My name is Hezett, and I love to make, sell, and even raffle off pixel quilt art and other such fun things! Ever since I took my first sewing course in grade 7, I've always appreciated and felt comfortable using sewing machines. When I was younger, my mother would sew my brother and I a new costume from scratch, for Halloween. They were always unique and nobody else had the same one. As a teenager, I would turn big long skirts into Palazzo pants. I sometimes still do.
I didn't get into pixel quilt art until I was about 31. I wanted to sew but didn't know what. I made some clothing for myself, some clothing for my cats, cat toys, cat beds, and scrunchies. But ultimately, having always loved nostalgia and video games, it wasn't long before I ran out of new things to sew, and two worlds collided in my mind.
I lived in Quebec, and got myself a dangerous sewing machine. I had nothing but free time, and desire to sew. I wasn't advanced in French, and I was in Laval, so I just improvised the first 5 or 6 quilts that I made, using my weak hands and scissors, cutting hundreds of squares in a day and being too sore to use door knobs or run a bath for a day or two... but I had this desire to keep practicing.
That first machine was a fire hazard beast of a thing from a dirty, greasy dimly lit sewing machine operation of some kind in the middle of Montreal somewhere. I kind of agreed to purchase it before I showed up with a truck to take it away and a handful of money my parents had been generous enough to gift me. It did not come with tools, manuals, or threaded, it had a completely wonky lamp, and masking tape wrapped tentatively around one part of the cord. I could only use one of the two intended needles, and so my quilts were already kind of falling apart before they were given to my best friends and family members. But they seemed pleasantly surprised!
I taught myself what I could on a scary sewing machine, and have been honing my talents since.
And Eventually, I moved back to Nova Scotia and I took classes to learn how to quilt properly. I'm ready for this!
Artist Life : Working with Invisible Illness
Because of the random stabbing pains I have been experiencing for as long as I can remember, I was FINALLY diagnosed with a disorder called Charcot-Marie-Tooth in 2006.
On one hand, it was a huge relief to not be clinically insane. On the other hand, it's a little daunting that my future is very unclear and unsure. I could be fine for the rest of my life like my first (fairly dismissive) neurologist said.....or I could end up in a wheelchair before 50....like I feel. I honestly feel about 70 years old on the inside. Anyway.
A lot of people ask me "what does it do?" the answer: it SUCKS. But really, a lot of people ask me "what does it affect?". It affects the nerves that control the muscles. It slowly, slowly causes atrophy and wasting away of the muscles in the legs and feet, and in the arms and hands. The tendons tighten and retract, causing toes to curl, and arches to arch, and eventually loss of sensation since the nerves aren't getting what they need to function properly. In some people it causes odd sensations such as tingling, numbness, burning, or in my case, stabbing. Stabbing pains everywhere.
That's because with CMT, there is damage to the nerves... Imagine a power line...thats your healthy nerve. Now imagine a powerline that has bits and pieces of the protective coating missing, mangled, and holey. That's a nerve in someone with CMT. The nerve impulses often misfire and/or just take an erroneous amount of time to travel from one place to another, resulting in odd sensations and lack of it even. My feet are a mess, I'm surprised i can walk at all, really. But I don't drive. So I get by!
There's a lot more to this disorder, including how its an invisible disability... and how I have NO reflexes. At all. I'm dead inside if you hit me with that reflex hammer. Nothing. It affects 1 in 2500 people and is "commonly" called Hereditary Motor and Sensory Neuropathy (and I say "Commonly" in that manner because no one i've run into in the medical profession so far has called it that....99 percent of them need me to spell Charcot Marie Tooth for them, so there you go).
Charcot Marie Tooth is named after the three doctors who discovered it: Dr. Charcot, Dr. Marie, And Dr. Tooth.