An Appreciation For The Crafters

Sewing With Nancy | Wisconsin PBS

April 23, 2020

By Beatrice Alvarez

To craft is to make or produce with care, skill, or ingenuity. Anyone who has ever tried their hand at a new skill knows the difficulty involved is worth the reward of the outcome. That shawl you knit, the quilt you sewed, and the canvas you painted. All of those crafts are beautiful because you made them.

Maybe you have had some time to rededicate yourself to a craft or perhaps you picked up a new one in the last few weeks. Today, we highlight programming for the crafters, old and new, from appreciations to how-tos. It's the comfort food of television.

Sewing With Nancy

Sewing With Nancy will always be our favorite way to sew. Each episode featured Nancy Zieman talking viewers through every stitch, giving tips to make sewing projects of all kinds. Thanks to PBS Wisconsin, she remains our Queen of Craft.

Quilt Fever

Thanks to Reel South, you can travel to Paducah, Kentucky, for the Oscars of quilting. Quilts can be so personal, whether they are specific to the recipient or the materials that are unique to the maker. This documentary just might inspire you to make a quilt that tells your story.

The Quilts of Ken Burns

As we saw in Quilt Fever, quilts tell stories. So it makes sense that the man who elevated the craft of American history documentaries is a collector of quilts. Yes, Ken Burns has an incredible collection, a portion of which was loaned to the International Quilt Museum in Lincoln, Nebraska. Go behind the scenes of that special event with Nebraska Stories on NET in Lincoln, Nebraska.

The Unexpected Effects of Knitting

Knitters unite! Not only do you make wonderful things like scarves and mittens, you also decrease stress and increase happiness. Yes, the knits and purls you count have amazing effects, including activating a relaxation response associated with lower blood pressure and slowed aging. Braincraft explains and now we have a sudden urge to revisit that endless scarf in our project bag.

For further evidence that knitting is good for your health, watch BT Lives in the Stitch (again) and see why it was a fan favorite in the PBS Online Film Festival.

The Joy of Painting

A blank canvas signals an opportunity to channel Bob Ross and just make happy clouds. This man taught us all that there are no mistakes when we're painting, it's just about having fun and activating our creative side. Bob Ross lights the way, but the journey is all yours, he is the crafter's North Star.

Craft In America - Teachers Episode

Every day, we are thankful for our teachers. While Craft in America has covered nearly every art and craft out there in its 11 seasons, this episode dedicated to the educators is one to revisit today. We appreciate not only the makers, but we recognize how those who pass on the knowledge of crafting are vital to us all.

Recent Articles


Stream the best of PBS.

Anytime, anywhere.

TV laptop tablet phone
Download the Free App

The Victoria Collection