Thursday, September 17, 2015

It's That Time of Year Again...

by Willow Vanderling from the Threadville Mysteries by Janet Bolin

In Threadville, we've just gotten over a major uproar involving a fashion show at the new Threadville Academy of Design and Modeling, TADAM for short. Sins of fashion turned deadly, and a dangerous murderer was among us.

Now crafty people need to work on Halloween costumes and decorations, and (don't throw things at me) it's also time to start making holiday gifts and decorations.

Our shops are full of supplies and expertise, so join the busloads of people coming to Threadville to shop and take classes, and we can help you plan and execute (oops,"execute" is a bad word around Threadville...) We can help you carry out your fall and winter projects.

My friend Dora Battersby came into In Stitches the other day and saw the winter holiday machine embroidery designs that I'm (yes) already displaying. Dora complained. "Why do people go to all the trouble to make gifts that their friends and relatives can use for only a few days a year? I prefer giving and receiving gifts that can be enjoyed all year round." Dora weaves and gives us beautiful placemats and napkins.

I hugged her and agreed. But my customers love holiday designs, the ones we can buy, and the ones we create with software and computers. I expect Dora will be in my store and the other stores in Threadville frequently, though, reminding customers that holiday-themed gifts end up in storage for most of the year.

And I'm going to be doing a little reminding myself. I'm going to ask my customers when they last had their machines serviced. Two Christmases ago, when my author was rushing to complete last-minute Christmas gifts, her embroidery machine stopped communicating with her sewing machine. Luckily, the sewing machine still worked, but she had to haul out her almost-forgotten hand embroidery skills for that Raggedy Ann doll.

What about you? Do you like making gifts for others? Receiving handmade gifts? Have you started any Halloween or Christmas sewing yet?

You can read about how Willow and her friends caught a murderer in SEVEN THREADLY SINS, available at these booksellers.

Like Janet Bolin on facebook. Follow her on twitter.


  1. I love handmade gifts. And the thing about having them in storage means you get to relive a memory every time they're unpacked. Every Christmas, I take out the tiny cross-stitch ornament a teacher gave me when I was 12 years old and smile as I remember tiny, dark-haired Ms. Johnson. :-)

    1. Ha! I'll pass that along to Dora! Making holiday decorations is fun.

  2. Now that both of my kids are in college I was hoping to make some gifts this year. The Christmas before I had kids I made all of the gifts I gave to family and friends and it was really a lot of fun. I am looking at some classes at the local fabric and craft stores to get me back in the swing. Wish me luck!

    1. Susie R., that's really exciting! Your family and friends are in for a treat--and so are you.

    2. What fun, Susie R.! Your family and friends are in for a treat--and so are you.

  3. I love making homemade gifts that each individual person will enjoy. I do anything from up cycling dolls to doing one of a kind photography for them. I believe homemade gifts are the best! It takes more thought to put together a homemade gift made specifically for that person then to go out to a store and buy something that has been shipped in from Overseas.