Today I visited my friend Joline, the one who talked to me last fall about taking some online freemotion quilting classes. She is a retired teacher, and so very organized. She has a three-month plan for tackling her quilting projects on the go, and before she goes to bed every night, she lays out the fabrics she’s going to work on the next day, so she can start right away without delay, and make the most of her sewing time.
Joline and her husband recently downsized from their home of 45 years to a two bedroom apartment. I got to see Joline’s sewing room, which is bright and tidy and well organized (hm, I could take a few hints from her). She told me about how surprised she was when she moved, to realize how much quilted stuff she had amassed — fabrics and projects she’d had lingering in the back of the closet for years! And how discouraged she was by her long list of incomplete projects. So she began a schedule, and began chiseling her way through the list, sewing every day from 3pm to 4pm. I’m planning to adopt her strategy, so that I spend less time standing around in my sewing room, wringing my hands and agonizing on what to work on next.
First, following Joline’s example, I made an exhaustive list off all the projects I know of, awaiting my attention. Next, I decided on how much time per week I could sew. I’m planning to sew daily, Mon to Fri, from 1pm to 2:30pm, which hopefully includes a half hour of free motion quilting practice, for about 7 to 7.5 hours a week. Then, I selected from my exhaustive list some projects I felt I could work on in each of the next 3 months.
I’m not sure yet if this plan is reasonable or ridiculously ambitious, but if I get everything done that’s scheduled, I can just move onto projects for the next month; if I don’t get done, I can push everything down a month. I think the next step will be to set myself daily tasks. Joline suggests, before going to bed each night, to take a few minutes and ready the project for the next day — put the relative fabrics on the ironing board, thread the sewing machine with the right colour thread, etc. This way, when my sewing time arrives, I can walk right in and start working.
I am also thinking of sorting through my fabrics and dropping into a bin the fabrics I wish I had never purchased. I don’t have to get rid of them yet — but even separating them out from the stash might help me make a decision about whether they are still of value, or whether they can go on to a new life somewhere else.