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.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Be the Change

We had an important visitor in the store today. His name is Tom Gregoire. He is the Dean of the College of Social Work at The Ohio State University. If you have been following my story for long, you know I am a huge Buckeye fan. Just click this link for some fun pictures. Do you remember the night last week when I snuck down to hide some cookies? I was wearing my favorite scarlet and gray social work sweatshirt, so Tom thought I might like a hat to go with it.

It says, "Be the Change." The motto for the College is
Embrace Difference.
Seek Justice.
Be the Change.
My mom loves that. She says she tries daily to live by that creed.

So here we are. How do you like my new hat? I LOVE it!!! I wore it the rest of the day, even to music therapy with Bonnie.

Soon it was time for Tom to go back to Columbus. Before he left he showed me some really neat pictures on his phone. I really liked him. I am going to have to go visit him soon. That means we will get to shop at the quilt stores in Columbus again. I had fun when we did that last spring. My mom especially likes to visit the Glass Thimble. It brings back lots of memories for her while she was working on her graduate degree in social work and teaching quilting at the battered women's shelter.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Innocence, Purity & Cheerfulness

by Joyce...I stayed at the store tonight to finish unloading a huge delivery. More than 150 bolts of fabric to be exact. We are starting to experience new visitors from a story that is in a quilting publication arriving in subscribers mailboxes this week, (it is due out on newsstands Feb. 1st) so I wanted to be sure to get the new product on the floor. It was almost 11:00pm and my body was sending me signals that it had enough. Tired, achy, crabby and hungry would describe it best. I walked into the kitchen to turn off the lights. As I was reaching for the switch, my eyes caught something they had not seen before...

This is the counter where we have the dedication frame for Kristen on display. Next to the wall are two plants. They were brought to Sarah and me from a dear friend on our very first day in August. How they are still living is beyond me, as I was definitely not born with a green thumb. I rarely water them which is why I am often picking up the brown leaves that have fallen into the sink and that window is an original from the 1950's home this used to be. It is cold and drafty for sure. The plants each came with cute sunflowers that have chalkboard centers. Last week I changed the messages to read...

Imagine my surprise and shock tonight, when I spotted the new flower. There have not been any flowers since the week they were delivered. I knew in an instant, this was not By Chance. Kristen's light has been shinning so brightly in our shop these past few weeks, she has a flower blooming...

A beautiful flower indeed. I immediately forgot all about my aches and pains. I smiled. I had tears running down my checks. I said a little prayer. And then I ran upstairs for the camera, so I could share this moment with Kristen's dear mom Polly.
I just googled the name of this plant...Gerbera...up came a site called This is what it says...The meanings of Gerbera flowers stem from those attributed to the general daisy family. These meanings include innocence and purity, and daisies are also a classic symbol of beauty. However, the Gerbera variety holds an added meaning of cheerfulness, which stems from the assortment of colors available.
I read it twice to be sure my eyes were not playing tricks on me. Could there be any doubt...only By Design...I can't think of two girls more fitting of that description than Kristen and Sarah. And without Kristen's sunshine, there would be no flowers in that pot on a cold snowy night in Ohio.

Sarah with her plant 8-9-2010
There are times, most of the time truthfully, that I truly do not feel worthy of such experiences. Yet I am reminded that if one allows our Higher Power to be in control, miracles large and small surround us. His presence is with us. Polly and I feel it every day.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Love Verna

I have been so busy finishing quilt tops.

I'm getting much better at putting the pins in.

My mom doesn't even need to help me anymore.

Then I go over to the machine. Sometimes I push the foot pedal a little too much and that's when my mom says she is going to give me a speeding ticket. Then we laugh.

While I am taking the last pins out, I can tell I am really going to like this one.

Taa daa. One more done. What do you think? I really love Verna. My friend Kate Spain designed this fabric. She is the best. This quilt will be going to a Reece's Rainbow family once it is finished.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Friends Around the World

I have been holding this post so it is planted perfectly in line with our big announcement.

Last week I received a package in the mail. It had a return address all the way from the state of Maryland. It was soft, so my mom helped me cut it open very carefully.

It had a bag inside with some fabric.

And a card.

The very nice note was from a woman who follows my blog. She wanted to send some pillowcases for our event in memory of Kristen. I thought that was so nice. And the pillowcases were so cute. Thank you Joan!!!

And then my mom got to looking at them, closely. All of a sudden the entire plan we were going to use on Thursday was aborted. These cases were made using the roll it up method, which means no exposed seams and easy peasy. With that simple change of direction, we have been able to complete...66 pillowcases and we are still receiving them.
It is so awesome to have friends around the world. Oh speaking of friends and the world, check out this post all the way over in Australia...These Girls Inspire Me. Thanks Rhiannen.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sarah...You are so Busted

by Joyce...Very very late last night I was sitting next to the warm fire flipping through the channels on late night television. I was mentally drained from being on the phone all afternoon dealing with our current health insurance crisis, when I heard some noises coming from the kitchen. I assumed it was Matt, the fourteen year old who just can't seem to get enough to eat right now. I called out to him. No response. I called again. No response. So I got out of my chair and walked into the kitchen. And this is what I found...

At first, she tried to pretend she didn't see me. Then I said, "Sarah, you are so busted. I thought you were in bed." "MOM"...she pleaded, trying to hide the container from view.

"Sarah, what are you doing?" "Nothing. Nothing. Nothing." she repeated. Finally, she showed me her container filled with six freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

Then she dug out a piece of paper from the junk drawer and a marker. Once I saw what she was writing, I knew exactly what she was up to...

She was hiding cookies from her brothers. She wanted to be sure there would be some left in the morning. Smart cookie my Sarah is, pun totally intended:) In those three little words, Don't Touch Sarah, she let the entire house know what she was thinking. As she placed her newly labeled container in the cupboard, I wrapped my arms around her and told her how much I love her. I was bursting with pride and in awe at the same time. This tiny little incident, completely insignificant to most, simply wowed me. It was one of those moments of gratitude, that only a mom in the "Ds club" would understand. And I needed that to put everything else in perspective.

Monday, January 24, 2011

May I Have Your Autograph?

It is kinda weird. People are coming into the store asking for my autograph?

Friday, January 21, 2011

In Our Thoughts and Hearts

We had been sewing all day long and we were almost at our goal of 50 pillowcases. More and more people were gathering.

I decided to show them a pillowcase I made. Remember the football fabric I was so excited about?

I had to show this side too.

But then it was time for something very important. A time to get serious for a moment.

My mom called Polly, Kristen's mom in Utah. We were about to offer a prayer and Polly asked if we could call her. Sister Webb did such a wonderful job. It was a beautiful prayer asking for continued comfort for the Kirton family.

Then my mom read the words on the plaque we made that will always be in our kitchen at the store. It was a very special evening for my friend Kristen the rockstar.
These are some of my friends who came to help us make the evening so meaningful. Thank you.

A Gift from Quilts & Sew Forth

We were busy sewing and all of a sudden a customer came in with a bag.

She said it was a gift from another quilt store located in Mentor, Ohio.

It was from Quilts & Sew Forth and included precut kits for more pillowcases. That was so nice.

I was super excited about this one. It has fabric with footballs on it. In the colors of the Cleveland Browns!!

Look at all these kits. Thank you so much Hilary and Monique. I am going to come out to see your new store very soon.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Busy Day

part one...Today we were very busy in the store making pillowcases. We were making them in memory of Kristen.

Lot's of people came to help.

We were all busy pinning and

turning and

talking and

playing with cute babies and
sewing and

marveling in the beauty

of the day...

Kristen's Kitchen

Today we will dedicate our creative kitchen at JEllen's house of fabric in loving memory of Kristen Ann Kirton.

We made a little display with colors we thought she would like. At 7:00 p.m. we will be offering a prayer in her memory and asking for continued strength for her family. We miss you Kristen.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pillowcases for Kristen

We are heading to the store to get it all ready for our pillowcase making marathon. You can read a little more about it here. If you are in the area, please stop by.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Olga Needs a Home Very Soon

I have had Olga hanging on my stocking ever since our ornament arrived from Reece's Rainbow.

She is so cute. Lily's mom was working really hard to raise money for her adoption fund so it has almost $13,000 in it. She really needs a home. Please help Olga find a home with a mommy to take care of her and a really nice bed.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My Sunday Night Concert

Please let me entertain you:)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Birthday Blessings

by Joyce. For the past few weeks I have been praying for this adorable sweet girl...

Her name is Kareen. I first spotted her picture on the Reece's Rainbow website in the middle of December or so. I immediately noticed we shared the same birthday, January 15. That little commonality did not seem insignificant to me. I continued to check on her each day. Each time I looked into her face I saw our Sarah. I watched her fund grow slowly. Then Lily's mom did a post asking for help for this dear child. Her age put her at risk of being sent to an institution. And soon. I continued to pray. Was Kareen being sent to my heart for a reason? It brought me back to a place last July when a local adoption agency called me and asked if we could take a boy with Down syndrome into our home. The timing then and now is just not right. The quilt store occupies almost all of my waking hours. I don't believe I could take on the responsibility of a young one right now. I had every intention of posting her picture today, on our shared birthday, and asking all of you to help me pray for a family.

Then something amazing happened. TRULY AMAZING. Last evening I read that a family has been found. A wonderful family. I showed Sarah the pictures. She enthusiastically yelled out Bree. Sarah loves following Bree. I love following all three sisters. Such a birthday blessing for Kareen and for me. Thank you Kris & Kecia for opening your hearts, your love and your home to this beautiful, precious child. Please go leave Kareen a birthday message. Next year her sisters will be able to read them all to her. I can't wait to see the pictures of that joyous day.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Grandpa!!!

Do you remember when we went to the amusement park? And you went on all the rides with us? I had so much fun. I love you. Happy Birthday!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

We're Both Wearing Brown

After we left Target, my mom asked me if I wanted to stop to eat dinner. We have not had a girl's night out for a while, so I said sure. I picked Cracker Barrel. It was pretty empty. While we were waiting for our food, we played the game with the golf tees. Until this guy came in, that is. He sat down right next to us. I looked over at him with a grin. I noticed we were both wearing brown...

...and that's when I did it. I asked Mr. UPS if he had a package for me. I thought my mom was going to fall off her chair. He smiled. I think he heard me perfectly. Do you know what he said?

"No I don't. But I wish I did you are so cute!!!" LOL. It must be my new haircut:) And then I whispered to my mom, "Do you think he took Grandma her boots?" And that's when my mom starting laughing. And then I started laughing. It was just like it used to be. When we were always being silly together. We had a good time.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My iPod Crashed

It was a present for my 19th birthday. I use it everyday, and now it won't take the charge anymore. So my Mom took me to Target.

They don't make the one I had. She showed me the iPod touch. But I think it is too big.

I want a baby one. It is so tiny it will fit in my hand.

Good thing Grandma and Grandpa gave me this bag filled with gift cards for Christmas.

I had to keep digging in to get more cards out.

Finally, I paid enough. Now I have to go home to load it up.