This is a question that I am asked on a regular basis. Most of the time the answer is “I don’t” however, when I do I certainly use it.
An example of this would be at the Simply Sew’In Retreat run by Simply Solids. I got given a prize (plus plenty of ribbing over the course of the weekend) for being an overachiever. Anyone of my friends will tell you the same…I’m not happy unless I’m super busy and seriously multitasking.
I have previously mentioned that I have a toddler and husband…both need about the same level of management some days….and I am a manager for a demand planning team. My job takes me away from home between 6am and 6pm everyday somedays I won’t get home until 8pm. I wake up between 5am and 6am every morning including weekends. I am a morning person. This means that I also go to bed early. Some days it is as early as 830pm but most nights it’s somewhere between 9pm and 10pm.
Weekends are then quality time with my son. I see him for about 30mins to 1hr during the week. So I hate having to ignore him so I can “do my sewing thing”. I imagine as he gets older this will be less of an issue as he becomes less interested in my attention and more interested in computer games.
So how do I complete so many projects? … I multitask and get super organised!!!
1. I write two lists during my commute…first is the list of household chores and meals I need to batch cook in the evening/weekend. The second is a super list of all the projects I have to complete and a breakdown of the steps I need to do that. For example a mini quilt for a swap is broken down into the following steps…. A. Design quilt, B. Choose Fabrics, C. Iron Fabrics, D. Cut Fabrics, E. Piece Quilt, F. Baste Quilt, G. Quilt Quilt, H. Bind Quilt. 8 Steps. I do this for every single project on one list. My longest list has been 208 items…it’s the one I am currently working on.
2. I get home or wake up on the weekend and I complete the chores list. My husband hates it because he will be in a state of pre-coffee moodiness and I will organising washing, doing the dishes, and preparing vegetables for the slow cooker.
3. Once they are done, any time or energy I have left is available for sewing 🙂
This is where things get a little bit too insane for some people. I choose the projects that are due in the next month and I work on them in tandem! That’s right…I work on several quilts AT THE SAME TIME.
So I will design all the quilts, then choose the fabrics for them all, then I will iron all those fabrics etc etc. I might only have 30mins, I might have 2hours. So the length of time will determine whether or not I actually spend any time on my machine. So one night I may only design 1 quilt. Other nights I might iron the fabric for 4 quilts. It’s all worth it though because it gets to the weekend and I have multiple quilts ready to piece.
This is where the MULTITASKING comes in….my son loves doing stuff with us. He sits on the kitchen counter whilst we do the dishes, he helps load the washing machine and start the cycle…even more so he loves helping me sew.
It isn’t always possible to let him help but if I am working on some basic piecing like a string of half square triangles then he sit on my lap and I let him press the buttons.
If I am working on quilting or Foundation piecing then he will sit on his high hair nearby to watch with some toys or a colouring book. The most important bit to him though is that I talk to him and let him feel involved by getting him to hand me things etc.
Yes this takes more time but by involving him I am actually giving myself more time to sew. It’s something we do together. Same when I am ironing. My cutting board and ironing board have been moved to my kitchen so he can sit on his favourite counter top and watch. But same thing applies…I have to tell him the colours, and name of the patterns, ask his opinion (he almost always answers “yeah”).
When he gets bored he’ll ask Daddy to go in the garden or for a walk…sometimes I will go with them…most of the time I use the hour they feed the ducks to complete the more fiddly tasks of a project.
So when I post a blog and it shows 3 quilts completed over a weekend you know how it is done. I use every spare scrap of time I have for about 10 working days beforehand.
How do you fit your hobby into your life? Let me know….I’m always up for trying a new method.