Hello, and welcome to my weekly Sew Your Stash 2019 | 8 post where I share tips and ideas on organizing and getting more things finished in the sewing room. This week I thought I’d mention a few thoughts on using the “power hour” process to get more done in the sewing room.
The “Power Hour” Concept
A lot of different time management experts have promoted the idea of a “power hour” as a technique to increase productivity and get more accomplished. To utilize this method, spend an hour each morning or each week focusing on important things that need doing but that aren’t being accomplished. If we apply this principle to sewing and quilting, we can spend an hour each week focusing on the more mundane tasks we might have in order to free up more time for our fun quilting projects.
- The Editors at American Patchwork & Quilting Recently talked about this very topic on one of their podcasts focusing on organizational tips and ideas. To listen to the All People Quilt Podcast with the Organizational Tips and Ideas go here. (I think my favorite tip from the episode was editor Joanna’s suggestion to get rid of one UFO (or WIP) by any means possible!
- And for a blog post on the Power Hour concept go here.
- Finally, in the blog post above, Gretchen Rubin defines her one minute rule–If a task takes less than one minute–do it as soon as you notice it. I used this rule this week, and it’s already helped immensely!
10 “Power Hour” Projects for Quilters
- One…This first one is from the American Patchwork & Quilting “Bucket List.” Simply identify a problem in your sewing space and find a solution. Devote an hour to thinking about and putting a plan into action.
- Two…Sort and organize as many scraps as you can for one hour. Set a timer, and see how much you can accomplish in sixty minutes. Remember that sorting and organizing can include putting some of these fabrics in a “to donate” box.
- Three…Make a list of patterns or projects you want to make that will utilize fabrics you already have in your stash. You might need to set a timer for this project as well 🙂 Start by reading these Scrap Quilt Ideas & Tips.
- Four…Sort through works in progress and choose one (or a few) to donate.
- Five…Sort through quilting magazines and books for one hour. Again…decide on some to donate.
Ideas 6 – 10
- Six…Another idea is to sort through orphan blocks and decide how you’ll use them. For any that you decide to keep and use, pin a note to them with your idea. Donate blocks you can’t see yourself using. (For tips and ideas on simple projects with orphan blocks see this post).
- Seven…Sort left over pieces of batting. Pin a note to each piece, noting its measurement. This will make it easier to know which pieces you’ll be able to use for other projects.
- Eight…File instructions for specialty quilt rulers in one place. For instance, this tip has made it easy for me to review instructions on rulers I use less frequently (and to know where to immediately find directions).
- Nine…Sew coordinating left-over binding strips together to create scrappy binding for a future scrappy quilt.
- Ten…finally, start an inventory list of basic supplies you use frequently so that you won’t run out of your favorite thread or rotary blades.
I hope you’ve enjoyed todays Sew Your Stash 2019 | 8 ideas. And, you can read my previous Sew Your Stash posts here.
Finally, Happy quilting, and thanks so much for stopping by!
One way that helps me keep my much used notions stocked is to use my coupons wisely. Whenever I have a great coupon I will purchase thread, rotary cutter blades or batting. I also ask for thread and blades for Christmas stocking gifts. This keeps me well stocked!
Diane W says
I do the same thing.
Daisy Dianne Bromlow says
I want All of your fabrics and patterns !!!
Trish Palmer says
Hi this is a great piece. Thanks for the tips and links. You have given me ideas I can put into practice right now.also I love the suggestion of “giving away” that quilt or those orphan blocks that are low on the priority list.
Dianna Blanco says
I apply that one minute task to every part of my life. I didn’t know I was doing a power hour, but I did do this for other things around the house to allow me to get to my sewing machine. Daily I would say work before play so i did work for about an hour before I sat down at my sewing machine.
Great tips, I will be trying some of those as well. Thank you
Love your tips thanks for sharing. I love the one-minute idea and try it this weekend,
Tina K says
Since I am older, I tell myself, “Someday you won’t be able to do this, so do it now!” This even applies to things like emptying the dishwasher or taking out the trash. It is the same principle as your “do it as you see it.”
sherri McConnell says
Such a great perspective…thank you!
Bonnie Fonoimoana says
My mother taught me to play two “games” in order to get housework done. They both work for quilting. Spend 20 minutes in one room or at one task. Set a timer, when it goes off you have to leave that room and either go to another room or task. The other one: Pick up something that is out of place and put it where it belongs [for housework, this would take you from room to room]. Look around that area and find something else out of place and put it where it belongs, and so forth. It is amazing how much you can accomplish in a short period of time. [I would also use this game with my children, getting them to pick up their toys, and they loved it.]
Our Scrappy Quilters group in Pleasant Hill, CA, makes lap quilts for Hospice patients. We use ou orphan blocks by sewing them into wheelchair/walker bags for the patients.
sherri McConnell says
I love all of these ideas…thank you so much for sharing them Bonnie!
I do something like this, too. I walk ‘laps’ in my house to get my step total up. While walking I can get a lot of ‘stuff’ back where it belongs– but I keep on my lap path, and keep moving. Getting items to the right room is half the battle. (I do put them away later. )
Thank you for the tip of setting a timer for one hour. This will help me to manage my time better and I can also I use it to manage my crochet projects.
Sandy K says
I got in to clean up and organize my sewing/craft room with the intention of a few short periods of working on it. Well! Once I got started it was hard to stop. I decided to get rid of all my card making stamps and supplies , that freed up a lot of space and since we had a big bad fire in Paradise, Calif. and a lot of people lost everything I donated all those things to a lady who lost her supplies.
Now I have keep cleaning , donating and believe it or not felt like sewing.
Bless you for that. We are on the North Coast and we felt so helpless over here.
Love the quilting designs on your quilts. Do you know the names of the quilting patterns?
Hanya Moschner says
The Sew Your Stash and Saturday Seven’s are my favorite posts. Your tips and tricks are magic. Have you ever considered writing a book with all of your organisational tips? I realise many prople enjoy your blog but I am willing to bet it will be a best seller. Thanks for all you do Sherri.
P.S. Ever thought of coming to visit Australia some time? Especially Brisbane.
sherri McConnell says
Thank you so much! I would absolutely love to visit Australia some time! Hopefully someday!
Your Sew your Stash and Saturday Seven blog posts are my favorites! There are not many blogs that I repeatedly go back to, but yours is one where I do. Thank you for sharing your ideas, thoughts, talent, and suggestions with us!