I’m no stranger to being strapped for time.
As a single working mother, my time is divided between running a household, earning a paycheck, and trying to squeeze in a few spare moments during the day for myself. Most of the time, I use that free time to try to get some rest.
I also used to think that if I couldn’t make a queen- or king-sized bed quilt to snuggle up in, there really wasn’t a point to quilting anything.
The problem was that large quilts take a lot of time to piece and quilt.
I’ve found a few ways to make my quilting time more productive:
I’ve found that I enjoy working on mini quilts, such as wall hangings, because I can try out various techniques, or even just a block or two, without committing hundreds of dollars in fabric and hundreds of hours in piecing and quilting.
Some of my recent favorite mini projects include these:
If you still want to make a larger quilt, another option is to make large blocks. If you are making a quilt with 4-inch or 6-inch blocks, it’s going to take an awful lot of blocks to complete a bed-sized quilt.
Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts has a fantastic series of tutorials for the Bee Hive Quilting Bee. All of the block patterns create 12-inch blocks. These blocks make graphic statements and go together quickly. It is certainly a fun option for working on a larger scale.
Create a Dedicated Work Space
If you have to set out your sewing machine and put it back before and after every meal because you are camped out on a dining room table, you might not find quilting to be a relaxing hobby. There are fantastic posts and pictures of sewing and quilting studios all over the web.
I’m still working on developing a space that meets all my needs, but I’ve been taking notes of the things that are “must have” on my list of quilting studio requirements. Don’t be afraid to consider what you really want. It probably isn’t wiping macaroni and cheese or applesauce off your lovely sewing machine. If all you have is a corner of the dining room, start thinking about how you can streamline the area to keep your sewing machine and supplies free of sticky fingers and stray food.
Organize Your Sewing Space
I’ll admit, this is an area that I haven’t mastered. My sewing supplies are hard to find and are scattered throughout the many areas I use for quilting and painting. I have taken over kitchen counters, most of the dining room surfaces, and my home office. However, I’d bet if I got my act together and cleaned and organized my supplies, my time would be much more productive.
Carve Out Time When You Can
I happen to be a morning person. By that I mean a wee hours of the morning person. I find that I can work on my quilts in peace and quiet and get some quilting in before the demands of the day take over. Find a time that works best for you and use it to your advantage. I know that not everyone wants to get up at 2 or 3 am, but that works well for me, and I definitely value the time.
Some mornings I’d rather sleep in or curl up with a cup of coffee before my day starts, and I honor that, too. Quilting should be fun and not be work to dread. The moment I start thinking I’m rushed or pressured to complete something, I know it is time to step away and grab a book instead.
How do you find time to carve out for your hobbies?