A Thanksgiving tribute to Nancy Zieman

I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you are sharing the day with family and friends delighting in good food and fellowship. I have much for which to be grateful this Thanksgiving, including the recent birth of my twin grandchildren! I also greatly appreciate the friendships I have made through quilting and traveling to share that passion throughout the United States and beyond.

Last week, we said farewell to Nancy Zieman who passed away after a battle with cancer. She was such an inspiration to so many people and she will be greatly missed. Thank you Nancy for your wonderful contribution to the quilting and sewing world. Sewing with Nancy was the longest running sewing and quilting TV program ever, with over 30 years of programming in which Nancy taught numerous techniques and invited other teachers to share and participate. I had the privilege to be interviewed about the Mongolian Quilting Center twice for Nancy’s Corner and to do a two part series with her on my Bargello Quilts with a Twist technique, and so I appeared in four Sewing with Nancy programs. The photo was taken during our recording of the Bargello Quilts with a Twist programs. Nancy had friendly and comfortable manner which came across in her TV teaching and endeared her to her large audience and devoted followers. She immediately made me feel at ease in the TV studio. She was also extremely professional and thorough in her approach. It was a pleasure to work with her and a great experience. The company that she founded, Nancy’s Notions, lives on and is a great resource for sewing and quilting supplies.

For a wonderful YouTube tribute to Nancy, click here.

Quilter’s Store, Sedona, AZ

In October, I traveled to Arizona to teach at the Thumb Butte Quilters’ Guild. I stayed an extra day and two guild members took me to Sedona, where we had an incredible hike to the Devil’s Arch. It was my first time to Sedona and I was blown away by the spectacular scenery and rock formations. There’s always time to squeeze in a visit to the local quilt store, in this case the Quilter’s Store. They are easy to find on State Route 89A not far from the town center.

I was tickled by this skeleton sitting outside the store with phone in hand and sign saying “Waiting for wife”! This shop is well endowed with 3,000 bolts of fabrics including around 700 batiks. They have plenty of patterns, books and notions as well providing opportunities for quilting classes.

There are several rooms featuring sample quilts and a variety of products. I was amused by the snake made from Arizona Diamondbacks, (a baseball team), fabric.

They have an excellent selection of southwestern themed fabrics and several of the new laser printed fabrics that are really colorful.

There is a gallery next door to the shop which is open for limited hours. Ask at the shop and you may be able to go in there. Local textile artists are featured and it is well worth a visit.

A Work in Progress

My current major quilting project is a commissioned bed-quilt. My client is reasonably local, so we have met several times. I have been to her house to get a feel for the ambiance and her color pallet and she visited me to look at my quilts and tell me what she liked. She wants something traditional and geometrical in purple, magenta, orange and turquoise, and was drawn to my Feathered Star quilts. We decided on a large 28″ Radiant Feathered Star for the center of the quilt with a 9″ compass in the middle.

I fussy-cut the Paula Nadelstern fabric for the star arms. As shown in the photo on the right, the triangles making the feathers are foundation paper pieced and are in a color gradation of oranges. Next, I made four 16″ diamond star blocks, strip-pieced with fussy-cut center diamonds from the same Paula Nadelstern fabric.

I’m now working on four compass blocks and have completed two of them. These are 14″ compasses with 32 points. For these, I am using Robin Long’s strip-piecing method and special ruler. Her technique is really slick and very accurate. It took me about eight hours to make this compass including hand-appliqueing the center circle. Check out Robin’s website. Once all the compasses are finished, I will work out how to put it all together and will be adding smaller Ohio Star blocks between these compass and diamond star blocks. The finished quilt will be in the 80-85″ square size range. In two or three months, I hope I’ll be posting a picture of it!