My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Late Breaking News...

from the NEW Ohio Union...on The Ohio State University Campus.

Wow!!! This is an amazingly awesome new building. They call the Union the living room for students. This one cost $118 million dollars. That's a lot of money. I'm so happy it is done before TJ graduates in June so he can enjoy it.

Every living room must have good chairs. Oh yes, these are pretty comfy.

A new performing hall. There is a big huge ballroom across the hall named after Archie Griffin. I went in for a few minutes. Blake Shelton is performing a concert tonight for the grand opening festivities but they would not let us take any pictures. It was really loud.

Haaaa, what would a new Ohio State building be without Brutus!!! I can't wait for my dad to see this. He is going to love it.

a Special Delivery for Me

Back to my story...

Near Valentine's day, I received a package in the mail. Inside was an envelope with my name on it. I was so excited.

The card was a beautiful design. I really liked it.

Inside was a note from Kate Spain. I was beginning to make the connection. The plates we bought in Target, this note...

...and this beautiful roll of fabric. My mom was so excited because it is Verna. Kate designed Verna, just like she designed the plates I bought...

I wondered if they matched. So I put them together and look at this!!! I had so much fun with the fabric squares, Moda calls them a charm pack, that my mom made a video of me. She posted it on her creative blog.
Then something really amazing happened. Kate Spain wrote a blog post about ME. She directed her readers to come watch my video. That first day it was watched 247 times and we received lots of really nice comments. You can watch the video and read the comments here.
Then my mom received an email from a woman who read my story and also read about my posts related to the "r" word. She was so moved by it, she posted on her blog the button to end the "r" word campaign. My mom was really touched by this because she says that is how we are going to break down the hatred, by opening peoples eyes that do not have a family member with Down syndrome. She believes our story can touch lots of people beyond just fabric and quilting. And that's the day we started really talking about opening our own store...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Destination: Louisville, Kentucky

Have you been wondering about me? I'm doing great, just busy, busy, busy. I have a funny story for you but I will have to tell you later as I am on the run because it is Spring Break!!
Do we have any blogging friends in Louisville, Kentucky? I am headed that direction with my mom tomorrow to visit Among Friends Quilt Shop and would love to hook up with anyone in the area.
Send me an email to:

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love these Plates and Napkins

If you read my post yesterday, I wrote about the day Kate Spain found my picture on my mom's blog. A few days later, after one of my infusions at the hospital we stopped at Target. You might remember that I wanted to buy a video player. I could not walk that day so my little brother pushed me in my wheelchair. Before we headed back to the electronic section, we stopped to look at plates and napkins in the party section.

My mom showed me this really pretty design. I really loved them because they matched the colors in my new bedroom.

So I asked if we could buy them. My mom said, "Sure Sarah."

I got a pack of big plates, and little plates and a package of napkins. That's when my mom turned the package over and showed me printed right on the napkin it read, "Kate Spain." Cool. These were designed by Kate Spain. I think Kate is my new friend.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Day Kate Spain found Me

So my mom and I were working side by side, trying to get this quilt put together. My mom was counting down to her 50th birthday on her creative blog and posted this picture of me. You have to go read what she wrote. Most important though, be sure to read the comments.

My mom was jumping up and down with excitement. She could not believe the designer Kate Spain had found us. Truthfully, at the time I was not sure who Kate Spain was...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I'm a Quilt Designer

The next night, I got to work again.

I started to put all the triangles together.

Then I would study what I had done.

When I didn't like where something was, I would move the shapes around.

I was starting to like the final layout.

Then I asked my mom what she thought. She said, "Sarah, it is up to you because you are the quilt designer."

Emergency Surgery...

Twenty Years Ago Today...from Great Grandmother Hillick's journal...

Note: the emergency surgery was a cricoid split. Sarah's airway was continually collapsing from subglotic stenosis so they hoped this might help. It unfortunately did not.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling...

Oh my darling...

I promised to tell you about our new venture today. So let's go back to the beginning. This is where our quilt story starts. On January 7, 2010, I noticed this...

...Moda jelly roll and two turnover packs of Clementine designed by Me and My Sister Designs on my mom's sewing counter.

I really liked the colors and the triangles. I started to move them around.

And soon I discovered several matches.

Then I started putting them together to create new shapes.

At first, it was just something to do.

Then it started to get really fun.

Before I knew it, I was really thinking about what I could put together. That's when my mom said, "Sarah, you are like a quilt designer."

I really liked that. I wanted to keep working on it, but it was getting really late and I had to go to my job training program in the morning, so I had to go to bed...

Shadows and Sunshine

Twenty Years Ago Today...from Great Grandmother Hillick's journal...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Where Fiber Meets Down Syndrome

by Joyce: For the past several months, we have had a button on our side roll that we titled "Where Fiber Meets Down Syndrome." It takes you to the official blog for the T21 Traveling Afghan created by CJ Field. The idea was simple, yet brilliant. One afghan that would travel with a journal from one family to another to spread awareness for Down syndrome. Sarah was lucky enough to receive the beautiful afghan last week.

When we were given the shipping instructions for the next person on the list, I was elated. We had been following this blog for sometime. The posts are always beautifully written and so full of love. Sometime around the holiday season, Lisa announced that she and her husband had fallen in love with a baby girl on Reece's Rainbow and would be starting the process of adoption. I was so touched by this gesture and curious to know more about this wonderful family. That evening, I spent a few hours going back to the beginning of Bridget's Light. It is a touching story in so many ways.

So with the afghan staying in Ohio, I thought it might be fun to meet in person. Lisa and I arranged a convenient location near Columbus. I truly did not anticipate how magical the meeting would be.

When we first arrived, Bridget's older sister Sara was holding her. Sarah immediately was smitten with young Bridget.

They hugged and embraced with sweet ease.

Sarah got down to hand Bridget the afghan and I watched as the two shared an undeniable common bond. Several chronological years separate the two, yet they were communicating as though they had been together before.

They interacted like two long lost friends. It was pure magic to watch. I looked at Bridget and saw little Sarah sitting there, and I believe Lisa looked at Sarah and saw a grown up Bridget. It simply made my heart swell.

One quick picture of the four of us before we got in the car to drive back to Cleveland. The entire way home Sarah could not stop talking about Bridget. I think she fell in love. It was such a pleasure to meet beautiful Lisa and her two adorable daughters. I can't think of a better way to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day than this.

I LOVE Bridget!!!

When I went to bed on Saturday, I knew it would be my last night with the afghan.

Today I was meeting Bridget to give it to her.

She is so cute!!!

I just love her.

We became pals real quick.

I showed her the journal that is traveling with the afghan.

I think she liked seeing my pictures. Stay tuned for part two.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's a Lucky Kinda Day

Check this out...

We got a free caramel Frappe at McDonald's and a free order of cinnamon twists at Donato's in Columbus today. I think I will let my mom have them. I don't like either so much. It will be her reward for working so hard on the garage:)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flashback Friday

My mom found this picture while she was looking for St. Patrick's day photos. It is me working at the computer in my mom's sewing room. That is what I used to do while she was busy making wedding dresses. Next week I am going to tell you all about our new project with our fabric/quilt store, so I thought I would show you this today.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sobriety and Prayer

This is Joyce. After yesterday's post, I thought I better give a little more information. I would hate for anyone to think I was a beer guzzling driver being pulled over for weaving in and out of traffic:) To answer one person's question, yes St. Patrick's day is HUGE in Cleveland. We have one of the best parades in the country, I am told. I've been to it a few times in the past. I tried to take Sarah this year, but she just did not want to go.

The weather was perfect yesterday so they claim 400,000 attendees descended on downtown Cleveland. Surely a good time was had by all. And a good time for some definitely includes the alcohol. So hence the idea of the check point? Hmmm maybe not...

This checkpoint was in Strongsville (a good forty five minutes from where we live, but Matt has soccer practice there on Wednesday nights). Now true it was St. Patrick's day, and the green beer does run a plenty around town, but I was a little suspicious of the timing. You see just two day's before, President Obama visited Strongsville, Ohio to talk about his healthcare package. The news reported that evening about what a Presidential visit costs the local police department in overtime. Coincidence of trying to nab a few drinkers??? Hmmm...
Anyway, every fourth car gets pulled in and yes I was a fourth car. I had nothing to drink all day, so it was not a worry for me, but I'm guessing there were more than a few nervous souls. I do very much appreciate the concept of sobriety check points. Helps to keep us all safe. They also were handing out a flyer informing drivers on April 1st, a no cell phone use law takes effect in the adjacent community. I personally think that's a good idea too.
Moving on, here is what I really wanted to talk about today...Our little buddy Parker. He is having a really bad day. I've mentioned a few times before that for so many years I felt so alone in our journey with Sarah, as her needs were so health related and often in an emergency crisis mode which so few parents can truly understand. One of the first blogs that I came across was Praying for Parker. Tammy often wrote posts that I swore I had written sixteen, seventeen years earlier. I could so relate. I also understood her fear. Today she writes about that fear as her husband and Parker's nurse rush him to the hospital to try to stabilize his breathing. He will likely be airlifted to Children's once he can be. That part, I truly can't imagine. Fortunately, we live so close to the Cleveland Clinic that I have never had to experience emergency air travel, just thinking about though makes my stomach do flip flops. So please say a word for Parker and his family tonight.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Everyone Loves an Irish Girl...

...especially her Daddy!!!

Not everyone loves a sobriety check point on St. Patrick's Day. My mom passed. Thank goodness:)

More St. Paddy's Day

1994 ~ TJ 6, Sarah 4 1/2

Ahhh now little buddy is here 3/17/97

See TJ wasn't always perfect:)