3 Tips for Busy Stitchers

Life appears to be getting busier.

The more technology “helps” us by making this easier, the more I think we are piling on ourselves and trying to do more and more.

Over the last month, for instance, after coming home from the Brisbane Craft & Quilt Fair, I had to manage all of the product re-stocking, catch up on family time, plan Emma’s 12th birthday party (Grace didn’t want one this year, and instead took the $100 birthday bonus), and get ready to go back to the Craft Alive Logan show this weekend.  On top of this, I have worked 7 days on corporate training gigs, which require planning and preparation.

Throughout all of this, all I wanted to do was stitch.  I had a slew of new ideas popping around in my head, and I really wanted to create.

So how do you find time to stitch in a busy world?  Unfortunately we all need to do something that most of us are fairly bad at (I am assuming it is not just me).  We need to put ourselves first!

Tip 1 – Set Goals

Without goals, you don’t know where you are going.  So each week, I make a set of goals of what stitching I wish to achieve.  Once I can realistically look at that and say that is what I want, I can then break it down into days.

goal setting

Some weeks, my goal is to spend 1 hour of peace per day in my office digitising, other weeks, I want to get a certain design stitched out each day.  Having a goal written down helps.

Tip 2 – Plan

It sounds basic, but one of the biggest time sucks in our household is lack of planning.  If I haven’t planned dinner, then odds are I will waste time stopping in at the market, or rummaging through the kitchen looking for inspiration (like chocolate, it often remains hidden in our home).

I am a compulsive household planner, and have a weekly dinner plan, as well as a backup or two (just in case the week really sucks).  We also have the chore chart plan, on who does what (for the kids), and next year, I am planning on instigating the children cooking a meal each once a fortnight.

Time to plan concept

I really don’t want to make this a post about household planning, but I love to score extra time for myself by double prepping meals – making a few batches of spaghetti at once, or when we have a roast lamb, it does for 3 meals – 1 traditional roast, next night roast lamb heated in the gravy with roast vegetable salad, and the 3rd night roast lamb sandwiches (almost a week of meals, from one!)

Tip 3 – Prepare

Prepare for your stitching all at once.  I like to cut all of my fabrics for a project, cut up the stabiliser, and the quilters felt (if it is a block project) at the beginning of the project.  This saves me time during the actual stitching, and ensures that all the fabrics are from the same dye lot.

I also save time by prepping my threads.  I like to line my threads up next to the machine for each design.  If I do this the day before, it means I can get right down to stitching when I have a minute.

line up your threads

surely I cannot be the only person who lines up their threads ready for the next stitch out?

Make sure all of the designs you are planning to stitch for the week have the colour guides printed out – or at the ready on your machine.  Also ensure that your USB has these designs ready to go, and that they are all the correct size, format for your machine.

Ensure when you have a little bit of time to wind plenty of bobbins, and that your machine is clean and well oiled.  There is nothing worse than getting all ready to sew, only to find the machine needs a clean, or is stuffing up.

If you are anything like me, the sound of the machine stitching away is a soothing sound, and something that can calm you after a harried day.  I hope the tips above help you to find some more time in your day for stitching.

As always, thank you so much for taking the time to read this post, and until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.  Julie.

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