After writing yesterday's post on fear I realized a big reason why I didn't quilt a lot last year was because it just didn't feel FUN to be on the machine. Every time I sat down all the different worries and indecision would stir up and I'd practically run out out of the room just to escape it all.
Working on this quilt along each week is certainly kicking my butt into gear and back into the studio on a daily basis, which is exactly what I'm wanting.
But how about you? Are you finding this easy and fun, or a dreaded torture session?
Part of the reason why it might feel like torture is because it either doesn't feel fun, or it feels like practicing free motion is taking time away from your other projects.
We all have busy schedules and lots of things to do, yet we're all quilters who need a certain amount of time working with fabric in order to be happy!
The trick is finding time to do it ALL: time to work on the projects you're really passionate about AND get a chance to practice some free motion work too.
So here's a list of 5 things you can do to have more time for quilting:
1. Stop cleaning so much - Will the world really end if there is dust on the TV stand? Will your house be reduced to cinders if the dishes don't get washed? Will your kids become delinquents if they have to wash their own laundry? No, no no!
I decided long ago that getting a quilt top together was far more important than if my house was clean and tidy. While it's no fun to live in a pigsty, a little dirt never hurt anyone. If it's a choice between 30 minutes to quilt or 30 minutes to vacuum the floor, pick quilting this time. Chances are the floor will just get dirty tomorrow anyway, so why bother cleaning it today?
2. Turn off the TV - Not everyone will agree with me on this one, but I find TV to be the biggest waste of brain power and time in our modern lives. Keep a journal this week and keep track of how many hours you watch TV. Think about how even half of those hours could have been spent if you'd been quilting instead of watching TV.
Turn it off for an entire week and take that time to quilt instead. Chances are you'll feel better and accomplish a lot with quilting at the same time.
3. Balance Responsibilities with your Spouse - I can't count the number of times I've met a quilter who's said something like "I don't have time to quilt in the evening because by the time I pull out my machine and get everything set up, it's time to make dinner."
I always want to ask - Why can't your husband cook? Why can't your kids take a night to learn how make a meal? Why do YOU always have to drop everything to feed your family?
Maybe it's because I'm from a different generation, but I would resent my husband if he expected me to put a meal on the table every night. We take turns and balance this responsibility and many others so we both have time for the hobbies we enjoy.
4. Create a Dedicated Quilting Space - If you have to pull out a machine from the closet, pull out your project from a bin, spread everything out on the table, plug in your machine, sit down, get comfortable - all in order to be able to take a single stitch - how likely are you to do this on a daily basis? Wouldn't it be easier to just be able to walk into a room and turn on a light and turn on your sewing machine?
A dedicated sewing space doesn't have to be huge. This is a photo of my sewing and quilting space in the apartment Josh and I lived in before buying our house:
Even though it was small, I loved that space because it was the first time in my life that I could walk up to my sewing machine, turn it on, and start sewing. I didn't have to pull it out of the closet or plug it in - it was always ready to go.
5. Have a Dedicated Prep Day - Just like with cooking, having a day to get the dull, necessary tasks out of the way is a big help for the rest of the week or month. Use this day to clean up your space, hang up and organize your fabric, pull out fabrics for your next quilt and get them prewashed and ready to go.
Also use this day to baste whatever quilt or practice sandwich you're playing with this week. You can save even more time by making several practice sandwiches at once. This way it's as easy as pulling out a practice sandwich and starting to quilt.
The less work involved GETTING to the task
means you'll spend more time DOING the task.
means you'll spend more time DOING the task.
Whew! I guess there really is one more tip for finding more time to quilt - GET OFF THE COMPUTER! LOL!
It's high time I shut up and cleaned up my quilting space. See you tomorrow for Quilt Along #3!
Let's go quilt,