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An Inspiring Advent: Day 1

Nan Holidays Inspiration

Despite the fact that Debbie and I write brilliant blogs…ahem…we don’t do them as often as we probably “should.”

We, of course, would rather be making something than writing about it.

Bolt & Spool pincushion

Nonetheless, to be true to our little tagline that clearly states that we proffer fabric, patterns, ribbon and INSPIRATION, we need to ramp it up a bit in the virtual inspiration department. Visitors to our brick and mortar store get pummeled with it, but we can share this way too.

It’s not our guilt entirely that goads us to grace you with our knowledge and wit concerning things to make with our beautiful wares this holiday season; we ourselves are inspired by the goodies that fill our shop and truly want to share those ideas with you.

And so, what started out as the Twelve Days of Sewing for Christmas is burgeoning into something of a daily Advent blog. Hopefully you will get all 24 in a timely fashion and be as delighted as a five-year-old opening a little cardboard door to the treasure that awaits. Not all will be sewing related…they are surprises, remember!! The ultimate goal, however, is not to stress you out more than you already are this season, but perhaps encourage you to take some time for yourself to do something that brings you joy and that others might enjoy at your hand.

Making something while sitting at your dining room table with a glass of wine, or in front of a fire, or together with your kids is so much more enjoyable than Towanda parking at the mall (but perhaps not more satisfying…hmmm). Using our creative talents is also a slightly more mindful way to prepare our hearts for Christmas than just buying stuff for people.


Day 1: Bolt & Spool’s 10 reasons to Sew.

I was inspired to come up with this list for an event that we did at Laurel School, one of our local private all-girls schools in the area. The event was their annual STEAMfest (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math). Although they had contacted me to participate (yay!) I still felt I had to justify our participation in such an academic event. The event is SO fun, however, you’d never know you were learning really cool things!

Kids sewing at STEAMfest at Laurel School

So this is my justification for how sewing galvanizes so many parts of our amazing brains in both a science-y and artistic way! This is to get you psyched to get out the sewing machine or embroidery hoop and settle in on a cold winter’s night to make gifts and decorate yourself and your house for the Holidays!

#1, #2 and #8 are key over the next few weeks!

1. Make cool, one-of-a-kind clothes, gifts and accessories for yourself and your home!

2. Be creative and have fun!

3. Sharpen fine motor skills.

4. Build math moxie with measuring, geometry, fractions and spatial relationships.

5. Practice following sequential directions by working with a pattern.

6. Hone fluid reasoning skills: the capacity to think logically and solve problems in novel situations.

7. Fortify resilience: you will make mistakes and get frustrated…but you can fix them with a seam ripper and carry on!

8. Get into a “flow” state of relaxation, ease stress and lower blood pressure!

9. Gain self-confidence…”thank you, I made it myself” is a beautiful thing to be able to say!

10. Be a better consumer and world citizen! Knowing first-hand what goes into sewing a garment can lead you to appreciate as well as question the human capital and economics of mass-produced clothing!

Enjoy your evening! : )


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