15 Minutes To Stitch

Finding time to sew, knit, do handwork, etc is sometimes difficult.  The desire is often there, but with the different roles we all fill in a given day, sometimes it's hard to find the motivation and/or energy.  I created this challenge for myself many years ago when I was having an energy crises and the climb to the sewing room was just not that attractive most evenings.  For some reason having to confess my failures on the blog was the motivation I needed most days to get convince myself I'd be fine if I'd just get to the sewing room.  

There have been a few comments and emails expressing interest in participating in the 15 Minutes to Stitch over the years.  So I thought it would be useful to summarize some of the questions that have been asked in case you are considering, but think it's more than you want to commit to. 

1. Why 15 minutes?  

They say you can do anything for 15 minutes.  So I picked that as my starting point, I usually sew for longer once I get to my sewing room.  Set any time limit you want.  Gail's (from Quilting Gail) goal is 30 minutes per day. If 5 minutes is all you think you can commit to, then set that as your goal.  The whole point is to consciously make time for needle and thread.  

2.  Does it have to be every day? 

No.  Frederique's (from Quilting Patchwork Applique) goal is just 3 days per week cause that's what works in her schedule most of the time. As I said in #1, it's about finding time to do something you like, not stress yourself out with another item on your to do list that's already way too long. 

3. Does it have to be sewing machine time, handwork time, machine quilting?

No. It can be any or all of the above. If I do anything that moves a project along or keeps the sewing room organized, including playing in EQ to finalize a border, designing a label, cutting scraps, pressing fabrics etc, that all counts towards my 15 minutes. If you want to do more of something, make that your focus for the goal.  

4. How to track the time/do I have a tracking sheet? 

I use an Excel spreadsheet to track my sewing time.  

 I reuse the Date/Day/Activity boxes each month.  Or you can use a planner or calendar. When my computer crashed in 2022, I I just used a simple notebook and kept my stitching time and fabric metrics that way. 

5.  No, you don't have to track time to link up. You are welcome to link up if you just want to share what you got done during the week. There is a lot of motivation to spend some time in the sewing room if you want to link up with a particular linky party.   


DawnyK said...

What do you think about planning tasks? I needed to add custom borders and a flange binding to a quilt pattern and needed to figure out the pieces to cut and directions to cut them. Does that count? I needed to read through the pattern and draw out a sketch of the fabric pieces. I'm thinking that counts, but updating the Microsoft Project Plan for the quilt is not; I would count that as computer time. Thoughts?

Frédérique - Quilting Patchwork Appliqué said...

I need to spend more time in my sewing room... ok, this year I will do it! Thank you for hosting 15 Minutes!

Rose said...

I have found your blog through High Road Quilter. I will ask you what I ask her...in your 15 minutes, do you include choosing and cutting fabrics or just actual stitching? Or do the individuals decide what they want to include. Also, does the 15 minutes usually lead to more time sewing?

I used to have all my stuff in the basement, and like you dreaded going up the stairs, I hated going down there where I could not see outside. Now I have a room where I can look out, but still don't do as much sewing as I would like.

DawnyK said...

An answer to Rose's questions: we each choose what 'counts'. I include all project activities: choosing fabric, pressing, cutting, measuring, even cleaning my sewing machine. Sometimes, I can only see far enough to clean my sewing machine so the next day's 15-minutes is more inspired. I frequently start with the goal of 15-minutes and then find that 40-minutes has passed by. It's a wonderful and easy way to keep making progress. Also, I set my goal at a low 50% of the days so that I feel good about every time I work on my projects. Even if I miss a few days in a row, I still make my target and always feel good about sewing. Also, I can be discerning and sew when I am at my best and skip an evening when I am not feeling well enough to do a good job. Hope that helps! Enjoy!!!

Janice said...

I've already been trying to work on a project for at least 15 minutes each day. I'm glad I have discovered your link party. Thanks for hosting this.