Monday, November 15, 2010


From Janet Bolin -

The first of the Threadville Mysteries, Dire Threads, about Willow Vanderling's future adventures, is now available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Meanwhile, here's what Willow has been doing since she last wrote to you. Ordinarily, she doesn't post until the twenty-ninth, but she has something important to do that day, as she's about to tell you, and Melissa Bourbon's cozy characters have kindly traded posting days with her:

From Willow -

A couple of weeks ago I told you about my offer to purchase a store in Threadville, Pennsylvania. I was seriously considering leaving NYC and changing careers.

I'm back already because I have exciting news. I'll be closing that deal on November 29th.

Now I can confess how badly I wanted this to happen. I love textiles. I love touching them and working with them.

At heart, I'm a frustrated artist, but I draw pictures with thread, not paint. Maybe I'm a frustrated teacher, too, because I enjoy showing others how to use sewing machines, embroidery machines, and embroidery software to create new designs.

In my new shop, I'll sell sewing and embroidery machines and all the supplies anyone could want for painting their own designs with thread. Best of all, if I need anything that I don't stock, I can cross the street to one of the other Threadville shops.

My best friend, Haylee, owns a huge fabric shop, The Stash, where she teaches classes in sewing and tailoring.

Next to The Stash, Opal, runs Tell A Yarn, which is full of beautiful yarns. From what I've seen, Opal, knits or crochets all of her clothes. People come to her shop to learn new techniques, to sit around the table working together (and gossiping), and for Storytelling Night each Friday.

Edna has a notions shop, Buttons and Bows. She decorates her clothing with ribbons, rhinestones, buttons, sequins, crystals, and beads until she glitters, and she shows Threadville tourists how to do it, too.

Naomi's shop is Batty About Quilts. She sells everything needed for quilting, and is also a walking advertisement for her talent. When I met her, she was wearing a patchwork jacket in jewel tones. She offers workshops in quilting.

It's no wonder that textile arts tourists flock to Threadville. If my customers and students don't keep me sufficiently busy, I'll wander across the street and learn whatever I can from the other Threadville proprietors. They are supportive and excited about my new shop.

I’m going to call it In Stitches. I can't wait to move to Threadville!

Do you sew, knit, crochet, quilt, embroider or ????? What are your favorite textile arts shops, and what makes them special?



  1. What an amazing place! I'd like to move to Threadville, too!

    I'm learning a lot about quilting--such a lovely craft!

  2. Elizabeth, sure, join us in Threadville.

    People make the most amazing quilts, don't they!

  3. I want to move to Threadville! I would loooove some lessons on embroidery, too. Congrats on the move!

  4. Threadville sounds magical, wonderful! I have no sewing skills at all, but I have a dear friend who does amazing embroidery and will be sure to tell her about Threadville.

  5. No, I don't and have no desire because I'm all thumbs with that sort of thing. But I love reading about it.

    I'm glad you set your series in PA. PA was once a thriving base of sewing manufacture. The sewing factories have now all gone overseas where no one has to pay well or give benefits. The best sewers I know are from PA, where I grew up.

    That knowledge of sewing and sewing construction are no longer in demand and those in the younger generations aren't pushed in that direction because there are no jobs. But the older women are amazing artists, so I find that your series has great plausability.

    Good luck! I'll look for your books.

  6. Heather, won't it be fun to walk down the street and learn new things in every shop?

    Mary, does your friend do hand embroidery or machine embroidery? Hand embroidery is painstaking, but playing with machines and software is...well, playing.

  7. E. B., I lived near Pittsburgh. Lots of sewing and similar handcrafts went on in our family, but I don't remember the industry. Where was it centered?

  8. It sounds heavenly, Willow. The stuff of crafters' dreams. Your book cover is beautiful too. I am really looking forward to it!

  9. Mary Jane, I am kind of spoiled by the shops in the Fashion District here in NYC, but Threadville is a more accessible and friendlier version of the best of the Fashion District.

    And *all* of the shops in Threadville sell retail! I've been known to drift into wholesale-only shops in the Fashion District. Oops.

    But hah! Soon I'll be buying wholesale from the manufacturers. Whee!

  10. I'm so excited for you, Willow. A new life in a new place. I love your cover that shows Threadville on the water. It looks beautiful! Now you can keep an eye on your best friend Hayley's love life, too. What fun you'll have. I don't envy you moving day, though. That's always a headache.

    ~ Sophie
    Domestic Diva Mysteries

  11. Sophie, I do look forward to being closer to nature in Threadville than I am in NYC. Boating, hiking!

    Haylee would say I don't need to look after her. I, of course, disagree. She's too trusting.

    Yes, moving day's a pain, but I never could fit much into my tiny apartment...

    Think of all the fabrics I'll be able to

  12. Willow, I can't wait to visit your store! And I'm going to bring my friend, Freckles with me. She owns Sew Inspired in Providence and loves to find new fabrics and threads. And I'm thinking about bringing my author, Avery, with me, too. She wants to learn to crochet. First, she has to find the time. :) Shall I bring cheese? What's your favorite?

    ~Charlotte Bessette
    A Cheese Shop Mystery series
    Mystery Lovers' Kitchen

  13. Charlotte, Providence must be less than a couple of hours away from Threadville. So come often (after I move at the end of this month!) My favorite cheese would be the one you bring. Surprise me!

    And of course I'll visit Providence often, too.

  14. Congratulations Willow on your upcoming closing date. I look forward to your grand opening.

    I'm a quilter and I would love to live and visit all the stores. I could definitely attend more embroidery classes to enhance the quilts that I create.

  15. Dru, I saw a photo of one of your quilts and it was gorgeous! And yes, what fun to add embroidery to your quilts. I love old-fashioned embroidered crazy quilts. Newer versions can be done much more quickly with sewing machines that embroider. Girls with their toys...

  16. Sounds like fun. I like to crochet. Just finished a baby blanket for a friend. Threadville will be a great place.

  17. Threadville would be a textile artist's joy. Thanks for writing about this and for setting it in an area that supported the textile industry in the past. I do hope that some day it can start again. I am a weaver and spinner.

    Helen Kiker

  18. wish i live i love to sew,quilt,knit,embroidery.

  19. Luanne, how lovely! The friend will treausure that blanket. I hope to learn to crochet after I move to Threadville.

    Helen, spinning and weaving are two other skills that fascinate me. I hear that a weaver lives just outside Threadville. I hope to meet her.

    Denise, yes, a small village that has everything you might need for your crafts will be wonderful, won't it!

  20. Willow, what wonderful news!! It's going to be a big change, but it's one that will suit you, body and soul. You've planned what could be a very lucrative business venture in an enviroment that will feed your creative spirit in the best of ways.

    Speaking for myself, when I had more time I used to do a lot of fine hand embroidery and needlepoint - the finer the linen and more complicated the stitching, the better! But I've never tried machine embroidery and it sounds fascinating. I think I'd love your classes.

    Good luck on the close on the 29th. This is the beginning of something wonderful for you...

  21. Jen, I've often thought of trying needlepoint. I admire you for doing fine embroidery. That must take a lot of patience!

  22. I'm looking forward to visiting you in Threadville, Willow. So glad your dream will come true!