How Has Technology Changed Your Sewing or Quilting?

How has technology changed your sewing or quilting? Nancy Zieman Blog

How Has Technology Changed Your Sewing or Quilting?

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How has technology changed your sewing or quilting? Nancy Zieman Blog

Earlier this month I asked via Facebook and Pinterest, How has technology changed your sewing or quilting? Many of the responses were somewhat expected, others gave me time to pause. My staff and I chose several of the responses to share, plus a spotlight on one of my followers.

Below, be sure to check out the Share Your Insight for March question, and if you’d like, submit a response. Enjoy!

How has technology changed your sewing or quilting?

Here’s what you are saying:

A Common Theme

There is so much information available through classes, blogs, and tutorials. You will always find an answer, no matter what your question might be. I love all the new techniques you can find from other quilters. Most important is the inspiration to try something beyond my current skill level.—Sheila Wilton, London Ontario

The Wheel Makes a Difference

I feel like the one thing that has changed my sewing and quilting is the rotary cutter. I know that is a very simple tool, but what a difference it has made in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I could never give up my trusted scissors!—Donna McAfee, Charlotte NC

Get on Your Thinking Cap

Technology has made me rethink everything I do and be more creative.—Carolyn Rummer, McConnelsville OH

More Surfing than Quilting—But No Regrets

I used to have piles of magazines and patterns. If I wanted to learn a new technique, I had to visit quilters in person. Now, I can download patterns, see YouTube quilt shortcuts, visit with other quilters in seconds on Facebook or by email, download embroidery designs, and find how to fix my machine problems instantly on my computer. I probably could be doing more quilting than surfing the Internet, but I don’t want to give up my computer.—Va, Carrolton MO

Is Technology all That’s It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Electronics and technology have automated the creative process in many ways. But with that technology, have we have lost some of the simplicity and the ability to be happy with the basics? How many people can do by hand what a technology-assisted machine can do? How many people who have embroidery machines can embroider by hand? How many can draw out a design on paper and take the paper design to a finished project without technology? I think we need to ensure that we don’t forget the basic steps and concepts that were the foundation for technology improvements.—Sondra Reierson, Ogdensburg WI

Technology Sparks a Challenge

Indeed technology has changed my quilting especially since I do not do much regular sewing any more. For instance I first learned about free motion quilting via the Internet and YouTube. I learned to be a fairly good quilter. Following blogs sparked a new interest in many new ideas and challenged me in areas such as designing using EQ.—Ann Bowman, Cambridge Ontario

Templates to the Rescue

Laser cut templates have changed my quilting. I struggle with the cardboard cutout ones and have nearly sliced my thumb off. The acrylic templates such as Perspex, stopped me from doing this.—Lorraine Field, Frankston South Victoria, Australia

Sharing Gives Vision

Faster! Thanks to talented sewers who share their beautiful creations, I can imagine what my project may look like rather than second-guessing myself and losing time trying to decide on key design issues. Viewing what others have created is inspiring! Many thanks to all who share!—Gayle Johnson, Grand Haven, MI

It’s a Small World After All

For me, the technology that has changed my sewing habits the most is the Internet. As a young girl/adult I loved sewing, but back then I was limited by the range of products (notions, fabrics) and area shops, magazines or books you could find in the library. Some 30 years later I was watching Great British Sewing Bee on TV and got inspired to start again. I was hooked! I love sewing clothes and through the Internet found inspiration, ideas, new techniques, as well as learning opportunities.

Because the Internet is truly worldwide, we are no longer limited to our own areas but can watch shows such as Sewing With Nancy or Quilt in a Day even if we don’t live in the US. Through shows like this, I discovered quilting, which I had never tried before, and making my own handbags, something I never thought was even possible. Every day I search the web, follow inspiring teachers, and watch videos and tutorials. The Internet also allows me to find out about products and to order them from all over.—Cecilia Nilsson, Rijnsburg, Nederland

Share Your Skills and Pride

Technology is fantastic; I love living in this age. The Internet has opened my world to sewing knowledge, sharing my joy, buying products to improve my work, communicating with like-minded people and thereby learning, admiring, goal changing, and constantly being able to find inspiration.

No matter where you are in the world or how isolated or housebound you are; you can be part of a worldwide community of crafts-people with whom you can share your skills, your pride in your product, and your joy. I have always wanted to share how much I love how technology has improved our world. I started sewing with a Singer pedal machine at eight years old and now at 66, have whizz bang machines I thoroughly enjoy, as do many of us.—Marija Fickling, Onkaparinga Hills, South Africa

Note From Nancy: 

Reading through the submitted insights, I couldn’t help but stop and marvel that Sewing With Nancy inspires Cecilia in the Netherlands and Marija in Onkaparinga Hills South Australia. My curiosity caused me to do a quick Internet search to find that Rijnsburg, which means Rhine’s Burg in Dutch, is in the province of South Holland and has a population of 15,297 and Onkaparingoa Hills has a population of 2693. The name Onkaparinga is derived from the Kaurna word ngankiparrinnga, meaning ‘The Women’s River’.

The next time I’m recording SWN shows in the studio in Madison, WI, I’ll be thinking about Cecilia ad Marija and others watching and sharing from our small world.

February Reader Spotlight:

Beth Kronlund’s Answer

Technology has given me access to information (How do I change the tension on my Pfaff QE2?), or to classes on sites like Craftsy, and to shopping on fabric and sewing sites. Because I don’t have more than a couple of friends who sew, having access to Facebook sewing groups allows me to feel like I’m not a lonely sewer/quilter!—Beth, Longmeadow, MA

About Beth:

While my mother was a lifelong sewer of clothing and home dec, I am actually still a learner as far as sewing is concerned. When my time as a leader for our third son’s Cub Scout den ended, I treated myself to a beginner quilting class. Once I had the basics under control, I attended my first quilting retreat —then there was no turning back. I was hooked!
What is your best sewing skill? Being willing to try new things—products, fabrics, techniques. I love to learn!
What sewing tool could I not live without? A back-up sewing machine, is my first choice. There is nothing worse than withdrawal symptoms when my beloved Pfaff is in the shop for maintenance. My second choice would be my Clover Press Perfect by Joan Hawley. I love it for the precision it allows me (and how it saves my fingers from my iron!).
What’s my adventuresome sewing project? Bags are what I pick when I want to add some adventure to my sewing life. I knit and have lots of knitting friends, and we’re never without need for a new project bag! I’m busy learning about different kinds of interfacings, and am planning to get Nancy’s Hobo Bag pattern soon.

Share Your Insight Question for March

Nancy Zieman's blog/Share Your Insight

March Question: What sewing or quilting project are you most proud of?

Submit your answer by March 19, using the form below, to be considered for our March Reader Spotlight.

Disclaimer: We may contact you to verify your answer. Your contact information will not be used for any other reason. Your submission to Nancy Zieman Productions, LLC, including contact information, gives us the right to modify, use, distribute, reproduce, publish and display the submission indefinitely in all media, means, and forms without any payment to you. You hereby represent that you haven’t copied the content from a book, magazine, newspaper, or other commercial source.

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Nancy Zieman The Blog

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  • peaceful
    February 27, 2016

    I always thought of sewing as pretty straight forward with rules and no deviations. I went from a no sew person to a hand quilter to machine quilting. I have an older embroidery Baby Lock machine. I have considered purchasing one of the fabulous new machines. But my machine does everything I need it to do. I have been amazed at the constant developments in sewing/quilting. Pretty mind blowing.
    I agree with Sondra. While it is great to see all the wonderful machine quilted quilts I do feel we have lost some of the non-competitive simplicity of our roots.

  • peaceful
    February 27, 2016

    …another thing technology has done is connect quilters by organizations that list quilt guilds and shows. When I started quilting the only shows were in churches. I was thankful for those but they had limited ability to display the quilts in the pews of the church.

  • Helen Stewart
    February 27, 2016

    I love having access to the many quilting programs on the internet. The only downside to that is that I can’t get as many quilts done as I want to make!

  • Harriet wetherell
    February 28, 2016

    Sewing many years on a forty nine dollar Kenmore for children and home but learning to quilt with church group for others has been a true joy and use of my gifts. I now can make lap size quilts completely and my group gave out over two thousand already…use the computer as a teaching tool and credit Nancy with my desire to know more.

  • Lorij
    March 3, 2016

    I learned to sew on a Singer treadle machine. In later years my mother had a motor put on it. I’m self taught and have been sewing for 60 years.
    I’m proud and thankful that even though sometimes when I made something although it may not have turned out right I didn’t give up or stop.I’d ask someone and read everything I could find on the subject and try again until I had it right. I’ve been told that I’m an awesome seamstress but there are many things that I am still learning to do. I have watched your show from the start and have been to your store in Wisconsin many years ago. I admire all of your accomplishments and the way you encourage others. So happy that you are better.

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