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from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

I’m writing from America’s Favorite Sewing Room in Beaver Dam, WI. I’ve been here for a few days taping with Nancy Zieman and I must say… it’s been a blast! We taped the instructional DVD for my next book, Machine Embroidered Quilting and Applique. I’ve been working on the projects since February and it’s been an amazing process. I think many of you know how much I enjoy the Stipple! Collections. This book focuses on that technique but takes it to a much deeper level. The book and the DVD gave me ample opportunity to teach readers how to do this technique. Designing, stitching and finishing the projects have been a great adventure.

And there’s nothing more rewarding than teaching Nancy Zieman a new technique. I’m bragging here when I tell you she loved the technique – the process of layering stitches, applique fabrics and the quick finish of reversible piecing. I tell myself that if Nancy likes it then I’m really on to something!

When the book and DVD are released in spring, 2011, you’ll see the results of months of work. I’m sure it will look easy but behind the scenes is impressive too. Once I arrived in Beaver Dam, my bags poured out their contents like sand spilling from a bucket…bags of step-outs, fabrics, trims, batting, and the like. And oh what a mess it made in Nancy’s beautiful conference room on Tuesday. Just picture Christmas morning…but in reverse. You wake to opened Christmas presents, strewn wrappings and trimmings and then put it all back together. That’s what creating a DVD is like. You have pieces all over the place, in many different stages of progress and you have to wrap it all it up into one pretty little package. It takes an army – oh that’s right, we don’t have an army! So it takes a lot of work from a few people to make it all happen!

In the midst there are fun times and quaint touches…like seeing the corn in Beaver Dam at its highest in years, eating grilled corn in Nancy’s backyard, enjoying home-grown tomatoes and cucumbers at lunchtime, singing happy birthday to the director at lunchtime and having a burger by the lake at dusk. The sheer joy of working with someone you really respect and cherish as a friend. I am blessed in so many ways. What a fun week – can’t wait to share the projects with you!


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  • Kae Voirol

    I like books with the whole project and a CD included even if I have to pay extra but at least when I want to do the project I have all the necessary equipment other then the material and for sure have plenty of that. Keep up the Great work Kaee Voirol

  • Cindy Jordan

    Dear Eleen,
    My favorite books are those with project ideas. I have virtually 10 Giga-bytes of embroidery patterns that I know I will never use all of them in 1 lifetime, but I seem to have a problem deciding how I can use them. I started enjoying in-the-hoop designs because there was no sewing but now I am venturing out into sewing (with most people it is probably just the other way around) and I just don’t have a clue sometime on what to make, and how to arrange the design on the project.
    Thank you,
    Cindy Jordan in the “sizzling hot Redneck Riviera”

  • Barb

    I like books with information and projects. I’m a visual learner and I love to make a project as I go along. Usually by the time I read the instructions, I am anxious to try it out so projects are perfect! Barb

  • Bev Passwaters

    I love the books that have patterns or designs but also have some tutorials. Love it when a DVD comes with them. These types of books with DVDs are like peanuts I can’t get enough of them. I learn so much and what I learn I love to pass on to friends and especially to those who are just learning about quilting and embroidery.

  • Enis Blizman

    Oh, I’m so bad when it comes to books. As a matter of fact, I just bought 10 new books two weeks ago. And was so excited to get them already. I love project books, technique books, quilt, sewing, applique, embroidery, embellishment books. You name it, I love it.

    • eileen

      You bought 10 books at one time? I love it! I’m exhaling a huge sigh of relief because I’m often embarrassed at I how shamelessly purchase books and magazines! I devour books, can’t get enough of them. And I have a visual memory. I can ‘see’ the page when I’m trying to remember a certain project or technique. That’s quite a talent but doesn’t help you at all if you can’t remember where the book is stashed!

  • Betsy

    Quilting and machine embroidery are my passions. I’m pretty new to both so I depend on all kinds of instructional and project books to keep the ideas/creativity flowing. They are also my pleasure reading books that I take with me wherever I go. I never tire of re-reading them and dreaming of my next project. DVD’s, when included, are great because they make a new concept/process easier to understand for us newbies.

  • Penny Kitzmiller

    I love any sewing book. I love to learn new techniques and new up to date sewing methods. With books you can look at it over and over again and grab it when needing something fast to make. Books are my #1 inspiration.
    I wish I could have been there with you two while filming 🙁

  • Gail Beam

    I am a sewing bookaholic. I love to learn about any kind of sewing technique, especially new and unique shortcuts. I collect sewing feet for my machine and books help me to figure out all of the different applications that they can be used for. DVDs are wonderful when they come with a book, as they add another dimension to the learning process.

  • Kitty

    I enjoy most any book having to do with needlework – altho I seldom do hand work anymore. There are so many new things being developed to do with a sewing/embroidery machine it makes my old head spin! And you are one of the best!

  • Anne

    Books with projects, including tutorials and information on the techniques used in the projects, are the best! Then if you’ve never done that technique before, you know the how’s and why’s when you start, therefor less likely to make mistakes and more likely to have a good end result. If the book includes a cd with the designs, that’s a bonus so you don’t have to go looking for the designs.

  • Ingrid

    Hi, my passion is quilting but also machine embroidery. Since i have a new Husq.Viking RUBY (just a few days now) i can do more and bigger embroidery designs. And thats why i really think of getting a subscribtion on a magazine. But a book with all designs and tips and tricks and even a CD to go with it.. have to have that to…..mmmm…. Im looking forward to it !!

  • Carolynn

    I love project & how to books. Since most of us are pressed for time these books along with cd/dvd make learning new techniques a breeze! I have my first granchild on the way & can’t wait. I just don’t know where to begin sometimes, so your magazine & books have always been a great inspiration.

  • Angela

    I love to get inspired by good books on new sewing and quilting techniques, with lots of samples and good instructions. I have quite a library of your magazines because they never get outdated and are always a great reference when starting a new project. I can hardly wait to see the new one – can one ever have too many books?

    • eileen

      No, Angela, one can never have too many books! There is nothing like kick-starting your creativity with inspirational how-to books!

  • Ruth

    I have a library of various instructional quilting books. Now that I am a senior I find books with projects are more effective as my memory needs upgrade. I can hardly wait for your DVD & book to come out spring 2011.

  • Karen Trott

    I like both types of books. If the book is only instructional, I would like to really advanced instructions. There are dozens of books with ‘the basics’ and so few on more advanced embroidery work.
    I would love to have one of your stipple designs. You get outstanding kudos for this simple, ever so cleaver product. It was sort of a ‘that’s so simple, why didn’t I think of that,’ only you did think of it and do it.

    • eileen

      Thanks for your kind words, Karen. Interesting, Stipple was created on an April Saturday morning at my home. It was such a beautiful morning that I took my embroidery machine outside, by the pool (in a shaded area) to work. And I just kinda tinkered with the idea until it bloomed. It’s a very fond memory!

  • Phyllis F

    I have many of your books. I like the ones with projects and designs.

  • Kathy Harrison


    Looks like you had fun in Beaver Dam; I’m sure it was a whole lot cooler than it has been n TX!

    Like so many people who sew, quilt or machine embroider, I am a visual learner so I really enjoy books that have great information along with projects. I really like it when a new or updated technique is photographed step-by-step. I can’t tell you how many projects I have started only to stumble on what is an “easy” step, but the instructions are often lacking. Seeing a picture immediately answers any questions I have.


  • Janice Murry

    First I want to thank you for the coupon that I won a few blogs ago. I used it to purchas the Embroidery Tool Kit that I had been wanting. It arrived yesterday and I know that it is going to be so helpful when I start my Christmas gift sewing. Thank you so much.

    I envy you being able to spend the time with Nancy. I have watcher so many shows that you have been on with her. You both are such an inspiration to all of us.

    The books that I really benefit most from are the ones with projects that include the DVD. I think that projects and information should go hand in hand so any extra tips that are included are very helpful. Most sewers are always looking for the most productive way of completing any project since time is so valuable.

    I love your books and the Stippling is a most unique idea that has proven to be a real time saver. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • Susan Spiers

    I like books with lots of projects & the instructions to go with them! (pics are great!) Some of these books have tips as a little note in one of the corners or in the margins. Tips that reference the project page or just in general are fun & helpful – luv these!

  • Pat Snyder

    I am looking forward to your event in San Marcos in September.

    I would like to know if I could participate in the event. I do the blog at called The Avid Embroiderer.

    I love working directly with people as well. I would be interested in doing something like, computer tips or a demonstration of cutwork. I am flexible and want to be a part of this terrific event.


    • Mary Ellen Proscia

      Hi Pat,
      I live in San Antonio and will be seeing Eileen in September, but at Creative Sewing Center in SA. Really looking forward to the 2 days.
      Mary Ellen

  • Mary Ellen Proscia

    Books…..such an addiction ! Love books with projects and great directions. If templates are given in a book, please have them in the size required, don’t make me figure out how to use the enlarge function on my copier!! I’m enjoying books that now come with a CD. Finding a few tips on techniques is great to find in a book too. Looking forward to spring for your new book to add to the collection.

  • Cheryl

    Hi Eileen,

    Oh my goodness, I love books. Since, I am self taught from books, great tips and how to’s are a must. But, we are all visual people in this embroidery, quiling, sewing world, so the more great photographs to illustrate a tecnique the better. At this point in my sewing, I would look for project books, rather than how to book. However, a project will have new techniques, so the great tips and photographs are still very important. Let me also add, an outstanding cover is the only thing that will get my attention over the competing books.


  • Katrina

    I love books with projects. I also have a quilting how to book that is informational that I LOVE!

  • Sandi Brust

    I purchased your Stipple program in January in St.Louis. I am currently using it to complete a Wizard of Oz quilt for my cousin. I will send you pictures as soon as I am finished.

    Sandi Brust

  • Cathy

    I like books with projects…ones that demonstrate a technique with a project from beginning to end. But, I also like them short because I like LOTS of projects! 🙂

  • Julie

    I love working on new projects. Any book with detailed (very finely) instructions with pictures, using a technique I have never used sits in my “Favorites” collection. I am still looking for the perfect instructions for making a mitered corner on a quilt.

  • Claudia Wade

    It’s hard for me to decide which I love best…books with projects or books with just ideas. I guess I have to say that sometimes I’m in the mood for one, and sometimes I’m in the mood for the other kind. So I have a ton of books. I guess overall I’d have to say project type books are my favorite because although I know how to do a lot of techniques in sewing, embroidery and quilting, it’s hard for me to come up with the projects to use them. It’s helpful for someone else to design the project, then I can modify it as needed for my own use.

  • Rhonda Gillette

    I am a bookaholic – lol. Anything with designs, inspiration , references, tips and instructions. I love to quilt and embroider both and usually will combine them into my projects. Love to add this to my library. Thanks for the contest.

  • Pat Snyder

    You know, even the responses are so very inspiring. I have admired your work for some time, and really enjoying every new idea you have.

    This stippling will be one of your finest ideas!


  • Nancy Hunter

    I purchased the butterfly stipple and love it. I am doing all of them and then will decide what I want to do with them. I presented them at ASG neighborhood meeting and they also loved them.

    As for what we like, keep it all up. If I had to choose, it would be instructional videos.

  • Nancy Hunter

    When will you have a program in Dallas/Fort Worth area similar to the one you are having in September in San Antonio? I really would love to go to one.

  • eileen

    Hi Nancy,
    I don’t have an event scheduled in Dallas at this time. Maybe you should consider joining us in San Antonio!

  • Jean Beckstrom

    I like books with projects, because they inspire me. I often change them or do something very different because of inspiration. I also like books with lots of information so that I keep on learning. That is what keeps me going.

  • Sandra Fidler

    I like books with both projects and information: I like the projects for inspiration and the information to help me make the projects, including information on threads, stabilizer for emb., ect., and lots of tips and tecniques:

  • CeCelia

    Hi Eileen,
    My favorites would be books that offer new techniques with projects and patterns so we can try for ourselves.
    You’re stippling products are great. I also have a few of your embroidery quilting project books. I en joy so many aspects of quilting using any and all ideas. I guess I am out side the box thinker.
    I hope I’m lucky enough to win.
    Thanks for your inspiration,

  • Erika Sews-it-all

    Hi Eileen! We think your blog is great and we want to share it with other stitchers on! We’re featuring your blog next week right on the front page – please contact me with any questions – Erika

  • Deb

    I have learned most of what I know about embroidery from books. I like combination books or info & projects can be separate. I love to learn new things or new ways to do past ideas. I have learned a lot from the Designs mag & appreciate the projects in it.

  • Judy Covert

    I love all sewing books, it’s easier to learn if the instructions come with a pattern/ project- “hands on” stays with me longer! I have 6 Granddaughters that love when Gramma sews with them and for them, sometimes I need to be “inspired” because whatever the project is…I need six different ones!
    Thanks for your help in inspiring me!!

  • Mitzi

    I’m probably a minority, but I prefer books and videos that focus on techniques independent from specific projects – that way I can learn how to do something without worrying about whether it comes out quite “right” and the pressure of incorporating it into a project that often goes unfinished.

  • Peggy

    I most enjoy projects and then I am able to take it and make it my own. I also enjoy the step by step instructions for software. Since most have the same features I find that I am able to learn new techniques, iregardless of the software that is featured. Will be looking forward to your new book that will be out in the spring.

  • Judy

    I love books that are both informative and have projects that help you learn the new techniques the book offers. I am very much a hands on person. I can read the directions but I have to try to do it to really get it. I loved reading about your week of taping. What a wonderful gift of friendship you have when you can share with your friends. Blessings

  • Paule-Marie

    I like informational with some project information. I don’t claim to be an expert, I am pretty good at quilting and sewing. the machine embroidery is coming along. So my final answer is instruction books with lots of pictures and detail.

  • Judy Inhoff

    I like books that have projects, patterns and information. I like new techniques and new tools on the market. Thanks for a chance to win.

  • Anna-Marie

    I love books, any thing that looks like sewing projects in all segments as dressmaking, quilting, decor, embroidery. I buy them, keeping it to make all someday, maybe when I sit in oldage home. Thanks for all projects.

  • Nancy Hunter

    Hi Eileen.

    After your suggestion to come to San Antonio, I am coming! I can hardly wait, I am so excited to come. Also, my two favorite embroidery instructors will be there, you and your sister. I am also excited about the upcoming episodes with Nancy Z. Keep up the excellent work, Eileen.

  • Jean Cardinal

    One can never have too many books, but one can surely have too little space to store them. Ask me how I know.

    My favorite books are Quilting, Applique, embroidering, crochet, coloring books (for the wonderful applique ideas), pattern and technique books. Now you can see why I have too little storage space.

    I also love audio books to listen to while sewing, etc., mysteries and science fiction books.

    All of these have to go somewhere in my house! Once I tried to give some of my books away to make more space. Didn’t work too well. I didn’t want to part with many of them, well, maybe some of the audio and reading books, but not the emb., etc. ones. Maybe we should just buy a bigger house or build on a large room.

  • Cheryl Greenleaf

    For over 8 years I’ve been trying to get up the courage to start quilting. I have bought tons of books & magazines, tools that I don’t even know how to use but had to have and fabric, oh so much fabric. Actually I’m still stuck at the rotary cutting the fabric stage but I digress.

    After having paged through all of the books and magazines I own (numerous times for most of them) I decided that I would not purchase another book that was primarily comprised of patterns or anything to do with the dreaded “A Word” (applique).

    So to answer your question… these days I only buy technique books and pray that I understand them.

  • Tawny

    Hello Mary! I’m sorry but I don’t know what Residence Halls are!I’ve nevere stayed there!Anyway, I think Italy is beautiful in every corner!But here in the zone of Macerata there are a lot of places which you can admire!A lot of beautiful small villages on the hills and, naturally, our town Civatanovi!Furthermore,people are friendly and there are lots of students in Macerata.I think you will have a good time here!See you soon, Veronica

  • http://www./

    Hey Jerry, is it just me or does anyone else think the leak is coming from a certain AD who should be sent packing back to the mid-major school he came from? There is no way this gets leaked unless it’s an inside job!

  • http://www./

    Ah, merci. Comme c’est la seule série que je lis en France j’évite de m’informer des développements US. Donc si dans celui-ci on a le numéro 100, encore 2 albums maxi. Ils en sont où aux US ?

  • http://www./

    ohhh sweet! that is surely something to look forward to, thanks for the heads up. i'll make sure to swing by and enjoy a few meals before they close their doors, for now. cheers!chris