Singing while sewing (or music I love to listen to)

piecing tiny triangles


I’ve now finished sewing the eighteen little six inch star blocks for “quilt number two”…..this was the last one, mixing a new fabric with some of the Ikea jumble sale duvet cover (it really must be the best bargain I’ve ever bought and I feel quite sad that there’s barely a metre now left)……

While I’ve been hand piecing I’ve been listening to some of my favourite music, no distractions like when I think watching Pride and Prejudice doesn’t slow me down…it does, I’m just too easily distracted by Lizzie Bennet and Mister Darcy…..also I am a bit of a pin dropper so just sewing in my work room instead of all over the house is a bit kinder on my boyfriend’s feet.


piecing triangles


Listening to the same cd’s most of which I’ve had for ages helps me fall into the familiar rhythms of sewing, my mind can just wander and drift off…..and then I look up and often surprise myself with my progress and the pile of pieces sewn.

Possibly my favourite singer/songwriter to listen to is Vashti Bunyun….her voice is easily one of the most beautiful sounds I think I’ve ever heard…she’s only made 4 albums but each one is wonderful. Her songs are gentle and somewhat melancholic but I don’t mind that….As much as I like her first album (Just Another Diamond Day) I heard her latest one (Heartleap) recently and it’s possibly even more loved…which I didn’t think was possible.  One of the 4 albums is a singles and demo selection which is nice as you can hear her talking.


pins and piecing


Following very closely is Kate Rusby….I first heard of her because she sang the title music in a wonderful and funny series called Jam and Jerusalem (wish they’d made a fourth series..)….she’s made loads and loads of albums but my favourite would be a tie between Little Lights…The Girl who Couldn’t Fly and Awkward Annie….possibly Little Lights wins it because it features my favourite song by her called My Young Man…it’s a song about her grandparents and it just breaks my heart listening to it…it’s so beautiful and sad and even though it always make me cry when I hear it, it’s one of the most moving and tenderest songs I can think of.

A Kate Bush cd is never very far away from my cd player……Wuthering Heights is my all time favourite song…when my little record player was still working I used to like playing the actual record I had from the seventies and generally dance along, fling myself around the living room to it (I’ve got quite long hair so in my head I really could be just like Kate Bush… Babooshka dance is a thing to see indeed!)…..nowadays I just have it on a cd, the sound doesn’t seem quite so warm, so alive, but it’s my desert island disc I’d save from the waves.  I love listening to her 50 words for Snow album (I could listen to Stephen Fry listing words for snow all day long) but possibly The Red Shoes owns a bigger piece of my heart……


patchwork piecing


Other favourite artists include The Webb sisters, their melodies and harmonies are just amazing….I do sometimes just have to put down my sewing and close my eyes and listen…I can’t sing for toffee so never fail to be overwhelmed by the absolute beauty of their voices….

Another singer who I love to listen to is Enya….my boyfriend isn’t such a fan (generally there is a deep sigh and “is that Enya you’re playing” followed by an eye roll before he walks off…so I tend to play her music while I’m at home in the day time….I particularly like “Paint the Sky with Stars” which is a best of album….I can still remember hearing Orinoco Flow for the first time, it’s still one of my favourite pieces by her.


pink and green patchwork


I also like Emmylou Harris, mostly her work from the early seventies.  I first heard of her because I like a singer called Gram Parsons and she sang a lot with him before he died in 1973.  Their duets together are just wonderful to listen to…time stands still while they are singing.

A bit of a change in pace…..I can always listen to Johnny Cash, I’m happy to hear those Sun recordings, songs sung with June or his later “American recordings”……and that brings me to June Carter and The Carter Family, Bluegrass music, Nancy Sinatra (especially the music recorded with Lee Hazlewood…..Their Nancy and Lee album is one of my favourites)

Lastly another singer I particularly like is Jackie Oates….her version of Lavender’s Blue never fails to lift my heart….and the little film she made for Young Johnson made me laugh out loud the first time I saw it, and it still makes me smile each time I watch it.