"You get so much quilting done, you must have a 48 h day or never sleep". That's what I often hear. But just like everybody else, I need to sleep 6 - 8 hours per night and I even if I wanted, I couldn't spend the other 16 hours quilting, because there's a lot of work to be done here at EQP, household chores are calling my name and my family, friends and cats like some attention every now and then as well ;o)
So what's my "secret" then? You might wonder...
A good cook starts with gathering his ingredients, washing and cutting vegetables and marinate meat before preparing the meal, so that once the actual cooking is done, he has everything he needs at hand.
The same goes for quilting: often we come home from work and we're tired, or we have only 30 minutes to quilt. When you have to start searching for your materials, look up what you need to do, cut templates or fabrics,... you won't do much or maybe you won't even have the energy to get started at all.
That's why preparing your quilting is so important!
I schedule a weekly moment to prepare my projects. For me that's a Sunday afternoon as this is a quiet day in my schedule and I will not be disturbed by anything or anyone, but maybe for you that's a Friday afternoon, because your home alone or a Tuesday evening when the kids are in bed,... you know best!
So, "preparing my projects", what does that mean?
For a new project it generally comes down to reading (or in my case mostly: writing) the pattern, gathering all required materials (fabric, needles, scissors, matching thread, freezer paper,...) and cut the templates and fabrics for a couple of blocks or the entire quilt (depending on the size of the quilt). When you're working on a large quilt, you might want to 'cut the pie in pieces' and cut a couple of blocks per week, followed by the sashing strips or setting blocks, the border, etc.
I make sure that I prepare enough for the entire week. In my case, I mostly quilt during the evenings, so I will make sure I prepare enough for (at least) 7 evenings. That way, when I'm tired after a day of work, I can just grab my project basket and start sewing.
Other things that I do during my Sunday Preparations, are basting, drawing quilting motifs onto my top, machine sew the binding so that I can later hand sew it to the back of the quilt during the week,...
As a hand quilter I find that one moment per week is enough, but if you're a machine quilter you get more sewing done in less time, so you might want to schedule 2 - 3 moments a week.
Preparing your projects has proven to be something that works not only for me, but also for many of my followers and students. Even years later, they tell me how much they benefit from these preparation moments!
So schedule a moment, whether you're starting a new quilt or continue on a work-in-progress and give it a try!