I had the opportunity to interview Nancy Zieman this week! It was so much fun. Thank you to everyone who emailed me ideas of questions. You can see the questions and answers below. If you enjoy reading this interview be sure to attend one or both of the Nancy Zieman lectures at the Love of Sewing Retreat next week. Nancy is teaching the Appetizer Reception and Tips N Tricks Presentation January 7th, 6pm – 9pm and the Behind the Scenes on Sewing with Nancy lecture January 8th, 9am -12pm. These lectures are only $20 each or $10 each if you are a Sew Fun member!
Interview with Nancy Zieman:
Q: When did you start sewing?
A: I started sewing when I was 10 and joined a 4H club and I have not stopped since.
Q: How did you get involved in creating your own sewing show?
A: It was a fluke – I was traveling a lot giving seminars promoting Nancy’s Notions. I started Nancy’s Notions in 1979. Then in 1981 someone asked me to do a cable television pilot. At the time cable television was no what it is today and thankfully they had very few viewers at the time. The local producer did not want to produce it. I did not want to produce it myself but I knew that if I didn’t, I may never have another opportunity. I negotiated a 3-month contract, they took a chance and I took chance on producing and the rest is history.
Q: Where do you get inspiration for your new ideas?
A: This is an ongoing process and not from one source. I read blogs and magazines like Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living. I watch the trends that are out there, outside of the sewing market. I also go to publishers and see new books.
Q: What sewing technique have you found the most difficult to master?
A: I am not an intricate quilting piecer, I like to free from art quilt. Different personalities gravitate towards different techniques. That is the beauty of it; we now have Nancy’s Corner at the end of the segment where we interview different artists. It is so interesting to me to see a variety of personality types that are interested in sewing. College students, architects, men and women making all different things garments, arts quilts, a great diversity of skill levels and interests.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for sewers and quilters, what would it be?
A: Don’t point out your mistakes. Enjoy the process.
Q: What are your favorite time saving tools?
A: The thing I use every time I sew is the 5 in 1 sewing gauge. Very simple but I use that all the time. I have an obsession with scissors, different scissors for different projects, kind of like a cook in the kitchen with knives. The new Stack ‘n Stitch Thread Tower has been fun to design – from conception to seeing it next to my sewing machine, that is the neat part. (To read more about this check out Nancy’s blog post.)
Q: When you are not working what is your favorite type of sewing projects?
A: At home – I basically do landscape quilting.
Q: What was your worst “Blooper”?
A: Oh yeah, I have had lots. One time I could not say Alamagora, New Mexico. It took seven or eight takes.
Q: If you had a crystal ball – what would you predict for the future of sewing? You have seen the world explode with new technology, what do you think sewers will be doing different in 5 years.
A: The world of embroidery will continue to have exponential growth but not all people gravitate towards embroidery. I see a resurgence in the 20-40 year olds sewing in a different way, a very free form non-traditional way. There are not fabric stores or sewing stores that cater to that.
Q: Is there an Ask Nancy sort of website?
Q: How do you balance your personal life with such a busy and demanding career?
A: This has always been a challenge, learning to say no. When our youngest son was born, I took great efforts to say no and I have never regretted it. Many times I lose business opportunities but I keep my sanity. Having priorities, doing normal things, volunteering locally, doing things that do not benefit my business. Everybody has to brush their teeth in the morning!
Q: If you were going to be doing something different than your current profession, what would it be?
A: I would like to be the Ambassador to Norway!
I hoped you enjoyed reading this as much as enjoyed interviewing Nancy. I love her tip, “Don’t point out your mistakes. Enjoy the process.” It is so true! What was your favorite part? Be sure to comment and let me know.
Happy Sewing, Carmen
PS: If you want to know which question Nancy liked best – check out her blog post here!