[ Quilting ][ Sewing ]

Projects with Intention

A few months ago I looked over my goals and my project list and was completely overwhelmed!! Oh man! How would I ever accomplish everything I had before me?!

Then suddenly, like a superhero sweeping in to save the day, “Never fear! Intention is here!!”

“Wait, what??”

in·ten·tion
/inˈten(t)SH(ə)n/
noun
1. a thing intended; an aim or plan.
 
The root of:
 
in·ten·tion·al
/inˈten(t)SH(ə)n(ə)l/
adjective
adjective: intentional
done on purpose; deliberate.

One talent I have and am basically the expert at is coming into a room and looking around thinking, “hhhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, what should I work on now?!”

Not a great talent if you want to take advantage of time. And especially not good when you have many life responsibilities to juggle and more things on your plate than any one person could possibly do alone.

But alas, here I am stuck in this conundrum. While I value the development of our talents, I think that this is one talent I would prefer to let wither by the wayside.

Planning with Intention

I’m not sure if I read this somewhere, or if it was inspired by something else, but either way, I came up with a plan. I’ve noticed in the past when I have just the right amount of things I need to juggle and just the right amount of not-enough-time-to-do-them-in I become insanely productive!

While I’m not bumping against any deadlines just yet, I realized that I should take those same balancing tools I use when I am under the stress of looming deadlines, and apply them to my every day life.

Enter INTENTION.

Here are some of the steps I’ve taken to add intention and efficiency to my quilting projects:

    1. Make a list of all the projects that are priority.
    2. Make a list of the steps for each project
    3. Group all the steps that are the same for each project together.
    4. Start at the beginning and complete each step for all the projects at the same time.
    5. Keep going until the steps are complete.

A few tips to be succesful

1. Keep things organized. I have a wire shelf rack where I have each project sorted, so even though I'm working on 4 quilts at the same time, everything is organzied by project.

2. I know it's not always possible, but have a specific spot to keep projects no matter what stage they are in. It's hard to be productive when you're constantly cleaning up messes or trying to find where you put things.

3. Set up your sewing space so you can easily start and stop with as little transition time as possible. With 6 kids, homeschooling, and life, if I want to get any sewing time in, I'm using doing it in spurts of a few minutes here and there throughout the day. I don't have extra minutes to spend on transitioning from one thing to the next.

This 3rd step really is the core purpose of all of this! Cutting out as much transition time as possible! Whether it’s getting my project out or putting them away, getting organized for the step I’m going to work on next, or even just the mental transition of changing focus from kids to quilting.

I want to be able to come into my sewing room knowing right away exactly what I’m going to do and be able to start doing it!

Here's what this looks like for me...

Here’s my wire rack that is under my sewing table. I have 2 projects on each shelf, 4 projects total.

A few months ago I cut out all of the fabric for 3 of the quilts (minus some of one quilt – I want to get most of it together before I decide on the final fabrics to use).

The 4th quilt, top left, took longer to cut out. It’s a king size quilt of Anna Maria Horner prints for my bed. I cut out ~81 larger squares and 164 5 inch squares and that took a long time since there are no repeat prints used! I’m so excited for this!! And will have a pattern for it at some point. This will actually be the third quilt I’ve made with this design/pattern without actually writing up the pattern.

The mountain of fabric as I started folding it back up last night. I’m so excited to finally have this cut out!

chain piecing paper piecing

Chain piecing paper piecing literally hundreds of templates at once! I like to listen to audiobooks as I sew to help break up the monotony of the process. It’s especially monotonous when you’re making these many quilts at once!

I will say though, these blocks only have 6 sections at most, so they will be finished pretty quickly! Thank goodness. 😉

Having a clear plan of what I’m doing, what I’m working on, and the steps I need to go through to get there has helped so much to make my quilting process so much smoother and efficient.

Now I just need to come up with a structured plan (with end goals or desired habits in mind) for when I look at my phone or get on my computer! Those are HUGE time wasters!

How about you??

Where do you find that you waste the most time?

What tricks have you found that help you be efficient with your time and effort so you can tackle your WIP pile and finish things up?

Leave a comment below and share your tips with us! We're all so individual, that I know not every tip is right for everyone, so the more ideas we pass around, hopefully we can each find what works best for us!

love Diane

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