Hi, my name is Nancy.

nancy-1

Our Host, Nancy Roelfsema

I started sewing at a very young age, making cloths for my dolls and later for myself. I come from a large family of 10 kids, so the only way to get a new outfit was to make it yourself. Technically, I made my first quilt when I was about 11 years old. We had just moved to a farm in Gregory, Michigan from the Detroit area. My Mother was very excited to attend farm auctions and found a rustic quilting frame. We put two sheets together and hand quilted the two layers with a batting between. I still have the “quilt” in my possession.

When I was 14 my parents gave me my very own sewing machine and I started making clothing for myself, and doing many alterations and repairs for the family. Then I went off to college at Western Michigan University, all my “extra” money came from making simple alterations and repairs for my college friends. Shortly after I was married I started making custom formal dresses, including many wedding dresses, and continued to make my own garments.

Doing the lessons for OnPoint is a dream come true for me. Being a quilt teacher full time is my dream. Doing the programs with my friends is more fun than a barrel of monkeys!

My official first “real” quilt was started completely by hand. When I had a friend announce her wedding date I decided to finish the quilt as quickly as possible. I purchased my first rotary cutter, mat and ruler and taught myself how to use them. When I think back to how “wrong” I was using them, it’s amazing I didn’t cut my fingers off!

My first job at a quilt shop was at “The Grand Quilt Company” – the original shop when it was in Eastbrook Mall in Grand Rapids MI. When the store was sold and moved to the north side of town on Alpine Ave. I started managing the shop and teaching quilting every chance I got. My first class was teaching young ladies how to hand piece and quilt a quilt for their American Girl dolls. I truly thought teaching kids was as far as I would ever go – I never imagined I would start teaching quilting classes for adults not only in the shop but also to quilt guilds and groups all over the West Michigan area!