Learn the health benefits of working with your hands. Plus, hear an interview with Monique Jacobs of Open Gate Quilts.
Episode 456

Listen to the show in the player at the end of this post.

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Handwork Happiness

As a creative person, you probably use sewing, knitting, or stitching to relax and gain life balance that might be missing otherwise. How many times have you heard (or spoken) the phrase "quilting is my therapy" or "knitting is my therapy"? Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we experience cathartic and therapeutic effects from working on creative projects and doing handwork. Studies show it is a great way to quiet the mind. People who do handwork receive a wide range of perceived psychological benefits from their craft: relaxation, relief from stress, a sense of accomplishment, connection to tradition, increased happiness, reduced anxiety, and enhanced confidence, as well as improved cognitive abilities. Doris Brunnette, the editor of Quilt Sampler, shares more about the amazing health benefits of handwork, the different types of handwork quilters will enjoy, and how her own life has been affected by handwork.

Pick up our new magazine, Handwork Happiness, on newsstands starting January 31.

What We've Loving

Doris then shares products that helped her refinish a sewing table. The Fiskars DIY Precision Tools helped Doris turn a stained wood piece of furniture from the '70s into a modern and functional table for her sewing room. See a picture of it here.

Get Organized with Elizabeth

In a recent Facebook poll, over 80% of our readers admitted to having a junk drawer in their sewing room. It's the drawer where we toss all the notions that don't have a home anywhere else. It's easy to accumulate lots of notions and then just stash them away in a drawer where they can be quickly lost or forgotten. Elizabeth Stumbo, the art director of American Patchwork & Quilting, shares three storage ideas to help you organize the drawers in your sewing room that go beyond just basic drawer dividers.

Quilting Changes Everything with Alison

We want to take some time to celebrate those in the quilting and sewing world who have been so generous in raising money for the wildfires in Australia. A large number of people have also been sewing and knitting to help comfort animals affected by the fires. Alison Gamm, the designer of Quilts & More, shares quilters who are selling quilts and patterns to raise money for relief organizations. She also highlights ways people are using their talents to sew or knit blankets, mittens, pouches, and other forms of shelter for animals affected by crises.

Getting Sewcial

On today's show, Lindsay Mayland, the multimedia editor, had a chat with Monique Jacobs of Open Gate Quilts. Monique is a longtime contributor to our magazines and has recently had a quilt in our February 2020 issue and our April 2020 issue, which comes out next week. Monique is a talented pattern designer, fabric designer with Maywood Studio, ruler manufacturer, and teacher. In this interview, Monique chats about how she got her start quilting, inspiration for her fabric lines, her stash busting video series with Missouri Star, and her cute puppies!

Follow Monique on Facebook and Instagram to stay in touch.