Nancy Zieman (born June 21, 1953) is the TV host of Sewing with Nancy, a half-hour TV show that she co-produces on Wisconsin Public Television. On the air since September, 1982, it is the longest running sewing program on North American television. Initially, the programs were videotaped in Nancy’s living room with a camera crew of one person. In the early years, Nancy Zieman ran a one-woman show, developing the scripts, making the samples, and taping the programs. Nancy has been the host and executive producer since its inauguration. Since the mid 1980s, Wisconsin Public Television in Madison, Wisconsin has been Nancy’s partner in television production with Laurie Gorman serving as the director for the past 19 years
Raised on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, Zieman graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Stout with double majors in Home Economics and Journalism. In Chicago she worked for a national sewing chain store. She worked as a freelance sewing instructor in Minnesota.
In 1979, she founded Nancy's Notions, a direct mail company specializing in sewing notions, supplies and accessories. Nancy's Notions was purchased by the Tacony Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri in 2003. She is an author and a designer for The McCall Pattern Company and Clover Needlecraft.
Zieman has written several sewing books including The Art of Landscape Quilting, Serge with Confidence, Machine Embroidery with Confidence, Sew with Confidence, Landscape Quilts with Natalie Sewell, Let’s Sew, 10-20-30 Minutes to Sew, The Best of Sewing with Nancy, Sew Clever Bags, and 501 Sewing Hints. She has also designed patterns for the McCall's Pattern Company.
Retirement On September 2, 2017, Zieman announced on her blog that after 910 shows of Sewing with Nancy, she was retiring, explaining that she had been diagnosed with both osteosarcoma and breast cancer, that one of these cancers had metastasized and that "additional treatments would not be helpful."  
From Nancy's autobiography, Seams Unlikely:
"The walk from the Green Room where my makeup is applied to the studio floor takes less than a minute. All is in order. Months of preparations for a two-part broadcast celebrating Sewing With Nancy’s thirty-year history on television will take life as cameras roll.
In terms of years, only Letterman had a longer run.
Unlike the more than eight hundred other episodes of Sewing With Nancy, this one takes place in front of a studio audience. Chairs have been arranged in the cavernous studio and every one of them is filled.
The significant people in my life are in the audience—my husband and sons, my daughter in law, my mother and step-dad, my aunt, my sister and one of my brothers. People I don’t know as personally are here, too—fans and those accompanying them, colleagues, business associates. Special guests—people who have become my on-air and off-air friends—are rehearsed and ready for cameras to roll.
The production crew is poised. The jokes they shared through their headsets while preparing to record have been set aside and everything is business. In the control room sound levels are adjusted, tapes are cued and cameras are re-checked. My director searches me out in the Green Room and gives me an uncharacteristic hug. No words exchanged, just a glance that says, “You can do it, Nancy.” I fight back tears, she the same. Then she turns and heads back to the control room.
My walk down the hall is a short one, but a lot can go through you mind in a short walk. Life is full of unexpected and I am the most unlikely of television personalities. But as the milestone is celebrated, the journey that led to this point is remembered and beginnings are acknowledged.
The audience is ready. I’m ready. The countdown from the control room begins and tape rolls.
“…six…five…four…” (the audio goes silent and the floor director beats a silent three…two…one…and points at me).
“Welcome to a special broadcast of Sewing With Nancy.”
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About Nancy Zieman
Nancy Zieman is host and executive producer of Sewing With Nancy and founder of Nancy’s Notions, a direct mail business. She’s an author and a designer for The McCall Pattern Company and Clover Needlecraft.
About Sewing with Nancy
The first Sewing With Nancy program aired on cable TV in 1982. Initially, the programs were videotaped in Nancy’s living room with a camera crew of one person and 13-hour taping days! In the early years, Nancy Zieman ran a one-woman show, developing the scripts, making the samples, and taping the programs.
Today, Nancy still writes the scripts, yet it’s a team effort to plan the programming, develop the samples, and write and illustrate the books. Nancy frequently quips, “The show should really be called Sewing With Nancy, Donna, Kate, Pat, Diane, Laure, Lois, and Diane.” For the past 20 years, Wisconsin Public Television in Madison, Wis. has been Nancy’s partner in television production with Laurie Gorman serving as the director for the past 19 years
Sewing With Nancy focuses on:
- Sewing Education
- Quilting Education
- Embroidery Education
- Outreach and Charity
- Machine Embroidery
- Public Television
- Television Show Production
- Sewing Notions
- Quilting Notions
- Pattern Design
- Garment Design
- Quilt Design
- Community Sewing and Quilting Events
- Sewing and Quilting Expos and Shows
In 1988, she received the Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year award from the Wisconsin Women Entrepreneurs Association. In 1991, she received the National 4-H Alumni Award.
Nancy Zieman maintains a sewing, quilting, and machine embroidery focused education blog at http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog. See her most popular blog posts here:
See a few of my top interests and most-visited blog posts here:
Sew To Give™ is Nancy Zieman’s sewing outreach initiative. Here you’ll find tutorials and sewing-how-to’s for popular donated items and projects needed by organizations. Read more about Sew To Give™, find out how you can help, and review a list of charitable organizations by scrolling through this page and its links: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/category/sew-to-give/
Quilt To Give™ is a 10-step quilt along project designed to create bed size quilts by individuals or groups to give to charities in need. The pattern shared is my original design and makes up easily from a collective fabric stash. Grab the pattern, get organized and see how you can help here: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/quilt-to-give/
Nancy Zieman’s Absolute Easiest Way To Sew is one of the most visited areas of my website. The projects from the book, Absolute Easiest Way To Sew, are featured on my show and website in this collected link. Learn the Absolute Easiest Way to Apply a Zipper or Elastic Waistband. http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/category/nancy-zieman-absolute-easiest-way/
The 2015 Adventure Quilt is a block of the month (BoM) program which releases one new block on the third Saturday of each month. The blocks feature Nancy’s signature notions and create a bed-size quilts by making two blocks each month. See the whole year’s project and finale here: http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/category/2015-block-of-the-month/
The 2016 Quilt Extravaganza is a block of the month (BoM) program which releases one new block on the third Saturday of each month. Join the fun and use fabrics from your stash to create these twelve blocks. http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/category/2016-block-of-the-month/
http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog | http://www.sewingwithnancy.com | http://www.nancyzieman.com
Nancy Zieman's Company Affiliations (as of 2017)
- Sewing With Nancy TV Host
- Wisconsin Public Television Public Television
- Nancy’s Notions
- Baby Lock Sewing
- Maderia Thread
- Koala Studios
- Clover Notions
- Penny Rose Fabrics, a division of Riley Blake Designs
- Wisconsin Quilt Expo
- McCall Pattern Company
Zieman has Bell's Palsy and is open about her condition, having written about it, been interviewed by journalists, and hosting a segment on the television show with medical professionals. She jokingly refers to herself as the "Poster Child for Bell's Palsy."
- Burns, Jane (February 3, 2011). "Nancy to discuss her Bell's palsy on sewing show". Wisconsin State Journal. Retrieved May 4, 2013.
- Zieman, Nancy (September 2, 2017). "A personal note from Nancy Zieman" (PDF). Retrieved September 2, 2017.
- Zieman, Nancy, Time to Say Goodbye—A Personal Note from Nancy, retrieved September 2, 2017