Saturday, 2 September 2017

Sad News...

Many of us woke up to the news that Nancy Zieman posted a message to the sewing community early this morning. By the time I learned of her retirement news, the link to her message wasn't working. Linda, a Pattern Review member, posted a copy of her announcement for those who were not able to access it and I thought I would share it here as well. Grab some tissue.  
A Personal Note From Nancy
by Nancy Zieman

There are many ways to celebrate a retirement and to say goodbye. Some might choose a gathering of close family and friends, a big party, or perhaps a quiet goodbye. I’ve decided to say goodbye to you—my loyal viewers, readers, and customers—with a personal note.

My retirement came as a shock to my family and me. As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, in March of 2015. Another primary cancer—breast cancer—was found four months later. I was treated with surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation through May of 2016. During this time, my staff, friends and I continued to produce Sewing With Nancy shows, some creatively repackaged, and other brand-new episodes. My amazing team worked diligently to help me with the book-writing process, develop new products, and keep me up to speed. We skipped a few beats, but not too many.

Earlier this year, my husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary and vacations were enjoyed. Then, life changed. A scan in July showed that one of the cancers had metastasized and additional treatments would not be helpful. It was a devastating day, realizing that my life and my career, as I had known it, would end.

During these last six weeks, I’ve been having meaningful conversations with family and friends—a bittersweet time. My staff and I have been working on rearranging my business, Nancy Zieman Productions (I sold Nancy’s Notions to the Tacony Corporation in 2003), determining how to wrap up Sewing With Nancy, and figuring out how to continue our valuable partnerships with Wisconsin Public Television—mainly Quilt Expo, which will continue.

I recorded new Sewing With Nancy shows right up to my diagnosis. You’ll find 15 new episodes this season, with reissues of programs to fill this season. Plus, my hope is that the Sewing With Nancy series will continue to air for years to come. The last episode that we recorded is entitled, “I Sew For Fun,” a show on team sewing with kids ages 5-9. My granddaughters will be featured; I marvel at this miracle.

It is not easy to say goodbye, especially since the terms were totally unexpected. I have learned during these past weeks to concentrate on my faith. You may not share my beliefs; I respect that, yet I would not be true to myself if
I did not state the verse that I am focusing on during this last journey. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge Him in all you do and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

I am finding great peace today, knowing that I can thank you for your many years of dedication, viewership, and friendship. I have had a great and long career, starting Nancy’s Notions in 1979 and Sewing With Nancy in 1982. We’ve recorded 36 seasons of Sewing With Nancy, which totals 910 shows. (The first and last seasons did not have the customary 26 episodes; only I have been keeping track of the number!) I have been blessed with working with quality, amazing people.

So, with a heavy, yet humble heart, I thank you and say goodbye.

Your friend,
Nancy Zieman
It is not easy to read her message and come to terms that this is her goodbye message. It's sad. Even though she previously shared the news of her battle with cancer, there was great hope that she would win this battle.  

With sadness at this news, there is also gratitude for her contributions to the sewing community. Nancy Zieman is a pioneer, sharing her knowledge before YouTube videos and sewing blogs through her books and PBS television series, Sewing With Nancy. Many Saturday afternoons were spent with a cup of coffee, sitting in front of the television, soaking up the information she shared with her viewers. Even though I'm not a quilter I still tuned in to the program. I especially enjoyed her interviews in the second half of the program where she would introduce us to creative and generous souls that inspire us to share our knowledge and gifts.  

Well, it's time to make my coffee and visit with Nancy while sending good vibes and prayers to her and her family.  ~sigh~


  1. Thank you for sharing Nancy's note.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. Although my maternal grandmother was my main sewing inspiration, the Sewing with Nancy episodes kept me inspired for many years. She is a great teacher and a wonderful person. Blessings to her.

  3. Thank you so much for posting this farewell message. Oddly, I've been watching quite a few of Nancy's shows on YouTube this week. What a beautiful, gracious woman.

  4. Arghh and sigh. Thank you so much for sharing this. I remember trying to plan my kids' quiet times around Sewing with Nancy airings so many year ago. She was a source of great inspiration and instruction long before Pinterest and Instagram

  5. Both beautiful and sad. Thank you for sharing this.
    Mary in Thailand

  6. I watched her since teen years. She was always motivation. I pray that she will receive a 100% healing!!!!

  7. Like all of you, I've been watching Sewing With Nancy episodes for so many years. She has been the bridge that supported our love of this craft from the decline of home economic courses in the school system in the late seventies to the new revival of sewing we're all witnessing today. And she connected the sewing community with each other with her interviews and guests. She is so much more than a teacher and a class act.


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