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Thread: Finding time to quilt

  1. #1
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Finding time to quilt

    Anyone else out there like me just can't find the time. I work , then come home, feed, bathe and put my toddler to bed and am just beat. So tired I just get on here and look at all the pretty stuff everyone else is making and dream of a work/child free day when I can finally enjoy my new machine thats collecting dust literally. How do those that work find the energy and time or am I going to have to wait till I retire in 30 more years to have the time. I just feel like I never get anything accomplished.Even on my days off I am cleaning, and watching the toddler who if I even try to sew she has to be in my lap to play with the machine which again leaves me not being able to get anything done on my little dream machine
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D, Juki MO-2000QVP

  2. #2
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    When I took a class on Family Living way back in the dark ages the teacher said that the hardest working person on earth was the mother of young children so ... that's you.

    I work from 7 AM until 4 PM Monday - Friday then start my second job from 4:00 - almost 8 PM 4 days a week. On the weekends we have our 5-year-old grandson 2 weekends each month and the 4-year old grandson about one weekend each month. So ... busy, but I still have some down time in there. I sew an hour or two each night and go to bed between 11 and midnight. Of course, there are days I don't sew a stitch - just too tired.

    I have also learned that I don't need a big stretch of time to get things done - even a few minutes here and there make baby steps towards a finished project.

    This phase of your life will be over sooner than you can imagine. I blinked and ...
    So many quilts, so little time.

  3. #3
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    Anyone else out there like me just can't find the time. I work , then come home, feed, bathe and put my toddler to bed and am just beat. So tired I just get on here and look at all the pretty stuff everyone else is making and dream of a work/child free day when I can finally enjoy my new machine thats collecting dust literally. How do those that work find the energy and time or am I going to have to wait till I retire in 30 more years to have the time. I just feel like I never get anything accomplished.Even on my days off I am cleaning, and watching the toddler who if I even try to sew she has to be in my lap to play with the machine which again leaves me not being able to get anything done on my little dream machine
    Like the second poster, I agree. This IS the hardest time in your life. Young children are demanding on your time. I didn't sew much when mine were that age. But now that the youngest (of 5) is 15, I feel like I've earned this time to sew/quilt.

  4. #4
    Super Member jemma's Avatar
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    keep up your interest by looking on line+ magazines etc eventually children grow up--but try to clear some time for you--2 hours family free time per month is not too much to ask -- your partner could also take their 2 hours per month also----cover the machine to keep the dust off but keep it set up ready[statement of intent]also small portable handwork [hexagons tumbler+triangles are portable when organised]

  5. #5
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    I agree with everything said here. You can do a lot in 15 minutes. Maybe you could put the toddler to bed 15 minutes earlier or if your child sleeps later on days off, you can get up a few minutes before she does to get some sewing done. Try to train her to sit in a chair next to you while you sew, it's okay to say no to her sitting in your lap constantly especially when you want to play with your new machine. Hope you can find some time to play soon.

  6. #6
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    everyone has their own (time restraints) to deal with and those with young children certainly can be (stretched thin)
    when my children were young i sewed when they napped, i prepped projects during those moments they were pre-occupied...such as cutting out, marking, pinning, organizing so when i did have some sewing time i could sit right down & do it. I've made many quilts just by sitting in the breakroom at work stitching away for 10 minutes while my co-workers went outside to smoke- at lunch i would eat (quickly) & maybe have 15-20 minutes to sew.
    it is all organization & motivation...everyone has their own way to relax...if i just sat on the couch & stared at the tv for 2 hours it would make my crazy---i sit on the couch & sew while watching a game or a movie...i have a small tote in my sewing room that catches all of my little scraps---when the youngest granddaughter is visiting if i want/need to get some sewing done i pull out that tote for her- she sits on the floor in the sewing room & plays in those scraps for hours sometimes...she glues them to paper, covers boxes with them (makes what we call treasure boxes)...sometimes i will sew together a pocket/pouch & give it to her to stuff...she has lots of fun & i get lots done..i work full time (60-70 hours a week) but have a pretty good system that works for me- when i get home it's usually fix dinner, eat, clean up kitchen- then i have 1 - 1 1/2 hours after dinner to go to the sewing room...then i bring out what ever hand work i am working on & join hubby in the living room to spend time talking, watch what ever he is watching, while i sew along... on an occassional day off i spend lots of time in the sewing room.
    take advantage of naps, down-time, find things to occupy toddler in your sewing space with you, i've found little people LOVE playing in scraps! and can show some amazing creativity when given the opportunity
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #7
    Super Member wuv2quilt's Avatar
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    I too have to MAKE time to quilt. I watch my 3 yo DGD and will soon add her NB brother to the mix....try the scrap idea...my DGD HAS to have her fabric while I'm quilting.....she will literally sit for hours making her own "quilt". I will admit, if I let her "help" me sew....she lays her hand on top of mine to guide the fabric thru the machine....then she'll go and "work" on her quilt, so I can work on mine
    Happiness is a form of travel...not a destination.

  8. #8
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    I found that if I keep all my sewing "stuff" ready for use I do much better. I only have to plug in my sewing machine. All small notions are kept in a colorful box so there is no hunting for things. What ever I am working on is folded and placed in my chair so all I have to do is pick it up. Often I think that I will sew for only a few minutes but then do so for a couple of hours. When I stop for the night, I replace everything and put it where it will be ready for the next time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Beeboop71's Avatar
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    I too work a full time job, have two children (10 & 15), husband, house, online business and a 3 hour commute every day. My kids are older so they are more independent but I still get the "ma, mommy, mom" calls which means I have to stop what I am doing. Once I think I got them out of the way my husband calls me to see or help him with something. Most of my time sewing is a little bit and I mean little bit of time I can fit in after helping the kids with homework they didn't understand. I also find in order to get more done I sew late into the morning hours on a Friday and or Saturday. Then there are times where I will actually have several hours or even a whole day to sew but don't get any sewing done cuz I am so exhausted from my daily hectic life routine. I guess since you have a toddler maybe you can sew when your child s napping (that is if she naps neither of mine did) so in that case maybe you can have someone watch her for several hours just so you can have some " you" time. I know this can be hard for some people because they have guilty feelings about it. My kids are older and I still struggle with allowing myself to have "me" time because I work all day and get home by 7. My husband has told me over and over again there is nothing wrong with that. I guess I suffer from guilt mom syndrome. Lol. Another way would be to take a quilting class at your local quilt shop even if it is for something you know you can do on your own. I do this on occasion because it is nice to be around other fellow quilters as well as it gives you an opportunity to learn tips and tricks in quilting. I always learn something new and it is awesome. Plus now you will have no interruptions and several hours of dedicated time to just sew and many times you will have a completed project which makes it even more rewarding. Hang in, you will find a way and before you know it your toddler will be a big girl. Reading magazines and looking at pics on the Internet and the board inspires me a great deal so continue doing that as well. Happy sewing!
    Bernice
    City girl with a country heart!

  10. #10
    Super Member HillCountryGal's Avatar
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    The good news is.. no, you won't have to wait till you retire to have time to sew/quilt. It just feels like that now!

    When my daughter was a toddler, she too wanted to "help" me when I sat to the sewing machine. Makes me smile now, but then.. it sure was hard to concentrate with her standing in the chair behind me with her hands on my shoulders saying "faster, faster Momma!" So, I got a box and put bits and pieces of fabric, lace, etc. And would only let her play with it while I sewed. That helped some. There will be time for quilting... our children are little for such a short time.

  11. #11
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have no where near the time constraints you do, but what I've found is if I can get an entire quilt cut, and the pieces organized, you can make progress by sewing in 15-30 minute chunks. Maybe you can arrange a family member to come over for a couple hours and baby sit while you cut a quilt.
    I agree with the poster, they are little for such a short time!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  12. #12
    Junior Member homebody323's Avatar
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    Everyone had such great ideas. Now that I'm a great grandma I look back and miss those days, reading together, playing games together - I missed so much just keeping them fed, housed, schooled and paying for all of it. Enjoy your time with her -- the scrap box will work, also those pictures with the holes on the edges with the cord you sew along will be good when she gets a bit older. I'm a big fan of pizza boxes for each project, with all the pieces cut out you can accomplish a lot in 20 minutes or go all the way and set your timer for 30 min. I use the timer, it gives me a deadline - I don't get side tracked with the timer. ADD (i'm convinced I have it) without the timer, my mind goes elswhere and before I know it, I'm hunting fabric from my stash for another project and another box. LOL Happy stitching.
    Sally Dolin
    Rock Island, IL

  13. #13
    Super Member Quiltngolfer's Avatar
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    I'm retired now, but I can well remember feeling like you feel when my three children were growing up. It seems like yesterday. I fixed up a sewing box for my kids like Hillcountrygal suggested. I included fabric scraps, yarn, lace, a doll, and round tip scissors for them to "sew" with. With the tv on that occupied their interest while I sewed a little. Just enjoy each stage of your child's life as much as you can. Time passes quickly.

  14. #14
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I watch my grandson during the day and I can't go into my studio without him following and wanting to get into everything. I seem to only be able to work on quilts on the weekends if I am in the mood to do so. Meanwhile I am working on a counted cross stitch project in the living room while he plays. I know how you feel. My three adult children were young once and I felt the same way you do now.
    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.

  15. #15
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    I wish I lived close to you. I would cut some projects out for you to do in your spare time. I was in your shoes and burned the candle at both ends to find time to sew. Of course back then I could exist on a few hours of sleep.
    Joyce

    Four things you can't recover: The stone.....after the throw. The word......after its said. The occasion.....after its missed. The time......after its gone

  16. #16
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    I am in the exact same situation. I have an 18month old daughter that NEEDS to be where I am when she is awake. I work 7am-4pm Mon - Thurs...Fridays are my play with Kenzie time and quilt while she naps...It is impossible for me to get much done while she is awake because she needs to be on my lap/table/chairs etc haha...I love her to death though haha...sooo if she is busy playing with toys I will be in my quilting room until she comes and gets me and demands attention. I get most of my quilting done while she naps in the morning and afternoon...but nightlife seems to be the most productive...I will quilt for at least 2 hrs after I get home from work and have fed/bathed/and tucked my little tike into bed at 8pm...If I am exhausted I go to bed right after her! and just quilt the next night that way I have a bit more energy and feel like staying up later....My husband is awesome on the weekends, if I want to do some sewing he will play with her for a while...I totally see where you are coming from and as they get a bit older you can quilt more, they do grow up so fast you almost don't want to miss any of that either haha, time management is what it comes down to...For me its just stressful to try sew when she wants my attention so I just wait until she is sleeping that way its not stressful and I turn on my radio and sew for a couple hours...keep your chin up, it will get easier...happy quilting!
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  17. #17
    Senior Member Karen's Kreations's Avatar
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    A friend once told me to give myself 15 minutes a day for sewing - it's amazing what you can get done in a short amount of time if you do it consistently. I found it to be very relaxing.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Scraplady's Avatar
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    Nancy Zieman's book 10-20-30 Minutes to Quilt is what got me started quilting. My kids were older by that time, but we home-schooled and I worked part time at our church and I didn't think I had time to sew. It takes a little prep work and organizing but it will amaze you what you can accomplish in those little short bursts of time. I was so inspired after the first one that I kept on going and haven't stopped. And I agree with the others, cherish the time with your daughter. It may be annoying at times, but who knows, maybe spending time with you "sewing" will foster an interest that will last a lifetime. I have taught both my girls to sew and they knew they were always welcome in my sewing room (except the few weeks before Christmas when it became Santa's workshop). They are grown now and both have retained an interest in sewing. My oldest even made her first quilted table runner for a shower gift recently. I treasure the memories of the times I spent "creating" with them even when it seemed like they were under foot.
    www.makeminepatchwork.etsy.com
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    "Piecin' a quilt's like livin' a life...The Lord sends us the pieces, but we can cut 'em out and put 'em together pretty much to suit ourselves, and there's a heap more in the cuttin' and the sewin' than there is in the caliker...I've had a heap of comfort all my life making quilts, and now in my old age I wouldn't take a fortune for them." (Eliza Calvert Hall, Aunt Jane of Kentucky)

  19. #19
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I sometimes get up 15 minutes early and just sew. I like to sew scrappy blocks in this small time frame, so it is easy peasy, no thinking, no measuring. Just sewing. I love the strip blocks or crumb blocks for this. Log cabin would be another good one. 10 minute block is awesome for this also. I find I can do one or two blocks each day, very rewarding! It is hard when your busy with children and normal life day to days things, I didn't sew as much those days either. The children are only little for a short time, those were the best years as my dad told me. He was right. I miss those days. Even today, it sometimes is difficult to find uninterrupted time to sew. Perhaps a weekend sewing retreat might be a great treat or gift to yourself.

  20. #20
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    I remember those days...when I felt like I would never be able to sew again. They will pass, and you will get time again. Does your husband know how much you really would like some time for that? My husband was very good at trying to take our boys for outings almost every weekend so I could have a few hours for myself.\They got to do some fun stuff, and I got the time I needed for myself. Sometimes I would sew, sometimes I would just take a nap. I hope you can get some time to sew!

  21. #21
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    Being a Mom is the most important job you will ever have. Enjoy your time with your little one and sew when you can. I keep a mindless sewing projects for times of stress and when my brain is sluggish. It is a massive Spiderweb paper pieced scrap quilt. I have all the papers ready with the beginning triangle stuck to them. I have my scrap pile sitting beside them and I can sit and sew a lot of blocks or just a couple.

  22. #22
    Senior Member cowpie2's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. At times I am just green with envy over all the quilts I see people finishing here on the board. I work full time and go to college part time. Had been able to find a few hours here and there, but then my son finished his stint in the Marines and he and my granddaughter (19 months) moved back in with us until he gets set with a job. I had forgotten how much attention a toddler takes. She loves snuggling with her gama so much that I just can't make myself hid away to sew.

    But don't worry the toddlers do grow up faster than you think and you'll (and me) have lots of time to quilt before you know it.

  23. #23
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    One suggestion, don't plan on having a lot of time to sew/quilt when you retire. I had more time when I was working!
    Now it is really a problem to get away from some of the domestic chores (which I have found are still there later) and get to the sewing room. Also must take time to go to senior exercise classes 3 times a week and daily living just sometimes gets in the way!

  24. #24
    Super Member kathdavis's Avatar
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    I believe there is a time and place for everything. This is not your time to quilt a lot. Enjoy that baby. You will have time to kick out project after project when that baby doesn't need you as much. Sew when you can, but don't put so much pressure on yourself to get so much done. That beautiful baby will grow up one day and you will have the time to quilt. My babies are now 26 and 21, with fiances, boyfriends, careers, degrees, etc. but they still ask me not to sew some nights so they can have me to themselves making memories.

    I made my girls matching outfits when they were little and I would sew after they went to bed or stay up late on weekends. I made quick outfits, but it satisfied my need to create, while I was too busy to do bigger projects.
    Kathleen

    Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone....NOT your housework!

  25. #25
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    How old is your daughter? When my younger two were 2, they could handle plastic canvas and yarn. I think their first ones had pictures on them for a pattern, then they became creative and did their own designs. It kept them busy for a long time. Put some of the craft things mentioned on a plastic table cloth and put it away except for when you are sewing. Does JoAnn's still have the coated fabric with the road map and the pretty one with the shops? Those are easy to pop in a shoe box and spread out only at sewing time. A multitasking mother can talk and sew at the same time without having her on your lap.

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