Mindset

Spend Money to Save Quilting Time

Most quilters struggle to find time to quilt, but even when they do find the time, they may not be making the most of that time.

There are many ways you can save time in your quilt studio. Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Electronic or Die Cutting Machines

Cutting the fabric for your projects can take quite a bit of time, especially if you have to use templates. There are a wide variety of fabric cutters available that can make this part of the project much quicker by cutting several layers of fabric at a time into precise shapes. Some cutters, such as the AccuQuilt GO!, GO Baby! or Studio 2 allow you to layer up to 6 pieces of fabric and cut through them by cranking the handle. There are a wide variety of cutting dies available for most of the shapes that we use in quilting. I especially like the 2½” die that allows me to cut jelly roll or binding strips quickly from the entire WOF.

You can also get other brands of machines, such as the Sizzix Big Shot Pro that cuts larger dies and uses dies from other companies, such as AccuQuilt. This cutter can go through 8 layers of fabric very quickly and before you know it, the cutting is done and you are ready to piece.

You can also get electronic cutters, like the Brother Scan N Cut or the Janome Artistic Edge which allow you to create your own designs or scan in designs and cut them very accurately. If you do appliqué like I do, this can really save you a lot of time. While they will only cut one layer of fabric at a time, they cut intricate designs that you would never be able to cut out precisely by hand.

Quilt Kits

While you may not think that buying a quilt kit could save you time, just think about it: the fabric is already chosen for you, the amount you need is there and all the fabrics match perfectly. How long does it usually take you to go through your stash picking fabrics or going to a quilt store or two to get exactly the right fabric? Kits do that work for you and you can get to the cutting and piecing that much quicker.

Quilting by Cheque

Once you’ve finished your quilt top, you can quilt it yourself, or you can quilt by cheque – take it to a longarm professional quilter. If you love to piece, but dread the quilting part, why not take it to a longarm quilter who will do a beautiful job for you and you can start into your next project while she is quilting your last one. I know many quilters who do this all the time. They know that this is the part of quilting they don’t enjoy or don’t think they do well and they prefer to have it done well by a professional.

So, if you want to make the most of your time in the quilt studio, consider these 3 tips:

  1. Use a fabric cutter to cut out your fabric

  2. Buy quilt kits

  3. Have a longarm professional quilt your quilt

Click on the image below for more information on these 3 ways for saving quilting time.

Do you spend money to save quilting time? Let me know what you do to “create” more quilting time in the Comments below.

Creatively,

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P.S. Do you strive to improve your quilting skills? Do you want to have fun doing it? Do you want to meet other quilters in a supportive, safe environment?  If you answered “yes” to these questions, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. It’s not your grandmother’s quilting circle! Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.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!

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Be Realistic in Your Quilting Expectations

I recently did a fabric decluttering challenge in my membership group, The Quilter’s Way, and found that the members really enjoyed it. While I suggested that they only tackle a small part of their fabric stash in the challenge, some participants actually tackled their entire fabric stash. I had suggested only taking on a bit of their fabric stash so they would be able to accomplish the task assigned to them in the allotted time for that day (no more than 1 hour) to avoid feeling overwhelmed and discouraged. I was glad that they got great results and pleased that they didn’t feel overwhelmed because this can be a huge task. If you sometimes take on a project that makes you feel overwhelmed or discouraged, it might be because you haven’t been realistic in your expectations of what you can actually accomplish in the time allotted.

 
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The most important thing to do to avoid these negative feelings when working in your quilt studio is to be sure that you have realistic expectations of what you can actually accomplish in the time allotted.  

Let’s say that you wanted to clean up your fabric scraps. If you are like me, you have scraps spilling out of drawers in your studio (notice that I’m already assuming you have them in some kind of storage unit!). If you thought that you could sort, cut, and organize all of your fabric scraps in one hour, you would certainly be discouraged by your results at the end of that time! The reason for this is that you didn’t have realistic expectations of what you could accomplish in that one hour allocated for this task. You may think that you can organize all of your fabric scraps in one hour, but is this really a realistic estimate of the time that it will take? I don’t think so.

 
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Whenever you are considering working on a project or doing some task in your studio, you need to be realistic in how long it will actually take you – and then add on a bit more time. Why not try doing part of the task and time yourself to see how long it takes? Did you get as much as you expected completed in this time? Did it take you longer or not as long to do it? This will help you to determine what a realistic expectation is of what you can accomplish in the time period you’ve set aside for this task.

It’s also helpful to chunk out tasks into smaller sections. Using the scrap fabric organization project, if you decided that you were going to sort out your fabric scraps into colours, you might be able to do this in an hour, depending on the size of your fabric scrap pile. This is certainly a more realistic estimate of how long this task might take. By deciding that the only thing that you will do in that one hour is to sort your fabric scraps into colours, not only will you be able to finish that entire task in that time, but you will also have that feeling of satisfaction that comes with that accomplishment. A double win!

Click on the image below to watch a video for more information on realistic expectations in your quilt studio.

The next time that you want to work on a project, be realistic in the time you anticipate it will take to do it. Estimate the time it will take and add on some additional time. By doing this you’ll avoid feeling discouraged or overwhelmed in trying to finish them in a certain period of time.

Creatively,

Copy of Copy of Print
 

P.S. Do you want to enhance your quilting and become the best quilter you can be?  If you answered “yes” to this question, you need to join The Quilter’s Way. The Quilter’s Way is the only quilting membership site that includes both training and an active, supportive online community. Don’t wait another day! Join now.

P.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!