August 18, 2010

Road Trip: Part One

Last Saturday, Pete and i flew out to Ohio to visit with some
very special people for the grand opening of JEllen's House of Fabric in Lyndhurst. What a wonderful day it was! We walked in the front door and up the steps, and i think my jaw hit the floor. Though I've been following Joyce's blog and seeing the progress of the shop renovations,
it was incredible to finally be there in the bright,
joy-filled, people-packed space.

The first thing we saw was this fun display featuring 12 Days along with some cute jumbo ric rac and Gudrun's Fast and Furious pattern book:
But i whizzed by the display because i was too excited to finally meet my friend Sarah! It was a joy to meet her in person and to get to know her a little better. She is just so sweet. I learned that she loves to sing, that Lady GaGa is #1 on her iPod playlist, that she is a huge Zach Efron fan and has seen High School Musical more times than she can remember!
Sarah turned 21 on Monday and in honor of the occasion, i made some of Rachel's friendship bags and filled them with some goodies.
I gave one to Sarah and one to Joyce:Hey, look who else was there! It's Moda Mark! He's the amazing Moda sales rep who Joyce has been working with to stock the shelves with a wide variety of fabric and notions. You don't have to talk with Mark for very long to recognize that he is committed and dedicated to helping each shop achieve much so that he spent most of the day with us. And did i mention is was a Saturday? He's also as nice as can be. Thank you so much for taking the time to join us, Mark. Above and beyond.I was so impressed with how well-planned and organized the shop is, and how many great project ideas are right there at your finger tips. I think someone else might agree...right Vickie? We caught her just as the bolts were flying across the cutting table!
You might already read Vickie's spectacularly creative blog, Spun Sugar Quilts. If not, you really should. She has cute projects galore and tutorials that are clear and easy to follow. She has a quilt design on the cover of the Fall 2010 issue of Quilts n' More magazine (read all about it on her blog), annnd she's also a talented "chef" over at the Moda Bake Shop. Whew, quite a few accomplishments wouldn't you say? On top of all this, Vickie is a Mom to two little girls, and works full time! Thank you thank you for taking time out of your busy life to stop by JEllen's. It was great to see you and to catch up — please thank Mr. Vickie for taking the girls to the mall so you could join us! Vickie has a great tour of the shop if you'd like to see some more (including a cake that is too cute to eat).

The shop was busy all day and it was fun to meet people of all ages from around the area — who are so happy to have a new fabric shop closer to where they live. Little do they know how lucky they are...Joyce has 16 new Moda collections arriving soon! Many of the people i chatted with were interested in learning more about the design process which i'm always happy to talk about (and fling my hands around while i talk. just glad i didn't bonk anyone by accident).
I talked with a quilt group of 8 women, a young woman who sews her own clothes and wants to pursue a career in fashion, and this little girl, Mackenzie. Her Dad helped install the cabinets in the shop, and while she was in there one day, she decided she wanted to learn to sew! She's in 4th grade. Can you remember what it was that made you realize you had to learn to sew? Mackenzie asked me to sign the Moda catalog that Joyce had given her. In the midst of my blushing, it sure made
me feel pretty special (ok, like a lot special).But it took me a little while to figure out what to write. Mostly because i wanted it to mean something. So i sat and talked with Mackenzie and Sarah for a bit and thought about how it came to be that i was sitting in that chair in that room in that shop on that day. I realized that in one way or another, we were brought together because we are all following our hearts and doing what we love. So my message to Mackenzie was just that,
"Keep doing what you love, and sky's the limit."There is a palpable sense of deep gratitude and joy about the Ely family.
By "joy" i mean the instantaneous kind that whisks you up into its swirl of positive energy before you even know what's happening. Joyce's shop is stocked to the ceiling with this kind of joy, because i don't think she can help it. That's the kind of person she is and the kind of family she has. It was an honor for me and Pete to share a day with them and we wish them all the success possible! You should be so proud of what you've created. Congratulations!!


  1. What an awesome trip! Next time I'm going through Ohio I'm adding the shop to me must stop list!

  2. It looks like you had a lovely time Kate and the shop looks beautiful!

  3. I'm about an hour away and can't wait to check out this new, fresh shop! I have met Vickie and read her blog all of the time...thanks to you both for sharing this shop with all of us!

  4. How special for all of you, Thanks for sharing.

  5. What a great post. Thanks for sharing!

  6. WHAT a great, special, and meaningful trip...very nice. I bet it will stay with you for a long time to come.

  7. THANK YOU SOOOOO much Kate. Such an amazing way to kick off our store opening. Wonderful memories with you and Pete. Sarah has not stopped talking about meeting you and all the treats you brought. We will be forever grateful for your kindness, thoughtfulness and taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit us in Ohio.

  8. What a fun to hear about wonderful meetings/stories like this! And you also got to meet Vickie...I just met her when she came to Las Vegas a couple of months ago!

  9. wow!! Lots of Joy and love in this place!!! I wish them tremendous success!!!!! How fun!

  10. What a special day this must have been for you, but definitely also for Sarah. Pictures to treasure!

  11. What a wonderful trip! That is so cool that you were a part of their grand opening. Love reading this post.


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