Real Quilting

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!

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,

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!

 

How to Organize Information in Your Quilt Studio

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression: “Out of sight, out of mind”. If you don’t have something right out in front of you, you forget that you have it or where it is. This is certainly the case in my quilt studio: if a project is packed away in a cardboard box, I can completely forget that I have even started it. Okay, this may be because I have so many WIP”s that I have trouble keeping track of them, but it’s definitely because they are not easily visible.

It’s the same way with information that I want to have in my studio. Maybe it’s notations about changes I want to make to a pattern or an idea for an upcoming YouTube video. While I eventually will enter video ideas into a Word document on my laptop, this isn’t the case for information about projects I’m working on. I often write out this information on little pieces of paper which are then scattered about my office or studio, which makes them very difficult to find again, and very easy to lose. I need a better system.

 
 These notes could be managed much more efficiently.

These notes could be managed much more efficiently.

 

Enter my favourite place to get quilting furniture: Ikea! I love how Ikea designs a product for a specific purpose, but then we quilters dive in and use it for something totally different! Product in point: cork trivets. These come in packages of 3 and are quite inexpensive, not to mention handy. I like to use these for mini cork boards. I find that they fit on the back of the doors to my cabinets – I just stick them up with double-sided tape – and I can then pin up little bits of information or reminders about projects. They are hidden inside the door, but every time I open up the cabinet, there is the information I need. I could also put them up on the wall, so they are more visible, and I have done that too, but they are less distracting when hidden inside a cupboard or cabinet.

 
 This is what I'm talking about!

This is what I'm talking about!

 

While these cork hot pads are fantastic for pinning small pieces of paper to them, I also like using a Peel & Stick whiteboard product that I found. These are repositionable sheets that you can write on with a dry erase marker. Once you’ve no longer need this information, you just wipe it off. I really like these to keep track of daily tasks and they can be put up on the wall or – yes, you guessed it – inside cupboard doors. If you want to put them inside doors, be sure that they aren’t touching fabric as the dry erase marker can rub off on it.

 
 4 sheets to a box and easy to stick on and peel off!

4 sheets to a box and easy to stick on and peel off!

 

Both of these methods work well for me, because they are “out of sight, but NOT out of mind”.

For more information on how you can use both these items, click on the image below to watch a video on my YouTube channel.

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Let me know your best tips for organizing information in your quilt studio. Write your helpful hints in the comments below this post. I’d love to hear your ideas.

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!

 

 

 

Telecast Thursday - Real Quilting: Reflection

This week's Telecast Thursday is all about reflection.

I'm always looking ahead to my next project, my upcoming deadline or things I want to accomplish in the house - and that's a good thing, but sometimes it's good to look back. Reflecting on what you've previously accomplished in your life or in your quilting shows you how far you've come and can inspire you to accomplish more in the future.

Watch the video below or on my YouTube channel to learn more about why reflecting on your quilting journey to date is a good thing.

 

Subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive automatic notifications when new videos are posted. If you like what you see, please share my videos with your fellow creatives.

Creatively,

 

Telecast Thursday - Real Quilting: Quilt Shows

In this Telecast Thursday, I'm getting a bit serious.

If you know me, you know that I love going to quilt shows - who doesn't? I sometimes even get to look at the quilts on display, after blazing a trail through the vendors' booths, that is :)

I enjoy the social aspect of quilt shows as well as the shopping opportunities, but in this video I wanted to address my feelings about the quilts on display. You can watch the video below or on my YouTube channel.

Don't miss out on any future Chatterbox Quilts videos: subscribe to my YouTube channel to receive automatic notifications when new videos are posted. If you like what you see, please share my videos with your fellow creatives.

Creatively,