In a recent survey to find out what I could provide to help quilters more, several responded “More time to quilt.” The comments generally had a smiley face added to the side. Seriously, though, it is possible to streamline your daily events to squeeze in a little more time for quilting. Here’s how.
First, start by making sure your sewing area is convenient to everything you need. If you have a particular location in which you quilt, that’s great. If you quilt on the go, you will need to make sure your tote has all the supplies you will need.
In your sewing area, make sure your threads are easily accessible, scissors are handy, etc. Your sewing machine should be on a surface that is comfortable for you to work from. You need a small table handy for your self healing rotary mat when you cut your quilt pieces.
One of my favorite time saving tips involves pressing quilt block seams. Pressing seams is one of those steps we choose to overlook when we are in a hurry.
Skipping this step, however, can affect your quilt top in the end. To save time, don’t run back and forth to your full size ironing board. Keep a small ironing board handy for pressing seams.
If you don’t want to buy one of these ironing boards, use an empty cardboard fabric bolt and wrap it in a white (or other neutral color) terry cloth towel. These are great for pressing quilt block seams and most fabric stores will give away the empty cardboard bolts.
Another way to save time – and thus give yourself more quilting time – is to organize your quilt pieces efficiently. For instance, cut out all the pieces you will need for your quilt.
If you quilt on the go or work on more than one project at a time, you will want to keep your blocks together. Thread a needle with a large eye with yarn. Run the needle through a stack of quilt blocks. There’s no need to tie the yarn. Just leave plenty of room to slide off your quilt blocks as you need them.
If you do work on more than one project at a time, consider using a different bag or box for each project.
For instance, your rag quilt project might be in one box, while your Dresden Plate quilt project would be in another. When you get ready to work on a particular project, just pull out that box.
Plastic containers with lids are great for this kind of storage and is reusable. Cardboard boxes or paper bags tend to attract bugs, and you don’t want to jeopardize your quilt project with insects!
Most everyone has to check email. Whether you check your email once a day or more times, set aside a few minutes at one of your email sessions to browse the internet to look at quilting topics – ideas for new quilts, new techniques, a photo gallery, etc.
Two or three minutes online is more time than you realize and will give you a quick quilting “fix” until you can work on your own projects.
If you have a house full of chores just waiting to be done, try this little trick to see if you can get them completed faster. Need to clean the kitchen? Set your oven timer for 20 minutes.
You’ll be surprised at how fast you can move and how much you can get done when you know a buzzer will sound! Do that will all your chores, then spend the time left over on your favorite quilting project.