Sewing with Nancy-A Behind the Scenes Laugh

Nancy Zieman, Lori KennedyGood Morning, Quilters!

By now many of you have seen my episodes of Sewing with Nancy on your public television station.  (Also available FREE from Nancy here:

Part One HERE

 Part Two HERE

If you have seen the shows, I think you will appreciate this story.
Nancy Zieman, Lori KennedyA little background…

My daughter, Faye and I traveled to Beaver Dam last February for filming two episodes of Sewing with Nancy.  After spending a preparation day at Nancy’s office in Beaver Dam, we travelled to the PBS station in Madison, Wisconsin for filming.  The day started with a little “hair and makeup” then we moved to the studio.  Nancy explained a few things and we started–no rehearsal.

I was a little nervous…whenever (on the very rare occasions when) I am sitting across from someone I admire greatly and I have five cameras pointing at me, I get a little nervous…

Not bad nerves, but a definite surge of adrenalin…

YOU get the picture.

We started at the coffee table for a little on-camera conversation.  (Sure, just two BFFs chatting over coffee!?)

Then we moved to the sewing machine where I definitely felt more confident and comfortable.

Nancy showed a few quilt samples and then it was my turn.

I started by talking about the importance of doodling.  Then I demonstrated doodling…


Oh dear!

(Surge of more adrenalin)

From the control room….“We can’t see the doodles.  Lori’s hand is in the way”

After several minutes of adjustments, the solution was that I needed to hold up a clipboard with my left hand and hold the pencil at the eraser end with my right hand.  And I had to rotate my right hand up while I doodled. (Okay,sure, whatever helps…)

On 3-2-1…”

So I launched back into my spiel and started doodling…

Now my little nervousness at the eraser end of the pencil looked like seismic tremors at the business end!!!

My doodles were a shaky mess!

Is anyone gonna call CUT????  Please!???

But no one did…so I continued…

You will notice if you doodle long enough your lines will get smoother”  (and my doodles did get smoother–a bit)

(I hope this gets edited!!!)

Seismic tremors were not cut from the final edit…

Sometimes, you just have to laugh!

Nancy Zieman, Lori Kennedy


To add to the hilarity, Faye was up in the control room with quilt designer, Paul Leger from Paul Leger Quilts who was also filming that day.  After I finished stitching the segment, he leaned over to Faye and said “Wow, your Mom is a lot better quilter than she is a doodler!” LOLOLOLOL!

I find a sense of humor really helps in these moments!

What about YOU?

Have YOU had an embarrassing moment lately?

(Was it on film?!)

How did YOU handle it?  Laugh? Cringe? Cry? All of the above?

We’d LOVE to hear!

LOLOLing Lori

PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!









40 thoughts on “Sewing with Nancy-A Behind the Scenes Laugh

  1. Lori I watched that first segment and yes, I did notice that your hands were trembling just a tidge but only in the beginning. I chuckled a little bit and smiled to realize that you are human and nervous at times also. The clipboard would not have been visible if it had been me holding it in those circumstances. You did really well and were graceful through it all, I thought, under the circumstances.

  2. The stress of putting a king through my domestic machine this week just about did me in a time or two. I did it in 3 sections, but putting it together was more weight that I could often handle. Doing one more for another daughter-in-law and then I will be thankful to just do a queen or a table runner. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR ALL YOUR INSPIRATION. It is times like this when I realllly want to be a long armer, but for now I will be content to just continue to learn and be thankful for what I can do with guidance from you and other generous quilters on u tube & crafty classes. Happy Day. I don’t always comment, but check your site daily!!

    • Thank you for sharing today. You proved one thing–though it is challenging to quilt a king on a domestic machine it can be done! Congratulations on your achievement!

  3. I saw the segment too Lori and enjoyed the fact that it showed you as one of the girls. I can’t even imagine how my hand would have shook if I would have been in your position. Anyone would have felt the same way. You did a great job. I admire your work so much. You make quilting more fun and have taught me how to do things I never would have been able to do without your tips. Doodling is one of the smartest things I’ve learned. It really works. I love the quilting 123 you put out. Thanks Lori…Beth

  4. OMG, I cannot imagine how nervous I would be. You were like an old pro at it. And I learned sooo much from those episodes. Just finishing a baby quilt where I did the fish all around the border and sashing, and wrote Welcome to the world in a couple prominent places…in contrasting thread! The quilt has Message in a Bottle fabric squares, along with a couple where I did a FMQ scene. All inspired by you! Thank you so much. Wish there was a place I could post a picture. Came out very fun! I feel much more confident in my FMQ since completing! Want to do something with the sailboats soon! Thanks again, Lori

  5. I do remember when I was in the audience of a local TV show, Steve and Sharon were the hosts and I think it was called Twin Cities Live(?). Steve came into the audience for questions to the celebrity that was there, and he chose me and all I could do was point to my daughter who was sitting next to me, I couldn’t even talk! I was frozen! We laugh about it now, but I was traumatized LOL

  6. Hi,
    I noticed your hands were shaking a bit. Everything turned out great.
    I remember when I volunteered and was elected President of my quilt guild. The first meeting when I got up in front of the group, all people I know and chat with, I thought there are 75 people in the room all looking at me that is 160 eyes!!! I immediately stopped looking at the group and looked at my agenda for most of that first meeting. Each meeting it got easier. . .
    Love your quilting!!

  7. First time I watched it I thought “The hand position looks very awkward, who holds their hand like that writing. After seeing you in WI and you explaining it made sense. I found it very helpful to see how the doodling works the muscles before you start.

    You did an awesome job!

  8. I can relate. While teaching quilting to classes I get so nervous!!! I smiled all the way through that segment and thought I am certainly glad my shakiness doesn’t get filmed! You were a trouper and I love the way you teach your doodling.

  9. Lori, we were all right there with you! I remember thinking how nerve-wracking it would be just to speak with Nancy (long time hero), much less be on camera! So proud of your accomplishments and you made us proud.

  10. woohoo! this actually plays in the UK. years ago I bought some of Nancy’s booklets and learned a lot form her books as there wasn’t a chance to see her. now I can. Thank you Lori

  11. I love the clip. Nervous as you were….you persisted! I’m so impressed that you were able to persevere and get into the project. Bravo! I really enjoy following your blog.

  12. I thought you were nervous – unrehearsed too! Nothing like being in at the deep end so no wonder! Well done.
    I get nervous at show and tell – my words and my mouth and my little brain seem to get tangled up and drivel just comes out when I try to sound at least a little bit intelligent – just soooo embarrassing.

  13. When I saw how uneven and shaky your doodles looked, I also remembered how over they years Nancy has always mentioned how difficult it is to work with everything at an odd angle.

    I noticed your doodles got smoother the more you made. It was a great show! Thank you for sharing!

  14. You did a fantastic job! The fact that you were nervous proves you are human as well as a talented quilter and teacher!

  15. You were WONDERFUL! (as always). Who WOULDN’T be a little nervous in front of 5 cameras and with someone as well-known as Nancy? I expect I speak for all your followers saying that we appreciate you fine tutorials and the inspiration you share. God bless and please keep the good stuff coming.

  16. Regarding the embarrassing moment lately – I was on my way to the local JoAnn’s this weekend to buy quilt batting during a pretty heavy rainfall- and drove through a “puddle” – which was apparently a dip in the road and found myself with a car that stalled, water up to door and momentarily frantic. Now I have to put up with the comments from husband, sons and son-in-law – Like when I said, “I didn’t know there was a dip in the road” and my son-in-law said “I am biting my tongue from commenting on the double entendre” and my husband commenting on the pictures that I took “Didn’t you notice the yellow tape around that area?” (The tape was put up AFTER I got stuck!) Aw well, you just have to laugh…We have to appreciate the lessons in humility from Life 🙂

  17. I watched both segments… and loved them… I have come a long way in free motion quilting and you have been a real help and inspiration.. even though I still have a very long way to go to reach your expertise….I bring up you name and blog at every quilt gathering I go to…(Your ears should be constantly burning)… I just told a fellow quilter at our local quilt shop to catch both your episodes and to find you on the internet on Saturday .. Thank you for sharing your talent with me!


  18. All I can say that if I was sitting across from Nancy as you were my hand would be frozen in space from fright. You worked through it and once you were stitching everything calmed down. Great episodes!! Also love Nancy. Watched her for years.
    Thank you Lori for your inspiration and designs.

  19. That is funny. I didn’t have a clue. I was sitting there thinking Lori draws better than that. Oh well won’t pay attention to her doodles. I just need to watch her sew. You didn’t look nervous to me.

  20. I loved the segment I watched and felt it seemed much more doable to see on tv than in written form, Lori. Your work is amazing. The little nervousness you showed only made me feel more comfortable–I shake more than that when I sit down at my machine to practice free motion squiggles. LOL

  21. Congratulations on getting through it with dignity! I still get nervous in front of a crowd…and I’m a high school teacher. Some things become more tolerable but they never actually go away. Thanks so much for all you do. You inspire me daily!

  22. A couple of years ago, I went to a legislative session at our state capital to help pitch something that our university was trying to attain, and they needed all the public comment and support they could get… so I got up, spoke, (and tremors was not the word I would use, rather foot in the mouth was more likely…) as the speech I had prepared, didn’t come out the same way as it was on paper… and as I finished… I looked at the paper, then at my audience and said ‘just let them have it, they really deserve it’, which is not what I really wanted to say, but was really meaning… so nerves do get in the way, and I was never meant to be a public speaker… which is why I give anyone that can do it: CUDOS, which includes you Lori! You did an awesome job and always do with ALL of your tutorials!!!!

  23. I have seen episodes one and two, what inspiration they are. Thank you for the opportunity to see free motion quilting upclose and personal. The squiggly doodles were perfect….we are all human and not perfect so it was great to see the episodes and I am looking forward to number three.

  24. I did notice you nervousness also and felt for you. None of us could have done any better, and your doodles did improve. Being on Sewing with Nancy is an experience of a lifetime so treasure it always.

  25. Loved your presentation on Sewing with Nancy! Your steady hands at the machine – and the ability to explain all the quilting steps while DOING them – certainly overtook any tiny tremor in your doodling. Can’t wait to take your tips and ideas to my next project!

  26. That is funny. I admit when I watched it I thought you must have Parkinson’s! But when you started sewing it was so smooth.

  27. all of the above cause I’m with you all the way!!!!!
    Lori you have taught me so much. Love to watch you sew so graceful and effortless. Most important thing you taught me is to slow down and enjoy!!!!! When you travel to SE Minnesota let me know.

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