Ten Minute Trays

I love quilting, but sometimes I don’t feel like doing it.  How wierd is that?   Why would someone who is passionate about quilting lack the motivation to get started on her quilting projects?  It could be that the pressure of life and the demands of others take a higher priority.  Perhaps I get too comfortable on the computer or just want to relax.  Maybe I just get distracted.  No matter what the reason, the end result is predictable.  When I don’t quilt, I am almost always regretful of wasting my time on activities that are less productive and less satisfying.  Overcoming inertia to to start is the key.  My mantra is that I only need to do a minimum of 10 minutes of work on my projects.  Ten minutes is not much, but small amounts add up.  Usually, once I get started, I find my mojo, start relishing my project and then keep sewing much longer than 10 minutes.

I play little games with myself jump-start my quilting sessions.  To make the 10 minutes more enticing and seemingly easier, I keep several “Ten Minute Trays” ready for action.

These trays ares simple cafeteria-style trays that I have purchased at thrift stores or garage sales.  I keep each tray ready with something equivalent to ten minutes of sewing.

Because the trays are ready, when I come into my sewing room, I do not have to make decisions on what to do.  The next step is prepared.  I just have to start sewing.  Not only does it make it easier to get started, it also acts as a warm up to more complex sewing.  When the prepared project is simple, it does not seem so onerous to get started.  If I have to start the day’s sewing by ripping a seam or fixing a problem, I will likely avoid starting.  Making it easy to get started helps me sew more and produce more quality results.  And the best part is that I enjoy the process more too.

I also use trays to organize projects at various stages.  One could hold fabrics pulled for a project, another organizes fabric pieces cut for blocks.  Another holds block parts in progress.  Then another tray is used for finished blocks and another tray for sashing strips and blocks.  The trays keep me organized and help me to break the projects down into small manageable chunks.

So each evening, as I do my clean-up in the sewing room, I allow some extra time to prepare trays for the next evening.  A project that is ready to go entices me to get into my sewing room as quickly as possible and gets me started on the enjoyable part of quilting.  What can I accomplish in ten minutes?  Quite a bit, when I do it consistently!


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