Friday, October 9, 2015

How I can be a Maker {and a giveaway}

Today is my last "work day" before I leave for our October therapy trip on Wednesday.  (My mom and I take Eleni out of town once a month for a week long intensive therapy.  Anat Baniel Method (ABM) is a type of movement therapy for children with brain issues.  I blogged more about how it works here.)  In September I didn't prepare well before leaving for therapy week, which added to the stress of Eleni's illness both in Chicago and when I got home.  This time I am going to be more on top of things, not because I "have to" keep my blog going, but because I want to.  This business is something I very much enjoy and a key part of my identity.

I thought you might like to hear how I prepare?

Fat Quarter Shop findings

Two days per week, Wednesdays and Fridays, I have "work days" during which the grandparents keep the children.  I thrive on quiet, alone, productive time.  If you ever wonder how I "get so much done," let me be clear - I have help!  Couldn't do it without these work days.  Granted, I also try to sew and do computer work on other days, especially weekends, but these quiet work days truly keep the wheel turning.

On Wednesday I sat down with my calendar and planned out two weeks of post topics, covering the time remaining until I depart, the time while I am out of town and a few days after I get back.  That last part is key.  It's no good to try to come up with content when dealing with travel fatigue and the adjustment of returning to normal "mom" life.

Keep in mind that I can plan like this because I have specific goals.  You have to know what you want to accomplish before you can accomplish it.  That sounds "duh", but it's all too easy to get stuck with the nagging feeling of failure if you don't set clear, measurable goals.  My goal, since Eleni was born, has been to publish three posts per week.  And in order to post, I have to make.  It's a good problem to have.

Today, when I thought about what I wanted to do with my work time, I felt an undercurrent of unease that I might need to do something else to prepare for my trip.   Ah, yes... reality.  So, I sat down and made a list of what I need to do for Stitched in Color before we leave:
  • Write mosaic contest post
  • Back + quilt Zephyr
  • Photo Eleni's costume
  • Cut Pickle fabrics
  • Write costume post

Luckily, that thing I wanted to do at the moment is on my list.  Whheee!  But not so fast.  Today is my quiet, focused day.  The rest of my time I'll be juggling big and little kids and finances and packing and homeschool and social plans between trying to accomplish those things.  What can I realistically do on Saturday or Sunday or school days?  What do I need to do today, during these quiet hours?   Time to prioritize.

Beside each task I wrote the day that I would plan to accomplish each one.  Now I know what I should do today first, with what I wanted to do possibly on the horizon as a reward for pushing through.

Does this seem a little neurotic, a bit too self-contained?  Well, it would be for some folks.  For me, it really fits.  It actually feels good to make careful decisions about how to spend my time and then to follow through.  These are little windows of success and control.  Woohoo for controlling something!  Before Eleni my life didn't require this much planning and parceling out on a regular basis.  Sure, I'd get like this if I was nearing a deadline for producing a class or such, but in general I didn't plan posts much in advance.  Now I am thankful that I do have these skills, because they are absolutely vital to my emotional health.

I want to continue to be a Maker.  And, let's face it, we all have to Make Time to Make.  I hope this peek into my planning process will inspire you to take one little step towards carving out time to Make in your day-to-day.

{Giveaway} from Fat Quarter Shop

Did you notice that both fabrics in Eleni's 7 month update were from Art Gallery's collection called "Maker"?  Such a great name!  The Maker line keeps catching my eye month after month.  It was inevitable that Eleni would end up squirming around on it eventually.  And I'm so glad I succumbed!  That scissor print was so perfect with her prism glasses, hehe.

Fat Quarter Shop is giving away the 10-piece fat quarter set To Sunset Maker to one lucky reader.  International entries welcome!  For your chance to win, tell us one way you can carve out more time, space or opportunity to be a Maker in your day-to-day.  Comment now through Monday around noon, Eastern time.

Good luck!

******************* Comments Closed*****************************

Our winner is comment #185, Sue Kaiser.  Enjoy your bundle, Sue!  I appreciated reading through these comments.  So much we have in common!


255 comments:

  1. I am so fortunate to have a great partner. My husband doesn't mind if the dishes don't get done right away or the laundry is still waiting to be folded. Oftentimes, he picks up my slack. I used to feel guilty about taking the time to create, but my husband is constantly telling me how much he appreciates the fruit of my "labor". Since becoming a mother my time is so precious. I work around nap time and cannot completely abandon the housework, but it is even more important to me now not to lose the part of my identity where I make things.

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  2. Oh boy! I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to carving out time for my sewing projects. I feel like I throw away so much free time everyday scrolling through my iPad and phone. Reddit, instagram, facebook, snapchat, etc, etc. In a way they are all ways to keep in touch with my far-flung family and friends but then I space out and start clicking through links and before you know it I'm reading "Thought Catalog" articles from two years ago. I need to get a grip and get off my electronics!!!!!!

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  3. I work one Saturday a month and in exchange get a precious week day off when the kids are in school or day care...that is my sewing day! And I sneak in a few hours here and there when I can (get up early, go to bed too late). Thank you for the giveaway!

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  4. I will usually sew when my daughter is in school. I do try to exercise first, run any errands, and accomplish at least one house cleaning activity. So I typically don't get big blocks of time to sew but I'm great full for forthe time that I have to see.

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  5. I guess I carve out stra time by making a list and rewarding myself for sometthing completed.... I need A LOT of motivation sometimes!!!

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  6. First, let me applaud you for making sure to carve out time just for you - SO important and something that many women neglect. I've been learning that myself these days! My most productive sew time is on the weekends. I like to get up and start sewing by 10 am and work through the day. That said - I spend time "planning" during the week. I have a stack of books and magazines that I like to browse to get inspiration, and I spend time reading the blogs and looking at photos on pinterest. I have a notebook that I jot down ideas and sketch things out. This way, on Saturday and Sunday, I am dying to get into the sewing room to sew! I belong to some bees and I try to do my bee blocks the first weekend of the month. I also am running a group on Flickr for the Little Quilts book and so I try to get my mini done for the month by the 3rd weekend. All the other time is spent working on stuff I am excited to work on! Thanks for sharing your organizing and planning :)
    caribousmom (at) aol.com

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  7. I have an hour for lunch during the work week. I spend the first half an hour eating (and reading), and then switch over to knitting for the last half. It's a great way to take a break from work, and all those half-hour blocks add up!

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  8. I tend to want to wait 'til the weekend when I have a bigger chunk of time to work on making, which isn't really the best way to go about it for me. The way I can make time is to use little bits of time whenever I possibly can- if sew a few pieces between stirring the soup, or iron those squares even tho I only have five minutes, I get a lot more done by the end of the day. I don't always do it but when I do it brings me more satisfaction.

    BTW, what you've got going on in the first pic of this post, I LOVE it.

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  9. I have a standing Thursday morning date with friends to sew. This is mY time and I do not allow anything else to keep me from it. It is so incredibly important to spend this time on ourselves for the emotional benefits. I swear it lowers my blood pressure and lightens my mood.

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  10. My kids are older now and much more able to help so my key to finding time to make is to ask them to help. They most often are perfectly willing with a simple request. Then I don't get overwhelmed and feel guilty when the "chores" aren't done while I play. ;-)

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  11. My husband likes to play video games, so two nights a week after the kids are in bed, we don't hang out together. I sew and he saves what's left of the universe.

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  12. When my son left home his bedroom became my sewing room. I have lots of space for my sewing table, cutting table, shelves of fabric that used to be confined to one small area. I have just been diagnosed with myasthenia gravis so unfortunately I have not been able to sew lately but my room keeps calling my name! Hopefully soon. Sewing feeds my soul. I am in desperate need of that right now. Take care. I love reading your blog. You are all in my prayers. ♡♡♡

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  13. lists!! I make weekly & daily lists of my goals. It helps keep me honest with my time & on track.

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  14. My friend Anne and I had great intentions to have a "crafting morning" when our youngest boys went off to Kindergarten this fall. Two months later and we still need to make it happen! I tend to do some sewing while the kids are at school, sometimes ignoring laundry and cleaning to hide away with my sewing machine. Ha ha!

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  15. I broke my tibia plateau in July and had to have major surgery and still not walking (yet..but will!) So I have had too much time lately...it has given me time to start a family blog, finish second son's baby book and work on hand sewing a hexie quilt. It has been a HUGE slow down and I am trying to make the most of it. Sending you warm thoughts as you gear up for a therapy week away. Love from the west coast. -k

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  16. I like to sew first thing in the morning when I am bright and chipper and the doldrums of errands and chores for when I am tired and less creative.

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  17. Alas -- if only there were more than 24 hours in a day! The only way I get sewing done is by making it a priority. It's not a priority every day, but there are some days when less-pressing things slide -- when I put off cleaning the bathrooms or make a not-so-great dinner -- so that I can sew.

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  18. I can see where making is vital to all of our mental health! Kudos to you for making it happen with everything you have going on in life! My husband and son like to watch football--that's the perfect time for me to disappear into my quilting room and get busy.:)

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  19. my problem is a little different from yours! After 25 years as a SAHM (with one disabled child) I find myself suddenly an empty nester! As wonderful as that is, I have to discipline myself not to waste hours on the internet! Love following your story. Thanks for the motivation and inspiration

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  20. I tend to sew first thing in the morning to wake up my brain... planning my projects would help me make better use of my time, but I need some space to follow the "squirrel" in my brain occasionally!

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  21. For me it's leading by example. If I what my kids to be readers I most show them how to be a reader. If I want them to be makers I must make. It may not be sewing, it may be some other form but making is a part of my quest to be (and teach my kiddos to be) a life long learner.

    Thanks for sharing your planning process I enjoyed the peek inside.
    Have a great weekend :)

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  22. I take advantage of my 25 minute train ride to get in some hand-stitching time most weekdays. The key is having my project prepped and ready to go.

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  23. I take advantage of my 25 minute train ride to get in some hand-stitching time most weekdays. The key is having my project prepped and ready to go.

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  24. I find time some mornings before work or in the evenings before my husband gets home from school. My favorite though are little projects I can take with me to work on on the bus ride to and from work.

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  25. I've always been more of a night person, and since I'm on call to 11 pm for work, I've started going to may sewing room after dinner/cleanup for at least an hour or two. I prep for these times on my days off and have several projects already cut that I can easily piece.

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  26. on days I don't work I get up before everyone else, I sew and sew and sew!!!!

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  27. I have a "waiting for clients" project going at all times. Right now it's piecing batting scraps for a cute charity quilt.

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  28. I need to put down electronics and concentrate on the task at hand. dont let IG distract me. big time saver im sure!! thanks for a chance, great fabrics.

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  29. I have to make fun sewing a priority or it never happens! There's always so much to do. I love reading your blog! renae1225@gmail.com

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  30. I definitely need to make a list of what I want to accomplish each evening when I get home from work. Otherwise, all I will actually do is sit on the couch and think about what needs to be done.

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  31. Fortunately, I retired this year and am able to carve out creative time every day. First it's exercise, for the body, then making for the soul. Everything else fits in between the two. I never thought I would get to this place, working full time, raising a family and being a spouse, but it is a blessing being here.

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  32. I'm trying to limit my computer use--way too easy to just sit and scroll when I'm tired and feeling down. Thing is, I always feel LESS tired and down when I actually get my butt out of the chair and moving!

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  33. My husband works a rotating shift, so any night he's not home I try to focus on making. It relieves a lot of my stress and fulfills my need to create.

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  34. My husband works a rotating shift, so any night he's not home I try to focus on making. It relieves a lot of my stress and fulfills my need to create.

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  35. My husband works a rotating shift, so any night he's not home I try to focus on making. It relieves a lot of my stress and fulfills my need to create.

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  36. Thanks for sharing your methods! I find that I can easily slip in at least an hour of quilting time after my daughter goes to bed, and after I've gotten a few chores done. (My low standards for housekeeping certainly help!) Since she needs 11.5 hours of sleep, and I only need 8, there's some good time to work with there. The trick is to keep up some momentum, and get into my sewing room before I sit down in a comfortable chair and decide I'm tired and would rather zone out in front of the TV. If I start quilting and after 15 minutes am still tired, then I'll let myself take off for the evening, but I usually find that the process of creating is energizing, and I don't want to stop

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    1. My email address is drlbennett at gmail dot com

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  37. Great question! Earlier this year I became burned out through work and study commitments, and after a long period struggling I cut things back and started to take care of myself, first and foremost. For me that means a heavily structured Google Calendar and to-do list, and at least a once weekly reward afternoon in my sewing room. I'm just about to finish the first quilt for keeps, and I've named it 'Quilting Is My Therapy' to remind me that I matter, and to make time for me.

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  38. I can totally relate, I am also the planning and list type of person in my work life. Unfortunately due to a lot of travel I do not often have the opportunity to sew during the week, but I try to find a few hours during the weekend (albeit not always successful) as I have a lot of other hobbies as well.
    What really helped me was creating a space for my sewing machine in my office,so I can keep everything prepared for when I get a bit of time to sew - meaning I can make use also of a half hour here or there that I can squeeze in.

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  39. I try to keep an hour a day for myself for sewing and creating but it doesn't always work out!

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  40. I try to be a "maker" for 15 minutes a day. Then on the days I really don't have lots of time for sewing and crafting I don't feel guilty, but I also get a little me time so I don't feel deprived.

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  41. With all you have going on in your life I am so impressed that you take the time to make beautiful things and share them. I am glad it is a good thing for you and it is definitely a good thing for your readers. Thank you! I am fortunate to be at a point in my life where I have a good amount of discretionary time for sewing or whatever I choose. Deadlines (usually self imposed) are the best way for me to use the time wisely and get things done.

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  42. I need some deadlines to finish...so I set some by joining swaps, making things as presents and I am joining a QAL to see if that 'll work...

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  43. As a homeschooling mom, I find myself racing for the sewing machine any time my kiddo is working independently (I'm down to my youngest child now!). It's amazing how much I can get done in 15+ minute blocks of time. I also find whatever time I can in the evening, though that usually means a late night for me, as I can never seem to pull myself away; you know: just one more section/block, etc.! Btw, thanks so much for sharing Eleni's story, and daring to take the mask off, allowing us to see the heartache. My heart goes out to you! Cindy (ccrawfordthomas@gmail.com)

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  44. Actually this is an area where I struggle, and your post has certainly given me a conscience nudge. I have been feeling overwhelmed because I have so many things I'd like to be working on, but they fall short due to work, housework, kids, pets, etc, etc! So thank you very much, I'm going to sit down and make some lists and goals for myself. dawnm1993(at)gmail(dot)com

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    1. I am so lucky that you are a Maker because you inspire me! And I want to continue to make and could really use some time management tips! After I've walked the dogs and started dinner (this comes after the 9-5 job) I race up to my studio where my current project stands ready. I just jump in and work until the dinner needs my attention. Blogging is harder to stay on top of, but I try to get the camera out on the weekends and shoot as much as I can. As a result, lots of my projects are presented in an unfinished state - something that I would like to rectify. Love this giveaway. Love your work and your good heart.

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  45. I have been limiting my sewing time because of severe pain. To continue to be able to sew I will plan to sew after the pain med kicks in, and try to use proper posture while sewing. I can carve out more time sewing with this plan!
    cork@pa.rr.com

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  46. I think planning is key. And I do more when I have a list of things i can do in those 10-15 minute timeframes before you have to leave for something. It has surprised me how many small things can be accomplished during those small times so that I can focus on the big things when I have a larger chunk of time.

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  47. I did wonder how you do it all; thanks for sharing!

    The best way for me to carve out time is to step away from the computer and put down my smartphone. It's so easy to get caught up on Facebook and Pinterest and lose my time to be productive. Scheduling my days and prioritizing my work would be a big help as well.

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  48. I sew when my kids are at school. The evenings are usually too busy or I'm too tired. I have multiple sclerosis so I have more energy during the day. But I so enjoy sewing, it gives my mind a break! Thank you for this giveaway!
    Dmac5958ataoldotcom

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  49. I set my daughter up with her own craft at the table with me while I sew. Not only do I get to Make, but I get to have 1 on 1 time with her.

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  50. I'm still learning to juggle making time with my two-month-old. I have turned to some easy knitting I can do while holding her, but I have plans for sewing that I'm itching to accomplish. She is currently napping for the first time in her crib - I have to figure out how to take advantage of that!

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  51. I need to turn my stinking TV off! I do turn it off and I make at least 20 min a day to do something in my sewing room. It could be tiding up or cutting or actual stitching. Just at least a little bit everyday.

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  52. Quilt blogs are my biggest time-waster (although I've learned a LOT reading them!). I probably need to move my reading to the end of the night (when I'm not as motivated to sew) and spend more of the day at my machine!

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  53. I have to be flexible with my time. My husband and I run a two person show and I have to be able to drop or reschedule my making at a moments notice if he has a project that requires my attention. Sometimes my sewing rooms gets one long visit a day and other times I fit in several shorter sessions. Thanks!

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  54. I have a rolling list of obligations, and I accomplish one thing on the list in exchange for a block of sewing time. I also get a lot done at sew-ins.

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  55. I have a rolling list of obligations, and I accomplish one thing on the list in exchange for a block of sewing time. I also get a lot done at sew-ins.

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  56. The only time I get maker time is evenings, early mornings, or weekend naptimes - I do try to get some knitting done during my lunch breaks at work but sewing time is all squeezed in. For me it's definitely a hobby and the only thing I will really hustle to get done is bee blocks or swap projects - if I'm tired and want to go to bed early, or I'm wrapped up in a book and want to continue reading it, I do it and don't feel guilty about it.

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  57. My husband is wonderful and understands my need to create, so even thiugh I try to spend a few evenings with him watching a movie or something, he knows that I'll be sewing on the other nights :)

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  58. I say no to a lot of things. Not only do I prioritize my to-do list, I prioritize what goes on it. Including time for me. It's not selfish - it's sanity.

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  59. I mostly "make" during daylight hours but think I would get much more done id I carved out some time for the evening hours.

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  60. I struggle to make time to make. I work full time and study part time, but I can't give up the quilting. I try to set aside a day or half a day each weekend. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  61. I try to do all my cooking on one day usually Friday afternoon. Then when I get home from work in the afternoon and the little one naps I can sew :) lovely fabric thanks for the giveaway

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  62. The most important thing for me is being lucky enough to have a dedicated sewing space with cutting mat and sewing machine always set up. Even sewing just one seam between jobs or as a 'treat' for doing something difficult or boring means that the project moves along even when time is short. Thanks for the giveaway and good luck for your trip.

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  63. The best way for me carve out maker time is too limitmy Internet time. I can spend way too much time looking at other makes...and need to spend more time making my own.

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  64. I try to carve out a little time every night after work, but it doesn't always happen. My kids are older, though, so I do have lots more time than I did when they were in elementary and even middle school. I find that I get to a point in a project where I must put it down and work on something else. Something mindless. Like cutting for a new project or washing fabric or batting or just anything but what I'm supposed to be doing! :)

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  65. The only way I got things done when the kids were younger was to get up earlier. Its amazing how little sleep one needs when they are motivated with projects. Have a productive trip.

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  66. I carve out time in many ways. I can hand stitch while I am waiting for something to cook in the kitchen. I can get strips ready and then cut them in the intervals between washing, drying. I also get much done by getting up early. I seem to be the early morning person at my house, with others staying up late at night.

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  67. Great ideas shared! I work from home and have an empty nest, so I should have lots of time to be a Maker.....but.....too much screen time! So....my way to make more time is to change chairs! Great blog post...thank you!

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  68. At this stage in our lives, there are no more to-do lists or must do's, but instead, we enjoy our great grandchildren and do pretty much what we please. I do spend most of my time sewing and making gifts for 32 family members, so now is a very busy time for me, and my husband putters around outside and looks for things to do around the house. Lucky me! After 60 years of marriage, we still enjoy each other's company. Good luck in Chicago. The weather has been pretty nice, so hope it continues while you are here. lv2bquilting2@comcast.net

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  69. Those first two hours of the morning are vital to me, before I head off to work. Grabbing a few hours on the weekend helps too!

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  70. I put off doing things until the last moment.......I have always worked well to a deadline! Its really quite stressful and Im always trying to get ahead but it never works for me. I'm the gal who is still stitching the binding onto the quilt on the way to the baby shower!

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  71. Thanks for sharing what works for you! I used to try to remember everything in my head and occasionally make a list. Not any more. Now I write it down. If it's on paper I'll see it and I think the actual process of writing it gives me a nudge that I have that thing to do and it helps clear my head of some of the clutter stuff that keeps going round and round. Love those fabrics. Have a good trip with Eleni.

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  72. I enjoy your blog. To find time for sewing I am motivated by projects that need to get done for birthdays or holiday projects. I also belong to a quilting group that meets once a year. I continue to pray for you and your family.

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  73. I like to do at least a little bit each day so I try to do all of my pre-cutting first and then when I have some free time, I can just pick it up and sew.

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  74. I love my "lap work" and plan projects I can do while my husband has me watch TV with him. I don't sit well so keeping my hands busy helps to make it through a program.

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  75. I have more time to make things, now that my kids are grown. I usually find time during the week when my husband watches something in the evening that isn't of interest to me.
    tstanulis@verizon.net

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  76. It is certainly hard to find time for creative expression but it's so essential! My husband is a sports fan so I find that the best time to work is during a game. He watches the game on one side of the room while I work in the other side. We can chat about each other's hobbies during breaks.

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  77. With 6 year old twin girls a 3 year old boy and a 7 month baby girl I make time for sewing by giving up sleep :)

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  78. Send him out of town to visit his mom for a week! Love him but can sew all day, late night, sleep & repeat!! ;)

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  79. I just try to set aside a little time each day to do some sewing!

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  80. My husband is a firefighter so I try to plan my machine sewing for nights when he is working. I also keep a hand sewing project going all the time so I can work on it while we watch TV. Best of both worlds, sewing and time with the hubby.

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  81. My days off from work are key! I plan to get all my groceries, cleaning and housework done in the morning so I have the rest of the day to sew un-interupted. I also always have some hand work available to sew when I am in front of the tv or sitting outside. You get a lot done sewing for 10 to 15 minutes at a time, it adds up and soon your hand applique is done.

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  82. I could carve out some time but delegating more to my husband! He even said he would do more housework!!! thanks!

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  83. I don't get to sew everyday, but I do say the heck with cleaning & washing and I have me a sew day. I feels good. delch81@gmail.com

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  84. I found one good way...to make a place to keep my machine/stuff out all the time....then when I have a minute to sew, it's all set up and ready... thanks for the giveaway. Praying you have an encouraging week in Chicago.

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  85. I am a volunteer EMT on Friday evenings til 6AM Saturday. I do some hand stitching at the firehouse in the evening.

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  86. The past two years have been a lot like what you are just getting adjusted to.
    planned chaos.
    Well, I am a list maker and very organized, I also like order and perfection!
    haha
    It is hard to meet those of goals, but I do learn to fit it in.
    I have NO ALONE time. My hubbs is retired. hahaha no he is not annoying, but he whistles when I play the piano..... ....... ..... and he is just always around. He keeps busy and volunteers for all sorts of computer tech stuff around the neighborhood, but they come to him. Or he is on his telephone for an hour helping some oldster at my parents community of Ashby Ponds hook up their printer, or phone plan or cable or whatever problem.
    Rex is sooooo patient.

    You are blessed, Rachel. I hoped and prayed for that. I am so happy you have g-rents around to help. So we do eventually learn to "blend" and fit in what we need for ourselves.
    I just savor the day, each hour with those I love. I feel so honored to take care of my mom and dad.
    You know the hardest most complex times in life can make you stronger, and your family closer.

    Uh, now what was the question?
    I try very hard to clear out two days a week when I can clean my house (it is way too big now and I have fear of losing control) and sew sew sew. I used to try mixing in some baking adventures, but .... when I think about it, I do not really neeed to make cinnamon rolls from scratch so never mind. I read and study sewing blogs like yours while I am on the treadmill my hubbs bought for me last year.
    I make lists. lots of lists. Just like my dad.
    I love Art Gallery Fabrics. All of their fabrics are just gorgeous.
    Happy Snappy Week-end Hunnybunch♥️

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  87. Does avoiding cleaning the house count? I try to take time to do something every day, even if it's only 15 minutes to avoid getting super grumpy.

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  88. Carving out time to sew has really been a challenge the last couple of weeks. On top of working full-time, being a wife and a mom to a busy 13-year-old athlete, I've been taking a professional development course, and we just put our house on the market. My plan is to sew every weekend at least one day. I have two or three bigger projects I want to get done in time to give them as Christmas gifts, but there just doesn't seem to be enough time. As you said, we have to make time to be a maker. I just wish it was easier!

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  89. Thankfully, I have a pretty flexible schedule...but after any "head down" sewing time, I try and make sure to take a good break from it, before going "head down" again :) Thanks for a super giveaway!

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  90. Some days, with 10-hour days at work and at least 2 hours of commuting, all I can do is fill up my Pintrest boards. It's a stop-gap measure when I have NO time to make, but I can take 5 minutes to dream!

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  91. I like to make little piles of fabric when I've got a few minutes. Then I can think about what quilt I'd like to make with them. After that, I start cutting fabric until it's all done. I then sew things together. I have to do this is little snippets of time, like nap time or after my little one goes to sleep. I have a feeling it will be getting harder to do as my 2nd baby is due in December!

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  92. I like to make little piles of fabric when I've got a few minutes. Then I can think about what quilt I'd like to make with them. After that, I start cutting fabric until it's all done. I then sew things together. I have to do this is little snippets of time, like nap time or after my little one goes to sleep. I have a feeling it will be getting harder to do as my 2nd baby is due in December!

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  93. I'm not good at making time to make. I'm not good at time management at all, really. I procrastinate important stuff with time-wasters, then I eventually have to do the important stuff and I have no time for crafty stuff. I need to make a conscious effort to do better. Making to-do lists helps, and my partner is the best at getting me to stop wasting time. Without him I certainly wouldn't have a finish on the horizon. So that's my tip - have a partner that supports your craftiness and gets you off your butt to do the stuff you have to do!

    You are very inspiring, Rachel. It's always nice to see how you do it - being organised makes total sense. Thank you for still being here and posting. I love when your posts come up on my feed. Your style is beautiful and I'm very selfishly glad that you are able to continue Stitched in Color.

    May I ask (personal question, I apologise, and don't feel that you have to answer), is there anything that we, as readers, can do to make anything easier for you?

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  94. One way to have more time, is to spend less of it on the computer-LOL.
    Thanks,
    Peggy
    peggy_verdongibbs@att.net

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  95. I squeeze in a little time during nap time and then before bed. I make time to maintain my sanity.

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  96. My husband travels a few days each week. We both work full time. When he is away I can devote some evening time to Making. Several years ago his traveling away from home was very extensive and quilts poured out of my house. It's much better for our relationship for him to be traveling less, accordingly my quilt output is lower, but it keeps us more in balance.

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  97. When my husband tinkers in the garage at night, I visit my sewing room. That way we both get to play with our hobbies.

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  98. Loooove your blog! & we keep your Family in our Hearts & Prayers here too.

    I try to do a bit of making every day..used to be better at it..but due to surgeries & two different go-rounds of daily Radiation zaps...I lost so much oomph...is taking me time to get back in gear. Doing way better now..Yay! Thanks for your Give-a-way....but 'specially for sharing all you do..and for your sweeet baby...she is Gorgeous!

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  99. LOVE this post! It's always so helpful to read the ways others organize and prioritize their lives. You, Rachel, continue to be such an inspiration! For myself, I find planning each week on paper helps me hit my goals. I use a Planner Pad, which allows for tasks to be clumped under categories of the users' choice. One of my categories is quilting and knitting, and I decide which project(s) I want to work on for the given week. With most of my nine children raised (only 3 at home now), I'm finding it easier to squeeze in bits of time to sew between other tasks these days.

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  100. Good luck on your therapy trip. I really hope that Eleni stays well and can get the most health benefits from the trip. I really need to stop spending so much time on the computer. I also get way too bogged down with my to-do list. Maybe scheduling ahead of time is the key!!! Can't wait to see the Halloween costumes.

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  101. Thanks for sharing your organizing tips! Im already not good at time management when it comes for time to Make and add that to I work part time from home and the family can walk in at any time with "I need you to...", arghhh! I just might try that...block out 2 days a week :-)

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  102. siempre e seguido sus pasos y siento mucho lo que le ocure a esa preciosidad de niña tengu una gran admiracion por ustet porque mi marido murio y yo estoy enferma de cancer y gracias a ustet
    vuelvo a recuperar las ganas de volver hacar lo que mas nos gusta mucha suerte me gustaria enviarle algun regalito para eleni si a ustet no le sabe mal vivo en Barcelona españa
    todo lo que necesite y pueda ayudarle con mucho gusto lo hare un fuerte habrazo

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  103. I post my weekly to-do list on my blog, out in public for all to see, and then confess the next week just how much I completed on the list. That level of accountability has really helped me accomplish much more - it's embarrassing to have to admit that I just lazed my week away! Also, I've become much more aware of time-sucking apps on my phone (although I refuse to give up Instagram!)

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  104. I'm a grad student and I have three preschoolers. Finding sewing time can be tricky. I work hard during the week and I can usually manage a couple of hours during naptime on Sunday and while the kids watch their Sunday movie. It helps to have that as a reward. Also, no tv really helps.

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  105. I try to sew everyday, even if it is just for ten minutes. I am one of those lucky people who is now retired with my kids grown, so my days are much different now. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  106. I am disabled and some days are really bad. I do have a dedicated sewing room and I make sure i go in there every day no matter how hard it may be for me that day. If I only get to sew for a few minutes, those few minutes are an escape for me and they give me a chance to be "normal" even for a short time.

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  107. I'm lucky enough to work shifts so I'm able to find times when no one is around to create..very blessed.

    erin2470@hotmail.com

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  108. Seems like I'm fortunate when it comes to having time to Make. I'm retired and my two boys are in college so there isn't a lot they need me for. Knitting and quilting has helped me fight the 'empty nest syndrome' but I seem to spend more time on the computer reading quilting blogs and looking through Pinterest than anything else. Maybe I need to use a planner in order to get more done!

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  109. Uuuuummmmm, I wasn't born in Canada and don't have any family here so I've never had family help bringing up 4 children on my own. Now that I have a terminal illness I have to make sure I don't 'waste' time on tasks that don't bring me some sort of pleasure/joy etc. So I have therapy 5 half days a week and I only spend 1 hour a day on housework. The rest is MY time, doing all the sewing and quilting that saves my sanity. I'm happy and produce things that I will be happy to leave behind when my times is up. I wonder - has anyone else made special items for their children after they have gone, or it that weird?

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    1. I'm sorry about your illness. I think that it's wonderful that you want to make them something to cherish.

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    2. Hi Carole-Jayne,
      I wanted to comment. As a hospice nurse I meet people everyday who are in your situation and many of them also feel as you do. It's definitely not weird. Instead, I would call it loving. It's a way of showing your children love, through the creation of something beautiful by the work of your own hands. The essence of "you" will be in everything you make. I don't know how old your children are but they will treasure those tangible reminders of you. And of course the added benefit of this is that it will bring you purpose and peace as you face the anxiety of a terminal diagnosis. So...keep on making and I wish you strength and courage in facing whatever lies before you.

      Delete
  110. I have a weird work schedules, but I try to keep Tuesday's as my quilting day. It gives me great satisfaction and peace the rest of the week!

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  111. My children are in school all day so I have plenty of time to be a Maker but I tend to let myself get distracted. My making feels a bit haphazard and I'm overwhelmed by the things I want to make. So I have started to plan a schedule for myself so that certain times are for certain things that need to happen.

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  112. This year my youngest is in preschool so I almost always sew while he is at preschool. I am loving it...but starting to feel a little spoiled, like maybe I should be cleaning the house or something instead. Lovely bundle..hope I win. Best wishes with your therapy week.

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  113. I blow off the housework for a morning. Then I scramble in the afternoon.

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  114. I try to fame or play music while I'm doing chores. Makes me feel energized afterwards instead of exhausted - which means more energy for sewing

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  115. Thanks for the chance to win. I sew on weekend mornings, really early before most people get going.

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  116. I teach full time and take care of my elderly father, so I don't get a lot of "me" time. I do carve out a few hours every Saturday morning when I turn off the electronics, unplug the phone, and just do something for myself. Alas, it's only 3 or 4 hours, but it recharges me and helps me stay creative.

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  117. i recently decided to make sundays my "selfish" sewing/embroidering/creating time. i can work on whatever i want and not feel guilty for not working on something i feel like i "should" be working on. one sunday in and so far, so good! i also want to limit my social media time...i am someone who can pop on to check something and then loose half my free time mindlessly scrolling... thanks for the chance to win some very cool fabrics!

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  118. I have been making quilt goals for each week. I try to keep them reasonable and feel good when I accomplish them. I get up about 15-30 minutes early each morning and then take some sewing time at the start of the day. Thanks for the chance to win the fabric. Darlene doctor@sbcglobal.net

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  119. I am a retired grandmother so i work every afternoon.

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  120. Great post! I make time to sew everyday. Perhaps even too much time based on the state of my house! But I don't make time to plan my blog. I think I find it easier to sew often because I can do it in 5min or 2 hours chunks, and when I sit down, I never know how long the chunk is going to be before I get interrupted. Whereas blogging takes brain space, and quiet for me. Something I don't get much in this season, with Tim finishing his masters. Your post makes me wonder if I just put a little thought and planning, maybe I'd make time for it. Thanks!

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  121. I admire you so much for what you are doing and keeping your chin up. My prayers for you and Eleni, and all of your family. Rely on God and the loved ones in your life because you can't do it all alone. Having a calendar for my free times helps me to use my creative time more productively. Hugs to you!

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  122. Hi, retired now and don't know how I worked and kept house too! I do all essentials in the AM now and save "Quilty Time " for the afternoons! Thanks for sharing a great Giveaway !
    msstitcher1214@gmail.com

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  123. I have to catch it when I can, but I thrive on it! My creative time is so important to me-I have to give things up to get it, but balance and some give & take is what life is all about

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  124. Oi, há tempos sigo seu blog e admiro sua força, Deus a abençoe e continue a segurar sua mão.
    Sou bastante ocupada, mas procuro reservar ao menos dois dias da semana para fazer o que mais gosto, patchwork!
    O Senhor esteja com vc! bjsssss, Eva

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  125. I don't see how you do it all! Thank you for sharing! Lately, I'm in the habit of staying up late, and I and get a lot done when all is quiet.

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  126. Even tho I work from home on my art/photography sales I really need to spend LESS time on the computer and more time on doing other things...like crafts! Thanks and God bless! ILuvTheEucharist @ aol.com

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  127. I just need to go into the sewing room. Can't get anything done if I'm not near the fabric! Praying for you, Rachel!

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  128. I try and make reasonable goals for myself each month, ones I know that I can reasonably achieve. One thing that has helped tremendously has been cutting off cable tv. It hurt at first, and the kids were not too happy about it, but we don't even miss it anymore.

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  129. I add creativity in my life by doodling on my lunch time or on the bus (I have a 45 minute commute each day on the bus). Also, my husband and I swap sleep in days. This is for weekends only, but then I get to stay up later on Friday nights, and sew to my hearts content with my children not having a cranky mom in the morning while dad gets his special time with the boys.

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  130. Thanks for the chance. Safe travels to you all.

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  131. I have a regular sewing day with my cousins every Sunday. In addition, since I am officially "retired" from my career (but not my Etsy shop), I find I have to plan out my week, similar to what you described. Certain things get done on certain days (laundry, shopping), and sewing time is scheduled right in there at least 2-3 timer per week for 2-4 hours per session.

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  132. I need to spend less time on social media. :)

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  133. I carve out more time by just trying to sew a little bit each night or every other night...even if it's only for 15 minutes.

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  134. I love to sew but I often feel guilty if it takes time away from family, so I try to see when the kids are asleep if my husband is working late, or else when he is getting ready for bed (he needs some time at the end of everyday alone to decompress so I often use that time to squeeze in some sewing). That way I feel like I am doing what I love (and need) and still prioritizing my family. Win win!

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  135. I carve out time to quilt by announcing that I will be doing so for a certain amount of time, usually specifying what I'm going to be working on so that my partner understands why this is important: "I'm going to work on Truman's birthday quilt for about an hour this afternoon." Then later, when he forgets and tries repeatedly to talk with me when I'm concentrating, I remind him again of what I'm doing. I used to feel impolite about this, and would just let the project slide while I kept up my side of the conversation, but since we are home all the time together, I found that if I didn't set real limits I would never get any quilting done. So I carve out time for my quilting and I think he is coming to understand that in order for quilts to get made, time needs to be blocked out.

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  136. planning to carve out time is always my key to getting more time…when i plan it i get the other stuff done and out of the way before hand because i know i need to have it done if i am to get any peace

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  137. I have a work day once a week. But making/ crafting is stress relieved. So when I'm stressed I quit everything else and go make something, latter on it's hard. But it's easier to live without stress and I do some more stuff in a day without stress.

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  138. Spend less time on the computer is probably the best idea.

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  139. I'm terrible at time management in general and with making time for "me" stuff in particular. I work part-time so I have two days off during the week and always fantasize about spending at least one of those days sewing, but I always end up doing other things - errands, housework, time with my husband or my mom, walking the dogs, etc. Those are good things, too, but I wish I could figure out how to prioritize sewing rather than always putting it off until everything else is done (which it never is!).

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  140. As Sarah says in the beginning, I'm also lucky to have hb who supports my work, cooks and doesn't mind if the house is upside down (I think he prefers that - no need to take so much care himself). If I had kids, I don't think I would have energy for many other things. I admire you and enjoy always reading your posts. It's good to read how others manage their time, everyday life etc. I'm so proud of you to be able to take time for your work and yourself. Other wise you couldn't help and take care of Eleni and your family. After the summer and some custom orders I have difficulties to start. Now I change and fix my sewing room and that should help. It's nice to start in clean and 'new' space. x Teje

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Rachel for the give away! This is a beautiful line and will remind us of Eleni. x Teje
      nerospost(at)gmail(dot)com

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  141. I don' make time to craft by day. But I sometimes keep my scraps on hand to baste hexies and then sew them together. That's a little feeling to really have something done each day.

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  142. I rely on daily lists and try to split my day into am for chores/must do's and pm for 'me' time. Good wishes to you and your family. Christine xxx. Treadle51@icloud.com

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  143. I'm a list girl, i like to know what i've got to do. The only way i could carve out.more time for making would be to quit my job!

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  144. I'm a list girl, i like to know what i've got to do. The only way i could carve out.more time for making would be to quit my job!

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  145. Planning ahead is my best strategy for fitting in what I have to do and what I want to do.

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  146. I really struggle with this. I think any free time I feel like I'm stealing from hubby time if I go sew on the machine. So I want to have more hand work to do and in an obvious place so that if we have a chance to chat after the kids are in bed, I can also be creating. Great giveaway question xxx

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  147. Less housekeeping means more time to MAKE! That's my trick ;-)
    Regards from France,
    Florence

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  148. Thanks for the helpful post, great ideas, and we benefit from your plan with these great posts! I use larger post it notes in my sewing room to track projects I'm working on each month. If I don't finish it goes on again the next month. Keeps me focused, but not pressured. Helps me see how much I do accomplish. Great giveaway, thanks!

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  149. Lucky me. I am retired now, so I have an extra 9 hours per day 5 days per week to use as creative time...but having said that I still have use many of the tricks I learned over the years to sneak some "maker" time in. Most importantly, I get up early, really early. Most days about 7:30 am you can find me in my sewing room, sewing, or planning, or taking apart, or just plain dreaming, about my current project. I find even 1/2 an hour of fun, makes the regular chores go faster.

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  150. Sewing time is pretty hard to find as I work full time - but any weekend or evening sewing time I can find is precious - it helps that my boys are happily occupied by x-box/computer games etc when they are not running around knocking seven bells out of each other on the rugby pitch.

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  151. I took the time to document what I did each day after work and in the evenings. I could then see how much time I "did nothing" scanning for programs on TV or using google on the computer. I found 90 minutes each day that I can be a maker. Part of the document talon was what TV shows I was watching and then at the end of the week I rated whether I liked them, had I seen them before etc. It was easy to give up the TV time. I also try and have projects ready to sew because I am tired in the evening and cutting is more wearing.

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  152. I love this fabric line too. I get up earlier than I need to every morning and work a little bit on the project of the day. The little bit every day adds up to a completed project. Thanks!

    Please click on the delaineelliott above for my email link.

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  153. My evenings are largely devoted to making. This year has been a challenge since I started my own business but that creative time is important to me so I try to carve out that time. When it comes to completing projects "slow and steady" works for me!

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  154. I love that you are so scheduled, and understand why you have to be when you have children and how to work your job into the schedule. It is wonderful that you have a great support system. The fabric line is wonderful, What fantastic prints and colors. Enjoy!

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  155. I am home all day and disabled so for me it isn't a matter of carving out the time but finding the energy. Having a list of what I need to accomplish and what I want to accomplish (sometimes only in my head) motivates me to get up and do a little bit at a time and be able to strike something off that list.
    sdehnke@hotmail.com

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  156. Making list and preparation are my keys to squeezing in time. Adding non perfectionism made the biggest stride!

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  157. The easiest way for me to carve out more time for making is to get off the internet!

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  158. I feel as though I need to make my time count more - to take care of home duties more efficiently so that I have blocks of time to sew; at the moment I tend to wait until the children are in bed, and by that point I'm not at my most creative. I love that you inspire me to do better (or more)! Thank you.

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  159. Staying organized, making a list and head to it first thing in the morning before life's distractions sideline me.

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  160. I'm trying each day to sew, mostly in the evening after dinner. It's not always possible or manageable (because life sometimes get in the way) but best for me is if I plan on the day or evening before what I'll plan to sew the next day.

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  161. I carve out time to be a maker by doing a chore, going to the sewing room to sew, prepare or finish a project. I do need to ge better about making lists though.

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  162. I can carve out time by spending less time surfing the web (facebook, pinterest, blogs). More time to DO with less time spent reading about doing!

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  163. First, thanks for let us know how do you do everything. I like make to do lists, but then I couldn´t find time. I try to sew at night, when the baby is sleeping, and now that seems that her naps are longer I try to squeeze time, lucky for me I have a sewing room so I can leave everything out for sew wherever I could.

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  164. I am a teacher and the summer is a great time for sewing every day! But during the school year I look forward to early morning sewing on the weekends and a just 15 minutes here and there after school is a must. The biggest change for me is having a sewing room now that my children are grown and have moved out - I can have multiple projects going and don't have to put everything away to have dinner. What I would say to young moms - don't sweat the small stuff, the house doesn't have to be that clean. Make time for your sewing, even if it's just 15 minutes. tchrdeb@optonline.net

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  165. Lists! Of what I have to do in daily living and what I want to make. I've also kept a list this year of finished projects, and it's much longer than I thought it would be.

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  166. I do much like you do and actually 'schedule' what I want to get accomplished. Without that list of where I want to go, I find myself drifting and not getting anything accomplished.

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  167. I need to get off instagram and start doing some more making!

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  168. When I know I will be in a busy season I specifically plan for some hand work to take in the car, as I wait (makes me less inpatient), or even during tv time when going to the sewing room would seem unsocial :-)

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  169. You are very inspiring in this post. Thanks and I am praying for your therapy trip to be peaceful and as you want it.

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  170. I have more luck "carving out time" for crafting during the winter when the snow flies (unless the ski slope calls). During the summer my bike beckons daily and my garden needs attention. Although both are creative color outlets as I enjoy eyeing others yard displays and tending my own flowers.

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  171. I have just taken 'early' Retirement and had thought that this would give me much more 'maker' time but thus far this hasn't happened lol. Having read your post, I realise I need to be far more organised. So I will a actually use the lovely notebook I have on a shelf in my sewing room. I love your site and thank you for being such an inspiration. Love Sue xx

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  172. I have just taken 'early' Retirement and had thought that this would give me much more 'maker' time but thus far this hasn't happened lol. Having read your post, I realise I need to be far more organised. So I will a actually use the lovely notebook I have on a shelf in my sewing room. I love your site and thank you for being such an inspiration. Love Sue xx

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  173. Carving out time for sewing is sometimes a challenge ...but I have changed my focus to doing small bits at a time rather than sitting a sewing for hours on end. When I accomplish just a little bit, I can stop and then come back to it when I want to.

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  174. I would get so much done and free up so much time if I just stepped away from the electronics. I really want to make a future for myself with sewing/quilting but I waste way to much time as of now. This post has given me insight on where all my time goes. Off I go to the sewing room. Hope your therapy week is relaxing and wonderful.

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  175. The daily commute used to be a great time to catch up on blogs or even sew a little. Since I moved and started walking to work though I've lost that time although being able to walk to work is pretty cool!

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  176. I like to get the house work done in the morning so I can sew in the afternoon without feeling guilty. There are days the washer is going the same time the sewing machine is too. And I also have to pull myself away from the computer to be creative!
    sewfabrics@outlook.com

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  177. Wow thanks for your post on this. Even though I am retired I still need a list to keep me on track. I have always enjoyed the process of making a prioritized list and then the best part, marking it off. If I don't make a list then I am very unproductive and do not get near as much done.
    Suekaiser826@gmail.com

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  178. One of my big challenges in carving out more time, is I'm a bit of a control-freak. I have a house with a teenager and my husband, so finding ways to delegate things is important. Then trusting that I don't need to control those items anymore.

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  179. I try and keep projects handy like pairing up quilt pieces to sew or sort scraps into color for when I am on the phone or cooking dinner. That way when I get time to sew, everything is ready to go. Thanks!

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  180. I let other things slide...like cleaning my house. And I just set up a craft room so all my stuff is easily accessible in one place

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  181. I just went back to school, and I'm a terrible procrastinator when it comes to assignments! I'm afraid that if I work on a sewing project, I'll get so caught up in it, that I'll never get my schoolwork done. I want to try setting a timer, and giving myself reward time for doing those assigned readings and writing.

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  182. 10 years ago i gave myself the best present ever, i retired! now every morning i tell my self what day it is, so i don't get them mixed up, and then i say what do you want to do today; then i do it.

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  183. It was hard for me to spend quality sewing time when I shared my sewing room with the spare bedroom. A few months ago, we finally took the plunge and changed the spare bedroom into a dedicated sewing room. Now I have room for all my stuff, I can spread out and feel like I have my own space. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  184. I think I need to schedule time for myself so I can be more consistent about making. I love doing it, I'm just easily distracted by less important things.

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  185. I have a husband who likes to cook, so time I would normally spend making dinner is used to make quilts.

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  186. Two things help me find time for making: keeping a list of things to make or to learn, and
    limiting my screen time.

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  187. I make time for myself to sew by keeping my sewing room organized. I make myself stop and clean up. When things are clean, I can sew like crazy.

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  188. I get up early before everyone else is awake and lists are great help too!

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  189. Scratch what I said on Elenis last update!! You are SUPERWOMAN!!! Not sure what I'd do with the fabric...maybe add some to the ever growing lapassa xxx

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  190. I am lucky in that I get to work four 10 hour days. Mondays are my days to create and plan.

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  191. This post has given me a lot to think about. I tend away from focus. At this stage in my life I have Fridays and Wednesday afternoons off and I do my best to get making done in that time...Perhaps I need a little more planning and prioritizing to help me use that time better. I'm glad that you are able to take the time to be a maker, it obviously means to much to you.

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  192. There is an open sew day at my local quilt shop each Wednesday. It's my time to sew projects with no interruptions, lots of camaraderie, and sharing.

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  193. By handstitching. I find that I can pick up something in the evenings when I can't be using the machine because of noise. I've also found, now that my kids are older, that I can just tell them I'll be sewing, and go do it! My house stays a little messier, but for us it's a good trade-off, as I'm happier, and no one else really minds. sarah@forrussia.org

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  194. This time of year I make a lot of meals in the crockpot. Pot roast, chili, etc free up time so I can focus on bedtime rituals. If bedtime goes smoothly I can have an hour or two to sew. But lots of nights it spills over to 10 o'clock or later and then I don't have any time to myself.

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