How do you organize your time?

If, like me, quilting occupies a huge space in your life (for me it’s both business and pleasure), then it is kind of important to make enough time to enjoy it as much as possible, right?  For me, that means I have to organize my daily life in such a way to maximize the quilty stuff I want to do with the daily things I have to do.  I have a bunch of ways that I have this organized (some days better than others), and thought I would share some of them with you.


I use two different planners, an Erin Condren Life Planner and The Quilter’s Planner designed and printed by Stephanie Palmer, the Late Night Quilter. I keep my general personal life in my ECLP, with the big travel items and due dates for the quilting in there so I can work around them.  My Quilter’s Planner is where I organize my actual quilting work and plans for future projects.  In it, I keep track of the time I spend quilting for hire, the tasks I have to do for my patterns, and the goals I have for new projects. There is also space for doodles, designing, and blocks and quilts to inspire. There is one small batch of planners coming (January 11, so I hear!), so if you’re interested, head on over and sign up for notices.  2017’s Quilter’s Planner will be coming in August of this year.


Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio has handy Project Logs, the first which keeps track of the time and cost that went into a quilt, and the second which is a list of WIPs and an easily-checkable box of what has (or, ahem, has not) been done for a particular project.   

But you know what the real hangup is for quilting? Real life.  Which brings me to

Meal Planning

Like most everyone, though, I find that making and feeding myself and my family gets in the way of my sewing.  And I love to cook!  A few years ago, I came up with a solution where I planned out 3 weeks of meals at a time, and then made three different three-week combos (that’s 9 weeks!). At the end of the nine-week rotation, I could start over with the rotation, or plan a new one. With 9 weeks, I had a large variety of things that I could switch in and out, I knew what was coming, and I could include days for making batches of things or going out to eat if I wanted.  I’m sharing one of those three-week groups (from a summer meal plan back in 2012) with you so you can get an idea. It’s a lot of work up front, but I can pretty much not think about planning for the next 3 months, and spend that time on quilting instead. I’ve built in days for slow cooker/make ahead meals, and also going out for dinner once every 3 weeks.

Week 1:

M: pork tenderloin and roasted vegetables
T: leftovers, or some variation on pork, + vegetable in season
W: vegetarian pizza (make dough night before, or buy it)
Th: Roasted vegetable sandwich, pesto and mozzarella, maple glazed carrots (leftovers for lunch)
F: cilantro maple salmon, sauteed greens and garlic, roasted potatoes
S: Lamb kofta, pita, tabbouleh, and yogurt sauce
Su: leftovers

Week 2

M: Fajitas (chicken or steak), black beans, tortillas
T: Leftovers as quesadillas or fajitas
W: homemade pizza
Th: Roasted chicken and scalloped potatoes and carrots
F: leftovers, either as-is, or as sandwiches or pot pie
S: dal and rice, yogurt

Week 3:

M: SLOW COOKER DAY: Tex Mex Chicken and beans, tortillas, corn on cob (or other seasonal veg).  Double recipe for freezing
T: leftovers
W: pizza
Th: hamburgers, sweet potatoes
F: leftoverS
S: Palak dal, paratha
Su: go out for dinner

These are some of our favorite cookbooks. Before I was spending all my time quilting, I loved to cook every day.
These are some of our favorite cookbooks. Before I was spending all my time quilting, I loved to cook every day.

What do you find works for you? How formally do you organize your quilting time?

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