January 14, 2015

More Productive Day = More Sewing Time + Shelburne Falls HSTs Complete!

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I'm participating in several quilt-alongs this year, as I want to have more direction and purpose in my sewing time.  I'm finding that having a set plan as to what I'm sewing and sewing along with others makes me use my sewing time more wisely.  I am creating more sewing time by managing my entire day better.
That's Shelburne Falls peeking out from the pile!

I am spending less time on the computer drooling over others' quilts and the latest fabrics and instead simply being more productive in all areas of my life.  I've scheduled time for household tasks using my Motivated Moms Planner, as well as school time with my kids - planning out set times to do certain subjects with each one to be sure it gets done (we homeschool).  They are in 8th and 11th grades, so a lot of their school work is independent, but I do several subjects with them each year.  It builds relationship.  Time spent does that, you know.  This year its Spanish and Math (including an outside math club) with my 8th grader and U.S. History and Writing with my 11th grader.  This takes 2 to 2.5 hours each day, plus time making sure they finish their work from all other subjects and driving my 11th grader to his Engineering program everyday.

And HUGE for me - for the first time ever I am successful in exercising 5-6 times per week - for 3 weeks so far - and also for the first time ever - enjoying it!

Another thing I am doing this year is keeping track of how much time I spend on each project.  Part of my sewing room redo {which I haven't shown you yet!} is new shelves on the wall above my cutting table.  I am so loving these shelves!  Each project I am currently working on is in its own bin, all neat and tidy with the pattern and my notes.  Included in each bin is a paper where I write down details of the project, including time I've spent on each step.

So that pile up there is 240 half-square triangles for the Charm Square Sampler Quilt Along by Modern Tradition Quilts.  I don't need that many to complete the project, but that's how many HSTs a 10" stacker with 30 pieces made.  I decided to go ahead and make all the HSTs upfront and then assemble the blocks each week as the design is released.

Once again I used the 8-at-a-time method for making HSTs, and it worked great!  I used a 10" stack of Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt {drool!} and Moda Off White.  I've been hoarding Shelburne Falls for just the right project, and this is it!  Using this method I pin a lot - 10 pins per 10" square and sew very, very carefully.  And guess what, they don't need trimmed other than the dog ear corners!  Really!  They are approx 4.5" square.  Because I am keeping track of how much time each step is taking, I can tell you that it took me three hours to create 240 HSTs.  This includes cutting the off white fabric from yardage, drawing the lines, pinning, sewing, removing pins, ironing, and then cutting the pieces apart but not ironing them open.  I recommend pressing the sections before cutting the triangles apart to ensure more accurate cutting, something that is not mentioned in the tutorial.

Here's some Shelburne Falls love!

Charm Square Sampler Quilt A Long

Linking to:
Freshly Pieced
Sew Fresh Quilts Sew Stitching Cute quilts


Terri Ann @ ChildlikeFascination.com said...

What a great idea to participate in that QAL and make all your HST's upfront!! I'm thinking maybe I should do a late arrival on this QAL, I have a love for HSTs anyways but I already have one HST quilt in progress....decisions decisions!

Joanna @ Riddle and {Whimsy} said...

I've been trying to make a lot of similar changes in my life too with sewing/blogging. I feel bad that i don't spend as much time encouraging bloggers in my feed as much as I used to by commenting, but at the same time now I actually have time to sew which is why I'm even reading blogs to begin with lol! Now I just need to work out how to juggle housework in there too ;)

Yvonne from Quilting Jetgirl said...

It sounds like you are working hard to find a good balance in your life. That is awesome! And 240 HSTs in 3 hours... wow! Not having to trim them up has to be a huge time saver. Well done!

Sew Stitching Cute said...

I decided to join swaps, QAL's and bee's this year as well and help plan my time out as well as allow my skills to build! It's a great resource for quilting friends, too! (As they are the best, you know). Thank you for linking up with WIDTW!