I’ve tried them all: lists, deadlines, motivators, organization strategies, and goal setting. Somehow, making time to sew eludes me. I’m finding myself pushing back the deadlines more and more. After all, I’m living the retirement dream in a 55+ Active Adult Community that has 92 clubs and activities in sunny and warm Arizona during the winter. That in itself is a lot to keep me busy.
I’m hoping to gain ideas from this Sew Much Fun Blog Hop to help nudge me back into my sewing room. In the meantime, here’s a few ideas that at times have helped me stay or get focused and maybe they will help you, too.
Making Time to Sew
Some sewists strive to sew for at least 15 minutes a day. There’s even a blog, Life in Pieces, where you can link a post with your time accomplishment each Sunday. If this is for you, start keeping track of your daily sewing times.
I started. It lasted 3 days. While I haven’t joined the linky party there yet, I thought you might like to know of that resource. You just never know, I might show up there one of these weeks.
Some days, I’ll sew for hours and hours and deep into the night. Some days, I don’t even touch my machine. I enjoy reading quilting blogs and am often amazed at how much some of my favorite bloggers get done. For example: Karen at Quilts…etc., Julie at Pink Doxies, and Sally at The Objects of Design, whose clocks all seem to have more hours on them than mine.
I’m starting to realize that it’s not so much about setting aside time to sew as it is about creating a balanced life and not wasting the time I have in order to do all the things I want.
I’m finding that I need more than just the effort of making time to sew in order to move projects along. I need acountability partners. There’s a number of blogs that offer weekly or monthly linky parties. Some sewists find linking their WIPs or UFOs or goals helpful to keep them on track towards a finish. Here’s just a few of my favorites that I visit regularly even if I don’t link:
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts every Monday
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter every Wednesday
UFOs at Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland every Saturday
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict every Friday
One Monthly Goal at Elm Street Quilts link your one goal for the month in the first week then return at the end of the month to link your completed goal
Yearly Finish-A-Long is sponsored by a number of bloggers. Write a blog post with your quarterly goals and link to one of the blogs each quarter. Then at the end of the quarter, link a blog post with your completed goals. You can find more info here.
Sewing Something Fun
No matter how often I create with fabric, I am more willing to spend time and happily return to it each day if I am making something I enjoy or like. I love fabric and I love sewing. Oftentimes, those two don’t meet.
I recently made this fun block. It was difficult and I spent a good part of 3 days working on it. You can read more about it here and find the free pattern here.
Keeping It Real
Whether I am thinking of the size of my project or tidying up my workspace at the end of each day or a project, I try to be realistic. If I only have a week to make a quilt, a lap size might be doable, a king size is not. I learned that the hard way. If I have no room on my cutting table to cut fabric, I try to take a few minutes to tidy up before continuing.
I am a messy cook and a messy sewist. I need to heed my own advice.
Reducing the Pressure
I like my blocks to be perfect. No matter how hard I try, they often are not. I am now striving for making them good or better. I make a lot of “good” blocks, and many “better” blocks and even a few accidently have fallen into the “best” category.
Good blocks will still make a wonderful quilt that someone will love and snuggle with. Better blocks still make a wonderful quilt that someone will love and snuggle with. Best blocks get hung on the wall as no one should touch those masterpieces. Who’s judging them? Me, of course. I’d rather have my blocks sewn into quilts to be used and loved than hung on my wall for only me to see and admire.
- I finally made time to catch up on these bee blocks several weeks ago. You can find the pattern here. The more I pressed those blocks, the more they looked puckered. Perhaps it was the fabric. Although not all the seams looked puckered. Perhaps I wasn’t careful enough cutting with the grain. I mailed them anyway even thought they were not perfect. Hopefully, Paige won’t get hung up on not seeing the forest for the trees.
I’m getting better at overlooking and then forgetting about those minor little imperfections as well as embracing those unmatched seams and chopped off points as things that give my quilts character.
Oftentimes, pressure is self-induced.
However, this Bee block I finished earlier this month turned out beautifully. I sent it to Emily of The Darling Dogwood to include in her bookshelf quilt. She asked for a shelf of books from 13-16.5″ long but would take whatever we sent. This one turned out 29″ in length. I wrote more about it on the Bee Inspired Blog here.
The block above is a perfect example of why it takes me a long time to accomplish things. I complicated a very simple block by making it larger than necessary and including a very interesting but complicated extra item. But I had so much fun doing it!
Handling DSD — Distracted Sewing Disease
Admission to having DSD—Distracted Sewing Disease—leads to coming to grips with it and working with it. The only known cure for it is stopping to quilt altogether. For me, that’s not an option. So I will just have to learn to cope and live with it.
I work on multiple projects. This is normal for me. Do you do the same? To help me keep organized, I put all items for one project in it’s own plastic bin with a cover that snaps shut.
Here’s just one of my many bins.
This includes the pattern, fabric, AND notes as what needs to be done or purchased, where I am in the process, ideas I have, etc. This way when I feel in the mood to move that particular project along, I can grab the bin, read my notes and know exactly where I’m at.
In the event, my DSD surfaces at a moment’s notice and I find myself starting yet another new project, I usually just go with it making sure I have a bin to put it into. After all, I don’t want to stifle my creativity but I want to stay organized in the process.
This is a class project with my AZ group. I’ve included all the fabric and thread I need for this project.
For those of you who also suffer from this disease, you can join others and link up your distracted sewing projects, also called squirrels, or Drop Everything and Make It Moments (DrEAMi Moments) at Musings of a Menopausal Melon – mmm quilts! on the last Saturday of each month. But be warned; you might find more projects there making you drop everything and make them!
Join These Bloggers
Check out these other bloggers to see how they Make Time to Sew.
Faith and Fabric (our hostess) Thanks, Jen
Faith and Felt Obsession
Tu-Na Quilts, Travels, and Eats You are here. Thanks for stopping by.
What I Learned Today:
- There is no clock in my house that says “Sewing Time.” I have to make it a conscious decision.
- I love the process of quilting: cutting, sewing the pieces together, being distracted by another quilt and making a block from that one.
- I enjoy the process of quilting; it’s a bonus when I actually finish something.
- Sewing/quilting is only one of my priorities in my life. Life is too short to worry and fret over not producing enough quilts or becoming overly concerned that I haven’t sewn anything today or even this week.
Question: Do you prefer to sew in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Do you find yourself spending more time at your sewing machine in the summer, fall, winter, or spring? I like evening sewing but it comes with the problem of needing really good light. I used to sew a lot during the winter until we moved to Arizona during the colder months. Now I find it hard to sit inside and sew on a nice sunny day and we have a lot of those.
Thanks for stopping by and do come again.
Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River
Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict