Nancy Zieman really was one of the best at coming up with clever sewing tools to make the job easier and more fun. Talk about an ingenious woman! One of her last projects was developing a line of sewing tools designed to appeal to a young sewer. One of the things that I found so endearing about following Sewing with Nancy over the years is how the show really changed as her life changed. You learned a lot about her current interests through the topics she was focusing on. The “I Sew For Fun” project is another example as she was sharing her passion for sewing with her darling Granddaughters.
I think sewing through the generations is something we can all relate to. I was 4 when my mom taught me how to sew on my great grandmothers treadle machine. Yes, I learned on a treadle! I’ve always been a bit of a chatterbox so mom said when I started talking and stopped paying attention, I also stopped peddling so she never had to worry about me running over my finger! To this day, I can’t walk and chew gum.
At age 4, I became a quilter, making doll quilts; I also became an instructor, teaching my kindergarten friend to make quilts, too. Now, I’m teaching my young children! They have made lots of quilting and crafting projects, but this challenge prompted me to introduce them to embroidery.
For my online show, “Absolute Beginner Machine Embroidery,” I have to prepare 26 embroidery lessons to film in about 3 1/2 days. It’s a tremendous amount of work (more about that in a later post). For this season, I got to embroider these adorable towels with little creatures right along the hemline.
My youngest daughter stayed by my side through this whole project, helping me to select a design and all of the thread colors. She really enjoyed it and I got to practice teaching the project to her before presenting it for the camera. In the lesson, I share hooping techniques and discuss working with different stabilizers. It was the perfect opportunity for me to put a couple of my new “I Sew For Fun” notions to work! Finding a good marking pen that writes on all types of material and erases can be a challenge. I used the Clover ISFF Fabric Marking pen to mark the center position of my embroidery design on my towel. It wrote easily and could be seen, then just a spritz of water removed it – LOVE!
I also found the ISFF Heart Shaped pins handy, they have a flat head and are nice and long so they are perfect for pinning the thick towel I was working with to my hooped Stick Tear, Tear Away stabilizer from Baby Lock. I like to pin the towel to hold it in place while my machine bastes the hoop and a topper stabilizer like Melt Away in place. Once basted, I remove the pins.
If you don’t have a basting feature on your machine, you can leave the Heart Shaped Pins in place (as long as they are fully outside of the embroidery area), without having to worry about the pin head getting caught on the embroidery foot. Once you are done with your pins, why not put them in the adorable Heart Shaped Magnetic Pin Cushion!
I hear all of the time from students in my classes that their family members “just aren’t interested” in sewing. I feel that it is important to expose children early to the love of our creative craft and “The Flying Sewing Machine”, by Nancy Zieman is an adorable way to lead into it. From there, it’s all about finding a project that appeals to the person you are trying to introduce to sewing. Maybe you are a quilter but your daughter isn’t interested in quilting. Maybe she would enjoy learning to create a new tote bag – or even an embroidered towel. Spend a little time sharing what you love about sewing and ask questions like, “If you could make one thing, what would it be?” Or “What cool accessory have you seen lately that you couldn’t afford to buy?” These are fun ways to start gathering information and gear a project toward a new sewer, of any age. Have fun with it and make sure you share your tips and favorite tools so it is fun for your new Sewing friend, too. The right tool for the job makes all the difference in creating a successful project. And a successful project makes all the difference in inspiring someone to sew.