Wednesday, February 29, 2012

5 Ways To Efficient Quiltmaking

When talking with a friend recently I told her about all the quilt projects I was working on and the ideas just floating around in my head. She told me she felt the same way about her art. She said she felt like a puppy on a polished floor. OMG that exactly describes me and quilting! Here are a few ways to give the puppy in you a little traction when working on your quilting projects.

Assemble and Organize

This is the assembly stage where you gather everything you'll need for the project. Make a checklist of all the supplies you'll use including patterns, thread, fabric, templates and any special tools or gadgets. Once you make your list, look in your collection to see if you already have any items listed there. Check off each item and put everything in one place as you gather them. For fabrics that you already have, cut a little swatch and glue it to the checklist. Take the checklist with you when going to quilt shops and shows to find the items you still need. Download and print Quilt Project Checklist and use it while you assemble your next quilting project. This checklist corresponds to the information used to begin your quilt journal in QuiltNotes.

 Package It Together

I use three large plastic containers to store projects in various stages of completion. The containers keep everything together. They are 6" deep so they hold everything I need and they have a carrying handle so they are portable when I go to sew days or retreats. Once I finish the project, all the unused tools and supplies are put back where they belong. At least, that's the idea but it doesn't always happen that way! Here is a sample of the containers I use.

Market Basket

I like to keep an ongoing handwork project or work on bindings so I keep handwork in a large woven basket with fold down handles. This not only looks good around the house but it is easy to pick up and take to a guild meeting, sew day or even waiting rooms. Some of these baskets are stained wood so be sure the stain won't transfer to your project. Look for unstained or lined baskets to be safe.

Work on One Project At A Time

OK I know this is a really good idea and there are many quilters who can do this but I keep trying. When I have tried this it works and it's a good way to finish projects quickly. But someone just polished that floor again and this puppy's off in another direction! Some quilters in my Friday Sew group work on just one project each Friday. That way they know the project will get done as long as they go to Friday Sew Day. These ladies really do get projects done using this method.

Make Space or at Least Clear A Path

I have seen some of your sewing rooms and they range from nothing-out-of-place to let's-clear-a-path to get to the sewing machine. I am somewhere in the middle but I can easily become a "clear a path" person if I don't put things back when I finish them. My point here is that we always get more work done if our work area is clear of distractions and easy to move around in. We all have interruptions but a clear work area allows us to stop where we are then easily start again later.

Keep a Quilt Journal

Keep notes of what you plan to do, what you did, what problems you had, who helped you, etc, etc. Years from now you can remember people, places and things you experienced. Quilting is so much a part of many of our lives I can sometimes look at a quilt and remember events in my life that happened while I was working on that quilt. QuiltNotes provides an easy way to journal as you complete each quilting project. You can document all the fabric, notions and patterns you used, you can include pictures and write about anything you want to remember all in one place.

Not a member of yet? It's Free so sign up today and start adding your quilting products to your Collection. Keep a Journal of your quilting projects including pictures.

Happy quilting!


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