10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Sewing Time - Planning to Plan for 2020

The Tessa Quilt Pattern - Kitchen Table Quilting
I don't know about you, but I am what you might call "functionally disorganized." Sure, lots of stuff gets done, but it's all kind of a mess.

Over the past couple of years I have set some goals for myself to create a better system with meal planning and stocking the pantry to make my life run more smoothly and it has made a HUGE difference. My goal for 2020 is to make these changes in my quilting life.

10 Ways to Make the Most of Your Sewing Time
While I am no expert, I am hopeful and committed to using my time more wisely and here is how I plan to do it.

1. Planning . . . With a Planner

I will be the first to admit that I have purchased planners before, used them for two weeks, then never opened them again. Will this time be any different? I hope so - a significant amount of time, effort and research has gone into my planner pick.
I got The Passion Planner for the following reasons:

Planning to Plan for 2020 - Kitchen Table Quilting
  • It has a weekly layout (all on one page) that breaks each page down into 30 minute increments.
  • It has a personal and a business to do list section. I like that they are separate
  • It has a blank area each week for whatever I want.
After some deliberation, I got the pink. I was going to go for the black, but I love that this one has "Empowered Women Empower Women" on the back and I just love that sentiment.

If you would like to join me on a Passion Planner journey in 2020, I will be sharing how I use it on my Instagram account and you can get 10% off by clicking here ;) 

If you want to go ahead and get started, you can download a 2019 version of the planner here and print it for free.

2. Project Progress Checklist

This idea came from a suggestion that someone gave me on Instagram. I have created a grid to track my progress on each of my progress. You can download a copy (for free) and print off a bunch of them on a single sheet. I am printing mine off on sticker paper so I can stick them into my planner. 

Project Planner Checklist

3. Optimizing My Sewing Space

This has been an ongoing project, you can see past posts here, here, and here, but I will be making a big change soon. After struggling with my tiny room layout for the past 3 years, someone on Instagram suggested I move my tables to the center of the room so I can set up a design wall. What? I had never considered that. Game changer.

The design wall is up (I got this one) and has been wonderful, and this week I ordered new furniture for the cutting mat, sewing machine, and ironing station. I will share more soon once I get everything set up.

My Messy Sewing Room

4. Finish the WIPs

This has been an ongoing goal for 2019 and my plan for 2020 is to finish them all off. They seem so innocent sitting there, but they take up space and mental energy and it's just not the way I want to work. 

5. Use the Crock Pot

I have made huge changes to how my family does meal planning. While I do love to cook, it is time intensive and I want to shift more of our weeknight meals to the crock pot. If you have any favorite recipes, please share them in the comments! Here are a few of my favorites:
You know what has been freeing for me recently? Realizing that I could close the door of my sewing room and never come back in here again. I don't HAVE to sew anything - I GET to sew. And I can set my own timeline. I am not going to work myself to death to meet a deadline that I pulled out of thin air and I'm going to make what I want to make.

7. Designate Time for Social Media 

Instagram, Pinterest, etc. are great, but they can take up SO MUCH TIME! Most phones will let you set a time limit for social media apps so that you can have a little more control over how much time you spend on them. This helps make that time more intentional and meaningful.

8. Organize Projects

Do you want to know where my current projects are located? In a pile on the floor. They are all mixed together, nothing is labeled or sorted, and looking at it kind of makes me want to cry. I bought a pack of these so that I can keep everything separate and organized without taking up a bunch of room.

9. Make Use of Small Pockets of Time

If your life is anything like mine, you are busy. If I waited until I had a solid hour to sew, I would never get anything done. You can get a lot more done in 5 minutes than you think you can, especially with a little bit of planning of preparation, and I am hoping to make more of this happen next year. 

10. Only Make Projects You Love

This one seems obvious, but how many times do you end up working a project that you don't love? It happens and it shouldn't - if you love what you are making, you are much less likely to leave a project unfinished and all of these other steps will be much easier. Can I suggest you start with some of my patterns (wink wink)?

The Tessa Quilt Pattern - Kitchen Table Quilting

So 2020, I know you are still a few weeks away, but I am ready for you. I am not expecting that become a perfectly organized person, but I do want to be better.

Do you have any goals for 2020 (sewing related or otherwise)? I would love to hear them if you want to share them in the comments!


  1. I love your post! How did you live without a design wall? I'm a crockpot addict. A favorite for me is pulled pork. It freezes well and can be used for so many things. Other things I like to do are baked apples - great for breakfast, dessert or snacks. I make lasagna in mine and, of course, chili and chicken noodle soup. My favorite soup recipe is here: https://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2014/10/best-crockpot-chicken-noodle-soup.html
    If you haven't already found it, check out https://www.ayearofslowcooking.com/ She has great ideas and a newsletter you can sign up for. Oh, I could go on and on and on!!!

    1. You know, I thought I didn't need a design wall and that my floor was fine, but now that I have a design wall I know what I was missing! Thank you for the slow cooker recommendations, those are great ideas!

  2. Hi, I love your ideas! I also sew in small snippets of time. If I know I have a particularly busy week ahead I'll even plan to sew something that doesn't take a whole lot of brain power/concentration.
    We only plan about 3 big meals a week. The other nights are leftovers/sandwiches or soup/frozen pizza nights (my kids LOVE ramen...). When I cooked a major meal every night I got pretty overwhelmed, plus we had too many leftovers to deal with!
    Good luck!

    1. We usually have my in-laws over for dinner with us so we can eat through quite a bit of food without many leftovers, but I am hoping to add a few more quick meals to the lineup. Ramen is a great idea, my kids would love that! Thank you!

  3. this is a good plan. I hope all of these ideas work for you to change for better organization.
    It is just hubbs and me in the big house and I moved my sewiing space down stairs right next to the kitchen and I have my own room. It is small but I have my cutting table and ironing board in the middle of the room. I am greatly looking forward to your room arrangement.
    Cooking dinner? no time. I make huge amounts of food and freeze many portions. I dislike cooking every single evening. You will get a new rhythm I know it

    1. I am very excited about my new room layout as well, I think it is going to make so much more sense for my space. My new furniture gets here next week so I will post about it soon. I think freezing portions of food is a great idea, we should do more of that. Thanks Rosemary!

  4. Thanks for the post, I heartily agree with the whole getting organised and particularly your points 4 & 6. Making things you love - obvious but so true! Thanks for the term ' functionally disorganised - describes to a T how I've felt, especially the last week or so, looking forward to getting organised.

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  6. Into the crock pot put a couple of diced potatoes, some chopped cabbage, carrots, celery, onion garlic and add a can of chopped stewed tomatoes. Add water to cover. Makes a delicious dinner and very healthy.

  7. That crockpot you linked to, is it the one you use? I bought a new Rival Crockpot and after suffering for about 15 months I am tossing it! It cooks fine but it gives off a burnt electrical wire smell which masks anything that is being cooked. Any problems with the one linked?
    I like your goals for 2020. Other than the planner, which never works for me, I think I'll adopt the others!

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  10. Hi Erica, you ask for some great weeknight recipes and I have an absolutely great one for you. If you go to my Pinterest Page, Jackson Watkins, the board is under Food - Crock Pot Meals, and the first recipe is: "Instant Pot Or Crockpot Taco Chili". We have always done ours on top of the stove and once in the pot, it is ready in 30 minutes. If for some reason you can't get it from my Pinterest Page, you can search Pinterest for the same titled recipe. I kid you not, if you love Chili, this one will not disappoint. By the way, I just found your page today and am loving it. Jackson Watkins

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