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!