Saturday, January 18, 2014

How to Get More Quilting Done...Everyday

Hi! It's been quite a while since I've posted here, and with good reason. I've been making some changes in my life and in order to accomplish all that I want to do and Get More Done, I've been trying to spend less time on the internet and more time working on my goals.

The picture above is me on the inside of a guard rail. I had come up with the idea of having a word to focus on for this year (well, actually, the word sort of found me!) and that word is LIMITS. When I began pondering what LIMITS mean to me, I realized that they are really a type of guard rail--a fence or a protection. This year, I'm trying to set (and RESPECT) limits on my time, my spending, my eating and my spaces. So with that in mind, I'm LIMITing how much time I'm online, but also how much time I spend sewing/quilting, since there are many other things I want to accomplish.

But...I'm still quilting a-plenty! I've scheduled about 3 hours, each day, Monday through Friday that I can sew. And I'm amazed at how MUCH I can get done with that amount of time! 

I've also been pondering my "niche" in the online quilting blogging world. There are already so many people out there posting tutorials, that I figured anything I might add would just be redundant. So I've decided that my purpose in creating blog posts will be more along the lines of how to Get More quilting Done, in the time available. Does kind of go along with my title, doesn't it?!

So to jumpstart my posting for this year, I thought I would reveal what "I" do to try and accomplish as much as possible. The first thing I did was to make some lists. I wrote down all the projects that I had either started or wanted to start and FINISH this year.

I've done something quite radical and most people reading this will probably not want to make such a radical change, but what I did was to stop reading almost all of the quilting blogs that I had been reading. There are still a small handful that I read and even then, I usually just skim the posts, only stopping to read more closely if I see something really interesting. 

The reason I've done this is because we all tend to be in "information overload." There is SO MUCH information on the internet that we can become paralyzed by all that's out there and then we never get much of anything done ourselves. When you combine the internet with books, magazines, quilt guilds, shops, etc., it truly becomes absolutely overwhelming. So I've decided to turn off the "faucet" of ideas to just a small trickle. I have more ideas now than I will ever accomplish in several lifetimes, so I don't believe I will suffer from a lack.

Now, with that being said, there IS some value in participating with a group project, like a quilt-along because of some of the camaraderie involved. But only if you're doing something that you really choose and want to do. I participate in the Yahoo Small Quilt group run by Kathy Tracy. It's a fun group with lots of wonderful people. The group makes a small quilt each month and each month, I make the decision of whether or not that's one I want to do. It's MY choice and it's MY time, so I'm careful how I spend it. This month's small quilt was a bear's paw. I made it, but instead of hanging it, I made it into a pillow for my bed. It was just the right size and I needed a pillow, so it was a win-win.

Sorry about the soap box! Back to making time for quilting--I made my list of what I wanted to accomplish and I broke some of the projects down into sort of personal monthly "quilt-alongs." This is part of a block of the month project I had saved and started some years ago. It's called "Pushin' Up Spring"  and came from Apple Blossom Quilts by Connie Sue Haidle. She has some wonderful projects for anyone interested in applique. I've decided to do one of these blocks each month and finally get this quilt made!

This past Christmas I REALLY wanted to make a tree skirt and I just didn't have the time. There are blogs out there that do a Christmas post once a month, so I've sort of taken that idea and decided I would make one Christmas project of my own each month. I also decided I would do one project that's more of a sewing project and less of a quilting one (like curtains or clothing. This month I started with these journal covers. 

This is how they look on the inside. I love how they turned out! I use one for my quilt projects and one for my herbal/bodycare recipes.

One of the most important things that I think I did to increase my productivity was after I made my list of all the projects I wanted to accomplish this month. I gathered together my patterns, fabrics and supplies and began cutting. I spent a WHOLE week, simply cutting out everything I possibly could for this month's projects. This is actually a reduced pile of projects because I've already made several of them. But I've found that the decision-making and cutting out are the most critical steps to Getting More Done. When I'm done with one project, I can just pick up the next one and start sewing! And the project almost seems to make itself!

I have 12 grandchildren and I was wondering what to do for them for their birthdays this year. Last year I made triple zip pouches for most of them. Then I found an idea for pajama pillows and I plan to make one of these each month. This was the first one and it's obviously not quite perfect--the name isn't centered and I inserted an invisible zipper in the bottom that will need to be done differently on the next pillow. 

There's a pocket in the back (you can't see it very well--that's another flaw) where the child will stash his pajamas during the day. I thought it was a great idea and works for all age levels.

My big project for this month is an almost king-size quilt for my son and his wife. She found instructions online for a crib-size chevron quilt and I had to adjust and alter it to have it be the right size for their bed. I've gotten this far on it and now they need to choose fabric for the border and backing. It's getting close to the finish line!

This post is a lot wordier than usual, and maybe I've said more than I should. But I've expressed how I feel, and more importantly, what I've done that's enabled me to accomplish many of my goals. Everyone has to make their own choices, based on what they want to do with their lives. As for me, I plan to Get More Done, everyday!


  1. Well, I can really identify with your reasons for not reading blogs/posting, etc. I have completely lost my quilting and blogging "mojo". I have packed away all of my QIP's and closed up shop. I am also feeling extremely overwhelmed. The constant bombardment of new ideas, patterns, etc.has really gotten to me--and so, I have retired myself for a bit. I have been reading just a few blogposts here and there and going my own way--which for now, is scrapbooking my 2014 life in pictures and words--a Project Life Memories, so to speak. I have re-tooled my room into a sew/scrap room and am actually sewing on my papers, photos, etc--with my teflon foot--such fun! Hugs to you and your daughter...julierose

  2. This is SO true! I've come to the same conclusion.....information overload; so much time being drawn to new ideas that I run out of time to finish old ones. So, my only resolution this year is to "Just say NO" for about six months. No to challenges, new group sewing/quilting projects and even to starting a new original project. I figure that by mid year I should be caught up and ready for a few "yeses"!