Tune into Nancy's Corner, the last segment of each Sewing With Nancy program, for inspiration, ideas, and insight! Nancy interviews guests who make a difference in the world of sewing, quilting, and embroidery. Artists, volunteers, teachers, and writers are just a few of the interesting people you'll meet at Nancy's Corner.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
|Sew Simple with Rectangles & Squares
||Lola Jenkins, Art Quilts
Lola Jenkins, fiber artist, joins Nancy via Skype to explain her free spirit approach to fabric art with raw-edge appliqué. Lola says, “I did not know the rules, so I could not break the rules of quilting.” Her quilts show the joy of pursuing her artistic passion. Lola started sewing ten years ago and she doesn't have a background in art or drawing. Yet, she found her niche and has evolved to the “Master Quilter” status.
Lola starts her artist project with an enlarged photograph or sketch, which has been manipulated in a photo editing software program. She cuts out the small fabric pieces and creates the image, many of which are realistic portraits. She loves doing the portraits without using realistic skin tones for the fabrics. She adds some free-motion, thread painting, or random quilting to the fabric portrait to make it come to life. Her fabrics are her paints, and she fuses abstract and folk art into creatively crafted portrait quilts.
For more information about Lola and her quilting techniques go to Lola's Designer Quilts.
Henry Drewal, Siddi Women's Quilting Cooperative of India
African communities are rich with artistic traditions. We may be familiar with the history and artistry of African people in the Americas, but we may know little or nothing about Africans in other parts of the world. We share the fascinating story of Siddi Women's Quilting Cooperative of India with Evjue-Bascom Professor Henry Drewal, who did research in several African communities in India.
The people in the African communities in India are relatively poor. They use clothing that can no longer be worn, as fabric for their quilts, and they may purchase a sari for the backing. They begin quilting in a corner of the quilt, and go all the way around with a continuous running stitch until they reach the center. Then, they stitch a unique center motif.
The quilt shown in the interview was made by Khatumbi Musawar from the village of Mainalli, where the quilting cooperative began. Phulas (flowers) made of folded fabric pieces are sewn to the corners of the quilt for color and interest, and a sense of completion. As one quilter explained to Drewal, “If we didn't add the phulas/flowers at the corners, the quilt would be naked!”
Professor Drewal has put on several exhibitions of the Siddi quilts in New York, San Francisco, and at the Quilt Expo in Madison, WI. These quilts are brought to the United States and sold to help support the people who make them—Women from the Siddi Women's Quilting Cooperative and their families.
For more information about Professor Drewal and the Siddi Women's Quilting Cooperative of India (or to purchase one of these beautiful works of art) go to Henry John Drewal. Click on “Sales” or “Exhibitions” to see some of the quilts that these women make.
Laura Nigbur, Cage Comforters
Laura Nigbur joins Nancy via Skype to encourage people to make Cage Comforters for dogs and cats that are currently living in animal shelters. Laura is from the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission, where the project got started. They want the pets that come to them to have a comfortable stay.
Cage Comforters are needed for both cats and dogs for extra warmth in the winter months and the extra padding is needed for a comfortable rest. The specifications are as follows: For cats make the comforters 10-3/4" x 15" x 3-1/2" thick, and for dogs, 24" x 34" x 3-1/2" thick. It's a great project for beginners—the pets aren't critical about how it looks, they just want it to be comfortable. Fabrics shouldn't have loops—pet's nails may get caught.
Make comforters for your local shelter. There are shelters all across America—call your local shelter to see what they are in need of, as the sizes may be different, depending on the size of the cages.
Milwaukee County takes in about 13,000 animals per year—that's 1,000 comforters a month! They send the comforters with the pets when they move to a permanent home. Your help is needed if you are from this area.
To learn more about Cage Comforters or to meet a new pet go to Cage Comforter Program - MADACC.
|Quick Column Quilts
||Nathan Winkler, The Steel Quilt Company
Traditional patchwork designs from steel? Nathan Winkler from Fort Payne, Alabama joins Nancy via Skype to tell about his quilts made from steel, barn boards, and tacks. He recycles wood and metal from dilapidated barns to use in his art quilts at The Steel Quilt Company. Nathan is particularly fond of the quilt patterns from the Underground Railroad series by Eleanor Burns, especially the Drunkards Path. He uses tacks instead of stitches to hold the metal onto the barn board backgrounds. The metal is left in its natural rust color state, and the backgrounds are usually painted.
Nathan is promoting a quilt trail on Lookout Mountain in Mentone, Alabama. He has given away much of his work in that area to get the momentum started. To see some of Nathan's work go to The Steel Quilt Company.
Maryanne Arthur, Pretty Pockets
Maryanne Arthur joins Nancy to share her story of Pretty Pockets. The story started when Maryanne had cancer and was trying to find a comfortable means of holding drain tubes and bulbs after her surgery. Another patient she saw used a paper bag stapled to the waistband of her clothing. Maryanne came up with the idea of a soft flannel pocket, and she had her friend Ann Marie sew them. Over 500 people have contacted Maryanne in the last few months for information about sewing the Pretty Pockets, not only for breast cancer survivors, but people with all kinds of surgeries—Everyone that receives them, loves them! You too can “spread joy through creative giving.” Go to Creative Blossoms.
Kim Lapacek, Project Quilting
Take a quilting challenge online with Kim Lapacek. Kim is the brainchild of Project Quilting. Her mother-in-law Diane sets up the challenges and Kim runs them on her blog; that way Kim can be involved in the challenges without any advantage. Each challenge runs one week, and there are no boundaries on who can participate—it's worldwide! The quilts can be any size, they just need to be physically quilted and finished. The challenges go up Sundays at noon CST, and you have until noon the next week Sunday to finish the challenge. To find out more about Project Quilting or to take the challenge go to Persimon Dreams.
||Susan Parr and Laura Mendoza, 4-H
This destination Nancy's Corner was filmed on the road at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington. The scene is a fashion show where young girls and boys in 4-H have made the clothing they are modeling. The style show is an encore performance of the kids' competition they had at the State Fair. They were judged on the outfits they are wearing—how well it was sewn, how well they could talk about the outfit, accessorize it, and model it.
Susan Parr and Laura Mendoza, both volunteer 4-H leaders, tell about their experience with 4-H and what they teach their 4-H clothing participants. They both concentrate on teaching sewing skills.
Several of the 4-H style show participants were interviewed by Nancy. The first young lady was wearing a beautiful dress that she made, which obviously was fit to perfection. She wants to continue to learn to sew, but she also wants to be a veterinarian. The second young lady has been sewing for four years. She made a lined wool jacket, top, and skirt. Her favorite part was learning to make buttonholes.
Contact your county extension office to inquire about 4-H groups in your area at Find 4-H.
Jennifer Keltner, One Million Pillowcase Challenge
Learn about the One Million Pillowcase Challenge at this destination Nancy's Corner, which was filmed at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington. The challenge was started by the “American Patchwork and Quilting” magazine to make a difference to charities in local communities. The 1,303 pillowcases made at this show were given to kids locally, at the Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.
The pillowcases are made using a “burrito method” that has a 100% success rate. We use precut fabric kits, and the fabric is rolled up, pinned, stitched, and turned right side out. It is a good project to make on a serger—so easy!
The pattern is available free online, and you can add the amount of pillowcases you have donated to the One Million Pillowcase Challenge counter. Thus far they have passed the half million point. Show how much you care by making and donating pillowcases to foster children, National Guardsmen, homeless shelters, hospitals and others in need. Go to All People Quilt for more information and free pattern downloads.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
|Sew Big Quilt Blocks
||Ross Lohr, Project Repat
Ross Lohr, from Project Repat, joins Nancy via Skype to tell about his mission of turning textile waste into fair wage job opportunities. He and his business partner have turned their dream into a business that upcycles excess clothing into fun blankets and fashionable accessories as it creates jobs with dignity.
Customers send their T-shirts to Project Repat, and they turn them into something else, such as blankets, scarves, ties, bags, and more. Their production facilities are all based in Massachusetts—all in the USA. They contract the work out to people that have lost their textile based jobs, a nonprofit that employs individuals with disabilities, and more.
It is humbling to find that 5% of material waste or trash on earth is used textiles. The average American trashes 65 pounds of textiles every year. Project Repat keeps much of those textiles out of dumpsters. They've already made more than 3,000 blankets for customers, providing people with a job that pays a fair and living wage.
T-shirts, flannel shirts, dress shirts, or anything with a fabric that they can sew is accepted. When you order, you get a box with a prepaid envelope in it. That's all you need to do is put your shirts in the box, and in four to six weeks you will receive a new finished project made from your shirts.
For more information about Project Repat go to Project Repat.
Jennifer Chiaverini, The Giving Quilt
Thanksgiving may spark generosity once a year, but imagine the good that would follow if we practiced the holiday spirit all year long! Jennifer Chiaverini, author of books in the Elm Creek Quilt series, does just that in her book, The Giving Quilt.
Elm Creek Manor is the host of “Quiltsgiving,” a one-week quilt camp that takes place right after Thanksgiving. Quilters come to camp from around the world and spend time learning new quilting tricks and techniques. In exchange for the free week of learning, all the quilts they make go to Project Linus, a real life organization that provides quilts, afghans, and blankets for children in need.
The book introduces intriguing new characters, and some characters from the past resurface. They are all encouraged to contemplate their reasons for giving, especially if they are facing difficult times, because giving from the heart blesses the giver as much as the receiver. While they are thinking about giving and working on their quilts, they become good friends.
As with Jennifer's other books, there is a quilt design that goes along with the book. Each year at quilt camp they use a different pattern, but it is always simple and very striking—something that can easily be made in the week at Quiltsgiving. This year the block is called the Resolution Square. It is a dark and light block with a rectangle and some larger squares. It looks wonderful when placed on-point, and that makes it look much more complicated. To find out more about The Giving Quilt go to Jennifer Chiaverini, The Giving Quilt.
|Fearless Quilting Finishes
||Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker
Prolific author Jennifer Chiaverini presents a synopsis of her first historical novel outside the Elm Creek series. The heroine of this real-life story is Elizabeth Keckley, a dressmaker for President Lincoln's wife, Mary.
Elizabeth was born a slave, but with her strong will and dressmaking talent, she was able to earn enough money to purchase her freedom and that of her son. Elizabeth was more than just a dressmaker for Mrs. Lincoln—she was her close friend and confidant. She was there to see Mary Lincoln through many tragedies she faced while she was in the White House including the death of a child, the assassination of her husband, and several scandals.
Elizabeth skillfully crafted beautiful gowns for Mary Lincoln to wear to balls, receptions, and inaugurations. Her hands were the last to touch Mrs. Lincoln before she took the president's arm to be escorted off to some grand occasion. Elizabeth not only sewed her gowns, but she fixed Mary's hair and arranged her bouquets, as well.
Elizabeth had incredible insight into the Lincoln White House that historians and scholars find fascinating even to this day. In 1868, she published a memoir telling about her life as a slave, and how she earned her freedom. She also gave away many secrets about her years living in the Lincoln White House, which marred her relationship with Mary Lincoln.
For more information about this fascinating account of the life of Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker and living in the Lincoln White House during a most memorable time in history go to Jennifer Chiaverini, Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.
Annie, Maggie, and Natalie (Student project at UW Stout), Emergency Evacuation Harness
A remarkable five member clothing design team (Daniel Cole, Jessica Koch, Natalie Meurer, Maggie Rohs, and Annie Sorcic) from UW Stout created an evacuation harness for the safety of wheelchair bound people. The harness functions like a backpack. It allows an able-bodied person to carry a disabled person away from danger. The safety design of the evacuation harness became nationally recognized with an award from the international 2012 Safety Products Student Design Challenge.
The research this team did about 9/11 was the driving force behind this invention—they wanted to make a usable portable device to evacuate people from a building.
The team made about five prototypes before they came up with their finished product ready to test—from muslin to heavier backpack type material. The designing part of this project was challenging, but communication was the most difficult part of having a team working on a project such as this. They overcame the obstacles and came up with a product that works very well—not to mention having an amazing group learning experience. The team created the evacuation harness as part of the Functional Clothing and Design course at UW Stout. To find out more information about this student project go to UW-Stout News Story.
Maria Judy, 10 year old Award Winning Quilter
Maria Judy is an amazing 10 year old girl who has won numerous prizes at prestigious quilt shows. She joined Nancy via Skype to talk about some of her quilts. Her mentor and friend Mrs. Geissler helped Maria learn to quilt. Maria won First Place on a Log Cabin quilt at the Firehouse Quilt Show, and she went to a National Quilt Show in Kansas and won Second Place with the Sherbet Stars, plus she got the Piecer's Award.
Maria's accomplishments are a feat for any fifth grader, but Maria suffered an injury at birth, leaving her left arm and hand small and immobile. This injury makes the sewing and quilting process even more challenging. Maria takes her time and does beautiful work. She hand stitched 12 inches a day for 32 days to complete the binding on one of her quilts. Her persistence to create award winnning projects has paid off and has set an impressive example to others.
Maria recently made and donated a queen size quilt for a fundraising gala for her private Christian school in Denver. The quilt (entered in the silent auction) was sold for $3000!
|Hobo Totes—Casual to Classic
||Amy Milne, representing “The Quilt Index”
The Quilt Index has been online for about ten years, and has catalogued over 54,000 quilts from all over the United States for your browsing convenience. Amy Milne, representative of the Quilt Index joins Nancy via Skype to make people more aware of this awesome research tool. The Quilt Index is a free, open access project of Matrix, Michigan State University Museum, and the Quilt Alliance. You can browse by pattern, color, style, year, and more. The Quilt Index is a valuable online history lesson where you can view historic and contemporary quilts from several centuries. They have recently added quilts from Canada and from South Africa. For more information and to start browsing go to The Quilt Index.
|Knock Out Knits
||Kathi Olson, Quilts on Traffic Signal Boxes
Thanks to a collaboration between the City of Missoula Public Art Committee and the Missoula Electric Quilters, local traffic signal boxes, once eyesores, are now covered in designed artwork. Kathi Olson (Committee Chair, MPAC) and Chris Milodragovich (MEQ) from Missoula, Montana, joined Nancy via Skype to talk about this unique project.
Almost every city has the large gray boxes for electrical components sitting next to their traffic signals. In Missoula, Montana, city officials endorsed an idea to pay local artists to submit designs for the boxes. A small quilting group learned the Electric Quilts software, and when presented with an opportunity to design artwork for traffic signal boxes, they jumped on it.
The Missoula Electric Quilters chose to reproduce their design on a vinyl wrap. The digital images are printed on the vinyl and adhered to the traffic signal boxes. The artwork reflects imagery that is specific to Missoula—a valley with lush vegetation, surrounded by mountains and some iconic wildlife such as elk and deer.
Covering the signal boxes with art has several other benefits aside from its aesthetic pleasure. It seems to reduce the amount of graffiti on the boxes, and it has a calming aspect—it actually makes people slow down to look at the boxes.
For more information on this project go to Missoula, Montana or Missoulian.
Diane Wright, Aborginal Textiles
An assignment to Australia gave artist Diane Wright an opportunity to meet Aboriginal artists and be influenced by their wonderful stories and the continent's vast landscape. Diane is now concentrating on creating Australian-influenced art quilts. She joins Nancy via Skype to talk about her work.
Diane has fascinating stories about each of her impressive quilts created with wonderful Aboriginal fabrics. She shared the story behind “The Sisters Rode the Sparks to Heaven,” The “Devil's Marbles,” and “Spirits in the Earth.” Listen to the stories in Diane's interview with Nancy, and check out her unique quilt designs online at Diane Wright Art Quilts blog.
|Sew Amazing Scarves
||Sissy Davis, Threads of Love
Threads of Love director Sissy Davis joins Nancy via Skype to talk about her mission of love—sewing clothing for premature, ill, and stillborn babies. Threads of Love is an international organization with groups in Canada, Newfoundland, South Africa, England, Panama, and many in the United States.
Threads of Love has two copyrighted patterns on their website—one for a day gown and the other for a burial gown.
The Threads of Love Ministry provides a crocheted or knitted cap, day gown, blanket, “lovie doll” and a prayer for healing in the packet for premature or ill babies. If a baby is stillborn, they sew a packet including a bonnet, dress, blanket, and include a prayer for healing a broken heart.
The Threads of Love volunteers donate the supplies and labor, and they make all of the baby items. They show their love by using their sewing talents.
If you would like to become involved with this nonprofit sewing ministry or would like to have more information go to Threads of Love. Sewing these projects, and learning skills from the longtime members is a real blessing for you, and you're really doing a wonderful service for a family in need of love and compassion at a difficult time in their life.
Debra King, Art Quilts with Ties
Debra is an art teacher, as well as an art quilter. In this interview Deb features quilts that she made with men's ties. Deb received ties from a close friend when her friend's husband passed away, and she was inspired to create four quilts representing the trees of fall, winter, spring and summer using the ties. Instead of viewing the ties as potential yard sale items, Deb had the insite to tell a story with them. All four trees start with ties woven together, and then leaves are added using various embellishment techniques. Ties, fabrics, various beads and embellishments, threads, yarns, and more are used to create trees that are an artistic rendition of the seasons. View Debra's quilts at Art Quilts by Deb on Facebook.
Terry Grahl, Enchanted Makeovers
Enchanted Makeovers is a Taylor, MI based all volunteer national non-profit organization that renovates shelters for women and children into places that inspire behavioral and psychological change. Nancy welcomes Terry Grahl, founder of Enchanted Makeovers, back to share how the organization has grown during the past two years. Volunteers have renovated over 100 bedrooms plus sewing rooms that are set up to teach women how to sew. Enchanted Makeovers volunteers pride themselves on obtaining handmade quilts, curtains, pillows, and more, and coordinating rooms with a fresh coat of paint or a painted mural. They encourage donors and volunteers to give of their time and talent to make the rooms uplifting and inspirational. The women and children in the shelter also make things that they can give back locally, nationally and internationally. There is always someone less fortunate—a good message! To find out more about Enchanted Makeovers and how you can give of your time, talent, or a donation, please go to Enchanted Makeovers.
|Applique—Large & Small
||Kristin Keen, Founder of ReThreaded
Kristin Keen's organization helps women sew a new story. Kristin joins Mary Mulari, Nancy's guest host, via Skype from Jacksonville, Florida. “Sew a New Story” is the byline for the ReThreaded organization. This organization works with women that have been exploited by the sex trade in the form of human trafficking, prostitution, pornography, and more. ReThreaded hires these women to learn a new job skill such as recycling T-shirts that have been donated to the group. The women are sent through a training program to learn art, design, sewing, and other life skills. They take the T-shirts and sew them into new products that they can sell. The creativity involved in sewing is part of the healing process and restoration for these women. Help unravel the threads of the sex trade with your donation, or learn more about Kristin Keen and ReThreaded at ReThreaded - Sewing a New Story.
Susan Hudson, Native American Quilts
Susan joins Mary Mulari, Nancy's guest host, via Skype from the Sorrel Sky Gallery in Durango, Colorado. She shares stories about her quilts “Stars Among the Shunka Wakan,” “29 Warriors,” and another called “Honoring Ledger Quilt.” The “ledgers” referred to are the drawings of the Plains Indians when they were prisoners of war. Susan is a member of the Navajo Nation, and makes quilts to honor and pay tribute to her ancestors who endured the Navajo's Long Walk to the Bosque Redondo in 1864. “By combining symbols of her own Navajo legacy with the Plains patterns and motifs within her designs, Hudson’s quilts make a powerful statement about the shared experiences of many Native American communities. Each is a work of art that embodies history, cultural perseverance, pride, and passion.” Read more about Susan and her quilts at Indian Country.
|Quilt with Carefree Curves
||Alissa Haight Carlton, The Modern Quilt Guild
Alissa Haight Carlton joins Nancy via Skype to talk about the new buzz word in the world of fabric and thread—Modern Quilting. Alissa explains that The Modern Quilt Guild promotes modern quilting, an aesthetic which includes the use of negative space, solid fabrics, asymmetry, bold color choices, absence of borders, and even taking a traditional quilt pattern and putting a new twist on its construction. Alissa features several modern quilts sewn by very talented contemporary modern quilt artists. To find out more go to Modern Quilt Guild.
Gretchen Hudock, Reorganize Today
Gretchen Hudock, Nancy's guest, is one organized person! She shared how to clean, cull, and organize our creative areas in a previous show, and this time she discusses the process of organizing sewing/craft areas into zones. She uses the same premise as the kitchen triangle, only with a Cutting Area, Sewing Area, and Ironing Station. The triangle is likened to the color wheel with three primary colors, and then around the periphery, you have the combined colors. So if you have a serger, an embroidery unit, storage area, and other additional machines or areas, they would be placed outside of the main triangle. Organization helps you enjoy the creativity process more, and helps you get moving. To find out more go to Reorganize Today.
|Handbags 2—Designer Knockoffs
||John and Nancy Watts, Quilting in Mongolia
John and Nancy Watts were inspired by Maggie Ball on Sewing With Nancy. Maggie taught quilting in Mongolia, and she helped John and Nancy get started on their journey. Nancy followed in Maggie's footsteps by teaching women in Mongolia to quilt who were poor and had no other means of income. John took photos to capture the joy and pride that these women have when they finish a project. John and Nancy faced the challenges of not knowing the language, limited electricity, and using the metric system. Silk scraps from China were used to make beautiful quilted projects with curves and circles that gave the Mongolian women a source of income.
Nancy Watts taught quilting in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and also in far western Mongolia to the Kazakh women living there. She helped the Kazakh women use their beautiful embroidery skills in paper piecing projects. The time Nancy spent teaching these women was a phenomenal donation, and the ladies rewarded her with a handmade jacket, which she treasures.
To find information about “Mongolia—Quilters Without Borders” go to Dragonfly Quilts.
Mary Kolb, “Zipper Lady”
The volunteer organization Clothes For Kids recently acknowledged Mary Kolb, affectionately known as the “Zipper Lady,” for her dedication to keeping children warm during the winter. Mary has repaired over 1300 coat zippers for Clothes for Kids—not an easy task! This project not only keeps kids warm, but keeps many jackets out of landfills. Mary gives a brief rundown on the process she uses, and she mentions that if a zipper is broken you should save all the parts because many zippers can be repaired instead of replaced. The advice Mary gives for zipper longevity is to teach children to grasp the zipper tab and pull upward to close or push downward to open—don't pull straight out.
|Stress-Free Quilting with Machine Embroidery
||Margaret Jankowski, The Sewing Machine Project
During the past four years, we've followed Margaret Jankowski's Sewing Machine Project. The motto of this amazing nonprofit organization is “mending communities, one sewing machine at a time.”
Margaret's new local and national initiative uses a curriculum of the Sewing Machine Project's design. Aimed at low income and immigrant populations, this innovative approach teaches students basic sewing, working on donated sewing machines. Students learn simple sewing and mending, along with basic machine maintenance. Students use one class period to create something to give back to the community as a Pay it Forward project. The projects have included baby blankets, fleece hats, tote bags, and more. The Pay it Forward piece not only gives the work of The Sewing Machine Project a ripple effect but also sends the message that we all have the power to mend our own community. After six weeks of classes and Paying it Forward, students receive the machine on which they learned to sew.
The Sewing Machine Project has plenty of sewing machines right now, but they are in need of basic sewing notions. If you would like to donate a sewing machine, basic sewing notions, or cash to help this program continue to promote self worth with the sewing and quilting skills they teach go to The Sewing Machine Project.
Christine Motl, Feed Sack Quilts
Chris Motl collects feed sacks from the 30s, 40s, and 50s to make quilts, and she's made it her quest to tell the stories behind the sacks. She started collecting feed sacks to make interesting quilts that showcase a bit of history. She shared some of her stories with Nancy, such as the Hillbilly flour sacks that were used to promote a candidate for governor in an election in 1938 with the motto “Flour, Not Pork.” Chris' favorite sack design is from the World War II era called “Bad Eggs,” and in the frying pan were Hitler, Mussolini, and Emperor Hirohito. Patriotism was very important in World War II, and one particular sack has the Morse Code for victory. Walt Disney was also a great promoter, and one of the bag companies had the exclusive license for Disney designs. Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland were two of the bags that Chris has collected.
The feed sack term also encompasses flour sacks and sugar sacks. The feed sacks are softer than one might think—some were touted as a fine percale! There is about 1-1/4 yd. of 36" fabric in a feed sack to use for quilting and other sewing projects.
One final story Chris shared was that of Biddy the Cat from the Bemis Bag Company. Biddy was brought to the bag factory to control mice, and ended up being the symbol of the company. One design was Biddy sneaking out of a bag. It meant that he (the owner of the company) had nothing to hide, by “letting the cat out of the bag.”
|Sew Grand Dresden Quilts
||Leslee Nelson, Memory Cloths
Leslee Nelson was inspired to make Memory Cloths by an exhibit of embroideries from South Africa. The process of hand embroidery is used to stitch the past together with the present. Life experiences are embroidered on napkins, handkerchiefs, and tea towels. Written narrative tells their story. Leslee embroidered memories of her childhood, her life experiences, and things that she wants to embed in her mind. The South African embroideries depicted the traumas they had from Apartheid. The repetitive movement is a form of meditation that can change your attitudes. The act of putting the stories into the world is a way of releasing them. To find out more about Leslee, or the Memory Cloths from South Africa go to Leslee Nelson - Memory Cloths or Amazwi Abesifazane Voices of Women Museum.
|Sew Speedy Lone Star Quilts
||Pat Lyon, Teaching in Cambodia
A trip to teach English in Cambodia turned into a passion to provide wells, education, and life skills to the people in that country. Pat Lyon and a friend began teaching English in Cambodia and started incorporating a little sewing into their teachings. Soon the Khmer people were able to make purses to sell. The “Peace Bag” is a simple bag that the Cambodian people sew, and Pat translates the messages they add to the bags. So far they have been able to finance 88 wells, 33 toilets, 54 piglets, 30 pens, and to provide full scholarships to the University of South East Asia and the Paul De Bruille School of Culinary Arts.
|Sewing MODKID Style
||Tom Mooney, American Red Cross
Doug Price, Rocky Mountain PBS
Attendees of the Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, donated fabric and spent time sewing 28 full and queen sized quilts to give away. Tom Mooney, of the American Red Cross in Madison, Wisconsin, joined Nancy in the studio; and Doug Price, of Rocky Mountain PBS, joined Nancy via Skype. Tom accepted quilts on behalf of the Madison area Red Cross, responding to over 70,000 disasters a year, local and national, and Doug accepted quilts for the many needs in Colorado due to disasters in the past couple years. These representatives are distributing the quilts to disaster victims as a warm reminder of hope and to comfort these people that have lost so much. To see the interview, watch the Nancy's Corner included in program 2722, Sewing MODKID Style at WPT - Sewing With Nancy.
Sophie Kerr and Weeks Ringle, A Kid's Guide to Sewing
Twelve year old Sophie Kerr and her mother Weeks Ringle join Nancy via Skype. Sophie has been sewing since age three. She shared a kids' perspective as she worked with her parents, who are both professional quilt makers, who put together a step-by-step instruction book to help kids learn to sew. The sewing book A Kid's Guide to Sewing includes sixteen kid-friendly projects—from clothes to bags and accessories. Her favorite projects are the minky throw and a reversible messenger bag. Her parents were very surprised by the fact that many of Sophie's friends never had an opportunity to sew before. They thought that maybe sewing had skipped a generation…An important thought that we all need to strive for is to make sewing accessible to kids again. Help kids learn by sewing little projects during social get togethers such as at “sleep-overs,” fund raisers, and other fun times. Sewing is particularly good for hand skills and creativity. To find out more about A Kid's Guide to Sewing go to Modern Quilt Studio.
|Ultimate Serger Techniques
||Brett and Kristy Moore, Teaching in Thailand
The Moore family traveled halfway around the world to teach disadvantaged children to sew. Brett and Kristy Moore from Montavilla Sewing in Portland, Oregon joined Nancy via Skype to share their story. The Moores received a trip to Thailand from one of their manufacturers. They felt compelled to try to give back and make their trip more missional. They came across an organization called Remember Nhu. They stayed at a Remember Nhu home with their kids when they returned in 2012. This organization has the ability to find girls and boys that would be sold into sex trafficking. They rescue these children and put them in one of the Remember Nhu homes where they receive clothing, food, and schooling. Kristi taught the girls to sew, while Brett taught the boys how to repair sewing machines. The Moore children did the videography and photography. As they captured photos, they also had their hearts captured in the process. It was an incredible experience! When the family returned home after several weeks, Kristy asked their family what they thought of the trip. The children said that their Grandpa and Grandma would look at them and recognize their faces, but that if they could see what was in their hearts that they would no longer know them. To find out more about the Remember Nhu organization go to Remember Nhu.
Marc Revenson, folk singer inspired by quilting
Marc Revenson, Lil' Rev, is a folk singer who has written a whole litany of quilter's music. His Scraps of Quilting music makes people happy. Marc was inspired by his grandmother Ida Revenson and Nina, a friend of his from Milwaukee. When his grandmother passed on she left him over 500 spools of thread and 10,000 buttons that he played with as a child. His music has transpired by the countless hours quilters spend on their quilts, only to give them away at raffles, auctions, and homeless shelters. Lil' Rev sang an ode to quilters called “Magic Quilt” as he strummed his banjo, and then he played a guitar as he sang “The Colors of My Quilt,” referring to an emotional connection to quilting and how it gets us through tough times. To learn more about Lil' Rev, go to Lil' Rev.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
|Innovative Bags & Totes
||Diane Haag, Pillows for Dialysis Patients
Diane Haag is a dialysis nurse who also provides personalized comfort pillows to her patients. When medical budget cuts found the dialysis department trimming patient amenities, Diane formed a creative partnership with a local sewing guild to sew cases for comfort pillows for her patients going through significant medical treatment. These patients are in dialysis chairs three days a week for up to four hours at a time. The comfort these pillows provide for the patients is very necessary. The pillow is a simple 12" x 18" travel sized pillow. Check with the National Kidney Foundation to find your local dialysis area. They may have a need for these pillows, as well. Or, contact Diane Haag or Sue Novak at the Wisconsin Dialysis Institute, 3034 Fish Hatchery Road, Fitchburg, WI, 53713-3125. Phone 608-270-5600.
Mena Trott, The Sew Weekly Blog
Nancy and her Skype guest Mena Trott, from “The Sew Weekly” blog, discuss Mena's personal challenge of sewing a dress a week. In the latter part of 2009 Mena started a blog about making her own clothes for a year—one dress per week, a most admirable challenge. She had been frustrated with her wardrobe and decided to put some effort into what she was wearing. Each week Mena had a different theme, and her fun and frugal creations included mostly vintage patterns. She found that her followers loved to be motivated and inspired to create—and she encouraged them to sew. Her next goal was to help 20 women, with no sewing experience, make their own dresses. Her excitement was contagious! In 2011 four other contributors joined her, sewing dresses based on her weekly theme. By 2012 The Sew Weekly blog group exploded to over 130 contributors sewing along with Mena each week. For more information about The Sew Weekly blog, and to see Mena's creations go to The Sew Weekly.
|Sew Techie Covers
||Karen, Stephanie, and Teri; “Quilts to Give” in Joplin, Missouri
Last season a Quilts to Give segment was taped at the Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin. Many attendees took time to sit and sew full sized bed quilts for families in need.
On May 22, 2011 a tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, leveling 8,000 structures including 1500 homes, 23 churches, several daycare centers, schools, and more. Baby Lock®, sponsor of the Quilt to Give project, chose a dealer in Springfield, Missouri, near Joplin to receive and distribute 25 full size quilts. Karen, Stephanie, and Teri joined Nancy via Skype from the temporary site of St. John's Hospital in Joplin, Missouri, to present the quilts. Hopefully these quilts will give encouragement and love to a few of the people that lost everything in this terrible storm. Read more at Nancy Zieman's Blog - The Giving Story.
If you'd like to create a Quilt to Give, you'll find instructions at Nancy Zieman's Blog - Quilt to Give.
Wendy Butler Berns, “Out on a Limb” Quilt Exhibit
Wendy Butler Berns was given the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship for quilting teachers. She had the opportunity to take classes to learn some new quilting techniques, and in return she was to be responsible for curating an exhibit of three works of her own and nine of her students. All quilts created were at least 50" with the theme “Out on a Limb.” Some of the quilts she mentioned were Tessellating Wings, Me and my Shadow Out on a Limb, The Tree of Life, Fashion in Motion, and Breast Therapy. Each quilt had an amazing story behind it. See all the quilts in her exhibit at Wendy Butler Berns.
And, view a vidcast of Wendy talking about the scholarship, the exhibit, and giving a brief demonstration of one of the techniques in her quilts at Bonnie McCaffery - Vidcasts.
|Fancy Footworks 2
||Major Cathy Ott, Retired—Recycled Honor Quilt made from Army Uniforms
Major Cathy Ott, a retired Army Reserve Major, made a very special quilt to honor the military service. She made it for her daughter's boyfriend, who is a specialist in the United States Army Reserve. The quilt is composed of five different uniforms, four of which Cathy wore in the military, including one from Vietnam. She incorporated several batiks in brown and black to enhance the colors in the uniform fabric. A pocket from one of her uniforms and Velcro pieces are used to hold military patches and other memorabilia. Cathy signed the quilt in a clever fashion with one of her uniform cuffs. The quilt was made for her daughter's friend to take with him if he gets deployed, so that he would have something warm and comfortable from home.
Susan Finch, Binky Patrol
Susan Finch joined Nancy via Skype to talk about Binky Patrol, an organization that Susan founded. Binky Patrol is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide homemade blankets to children who need the love and comfort provided by having their own “Binky.” A binky is a homemade blanket that is sewn, knitted, crocheted, or quilted. To date the Binky Patrol has made in excess of 600,000 blankets. There are 105+ Binky Patrol chapters at present, but they also receive help from Girl Scouts Troops and churches. Because they give the blankets to children of various ages (infant to 18 years old), they make blankets from 24" square to twin size. In the last event the Binky Patrol sponsored (Bink-A-Thon), the group of 60–75 made 135 blankets in six hours! ANY child that is hurting or needs comfort is eligible for a blanket, not just children that are ill. To donate your scraps 12" or larger, or to make a blanket, go to Binky Patrol to find out how you can best help those children in need.
Leslie Gemignani, Point Hope in Ghana, Africa
Nancy's guest, Leslie Gemignani, a teacher at Point Hope in Africa, talks about teaching students to support themselves and their children by making batik fabric and sewing. She is preparing for the second year curriculum to help these women finish what they've learned to do. The skills learned from the volunteers give these young ladies empowerment for themselves and their children—a reason for being.
There is a refugee camp in Ghana that is about to close and leave 22,000 people misplaced and homeless. Radio celebrity Delilah Rene, the founder of Point Hope, obtained 40 acres of land in Ghana and has started a village for these people to learn batik making and sewing. The women in Ghana have nothing. They need sewing machines, fabric, and more. See how you can help by going to Point Hope.
||Cindy Kerr, Conkerr Cancer
Cindy Kerr, founder of Conkerr Cancer, cordially invites you to make hospitalized children smile. Cindy joins Nancy via Skype to talk about her volunteer program and how a simple pillowcase can make an ill child smile. Cindy started the program when her son was diagnosed with bone cancer and saw how his face would light up with a smile when she made him colorful novelty print pillowcases for his hospital bed. A pillowcase with a hamburger and fries, or the child's favorite sport, is much more fun than the plain white hospital cases. In the last five years Cindy and her volunteers have delivered over 550,000 pillowcases. Not only do they deliver pillowcases that they make, but also they volunteer to take kits and sewing machines to the hospitals so that parents and siblings can sew to relieve the boredom associated with long lengths of time in the hospital. Even the ill children are involved with the project. They especially like to stick pins in the pincushions and the cases as they are being made—they finally feel “in control” of a situation!
Prisoners from Maryland Men's Maximum Security Prison have also joined the cause, sending over 3,000 pillowcases.
With 44,000 children being treated for cancer each year, the call for help seems unending. If you are able to help by sewing, teaching others to sew, or donating fabric please go to ConKerr Cancer and pledge your support.
Rachel O'Neill, Little Dresses for Africa
Rachel O'Neill returns to visit Nancy's Corner via Skype with further information regarding the Little Dresses for Africa project. Her mission to change lives one little dress at a time has grown beyond her wildest expectation. The total amount of dresses that have gone out now totals over one million, and the number continues to grow!
Rachel mentioned that while they intentionally have tried to honor the little girls because they do much of the work and always come last, the little boys are not forgotten. The Britches for Boys program was included to make shorts for the boys. Free patterns for shorts and the dresses may be downloaded from Little Dresses for Africa or Nancy's Notions.
Rachel leads a team to Africa at least once a year. They have built and are running a primary school for 450 children, The Nan Ray School of Learning, named in honor of Rachel's mother, a lifelong educator.
Another project that Rachel and other volunteers work with is called “Buckets of Hope.” They purchase the buckets in Africa to help the economy, and they fill them with needed items such as soap, rice, sugar, oil, and a mosquito net.
Find out more about how you can help by donating dresses, britches, supplies, or money (for shipping) by going to Little Dresses for Africa. Rachel's group meets needs in other places such as Honduras, Philippines, Guatemala, Haiti, and some in the United States that are in a crisis situation.
|Quilts from the House of Tula Pink
||Ken Wing, Woman's Cooperative in India
Silk sari remnants and selvages from the factory floors of India become beautiful fiber yarns. Ken Wing works with the Woman's Cooperative in India to turn these scraps of silk into gorgeous hanks of fiber. The women shred the sari scraps and handspin them into the colorful, textured yarn, transforming factory fragments and waste into something useful and beautiful. This project provides income and a purpose for about 250 women. This job gives the women who would normally only have work about two months of the year something to do all year round.
To find out about the Women's Cooperative in India or to purchase these rich exotic yarns go to Leilani Arts. These colorful fibers make beautiful scarves, pillows, purses, and more.
Julie Stephens, Storybook Quilts
In this Nancy's Corner we learn how stories and quilts are connecting many generations. Julie Stephens joins Nancy via Skype to share the accomplishments of her Quilt Guild, the Chattahoochee Evening Stars, from Alpharetta, Georgia. One of the members of the guild, Janie Stokes, challenged the guild to create “story” quilts to go along with the storybooks. The guild made 37 quilts for 37 books and presented them at a quilt show in 2010. The quilts became “Storybook Quilts: Janie's Dream.” The children are able to touch the quilts as the stories are read, and they learn about quilting in the process.
The Storybook Quilts are now featured in libraries and local schools, which has been very exciting for the children, especially those who may not have a family member that quilts. A grant from the National Quilting Association is helping to defray the costs of publicity as well as transportation of the collection. They have lesson plans for teachers to help when reading the books and showing the quilts to the students. They would eventually like to travel out of the Georgia area with the quilts so that more children are connected by the love of reading and art through the collection of books and matching quilts.
The guild has been challenged again, and they have promised to make 35–40 more quilts to make their debut at their community quilt show, in addition to the National Quilting Association's show in Columbus, Ohio. For more information about the Storybook Quilts go to The Storybook Quilt.
|Travel Gear Made Easy
||Nancy's guest, Martha Sumi, of SewSumi Quilt Designs and the Mad City Quilt Guild, is a quilting teacher for Hmong women in Madison, WI. She started teaching when she made her first donation of sewing supplies to the Hmong women and saw how enthusiastic they were about learning. She teaches the basic Log Cabin, using a foundation. Because of the language barrier, she teaches mostly by using samples to show the process for making the traditional American style quilt block.
The Hmong women incorporate their own traditional styles, colors, and techniques. They fold fabric to make corners and points in a design, and then they appliqué by hand, adding their own style to the Log Cabin block. No written patterns are used—they do it all from memory.
Martha feels that teaching the Hmong women is one of the ways to express gratitude to the Hmong people. During the Vietnam War era the Hmong were the troops on the ground in Laos on behalf of the United States. When things collapsed and the US pulled out, most of the Hmong were left behind. Now, many of them are able to immigrate to the United States.
If you are interested in learning more about the program that Martha teaches, contact her at SewSumi Quilts & Textiles.
Judy Howard, of Buckboard Quilts and author of 1905 Cookbook—Food for Body and Soul, joins Nancy via Skype to share her fascinating story. Judy found a 1905 cookbook at a flea market, researched the ladies who contributed amusing recipes, wrote their stories, and uses the proceeds to feed hungry children.
The 1905 Cookbook was originally compiled by ladies from Edmond, Oklahoma Christian Church. They made quilts and provided hot meals, clothing, and quilts for the needy. Whenever there was a tornado, flood, or fire, they tied comforters and made pies for a bake sale to help the victims.
“One in four children goes to bed hungry every night.” When Judy heard this statistic, God nudged her to help. Judy started a 22" quilt contest. The quilts tour for four years with exhibits at quilt shows, libraries, and churches. All proceeds from the rental fees and donated quilts, plus proceeds from the 1905 Cookbook help feed needy children. If you would like to help, or create a quilt for the contest go to: Heavenly Patchwork.
|Embellish Outside the Box
||Nancy welcomes prolific author Jennifer Chiaverini back to discuss her 18th Elm Creek Quilts novel, The Wedding Quilt. Sarah, the newlywed heroine of Jennifer's first novel, is now the mother of the bride. When her daughter, Caroline, confesses her wish for a wedding quilt, Sarah resolves to make one for her.
Jennifer enjoys making the quilts that her characters create in her stories, and The Wedding Quilt features two: Caroline's Wedding and Caroline's Wedding Album. Caroline's Wedding is a double wedding ring quilt, a variation of the traditional pattern embellished with beautiful floral appliqués in the center of each ring. Jennifer made the quilt in lovely rose and forest green hues. The second quilt is Caroline's Wedding Album, which uses the traditional Memory Album block. Sarah and her friends, the Elm Creek Quilters, have all the wedding guests sign pieces of fabric with good wishes and congratulations, which they piece together into a wonderful keepsake for the couple's wedding gift.
To learn more about The Wedding Quilt book and more details about the quilts featured, go to Jennifer Chiaverini - The Wedding Quilt.
Quilts do more than keep us warm—they can change hearts and teach life lessons. Judith Meeker, an elementary school teacher, joins Nancy via Skype to tell a fascinating story about how she incorporates children, quilts, and sending warmth across the country with “More Than Warmth.”
After reading about children freezing to death in Afghanistan, Judith had her class in Nashville make quilts. She gave the children muslin squares and had them draw nonviolent, nonpolitical, and nonreligious pictures on them with fabric markers—pictures that would make other children happy.
They started with 12 quilts for Afghanistan, and soon 500 other children in the school joined their efforts. They've made quilts for more than 50 countries to date. The children included letters with the quilts to follow their curriculum, and wrote their own newspaper articles about what they were doing.
The quilts were all hand carried by Judith's friends to various countries that were in need—to schools, hospitals, and orphanages around the world. To find out more about this project go to More Than Warmth.
||Michele Cuppy, of Sew Much Comfort, joins Nancy via Skype to talk about the compelling mission of her organization—to provide custom-made adaptive clothing to all wounded service members.
Sew Much Comfort began in 2004 when someone came to Michele and told her that she saw a serviceman receive a Purple Heart at Walter Reed in his hospital gown, because he didn't have any clothing that fit around the 36" fixator on his leg. The serviceman was elated and in tears when Michele sewed him a pair of fixator pants. He said that he hadn't been able to wear pants for six months. From that time, ten ladies in Burnsville, Minnesota, began to make a difference in the lives of service members to provide not only clothing, but comfort and dignity.
Sew News featured Sew Much Comfort in their March 2005 magazine, and the organization has now blossomed to 800 volunteers. Since that time the volunteer seamstresses have been able to provide 122,000 pieces of adaptive clothing to get our service members out of hospital gowns and out in the public.
With this article goes a challenge to our sewing viewers to help with this very worthwhile cause by going to Sew Much Comfort and requesting a seamstress packet to start sewing. Please return garments within 30-45 days.
Nancy Daly is the enthusiastic coordinator of the busy “Hat Ladies!” To date her group of volunteers has made over 30,000 polar fleece hats for causes and those in need. Nancy started sewing hats 15 years ago for her own children and their sports teams, and it just grew from there. An invitation to sew for a Head Start class 12 years ago got her started sewing for programs in the community. Nancy and her group now sew for every Head Start child in Dane County, 3-4 full elementary schools, homeless shelters, free clothing sites, YWCA, Neighborhood Centers, After School Programs, and the Salvation Army.
In a typical season the Hat Ladies host about 45 “Hat Gigs” where all the hats are donated to the recipients at a school or program. During several fundraising events, hats are made to order and sold, with 100% of the proceeds given to the sponsoring agency.
The children select the colors for their hat, and they sit with a Hat Lady to have it sewn to size. For many of the children this is the first piece of brand-new clothing that belongs just to them.
If you would like to know more about this organization, please contact Nancy Daly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to make fleece hats, go to Nancy Zieman's Blog.
|Machine Embroidery in 6 Easy Lessons
||Gretchen Hudock, a professional organizer, joins Nancy to discuss organizing a sewing space. She uses the acronym S P R I N G, as in spring cleaning to help her clients get started with any organizing project.
S=Sort through all of your items. Labeled boxes simplify the sorting process.
R=Reuse, repurpose, and recycle. Reuse items elsewhere, so you don't have to throw them in the dumpster.
I=Identify locations where you're going to store the items.
N=Next, find containers that will fit the storage locations.
G=Gotta put things away.
“Before” and “after” photos help clients see how organized their new space is, and help them remember to put things away.
To find out more about organizing, contact Gretchen at Reorganize Today.
Physician Michele David prescribed quilting as part of a healing process, not for a patient, but for herself. She joined Nancy via Skype from Boston. She has overcome a debilitating illness with the therapeutic process of working with color, fabric, and thread.
In 1999 Michele was very ill, and she wasn't able to read, her passion. She took a quilting class and created her first quilt, a traditional American patchwork. Because Michele grew up in Haiti where colors abound and the streets are essentially a large art gallery, she decided that she would like to incorporate more color and artistic impression in her quilts.
After the earthquake in Haiti, Michele went there on a medical mission. The devastation she saw prompted her to create a quilt in the shape of the Haitian country. The sea is red to represent the tears of blood and all the blood they were seeing in the hospital. As she listened to the stories, she felt that she needed to use the quilt to tell the story of these people.
Dr. David has done some brightly colored quilt portraits. Her first quilt in an exhibit called “I Remember Mama” was about her mother, a feminist who grew up in a patriarchal country. “The Haitian Goddess,” second in this series of quilts, portrays Erzulie Dantor, a Haitian goddess and feminist.
As a physician specializing in women's health, Michele finds that making quilts connects the many facets of her life as a scientist and an artist.
To find out more about Dr. Michele David and her art quilt therapy go to Creole-Creations.
|Doll Fashion Studio
||Kyra Hicks, Postage Stamp Quilt
Quilting sleuth and author Kyra Hicks joins Nancy via Skype to share a fascinating story about Estella Weaver Nukes, who gave a quilt to President Franklin Roosevelt during the Depression years. The quilt Estella made was a Postage Stamp Quilt, and the surprising reason behind it was that FDR the president was the number one postage stamp collector in the United States during his time in office.
After much research and talking to Estella's grandson, Kyra found that the quilt that was given to President Roosevelt was a quilt of gratitude. Estella wanted to say thanks to the president for employing women, especially herself and the women from her hometown, Marion, in Indiana with the WPA (Works Progress Administration) Sewing Project. During the time of the WPA Sewing Project (about 1935-1943), depending on the location, up to 19% of all the people employed by the WPA were women with the Sewing Project. Women across the nation worked with these sewing room project groups, sewing by hand or machine.
Learn about postage stamp quilts, and the quilt given to President Roosevelt in Kyra's book Franklin Roosevelt's Postage Stamp Quilt. Check out this true Depression-era adventure at Kyra's website, Black Threads or email her at Black.Threads@yahoo.com.
Cynthia Seyler, Sew for HOPE
In 2008, Cynthia Seyler decided to donate one quilt for every ten quilts that she made. Her tithing of quilts has sparked others to join her quest to supply children, newborns, and teens with quilts to provide warmth and love. Cynthia joins Nancy via Skype to tell about her Sew for HOPE mission, and the gratifying experience one gets from making quilts to give.
Cynthia's goal is that every child who stays at HOPE Community Homeless Shelter in Tallahassee receives a handmade blanket/quilt. When Cynthia's group has an abundance of blankets they donate to other local organizations who work with children in need. Sew for HOPE volunteers have made and donated 723 blankets at this point (395 handmade quilts, and 125 handmade afghans). There are no size restrictions for the quilts as they provide quilts for preemies up to age 18. Everyone is welcome to participate whether they sew or not, and if they are willing to learn, they are taught basic sewing, knitting, or crocheting skills.
For more information on making quilts or donating to Sew for HOPE go to Sew For Hope.
|Sew Knits with Confidence
||Gwen O'Leary, Aprons for Alzheimers
When Alzheimer's Disease affects a family member, it often holds the family captive in caregiving responsibilities. Gwen O'Leary joins Nancy via Skype to tell about how the disease that fractured her mother brought their family together through the healing process of sewing aprons.
Gwen found an apron pattern that she planned to work on as she cared for her mother. Little did she know that her mother was still able to sew and wanted to be involved in the project. Sewing aprons made her mother more calm, and she needed less medication. After making 150 aprons Gwen decided to design her own apron pattern. She also wrote a book titled When Life Hands You Alzheimers, Make Aprons. She donates the profit from the book and the aprons to Alzheimer's respite care in honor of her mother. Respite care is so important because it allows the caregiver to have a break.
Gwen encourages communities to start their own Aprons for Alzheimers movement. To find out more about this project and see how you can help, go to Aprons for Alzheimers.
Mary Balagna, Project Linus Weighted Blankets
Project Linus is not new to Sewing With Nancy. Many of Nancy's viewers have donated blankets to this national organization that has provided nearly five million blankets to children in crisis. Mary Balagna, from the national headquarters of Project Linus, joined Nancy to tell about their venture, encouraging volunteers to stitch weighted blankets. The pressure provided by a weighted blanket creates a calming effect for children with sensory disorders, similar to swaddling an infant. The channeled blankets are stuffed with twin sheets to provide weight.
Children with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, ADD, and more seem to benefit from this weighted blanket. The requests are daunting, and it seems that the need is never met! A pattern is available on the project Linus website: Project Linus Blanket Pattern.
Contact your local chapter, or go to our national headquarters website for drop off and shipping information at Project Linus.
|Circles Sew Simple
||Brenda Hutchings, Comfort Doll Project
Brenda Hutchings joins Nancy via Skype to talk about how sewing small artistic dolls for women in domestic abuse shelters can be very meaningful. Comfort Dolls are created with loving hands and given with joyful hearts. These small dolls are the perfect size to be carried in a purse as a gentle reminder that someone cares.
The Comfort Doll Project was started by Pat Winters in 2007. When she closed the project in 2009, Brenda decided to continue in her footsteps. At this point, Brenda and volunteers have made and distributed almost 2,000 dolls. Patterns for these fun little dolls are on Brenda's website.
Brenda suggests that you attach a card to each doll given to a shelter with a message like this: “I am a Comfort Doll. I was made especially for you by a woman's heart and hand who cares. When you need strength or just a smile, hold me and feel the love I send. Like me, you are unique, worthy, beautiful, and deserve all good things in life. You have the strength within yourself to be extraordinary. Find that strength and shine!”
The dolls that you make may be sent to Brenda, but she suggests that you save postage and take them to a local shelter in your community. For patterns and ideas go to Comfort Doll Project.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
Sewing A to Z
|Quilts for Kids,Inc.
The two-fold mission of Quilts for Kids is to create quilts for children with life threatening illnesses or children of abuse, and to keep unwanted and discontinued fabric samples from landfills. The quilts are approximately 40" x 46" and made of 100% cotton fabric. They use only new/unused fabric—not repurposed bed sheets or clothing. Quilt Kits are available for volunteers to request free of charge with the promise of making one or more quilts with their own fabric. This will double or triple the number of quilts given to children. These quilts are the child's forever so make sure to use a lot of machine quilting so that the quilt holds up to the rigorous washings at the hospitals. For more info on how to request a kit or to find a Quilts for Kids chapter in your area please, visit the Quilts For Kids national website.
Bruce Seeds, One of a Kind Quilts
With his background in architecture and web site design, Bruce Seeds has found a new and most satisfying way to marry his love of color, geometry and artistic discovery with his natural inclination towards precision and detail. His quilted textile mosaics are created not from patterns but through a process—one he learned from the book One Block Wonders by Maxine Rosenthal—so each finished work is truly unique. By working large, Bruce encourages the viewer's own experience of discovery, starting with the overall form best seen from across the room, down to the smallest details revealed up close. For more information about Bruce, visit his About Me page. To see his work, visit Bruce Seeds Quilts.
Barbara Schneider, Fiber Art
Barbara Schneider is a notable fiber artist whose background is in visual design. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in many collections. She gathers interesting shapes from nature for inspiration and photographs them to capture the images. Then she creates amazing artistic pieces out of fabric by enlarging and reshaping the images. Barbara uses layering techniques, stiffeners, and machine stitching when she is working with the fabric for her creations. She is very mindful of the way her images capture light and shadow, as reflection is her theme. Learn more about Barbara and view some of her beautiful artwork at Barbara Schneider.
|Art Quilts—Fusible Collage Workshop
||Steffani Lincecum, Sewing Theatrical Garments
Steffani Lincecum, designer and pattern maker, shares information about sewing theatrical garments. She gives tips she has discovered in her 20+ years of experience making costumes for TV, film, and theater. Among the important considerations are choosing fabric that doesn't wash out under lighting and at a distance, finding fabric with lots of texture and larger prints, making durable garments with ample seam allowances, using zippers on the inside of garments for quick changes, and making garments with enough ease for altering. To find out more about Steffani visit Stitch Coach Studio.
Beth Hartford, Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative
Beth Hartford, from the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI), is committed to the group's mission of raising awareness and funding research for Alzheimer's disease. She discusses two types of quilts that make up the mission of this quilter-driven charity, Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts, and the traveling exhibit of quilts about Alzheimer's called “Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope.”
Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts are 9" x 12" or smaller and fit flat into USPS priority mail envelopes—hence their name, and the hope that quilters everywhere will make funding Alzheimer's research through quilting a priority in their lives.
Quilters have donated more than 7,000 Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts to the AAQI. They are sold outright on the AAQI website or offered in monthly online auctions with the profits funding Alzheimer’s research.
“Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” features 54 Priority: Alzheimer's Quilts that tell about the disease and 182 “Name Quilts.” The name quilts are 6" wide and about 7'long, each with approximately 55 names of people who have or had Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia. There are more than 10,000 names in the entire exhibit honoring the 5.4 million Americans living with Alzheimer's. Quilters from all over the country, including many quilting celebrities, have quilted for the AAQI to draw awareness to this heartbreaking disease.
The traveling exhibit of 236 quilts will travel through 2015. For more information on how you can make a quilt, buy a quilt, make a donation, or bring “Alzheimer's Illustrated: From Heartbreak to Hope” to your community, Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative.
||Gail Underbakke, Guidelines for Meal Planning
Quarter-marked fabric, quarter-scale triangles, and fat quarters—all are terms used by quilters and sewers. Gail Underbakke, a registered dietician with the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison Wisconsin, talks about how quartering is also important when it comes to meal planning. Gail gives guidelines for planning meals for good health and enjoyment. When filling our plate, a quarter should be dedicated to grain or starchy food (a source of energy), a quarter for protein (to keep us healthy and to keep our hunger under control), and half to vegetables (to fill us up and provide important vitamins and minerals).
In quilting, a variety of light, medium, and dark colors is important, just as a variety of colors in our vegetable choices is important for good health. Gail suggests fruit and a piece of dark chocolate for dessert and some healthy oils in food preparation to add flavor and sense of fullness. However, we should only super-size quilt blocks—not our meal planning. Scale down the size of your plates to control weight! For more information on healthy eating go to American Dietetic Association.
Carol Butzke, Quilt History
Carol Butzke is an American Quilter's Society certified quilt appraiser and quilt historian. In this program she gives insight into Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts. The history of hexagon quilts dates back to at least the 1700s in England where they were known as mosaic or honeycomb. The hexagon pattern, from which the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern evolved, was the first pattern ever published in Godey's Lady's Book in 1835. In Grandmother's Flower Garden quilts of the 20th century, yellow centers are the most traditional, followed by a round of solids, a round of prints, and a pathway between the flowers of white or green. Depending on the maker's creativity, a variety of colors and fabrics might be used. Many times Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt tops are found unfinished. It may be that the makers didn't quite know how to finish the irregular edges. An option of the hexagon pattern is a Bull's Eye evolving from the center to the outer edges. This particular, circa 1900, Bull's Eye quilt is a charm quilt, meaning every piece of fabric is different. For more information on Carol Butzke and the American Quilter's Society visit American Quilter's Society and click on the “Quilt World Connections” or contact Carol at email@example.com
||Dr. Jonathon Tueting, Carpal Tunnel
Dr. Jonathon Tueting is an Assistant Professor of Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery at the UW Hospital in Madison Wisconsin. He gave some valuable insights on carpal tunnel, a painful condition of the wrist and hand brought on by repetitive motion. Modifying the length of time at an activity by taking small breaks as you work is important as well as possibly wearing a splint at night. A splint holds the wrist and hand in the correct posture so the median nerve gets appropriate nutrition.
Additional treatments besides surgery for a carpal tunnel condition include myofascial release techniques used by a therapist, steroid injections, and the use of different types of pads to help alleviate pressure on the median nerve. In more severe cases of carpal tunnel where surgery is required, complete recovery takes four to six weeks, depending on whether the procedure is performed as an endoscopic carpal tunnel release or an open carpal tunnel release. For more information visit UW Health Orthopedics and Rehabilitation.
Margaret Jankowski, The Sewing Machine Project and SeaHope Partners
The Sewing Machine Project and SeaHope Partners have been organized by Margaret Jankowski to help people in disaster-ridden areas. In the Sewing Machine Project Margaret collects sewing machines and gives them to people that have lost theirs in a natural disaster, or who don't have the means to acquire one. They have given out almost 1,000 sewing machines to date.
Margaret started SeaHope Partners after the oil spill in 2010, when her group was trying to figure out how to respond. They decided to make messenger bags out of recycled materials. They used sails and nautical equipment to remind people of the sea. They sell the bags and use the money raised to help people who are displaced by the oil spill. They have also come up with an artist's series of bags. They send bag pieces to artists around the country to paint and embellish. Bags are constructed and sold when the pieces are returned. Their plan is to eventually be able to construct bags in the affected areas to create jobs. Find out more about Margaret Jankowski The Sewing Machine Project and Sea Hope Partners.
|Easy Reversible Aprons—Everyday and Elegant
||Kristin O'Connor and Brian Weasner, Honor Quilts
Honor quilts were researched, designed, and sewn as part of Bob Gentilli's 7th and 8th grade history classes in Belleville, Wisconsin, with the hope of making a difference in someone's life. Kristin O'Connor and Brian Weasner are two of the students who worked on the quilt project. The group was divided into Movers, Shakers, and Makers. The Movers did research at various facilities, the Shakers designed the quilts and chose fabrics, and the Makers did the quilting. One quilt was made for a senior center with blocks depicting memories from the residents' past experiences, and another was made for a teacher going through cancer treatment. The students sewed the blocks together, and the Patches and Petals quilt shop helped them complete the quilts.
By promoting their Honor Quilts project on local news stations and radio stations the students raised about $1,100, which they donated to the Carbone Cancer Center. In addition to the feelings of pride, goodwill, and respect, the students also learned about research, planning, marketing, and the art of quilting. Learn more about this project by visiting Belleville Middle School Honor's Quilt or Quilts for Hope—Belleville Middle School.
Jennifer Chiaverini, The Union Quilters
Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts series, shares excerpts from her book The Union Quilters, referencing the Civil War and the critical role women had to provide the soldiers with basic supplies. Jennifer wove together a story of love and sacrifices women shared as they made quilts and other items to support each other and to support their family and friends who were fighting in the Civil War.
Jennifer chose the “Dove in the Window” quilt to correlate with this historical event. She chose this pattern because it is traditional and true to the era, but also because the word “dove” evokes peace. Find out more about this historical novel at Elm Creek Quilts Novels - The Union Quilters.
|30-Minute Doll Clothes
||Terry Grahl, Enchanted Makeovers
Terry Grahl is an award-winning Interior Decorator and founder of Enchanted Makeovers, a nonprofit, 100% volunteer organization. Terry started Enchanted Makeovers to transform dreary shelters for women and children into inviting centers that give hope and encouragement in a warm nurturing environment. A little paint, new beds and bedspreads, nice lighting, and new carpet can do a lot for the morale of women who have nothing to call their own. Hope is renewed, and positive energy is projected.
The Enchanted Makeovers' model is much more than a series of decorating projects; it is a movement to transform people and rebuild their lives. The physical shelter space is transformed into an environment that inspires psychological and behavioral change, and programs are introduced that teach life and coping skills. Volunteers from across the nation are united with the women and children, and each has the opportunity to share his or her talents. Terry suggests making a new pillowcase for someone in a shelter. You may want to add a little extra gift such as a journal. Find out more about Enchanted Makeovers and what you can do to help at Enchanted Makeovers.
Enchanted Makeovers started by Interior Decorator, Terry Grahl, transforms shelters and rescue missions into places of peace and possibilities. “Handmade” items such as pillowcases and dolls are the key—the love and positive energy evoked is part of the healing process for women and children rebuilding their lives in shelters and for the creators of the projects.
Terry promotes the making of “Capes for Kid”—capes that ignite the imaginations and inner strengths of children living in shelters. Cape instructions are on the Enchanted Makeovers—Capes for Kids, and the stitching is easy. You have the ability to transform lives and give confidence with a simple cape. Find out more about Enchanted Makeovers and what you can do to help at Enchanted Makeovers.
||Carole Franceski, Tender Loving Care Ministries
Tender Loving Care (TLC) Ministries is a nonprofit organization in its 25th year. Its mission is to clothe poverty-stricken children in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and other Appalachian areas. Poverty in Appalachia is extreme—many children live in conditions similar to those in Third World Countries. Carole Franceski, founder and director of TLC, tells about the program and how you can help. The group sends four mailings per year—Easter, Back to School, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. The mailings include complete outfits. Each package includes a sized boy's outfit or girl's dress, underwear, tights or socks, and a biblical story. A hair bow, bracelet, slip, and pocketbook are also added to each of the girls' packages. The pattern styles aren't limited, so you can be creative in your sewing. The project is targeted for children (both boys and girls) ages 4-10. Visit the website for Tender Loving Care Ministries, Inc., and see how you can help provide clothing and accessories to touch the hearts of children in need.
Carole Franceski, founder and director of Tender Loving Care Ministries (TLC), returns to Nancy's Corner to ask for assistance in helping the needy children of Appalachia. In addition to the clothing project detailed in Nancy's Program 2514, Carole explains how to make a small “Care Bag” for the children, providing the basics such as washcloths, soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, and tissues to fill it. Find directions and a complete list of items to include in the Care Bag at Personal Care Bags for Tender Loving Care Ministries, Inc. Learn more about TLC and the many opportunities there are to help these children in need that are in our own country at Tender Loving Care Ministries, Inc.
Connie Tkach, Threads for Life sewing program for kids
Connie Tkach, a passionate sewist from the state of Washington, is convinced that sewing builds confidence in young children. She is proving it through her Threads for Life sewing program for kids at Meeker Elementary School in Puyallup, WA. She teaches children ages 10–12 about the sewing machine, and they go right into sewing clothing. She believes that if kids can text message, they can sew! She takes about 10 students in a class, and when the class is complete the children have an amazing fashion show—Project Kids Fashion Runway! Connie volunteers her time to teach children to sew, and she has involved others to help with teaching and donating machines and fabric. Find out more about her TFL (Threads for Life) Sewing Space at Threads for Life Afterschool Sewing Program.
||Elizabeth Schell, Shweshwe fabric
Elizabeth Schell talks with Nancy via Skype about shweshwe fabrics from South Africa. These 100% cotton fabrics are available in a variety of discharge prints and beautiful vibrant colors. Discharge prints are dyed with synthetic dye; the intricate patterns are produced when the fabric passes underneath design etched copper rollers that contain a weak acid solution. Shweshwe fabric has been manufactured since the 19th century. Original shweshwe fabrics are identified by the starchy feel and the backstamps, authenticated trademarks such as Three Cats, Three Leopards, Toto 6 Star, and Coral Tree. The starch washes out and the fabric becomes very soft to work with. For more information about shweshwe fabrics refer to: ShweShweUS.
Elizabeth Schell, Sewing Shweshwe “poppis” (African term for dolls)
In South Africa the skill of sewing shweshwe poppis benefits both children and the doll makers. Elizabeth Schell talks with Nancy via Skype about the poppis project. These cute little dolls are made with 100% cotton shweshwe discharge print fabrics from South Africa. The dolls are based on children's drawings at a malnutrition and rehabilitation preschool in Zola, Soweto. Men and women from this community stitch life into the drawings by creating the dolls. The sale of these dolls generates income to lessen the community's dependence on food parcels. The income goes directly toward feeding and educating children in the community. People sewing the poppis not only obtain sustainable employment and educational opportunities, but they also get a real sense of pride and purpose in their life. Find more information about the poppis project at Shwe Shwe Poppis.
|Fresh from the Clothesline Quilts
||Lynda Pracht, Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas
Lynda Pracht has been involved with the Partners of the Americas for thirteen years. Partners of the Americas started during the Kennedy administration as The Alliance for Progress, and each state had a partner country in Latin America or the Caribbean. Lynda and her volunteers teach sewing and other skills to the women of Nicaragua, Wisconsin's partner country. There are about 100 centers that initially started teaching sewing. The women work on treadle sewing machines, as well as donated electric machines. Many of the sewing centers are outside, for better light. The women do beautiful freehand embroidery on their sewing machines. “Dolls and Embroidery” is one of the centers that make beautiful 18" doll clothes. Find more information about Partners of the Americas at Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas. Or, check out some of the gorgeous doll clothes made by the Nicaraguan women at Chica Nica Doll Dresses.
Lynda Pracht, Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas
Lynda Pracht, coordinator for the Wisconsin Nicaragua Partners of the Americas, shares how she found a niche market to sell the Nicaraguan women's creations in order to supplement their income. The women use their free motion embroidery skills to embellish 18" doll dresses they make. Most of the work is done on treadle machines, but they do have some donated electric sewing machines. There is a warehouse in Wisconsin that is utilized to hold and ship them donated supplies and equipment. One of the women made enough money on her designs to build a kitchen addition onto her home. There are about 100 centers that are teaching the women of Nicaragua to sew. Find more information about these beautiful doll clothes made and sold by the Nicaraguan women at Chica Nica Doll Dresses.
|Fast and Fleecy Accessories
||Laurie Hird, The Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler Quilt
Laurie Hird is an author, collector of The Farmer's Wife magazines, quilter, and a history sleuth. Laurie wrote a book and designed a 96" x 105" sampler quilt inspired by children's thank-you letters from the early 1900s. These children, ages 5–12, sold subscriptions to The Farmer's Wife magazine to try to win a prize—a Shetland pony with a saddle or carriage. Laurie paired each of 90 thank-you stories with a quilt block. Through the stories, the children gave a glimpse of what life was like 100 years ago. The book includes the children's adorable letters, photographs with their ponies, pictures of the quilt blocks, and assembly diagrams for each block. The CD includes templates, foundation patterns, rotary instructions, and diagrams for various sizes. To see sample pages of the book and CD, excerpts of the letters, and to view the quilt go to The Farmer's Wife Pony Club Sampler Quilt.
Carla Peery, “Let's Do Business” Educator
Carla Peery is a Clothing and Textile Advisor for Snohomish County and an educator for the Seattle, Washington area. Carla teaches basic sewing skills to fourth and fifth graders in a program called “Let's Do Business.” She uses sewing as a means to polish the students' other academic skills. In this 14-week program, students learn about everything that they need to do to start a business. They start with a business plan, learn to write checks, sew a pillow to sell, market their product, and sell the product in a mock sale at the end of the program. Students perform their company commercials for the family audience who then go “shopping.” The only caveat is that their parents can't buy their own child's pillow. This program seems to work well because the fourth and fifth grade students are old enough to have the logic to understand business, and they're still young enough to be excited about learning. To find out more about the “Let's Do Business” program go to Let's Do Business.
|One Easy Pattern—Six Terrific Looks
||Terri Kirchner, WI Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts
The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, is a must-see destination for quilt and fiber enthusiasts. Terri Kirchner, president of this all-volunteer organization, tells how this project evolved from a quilt history project to a destination for viewing beautiful quilts and fiber arts, and a quilter's haven for classes in the large lower level classrooms. The 2-1/2 acre farm, which includes the repurposed 1800s barn, is one of the last remaining German farmsteads in Cedarburg, so the group has tried to preserve the integrity of the buildings. The volunteers and conservationists raised almost $1.5 million to create this wonderful facility. Since 1988, over 8,000 quilts and their stories have been captured. These records provided the copy for an award-winning book entitled Wisconsin Quilts: History in the Stitches. The staff is totally volunteer—150 regular volunteers! The museum averages about 40-60 visitors a day, including many international visitors. To find out more about the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts && Fiber Arts go to Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts.
Sue Rock, Sue Rock Originals for Domestic Violence Victims
Sue Rock, from Brooklyn New York, has a remarkable mission—to bring joy, healing, & community through textile arts. Sue founded a nonprofit organization to repair and revitalize the lives of domestic violence victims. She started her own business collecting discarded fabric from the garment and interior design industry. She decided that because there was such a huge amount of fabric available, she could utilize some for her business and transform the remainder into a craft charity. When a friend of Sue's passed away due to a domestic violence incident, Sue decided to help empower those battered women and children who left abusive situations and their homes to live in shelters. This domestic violence empowerment program teaches everyday skills that not only provide much needed clothing, but also heal lives through the creative process of sewing, knitting, and crocheting.
Sue and a host of volunteers teach women to make practical items that they would need once they have left a difficult situation and want to start a new life. Some volunteers make items to donate to people in need, such as garments that were made to help support survivors of the Haitian earthquake.
To find out more about how textiles have brought together and touched so many lives go to Sue Rock Originals.
|Jackets for Real People
||Teresa Droesser, Quilt to Give
Quilters and sewers across the country have come to the aid of people that have been affected by disaster. Tornadoes, floods, and fires have affected many cities and towns across our nation, and the losses have been very devasting. Teresa Droesser, a volunteer coordinator for the Quilt to Give project for the past seven years, tells about the project and its heartwarming results.
During the 2011 Quilt Expo in Madison, Wisconsin, the Quilt to Give project group set up a sewing area to make twin, double, and queen size bed quilts. The design features columns instead of blocks—a modified design from the Sewing With Nancy® TV series called “Column Quilts.” The hope of the group is to give a little bit of something back to people that have lost everything.
People have donated fabric, backings, battings, and of course, their time. If you are ready to experience the joy of giving from your heart go to Nancy Zieman's Blog. Click on Quilt to Give in the navigation bar across the top. You'll learn how to create a quilt to give in just 10 easy steps.
Sonya Nash, Indiana Quilt Gardens
Sonya Nash, the Quilt Gardens project manager from Elkhart County, Indiana, joins Nancy via Skype to share information about the amazing Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail. Sonya tells about the beautiful patchwork quilts made, not from fabric, but from thousands of glorious blooms!
Every year from May 30 to October 1, nineteen giant gardens come to life in quilt patterns using over 100,000 plants. The quilt gardens are located in seven communities all along a scenic driving tour called the Heritage Trail, and they're breathtaking! Visitors including many quilters and gardeners come by the thousands to enjoy and watch these gardens come to life. What's unique about this project is the annuals—as they continually change with the season, the quilt patterns change as well.
For more information and to view some of these beautiful botanical quilts go to Quilt Gardens or Amish Country.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
|Delightful Dresden Appliqués
||Esther Bryan is the artist and creator of Quilt of Belonging, Canada's celebration of diversity. This collaborative work of art has 263 blocks representing Canada's First Peoples and every world nation. The quilt has traveled from coast to coast taking the story of humanity with it, and showing us that there is a place for all in the fabric of society. Every block in the quilt tells a story with the fibers and fabric it is made from and the design and artistry it portrays. There are over 1200 colors in this textile mosaic that measures 120 feet long and 10 feet tall. Esther's book, Quilt of Belonging—The Invitation Project, features every block and tells the story of each. Personal stories unravel in each block, and the thread of life goes through all, tying the world together. For more information please visit the website quiltofbelonging.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jennifer Chiaverini, author of the Elm Creek Quilts series, shares excerpts from her fifteenth book, A Quilter's Holiday, that combines interesting heartwarming stories and some volunteer sewing and quilting. In this story the Elm Creek Quilters gather to make gratitude blocks representing what they are most thankful for. Jennifer asks the Elm Creek Readers to make gratitude blocks, as well. The blocks are pieced together, and the quilts are given to charity. Find out more about the stories and the blocks at elmcreek.net.
||Mimi Demrauer is a Textile Collage Artist whose quilting evolved from traditional patterns to a style of her own. She starts with her hand dyed fabric, hand cuts her fabric pieces in an improvisational style, uses raw edge appliqué to secure layers of fabric, mounts the designs on foam core, and frames them. Mimi creates a very contemporary style in her textile art, finding her inspiration from all over the world. Visit her inspirational website at mimidesigns.tv.
|Copy Cat Patterns
||Kent Williams is a writer and quilt artist, who is inspired by abstract lines and color. Most of Kent's patterns have their roots in modern art and design, from Japanese woodcuts and Bauhaus weavings to Op Art and the Pattern and Decoration Movement. Kent's quilts are truly works of art! He starts with small straight colorful pieces and manipulates them in a way that produces the look of woven textures, spirals, and other abstract designs. To view some of his work and learn the interesting story behind his introduction to the quilting world visit his website at rkentwilliams.com.
Kay Walters, Past President of the Wisconsin Quilt History Project in Cedarburg, shares information about some of the beautiful quilts from the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Among the quilts she shows are a Crazy Quilt with a crocheted edge from the late 1800s donated by Harry Berkley, a white on white quilt featuring trapunto from the 1830s, a hand made Mariner's compass wedding quilt from 1876, and two hand appliquéd quilts—the Muscatel Grape pattern and The Red Poppy gifted to the museum by Genevieve Peters Wainwright. The museum is expanding into a beautiful barn built between the 1850s and 1870s that will be a year round facility with climate controlled storage for their textiles. Find out more about the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts in Cedarburg by going to the following website: wiquiltmuseum.com
||Over 100 4-H preteens, teens, and family members gathered on a Friday evening from 6-11 p.m. for a sewing “Lock In.” Dodge County Wisconsin youth leader Laura Schoenike spearheaded this very worthy project. Volunteer teens made no-sew blankets, therapy bags, dog toys, and pillowcases for groups such as Shop with the Cops, a local Humane Society, nursing homes, and Operation Military Kids. Laura organized the planning for this event, including applying for a grant from the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, collecting money donated by various groups, and preplanning each of the workstations. Adult leaders and youth leaders assisted at each station, and the project was a great learning experience for those involved. Recipients appreciated project donations. If you would like to plan a similar event please check out the following website for more information: uwex.edu
Maya Lea looks at cloth and clothing from cultural and historical perspectives. She is the curator of the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Maya shows pieces from her own collection that exemplify how cloth reveals culture and heritage. A tatted dresser scarf made by her aunt using skills learned from elderly Italian neighbors is the first example. Then she gives the history behind a tie-dyed silk /odhni/ (woman's head covering) from India, a living tradition from which our bandanas come. An ikat pattern in which the threads are dyed before they are woven is a fine example of ancient technology—this one was made for the Queen of Thailand. To learn more about the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection at UW-Madison go to textilecollection.wisc.edu or www.sohe.wisc.edu.
|Machine Needle Felting
||Leah Evans is a textile artist who is inspired by aerial photographs, satellite imagery, and maps to create one of a kind quilted abstract wall hangings. She interprets her artwork using machine stitching, hand embroidery, quilting, needle felting, and appliqué. Leah's vivid imagination and the intimate explorations of map language are the basis for her unique artwork, and the beautiful hand dyed fabrics and small irregular borders add a delightful touch of interest and dimension to her wall hangings. To view Leah's topographical artwork collection go to leahevanstextiles.com
Laura Vogt and Claudia Winter share an interesting combination of friendship, crafts, sewing, and a business. They recycle wool sweaters purchased at thrift stores. After felting the wool sweaters, they salvage every bit to create one of a kind wool scarves, hand hotties, blooming brooches, coffee cardigans, hot pads, wine sleeves and more. They combine various colors and textures plus the original embellishments for fabulous one of a kind gifts. Laura and Claudia's signature embellishment is dots—lots of appliquéd dots! Their family business is a fun endeavor for them, and they enjoy making unique artistic gifts. To find out more about these thrifty eco-conscious gifts go to godottygo.com.
||Julie Crabtree, a textile artist who studied in England, shares her artistic expertise in creating 3D landscapes with beautiful textural stitching. The artistic process starts with photographs and sketching. Julie works on cotton canvas fabric, and includes hand painting, hand embroidery, free-motion embroidery, fabric texturizing, and beading in her work to achieve the most depth possible in each piece. Julie captures the inspiration of nature in her artistic style. Share the passion of Julie's work at jcrabtreeart.com.
Dimitri James is a Hollywood make-up artist and author of the book Becoming Beauty. In his book he teaches women how to style themselves head to toe—makeup, skin care, hair, clothing, and accessories. Dimitri also has an interest in revising and restyling clothes. He shares remarkable tank top revisions fashioned after those seen in a photo shoot in Australia. He also shows fabulous glam tops, which he has created from the top portion of formal evening gowns that he purchased very inexpensively at a thrift store. Visit this website to see a video about his book: youtube.com
|Bargello Quilts with a Twist
||Deb Menz, an author and artist, gets creative with color, texture, and lots of mediums. The inspiration for her intricate artwork comes from her travels, and she captures the ideas for making creative pieces by taking digital snapshots. Deb combines a multitude of mediums to tell the story of her work. Some of the mediums she works with are handmade paper, hand spun yarn, hand knitting and weaving, hand embroidery, bead embroidery, silk threads, fabric dyeing and printing, and machine embroidery. To find more information about this beautiful artwork, go to debmenz.com.
Lorel Maple, vice president of the American Sewing Guild chapter in Madison Wisconsin, explains the process her group used to dye silk scarves with natural dyes. Larry Schmitt, a local textile artist, inspired Lorel with his no-pot dyeing technique on a gardening show. Lorel invited Larry to do a hands-on demonstration of dyeing basics for the guild, and they made lovely scarves to replicate the dyeing techniques they learned. The Madison Guild made these gorgeous hand-dyed silk scarves to sell at a bazaar fundraising event. This fascinating project is one of the many creative endeavors that you can learn about in a Sewing Guild. For more information about this dyeing process and about the American Sewing Guild chapters in your area go to my.madison.com.
||HospiceCare Inc. grief counselor Cheri Milton joins Nancy to talk about a unique way of incorporating quilting in the healing or grieving process through making memorial quilts. A few months after the death of a family member served by HospiceCare, the family is sent a blank quilt square asking them to design and complete the square to memorialize their loved one. When the squares are returned, a group of volunteer quilters put them together into a memorial quilt. The families use many different creative techniques to finish the blocks such as photo transfers, patches, painting, appliqué, embroidery, and more. Twice a year a dedication ceremony is held to honor those people represented on each quilt. The quilts are then taken back to the hospice care facility and hung in prominent places. Go to the following site to learn more about hospice care and the memorial quilts: hospicecareinc.com.
Amy Barickman, designer and author, came upon some interesting newsletters in her research of vintage artwork. The newsletters are a wonderful collection of articles about cookery and fashion from the Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences. The most intriguing part of this collection is the information about the correspondence courses available in the early 1900s. Women were able to learn to sew through the mail. This social networking continued until about 1930, and over 300,000 women took the courses. This institute was founded by Mary Brooks Picken, and her work was so inspiring to Amy that she decided to write a book featuring some of Mary's beautiful artwork and material. Amy was able to use some of the patterns and recipes from the institute as well as many of Mary Brooks Picken's essays in her Vintage Notions book. For more information about Amy's charming and fun inspirational guide, Vintage Notions, go to amybarickman.com.
|Landscape Quilting Workshop
||Dr. Justin Sattin, a Neurologist and Medical Director at the University of Wisconsin Health Comprehensive Stroke Program, addresses facial paralysis and Bell's Palsy to help answer the many questions that Nancy receives about her own facial paralysis. Dr. Sattin discusses some of the many causes of facial paralysis, treatment, and prognosis for recovery. To read more about Bell's Palsy go to
UW Health - Bell's Palsy.
Designer and author, Amy Barickman shares sewing history about correspondence courses offered in the 1920s at the Women's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences by Mary Brooks Picken. This institute taught over 300,000 women sewing techniques and the art of homemaking. Mary Brooks Picken inspired Amy so much, both personally and professionally, that Amy was driven to write Vintage Notions, an enlightening book including patterns, recipes, quotes, techniques, and more derived from the institute of home arts and Mary Brooks Picken's beautiful artwork. For more information about Amy's charming and fun inspirational guide, Vintage Notions, go to amybarickman.com.
Jennifer Chiaverini, a prolific quilter and New York Times bestseller of quilting related novels, shares excerpts from her sixteenth book, The Aloha Quilt, which Jennifer researched in Hawaii. The story features Elm Creek Quilter, Bonnie Markham. She has run into a few unfortunate incidences in her life, and finds fun and romance in Hawaii as she helps her long time college friend set up a new quilt camp on Maui. Bonnie is inspired by the gardens of Kale Kapa Kuiki and the unique traditions of Hawaiian quilting as she stitches together a new life and a new quilt. Find out more about Jennifer Chiaverini and The Aloha Quilt at www.elmcreek.net.
|Stress Free Zipper Creations
||Fiber artist Karen Linduska begins her newest thread painting projects by needle felting on a base of craft felt. Karen incorporates yarn, lace, and decorative stitching in this postcard size art—personal greetings may also be included. The background is the starting point, and from there Karen creates landscape textures with a variety of mediums and decorative stitches, layer by layer. To find out more about Karen's work go to www.karenlinduska.com.
|Runway Finishes for Cool Edges
||Nancy gives an update on Sue Outland's Tactile Quilt Project for the blind. It's truly a Creative Kindness project that has meant so much to the Foundation for the Blind. Learn more about the Tactile/Touch Quilt Project by going to www.seeitourway.org. Tracy Murray, a Girl Scout leader, saw the segment about Tactile/Touch Quilts with Sue Outland, and she decided to feature it as a service project with her scout troop. The girls had a quilting bee, and finished two quilts. The troop not only learned to sew, but they talked about their lives and encouraged one another—a great investment in their personal well-being.
Karen Demaree represents the organization called Quilts of Valor. This group of thousands of volunteers makes and presents quilts to wounded and injured Armed Service members and their families. Their mission is to cover all those service members and veterans touched by war with Quilts of Valor. These quilts measure 55" x 65" to 72" x 87" and are made of only the best quality fabrics. To date over 33,000 quilts have been presented, and the number grows every day. To find out how you can help go to www.qovf.org
|Sew Elastic, Stretch Your Options
||Award-winning blind artist Ketra Oberlander began the Art of Possibility® Studios, the only for-profit art publishing and licensing brand exclusively representing physically disabled artists. Ketra has a condition called Cone Dystrophy, which has rendered her color blind. She and other fine artists have banded together to bring their experience and creative expression into a springboard for creative interpretations. The artists work in collaboration with graphic designers and fabric designers to produce two lines of fabric per year. They try to look beyond their disabilities and find a way to live successfully by contributing their talents to society. Learn more about the Art of Possibility Studios at www.aopstudios.com.
Ketra Oberlander, a blind artist, has started the Art of Possibility® Studios, bringing together people who are disabled to utilize their talents by creating a line of fabric several times a year. Her hope is that home sewers and quilters will do something truly inspirational for themselves with the beautiful fabrics created by Ketra and her associates. Ketra works on canvas with oil and acrylic paints, and the images that she creates are made into digital images and scanned onto fabric. A “back-up band”, as Ketra calls them, of other artists and graphic designers make the modifications necessary to bring the fine art paintings to life for the fabric. No one does it alone. Learn more about the Art of Possibility Studios at www.aopstudios.com.
|Sewing Then and Now
||Kyra E. Hicks is a historian and author of the book, This I Accomplish: Harriet Powers' Bible Quilt and Other Pieces, a true story of Harriet Powers and her Bible-themed quilts. Harriet, an ex-slave from Athens, Georgia, made her first Bible quilt in the late 1800s to teach Bible stories to children and families. Kyra finds proof that Harriet was literate, an artist, and an award-winning quilter. In hard times Harriet sold the Bible Quilt for $5, and when the owner died the quilt was eventually donated to the Smithsonian Institution. For more information about the Bible Quilt and Kyra's book, This I Accomplish, please visit the website blackthreads.blogspot.com. Visit Kyra's website at black-threads.com or email her at Black.Threads@yahoo.com.
Quilt historian and author Kyra E. Hicks writes a true children's quilt story that combines just the right words, beautiful illustrations, and most importantly, inspiration for children to reach for their goals. The story is about Martha Ann, a little girl who was bought out of slavery and moved to Liberia. On the Liberian coast she observes the British Navy patrolling the waters and preventing slave catchers from coming onto shore. She was so grateful that she wanted to thank Queen Victoria in person. It took Martha Ann 50 years to save enough money to go from Liberia to England, and she withstood much ridicule for her seemingly impossible dream. She made a quilt as a thank-you gift for the Queen. The Queen graciously accepted the gift, and later sent the quilt to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 for all to see. For a teaching guide about Kyra's beautiful children's story go to black-threads.com. Visit Kyra's website at black-threads.com or email her at Black.Threads@yahoo.com.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
|12 Easy Sew Bags
||Klaudeen Hansen, a National Quilting Association Certified Judge, discusses the judging process for quilts and the five basic things judges look for: 1) Cleanliness, 2) A balanced composition with a sense of proportion and scale, 3) Quiltmaker's expertise, 4) Alignment—straight, 5) Finishing features.
Kim Deneault teaches sewing and quilting, not only to the seeing but to those that are blind. She uses textured colored paper with a Braille guide for her students to identify colors by touch. She then translates the design to her Raggedy Reverse Appliqué technique with fabric. Kim is preparing for the first ever “Hands On” Quilt Show. Go to handsonquiltshow.org for more information.
Christine Popenhagen, Project Linus volunteer, encourages those who sew to make blankets for children ages zero to 18 who have been ill or traumatized. There are 400 Project Linus chapters across the country. To find the chapter near you go to projectlinus.org. Each chapter has different needs for their area. Become a blanketeer today!
|Single Layer Jacket Sensations
||Jennifer Chiaverini, a New York Times best selling author, shares her quilt “Sylvia's Bridal Sampler” that was inspired by her novel, The Master Quilter. This quilt was made with the help of her quilting friends from around the world. She started a blog and an online quilting community to help her readers create their own bridal sampler quilts. Quilters used the website to get the blocks and patterns to start their own quilt. Go to sylviasbridalsampler.org to view some of the lovely bridal sampler quilts from around the world.
||Carol Battenberg is a sheep producer, a sewer, a quilter, and a director for the Make it With Wool program. Carol explains the Make it With Wool contest and shares photos of the current winners. She explains what judges look for when evaluating garments. Anyone interested can go to sheepusa.org to find more information.
Pat Kroth is a well-known quilt artist and has exhibited nationally and worldwide. Pat uses a plethora of items in her quilts—fibers, findings, elements, fragments, and more. Pat shares her quilts entitled Confetti Craze, Under Currents, Sweet Tooth, and Full Tilt. The wall hangings are very striking, and yet have Pat's personal charm. Visit krothfiberart.com.
|Versatile Ombre Quilts
||Sewing With Nancy® Heart to Heart challenger and fellow sewer Peggy Nied has made the commitment to live a heart healthy lifestyle and has allowed viewers to track her progress. Start your own heart healthy program with the assistance of the American Heart Association by taking part in Better U – a free makeover and online community that could change your life; uwhealth.org/GoRed. Follow Peggy's progress and learn more on Heart to Heart with Nancy. We will check on Peggy two more times this season as she progresses.
Kathi Wilson and community create beautiful rural art by painting “quilts on barns”. These 8’ x 8’ quilt paintings are amazing! They start as 8” square sketches and transform into framed artwork that is mounted on a barn. She has 15 barn quilts in Racine County in Wisconsin. To take the tour of these striking quilts go to quiltsonbarns.com
Laurie Hird is the author of The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book. She got her inspiration from the book Do You Want your Daughter to Marry a Farmer? This book consists of 68 letters from farm women who entered a contest that asked if they wanted their daughter to marry a farmer. She took 56 excerpts from the letters in this book and created a quilt with blocks to represent each of their stories. The quilt tells the story that indeed 94% of the women wanted their daughters to marry a farmer!
|Top 12 Embroidery Tips
||Leslie Travis is a librarian from Chicago who shows kids Pre-K to 6 how to learn about sewing through the library. She incorporates sewing into other topics such as social studies, history, and economics. She also organizes an after school sewing club. For information about the sewing club's activities, go to ray.cps.k12.il.us (under Classrooms, go to Programs, then to Library).
Leslie Travis, a librarian at Ray School, one of Chicago Public Schools, received an energy grant to start a mending center for the school. It taught the kids that repairing something instead of throwing it out helps the environment. It also gives them the power to work together to do something good for their school and community. For more information, go to ray.cps.k12.il.us (under Classrooms, go to Programs, then to Library).
||Paula Skeleton saved her wedding gown from 1972 and years later made a christening gown for her granddaughter. She used pieces of the same wedding gown along with pieces from a great grandmother's blouse and great grandfather's handkerchief to create a second christening set for her grandson. It's a wonderful way of mixing memories into each christening outfit for an heirloom treasure.
Lisa Binkley combines fabric, handwork, and beading to the ultimate degree on her quilts. She recommends piecing and quilting first then adding embellishment later. She also makes recommendations for needles and thread for the best beading. She shares her beautiful beaded creations with Nancy on this television show. Visit her site at lisabinkley.com
||Sandi Keiser, the Department Chair of the Mount Mary College Fashion Department, shares updated information on fashion design programs. She explains that fashion design is much more than just sewing and working with fabric. Fashion designers rely on a variety of skills including design, sewing, fitting and pattern making. These skills are enhanced through the use of numerous computer programs. To produce a line of apparel a designer starts with a design concept or theme, chooses colors, decides on fabric and trims, makes several sketches, and finally drafts the pattern that is required for garment production. Most design programs offer a foundation of skills and then allow students to concentrate on a specialized area of interest in their final semesters. Many educational programs also provide opportunities to travel and study in the US and abroad. For more information go to mtmary.edu/dept_fashion.htm.
Recycling and makeovers have become a worldwide venture not only in the sewing industry but also in the apparel and fashion industry. Sandi Keiser, Department Chair of the Fashion Department at Mount Mary College, explains that when it comes to fabric the paradigm has certainly changed and shifted. We need to think of sustainable fabrics and try to be a little bit political in challenging people to recycle. Her students have taken the recycling challenge in creating many of their fashion designs using sustainable fabrics and recycled items such as bottle caps, ties, vintage blankets, and more. Sandi and her students are inspired by companies like Alabama Chanin (formerly Project Alabama), owned by designer Natalie Chanin who is committed to sustaining the living arts. Go to alabamachanin.com for more information on Alabama Chanin, or to mtmary.edu/dept_fashion.htm to find out more about Mount Mary College Fashion Department.
Linda Wieck is the originator and the creator of the Camo Quilt Project. Her group has made over 2,125 quilts that have been sent overseas for our service people. The beauty of these durable compact quilts is that they are made of a lightweight camouflage fabric and can be used inside or on outdoor convoys. Linda's group also makes “Cool Ties” that have four sections. The two center sections contain soil moist crystals that keep a soldier's carotid artery cool. A Cool Tie is sent along with each Camo Quilt. For more information or to request one of these quilts for a member of the armed services go to camoquiltproject.blogspot.com. Your donations help pay for the materials to make these quilts for which our troops are so appreciative.
|Magical Serger Techniques
||Esther Bryan is the artist and creator of Quilt of Belonging, a 120 foot long textile mosaic that celebrates “a Place for All”. All of Canada's First Peoples and every world nation are included in this collaborative work of art. Esther and hundreds of volunteers spent six years creating this richly hued portrait of the human family. Quilt of Belonging is an inspirational visual testament of what can be achieved when ordinary people work together for the good of all. We invite you to experience the cultural, personal stories, some told for the first time and learn about each block. All are captured in a 300 page high quality book entitled Quilt of Belonging—The Invitation Project. This timeless treasure enjoyed by many is also available in French. For more information please visit the website quiltofbelonging.ca or email: email@example.com.
Peggy Nied, our Nancy's Corner Heart to Heart participant, continues to share her progress since she began making heart healthy lifestyle changes. Peggy has incorporated daily exercise and cooking healthy meals into her busy schedule and has since seen a positive difference in her blood pressure and cholesterol numbers. She has found herself reading food labels more closely and trying to focus on more protein and fewer carbs in her diet. You can follow Peggy's weekly diary and find the American Heart Associations' free online resource and tools at uwhealth.org/GoRed.
|Cotton Theory Quilting - Reversible Jackets
||A special trip to Africa changed Rachel O'Neill's life forever. She was deeply touched by the little girls in Africa who were extremely oppressed. She decided to bring them dresses so that they could feel honored. The dresses are simply made from pillowcases and distributed through the orphanages in Central Africa. To date there are ten countries in Africa that have received these dresses. Over 39 states across the United States have contributed dresses and donations to “Little Dresses for Africa”, and the total number of dresses made and sent to Africa now numbers over 29,000. They have also started making “Britches for Boys”. To find out more go to littledressesforafrica.org/blog/.
The tale of “Little Dresses for Africa” continues, highlighting Rachel O'Neill's inspiring story. Rachel went to Africa, was touched by the little girls who are so very oppressed, and started changing lives by creating simple dresses for them using pillowcases. The lives she changed were not only the grateful little girls, but also the people making the donations. Girls Scouts, community groups, church groups, and people that are homebound all have new meaning in their lives because of these simple projects of great joy. Over 39 US states have contributed dresses and donations, and the total number of dresses made and sent to Africa now numbers over 29,000. “Britches for Boys” are also being made and donated. To find out more go to littledressesforafrica.org/blog/.
|Decorative Stitch Thread Painting
||Margaret Jankowski started “The Sewing Machine Project” as a grass roots charitable effort to collect and distribute sewing machines to people who needed to start rebuilding their lives. This project started after the devastating tsunami in Southeast Asia and has expanded to New Orleans and other areas of disaster both nationally and internationally. The machines allow people to not only mend their lives but also to take an active role in rebuilding their community. Hundreds of machines have been placed locally and overseas. To donate a machine or money to help with shipping the machines, or to find out more about this worthwhile project, go to thesewingmachineproject.org/.
MaiZong Vue is an advocate for refugee families who helps them assimilate to their new culture. She learned the art of Hmong paj ntaub (padhau) and reversed appliqué, creating story quilts while in a refugee camp in the late 1970s. She is confident that the ability to sew and quilt maintained the sanity of many Hmong women in Ban Vinai camp. These artful quilts tell many stories with the intricate reversed appliqué work. Traditionally paj ntaub and quilts were made to display the Hmong artwork during Hmong New Year, but in refugee camps it became a source of income. The beautiful handiwork in these quilts not only highlights the intricate talent of the Hmong, but also helps preserve their culture and stories.
|Amish Quilt Stories & Techniques
||Maggie Ball, a quilter from the Seattle area was inspired by an email from a Mongolian woman asking for assistance in teaching Mongolian women to quilt. She accepted the challenge to teach them, and “Quilters Without Borders” emerged. In Mongolia there is a very high unemployment rate, and abuse of women and alcoholism are common—there's virtually no support system for women. Maggie developed a pattern for a traditional Mongolian ölzii motif thought to bring long-life and prosperity. The women used the ölzii as their trademark, and Maggie taught them to piece the design together and create a tote bag that they were able to sell. In 2006 Maggie helped organize the first international quilt show in Mongolia in collaboration with quilters from the UK and Japan. For more information about Maggie and this project go to dragonflyquilts.com/.
Maggie Ball continues working with women in Mongolia to help them raise funds for a center in which to sell the beautiful quilted pieces that she taught them to make. “Quilters Without Borders” has pieced together a better future for Mongolian women because of Maggie's teaching them basic quilting techniques, producing a pattern for a traditional motif, and helping them raise the funds they needed to open a shop. She raised $82,000 with the support of her hometown parishioners and quilt guilds around the nation. The Mongolian women now have a shop front, classroom, and small office in which to conduct their quilting business. To see photos and learn more about this project go to dragonflyquilts.com/.
||Debra Henninger has taken a very untraditional approach to quiltmaking, using the secret language of hobos as her quilt block designs. Her quilt has about 56 blocks and each has a different meaning. Debra researched hobo symbols, thinking they would make great quilt blocks. She has designed appliquéd, pieced or paper-pieced blocks with her interpretations of these symbols. These symbols were marked on buildings, fenceposts, and other places by hobos in the 20s and 30s to tell other hobos about things such as free phone, good drinking water, man with a gun, get out of town fast, and more. Debra's book will be available at Nancy's Notions soon.
Our Nancy's Corner Heart to Heart participant Peggy Nied returns for the final segment in this series. She shares her success and the challenges faced working toward her goal to live a heart healthy lifestyle. Peggy was able to get her HDL cholesterol to a healthy level, and she has shown positive improvements in other areas. Peggy now realizes that increasing her activity level in addition to healthful diet changes contribute greatly to her overall heart healthy lifestyle. To view Peggy's journal go to uwhealth.org/go-red/peggys-diary-committing-to-a-heart-healthy-life/25028.
||Nancy's Corner Segment
|Pattern Fitting with Confidence
||Ethel White is a Wisconsin dressmaker who was inspired to quilt after seeing the Gee's Bend quilt exhibit in Alabama. She created the Peace Stone Quilt to honor two African tribes making peace with each other. African Queen Nzinga was also an inspiration to Ethel, and she appliquéd the Queen's portrait on a quilt. She used authentic fabric such as African Mud Cloth in her appliqués and quilting.
Helen Martin, a graduate nursing student and quilter, educates small groups of women about heart health. As the women come together to quilt, Helen and a friend share stories and educate the women about heart disease. The quilts created are donated to generate research money for this #1 killer of women. For information about heart disease and to take a heart healthy quiz go to uwhealth.org/goredforwomen.
|Magical Fabric Yo-Yos
||In this three-part series Nancy focuses on Sewing Green.
Part 1: Sewing with ECO friendly fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo, grown without pesticides, defoliants, and fertilizers, is kind to our environment and less likely to trigger allergies. These new fabrics drape well and are fun to sew.
Part 2: Recycling of PET plastic bottles offers us fabric! Ten bottles equals one pound of fabric. The fabric is lightweight, soft, and pliable. Make a project that you use over and over again with recycled fabric for double duty recycling!
Part 3: Using natural fibers in quilting promotes sewing green. Batting made from corn is hypoallergenic, washable, soft, and safe for our environment. This naturally based craft fiber is made from corn grown in the United States, and it is renewable.
|Jackets on the Cutting Edge
||Nancy features some of her sewing collectibles including a 1893 Columbian Egg needle case, a 1940s pinking machine from her grandmother, and vintage toy/traveling sewing machines.
Nancy showcases her collection of antique toy sewing machines. Many of them date back to the 1930s, from Germany.
|Trace 'n Create Bags
||Sue Outland, a grandmother and longtime Girl Scout leader, creates a tactile quilt for her blind granddaughter, Makala. This inspires her scouting group to quilt. The Girl Scouts, as well as her granddaughter, Makala, sew blocks that go into blankets for children at the St. Louis Children's Hospital. If you are interested in donating tactile quilts for blind children go to seeitourway.org.
Margaret Jankowski is the originator of The Sewing Machine Project. She started collecting machines in 2005 when she read about someone saving to purchase a machine and then losing it in the tsunami. Since then she has taken hundreds of machines to different parts of the world. She only asks that each person receiving a machine pay forward some kindness to someone in need. For details of donating a machine go to thesewingmachineproject.org.
|Picture Perfect Quilts
||Flora Brooks created a picture quilt called My Hero for the Sewing With Nancy® 25th Anniversary contest. Her quilt is a tribute to military service and sacrifice. The quilt honors her husband, who was seriously wounded in Viet Nam and lives a life of courage and bravery. Flora used a combination of photo transfer, raw edge appliqué, and machine embroidery on the quilt.
The featured picture quilt, El Roi, was created by Mirla Bernasconi and it tells the story of a young girl from Ethiopia who was abducted and beaten. Three lions chased off her captures and protected her until the police arrived. Mirla was awe struck by the many forms God's angels take, and she was inspired to make the quilt using free-motion embroidery and quilting skills.
Helen Klebesadel, an artist, educator, and activist, shares several of her paintings including quilt imagesinspirations from her childhood and great-grandmother. Her artwork includes images by or about women. If you would like to see Helen's work go to portalwisconsin.org.
|Already Cut, Ready to Quilt
||UW Health registered dietitian Gail Underbakke gives advice on how to reduce our risk of heart disease through our food choices. She shares some healthy snack ideas to have while sewing or quilting. Check out goredforwomen.org to find heart-healthy recipes.
Exercise specialist Karla Bock shows how to incorporate physical activity while sewing and quilting. Check out the exercises at uwhealth.org/gored.
Heart attack survivor Mary Celnicker shares her symptoms and what she did to change her life. We need to take action ahead of time and to take the heart check-up free on-line at uwhealth.org/gored.
|Ready Set Serge
||Nancy Daly is an art and quilting teacher who works with kids at the Monroe Street Fine Art Center in Madison, WI. Her class is called Fabric Storyscapes. The kids create little mini quilts that they design and sew themselves.
Michele Hatchell worked with Nancy Daly to create a large quilt called Our Wonderful World. The quilt blocks were made by 450 kids at Shorewood Hills Elementary in Madison, Wisconsin.The quilt was named after Louie Armstrong's song, which the children sang in music class. It was a year-long labor of love. The children in this school speak 33 different languages, and this was a chance for them to all work together. They learned a little quilt math and had an international dessert night in the process.
|Sew Boutique for Kids
||Information was included in this Nancy's Corner on how to create a felted sweater.
This segment unveiled unconventional sources for fabric, such as using a guy's tie for embellishing.
||Carol Butzke, an AQS quilt appraiser, explains why and when it's important to appraise our textiles and quilts. She also explains how to care for heirloom quilts.
Eve Kovacs, physicist by vocation, wearable artist and contest participant by avocation, explains how she solves her design problems in wearable art the same way as she solves scientific problems.
|Embroidered Gifts, Wrappings, and Ribbons!
||Jennifer Chiaverini, author of Elm Creek Quilt novels, is a quilter who became an author. She shares her basic thought process for writing and how she manages her time. She has written fourteen novels, and also publishes pattern books. Many of her readers were inspired to quilt after reading her novels.
Christine Motl continues the tradition of recycling flour, sugar, and feed sacks. She shows samples of sacks that were intentionally manufactured for recycling, and discusses projects that could be made from thema lesson in history as well as recycling. Her collection is charming!
|Cuddly Critters Fleece Accessories
||Joe Cunningham is a musician first and then a professional quilter. He writes and performs music about his quilt creations. He shares his inspirational musical about Joe, the Quilter, and several of his quilt creations.
|Raggedy Reverse Applique
||Joe Cunningham is a musician first and then a professional quilter. He writes and performs music about his quilt creations. He shares his inspirational musical about Joe, the Quilter, and several of his quilt creations.