When looking over the New Year’s resolutions post on our Facebook page, in response to the question “what is your New Year’s resolution?”, the most common replies were about getting back to the sewing room, getting back into projects, and finishing UFOs (unfinished objects). How does one get back that motivation? The motivation required to pick up a project that has been tossed aside, or hidden in the closet under a pile?
Let me explain to you what I do. Most of the time it works for me, and I am hoping it could work for you. When you want to sew something but can’t seem to find the motivation to do so, here are my suggestions.
Head to the sewing room, or take the sewing machine out of the closet! Honestly, going into the sewing room is often my biggest challenge. Once I am in the sewing room, the urge to create surrounds me and I get lost in the hours. We all live busy lives and the most common comment we make is “I just don’t have time”. For me, sewing is a form of self-care. It believe it is important for many reasons and should be given its time. Taking time to create, big or small projects, gives me a sense of accomplishment. Producing a piece that will be used by myself or gifted to another brings joy in the completion and gifting of the project. And though we may think we don’t have time, forcing ourselves to schedule time to go to the sewing room is the first step!
Once you are in the sewing room or have gotten the sewing machine out of its hiding place, grab two pieces of fabric and sew them together. No joke, if you are desperate, take two pieces of scrap fabric of no particular size and sew them together.
Now there are ways that this process can be done in a more organized way. Something that will allow us to actually create a finished product with this motivational kickstart process. Sometimes I use squares or rectangles of a specific size or I use the Creative Grids Crazy 6 or Crazier 8 templates (more on this in a minute) to get myself motivated and create a project along the way.
I once had a large stash of 2.5” squares that I used. I would cut every scrap piece I had into 2.5 inch squares then throw them in a bucket I kept near the sewing machine or cut table. Now I have the Creative Grid Crazy 6 and Crazier 8 templates I use to cut my scraps. These are sets of acrylic templates that are used to cut pieces that will fit perfectly together. Crazy 6 makes a finished 6” square, while the Crazier 8 makes a finished 8” square. These blocks can then be assemble in all sorts of ways to create a truly unique quilt or project. The process is simple: begin by cutting your scrap pieces using the templates and placing all similar pieces in individual containers. Remember that labelling the containers A, B, C and D can make life a whole lot easier when sewing them together. If you wanted to make something less scrappy you could use fabrics from a collection or coordinating fabrics and use the templates to create identical squares or squares made of just those fabrics alternating which fabrics you cut with which template.
Every time I don’t know where to start, I go to the sewing room, take two pieces and sew them together. I keep doing this until I get inspiration for another project, get a huge pile of pieces sewn together or, worse case… give up. In the latter case, I get up, turn off the machine and walk away. And yes, sometimes that happens.
The pure process of sewing things together gets me motivated to create. Taking the time to sew relieves the day’s stress for me. It is a way to keep my mind and hands busy (and helps me reduce evening snacking) while having the focus of an end goal and the eventual satisfaction of a finished project. I love to create, love to design but sometimes life gets in the way and I forget how great I feel when I leave the sewing room after a particularly creative day. So schedule yourself some time, get in front of the sewing machine and just sew!
Helping you make memories, one stitch at a time!
Yvonne St Thomas
Great article, True when I sew I do not snack as much. No sewing room though🤨
For me, I find if I organize and clean my sewing room (it’s a mess most of the time) it usually gets my sewjo going. Sometimes all I need to do is organize my threads and it gets me going.