Tuesday, October 11, 2016

are you listening?

When I was a kid my parents (and nearly every other adult in my life) listened to a lot of talk radio. It was primarily news or sports, and I vividly remember rolling my eyes and thinking, "why would anyone waste their time listening to anything other than music?!"

Fast-forward a few decades and here I am spending a lot of time listening to the 21st century version of talk radio - podcasts.  Have you jumped on the podcast bandwagon yet? If not, what are you waiting for?  There is an unbelievable amount of free listening content on any and every topic you can imagine available to access with your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

I am an iPhone/iPad/iTunes user (so I don't know a lot about Android or other devices) but I believe there are podcast listening apps on most every current technology platform.  If you are an iPhone or iPad user they both already have podcast apps loaded and ready to go.  You can "subscribe" to your favorite podcasts and never have to search for new posts from those channels - they'll automatically update in your podcast app and be waiting for you when you are ready!

Today I'm sharing my favorite sewing, creative, and other podcasts and telling you a little bit about why I like each one.  Maybe some of these will become your favorites!

My top two sewing-related podcasts are Crafty Planner and While She Naps.

The Crafty Planner podcast is hosted by Sandi Hazlewood - "a former city planner who loves all things crafty" living in San Diego, California.  Sandi interviews makers from every sewing and crafting field - quilters, apparel sewers, fabric designers, knitters, and other fiber artists starting each podcast by asking the guest to describe their creative journey.  She produces a high quality program by asking insightful questions and loves to laugh with her guests.

Abby Glassenberg hosts the While She Naps podcast.  Abby is a sewing pattern designer, craft book author, writer, and teacher.  She is also co-founder of the Craft Industry Alliance (CIA), a trade association for craft industry professionals.  Abby interviews all manner of craft and fiber industry people - makers, designers, book publishers, and bloggers as well as executives in the fabric manufacturing industry.  Her interviews are very well researched and have a somewhat journalistic feel (but there is still a lot of laughter!) with a focus on what it takes to build a creative business.  She recently conducted a live podcast interview with Mickey Krueger, president of Windham Fabrics, at the SewPro convention in Chicago.

Some other creative content podcasts that I frequently listen in on:

Seamwork Radio: Sarai Mitnick from Colette Patterns and Seamwork magazine talks to artists, designers, and everyday creators about what sewing brings to their lives and how to take part in the current growing movement to revive the art of sewing.

Good Life Project: a podcast by GLP founder Jonathan Fields who describes GLP as "a global community of people from all walks of life. From artists to entrepreneurs, full-time parents to C-suite execs, students to savants and everything in-between" who are "on a quest to help each other live more meaningful, connected and vital lives".  Recent interviews include Mary Fons and Elizabeth Gilbert.

Because I am an absolute nerd who loves learning about lots of things (not just sewing and quilting!), the following podcasts are also on my list of favorites:

Fresh Air: This podcast from NPR (National Public Radio) features conversations about current events with politicians, journalists, authors, celebrities, and others in the news.  New episodes are published almost daily and provide more in depth content than most TV and print news.  This is my go-to podcast for current events information.

TED Radio Hour: Another NPR podcast, episodes here focus on a single topic and pull content from several previously published TED (Technology, Education, Design) talks.  If you haven't heard of TED talks (where have you been?) leave this post right now and head over to the TED website to learn more about these short powerful talks from TED conferences that cover almost every science, business, and global issue topic.  Some of my recent favorite episodes are " The Case for Optimism" and "Failure is an Option".

HerMoney with Jean Chatzky: Financial expert Jean Chatzky has written for SmartMoney magazine, been the financial editor for the NBC Today show, and authored several books about personal finance.  This podcast is her latest effort to educate people about the difficult subject of money and personal finances in an easy to understand, conversational way.  Her podcast specifically focuses on women and money, but the topics presented apply to everyone.

Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me: A funny weekly news quiz podcast taped in Chicago that features three panelists (usually comedians and humor writers), call-in quiz participants, as well as a celebrity or person in the news.  It's a fun way to review what's happened in our world in the past week.  Sometimes you've just got to laugh about the news, right?!

So that's what I'm listening to most of the time.  This list is truly only a small snippet of what's available out there.  I've sampled many other podcasts, but these are the ones I return to again and again because I find the content valuable and the presenters hold my attention without being annoying or patronizing.  

If you try any of these podcasts please share your thoughts. And I'd love to hear your podcast recommendations - I'm always on the lookout for new ones!


  1. Great post! So glad Shelley put it on the CLMQG FB page. I will give the crafting podcasts a go. I listen to almost anything on NPR, but my absolute favorite is the Moth
    Radio Hour,

  2. I just added some of these to my list!

  3. Gah! I'm afraid I'm still the parent listening to WGN talk radio! Excellent article, Shelley. Looks like more Ted Talks are in my future!

  4. Thanks for this list, Shelly! I already listen to the quilt-y ones - CraftyPlanner, WhileSheNaps, Quiltcast, and American Patchwork and Quilting - and other than a church podcast of sermons, I don't listen to any others. Love that you mentioned NPR and "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me." We thoroughly enjoy that on the radio, so a podcast would have to be good. I appreciate the recommendations.

  5. I love anything NPR too! They are always so informative and geared toward the intelligent listener, which I appreciate. I haven't listened to any of the quilty/crafty ones yet as there are always so many on my list to get to! :)


Thanks so much for stopping by and reading a little bit about me and taking the time to comment! Have a wonderful day!


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