Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hello my patient blogging buddies! I saw Nancy Zieman live in person and...

Nancy Zieman...

the name is synonymous with sewing, isn't it?

As a teenager in the 1980s, Nancy patiently taught sewing to me and all her viewers on PBS.

Were you one of them?

I have some notes to share with you from my evening with Nancy (in person) here in my hometown and hope you can benefit from them, too...

Nancy started off by saying "Sewing is now a creative process rather than a necessity."  I couldn't agree more!  It's much cheaper to purchase a T-shirt in WalMart than to serge one yourself, but, then you wouldn't have the fun of being able to say, "I did it myself!"

Nancy showed us (a group of about sixty) how to create her bias scarf and cascading scarf with a serger.  Those items are available on her website at www.nancysnotions.com .

A new product called "fantastic elastic" is an elastic you can the width you would like along the rib on the elastic without it unraveling!

I ran out and bought "Sewing A to Z", which is Nancy's newest book with DVD.  I'm interested in not only quilting, but also machine embroidery and sewing for myself and my family, so this will be a very useful tool.  I got a chance to peek through the book during a break in our session and knew it was a must-have for my library.

Nancy was wearing the nicest knit top and coordinating jacket.  She designs for McCall's and one of her newest patterns is M6408, which I found at JoAnn's last week for only $1!  How do you like this jacket?
When serging in a circle (the sleeve), Nancy suggests cutting out a 1" long 1/4" deep "starting gate".  Begin in the gate and then end there.  This will eliminate funky-looking circles and will create a perfectly round circle without cutting into the fabric.

McCall's 6040 by Nancy Zieman
This jacket features serging on the outside as a form of embellishment.

McCall's 5890 has a nice knit, draped jacket I think is flattering.  I don't know about you, but I love to hide my hips!  LOL

Tips from Nancy and Linda Lee on working with stretchy knit fabrics:
Fuse the hems first and then stitch over them.  An iron-on fusible called "Steam a Seam 2", which acts like a stabilizer and works well for this technique.

For embroidery by machine, Nancy recommends "Designs in Machine Embroidery".  Her new book and accompanying CD-ROM called "Designer Necklines"certainly caught my eye, too!  What an easy way to make a $2.50 T-shirt look like a million bucks!!

Nancy has been working with Clover, a company out of Japan with an office here in the U.S. who provides all kinds of nifty notions for seamstresses and quilters.  (You know the Clover quilting pins I'm talking about, right?!?)  Well, if you have always wanted to make a purse but really didn't know how...can you imagine HOW CUTE a charm pack would be in quilted purse form?!?!?  Or can you imagine making this Gingerbread House Purse with your embroidery machine like I did!

And may I recommend to you a website I found and LOVE called www.emblibrary.com ?  Their projects page (all free!) are filled with fantastic giftable ideas.

Clover offers templates for handbags that Nancy has designed.  The best thing about it is that there's absolutely no turning the bag inside out/upside down, etc. to create it.  It's an extremely easy to sew project.  The template is sturdy enough to use over 100 times!

For a successful purse, use double-sided fusible Pellon Peltex in the sides of the purse to make things "beefy" and use "Shape 'n Create" plastic for the bottom.  This plastic isn't possible to pin, so be feel to use double-sided tape instead!  

Straps are no fun without a turning tube, but now Nancy has designed an very easy, fusible "Create a Strap" for purses that requires no turning at all!  You finish the inside with grosgrain ribbon that coordinates with your fabric choice.  She finishes the raw edges on the inside of the bag with grosgrain ribbon, too and it's a very pretty finish.

Nancy's new product "Wrap 'n Fuse" makes it possible to simply wrap the fabric around the piping, iron and ta-dah!  You have instant piping - this would be very easy to add to a quilted border or coordinating bed pillow.

Speaking of quilting, here's where the really patient of you get the latest from Nancy on quilting tips!
Her purse template I used is definitely awesome, so I also bought the Lone Star Quilt template from Nancy.  There are several different sizes on just one template and there are absolutely NO Y-seams involved!  Thank you, Nancy!  Once cut, the pieces all sew together using straight seams.  Nancy joked with us that you shouldn't "lose your religion" trying to sew Y-seams correctly, sew...she developed this template :-)
A free pattern for a table topper comes with the template.

Nancy highly recommends Mary Ellen's Best Press light starch and I agree with her recommendation whole-heartedly!

The Dresden Plate is also a template from Nancy using a no fabric waste "flip & place" technique that makes instant points.  If you like decorating for Christmas, there is a free tree skirt pattern at clover-usa.com featuring Nancy's Dresden Plate template and a Grandmother's Flower Garden template, too.

Her Tumbler Block template is ideal for the new quilter, so wouldn't that make a great gift for the new quilter in your life or someone you would like to encourage?  The same template provides you several various looks,  plus comes with a How-to DVD featuring Ms. Zieman herself!  

When Nancy saw quilts at the Wisconsin PBS-sponsored quilt show called "Landscape Quilts", her jaw dropped on the floor and she knew right then and there she just had to learn how it was done.  The results are astoundingly beautiful and are quite non-quilty and very artistic at times.  It was shocking to hear Nancy say that inexpensive glue sticks from WalMart and Sharpies permanent markers always go in her landscape quilts, but when she showed us her results....well, we could certainly see why!  Simply amazing!  She has written a book with samplers built right in so you can learn to begin landscaping.  If you have tons of stash, this project would be perfect for you!

Here's wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
All the Best,

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A Time for Everything

The bible says there's a time for everything under heaven...

last winter was my time to quilt
this winter is my time to help others

My family is blessed to be in a position to help other family members
so that is what this season is for.

I will begin posting again when my time to quilt comes back around.
I sew appreciate the dear friends I have come to know through this blog.
Thank you for your kindness and inspiration.

Until then, happy quilting!

All my Best,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Welcome to Toot-torial Tuesday!

Please join the linky party for some project fun - projects of all kinds welcome - quilting, embroidery, clothing, painting, drawing, crafts, games, recipes - what have you been planning for October?

I have been planning a HUGE Oktoberfest celebration - a German-American heritage celebration, if you will - with my students in German Club and in my classes at the local high school.  At parent/teacher conferences last night, I had loads of parents volunteer to cook wonderful local dishes like halupsie, fleischkuechle, knoephlas, knoephla soup,  kuchen, etc. - it'll be a feast!

A large pan of halupsie, also known as pigs in a blanket

Fleischkuechle are meat patties surrounded by fresh dough and fried to perfection.

A large, boiling pot of fresh, home-made dough noodles called knoephlas.
Fried in butter with onions, these are heavenly!

Knoephla soup is served daily at our local diner "Kroll's"

Custard "kuchen"
recipe HERE

Wedding kuchens
recipe HERE

If you are interested in creating these dishes, there are DVDs of our local Germans from Russia dishes that document local ladies whipping up their specialties:  http://library.ndsu.edu/grhc/order/tapes/foodpantry.html  This includes a recipe for "red eye", which of course can't be served to students, but is a great wedding tradition here!

The Germans from Russia Heritage Society is a good place to start if you are looking for information about the Heimat.

And, last but not least, the German-American Heritage Museum of Washington, DC information for you:  http://www.ugac.org/gahm/gahm.html 

Please link up and let us know what you're doing this month!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Civil War Chronicles Oct. BOM

My apologies for the long absence...the beginning of the school year for this teacher has been extra hectic, but here's what I was able to do today for quilting!

October's block chronicles the life of Lucy Webb Hayes

1 1/8" finished Half Square Triangles (HST) are required, so I printed them out from 

It says:
Properly printed Triangulations grid will measure 6"x10"
HST 1 1/8" finished size
page yields 30 half square triangles

Do you see THAT name in my day planner?!?
Yes, how exciting!
I am going to spend two hours listening to Nancy Zieman's tips on Nov. 10th right here in my hometown!

I printed on regular computer paper and used a brand-new 90/14 quilting needle.

I set the tension down to 1.0 and used a stitch length of 1.0
The teeny, tiny stitches made the paper fall right off!

Begin sewing on the dashed lines, then
cut on the straight lines.

"No" cutting corners here - LOL!

Wow, these are tiny.  The smallest I've ever made before.

How's your CWC coming along?  
How did you choose to do your 1 1/8" finished HSTs?
Are you doing the next one?

Want-to-be Quilters be sure to stop by Stash Manicure each Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Current Quilters each Tuesday and Thursday
Only one month left to win!

All the Best,

Monday, September 26, 2011

Want-to-be Quilters will want to sign up to WIN books from Eleanor Burns!

Registered Want-to-be Quilters please visit
Stash Manicure today to sign up
to WIN 
quilt books and DVDs from Eleanor Burns!

Good luck!!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

1Choice4Quilting goodies have arrived!

I just love ordering and receiving new fabric from Shawna at 1Choice4Quilting...she always sends freebies and this time she also sent along TONS of 'scrap's - some of them 1/2 yard cuts!!

I bought a Trick or Treat layer Cake by Deb Strain from her, but I need ideas on how to use this for Halloween...will you please let me know your suggestions?  Thanks!!

Sorry about the linky party for Toot-torial Tuesday - the Linky Tools link isn't working this week ?!?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Want to be Quilter Giveaway at Stash Manicure!

Today's give-away at Stash Manicure is this fantastic Smart Iron from Oliso!
Want-to-be-Quilter's be sure to sign up to win HERE.

Everyone will benefit from Nan's fun tutorial posted at Stash Manicure today - 
an easy iron cover to make in just one hour - 
presents for friends and family!

Here's wishing you all a fantastic week!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Awesome giveaway!

Awesome giveaway HERE!

You could win THIS!

or THIS....

or maybe THIS!!

Today's give-away from Madame Samm is for both Quilter's and Quilter Want-to-be's!

Good Luck!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Toot-torial Tuesday # 14; I was featured on Lily's Quilts: Quilt As You Go

If you are new to quilting, you may want to try the Quilt As You Go Method, which is detailed here:  http://lilysquilts.blogspot.com/2011/04/quilt-as-you-go-joining-blocks.html

A post from SewWeQuilt @ Stash Manicure is also featured:  http://www.sewwequilt.com/2011/03/quilt-as-you-go-qayg.html

Quilt As You Go is helpful if you are new to quilting, have a small sewing machine, want to quilt your own quilt without sending your tops out to a longarmer, or if you have hand injuries or arthritis.

Here is the direct link to the super-fast, no hand sewing required,  iron-on batting tape method I featured:

I hope you will find the information helpful.  Please leave a comment to let me know what you think!

The Want-to-be A Quilter give-away today at SewWeQuilt @ Stash Manicure features 9.5 yards of Ty Pennington's "Water flower" fabric, sew be sure to stop on by to register!

Please consider linking up to our blog hop which is open from Tuesday, 9/13-Thursday, 9/15, 2011:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Want-to-be Quilters could WIN this today!

To win:
read today's post
follow KdQuilts
(she has amazingly detailed paper piecing instructions there)
leave a comment for Kd on her blog
leave a comment for Madame Samm at Stash Manicure
(you follow Stash Manicure already, right?)

In order to be selected, you need to register with me & give me a follow
(a blogger sponsor)
please send me an e-mail with your name and e-mail address to register
rocknquilts at live dot com

Give-aways end the end of October - don't miss out!

PS  I really enjoyed Kd's post about September being National Sewing Month - she has great links posted there that could be really helpful to new quilters and sewists.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Toot-torial Tuesday #13 9/6-9-8, 2011 Inspirational Quilt Shop Tour

Labor Day Weekend = Travel

I couldn't resist stopping by this little roadside quilt shop/antiques store.
These pics show how adorable it all was...

Top right:  just like my great-grandmother's bread bowl!

Quilts and antiques sure go together nicely!

This looks familiar!  An AccuQuilt rag die quilt - I love the colorway they chose.  It's beautiful for fall!

This demi-tasse set was featured at $8.00 - what a deal!

Antique children's toys were on display.

What a fun stop on our way to the Lake!
Hope you also had a wonderful holiday weekend.

Have you stopped by to see who won the Bernina sewing machine from Madame Samm at Stash Manicure?  Tuesdays and Thursdays are for current quilters - be sure to sign up to win!

Please link up to Toot-torial Tuesday


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