Friday, April 28, 2017

1,200 1 1/2" Squares!

What does a quilter do with 1,200 1 1/2" squares?? There are probably as many answers to this question as there are quilters out there! I'm making 50 needlecases for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Here are a few of them being arranged and rearranged for sewing.

I was at a quilt retreat over the weekend and got a few more put together.

Eighteen finished so far! I have until the November shoebox collecting week to finish them all. I used a free pattern from Beyond The Reef found here: Teeny Simple Needle Cases For Friendship Group.

Here's what the inside looks like. There will be several needles in each case, plus a spool of thread and charm squares in each box.

We have 50 shoeboxes in process for girls...

And 50 shoeboxes for boys. The boys are getting the Mission Ball soccer balls. Those stuffed animals in the photo above are going in the girl's boxes. The boy's boxes have more masculine stuffed animals, thanks to Tracy!

What would you do with 1,200 1 1/2" squares???

Grace and peace!  ~Nancy

Linking to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts, Sew Can She, Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Love Laugh Quilt.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sew Blessed To Be a New Quilt Blogger!

The 2017 New Quilt Bloggers hop has begun and I'm part of it! Our generous leaders are: Leanne @ She Can QuiltYvonne @ Quilting Jet GirlBeth @ Cooking Up QuiltsVisit their blogs and enter to win some amazing gifts!

And a big thank you to the two quilters in my critique group: Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts and Liz @ Savor Every Stitch. They gave me so much technical blogging advice. Check out their awesome blogs!

Now, about Grace and Peace Quilting! I chose that name for my blog and my machine quilting business for the peaceful feeling it gives, as well as it being a blessing--a blessing on the quilt, the quiltmaker, and the quilt receiver. 

I started sewing in elementary school and began quilting right out of college, with a degree in Textiles. Life has taken me to many different places around the world, most noteworthy being Japan, where I was a missionary for 24 years and met DH, who is a pastor!

The quilting world is huge in Japan! I've been influenced by my Japanese quilt friends in fabrics and style. If you want to experience the largest attended quilt show in the world, visit the Tokyo Dome Quilt Show, held yearly in January in a domed baseball stadium. It is phenomenal! 

DH and I have three 20-something children. (Yes, my son's arms can encompass all of us! He is 6'6".) We home schooled them each at different points in their education. Our youngest graduated from home school/high school two years ago, which has opened up my time. 

I have been longarm quilting for 4 years on an APQS hand-guided longarm. I also enjoy working part-time at my LQS, Quilt Cove

You'll find me at the membership table of Minnesota Quilters at the Thursday night meetings. I'm also a member of Dakota County Star Quilters, and a small group of enthusiastic quilters--the Scrapbaggers, plus I continue in the yearly "summer homework" with my Tama Quilters friends in Tokyo. Being around other quilters motivates and inspires me!

My favorite quilt is my Tsukubai quilt. I made it as part of the 100 Modern Quilt Blocks sew-along on the Sew Sweetness blog. I made my blocks from Japanese fabrics--antique indigo and cottons, kimono silks, reproductions and modern Japanese prints.

The blocks are arranged to resemble a famous "Tsukubai", water basin, in Kyoto. The kanji writing on it says "All I have is sufficient for me". As a quilter, this is a reminder to use my stash! 

I let out a whoop when Tula Pink chose my quilt top for 1st place! The prize was to have Angela Walters quilt my top!!! I met Angela in person when she finished quilting it. She quilted each block different! This quilt hangs in our home and when I need quilting inspiration, I look it over and get quilting ideas straight from Angela's hand. 

Another favorite quilt of mine is my Bob and Weave quilt, a design by Gudrun Erla. You can read more about it on my first blog post.

And my third favorite is really a group of favorites--my mini quilt gallery going downstairs to our sewing studio. One side has minis made mainly from Japanese fabrics, including mini kimonos.

And the other side has more modern mini quilts, with a lot of room for more!!!

Blogging tip: for me, the more photos on a blog, the better! Use a white foam board from the dollar store, and a Lightcase #Flatlay for close-up photos of fabric pulls, mini-mini quilts, and notions. 

It makes for beautiful, bright photos and is great for Instagram, too. I got mine when it came out on Kickstarter.

Quilting tip: when drawing lines on squares for half square triangles, instead of a ruler, use a fingernail file. The grippy part makes it stay in place. Keep one just for this purpose in your sewing box. We sell these quilty ones at our quilt shop!

Longarm quilting tip: put Red Snappers on your leaders--it makes loading quilts quicker and neater--no pins to deal with.

Question for you: What comes to mind when you think of Japan?

Now, what do you do with 1,200 1 1/2" squares? Subscribe to my blog (by email, Bloglovin, or Feedly) to see my answer!

Check out the other new "Let's Bee Quiltin'" bloggers being introduced today, 
because every quilter has a story!
Gail @ Quilting Gail
Kathy @ Kathy's Kwilts and More
April @ Janda Bend Quilts

Grace and peace!!!  ~Nancy

Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Love My Job!!!

I love my job! I get to see not just my own quilts, but others' quilts come to life with quilting. It adds a lot of variety to my quilting world!
I have three client quilts to share with you today. 

This fun Christmas throw is Marcia's. It's a group effort--others made the trees for her and she put them together and added the 3-D pinwheels.

This quilt definitely needed some custom treatment. Marcia called those trees "toe catchers", as her granddaughter loves to sit on it now, but her toes can get caught on those 3-D trees. The same is true with my hopping foot--I had to be careful not to catch one of those trees while swirling the background!

The border called for some piano key quilting, with snowflakes added on each "key".

The borders and many of the blocks are made from a fabric line by Basic Grey. I love the turquoise thrown in there with the traditional greens and reds of Christmas.

Vickie made this log cabin quilt for her sister's birthday. 

It's made from a variety of batiks and print fabrics.

This edge-to-edge design is "Oma's Garden", featuring feathers, hearts, leaves and swirls.

I'm sure her sister will love it!

Julia said this is the third time she has made this quilt pattern! I quilted one for her--you can find it here, in pink, green and ecru.

I quilted "Flirtatious" on it, which is light and airy.

She chose Quilter's Dream Puff batting, which makes the quilting show up nicely. 

Come back on Monday, when I will be posting an intro as part of the "2017 New Quilt Bloggers"!

Grace and peace!!!  ~Nancy

Check out all the interesting quilt posts at Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Welcome Spring Quilting!!!

My local quilt guild, Dakota County Star Quilters, is having a "Think Spring" challenge. Here are the table centers and runners I finished this week! Pattern info here.

The two tablerunners are approximately 60" each. I'm keeping the slightly longer one and will give the other away--don't know who to yet!

I quilted this "Japanese Fan" quilt for Dalores this week:

The pattern is by Judy Martin. The black background really sets off the variety of oriental prints Dalores used.

"Exotic Vine" quilting:

And lastly, I am making progress on the two extra-long twin size quilts I'm making for Mary. I have both tops pieced and they are in line to be quilted!

Grace and peace!!! ~Nancy 

Check out some quilty fun blog posts at these hubs:  Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Love Laugh Quilt, Cooking Up Quilts.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

One Tablerunner = 6

I've been working on our guild's "Think Spring" challenge recently. I started making a tablerunner from the book, Lucky Charm Quilts. The pattern is for a double braid tablerunner. But after I put it together, it was too wide for our dining room table! 

So I took the two braids apart, shortened them a bit, and it turned into two extra-long tablerunners and four table centers!!! 

Here are 4 of them loaded on my longarm:

Straight line quilting on this table center:

Peacock feather quilting on this table center:

Leaf swirl quilting on this table center:

And flowers-in-a-line on this long tablerunner:

Here are a few of them, with the first step of binding on:

In other Quiltland news, Denyse Schmidt is in Minneapolis this week! She is the "mother of modern quilting". She told her quilt story at the Minnesota Contemporary Quilters meeting on Thursday evening, March 30.

One point she talked about is how she has always preferred using solid fabric because they are replenish-able over the years, as opposed to prints, which are usually not reorder-able.

I love the figure 8 quilting she has done on many of her quilts and I use figure 8 quilting on quilts myself. She originally had her quilts hand quilted by Amish women in southeast Minnesota. When she turned to longarm quilters, she didn't want a pictorial quilting pattern, so she found the figure 8 quilting blends into quilts nicely and has soft, round, flowing curves. 

Grace and peace!!!  ~Nancy

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, Quilting Is More Fun Than Housework, Cooking Up Quilts, Patchwork Times, Love Laugh Quilt.
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