Tag Archives: Nancy Zieman

Fun Tissue Holder Covers at Anita Goodesign Workshop

During our September Anita Goodesign Workshop, we had a great time making the CUTEST tissue box covers ever!

Since it’s September, the project was all about getting ready for Halloween.

Trick or TREAT!

photo 5

Look at a creative touch that Opal Hobbs added to her project…..

Isn’t that a cute ruffle?!


These tissue cover designs are EXCLUSIVE to the ladies who attend the Anita Workshop.  They are not available anywhere else.   So, if you are seeing things you like and wish you could get, maybe it’s time for you to join us at next month’s workshop.  Hmmm?

We’d love to see you there!!!  Here’s the link to details about next month’s Anita Goodesign Workshop

See some of the very nice ladies you will meet and get to know:

AND, sometimes we even have surprise Give-Aways….

Our newest workshop attendee, Robyn Cayton, won a free copy of Nancy Zieman’s latest new book:



It’s time for you to join the fun and try some new things with your embroidery machine!

Hope to see you soon!

Thanks for reading!

Jenny Gabriel alter ego: StitchinJenny

Seams Unlikely


Hello everyone!  Thank you so much for stopping by!

jenny profile pic 2I’m Jenny Gabriel alter ego:  StitchinJenny and I’ve mostly been a sewing educator for the past several years.  I’m now a full-time member of the sales team at Humble Sewing Center/SewVac Outlet and I get to be their blogger when I’m not teaching or on the sales floor.

Today is such a special day because, I get to participate in Nancy Zieman’s Book Launch Blog Tour!  I’ll be sharing a little bit about her autobiography and how she is a true inspiration to me.  I think it’s wonderful that Nancy is a long distance mentor to so many of us!

Here’s the cover of her new book!


At the end of this post you will find links & details to allow you participate in Nancy’s book giveaway (YES!  You could win a free copy of her book!)  and also see what other bloggers are posting along this tour.

A Moment to say, “Thanks!”

I’d like to have all of you pretend for a moment that you are reading over Nancy’s shoulder as she reads the following note….

Thank you Nancy for writing this transparent book about your life, struggles with low self esteem, and victories of reaping the rewards of your hard work and perseverance.

It delights my heart that your greatest joy is “helping others to gain the confidence to achieve in the face of challenge.”  I believe your book is fulfilling that goal in exponential ways!

I love the statement/motto that you shared early in your book:

“Each of us faces challenges in life.  Some are bigger than others.  But what happens to us, does not define who we are, unless we let it.”

This quote perfectly captures the true spirit of being an over comer.

It holds a special significance for me because of how it applies to myself and some very special people in my life.  You see, I started a non-profit organization to facilitate teaching sewing to underage survivors of human trafficking. I get to work with them face to face and sometimes I even catch a glimpse of their self-confidence growing right before my eyes.

I thank you because, many aspects of your story are an encouragement to me to persevere in my efforts with these girls.  In your book, you mentioned that sewing became an outlet for you to build your confidence and affirm your worth.  I’m hoping to repeat that success story with these young ladies.

Thank you for your openness as you shared your insights into the painful topic of overcoming low self-esteem and how certain people really helped you with this.

I especially loved reading about your mom and your former English teacher:


“…my mother is a giver.  But she doesn’t give, and walk away.  No, she’s the kind of person who […….] walks alongside until you’re strong enough to make it on your own.”

English Teacher-

“Sometimes people fail to recognize how far a little encouragement can go.  Mrs. Fawcett believed in me, and because she believed in me, I could believe in myself as well.”

What great ladies!  They are such good examples of the kind of parent and role model that I want to be.  Thanks for sharing about the difference they made in your life.

In closing, I just want to tell you that I think you are amazing in so many wonderful ways! Thank you for being you and for your excellence at doing what you do!

Kind Regards,

Jenny Gabriel alter ego: StitchinJenny

Video Preview

If you haven’t see this short video about Nancy’s book, watch it here:

Book Give Away!

Want to win a free copy of Nancy’s book?

Readers must comment on Nancy’s February 4th Seams Unlikely Blog Tour Posting to qualify for book giveaways.

Blog Tour Road Map:

February 4          Nancy Zieman           http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/blog-tour/seams-unlikely-book/

February 5          Eileen Roche          http://dzgns.com/blog/

February 5          Pat Sloan          http://patsloan.typepad.com/

February 6          Melissa Stramel          http://melissaslilaclane.blogspot.com

February 6          The Long Ladies          http://www.mariemadelinestudio.typepad.com/

February 6          Tori Thompson          http://totallystitchin.net

February 7          Amy Barickman          http://www.indygojunction.com/blog/

February 7          Melissa Mora          http://mellysews.com

February 8          Shari Butler          http://www.doohikeydesignstudio.com/blog/

February 8          Vicki Christensen          http://www.sewinspiredblog.com/

February 9          Carolina Moore          http://alwaysexpectmoore.com

February 9          Kate Mclvor          https://theconfidentstitch.squarespace.com

February 10          Amy Ellis          http://amyscreativeside.com/

February 10          Melissa Mortenson          http://www.polkadotchair.com

February 11          Ilene Miller          http://happyvalleyprimitives.blogspot.com/

February 11          Liz Hicks          http://blogerisms.blogspot.com/

February 11          Rachael Pannepacker          http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

February 12          Bill Gardner          http://www.quiltersnewsletter.com/blogs/insideqn/

February 12          Elizabeth Evans          http://www.simplesimonandco.com

February 13          Amy Webb          http://www.amylouwhosews.com/ 

February 13          Lindsay Wilkes          http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com

February 14          Gertie Hirsch          http://www.blogforbettersewing.com

February 14          Veronica Philips          http://cloverusa.wordpress.com/

February 15          Jenny Gabriel          http://www.sewvacoutletblog.com

February 15          Laura Wasilowski          http://artfabrik.blogspot.com/

February 16          Frieda Anderson          http://friestyle.blogspot.com/

February 16          Rita Farro          http://ritassewfun.blogspot.com

February 17          Cindy Cloward          http://www.rileyblakedesigns.com/blog/

February 17          Joan Hawley          http://www.lazygirldesigns.com/blog/

February 17          Patty Young          http://modkidboutique.blogspot.com

February 18          Nancy Zieman          http://www.nancyzieman.com/blog/

My Beautiful Tablet Keeper

Thank you for stopping by to see my version of Nancy Zieman’s Tablet Keeper project!  I’m sooooo “over the moon” with stars in my eyes about getting to be a part of this blog tour!

Yes, I’m gushing.  – Let us pause for a moment of silence while I calm down so I can show you what I made!!!!!……

……Ok, I’m calm.  Here’s a photo showing the fabric I chose on a recent field trip to High Fashion Fabrics with friend, Stacie D.

I’m really loving the accent hardware:   Satin Bronze Rectangle Ring from Clover!

I’m glad Nancy designed these to use a velcro closure for easy access.  Her Tablet Keeper templates also include instructions and placement for optional magnetic snap closure.

These templates can be modified to hold regular paper tablets or things like Nooks, Kindles, etc. The suggested supplies include some stiff plastic inserts called “shapers” that really provide extra protection for your electronics.

Being that I presently have none of these awesome electronic toys, I chose to modify my paper tablet keeper so it could hold my planning calendar etc.

Take a look at the following photos to see what I mean….

Here is a look at the inside view of my Tablet Keeper... Can you tell what I changed?

Instead of sticking to the original instructions, I decided to make my right hand pocket a vertical one.

Nancy wisely designed the left hand side of the Paper Tablet Keepers with a horizontal pocket for storing miscellaneous papers or a note pad.

I like her clever little corner pocket to keep pens and/or note cards handy, too.

Once the pockets and other features to the Tablet Keeper are completed, the very last step is to bind the raw edges.

Be forewarned, in the image below, I’m showing a shamelessly huge photo of my binding because, I’m just so hippity-hop happy with how it turned out.  (Note:  “Hippity-hop happy” is an extra special kind of happy that is most often seen in little kids, at the grocery store, in the candy isle.)

In her blog tutorial, Nancy said:  “Use your favorite method to bind your Tablet Keeper.”    Sooo, I did.

First, I made custom binding and joined it together to make one long strip.

Then, I used an “unconventional method” to make easy work of getting my corners to beautifully miter without having to go back and hand sew the miter closed.  I recently showed this technique to a dear friend of mine who’s been quilting for several years now, and who keeps up with all the latest tips and tricks.  She had never seen this method before and agreed it’s a very cool way to get the job done.

Ta Da!

If you’re curious about this “unconventional mitering method”, I encourage you to check out my free 3 part video tutorial demonstrating the steps to make your own custom binding (on the straight of the grain) and how to make these mitered corners.  In the video, I’m demonstrating the technique on place mats, but the method I demo easily applies to the Tablet Keeper and any other bound project as well.

If you already know how to make custom binding, you may want to skip ahead to parts 2 & 3 of my tutorial.  Here’s the link:  Place Mat Luv/Mitered Binding

Well, we’re all done for now, except, be sure to click on the link below to enter the Clover prize drawing!

Note:  Clover has provided three prize packages for readers (valued at $135) for a February 1 Giveaway. Readers must post comments at the following link to qualify for the giveaway:  Nancy Give-Away Contest Link

Click the Image to go to Nancy's Give-Away

Thanks for reading!

If you’d like to be among the first to know when we post our latest sewing, serging, and/or machine embroidery tutorials, designs freebies and prize give-aways, please take a moment to sign up to follow our blog via email on the right hand menu.

And, if you’d like to attend one of our upcoming classes or events, please click the following link to find out more:  HSC Events & Classes

Have a beautiful day!

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

We Love Nancy and Nancy Loves Us!

One of the bloggers that I follow is my sewing mentor from afar:  Nancy Zieman

The other day, I found out about a “Tablet Keeper Blog Tour” that she is doing during the month of January.  This is what I read:

“Twenty bloggers have been selected to participate in this fun and creative Blog Tour. Clover sent each blogger a Tablet Keeper template set, plus all the findings (shaperscreate-a-straphardware, stabilizer, etc.) For 20 days in January, a different guest blogger will showcase their Tablet Keeper creation. With the impressive lineup of bloggers, I know the creative options will be noteworthy!”

Day Dreaming Leads to Action

As I scrolled down the list of featured participants, I found myself wishing that I could someday have my name included in this list of Nancy’s go-to bloggers.  With a little encouragement from a friend, I decided to go ahead and write a short note to Nancy.

Dear Nancy:

I started the note by mentioning that I had met her back in April of 2011 at the Love of Sewing event that SewVac hosted.  No, I didn’t send her the photo!

Knowing that she’s a very busy person, I tried to keep it really short and get to the point.

In a nutshell, I let her know about my contributions to this blog and how I often feature clips from her video demos here….

And then I mentioned that I’d love to participate the next time she does a blog tour.  There!  I officially tossed my “hat into the ring”.

Yours Truly, Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny

Didn’t really think anything would ever come of it but….

Today I received an email from Deanna Springer, a member of Nancy’s amazing team of ladies that help her do what she does.

Nancy read my note!  She’s excited to hear about our blog and has invited me to participate in the blog tour that is happening right now!  After a short phone conversation with Deanna, all the details are set and our magical date is January 18th!  That is the day that I will be showcasing my efforts in making one of the sizes of the Tablet Keeper.  Yay!

My creative juices are already warming up.  I can’t wait to make this!

Wanna make one with me?  Nancy has a great online tutorial with instructions and details.

You should be able to get your supplies at Humble Sewing Center soon, or online via: Nancy’s Notions

Send me pictures of your projects so I can post them on the 18th!  We’re all in this together!  Contact Jenny

Need some inspiration?  Here’s a link to a free project sheet of some variations of Tablet Keepers

Let’s Get Sewing!

Jenny Gabriel – alter ego:  StitchinJenny