Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman (1953 – 2017) hosted the longest-airing sewing series on television as part of her career as an author, designer, businesswoman, TV producer, blogger, and national sewing authority. As host of her popular show Sewing with Nancy, she shared her love and talent for sewing with millions of viewers across North America.

Broadcast since September 1982, Sewing with Nancy is the longest-running sewing series on television. The first programs that aired on cable TV were videotaped in Nancy’s home with a camera crew of one person. She developed the scripts, sewed the samples, and taped the programs. In 1982, her program became a co-production with PBS Wisconsin eventually airing on 223 public TV stations in all 50 states.

Nancy wrote numerous how-to sewing and quilting books and designed patterns for nationally recognized companies. She was founder of Nancy’s Notions, a direct mail business that published the Nancy’s Notions catalog containing hundreds of sewing and quilting related products. Her production company also co-managed the annual Great Wisconsin Quilt Show.

Humble and quiet by nature, her viewers saw Nancy as a friend who could provide companionship, encouragement, and a connection to the past. She provided decades of creative inspiration to her dedicated sewing and quilting enthusiasts.

32 Comments

  1. She was awesome and she made everything easy to learn

  2. Sally Siegner

    I think I started watching Sewing With Nancy as soon as it was available in my area. She felt like a true friend. I cried when she died. She felt like a family member.

  3. Nancy was a quiet gem who made learning fun and sewing easy. She helped us all to gain confidence and grow as sewists. I so loved her gentle easy going nature. Thank you Nancy for all that you did. RIP.

  4. Jeanine Mautner

    Loved watching her shows.I learned alot.Very helpful.
    I will miss her.Sew on news.
    Jeanine from Missouri

  5. Carolyn Roberts

    This makes me cry, I miss her.

  6. Gayle Mayer

    I watched her at a very young age. She was inspiring!

  7. Cheryle Klein

    My Son would have been naked without her awesome videos of how to sew !
    She has been my Hero in sew many ways, after I seeing then I learned how to create a brand out of knowledge !!!
    I love you Nancy & your Family & Crew !!!
    She was like a big Sister that I looked forward to seeing everytime she was available to teach me something new
    🙂🙏💖

  8. Mary Hillis

    Didnt know she passed away I loved her sewing show RIP

  9. May she Rest In Peace with lots and lots of fabric, threads and so many more sewing tricks! ❤️

  10. Keenie Harrison

    I grew up watching Nancy sewing and learned quite a bit.

  11. Roxanne Gioseffi

    I continue to watch the Best of Sewing With Nancy. She was an inspiration to so many and is truly missed.
    Her induction into The Wisconsin Broadcasters Hall of Fame is a wonderful tribute to a woman who influenced so many . Thank you for recognizing her dedication and talents.

  12. Annmarie

    Nancy hand bags was one of my first projects and her simplistic approach to these design got me hooked on sewing and wanting to learn more. I picked up embroidery in 2004 and haven’t looked back. Thank you Nancy for introducing me to all the possibilities.

  13. Miss her very much she was to sewing what Bob Ross was to painting I learned so many techniques from her that improved my Makes!

  14. Nancy was a very accomplished sewer and a most gracious lady. I enjoyed reading her autobiography “Seams Unlikely: The Unlikely True Story of Nancy Zieman” (2016). Thankfully our PBS station continues to show reruns of he “Sewing with Nancy’. The lessons she teaches are timeless.

  15. Even as an accomplished sewist, I still follow Nancy Zieman’s programs weekly. Seeing reruns has always been a pleasure to watch again. This video made me emotional. Her legacy will reach many generations to come. Sewing machine technology might change but the love of how to create will be the same because of her.

  16. I love her show. Watched Saturday in my area. She was the BEST.

  17. I started sewing for an outlet from my hyper active son. It was me time. I loved watching SEWING WITH NANCY. I learned so many things and also went onto getting an embroidery machine. I went to several of Nancy’s Sewing Expos in Beaver Dam Wisconsin. That was my happy time! Everyone was so nice and happy. Nancy was a down to earth person . I enjoyed and learned a lot from all the lectures that I went to. I was so devastated when I heard of Nancy passing. She enriched a lot of our lives!

  18. I watched Sewing with Nancy for decades on my local PBS station. I was inspired every time. Now I watch her online. She was an amazing teacher & we are all blessed to have had her in our lives.

  19. Kimberly Peterson

    I was thrilled to speak with Nancy at a Sewing Expi in Puyallup, Washington and so personally thank her for writing the book, “Ten Twenty Minutes to Sew” At the time I was commuting and working full time but was able to continue to enjoy sewing . I told her that my coworkers were surprised at the amount of sewing projects I was able to accomplish because of her book. I watched her on PBS and have many of her books. She was a blessing and made a difference in my life.

  20. Sharon Binter

    Nancy was my inspiration because always had the attitude anyone can sew if she tries. I continue to watch her shows on PBS and even learn from shows that are re repeats.RIP, Nancy. Your teaching and good works will be an inspiration to many future sewers!

  21. Ginny Bolle

    Nancy was the real deal! She was so genuine in just being Nancy and through all her presentations. As a result, all could relate to her through her sewing knowledge, her teachable moments, her disability, and just being Nancy, a tremendous human being. May she continue to inspire us in the many directions our lives may lead us. She was and still is, an inspiration and I think I can easily speak for all of us, she was truly “family”. Nancy will continue to lead us all through her positive example of how to live life to its fullest!

  22. Elizabeth Tornblom

    Could not have loved and respected anybody better, even had I known them personally. Nancy was and for me, continues to be, a true inspiration; a champion for the every day person. Her lessons were insightful and delivered in such a genuine manner that nobody ever felt they were being talked down to by a professional .. though a pro she most certainly was. While can’t often find episodes of the how to view these days, I continue to watch every single one that I come across. I doesn’t matter if I’ve viewed it a hundred times before because there is always something new learned from it. My heartfelt thanks to Nancy, Nancy’s family, her friends and her production team, for giving of themselves so generously for so many years.

  23. I used to watch her show regularly and learned many sewing techniques. She was truly a great lady.

  24. Jodi Bingham

    and this tribute is one of the best i have seen.

  25. Maura Cronin

    We still miss you Nancy so very much . You were the very best!.

  26. Nancy was special and is missed

  27. I miss you Nancy and all you have done for me. You gave me the courage to tackle what I thought was a tough job. Thank you Nancy for just being you and all your encouragement. I am so very glad I had the opportunity to meet you in Tucson on 14 March of 2017, You are the very best of the best.

  28. Laura Halvorson

    Still to this day, I feel that I have lost a very dear friend, that I never had the good fortune to meet. Thank you for honoring her

  29. I still watch her program. She was great.

  30. Naomi brown

    Nancy was and still is an inspiration.!! Her talent and wisdom must continue. Her love of sewing was infectious. Share the love and passion you have for sewing with the ones you love. Just like Nancy.

  31. Kathryn Scurlock

    I have watched Nancy for so many years, She was my must see every Monday. She help me be a much better seamstress and quilter. Her words of wisdom have help me in my sorrow of loosing my dear husband, Roger. Nancy may be gone but her inspiration, wisdom, and talent are always present.

  32. Shirley

    I feel so privileged to have met her at a Babylock sewing event several years ago. She was so congenial and so humorous, and she made me want to learn more techniques than I ever thought possible. I was so sad when she passed away. I’ve watcher her for many years.

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