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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Listening While I Quilt

I haven't been quilting a whole lot lately.  It is too nice outdoors to be in the basement.  Even though I don't spend a lot of time outdoors, at least I can see it when I'm on the main floor of the house.  In my sewing room, I look up at those small basement windows, and maybe catch a glimpse of sky.

So I'll talk about podcasts.  I love podcasts!  I actually bought my Ipod back in 2006 because I heard that Alex Anderson was starting a podcast.  I missed Simply Quilts - so even though I had no idea what a podcast was, I decided I wanted to listen to hers.

And so, I discovered the wonderful world of podcasts.  If you haven't discovered them yet, I'll tell you about them.  A podcast is like a radio show that is recorded.

In fact, many radio shows ARE recorded as podcasts.  But many are done by amateurs, sitting at their home computers.  You can listen to podcasts on your computer, but it is easiest to download them to ITunes and then transfer them to your MP3 player or smartphone.  You can often go back to episode 1 of the podcast, then just listen to them one by one until you are caught up.

And, best of all, they are all FREE!

I think I've listened to every quilty podcast ever recorded.  You might wonder what a quilter would have to talk about, given that it is a visual medium and this is a non-visual production.  You would be surprised!  Most tell you a bit about what is going on in their lives, but are also able to gab on about quilting for quite a long time.  I have still not become bored!

If you think you might give some a listen, here is some advice.  Listen to 2 or 3 episodes of each before you make a decision whether or not you want to continue.  For the most part, these are done by amateurs, and they don't have professional voices, or scripts.  They might cough, talk to their pets or family members or wander off topic.   When I first listened to podcasts, I could not figure out why anyone would be interested. But, as I continued to listen, I got hooked!  It's like sitting at their kitchen table, having a chat.

Here is the first part of my list.  I've included a link to the podcast website, but if you search the name of the podcast on ITunes, you will find it.

Alex Anderson's Quilt Connection:  Alex started in 2006, as I said, and was quite consistent for a long time.  Then, she started The Quilt Show with Ricky Tims, and stopped 2010.  But, there are still a lot of episodes to listen to.  Alex is professional and her podcasts are scripted and polished.

American Patchwork and Quilting Radio:  This is Pat Sloan's podcast, hosted by the magazine folks.  Pat interviews many of the big names in quilting, often when they have a new book or fabric out.  She is bright and cheerful, and always interested in her guests.  The one beef I have with this podcasts is that it has commercials (for the magazine and for Moda) and the volume on the commercials is way higher than the podcast itself.  I guess that's two beefs.

Annie Smith's Quilting Stash:  This was the first quilting podcast, starting, I believe, in early 2006. Annie has a completely different style from Alex - unscripted and sometimes rambling.  (I happen to like rambling.)  When I first started to listen, I had about 40 episodes to get caught up on, and most lasted about an hour.  I listened to Annie on the way to work and on the way home for several weeks.  Then, all of a sudden, I as all caught up, and had to go through Annie withdrawl!  Annie talks a lot about her family, and sometimes has her family on the show with her.  Her best casts are the ones where she interviews other quilters, sometimes famous quilters.  She is a very natural interviewer and her subjects relax and share all kinds of good information.  Annie has put out only a few episodes in the last couple years, but she keeps promising to do more.  I hope she does.

Bashful British Quilter:  Her podcast is listed on Itunes as BBQ, so might be harder to find.  Only two episodes so far - I'm hoping she does more!

Black Isle Crafts:  Sheila lives in Scotland and is married to a farmer.  She talks about farming, knitting, spinning and quilting.  She has that lovely Scots accent that I can listen to forever.  I wish she would talk more about quilting and less about knitting, but there must be a few out there who listen in for the knitting talk.  (I'm joking - knitters are more fanatical podcast / podcast listeners than quilters, by a long shot!)

Blessed 2 Quilt:  Stephanie is... well, she is a character!  She tells a story, and laughs, with that big laugh of hers, and I just have to laugh too. She is an experienced quilter, but a new longarm owner, so she tells us we will learn along with her on the longarm.

Canadian Quilt Talk:  Brandy Lynn runs a fast paced podcast, in which she interviews well known quilters, reads a quilty story sent in by a listener, provides insight from a quilt judge and offers her comment on a quilty topic.

Crafty Garden Mom:  Tanesha is a quilter, a knitter, a mom and a book buyer.  She talks about all of that.  Strangely enough, despite the title, she doesn't talk about gardening.  I especially enjoy her book reviews - her taste in novels seems to mirror my own.

Fiber and Fabric:  This podcast is mostly about knitting (and now a bit of pottery-making), but Glen does quilt and usually spends some time talking about her latest quilting projects.  She also makes some philosophical comments about crafting that are quite interesting.

Hip to Be a Square:  Pam is a self-professed nerd (an engineer) and a quilter. And can she ever quilt!  She completes one a week - I am not kidding!  So, she always has new projects to talk about.  She also talks about her life and her family - she might make you cry on occasion.  But she'll also make you laugh, and she'll inspire you to get going on your own projects!

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