Too Tired to Create? Open Line Friday
Good Morning, Quilters!
Yesterday, Faye admitted that sometimes she’s too tired to sit up, but still wants to be creative–so she stitches in bed!
I laughed out loud because it was so ridiculous…
But then I remembered, I started quilting because I was put on bedrest (while expecting Faye and her twin, Olivia!)
It does bring up a larger challenge:
How do we stay creative when we are tired–after a long day of work or during an illness or when we are over-scheduled?
I’m reminded of a quote from this book on time management—
“We underestimate what we can accomplish in short periods of time and
overestimate what we can complete in long periods of time”
The best method is often short periods of creativity and the key is to be ready and organized!
One things that helps me…
I like to leave a project ready to work on–in a phase that I enjoy.…For example, I often leave a machine quilting project in a place -with the machine threaded. That way, I’m more likely to run up to my sewing machine for a few “stolen minutes” of stitching, even if I’m tired.
Whereas if I left the project in a place where I needed to oil my machine or find a matching thread, I’d be less likely to stitch and more inclined to mindlessly check social media….
What about YOU?
Do YOU have any tricks to help you remain creative even when you’re tired or busy?
Do YOU ever stitch in bed?
Do YOU ever “waste” 15 minutes?
We’d LOVE to hear!
Lori Van Winkle
PS…You can find The Cheery Cherry Tutorial HERE.
PPS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt. For all other purposes, please contact me at email@example.com. Thanks!
29 responses to “Too Tired to Create? Open Line Friday”
When I have to wait in a doctor’s office or other places where it seems like the wait is forever, I usually take a quilting book and a quilting magazine to look at. You’d be surprised how many things I have discovered and tips I have learned from those minutes of waiting. And all the quilters I have met along the way!
What a great blog. Was stitching in bed in my hotel room last night!
Hand stitching, right?
I think you are spot on about prepping. If I stop at a point that is easy to pick up later, I am more apt to work on it when I have less energy. I currently working on a project where I had to do some measuring and marking in my negative space to FMQ. I’ll iron the negative space first (it’s a big triangle) then mark it. If I don feel like FMQ at that time, it is already marked and ready to go when I feel ready.
One way to “stitch” in bed, we always say to draw first or doodle your designs to make the muscle memory. That can be done in bed on paper!
I actually schedule time for sewing as a treat. I sit at the machine, iron, or cutting table and I set a timer for myself to see what I can accomplish in 20, 30, 45 minutes or an hour. Then if things are going well I grab a glass of water and set another timer if I have time. Then when I have to stop I set the ten minute clean up timer when I tidy the area, oil the machine, and get set up for the next bout of creativity.
WOW, I am really very much in awe. I can only dream of being so disciplined. I like your plan. I might try this
I have actually fallen asleep while hand stitching at night. Luckily, it’s always been later when everyone else has gone to bed. Otherwise, you’d probably have seen my picture on social media haha!
I do take a tote bag of sewing with me whenever I go on any trips that are over 1/2 hour away. I also take my bag with me to appointments. I’ve gotten quite a bit done while waiting for someone to go into/get out of surgery (it keeps me calm too).
Before my eyesight depleted, I brought either needlepoint or embroidery projects wherever I would be sitting for any amount of time.Now, I look at magazines for inspiration!!
I always have a project on my longarm, at my sewing/cutting area and a hand project next to my chair so depending on my time limitations I always am ready for whatever I have tome to work on.
Even when the time is a paided work Time I’ve quilted ,like i was a school bus driver for 17 yrs and for 2 years I had a down time 49 miles away from the depot where I parked so they paid me to sit and wait on the class that was there 3 times a week .I learned that first day “sitting “was not for me ,so I brought my daughters battery operated sewing machine and YES peiced a quilt. I still have that quilt and laught about the 2.5 hr I was paid to make it by the board of education every day for 8 months that year.
Wonder what more I could have accomplished,if I’d kept that same run for 2 more years LOL. And a dozen more AA bateries.
I love this story!! The mental image of you and your sewing machine in a school bus is just delightful!!
Waste 15 minutes?? Oh I can waste more than that without breaking a sweat!
Usually have a project on my long arm at all times, and projects ready to go at EACH machine just in case I get a few minutes.
I’ll be using this idea. “I often leave a machine quilting project in a place -with the machine threaded.” Duh! Simple but brilliant.
I’ve learned the hard way to not even try to sew when I’m tired. Unsewing is the worst! But I keep a sketch book and colored pencils nearby so that I can sit up in bed and trial patterns. No haste, no waste, and so relaxing.
I have three sewing areas/stations, so I always have something organized and ready to go, depending on if I feel like long arming, piecing, or embroidering either by machine or by hand. The key is keeping a list of the next step for each project. I can do all the easy steps when I’m tired, but when I have more energy, I can tackle the more complicated steps. It always gives me great pleasure to mark off completed tasks, and since I always have several projects going, I never get bored or tired of a particular one. This method also works well if I get stuck, since I mostly design my own pieces and sometimes don’t know where a project will lead me.
I can AWAYS find a way to waste time if I choose to! (LOL!) But I’m a retiree, so it’s not too much of a biggee.
Hand stitching is something I avoid as much as possible. I don’t like it and I have an arthritic thumb joint so it can be painful as well. If I’m in bed for the evening, I’ll be reading from my Kindle because it relaxes me.
Since I have a very small sewing area, some of the things I do to keep organized are always cleaning up and putting away at the end of the day, periodically pulling bits & pieces out my scrap bins and stitching them together for scrappy quilts, (to keep the bins from overflowing) regularly checking Pinterest for new ideas, and printing or drawing ideas to keep in a binder. So what does organization have to do with creativity? For me – everything! I need to get up in the morning and see a clean slate, ready to go. It allows me mental space to feel creative and it works for me. I can pull out fabrics to coordinate colors, browse through my binder to stimulate ideas, doodle ideas for FMQ and work on my ongoing projects with fresh eyes.
I’m realize this doesn’t work for everybody but then we’re all as wonderfully different as our quilts aren’t we?
Love ya’ Granny G. (also a Granny with 2 Greats)
I loved the quote so much I had to try to track it down to the source. Bill Gates said
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
Hmmmm …. this seems to be the opposite concept of the quote Lori sited. I’m going to investigate further.
I agree, seems to be the opposite! Did you find anything, Holly?
I also take a quilting magazine/book with me to doctor appointments. I’ve also taken a quilt that needs binding to a friends surgery – a couple productive hours! As I type this, there is a block laid out on my DM that was oiled and threaded and made ready to go. It’ll get done tomorrow night after I get back from visiting with friends. On a Saturday late night, a no brainer stitch activity is in order 🙂
I sewed on borders to a king size quilt and sandwiched it myself with the help of bottled water and paint cans to hold it flat! Lol I left mine in the machine threaded and the machine set for FMQ…this way tomorrow I will be inclined to go down to the basement and start! I do embroidery work in bed will watching tv….
I really appreciate my check lists (starting with less fussing about forgetting things) but especially at busy times I sub divide into small steps so I can “reward” myself with check marks on tasks related to my time or energy resources
Dear Ms. Van Winkle,
I made a Cathedral Window quilt while sitting in doctor’s office waiting rooms when I was a young mother. The fabric was all cut and pressed with thread and needles and scissors in a bag ready to go, like a kit.
I dislike having idle hands, so I have several bags of supplies and projects to choose from depending on what I’m in the mood to do.
I belong to an ornament club, so one bag is ready with the necessary supplies and latest kit. I have bags with unfinished knitted socks, crocheted washcloths, pillowcases stamped and ready to embroider. I even have a plastic case with needles, scissors, thread a seam ripper and other things ready to bind a quilt or repair things.
I used to love sitting beside my husband while he fixed cars. With three daughters in college, we had to do many rescue trips to fix their old cars broken down in some parking lot in a far off college town. I had a bag with unfinished crocheted rugs made from shopping bags stashed in the trunk along with a camping chair in case of an emergency break-down.
I love thee photo of the sleeping baby in the high chair. I know how he feels. I found myself asleep at my sewing machine today, as a matter of fact.
I blame it on the rainy weather and the barometric pressure. I never expected this when we moved to Oregon, but I feel it. It’s real.
I love your blog, Lori. I love the idea of preparing your machine for reentry the next day. You are inspiring!
I’m disabled with ME/CFS, and because of my fatigue, I can’t sit up for long. I set a timer when I go to the sewing table (or even the sofa, for hand sewing) and after it goes off, I tidy up and leave my work ready for the next session. (I just discovered the trick of threading multiple hand needles at a time for hand work! Revolutionary!) I can’t get as much done as an able-bodied sewist, but it’s amazing how much a person can do even in a short amount of time, esp when their work is prepped ahead of time!
Due to shoulder and neck problems I have always sewn and quilted in short stretches. I set the timer in the kitchen for 60 minutes so that when the timer rings I have to get up from my machine and go and switch it off. This way I get to have a good stretch, maybe grab a cup of tea and then I set the timer again for another round of quilting or sewing. Also in summer, I am up at 5:00 so that I can get an hour in before the rush of the day starts!
When I am too tired or stressed or not motivated to correctly read a pattern I work on mile-a-minute blocks. Just start with a strip add a piece and keep sewing until you have a 6 inch block. When I do this I tend to end up with at least 2 blocks and sometimes 3. 25 blocks makes a small comfort quilt or lap quilt. It is mindless sewing but gives me the sense of accomplishment.