Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Sale Time!

Here at Scarlet Thread, we've been sifting through the inventory, trying to make room for all the new things that keep arriving. So we've decided it's time to make room! Check out what's On Sale in the Catalog. We've got charts, kits, tools, and accessories, all at 25% or 30% off their original prices. We have scissors, lights, and ornament patterns, to name just a few things. Browse around and see what you can find.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Fun Holiday Stitching and More!

Things certainly have been jumping here at Scarlet Thread the last couple of weeks. First, the new arrivals.

Laura J. Perin has released the second in her Holiday Ornaments series, and it looks like it will be just as much fun and quick to stitch these as the first ones.

Once again, she's offered three colorways: the traditional Christmas red and green, a more muted red and green, and a blue and gold for Hannukah. Laura showed how she's finished the ornaments from the first set in her blog, Two-Handed Stitcher. If you missed the first set of ornaments, released last year, check it out here.

We also just got in a recent pattern from Lois Caron, of the Caron Collection, Stained Glass.

Isn't this gorgeous! The purples, blues, and soft yellow are so mellow; and the center, textured, white-on-white section can be stitched as specified in a solid white or with a subtly variegated white or complementary variegated pale blue or lavender to add more interest.

Scarlet Thread is also pleased to be able to add another colorway for the upcoming ANG 2012 Stitch of the Month! Jo Ann Jackson created a lovely blue set and is letting us offer it to you as another option.

We have a limited number of thread, bead, and canvas kits available in this colorway, so click on over to the ANG 2012 SOTM Blue colorway to preorder it now.

Meanwhile, it's been like Christmas as all the threads, beads, and canvas arrive for the red colorway. The response has been tremendous, so we've had to increase our orders a couple of times. We hope to be able to ship sometime next week, since we're waiting for just one thread to come in.

I think that covers everything for now.

No, one more thing. The host of the Scarlet Thread site will be doing maintenance at around midnight (DST) tonight, so you won't be able to place orders for a few hours. So don't worry if you can't place your order. Just come back tomorrow morning, or better yet, do it today before midnight!

Friday, November 18, 2011

ANG 2012 Stitch of the Month News UPDATE

The American Needlepoint Guild recently announced the thread and canvas selections for the 2012 Stitch of the Month, and it sounds like another exciting mystery to stitch! We've already put in our orders for threads, canvas, and embellishments and hope to have kits ready within the next two weeks. Here's a picture of most of the threads:

This year's mystery was created to honor ANG's 40th anniversary in 2012. Suzanne Howren and Beth Robertson were asked to design and coordinate the Stitch of the Month, and they came up with the great idea to ask teachers of past ANG seminars to help with the project as well as the families of several who are no longer with us. One look at the list, and we knew we'd be hooked:

Chottie Alderson
Ann Caswell
Mary Clubb
Jean Hilton
Joyce Lukomski
Tony Minieri
Kaye Neufeld
Shay Pendray
Jean Taggart
Anna-Marie Winter

The design is monochromatic and done in shades of red. The selection of threads promises a rich, textured needlepoint piece: Kreinik metallics in a variety of weights; silk Grandeur, Splendor, Trebizond, and Waterlilies; Panache; Soy Luster; and cotton ThreadworX Overdyed Floss and Wildflowers. It's embellished with Mill Hill seed beads and SJ Designs pearl hearts.

You can pre-order your thread, bead, and canvas kit now for the ANG 2012 Stitch of the Month. Based on recommendations from a couple of sources, we suggest going with the designers' color choice. That's what I'm planning to do. If red isn't your cup of tea, however, we will work with you to develop a different monochromatic colorway based on a different overdye.

Remember, the first installment of this charted needlepoint mystery will be posted on the ANG Web site on or around January 1, 2012. You have to go there to get the pattern, which we haven't seen yet either.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

New from the Needlework Show

We went shopping at the online Needlework Show a couple of weeks ago and now have some great new things to show.

First, drum roll please, we found Kurdy Biggs's latest design for Threedles Needlework Designs, Diamond Eyes. What a beauty! This time she's given us a diamond in a circle.

The three colorways are dazzling! From the top, they are Intrigue, Allure, and Dazzle. Which one calls to you? We're in the process of kitting them up and expect the last things to arrive any day now.

Brenda Kocher had a couple of new designs to show off. One is a beautiful new charted needlepoint baby sampler that we've fallen in love with, Tootsiebubbles: Rachel's Ribbons.

We just love the colors! And you can have charms, or not. It's up to you. Brenda's also come up with a quick-to-stitch bargello Christmas stocking, Alivia's Stocking.

We also found a few new needle minders from Kelmscott Designs that we think you're going to love. The newest of the new is Pumpkin Crow, perfect for the fall season.

There were a couple more we just couldn't resist adding to our collection: Sheep in the Night and Thistle.

So hop over the the Catalog to check out all our needle minders. While you're there, look at our New section to see whether we've added anything since your last visit.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

From Molehill to Mountain Cyberclass Registration

We recently conducted a poll on this blog, asking whether our readers would be interested in a cyberclass for Pamela Gardner's "From Molehill to Mountain" (FMTM). Based on the results, we're pleased to announce that registration is now open. This class is great for an intermediate to advanced stitcher, but an advanced beginner would enjoy the challenges it presents.

FMTM is, according to the subtitle of the book, a study in stitch variation, but it's also a color study, both explored through the process of creating a needlepoint quilt design. Throughout your journey, you will be making decisions on how to implement your personal colorway in the stitching. You'll get to play with a variety of thread types within the parameters of the color option you choose.

Each quilt block creates a "fabric" square using seven to eight variations of a single, different stitch family. There are three patterns to choose from for the sashing between the blocks and three for the border. Two layouts are provided, based on the type of color study you choose, but you can also create your own layout.

There are three color options to choose from: (1) color study, (2) overdyed thread, and (3) color study with monochromatic overdyed thread. It can be done in primarily cotton floss or silk floss with accents of different textured threads, e.g., rayon, metallic, and wool, to name a few possibilities.

You can stitch your quilt on either 24-ct Congress Cloth (13" x 9.5" design on an 18" x 15" piece) or 18-ct mono canvas (17.3" x 12.7" design on a 22" x 18" piece). You'll want to decide on the color of your ground fabric after you've developed your colorway.

So let's get down to the nitty-gritty details.

Registration starts now and goes through November 15.

Books will be mailed in mid-January.

Class begins February 6, with the first e-mail lesson; subsequent lessons will be e-mailed on the first Monday of the following 7 months, for a total of 8 classes. The last lesson would be sent in September.

A Yahoo group will be set up to facilitate discussion. All lessons will be posted on it as well as photos. Pam will be available there for questions and discussions.

Cost: $89.00, which includes the book, U.S. Priority Mail postage domestically, online lessons and instructions, and Scarlet Thread's administrative fee. There is no kit included, as everyone will be developing their own colorway for the first lesson. (Scarlet Thread is happy to help you gather the materials for your colorway if you do not have a local needlework shop.) Virginia residents will be assessed the Virginia Sales Tax. Shipping for international addresses is additional.

If you already have the book, the fee is $30.00.

To register, please click one of the following links:
If you have any questions, please contact us at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Inspiration! UPDATE

We just received Laura J. Perin's latest design, "Turning Leaves." What can we say besides, it's another winner? I guess, gorgeous, intoxicating, dynamic. I could probably go on, but why don't you take a look and see what you think?

Laura's based the colors in this lovely charted needlepoint design on two Caron Collection Watercolours, Pomegranate and Sherwood Forest. I recently used Waterlilies Sherwood Forest for a small ANG chapter class piece and was thrilled with the way the colors break in it.

We are offering both the complete kit and the chart. Don't delay! Preorder your kit now and receive it within a week to 10 days.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Gem from Down Under

Carol Young's back with a new design from Australia, Nile Jewels. We think it's a real beauty! And with a design size of 6.5" x 6.5", it's another nice portable project that you can take with you anywhere you think you'll have a few moments to stitch.

This colorway is based on Caron Collection's Waterlilies in Nefertiti, a favorite. We just love those purples and teals! She's offered an alternative muted colorway that has a totally different feel.

You could also work up a monochromatic colorway for this that would evoke another feeling. The possibilities are endless.

Originally conceived and taught as a three-square class piece, the intention was that the students would add the other two squares at home. The master chart shows the three squares taught in class; the layout gets revised for the five-square design. Carol explains everything in clear, detailed instructions with nice, large stitch diagrams.

Carol has reduced the price of her earlier design, Twisted Threads, so check it out while you're over at Scarlet Thread.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Tis the Season, and Other News

Scarlet Thread is gearing up for the holiday season. Yes, we know it's not quite October, but if you're stitching things for Christmas, it's not too early.

This just in from Northern Pine Designs: Jolly Santa.

How cute is that! He's a delightful mix of stitches in seasonal greens and reds. Don't you love his beard?

Shopping for someone else and just can't decide what they might want? We now have Gift Certificates available in denominations of $25, $50, $75, and $100. We'll send it to you as a pdf that can be forwarded to the recipient. Each Gift Certificate has a one-time-use code, so the entire amount must be applied to one order.

We also just got Kathy Rees's newest designs in her Color Delights series: Midnight and Silver. Look at the rich colors and textures she's produced for these.

Be sure to check out all the New items we've got in stock. You never know what you might have missed the last time you visited.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Puzzling and Amazing

We're very excited here at Ruth Schmuff is offering some counted canvas interpretations of painted canvases by Ada Haydon that are truly marvelous. Susan Alanson selected the stitches that bring texture and life to these colorful designs.

Up first, the "puzzling" part of this post, is Alpine Puzzle, a tantalizing mix of purples, blues, and greens with a touch of black.

I love the bright spots of the Thread Gatherer Silk 'N' Colors chartreuse silk floss. Check out all the threads:


Next up, the "amazing" bit, is Orchid Maze, a blast of pinks, oranges, and greens with a touch of brown.

Again, the bright green jumps out at you, this time in Rainbow Gallery Splendor, Needlepoint Inc. silk, and Kreinik.

We've got a limited quantity to start out with, but we expect to keep these kits in inventory. We're shipping now!

Stop by and check out all the new stuff we've been adding over the last few weeks. And don't forget the Tools and Accessories. You never know what you might find there.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Laura's Lahaina Breezes, Stunning! UPDATE

It's another beautiful geometric charted canvaswork design from Laura J. Perin. Her latest creation, Lahaina Breezes, was inspired by a batik cotton print, and what an inspiration! The colors are a divine blend of aquas, teals, and blues.

We're offering this as both the chart and the kit. We are in the process of collecting all the threads and should have them in a few days.

While you're over there at, check out a new pattern we're carrying, From Molehill to Mountain. It's not really new, just new to our site, and it's more than just a pattern: It's a 157-page book packed with instructions and diagrams for this intensive color study.

We're doing it as a year-long project in our local chapter of the American Needlepoint Guild, which has prompted us to talk to Pam Gardner, the designer of this fascinating piece, about perhaps doing a cyber class with Scarlet Thread. You may have noticed the poll at the top of the blog. Please look at the pattern and let us know whether you would be interested in participating. If there is enough interest, we'll proceed with ironing out all the details. Check out Confessions of a Remedial Stitcher for some pictures of what our chapter members have been doing.

Don't forget to check out the New section of the Catalog. We're always adding things, most recently to Brenda Kocher Designs, DebBee's Designs, and Northern Pine Designs.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gonna Take a "Sentimental Journey"

That's right. Laura Perin is taking us all on a Sentimental Journey with her newest design in the American Quilt Collection.

What a beauty! The Blue colorway is based on Caron Collection Watercolours Elderberry, one of our favorites, and is stitched on Aquamarina canvas. Look at the threads:

Does it get any better than this? Well, some might think so when they look at the other two colorways Laura has provided. Here's Pink:

And then there's also Red:

It's hard to choose, isn't it? We're offering all three colorways as kits as well as just the chart for those who want to pick out their own colors. So hurry on over to check them out along with the rest of the new things you might have missed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Goodies From the Baltimore Market

We spent several hours prowling the floors of the Embassy Suites Hotel near Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Saturday, on a hunt for the latest treasures to be had for canvaswork fans. This is a quick-and-dirty report, with pictures and links. Feast your eyes! (Links are for kits, unless we're currently offering just the chart. Of course, we can kit up any chart you'd like. Just e-mail us to let us know.)

First, from DebBee's Designs, we came away with several exciting new designs as well as some oldies but goodies that we for some reason didn't already have. Horrors!

Diamond Delight 9: What a beauty! The colors are absolutely gorgeous. Debbie used DMC Memory Thread to make those spirals in the background, a great effect.

Glitz & Glamour Opal: Very pretty! The colors are beautiful, and we love the stitches Debbie used.

Rice Pudding: Something for the novice stitcher. The whole design is done in variations on the Rice Stitch, using only Sullivans #5 pearl cotton.

We also picked up Diamond Delight III, done in lovely autumnal colors, and Autumn Fantasy (being shipped). Can you tell we were in the mood for fall? Could it be that we're tired of the awful heat of the summer, anticipating the cooler temperatures coming in a couple of months?

Brenda Kocher was there for her very first TNNA show. How delightful to finally see her designs in real life! The pictures don't do them justice, but we're working on getting better pictures from her in the near future.

Log Cabin Christmas: This is a brand-new design, just the right size to fit into a boxtop.

Celebration: An oldie but goodie, Brenda's created four new colorways for this design! We got to see samples of a couple of them.

We also picked up Fancywork and Jewels Within and Without.

Nancy Buhl of From Nancy's Needle wasn't there, but her distributor brought her two newest designs, which we had to snap up, of course.

Cardinal Caper: For all you cardinal lovers out there, this is quite nice in autumn colors.

Woodland Star: Absolutely stunning! She uses Caron Collection Watercolours in Rainforest, Chianti, and Seaweed, along with DMC #5 Perle Coton and a bit of sparkle.

Last, but certainly not least, we stopped by to see Kathy Rees of Needle Delights. We picked up two brand-new designs and are awaiting shipment of three new Color Delights creations as soon as they're officially released in the next few months.

Lollipops: A really clever, colorful design. Each lollipop is a different stitch motif!

Color Delights - Plum: The latest in this quick-stitch series, and the colors are beautiful.

Phew! I think I got everything in there.

Wait! One more thing! We recently received Carolyn Mitchell's latest bargello dream design, Florentine Dreams, which is another stunning accomplishment from her. She used a lot of silks, for which she provided DMC cotton floss equivalent. We're using the cottons for our kits, but let us know if you'd rather have the silk.

Now, really, that's it. At least for today.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

With Six You Get Eggroll!

Or in this case, options. Kurdy Biggs has done it again. Her latest design, "A Different View," is loaded with options for you to make the design your own.

This is a truly dynamic design. Kurdy has provided needlepoint charts for six octagons, which can be combined as you wish to create the finished project shown above. You can stitch it just as Kurdy's stitched her model, or you can mix it up with your own choice of four of the six charts. The five small squares can also be switched to suit your fancy. Of course, if you just happen to like the way Kurdy did it, there's absolutely nothing wrong with doing it her way.

She's also provided two other colorways in addition to Black (shown above). They are Golden Glow:

and Koral Kiss:

These are both stitched on hand-dyed canvas from Zweigart. Stunning!

We're offering this innovative design as both the chart and the Black kit. The other two kits will be available on demand. While you're drooling over this fabulous new design, check out the Tools and Accessories we offer.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Trick or Treat! Jeff Kulick Serves Up His Take on Halloween

Scarlet Thread is excited to introduce another new designer to you: Jeff Kulick. We've been working with him for several months to bring his first chart to you, "Halloween Abstract." Recently, Jeff sat down and answered a barrage of questions we lobbed his way. I think you'll find his take on needlepoint refreshing and inspiring.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, e.g., what region of the US do you live in, what do you do, anything you'd like to share.

I grew up in the Midwest, but I've lived in the Washington, DC, area for more than 30 years. I teach at George Mason University, and I work with a number of publishers reviewing content of cases and books and preparing support materials for textbooks. I'm married with two grown sons and one granddaughter.

When did you start stitching, and what got you interested in it?

I had worked as a carpenter during and right after college, and I've enjoyed making things. I was hooking rugs and my wife was doing needlepoint. I worked with her on a piece and then started working on my own. That was several decades ago.

It's strange for someone who works in education, but I've never taken a class. I collect and read books and articles. I've got probably a couple dozen stitch books or more. When I need a break from the stitching I am doing, I browse through these to come up with new ideas or approaches.

It's also important to talk to other stitchers and the people in the needlepoint supply stores. I've also had the great good fortune to meet and become friends with a number of other designers. And talk to the finishers. Their advice is invaluable.

What do you like most about charted needlepoint? Do you do any other type of needlework?

I like seeing designs emerge, and I customize almost every piece I do — sometimes changing stitches and threads, almost always changing colors. I do work on painted canvasses, even finishing some.

I have tried crossstitch, blackwork, and others, but they don't interest me in the same way.

I start more charts and designs than I finish. I keep looking for new ideas and things to learn. Sometimes I abandon pieces when I think I've learned what I can. I can only recall one piece I was so angry at the poor quality of the instructions and design that I threw it away in disgust.

What was the first piece you designed, and what was your inspiration or motivation?

I began designing pieces soon after I began stitching. I started experimenting with stitches and colors, which I continue doing today.

Today, I often start with a simple design idea, an image, threads, or even a stitch. I also create designs to try new techniques.

What keeps you designing?

I'm also a really good cook. Almost twenty years ago, I realized in mid-March that I had not repeated a menu that year, and that began a challenge that continues today. We don't have the same menu more than once a year. We might have several different kinds of pizza, but not the same one in any given year. It's the same idea in designing and stitching. I recently did four color variations of the same design. It was another experiment and did win an award at Woodlawn, but I'm not doing that again.

If I start running out of ideas, I can always start finishing some of the projects I've started.

You've submitted a lot of finished pieces to needlework exhibitions, and won a number of ribbons, close to 50. How do you see such shows influencing or supporting the needle arts?

I was lucky in terms of exhibitions. The first piece I ever entered won a blue ribbon at Woodlawn, and I was hooked.

Not all the pieces I design or stitch are "competitive." Things that I submit are at a high level of stitching quality and special design. I think these competitions keep raising the bar. I have not gotten an award for each piece I have submitted.

The exhibitions show talent and trends. I learn about new designers and new techniques. I don't copy ideas, but I look at the ways other stitchers are handling challenges.

I don't think every piece should be entered, but I think every stitcher should accept the challenge of creating a piece that should be submitted. Stitching is very personal, and creating an exhibition piece is about stitching at the highest level one can.

You did some experimenting with more than just fiber in one of the designs you entered in the Woodlawn Needlework Exposition this year. Please talk a little about this piece, which we found fascinating.

Ah, that piece. Canvaswork is constrained by the up and down threads. I've played with a lot of designs to push that. One of my pieces that won a lot of recognition included a five-sided figure. That was a real challenge. Circles are a challenge. Curves are a challenge.

The next logical step for me was to look at the canvas ground and change it. I found the idea in New Canvaswork: Creative techniques in needlepoint, by Jill Carter. I found some specialty papers at my local art supply store and online. I then started pulling threads and thinking about specific design ideas. I finally selected a paper with grey, hair-like threads and a black and grey colorway. The design challenge was to find threads and shapes that looked complete but were open to show the paper.

The paper, by the way, was fused to 14-count canvas using iron-on fusing material.

I have been working on designs where some of the canvas shows through. I've also been thinking about designs that go beyond conventional threads.

It's a matter of playing with all these ideas until a good, strong design emerges. Just because you can do some things in needlework doesn't mean you should. It's got to have a unifying idea that pulls everything together. Details are wonderful, but they must support the overall design.

Do you see any particular challenges facing needleworkers today?

You mean besides finding the time to stitch and the money to finish them well?

Here's one: Supporting your needlepoint stores — online and physical stores. Both have roles to play.

I also think it is important to experiment. Right now there are problems with the supply of some wool threads. Wool has good points, but it's not the only thread to use.

What do you do with your needlework once it's been finished?

That depends. Some are framed, others end up as hangings, stockings, or pillows. Most of my completed pieces are simply put into a portfolio or stack. I don't have enough wall space — or the desire — to display all the pieces I've finished. I rotate pieces.

What are you working on now? Do you find yourself stitching other people's designs less often and spending more time doing your own thing?

I've got about ten active projects — some original. I find I'm attracted to experimenting with bargello techniques as a starting point. I also am extending the idea of "Halloween Abstract" to create abstracts for other holidays.

In general, I find myself going back to designs, ideas, and techniques from 20 or 30 years ago and experimenting with new threads and ideas.

And finally, what we're all dying to know: What's it like frequently to be the only guy in the room?

As part of the fraternity of male stitchers and designers, I'm sworn to secrecy.

"Halloween Abstract" is just the first of Jeff's designs that we'll be charting and distributing. So you'll want to keep an eye out for them in the next few months. Meanwhile, click on over to pick up the chart or the kit. And while you're at it, browse our new items.