Saturday, March 28, 2009

Are You Tired of Shop Hop Yet?

Our day started with Summer Vacation at Intown Quilters. What is the one thing that will totally spoil summer fun? Rain. And lots of it. It was so bad that my shoes squeaked throughout the entire store and one of the staff had to follow customers around mopping up behind them.
That did not deter us from sleuthing out an abundance of cuteness though.
This is the Camp Quilt that greeted us as we walked in. I love the cabins. They make me almost want to go camping. I said, "Almost."

How sweet is this gathered serpentine trim? Love it! I didn't see this anywhere else, so I know I will go back to buy some. Something else they had, that was new to me, was bobbin bikinis. Have you seen them? They look like tiny hair bands that wrap your bobbins and prevent them from tangling up together. So cute.

Row after row of sweet fabrics. Too many to choose from really.

But, what they did have downstairs set my heart all aflutter. Japanese fabrics! Yes! I treated myself to two. It was so hard to choose. (Photos of all the treats will come tomorrow.)
Next we drove to Covington and Patrick's. It was not what Cilla and I were expecting at all. It's an old-fashioned store, full of seeds, plants, bulbs and quilts!

You can get your farmer's clothes, boots and baked goods all in one stop.

And wouldn't you love to have her cutting your fabric for you?

We bought two fat quarters each, and I had to have that bag of spearmint leaves to munch on in the truck, which I have now named Tula. Tula the Truck. Perfect.

Back into the dark, rainy day to our last stop- Sweet Home Quilt Company in Conyers. This is the view from the front porch. The trees are in full bloom but look at that rain! I am about over it, really.

Inside it was warm and cozy. Just like going to Grandma's house. Little vignettes everywhere made me feel quite nostalgic for my Grammy's house.

Every nook and cranny filled with homespun goodness.

They even had a grandma, with the smile of an angel, to stamp the last space on our passports.

And then, done! We did it, Cilla and me. We completed a three-day tour of nine quilt shops and are still here to tell about it. I will say that next year we are planning on being better prepared. Here are a few tips for successful shop hopping anywhere:
1. Make a budget and stick to it. There are so many eye-dazzling enticing things that you can really get caught up in the excitement and have a case of buyer's remorse the next day. Not good.
2. Bring cash. Why? Because you have a better sense of what you have to spend that way. If you budget out $20 or $50 per shop, say, then it will be easy to keep to your preset budget if you have nine twenty or fifty dollar bills.
3. Pace yourself. Unless you only have one day in which to hop, take your time. A leisurely visit to two or three shops a day is much better than that "We have twenty minutes here and twenty only! Chop, chop!" kind of pressure.
4. Bring a few different pairs of shoes. Really. I had my Crocs, which were perfect for the rainy weather we had but I would have been sunk if the sun came out and it turned warm.
5. Pack a few healthy snacks and water for the drive between shops. It will restore your energy and keep you from experiencing that afternoon lag.
6. Go with a friend. They will notice something that you missed and you don't want to miss anything.
7. Bring a camera to record the fun. You think you will remember, but you won't. There is just too much to try and store in your brain files.
8. Have fun. talk with the shop staff, chat with other shop-hoppers, make it an experience to remember. You'll be glad you did.

Neither Rain, Nor Snow, Nor Sleet, Nor Dark of Night...

Shall stay these quilters from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.
(That means getting their passports stamped from each and every quilt shop!)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
With humble apologies to the US Postal Service, I felt that the Postman's Creed says it all about the intrepid women, and a few sweet husbands, who have battled some very rainy Georgia weather to attend Shop Hop 2009. And I mean rainy- at times we have been deluged with water, thunder, lightening, flooding, tornado watches and warnings. The forecast for today? More of the same. But will that stop us from getting in our cars and driving to see the last few shops on the list (or taking wonky pictures)? Absolutely not. And this is why:

Yesterday found us in Marietta, first stop- The Red Hen. A Day on the Farm started with a greeting from this precious pup. How cute is that little scarf around her neck?

I loved everything about this shop. The colors, the decor (absolute vintage farmgirl perfection!), the staff in aprons that seemed to come right off the hook in the kitchen, everything.

But I especially loved the dogs. There were three in total, each one sweet as pie and a rather welcomed, unexpected addition. No wet dog smell, either. How can you not love that face?

The quilts were fabulous and begged you to come for a closer look. The center panel on this quilt is not a panel, it is assembled and appliqued!

One day I will find a red barn and convert it into a house. I'll be keeping this photo for reference.

Hanging up over the cutting table is the most extraordinary quilt- Aurora. This photograph does it absolutely no justice as it does not capture the shimmer and sparkle that is abundantly stitched throughout the quilt. No wonder it has received so many ribbons. It is a masterpiece.

Gathering our purchases, grabbing our umbrellas it was back to the rain drops for us. Goodbye, Red Hen. We will be back.

The next stop was Little Quilts. No pictures as it was too rainy and the shop is very tiny. Only two rooms and difficult to maneuver through with a fair crowd of people. But, I did find some sweet fabric there that I have not seen elsewhere. I'll be sharing my treasures tomorrow.
From Little Quilts to Tiny Stitches, where a charming princess greeted us with a rather over-the-top English accent that set the mood for some fun storytelling.

I loved this display. Just because.

The Princess and the Pea bed. It was very tempting. Very tempting.

How sweet is this? A delicate fairy floating over a luscious lavender and blue confection, decorated with nests and egg garland. Spring has arrived in Georgia.
This morning it is back out into the inclement weather, threatening us once again with hail, severe thunderstorms and drenching downpours. But we are not ready to give in or give up the chance to see what lies in store for us in the last three shops.
We have to go. We must. We are quilters.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hop. Hop. Hop.

It's Shop Hop time! And oh, my goodness, it is so much fun. My friend, Cilla, and I started early this morning, stopping at McDonald's for a plain biscuit, a Dr. Pepper and diet Coke, respectively.
We started our trip driving through a downpour to Newnan, home of Heritage Quilts and Fabrics. It is a darling shop, with wonderful quilts. Bad blogger that I am, I only took a shot of the exterior as it was beginning to rain again and I did not want to get my camera wet.

You can see from this shot of the window, they chose a Christmas theme and there were many cute Christmas quilts displayed throughout the shop. Christmas music streamed from above, Christmas cookies and candy canes were there for munching on and everyone was wearing their favorite Christmas clothing. The only thing missing was Santa Claus!

After making our purchases (we hadto buy something!), it was back into the truck we went and drove to Jonesboro, to Quilts and Fixin's and some favorite Saturday morning cartoon characters.

Here's Cilla posing in front of one of the windows.
Look! It's Scooby Doo! Ruh-roh.

It was a lot of fun revisiting some of my favorite Saturday morning friends- The Flintstones, The Jetsons, Yogi Bear, Tom and Jerry. Almost like a trip in Mr. Peabody's Way-Back Machine. :)
From Jonesboro we drove to McDonough, to home base as we call it. Where? A Scarlet Thread, of course, for a birthday party! The staff wore birthday crowns and the entire store was decorated with papier maché cakes and fat eights rolled into candles. Cute, cute. I had to share this darling trim on this dress. Yo-yo heaven, I'd say!

Anyone for birthday cake? Better bring your hack saw and wire cutters for this one.

I love how the cakes coordinated with the fabrics they were displayed with.

In the back of the store, where strip club and sewing classes are held, a magical transformation took place. Seemingly overnight, it became a quilt gallery, with a feast for the eyes at every turn! I am only going to give a sneak peek for now, because if you live in the area, you need to see it for yourself. Amazingly drool worthy!

Turning the corner who did I find? Deanna (DeeDee), who won our very first blog giveaway! Talk about good timing! I was able to document her receiving her prize from Karen and meet her in person! She's an absolute sweetheart.

At each location we received a gift bag, with a tiny treasure and a quilt pattern to make. Lovely, thoughtful things put together by the friends and staff of each shop. The attention to detail did not go unnoticed. It was a wonderful day. I'm glad we decided to stretch it out though. It would have been too much to get all nine in one fell swoop.
Tomorrow will find me up at the crack of dawn, picking Cilla up at 8:00 AM, making our required stop at the Golden Arches and driving to Marietta, where we will visit the next three shops on our list. I can hardly wait.
Gee, I hope I sleep tonight!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hearth and Home.

At the beginning of May, two friends from my church are leaving to serve a two-year mission to Peru and Bolivia. It will be a teaching mission and one, I am sure, that will be filled with extraordinary experiences.
I was asked to make a small gift for each of them, something that would remind them of their friends back home in Atlanta. I chose to make a scarf for her and a tie for him, so that as each wraps about them they would feel as if they were receiving a hug from us.
The what chosen the how then became my main focus. I did a bit of research on the traditional colors of Peruvian and Bolivian dance costumes and found them to be bold, bright and beautiful. Perfect. I now knew how.
I chose a classic American quilt pattern, the Log Cabin and rendered it in the colors of their new home for the next two years.
The red square in the center represents hearth and home, a place of warmth, love and security. It is us, who will be here praying for their success as they teach the people of those two countries about the Gospel. It is their grown children, who will miss their parents while they are gone. It is their Heavenly Father, who will comfort and guide them.

The colors came from Mary Engelbreit's Recipe For Friendship charm squares. Could I have used anything else?

The scarf, that could also be used as a belt because my friend is very tiny. Two squares on one side for the time they will be gone and one on the other, for the unity they share.

Now, how am I going to make that tie?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We Have A Winner! And An Apology.

First things first. I must apologize to Maureen, who came to the shop at 12:00 sharp and I was not there. I am so sorry. I was home, writing down all of the names onto slips of paper and did not make it to the shop until 2:00. Please forgive me for not being clear in my post. Trust me, I heard all about it!! :( Okay, now for the winner of the Hop Into Spring Giveaway!
As I said, at 12:00 PM I wrote all of the names on little slips of paper. Some of them twice, as they had written about the giveaway on their blogs. (Thank you so much, ladies!)

The names were placed in the sewing basket which was then locked with a vintage clothespin and taken to A Scarlet Thread where the drawing took place. I have to say that it was pretty exciting to choose a winner for our first giveaway. Pins and needles, people!

Our lovely hostess, Karen displays the sewing basket with aplomb. Isn't she cute?

Opening the basket, her hand reached in and gave everyone's name a tumble. Did you get dizzy?

And out it comes!


Congratulations to you, DeeDee!!
You have won the very first A Thread of Red blog giveaway!
(I noticed you are a local gal. Would you like to come to the shop and pick up your prize or have it mailed? Either way is fine, but we would love to meet you. Please e-mail me at with your decision. If you choose to pick it up, it will be waiting for you Monday afternoon.)
Thank you very much to all of you who entered. We are grateful to each and every one of you. Don't worry if you did not win this time, there will be more giveaways to come. You have my word on that.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tomorrow, Tomorrow!

The giveaway ends tomorrow! 12:00 noon, sharp. I'll be bringing my sewing basket to the shop where the name of the winner will be drawn. Ooh, I am on pins and needles with excitement.

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I Can't Take Any More Brown.

In the mood for color? I know I am. And what better place to find color than a fabric shop? Really, after enduring months of nothing but brown, brown, brown outside, bright, cheery, Springtime colors are just the ticket to lift the spirit. A quick tour about the shop yielded perfect bursts of rainbow delights.

Layers of jelly roll fabrics in shades of sunshine, sky and grass.

Spools of thread in vibrant hues, the colors of fire

and water.

This morning I called this everything but what it is. Bubble fringe, bobble fringe- oh, yes! Ball fringe! Geesh. Whatever you call it, it is the most adorable trim ever. It gives everything it is used on an instant vintage feel. And the colors? Everything from soft pink and aqua to vibrant grassy greens, oranges and even grape.
So, when you need a pick-me-up after the long, dreary days of Winter, head to a fabric shop.
You will feel much better.
(The above collage was made with a handy little photo editing program called Picnik. It is just too much fun. Imagine being able to collage your quilt photos or your fabric stash!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Over at the Moda Bake Shop last Friday they posted a tutorial for this sweet table runner. Called Petit Fours, after those luscious little French cakes, it is an easy afternoon project.

Here is my version, made today between the hours of 1:15 and 5:30 PM. Really! It was such a joy to sew. I have been using this color palette for a lot of projects lately. You could say I am addicted to aqua, French country blue and red.

While the "recipe" calls for a charm pack, I used random fabrics that I found in the round scrap bin at the shop. I did add a few bits I had here at home, mostly the red accents. From cutting the scraps into the appropriate sizes and then sewing the strips together, I found myself humming along quite nicely and was very surprised when I completed the runner four hours later. It is so easy and fun you could make one a day, if you like.

This runner is being mailed to England, a birthday present for a friend. I wish I could deliver it in person. :)
Don't forget to sign up for the giveaway here! You have until Saturday at noon. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Hop Into Spring Giveaway!

It's here! It's here! The very first A Thread of Red giveaway and I am so excited.

Yesterday I had the chance to poke through the shop to find just the perfect fat quarters to usher in Spring. Get a load of these bright, beautiful colors! Gorgeous.

(Please ignore the craft room background. The photos were to be taken hanging in my friend's pear tree, but it is raining today!!)

Now, of course, if you have fat quarters in your hands you need to have something to make with them. Right? Well, how about a sweet Lazy Girl Runaround Bag pattern (and a zipper)?

I should have grabbed a pattern for myself, because I could use this bag for all sorts of things. Especially for yard sale-ing and junking at flea markets.
It will hold everything you need:
your ID, a credit card and, most importantly, a wad of cash.
In my case, it would be a wad of one dollar bills.

Really, how cute is this?
And it only uses two fat quarters, so you can sew more than one.
So, one lucky winner receives:
5 Fab Fat Quarters
1 Lazy Girl Runaround Bag pattern
1 12" Zipper, to complete one bag

Now for the rules:

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this post. If you would like your name tossed in the sewing basket twice, post about the giveaway on your blog and include the link back here. Make sure you tell me in your comment that you have done so.

It's that simple!

Entries for the giveaway will end on Saturday, March 21, at noon.

The winner will be announced here Saturday evening.

Good luck!

Friday, March 13, 2009

10 Reasons To Quilt With A Friend.

This week has found my friend, Cilla, and me in my sewing room making the newest strip club quilt. It's a doozy. Just complicated enough to make you second guess every cut and stitch you make. That's why I have decided that when a quilt is in progress, you should always have a friend with you.

Here are my ten reasons for quilting with a friend:

1. A friend will stop you when you start tearing your hair out because you've missed that point for the umpteenth time.

2. A friend will say "Wow! That looks beautiful!" even when all you see are flaws.

3. A friend will not mind if you make lunch from the leftovers of last night's dinner.

4. A friend will read and reread the pattern with you until you are comfortable with it.

5. A friend will reread the pattern again, just to make sure.

6. A friend will tell you stories about her childhood pranks that will make you wonder how she survived in tact.

7. A friend will talk to your sewing machine when it acts up. And it will listen.

8. A friend will not mind listening to The Wailin' Jennys on Pandora Radio.

9. A friend will laugh at your corny jokes.

And finally,
10. A friend will fill your day with fun, laughter, encouragement, commiseration and make the time speed by. Really, what more could you ask for?


PS- Be sure to check in tomorrow. We're hosting a sweet giveaway!