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The New Nancy's Notions - A Quilting & Sewing Resource Library

Nancy’s Notions is now part of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. family! For a wide selection of quality sewing and quilting fabric and supplies, please visit the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

 

Today, the Nancy’s Notions website carries on the legacy of it’s founder, Nancy Zieman, by helping to educate and inspire people everywhere to quilt and sew. Nancy’s Notions is now an ever-expanding library of sewing and quilting techniques, resources, and information. Each week, we publish new articles for quilters and sewers of all skill levels and interests. Whether you’re a beginner wanting to learn to quilt or sew, or an experienced quilter/sewist looking for helpful hints, tips and tricks, we have you covered!

 

To read more about Nancy Zieman’s biography, life and journey, click here.

Sewing Trivia

What is the oldest quilt in the world?

Think you know the what it is?

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learn the answer!

Then and Now

Nancy's Story

 

For many years, Nancy’s Notions was the place was the place to find education and inspiration.  We are happy to announce that it is still exactly that!  Stop by Nancy’s Notions to find more information on all things sewing and quilting.  Our Library of Sewing Information is sure to have exactly what you are looking for!

 

Nancy Zieman is an unforgettable woman and visionary who made an indelible mark on the sewing and quilting world. Though she passed away in 2017, her legacy will abide in the millions that she taught and touched.  Nancy was born and raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin to parents Ralph and Barbara Luedtke, and later graduated with a double major in home economics and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She married Richard Zieman in 1977.  Many of the jobs early in Nancy’s career centered around her love of sewing, including working for a sewing store in Chicago and freelancing as a sewing instructor in Minnesota.

 

Nancy’s Notions was born as a mail-order catalog in 1979, bringing sewers across the nations a unique and curated assortment of sewing notions and supplies. As she grew Nancy’s Notions from a small seed into a beautiful tree known by sewers across the country, she was also a well-known author and designer for McCall’s Patterns and Clover Needlecraft.

 

In 1982, she co-produced “Sewing with Nancy”, a half-hour sewing show that aired on Wisconsin Public Television. It wasn’t long before the show was broadcast nationwide, making Nancy an icon in the sewing and quilting world. In the early years, Nancy was the driving force behind the production, developing scripts and even taping the show in her own living room!  She remained the host and executive producer of the show until just a few months before she passed away. With over 900 episodes filmed, Sewing with Nancy had run longer than any other sewing program in North America!

 

Nancy often referred to herself as “the Poster Child for Bell’s Palsy,” a condition she acquired as a toddler due to an ear infection which caused her face to be partially paralyzed. Though this condition presented Nancy with unique challenges in her life (she was extremely self-conscious as a child), it couldn’t keep her from sharing her light with the world.

Nancy was always open to talk about her condition and wrote about it on her blog: “This morning as I was reviewing the key words that you, my readers, are using to search for information about my TV show and blog, I gulped when I realized that within the top 20 search terms were these words: Nancy Zieman Face, Nancy Zieman Stroke, and Sewing with Nancy Stroke. I certainly haven’t kept my paralysis a secret; after all, I wear it!  Yet, many of you still wonder. So, I decided to explain my paralysis. It’s just one of the unique features that makes me–me!”

 

“Perhaps the question that most of you want to ask me, but are afraid to do so, has nothing to do with fabric and thread. The topic—my face! Obviously, I’m not symmetrical. My eye and mouth on my right side have a partial paralysis called Bell’s Palsy—it happened (due to an ear infection) when I was a toddler; I was just over one year old.”

 

“During the 1950’s the treatment was to wait it out—it will get better. A high percentage of people recover from this paralysis. I wasn’t so lucky. As a child I was extremely self-conscious, my mom most recently told me that she prayed that I wouldn’t become introverted. Her prayers were answered.”

 

“Not being the cheerleader or prom court type—that was the ultimate goal in high school, I turned to creating with fabric and thread. Winning a ribbon at the county fair or a prize through the Make It Yourself with Wool contest, required skill not looks. Sewing became my outlet, passion, and eventual career.”

 

Thankfully Nancy didn’t let Bell’s Palsy keep her from the spotlight to share not only her tremendous talent, but also her inner and outer beauty with the world. Her unwavering determination to teach and inspire, despite her condition, have touched countless minds and hearts.

 

On November 14th, 2017, Nancy left this life but continues to shine today. The mark she made in the lives she impacted through her family, her show, her company, her creative works, and her extraordinary character will endure in perpetuity.

There are so many ways we can honor someone’s legacy— watch touching tributes or read wonderful words—but we believe that one way we can honor a powerful teacher and creator like Nancy Zieman is to create. Pick up a cutter and some fabric, dust off your sewing machine, fill up those bobbins and create something beautiful in your world that didn’t exist before today.

 

In May 2020 the Missouri Star Quilt Company bought Nancy’s Notions.  Jenny Doan, the founder of Missouri Star, watched Nancy’s Notions on Sunday mornings while getting ready for church and loved to learn from her skillful instruction.  As Jenny’s fame increased, she found herself crossing paths with Nancy from time to time and was always thrilled when Nancy would put a hand on her shoulder and say an encouraging word or offer an empathetic ear to whatever struggle Jenny was facing. Jenny’s memories of Nancy are extremely fond, so when the opportunity came to bring Nancy’s Notions into the Missouri Star family, she was thrilled.

In September 2022, Missouri Star was thrilled to launch the new Nancy’s Notions website to continue to offer sewing education and inspiration to all those who loved Nancy, as well as to beginner sewers who are new to Nancy’s story.  It is awe-inspiring to realize that Nancy is still touching lives today and into the future.

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