Joyce Sheakley and Ruth McCafferty

Sew Many Snowmen Bringing Sew Much Joy

Sew Many Snowmen showcases the designs of Joyce Sheakley and Ruth McCafferty from Butler, Pennsylvania. We have been friends for many, many years. At our booth, you will find a huge selection of collectible, handcrafted fabric snowmen of all sizes.

The path that led to our current businesses began by chance more than 25 years ago. A friend of ours was participating as a vendor in her first local craft show and invited us to join her and bring a few of our creations. We had such a great time, we decided to participate in more shows. Our interest and creativity grew from there. We had young children at the time and this was an opportunity for us to work from home, setting our own schedules.  What began as a fun Saturday with friends quickly became full-time businesses for both of us.

We were thrilled to be invited to participate in Old-Fashioned Christmas in the Woods 18 years ago!  It has been and continues to be a wonderful experience.  We love the atmosphere here in the woods and every year look forward to meeting new people as well as seeing old friends and familiar faces from past years. It’s such a joy to see everyone we’ve gotten to know over the years - we have watched their children grow and have children of their own.  

Joyce and I work independently, designing and creating our own products. Then we partner as Sew Many Snowmen for Christmas in the Woods.  This is the only show we do and we work year-round to create enough snowmen for this show and our Etsy Shops, and Our snowmen have found homes all over the country and in places  as far away as Scotland and Australia.

Although we each have our own aesthetic and technique, the process of making the snowmen is the same and the styles blend together well when displayed. We begin with our original designs and draw patterns. The snowmen are made from fleece fabric. They are cut, sewn, stuffed with fiberfill, dressed and embellished. Each snowman is weighted at the bottom, which allows it to stand nicely. The clothes are made from different types of fabric, including fleece, wool, sweater knit, and flannel. Some scarves and hats are made from repurposed items such as sweaters, throws, scarves, etc.  We are always searching for special fabric and embellishments to make our snowmen unique. Even each individual nose is sculpted from clay and baked. We add a few new designs to the collections each year.

We are very thankful for the support of our families and especially our husbands, Baxter and Brian. They are always offering to help in any way possible, whether it’s making display shelves, preparing the booth or helping to keep things running smoothly at the show.

Creativity is expressed in so many different ways, and Christmas in the Woods is a great example of that. It is such a pleasure to walk through the beautiful setting and see the displays of all the talented artisans, listen to the music, and enjoy delicious food.  We are honored to be a part of it and hope to see you this year. Stop by Booth #79 to say hello. Enjoy the season and God Bless!