Thursday, February 09, 2017

Stitches in time – Kandy Shepherd

These past few days I’ve been helping my daughter with a sewing project. I’m not allowed to say what it is, as it’s a surprise gift for someone special. Suffice to say it’s a craft project of something decorative and lovely and involved quite a deal of machine stitching.

I went shopping with my daughter for fabric and trim. She’s very creative and it was great fun. All the while I was reminding her that I have a deadline for my next book and I would be able to help her with it but not actually do it. (Not like all those school projects that kept me up late at night…)

My daughter chose some lovely colors for her project

 Suffice to say, I ended up doing much of the machine sewing. Not because she wasn’t willing, but because her own deadlines were catching up with her and I sew so much faster. Of course, I loved working with my wonderful daughter. She’s in her early twenties and in the final year of a long health-professional degree. I know she’ll be flying the nest only too soon. Such special shared moments will become rarer and are to be cherished.

Sewing is a skill I don't think you forget!

 As I dragged out my ancient sewing machine, I realized that I’d bought it when I was about the same age as she is now. It’s practically an antique! The various threads and trims and pieces of equipment in my sewing box brought back memories of the many items I’d sewn using this machine. Clothes, cushions, curtains. Not just because I enjoyed sewing and being creative but because of financial necessity. In those days it was much cheaper to sew all those things than to buy them. If I wanted them, I had to make them myself.

That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy sewing. I loved it. My grandmother and mother were both trained dressmakers and I learned so much from them. My grandmother gave me an old Singer treadle machine for my eleventh birthday so I could learn on that before I hit the electric machine. (Now those machines really are antiques!) 

This is something like my first machine, given to me by my grandmother

I made clothes for my dolls before I went on to make my own. I didn’t have much money but my wardrobe as a teenager was always much admired!

I marvel that my own trusty machine I saved up for so long for is still going strong and did a great job for my daughter’s project. Of course one of the reasons for that is that it is so rarely used these day so it’s still in good condition. I stopped sewing many years ago. I didn’t even make little outfits for my daughter when she was tiny—something I’d always thought I’d do. Time, or lack of it, was part of it. But maybe I also just lost interest.

My great interests as a young person were cooking and sewing—as well as reading and writing. The reading and writing have never stopped and it’s a dream come true that I’m a published author! I’ve kept on cooking too, still interested in trying new recipes and cooking for my family and friends.

But the sewing has gone by the board. Something once such an important part of my life just doesn’t happen any more. Until my daughter asked for my help. I remembered instantly how to use the machine, what to do to get her project the way she wanted. But I felt a little sad too, maybe remembering the young person I used to be when I did all that sewing and suddenly realizing how many years had passed since then.

“Let’s do more of this,” my daughter said, thrilled with the gorgeousness of what she’d made.

“Yes,” I said, hugging her. “I’d love to.”

Do you have a hobby or interest you once enjoyed but don’t do any more? Or something you’ve kept on doing and can’t ever see giving up? Please make a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

Another of my ongoing interests is gardening which made my Harlequin Romance, Hired by the Brooding Billionaire such a book of my heart to write. The heroine Shelley Fairhill is a gardener who brings back to life not just the neglected garden of the reclusive billionaire Declan Grant, but also his heart.

Hired by the Brooding Billionaire is on sale for just $0.99 between February 9 and February 20 as part of Harlequin’s Billionaire/Valentine price promotion. The special price is only available in the US ((Amazon, Nook, Apple, Kobo and Google) and Canada (Amazon, Apple and Kobo), as well as on

Kandy Shepherd is a multi-published, award-winning author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She lives on a small farm in the Blue Mountains near Sydney, Australia, with her family and a menagerie of four-legged friends.

Visit Kandy at her website

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Mary Preston said...

I'm actually on a sewing binge right now. I'm turning all of my bits of fabric etc into draw string bags and rag dolls. (Think use it or lose it here.) Getting ready for the craft fair in September.

Kandy Shepherd said...

That sounds great, Mary. I bet your creations will be sought after at the craft fair!

Laney4 said...

My sewing machine was bought when I wed 35 years ago. Still works well (knock ... er ... metal). I basically use it for mending seams and hemming, although I once made table runners from an unneeded bed skirt (easy stuff). I am SOOOO glad I have my own sewing machine; saves me tons of money.

I began scrapbooking my old magnetic albums back in 2007 (going back to the late 1800s, as my parents were in their forties when I was born, so I have older pictures available.) and haven't worked on them since June/16. I started back up this past January with a vengeance. Hard to believe we were that busy back in the day. (I have progressed from Aug/92 to Apr/94 in a month.) I love seeing about 2" of photos NOT being scrapbooked every month!

I'm still playing badminton three nights a week and the occasional tournament. The secret is to surround yourself with lots of younger (energetic) players who actually move on the court, LOL (including my 30-year-old daughter).

I've given up on knitting, hooking rugs, and doing embroidery.

Kandy Shepherd said...

My photos are a real mess, Laney, in boxes all over the place. One day...

I'm full of admiration for your badminton, what energy!

I haven't knitted for years (not that I was ever very good!) Always thought I'd like to do lots of embroidery--I adore it--but never had the time. Now I don't think my eyes would allow it!

I think I prefer writing most of all these days!