Friday, July 22, 2011

Quilt Shop Visit - A Scarlet Thread,

For Mother's Day this year I got a gift certificate from my in-laws to A Scarlet Thread.  This is one of my favorite gifts ever because, in this economy, I feel a little guilty about my habit hobby.   I have gotten to be a pro at shopping from my stash, thanks to Bonnie Hunter and the Stashbuster crew. But a gift certificate is free reign.  There's no place else I can spend it.  It would be a waste not to spend it.  And they don't sell groceries or school shoes, so it's not my fault if I come home with more fabric!

This visit has been a long time coming.  The shop is about an hour from home, so not close enough to swing by.  We've driven past it several times on our way to or from a lacrosse or football game, but with a carload of kids and not enough time to stop.

Ironically, my husband is the one who told me that it even existed.  He has a client in the same shopping center, and has been known to text me pictures of the sign with a note that says, "Guess where I am!" or "Sorry you're not with me at the LARGEST QUILT SHOP IN GA!"  Yeah, he's thoughtful like that.

The even-better thing about this shop is that it is just a few minutes from my friend, Pam.  When Mom and I decided to make a run down to McDonough, I sent Pam a message to ask if she had time to meet us.  Her response was, "I will make time!" which only goes to show that some friends are true blue no matter how long it's been since you've seen them.  Or it could have been that she needed a batik infusion.  It's hard to say.

I could show you the backseat load of gorgeous quilts that Pam has finished since I last saw her.  (We had Show and Tell in the parking lot.)   I could show you the One Block Wonders or the Fractions quilts, or Nathan's Arctic Animal quilt with the Northern Lights fabric and the incredible applique.  But I think my favorite picture is this one:

This is Pam's scrappy quilt.  It looks a little like Bonnie's Pineapple Blossom, but I'm not sure.  The funniest part of the whole thing is how Pam kept pulling these stunning quilts out of the back seat and we'd hold them up and oooh and aaah.  But when she got to this quilt, she kept it folded up and walked halfway across the parking lot, explaining that this was a quilt you could only look at from far away.  I love it!  Up close you can see that it is truly scrappy, with jelly bean fabric and all kinds of crazy stuff.  Which just goes to prove what Bonnie always says:  if a fabric is too ugly to use, you just haven't cut it small enough.

Finally we made it inside the shop, which is beyond overwhelming.  I just stood and stared until Angela (the fabric manager) looked up from cutting fabric and asked, "First time?" 

The shop is so light and beautiful and well organized, from the light fixtures to the many, many samples displayed.  We spent over 2 hours just shopping, fondling fabric, discussing patterns, and even pausing in a comfortable pair of club chairs to catch up on the kids/pets/husband news.

This was a unique section of the shop I have never seen anywhere else.  That whole shelving unit is full of "Bundle Paks" on all four sides.  These are five, 1 yard cuts of fabric.  When you buy one, you get to choose a free pattern that will work with any of them.  The samples you see here hanging in the window and around the store are examples of the different patterns.   What a great idea for when you fall in love with one of those little bundles; now you know exactly what to do with it!

Just when you think you can't take in any more, you walk through another set of doors and see this wave of batiks.  This room might be where quilters go when they die if they finish all their UFOs.  There are literally walls of batiks on one side, a swath of 108" fabrics to choose from, shelves of batting and fusible web and Pellon.  Plus a HandiQuilter

Here is the true root of the store; they started out as a small sewing machine shop with no fabric at all.  Now there is an entire room for sewing and embroidery machines, threads, stabilizers, accessories, just goes on.  There are rooms and rooms and rooms.  I told Pam that it felt like Hogwart's, and that I half expected to push through the last set of doors to find yet another room full of fabric and notions and batting.  The woman ringing us up said we were half right - apparently there is empty space in the shopping center that the owner likes to dream about! 

Speaking of the owner, you have to go find her when you visit.  Or call her if you are feeling a little blue.  Karen is hilarious, and had us in hysterics while our fabric was being cut.   We covered everything from hair product to husbands.  I told them they could just set up that last room as a comedy club so they could make money all night as well, and Angela commented that they had thought about it.  Just don't tell her she looks like Paula Deen!

Thanks to Karen, Angela and everyone at A Scarlet Thread who made us feel so welcome and graciously posed for pictures even though they were in the middle of loading a truck for retreat.  You made us feel like old friends.  And you know what they say:  the road to a friend's house is never long.  See you soon!


  1. A visit there is now on my bucket list. Is the shop name a reference to Rahab in the Bible, I wonder? Gorgeous quilts, lovely shop pics. I'm envious.

  2. Oh my goodness I love that shop. I dont get there often about an hour away for me also. Hope you got to buy some yummy fabric.


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