Sunday, January 3, 2021

Stitching Time: Week 1 of 2021


Welcome to the first 15 Minutes to Stitch Linky Party of 2021. February 2021 will mark ten years of me working to find even just 15 minutes of stitching time most days.  Why just 15 minutes?  That's from the statement "Anyone can do anything for just 15 minutes."  I have no idea where that came from originally.  If you search the Internet it's a common time management/life coaching statement. If you want to make changes to your life (add exercise, start organizing, learn to write) start by finding 15 minutes a day for your chosen activity. Most days, I sew for much longer than 15 minutes, but there are days the schedule is just so packed or my energy level is just so low, that 15 minutes is all I can manage.  But those 15 minutes really add up.  If that's all the time you have, over a week that's an 1.75 hours. You can do a lot in almost 2 hours.  

What counts as part of your 15 minutes?  That's up to you. For me it's anything that moves a project along. Some days that's actually sitting at the sewing machine, others it's playing with border options in EQ8 or playing around with label designs.  It could also be organizing your sewing room, cutting up scraps, picking fabrics for a new project, etc.  

How to track it?  I use Excel.  The spreadsheet I use has two sections. The first is just a running list with the date, day of the week and the activity or project worked on.  Like this:

Once the month is over, I just delete the Date and Activity entries, leaving the Weekday entry and start over with the next month.  Nada means I didn't get in my 15 minutes that day.  I don't keep track of how much time I sew, that's not as important to me as just getting myself into the sewing room. But you could certainly modify the sheet to track that.  

The rest of the tracking is just keeping up with the days per week, per month, and per year that I stitched.  Here's what 2020 looked like.

Those who've been following along for a while know I graph everything. Here's what 8 years of tracking my stitching time looks like.

I've tried running correlations with fabric usage and quilt finishes with no success. I'm obviously missing some variables in those comparisons as there doesn't seem to be any direct link between stitching time and those two outcomes. 

Whatever you decide to count or track, I hope you'll link up each week with how your efforts to find time to stitch worked out.  

I make a clean break at year's end.  So here's my metrics for 2020 and for the first few days of 2021. 


  • 15 minute days/week = 5/5 days
  • 15 minutes days/Dec = 25/31 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 324/366 days
  • Success rate = 88.5%
  • 15 minute days/week = 2/2 days
  • 15 minute days/Jan = 2/2 days
  • 15 minute days/2020 = 2/2 days
  • Success rate = 100%
So how did you do this week at getting in your stitching time?  

1. Julie in GA
2. Ivani
3. maggie f
4. karen
5. Meloney
6. Chris in Canada
7. DI
8. Chrisknits
9. Marti
10. Amanda
11. Rose
12. Andree at Quilting & Learning
13. DawnyK
14. Melisa - Pinker n Punkin Quilting
15. Carol Andrews
16. Deana
17. Quilting Gail
18. Jennifer in Indy

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.


Ivani said...

great statistics
I am joining and begining to count from now on
Happy stitching

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

love your new header - years ago I told myself that if I just sat down at the quilting frame for 15-30 minutes a day or evening I could get the quilts done - that some how over the turned into an almost every evening session of 1-2 hours!

piecefulwendy said...

It's rare that I don't get sewing in each day, but this is a great way to keep track of it. You are doing well!

Marti said...

My stitching time is much the same as yours, basically anything that will move a project forward. Whether it is actual stitching or cutting fabric (like this week), or cleaning the sewing area so more sewing can take place.

I love your new header and button. Very pretty!

seabreezequilts said...

I am in bonus points already this year and have done lots of sewing/crochet and embroidery. Sometimes its just a bit and then I may binge watch something on the box and get a whole lot done. One more week of holidays then back to work but minus school pickups so I might have extra time on my hands.

DawnyK said...

Thank you so much for continuing to host this party! The option of just 15-minutes is so helpful! Your sharing you spreadsheet info is also greatly appreciated. Good luck with the first week back to work!

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Kate, thanks for hosting. I took the day off today but since I'm blogging, I do count that as part of my quilting and stitching addiction :-) Happy New Year! Take care.

Melisa- pinkernpunkinquilting said...

Hi, Kate. Thank you so much for hosting this link. This is my first time linking up .I hope to be able to squeeze in 15 minutes each day. Happy Quilting.

Carol Andrews said...

Hi Kate. I’m so glad you are hosting this party again this year. Love the new logo. I might even remember to link my posts this year 🤗

dq said...

I love your spreadsheet organization. I might change mine up once I get my laptop fixed. I don't favor google sheets.

Linda said...

What a great way to get motivated. I'm a big spreadsheet person too.
I love your header!

MissPat said...

Well look how many people linked up this first week in 2021. Will see how many stick around by the end of the month, haha. Because we usually travel south for 8 weeks in the winter (not doing that this year) and due to gardening in the summer, I know I would never be able to meet even this minimum standard, but it's always interesting to see who does and what they're working on. I'll just keep plugging along whenever I can.

Jennifer said...

You know I love your charts,I don’t remember seeing these before - looks like December is always busy!