Christmas in July!

The Stitch Please podcast will celebrate its 100th episode on  9/15/2021. As part of that effort, we are looking to add 100 additional  Black Women Stitch Patreon supporters by the 100th Stitch Please podcast episode publication date. These funds will be used to build financial stability for the podcast while alleviating the pressure of a solo operation.  Will you join us? For as little as $2 a month, you can help Lisa hire consistent editorial and production support. We are 80 Patrons away from the 100 mark! Thank you to our  newest Patreon supporters: J., Kt, Elizabeth, Veronica, Maureen, Calvin, and Emily. 


Special thanks to my guests  Nesha Wright, Allysia Holland, Laverne Benton, and my mother, Ianthia Woolfork.

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Episode 92 – Christmas in July

Lisa Woolfork 0:11

Hello Stitchers. Welcome to Stitch Please the official podcast of Black Women Stitch, the sewing group where Black lives matter. I'm your host, Lisa Woolfork. I'm a fourth generation sewing enthusiast with more than 20 years of sewing experience. I am looking forward to today's conversation. So, sit back, relax, and get ready to get your stitch together. Hey, friends, hey! Welcome to this Christmas in July episode, where we are talking about sewing and crafting and thinking about what's been called Christmas in July. And I'm not speaking exclusively about Christmas and following that overall vibe Christmas in July, which I believe is meant to imply kind of a contradiction between what the winter months represent in the heat of summer, which is what we have right now in central Virginia. It has been quite hot. And so, the last thing on my mind is the winter of Christmas. At the same time, I’m also really, really eager for some more cool temperature. So, Christmas in July is one of those times I really like to think about because I like to prepare things ahead. That’s something I really enjoy. And so, I've assembled a few friends of the show to come on and just talk a little bit about what Christmas in July means to them. So, we're going to learn a bit more about folks who love Hallmark movies, people who are crocheting, people who has the great suggestions for ornaments and decorations, as well as a quick chat with my mother about her own Christmas in July experiences and how we may or may not have found Santa at Busch Gardens in 1976. So, stay tuned.

Nesha 02:15

Hi everyone, this is Nesha Wright. The great things, like my Christmas in July project, is to sell Christmas ornaments. You can customize them with a personal first stain, you can do custom initials, and you can even use this as a stash buster and use some of your scrap fabrics to make these gifts.

Allysia 02:39

Hello, Stitch Please podcast family. This is Allysia Holland, your resident Hallmark and holiday movie lover, talking about Christmas in July and why I love watching the Christmas in July movies. One of the things that I love about the holiday movies, just in general at holiday time, is their predictable nature. Even though they are super cheesy, there are only about five or six different storylines that are going to play out. But I appreciate that you always know you're gonna get a happy and satisfying ending that is gonna to have a nice wrap up to the story and that there's gonna be some joyfulness and lightness in the movie. I think there's always so much happening in the world that we can find something that is not joyful and light at every turn and so I like just having a little dose of, almost like a piece of, candy and sweetness there. So, I love watching them again in July because it's just a little miniature dose of some of that goodness and light where everybody kind of loves each other a little bit more and considers each other a bit more. I don't always think about sewing for Christmas in July, but one thing that I did appreciate as I was just thinking about Christmas in July, and when Lisa asked me to participate and talk about my love of the movies -- One of the things that came to mind is after watching the Christmas in July movies, while I don't normally sew Christmas things in July, it does put me in a bit of a whimsical mood, and just a little lighter and more joyful which works out because my birthday is in August. And so, as I'm thinking about it, it always puts me in a good mood of thinking of joyful and light things for bringing into my birthday celebration month and how I want to do that, and that often does involve a sewing project. And so, when I think of some of the sewing projects that I have done for my birthday over the last several years, they have been more light and joyful things than what I would normally sew at other times or, I won't say more than other times, but at least I can see that I get a little bit more creative during that time. So, if I can chalk that up to having some Christmas in July join us on light, then I don't think that that can ever be considered a bad thing. So if you are willing to dismiss the corniness of the holiday movies, that they are predictable, but sometimes that gives you a nice light thing to go to and tell time to frankly, because even the time pattern of the movies is the same, then I would invite you to join me in watching Christmas in July, as well as when the holiday season comes around starting in October for the holiday movies. Then if you want to chat about any of those, I am always available for that. You can always find me on Instagram @hrhally, which stands for Her Royal Highness Ally, and that's a-l-l-y, and I would love to watch holiday movies along with you.

Laverne 06:02

Hello, my name is Laverne Benton and I am the owner of BzyPeach, LLC. I specialize in hand-dyed 100% pima cotton yarn, tensile yarn, project journals, and other fun accessories. The Saturday Morning Shenanigans show on Instagram Live is my primary vehicle for creating community in my corner of the fiber arts world. I have candid and fun conversations with fiber artists and business owners in various industries, so tune in every Saturday at 10am Eastern. Now during the month of July I'm keenly focused on the holidays. That's right. Christmas, Kwanzaa, etc. But why in July? Well, I'm glad you asked. As a fiber artist and indie yarn dyer I have to plan for the holidays early. This is my first year releasing a holiday gift box and I want it to be ready to deliver on time. “12 Days of Possible” is my gift box inspired by the movie Jingle Jangle. It features 12 days of interactive surprises, knit and crochet-alongs, and a fun zoom Jingle Jangle Jeopardy game. I selected this theme because I fell in love with the movie. It is a wonderful journey of hope, love, and possibilities. It's packed so full of Black boy joy and Black girl magic that you can't help but have all the feels. I don't want anyone to miss out on the fun so I am dyeing yarn, ordering components, and collaborating with partners early. As a business owner, I feel that you have to plan at least one to two seasons ahead, so while it's sweltering hot here in Atlanta, I'm dreaming of cooler weather and holiday fun. Check it all out on my website That's b-z-y-p-e-a-c-h .com and see all the ways that I'm staying busy keeping you peachy. Happy Holidays!

Lisa Woolfork 08:12

Hey, it’s me again! Hello!

Ianthea 08:14

Alright. Okay.

Lisa Woolfork 08:16

So, how’s it going?

Ianthea 08:18

Everything is going well. So, what about you?

Lisa Woolfork 08:21

Things are going fine. I'm doing this Christmas in July episode, just like a short episode because I thought, you know, sometimes people do Christmas in July things which partly I never really understood, except that it gives people five months in advance to get ready for the December holidays. And then I started thinking well maybe Christmas in July becomes a thing because like Labor Lay Away, from back in the day, I don’t know if they do that still...

Ianthea 08:52

I think that sometimes, yeah, where people would like find things but then some people like to shop in July because what they do is they will buy things that was like some of the spring stuff or like some big find of the stuff that was left over from winter and now you can get it really, really cheap. -- Right. -- Some people like to not only shop but they don't shop and put stuff up and have it like stacked on shelves -- Right. -- So that when it comes into December, they have bought the major gifts, you know, for family and friends and stuff like that.

Lisa Woolfork 09:30

Did you used to do that for us? Did you used to buy stuff for us early?

Ianthea 09:34

No, unless it was something that you guys wanted and I wanted to go get, and I could get it and put it somewhere. But you always so nosy you couldn't hide anything in the house. So in a lot of other folks house was stuff that you bought in July, and they'll keep it till Christmas.

Lisa Woolfork 09:57

We were Discoverers.

Ianthea 10:01

Yeah, you were Explorers. I mean, you all did go into everything. Nothing was hidden. You would go and look for it and if I came home with packages or something like that, oh, I know there's no way to bring packages in. No, I've never could hide anything like that. Even when I shopped for you all, and it was like during the holiday season, I had somewhere that I would take the things.

Lisa Woolfork 10:29

Did you catch it? Did you hear it when she said “I'd have to take it somewhere”? She said somewhere. I was 100% sure she was not going to say where that somewhere was.

Ianthea 10:42

I'd take them out to this lady's house and just leave them out there; Betty's house because her boys had grown up. I would just take them over there. I’d leave them leave some stuff in the trunk of the car until I got a chance to carry it to somebody's house.

Lisa Woolfork 11:00

Golly, we were a mess. Well, not me but the rest of them. Golly.

Ianthea 11:04

They were a bit. They were busy. Yeah, somebody was real busy and nosy.

Lisa Woolfork 11:14

So, when she said somebody was real busy and nosy do you think she meant me? I don't think she meant me. How could she have possibly meant me? But nevermind. Now. Of course, she didn't mean me. Stick around. We are going to go on a very short break and we'll be right back.

Lisa Woolfork 11:49

Hey friends, hey. This Stitch Please podcast is about to publish its 100th episode. That's right, 100 episodes. As part of the celebration, we are launching “100 by 100” to help us get 100 more Patreon supporters by the 100th episode publication date on September 15th 2021. 100 additional Patreon supporters will give us the financial stability we need to hire editorial and production help. You can find the links to our Patreon in the show notes. Thank you so much for considering this and thank you current and future Patreon supporters.

Lisa Woolfork 12:31

And before we jump back into the episode, I wanted to thank the most recent Patreon supporters who have joined us for this “100 by 100” campaign. Thank you so much Teresa, Aisha, Lisa, Suzanne, Stacy, Antico, Angel, Carolyn, Katie, Kate, Michelle, Nikki, Preston, CiCi, Julia, Lee, Emily, Eve, Jay, Elizabeth, Veronica, Marine, and Calvin, and Emily. Thank you all so much for your support. We really appreciate it. We now have 80 more to go before September 15th 2021. Off to such a strong start. Thank you so much. You're listening to this Stitch Please podcast and we're talking today about Christmas in July, a chance to think about the December holidays in the hot summer months and I'm talking right now with my mother. We talked about some of the things she used to do to keep some of the holiday traditions alive, so to speak. And now we're going to talk about the time that I may, or may not, have discovered Santa Claus at Busch Gardens.

Lisa Woolfork 13:57

Yeah, I was gonna ask you this. Tell us about the time we thought we found Santa Claus on vacation at Busch Gardens.

Ianthea 14:06

Oh God, that was so funny. It was this big guy, and he had the beard on. Now he didn't have anything on. He had on Bermuda shorts, and a colorful shirt, this summer outfit. And he was at Busch Gardens with his friends, and they were just sitting around. He was drinking the beer. They used to give you free beer at that time. And so he was just sitting here. – Free beer?! – They would give free beer to the adults. You know, because Busch Gardens was a brewery at once point in time in the early days. I don't know if they still brew stuff over there, but they used to brew over there, and you could buy beer very, very inexpensively. And so you all looked up and saw this man and all the sudden I heard you say, “Santa Claus!”, and you took off running to this person. And he was so gracious. He was so nice. His wife, I thought she was going to lose it. She laughed, and she laughed. And he sat there. And he sat down. And he talked to you all and was saying well, and asking you, “Are you all being good girls?”. “Yes! Yes!” We was so surprised to see him on vacation. Well, he said that he had had a busy season and he has been working and he's gotten everything organized and finished up everything in December. And so, by spring break, you know, this time to really just relax and rest. And so, he was just having a good time. And oh my God, but it was just funny. It was just so fun. And you all didn't think anything of this man having on Bermuda shorts and a colorful shirt; I guess because it was Florida, and it was hot and it was okay. But it was fun. It was funny. You all right. You all were characters. I mean just to a walk up to a total stranger and decide that they're Santa Claus.

Lisa Woolfork 16:26

All three of us. I have a feeling that this is absolutely something that I would do…

Ianthea 16:33

…And everybody else just fall in. When you saw Santa Claus they dressed up and just followed right along. They were racing in over to talk to him!

Lisa Woolfork 16:45

Oh my gosh, that's so funny. I’m like, well of course.

Ianthea 16:49

You just seen him and he was just gracious. He just sat there and he laughed and he was just so jovial and you all were thanking him for all the stuff and telling him what you got it and how much you liked it. It was just funny.

Lisa Woolfork 17:07

That is very funny. That is so funny. Oh my gosh, Mama, thank you for telling that story. I don't think I really remember the experience but I remember the story.

Ianthea 17:20

Maybe you were five or six so that meant the other little girls were, what, like three or four?

Lisa Woolfork 17:27


Ianthea 17:28

Three and two.

Lisa Woolfork 17:30


Ianthea 17:31

So, you led the charge and when you saw Santa and he didn't have to have on his Santa suit. It was okay for him to have on Bermuda shorts and a colorful shirt and his sandals.

Lisa Woolfork 17.47

I’m sure I'd seen it in a book or had something in my imagination about Santa on vacation. Like I'm pretty sure I must have. That's the only reason I could think of that I would. But again, Florida, everybody comes to Florida for vacation. You know why wouldn’t he come?

Ianthea 18:06

[laughter] And so he says that, you know, he's been getting things together but just in the summer he tries to take little vacations and trips so that he can rest and relax.

Lisa Woolfork 18:18

Oh, gosh, that's so great. Oh my gosh. Well, I'm a thank you again for this conversation. I'm gonna press pause and then I call you right back.

Ianthea 18:28


Lisa Woolfork 18:30

Okay, love you.

Ianthea 18:31

Love you too.

Lisa Woolfork 18:36

You've been listening to the Stitch Please podcast and our special Christmas in July episode. I am very thankful to Nesha Wright, Allysia Holland, Laverne Benton and my mother Ianthea Woolfork for this conversation today. Thank you all so much. Come back next week and we'll help you get your stitch together.

Hosted by Lisa Woolfork

Lisa is a fourth-generation sewing enthusiast who learned to sew while earning a PhD in African American literature and culture. She has been sewing for more than twenty years while also teaching, researching, and publishing in Black American literature and culture.

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