Quilt podcasts.

If you’re a quilter and are as into podcasts as I am, you’ll appreciate knowing a few of the best quilting podcasts out there. At least, the best ones I’ve found and listen to. Follow the links below to have a listen.

Craft Industry Alliance Podcast – This podcast isn’t just about quilting and quilters, though it does have quilters on as guests on occasion. I started listening to it when it was the While She Naps podcasts, but it has since been rebranded. The core of the show is about how to run a creative business and different makers’ journeys to that end. Abby Glassenberg is a great, gentle host who has great questions and is genuinely interested in what her guest is saying. I love the conversations.

Simple. Handmade. Everyday. – Kristen Esser is the host of this solo podcast. She has a few different sections were she talks about quilting, what she’s reading and watching, and generally how to keep a home. Sometimes she gets into other topics as well, but those are the main ones. She has a soothing voice and her episodes inspire me to quilt, yes, but also to do other things I probably should be doing more, like cleaning.

The Quilters Circle Podcast – Ashley Hough is the host who interviews different quilters about their quilting lives. I love these kinds of podcasts. They’re just straight interviews where you get to learn a lot.

American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast – Of magazine fame, this podcast is hosted by Lindsay Maylin and she talks to other magazine staff about various quilting topics. My favorite section of the shows are the Getting Sewcial segments where a quilter is interviewed. I also very much enjoy the Quilting Changes Everything segments where a philanthropic quilt story is shared. The tips and tricks are always fun to listen to as well.

Running Stitch, A QSOS Podcast – This is the newest podcast I’ve found and it might be my favorite. Quilters S.O.S. is the Save Our Stories project, which is an oral history project created by the nonprofit Quilt Alliance in 1999. The quilters are interviewed by the host, Janneken Smucker, but there are also segments of previous interviews either with the quilter or on the subject from the QSOS project. There aren’t very many episodes at the moment, but what there are include First Quilts, Quilts and Activism, Quilts and Civil Rights, among other important and meaningful topics.

Comment below with your thoughts on these podcasts. Do you have any other favorite quilting podcasts?

Love, Madeleine

Surrender.

How do you experience surrender?

On one of my favorite, all be it frequently emotionally difficult, podcasts, Anna Venezuela (@annavisfun) and Dave Yates (@yatescomedy) interview people about recovery. On Spotify, they explain:

12Q Pod is an in depth look at 12 step recovery culture and an exploration of the world outside of the rooms from the 12 Step perspective. We believe that Recovery isn’t just for Clean and Sober people. Each week Anna Valenzuela and Dave Yates ask interesting people 12 questions about their journey through life.

This post will be the first in a series where I will answer the 12 questions posed on this podcast.


The first question they pose to their guest, who is sometimes anonymous, is: “How do you experience surrender?” My first instinct is: “No. I don’t experience surrender because I’m in control all the time!” I’m terrible with surrender. The more thought I’ve given this, the more I realize this is true.

When I think of surrender, I think of “surrendering to…”. What do I need or want to surrender to? In the 12 steps, the first step is about honesty. It says, “We admitted we were powerless over [substance] – that our lives had become unmanageable.” This is acceptance, sure, but it’s also surrender. Surrender to powerlessness. Surrender to the fact of an addiction. Surrender to vulnerability.

For example, I have a terribly difficult time falling asleep whether it’s for a nap or for the night. When I lie down, all I can do is think about how productive I could be if only I got up. I’ve started telling myself: “It’s ok to rest.” This is only partially helpful. The second I’m finished thinking the word “rest,” I immediately go into thoughts of all the other things I need to do. The thing is, to sleep is to be the most vulnerable and powerless a person can be. It’s all about safety when it really comes down to it.

I do think I’ll get better at resting in time. A method in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is to switch the thought. So, when I’m focusing on how much I need to get up when I lie down and switch the thought to it being ok to rest, it should become easier to believe that rest isn’t only fine, but good. The other switch I make is: “I’m safe.” I remind myself where I am and that I’m safe both physically and emotionally. I need to believe that resting is good, yes, but I also need to believe that I’m safe. An animal that doesn’t feel safe from predators in the wild wouldn’t sleep either.

As I’ve been more aware of this, I’ve seen that this resistance to surrender carries over into other parts of my life. I have a very hard time doing something I don’t want to do. Most of the quilts I’ve made I’ve hand quilted and there’s always a point toward the end of the process where I just don’t want to do it anymore. It’s a problem. I just can’t will myself to surrender to the process or the time it takes.

One cannot even mention vulnerability these days without conjuring Brene Brown. If you haven’t watched Brene’s TEDxHouston Talk called The power of vulnerability yet, please do. She is funny and charming and you’ll learn a lot.

In her talk, Brene talks about shame and vulnerability. Basically, everyone experiences shame for what they think are their faults and people who are “wholehearted” and who therefore are more vulnerable feel less shame. She found that these wholehearted people believe that what makes them vulnerable makes them beautiful.

People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

Brene Brown

I also highly recommend Brene’s podcast Unlocking Us. At the end, during the rapid-fire questions she asks her guests to finish: “Vulnerability is…” Most people say, “hard.” And damned if I don’t agree.

Vulnerability is hard. Vulnerability is admitting I was wrong and taking criticism. Vulnerability is the lump in the back of my throat and the twist in my stomach. Do I have a difficult time with vulnerability because I’m not wholehearted? Is it because I don’t believe I am worthy?

So, I experience surrender (i.e. vulnerability and powerlessness) with difficulty. I don’t want to surrender and eventually I have no choice. I do think that practicing mindfulness and other skills of DBT will come in handy in this journey, but most importantly is learning to love myself. I think that surrender will become easier for me once I believe that I am worthy of love and belonging and vulnerability will become easier, too.

Comment below on how you experience surrender. Is it as difficult for you as it is for me? What have you done that has helped you experience surrender more easily?

Love, Madeleine