I've been a big fan of Nancy Zieman since I really got serious about sewing and quilting in 2004. While I rarely watch television, I would faithfully tune in every Friday afternoon for Sewing with Nancy.
I can even remember an episode that aired when I was in middle school on pineapple paper-pieced purses (say that three times fast) and actually trying it out with hand stitching since I still didn't really know how to use my sewing machine yet.
Recently I've been noticing Nancy's name cropping up a lot more in new tools, gadgets, and gizmos being released by Clover and now she's just come out with a new book - Sewing A to Z.
As she states in the beginning of the book:
"Many of these methods have been published in other books of mine, but they've never been gathered together in an A-to-Z reference. My hope is that you'll enjoy this quick reference and that these techniques will fine-tune your sewing and quilting skills."Now I received a digital version of the book, so I can't say much about how it feels or works as a physical book, however Bonnie over at Quiltville share photos of her copy and it is spiral bound which should make it easy to use near the machine. Because there is a digital edition, you can also get a copy on Amazon for your Kindle!
Paging through the book, quickly noticed the clean, professional graphic design and illustrations. Rather than photos of real hands, fabric, needles, machines, etc, all the photos have been digitized to appear more like cartoon illustrations.
While this may not sound good, it's actually excellent! The drawings are simplified down to exactly what you're supposed to be seeing and understanding, and it's much easier to understand than typical photo illustrations.
I found it interesting that many sewing tools and notions were illustrated being used in the book, from Yo yo makers to Dritz Ezy Hem. It was nice to see these tools and to understand how they are used, and I'll admit the illustrations definitely made me want to buy a few new tools.
While I remember Nancy mostly for garment sewing instructions, this book definitely balances sewing and quilting very nicely. While there's not enough space to elaborate on certain topics (free motion quilting for one) it's clear to me that this isn't a book for a deep exploration of every topic. It's a quick, handy reference guide.
I realized thumbing through it just how useful it would have been for me a month ago when I was ordering some knit fabrics online. I couldn't find a decent explanation of what a single knit, double knit, or interlock fabric was and didn't know what would work for my patterns.
Nancy's book clearly lists these different types of knits (plus 3 more I didn't know about) and what the difference is between them. No wonder the dress I made in college with a heavy double knit never fit right - the pattern was supposed to be made with a single knit!
Overall, I'd say this is a very helpful book if you just need a quick reminder, or a simple lesson on the topics you're interested in.
Of course, this is just my opinion, so why not check out the other bloggers who have shared reviews this week? Here's the full list of blogs that have shared reviews so far:
15-Aug - Nancy Zieman's blog
16-Aug - Whipstitch
17-Aug - Sew Mama Sew
18-Aug - Diary of a Quilter
20-Aug - Amy's Creative Side
22-Aug - Quiltville
23-Aug - Crap I’ve Made
24-Aug - Eileen Roche's blog
25-Aug - I'm Just a Guy Who Quilts
And of course, blog tours like this usually come with something for free! Make sure to hop over to Nancy's blog and leave a comment on her post about the blog tour. Winner will take home over $450 worth of tools and notions so don't miss out!
Now I'm off to jump into the studio for a long weekend of quilting. I have a new quilt on the table I'm absolutely in love with. I promise I'll post photos or a video about it soon!
Let's go quilt,