Archive of ‘Eileen Roche’ category

Hope to See You in the Classroom

I’m packing my bags and hitting the road for Wichita, Kansas tomorrow.  Friday, you can catch me at A-1 Singer Sewing with Inspirations’ Consultant Sheryl Burnette.  I’m excited to get together with fellow embroiderers – it gets lonely in the office!  And I’m really pumped to see the Brother Luminaire in action.

We’ll be doing six fun projects – everything from hooping an Embroidery Buddy to continuous quilting. Of course, Sheryl and I will share samples from our favorite projects and teach how to create them.

I have two more trips planned this fall – both in the upper North West. Inspirations’ consultant Sheryl and I are teaming up again for another two days of stitching fun.  On Nov. 9-10, I’m heading to Salem, OR to see my friends at Rich’s Sewing & Vacuum.

After Thanksgiving, I’ll be heading north west again to Issaquah, WA. Eddie Schultz is the proud owner of Issaquah Sewing & Vacuum… and he’s always a blast to work with. The last time I actually worked with Eddie was at The Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA.  Several years ago, he helped me close the Stitching Sister’s Friday Night Live event with a karaoke rendition of Sweet Caroline – and I have the video to prove it! Not that I’ll share it but….you never know!  Issaquah is hosting two one-day hands-on events so you have your choice of what day is best for you.

I do hope to see you on my travels. Let me know if you’re going to be there and let’s grab a photo together. After all, it’s not very often we get the chance to be in the presence of 50 or more embroiderers! Sew much stitching fun!

Last week’s emotional blog post received so many comments. Thank you to each one of you who left a heartfelt message.  Your words lifted my spirit.  It’s been a tough year and I miss Nancy terribly. The winners of The Rest of the Story book are Cheryl Seal and Lynnette Wilson.

Cheryl wrote, “It would be impossible to name just one of the many notions I have purchased from Nancy’s Notions as my favorite. She was one of the most innovative in the field of sewing and quilting. I loved watching her sit at the machine and sew…when she made a mistake the same way I have so many times, it simply made her human. Her sewing program set the bar for all the others who have come after it and many fall way short. She is a true inspiration to me as a sewer and a person. She is truly missed.”

Lynette shared, “It would be hard to pick out just one tool or book. I like her sliding ruler [both the small one and the large triangle cutting ruler]. I refer back to her 10-20-30 minute books frequently. I love her videos/DVDs because she has the absolute best teaching style. She definitely set the standard. Learning about her faith from her book and now The Rest of the Story was inspiring and an encouragement.”

Congratulations, ladies, I’ll email you privately for your mailing addresses.

A Word from Mary Mulari

I asked Mary Mulari to share a few thoughts on Nancy Zieman on this final day of the The Rest of the Story blog tour. Here’s what she had to say:

My friend Margaret said, “You should come to the high school with me tonight for a sewing class.” So I did, never knowing that my first meeting with Nancy Zieman would turn into a lifelong friendship. Nancy showed sewing tips for tailored shirts and I was impressed by the techniques she shared, realizing I could use them myself. When Nancy moved from my area in Minnesota back to Wisconsin, her home state, we kept in touch and I used her book SEWING MAGIC to teach my own tailored shirt class here in Aurora. (Nancy was a contributing editor for this book written by Barbara Hellyer.)

Then I got into sweatshirts, teaching community education classes my methods to alter and decorate a favorite garment. I sent a copy of my self-published book DESIGNER SWEATSHIRTS to Nancy. At that time she was taping cable tv shows in the basement of her home. It was a leap from her “normal” sewing to show my sweatshirt ideas on her show, but she did it, and book sales from her early catalogs were tremendous. I shipped thousands of copies of the book to her warehouse in the converted chicken coop at Earl Zieman’s farm. Maybe you ordered one of those books.

Then, when my fifth book ADVENTURES IN APPLIQUE was published, I joined Nancy as her guest for three programs based on the book. Many of you told me I didn’t talk enough and Nancy talked too much, but I had to get used to the cameras and time clocks and everything in the tv studio. I learned to talk more through my years of guest appearances on Sewing With Nancy. In more recent program tapings, Nancy would use her elbow on me when it was time to quit talking because the program segment was ending.

Nancy was always quick to share credit for her accomplishments and sewing star status. At the celebration for 30 years on television, she gathered some of her guests who were also her friends. Gail Brown was Nancy’s serger expert, Natalie Sewell the landscape quilt queen, Eileen Roche the embroidery specialist, and I got credit for my sweatshirt lady status.

It was always a pleasure to work with Nancy to produce some of the television programs she taped every year. Speaking for her other guests, I’d say we all profited through our associations with Nancy, gained highly valued life experiences, and had plenty of fun too.

Aren’t we fortunate that Team Nancy continues her legacy and contributions to the world of sewing!

 

The Rest of Nancy Zieman’s Story

Shortly after Nancy Zieman’s passing, Rich Zieman felt compelled to share the rest of Nancy’s story with the sewing and quilting industry, people like you. This industry consists of a unique community of people who care deeply and respectfully for others.  In The Rest of the Story, he shares her struggles and triumphs plus he includes anecdotes from family and friends. Included within this book is a DVD showing Nancy’s life and the vitality in which she lived and how we all should remember her. The Rest of the Story picks up where Nancy’s autobiography Seams Unlikely left off. If you’re a Nancy fan, you’ll thorough enjoy learning the rest of her story.

Many people were surprised by Nancy Zieman’s passing on November 14, 2017.  Nancy appeared on television for 35 years looking polished, professional, warm and congenial.  When in fact, many of those appearances were a façade. Some shows found Nancy enduring pain beyond a normal person’s tolerance.  Her health struggles started at a very early age and she learned how to push through pain, not let discomfort block her from accomplishing goals and fulfilling responsibilities.  She carried quite a burden.

But she did it in stride.  Nancy didn’t let her health – or her appearance – define her.  She found her callings and lived those callings every day. You see, Nancy had three callings. To us, her sewing family, her calling was teaching the world to sew.  And she did an excellent job at that. She set the bar for other instructors on how to teach this craft.  And she transformed hundreds of lives by sharing her joy and knowledge of sewing on national television. This is not an exaggeration because there have been literally hundreds of written tributes to the Zieman family on how Nancy changed their life.

A second calling was to her family.  She juggled family responsibilities while leading Beaver Dam’s largest independent employer, Nancy’s Notions.  She attended sporting events, musical performances, school meetings, birthday parties and more for her two sons.  They ate dinner together every night, often with extended family.  She led a ‘normal, busy home life’ while helping build the industry we so love today.

But her first calling, her faith in Jesus Christ, carried her through each day. She taught Sunday school for 30 years at Peace Lutheran Church. She had a lifelong commitment to her faith. The end of her journey was excruciating yet she found joy in having the time to meet with loved ones. To share feelings and thoughts that would have never surfaced if the end of her life wasn’t racing toward to the door.  And she happily anticipated meeting Jesus – soon!

I am forever grateful for the impact Nancy Zieman had me. Her friendship, wisdom and faith have been a guiding light in my own life.  In my sewing room, I have lots of reminders of Nancy. And you probably do, too. Like her 5-in-1 Sliding Guage measuring tool, countless books and patterns but what I treasure most of all is an incomplete landscape quilt.  It’s small, in fact, it fit on her lap. You see, a lap design board was my last gift to her.  And the day she received it, she went to work on this scene – a wooden fence strewn with bright sunflowers.  Several hours later, she sent me a photo of the work in progress.

Unfortunately, when Rich Zieman sent me the design board after Nancy’s passing, the quilt top was still in the same design phase. Today, it sits on the back of my cutting table.  The pins are still holding the cut flowers, the fence post and the low-lying brush. It is a work in progress and a reminder that our work on earth is never complete in our eyes.  Only God knows when our work is done.

This week, we’ll pick a random winner from comments left below.  Tell us what is your favorite Nancy Zieman tool, book or pattern.  You can learn more about the Rest of the Story during The Rest of the Story blog tour.  A complete list of blogs is available here.

 

 

Projection!

One of my favorite features in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro is Projection.  Projection is a setting in the Properties Box under Stitch Type.  Let me show you how Projection can transform a simple heart.

Select the artwork tool, and click on the heart.

Drag the cursor to create a heart (about 1.5” x 1.5”). Copy, paste and reposition each heart to make a flower.

Select the flower and in the Properties Box under Stitch Type, select Projection. Click Apply.

Now that simple heart is transformed into a detailed flower. 

To turn it into an applique, select the flower, right click to access the Utility menu.  Select Create Outline from the drop down menu.  Change the distance of the outline to 0.0.

Select the outline, right click, Convert to Applique.

All you have to do now is change the order of the colors.

First, make the applique a separate color. 

Then select the applique, right click and select Break Up Path.

Right click on the two runs (in color 2), select order and move to back. Change the color of the second run (this will be the tackdown). The first color is the placement guide.

The projection stitches should sew before the applique.  So easy and so much fun!

Blue is the Winner!

Earlier this week, I tallied your votes on your favorite of three pillows. Here’s the rundown:

40 picked blue

22 selected pink

4 went for green

I agree, I think blue pillow is splendid.  I love the designs and the color.  Here’s how I made the layout in Inspiration’s Vintage Embroidery software.

Open a new file and click on the Vintage design icon (circled in purple above). Select the Abstract folder and the Abs_0024_Icon_ design.  Click Ok.  Copy, paste and mirror the design.

Select both designs, copy, paste and mirror vertically.Now, tweak the position of the designs to even the spacing.

Select the Vintage designs icon again to add the center design, ABS_0011_Icon_D.

Change the color to blue and move it to the center of the four designs. Select all four designs, right click and select Group from the drop down menu.

On the keyboard, select all (CTRL A), right click and select Align, Center.  

That’s it!  Now the real fun begins: the embroidery and the hunt for the perfect trim!

Magnetic Hoops

I take magnetic hoops for granted.  I invented them so long ago, I’d have to check the patent to verify the year.  I use them everyday for many embroidery tasks.  So it surprises me when I attend events and meet embroiderers who are not familiar with magnetic hoops.

They’ll ask if they work.  And the answer is, “Absolutely!”

They ask if they’ll harm their machine.  And the answer is, “No!”

They’ll ask what size should they buy.  And the answer is, “Every size available for your machine!”

So let’s dig a little deeper.  Magnetic hoops work like a dream because they do not cause fiber distortion. They have a flat metal bottom frame and a flat magnetic top.  The magnets are quite strong and firmly grip a quilt sandwich, a terry towel, a knit shirt and many other fabrics.  They do not replace a standard embroidery hoop, they complement it!

Magnetic hoops do not harm your machine as the magnetic force is shielded by the metal frame.  The magnetic force grips the fabric – not the machine.  The hoops have been thoroughly tested on all machines during the prototype stage.  There has never been an issue with a magnetic hoop interfering with the machine’s operating system.  Many years ago, we were told not to use magnetic pin cushions.  At that time, the computer in the machine was encased in a light plastic housing and magnets could interfere with the operating system. In you owned a cell phone in that era, it was housed in a tote bag with long coiled wire!

Today, the machine’s computer, although very powerful, is tiny. It’s highly insulated and the magnetic force can reach it.  Think about the power of your cellphone, the advancements in embroidery technology are very similar.

So what size should an embroiderer buy? I always ask, ” What size hoop do you stitch the majority of your embroidery projects in?”

Whatever the answer is, that’s the first magnetic hoop size they should purchase.

Now if someone is starting to quilt with their embroidery machine, then the answer is, the largest hoop that’s available for your machine!

What’s Your Favorite?

Just a quick blog post today since I’m buried in new projects.  I’ve been working in Inspirations’ Vintage Embroidery Software and designed three different groupings.  One is supposed to be a pillow but I’m having trouble deciding which one.  I need your help but first, a little background on these on-trend stitches.

Vintage Embroidery software has hundreds of built-in designs that have been digitized to give an old world charm to your embroidery.  The designs require a mixture of 15 wt. polyester and 40 wt. polyester thread. This unique combo gives a high-end retail look to your stitches.  They’re so much fun to stitch because the designs are all low-stitch count designs in a minimum of colors so they stitch quick.  With my busy schedule, I’m always looking for fast and easy with big results.  Vintage fits that bill.

Before I proceed any further on this project, I thought I’d ask you – my fellow expert embroiderers – what’s your favorite grouping?  Do you like the pink Vintage design Abs_0213_Ornamental_D?

 

The green Vintage design Abs_0259_Icon_D?

 

Or the blue Vintage design Abs_0024_Icon_D.?

 

Sometimes, I fall in love with all the samples and then, well, pillows become quilts. So help me stay on track and select one.  Your vote counts!

Instant Applique

Make an applique design in an instant in Inspirations’ Perfect Embroidery Pro (PEP) or My Quilt Embellisher. Start with a fabric that features a simple shape, like a leaf.  Take a close up photo of the fabric with a ruler in the image and load it as a backdrop in PEP.  Click on the arrow under the backdrop symbol to open the backdrop tools.  Define the Horizon by dragging the mouse across a straight part of the fabric, shown here by the orange line.

Then, define the scale. Drag the mouse 1″ along the ruler and then enter 1″ into the menu that appears.

Now, use the Pen tool to trace around the leaf.

Select the artwork, right click and convert to Applique.

Add some more details with the pen tool. 

And there you have it – so easy in Perfect Embroidery Pro.

Lettering Like the Pros

If you want to get lettering like the pros, you need software that gives you multiple font options, the ability to kern letters, change line spacing, density and column widths.  Inspirations Perfect Embroidery Pro most certainly answers that call.

But if you want to put a stylized effect on your lettering with just a few clicks and instead of getting a master’s degree in digitizing (oh, I wish there was such a thing!), then Inspirations Word Art in Stitches is your answer.

Let’s look at the popular golf brand, Titleist.  Their logo is a simple, classy script but it’s enhanced by the addition of embroidery foam under the stitches.  If you visit their website, https://www.titleist.com/golf-gear/golf-headwear you’ll notice how all of Titleist’s catalog images are shot from an angle to highlight the dimension of the embroidered logo.  That adds serious wow factor to a traditional cap and sport!

In Word Art & Stitches, dimensional text is just a click away.  Whatch how easy it is. Select the Puffy text tool.

Type the word in the message box and boom – there’s your dimensional text.

This is such a popular technique that we teach it in our Stitch Lab events and everyone masters puffy text on their first try.

After teaching how to make it in the software, students learn how to stabilize and stitch the lettering on a pet bandana.  Everyone of those pet bandanas are sent to a local animal shelter.  Talk about a win-win!  Students learn and the shelter gains a customized bandana for their adoption days.

Check the calendar at InspiredbyDime.com https://www.inspiredbydime.com/inspiration-socials/  to see if a Stitch Lab is coming to your area.  You can fill out the form on that page to be notified when one is coming up in your region.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

The Formula for Embroidery Fun & Success

Stitch Lab, the formula for embroidery fun and success, debuted last weekend in Dublin, Ohio!  What a blast, I’m so glad I attended.  Inspirations consultant Ashley Jones led the 2-day hands-on event  for 72 embroidery enthusiasts. Our host, Quilt Beginnings, was a delight – boy, do they know how to treat their customers.

I met so many old acquaintances and friended new ones. We stitched 6 unique projects and everyone learned something new.  Even the ladies who told me they’ve been stitching since the first embroidery machines were available, learned some new tricks.  That shouldn’t have been a surprise to me because every class or event I attend, I always learn something new!

Look at some of the fun we had. 

After all that stitching, Kathy Daum, Quilt Beginnings owner and customer cheerleader, donated all of the projects made in class to a local charity – a women’s shelter that helps countless women and children in the Columbus, OH area.  We stitched items for home, mom, baby and pets.

But the best part, all attendees took home a kit to stitch at home on their own machine.  I hope you’ll consider attending a Stitch Lab this year.  I’m heading to several Stitch Lab events this fall, scattered all over the country.  I’ll release the schedule soon and maybe you can join me at an event in your town.

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