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
This entry was posted in Sewing In The News and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

114 Responses to News from Nancy Zieman

  1. Nancy says:

    Dearest Nancy,
    Words fail me at reading your farewell note. I watched your show even when the topic wasn’t for me just to enjoy your spirit and beauty, as I did when lucky enough to meet you in person. God blessed us with you in this world and now we can only say “thank you”, and wish you safe and gentle travel into His loving arms.
    Gratefully, Nancy

  2. June says:

    Love ya Nancy,I will miss you and your TV program

  3. Rebecca Frasier says:

    Ellen, thank you for this tribute to Nancy Zieman. What kind and remarkable words. This is breaking my heart because I’ve watched Sewing With Nancy since it aired and feel as if I personally know Ms. Zieman as most of us across the nation do.

  4. Linda Markin says:

    I’m sorry to hear of your illness & retirement. I moved here to Oregon 12 yrs ago and was so glad when I found your show on PBS here. I’ve watched it for years. I am a breast cancer survivor & pray you get thru this again. You will be missed. Best of luck.

  5. Monica Guokas says:

    Thank you for everything you have done in your life. You were and still are, an inspiration! Hoping you enjoy your family and wish you nothing but the best.

  6. PennyKnapp says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you are un well. I watched your shows bought your books and you made sewing fun and easy. Sending you love and healing energy so that we can all benefit from your friendship and wisdom.

  7. Carol Wolters says:

    Dear Nancy, Though we have never met, I owe you so many thanks for your calm, professional & inspired teaching. Whatever project or whomever sewist you had on your show, it is always the same. “Wow! I could NEVER do that!” 15 minutes later, “Wow! I want to try that!” 15 minutes after that, “I really could do this! Nancy makes it so simple & easy to understand, even admitting to goofs!” Thanks so much! Anything new that I try, I tell myself that Nancy thinks I can do it so I must be able to at least attempt it! You are an inspiration to so many of us. Now you & your family are in our prayers for peace and support and help. Life would not be the same without you. Blessings on you.

  8. Katherin says:

    Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us. I for one have learned so much from watching your show. God bless you continuously. I have some of your books waiting for my only granddaughter to be old enough to inherit them.

  9. Fanya L Houston says:

    Nancy, thank you for being an inspiration for so many years. It is a wonderful legacy to have taught so many people to find joy in sewing, and generations will pass on what they have learned from you. Blessings and peace to you. You will be in my prayers.

  10. Carla Griffitts says:

    Nancy, you are an inspiration to all of us. I’ve watched your shows for many years and will miss you terribly. I pray that you will have a peaceful retirement. Just know that you are truly loved and respected.

  11. Marge Hanson says:

    Nancy, You have been a true inspiration to me through the years of sewing. Your catalog has many things that I don’t see anywhere else. Your tv shows have helped me so much. In the last few yrs. I have started to quilt which I was NEVER going to do.It’s thanks to you and the wonderful quilt shows. Prayers to you dear lady. Enjoy everyday with your family.

  12. Jackie says:

    Thank you Ellen for your touching tribute to a very inspiring woman. Nancy helped pave the way for the televised sewing industry and has been one of my continued favorites teaching new techniques.

  13. Heidi Soja says:

    I am just returning to sewing after several brain surgeries. I can no longer see to drive, ride horses, or any of the things I loved to do. Nancy & my mother & grandmother inspired me to sew again. The one thing I think I can do now, only seeing strait ahead with one eye. My blessings to you Nancy, I have always watched your shows & love you! Thank you for your inspiration & strength! Take care & may comfort & love be with you!

  14. Patricia Lancaster says:

    I think of you often, Nancy. Please know that my prayers are with you. Cancer hit me this past year as it did my Dad. I pray for a cure every day.
    Pat Lancaster

  15. marilyn klag says:

    Dear Nancy,

    I just finished reading your book, “Seams Unlikely”, and loved it! Your rise to fame was hard won.

    Like so many others, I am a big fan, and you have inspired me time and again…As one of the anonymous viewers, I want to thank you for all of your inspiration and teaching demonstrations.

    I have bought patterns, books, notions…you name it.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  16. viola says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. You have inspired me for years making me believe I am up to the challenge. I have truly looked forward to your shows.

  17. Carla says:

    Dear Nancy, your life and talents have truly been a gift to more people than you could ever imagine. Thank you for all the years. God bless you and your family.

  18. Janet Cobb says:

    My prayers are with you Nancy! As a ’79 UW Stout graduate with a Home Ec degree, I’ve often wondered if our paths crossed once upon a time. Watching your show on Saturday mornings has been a part of life in our home for years…my husband even sits down to watch and is quite amazed at the projects you complete. My quilting friends chuckle when I tell him that I’ve stipled a project and he knows what I mean!! My thoughts will be with you and your family.

  19. Sherri Rhodes says:

    My dearest Nancy,

    God bless you and your family. After the all the struggles you have been through, you are still here. God is good. I have learned so many lessons from your television series. I have most of your books with the DVD and still use them as a resource. You have been a blessing to me as I have learned to sew. You will be truly, truly missed.

  20. Michele Halenbeck says:

    Dear Nancy,
    Life takes so many twists and turns, and yet God is good. Keep your mind on Jesus and the miracles he has performed. Thank you so much for making my love of sewing so grand. Live each moment one day at a time and know how much you are loved.

    One admirer,

  21. Elle says:

    Nancy, I trust you know how dear you are to all of us in the sewing community. Your books have helped me enormously over many years. Your clear instructions and style of teaching motivated me to excel and stretch my abilities. After reading “Seams Unlikely,” I can’t help but feel like I know you. Your faith throughout your struggles and joys make me want to be a better person, a better Christian. You and your family are in my prayers.

  22. Darlene Blackwell says:

    Thank you Nancy for being the strong example of a woman that I have come to love.
    I have been with you for years and loved every program. I stand in awe of the courage you have shown. You will always be in the hearts and minds of millions of women. Some of us would not have know our own capablities without you showing us the way. I have one of the sewing machines that you endorsed and when I use it to embroider – your name is right there in front of me and I will smile remembering you.

  23. Cathy Zurek says:

    I have enjoyed your show for a while. You’ve had so many inspiring tips and projects. PBS is the greatest! Your guests have always been very interesting and informative. Will miss your smile and tip corner from viewers. Lifting you and your family. Peace

  24. Cathy Zurek says:

    My prayers are with you and your family. I have enjoyed your show for a few years. You have had some great information along with great projects. We will miss your smile and energy. Raising you up

  25. Shirley says:

    You are in my prayers Nancy.
    I have enjoyed watching your show over the years and I still am watching. At first it was to get tips on sewing clothing, but now I really enjoy the quilting shows.
    I am not sure how you feel about the alternative medicine field, but I have attached a
    link that you might find interesting.

  26. Beth Parks says:

    So sorry to hear of your difficult road ahead. Many folks are praying for you. I am one of them. You are a wonderful example to all of us. Thank you for your encouraging example. We all love you. Love and prayers Beth Parks

  27. Martie Lubinski says:

    So sorry to hear your sad news.Here’s hoping for a miracle cure.Love seeing you on TV.Thank you for all your hard work,and enjoyable shows.Praying for the cure.Thanks for all your hard work.

  28. Darrilyn says:

    Sewing will not be the same without seeing you on tv. Be strong and know there are thousands of fans who love you and will miss you. You are always in our ❤️.

  29. Ellen Marx says:

    I am so lucky to have found you on PBS. I was a new mom and wanted to get back into sewing. As it tuned out my daughter has a long torso and broad chest do I needed to make all her dresses. Sewing was put on the back burner when I worked full time. I started to do more counted cross stitching. Now that I am retired I’m back to sewing and quilting. Thank you for keeping me active in the needle arts.

  30. Valerie Beecher says:

    This latest diagnosis was a tough one. You have answered it with the usual grace and strength you have shown over the years. Thank uou so much for opening up the world of quilting and sewing through your wonderful programs and inventive techniques. I have leatned a great deal from you and your guests over the years. May you find peace and strength in your faith on this journey.

  31. maureen says:

    Oh, Nancy…talk about life being unfair. I’m truly heartbroken for you and your family. Thank you so much for the many lessons you’ve taught me over the years. I’ll now be stitching with tears in every stitch. You’re in my prayers daily…sending you much love and many hugs…wishing you peace.

  32. Linda Tonkin says:

    Thank you for the many years of teaching us all about sewing. I have learned so much from you. I love your shows an watch them every Saturday morning on PBS. I will always keep you in my prayers. God bless you and your family.

  33. Monica Emerson says:

    Nancy, I too have watched your show since the beginning and have learned so much from you. At 62 years old, I still look forward to the show. I am so sorry to hear of your illness and will keep you in my prayers. I’ll tell you the same thing I tell my other friends..relax & take care of yourself, my friend.

  34. Alison Heath says:

    Dear Nancy, so sorry to hear about your illness, I wish you all the best and send positive thoughts your way

    Kindest Regards


  35. Pamela Monachello says:

    Dear Nancy, You are loved by people who are close to you and by people you don’t personally know. You have been the heart and hands of Jesus to so many. He has you in His loving hands and won’t let go. So many prayers are being said for you. God bless you and your family. Fondly, a fan of your show, your books and your testimony, Bethany Christian Services staff member, Pamela Monachello

  36. Roseann Dial says:

    You have given me so much great inspiration and instructions or so many years. I want to thank you for the joy you have brought to me and all of your viewers. I will be thinking of you often.

  37. Gloria says:

    I’ve prayed For healing for you. Thanks for your wonderful teaching .

  38. Linda Brown says:

    Stunned is all I can say about just having read her post. I just wanted to thank Nancy for the many years of encouragement she has given home sewers like myself. Also for the products, and instructional videos from her Nancy’s notions . God bless you and your family, I’ll be praying for you and your family.

  39. Robbin Donahue says:

    Dear Nancy,

    You will truly be missed. I have always admired you. You have taught me, you have inspired me. Thank you for a lifetime of sharing and caring. I wish only the very best for you.

    Peace to you and your family.

    • Dawn haase says:

      This best expresses my feelings prayers that you enjoy your retirement with family and friends. My family has a huge history with breast cancer . You. Will be in my prayers.

  40. Elaine D oucette says:

    I use to have to get up at 530 a.m. to watch sewing with Nancy. I’d get my coffee ready and be settled in to watch you and your program. You are an inspiration..kind hearted and humble. In the years to come..that is how complete strangers will remember you. Enjoy your retirement and every precious day.

  41. Vickie lampp says:

    I have loved your show for many years. You are so inspiring. God bless you. I will be praying for you.

  42. You are in my prayers Nancy!! I have always learned from your shows and books as well as been inspired! I was really excited to have you autograph your book, Seams Unlikely, whick has a promenent place on the shelf in my sewing room. Your inspiration will live on in allthose of us you have inspired, encouranged and challenged in our sewing adventure! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

  43. Diana Entsminger says:

    I will always remember the things you taught on you vedios. I have alway enjoyed your programs. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You will not be forgotten. Heavenly Father will be with you for he loves us all. May God bless you.

  44. Sandra Ann Henry says:

    I have only met you a couple of times. You were so kind and sweet. As a beginning sewer in my sixties. You inspire people of many generations. I think of you often, we are all here such a short time on earth. Some shorter than most. I have learned from you that it is not the day you were born or the day you pass that is as important as the time in between. Even though our encounter was a brief one, know this you will live in my heart ❤️ forever along with millions of other people. Your dreams will never die, do to the kindness you have given people over the years. I love You Nancy you will be missed. God Bless You.

  45. Tonia Grubbs says:

    She can take an old idea and make me think, “Oh, I know how to do that but I haven’t thought about it in a long time and I haven’t thought about doing it like that”. And I love her story about marrying her producer. Love you Nancy, xoxo.

  46. Susan Norwood says:

    God Bless you Nancy. You have been my sewing idol since your show started on PBS, and you have taught me so much. I’m 60 now, and started sewing actual clothes in HomeEc in 7th grade. Your teachings helped me become the seamstress I am today. After clothes, I expanded to quilts, art quilts, heirloom sewing, applique, smocking, home decor, and cloth dolls.

    My sewing journey has been a great joy in my life, and I am at my happy place when I’m creating something pretty with fabric. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being such an important part of my life. You and your family are in my prayers.

  47. Sheila says:

    God bless and keep you and your family Nancy. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and goodness. I have only recently come into “sewing properly” and your books and your internet tuition are, and will, continue to inspire me. You will never be forgotten. I will pray for you in my nightly prayers to Our Lord, his blessed Mother and St Joseph. You are a truly lovely lady and I pray for peace and contentment for you and….. daringly I ask for a miracle. Much love from Sheila of Manchester, England.

  48. Jane E Laws says:

    I have enjoyed your show and you for many years. I am sorry for your illness and pain. I will pray for you Nancy!

  49. Janice Ross says:

    Over the years I have watched and taped many of your shows. You have been an inspiration to me and many of your fans. God Bless you. You will be missed. Janice

  50. Juanita Baker says:

    You and your family are in my prayers. I found great sewing success with your books and notions. Peace be with you.