Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Do You Time Save?

In the most recent issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine, regular columnist and contributor, Jeni Baker, gives a few tips for saving time in the sewing room and maximizing the actual time that you can spend sewing. Her tips were insightful and gave me something to think about in regards to my own projects:

*Plan and prep your projects ahead of time - Jeni said that she saves time when she sets aside time to plan a project, i.e. look for material sources, fabric prep, washing, etc. She suggests to do this at all once because it saves time. There is no need to decide what project to work on because it's already prepped, and you can simply sit down and start sewing.

*Repeat steps. When you are cutting, cut everything. When you are pinning, pin everything. When you are ironing, iron everything... well, you get the point. Flipping back and forth from station to station can cause you to lose valuable time.

"Planned creativity" is somewhat of a new concept for me... it almost sounds like a contradiction. I often find myself working according to inspiration, and may not want to work on an already prepared project at that particular time. On the other hand, it is definitely something for me to seriously consider to be more disciplined with my projects. Without question, following such a suggestion results in far less WIP's. 

When I start a new project, I can hardly wait to just sit down and start sewing, so I usually cut what is necessary to do so. Sometimes in the middle of one project however, I actually feel like I need to mix things up, take a mental break, and work on some other step. For instance I might get bored with cutting and need to move onto another process, or even project, or I find that I lose interest. Does this statement give any hint as to why I avoided quilting for the longest time? 

One thing that "time saving sewing" does not allow for is when issues or difficult design decisions arrise. If I run into a problem, or I am simply not feeling inspired to work a certain WIP, then it often works best for me to set it aside. When I force myself to work on what I'm not inspired to do, then I end up making major mistakes... and I mean sit-down-on-the-couch-with-your-seam-ripper-for-the-evening mistakes. 

We are planning a little trip where I will also have a little time to sew and I am excited to make progress on my two major WIP's. Cutting is finished, then it's just sit down and sew time. I will be interested to see if I actually have as much time to sew as I would like, or if other distractions will keep me busy. Either way, it feels nice to have everything prepared.

How about you, do you plan your creativity or do you just let it happen? Do you do assembly line sewing, or flip back and forth between steps?


  1. I have such little pockets of time, I sort of do this, but ten minutes at a time. I always have more than one project going at once, so I can choose whether to spend my "free" 10 minutes on the cutting, piecing, or planning stages simply by choosing the project that's in that stage of completeness. As for chain piecing, I do a little chain piecing, but thrive on immediate gratification a bit too much to do ALL of the cutting or piecing at once. I know it takes more time with the up and down, but it keeps me excited and interested to see more progress along the way (i.e. making a block at a time instead of chain piecing every step).

  2. Sometimes I plan, other times it's as the sewjo hits. Love that pile of fabric - is it Basic Grey Grunge?

  3. Kitty, I know the 10 minutes here, and 10 minutes there dilemma all too well... with small kids it's the only option!

    Julie, that is Basic Grey Grunge, and I almost always grab for it before I will a solid. I think it works like a solid, but has so much more depth. Quite a rainbow since they added the new colors to the basics line. The only color that is missing is red. I somehow can't seem to put it in my rainbow. I guess we all have colors we prefer and colors we avoid.

  4. My sewing time is little bits of time here and there and no sewing room so I fit in what I can, often moving between steps according to how much time and space is available at any one time.

  5. I really like to cut out a whole project before starting. I tend to jump from project to project however and don't always finish them in a timely matter so that way if I miscut something it's not out of print!

  6. Hi, I only cut everything before sewing when I'm sure I've got all the measurements right, I tend to work to my own designs, so I do take it slowly to avoid being stuck with lots of pieces the wrong size! Lesson learnt the hard way! However when I do get to chain piece, I love it!! So fast it always amazes me how much I get done :)


Your comments are what makes blogging fun for me!

Related Posts with Thumbnails