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.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

little boy love... words necessary

one of the greatest rewards as a shop owner is seeing your babies grow up. we first met lucas when he was just a baby. this week he arrived all the way from nebraska. his hugs. oh my. there are just no words to describe them! a huge thank you to his momma debbie for making time in her very busy schedule to come see us. he simply melts my heart!!  

Sunday, September 8, 2013


it was a melt my heart moment...

two little girlfriends meeting in the quilt shop. they quickly found the book basket where they sat reading the entire time their mommies looked about.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

guiding grandmothers...

there's been so much excitement this week at jellen's house of fabric. seeing our store featured in a national publication is beyond exciting.  and to have our story shared with so many friends in the quilting world is very special.

it's a dream come true for sure. and one that had it's beginnings a very long time ago with two very special grandmothers.

here i am at age five with my granny ewing. she lived about an hour from us in wooster, ohio. she was the sweetest woman and adored me, red curly hair and all. she would sit for hours and hours working with an embroidery hoop. i will never forget the green tin can she kept her floss and needles in. she loved showing me new stitches and would sometimes let me practice on her projects, often pillowcases stamped with blue ink from ben franklin. i'm sure i tested her patience more than once, but she never gave up on me.  unfortunately she passed away long before my skills were perfected, but her encouragement early on is very much appreciated and remembered. 

here i am in sidney, new york with my grandmother hillick.  she was a very good seamstress, often making her own clothes. i was always fascinated with her sewing machine and tinkered around making doll clothes. then i asked to make something to wear. so she took me down to the town's only five and dime store and we bought a pattern and fabric. the next morning she left me with my uncle charlie while she went to work. being i was eight and he was a teenager, he told me to get lost as soon as she was gone. so i did. i lost myself in that pile of fabric. by the time my grandmother got home from the hardware store she and my grandfather owned that afternoon, i had the dress mostly finished. and the rest as they say, is history.

p.s. yes, i am wearing that dress in this photo, exactly forty five years ago this month.

i doubt that i often expressed my thanks for what they taught me. i'm not even sure i appreciated it at the time. i suppose that is a part of growing up though. it often takes years to truly see and understand the lessons you've been taught. today, if i had the opportunity, i would throw my arms around them with a big hug and kiss and let them know just how grateful i am. they shared skills with me that turned into a life long passion. the most beautiful thing is, i now get to share those talents with others. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

it's hit the paper...

i quickly turned the pages. then i just sat and stared at it for several minutes. the heading seemed so formal...

yet made it seem so real. surreal might be a better description. i'd already seen the magazine, read the article, yet seeing it here in the newspaper, gave it a new energy.

just in case you can't see the fine print...

JEllen’s house of fabric has been chosen as one of the 10 featured shops across the US for the Fall 2013 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine published by Better Homes and Gardens.  Competition to be included is keen. Nearly 3,000 quilt shops were eligible to apply for this honor. JEllen’s and the other nine shops chosen were photographed and interviewed by a team from Quilt Sampler and a multi page profile of the shop appears in this issue now for sale in this shop and on newsstands September 3rd.

The art of quilting has changed dramatically since the days of quilting bees in church basements, with quilting enjoying a major renaissance across the country.  Chosen shops are inundated with visitors and requests for the shop’s quilt patterns and fabric. Quilters are known to try and visit all the shops in each issue, getting the signature of each shop owner in their copy of the issue.  This is the first time in the eighteen year history of the magazine that a mother/daughter team has been chosen who advocate for hiring young adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

it's finally here...

"it was an emotional day when joyce ely and her daughter, sarah, opened a quilt boutique..." writes allison engel.  i will share it was equally as emotional, if not more so, the day we received the phone call from jennifer keltner informing us we had been selected as a better homes and gardens sampler shop.

the days that followed were filled with excitement along with many sleepless nights as we prepared the store for a photo shoot. then we had to coordinate the fabric selection for our quilt, consult with our pattern designer, and rush the quilt around town at lightening speed to have it arrive in des moines in time for the quilt shoot.

then we patiently waited for the big reveal to happen at quilt market in portland.  we had hoped to be in attendance, but sarah's breathing issues the week leading up to the trip necessitated us to cancel our plans. we were grateful for our friends who cheered us on in our absence and sent us pictures.

then we waited, followed by more waiting, and still more. finally on august 20th, the fed-ex truck pulled up to the side door...

as i sliced the first box open, that same emotion returned. the one where you are not sure whether to laugh or cry, so you do both. 

and for me, it's a double dose of a fluttering heart, for sarah is still standing right beside me. oh how grand that feeling is! THANK YOU so much to everyone who helped make our fantasy a reality. it's finally here!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

sweet treat extravaganza

we love this time of year. it's our annual sweet treat extravaganza to celebrate our third anniversary...

not only will you find candy throughout the store, jelly rolls and layer cakes are on sale for just $25 each and charm squares are $6.  patterns are 50% off marked prices. it's our way of saying thank you for another wonderful year! sale prices will continue throughout the month of august.

Friday, August 9, 2013

3 to the 24

today our shop celebrates three years. and sarah celebrates her twenty fourth year of life.

both occasions are blissfully sweet. especially because we have had so many wonderful people walking beside us. thank you!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

a triple miracle

we had a little visitor in the shop this weekend. her grandmother marcy and i have been friends for a very long time. we were girl scout leaders back in the day when our girls were young. sadly her daughter had some medical issues as a teenager and was told she would never have children.


during the pregnancy, they discovered that sweet bella had a tumor growing on her stomach the size of a fist. she was whisked away immediately after birth for surgery. and now look...

a triple miracle!!!
on a side note...marcy is also the realtor who was combing northeast ohio with us to find the perfect setting for the new home for sarah and her grandparents. life sure does come full circle in a beautiful way.

Saturday, July 27, 2013


sarah and i did something yesterday that we have not done before...we went awol...mia...yes we just disappeared in the middle of the afternoon. it's been a hard week for her, so when she started crying after realizing she would not in fact be seeing a relative she thought she would...

i suggested we go to the pool after the store closed. but first we had to run down to city hall to get her pass renewed. i put a sign on the door that said we would be back in 20 minutes. instead, it took us over two hours because the city now requires a doctor to confirm that the applicant truly has a disability.

so momma called the doctor and the doctor said...nothing about monkeys jumping on the bed...but that she was about to jump on a plane and her office would be closed for the next two weeks. say what? have you ever seen a grown woman cry? yea...that would be me...walking by the police window where others wept because their loved ones were in a holding cell...i shed tears over a pool pass. seriously...i can't make this stuff up.

so off we raced to the doctor's office where we waited, and waited, and waited, and waited for her to sign the form confirming that sarah indeed has down syndrome, thus qualifying for a disability pool pass. 

the good news...i took a nap by the pool last night while sarah enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine...for free...thank you city of south euclid...

so what's the POINT of all this? if you came to our store yesterday, only to find the door locked...PLEASE CALL ME.     440-684-9830 Have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

christmas in july shop hop

we are participating in a shop hop with eleven other shops. we are known as the neo christmas in july shop hop. it started on the 12th and runs thru the 25th.  this year there are trees. lots and lots of twinkling trees. each shop has a tree block. if you get to all twelve shops you will have the patterns and materials to complete a quilt. i like our tree...

it's fun and festive. you are able to start the hop at any of the  twelve shops. for more details, click this link. each shop has a free gift and the chance to enter a drawing for a goodie basket. there will also be a chance at grand prizes for those completing the hop.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

red, white & boom...

it's that time of year when we celebrate all things patriotic...

and because the best way to party in a fabric store is a sale...all red, white or blue fabric will be just $6.00 per yard this week only* July 2 - 6.  and YES we will be OPEN on the 4th of July from 10-4.
*price does not apply to previous purchases and sorry no special orders or rainchecks.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

not a good day... be this coca cola driver

he uses our neighbor's driveway to pull into, then backs into the get-go gas station for delivery. today there was a slight problem...the power line was exceptionally low...possibly from the horrendous storm last night. what happened next was a tad frightening.  we heard a huge explosion sound. followed by loss of electricity in our building. we looked out the front window to see downed power lines stretching across mayfield road. sparking high into the air. then fire. that's when i called 911. and guess what? cars drove right over them. not such a good idea as we watched sparks fire under them.

the police arrived quickly and taped off the area including our driveway. therefore we are closed for the remainder of the day.

sarah was not too happy about this. she was just about to start a new quilt.

but then she decided she might as well watch the excitement, so she joined her dad and brother outside.  

thank goodness for the power crews. they are already on site as we were leaving the parking lot.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

wedded bliss...

our oldest son is married. i'm still getting used to saying that. the day was just glorious in every way. it was oozing with love and sunshine, family and friends, plus a very special quilt.




to read more about the quilt you can hop over to sarah's blog. thank you all so much for your well wishes for the bride and groom!

Friday, June 14, 2013

weekend hours...

the weekend we have been planning for a long time is finally upon us. the store will close today at noon. we will however, thanks to Katrina and Kelsey, be open our regular hours of 10-5 on Saturday. thank you everyone for your support.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

please call ahead

it's just about time for these two lovebirds to get hitched. which means i will be in and out of the shop for the next fours day. it would be best to call ahead 440-684-9830 to make sure we are open. thank you for your understanding.

Friday, June 7, 2013

scraps to some...

we have such a wonderful story to share this week.

last saturday, my soon-to-be daughter asked me to go with her for her final wedding dress fitting.  shortly after carol arrived to help in the shop, i went to get sarah, as she too wanted to see julie in her dress. sarah forgot her water at home, so we stopped back at the shop.

katrina was so excited to show us that a huge box had just been delivered from kate spain.  i thought i might know what was in it, so i told katrina she could open it as we had to run or we would be late for the fitting appointment.

an hour or so later, my cell phone beeps to alert me of a text message. i was driving, so i asked julie's mom who was sitting next to me in the front seat, to please look at it for me in case they needed to reach me back at the store.  she looked at it and said it was a picture. "of what?" i asked. she told me it looked like a box of scraps...

i did not need to ask for a description. i just knew it was sunnyside, kate's next fabric collection due in stores sometime in september.  we have already been most fortunate to have spent some time sewing with it as our quilt for the better homes and garden's quilt sampler was created with sunnyside.  the minute we received the phone call that we had been selected as a sampler shop, we contacted kate to see if she had something in the works. that is when we first learned of sunnyside.  one day in the near future we will share that story, but for now...the rest of today's story. 
the box of scraps sat next to our cutting counter all weekend. truthfully, i wasn't exactly sure what to do with them.  they were still there when the store opened on tuesday. i knocked into the box a few times, but we were quite busy so i just let it be. 
about four o'clock that afternoon, a sweet gal inquired about pre-quilted fabric. i apologetically told her, we did not have much of a selection, then showed her the two we did have.  she liked one of them, and then asked me to help her find a fabric to bind it with. i could not find one single bolt in the store that matched the quilted fabric.  so i asked her what she was going to do with it.
she told me she was expecting a great grandchild, not her first or her second. not even her third. (i will withhold a few details, to protect the family) she told me she has made all of her many grandchildren and great grandchildren a quilt, but her eyes and fingers just can't do the kind of work anymore she once did. still she wanted to make the new baby something with her hands and a friend suggested pre-quilted fabric.  it was at that moment that i thought of the box of scraps. i opened it up and started pulling them out one bunch at a time until finding this one...                 

the color was an exact match, although i did mention that it has words on it. as i read "let the sun shine into your heart," her face beamed with a smile.  she said that would be just perfect, as she calls her granddaughter who is having the baby, sunshine.  i looked through the cuts and found ones large enough for binding. when she inquired how much they were, i replied, "no charge, they are a gift from kate."

the next morning when sarah came into the shop, she went to the table she often works at and looked at all the scraps. then proceeded to say..."mom, you're kidding right? i don't have to count these do i?" i laughed and said no, we were just going to divide them up and make gift bags for later in the summer. 
"good idea!" she exclaimed, "but not these." she then pulled out the rest of the yellow strips i had given to the customer the day before.  "and not these either mom," as she handed me the teal set that also had the writing on it.  we busily stuffed the rest into baskets and put them under the table.
fast forward to late this afternoon. i looked up from the cutting counter and the same sweet woman was back. i wondered to myself if she had a problem sewing the binding on that i had cut for her on tuesday.  i quickly walked from behind the counter and asked if i could help her. she asked if i had any more of that fabric.
it turns out it worked so well she wants to make a few more for future great grandbabies, but maybe with a different color binding, she stated.  so i walked over to the table where sarah had left the two on wednesday. as i did, i wondered how she knew? how did my sarah know this woman would be coming back for more and in a different color? 

i asked the customer if i could cut the binding again for her. she told me she would really like that. as i worked, we got to talking. i was thankful there were no other customers in the store at that moment. the smile on this dear woman's face the first time i met her could not have prepared me for what she shared today. i intently listened, realizing we surely never know the road other's have traveled. the pain they've experienced, the heartbreak. the sorrow. 
as she told me more of her family situation, i recalled reading the words that kate had spoken of how she wanted to design a collection "that reflects the transition from stormy, rainy skies to sunshine, silver linings, hope and new growth."  

...i can't think of a better way to do that then combine orchids from cuzco with words from sunnyside, by a great grandmother who so warmly embraces the notion that life indeed goes on if you just "let the sun shine into your heart."  she asked again after i finished cutting her binding today, how much it would cost. this time i responded, "it's a gift from kate. kate and her sister."