Gratitude For A Good Teacher. . .
Amid all the events of these weeks, a saddened addition for me was the knowledge that a favorite TV person of mine is retiring due to ill health. For over 30 years Nancy Zieman , (Sewing With Nancy) has been a visitor to my home. I happened onto her program and she became a mentor in sewing for me.
She was a wondrous teacher. Sewing was not a natural talent for me. Everything I did was with effort and sweat. A straight seam was never a reality. I wobbled. I frayed. But I did not give up because of Nancy. With a lifetime of obstacles, she persevered and ended up with a business that gave work to both sides of her family and friends included. How could a crooked seam stop me?
Recovering from the events in my life at that time, I was taught that uniting effort in mind with hand you consume an enormous portion of life. Woodworking was cherished until fraught with carpal tunnel and the thought of lost digits, so the sewing machine became the medium of choice. Nancy showed me how to put together small pieces of fabric to make a something. And that something was not only useful but accepted with gratitude!
Fortunate it was at that time knit fabrics became desirable. I became a proud owner of one of the first sergers. Nancy taught me to use it and I still do. Difficult to thread even now but I learned. I became queen of tee shirts and knit shorts and would never have known the joy of having a daughter say to me ‘we were already late but he threw all the pants out of his dresser and shouted that he wanted the soft pairs that grandma makes!’ And that child was overjoyed when I learned to double line the knees in the knit pants that Nancy taught.
I take pleasure in learning. It is a joyous (sometime) way to live. She was an exceptional teacher. She made the steps easy and I could do them. She said there would be errors but nothing that could not be fixed. She encouraged me to think on my own. She showed how to do something and I took her ideas and ran like the wind. She taught quilting and though after 30 years I am still very primitive in my execution, I love the art. Because she taught me to love the process. She taught me that my effort counted and was felt in the wearing or the looking. How could you not love a teacher who taught that?
My age will put me there first Nancy, but I hope there is a world that we meet. Good teacher that you are, I would be honored. This is a talent that you profoundly fulfilled and I thank you. There are those whose work is undoubtedly professional, but none would match my gratitude for what you taught me in so many ways about my efforts. That is what is priceless.