Thursday, April 27, 2017

We've Moved Blogs!

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by our blog. If you found us through another post that's great, we're glad you're still looking around! All of our past posts are still available to view on blogger. However, we have moved to a new site! You can find current blog posts, along with our online store at

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Give Your Wardrobe a Makeover!

Spring is here and summer will be here before you know it!  Time to rotate that wardrobe.  If you are like me there isn't much to rotate.  Years ago my husband and I moved every couple of years when he would get a promotion so it didn't matter if I kept wearing the same old clothes because I had new friends that hadn't seen them.  Presently we had lived in Georgia for almost 13 years and my clothes are tired!  This year I am going to try something different.  I want to give my clothes new life.  I am going to add some embroidery to spruce them up.

When I am demonstrating an embroidery machine customers often say they don't know what to use it for or how much they would use it.  I say "You can't use what you don't own!"  Embroidery opens up a whole new wonderful world.  By adding an embroidery design to a garment you already own it's like shopping in your own closet.

We have the cutest embroidery designs from Lunch Box Quilts here at A Scarlet Thread.  They are Patches N' Pincushions and retail for just $33.99!  Each design comes digitized in either a patch or pincushion version.  I have had the above denim jacket for a few years and was almost ready to throw it out but instead just added the embroidery patches to it. Now I have a "new-to-me" garment ready for spring.

The embroidery designs on my jeans are from Urban Threads.  I stitched them on wash-away stabilizer and then stitched them on my jeans using a regular sewing machine.  The Baby Lock machines have a pivot feature that is great for this type of work.  I just activated the pivot and started sewing.  Each time I stopped sewing the foot pops up and the needle stays down.  This allowed me to turn my jeans without having to raise the foot each time manually.  What a great time saver and made sewing much easier.

- Jill

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring Blooms

Don't you just love this time of year? Blue skies, bright green budding trees, birds chirping and flowers popping up all over. To paraphrase Eliza Doolittle, isn't it loverly?

I am always looking for a little craft that whips up quick but looks like it took forever. Pinterest is often my go to place for inspiration. How many hours have I been lost down that rabbit hole? Anyway, I happened upon a Russian (I think it's Russian) video tutorial showing how to make tulips from fabric. Score! 

Here is the video so you can see just how easy they are to make:

This is what you will need:
1/2 yard green fabric for stems and leaves (makes a dozen)
Plastic or paper straws
Assorted  medium scraps for tulips, in tulip colors
Double stick tape
Needle and thread
Cardstock for leaf template
Polyester stuffing

And here are the fabric measurements in inches:

Leaf- 3 1/2 x 6 inches
Stem- 1 1/2 x 8 inches
Tulip- 3 x 5 inches

Follow the steps outlined in the video. Here's a few photos to help:

Lay the tape on the fabric, attach the straw and roll it up. Hand stitch seam closed.
So easy even Em can do it! 
No hot glue here. I kind of like my fingers.

The leaves are just a simple shape. Trace your pattern and stitch with a 1/4 inch seam.
Fold the leaf around the stem and stitch together.

Gather the bottom of the tulip and stitch to the stem in the back. Stuff and close the top.
Place your finished tulips in something cute, like your mom's antique syrup pitcher,  and enjoy your handiwork! 

You can make masses of them in just a few hours! If you do make your own bouquet of tulips, be sure to share them with us on the Facebook page. We love seeing what you make!

-Mins (aka Karin Smith)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spring Sewing Inspiration

I have to say, I LOVE this weather lately! Spring has sprung and it has inspired me to use my big bold floral prints again and pull out all my bright, cheery fabrics. Today's post includes some of our most recent pins from Pinterest. I hope these inspire you as much as they did me!

Click on the caption below each photo to be taken to the original site.

Kalidescope Quilt from Lella Boutique

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Attending a Quilt Retreat? - Tips to Know Before You Go!

It's Quilt Retreat Week here at A Scarlet Thread and while I'm focused on the million little things on my task list like food and demos and name tags, the timing seemed perfect to share a few tips that will be helpful whenever you're preparing for an upcoming retreat.

Quilt retreats are a great way to make quilting friends, get a bit of a break from reality, and get a lot of sewing done! Just like a massage or a mani-pedi, a retreat plucks you from your day-to-day life and puts you in an environment where you only have to consider yourself.

Beyond the obvious sewing and project supplies you'll want to take, I thought it might be helpful to share a few of my favorite hints and tips that lead to a successful retreat experience.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Using A Thread Director for Metallic Threads

Sometimes you don't know how great a product is until you use it. I have to admit I am sometimes guilty of forming opinions before I give a product a chance... So, I decided to put the Thread Director to the test with metallic thread. If you have ever used metallic threads you know what a challenge they create. I've used them in my embroidery but they kink and break easily and are NOT a joy to use. 

The Thread Director can and will change all of that. It keeps the thread smooth and kink free. I put the metallic thread on the Baby Lock Aria machine and set it up for a satin stitch. I sewed as fast as the machine would go and no thread breaks whatsoever. 

I also put the Thread Director on the Baby Lock Molly machine and got the same great results. You can use the thread director with almost any sewing or embroidery machine!

Come into the sewing center at A Scarlet Thread and pick up a Thread Director today!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Easter Egg Placemat Tutorial

Easter is one of the best holidays in my opinion. Fun, bright colors, candy, sweets, time with family, and most importantly the true reason we celebrate Easter, our savior is risen! One thing I can remember growing up, we always went to my best friend's house after church for an incredible Easter egg hunt. All the kids would run around looking for as many eggs as their basket would hold, but the best part was each kid had their own GIANT EGG! These placemats were inspired by those giant eggs and bring back some of my childhood memories every time I look at them.

The best part about these placemats is you can use your scraps! As quilters, we all have that embarrassing stash of scraps that you just can't bear to throw away but you also never use them... I'm just as guilty as you are. So I wrote this tutorial just for those all the scrappy strips hanging out in my sewing room. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

You Belong Here

Way back in February of 2009 I wrote the very first blog post for A Thread of Red. This was the little stitching I made for that post. Shortly afterward I began decorating the second shop and continued writing the blog. Not long after that, we moved to our current location and, well, you know the scoop. I'm still here. There's a reason for that, you know - it's where I belong.

I know the mechanics of quilting, what a scant 1/4 inch is and why it's needed, how to bind both by machine and by hand, the value of color and balance, how to properly use a ruler and rotary cutter and more. But, here's the thing - I'm not the greatest quilter, yet I do love making quilts. My seams are never perfect, the back sides are usually a bit messy and need some serious thread snipping and my free motion quilting skills do leave a bit to be desired. Mostly because I rush. Time is rarely my friend. Still, I am not afraid to keep sewing and making quilts that will be wrapped around my family, my friends and, sometimes, strangers.

The reason for that is because I am surrounded by people who consistently teach me, encourage me and appreciate my efforts, coworkers and customers alike. And I watch them do the same things for you.
Yep, you. All of you. The seasoned, the novice, the timid, the expert. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't learn something. Because, truthfully, we cannot all know everything. If we did we wouldn't need each other. That's the key.

Whenever quilters gather there is lots of teaching, applauding, reassuring, praising, guiding, laughing, chatting and more all laced with a strengthening dose of friendship. It cannot happen without you. You belong here. That was the message of that first blog post and it is still the same today. Because, you know, we kind of love having you around.

See you at Shop Hop next week!

Mins (aka Karin Smith)

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Overcome Your Fear of Sewing a Bag!

Maker Kaitlin Downs

For any of you quilters out there who want to venture into bag making, but don't know where to start.. this post is just for you! 

If you're anything like I used to be, the idea of making a bag or purse probably scares the heck out of you! When you think of sewing something three dimensional you may begin to break out in a cold sweat, feel flushed in the face, or even lose all mental function.

However, don't fear! I am here today to change everything you've ever thought you knew about basic bag making. It is not scary. It doesn't require a whole new skill set from quilting. And most importantly, you don't need to be afraid to give it a try! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Funky, Fun, & Not Too Serious...

Do you ever feel like life is just too serious? That you want to laugh more? That art doesn't have to be complicated? It's fun to think outside your box, beyond traditional patterns, and challenge your creativity for a little bit of "funky."

It isn't just about looking at the photos and marveling about the creativity, though. I've stumbled across some fun techniques, such as the quilted feathers tutorial, and unique approaches to creating these works of art, too. I was really intrigued by the "Parts Department" concept described for the Abstract Houses quilt, which is made up of quilt blocks in various sizes, styles and colors, blended with black and white elements. Who doesn't have a myriad assortment of orphan blocks that never seem to be useful? I know I do! Wouldn't this be a great challenge idea! Who's up for it?

Until next time...Life is short. Buy the fabric!


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Spring Cleaning = Scrap Happy!

As many of you may know, I (Kaitlin) will be relocating to Roanoke, Virginia at the end of the week to answer God's calling on my life. Thanks to the amazing staff here at AST, especially Ken & Karen, I will still be working virtually from Virginia! I will still be sending out weekly newsletters, updating social media, and working on our new website. 

You might be wondering why I'm telling you all this, but there is a reason! While packing my sewing room up, I decided to use the opportunity to do some spring cleaning. Since it's in the 70's outside, you can spring clean in February, right? Anyway, I am not ashamed to admit, I am a hoarder of scraps. Especially Bonnie & Camille scraps! I just can't stand to throw away those little cuties! 

So since I've had so much spare time on my hands lately (NOT!!!), I have been scouring Pinterest for the best scrappy quilts I can find! Lucky you, I have decided to share my favorites with you today. (:

Scrappy Quilted Tote Bag from A Bright Corner
Kawaii Scrappy Trip Along from Mochi Studios

Scrappy Bookshelf Quilt from The Last Piece

Postage Stamp 2 from My Purple Patch

Scrappy Fence Rail from KatyQuilts

String Quilt by Crazy Mom Quilts