Are You All Ears When You Sew?

Aside from the whir of your sewing machine, what do you listen to while you sew? Or maybe you even dare to lift your eyes long from your work long enough to watch something…We asked Moda folks how they enhance their sewing time and what they’re working on now. Here’s what they had to say. (And some even shared their holiday decorating!)

Crystal Manning

I listen to a variety of podcasts, occasionally an audio book and love all types of music. A few favorite podcasts are Modern Sewciety, Hello Atelier, and Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.

I just finished a throw that my husband and I are giving to his parents for their 50th wedding Anniversary on December 30th. This is the Cross My Heart pattern available on Amy Butler’s website. I’m also planning to make some table runners and center pieces for gifts as well. [Crystal’s quilt is made from some of her own fabrics and some FQs that she and her husband selected together.]

Kathy Schmitz

I listen to music, music, music!  Anything from Frank Sinatra to Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  I love the smooth jazz too.

Merry Christmas!

Lynne Hagmeier

I haven’t explored podcasts, yet—but it’s on my list. I usually watch The Talk and Ellen in the afternoon and reruns of Law and Order SVU or movies in the evening while I’m sewing. I need quiet while working on the computer or designing. Seems I have a harder time staying focused as I mature. Robert and I watch a variety of shows if I’m hanging out doing handwork. Right now, a lot of happy/sappy Christmas movies. Our small space doesn’t allow for a regular Christmas tree, so I have a pint-sized one tucked into a vintage wagon. We love all the lights on the window ledges amongst natural greenery, berries and pinecones. I try to keep it more winter-y than Christmas-y so we can enjoy it through January.
Just about finished with the last project for Fresh Cut Flowers – a mini charm pillow with our KT Melons and button accents. So fun! 
I’m also working on a quilt for a 2019 book with hundreds of flying geese in all sizes. Totally loving it.

Jane Davidson (QuiltJane)

I listen to all types of podcasts, audio books, netflix  and youtube videos while I sew. Craft, History, Science…..  I’ll listen to it all.

Carrie Nelson

Music, audiobooks, and a few podcasts. It really is mostly music and books. NO, I am not a Netflix person while sewing—way, way WAY too distracting.

Debbie Maddy

When I sew I listen to books on tape. Occasionally I listen to books that are just stories about people’s lives. Ordinary Grace was one of my favorite books this past year. Mostly I listen to murder mysteries. I love James Patterson. I also like Lee Childs and his Jack Reacher series.

Betsy Chutchian

I’ve been sewing a good bit and cleaning the sewing room and listening to Netflix. I’ve never done much with podcasts, and music in the background makes me nervous, don’t know why but always has. I like chatter, with a story I can follow. A Kindle Fire sits by my machine and I love that it’s portable! I can move it with me per task…ironing, cutting, or cooking! Ho ho ho. Merry Christmas. Take time to enjoy the season!

Betsy also shared her holiday decorating: We no longer have a big tree, instead, I decorate 4 smaller trees, 3 more only have lights,  plus a few trees that are plain throughout the house. Here are 3 of them. I love using antique and new quilts  to drape around a tree, hang on the wall, or place on tables.

Linzee McCray 

I enjoy listening to podcasts while I sew. One I really like is Katie Couric’s podcast—she has a great sidekick, a younger guy named Brian Goldsmith and they talk with everyone from Ina Garten and Martha Stewart to top political advisers. I learn a lot. I also like The Crafty Planner, Love to Sew, The Longest Shortest Time (about parenting, even though my kids are grown) and Freakonomics. And Linda B. reminded me in the comments of American Patchwork and Quilting’s podcast, hosted by Moda designer Pat Sloan. How could I forget that? Pat’s such a natural at hosting—so enthusiastic and friendly—and she’s got great guests. 

I listened to that last one while I stitched these last-minute holiday gifts: Soup Bowl Cozies from Lindsay Mayland of Happy Hour Stitches. So cute, and practical, too.

Do you listen to anything while you sew? Or watch something? We’d love it if you shared your suggestions!



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29 comments on “Are You All Ears When You Sew?

  1. Gretchen says:

    I listen to classical music, nothing with words. I have it on low, just loud enough to hear but not be annoying.

  2. Barb Allen says:

    I bring in Pandora stations through my Sonos speaker. I like that I can define my own stations – Relaxation Radio, New Age Beat, Acoustic Guitar, etc.

  3. Little Quiltsong says:

    I listen to audio books – and since I sometimes don’t hear the full story due to my sewing machine hum – I love to listen to them over and over sometimes :)!

  4. Mandy says:

    I like to either have movies I have already seen on in the background, or Pandora stations, and it all depends on what I am working on. If I am working on a project for Christmas or for a Christmas present, I need to have Christmas music or a movie on, even if it is June. Or Halloween music if I am making a fall quilt or decorations. Pandora is great for letting you pick/create your own stations.

  5. Linda B says:

    What a great topic you have brought up! I have made notes of what all you guys are listening to. I cannot have anything visual going…too distracting, unless I am sitting watching something withi DH and maybe doing some handwork. But in my sewing area (or when cooking), it is podcasts or books on tape. Podcasts are the easiest because they go from one to another (especially when you have not listened a while and they pile up!). Ameria’s Patchwork & Quilting is great…nice to hear from so many quilters, then all the political ones (Left Right Center), Gardening (JoeGardener, A Way to Garden), and cooking (Milkstreet with Christopher Kimball). Love everything you do!! Best, Linda B

    • Linzee McCray says:

      Ach! How could I forget our very own Pat Sloan’s All People Quilt podcast? I love to listen to it, too. I will add it above! And thanks for the other suggestions, too.

  6. Mary Lindberg says:

    Audiobooks. I carry my bluetooth speaker back and forth from room to room as I cut, sew, iron, repeat. My husband and I travel with our camper and the miles fly by with a good book to listen to and my EPP projects in my lap.

  7. Pat says:

    I listen to podcasts of Fr. John Riccardo. His inspiring words help me grow in my faith.

  8. Carolyn says:

    I’ve been watching Game of Thrones while sewing lately…I’m on the last episode of Season 5. I try not to watch the show anywhere but my sewing room so it gives me the impetus to get in there and sew!

  9. Kathryn L Casavant says:

    I love books on CD’s.

  10. Marianne says:

    I listen to Classic FM streamed on my iPad. Its a station in London and I enjoy their classical music and love the choral music during the Christmas season. I also enjoy hearing the UK news and weather forecasts for the UK. Haha! I feel like I’m there.

  11. Shirley McIntyre says:

    Well, I have to admit I have a very quite sewing room. I sew and work in total quite! Have always just enjoyed the calm .

  12. amq97 says:

    Always enjoy the posts that share personal tidbits. Quiet usually when I sew, but that is only when retired hubby is running errands. I listen to archived Quilt Cam episodes with Bonnie Hunter of Otherwise you’ll find me listening to NCIS, Turner Classic Movies channel, History Channel, or Dallas Stars hockey; can you tell hubby is home and king of the remote? I don’t watch much since I know most by heart. Allison C Bayer Plano Texas USA

  13. Jennifer Faith says:

    I listen to audiobooks most of the time. I have an account with Audible and find I get more done than when I watch TV while sewing – not looking up and getting distracted all the time. But I do also like to binge shows and movies while I sew. I watch everything from Star Wars to Family Guy – I have very versatile tastes in both books and media. It all depends on my mood!

  14. BJ says:

    I binge watch old tried and true series on Hulu so I don’t have to sneak too many peeks – I know all the voices! I’ve created channels on Pandora to match many moods when I don’t want the visual distractions. Love Bonnie Hunter’s Quilt Cam. I’m just starting to venture into podcasts and there are some great suggestions in the comments here, so thanks! I can do audiobooks if my project isn’t too brain-intensive. Regardless of what I’m listening to or watching, it’s all done via Bluetooth ear buds so it doesn’t disturb the dog .

  15. Sandi says:

    I listen to Christmas music this time of year, but play a mix of all kinds of music on my iPod all year round.

  16. Lois Oberg says:

    If i am working on something that I need to pay attention to, I don’t listen to anything but the whir of my machine (too distracting). When I am chain stitching , I usually have the tv on watch old re-runs. I would love to listen to music, but it’s too hard to keep time to the music and use the foot pedle!!!

  17. Sandi says:

    I either listen to audible books on my tablet or watch Netflix. Hugs,

  18. Kimberly Wilkes says:

    Most of the time I have Hallmark movies on the TV. The plots are
    not too involved and I mostly listen and only look up every once
    in awhile. I also watch Young in the Restless or binge watch/listen to
    TV shows on Netflix.

  19. Sandra Laws says:

    Besides Pandora, I listen to college courses through The Great Courses. I’m learning so much about European and American history (my favorite) or religious history and politics. I’m an old nerd, I suppose, but I love learning…and sewing!

  20. Amber says:

    I listen to music, podcasts, and sometimes have Netflix on. When I want to be productive, it has to be musci, Netflix is very distracting. I did enjoy getting through the seasons of “Glee” which was more about listening than watching. I used to listen to audio books when I did more machine quilting of big quilts. I think I need to do that again, it lets me forget to be tense and just GO.

  21. Sarah Gray says:

    Classic FM from England. I am from England so its fun to hear traffic reports and think ” I know where that is”. Must try the podcasts mentioned here.

  22. Angela J Short says:

    I have the TV or radio on.

  23. Colette says:

    I listen to books via my kindle text to speech app. But I also get library books, and streaming books which all work great.

  24. Laura B says:

    I watch Amazon Video and Netflix and diffuse oils while I sew

  25. AnnieO says:

    Music of different sorts, from rock and roll to bluegrass and smooth jazz, mostly songs with words–I love words! I have not gotten into podcasts mostly because I only have hearing in one ear and I think I’d miss a lot what with moving back and forth to cutting table, sewing machine and ironing board! For the same reason, I seldom do any handwork that needs concentration if watching TV or a movie, it jus t gets worked on during the commercials 🙂

  26. Oh dear. I listen to…music from the Witcher 3 video game that people loved so much they put it on Youtube for an hour at a time. Thank you to those wonderful people who are even more nerdy than I am and spent hours collecting that beautiful music so I don’t have to load up an XBOX, load the game, and get the silly character to specific spots in the game so I can listen to the music and sew in peace.

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