Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Second episode of Free Motion Quilting for Beginners on Sewing with Nancy is live! Giveaway extended!

I am so excited to share the link to the second episode of Free Motion Quilting for Beginners on Sewing with Nancy.  In the second episode you will see how I stitch paisley, woodgrain, swirls and print tracking.  If you are new to quilting and are using my book to learn I think you will find these 2 episodes helpful.  I hope you take a time to view it for free online, and if you are interested in owning a copy of both episodes please click here.  I had so much fun filming these shows.  I am so glad to be able to offer this in addition to my book as a more complete package of beginner free motion quilting.  I hope you enjoy them!  Last week I asked you all to comment for a chance to win a copy of my book, but due to the holiday I didn't get many entries, so I decided to extend it a week.  You can answer my original question "what episode of Sewing with Nancy or Nancy Zieman book is your favorite? "  in the comments below to win.  I will announce the winner next Friday when Grandma and I will be back to give you a thread review, and tell you what we look for in good machine quilting thread.  Thanks for stopping by and have a very Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friday Chats with Grandma Behind the Scenes on the Sewing with Nancy show and a giveaway!

Happy Holidays everyone and thanks for coming back to hear more of my adventure of being on the Sewing with Nancy show.  I have to say when I first got a call from my publisher telling me I was invited to be a guest on Nancy's show I about fell over.  I grew up watching her and couldn't believe she wanted me as a guest for her show!  I was even more amazed to get a call from her personally, but after just a quick minute my amazement turned straight to comfort as she was so friendly and genuine, I just knew I would be in good hands.  I have to say though, the idea of being on camera terrified me a bit, and I am not used to traveling solo, nor do I drive very much, and this trip involved multiple flights, a car rental, 2 different hotels- I found myself extremely nervous and feeling not so confident about the idea of it all.  I reached out to my Mom who asked my wonderful Grandma to join me.  When Grandma called me to tell me she would be able to go with me I was so relieved.  I knew I needed a buddy for this trip and she was the perfect companion.  Grandma lives in the Seattle/Tacoma area in Washington state and I live in Southern California, but we met in the middle and traveled on to Madison Wisconson together.  Seeing her absolutely made my day- It had been over a year, and she looked so saavy and ready for an adventure... as her granddaughter I couldn't have been more impressed with her.  From there got a car rental and headed out to the small town in Wisconsin that Nancy's offices are located in, as well as Nancy's Notions (but more on that later).

We started the next day following Nancy's right hand woman Donna to the offices.  We were warmly greeted by all the staff at her offices, as well as given an amazing tour of the space, which was filled to the brim with beautiful projects and quilts that has been on the show over the years.  After that it was straight to business, but not before being treated to Nancy's homemade zucchini chocolate chip bread- she shares a version of the recipe in her book Seams Unlikely, which I highly recommend as an excellent read (and the bread was delicious).  We spent the rest of our morning having a meeting about the show, and then were taken by Nancy and Donna to a beautiful lunch, then a scenic tour through the historic downtown, finally to then spend the afternoon touring Nancy's Notions, and getting to shop!  Yay!!  Then it was a fantastic dinner with Donna and off to bed early for filming the next day.

We had to travel into Madison early the next morning for filming, and Nancy rode with us.  Grandma drove and she and Nancy really had a nice chat which was great for me as I was so nervous I wasn't feeling quite up to chatting.  Once I got there we went to the green room and I got to meet the makeup artist who was very nice and put me at ease.  We filmed the first segment of the show in the morning and it went very smoothly.  Nothing is perfect and I sure didn't give a perfect performance, nerves were a definite factor, but Nancy is a pro, and she makes it easy for all the others she works with, she got me through it.  Later we had lunch and then filmed the second segment, which will be available to view next week.  It went even smoother and faster, and we were done by the early afternoon.  Working with Nancy was truly an honor and such a privilege.  It was a very enjoyable time, and by the time it was over I was a little sad it had gone by so fast.  Grandma and I celebrated that evening with a wonderful dinner and drink- and had a great time talking about how fun it all was.  I am so grateful I got to do this, and the best part is that now all my readers can get a visual reference of what I am doing on film, which is a great accompaniment to the book!  I  am giving away a signed copy of the book this week, comment below to win, tell me what your favorite Nancy Zieman book or episode of Sewing with Nancy is.  I will select the winner randomly next Friday.  I asked Grandma to share about the trip for her experience, here is what she had to say.

In the Pacific Northwest we are fortunate to have a Public Television station that every Saturday morning shows a  lineup of sewing and quilting shows. They have done this for many years and I am a faithful watcher. When you watch these shows for such a long time you begin to feel like these celebrities are your friends, but never in my wildest imagination did I think I would actually get to meet one of them. Then I got the call from Molly telling me she was going to be on the Sewing With Nancy show and would I like to come along with her and watch the process. Well, I couldn’t pack my bags fast enough. We traveled to Beaver Dam Wisconsin and spent two very wonderful days doing the two shows.

I don’t know exactly what I expected, but I know I felt as giddy as a teenager. We were greeted by Nancy herself and she made us feel very welcome and allowed me to be part of everything that went on. They saw to our every need and Nancy, herself, treated us to a delicious sweet bread she had made that morning herself. The suite of offices that make up Nancy Zeiman Productions is lined with many of the quilts that we have seen on the various shows. I was especially thrilled to get to see the landscape quilts Nancy had done a series on.

Getting to go to the TV studio and watch the process unfold from the makeup to the final taping was an indescribable thrill. I had never seen the inside of a TV studio. It is full of technology and equipment and yes, it does have a green room. I was allowed to sit in the control room for the entire day of taping and that way I could see everything that went on and what the “behind the camera” process is like. It takes many people to make a show happen.

There really aren’t words I can think of that adequately explain what I felt during our two day stay. To watch my granddaughter get the recognition she so deserves was a moment of profound proudness. To be treated with the kindness the entire staff showed us and to be allowed to tag along on such an important event is a memory I cherish. Thank you to Nancy Zeiman and her staff, and most especially to Molly for making this all possible. Hugs to you all.  
Grandma Pat
Grandma and I when we met up at the airport

getting ready for makeup

grandma got to view the taping like this, which she found fascinating

Donna is sitting in my chair prepping the sewing area and Nancy is behind her machine

Nancy and I

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Revealing the Surprise... a guest apperance on the Nancy Zieman Show! and the giveaway winner is announced!

Thanks to all who participated in the book giveaway last Friday and throughout the weekend.  I asked everyone to give their best guess as to where Grandma and I got to go and who we got to meet that was very special in the sewing and quilting industry.  You all had some great guesses, ranging from famous designers/quilters like Tula Pink or Angela Walters- both of whom I have had the privileged of getting to meet, and Angela is a great friend of mine, so no not that... and some of you thought of Ricky & Alex and their excellent Quilt Show, no not that, some of you thought I had met with a sewing machine company, but I am already a BERNINA ambassador, so no not that, and a few of you guessed fabric companies, but that isn't it either... one of you guessed it though, and to that person I am going to send a copy of my book  so good work Karen who guessed  Someone special - Nancy Zieman?  so Karen look for an email from me!
and the randomly selected winner of the signed copy I promised in last Friday's post is PamPretties
who commented  Hiya!!! I have no idea---still too new to the quilting world to guess, but would love to have that book, lol. Thanks for having the giveaway. Blessed be, hugs!!! Pam.  Pam I have contacted you through your email for the shipping info.  And to everyone who guessed thanks so much for participating!

So now for the exciting news- I got to film 2 episodes of Sewing with Nancy this past September, one of which is available to view for free online HERE and the second one will be live next week. You can read about it on Nancy's Blog too.  I am beyond excited to share more about the experience and how much fun Grandma and I had, but I figured I would save that for our Friday Chat tomorrow so you could hear both of our perspectives.  I will say it was an honor and a privileged and Nancy was as wonderful as she seems on camera and warm and welcoming as one possibly could be.  I am most excited for you all to have a visual of what the stitching looks like and sketching looks like in action for several of the designs in my book.  I feel that these two programs coupled with my book provide an excellent resource for the brand new beginner to see the speed, the movements the way I set up my machine, as well as the patterns and teaching provided in my book, which takes what I showed in the program further and details it more.  Nancy Zieman is offering a DVD copy of the shows as well as a package of the book & DVDs together with some quilting essentials I like, for those of you who would like to own a copy.  These programs are available to view online anytime for free and I do hope you all get to check it out, and that you find it helpful to see what I am teaching in action.   Be sure to come back tomorrow to hear much more about the filming, the process and a few fun pictures of behind the scenes courtesy of Grandma. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Chat with Grandma Print Tracking and a giveaway!!

Earlier this week I shared about my Makiko ironing board from my new book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners.  I told you I would be back with Grandma today to discuss more about how I quilted that ironing board, and the dog bed in my book too.... a little thing I like to call Print Tracking.  Print tracking is where you follow the lines created by the patterns in the fabric, you can get as detailed or keep it as simple as you like, but weather you outline a floral or novelty motif, or follow along with the pattern lines in a geometric, print tracking is a great way to build skills and highlight the beauty of a fabric you love. 

One of my very favorite print tracking projects was a handbag I made for Angela Walters Legacy booth at quilt market last year.  Art Gallery fabrics used it (and several of the other samples I made) to make this awesome promotional video~ check it out!  I tracked all the tiny but awesome Angela designs and used chain of pearls to move from one motif to another, just like I teach in the book.  
I asked Grandma what she thought of print tracking and here is what she has to say....

Print tracking is a wonderful practice tool but also a great skill for FMQ. When I am making a quilt that has a pattern fabric in it I save the extra pieces and make a practice sandwich. This gives me the chance to practice print tracking and learn what I need to do to accomplish the skill. Print tracking takes a bit more precision than something like stippling or random quilting. Trying to follow the outline of a design you need to determine what speed in your machine and hands need to work at in order to keep the outline clean. Practicing this develops the brain memory of how to follow a pattern whether it is a design you have marked on your project or whether you are FMQ feathers or other designs that have to be exact.
Another place where I have used print tracking a great deal is when I am making a baby or child’s quilt. Most often these quilts are full of design fabric and print tracking allows the design to really stand out. Do a practice piece first to get the feel of the rhythm and then go for it. Print tracking adds so much dimension to a project. Like all things we do it just takes practice. 

Grandma Pat

Grandma sure does have it right, and her advice is right on too.  Print tracking takes a bit of practice, but if you have ever tried to trace a design before you know how that goes... just slow down and take your time and you will find that you end up with gorgeous highlighted fabric, and the back of your project will be perhaps as beautiful, if not more, than the front!  It will also help you get the feel of designs that may be more complex, or movements that might feel to foreign to start with freehand.  I say that print tracking is an excellent skill builder, and looks fantastic too, a win/win.  I hope you'll try it out for yourself.   In other news I have some VERY EXCITING news to share with you all next week... here is a hint... Grandma and I took a special trip this fall and got to meet someone very special in the sewing industry.... got any guesses?  Leave your guess in the comment below for a chance to win my new book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners.  I can't wait to share the big news, so be sure to stay tuned!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Giveaway Winner and a story all the way from Japan

I apologize for my absence on the blog last week.  I was a bit under the weather and needed to take a break.  I am back this week though to announce the winner of the giveaway of a free signed copy of my book Free Motion Quilting for Beginners.  The randomly drawn winner is comment number 6, Susan J. congratulations, I have emailed you, so please send your contact info so I can get you your book. 

One of my very favorite things about blogging has been the fantastic people I have gotten to meet, friends from all over the world who bring me insight on not only quilting in their country but also daily life and culture.  I couldn't have dreamed of the benefits and joy these relationships have brought my life when I started my blog.  I feel so very lucky.  One of the first international friends I gained through quilting and sewing was my friend Makiko O'Neil.  She lives in Japan and is a huge fan of Kate Spain's fabrics.  She and I have that in common.   The very day after the huge Tsunami hit Japan in 2009 I was very surprised to see I had an order for a few of my aprons in my etsy store from Japan.  I couldn't believe someone would be buying aprons in such a tragic time and I thought surely there had to be a story there.  I decided to email my customer and ask her how she had been affected and if she was okay, and if there was anything I could do to help the people of Japan.  She immediately responded with the most charming and heartfelt story of how they had been badly affected and how horrible the aftershocks where, how very scary it all was, and how she loved Kate Spain so much that her husband had encouraged her to order my aprons made out of Kate Spain fabric.  It was just so sweet that my aprons were meant to cheer her up and make her feel better during such a horrific time.  To say I was touched was an understatement.  It started a beautiful friendship- and inspired Makiko to open her own fabric shop in Japan to bring the beautiful American fabrics she loved so much to the Japanese Market.  She also sold my aprons out of her store too, so she became one of my best customers.  We have stayed in contact and remain very good friends.  When it came time to write my book I knew I wanted to include an ironing board cover.  I make my own Ironing board covers and the one I have currently is made from fabric Makiko sent me from Japan, and it always makes me think of her.  I thought it would be a fun surprise to name the project after her and use Kate Spain fabric.  I just loved the DayDream line and new Makiko would love it too.  I never told her and waited til she got her signed copy for a reaction.  It was pretty priceless, an amazingly sweet letter about how she cried when she saw it... I knew she would.  Makiko is such a special person and I am so glad blogging and sewing and quilting brought her to me.  I only hope to meet her in person one day! She shared some pictures with me of her shop and some of her and her friends quilting... I thought they were fun and got her permission to share them all with you.  Be sure to come back Friday when I ask Grandma if she has ever tried print tracking like I did to quilt the ironing board cover and dog bed in my book.  Have any of you ever tried print tracking? 
this is an add for Makikos store called Red Coconut

Makiko's Japanese friend made this quilt... isn't it lovely?

Makiko made this quilt herself... I love it- and it is made with DayDream by Kate Spain, just like the ironing board in the book, knew she would love that collection~

This is a Japanese quilting magazine