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Thread: How do you find time to sew?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy How do you find time to sew?

    By the time I get home from work, do the necessary chores, etc. I'm too tired and out of time to do much more than look in my sewing room longingly! Husband is retired and still needs plenty of care (you know!), I have other interests and like to travel when I can, help with church and charities but can't seem to find time to sew. Please share your wisdom , Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sophie2's Avatar
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    I can see one thing in your favor - you have a sewing room that I assume you can leave your projects out and ready to work on. I find that even if I go in my room for just 10 minutes I feel better. When I am done sewing for the day, I try to make sure the next time I go in my room I can sit down to sew right away - meaning the last thing I do before turning off my machine etc is to make sure the last item is pressed, quilting marked or whatever and ready to sew. I also don't clean my house as much as I use to. It is still clean, but not as often as in the past. I am also very lucky that my husband likes to cook, so that gives me a little more free time. I tried sewing in the morning before going to work, but then I didn't want to stop sewing and would have to rush out the door. Good luck in finding a few minutes a day!
    Sophie2

  3. #3
    yel
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    clean or quilt???? QUILT of course

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    Quote Originally Posted by yel View Post
    clean or quilt???? QUILT of course
    Agreed - maybe try to get Hubby a little less maintenance.
    Are you an early bird? I used to sew for 1/2 hr before I went to work. How about weekends - can you carve out a half day if you aren't travelling?

  5. #5
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I thought I was the only one with the problem.. I'm hoping that once it warms up, and gets lighter, I won't feel this way. I don't care about the cleaning. I really want to play with my fabric..

  6. #6
    Senior Member Diannia's Avatar
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    I'm kind of like Sophie...I try to make at least 15 minutes a day for some form of sewing/quilting/crocheting. I'm more of a morning person so if I have to be at work at 8:00 I set my clock for 5:30 and that usually gives me at least 30 minutes of sewing time before ever heading out the door. If I have a lot of cleaning to do I make a list of all I want to accomplish that day and then set my timer for 15 minutes and clean as hard and fast as I can. When the timer goes off I leave whatever I was working on (even if I'm in the middle of folding clothes or doing dishes) and set my timer again for 15 minutes and go sew. When it goes off I just keep repeating the pattern until I'm either done with what I wanted to accomplish on the house OR it's bedtime. The way I see it I can and always will find just 1 more thing I need to do around the house and I'll never get around to sewing but this way I've listed them out and just go down the list. If I think of something else it either goes on the next day's list or replaces something on today's list if it can't wait. Give it a try...it really works for me!

    Diannia
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  7. #7
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I am at the stage in life where I have three full days to myself while my dh and dd are at work and my two young grandchildren are at school and Preschool. Tha'ts when I do most of my quilting or in evenings as we have more day light in the Spring and Summer and I tend to be alert longer then in Winter during dark evenings.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  8. #8
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    Sometimes it's a matter of taking not finding the time.....retired husband..hmmmmm....it's surprising what tasks they can begin to do.....

  9. #9
    Super Member KarenK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hcim55 View Post
    Sometimes it's a matter of taking not finding the time.....
    I agree.

    I, too, have many interests and used to frequently get frustrated due to lack of creative time.

    The first step is to set priorities. I had to sit down with myself and make a list of interests and discovered I was trying to do WAY too much. (Working full time takes a huge bite out of creative time.) Then I prioritized the list. The top four are family time, sewing/quilting, walking, reading and I do these on a regular basis. The rest of the items on the list are done occasionally. I simply had to let some things go.

    I've also used the alarm clock idea and set the timer on the stove or my cell phone for 15 to 30 minutes. It's amazing what can be accomplished in 15 minutes a day.

    Another thing I've done is to make an appointment with myself and consider it just as important to keep as a Dr.'s appointment. I'll cook ahead of time and do my best not to let anything interfere with that time. Sometimes, it's a few hours, but a couple of times in the winter during those unbelievably heavy duty snow storms and -30 wind chills, I'll schedule myself for the whole weekend.

    If sewing time is important to you, you will figure out how to do it, including asking someone else to share household tasks.

  10. #10
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I know I am from another generation but I would be darned if my retired husband required maintenance while I was working full time. It should be the other way around. My solution would be to give him a list and tell him that he has the time to take on more at the house. You deserve some down time and he should be happy to make sure you get it.
    I live by the creed that no one takes advantage of us unless we let them.
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  11. #11
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    My doctor prescribed 15 minutes of quilting a day...I'm a real workaholic! I do what I was told! You'd be surprised what you get done in that short time.
    Life may not be the party we planned for,but while we are here we should dance!

  12. #12
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I am guessing there are only two of you in the home....If one of you is now retired and the other still working....seems to me there is currently an unfair work/life balance. Gender does not exclude a person from certain domestic tasks. For many years my husband was at home with the kids/house whilst I worked full time....he is an excellent cook, domestic engineer and volunteered at school etc. Over the years we have reversed the roles, and currently I am mostly at home and he is in full-time work....he will be retiring soon and I am keen to get back to work at least part time. The secret is to sit down and if you have to, write out a fair list of who is to do what...we haven't had to do that as we both just got into the habit of sharing things evenly around....Each of you needs time and space to do things of their own...hobbies, whatever. We are both pretty independent, stubborn individuals who choose to share a life....neither of us is in need of "taking care of" or "mothering" and we are from a quite different age group and ethnicity....(he's 63 and I'm 49), it's not about stereotypes or tradition it is about respect and quality of life.

    Oops...on my soapbox there....I don't mean to be strident or hard about stuff.....still do sweet things for each other, special treats, romance etc....just don't let one be the only number in the equation.

  13. #13
    Member SpringBird's Avatar
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    I have found that if I break down my chores into a weekly chart I can keep the house presentable if not sparkling. For instance the schedule for the kitchen is dishes every night. Mon-wipe down counter on east side, tuesday north side, wed is floors, thur west, fri shine the table, Sat -stove Sund menu plan
    I have scheduled to clean/clear something in every room each day and then I am never overwhelmed. this is a little OCD but I have found it helpful to have some control over my life.

  14. #14
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    I stopped working a year before my husband and I did all the cooking, most of the cleaning (I have had a cleaning lady for the past several years and refuse to give her up) and his only home chore really was mowing the lawn once a month. After he retired he felt it should remain that way - I couldn't even get him to take the trash out. Then a friend of ours came to visit and my DH is telling him that he refuses to mow the lawn unless I pull the weeds, and his friend told him that was just wrong, he was capable of pulling weeds, the friend asked when was the last time he washed the clothes, changed the sheets, or cleaned the toilet. My DH hadn't thought of any of those things because he was never home to know how it got done. I was raised if a job needs to be done, the person that has the time, gets it done.

    Finding time while I was working - when I did the laundry I would sew. I cannot stand to leave clothes in the dryer or in a basket once they are clean and would immediately hang it up or fold it as it came out of the dryer., It would normally take 5 loads to get it all done, so figured it was a fair exchange, while waiting. Things like grocery shopping and running errands were done on my way home from church - or if we went out to dinner we would stop and shop on our way home. It was cheaper to shop for groceries on a full stomach.

    You need to take the time and not feel guilty about it - everyone needs to do something they enjoy but don't stress yourself out trying to do it. The wonderful thing about quilting, it waits for you. The sad part is, sometimes when you go back to it your tastes change and you may look at the fabric and ask yourself, "What was I thinking when I bought that?"

  15. #15
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Lots of useful advice there. For me the answer is that sometimes I just do not find the time. But it helps if you set your priorities clearly in your head first. Resources tend to flow towards priorities.

    Not sure what you mean by maintenance of husband. I know I feel bad not spending time with mine after we've been apart all day. He cooks me dinner and we spend nice time over that. That's relationship maintenance!
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  16. #16
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I put sewing before many other things. I have to, to stay sane.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishNY View Post
    I know I am from another generation but I would be darned if my retired husband required maintenance while I was working full time. It should be the other way around. My solution would be to give him a list and tell him that he has the time to take on more at the house. You deserve some down time and he should be happy to make sure you get it.
    I live by the creed that no one takes advantage of us unless we let them.
    Ha ha. Love it. My husband is retired too. I have to say he's been pretty good about doing chores, even when I don't ask him to. I prefer he never, ever cooks in my little kitchen...that's a disaster waiting to happen. Lol.

    Still...I am tired when I get home. I choose to cook. I do some pick up and some other things--but I am, indeed tired. I try to do the 15 minutes a night thing--no matter what, I fiddle for 15 minutes at quilting, just to keep my head in it. Then I pick a couple of nights a week to quilt for an hour and I do a lot more on the weekends. I also enjoy running and have a very active border collie to keep exercised--so--yes, its tiring. You just have to keep at it and rest when you can, too.

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    I could have written your post except that my DH is semi-retired and does most of the cooking and the dishes. I took last Sunday to sew as much as I wanted and it was great. I kept asking myself why I don't do this more often. So...I plan to whenever I can. It's harder to do after a day at work, but I've been working on a redwork project after supper. As someone mentioned, this lets me keep the hubby company after I've been gone all day. My new resolution is to shoot for two whole sewing days a month at the least. I think that's doable.

  19. #19
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    When I was working full time, people asked would ask me when I found the time to quilt. Easy, don't cook or clean. Plenty of time to quilt. (Of course, I did cook and clean, but easy throw together meals, and a lick and a promise on the cleaning.). A preacher's wife once told me, "in a hundred years, who's going to remember your clean house?" Hopefully, someone will have one of my quilts a hundred years from now.

  20. #20
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    Take inventory. If there are things on that list that you would rather not do, or would rather quilt than do, dump them. I always found time to quilt and sew, even when I had five kids at home and worked several jobs. I quilted early and late, while the potatoes boiled, until the oven dinged, while I waited for a load of clothes to dry, etc. etc. maybe only a few minutes at a time but I kept at it and it is amazing how much you can do. I called it steady by jerks quilting!

  21. #21
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    I'm retired !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. #22
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    I like to keep small projects, related to whichever quilt I'm working on, in the kitchen. For instance, if I have some blocks to pin together, I can work on them while cooking supper or while the kids are having a snack, etc. After they are pinned then they are ready to sew together next time I'm in the sewing room. Then I bring them back to the kitchen so that I can iron them open, whenever I have a few minutes.

    I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and it helps keep my hands busy. In this way, I'm able to get quilts done by using "found" minutes. I have a drawer that I can keep extra sewing supplies in so that I don't have to keep moving scissors, pins, etc. out to the kitchen.

    Sometimes, I'll even set up one of my extra sewing machines on the kitchen table. I like to sew, out where the rest of the family is, but I also like to have a sewing room to keep all of my 'stuff' in.

    There is a well known quilter (Carol Doak?) who hand-pieces and hand-quilts all of her quilts. They are amazing quilts and she says that most of her sewing is done a few minutes at a time. She brings her projects with her wherever she goes.

    Bonnie Hunter works the same way. She brings projects with her where ever she travels. Have you ever joined her, when she sews, on 'Quilt Cam'? Lots of people tune in to "visit" her during her live quilt cam and they sew as they "visit".
    ~~Cathy~~

  23. #23
    Junior Member iwillquilt's Avatar
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    My sewing room is cold in the winter so I have a hard time going in. Once in I don't want to leave. I would have a ton more time for sewing if I would stay off the computer. But my list of oooohhs! and ahhhhhs! and I want to do thats would also be a lot shorter. And I wouldn't have learned all the cool things everyone shares here. It is a choice like anything else in life. It is important enough for you to make time or you don't. I go to work 30 minutes early because I know I will sit and work on my applique project. If I am at home there are other things calling my name. I hope you decide you can find a little time for an enjoyable and useful addiction.

  24. #24
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    My sanity and well being are worth more than a spotless house!

  25. #25
    Super Member Mariah's Avatar
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    I had the same problem when I worked. How about your lunch hour? I made a quilt as you go and a Crazy quilt by making the blocks on my lunch hour. It only took me 15 min. to eat; 45 min. to go spend $$$ or relax and quilt.
    Another idea; sew while watching tv, if your machine is in the tv room. I have one there and one in the sewing room. It is relaxing to hand sew while watching tv.
    Those are ideas that worked for me! Good luck!
    Mariah
    Have a wonderful Quilting Day, make it your way!
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