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Episode 429: Make More Time to Sew (Even When You're Busy)

We know, we know. You're so busy! But these tips will help you fit in more time in your sewing room! Plus, hear an interview with Emily Dennis.

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Make More Time to Sew (Even When You're Busy)

Lindsay Mayland, the multimedia editor of American Patchwork & Quilting, and Elizabeth Stumbo, the designer of American Patchwork & Quilting, talk about an issue that plagues many quilters -- how to make more time to sew even when you're busy. Summer usually has our schedules packed, so Lindsay and Elizabeth give 5 ideas for squeezing more time in your sewing room! See them below:

1. Keep your sewing machine, supplies, and work in progress out. That way, you can sneak in even just five minutes of sewing between other activities.

2. Pack an on-the-go bag of hand projects like EPP, hand-piecing, or hand-applique and keep it in your bag or in the car. Squeeze in sewing time in waiting rooms, in line, while riding in the car or public transportation, or while watching your children’s sports events. You can even do this while catching up on your favorite TV shows.

3. Make time for friends. Swap out a coffee date for a sewing date. You can still chat and catch up with friends, but also both make some progress on a project.

4. Turn your phone off. The average American spends more than 3 hours on a smartphone per day. It’s easy to get sucked into scrolling through Facebook and Instagram or watching videos online. But if you stepped away from your phone and ignored the notifications, could you fit in more time to sew?

5. Wake up earlier or stay up later. Try setting an alarm 20 minutes earlier each day and getting some sewing time in or do a little bit of sewing right before bed. Sacrificing a little bit of sleep for some “me time” in your sewing room will make you feel refreshed.

If all else fails, skip some of your chores or cancel plans. We won’t tell! 


Ask Us Anything

We have a great question here today from Florence Schermer, who submitted this question in our Quilts & More Quilt-Along Facebook group. She asks: "How do you press when you have multiple points coming together at one site?"

One common way to reduce bulk is to fan your seams. This is a method that involves clipping into your seam allowance with a small scissors, stopping a few threads before the seam. You do this method around the center point where all the seams are intersecting so you can press parts of the seams in a different direction to distribute the bulk. We have a great video of how to do this here.

Have a question for us? Submit a question to be answered on air by emailing us at APQPodcast@meredith.com or by reaching out on social media!


What We're Loving

Elizabeth is loving Arianna Caggiano (@quiltkween on Instagram). She makes beautiful modern home decor items that she sells on her Etsy store -- everything from pillows to wall quilts to pouches. She uses really fresh color combinations and uses improv piecing to make completely unique projects. She' has inspired Elizabeth to try improv.

Lindsay is loving '70s colors like avocado green, burnt orange, mustard yellow, pale pinks, and browns. We've seen this trend come back in fashion, and when we were at Quilt Market in May, we saw a lot of these colors in upcoming fabric lines. Lindsay actually purchased some of the fabrics there -- the fabric is called Flower Market by A Beautiful Mess for Paintbrush Studio, and includes florals, polka dots, gingham, and more in nostalgic colors. 


Getting Sewcial with Jess

On today's show, Jess Zeigler of Threaded Quilting Studio chats with Emily Dennis, a busy quilt pattern designer, author of Modern Quilts Block by Block, mom -- and she was in the middle of moving to another state when we chatted with her. Emily shares tips for finding time to sew, including simplifying the sewing process so she can have room to be creative and get things done. She shares more about her Quilty Stars Summer Sew Along, which is a great pattern for using your scraps! Plus, she gives tips for sorting your scraps. Emily is also very passionate about business -- she was a photographer (check out her photography tips in her Instagram highlights) for a long time and now owns her quiltng business. You can sign up for her Creative Business newsletter here.

Emily is also teaching on a quilting cruise in 2020.


Get Organized with Elizabeth

When it comes to organization, there's nothing Elizabeth loves more than a good storage hack. There's something so satisfying about discovering a new use for a product, especially when it can save you time and is a more affordable option. All of the storage hacks shares on this episode are under $15 (in fact most are just a couple of dollars) and can be easily found in the bathroom décor or beauty aisles of your favorite retail store. In fact, you probably already own a couple of these common household items. By taking a new look at these bathroom and beauty items, we can use them to creatively solve some common storage and organization problems in our sewing spaces.