Sewing – a New Found Passion for Stroke Victim – Follow up

To brief you on the original story my mother suffered a very bad stroke that resulted in her losing her ability to walk and talk. She also lost all movement on the right side of her body. Being right handed it has taken her some time to learn how to make the best of what she has left.

Mom was placed in an assisted living apartment where she did not receive the attention, assistance and encouragement she needed to heal. She stayed there slowly dying for over two years before she was finally placed in a healing environment.  She immediately began to show improvements once she was placed in the right environment. Personally, I believe she could have regained about 50% of her speech and twice as much as her current mobility had she been placed in a healing environment as soon as she was discharged from the hospital. Sadly, that was not the option chosen by her power of attorney.


Now mom has re-learned how to sew using a sewing machine with a foot pedal. It is not the same as the crocheting she was always doing before the stroke but she loves being able to do something productive once again. The previous placement had mom sitting in a recliner all day long except for being put in her wheelchair to go to the dining room for lunch and sometimes for dinner. She spent much of that time sleeping because she was so bored and there was not much she could do about it. Remember; she cannot speak, write or otherwise verbalize her wants and or needs. She can answer yes and no to questions but though it can be obvious that mom wants something figuring out what it is can be quite difficult. Often times she just shakes her head and puts an end to the guessing game before we even get close. The folks were scheduled to be placed in a convalescent home when my step dad made a brave call to his daughter asking if she would be willing let them move into her home and her care. Had he not made the call their lives would be very different today and not in a good way.

Here are some pictures of her work. She is good and fast. 

b&w AquaAgua Mark's

Sewing – a New Found Passion for Stroke Victim


I want to share this story with you. It is about my mom and her life after she suffered a severe stroke. About 3 1/2 years ago mom had a stroke that left her unable to walk & talk. More specifically she lost the use of the right side of her body – she is half paralyzed. She also lost her ability to speak comprehensively. She can say only a few words but people can communicate with her still by asking yes and no questions because she does comprehend what we say most of the time. Mom does have days where she seems to be less comprehensive than others but for the most part she is still all there, mentally.

Before her stroke you would always see her knitting a beautiful afghan, sweater, scarf or a hat while visiting with guests, watching television or whenever she had a minute to sit down & knit. It was one of those things that she really enjoyed doing. She had her works being sold in a couple of small speciality shops and at local functions. And when she was not knitting you may find her making speciality soaps that she sold in the same manner. She is very talented and loves making things with her hands.

After her stroke she only has use of the left side of her body. Being right handed, the stroke left her very much handicapped with very limited abilities. I tried to find a way for her to knit with her left hand only but had no success. Then I asked the social media world, via a knitting Facebook page, if anyone had any suggestions as to how mom may be able to knit in her current condition. One suggestion I received was to try a loom. Off to the craft store I went to buy a loom. I took the loom and yarn to her and we gave it a try. She seemed to do somewhat okay but neither one of us really knew what we were doing and we gave up.

Three years later than it should have happened mom and step dad were placed in my step sisters home where mom is finally getting the attention she needs to regain or re-learn whatever is possible. Thank God for Vera being willing to take on such a challenge of having mom & dad live with her and her being mom’s full-time caregiver.

For three years after the stroke mom & dad were living in a small hotel-like room with a wet bar and separate sleeping room at an assisted living facility. At the facility their unit was so small and crammed with stuff that if mom was not in her recliner she was in the way. She spent day after day stuck in her recliner except when they went to the dining hall for midday supper and when she went to bed at night. Being stuck in the recliner day after day was starting to affect her will to live. It was really hard to even go visit her, to see her that way and to watch her fading away.

With her new placement at my stepsister’s home, mom now has the assistance and space she needs to actually live the rest of her life. She goes for strolls in her power chair daily, plays cards, and enjoys her new found passion – SEWING.  Yes, finally she is getting to do something useful with her hands as she has always enjoyed. She uses her foot to run the foot pedal and feeds the fabric with her left hand. Of course, she needs assistance with cutting and pinning the fabrics but she runs the machine by herself.

The reason for me writing this today is to let others know that stroke victims can and will survive as long as they are given the right resources and a healing environment. Do not let anyone tell you differently not even the patient. It may take time and it WILL take patience but it is worth every minute. If my story helps even just one person then it was worth my time and effort.

On a side note mom most likely would not have even had a chance to prove herself as being capable of using a power chair if it was not for my brother going out and buying her one and placing it at her assisted living unit. It sat there unused until one day mom insisted that the nurse put her in the power chair instead of the push chair. There was a small learning curve and a couple of scuffs along the walls but in no time mom was zooming along.IMG_8500

I am heading out now to SAS Fabrics Superstore to pick up some fabrics for mom so she can make blankets for friends and family  members that have expressed that they would like her to make for them. SAS Fabrics Superstore is the best place in Arizona to buy affordable fabrics. It is a must visit fabric warehouse.

Take Care and happy sewing.

Holiday Gift Ideas that are Easy to Make

Happy Holidays SASsy Sewing Fans

Today I want to share some easy to make and very affordable gift ideas that are not only fun to make but fun to receive. Being that it is already December and we do not have much time left before Christmas day I browsed the wide world web for great gifts you can make in a jiffy.

Gift Idea #1

The first item is the amazing all zipper purse. If you have never seen one of these before it is definitely worth checking out. One way to make these purses even more fun is to use two different colored zippers of the same size and same size ‘teeth’ (I do not know if they call them teeth but you know the little guys that hold it closed). Buy at least 2 colors of the zippers that we have available by the foot at SAS Fabrics Superstore then unzip them all the way and take one of each color and zip them together so you have a zipper of two different colors. Then proceed to this great tutorial I found. Continuous Zipper Purse Tutorial  Enjoy!

Zipper Purse

Continuous Zipper Purse

Gift Idea #2

The next item I think you may like is the trash bag for your car. Sounds pretty easy to make. Customize it to match the vehicle or to compliment the personality of the one you wish to give it.

Click on this link to go to the instructions Vehicle Trash Bag Tutorial.

vehicle trash bag

Trash Bag for your Vehicle

Gift Idea #3

Okay, this is the last one for today. It is going to take more time to make than the other items here but I believe it will be worth the effort. This link takes you to a YouTube video that shows you how to make comfy warm moccasins or booties. You can find a great selection of faux fur at SAS Fabrics Superstore that would be perfect for this project. We also have a nice selection of leather if you are a brave adventurous creator. In fact we carry everything you need to do all of these projects.


Make Someone’s Feet Happy with these Booties

Be sure to visit SASsy Sewing for other Holiday gift ideas and Christmas Decoration tutorials.

Enjoy your Holidays!

Take Care

: )

More Sewing Tips

Nuts & bolts as pattern weights

Nuts & bolts as pattern weights

I often browse the web looking to learn more and more about sewing , fabrics, upholstery, how-to’s and such. When I find valuable information I like to share it with others like you. Before I send you to the blog I want to share my take on a few items discussed in the article.

First, one of the items discussed is pattern weights. I had never seen a pattern weight so; I Googled  it.  Pattern weights look like fabric covered washers. So my tip is use metal bolt washers & nuts that are 1 inch or larger. Another item that you may have at home (if you’re a crafter anyway) is glass dots, these could work as well. Other items could work too as long as they are not very tall and are somewhat heavy.

Second, remember the importance of using the correct sewing machine needle, thread, and tension.

My last personal tip is always check your thread before you start to sew. It is so frustrating when I sew an entire seam only to find that the thread was not in the correct place (in relation to the presser foot of the machine) so no sewing actually took place.

OK, now for the link to the other tips I found:

7 Important Sewing Tips and Trade Secrets.