Thats right… did you know you actually can make more time for sewing and quilting in your day?? No magic potions required. Just a proven strategy to add in more of what you love.
You may be thinking… ‘But I’m super busy, Christen!‘
I would be so rich if I had a dollar for every time someone told me “we all have the same 24 hours in a day!”… ugh… if you could only see my eyes rolling back in my head… because while TECHNICALLY it is true… it is so not a valid reason as to why some of us are able to accomplish everything our hearts desire and us others are left floundering around and never able to find a single moment to produce creative work.
I’m about to share 10 tips that you can start to put into practice today that will give you more sewing and quilting time.
Most of them are centered around being a busy mom, because hey… I can only teach what I know, right? But these tips work for every single busy person in this world who needs a little help juggling life and a passion for quilting!
(And as promised, NO magic wands involved… but if you happen to find one, I would *LOVE* to borrow it… just for a few hours? I do promise to give it back!)
10 Tips to make more time for sewing and quilting
Plan Out Your Calendar
I use google calendar because I like having the notifications and reminders come up on my phone. I really love paper planners but I’m helpless if I accidentally leave it at home. Use whatever you feel comfortable with.
You need a place to write everything down – Everything that is going on in your week. Every appointment. Every commitment. Everything.
You need to be able to look at your week at a glance and see what is taking up all of your time.
See if you can make any adjustments right away such as making all appointments or meetings on one day of the week instead of different days.
Write “creative time” on your calendar
That’s right. It really can be that simple.
Make a date with yourself. Write it in pen and don’t let it get tossed around like it doesn’t matter. Make the commitment.
You wouldn’t ever miss an appointment with a doctor, would you? No, because you respect that that time is important for your health. Give yourself the same respect. Your creative time is important for your mental health and happiness.
Even if you can only squeeze in 30 minutes here and there… it is absolutely worth the time spent because it will add up in the long run to making big progress towards your project goals!
Remember when you were a teenager and you had plans to go out Saturday night? Remember looking forward to it all week long?! Yes, bring back that giddy happy feeling again!
I find that it really helps me get through a particularly tough spot in the week if I know I have an hour planned to sew in the evening!
Pick Your Projects With Purpose
You may already have a list of projects that is a mile long. I know I do.
I tend to get super excited about a project and am all in. (nevermind about those other projects I have that aren’t finished yet) I buy a new pattern. then I’ll buy the fabric and I start making plans. I have tunnel vision for only that project… until something comes up and I have to take a break. Then the project has to take a backseat for a while and the initial inspiration spark dies off a little at a time.
Choose a project that speaks to your soul and has a specific purpose (even if it is just that you really want to make a turquoise quilt!)
If you have a quilt that you are making for another person, you’ll be more likely to finish it because you’ll have the motivation of seeing how much they love your beautiful quilt to help push you through the less than inspired moments.
Only work on things that bring you joy
This goes with what I said above, but it is important to point out that you’ll have a lot more fun working on things you love than forcing yourself to work on things that you don’t.
Example: I don’t like working with dull colors. Bright and happy bold colors inspire me and leave me feeling energized. If I have to make a whole quilt out of dull fabrics… I can do it, but I will find much more joy working on a quilt in my favorite fabrics.
To keep up with your project list – I created a FREE handy Quilt Planner!
Clean Out Projects That No Longer Inspire You
If you were working on something and you have lost that spark of joy for it… it is ok to let it go.
Take one more thing off of your plate and cross it off of your to-do list.
There is no sense in letting it hang around on your to-do list if you really deep down have no desire to work on it again. It is just causing you to dread it forever at that point.
Sometimes when you have both money and time invested in a project, it is hard to let it go… but it is taking up physical space and mental space at this very second. How much is that worth to you?
Make some more room for things that you really do love and are really inspired by right now!
Give up all house chores!
haha… just kidding. I wish this were a possibility. I feel like I’m really the only one who cares about the state of our home. My kids would be happy to live in a dump.
I hate laundry and I hate doing the dishes… but I know myself. If I leave those chores until “after I sew”… I can guarantee they won’t get done and I’ll be sorry tomorrow.
I’ve developed a reward system (yes, like I’m a total child). I will set a timer for 10 minutes and do a total speed clean of my dishes and kitchen, then throw a load of clothes into the washer and after the timer goes off… THEN, I SHALL SEW!
You would be surprised what you can accomplish in 10 minutes if you have something really great as a reward!
Quit saying Yes to everything
Its really hard when the opportunity for plans comes up and you want to say yes to everything.
It might be because coffee out with friends does sound really fun even though you’re already really busy. Or it might be because you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by saying that you can’t help out with the community project right now. Of course, you feel like you SHOULD want to babysit your grandchildren every week, right?
Let’s get one thing straight here… Saying “yes” isn’t the problem… the problem is saying ‘yes’ to everything! It leaves you overscheduled and unable to find the time for yourself that you crave.
When faced with a commitment decision as yourself:
“Would I rather do _____ or sew?” – then, you will have your answer to if you should say yes or not! 🙂
Evening Sewing Dates
I like having set nights during the week where I know I am going to be able to sew.
My kids are relatively hard sleepers and have never complained about the noise of the sewing machine. Even still… I think I could figure out a way to get all my cutting done at night or plan my next quilt etc.
My husband and I sat down and discuss our weekly evening plans. I work out what plans we have for the week regarding the kids, friends etc… then I set aside an evening for us to relax together. We like to watch movies or play a game… whatever. It changes weekly.
Then, I set aside an evening for us to work on our own individual items. He will work on whatever projects he has going on and I will work on my sewing.
No one feels left out because it is something we discussed prior and we have already made each other a priority by making sure we have other evenings scheduled. win win!
Put your phone away
Quit wasting pockets of time by checking your social media and other outlets or playing mindless games on your cell phone.
I get a lot of inspiration and ideas from looking at Pinterest and other creative blogs… but if I spend all day looking, I’ll never actually get to the point of creating! and that becomes wasted time!
Set a timer or make it a point to remember that you are the boss. You decide when enough is enough and you need to have a break from looking and start using that time to create!
The Sticky Note Bread Crumb Trail Method
Sometimes I only have 10 minutes to sit down and work on a project, but 10 minutes is better than nothing so I’ll get to work right away.
If I have to get up and leave, I jot a quick note down on a sticky note. I like to leave notes about where I left off or what I was about to do next.
Sticky notes are like a bread crumb trail for the next time I sit back down to sew. I’ll quickly remember what I was doing and be able to pick back up right away.
Stop Making Excuses as to why you “can’t”
A bit of tough love here…
You are the only one who is keeping you from being able to find more time to sew and quilt.
If you are just dying to find more time to sew and quilt and the hours in your day feel really limited… Show yourself some love, sister! It’s time that you buckle down and find the time you so desperately want!
You can do this!
For more helpful tips that give you more actionable steps that you can take today, download my free guide: A Busy Girl’s Guide to Quilting.