Miscellaneous

Avoid Distractions and Stay Focused When Quilting

Did you know that distractions can affect your efficiency in your quilt studio? And by distractions, I’m not necessarily talking about getting a notification every time one of your friends posts on Facebook or Instagram – although that can be a huge distraction. Let’s talk about what other types of distractions can be affecting your quilting productivity and how to avoid them.

Take a look around your quilt studio. Is everything in its place or are there WIP’s, fabric and books lying around? Okay, maybe that’s just my studio, but I’m sure that yours is sometimes in this state too. If having a messy studio bothers you, it can affect your ability to be efficient in your studio.

 
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If there is fabric on my pressing surface that has been there ever since I bought it at the quilt show a month ago, this is a major distraction for me. I might be stitching away on a project, but once I catch a glimpse of this fabric pile, I start getting distracted. This visual distraction prevents me from working on my current project as I keep thinking, “I really need to fold this fabric and get it into my fabric stash”. This desire to put away the fabric is in the back of my mind as I am trying to work on my quilt project, distracting me which makes me less efficient. If I wanted to avoid this scenario, I should really put this fabric away as soon as I get home from the quilt show, but this never happens. It languishes on my cutting or pressing surface, getting moved around whenever I need these areas for their proper activities.

This also happens with books, patterns and magazines in my studio. I may’ve leafed through them, but I want to take a closer look when I have more time, so I leave them out on my sewing table or another area in my quilt studio. I’m afraid that if I put them away, I’ll forget about them or forget which book or magazine had that fantastic pattern in it. Again, I really should put them away after making a note of the books or magazines that I want to refer back to when I have the time.

 
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Leaving items like these out, rather than putting them away, not only takes up working space, but creates a visual distraction. Seeing them takes your mind away from your current project and can make you feel guilty or overwhelmed. These are one type of visual distraction that can be easily remedied, by putting them away, but there is another type of visual distraction that isn’t so easily dealt with.

 
 

The décor of your quilt studio can also be a visual distraction. If you’re the type of person who needs clean space around you, yet have lots of decorative items in your studio, this might be causing you to be distracted and unable to focus on your current project. If you have a large window in your quilting space, this can provide wonderful lighting, but if you are constantly looking to see what’s going on outside, this distraction can interrupt your quilting time.

Click on the image below for a video on distractions in your quilt studio and how to avoid them.

Do you have distractions in your quilt studio that are affecting your efficiency? Let me know in the Comments below.

Creatively,

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Quilting Books for Every Season

Do you change your home decorations with the season? I admit that I don't do this very often but I do like to change out my wall hangings and sometimes even table runners for different times of the year. I certainly do this in December where the whole house looks like a Christmas bomb exploded in our house! 

 
 

I've gone through my personal library of quilt books to pick out some of the ones I have that have seasonal projects in them. Whether you like pieced projects or prefer appliqué (this is my niche!), cotton or wool, you're sure to find a suitable seasonal project in one of these books. They are (in no particular order):

Kim Schaefer's Calendar Quilts

Quilt the Seasons by Pat Sloan

Quilt the Season Book 2 by Pat Sloan (because one book is never enough from Pat)

A Year in the Life of Sunbonnet Sue by Christine Porter and Darra Williamson

Seasonal Silhouettes by Edyta Sitar

Simple Seasons by Kim Diehl

A Change of Seasons by Bonnie Sullivan

More Free-Motion Machine Quilting 1-2-3 by Lori Kennedy

I've included links to each book so you can take a closer look at them or even add a few to your quilting library.

 
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Click on the image below to see a little of each of these books.

 
 

Do you like to put out seasonal quilts in your home? I'd love to see your quilt projects, so just pop a photo in the Comment section below. If you have a favourite quilt book that has seasonal projects in it, let me know that too.

Creatively,

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Stay Safe in Your Studio!

We don't often think of how to stay safe in our quilt studios, but we really should! In this video Kim shows you some of the possible dangers in your studio and how to stay safe.

Be sure that your iron is turned off before leaving your quilt studio.

We all use extension cords, but this can pose a tripping hazard. Keep safe by taping or rerouting the path of extension cords.

Keep your sewing machine safe by plugging it into a power bar with a surge protector.

Always keep your rotary cutter closed when not using it. 

It's a good idea to have a first aid kit or band-aids in your quilt studio for those cuts that often seem to happen.

Have your cell phone or another phone close by in case of an accident where you need to call for help.

For more information, click on the image below.

Do you have other suggestions for ways to stay safe in the quilt studio? Let me know in the comments below.

Creatively,

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P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive emails full of FREE quilting goodness? Click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

Quilting Books for Autumn, Halloween and Thanksgiving

It's that time of year again! Cooler temperatures and shorter days mean that fall is just around the corner.

 
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I love fall quilt projects, whether it is just for autumn or for Thanksgiving (in October for Canadians and November for Americans) or my favourite, Halloween. 

 
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I've gone through my personal quilt book library and pulled out a few favourite quilting books that have projects for either autumn, Thanksgiving, Halloween or all three! They are (in no particular order):

'Tis the Autumn Season by Jeanne Large and Shelley Wicks

Festive Fall Quilts by Kim Schaefer

A Harvest Melody by Nancy Halvorsen 

Easy Does it for Autumn by Nancy Halvorsen

Acorn Hollow by Nancy Halvorsen

Stitches from the Harvest by Kathy Schmitz

Critter Halloween by Brandywine Designs 

 
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Where possible, I have included links so you can take a closer look at these books - or get your own copy.

 
 

Click on the image below to get a sneak peek of each of these books.

 
 

Do you have a favourite book - or two - that have seasonal projects in them? Leave me a comment below to tell my the ones you like the best.

Creatively,

Print
 

P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive FREE emails full of quilting goodness? Just click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!

P.P.S. I am an Amazon affiliate and will receive a small amount of compensation if you purchase a product by clicking through links in this blogpost. This allows me to continue to provide you with FREE content each week. Thank you.

How to Use Estate Sale Finds in Your Quilt Studio

I love going to estate sales and that's where I find vintage linens and where I've also picked up some of my vintage sewing machines. There are always a lot of cute trinkets and smaller kitchen items that can be helpful in the quilt studio.

I have a hard time saying no to anything cute, but I really need to think about what I'm going to do with these items if I do buy them. Thank goodness I've found a way to incorporate them in my quilt studio (and can thereby justify my purchases to my hubby).

I share my quilt studio with my two cats, Teeka and Victor, and this means that things have to be "cat proof" or unbreakable. This pretty much rules out lovely china dishes, but there are lots of silver-plated items at estate sales, so I'm usually able to find something that would be useful.

To see what types of items I buy at estate sales with the intention of putting them to use in my quilt studio, you can watch the video below or on my YouTube channel.

Do you repurpose vintage items that you buy to use in your quilt studio? Leave a comment below to let me know what types of items you use to help organize your quilt studio.

Creatively,

 

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P.S. Did you know that you can sign up to receive FREE emails full of quilting goodness? Just click here to receive FREE content directly in your email inbox every few weeks from Chatterbox Quilts. I know you'll be glad you did!