Thursday, February 13, 2014

Seams Unlikely by Nancy Zieman: a book review

I was so happy when I heard Nancy (of Sewing with Nancy and Nancy's Notions fame) had written an autobiography!  And even more so when they asked me if I would mind reading it and being part of her book tour!

At the end of my post is a list of the other bloggers writing about the book and instructions on entering a giveaway to win your own copy!

I was expecting a book mostly about her business and how it came about - but was genuinely happy, pleased and touched and the personal stories she shared and the candor in which she discussed the bell's palsy she had as a young child and how it did and more importantly DIDN'T affect her ability to work hard and succeed.

I'm finding it difficult to put into words how the book touched me - so I thought I would just write Nancy a letter - and let you read it.

Dear Nancy,

I wanted to thank you for sharing your heart and behind the scenes parts of your life with me.  I know we do not know each other personally, but so many of the things you shared about your life I feel like I can relate to!

I love hearing about your farm life upbringing.  My husband and I have talked often about the ideal life consisting of  hard and rewarding work of a more rural life. A life that would hopefully instill those same values in our children.  Having a close family and working along side each other to succeed as a family is something that is harder to do these days. I loved seeing how the roots you came from - hard working, loving, and practical parents - taught you to be the same way.

I love to cook and have always felt like it just an another expression of my creative self - so when I saw recipes scattered throughout the book I was so excited!  We're getting snowed in this weekend and I really want to try the Maple Pecan Ring!! I'm not sure I could sell my family on oyster stew - but who knows maybe I'll try it - I do have some Scandinavian blood in me after all. I also want to get my kids involved in 4-H now!

When I read that you worked at Minnesota Fabrics I was so surprised!  Since they were bought out no one I ever talk to knows who I am talking about when I tell them I worked there in High School!  Our nearest store was right around the corner from my piano teacher and my mom would go there while I was at my lesson.  I remember the day my mom talked to one of the managers about hiring me.  I was a junior in high school I think.  I worked there for about 2 years and expanded my garment sewing abilities sewing model garments - which would hang in the store on display for several months.  What's funny when I think back on it is how my mom usually had her hand in finishing them or doing the hard parts for me! I feel a little sheepish about that.  I have great memories of cutting fabric and helping customers with their projects and ideas.

Speaking of my mom - I remember around the same time watching a little sewing program on our newly acquired cable service called - yep! Sewing with Nancy!  I'm sure that those first years of your show were the ones that I would watch with my mom on Saturday mornings!  I was thinking about it, and those instructional local cable TV shows were kind of like the early bloggers who write up tutorials - you've been doing this for a while now and have successfully transitioned to every new type of media sharing possible! I think it's awesome.  And incidentally I now want to go back and watch every single episode. :)

I think the thing that was impressed on me over and over as I read was how your positive outlook, faith and hard work are really what make you who you are.  I loved what you said after talking about your multiple knee surgeries:
"I began to view myself differently.  Bell's palsy, patched knees, whatever the problem - They are only a facade, a matter of packaging.  I came to realize that those things are not who I am."
We all have challenges in life and I think choosing to learn from them and not letting them define us is such an important lesson to learn.  I've had my own share life-defining experiences and it's a good reminder to me to not let them hold me back.

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful story! I know I'm not the only reader who will feel a connection with you because of your experiences.  You are a wonderful teacher, motivator and example of following your passion.

With admiration,

For a chance to win one of 20 copies of the book, visit Nancy's Feb. 4 blog post and see some great photos and leave a comment to win!

The following is a list of everyone participating in the blog tour:
February 4          Nancy Zieman 
February 5          Eileen Roche
February 5          Pat Sloan
February 6          Melissa Stramel
February 6          The Long Ladies
February 6          Tori Thompson
February 7          Amy Barickman
February 7          Melissa Mora
February 8          Shari Butler
February 8          Vicki Christensen
February 9          Carolina Moore
February 9          Kate Mclvor
February 10          Amy Ellis
February 10          Melissa Mortenson
February 11          Ilene Miller
February 11          Liz Hicks
February 11          Rachael Pannepacker
February 12          Bill Gardner
February 12          Elizabeth Evans
February 13          Amy Webb 
February 13          Lindsay Wilkes
February 14          Gertie Hirsch
February 14          Veronica Philips
February 15          Jenny Gabriel
February 15          Laura Wasilowski
February 16          Frieda Anderson
February 16          Rita Farro
February 17          Cindy Cloward
February 17          Joan Hawley
February 17          Patty Young
February 18          Nancy Zieman

Visit for more details about the book!

6 crafty mcCrafters commented:

Katy Cameron said...

Although Nancy doesn't have the same fame over here (although I have seen some of her notions over here), it does sounds like an interesting book :o)

Amy's Crafty Shenanigans said...

That is so lovely :) This book is definitely on my 'must-get' list!

Marcia R. said...

What a sweet post!

Laine said...

This book sounds very interesting. Hoping I win a copy to read.

Shirley in Canada said...

A story I really must read!!

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks for this review, Amy! I'm going to look for this one at the book store. I love biographies and it sounds like Nancy's is very inspirational.

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