Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Be bold, be bold, and everywhere be bold. -Herbert Spencer

Hey y'all! So I'm still settling in at my new job and getting used to my new schedule (the time change helped nothing here!) and I've been having a really hard time fitting crafting into my life right now. With the travel to and from work I'm out of the house for 10 to 11 hours a day and frankly, I am just exhausted by the end of it. It's been really not fun, and I know that it will become easier once I get used to it again, but does anyone have any suggestions in the mean time? How do you fit crafting into your already full life?

I did manage to get a bit of sewing done on Saturday since I needed to finish a birthday present for my friend Kim. I decided to make her a pillow and thought that it would be an excellent chance to try making some X and + blocks which have been all over Instagram lately.

The finished pillow was made to fit an 18" square pillow form so I made 4 blocks (which finish at 7.5") and then added a border. The pillow has an envelope back and I used my Not Your Traditional Log Cabin Pillow tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew to figure out all of my measurements. Since I wasn't quilting the pillow front this time around I added a piece of canvas the same size to give it a little more stability and to cover up the patchwork seams on the inside.

I used a bunch of different fabrics for this one and I just love the look! For the background of each block I used either the grey or white "sewing guide" print from Mama Said Sew; the added border around the blocks is black & white Sketch.

Most of the printed fabrics come from scrap bags I bought at The Workroom - I have blues, purples, and yellows (I also have greys but I didn't use any here). And I love how scrappy and fun it is! For the squares at the bottoms, tops, and sides of each plus I used a black and white print to set off the colours and bring everything together. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and I think Kim is too!

I've got a couple of other backlogged projects to share but I'll wait for another blog post. But seriously, if anyone has any suggestions for crafting with limited time or for getting used to a new schedule, let me know!


  1. I'm no help - but I hope it gets easier for you quickly xxx
    Fabulous pillow too!

  2. I've got no suggestions for you (timewise), but you used your limited time pretty wisely--it's a lovely pillow! I've resisted the X+ blocks so far, but they sure are tempting. Maybe just remember that craft time will vary throughout your life, and when you aren't able to craft, you're still able to dream up some great ideas for when you can?

  3. A lovely pillow!
    I can't help with your schedule problem. I think everyone has to find a way to juggle their lives. In the end what is important to you will win out :-) Good luck.

  4. I love how your pillow turned out. It's really beautiful.
    The only thing that makes sewing easier for me with my limited time(I have a 2year old and 2month old) is organization. Keep your supplies and space organized. Keep little bins devoted to each WIP's fabrics etc. The bins also make easier to switch between projects. If you have the desire to create something you'll find the time.

  5. My mantra is: "sleep is over-rated". I work full time and sew as much as I can. I am leaving on a 10 day trip and dithering about how I am going to do being away from my sewing machine for that long . . . I get up and work 15 minutes on whatever, maybe just straightening up the sewing area or cutting fabric or piecing one section of a block. Then after work, dinner, dishes, I go in there and sew til at least midnight. I'm getting quite a bit done. 15 minutes. It works. Enjoy. (oh please take away word verification; it makes my eyes hurt).

  6. The pillow looks great. I have very limited time to sew too. It's hard when you can't do what you love when you want to. I hope you get into a groove soon. Good Luck!

  7. I love your pillow! I've been plotting and planning an X+ quilt, just need to sit down and do it.

    I learned to craft/stitch/quilt when my twins were 6 months old and older daughter was 4. It was a crazy, hectic time, and time to myself became a thing of the past. I learned that the best way to manage to get anything done in the little bits of time I could steal was to have everything ready to go. If I was doing hand work, I'd organize things so that the needle was threaded and ready to go when I picked it up. If I was quilting, I would do some cutting when I had a spare five minutes, or do the ironing or whatever was needed so when I did have enough time to sit behind the machine, I was more productive. Do you watch TV? Have hand work ready to go when you do. Do you like to read? Get audiobooks and podcasts sorted for your commute. Make lists of what you need to do with whatever project so that you can get right down to it when you do have the time. Most of all, remember that you are working so that you can enjoy your life, and so you need to carve out a bit of time for yourself to do so. Laundry, cooking, cleaning--that will always be there. You need to be a friend to yourself and enjoy your creative pursuits, too.

  8. Din kudde är så vacker.
    Din vän kommer att bli glad över presenten

  9. I keep two projects on the knitting bag and my hand applique bag. I always have a pair of socks or something small on the go, and it lives in a small bag that I can stuff i to my purse, my appplique project is also small...I am appliquing an orange peel quilt, each peel onto a 5" square. I just keep several precut wedges and several squares in my bag along with a pair of small snips and a spool of thread. I generally take my knitting to work and do on lunch & coffee breaks.

  10. Try to shorten your commute. Can you eventually move closer to work? Or buy a car? In the meantime use the commute time as already suggested. Can you reduce your housework? Hire a student? Get another student to manage some of your social networking input? Your job is providing you with some cash--use some of it to buy some time back.
    Take the time to really organize your home and make it really efficient. Can you send some laundry out or use a wash and fold service? You have to get creative about time--something you should be able to do. Also, the exhaustion you feel now will level out when you get used to it. Good luck.

  11. I feel your pain, up at 4:00 a.m., to the gym, get ready at gym, to work, get off work and get back home around 6:00 p.m. Luckily my husband is a firefighter so I get every third night/day by myself. I try to fit in an hour or so of sewing and then if he works a weekend it is on, and I do mean ON, 6-12 hours of sewing!

  12. I also easily spend 10-11 hours away from home while at work all day. When I feel like quilting, I just let other things slide...
    I agree with Siobhan's commen: "Most of all, remember that you are working so that you can enjoy your life, and so you need to carve out a bit of time for yourself to do so. Laundry, cooking, cleaning--that will always be there. You need to be a friend to yourself and enjoy your creative pursuits, too."