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Weekend: My Sewing Mother


The best way I can describe this year so far is that it has been a bag of MnMs. I’ve has the blues, the reds, the greens, the yellows and all the other colors in that candy package. Analogy? I’ve had highs, but I’ve also had lows. Life will always be a roller coaster, but I feel like the ride is especially wild this year.

Completing my book was great moment and overall, I am very proud of the quality of my sewing projects and blog content in the past couple of months. I’m getting deeper into projects and learning something from each rather than finishing to complete a blog post. But losing a sewing friend was low and it’s still hard for me to go into the pattern room and see her desk. Then, last week, I was hit with this news – Mishka, the woman who taught me how to sew, is in the hospital.

Mishka is a wild woman, and it takes a unique person to get along with her. She’s crude, she’s crass, she says what she wants, she does what she wants and doesn’t give a rat’s ass what you think. In her interview, I asked her about her parents, and her response was, “My dad was an asshole and my mother was an angel.” Who says that?! Over 80-years-old, she rides her bike to work at 5 am and doesn’t leave until 6 pm or later. She runs her shop by herself, handling the books, advertising and alterations single handedly. She doesn’t have a car, a cell phone or a computer; her highest form of technology is her bicycle, which she rides around town with her dog in the tow. I’ve seen many people come in and out of her shop, all leaving because she is such a character, but she and I? Somehow, through the grace of God and Elvis, we got along.

People come into your life for a reason, and I believe Mishka entered mine to be a mentor, a role model and a stepmom… a sewing stepmom. ThisΒ coupled with the other events this year are causing my tectonics plates to shift, and more than ever, I want to carry on what Patricia, Mishka and my mom passed on to me.

Whatever religion you are, please pray for Mishka.

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  1. Reply


    I will.

  2. Reply


    i loved your portrait of mishka– my picture of her from that interview is of a woman who is far too feisty and opinionated to accept anything less than what she wants out of life. all love to you and to her!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      that’s exactly what she is! too hot or people to handle!

  3. Reply


    Thank you for sharing. Praying.

  4. Reply


    Hi Maddie – thanks so much for sharing this! It is so brave of you to post about these hard parts of life – I just had a very dear family friend pass away after a long battle in the hospital and wouldn’t know the first thing to say about it on my blog, but you have such an eloquent way of saying things that are hard to say. I will definitely be praying for you and for Mishka!

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      thank you!

  5. Reply


    All the best wishes to her and to you.

  6. Reply

    Sarah Campbell

    i am new to reading your blog and so glad i found it. i just read mishka’s interview and she truly sounds like one of a kind. for some reason i feel people like that are a rare thing now. our generation is so afraid of strong opinions.
    anyways. sorry she is in the hospital and i hope you will update us on her status. she obviously has a lot of fight in her πŸ™‚

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I will certainly keep you updated. Thank your for your kind words.

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    She truly does sound like one of a kind. My heart goes out to you both during this tough time.

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    I have loved every time you’ve written about Mishka. You really *see* and love her! (Is she in your book?) Through the grace of God and Elvis…

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Yes, she is in my book! The ends with a interview of her, my mentor, and then an interview of me, so that I can be a mentor to others.

  9. Reply


    Oh, I’m so sorry to hear she’s not well. She sounds like an amazing lady. I’ll be praying for her and for you.

  10. Reply


    Mishka sounds so special. My thoughts are with her.

  11. Reply


    Sending prayers her way!

  12. Reply


    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and Mishka.

  13. Reply

    Pamela Davis

    I am so sorry to hear this. I am praying for a smooth and quick recovery. And praying you have strength and peace during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing her with us through your blog.

  14. Reply

    Rosie Wednesday

    So sorry to hear about Mishka. I will certainly say a prayer, and one for you as well.

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