Thursday, April 10, 2014

signs of life ahead...

we've been working hard trying to get our new building operational. it all happened so fast without much time to think and truthfully there are moments when i am second guessing myself. i start to wonder if this is really what was planned for us. and then today...
...i discover a purple crocus next to our very special bird from marie bostwick that i just plopped on the ground as we were moving last week. that new sign of life, a sneak peak into the beautiful days of springtime ahead, is just what i needed to get me back in the swing of things.

Monday, March 31, 2014

this chapter complete...

we did it! thanks to an amazing crew from spark's moving and storage, an awesome son and daughter-in-love, Juliann Lafferty Ely how will I ever repay you for your help, and an accommodating office staff who worked right up to the minute we pulled their computers out from under them and started up as soon as they sat in their new space ten minutes later, and an awesome higher power for orchestrating something so magnificent even we had trouble keeping up with the plan.
john and i walked out of a building we have occupied for seventeen years feeling relieved, satisfied, and although exhausted, ready to jump into the next chapter of our lives with gusto. for everyone who had a part in making this all happen, we humbly thank you. we could never do what we do without the help of so many. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

thankful for the movers...

donny & sean...the best moving crew in cleveland!!

we are forever indebted to them for their amazing help. the task of packing and moving two businesses in such a short amount of time would not have been possible without their expertise and friendly disposition. we are most grateful. thankful for the sunshine today too!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

an update...

ok so just what is going on you ask?

the short story is we are in the midst of moving two businesses, one of which has been at 5259 for seventeen years. so we are digging out...literally. as with everything in life, there are compromises... some things you win, some things you give up.

at 5255 mayfield, also known as the hamilton insurance building, we have won big time with a mostly one floor plan. that right there is going to be a life changer, for our knees especially. the front door is designed differently. sarah has gained her own office. that for sure she will love and give her a cozy space to meet with families who come to visit her. we have additional parking spaces and a side street next to the building for overflow. we have not one but two front windows for showcasing beautiful quilts.

but there are things that will be different. the old building had built in charm. there is no question of that. the furniture all came over and it fits. my challenge will be to bring you a shop that still inspires in the space we now have.

one thing i want to be very up front about...the building is still for sale. yes, a buyer could come along tomorrow and we would need to vacate in thirty days or so. why don't we just buy the building you ask? well for one, we are tired. exhausted really. so we need to take some time to breath. buying a building is a huge commitment.

in the meantime, we are setting up shop. we hope to open in the next few weeks. i will post more details as time goes on. thank you for your patience, love and support.

p.s. i've saved the best news for last...we will have girl scout cookies when we return!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

mabel & ethel's

our little house of fabric has been closed for less than one week. and already the sadness is setting in. so i decided sarah and i needed to go on a little road trip, especially because the sun was shinning today. i'd heard about a new shop in sandusky. i was pretty sure it was two women's thelma and louise. only that was yielding no web results other than the ever popular 90's movie. then all of a sudden i saw an update come across facebook for mabel & ethel's quilt shoppe. yes!! that must be it so we quickly packed a snack and jumped in the car.

i've been making the drive to sandusky since i was a young girl. it's been a family tradition to visit cedar point at least once a summer. sadly, i don't think i ever realized there was a charming downtown area. today we found it.

the minute we walked in, i knew our blues were about to be swept away. sure enough. mabel and ethel invited us to sit down and have a chat.

only mabel isn't mabel. she's actually debbie. and ethel...well you guessed it...isn't really ethel. she's jackie. you'll have to ask them to share that story. oh how fun they are. we had the best time getting to know one another.

and then sarah went for a stroll through the store. there's bright fabric that she really liked...

and some primitives too. perfect for one of her down right charming quilts for the new house she shares with her grandparents she decided.

there's a little bit for everyone including some great wool.

it's always so much fun to meet new quilters that share our journey. and when they are as delightful as debbie & jackie, it is better than therapy as they say.

mabel & ethel's quilt shoppe is located at 279 e. market street, sandusky, ohio 44870. it is well worth the drive for not only the fabric selection but the chance to meet the real mabel & ethel. 

so just how close to cedar point are they you ask? close enough that i'm sure come summer you'll be able to hear the screams coming from that big coaster behind my freezing girl. 

and while you're in the area, be sure to drive on down state route 250 to d'vine designs at 29 park street on the square in milan. a most exquisite ole fashion gift shop. and to my delight one of the few authorized trollbead dealers in the area.

Monday, March 17, 2014

a most sincere thank you

with just a moment's notice of the necessity for a liquidation sale, i was not sure what to expect. to my shock, we had a parking lot full of friends waiting for the doors to open on friday...

with the lines continuing all weekend. your support has meant so much to us. thank you, thank you, thank you!! we are merely at a fork in the road. where we go from here is uncertain, yet i'm sure there is a plan much greater than i.  we will update with details as soon as we know them.  we sincerely appreciate your support, cards, flowers, goodies and words of encouragement. your friendship is extraordinary.

Friday, March 14, 2014

the time has come...

well folks, the end of our era at 5259 mayfield is upon us. at 16:05 thursday we received written communication that we must vacate the premises. therefore, we shall begin a fabric liquidation. please note the special hours sunday and monday. i have no further details of where, when or what our future looks like. i just know we have lots of fabulous new fabric that must go to good homes. please come help us make that happen.

no tears, just pure joy that we have had the time these past few years to share together in our combined love of fabric + fun + friendship! 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

a sunday blessing...

this next photo just warms my heart so much. when sarah made jaxson this quilt from sweetwater's make life collection, he was just a little peanut. we first met his family online when the docs were recommending the placement of a trach. this electronic world we live in sure makes connecting with others experiencing some of the same challenges as you much easier than when sarah was tiny and so ill. we then had the pleasure of meeting him in person while we were in salt lake for quilt market.
fast forward to this week. despite having many medical challenges, our friend jaxson is growing like a weed. look at him now inching off the edge of his quilt! a perfect sunday sunshine!!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

the many faces of lucy...

oh my. the cuteness just never stops. meet lucy. she is a whirling ray of non stop sunshine.


and soon to be my counter helper.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


One year ago this month, we received one of the most exciting calls a quilt shop owner can get..."You've been selected as a Top Ten Quilt Sampler Shop," I heard the Executive Editor of Better Homes and Garden's Quilt Division say. I immediately became teary eyed and speechless recognizing this is an honor not often bestowed on a shop less than three years old. I then heard Jennifer Keltner say "and we will be there in two weeks for the photo shoot." Yikes! We worked feverishly day and night to prepare for their arrival.

Behind the scenes we also strategized and worked closely with Moda Fabrics to plan and create "our quilt" with Sunnyside by designer Kate Spain. This fabric collection has a very special meaning to Kate and therefore it also means a lot to us. Our good friend Crystal Stanworth, presented her designs and then pieced together the quilt top just hours after giving birth to twins. Diane Wantz, stepped up to complete her longarm quilting magic in just a few days so Sarah would have enough time to complete the binding and we could get it shipped to meet the publication's deadline. 

When the magazine came out in September, we were beyond thrilled. Our shop looked cheery and bright. More importantly, the article talked about Sarah and Down syndrome in way never before written in a national quilting publication. To young families, it was a shinning example of what life might one day be like for their kiddos. It shared a future with hope which is often missing in the first few months after the diagnosis is confirmed. 

Then just weeks later we were notified that our landlord had filed for bankruptcy protection. It was shocking as well as heart breaking as we had put so much love into this shop. Our enthusiasm was altered to uncertainty. And for some reason it had us putting "our quilt" into hiding while we tried to figure out where we were heading. 

We spent much of October looking at many alternate sites and hitting a few blatant road blocks along the way. Then Sarah and I flew to New Orleans for a wedding. While there it became apparent she was struggling to breathe, so we quickly headed back home. But some thirty thousand feet high in the clouds the unthinkable happened, her airway collapsed.

I closed my eyes for a moment of prayer, first to thank Him for twenty four amazing years with our daughter, followed by asking for guidance and strength for whatever the outcome was to be. Then as one flight attendant was handing me a tank of oxygen, the other was asking for help. In unison, I heard several voices call out identifying as paramedics. My heart was comforted. 

Shortly thereafter, my husband and I decided we needed to put our future into God's hands. We felt we had done our due diligence and now we needed to sit back and wait for our plan to unfold. At first that was frustrating beyond words for me, then I thought about Kate and how she described in her designing process of Sunnyside that she wanted the collection to "reflect the transition from stormy, rainy skies to sunshine, silver linings, hope and new growth." 

I knew then our January 2014 window was meant to be Sunnyside all along. As I set to make that happen, designers around the country were stitching to create what you see in these photos. "Our Quilt" is finally front row and center.

It is possible this will be our last display at 5259 Mayfield. For now, as our region endures the coldest temperatures in decades, we have a window designed to warm your soul, for we know that life indeed goes on if you just "let the sun shine into your heart."

Sunnyside by Kate Spain for Moda.

Quilts hanging:
far left: Sunnyside Stars Quilt by Karin Vail.
pattern on the Moda Bakeshop
far right: Kyss Me Quick by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts
Table quilts:
left table: Juggle Sun by Kelsey Schilling
center table: Tile Twist by Crystal Stanworth
pattern in Quilt Sampler Fall/Winter 2013
right table: Broken Herringbone by Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts

A view on a sunny day!

Quilt on left wall and on top of fabric case by Frivolous Necessity. Patterns available for purchase in our shop.

Quilt by Sarah Ely of Down Right Charming
Dress by Judy of Judy's Pillowcase Place
"Our Quilt" with an enormous and sincere thank you to everyone involved in making it possible.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

a tutu & tights...

ok, what is any cuter than a toddler in a tutu and tights?
when she has a pint size shopping cart complete with a lalaloopsy...

and a little pink fabric too!

don't let all that fluff fool you though...abigail has grown into one clever climbing girl. she knows what's inside the green watering can...smarties!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

meet happy henry...

happy, happy day in our house! this precious family drove from michigan to meet sarah. they've been following her blog since the time of their diagnosis of down syndrome before henry was even born. when we hear stories like this it makes what we do have even greater meaning.

and when we get to meet them in person, it takes us to the moon and back. it just provides such validation to our mission. we are most grateful.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sunday, December 22, 2013

baby in the basket

we have just the perfect sunday sweetness for your holiday enjoyment...

meet cora. she has been coming into the shop since the beginning of time. her time that is. oh my she is so lovable! don't you just want to pinch those cheeks?  the lovely holiday quilt was made by her momma jill. wishing cora and her family and all of you a very merry christmas.  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

gift certificates

let's talk gift certificates...when we first received notice that our landlord filed bankruptcy in september, we suspended the sale of them until we knew more. we did this because we did not want anyone to think we were taking their money deceptively while being unsure of our future. we have utilized the last few months to engage in due diligence on our rights, looking for new space, tightening up our spending habits and preparing ourselves for whatever the future holds. the extreme urging of our customers and the fact that we feel better about 2014...we are going to once again sell gift certificates!!
the only change we are making is to ask for a name and contact number just in case we need to reach the recipient. to thank you for your trust in us...for every $50 certificate sold...the purchaser may select a fat quarter bundle for free!!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

shop small

we may be small...but we are ginormous when it comes to loving our customers. come spend small business saturday with us and for every $50 you spend you get to take home one of our fat quarter bundles (a $15. value) of your choice.

we are officially registered with american express, so you might be able to get $10 of your purchase returned on your next statement. our offer is valid on 11/30 only

Sunday, November 17, 2013

multigenerational stitchers

such a wonderful story we have to share...

meet reese. she came into the shop to bring us a bundle of pillowcases to add to our collection to take to the kiddos in the hospital.

she has been making them with her grandma cindy. oh how it makes my heart happy to see grandmothers arrive with their granddaughters. and when they come with pillowcases they have stitched together to help with the one million pillowcase challenge, my heart melts. what a great way to teach the next generation to sew.  thank you reese and cindy.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

moda sale

oh the roads were horrid today but not rain, sleet, snow nor hail...will keep a quilter from a moda sale.  goodness gracious you all surprised us...

by showing up for our moda sale.  all moda fabric on the bolt sells for just $6.00 this month. included are all collection fabric, marbles, flannels, laminates and tone-on-tones. the only exclusion will be batiks.  all sales are final and price does not apply to previous purchases.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

a happy hospital bed

if you follow us on facebook, you already know that our dear sarah is in the hospital. we arrived monday night through the emergency room. a few x-rays, some blood work and a cat scan revealed that her lungs are filled with fluid. even her good lung. recovery is going to be slow and warranted a few nights stay.

she was sleeping ok. but not great. and then a customer said to me that she needed one of her own pillowcases. of course she did. why didn't i think of that. and i knew just what one to bring. she slept all night and most of today. and that makes her doctor and me very happy. oh the love felt through a needle and thread.

p.s. our store hours have been impacted by this turn of events. please call and i have been updating the phone each day.  today we will be closing at 4:30.  friday and Saturday we should be open regular hours.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

must have patterns...

oh my goodness. we truly had no idea just how many phone calls and emails we would receive after being in the quilt sampler. we are so sorry we have not had the chance to get back to everyone personally just yet. in the meantime, there are a few very popular items that have been highly sought after. so we are going to provide you with the links to go directly to the sources of the fabulous creativity.

Looking straight ahead:

On the left wall:

Sitting on the left table:

Inside the right cubby:

On the right table: use any log cabin pattern using just solid white strips on the light side of the square.

The kits for our quilt are sold out.  You should be able to put your own kit together by purchasing Kate Spain's Sunnyside by Moda in your local quilt shop.