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Time to Slow Down


My resolutions for the new year? To sew less. Wait, what?!

Yeah, that’s right. Don’t get me wrong, I love sewing. It took me 33 years to find a hobby that I loved enough that it would keep my interest/attention long enough to actually complete whatever thing it was I was making. Many hobbies have come and gone because of that, and I suppose I have always been nagged by the fear that if I didn’t go full tilt I might stop. I can’t tell you how many projects I started but never finished over the years because I took what was supposed to just be a break. Everything from cross-stitch to plastic models. Every time I would step away from something, it would end up never being done.

I have come to realize that, as a result of those fears driving me, I simply have way too much to do. Sewing is starting to stress me out. Hobbies should be fun! I still love sewing, but when I sit down and think about ALL of the things I want to do and all the projects waiting on my shelves it starts to feel a bit like drowning. And when you combine that with all the other things I want/need to be doing outside of sewing, it feels like drowning in an ocean.

It is time to admit that I simply don’t have the time to do everything I want to do and need to do, so I need to find a new balance. I need to step back, take a breath, say screw it all, and just work at getting to a place where I don’t always have sewing projects hanging over my head. Sewing needs to become a relaxing happy time again. Therefore, I am choosing (trying) to not care about all the things I currently have in progress.

That isn’t exactly why I have been quiet on the blog lately, but I suppose the lack of posts is a symptom of stretching myself too thin. Not only have I been really busy with Christmas projects that I can’t blog about, as well as life and personal sewing,  but blogging has also become one more thing I don’t have time for while trying to do all the things I want and need to do and be… like be a mommy and a wife and a full time employee and the million other roles we have to play in daily life.

So, my sewing room has been mostly closed for the past week. I have done a little sewing in the past couple weeks, like a couple blocks that should become potholders for Christmas and my Farm Girl Vintage block for December… but that is it. In fact, I think I am going to scratch my potholder idea for the much less stressful option of just making some peppermint bark, which can be made the night before the family gathering (that may or may not even happen at this point) and then simply toss it in some bags I don’t have to make.

Starting now, I’m declaring: no more sewing for the rest of the year. Well, with the exception of maybe one quick Christmas present… even though the thought of that just stressed me out a little. And, no more fabric purchases. Ever! At least, not until I actually NEED it. I don’t care how pretty it is. This “oh I love it and will use it in the future so I will just add it to my stash” thing just leads to even more projects I don’t have time for, or it just becomes money sitting on a shelf. I have learned that there will always, ALWAYS be something else pretty waiting next time; there will always be some awesome new line or new pattern or new kit. I’ve had enough of spending money on things that just end up sitting on my shelf and stressing me out because I don’t have time for them.

My rules for the new year will be:

  1. I will NOT start any quilts that I don’t already have everything I need for the tops
  2. I will NOT purchase any new fabric unless it is for backing/binding of a finished top OR for a very specific project that meets a specific need, examples include: clothing, a *needed* bag, or something of that nature.
  3. I don’t have to finish ANYTHING. It’s okay.
  4. If sewing isn’t relaxing or fun. STOP.
  5. If someone says, “can/will you…?” the answer will be no unless they are paying me.

My ultimate goal? I want to be in a place where I don’t have anything hanging over my head. Where I can simply say, “oh, you know it would be fun to make a X” or “Anna needs a X” and then go make it rather than thinking, “yeah, but first I have to finish A, C, and F and then I should probably get G out of the way before I can even think about X…” Does that mean I won’t ever have UFOs or kits on the shelf? No, I doubt it. But I want those UFOs and kits to be waiting for me by choice, not because I have fifty other things I need to do first.

And if anyone catches me buying fabric that I don’t immediately use, I want you to give me a good swift kick in the rear.



  1. I feel you! It’s important to be able to say no to people who request projects. I charge people, even my siblings. The only one who doesn’t is free-motion quilting for Grandma..ha. I’m feeling projects hanging over my head too, which is silly, because this is supposed to be fun. My blog has been quiet with busy sewing and life and work behind the scenes too. I have 6 projects in progress that I feel are holding me back from others I want to try. I am going to finish 5 of them though, because I do still care about them. It was a craft sale and Christmas sewing that interrupted them. I don’t want to rush through them though. But no more fabric purchases for me either. Your explanation is exactly right. There will always be cute fabric. I did do some Black Friday shopping for cones of thread and a couple pre-cuts I’ve been waiting for. So I’m not as disciplined as you. Merry Christmas and I hope you have a relaxing holiday!

    • Robyn

      The discipline is yet to be seen! I found myself paging through some Craftsy sale stuff today before I mentally slapped myself.

  2. Good for you Robyn! I agree, sometimes we have to stop and inventory what is most important. You are amazing and many of us have wondered how you were able to accomplish so much with all that is on your plate, and I truly understand. Balance is hard, but worth it! Sewing should be fun and it is okay to let something sit undone until you can enjoy the process of finishing it! Shout if you need words of encouragement, I am happy to help! I have a wonderful friend that does the same for me!

    • Robyn

      Thanks 🙂 I think that people constantly asking me how I get so much done should have been my first clue that I needed to slow down. I love being productive though, so it will be difficult. After taking a bit of a break from sewing, I am feeling so much better. Unfortunately vacation is almost over though, so in a few days I will have to face real life again when I go back to work on Monday. But, on the other hand, I might have some travel coming up for work which means I might finally get back to my EPP project!

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