Friday, May 9, 2008

Quilt For an Hour

A long time ago when my kids were little I often found that it was hard to find time to sew, especially when my first two kids were young. I was married, in college, and Laura never took a nap. At that time my mother did all of the sewing for her.

When Wade came along I was still in college, but by then I was into sewing clothing for myself and the kids. I really had to work at finding time to sew. I learned that I couldn't cut out an outfit and sew it all together in one day. I would do my planning and cutting on Sunday afternoons so that whenever I did find some time to sew during the week, I was ready!

Nancy Zieman,from Sewing With Nancy, was talking about finding 10, 20, or 30 minutes to sew on her PBS show one day. She said that we all have those little bits of time that we could sew a seam, iron something, or put in a zipper. Instead of taking 4-6 hours out of our day to devote time to a sewing project, we could take little bits of time and eventually get our project finished. I thought that was a great idea.

Six years later my youngest daughter was born. She was the queen of taking naps. Every day from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm she would take a nap. I would get up early, straighten the house, get the older kids off to school, feed Julia, play with her for a while, and then it was naptime for her and sewing time for me! I loved it! It's too bad I wasn't quilting then.

Fast forward to 2006. By then I had been quilting for 10 years. My kids were older, and even though they were in school all day, I found that I was busier with life, chauferring kids, volunteering in the schools, and not much quilting was getting done. I knew something had to change, but I didn't know what. I'm one of these kind of people that my happiness level goes down a little if I haven't sewn for a while. Then I remembered Nancy Zieman and her 10, 20, or 30 minutes to sew.

Now we all know that having 10, 20, or 30 minutes to sew doesn't work very well for quilting, but you would be surprised. You can square up some half/square triangles, chain piece some blocks, sew on a border, etc. That worked for a while, but it wasn't keeping my happiness level up that much. I felt like I was still missing something.

I decided one day that I really needed to spend an hour or two sewing on some days. I love to watch Gilmore Girls, so I would sew while watching them in the afternoons. There for a while Martha Stewart came on after Gilmore Girls and I would sew for 2 hours! How fun was that? I didn't do that every day, but it was nice when I could. I got so much stuff done. Terry (BFF with no blog) machine quilts my quilts for me. She noticed that I was finishing some things, and making some pretty stuff. People at my quilt guild started noticing, too. I encouraged them to sew in little bits of time every day and they, too, could get some of their projects completed.

A while back I told you that Judy Laquidara and I often have the same idea without even discussing it with each other. Judy and I are friends in real life, but I didn't share this idea with her. I clicked on her blog one day and the title of her post was "Quilt for an Hour". She had designed a quilt, given her bloggy followers yardage requirements and cutting instructions, and every day she would give them directions for what they were supposed to complete before going on to the next step. She even goes so far as to making the quilt first and timing herself each step of the way. She then tells us how much she completed in that hour for that particular step. Judy realizes that some of us sew faster than others. Terry and I were talking about this the other day: you know when you're driving on the road and someone speeds around you going a lot faster and you both end up sitting beside each other at a stop light? Quilting is kind of like that, too, except we're not all in a big race to the finish. For some it may take an hour to complete what Judy has planned for us that day, or it may take some 45 minutes or less. Either way, if we stick to it, we're all going to end up in the same place with a beautiful quilt top!

Well, Judy has done it again. She has planned another "Quilt for an Hour" project, and it's beautiful. Anyone can join the fun; you don't even have to have a blog. I haven't chosen my fabrics, yet, but she is encouraging us to use our stash. The Lord knows I've got plenty of that!

Have a great weekend. Take care!


Edit: Michele e-mailed me and said the link to Judy's blog didn't work. Thanks, Michele! I have corrected the link. Now go look at the quilt and the fabric requirements! Judy gave cutting instructions today!


  1. Hey Amanda, thanks for popping into my blog! :) I love new bloggy friends.

    What a great idea to sew for an hour or two on SOMEdays. I've been trying to do that. I've got a project that I have to put down quite often (small applique) so I work on it for 15-20 minutes here and there and my progress is starting to show. Now I just can't ADD any more projects! :) tee hee

  2. It's wonderful when even in the busiest of days to find even a moment or two for needle and thread . . . the best therapy in the world *s*

  3. This is how I work too. A bit here and there. There just isn't enough time in the day for very many marathon sewing sessions.

  4. I love this idea, and try to do this too! I wanted to see Judy's site, but the link isn't working. Do you have another link?


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