Japanese Quilters and Comfort Quilts for Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami Victims

Our Nifty Fifty Quilting groups have also done international quilt block swaps.  Our Nifty Fifty swaps usually had 50 quilters but we thought 20 international quilters would be a more reasonable number of quilt blocks to manage. So we chose the name Twenty Plenty for our international swaps.

We eventually had a total of three Twenty Plenty International quilt swaps.  We had so many quilters for our second swap that we had to divided the groups into two.  The theme for our third Twenty Plenty swap was Sunbonnet Sue and our hostess was Suzanne Pratt.

Our international swaps included over 50 different countries and 135 unique quilt block designs.  We had several quilters from Japan. One of these quilters was Hiroko.  Hiroko participated in all three  Twenty Plenty Swaps.  She did many unique and beautiful quilt blocks.   

Hiroko’s Quilt Block

Hiroko’s Quilt Block

Hiroko’s Quilt Bloc

Hiroko was contacted by our local newspaper when they did a story about our swaps called A Patchwork of Friends and she was quoted in the newspaper article….
“Hiroko Onozawa wrote from Japan to say: “I can’t find any suitable words to express my mind. I have
received 60 blocks from around the world.” Later, Onozawa wrote to tell members that she would appear on television in Japan because of her participation in the project.”

And sure enough Hiroko did appear on a Japanese television show…showing off her completed Twenty Plenty Quilts.  Hiroko sent me a copy of the television program.  It was great to actually “meet” one of our quilters from Japan even though it was on a taped television program. I loved being able to see the international quilt blocks that I had sorted and swapped out of my house in a completed quilt.

Hiroko’sTwenty Plenty Sunbonnet Sue Quilt

This is Hiroko’s Sunbonnet Sue quilt from the Twenty Plenty Swap.  
I love the way Hiroko used the purple sashing and border to bring out the beautiful quilt blocks.

Hiroko’s Twenty Plenty International Quilt

Hiroko took a different approach in sewing together the first set of Twenty Plenty swap blocks.  She used a more neutral sashing and border but added a spark to the quilt with a variety of colored stars in her sashing. 

I am happy to say that I have been in touch with Hiroko since the terrible Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan.  Hiroko still had the same email address even after all these years.  I contacted her and I received a response right away. She said that nothing is broken, fallen down and nobody is injured.  I am not sure how far away she was from the earthquake. I am glad to hear that she is safe.

We had three other quilters from Japan in our swaps.  But I have not been in contact with them.  Hopefully they are all safe like Hiroko.  Here are the other Japanese quilt blocks from our swap.

Misako’s Japanese Quilt Block

Nancy’s Japanese Quilt Block

Shizuka’s Japanese Quilt Block

Maybe with this blog they will read about us inquiring about their safety and contact us.  We are especially worried about Nancy as her quilt block is signed Sendai, Japan. Our thoughts and prayers are to all of those in Japan living through this tragedy.  Quilters always come forward to help those who are in need and the Japanese people are in need of quilts to keep warm. 

 The Quilter’s Newsletter has been in contact with the Patchwork Quilt Tsushin which is a leading Japanese quilt magazine.  The Quilter’s Newsletter  will be collecting quilts for Japan and forwarding them to the Editor in Chief of the Patchwork Quilt Tsushin, Naomi Ichikawa.  Here is the information  copied from  the Quilter’s Newsletter Blog
“Send quilts of any size from baby to adult to: Dana Jones
Quilters Newsletter
741 Corporate Circle, Suite A
Golden, CO 80401

•    Mark your box: “Quilts for Japan.”
•    Send quilts as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2011.
•    Enclose your name, address, phone number, and email address with the quilts.”

You can read more information about sending the quilts to The Quilter’s Newsletter or you can contact them with questions by visiting their blog at http://networkedblogs.com/fA9SP


Looking back at September 11, 2001 Quilt Blocks

The weather is just starting to turn and it is just starting to feel like Spring. This week I spent the time updating some of the Nifty Fifty Websites.  I changed the main pages to a much lighter look.  This week a quilter from our Nifty Fifty 27 group emailed me to tell me that she had gotten her NF 27 quilt blocks and signature squares mixed up and now she does not know which quilt block belonged to which signature square.  The NF 27 swap was Red, White and Blue Patriotic Theme for September 11, 2001.

NF 27 Quilt without the signature squares

NF 27 Breast Cancer Quilt with the signature squares

  Each of these quilt blocks had a special signature square which had a heartfelt statement about 9/11 from each quilter.  I was so happy to give her our Nifty Fifty 27 website so she could match up her quilt blocks and start putting  her quilt together.  Here is her NF 27 California quilt block and signature square for 9/11. 

NF 27 California Quilt block and signature square

 Even though every state was represented in this swap. The four areas of the country that was affected the most on 9/11  were done by four of our original Nifty Fifty One Quilters. Wendy lived in Pennsylvania and did her quilt block to represent the state where one of the planes went down.

Pennsylvania 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square

 Marjorie who lived in New York did her quilt block representing the twin towers falling.

New York 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square

 I lived in Virginia and we had many people in our area working in the Pentagon that day and my Father had also worked there for many years.  We knew several in our community who lost their lives that day.  There was one survivor from our hometown who barely made it out of the Pentagon with her most of her body burnt….months later she visited my girl scout troop in her body cast to tell the girls of her experience. 

Virginia 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square

 Pam who also lived in Virginia only south of Washington DC did her block to  represent where the plane was originally headed.

Washington DC 9/11 Quilt Block and Signature Square

You can see the rest of our quilt blocks and signature squares on our Nifty Fifty 27 website at www.niftyfiftyquilters.com/nf27.html