Archive of ‘Nancy Zieman’ category

from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

I’m writing from America’s Favorite Sewing Room in Beaver Dam, WI. I’ve been here for a few days taping with Nancy Zieman and I must say… it’s been a blast! We taped the instructional DVD for my next book, Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique. I’ve been working on the projects since February and it’s been an amazing process. I think many of you know how much I enjoy the Stipple! Collections. This book focuses on that technique but takes it to a much deeper level. The book and the DVD gave me ample opportunity to teach readers how to do this technique. Designing, stitching and finishing the projects have been a great adventure.

And there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching Nancy Zieman a new technique. I’m bragging here when I tell you she loved the technique – the process of layering stitches, applique fabrics and the quick finish of reversible piecing. I tell myself that if Nancy likes it then I’m really on to something!

When the book and DVD are released in spring, 2011, you’ll see the results of months of work. I’m sure it will look easy but behind the scenes is impressive too. Once I arrived in Beaver Dam, my bags poured out their contents like sand spilling from a bucket…bags of step-outs, fabrics, trims, batting, and the like. And oh what a mess it made in Nancy’s beautiful conference room on Tuesday. Just picture Christmas morning…but in reverse. You wake to opened Christmas presents, strewn wrappings and trimmings and then put it all back together. That’s what creating a DVD is like. You have pieces all over the place, in many different stages of progress and you have to wrap it all it up into one pretty little package. It takes an army – oh that’s right, we don’t have an army! So it takes a lot of work from a few people to make it all happen!

In the midst there are fun times and quaint touches…like seeing the corn in Beaver Dam at its highest in years, eating grilled corn in Nancy’s backyard, enjoying home-grown tomatoes and cucumbers at lunchtime, singing happy birthday to the director at lunchtime and having a burger by the lake at dusk. The sheer joy of working with someone you really respect and cherish as a friend. I am blessed in so many ways. What a fun week – can’t wait to share the projects with you! 

In the meantime, I want to know what types of books are your favorite?  Books with projects, books that are informational, or a combination?  Post a comment and you’ll be entered into our drawing to win a Stipple! Geometrics!

Last week’s lucky winner of the Magna-Hoop Software is…Clyde Sanders!

I use Designer’s Gallery, Letterworks, CustomWorks, and Size Works. These have been great to use once I learned all the ins and outs of the software; however, I know I have much more to learn and continue to go to classes to learn new techniques. I loved the apron made from a kitchen towel in your last magazine issue. I have made 3 already and have embroidered different designs on each and adorned them with ric rack, ribbon, crystals, etc.

Congratulations, Clyde!

Fear comes in many different sizes

Fear can grip you in the most predictable and unpredictable moments. It’s common to look at a newly-purchased blouse and hesitate to put it in an embroidery hoop. I don’t sweat much if it’s a $10.00 tee-shirt. But a $90.00 blouse? Well, hesitation would be a good thing. Hesitation makes me evaluate, plan and act. I would print templates of the embroidery designs and audition them on the blouse. I would tape them in place, put the garment on and then stand in front of a mirror with a critical eye. Once I’m satisfied with the placement, I would test the design and stabilizer combo on similar fabric before tackling the $90.00 blouse. That’s how I overcome that fear.

The last few months have been a wonderful whirlwind of Stitching Sisters events across the country. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many readers of the print magazine and blog. My last Stitching Sisters event for the season wrapped up in Salem, Oregon at Rich’s Sewing Center. I really enjoyed meeting the students and, may I add, what a beautiful state! I decided before leaving the area to overcome a longtime fear—yes—I chose to zipline through the forest. I still remember the sage advice the zipline trainer gave me– “All you have to do is take one step. Look up, don’t look down. Keep your eyes up.” What an amazing, frightening rush!

After racing through at ridiculous speeds through a forest—I had to ask myself – is there anything more fearful? Have I overcome all that is to be feared? Not quite, I had quite a hurdle waiting for me in Dallas.

I returned to the Designs office—just in time to go before a video camera and film with none other than Nancy Zieman! Nancy and I have known each other for years—I’ve had the opportunity to work with her on her TV set in Wisconsin numerous times. The professionalism, calm and experience she and her staff bring to the industry is astounding. And now I was returning home with the opportunity to show her my new TV set—and to work with her on a new product we’ll be introducing in the Fall. Just like the ziplining experience, I was faced with a rush of thoughts. Would she approve of the set? Will the cameras work? What if we film and there’s no audio?

I remembered the zipline trainer’s words, it all begins with one step. I told myself to stop worrying and get doing! I made some final preparations before picking up Nancy and then it was back to the studio to get a full day’s work jammed into one afternoon!

Through the years, I have loved working with Nancy and have learned so much from her – for those of you who don’t know – I actually learned to sew at the age of 27 by watching Sewing with Nancy. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her that I learned everything from her but that’s the truth. Later, she taught me how to be a fair business partner, how to lead a team and how to love what you do. One thing I still haven’t mastered but she most certainly has – is the ability to survey a situation and define a clear path to complete the project at hand. She’ll tell you she’s bossy, but I’ll tell you she’s a leader and she’s very smart. It’s delightful to work with her.

Nancy and I taped each of the segments with ease and I can’t wait to share the new embroidery product with you! Just as the $90 shirt, the ziplining or taping experience have proven—keeping your eyes open—staying focused and embracing your fear/challenge will always lead you to a path of success.

I see so many embroiderers with a bit of fear in their eyes when they’re about to begin a new project. Afraid to start, afraid to ‘mess it up’, afraid to take that first step. I always encourage them to plan, evaluate and then press go. After all, unlike ziplining, it’s not muscle and bone we’re worried about, it’s just fabric and thread!

So tell me, have you also been a student of Nancy’s? Have you learned to sew, quilt or embroider from her on TV or maybe in person, at a Love of Sewing event? Leave a comment and tell us what and how you’ve learned from Nancy and you could win a $25.00 coupon for use on any Designs product on our website.

The winner of the giveaway from last week is… Susan Spiers!  We’re going to be sending you a Magna-Hoop for your Singer Futura! 
 
Susan Spiers
The Magna Hoop seems like the one I could use. I luv to adorn fashions to give them some pizazz! or sometimes something on the feminine side! I have a Singer Futura CE-150, do any of these fit it?

Congratulations, Susan!

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