Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z’

Look! Nancy Zieman is doing her best John Hancock imitation!

Nancy takes a moment to autograph a copy of her book Sewing A - Z for this week's blog winner! Read on to discover the lucky winner!

Nancy and I were in St. Louis teaching Baby Lock dealers embroidery and sewing techniques. Baby Lock has introduced some wonderful products that are going to make our stitching so much easier – and creative! Click here ( to see what’s new from Baby Lock.

Twenty-four dealers mastered my Stipple! technique with the Lady Liberty quilt block featured in my book Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique. What fun they had – learning this out-of-the-box technique and completing four blocks, piecing them with my reversible piecing technique and even binding the four blocks!

The Baby Lock dealers learned how value is more important than color in this traditional quilt block. Some swapped fabrics to achieve their creative vision. All were thrilled with the results of their efforts. The Stipple! process is an amazing journey. You start with a quilt sandwich, layer pieces of fabric in the proper sequence and then take them out of the hoop. At that point, the blocks look rather silly. After a few snips of the scissors, the magic underneath is revealed!

Here are some examples of finished pieces.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Have you tried quilting with your embroidery machine? Let us know if you’ve ventured into this wonderful territory by posting a comment. A comment will be randomly chosen to win a copy of Stipple! Butterflies!

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the question:
Tell us what sewing step has been a challenge for you by posting a comment on my blog. You know, something like mitering corners, zippers, buttonholes, etc.

“I’ve always wanted to sew a perfectly mitered corner.  I’m slowly getting the hang of it, but I need more practice!  Thanks for the give away!”  – Valerie
Congratulations Valerie! You are the very lucky winner of an autographed copy of Nancy Zieman’s new book, Sewing A to Z.

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Nancy Zieman has compiled her sewing knowledge from A – Z

Sewing A to Z

How many times have you used the old cliché, “She knows everything — from A to Z”? Well, Nancy Zieman really does know everything about sewing and she’s found a new way to categorize and simplify sewing tasks. You’ll find tons of tips and explanations in Nancy Zieman’s Sewing A to Z – a hard-cover, spiral bound 144-page tome.

In full disclosure, Nancy Zieman taught me how to sew via the PBS television show Sewing with Nancy. Really. I learned to sew from watching Nancy so I’m a huge fan and today I’m blessed to call her a friend. But that doesn’t mean I’m not still ‘awed’ by her method of teaching.

Years ago I struggled with quilt bindings then Nancy taught me how to bind a quilt. You’ll find the same easy steps on page 20. The illustrations are flawless, every step is clearly defined and if you follow them, you’ll have a binding that would pass the highly critical white-glove test. Don’t know about the white glove test? Good for you, carry on and get your binding sewn.

Another one of my favorite sections of the book is Knits. I love to wear knits, I could live in them, oh wait, I already do! Anyway, Nancy’s tips on knits are great reminders of how to select the right knit for the pattern. She reminds us that there’s a stretch guide on the back of patterns and how to use it. Then she explains how to sew the stretchy seams on both a sewing machine and serger. These tips will come in quite handy when I make a jacket from her new McCall’s pattern, 6408.

Nancy then goes on to identify common knit fabrics with names and images. This page is a great example of why Nancy Zieman is such a terrific teacher – it’s her vocabulary. Not that she speaks like a heady Ivy League grad, she knows the actual names of a zillion-types of fabric, notions and gizmos. Unlike me, who would gladly call all sewing tools, gizmos, such as the sharp gizmo, the pointy gizmo or the turning thingy. Oh no, not our Nancy. She’s had the formal training (a degree in Home Economics) and the lifelong search for more sewing knowledge. Thank heavens she’s shared all of that with us. Otherwise, I’d still be calling knits, the ‘stretchy fabrics’.

Moving on through the pages, I was stopped dead in my track when I hit ‘Wrapped Corners’ on page 128. Creating perfect collars has eluded me for years. No longer! Ha! Apparently, I should have been following Nancy’s instructions to sew, grade, press, understitch and then sew again. So that’s how you do it!

Here’s my suggestion, keep Sewing A to Z with your pattern stash. When you’re creating a garment, refer to Sewing A to Z for easier, more successful techniques than you’ll find in any pattern. You might just fall in love with garment sewing all over again.

I have my copy and I just ordered two more for my twenty-something nieces (who will be eternally grateful in the future as soon as they wise up), now get yours.

Here’s your assignment this week:

Tell us what sewing step has been a challenge for you by posting a comment on my blog. You know, something like mitering corners, zippers, buttonholes, etc. You’ll have a chance to win a signed copy of Sewing A to Z because I am personally going to hand carry a copy to my meeting with Nancy on Monday and get her to sign it for you!

Bonus week of prizes!

Nancy Zieman has kindly put together a grand prize package of various materials, from books to templates, pin cushions and piping, for one lucky reader (worth $450). For a chance to win, leave a comment on Nancy’s blog post (August 16th), and a winner will be chosen at the end of the tour. The winner will be posted on Nancy’s blog on September 10th.

More fun! Nancy Zieman’s First Blog Tour

To showcase Nancy Zieman’s new book and companion TV series, you’ll be able to take a tour through the book via a Blog Tour. I am one of 19 bloggers discussing Nancy’s new book through September 9th. I encourage you to follow along and participate in the Book Tour. Check the schedule below to follow along!

The winner of last week’s assignment answered the question: If you could travel anywhere for a hands-on embroidery retreat, where would you go?

“On a weeklong cruise to nowhere! Just time to stitch, without having to cook, clean house, or make my bed! I really enjoyed our Stitching Sisters cruise to Mexico! I just wish for more days to stitch!” – Lucy Anderson

Congrats to Lucy Anderson! You are the lucky winner of the Perfect Placement Kit!

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