Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What's New From Laura J. Perin Designs, You Ask?

Scarlet Thread just can't keep up with the new arrivals from Laura Perin these days. Our latest are a couple of fun, quick stitches.

First is a new entry in the American Quilt Collection, Red Hot Peppers. (This actually came out right before her Long Autumn Panel, but we got distracted by that beauty.) We now have kits available for Red Hot Peppers, in two colorways: Red and Orange. Just look!

Both colorways share the brown, yellow, and gold threads in the center. The Red colorway is pictured on the cover of the pattern. Our kit provides the chart, threads, canvas, and needles for just $47.25.

This design is suitable for a beginner, since it's all stitched in diagonal satin stitches of various lengths except for Laura's new stitch, the Long Triangle used in the hot pepper border. That means it's also a quick stitch for you experienced stitchers, making it perfect for that last-minute gift or if you need a break from all those Hilton stitches you've been doing lately.

What's the other new design? At the end of last week, we received Laura's Holiday Ornaments, Series 1. That's right, a new series of charted needlepoint ornament designs. These are small quilt blocks that measure 4.5" x 4.5" on 18-ct mono canvas.

You can finish them in a variety of ways, for example, as a set of coasters, individually in a boxtop, combined in one canvas as a square or long panel, or a pillowtop. They work up to about 3.5" x 3.5" on 24-ct congress cloth if you'd like something a little smaller and finer looking. They're truly a versatile design. Of course, you can also do them up in any colors you happen to like, changing them to fit the season or your mood.

And as 2010 draws to a close, Scarlet Thread would like to wish everyone happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gift Idea #4: Jean Hilton's Crown of Hearts

This may be the last in our series of gift ideas as the clock ticks away the days left until Christmas. I'm trying not to think of how many are left myself. So I thought what would be better than to wind up with a real winner that was recently the talk of the needlework discussion groups.

Jean Hilton created Crown of Hearts, a lovely charted needlepoint design, for Rainbow Gallery in 1989. An Oldie but Goodie, it's still a beautiful canvaswork piece to stitch.

What a beautiful, soft palette. Our kit includes crystal beads, but you could also use a mauve or grape bead to change it up a bit. Maybe use both colors. We just like the subtlety of the crystal beads. Check out this beautiful little design in our Catalog, value priced at $23.40.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gift Idea #3: Jim Wurth's Silken Sonata

The Silken series of charted needlepoint projects that Jim Wurth designed for Rainbow Gallery a while back contains three canvaswork designs that are small and quick to stitch. We started with the kit for Silken Serenade and have now added the other two. Today we focus on Silken Sonata, a pretty little 4" x 4" design stitched on 18-ct mono canvas in Victorian Green. It's done in a gorgeous combination of coppery metallics and cream silks. Take a look:

Isn't it festive? We have it all ready to ship at $20.70, a real value, so stop by the Catalog and place your order now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gift Idea #2: Caron Collection Tiny Treasures in a Box

Lois Caron's Tiny Treasures charted needlepoint pattern is a great source of quick gift ideas. She's provided nine designs for you to choose from, some on 18-ct canvas and others on 24-ct congress cloth. All are designed to fit into the top of Sudberry's Mini Box. Dawn and I whipped up a couple of the designs so you could see just how lovely they are!

These small canvaswork designs are also a great way to use up those threads left over from other projects. Each design requires just a few lengths of several threads. The design for the top box used one color of Caron Collection Watercolours and one color of Caron Collection Snow. You could also use Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame instead of the Snow for a slightly different effect. For the bottom box, I used five colors of Thread Gatherer Silk 'N Colors instead of Watercolours. You're limited only by your imagination and your stash.

We're offering a limited quantity of kits for that last-minute holiday or hostess gift. The Tiny Treasures Kit includes the chart, the box, and a piece of canvas for only $31.00. You supply the threads. Hurry on over to the Catalog and order yours today!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Gift Idea #1: Jean Hilton's Standing Ovation Kit

When I saw the pattern for this Jean Hilton charted needlepoint piece, I thought, well, it's okay, nice stitches, but what does it really look like? Then we brought in the threads, and what a difference! This piece will make a beautiful gift, either to stitch and put into a boxtop or on a pillow for someone special or to give to a stitching friend. Just look!

Aren't those burgundy, deep rose, and pink colors beautiful! And so sparkly with all the Gold Rush 14 and 18! You just don't get the true effect from the picture on the cover of the pattern. Our Standing Ovation Kit is a great value at $27.90, so click on over to the Catalog and check it out!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday and Hostess Gift Ideas!

Just a quick post, more to come later (after Sara Leigh finally gets her act together and takes some pictures).

We've got some great kits that are perfect either to give as a gift to a stitcher or to stitch as a gift. Check out the Jean Hilton section for a couple of small charted needlepoint kits and Jim Wurth's section for some newly added small canvaswork kits.

Sara Leigh will be posting a new item every day for the next week or so. There are limited quantities of some of these items, since they're subject to stock on hand or time constraints for restocking our inventory. If time gets short, we can ship overnight at cost, no extra fees attached.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Laura J. Perin Design: Long Autumn Panel

That's right. Another new design from Laura Perin, the second long sampler panel, and this is a beauty! Laura just sent us this preview so we could have it ready for you by the end of the week.

Like One Long Panel, this purple and orange design is based on a single Caron Collection Watercolours, with DMC #5 perle coton, YLI ribbon floss, and Kreinik braid completing the colorway. She's provided an alternative colorway in teals and oranges. The two Watercolours are vibrant!

We'll be offering Color Play: Long Autumn Panel as a chart, kit, and thread pack. Preorder yours now! We expect to receive the charts in the next few days.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

An Exciting New Designer, Threedles

While browsing the recent online Needlework Show, we were excited to discover Threedles Needleart Design, showcasing the artistry of Kurdy Biggs. We think you'll find these two charted needlepoint designs fascinating and irresistible.

"Looking Glass" is a stunning 12.75" diamond offered with three different colorways, based on Black (pictured), Blue, and Yellow canvas. It uses a wide variety of threads and stitches and looks to be an interesting stitching experience for the intermediate stitcher.

"Seasonal Rays" is a visually arresting small piece, 6.5" square, perfect for toting along wherever you go. There are four colorways based on (surprise!) the seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall (pictured), and Winter, all using a nice variety of threads and stitches.

Hurry over to the Catalog and check them out. You don't want to miss these!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beautiful Colors for "Tuscan Midnight"

Kathy Rees's new charted needlepoint design, "Tuscan Midnight," comes with not one, not three, not even six, but nine different colorways using 10 Caron Collection Watercolours threads (14 skeins in all) and 1 Kreinik #12 Braid! We're offering to kit this pattern on request, for our discounted kit price of $90.00. To make your selection easier, we've taken photos of all of the Watercolours used in each. Feast your eyes!


Cool Blues





"Rainforest Crunch"

Autumn (Green)

Autumn (Blue)

Now that you've made up your mind, place your order today for the "Tuscan Midnight" Kit!

A New Twist for the Glitz & Glamour Series

Debbie Rowley decided to "kick it up a notch" for her latest Glitz & Glamour charted needlepoint design, Tourmaline (Watermelon). For the first time, she's used two colors instead of her usual monochromatic color scheme, and we think it's a winner!

Aren't those pinks and greens gorgeous? And with this design, we're giving options to buy the kit, the chart, or the thread pack. That's right. The threads only. That way, if you managed to snap up the chart when you saw Debbie at the ANG National Seminar, you can now get all the threads in one place!

We'll be making thread packs available for most of the items we kit up. Check the Catalog to find more of the thread packs for recent new arrivals, especially Fun Stuff!, American Beauty, and Glitz & Glamour Turquoise.

The pricing for Glitz & Glamour Tourmaline is $63.90 for the full kit, $48.85 for the thread pack, and $16.00 for the chart.

Remember, too, that we're happy to kit up any of the charts we have in the catalog. We can normally ship within 2 weeks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ready to Go!

This is just a quick post as I prepare to get away for the weekend. We'll be shipping the first Fun Stuff! and American Beauty kits early next week. That's right! We'll finally have everything we need on Monday. So get on over to the Catalog and place your orders now.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Something Old, Something New, Nothing Borrowed, but Something Blue Coming Soon: Jim Wurth, Jean Hilton, Kathy Rees for Needle Delights

After the great response we got for the Keiko kit, we looked a little farther in the Rainbow Gallery treasure chest and found a delightful trio of designs that Jim Wurth created for them in 2001: Silken Serenade, Silken Sonata, and Silken Symphony. By an unscientific, random process, we selected one to kit up for you at a very reasonable $20.70:

Jean Hilton's Crown of Hearts has stirred some interest in the blogosphere lately, so we went on a hunt for it. Imagine our surprise when we found it buried in Rainbow Gallery's vault. She designed this beautiful piece for them in 1989. Nearby, we also found Standing Ovation, another Hilton design from 1996. Both are very affordable charts at $4.00, and we'd be happy to kit them up on request. Remember, all kits are discounted 10%. Crown of Hearts calls for some discontinued threads that Rainbow Gallery has suggested appropriate substitutions for, and it would make a lovely keepsake boxtop for a gift, if a pillowtop isn't your thing.

And now for something new! We've added a couple of new designs by Kathy Rees for Needle Delights Originals: Cocoa and Tangerine, both from her Color Delights series. And we finally have all the materials for Lavender Fields, a real beauty! It uses ThreadworX overdyed cotton floss and overdyed Kreinik #5 braid along with a couple of Anchor flosses, and the discounted kit price is $64.80. Gorgeous!

Last, but not least, we have a recent addition to Nancy Buhl's (From Nancy's Needle) American Life Series, School Days. It's a very sweet, small design at 4" x 8", using Caron Collection Watercolours, DMC #5 perle coton, Kreinik #12 braid, and Weeks Dye Works #5 perle coton. Let us know if you'd like this kitted up.

What about the blue? We're receiving the materials for Debbie Rowley's new designs, and hope to have the kits ready this week for Glitz & Glamour Turquoise and Fun Stuff. You'll be seeing red once we get American Beauty's materials in, all in overdyed cottons!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Talking With Debbie Rowley of DebBee's Designs

I met Debbie Rowley about five years ago, at the Charlotte Market, in preparation for opening Scarlet Thread in Vienna, Virginia. I was taken by her canvaswork ornaments and purchased a bunch, not realizing what they were. I've learned a lot since then.

Every year I look forward to going to TNNA's Columbus NeedleArts Market to see just what Debbie's been up to and take in the beauty of all her stitched models. This year, Dawn and I warned Debbie that we wanted to interview her for It's a Stitchy Thing, and we finally followed through in time for the release of her latest designs at the St. Charles Needlecraft Market, opening today. I think you're going to enjoy learning how she comes up with her amazing needlepoint designs.

We’ve long admired your charted canvas designs. As you know, we regularly feature your charts as well as complete kits for them on our Web site, When did you first start designing needlepoint?

I started changing things about other designs probably 15 years ago. About 12 years ago I started making up my own designs, primarily ornaments for exchange with my friends. Then 8 years ago I started DebBee’s Designs. 

You focus primarily on charted needlepoint designs. What do you like most about charted canvaswork?

I like the variety of threads and stitches that can be used on canvas. Fabric just can’t accommodate the ribbons and heavier textures, because the holes are too small and the fabric not stiff enough to support highly textured threads and stitches. Canvas is a wonderful medium to play with what’s possible with a needle and thread. I’ve chosen to focus on charted canvas rather than painted canvas because it’s generally less expensive than painted and allows the stitcher to change colors to suit his/her own tastes.

Could you describe your design process?

It’s different depending on the project. Some designs pretty much pop into my head, complete, and I just have to get them into the computer. Other designs fight me, and I have starts and stops, and struggles to make a complete design. Sometimes I start designing one thing and it turns into something else. Mostly a design starts with an idea, then I sit down at the computer and make it into a design. I never start with needle and thread; when I sit down to stitch I have a computer printout, much like the graph in one of my finished charts. After I have the design mostly worked out, I may tweak as I stitch, but it’s fairly complete from the computer. I design everything in black and white. When I have the design completed, I go to the needlework shop and pull every texture of thread in the colors I think I may want to use, including beads. I may or may not use them, but I want them ready to hand. I usually start the color scheme based on an overdyed thread, or a combination that appeals to me, and choose colors from there.

Fun Stuff
You're releasing two new designs in St. Charles, Fun Stuff and American Beauty. What was your inspiration for them?

Fun Stuff was inspired by another design, Hot Stuff. So many stitchers have had fun playing with Hot Stuff, changing the colors and enjoying the stitching, that I decided to try again. There may be a third design like this, in a different overall shape, but we’ll see where inspiration takes me! I took some stitches that I haven’t done before (Jean Hilton’s infinity stitch, interlocking Jessicas, etc.) and incorporated them, plus some interesting patterns of satin stitches. There are a couple of stitches that I “made up,” at least couldn’t find in any of my stitch reference books. I’ve taught Fun Stuff prerelease to 18 stitchers at two different shops, and 5 have already completed it! Of course, most everyone has done different colors, and I’ve loved seeing how the different color schemes have turned out.

American Beauty was inspired by two things: this year’s American Needlepoint Guild Quest challenge for the annual exhibit and an exhibit I viewed in San Jose, CA, of works by artist Chuck Close. The Quest challenge was defined as “Manipulated Mosaics”; I knew this would be the theme when I visited the San Jose Art Museum on a trip in December and happened to see an exhibit of Chuck Close’s work. He works in mosaics as an artist, creating amazing portraits with blobs of paper, thumbprints, and other things. I was struck by how much his mosaics looked like needlepoint stitches and decided to give it a try. My husband said he was watching me look at the artwork, and he could see the “wheels turning” as I examined the portraits, trying to figure out how to interpret with my needle what I was seeing.

American Beauty
I have entered American Beauty into the exhibit, and I hope the seminar attendees like it. I haven’t done many representational designs, so this is quite a departure from the abstract for me. I selected stitches that covered 4 x 4 canvas threads and used all overdyed cotton flosses, a different floss for each stitch. There are eight threads and eight stitches in the design. In essence, I used the stitches like mosaic tiles. Interestingly enough, I did not use mosaic stitch!

Scarlet Thread already has orders for American Beauty in the original as well as other colorways. Do you plan to offer other, similar mosaic designs?

If American Beauty is well-received, then I do plan to see what else I can treat the same way. I have several other flowers in mind (morning glory, sunflower, lily) but I’ve also been thinking of other things as well. 

What changes have you noticed in the field of needlepoint today?

I have noticed more experimentation with needlepoint. Using threads in new ways, applying other things to canvas. Especially at the ANG seminar, there are several classes that take an innovative approach to needlepoint. I don’t see these innovations filtering down to shops yet, but they will. 

Have you noticed an increase in folks stitching charted designs? If so, why do you think that is?

I have seen an increase in charted canvas stitchers. I think it’s due to a couple of things. For stitchers who want a break from making x’s, counted canvas offers something new.  For stitchers who are having trouble seeing the holes in fabric, canvas is easier to see, especially 13 ct. Plus, canvas really allows the stitcher to play with different textures of threads, more interesting than floss. 

What challenges do stitchers face today in stitching these complex designs? The right answer is finding all the materials they need in one place … gee, who would offer that?

And what a great service! The other challenge is finding the confidence to branch out into something new, especially for those who can’t take a class. So I work really hard on my instructions, as if I’m sitting next to the stitcher, so that someone who has never done canvas before can pick up one of my charts and complete the project. 

Glitz & Glamour: Tourmaline
Do you still have time to stitch for your own personal pleasure? What are you stitching right now?

I haven’t stitched anything for “pleasure” in such a long time. When I stitch another designer’s project, it’s because I took a class (like at ANG Seminar), or it’s part of our Needle Arts Mystery Retreat that I teach with three other teachers. In fact, I had to hire a stitcher to stitch my grandchildren’s Christmas stockings!

Right now I’m working on a design for Canvas Countess, a retreat I’m doing in February in Branson, MO; a design for a publication next year; and my part of the design for the Needle Arts Mystery Retreat next July. I also have to stitch an ornament for exchange with my ANG chapter. It will be an original design as well and probably will show up in the Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue next year.

Thank you, Debbie, for sharing your design process and insights.

Debbie also has added another new design to her Glitz & Glamour series, Tourmaline (Watermelon), which differs from the rest by not being monochromatic. Could this be the direction for future designs in the series? Let's hope so, because this is stunning!

We've got our order in for all three of these new designs and will be kitting them up. We expect to receive everything within a week to 10 days, so keep an eye out to see when they arrive in the Catalog.

Sara Leigh

                    Sunday, September 19, 2010

                    Overdyed Vineyard Silk from ThreadworX

                    That's right. ThreadworX is now dying Vineyard Silk thread! And the colors are stunning!

                    These are just the ones we've received so far, but we have an order in for all 20 colors. Kathy Rees used some of these to work the model for her new "Rainbow" design. So cruise over the shop to check out all the new things we've found.

                    Wednesday, September 15, 2010

                    New from DebBee's Designs and Needle Delights Originals

                    We've gotten a bunch of new patterns in recently from Debbie Rowley and Kathy Rees. Now we have to decide which to kit up first. The frontrunners are … *drum roll*

                    Turquoise, by DebBee's Designs:

                    This is a gorgeous addition to Debbie's Glitz & Glamour series. Like all the designs in this series, it's 5.75" x 5.75", making it nice and portable on 12" stretchers. The threads are tantalizing: Rainbow Gallery Silk Lame Braid, Splendor, Neon Rays, and Flair; Crescent Colours Belle Soie; Kreinik #8 and #12 braids; Dinky Dyes silk floss and silk pearls.

                    Lavender Fields, by Kathy Rees:

                    This is the seventh design in Kathy's Destination series. It's a nice size at 5.33" x 9.75", and the rectangular shape is a pleasant change of pace for a geometric design. She used the log cabin structure to nice effect, and the threads are delightful: ThreadworX #5 Pearl and #8 Braid; Anchor cotton floss.

                    We hope to have everything in stock for the kits within a week. Shoot us an e-mail ( if you'd like to be notified when we add these kits to the catalog.

                    Don't forget that all orders totalling $50 and more receive free shipping. And please e-mail us if you have any questions about any item that appears in the catalog. If something's out of stock, it won't stay that way for long, so check back or write to find out when it's back in inventory.

                    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

                    Oldies but Goodies: Amy Wolfson's "Amy's English Garden"

                    We've been digging around again. This time we went back to 1998, discovering a design by Amy Wolfson of Amybear Needlepoints, "Amy's English Garden."

                    Amy Wolfston's "Amy's English Garden"

                    The burgundy color palette is lovely in burgundy, cream, and antique blue silks with a couple of coordinating variegated cottons, not to mention pearly, burgundy, and dusty rose beads. It works up into a 5" x 5" finished size on French Blue 18-ct mono canvas, just the right size project to carry along with you during these last days of summer. In gathering together the threads, we found that two of them had been discontinued since the pattern's original publication. We have substituted the same color in a different thread, i.e., Splendor for the antique blue Elegance and Encore for the antique rose Overture.

                    Amy also provides a couple of alternative colorways in dark blue and dark green, which we haven't shown but can, of course, provide on request. Just e-mail us at to ask. If you would prefer a different color that matches your taste better, just e-mail us with your preference and we'll create the colorway for you. Sara Leigh has been favoring teal and turquoise lately, so she may have to see what she can come up with for that color family.

                    This beautiful kit includes the chart, canvas, threads, beads, and needles, all for only $30.50!

                    Monday, August 2, 2010

                    Laura Perin's One Long Panel Kit Now Available!

                    Scarlet Thread is pleased to announce that you can now order Laura Perin's new "One Long Panel" as a kit in any of the five colorways: aqua, peach, purple, pink, and blue. Look how beautiful the colors are (click on the picture for a larger image):

                    Each colorway includes a Watercolours, two accent colors in DMC #5 pearl cotton, and accent colors in the YLI and Kreinik metallics along with two skeins of dark green DMC #5 pearl cotton, two skeins of gold YLI ribbon floss, one skein of green YLI ribbon floss, and one spool of gold Kreinik common to all colorways. The chart comes with the gold seed beads.

                    Laura stitched the model on brown mono canvas, which is the default color choice for the canvas. We think the peach would also be nice on eggshell, the purple on lavender, the pink on rose blush, and the blue on french blue. If you'd like to pick your own color of canvas from our inventory, just e-mail your color choice to us at when you place your order. We'll verify the canvas color choice before filling your order.

                    Dawn is leaning toward the blue colorway, while Sara Leigh is torn between the peach and the purple. She's been trying to get away from always doing purple, so the peach may win.

                    Oh, yeah. You get all this for our usual discounted kit price of $45.00!

                    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

                    New from Laura J. Perin: One Long Panel - Updated

                    The other day, we received an order from Laura Perin and were delighted to discover a sneak peek at her latest pattern! You're going to love this one. It's called "One Long Panel," a most apt title. Take a look at this beauty.

                    In addition to the colorway for the stitched model, which is based on Watercolours Spearmint, she's provided four alternatives in peach, purple, pink, and blue, each based on a different Watercolours. This richly textured piece also uses DMC pearl cotton, YLI ribbon floss, Kreinik braid, and beads (provided with the chart).

                    Sara Leigh is frantically pulling the threads so she can take a picture of all the different colorways. The photos on the back of the pattern don't do the colors justice, and we want you to see what they really look like. We' ve added the chart to our catalog and hope to have this all kitted up in short order. We'll let you know as soon as the kit's been added to the catalog.

                    Monday, July 19, 2010

                    Tiny Treasures from Caron Collection and Fall Foliage from Ruth Dilts

                    Sara Leigh spent last week opening packages and adding things to inventory!

                    First up: The delightful "Tiny Treasures" designed by Lois Caron for the Caron Collection. These nine small canvaswork pieces were designed to fit into Sudberry House's mini boxes, which have a 1.75" x 1.75" opening. Seven of the nine patterns are done on 18-ct Mono Deluxe canvas and the other two are on 24-ct Congress Cloth. They all use the Caron Collection threads: Watercolours, Waterlilies, and Wildflowers, with accents of Snow, Soie Cristale, and Impressions in some of the individual patterns. Sara Leigh can't decide which one to do first. What a dilemma! Check out Janet Perry's review on her blog, Nuts About Needlepoint.

                    Next: We have Ruth Dilts's newest design, "Fall Foliage," in stock now. We'll be kitting that up and will let you know as soon as all the materials have arrived. Take a look at this third design in her series of small boxes:

                    We also have the patterns for the other two in this series, "Carnival" and "Spring Fling." All three use a skein of ThreadworX Cotton Floss as the basis for their colorways, which also include Rainbow Gallery Splendor, metallics, and beads.

                    Finally, we've gotten in the patterns for the designs pictured in Ruth's interview as well as a bunch more that we haven't had before. So head on over to Scarlet Thread's Catalog to check out the whole line.

                    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

                    Meet Ruth Dilts

                    When Sara Leigh first opened Scarlet Thread in Vienna, VA, one of the first people who stopped by was Ruth Dilts, a local needlework teacher and designer. We thought you might like to get to know her and see some of her lovely work. And if you see something you just can't live without, check out the Catalog at for all of these, and more!

                    When did you first start stitching, and what got you hooked?

                    I first started stitching when I was a Girl Scout. My fascination with the needle arts continued through college, when I took up knitting. It was in 1980, however, that I began needlepoint, and I haven’t stopped yet. My first project was a Bermuda bag, which I did in a half cross stitch. When I learned that I had to finish it myself, I was aghast. A neighbor told me about a needlepoint teacher at the local community center and about the EGA. I was completely hooked.

                    When did you first start designing, and what was that first design?

                    My first commercial design was called “Facets.” It is still sold by Rainbow Gallery! Before that design, I had dabbled in clothing embellishments and still have two of the prize-winning pieces. Someday I might return to this aspect of design.

                    Where do you find the inspirations for your designs?

                    I find inspiration in everything. It can be a place, a particular color, a beautiful fabric, church windows, or interesting architecture. All of these and more inform my designs.

                    You focus on charted needlepoint designs. What do you like most about charted canvas?

                    For me, charting a design was a natural extension of learning to stitch from a chart. I could use graph paper, whereas unlike my talented son, I cannot paint. I am told, however, that I draw lovely stick figures.

                    Do you have any new charted needlepoint designs planned?

                    I am introducing my first new design since “Mystic” this month! “Fall Foliage” is another in the small-boxes series that includes “Carnivale” and “Spring Fling.” It would be an excellent choice for the beginning/intermediate stitcher.

                    What is your favorite design?

                    Like many stitchers, I choose what I stitch or design based on my mood, the time of year, etc. For that reason, I don’t really have a favorite design.

                    Have you noticed an increase in folks stitching charted designs?

                    Yes, I have. At one time, only the Guilds seemed to stitch charted designs. Now more designers are creating charted designs; therefore stitchers have more access to this type of work. Charted designs also appeal to individuals who cross stitch. Cross stitchers are used to counting, so counted needlepoint seems quite logical. Last but not least, charted canvas is much more affordable than hand-painted canvas.

                    What challenges do stitchers face today in stitching these complex designs?

                    I think one of most challenging things facing stitchers today is the growing lack of local needlework shops throughout the U.S. as well as in England and on the Continent. For anyone travelling, usually the first thing you do is plan your visit to the local needlework shop. Sadly, this is becoming more difficult.

                    Yet at the same time, there is a growing supply of gorgeous threads and colored canvases that simply beg to be stitched. Thankfully, the Internet makes access to these new products easier than ever and does help, in small part, in easing the feeling of loss when a favorite shop closes. However, the local shops are where you can still touch, feel, and see the true colors of the threads, which is what turns me on.

                    In addition to designing, how else are you involved in the world of needlepoint?

                    You should ask how aren’t I involved in needlepoint. I work part-time in a local needlework shop. I design stitch guides for painted canvases. I continue to teach classes in needlepoint. I also serve as a sales representative for Rainbow Gallery. And if that weren’t enough, I still make time to stitch at least four hours a day!

                    Thank you, Ruth Dilts! Scarlet Thread will be adding more of Ruth's designs to our Catalog in the next few days, so be sure to check back to see what's new.

                    And for readers of our blog, we have a special offer. Ruth is making a piece she taught in 2004, “Sunrise,” available to us. We’ve kitted this colorful 4.25" x 4.25" design up for you at a cost of $10.50 -- a great value. If you prefer another colorway, select one of the Caron Collection Watercolours and we’ll kit it up for you based on that color for a total cost of $25.20. This reflects the inclusion of full skeins of threads vs. the partial skeins supplied with the original colorway. As always, this kit price reflects our 10% discount on kitted items. To order the customized kit, e-mail us with your color selection at

                    Friday, July 2, 2010

                    Oldies but Goodies: Jim Wurth's "Keiko"

                    Scarlet Thread has been rummmaging around in the archives to see what treasures can be found. This month, we bring you "Keiko," a Jim Wurth design from 2001. We think you'll agree, it's gorgeous!

                    It's a great little design to take with you when you travel, since the finished size is 6" x 6" on a 10" x 10" piece of 18-ct eggshell with gold mono deluxe canvas. The complete kit includes everything you see here -- chart, canvas, 17 threads -- plus three colors of beads and needles. Check it out in our catalog.

                    Wondering who tipped us off about the pot of golden oldies at the end of the rainbow? Needlework designer Ruth Dilts, that's who. Find out more about Ruth next week.

                    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

                    New Jean Hilton Charts! UPDATE

                    We've just learned that three new charts have been released by Jean Hilton's family: Scott Lee, Darien, and Tina. Scott Lee, if you're not familiar with it, is an 18" x 11" design that is just beautiful.

                    Here are Darien and Tina. We don't have the dimensions for these yet.

                    We are placing our order now. If you'd like to reserve a copy of any of these patterns, please e-mail us at as soon as possible. Also, be sure to let us know whether you'd like any kitted up.

                    UPDATE: It will be about 6 months before we will have these patterns. They are not being released to retailers initially. If you need to get it right away, we're not the place. If you can wait, we'll alert you as soon as we have them in stock.

                    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

                    New From Laura J. Perin

                    Laura Perin's done it again! Another fresh new design, "Daisy Chain," available as a kit in your choice of colorway: coral, as shown on the cover of the chart; pink; yellow; or lavender. Just look how gorgeous the colors are.

                    She's made this a very economical design to stitch, with one skein of Caron Collection Watercolours, seven skeins of coordinating DMC #5 pearl cottons, and a gold YLI ribbon floss. Our kit includes the chart with bead pack, 18-ct mono canvas, all the threads, and needles. The design is 10" x 10", and Laura's included a bonus chart for a smaller 7" x 7" design.

                    Another new arrival is Images Stitchery Designs's lovely hand-turned wooden laying tool. It's beautifully made, very smooth, and easy to handle. The point doesn't snag, and threads slip off the tip easily. We have two sizes, 4" and 5", in a variety of exotic hardwoods: Padauk, Walnut, Maple, Brazilian Cherry, Canary Wood, and Zebra Wood. Look at the selection in the 4" size:

                    The tool comes with a plastic tip protector. We love the way they feel!

                    Dawn and I saw some luscious fibers at the Columbus market. The Caron Collection has some beautiful new colors for the Waterlilies line as well as some new charts. Look for those in the catalog soon. There are so many manufacturers coming out with new fibers. We're trying out some samples and will let you know what passes muster. Watch for more silk and soy fibers in the future. And we're trying to decide which of the new hand-dyed canvas colors to add first. They're very rich and saturated.