What to Listen to While Sewing


More and more I have found myself enjoying the slow and steady work of hand-quilting. It can be quite meditative – the rocking of the needle, the feel of the fabric and the smooth length of thread between my fingers. All of these elements work together to create a wonderfully relaxing environment...for about an hour.

And then...well, and then I can get a little bored. Silent meditative stitching can be wonderful, but hours upon hours of meditative stitching puts me right to sleep! That's why it's imperative to have a good running list of things to listen to while sewing.


Yesterday on my Instagram stories I asked you for audiobook recommendations. I love immersing myself in a good audiobook possibly even more than sitting down with a paperback. I'm obviously not alone in that because I got TONS of recommendations from you. So you can take part in my new wealth of knowledge, I have compiled a list so next time you sit down to do some stitching, you'll know exactly where to reference for a great audiobook.

At the end of this audiobook list, I have a handful of podcast recommendations too. That's because some of you can't follow the rules and gave me podcast suggestions even though I clearly asked for audiobook suggestions. Don't worry, I still love you.

Audiobooks Recommended to Me that I Recommend to You

These are books recommended by you that I've also thoroughly enjoyed and can put my Suzy Stamp of Approval on each of them. These audiobooks are in no particular order.

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Bossypants by Tina Fey

Ready Player One

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Husbands Secret

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Once you read one of Christie's books, you will most likely need to read at least 5 more. I highly recommend And Then There Was None. Soooo good.

Night Circus

The Night Circus by Jim Dale

Station Eleven

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Big Magic

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Eat Pray Love is also a good one recommended by you that gets the SSA.

Furiously Happy

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Read by the author, I can't recommend this book enough. Lawson is real and raw and funny – just go listen to it now.

Six of Crows

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (YA)

I love listening to Young Adult Fantasy books while sewing because they are usually easy to jump into and extremely fast paced. A few others you might enjoy include: Three Dark Crowns, Throne of Glass series (#1-6), and His Fair Assassin series (#1-3)

Audiobooks Recommended by You

I haven't listened to most of these, but I trust you people and I bet this is a great list. I'm excited to dive in!

  • Exit West by Moshin Hamid
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  • The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff
  • Love Your Life Not Theirs by Rachel Cruze
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • It and The Stand by Stephen King
  • The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
  • Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
  • Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
  • Eleanor Oliphant in Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • Still Life by Louis Penny
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (anything she writes)
  • Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  • Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
  • Yes Please by Amy Pohler (I listened to this last year and thought it was pretty good. Doesn't quite get the SSA, though)
  • Walking back to Happiness by Lucy Dillon
  • The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
  • Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward
  • You'll Get Over It by Jessie Klein
  • The Goldfinch by (This book maaaajorly bummed me out so I stopped half way through. Even though I can't give it the SSA, I know most people liked it.)
  • Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and Eric Klinenberg (I really wanted to love this but didn't. No SSA)
  • The Passenger by Lisa Lutz and Madeleine Maby (it's weird that both names use alliteration, right?)
  • Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Very good. Toootal tear jerker. SSA)
  • The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • Not A Sound by Heather Gudenkauf

Podcasts Recommended by You (+ a few SSA)

  • The Popcast
  • Pod Save America
  • How I Built This (SSA)
  • Modern Sewciety (SSA)
  • Science VS (SSA)
  • My Dad Wrote a Porno
  • Up and Vanished (I just listened to this, so all of my thoughts are fresh. Yes, it is very captivating and is well produced. I do have two small criticisms: 1. The commercials are soooo frequent and the transitions are startling. In one breath the host will be building suspense about DNA findings and then in the next he's talking about printing business cards at Vista Print. What?? Don't throw me for a loop like that, Payne! And 3 commercial breaks in a 30 minute podcast? ugh. 2. It gets really obvious about half way into the podcast that the host is getting a lot of positive feedback. I don't want to elaborate too much, but it seems like if anyone pays him a compliment, chances are, he will edit that into the podcast. Now go listen to it so we can talk about that mysterious black truck!

Phew! I apologize for any typos. I'm rushing to get this posted so I can go to a BBQ. Sadly, it's probably the last outdoor BBQ of the summer, so I better make it count!

I hope you enjoy these lists and please comment below with your recommendations and reviews. I love hearing from you and love adding to my audiobook list! xo


Suzy Quilts

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21 thoughts on “What to Listen to While Sewing

  1. Jamie says:

    What a fun topic! More suggestions:
    • All of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, and also everything else narrated by Davina Porter
    • Everything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
    • Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
    • All the Harry Potter books (narrated by Jim Dale)
    • The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris (TV show True Blood was based on these)
    • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
    • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    • The Gap Year by Sarah Bird
    • A Long Time Gone by Karen White
    • Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
    • Dracula by Bram Stoker
    • Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty
    • The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
    • A Song for Issey Bradley by Carys Bray

  2. Nancy says:

    I can’t believe I missed this! I’ve listened to most of Dickens whilst hand quilting. I’m listening to Middlemarch now. Fabulous!

  3. Susan says:

    Here are a couple more…craftlit for classic books and crafty talk…threadcult for interesting sewing related interviews … craftyplanner for many quilt related interviews….

  4. Sarai says:

    Okay seriously loved And Then There Were None!!! Have you read any Kate Morton? I haven’t listened to her audio books but any of her novels are incredible!!!! Highly, HIGHLY recommend The Secret Keeper! If you listen to it, let me know what you think!!

  5. Kelly says:

    This is a great list! I can’t wait to dive in. One more podcast I highly recommend: Clever, hosted by Jaime Derringer and Amy Devers. It’s all about design and it’s a joy.

  6. Kathy says:

    What a great topic. Audio books and sewing, a perfect marriage. I get excited to go and sew and especially if I am into an interesting audio book. Another suggestion: “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd. This excellent story even has a quilting connection. Love your Blog. I read excerpts to my husband and we laugh and laugh!!

  7. Melissa Reilly says:

    Suzy – give Goldfinch another stab. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Also pretty much anything by Anne Patchette – Bel Canto would likely be good as audio, but I’ve only read her. 1Q84 is brilliant too!

  8. Becky says:

    Great list, Suzy! Please do read or listen to The Alchemist by Paolo Coehlo at your earliest convenience. It’s my favorite book. I have a very good feeling you will love it too!

  9. April says:

    Suzy! Can you post a video sometime, or even just an instagram story of how you hand quilt? Not really even a tutorial, because I know HOW to hand quilt, but in pictures you’ve posted of your hand quilting it looks like you have the quilt lying flat on a table or something? I’ve only done it while sitting on the couch with the quilt bunched or draped on my lap. Is there a better way?! I’m dying to know!

  10. Kate says:

    Started to listen to Furiously Happy last night and love it! Thank you. Here is one if my favourite audio books in return:

    Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein.

  11. Alyssa Dalgleish says:

    Why Not Me and Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me are both are written and narrated by Mindy Kaling and excellent!

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