How to Find Time to Quilt


How to find time to quilt is a common quilters conundrum.  Let’s explore how to squeeze some more quilting time into our busy lives.

When non-quilters are admiring my work, one of the most common questions they ask is, “Where do you find the time?”.  The other statement I hear frequently is from quilters themselves, “How do you get so much done?”.

Now I know many more prolific quilters than myself, but over the years I have discovered some strategies that help me in my quest of finding time to quilt.  We all know that we should be cooking with a slow-cooker; baking in bulk and freezing; and ignoring the dust a little longer than Martha Stewart does, but take the time to think a little deeper and examine how you work as a person.

Here are my three top tips on how to find time to quilt:

Pick an appropriate time to quilt, a time when you are alert, focused and are not going to be interrupted.

On my days at home, I used to do all the housework when the kids were at school and then I used to try and quilt in the afternoons.  That was an exercise in frustration, as I was constantly interrupted.  I quickly learned that I could fold washing AND help with homework and I was better off to allocate a couple of hours in the quiet mornings to quilt.  I got a lot more quilting done in the same amount of time with fewer mistakes.  So find the time that suits you and your family activities and then schedule it in like an appointment.


Find your time-sucking distractions and minimise or eliminate them.

I don’t watch TV.  Yup, it’s true!  On average, New Zealand adults watch just under two hours of TV as a primary activity (and extra as a stimulus when doing other activities).  Wow!  Imagine if you quilted for two hours every day!  My hubby will sometimes watch a DVD and I’ll sit with him and hand sew to keep him from feeling neglected, but don’t ask me what happened last night on Shortland Street, I was too busy quilting!

quilting old maid's puzzle 001

Get ‘Sew’ Organised.

“Arrrgh!”  I hear you say!  “Of course if I was more organised I’d be able to find more time to quilt!”  But what I’m talking about is not major life re-organisation, just building little organisational habits in your sewing room – easy!

Keep all the supplies needed for one project together.  Stackable boxes work well because you can label the outside and easily see at a glance what projects await your attention.  Open the box and your fabric, pattern, notes, thread and half-sewn pieces are all right there.   No searching required = more time to quilt.

Keep notes on a project as you go.  Index cards work well.  When you stop work on a project, write down the next step you intend to do, or tick off what you’ve done if you’re working on a pattern.  Then you don’t waste valuable quilting time remembering what you had to do next.

The blog asked five of their designers how to find time to quilt.  Their five tips include harnessing the power of a quilting group and advice on how to stay motivated.  You can check out the blog post here.

Now tell us your best tips for how to find time to quilt, we’d love to hear from you!



Charlotte has been quilting for more than 10 years, making both traditional quilts and art quilts and loving both processes. She teaches and writes about quilting to help introduce more people to this awesome craft. She lives in Northland on a boat with her husband, two children, a dog, a cat and two sewing machines – fabric and stitch are her escape! You can also find Charlotte's writings on her blog The Slightly Mad Quilt Lady


  1.' Diann Glen says:

    Hi Charlotte enjoyed browsing through this site, thank you. Diann

  2. Hey Diann – so glad you came and had a browse, there is some great stuff here and more gets posted every week! Plus I love using the directory listings if I need to find a quilt shop or event.

Leave a Comment