News from Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman, of Sewing with Nancy, Retires

a tough diagnosis causes the sewing pioneer to say goodbye

Screen Shot 2017 09 06 at 4.20.52 PM News from Nancy Zieman


I met Nancy Zieman many years ago. I was just starting out in my career and looked up to her for all she had done to be a champion of the sewing industry. She’s brought sewing into people’s living rooms on her PBS show every day. She’s invented new sewing notions to make sewing easier and more fun. She’s faced adversity, having been inflicted with Bell’s palsy at 14 months old, which, she says, “has shaped my life in many ways–directed the traffic, to offer a metaphor.”

Screen Shot 2017 09 06 at 9.22.48 AM News from Nancy Zieman

Nancy’s biggest challenge came in 2015, when she battled osteocarcoma and breast cancer. She underwent treatment with positive results, only to have the cancer return this past summer. Realizing that further treatment was not an option, Nancy decided to retire.

Nancy has always offered me encouragement and enthusiasm for this great industry that she helped foster. Every time I see her, she offers a smile of genuine caring. She is truly remarkable, and you can read more about her life in Seams Unlikely, the memoir she wrote in 2014.

I encourage you to read her note and offer her encouragement and love–the same she’s given us through the years.

Thank you, Nancy, for everything.

 News from Nancy Zieman
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114 Responses to News from Nancy Zieman

  1. Rhonda Maxfield says:

    Oh my! Sad to hear. Nancy has done so much for so many. I’ve been watching her show for years and have many of her books and patterns. I will truly miss you. May god bless you and your family.

  2. Irene Emerson says:

    Nancy, What a joy you have been in my life. I am 77 years young and have had many trials but I knew I could go to my machine and create something . Lately my hands are not working as well as I would like but a little there and a little that and it may take me longer to finish my piece but I think of you and I find I can push ahead. Thank you for all the years you have given us. You used the talent God gave you and you will surely be rewarded . God Bless and I will see you again in HEAVEN. Fondly Irene

  3. Penny Doyle says:

    Nancy is and always will be an example of a talented human being willing to share her knowledge and encouragement to others. I always learned new things and what was the newest technique in sewing. The sewing community will truly miss her weekly shows. Prayers and encouragement now goes to her and her family. This is their time.

  4. Paula Cramer says:

    Nancy I am so very very sorry to hear you are dealing once again with this dreadful problem.
    I enjoy watching “Sewing With Nancy” at every opportunity and when I can’t I record it to watch later. I have learned so many techniques from you and am so grateful for your knowledge which you’ve passed on to thousands.
    I’ll say a pray for you and your family that you remain strong during your battle.

  5. Mariam says:

    My prayers for you Nancy, enjoyed your shows

  6. Sue Clark says:

    Dear Friend. I 1st saw you on TV as a grad student in NE. YOU HELPED ME through marriage,pregnancies, child-rearing while working, health issues while trying to carve out time to sew. Your show kept me sane. I hope and pray for peace you and your family.

  7. Linda Burwick says:

    I was so very sorry to hear of Nancy’s retirement, and even more so for the reason. I have watched “Sewing with Nancy” for many of the years she has been on public TV. I would get up on Saturdays especially to watch her show.

  8. Rosemary Borden says:

    Nancy, I’m so sorry to hear of your illness and your retirement. You live your life with grace and dignity and you are an inspiration to millions. Thank you for changing the lives of multitudes of people who love you.

  9. Barbara Hudson says:

    I have watched and read Nancy for many years. She has made me the seamstress I am today. There is a sewing machine-shaped hole in my heart right now. I pray your strength and comfort in the Lord.

  10. Renee Fullen says:

    So sorry to hear this. Prayers.

  11. Connie Clabaugh says:

    Nancy, Thank you so much for the years of great joy you have given us sewers. So much creativity and great techniques. We love you so very much! Blessings to you and your family.

  12. cheryl walker says:

    I hope and pray that things turn out well for you Nancy. Always enjoyed your show on PBS.

  13. Toni Snyder says:

    Nancy, I have been in awe of you since your very beginning. I even met you at a Pfaff School of Sewing years ago. You are so gracious and so inspiring. I have spent most Saturday mornings with you on our PBS station here in Denver. If I could not be there to watch, I taped it and watched later. I will always love you and send you my prayers and love. Even though I started sewing when I was very young, I have learned very much from you. My girls could have worn their prom dresses inside out thanks to you.
    Thank you so much very much.
    Toni Snyder, Littleton, CO

  14. Marilyn Dunstan says:

    So much to say but the most important thing I want to tell you is that you got me into the sewing room making projects and FINISHING them with your clear and understanding instructions. Thank you so much! You will be in my prayers.

  15. Barb Sanders says:

    Nancy has been an inspiration for many years. I’ve learned so much from your PBS show and your books. Many prayers coming your way.

  16. Sandy says:

    Sending prayers. Sending peace and blessings!

  17. Susan Burns says:

    I watched Nancy on TV some over the years, but not until I got into quilting about 10 years ago did I start recording her shows. She has given me and others inspiration and encouragement to try new things. Loved watching her Corner Segments with all those that help others. She supported those same people over and over.
    I pray for Nancy, her family and all those that love her so much
    as they deal with this horrific disease.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Hello Nancy,
    How grateful I am to you for the pioneer of sewing shows. It inspired me even through tough times. You allowed me to watch an educational show at any hour of the day, as I DVR’d it. You are my prayers. Thank you.

  19. Laura Furrey says:

    I have watched and learned from Nancy for many years also. I was so happy to actually meet her at the Puyallup Sewing Expo. I thank you, Nancy, for the years of caring and sharing your love of sewing. I am not a perfect seamstress by any means, but I’m not the worst anymore.

  20. Sharon says:

    Thank you for sharing your love of sewing with us!
    Many millennials have returned to the art because of you:)
    May Our God who loves you beyond measure cradle you in his arms and carry you through this journey!
    Thank you again!

  21. Donna J Kelly says:

    I have followed Nancy since she began her tv program. When my grandchildren visited they knew there would be no cartoons until my sewing/quilting programs were over. She is such an inspiration to me. I have used her many books during my sewing journey. Life is not fair.

  22. Fraziier, T says:

    Thank you for all of you years of dedication to this industry.

  23. Ann says:

    Thank you for all the lessons you gave, they were easy to follow and very helpful. Prayers for you

  24. Susan Burns says:

    As a young bride and new first time mom, without the funds to travel to educate my ignorant sewing self, you came into my home every week and taught me what I needed to know. With your retirement I feel as if I’m losing a great friend. Thank you for the years of sewing with a good friend. God Bless You!

  25. Elizabeth Kuntz says:

    I absolutely adore Nancy and she was my “teacher” as a young wife and mother who wanted to learn to sew. I used her books as my teaching tools and watched her show. I started on my journey in 1987. She is a truly a gem and wonderful person.

    I also want to say that you, Ellen, are also an inspiration to me too. This summer I was diagnosed with Breast cancer and am currently undergoing Radiation treatments. Your journey has inspired me and given me hope. Thank you.
    God bless Nancy and you as well, Ellen.

  26. Billie Eberle says:

    So sorry to hear you’re retiring but I completely understand. I’ve enjoyed your shows and have benefited from all your shows. You’re in my prayers!

  27. Lorna Kirby says:

    Thank you for so many years of teaching and selling. I have some very old tapes of Sewing with Nancy and enjoyed the annual sewing expos in Beaver Dam! You are in my prayers along with your family and caregivers. God Bless!

  28. Janice O'Malley says:

    I record Sewing With Nancy each Thursday and save them after watching them. You are such an inspiration and an excellent teacher. I love your style! I hope PBS continues to air Sewing With Nancy for many years. I read your book and will read it again. I love you, Nancy Zieman!

  29. Cynthia Najera-Gomez says:

    You have been such an inspiration to me. Helping me quilt and cheer up after the loss of my spouse and my severe physical diagnosis. Thank you for being there. Safe journey to you.

  30. Chirstine says:

    Dear Nancy, you have inspired many people for different reasons throughout the years. I do not presume but I hope that you and your medical team have exhausted all options. Remember God only knows when he wants us called home. Prayers.

  31. Terrie Sullivan says:

    I’ve have watched Nancy on PBS for many years. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family

  32. Karen says:

    Nancy, I have been watching you for years, thank you for all the lessons about sewing and life that you have taught me. I have learned so much from you. Thank you so much

  33. Nita Babcock says:

    I saw Nancy at 1 of the sewing events and have been watching her every chance I get on PBS! She is an inspiration to watch & listen to! I feel as though you are a member of my family, even though we have never officially met. May God be with you and your family!

  34. Jean Sherman says:

    Nancy you have been an inspiration to all of us. I remember you coming to Hesperia Michigan in the late 70′s or early 80′s. My kids got upset as every Saturday morning was my day to watch Pbs and

  35. Pam Beus says:

    Nancy, I have been watching and learning from you for more than half my life. I feel like you are my friend. It greatly saddens me to hear about your trials. I’m praying for you. We will miss you and there will be a great hole left that you have occupied for so many years! Thank you for giving so much of yourself to all of us. Love, Pam Beus

  36. Dorothy Kosinski says:

    Dear Nancy,
    I am currently 69yrs. young as I look at as 8 yrs. ago I had a bone marrow transplant thanks to one of my sisters and at the time they told me that day was my new birthday, so I am only 8 yrs. old….However I have been sewing since my Grandmother taught me when I was 6 on her Singer peddle machine. Sewing is part of my daily life, I have made baby clothes to wedding dresses (mine included) and since I only get to watch you once a week on our TBS station I have learned to quilt and many other items. You have inspired me greatly and taught me a lot, I will miss your shows and pray for you and your family

  37. Penny Dykes says:

    Nancy helped me to be
    Able to see again after my brain tumor. I couldn’t figure it out til I started watching her again.
    She has been the hilight of my Saturday mornings for many years.
    I will so miss her and all the influence that she has had on me in my crafting venues.
    Take care and God Bless!!!!

  38. Karen Rambo says:

    Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for showing me that even as a mother of three with a full time job, that I could still sew. I could get in ten, twenty, or thirty minutes here and there. Eventually I had a garment.

  39. Barb Hoover says:

    So very sorry to hear this. Have water her show for years and learned a lot. She’s a great lady and so hard to say goodbye ❤❤

  40. Monica Guokad says:

    Nancy Zieman is a very brave and talented lady. She showed me that even if you were not perfect, you could do anything! She has touched so many lives is such a goid way. We will miss her on TV.
    To Nancy, I know you are going through something that I wish you did not have to go through, but you can only do your best. And I know you will do what you need to do. Hugs, Love, and Blessings for you and your family.

  41. Celia Kepic says:

    So sorry to hear of Nancy’s illness. I’ve followed her sewing program for years and used her video’s in my 4H classes. I’ve used many of her demonstrations in constructing garments and quilts and purchased many sewing items from her website. She is a great teacher and her Sewing With Nancy program will be a huge loss to the sewing public. My best wishes to Nancy.

  42. Mary Saraceni, EdD, NBCT says:

    I make every effort to watch Sewing with Nancy on KUAT at 9 am every Saturday. My friends and family know to schedule around this, as this is my 1 guilty pleasure just for me. They also understand that they have benefited from my increased sewing ability, as I am their ‘go to gal’ for alternations, bridesmaid dresses, costumes, etc. I was my Mom’s primary caretaker during both her breast cancer events, and her final demise nineteen years later, so I have so much admiration for Nancy’s ability to make the decision to retire and spend time with her family and friends. I am praying for her, and her loved ones. Thank you, Nancy, for all your leadership and contributions to the sewing and quilting community, as well as your efforts to showcase worthy causes. You are my hero!
    Mary Saraceni

  43. Deb Thomas says:

    I watch you for many years. I learn to sew when I was very young. I would turn you on the TV and would watch you and learn a lot from your show. I have brought a lot of your books, just because you would explain then so well. I will sure will miss turning on the TV and watching you. I know you have made me a better sewer and better person. I will all ways love what you have done for so many people out their. I know in my heart to made people pick up sewing.

  44. Wanda Masek says:

    Watching Sewing with Nancy was a life highlight for my mother and me.
    We spent hours looking through her catalogue which we called our dream book.
    Thanks to my mother (Florescence Strom) I learned the love of sewing and thanks to Nancy I have great memories sharing our time together. Wanda

  45. Jennifer Coxsey says:

    She truly is the living embodiment of faith in action. I have learned so much from her about sewing but also about using my hobby to bring aid and comfort to others. Prayers to her and her loved ones.

  46. Linda Ronczka says:

    Nancy, I also thank you for everything. May God be with you.

  47. Connie Wilhoite says:

    Nancy Zieman’s program is encouraging, informative, and let’s me feel that I can accomplish in sewing more than I ever thought possible. I share her techniques with others. She will be in my prayers. She’s a brave woman and I will miss seeing new programs.

  48. Carol E says:

    I have loved watching your program for many years and sorry to hear you have to retire. You are a beautiful, talented lady and I wish you God’s comfort and healing.

  49. Sally Gaugler says:

    Nancy, I am praying for you as you walk through these difficult days. I know that our God will guide you. Praying also for your family.

  50. Irene Garcia says:

    It was by watching Sewing With Nancy that I renewed my interest in sewing and sharpened my sewing skills back in the time when I did indeed only have ten or twenty minutes to sew. My baby took very short naps. Nancy taught techniques that cut sewing time and produced great results. Nancy’s instructions inspired me to try new things and to continue learning.