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.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

the cunin connection...

to start this lovely story i need to take us back to the summer of 1983. i was a young, na├»ve, yet extremely driven twenty something, fresh out of grad school with degrees in public administration and social work. i was chosen as a united way of america national intern, a highly selective program designed to fast track women and minorities into leadership positions within that organization.

i had asked to come to cleveland, not because i was from ohio, rather at that time this city had the most number of ten thousand dollar donors and i wanted to see how they had accomplished that distinction, with the idea that i could take the knowledge and replicate it in other cities.

my first week in cleveland, i was assigned to work in the manufacturing and industrial sections of the campaign, which at that time was organized by sic codes. a few buildings down from the 3100 euclid avenue headquarters of united way, was a company called bearings, inc. the president of this company, john cunin, had been recruited as a volunteer leader.

i remember the first walk down to his office like it were yesterday. as most young women wanting to succeed at that time, i was wearing a navy blue suit with a high collared blouse and navy blue pumps, despite the humid temperature of the hot august day. i was eager in my assignment, yet nervous to be entering the office of a company president. i need not have worried as mr. cunin was a delightful man. he immediately had me feeling at ease as we got to work on that year's campaign. we had several meetings that fall in his office, sometimes ending with lunch across the street at the local deli.

i left town that december to return to alexandria, virginia for further training at the national headquarters, likely to never see mr. cunin or the other wonderful volunteers i had worked so closely with in cleveland. but life has a funny way of turning around. the following year i returned to the city on a more permanent basis and once again i had the pleasure of working with mr. cunin.

now fast forward three decades later and the phone rings in our quilt shop. the readout indicated the call came from the cunin residency. the woman on the other end of the line asked if we had a certain fabric, which we did. the next afternoon a beautiful grandmotherly face walked in and asked for the fabric. i knew by her question she was the woman who called the previous day. so i asked her if she was any relation to john cunin. her face lite up like the star atop a christmas tree. she asked how i knew him so i shared the story above. as her eyes welled with tears, she told me john was her beloved husband. she also told me he had passed away much too young in 1993. as i reached out to give her a hug, i knew a friendship was developing.

over the course of the next few years, marilyn and i shared some wonderful afternoons together in our quilt shop. we discovered that we have many things in common, including our special daughters. i learned of her dedication to our lady of the wayside, where her daughter mary catherine aka cookie, would occasionally go for respite care before she passed at the age of seventeen. we also discovered we share a love of sewing. soon marilyn was bringing in bags she had stitched together with fabric from our shop. sarah takes those bags and fills them with goodies from just a buck and a matching pillowcase she makes. we then deliver them to the little ones in the same hospital sarah received so much of her care.

precious marissa was one such recipient. we had been following her family's blog for sometime and when we heard she had been diverted to the cleveland clinic while her family was traveling from florida to michigan, we just knew she needed one of the bags. lovingly stitched by the hands of two great ladies, both inspired by beautiful angels in heaven.

oddly enough, even though this collaboration has been going on for nearly three years, marilyn and sarah had not met in person, until this week. i tell you from observation, it was love at first sight. sarah enthusiastically shared links on her ipad with marilyn. it was a beautiful exchange of a connection born more than thirty years before.

marilyn cunin at the young age of 84, is a beacon of light in our community. her dedication to philanthropy is extraordinary. she continues to be actively involved in many organizations including being a board member of the bruening foundation. we are honored and very lucky to call marilyn and her daughter jane, our friends.   

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.