Sunday, April 26, 2015

When Do You Sleep? Organizing Your Life to Sew

Fabric made just for me!

My mother-in-law lives just down the road, and she's 
one of the first people to see a finished project. I'm 
sure I hound her, but she's a captive audience. She's 
never honest, and always says she likes everything. 
Let's admit it--that's pretty sweet. Then she asks 
me, "Do you ever sleep?" It's our routine.

Honestly, I sleep a lot. I need every minute of
8 hours, and sometimes 9. I go hard during the
day, but I get a lot done. I had to cover a lot of 
territory with 5 kids. There was always a little 
one in tow while we were on the move and 
homeschooling. I also sewed, gardened, canned 
when I could, and we always had enough animals 
for a zoo. Most of the time my house was controlled
chaos, but I used a lot of tricks. I am a list maker 
by nature, and remember doing this even by
about age 9 or 10. 

In the recent past, Sunday afternoon 
of every week was my time to make out all the 
assignment sheets for the week for the kids.
Then I did a menu for each meal, and a shopping 
list for everthing I needed to buy. If it wasn't on 
the list, we weren't coming home with it.
My memory was already at capacity.

I was a Fly Baby, and read Fly Lady emails
every morning. It worked like magic here.
 I still had someone come in to help half a
day every other week, but we took care of 
the rest. That meant a big yard, feeding the 
pets, and even mucking the barn. 

Most of the kids are grown now, and I
don't make so many lists anymore. Some
have become second nature, though, like
throwing in a load of wash first thing in 
the morning, and hanging it at night. We 
share shopping, and who knows what 
strange things show up to be cooked, but
my youngest is an aspiring gourmet, and I
encourage that. She takes over a lot of
the cooking these days, and is better than I.
Lentil soup from scratch, and homemade 
bread was dinner last night!

Another thing I try to do every day is 
Eat the Frog.
Whatever it is that I want to do the least,
I try to do it first thing in the morning,
and get it out of the way. Then I'm
free from dread for the rest of the day.

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning 

and nothing worse will happen to you 

the rest of the day.”

― Mark Twain

Moving my cubes up to the loft space was a major 
project over the weekend, and I needed 
help and equipment. We mowed in the morning while 
it was freezing cold, and my husband was happier 
about helping me move things up there in the 
afternoon. That evening I put all my fabric away, 
and now I can find things again!

Here are a few of the prints I found
at some of my local quilt shops just
before my move, and had lost
in the boxes and bags. Love those
kitty cats, don't you?

If you think there's never a way to carve out
enough time to sew, try organizing the parts
of your life that you have control over.
Make decisions about lots of little things at 
the same time. Be a list maker, if that works 
for you. It's no different than the
theory of chain piecing. Do all the same 
things at the same time, then move to the 
next activity. You will save time, and 
work more efficiently.

As lists go, here's my list for the week.

Monday--Ikea trip with my daughter. Look
at floating shelves, and fabric for backing.
Monday's are their Eat for Free day here. Save
your receipt from your meal--do get dessert, 
add some chocolate bars there, too, and then 
when you spend $100 or more, and show your
free Family Card, it's deducted from your 
total. You can't beat that deal!

Finish the FMQ pillow to enter in the month's

giveaway at Quilt Shop Gal. Must be blogged
and entered by Thursday.

Tuesday--Finish remaining blocks and setting 
triangles for the QST quilt. Start sewing rows.

Wednesday--Sewing at JoAnn's in the evening.

Start an applique project during the day to
take along, but I have a beginner coming I've
promised to teach basics to.

Thursday--Do the binding on one charity quilt

before starting in on my own projects. 
Hang my shelves, and clear a table to relocate 
my ironing area off my cutting table.
Create a large pressing surface from a piece
of leftover wood, batting, and fabric.

This will be the last day for entries to the Variable
Star Within a Star Giveaway here, so tally
emails up with Pet Project entries. Did you
send me your email yet to enter?

Friday-Put in an order for supplies including
batting for my QST quilt. I like the Fairfield
50/50 blend of cotton and bamboo the best, 
but maybe something lighter that will take less
space in the throat of my Janome. I'm a wee 
bit worried about the bulk of that giant quilt.
Decide on a design for my Anna Marie
Horner Swap for my secret partner.
I'm laying out some combinations.
This is the new Folk Song line.

I hope you heard something that gets you 
thinking about time management, if that's
what you need. It's the only way I can
Do It All, so to speak, and I can tell quickly
when I drop my routine of list making.

Let me know what works for you in the 
comments. I love suggestions for organization.

Come on, Doxie Girls.

Let's go sew.

Linking up today with~

Freemotion by the River
Blossom Heart Quilts
Quilt Story
Show and Tell Tuesday
Late Night Quilter
Monday Makers
Show and Tell with Bambi
Patchwork Times
Hug-a-Bit Quilts
Cooking Up Quilts
Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash

Thank you for the link up opportunity!


Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

I really enjoyed today's post. I think I'll get off the computer and go do something! Thanks for the inspiration.

Bess said...

I feel tired just reading your busy schedule!! Wow, you get so much done. I've never heard the expression Eat the Frog before - ha ha! I totally get it. I need to try and eat more frogs in my life!

Lisa in Port Hope said...

The fly system sounds intriguing. Thanks for introducing it! I put out my clothes the night before--amd i am trying to be more efficient at meal preparations, but i have a long way to go I'm sure!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eileen In Stitches said...

I love that expression "eat the frog" - I'm going to try and do that this week! I'm always slow getting started with things but I've got too much on my plate right now for that.

Your fabric setup looks great! Very neat and well organized.

Marly said...

Eating the frog is the best piece of advice I've heard in years! Thanks, Julie.

Julie said...

I didn't remember where I got this saying from, but have used it for years. Thank you, Google. It's a quote from Mark Twain, and I've accredited the saying in the post above. Although he is a wordy author, Twain's bits of wisdom strung through his writing hit home with me, and I feel a connection with him. I even dragged a few of my kids to one of his homes in the east for a tour one hot summer, and they wound up touring while I sat outside with an unhappy child. Someday.

Cheers, Esther!


quilterchick said...

Love your blog post! Just what I needed this morning. Thanks!

Kate said...

Fun and informative blog posts. I've never heard the "eat the frog first" quote, but it really works. Thanks for the giggle this morning.

The Colorful Fabriholic said...

Great post - thanks for the organizing tips. I've never heard "eat the frog" before, but I love it and I think I'll start using it around here. Then I can treat myself to sewing time after the frogs are done.

Colleen said...

I hadn't heard of the "eat the frog" either but I've been eating it for quite some time ! Your QST quilt looks really good.
Colleen @

Mary said...

I make a list for all my projects in a Spiral bound UFO booklet I put together. It helps me when I put one aside for awhile. I "dovetail" jobs as much as I can to make the most of my time at home. I schedule Naptime, too. Yourt space looks very fun. Glad you enlisted some help getting it moved where you wanted it.

Podunk Pretties said...

Eat the frog! Never heard that before...LOVE IT! I'm living by this for the rest of my life. Frog legs are good so why not the whole frog!?

Cathy said...

I get asked that question about sleep all the time. And you're right, efficiency in doing things is the key. Great post.

Catarina C said...

Congratulate to your new sewing-room, it looks lovely. It's nice to read about your schedule maybe I should also think about it. The expression about the frog was funny and I just try to do that, take the dull thing first in the morning.
Your QST will be beautiful.
Hugs Catarina

evaj said...

Oj Julie vilket sy rum du har fått GRATTIS till detta!!Jag är nyss hemkommen från en veckas skön och solig semester till Turkiet med delar av familjen. och möter en underbar vår här i Sverige vid ankomsten!!
Tack för din inspiration idag på Visa och Berätta måndag samt din länkning dit!! Bambikramar

Linda @ kokaquilts said...

Great post... made me laugh! I love the "eat the frog" idea! I tend to do things in the morning, and if it's not done by lunchtime, it'll just have to wait! Looks like you have a busy week planned! Linda

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I'm a list maker too, it's the only way I can function. My hubby works such crazy hours, it really messes with my schedule. I do my sewing and sleeping around his schedule, which means sometimes I'm sewing early in the day and sometimes late at night. Your sewing space looks fabulous - it looks like a great place to get creative! Thanks for linking up to MCM! :)

Unknown said...

Wow, Girlfriend, I love your new sewing area. Can't wait to see it. Also, I love the quilt you are working on...and I love the new fabric. Keep up with the great time management. Subscribed to Fly Girl e-mail. Thanks for all the tips. Martie

Ruth said...

I'm a list maker but can't seem to stick to it as much as I would like! Like my sleep too!

Sandra Walker said...

Lists! I love lists! I love checking items off even more! My husband thinks I'm a nut, especially since I still do this now that I'm no longer working. My day gets away without a list (ahem, kind of like this one...meant to set a 1-hour timer for computer time, and forgot, and it's now been, cough, a LITTLE longer than an hour on here...) I, too, need 8 hours a night. I try to tackle chores I do not enjoy first thing too, (like the daily mop of the floors, 3 fur kids sure shed) and get them out of the way. I like how your studio is coming together..what is that, a bed I see in there, for your 8 hours?!!

Vicki in MN said...

I am not real big on making lists-at least on paper. I guess my lists are all in my head, LOL I do manage quite a bit of sewing time-sometimes before other things get done! Great new sewing area for you!

Sew Stitching Cute said...

Even though you said you sleep... I don't believe it. I enjoyed reading this and yet it made me tired! I wish I had your spunk for getting things done! I do get them done and I need my sleep... but my M-F job takes over! Ugh! Move over here and I'm sure you'll rub off on me! hehe

Lara B. said...

"Eat a frog"... this is going to become part of our family's repertoire now Julie! Good advice and very funny! I am very impressed with all you are able to do. The studio is looking awesome!

andrea @ tideline quilts said...

I love your post! Lots of good wisdom and common sense advice! Hope you don't mind if "Eating the Frog" becomes a new mantra in my life...a wonderful approach to tackling the things you least want to do!