Pines duo creates large quilts using cherished items

Sherie and Angel Sweet on Stitches 300x225 Pines duo creates large quilts using cherished items

WE MADE THE PAPER AGAIN THIS WEEKEND — SO EXCITING !!!!

By Fallan Patterson, Forum Publishing Group

1:29 pm, November 13, 2014
Garnet thread follows the pattern’s hearts and swirls, stitching together one of 25 memory quilts created using clothes from the family’s beloved matriarch.

The quilt is spread across a $30,000 quilting machine in Sherie McKenna’s Chapel Trail home in Pembroke Pines, where memories are preserved in fabric.

McKenna and Angel Anderson make up the Pembroke Pines-based Sweet on Stitches, a company specializing in quilts made from T-shirts, wedding dresses or other cherished items.

“Sherie and I are all about inspiring people and preserving memories,” said Anderson, who handles customer service, the embroidery work and quilt designs.

Judy Murphy commissioned the pair last year to create three T-shirt quilts using her late husband’s shirts: one for her and one for each of her children.

“Gerald dressed very dapperly with buttoned-down, monogrammed shirts,” said Murphy, of Pembroke Pines. “It was such a beautiful thing not to have to throw those shirts away.”

Kyrie John, of Miami, had a quilt made to commemorate her time at Florida State University’s Pi Beta Phi chapter.

“I was just about in tears, it’s so beautiful,” Johnson said of the quilt made from 30 shirts. “It’s a really big quilt.”

Business has exploded since the friends opened Sweet on Stitches three years ago. They hired two additional employees to help with the work load — as of Nov. 5, they have to complete 55 quilts before Christmas.

“When it gets close to Christmas, it just gets nuts,” McKenna said. “People just don’t realize how long it takes to make a quilt.”

Thanks to social media and an online Etsy shop, Sweet on Stitches has made quilts for people across the U.S. and in countries such as Canada, Australia and the Netherlands.

Katie Milas Smith, of Virginia, recently ordered her fourth quilt from them. She had identical quilts made from her grandmothers’ wedding dresses: one for her future child and one for her brother.

“They did a fabulous job with it,” Milas Smith said. “It’s really wonderful to have repurposing of an item most people would just keep in a closet.”

“We’re making amazing, personal things,” Anderson said. “We’re preserving people’s history.”

Fallan Patterson can be reached at fpatterson@tribune.com.

 

Quilt Highlights Detective’s Tenure with the City of Pembroke Pines

This story was posted in the Sun Sentinel Newspaper on November 7, 2014, it highlights a quilt we made for a Detective that served in Pembroke Pines police department for over 23 years. 

 

PHOTO BY FALLAN PATTERSON

Dean Soubasis stands next to the king-size quilt created to highlight his history of service in the Pembroke Pines Police Department.

Dectective Quilt 225x300 Quilt Highlights Detectives Tenure with the City of Pembroke Pines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Fallan Patterson, Forum Publishing Group

In more than two decades with the Pembroke Pines Police Department, Detective Dean Soubasis has acquired dozens of T-shirts and patches from the various events and endeavors he had been involved in.

“I had too many shirts after 23 years stuffed into my closet, and I don’t wear police stuff out in public (off-duty),” he said. “I just couldn’t get rid of them.”

Instead, Soubasis commissioned the quilting group Sweet on Stitches to turn his shirts into a displayable heirloom.

“He had so much stuff [that] we had to do a king-size quilt,” said Angel Anderson, who works with her partner, Sherie McKenna, on the quilts. “We’re preserving people’s history.”

The front of the quilt highlights Soubasis’ dedication to Pembroke Pines. He has served on numerous special units, including the dive team, SWAT and Honor Guard. He volunteered for fundraisers such as Team Dillon, which raised money for an officer’s son who had cancer, and competed in the annual Torch Run for Special Olympics.

He’s also been involved with the department’s volunteer pet rescue organization, Pooches in Pines, since its inception three years ago. A shirt representing the organization is on the quilt.

“I’m not a sit-still kind of person,” he said.

The quilt details Soubasis’ career since he was hired by Pembroke Pines in 1991.

His original road patrol shirt, pocket and name tag included, make up part of a side panel, along with sleeves and patches.

He only purchased two of the shirts specifically for the quilt: one featuring the American flag and the other representing the fallen first responders of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The back of the quilt is solid black with a blue band across the middle, symbolic of the blue band worn across law enforcement badges when an officer dies in the line of duty.

Also represented is Soubasis’ six years as a security guard in Hollybrook, where he insisted on remaining until he was hired by a police department.

His family, longtime Pines residents, also have a strong history of serving the city.

His father, George Soubasis Sr., was a volunteer firefighter before the city’s incorporation, and his brother, George Soubasis Jr., is a retired city detective.

Dean Soubasis, 47, has been part of the detective bureau since 1997 and is currently on the burglary suppression team.

“I’ve done every aspect of the detective division: general crime, domestic violence [etc.],” he said. “… It’s been a great career, and there are lots of things I’ve gotten to do. Everything I’ve been involved in is there.”

Send Me Pictures!

I love when customers send us pictures! It’s so great to see them loving and enjoying their quilts, it makes me so happy.  I really believe that quilts are so much more than just fabric, thread, and batting. I believe that there is love poured into every stitch, meant be loved and used.  When I finish a quilt and  get pictures of someone enjoying their quilt(s) it reminds me why I love doing this. So I just want to share a few with you!

This is the one I call the grandmothers’ quilt, it was started in the 1930’s by great great grandmother.  When great great grandmother passed away without finishing it she gave it to her daughter, great grandmother.  It then sat in her closet, untouched, till she passed away leaving it to her daughter. When her daughter was a grandmother she heard that the baby’s nursery was going to be decorated in the same colors as the quilt. She took the quilt out, shook off the cobwebs, sewed the blocks together, and brought it to us! We helped her choose the vintage pattern, quilted it for her, and bound it. She gave it to her new born granddaughter and sent me this picture a couple months later of those cute little girls playing on the quilt. I LOVE IT!! Not only is it a beautiful quilt, but it is such a beautiful piece of living family history that can continue to be passed onto to future generations.

This burgundy, black, and grey quilt is from a customer who lives in Switzerland and found us on the Etsy.com. Her boyfriend lives in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and she made this quilt top for him. So when she came to visit him she brought the quilt top to us to Long Arm, we finished it in time for her to come back in town, bind it herself, and give it to him. It currently lays on his bed in his condo!

I also love Thank You letters! This one is from a customer who has now purchased 2 quilts and counting…I love all the positive feedback, it motivates me to keep making the very best quilts we can!

The BEST Thing !

The best thing about our job is feeling that we are making something of great personal value and meaning for someone else. When I deliver a quilt to someone and see tears in their eyes,or the joy on their face ,it makes my day,week,month! Quilts are meant to last , they pass down from generation, from mother to daughter to granddaughter or son. They stay in families for years and each has a unique story. I love to be part of that!  We received this Thank You letter recently and it made me so happy, I wanted to share.

Dear Angel & Sherie,

I am writing to express my sincerest thanks and absolute AWE at the GORGEOUS quilt you assembled for my daughter Kaitlyn. It is STUNNING.

I am so amazed at the art, care, and concern. When you asked for artistic license, I had no qualms about letting you decide colors, patterns, and overall design. I knew it would be wonderful, but I had no idea HOW wonderful.

I love all the pieces that speak to who Kaitlyn is…you really took time to get to know her. Her love of music, fashion, art and travel…even taking the time to put on her favorite quotes…I mean…the research ALONE to make such a unique and amazing quilt is mind-boggling…and your talent at putting all those dreams and ambitions together into a tangible object that she will cherish forever…

…I simply cannot sing your praises enough. What an amazing piece of art. What an amazing company. What an amazing group of ladies.

You are my heroes.

God Bless…

Shannan Johnson 

Katilyns Quilt 150x150 The BEST Thing !  Can you blame me for wanting to share? This made my year!

 

A Grandmothers Gift & Very Special Project

We have had the privilege of being part of some very special projects.Recently our client Marjorie brought us a quilt top that had been started in the 1930′s by her Grandmother. When her grandmother died before finishing the project she inherited it and had kept it for all these years. In December she learned that her new baby Granddaughter’s nursery would be in the colors of the quilt top. She took it out of the box finished the blocks and sewing and brought it to us to be long arm quilted. She did her research and chose a beautiful vintage looking motif , than we discussed thread colors and density and came up with just the right combination. The quilt has a special label on the back naming it ” The Grandmother’s Gift” and giving credit to the great grandmother and grandma who made it. We hand stitched the binding and to avoid piercing the fabric anymore than necessary , we used bobby pins to hold it in place while we stitched.It was finished and ready to be brought with her when Marjorie flew out to see her new granddaughter shortly after her birth in the beginning of January. What a wonderful gift this little girl received to welcome her into the family,  not just from her family that is here, but also those who came before. I always say “quilts are so much more than fabric, batting, and thread, there is love in every stitch”  that was very apparent in this project.

Reflections of our First Year

We took delivery of our AQPS freedom longarm one year ago, almost to the day,  BOY have we learned a lot !!!! We have met some really great people, learned to manage our time, found that some ideas that seem fun don’t pay the bills, while others can be very fun and profitable.  We found that Sherie and I are very different from one another but our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other.  Sherie is a master quilter, super creative and full of new ideas. Angel is a master organizer and loves to make those ideas happen!  We perfected our system for making T Shirt Quilts, we are a whiz on the long arm ( the intelliquilter helps!) learning how to make our design visions a reality.  But most of all we learned how much love and support quilters give each other. At our  QUIP meeting this week our Guild president moved away, we presented her with a quilt from the  members, she was so overcome she had trouble giving her goodbye speech. At this same meeting one of our members who had been in the hospital and was not expected to return to the Guild, came in a wheel chair and was presented with a quilt made by all of the members.  She just cried and could not speak for a period of time…..  These woman take care of each other just as it should be.  At this same meeting we reviewed the year and it was reported that 100′s of quilts and pillow pals had been given to hospitals and local charities, also this year 315 quilts of valor were donated to the Veterans by the our Guild. Quilters know that a quilt is more than fabric, batting, backing, and thread — there is LOVE sewn in every stitch. We look forward to another great year and meeting more wonderful people !!!!!!!

Quilt of Valor 225x300 Reflections of our First YearPillow Pals 225x300 Reflections of our First YearAQPS Machine 300x225 Reflections of our First Year

 

A Tragic Story

I heard a tragic story this week from a client. She told me about her friend who had saved her son’s T shirts for 18 years. She hired a woman to turn them into a lasting memory quilt for his graduation. This Friend had a big party to celebrate and present the quilt in front of family and friends. When they opened the box, IT WAS A TRAGEDY! The shirts were cut up and sewn back together with no rhyme or reason, numbers and names were cut off or in half. It had been quilted on a domestic machine and there were puckers and folds on the back. The T Shirts had not been properly stabilized so the borders were irregular, the entire quilt was not square.  I wanted to cry just hearing about it! I too have spent the last 21 years saving special shirts from my sons life to make him a quilt. I could only imagine the heartbreak as those shirts are irreplaceable. I wanted to help in some way . That is why i am blogging about it today. Please don’t give your shirts to someone , unless you have seen their previous work ! A T shirt quilt is quite different from a regular quilt top. Every shirt needs to be properly stabilized, and then cut. You have to plan carefully…before any squares are cut you need the measurement of the largest graphic so you cut all squares to the proper size. You also need to know how big you want your finished project so that you can plan for all the shirts. A T Shirt/ Memory quilt is not a good beginner quilt. If you would like to make one, we have video’s on our YouTube channel or our Sweet on Stitches Website to help you.

tee shirt quit4 225x300 A Tragic Storytee shirt quit 225x300 A Tragic Story

This is what the design process looks like. After all the shirts are cut we lay them out on the back of a tablecloth.( works like a flannel board) When we are satisfied with the way the finished quilt will look, all the rows line up , the length and width are correct, the colors are right. Then we start sewing the rows together. After the top is finished we longarm quilt it with a thread color that will bring all the shirts together and give the quilt a cohesive look.We have been busy designing  T shirt / memory quilts all month. I wish I could be there to see their faces when they open these keepsakes!

Anderson Family Quilt

Anderson Family Quilt made and long armed by Sweet on Stitches3 225x300 Anderson Family Quilt

 

Sherrie designed and long armed this quilt for Mike and Angel Anderson to honor their wedding anniversary. Mike and Angel have been married for 22 years and have raised 5 children ages 10 through 21, still in love and together for eternity.Anderson Family Quilt close up made and long armed by Sweet on Stitches 150x150 Anderson Family Quilt

 

 

 

Sweet on Stitches will be happy to assist you in creating a family heirloom that will last for many years. We can create special occasion quilts with personalized stitching and embroidering that will honor your loved ones.    

T Shirt / Memory Quilts

Design Phase 225x300 T Shirt / Memory QuiltsWe have had so much fun with T shirt quilts. Being close to graduation many parents are trying to come up with a meaningful gift that commemorates their childrens years of school and activities. A quilt is like a hug with love in every stitch. It is a great thing to bring on their child’s next big adventure.  We made and posted new videos to our Youtube channel to help people that want to try to put the memory quilt tops together themselves.We love to share ideas and tips with our fellow quilters.

Tee Shirt Quilt T Shirt / Memory Quilts

 

We were so excited to come up with a new way to do a mitred edge on a utility binding and posted that in a 4 part series of videos on Youtube. It has been a busy month but we love busy!  When we present the mom with the finished memory quilt and she cries , we know we have done our job right. It has been a pleasure to be part of making these gifts of love.

 

Custom Nursery Project

Bird Mobile on Quilt Back 225x300 Custom Nursery Project

Birdies for the Mobile

Bumper Pads 225x300 Custom Nursery Project
How cute is this fabric ??
Nursery Basket 225x300 Custom Nursery Project

Basket Liners & Birdies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We had so much fun in March working on our custom nursery project. We started by making a custom crib quilt. Then we used the same fabrics to make basket liners, bumper pads, and a crib skirt. We made some throw pillows covers, a lumbar pillow and a fabric mobile. We are so excited to be part of welcoming this new little life into the world. It was such a joy to work with the fun colors and fabrics!

Also, in March we really enjoyed long arm quilting a beautiful Star Sampler quilt and a brand new Quilt of Valor for the Quip Guild.

Our Web site is coming along. Have you noticed how user friendly it is? Our Web designer is hard at work. Of course we want to bring more to you sooner but we have to be patient. Boo Hoo! Soon we’ll be able to add more tips and ideas to inspire play with fabrics.

Buttons1 225x300 Custom Nursery Project

Fabric Buttons for the Nursery

Bunny and Basket 225x300 Custom Nursery Project

Crib Quilt & Basket

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