Archive of ‘Nancy Zieman’ category

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.

 

 

Remembering Nancy Zieman

I think about Nancy Zieman often – absolutely every time I’m sewing. I use her patterns, her tools, her books and her techniques.  Since I learned to sew by watching Sewing with Nancy, of course it makes sense that I would think of her when I sew.

We wrote books together, developed product and taped almost 20 Sewing with Nancy episodes.

But we were friends and I treasured my relationship with her. She was a wise woman. Patient, fair and classy.  I miss her tremendously.  If I was facing a business challenge, she was the first person I called.  As our friendship deepened, I would turn to her for personal advice and she would do the same to me.

You don’t replace a friend like Nancy but you can honor her legacy by remembering what she meant to you. Even if you never met her, there’s a good chance she changed your life – your sewing life – by making your hobby more enjoyable.

Today, June 21, she would have been 65 years old. I hope you’ll spend a minute and think about what Nancy meant to you. What did she teach you?  Maybe, how to accomplish large sewing tasks in 10-20-30 minutes segments?  Or how to bind a quilt or turn a collar point?  Possibly how to create a breathtaking landscape quilt?

I’d love to hear what you remember about Nancy.  Do you have a favorite technique you learned from her?  Maybe you received a hand written thank you or get well note from her.  Do you continue to watch Sewing with Nancy?  Do you have a bookshelf full of Nancy’s books?  Please share your thoughts…

 

 

I Sew For Fun

To all of us, Nancy Zieman was an industry icon but to her granddaughters, she was Grandma.

Nancy loved hanging out with all of her granddaughters. Sometimes she would sew with Avery and Luella (the older granddaughters) but often they would bake. Playing in the kitchen with Grandma is something every child wants to do.  Nancy Zieman’s children were no different.  Nancy enjoyed not only baking in the kitchen but also playing on the computer with her granddaughters while they decorated cupcakes and other bakery items in a popular software program.  She marveled at how engaged her granddaughters were, how they intuitively knew what buttons to click and how pleased they were with their creations.

She really wanted to experience something similar with them for sewing.  She shared this desire with me in early 2017. I listened to her thoughts and then explained the possibilities that we could make happen here at dime.  After Nancy and I defined what we wanted the software to do, the dime software development team jumped into action. They understood our goal of creating a one-of-a-kind software program that children and adults could enjoy.

Nancy and I knew that kids would jump right into this program because they love technology. To them, it’s a natural first step in the sewing process. Create the fabric, print the pattern and move to the sewing machine!  That’s what Click, Print & Stitch does.

Imagine what fun it would be to help a youngster design an outfit for an 18” doll.  They can make capris, a skirt, sundress, top and skirt.  Of course, they can personalize the fabric by drawing their own embellishments like dots, diamonds, squares, hearts and more.  Unlimited color choices are just a click away or they can choose from a built-in repeatable pattern.

 

Kids love the cat and dog pillows.  Here we show a purple cat but this kitty could be any color under the rainbow.

 

Our blue dog is a big hit with everyone. In just three simple steps, the project is complete!

 

Click, Print & Stitch is just one element of Nancy Zieman’s I Sew for Fun line of youngster-friendly sewing notions, a child’s book, Amazing Design embroidery collection and more. This new line of products ensures Nancy’s legacy of making sewing easy is passed down to the next generation. I’m looking forward to using all of these products with my 5-year old grand daughter – lots of memories in the making!

What project would you like to do with a youngster?  Share your thoughts below and one random winner will receive a copy of Nancy Zieman’s I Sew For Fun Click, Print and Stitch software program.

To Learn more about Click, Print and Stitch, visit Nancy’s Notions.   To watch the I Sew For Fun episodes on Sewing with Nancy, click here. You can watch online, anytime at WPT.org!

 

Sharing the Craft   

What’s the best part of sewing? Inspiring others to learn the craft. Sometimes the ‘inspiration’ is subtle, not deliberate. You don’t have to sit someone at a machine and show them how to operate it. No, inspiration can happen by osmosis. Just exposing someone – specifically family members at a young age – to sewing. Leaving the sewing room door open, welcoming them into your creative space and answering questions.

Mothers and daughters can lock heads when it comes time to teach sewing. In fact, in many households, the love of sewing skips a generation.  But not always.  My niece, Lindsey Zinno (daughter of my infamous stitching sister, Marie Zinno), is the proud maker and owner of The Northern Market. Lindsey created NM to provide multi-functional fiber art for the modern home and lifestyle.  Her work is sold online and in boutiques across America and Europe.  And she started this company at the ripe old age of 17 – yes, SEVENTEEN!

Marie has always left her sewing room door open to Lindsey encouraging her to find her way and explore different mediums.  Lindsey witnessed Marie succeed in her commercial embroidery business and joined the Stitching Sisters on the road.  I think she couldn’t help being inspired by her surroundings.  

Today, she’s featured on Nancy Zieman’s blog as she was a guest on Sewing with Nancy. How did that come about? Well, I happened to be taping with Nancy in November 2016 when Marie sent me a link to a local newspaper story about Lindsey and The Northern Market. I showed Nancy and she was intrigued with Lindsey craftsmanship and minimalist style.  She wondered if Lindsey would like to be guest on Sewing with Nancy.  Not many people turn down that offer.

Lindsey’s success is due to her creative, open spirit. As a youngster, she was forever dabbling in art – drawing, painting, sculpting and music. She was like a sponge, drawing inspiration from everything and everyone around her. It was no surprise that she took to making rope baskets under the tutelage of another one of my sisters, Mary Pat Palombo (the oldest of my five sisters and the first stitcher).  While visiting Mary Pat, Lindsey watched her wrap clothesline with fabric and then sew the wrapped cord into baskets. Lindsey jumped into action and quickly made the technique her own.

Like many of today’s makers, she started selling her work on Etsy. As she poured her heart and soul into every stitch, The Northern Market’s popularity grew. She will graduate from the University of Cincinnati this spring and then, heaven knows what’s next for her.

You can watch Lindsey and Nancy as they share these techniques with you on, Rope Sewing Reinvented on Sewing with Nancy.  Click here to watch online now.

Thanks for letting me toot my horn – I’m so proud of Lindsey!

Houston is Ready…

If you’ve been hesitant about heading to Quilt Fest next weekend in Houston, don’t be, come on down!  The George Brown Convention Center is in pristine condition after serving as host to Hurricane Harvey evacuees. This weekend is Quilt Market, the industry’s largest convention to the trade, and attendance appears to be up as quilt shop owners flock to Houston.

But that’s not the only reason to be in Houston this weekend. Just a block away from the convention center, the Houston Astros are in the World Series at Orange Maid Park!  It’s not very often that you stumble across a display like this:

 

Here’s a closer look at each showcase:

Quilt Market 2017

2017 World Series

What’s so great about Quilt Market?  This is THE event to see new product, new fabric lines and beautiful quilts. What we see here this weekend will hit be hitting stores soon – sometimes immediately or a few months down the road.

The day before the show floor opens, Schoolhouse classes are staged in every available classroom on the second floor (this place is massive!). I assisted Deanna Springer in Nancy Zieman’s class, I Sew for FunTwo of Nancy’s granddaughters appeared on the PBS Sewing with Nancy show and the book that highlights that series is titled, I Sew For Fun.

It’s a new line of product geared at the younger generation and includes child-friendly notions from Clover.  Check out this retractable seam ripper – perfect for little hands (and big ones!).

Martingale published Nancy’s charming illustrated child’s book.

Easy in the hoop embroidery designs from Amazing Designs make computerized embroidery fun for little techies.

You’ll find a user-friendly software program, Click, Print and Stitch.  All of these products will be available at your sewing machine dealer or Nancy’s Notions very soon.

This whole concept from Nancy is focused on teaching adults how to teach children to sew.  After all, it’s common to have a young assistant in the kitchen but you wouldn’t let them loose with needles, knives and hot plates.  In the sewing room, the little stitcher needs a big stitcher to get started.

Today, the Quilt Market officially opens and I’m excited about visiting with our cherished machine advertisers: Baby Lock, Bernina, Brother, Elna, Janome, Viking and Pfaff. They spend hours and hours designing their booths and samples to inspire shop owners.  I love seeing the samples they make to highlight new machine features and accessories (hoops, feet and more!).

This is often the only time of the year I get to visit with designers in person instead of over the phone or email.  I’m often humbled with the amount of work that goes into creating their displays.  I know how difficult it is to be a one-woman show!  Their samples and product bloom with creativity as they pour their heart and soul into every stitch.

On Monday, the doors of Quilt Market will close and the floor will be transformed to accept thousands of quilters for Quilt Fest.  By then, the World Series will be over and the town will be ready to host it’s favorite convention – Quilt Fest!  So come on down, Houston is waiting for you!

What Have You Learned from Nancy Zieman?

 

In 1988, I took a beginner’s sewing class from Mary Hayes of Hayes Sewing Machines (now in Wilmington, Delaware).  Shortly after that introduction to sewing, I found Sewing with Nancy on PBS.  I never missed a show. I taped every episode and watched diligently. When my children were born, I scheduled their naps around Sewing with Nancy.  If I were to list every sewing technique I learned from Nancy Zieman, you would think I never took a stitch without referencing one of her books or SWN episodes.  And you might be right.

On the set of Sewing with Nancy

But I have learned so much more than sewing techniques from Nancy. I have been blessed to become dear friends with her over the years and we have partnered on many projects together.  Brush aside the sewing, Nancy taught me how to set and reach goals, lead a team, tackle large projects, cherish family and friends and weather turbulent relationships. Most of all, Nancy teaches me to walk in my Christian faith. And she does that by her example, she doesn’t preach, she doesn’t try to convert yet she lives her faith. Oh, how blessed I am to having Nancy as my friend.

Today, she announced her retirement and, well, she broke the internet. Her blog crashed – for hours!  That’s actually very hard to do.  You see, thousands and thousands of sewing friends tried (hundreds were successful) to leave messages for Nancy.  Messages of encouragement, gratitude and hope.

She means so much to so many but especially those who learned to sew through Sewing with Nancy episodes, her blog, books and personal appearances.  Do you think of Nancy every time you perform a certain sewing task or technique?  Would you share what you have learned from Nancy?  I think she would enjoy knowing how her ingenious techniques have helped you in your sewing room.

Turn Your Embroidery Machine Into a Longarm

If you want to successfully quilt with your machine, you have to learn the secrets to controlling the process.  In my class, Turn Your Embroidery Machine Into a Longarm at Wisconsin Quilt Expo Sept. 7-9, you’ll learn why handling your quilt like this is a recipe for disaster:

I’ll also share why having two versions of a continuous design, not just mirror-imaged, makes connecting designs a breeze.

And what to do when you have a thread break in the middle of a design.

Most of all, I’ll show you how to get your embroidery machine to do what you want it to do!

I hope you’ll join me in Turn Your Embroidery Machine into a Longarm, at 1:00 every day at the Wisconsin Quilt Expo, Madison, WI, Sept.7-9.

I’m really looking forward to this quilt show because I’ve been spending too much time in my office and studio!  It’ll be great to meet and chat with other embroiderers/quilters/sewists. Hope to see you there!

If you purchase your tickets online before the big event, you’ll save $2.00 per lecture.  Hurry – seats are going…

Sewing Friends are the Best Friends

I’ve met so many wonderful women who share my passion for sewing and machine embroidery. Often, strong friendships develop because of this common bond. All it takes is a mutual love of creating with fabric and thread and everything else falls in place.  Age, race, sex, politics, religion or geographical location don’t matter because the connection is through a love of fiber.  If we’re really lucky, we learn about each other’s lives outside of sewing.  For instance, my good friend, Nancy Zieman, danced at my wedding and I played bocce ball in her backyard!  Great memories!

One of my favorite sewing friends

Sewing and embroidery are solitary endeavors so when you do meet someone who shares this passion, make the extra effort to find out more about them. Start with the common bond you already share.  Does the encounter occur in class? Perfect, start the conversation there.  Ask how long they’ve been coming there, what other classes have they taken, and would they recommend another class.  People are always flattered when asked for their opinion or recommendation.

If you work in the industry, a new friend may just be an email or two away. In today’s digital world, many of us never meet, yet, we connect via email. We have deadlines to meet, criteria to fulfill and materials to send back and forth.  We learn that we share the bond of creating.  It’s happened to me and I’ve watched this happen to others. Take for instance, Denise Holguin and Joanne Banko; two talented ladies who met through their connection at Designs in Machine Embroidery, DIME. Through the years, they’ve learned and laughed together. Take a look for yourself, Joanne is the chief needle threader at her blog, Let’s Go Sew, and a regular contributor to DIME.

Joanne Banko on the set of It’s Sewing Easy TV show

Denise, Blue Hair Girl, is the managing editor here at DIME.

 

Click here to read Denise’s behind the scenes journey at DIME: http://www.letsgosew.com/joanne-bankos-blog

How about you, have you been blessed with sewing friends?  How have they changed your sewing experience?  Share your thoughts – we’d love to know how you’ve enhanced your life with sewing friends.

 

 

Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons

I’m excited to announce (and give away a copy to one lucky reader) my new book: Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons.  This book has been the culmination of over 20 years of quilting with an embroidery machine. I’ve done everything from embroidered quilt tops to quilt as you as go to quilting king size quilts on an embroidery machine.  I’ve learned an awful lot on this journey and I’m happy to share it with you on Sewing with Nancy.  You can watch it online at http://wpt.org/SewingWithNancy/ or check your local TV listings to watch on PBS.

This book teaches you several different methods for quilting with an embroidery machine: quilting and appliqueing in one step; custom quilting and allover quilting.  Quilting and appliqueing in one step is a patented process that I designed in 2008.  Since then, I’ve created 16 Stipple Collections, and in this book you’ll find two projects that incorporate that revolutionary technique.

Custom quilting is no doubt the type of quilting that makes your jaw drop at quilt show competitions.  The quilting is designed to specifically enhance and fill a shape (block), applique or area. To be honest, custom quilting is probably best achieved through expert free motion quilting. When custom quilting is done on an embroidery machine, you do not have the ‘freedom’ to move the needle as you do in free motion quilting so the results are not as ‘customized.’  However, custom quilting is how many of us want to finish our tops. I show you how to do it in the Patriotic Pillow and Diamond table runner.

Allover quilting is often the result you get when you ‘quilt by check’. Quilt by check mean you pay someone else to quilt your quilt. When you send your quilt to a longarmer, they select an allover pattern that complements your quilt top unless you have specifically requested (and agreed to pay for) custom quilting.  There are two types of allover quilting: nesting and linking. You’ll learn the difference between the methods with two projects.

You’ll discover three different ways to handle the quilt during the stitching process: furniture you have on hand, the shortE and the Weightless Quilter.  My goal for this book is to help you expand your embroidery skills into the world of quilting and get more out of your machine.  I hope you find quilting with an embroidery machine as rewarding as I do. 

Want to win a copy of Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons?  Just leave a comment and tell me if have any quilt tops that need to be quilted.  Do you have one, two, three or more?  One lucky winner will be selected to win the book and the accompanying collection of 20 embroidery designs.

 

Want to order your copy now?  This week you’ll find free shipping on all autographed copies of Quilt with an Embroidery Machine in 8 Easy Lessons.  Click here to order.

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