Wednesday, May 23, 2018

An OTS Update...or, What's Jeanette Up To These Days...

It has been almost 6 months since Jeanette's "retirement" from teaching at Whitlock's, but you're not going to find her lazing her days away! Between all of the kids, grandkids and great-grands, not to mention sewing wedding dresses and, of course, quilting, she has been keeping herself busy. While On The Stitch is still going strong, she has been able to celebrate a wide variety of achievements and joys with family!

Josh and his bride to be Anezka
A few highlights from this year include meeting her future granddaughter-in-law from the Czech Republic and making an amazing wedding dress in a week during January. We'll show photos later as we don't want Josh to see the dress before the wedding!

Andrew, Jeanette and little Shep

Along with marriages come babies, and finding out great grandbaby number 4 will be joining us this summer was a wonderful surprise! Can't wait to meet Andrew and Jeanette's (yep, she's little "Nettie" named after her Grammie) little guy, Shep!!

Poppa and Grammie with some of the little grandkids

Jeanette has also been enjoying quilting as well as doing some fun sewing projects. She especially likes to be able to make special goodies for the littlest grandkids and great-grands!

Another awesome thing was there were THREE college graduations in the family this May. 

After raising a family and working as a middle school librarian in Grants Pass for a number of years, daughter Dawn earned her Bachelors Degree from George Fox University. 

Whitney's nephew Alden is so excited for her!

After graduating from University of Southern California two years ago, daughter Whitney earned her Masters Degree from Willamette University on Mother's Day.

And after just three years, granddaughter Carissima earned her Bachelors Degree in History from Christendom College in Virginia.


Stay tuned for more quilting adventures with Jeanette as she keeps going On The Stitch!!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday-New Tool Review

A plethora of threads
Obviously, every quilter knows how important good thread is to their craft. At OTS, this is no exception. We use Superior Threads for all of our machine quilting. The selection of their "Sew Fine" threads cannot be beat in color, stitching and wear. They also make the quilting easier as they leave almost no lint and are great for all batting, whether cotton, polyester or wool.

Besides helping to choose quilting designs, choosing the right thread color is another favorite task. So many people just choose thread that matches the backing or front of a quilt, but we like to put a lot of thought into our choices.
Here are some questions we ask when choosing thread:
~Would a blending color or pop-out color look better on the pieced design?
Some quilts are very simple while others have a wide variety of colors. Sometimes the quilting looks better when blended while other quilts look fantastic with a bold color choice of thread.
~What quilting design are we using and which color would highlight that?
The color can matter if we are using a unique or custom quilting design.
~What style of quilt is this?
This one's especially important as more quilters are doing vintage-styled quilts but want a modern quilt design or vice versa.
Superior Threads also has a great website and monthly thread club which we love being a part of as we get to try new colors each month. Like we've said before, we don't get any money from sharing our tools with you, but we want your machine quilting and sewing to be the best it can. Enjoy your Monday and stay sew happy!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Flashback Friday- Custom Waves

Many of the requests we get at OTS are for custom quilting. These are always a bit challenging, but we enjoy trying new things. The grey quilt with wavy line quilting was made by Heather Costello from Greenbaum's Quilted Forest. Heather had shown us a photo of another quilt with a wavy design that had been done freehand. We put our Pro-Stitcher to work and designed our own Wavy Lines. The quilt turned out so well and has graced the front window of Greenbaum's since it was finished.
Another one of Heather's quilts feature these great rectangles on grey as well. While the quilting design we used wasn't one we designed, we ended up reshaping and resizing the design to fit the quilt just the way she wanted it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday- New Tool Review

With all the measuring and marking that goes on during quilting and sewing, it's important to have the "write" tools! I wanted to share a few of the tools that make it easier for us to do what we do.

A few inky helpers
The first are the water soluble/erasable markers. These have been around for a long time, but they still work well on finer fabrics as well as light colored fabrics. The only issue with these is that they tend to dry out quickly, so you need to be sure to keep the lid on when not using them.
Hi-Oh Silver Quilter's Pencil
This is the first official marking pencil I was given about 25 years ago. Jeanette used it on a wedding dress she was making last week, and it worked really well. I like to use it for embroidery as it gives a nice defined line that is easy to see on both light and dark fabric.
FriXion Pens don't cause us any friction
These FriXion pens are the newest marking tools in the arsenal. With a wide assortment of colors, they are great for any color of fabric. They come off with heat, so they're great for marking binding or other pieces that you'll be ironing when you're finished sewing.

Pressing with the Best (Press, that is)
Okay, so these are obviously not writing or marking tools, but I thought I'd give you a little bonus review. I know Jeanette's been using Mary Ellen's Best Press for a long time, but I hadn't tried them as I have been trying to finish my can of spray sizing that I have had for a long time. When my daughter, Carissima, went off to college, she left me her bottles of Best Press. I must admit as soon as I used it, my can of sizing was relegated to the back of the shelf. This is a wonderful item! It's great on everything from fine fabrics to quilts to embroidery. If you haven't tried it yet, be sure to get some today.

We're sew glad you stopped by OTS for our tool review today! Next week, I'll be sharing about the importance of thread and what we use here in the studio.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Flashback Friday- Vacation Edition

We got to spend Mother's Day
with some of the family in Grants Pass
before Jeanette headed out to California
Since Jeanette's down in California this week for Whitney's graduation from USC, I thought I'd do a little sharing of some projects I've been working on both at On The Stitch and in my own studio, Piccolo Di Luce. I promise next week we'll have more of what's been going on at OTS!

Some little embroidered animals
I like to do handwork as it gives me something to do while watching the latest BBC costume dramas. These adorable little animals are from Penguin & Fish. I'll be putting them onto baby bonnets for grand nieces soon as they are too cute not to use as part of a bigger project.

Log Cabin Linen Photo Pillow
And speaking of nieces, this is a linen photo pillow I designed as a gift for the most recent niece wedding. It's done in a variety of linen sewn in a log cabin pattern. I'm planning on doing some quilting on it before popping into the mail for the happy couple.

Embroidered Baby Quilt Label
I also made this baby quilt over the last few weeks to send back to Thomas More College in NH for a couple who are expecting their first baby. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson-Briggs are a very special couple who teach The Way of Beauty course to freshman including my daughter Mary, so I knew they needed a special baby quilt. I hand embroidered all the squares and then sashed them using vintage cotton strips that had been hand sewn. I finished with a mustard border, and more vintage strips for the binding. The label was the final touch, and I think it turned out really great.

So the last couple of things I wanted to share weren't made by me, but they are so fantastic I had to show you. If you haven't tried a craft or quilt swap, then you really must. These items were from my Narnia Craft Swap partner. She sent a plethora of Narnia-related items that are just wonderful. You can find all sorts of swaps online from aprons to crafts to quilts. Be sure to check them out!

Thanks for stopping by our Flashback Friday and for letting me share some things I've been working on. We'd love to see some of your creations too, so be sure to share with us in the comment section! 

Friday, May 6, 2016

Flashback Friday- Babies, Boxers and Motorcycle Pigs

We were busy with some fun quilts a few weeks back. 
Here they are for Flashback Friday-

Jungle Buddies- quilted with jungle leaves
 for a happy new Grandma

A close up of the Boxer quilt. It was quilted
with a dog bone design in brown.
The Boxer quilt- it's doggone awesome!
Motorcycle Pigs- The back was out of flame
fabric. It turned out great!
I couldn't resist a close-up of the flame quilt design

Monday, May 2, 2016

Monday- New Tool Review

 "If you cannot measure it, you cannot control it." ~ Lord Kelvin
"Measure twice, cut once." ~ English Proverb
"Measure seven times, cut once." ~ Russian Proverb
"Better measure short of seven, than spoil all at once." ~ Gaelic Expression

As you can tell from the above quotes, measuring has been an important part of creating for a very long time. Here at OTS, we use a few different ways to measure, and always follow one of the above adages. Today, I'll share some of those measuring tools with you.

A standard 120 inch tape
The tape that gets used the most is this standard 12-inch measuring tape. The length is important as many of the quilt tops we get run from 90-110 inches in length. We always measure the quilt top and back as well as the batting when we receive a quilt and then re-measure before it goes up on the frame. Everything is written down on our intake paper, but it's always good to be sure.
The second tape we use is this 14' centering tape. It is really helpful when having to adjust the size of quilt backs before they go on the frame as well as making sure everything is centered once it's ready to be quilted.

The spring tape measure
Another tape measure that we don't use a lot in quilting but in other sewing is the little spring tape measure. These generally aren't very long, but they're similar to a construction tape measure in that they will stay at a chosen length once pulled out. You simply retract the tape when you're all finished.
The FabriCalc
Jeanette has had one of these Quilter's FabriCalc for a while in the studio. It's a huge help for figuring out how much fabric you need for backing, binding, etc. when you're putting a quilt together. 

The Robert Kaufman Quilter's Little Helper
Nanci's newest favorite measuring tool is this quilting calculator from Robert Kaufman Fabrics. It's a free app (available on the app store) that helps do the same sort of thing the FabriCalc does, but it is much more user friendly. 

We're sew happy we were able to share some of our favorite ways to measure with you today. Thanks for stopping by On The Stitch!