Nancy Zieman — The Rest of the Story

We are incredibly honored to be a part of the Nancy Zieman – A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Friends Blog Tour hosted by Nancy Zieman Productions — the Blog.

The book is a memoir and loving tribute to Nancy, written by her husband, Richard Zieman. It offers a window into their lives together, particularly during those tough yet still amazingly remarkable years prior to Nancy’s passing in November 2017.

Richard did a wonderful job in paying tribute to Nancy, speaking not only of her physical challenges but also of how she never let them stand in her way, of how she worked through them, showcasing her endless strength and resilience. We all know that Nancy was truly a pioneer in this industry – securing her place early, serving as a fine example of ambition and independence to young business women everywhere. She launched Nancy’s Notions in the late-70s and stepped into her 35-year role as host of Sewing with Nancy in 1982. She was a savvy business woman who operated with wit, charm, and undeniable skill and experience. What many of us may not have seen was what went on behind the scenes and this book gives us that intimate look. It comes nearly a year after Nancy’s passing and we’re sure that it will be a therapeutic read for family, friends, and followers alike.

I was first introduced to Nancy and her remarkable team back in 2012, during the 30th year of Sewing With Nancy. At the time, I was working in marketing for a batting & interfacing manufacturer, and we took pride in supporting Nancy’s program. I may have come to the industry late in her career, but her influence was clear, her place in the world firmly established. This was a woman to admire… a woman boasting talent, ambition, a kind nature, and endless amounts of courage. We never got to meet in person, but as one of the new gals in the business, I felt lucky to have the opportunity to work with her and with Nancy’s longtime friend and Vice-President of Marketing for Nancy Zieman Productions, Deanna Springer.

Two quotes that really resonated with me were shared by Richard from Nancy’s book, Seams Unlikely.

“If something is worthwhile you have to work for it.” — Nancy’s adopted motto from her 4-H days, from Seams Unlikely

“Opportunities should not be dismissed based on fear. When a life is stitched together by the hand of destiny, what seems unlikely becomes possible.” – Nancy Zieman, from Seams Unlikely

Quotes like these seem to encapsulate her public persona — to sum up the courage and the drive that she so generously shared with the world. Here’s hoping we can all follow her lead, stir up some courage and march as boldly and passionately through this life as she did!

Oct. 15     Nancy Zieman Productions
Oct. 15     Eileen Roche
Oct. 15     Weeks Ringle
Oct. 16     Pat Sloan
Oct. 16     Amy Ellis
Oct. 17     Baby Lock
Oct. 17     Rita Farro
Oct. 18     Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Oct. 18     Evy Hawkins
Oct. 18     Joi Mahon
Oct. 19     Erin Sampson — YOU ARE HERE
Oct. 19     Clover USA
Oct. 19     Patty Young
Oct. 20     Sara Gallegos
Oct. 20     Riley Blake Designs
Oct. 20     Mary Mulari     guest blogger


If you’d like to grab a copy of Richard’s book, you have two chances to win.

First, head on over to Nancy Zieman Productions to enter-to-win.

Second, leave us a comment on this post sharing what Nancy meant to you. Comments will be accepted through Friday, October 26. We’ll select a random winner and announce here on Monday, October 29. This giveaway is open to all of our International friends as well! Good luck!


  1. I grew up with my Mom sewing and talking about Nancy. But back then I wasn’t interested in sewing. About 5 years ago I started teaching myself and my Mom gave me some of her sewing books. Books by Nancy! I cherish those books. It’s like an old friend helping me to sew, bringing memories of my Mom sewing with Nancy for so many years.

  2. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my Saturday than watching Nancy share her expertise! She was very inspirational.

  3. When DH was shopping for a mid-arm as a Christmas gift for me many years ago, he had no idea where to start. He knew that I watched Sewing with Nancy, so he decided to call Nancy and ask for advice. As he tells it, he went through his dilemma with one, then another, and yet another office person until he was finally connected to Nancy herself. He was impressed that she didn’t suggest a manufacturer but, rather, advised him on questions to ask and features to look for. Was he really speaking with her and not an assistant who felt sorry for him? Who knows, but it sounds so much like her that I choose to believe it. He’s an entrepreneur himself, and he now often opts to have those “unusual” conversations with unknown callers.

  4. I absolutely love Nancy’s show. I still have it auto tuned so I do not miss even the reruns. There is so much to learn from each of them.

  5. As a young mom myself in the early eighties, I started watching her program on Wednesday afternoons in my area, and Nancy opened a whole new world of sewing ideas and notions to me. She made it faster and easier for me to make clothing for my children, gifts for everyone on my list and decorate my home. This Wednesday afternoon habit of mine was not to the liking of my children who wanted to watch cartoons instead, but they persevered and my daughter and grand daughters now love to sew too. It all comes back around!
    Nancy, until next time…

  6. Watching Nancy of TV helped me over the years with all of my sewing and quilting. When I did get into quilting, Sewing with Nancy was a great tutor.

  7. There are so many techniques I learned from Nancy. She was the guru of my sewing room. She is sorely missed!

  8. i would set my alarm to make sure i didn’t miss nancy on pbs early saturday morning. i have a friend who recorded and kept every episode for years. a great lady.

  9. When her book Seams Unlikely came out she was autographing them at Sew a Expo in Puyallup, Washington and she took the time so you could get a picture with her. A very gracious lady.

  10. Nancy’s tutorials were educational and fun. Her easy going manner made it seem like anyone could make her projects.

  11. Nancy’s show was like having my own personal sewing coach in my living room with me. I love her shows!

  12. I always appreciated Nancy’s dedication to her craft. She was such an inspiration in so many ways. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Nancy taught us all many ways of sewing – different techniques and helped to understand and make sewing an enjoyable craft ! She will be missed !

  14. Nancy was sew helpful and sew special; if I was able, I watched every program I could in the late 1970s-1980s. After we quit having a TV in our home, I missed her instruction but found her programs again when we had internet. I had our public librarian purchase Seams Unlikely and will do the same with this new remembrance of her life. Blessed is her memory!

  15. She truly inspired me to try many techniques that I probably wouldn’t have because she & her guests made them “doable”. Thanks for a chance to win.

  16. There are almost not words to describe the influence and inspiration that Nancy provided. I watched her show whenever I could for many years and I always learned from it. After reading her book, Seams Unlikely, I was struck by how much she had been able to accomplish despite some serious health challenges, which was so inspiring. Then a few years ago I was privileged to hear her speak at an evening seminar in a local town, and it will always stay in my memory as educational and entertaining beyond measure. She mentions in her book that she had to be fairly serious on the tv show, but her sense of humor and how down-to-earth she was, really shone through her presentation that evening. She was a quietly powerful figure in our industry and she is missed so much.

  17. I too grew up with Nancy as my teacher–books and watching her sewing shows. Such an inspirational woman. I was fortunate to take a class last year at Sewing Weekend with her as a instructor, and bought her book and had her sign it for me…who would of known that 5 months later she would be gone. She is deeply missed

  18. Those of us classicly trained clothiers of th 50s & 60s were delighted when Nancy hit the airwaves. She let us break the ceiling with her innovative adaptations to classic techniques, and showed us designer patterns were good design…even if we veered off the guide sheets! Have passed along most of Nancy’s books to younger family & friends that become part of the wide world of sewing. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  19. No one in my family did any sewing and now it is a favourite pastime of mine. Nancy gets the credit for teaching me so much.

  20. I watched Sewing with Nancy on PBS every Saturday morning and learned how to quilt. She was so inspiring. I now sew quilts for my family, for the new babies at church, wherever the need is.

  21. I became aware of Nancy by YouTube chance and began using her as a talented and inspirational resource for my quilting and sewing journey. I quickly came to admire her so much, never moreso than when I read her address to her audience telling of her recent diagnosis, bleak prognosis and decision to dedicate her last little time to family and faith. A truly wonderful nspirational woman.

  22. Sewing with Nancy was an enjoyable show to watch and I learned so much from her. I was very sad to read her last address to her audience, and sorry that she suffered so much.

  23. I had the privilege of taking a sewing class from Nancy at the Sewing Expo several years ago. I learned from her and enjoyed her way of teaching and sharing so clearly.

  24. Nancy was like a steadfast friend, even I never met her. I could always depend on her being on my tv set (or internet) every week. I was always happy to hear of there being another season. I don’t know if she would have ever retired!

  25. Nancy was a wonderful inspiration to anyone who sews. There doesn’t seem to be anyone coming up in the industry to take her place. To keep sewing and quilting alive we need more people like her.

  26. What a lovely lady who loved to share her numerous talents.
    She always inspired you to try new projects. She made it look so easy to do. She will be missed by many.

  27. Saturdays were very special in anticipation of watching Nancy on APTV. You could learn something useful with each show! Nancy was a great lady who was very knowledgeable about our craft!

  28. Nancy inspired me to sew about 24 years ago. I sewed a crib set and other things for my first born. I learned some basic machine sewing skills from her. I wish over the years I could have watched her show, but we didn’t have tv.

  29. When I discovered Nancy Zieman through on line searching for sewing ideas, I was amazed at her talents and versatility. She was so wonderfully creative and her teaching style was so calm and easy to understand. When I read of her illness, I was so saddened, and her passing was for me, like losing a close friend, even though we had never actually met. I am so glad that Nancy’s gifts to the sewing and fibre arts world will continue to be seen and appreciated, through Nancy Zieman Productions.
    Nancy was an iconic leader. She is sadly missed. I would love to read this book, “Nancy Zieman, The Rest of the Story”.

  30. As a young mom sewing, she brought me to a place of I can do!! What an inspiration she was to all of us!!!

  31. I had been sewing during my high school years. After I got married and had a couple kids, I felt the need to pick it up again. I started watching Nancy’s show, and I learned enough to make some of my own clothes. She inspired me with the stylish clothing she stitched.

  32. Nancy, on TV, taught me creative touches in sewing that I had not learned in basic learn-to-sew classes!!! Thank you!!

  33. Sewing with Nancy was always taped on my chunky VHS tapes, even if I was there to watch. Nancy gave me inspiration from each show, ways to do things I never would have tackled without her advice; she opened up a whole new world of creativity for me that has been an absolute gift. When I got a recorder to transfer tapes over to CD’s, not only did I do my personal family tapes but Nancy was included as well, I could not let these valuable lessons go by the way side. Nancy was now a part of my family! When she fell ill again, I sobbed. Then I thought she had won her battle but once again, even though she looked great, we found out she was losing her battle and again, I sobbed. She was as much a part of my life as some of my kin, though I saw her face more because I constantly watched the videos or was on line looking at something. I absolutely feel a grief in my heart for her family from the loss of this precious lady who taught us more than how to sew, but how to sew with compassion and give to others. I miss you Nancy and I know your family does as well. The miracle of television and CD’s will keep you eternal in my life and I will do what I can to pass on the love of sewing and crafting and doing for others from the lessons learned from you.

  34. As a young seamstress in the 1970s, Nancy’s show was so important to help me learn. I gained confidence to make all my clothes while in college and my early married life through her inspirational shows with such great ideas. I try now to help pay it forward with teaching on my blog, helping the next generation as she helped me.

  35. I have always been impressed that Nancy did not let her facial paralysis stand in the way of teaching the world how to sew. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy to stand in front of the cameras, but she did it with grace, and that is a great lesson to me to step outside of myself and my tendency to focus on my own discomfort. Nancy, instead, focused on sharing her gifts.

  36. Nancy Zieman is truly an inspiration. I make an effort to stop whatever I’m doing mid-day on Saturday to sit and watch “Sewing with Nancy” because I learn something new with every single show.

  37. I am really enjoying the blog hop! Good luck to everyone in the giveaway! Enjoy your day! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom

  38. Nancy was such an inspiring role model of a business woman and teacher in an area where the majority of customers were women, but men mostly ran the show. She demonstrated steadiness and longevity in a world full of temporary “flashes in the pan”. I even got to meet Nancy in person at Paducah in 2009!!

  39. I was a busy working mom in the 80s and 90s. Almost the he only TV shows I watched iwere Sewing With Nancy and A Quilt in a Day. Nancy taught me to improve my sewing and to not be afraid of the serger.

  40. I love reading all of the stories about Nancy on the blog tour. She is greatly missed but will never be forgotten!

  41. Nancy became my Saturday friend who invited me into her sewing room and showed me what she was doing. Sometimes she shaired a new way to do something and sometimes it was something to try. Since I have been sewing for over 50 years, she was never really my mentor but a really great friend.

  42. I wait all week for my 30 minutes with Nancy every Saturday. It is the high light of my week. My family knows Saturday morning is for me! I am so glad the show is still airing I will watch every show over and over.

  43. My Mother started watching Sewing with Nancy from day one she never missed an episode. That was when I was about 16 years old just learning to sew in home economics in high school, my Mother had always made my clothes. At that time I started watching with her and I am still watching and taping all the shows on pbs in Alabama. Needless to say I don’t think I have ever missed one . My children and grandchildren and even my husband know you do not delete any of “Sewing with Nancy” programs if they are on there 3-4 times. My Mother passed away 22years ago I was an only girl with 3brothers so I got all her sewing machines, patterns, and books especially sewing with Nancy from the 70’s to 96 I have continued buying them every chance I get and never had a daughter but I am teaching my granddaughters to sew by starting with her first book. I have always Loved, adored, respected Nancy in all she has taught not only me but millions around the world. My heart and prayers are with you all. Love Malinda

  44. I really enjoyed watching “Sew With Nancy”, and always learned something! She explained everything so I could understand it. Loved the show and would love the book!

  45. I have loved Nancy’s shows for a number of years. I admired her talent and ability to share it with others. She has inspired me to try thing I never would have done before. Her matter of fact presentations always gave me confidence that usuallydid not have. She was an amazing woman and her absence in the sewing world will be sorely missed. I am so greatful that I am still able to watch her shows on out State Public Broadcast Network. Thank you for allowing others to use this platform to honor her.

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