Friday, December 26, 2014

christmas miracles

a few years ago i shared this post with a few pictures of the reece's rainbow holiday angels we were able to sponsor that year thanks to your generosity with the sample sales in our shop.

this year, sarah and her grandparents are enjoying the sweet faces from the past few years on the tree in their new home.

i often wonder about the journey these precious kiddos have traveled. i wonder if they remember their life living in the orphanage, sometimes dirty and cold. their days spent mostly in a metal crib, lacking the warmth of loving arms. i wonder if they know how much other people care about them from across the globe. i wonder how their development would be different if they had been able to live at home. mostly, i wonder where they are now and how their life has changed since meeting their forever family.

well, wonder no more. late last evening, this picture flashed on our screen...

precious emilie...holding her very own ornament from 2011. happy and thriving with her forever family. a christmas miracle indeed!!!

it's not too late to sponsor a child through the reece's rainbow 2014 angel tree. just click here for a glimpse of this year's angels. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

christmas closing

just a reminder we will be closing at noon today and will be closed all day december 25th.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

katrina & hilary...

it's the last saturday before christmas and i'm out running errands. have no fear, the shop is in great hands with katrina & hilary in charge. i am so fortunate these two extremely dedicated & beautiful souls give me time in their busy lives (did you know they are both oncology/palliative care nurses during the week) to work in the shop. i'm beyond grateful for their help.

THANK YOU Hilary & Katrina!!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

holiday hours...

we will remain open our normal business hours with a few exceptions...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

need gift certificates...

yes!! we have them. in any denomination. and for a limited time you will receive a seven fat quarter bundle ($16.00 value) of your choice for every purchase of a $50.00 certificate.  

and of course we will be happy to mail them to help out any gift giver. simply gives us a call at 216.860.4116.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

november window...

our appreciation is heartfelt this beautiful sunny sunday in november. so very grateful for all we have to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Dear Fabric Friends,
It is often during this time of year that we sit down and ponder where our life has taken us and we draw upon that review to determine what we have to be thankful for.

The truth is, 2014 has been a chaotic one for us. I would be fibbing if I did not admit there were many times I discouragingly plopped in my chair and mumbled out loud that it is just too much. 

Then out of seemingly nowhere, I would receive a card, a phone call, flowers even chocolate from friends. Sometimes it was simply a nudge from a stranger that would give me just enough of a boost to say continue on.

Looking back there are many things I could be angry about. A landlord that proved to be deceptively untrustworthy, a mountain of unbudgeted bills related to moving, the loss of income due to needing to be closed for a few weeks, twice, the stress this entire situation has created in my family, even the weight I've gained in the process.

Yet none of that really matters when I look at my beautiful Sarah sitting by my side. She is alive! And for that I am most grateful. 

I am so thankful for the blogging friendship of a family who's daughter is painfully no longer with us, yet has shared their daughter's memory with us. If it were not for those two pillowcases Sarah elected to make for Kristen Kirton, our shop would never have come to be.

So instead of allowing anger to set in my heart, I am consciously choosing to focus on all the positive that is surrounding us.

We have a beautiful new store with a four year lease. We have so many friends who have followed us to the new location. Our bills are getting paid. Our pillowcase mission is continuing in even bigger ways.

And we are meeting beautiful new friends like Mary Albaugh who started Amazing Grace Pillowcase Ministry in Bloomingdale. She along with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers have stitched close to 3,000 cases to distribute in the Appalachian area of southeastern Ohio.

Our hearts are full of gratitude and love this Thanksgiving season. Thank you to each and everyone who has touched our life in some way. May your blessings be abundant.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

blessed greetings to nancy & harold...

moments like this one fill my heart with overloaded joy. meet harold and nancy...

they are traveling through ohio from missouri heading to niagara falls and planned their trip to stop at our shop to meet sarah. why? because nancy, who has been a long distance truck driver for 27 years, has been following our story. she quilts. and harold who she taught to drive an 18 wheeler after a career as a school administrator, had a sister with down syndrome. joanna passed away at the age of 55, but as he described had a wonderful life. it was like meeting family who we have just never had the pleasure of meeting before. such a treasure it is having this little quilt shop. we are so grateful. thank you for coming to see us nancy & harold. you are in inspiration to us. safe travels to you.

Friday, October 24, 2014

sister love...

i love how sarah so enthusiastically shares the story of our pillowcase project and kristen & polly kirton and their beautiful family when new sisters come into our shop. it's like she's on her own little mission without even leaving town.

today we met sister ronquillo in cleveland from the philippines and sister stone from st. george, utah who just happens to have a sister with down syndrome. how awesome is that connection!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

first in...

oh what a day! please say hello to sally, helen, cheryl, mary & rose...

can you believe they came all the way from kentucky, west virginia & southern ohio to be the very first customers in our brand new shop today. the five of them plan their own quilt get-a-away each year and we are so honored they wanted to come see us. we are no where near organized yet, but that did not stop them from finding lots of fun things to take home. thank you so very much for coming. you made our morning a special one!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

growing like a...

...yard of fabric. meet rowen...

he is measuring about 2/3 of a yard long on his recent visit.  we've been known to use our olfa cutting mat for many different purposes, but never to measure a cute bundle of joy.

these two adorable sisters and grandma make our day every time they come in. they are just the sweetest. we sure do love our quilting families!!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

a few delays...

let me take you back for a moment to january 2008. we were living in the holiday inn in mayfield village while a construction team worked on our house damaged by a storm. sarah was struggling a bit to breath so i was heading to the cleveland clinic with her in the back seat. we were sitting at a red light at wilson mills and richmond when i realized she was no longer breathing. i made the split second decision to run the red light and speed down anderson to get to our house where the portable phone, which would connect to 911 with a readout, was just inside the garage door.

i performed rescue breathing with her in the back seat until the south euclid squad arrived. as the paramedics worked in perfect tandem with sarah on a skinny gurney in the middle of our snow covered cul-de-sac, i looked up and saw this man and his crew standing at our windows with tears rolling down their cheeks. 

although we have run into a few minor hurdles with our new store renovation, al pestotnik has never forgotten that day. his bond with sarah runs deep from that experience and this afternoon he told me whatever it takes to get this project done, he and his brother will make it happen. i love how God brings just the right people into our lives to help us achieve our goals. feeling very grateful.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

four years together...

today we celebrate our fourth anniversary. and that means...

it's time for our annual SWEET TREAT EXTRAVAGANZA!!! where we celebrate you, our sweet customers and treat you to an extravaganza of candy throughout the store and sugary fabric sales. as our way of thanking you for FOUR amazing years...all jelly rolls and layer cakes = $25. charm packs = $6. fabric candy = $3. (does not include batiks) and all patterns and books are 50% off the lowest marked price. sale will continue through august 23rd.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

a july miracle...

i could not possibly have known what was in store for us on this day five years ago, but i do know the miracle that unfolded before my eyes set us on a journey that has been life altering for so many reasons. it was midmorning when i checked sarah into the medical office for a follow up appointment. the previous six months had been dreadful. earlier that year we had been told her days were numbered. her body was so weak. her lungs so permanently damaged. her heart was surrounded with fluid and her immune system was beyond fragile. the antibiotics and steroids they had pumping through her veins were like water to an already dead plant. we were as mentally prepared for the worst as i suppose any parent can get.

i watched carefully as the doctor examined sarah. first she poured over the results from the blood work taken a few days before. then she listened to her chest. i looked for a clue or two of expression as she repositioned the stethoscope on sarah's back. i'd learned over the years to look for those tiny signs of human emotion on a doctor's face. i suppose it helped prepare me for what i was about to hear. i remembered her look so clearly back in january of that year, when this same doctor handed me the list of hospice providers. it was that conversation that ultimately lead me to resign from my job to care for sarah fulltime. if 2009 was to be her last, i wanted to be sure to be a part of every moment.

as she flipped the switch on the light box to examine the chest x-ray taken earlier that day, i was afraid to look. i heard her words before i walked over to look for myself. sarah's lungs were the clearest I had viewed since being taught how to read an x-ray when she was a baby. i could not recall in sarah's twenty years on earth a doctor say the word perfect to describe her. so i asked her to repeat what she said. "perfect. i said perfect." i'm sure my face contorted in all sorts of confused looks, which had her repeat for the fourth time..."perfect." we both agreed we were taken by complete surprise, but every indicator that had been so wrong in the winter was now in normal range. the doc never uttered the word miracle, but she didn't have to. our tight embrace said it all.

sarah and i went to ihop for lunch that day to celebrate. it was a day of new beginnings. i wasn't sure what they would look like, and i can assure you a quilt shop was no where on my radar screen, but oh how grateful we are that on that morning of july 30, 2009 we were given a new lease on life. her gown that day may have been made of paper, but it would be fabric that would soon change our direction completely.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014


the demolition crew was working hard today...

Friday, July 25, 2014

a lease has been signed...

it's finally time to squelch the rumors and make an announcement. we signed a lease today and picked up a new set of keys!!! jellen's house of fabric and sarah's sewcial lounge will be moving to the cedar green plaza located at the corner of cedar & south green road in university heights. we will be taking the space once occupied by just frames & art.

after looking at what seemed like hundreds of locations, we narrowed our search down by using these final criteria:

     a) freedom accessible
     b) in the heights/hillcrest neighborhood
     c) affordable
     d) close to where my parents and we live and
     e) a flushing toilet!

and we got a few bonuses too...a loft for sarah's sewcial lounge...
a few great eateries in the same plaza such as jack's deli, don tequila's, happy buddha, cedar green wine & cheese and the new ellie's waffles. plus there's pincus bakery, heinen's grocery is just across the street on green and a bruegger's bagels across cedar.

we are still just moments away from I-271 at the cedar road exit and easily accessible from university circle. legacy village and beachwood place are right down the street.

the icing on the husband's new office is just across the street. the whip cream...well it's on the flan at the mexican restaurant just two doors down.


so what's the time frame you ask? well the space does need some work to transform it into our happy little cottage. therefore we will remain OPEN at 5255 mayfield in lyndhurst at least thru august 16th while the construction is going on.

thank you all for your patience, your participation in helping to give us feedback, your shoulders while i cried, your ears while i moaned & groaned. although this is super exciting...there is a certain fear factor as we will now be paying rent for the first time ever. so please...Please, PLEASE follow us to our new location.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

quilts of honor

a very special presentation will be happening just before the cleveland indians game tonight. quilts of honor east will be presenting handmade quilts to indians' nick swisher and royals' billy butler. 
we thank melissa guzman and angie russell from virginia for coming into the store this morning to share the quilts with us before the ceremony. the mission of quilts of honor is to bestow a universal symbol and token of thanks, solace and remembrance to those who serve/have served or support those who serve/have served. 

it truly was a special night in cleveland. standing between angie and melissa representing quilts of honor east is laurie simpson of the design team minnick & simpson for moda fabrics. angie and melissa choose their collection named grant park to create these two quilts also using their pattern stars and bars. it was a great night to showcase beautiful fabric, talented designers and quilters. let us not forget though the entire reason this is all so exciting is the opportunity to express our appreciation to those who have protected our country...nick swisher and billy butler and all those who have served...THANK YOU! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

love on a big blue bus...

periodically i share on this electronic forum my belief in a grand master plan, the knowledge that there is a greater force guiding this journey we are on. for me the hardest thing is believing in that plan when things don't seem to be going my way. and this week was a perfect example. i'm not sure it's going to work out long term in the building we are currently occupying. the uncomfortable feeling of uncertainty has crept back and that has been weighing heavily on my mind. i started to question the plan including the reason for our existence.

so my higher power sent me a big blue bus. all the way from western michigan. it was full of the most wonderful women, mostly quilters, and the nicest driver. they were all so happy, cordial, and patient. i knew they were coming, as the tour coordinator and i had been communicating for several weeks.

what i did not know though, is on that bus was going to be a grandmother who would speak directly to my heart. for a few brief moments our connection stood still in time. we were surrounded by her bus mates, yet we were all alone in our own bubble of emotions.

sarah shared that she will soon be twenty five years old. verna's eyes filled with tears as she shared that she hoped her granddaughter, also named sarah, would live that long too. i grabbed sarah's hand and held it tightly as i listened to this stranger tell me her story. we'd never met until today, yet, we were not really strangers at all. you see we both know what it is like to have a loved one with down syndrome, who is also so medically fragile that our goodbyes could come at any moment. we know the immense amount of prayer and miracles it takes to have our girls still in our lives. our shared tears told each other we also know the heartbreak of so many families in our Ds circle who have had to say goodbye much too soon.

as she told me her sarah is now ten, i thought back to that summer of 1999, when we held a party for our sarah, a celebration of one decade of life. surrounding her were all her friends from school, nurses, docs and therapists. we were not sure that august if she would still be with us to start back to school in september. 

yet soon, our sarah will be celebrating one quarter of a century. today that gave a grandma, visiting our little quilt shop all the way from michigan, hope. hope for tomorrow. and that's just what i needed to remember that our story is not one of selling fabric, it's about human connections. making a difference one family at a time. i simply need to keep the faith and move forward, for our direction will soon become crystal clear.

we'd like to thank kimberly and her husband,, compass coach and all the travelers for coming to shop with us. we sincerely appreciate your visit and support.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

seeing potential...

purposeful and meaningful work. it is the desire of most humans, yet not something that can be taken for granted when you are an adult with a developmental disability. my husband and i have worked tirelessly to make this quilt shop a reality for our sarah. we have been met by challenges and roadblocks. along the way though, we have learned that the rewards are so much greater than the frustrations and the sacrifices we've made. our lives are much richer for the experience.

today, i had the pleasure of watching two of our customers meet sarah for the first time. my observation is they too felt an enrichment from the encounter. i am so humbly thankful that we found a new space to continue forth that effort.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

on the wings of an angel...

it's no secret that the past few months have been a bit rocky for us. it's hard to imagine how life can be rolling along just fine and then out of nowhere comes that thunderous jolt that changes everything. i've learned much during the process. and although i would not wish our scenario on anyone, it has been life enhancing. i've learned to rely more on my faith and the belief that there is a higher power guiding us through. most important we have our family and our health.

still there are days that i feel desperate in hast to have more answers than i currently do. it was that way earlier in the week. the store was full of customers when a young woman walked in. she began to recite a memorized script that i quickly suspected was that of a solicitor. but there was something sweet about her demeanor and vocal delivery, so i let her finish instead of shooing her off.

when she opened the lid of the box she was carrying, i started to put my hand up to indicate that i was not interested in what she had to offer. but laying on top of her selections was this beautiful purple angel.

i asked her how much. as i handed her the $15 she requested, you would have thought it was several hundred. she thanked me profusely although there was no need really, for she was merely a messenger that day. in time, i will likely have a clearer vision, a keener understanding of this road we are on. for now, i have a visual reminder, divinely enhanced by the afternoon sun, that we are not walking this road alone. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

our new home...

here's a sneak peak into our new digs on opening day...

Monday, May 19, 2014

quilt market 2014...

there's nothing quite like quilt market. pittsburgh, pa. enjoy.