How to Find More Time to Quilt

by Helen Spencer

website: HelloSewing.com

Are you under the impression that your free time should be spent doing nothing, and that this is how one rests and recharges batteries?

If that is the case, you would be wrong. There already is time for resting – it is called sleeping.

When you go out of your way to become as passive as possible, you promote lethargy and dissatisfaction.

Quilting is especially conducive to counter that because:

  • Quilting requires working with bright colors that enhance mood.
  • Quilting engages the parts of your brain in charge of shapes, geometry and problem-solving.
  • Quilting gives you a sense of accomplishment after finishing a demanding project.
  • Quilting is not physically demanding or strenuous if you have a proper quilting machine.

In short, finding the time to engage in quilting will offer you a way to be productive and relieve stress at the same time. Avail yourself to some of the ways you can maximize your quilting hobby.

Track Your Progress

When time is scarce and you only have disjointed minutes to spend on quilting during the day, you will soon lose track of what you’ve done so far and what you need to do.

There are many apps that will serve you as a task manager, timer, and scheduler. All of these three aspects are key to keeping yourself organized and efficient. For example, try out Todoist or TickTick. Both apps work across all platforms on desktop computers, smartphones and tablets.

Create a Working Area

Speaking of getting yourself organized, according to Helen from Hellosewing, you would not want to waste your time on deploying your quilting machine and unpacking your quilting tools every time you want to do some work.

If you can’t have a small room for quilting, it’s time to move some furniture around to make space in the corner of your bedroom, or a living room. Whatever you decide, you should be able to start quilting in less than a minute. This is how you know you have a dedicated work area for quilting.

Organize Your Materials

To run your quilting operation as smoothly as possible, it is imperative to create pre-cuts. In other words, consider any project you are working on as a kit. Then, label all the cuts into individual bags so you know exactly what is what. This will accomplish two important things: quickstart any project, and smooth the flow of work.

Batch Processing

Any successful industry is streamlined so that similar tasks are grouped together. The reason for this is because switching between different tasks breaks the flow of work. It creates unnecessary halting and restarting.

Therefore, do quilting tasks in bulk, be it trimming, pressing, or sewing. Separate and chain these tasks, and you will marvel at how much time you will save.

Keep It Clean

Have a dedicated container nearby for collecting all the fabric pieces that can either be reused or discarded. After the basket fills up, sort them out and you will inevitably find pieces that can be used later on for other quilting projects. Be sure to ziplock them in a bag and label it, so to avoid confusion down the line.

Set Up Future Quilting Sessions

Every time you complete a quilting session, think about your next one. Is everything set up for it?

Is your binding color and thread ready to go for the next piece of quilt? You might even want to wind a bobbin for the next phase of your work. It only takes a minute to do these preparations, and it makes everything go smooth. On the next session, you will know exactly what to do without even checking your app’s task manager. Wouldn’t acquiring such a habit be great?

Remove Distractions

In the era of gadgets and 24/7 entertainment and social media, it can become difficult to not have a disjointed approach to life. The attenuated focus of the modern generation has even been studied. Things have gotten so bad that most people can hardly read a short book, instead of going to YouTube to listen for opinions and reviews.

As a matter of fact, most people have a hard time reading anything beyond news headlines, which is why so often the body of the text is so divergent from the title.

Quilting itself requires focus, but in order to be maintained be sure to turn off your TV or silence your smartphone.


Even the most daunting quilting project can be completed in a short span of time if you are organized, clean, and consistently add up 5-10 minutes of your time during the day. And what is 5-10 minutes? Nothing; people lose it in a haze all the time.

Don’t resign yourself to procrastination and excuse-making. Make an effort to push through, start and you will find how easy it is to do it when you have all your quilting ducks in a row.

#4 eileenkny 2019-07-30 14:40
My sewing machine table has become a catch all for everything. I need to clear my stuff off and tell hubby not to clutter it up.
I'm also a big procrastinator. I sit on the computer and just veg out. I don't know how to change that!
#3 Barbara Cooper Walsh 2019-07-29 11:39
These are really good tips. I think I'll have to check on my space and get it more organized.
#2 LesMorris 2019-07-22 10:13
Organization will set you Free. But while you may have organization, it's keeping it 'together' that's key. I "try" to spend 15 minutes a day cleaning and/or tidying up my 'studio' space. It get's 'out-there' real quick. There are enough distractions without creating new ones, for example, we can't ignore the cat or dog, but we can get off facebook, etc. So make the choice. Clean your space & focus.
#1 Janet Moyer 2019-07-22 08:17
This article is great. I have been doing some of the things discussed in it because I too like to be productive. There are some new suggestions here that I am going to implement into my quilting routine.
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