top of page

Finding Time to Quilt

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

I work full-time outside the home and so finding time to quilt can be difficult, but I have some tips and tricks I use to help me do what seems like an impossible task, in a fast and efficient way.

When I start a new project, I like to get my fabric ironed and ready to cut. No, I do not wash my fabric and I do not starch. I work full-time, remember?! I want to get started, get sewing and GET DONE!

If I am working on a quilt that has many different blocks in it, I like to cut several blocks at a time. I have been known to spend an entire Saturday, cutting fabric. I know, I know. There is life outside of quilting, but I have an AMAZING husband who picks up the slack more often than not.

Ladies. . . . my husband does ALL the laundry. Mind Explosion or MIC drop – whichever you prefer. He even does toilets, and cooks and grocery shops. I am spoiled and I digress. Let’s get back to quilting, shall we?

Cutting your blocks

I do one block at a time because it is easier for my brain to process. I am afraid if I cut all the background for all the blocks, I would really get messed up. It is easier for me to compartmentalize little bits at a time, so I am not overwhelmed.

Anyway . . . start with one block. Cut all the background for that block and label each piece. I used to do this by tearing up little strips of paper and writing on it then pinning it to the piece, but nowadays, you can find a lot of ways to label your pieces. I like the Sew Handy Sticker set by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet.

Set your backgrounds aside and start cutting your block pieces and labeling them like you did for your backgrounds. Now, there are different ways you can put these together. I typically just use a snack size or quart size baggie (depending on the size of your cut pieces). I put everything in the baggie, slip a sticky note inside with the name of the block and if I am working from a book, I like to put the page number. I will put all my baggies in a basket (it is different from putting all your eggs into one basket!) and put it in my sewing room.

Another way you could put them together is if you have design boards. These are also by Lori Holt of Bee in My Bonnet. She has a tutorial on YouTube of how you can make your own.

You could also just use thin cardboard sheets. You put your cut block pieces on the design boards and just stack them altogether. I do not have very many design boards and I do not like my pieces being loose, so that’s why I bag mine. I save my bags to use in the future.

I also cut my borders and binding before I start sewing so they are ready when my quilt top is finished. Most quilters do not like to cut their borders before they measure their finished quilt top. I just cut mine a little bit bigger than the instructions, then when I measure my edges and center of my quilt top, I adjust if necessary. Before I start any sewing of blocks, I like to get all my binding sewn, pressed and rolled up. Then I label it for the quilt it belongs to and put it a jar with all my other prepared bindings. When the quilt comes off the long arm, I'm ready to bind right away. No having to set the quilt aside to prepare binding. It makes it fun and fast! And that jar with the cute rolled up bindings in it makes a perfect sewing room decoration!

Sewing (the fun part!)

Now that you have several or all your blocks and background cut and stored, they are at the ready when you have a few minutes to sew! All you need to do is grab a baggie, your block instructions, and turn on your sewing machine. You will be sewing in no time, and have that block finished before you know it!

I try to set aside time each day to sew, and that can be difficult when I work full time outside of the house. I will get up earlier than I need to in the morning and try to spend an hour sewing, but even if you only have 30 minutes or even 15 minutes, you can do a lot if all you need to do is grab a baggie and turn on your sewing machine. Trust me! You will be amazed by what you can do in a short amount of time.

The most important thing is to schedule time for yourself. Always have something ready to sew. I hope you will try this little trick and let me know if it works for you.

Until next time,

Mama J

22 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page