quilts were already quilted and really in need of a label! Printing after quilting leaves a slightly less crisp print (since there is texture due to the quilting stitches), but it worked out well enough, and it's way better than having no label! 

For now I'm using Versatex Screen Print Ink. It has worked really nicely. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

A few zip pouches...

Sewing is always harder in the summer. Gone are my two mornings a week where I am off work, and my daughter is in school. Gone are the days of Allie being tired (from school) at the end of the night. It's all energy all the time! 

So here are a couple zip pouches. They're pretty, they were gifts, and well, they finish quickly enough!

I can say that I have been working little by little on a couple quilts - but they're not being released for a while, so I can't share. The sewing is so slow though. Sooo slow. 

At the very least, there are always zip pouches!

There is definitely sparkle vinyl in my near future too!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Rolling Hills Cushion - Quilt Now Magazine Issue 13

Check it out! My Rolling Hills Cushion is in the new issue of Quilt Now Magazine! You can find this in issue 13 on PocketMags online, on newsstands if you're in Europe, or in Barnes & Nobles (in a month or so). 

I love this little pillow - It was my first project after returning from QuiltCon. I was fueled by loads of inspiration (and some new FMQ to practice). I didn't have the stamina to start a huge project, so this was made with those random FQ's I bought from the QuiltCon vendors. I just love the texture of free motion quilting on linen! 

I think quilted pillows are one of my very favorite things. What about you? 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Cochlear Implant Processor Pocket

I sew other things sometimes too.
T-shirt with zippered pocket on sleeve. Advanced Bionics Neptune Processor (red). 

Last month I added a pocket to the sleeve of my daughter's t-shirt. 

When a little girl wants to ride amusement park rides, the easiest thing to do is zip her cochlear implant processor into her pocket (leaving the headpiece / coil in place on her head). The processor is secure and she can still hear. 

So far this setup has done great for mild-moderate amusement park rides. Nothing has gone missing. Nothing has been broken. We've yet to give it the real test (roller coasters!!). Since sometimes six year olds can waver in their desire to ride (she loooooooved them last year, but is more nervous about it this year). Either way the zip pocket adds a bit more security and piece of mind. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Dreaming Geese

I just love seeing my quilts professionally photographed. I think that maybe that's one of the very best parts of having my work published in magazines. The photography is always so stunning! 

Dreaming Geese by Emily Lang Quilt Now Magazine Issue 12

Quilt photography is something that I'm only ok at. I can take close ups, and I can take a decent shot here or there, but I always struggle with getting the shot I actually want. 

This was the shot I wanted. The pretty, draped, handsome shot.

Check it out in issue 12 of Quilt Now Magazine

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tiny Neon Flying Geese

This little flying geese mug rug has been a WIP for so long. It had been lingering for more than two years! 
Flying geese in a circle. 8" x 8" using neon fabrics and kona coal.

I started this little guy right after QuiltCon 2013, I was really inspired to use the bright neons I'd bought at the show. I whipped up this little 8" x 8" block using the free paper pieced pattern from Briarpatch Studio. I shrunk the paper pattern by 50% (I think...). The little flying geese measure just 1" x 1/2"! 

It's just one block - why did it take me two years to finish? First it was because I wanted to make it into a mini quilt, and I couldn't decide what else to add to it. Then I was using it as a sample in my foundation paper piecing demos at IQF. When I pulled it out to use during my IQF demo last month I noticed that it had faded. FADED. The neon pink in the block was half as pink as the leftover scraps. The block had never spent much time in the sun, and had been packed away with my paper piecing things for most of the two years but it was so faded. 

I decided the only real use for this block is to be a sample during my demos. I suppose that will have to do. I'm sad to have spent the time precisely piecing it only for the fabric to fade. It's a lesson learned, neon fabric is just not that stable. 

I finished this up at the Chicago MQG retreat a few weeks ago. Adding a bit of fancy free motion quilting seemed just right for it. I'm sure I'll make another with better fabrics one day, but until then, this is my little paper pieced demo sample. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reclaiming my blog -- Did you see my new tattoo?

I haven't been blogging very frequently. I hold no obligation to this blog, other than a personal obligation to catalog my work. ... but I still feel the need to mention my absence. 

Shruti and I's Quiltcon tattoos Quilt Blocks & Expecto Patronum
For the past two years I have been spending time working on the Chicago MQG blog. I was the Technology Director for the guild, and this required lots of blogging and coordinating info... and less time available here. Plus, I've been back to working (nearly) full time for two years now. Whew! Blogging was easier when I was home more! Anyway, my time as Tech director is now over, and I'm ready to get back to at least blogging about finished projects! lol. I'm so behind!

It's important to me that I keep a documented list of the quilts that I make. Most of my quilts are given away, and I don't want to forget them! 

There might be a few fairly boring posts in the next few weeks. These posts will hold at least one photo of a finished quilt, and hopefully some additional details regarding the quilt. Bear with me as I get caught up on the quilts of the past few months.

The good side of all this -- while I wasn't taking the extra time blogging, I was still quilting up a storm! I've published several projects in magazines, and there are several more to come. I've finished five mini quilts, one baby quilt, and several other projects so far this year! 

This post would have been awfully boring without pictures. So here are some photos of my Quiltcon Tattoo! 

My tattoo (left) and Nikki's tattoo (right)
At Quiltcon 2013 I saw Nikki's quilt block tattoo (the day after she got it!). I fell in love with it immediately! Over the course of the next two years I daydreamed and sketched my version of it. Finally when Quiltcon 2015 was close, I started looking for a tattoo artist and researching allergy info. See, I'm allergic to a chemical, Glycol, which is often used as an additive in just about anything - especially liquids. Luckily my friend Jessica suggested Affinity Tattoo - and they were FANTASTIC! 

My tattoo was done by David Guy, and he was excited to take on the challenge. His preferred ink contained no glycol, and he went out of his way to contact the companies of all the products he used - to verify that there was no glycol present in them either. I can't tell you how exceptional this is. David was also excited for the challenge of my quilt blocks! He did great! I had almost no swelling, and very little pealing, no scabbing. The whole thing was amazing! 

Shruti and Emily came with me to my appointment. Shruti also got a tattoo (Expecto Patronum!). It was a fantastic experience overall. (Especially when Shruti glared at me while her tattoo was being done -- apparently mine didn't hurt as much as hers!) 

I absolutely love this tattoo - it's everything I wanted it to be. :) Oh and the quilt blocks are spaced a scant 1/4" apart - just because I could! 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Afternoon Tea Mug Rug

Check it out! A tiny fussy mug rug. Of course on such a tiny project it's pretty easy to rationalize using tiny bits of my tiny tiny Liberty stash. These little flowers were lounging in my stash for years - given to me by a dear friend, they were always too precious to use. There comes a time where it just seems right, so that's how this mug rug was born. 

This mug rug was featured in issue 7 of Quilt Now Magazine. You can get a copy by following this link. It's always a joy to have my projects in Quilt Now - there's something much more real about seeing my project in print! 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shades Quilt

Another publication! This baby quilt was included in Quilt Now Magazine, issue 8. I am quite proud of this quilt - it is my first actual quilt to be published in a magazine (all the previous magazine projects were pouches, pillows, and small things). 

I started with a general idea of color saturation and low volume fabrics, and it turned out just how I had envisioned it! The fabrics are from Art Gallery fabrics, and they were perfect. I picked them all by looking at the Art Gallery website - it's always a bit of a gamble when picking fabrics based on the small pictures online - but this time it worked just right! 

Seeing Stars Cushion - Quilt Now Magazine!

Photo credit: Quilt Now Magazine

I'm excited to share that my Seeing Stars Cushion is featured in this month's issue of Quilt Now magazine! Go check it out by purchasing the digital copy here, or grab a copy at your local Barnes & Nobles!

I'm so happy to see this one in print. I am in love with the prints and dense quilting, and those pom-poms! So awesome! If you make one of these pillows I'd love to see it! Please drop me a line if you do.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Social Tote

This week I made a Social Tote!

social tote anna maria horner fabric, anna maria horner folk song, noodlehead, carolyn friedlander,
Social Tote
I had picked up this pattern at Quiltcon. I always get it into my mind that I want to make a thing, but then I waffle on buying the pattern - thus I don't make it. In truth buying this pattern was an impulse buy. I saw it at Alyssa / Pile of Fabric's booth, and I love Alyssa's shop and wanted to buy something. So impulse had me, and I bought this little pattern. 

Social Tote
I really love how this turned out. I love sewing projects with a bit of a challenge. Once I decided to sew the Social Tote, I was directed to some links online to make it easier. First and foremost, Carolyn Friedlander has step by step photos for sewing the lining. Also, an instagram friend directed me to the tips over here on this blog. Once I got down to sewing, it really wasn't too hard. The best tip is to follow all the instructions!

As an added bonus, my existing pin cushion fits in the pincushion section. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thoughts about leaving quiltcon


For a long time, as a child, I wished and prayed for a really good friend. I always had friends, but never a best friend. For years and years, I felt like the only one without someone to confide in. As an adult I found myself in a similar state - I'd had such close friends in college, but they didn't translate into the kind of everyday friendship I needed. Moving away from home, and starting a family didn't make it very easy to make friends. 

At some point I reached out and joined the Chicago MQG. Almost immediately I had formed a close friendship with Em. What a gift our friendship has been! Many more friendships formed through the MQG.

Now somehow I find myself surrounded by friends. Some new, some old. Local guild friends, swap friends, and people from online. This was unexpected, it's as if I didn't know I would have such close friendships in my lifetime.

So now it's time for QuiltCon, and it's finally time to meet one of my closest friends, Shruti. Somewhere in the course of the past five years we'd become close friends. It started with me receiving a doll quilt from her way back then. Now it's a pretty regular string of facebook messages - nearly every day - sometimes more than every day. And we meet. And it's just like it always has been - friends. 

The weekend went by in a blur - so much fun, so many memories. Now it's time to head to the airport - but first I text Shruti so we can say goodbye. Who knew this would be so hard? Standing in the hallway of the convention center, hugging, crying, then laughing because it's so silly to be crying, then hugging and crying some more. We'll make it happen. We'll see each other again. We'll work hard, we'll become famous quilters. Guilds will want to pay us to travel and teach together. We'll write a book. We'll chat online. It doesn't seem like enough. It's hard to know when we'll see each other again. More hugs, more tears. Someone walks by and we ask them to take our picture. It's a photo raw with emotion. 

I write this with the lingering rawness in my heart. I can't forget how important this trip has been. Some day I might forget the rawness. I hope I don't forget how it feels to be loved by friends. 

Thanks to Shruti, Emily, and all the amazing friends who made Quiltcon the best. I'll never forget all the smiles, the hugs, and all those great memories. These friendships inspire my quilting even more than anything else. I'm so grateful for all of you!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Bohemian Friendship - Accepted for IQF Chicago!

I'm excited to announce that my Bohemian Friendship quilt has been accepted to the Modern Friendship Star Challenge for the International Quilt Festival - Chicago show! 

I'm really excited about this because this quilt is an important part of my quilting journey. While this quilt was finished nearly three years ago,, it holds a special place in my heart. First of all, this quilt has been kept - for some reason I think it should be a baby quilt for the baby that I haven't yet been able to have. That alone makes it emotionally important. But even more, this quilt came to be because of the extreme generosity of the modern quilting community. You can read more about that here and here. In short, the fabrics were sent to me from around the world - scraps - tiny, (almost) unusable scraps, but they were sent to me from friends who knew of my love for Anna Maria Horner fabrics. These were scraps from her very first fabric line (very very out of print/very hard to find). More so, I backed this quilt in silky smooth sari fabric that Shruti sent me. It's like one sweet hug from around the world!

Also - I'm demo-ing again in the Open Studios at IQF-Chicago! Come see me at the Quilt Studio Thursday, March 26th, 10am-12 for, and Friday, March 27th, 12-2pm for Foundation Paper Piecing. I'm really excited to be doing this for the third year in a row! It's always such a rush to teach and share with so many at this show! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Swaps sent and received!

This winter I participated in a couple swaps. I've been late posting about these, but they're always so much fun, so I do want to share them!

Hogwarts Swap

This swap (obviously) was for Harry Potter fanatics. Finally! A swap for my kind of nerd! I was paired up with Valerie / @ToddlerwithScissors. I made her several Harry Potter themed items, a Portkey button keychain, a freezer-paper stenciled 9 3/4 shirt, a paper pieced Deathly Hallows symbol pouch, sparkle vinyl bookmarks with pages from the books sewn to them... etc. The truth? I have no idea how I don't have pics of all of this. What happened to those pics? 

A video posted by Emily (@mommysnaptime) on

On the receiving side, I received my swap from Rhianan / @raebirdrhi. Let me tell you, if you're ever in a swap, you want to be paired up with Rhianan! She put together the most thoughtful swap package! She made a wingardian leviosa purse (Noodlehead's 241 bag), and a matching clutch, a sweet HP mini, and all sorts of extra goodies and treats. I'm really impressed. It was also really fun because I had sent a mini to Rhianan for the Schnitzel & Boo Mini Quilt Swap, so I knew her already. 


For this swap I sent to Kristie / @kharri91 I had a lot of fun with this swap, although it was awfully hard to actually bring myself to stitch cuss words. Who knew it'd be so hard? I made a pouch and a coffee cozy, and sent a bunch of off color extras. 

I received this AMAZING pouch and goodies from Rebecca / @sewpixie. This pouch is spectacular!! Rebecca used some of my favorite fabrics and cross stitched one of my fav sewing quiotes! I'm loving it and I can't wait to use it at Quiltcon! 

I'll post soon about the #Schnitzelandboominiquiltswap too - this post is getting too long! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

Cochlear Implant Update!

Allie 8 days after Cochlear Implant surgery
It has been one week since Allie had her implant surgery, and she's doing great! Surgery took about four hours, and she was in recovery for about two hours. She woke up in a little pain, but not too much (and she was a little confused / didn't remember what was happening at first). Her head was bound with a large gauze bandage, and she was ok. She wanted Popsicles. She would lay there while we fed her a Popsicle (eyes closed). She slept off and on while coming out of the anesthesia fog. Mostly she ate Popsicles. Before leaving the hospital Dr. Young popped in and said that the surgery was "very routine, and Allie did well." lol. Routine! I'm glad our surgeon considers such a surgery to be routine (she does 5-7 a week!). 

Relaxing before cochlear implant surgery.

We returned home that night and ate more Popsicles. The main side effect she was experiencing was a scratchy throat from the breathing tube. This went away in the first day. The only eventful thing that happened the first night was that Allie fell asleep while sitting at the kitchen table. That was adorable. 

The day after surgery we were cleared to remove the bandage (finally a look at the surgery site!). Allie was eager since it was a pressure bandage. She had no bruising, no facial nerve issues, nothing. The incision is about 2 1/2" long and is tucked in the crease behind her ear. There is a small (1" x  3"?) patch of hair shaved near there, and a pen mark marking the spot where the internal device was placed (this is where the magnetic transmitter will sit once she gets her processor). She had very little blood, and the wound was already really clean and looking like it was healing! The stitches are dissolveable, so aside from not touching, the only thing we needed to do was keep it dry. 

Waking up from cochlear implant surgery.

The first two days Allie ate lots of Popsicles and had pain meds (proscribed and OTC, alternating). She was only a little sore. By day three she was able to lay on that side without much of a problem, and by day 5 she was pretty much pain free other than sore around the internal implant. Now, at a week later she's barely sore. Behavior / energy wise she slept and played quietly most of the first two days, then by day 3 she was about 85%, She's almost at 100% now, tiring a little more easily than normal.
The evening of her cochlear implant surgery, bandaged, sleeping.

We had our followup with the surgeon (well, with her resident), and he said everything looks great, she's healing well, and now we can resume normal activity / bathing / etc. Pretty much the only thing she can't do is wear a bicycle helmet (for the next 30 days). She's doing great! 

One day after cochlear implant surgery, bandage off, small scar.

I'm posting this here because it has been really comforting to me to read other parent's experiences. The doctors can explain everything, and I can (and have) read just about everything published about CI's. The truth is though, it's like hearing it from your friend when you read it like this. It's reassuring. 

Also, in my research it seems like Allie's incision is TINY. Oh my, the pictures one finds when looking for CI information! So, it may seem silly to post the pic, but it is so amazing to me. It's just so so small. For the first couple days Allie would have me take a picture every morning so she could see what it looked like. 

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!