Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tips for a Successful FNSI

With the Friday Night Sew-In just around the corner – I wanted to put together some tips for a successful and productive evening.


I’m one of those people who work best when I have a deadline. Crunch time is when I really shine! I wish this wasn’t true – I wish I was more disciplined to gradually work on projects before I feel the heat. But that’s just not who I am. *sigh*

I made a list last night – it’s a list of things that I must sew before Christmas.. and a list of things that I’d like to sew before Christmas. I make this list every year – and this year I really really want to make it all!! But to do that – I need to get sewing!

So, here are some things that I have found to make my FNSI’s more productive.


1. Plan ahead – have a plan in place. If you don’t already know what you are working on.. well.. get it together man! (that’s me grabbing your shoulders and shaking you!

2. Cut fabrics ahead of time. I’ve noticed when I have my project all cut and laid out – it’s so much easier to jump in and get busy!

3. Use plastic bins or boxes to separate your projects.

I use this technique and it’s very helpful. I keep projects that I’m working on in these little bins. I pull one out, set it on the cutting table and get to work. When I’m bored with it.. I put it all back in the bin, snap the lid back on. And then grab another. Progress is what it’s all about. That way everything related to that project is in that bin (e.g. the pattern, fabric, scraps.. etc)

4. If you have people to feed – order a pizza. OR.. make a quick meal like grilled cheese sandwiches. Everyone loves a grilled cheese! Use paper plates for easy clean up.. give em all a kiss.. then head to your sewing machine and get busy.

5. Bribes.. yes, I said bribes. Come on Mom’s.. we all do it. If you have little people in your house – sometimes you have to do it just so everyone is happy.

When the Holidays are just weeks away and you have things to get done.. bribe em with whatever it takes to give you quiet time. Maybe that’s renting a special movie and making popcorn. Or letting them stay up late and camp out on the living room floor (while mommy sews).

6. Do you work? Yeah.. I know some of you do and so do Bobbi and I. We have all been there.. you come home from work.. your mind is exhausted and you really want to sew.. but you just.can’t.get.off.the.couch!

Yeah.. yeah.. I get it. So tomorrow night.. as you are sitting there.. close your eyes.. now picture yourself 2 days before Christmas. Are you saying to yourself “Dangit.. why didn’t I do this a month ago?” Yes?? I KNOW… NOW GET UP.. GO SEW!!!

Pin It

21 comments:

Christie, Describe Happy said...

Great great tips!! And I wanted to point out that bribes work on husbands too! In the form of, honey... don't you want to go play that video game late into the night -- have fun, I'll be sewing :)

Natasha said...

Thanks for the tips! I really need to make that list. And have fabric precut. So much easier just sewing and not worrying about the cutting.

PinkGranny said...

I have spent too many Christmas seasons over booking my ideas and not making the most of my time. Great ideas.

sunny said...

Great tips! I'm working on my list right now, and gathering materials. Oh, and I have to dig out the sewing table! But that won't take long.

Roos said...

Yes,realy good tips.I always have a few projects I'm working on,cuts out fabrics when my fingers hurts and I even take some work with me to my work ( every spare moment is used and I got 2 colleauge's who started to quilt too).
Greetings

kaye said...

great tips! I hope your FNSI is profitable :)

Sue said...

I just really love the idea of putting each individual project in the plastic bins. What a great way to stay organized and focused! Thanks!!

I'll be there and I'm gonna start a Christmas quilt :)

Quilter Kathy said...

Great tips! I will follow every one for my first FNSI!

Becky said...

Thanks for the pointers and here's to getting A LOT accomplished this weekend!

Impera_Magna said...

The quilty friend who lured me into quilting had told me about "project boxes"... and I remember thinking "Why would one want to put a project in a box?"

I know why now... *lol*

Looking forward to tomorrow evening!

Rachel said...

Oh you are so right! Especially with your tip #6. Sometimes, on a Friday night in particular, it's so hard to get up the energy to do anything but sit on my butt. Your FNSIs really push me to get off the couch and go up to my sewing room (the happiest place in the world). Thanks ;)

Stitchin' time said...

Great tips. I really need more project boxes though.
I'm having a home alone night tonight as DH is collecting DD from a midnight train and they are staying in town. Yay, all night sewing and no interruptions!
Have a happy FNSI :)
Cheers,
Robyn

Melanie said...

Such great tips! I'm definitely going to try to have at least some of my pieces cut out for tomorrow night. You are absolutely right, it does make everything go faster!

Lis said...

Great tips! I'm fortunate to be retired so I always start my FNSI early - before it gets dark. Mind you, I usually finish early too (CFS/ME) so it all works out the same.

Marg H said...

I couldn't be involved in this one. My children and husband are involved in Sound of Music and last night was the second last performance - closing night tonight. That and my son's high school graduation this week, has kept me busy. But still have a little progress on Christmas things - just be taking any moment available to complete even a few stitches! I use the plastic box idea - works well. Keeps everything for that project together. Nothing worse that getting back into a project to not remember where some particular bit is and instead of sewing, spending that precious time looking for something!! GRRRR! I do that a lot less with this system. Thanks Heidi for organising this each month - it's a fabulous idea.

apple blossom said...

nice tips. Oh, how I wish I had a special place set up for crafts and sewing. I did once and loved it, but don't have that at this house. Maybe when both daughters are gone I can crave out a sewing/craft room. That would be the life. ;P

The tips are nice though. thanks and I did get some sewing done.

Linda said...

Thank you for the tips. I am slightly technologically challenged or in other words I can't figure out how to add a photo to Flickr. So I did post on my blog! Thank you for the incentive!

Foolish Feathers said...

I so agree with cutting your fabrics ahead of time! I have been cutting out strips and blocks and putting them with the instructions in a very large ziploc for several quilts or projects. I often stop myself from starting another project because I will have to drag out my large cutting mat and and the cutting I feel takes the most work. I find if everything is there when I begin I can breeze through the project and just use my small cutting mat for trimming, etc. Great ideas!

rental mobil said...

Nice article, thanks for sharing.

Craft Couture by T.C. said...

Thank you for the tips! I love the idea of using plastic bins or boxes to separate projects. Now I use zip lock bags.

For me, I think I dread cutting the fabrics the most.

Katharine said...

Hi Heidi, I'm going to try the project bin idea with giant Ziploc bags first, and if it's a winner for us, then a big Lock & Lock plastic container because I have 2 (children) under 2 :) Those Lock & Lock containers are expensive here in Belgium, like US$20 for one of the project-sized ones. The regular bins from IKEA with wimpy tops will be toddler fodder in no time. Going to trace now :) See you soon for a FNSI!