9 Of The Best Ways To Make More Time For Quilting

One of the main reasons that people don't quilt is simply because they can't find the time.

It feels time-consuming to set up for a quilting session, get into your groove, and then have to clean up.

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With so many things crammed into our schedules, it can be really difficult to find enough free time to just sit down and focus on your creativity. If you can relate to this challenge, read on to learn some tips to make more time for quilting.

There are benefits to quilting that go beyond the final product that make it really worth your time. Quilting used to be done for purely practical reasons, but now studies have shown that not only is quilting great for relieving depression and stress, but it is also an effective form of exercise for your brain.

Quilting can benefit your cognitive, creative, and emotional well-being because it offers problem-solving challenges using math and geometry while also building your confidence. The sense of accomplishment that you feel once you complete a project ties directly into relieving stress and depression while it increases your confidence in your creative abilities.

Additionally, studies have shown that being exposed to the bright colors that are commonly used in quilting can lift your mood, while the repetitive motions of quilting can relieve stress.

The act of quilting and sewing can relax your brain, which in turn reduces the flight or fight response that is often triggered by stress. This makes quilting an enjoyable experience that makes you feel good and allows you to put aside any negative things that are going on in your life.

Sometimes it is easier to incorporate small projects into your busy schedule or break larger projects down into smaller parts and work on them one at a time. This way, you are able to obtain the benefits of quilting without the commitment to a big project all at once.

If you are among the many people who are having a hard time finding time to quilt, here are some suggestions on how to alleviate that issue.

9 Of The Best Ways To Make Time For Quilting

1.  Create a dedicated space.

If you only have a few minutes to quilt, you don't want to have to spend most of that time getting your project and tools together and then having to pack them all away. You don't need a lot of space to have a dedicated quilting area. Even if you can just find a corner in a room where you can keep your supplies out, it will be much easier to use your spare moments to work on your quilting.

If you can assign this designated space to a common room, like a small part of the living room or wherever your family tends to hang out, you might be able to get some work done while also spending time with your loved ones.

2. Keep track of your projects.

Do you know what projects you have in progress and what stage they are in? Make a list of your projects and your next steps for each. If your list seems overwhelming, break it down and prioritize which projects you want to focus on. If you find a few free minutes in the day, you can refer to your list and work on something that can be done in the amount of time that you have. Remaining organized throughout the quilting process is paramount to not wasting time when you want to get down to business.

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3. Make a pre-cut kit.

Treat every project like it’s a kit and pre-cut everything you will need. Organize your cuts by block and create separate bags including any needed instructions. Label your kits with exactly what is inside so when you are looking for a specific project, it will be easy to find. This way, you won't have to stop working to cut fabric and then take the time to get back into your groove of working.

4. Keep a small basket nearby.

To save time while you are quilting, keep a small basket close to your working area to collect trimmed off corners or pieces of fabric that are large enough to reuse. These pieces can be saved for another step in your current quilt or another project entirely. If you don't plan on using them soon, put them in a ziplock bag with a note saying exactly what is in the bag and the size of the fabric. This will also help reduce your clean up time by not having a lot of cut fabric ending up on the floor when you are finished for the day.

5. Do similar tasks together.

Constantly switching between tasks can take up a lot of unnecessary time. It might be tempting to sew something, press it, trim it, and then sew more, however, if your time is limited, it’s better to just do one thing and do that task in bulk. So, if you find yourself with 15 free minutes, sit down and chain piece, press units, or trim fabric until your time is up. Just choose one task and work on that. It will reduce your tasks in the future when you have more time to focus on your quilting.

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6. Schedule time to quilt.

Just like you schedule everything else you have to do in a week, set aside time for quilting and stick to it. You can consider this to be your time and it is important to make it a priority.

You might not be a morning person, but it could be a great way to start your day to get up a bit earlier than usual to work on your quilting instead of having to associate your alarm clock with getting ready for work. This will allow you to start your day with some time for reflection as well.

If you don't think you can wake up earlier than you already do, maybe you can start going to bed a little bit later. Enlist your family's help in the nightly chores so you can have a bit more free time before hitting the sack.

If you have an open weekend afternoon, make a note in your day planner in ink to claim that time for quilting before someone else asks you to do something. This type of self-care should be kept on the top of your priority list.

7. Keep a project with you that you can work on while you're out.

This may be as small as repairing a button, but it is convenient and helpful to have some small tasks that you can complete while you're out and about during the day. Keep a kit with you that has a set of needles, an array of neutral threads, a small pair of scissors, some pins, a little magnet to help you locate your lost needles, and whatever small project you are working on. Take it out while you're waiting in the doctor's office or taking a short break at work.

8. Prepare for your next quilting session.

Before walking away from your current quilting session, take a few minutes to consider the things that you have to do next and set yourself up for the next session. Assess your progress and take note of it if need be.

Maybe you have a few projects that need binding. If so, lay out each quilt with the color of binding and thread that you are planning to use. If you have enough time, take the extra step of wounding a bobbin for each one. This will help you save time during your next session because you will know exactly what you need to do and part of it will already be done.

9. Set a timer.

If you find that you often get distracted when you are quilting by emails, phone calls, or other people in your house, set a timer while you cut off all of your electronics and focus solely on your quilting. This will allow you to get in the zone without interruptions so you won't lose your place and have to get back into the groove. During this time, don't worry about anything else that is going on around you and just focus on the task at hand. The good thing about setting a timer is that you also don't have to worry about how much time has elapsed. You can focus only on what you are doing.

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Final Thoughts

Remember, when it comes to quilting, it all needs to be done at some point and every small task and detail adds up. Don't think that you cannot make progress if you only have 10 free minutes. Use any time you have to do some prepping or make some small repairs and you will make progress that you will see in the long run much quicker.

Whether you quilt as a hobby to release stress, create gifts, give to charity, or you are part of a quilting community, it is always helpful to be able to make a bit more time for this craft. Try the tips above to see how much more progress you can make in less time.

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