Have you heard of Christmas in July? The ebb and flow in the fabric world has the all the new fabrics, notions, patterns and designs coming in waves, including everything you need to begin your hand made treasures for Christmas and the entire holiday season. Nancy at Sew Simple in Redding says “it’s time to get ready since their not gonna make themselves.”

   Other gift ideas include table runners, pillow cases, towels and personalized stockings for an early gift to start the season off right. Gift bags for presents or gift cards make for an extra personal touch and they also look great sitting under or even hanging on the tree. Embroidered monograms are always popular but endless pattern choices make it easy to personalize these heart felt gifts. Whether you want a simple daisy or an intricate landscape, an animal theme or off-road scene, you can find a pattern for that at your many North State shops. Hoops, thread, needles and the other notions and what-nots you may want to add to your project are sure to be on-hand now at your favorite local shops.

   Sew Simple also offers “make and takes” for $25. There are several machines set up in the shop to complete your embroidery kits in-house. Drop in to make small gift items and get to know the staff and other crafters. This is a great way to do your first project with an educated mentor near-by to walk you through the process and show you the ins and outs of operating the machine. The staff is happy to help and lunch is often provided. 

   Many classes are available this time of year all over the North State to make wall hangings, place mats, custom tee-shirts, book bags, embroidered pieces and various knit and crocheted projects. Whether you want to make a personalized full size quilt or just want to knit a slew of scarves for the family, there is sure to be a shop in NorCal that has a class to you started.

 Now is the time to learn new techniques, like paper piecing, machine embroidery, new notions and ruler works. Rulers are important for accuracy and precision in specialty lay outs, so don’t forget yours when stocking up to begin.

   Specialty fabrics are often on sale this time of year to create that just right gift for your special someone. From snowmen and old Saint Nick fabrics for decor to soft or sleek materials perfect for those Christmas Eve pajamas, this is the time of year to get the best deals. 

   Getting an early start lets crafters have plenty of time to create their holiday masterpieces and also saves the pocketbook when shopping in the off season. Join those in the know and get a head start by celebrating Christmas in July with your home town specialty shops.