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.


Lorna McMahon said...

Beautiful fabric. Gorgeous quilts. Stunning display. And a touching story. Thank you sew much for sharing!

Sabrina said...

Such a beautiful testimony of faith, Joyce! And that display definitely brings warmth and happiness right into my heart! God has a plan for your family AND your store, and no matter where you are, I do hope that someday I can meet you and Sarah face-to-face. I continue to think of you both every time I see my pillowcase (which is a lot, since it's always on my one pillow), and the love and kindness that went into it. God bless!

Lori said...

Gorgeous window! So talented'

Leslie said...

Providence, Providence. And I thank God for bringing you and Sarah to us!!

quilter000 said...

Georgeous window and so much talent in every quilt and item.
God bless you all and may He make a place for you to enjoy many years of happy sewing with Sarah . Bless you both

SarahZ said...

I HAVE that magazine (Oct b-day present to myself!)and LOVED seeing your shop in it! Your family and Ms Spain's sure are a great fit! Looking so forward to seeing what comes next! Hugs to you and sweet Sarah!