By Diane Harris, HQ Stitch Brand Ambassador

I am always looking for ways to be more efficient in my sewing. I want more time to create things but since you can’t add more hours to the day, the next best thing is to use the hours more efficiently. Here are some habits that I’ve built to save time.

I keep a little basket of ready-to-sew patches near my HQ Stitch. When I have a few minutes here or there, it’s easy to sew a few of them together. And it’s not long and I have units and then blocks, and before you know it I have made real progress!

I wind several bobbins at a time. We discussed this at my annual retreat once, and we were evenly split between people who wound bobbins in advance and those who wound them one at a time as needed.

I’ve found that in addition to the convenience of being able to pop a full bobbin in whenever I run out, there is also the factor that a delay doesn’t derail my creativity as I’m working. I have less frustration, I get back to sewing more quickly and I’m happier all around.

When I finish piecing a quilt top, I prepare a backing right then and there. I used to fold up the quilt top and stick it in a cupboard where it languished. I might not think about it again for years. I stopped that bad habit, and I love practicing this new habit!

I don’t enjoy getting the backing ready so if I can conquer that task, I’m one huge step closer to finishing the quilt. And prepping the backing causes me to think about the quilting plan, which again moves me closer to a finish.

And speaking of the quilting plan, I fill my empty moments with doodling these days. Now there are no empty moments! Doodling lets me consider ideas for quilting. Swirls, ribbon candy, loops, hills and more go down on paper even if they’re uneven and ugly. You never get better if you don’t practice, and most people’s motifs start out at least a little bit ugly.

And did you know it’s better to doodle within a shape than on a blank sheet of paper? I will explain why in the next post.

Until then, keep on quilting!