Are You a Measured or Maniacal Sewist?

Is it really that time again? I say this only because we are launching into the photo shoot phase of Stitch Gifts 2013, and I know that means that gift-giving time is getting near.

Rose made these two wee jackets based
on the Tina Lewis Handkerchief Baby
Jacket from Stitch with Style 2013.
Not one. Two!


I will readily confess that I am a midnight sewist. I love the adrenaline rush of sewing feverishly into the wee hours to meet a deadline, and it's been that way since I was very young. I have tried over the years to be more measured in my sewing  jags, but it's just not in my DNA. Give me a good 15-hour sewing day and I'm pleased as punch.

Now take Rose DeBoer. She is a much more sensible seamstress, in my opinion. Throughout the year we have weekly show-and-tells on Tuesday morning at our Sudbury office. Each week Rose shows up with a new project. I am frankly stunned at her prodigious results. How did she do it?, I asked enviously one day.

Rose explained to me that she once participated in a project run by a Chicago newspaper based on the concept that you could accomplish amazing things by spending only ½ hour a day six times a week on it. Her dream was to sew more and when the project ended she just continued the habit.

 It's shocking how much she produces and almost everything is a gift item. Be it baby shower, birthday or holiday gift, Rose has something in stock.

I really, really, really wish I could be like that. In fact, I wish it so much that in my log of personal goals, which I keep to remind me of what I want to accomplish (and what I haven't!), I have written down "Sew ½ hour 6x a week.". Now I just need to get another ½ hour added to the 24-hour day! Until then I will be a binge sewist.

I want to add that Rose recently moved down the hall to the Quilting Arts team as the managing editor. We wish her much good fortune and will miss her heartily here at Stitch. No worries, I plan to wrangle a few guest blogs out of her!

While Stitch Gifts 2013 is still very much under construction, Quilting Arts Gifts is ready for pre-order in the Sew Daily Shop to whet your gift-making appetite. It's a grand issue.

How do you approach gift making? Are you measured or maniacal? Am I the only crazy midnight sewist out there? Do tell!

Happy stitching!


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Sew Daily Blog

About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

11 thoughts on “Are You a Measured or Maniacal Sewist?

  1. Is it possible to be both? I run a weekly craft group in Arlington, MA which gives me and fellow crafters a regular 2 hour slot to work on projects. I find this scheduled time then inspires me to continue during the rest of the week on my own in small pockets of time. Of course, when I’m eager to see the end product…the long sewing jag ensues (when family obligations allow!)

  2. I find it difficult to sew for just a short time. I have to have a large block of time without other obligations to get to my sewing room. Once I find that time I can stay there for hours.

  3. I am a maniacal midnight sewist, secretly desiring to be more like Rose at times. I have found as I get older that if I am working on a predetermined project that does not require any creative input ( like identical Christmas stockings for grandchildren) then I can be a “Rose.” BUT my creative juices don’t really flow until after midnight when all else is quiet, when there are no other demands than my desire to sew. I can go til three in the morning.Been this way all my life.

  4. I cannot tell you how much I wish to be more disciplined with my sewing. I tend toward the binge fringe most of the time, but love the idea of having sufficient self control to plan the time and sew daily. If I spend time on my other loves, millinery, knitting, spinning embroidery, and take breaks from any, it is always difficult to re start. Perhaps I need several 30 minute work periods!

  5. I frankly don’t see any point to setting up the sewing table and all the equipment etc., for a half hour. Nope. I put on a movie I’ve already seen several times, and sew til my shoulders start to complain. Occasionally, I take a break to catch up with the movie, then back at it. When I’ve finished the project, then everything gets put back away
    Until the next time.

  6. My best sewing starts at 10:00 at night. I do not have a day job so I can sew all day, but I seem to be more focused at 10:00 at night. I would love to stay up and sew but I just found a walking group who walk at 6:45 AM so I need to go to bed so I can function in the morning. I sew mostly for myself since I appreciate what I do and others rather have a store bought gift.

  7. I am definitely a maniacal sewist. Been this way all my life. I remember as a teenager putting in the hem of my Easter suit skirt just minutes before we had to leave to walk to Mass!
    And now I have a pile of tee-shirt fronts waiting to be pieced into a quilt top for a graduating senior – now ready to go off to her first dorm but minus the cover for the bed! I’ll get it done…in my own good time. There will be some burning of the late-night oils here in the next 2 weeks. DANG!
    Wish I were more disciplined in my sewing and in lots of things in life, but I just can’t seem to pull myself together to do things that way. Maybe in my next life????

  8. Put me on the midnight shift. I love sewing when I don’t have to stop for dinner duties or the phone. I just need to remember to stop when I begin making
    crazy mistakes!

  9. I’m definitely maniacial! My sewing room is a completely disorganized disaster so I go in when I need to. I have been known as “Last Minute Lauren” for some time and that works for me. Need a baby quilt? I start from scratch 2-3 days before delivery. A few mug rugs? Get up at 4:00 a.m. and produce 20 before the 10:00 deadline. A hand sewn gift? Probably won’t get done. Will find something in a store and have all that lovely potential fabric to add to my stash. Great method? Not so much. I’m really hoping that once I can walk more than 3 feet into the room (there is a LOT of stuff in there) that I’ll love going in and will spend my one hour of morning peace in my sewing room. In the meantime, Does anyone know of a truly needy group (like a prison ministry – I mean people that really have no options other than donations) that needs fabric? I have literally a ton and most of it just isn’t to my taste anymore. I would love to donate it to a group that would appreciate it.

  10. I must confess I am maniacal as well. I am and have always been someone who likes to finish every project before moving on to the next. And I usually finish it all in one day, no matter how long it takes. The exception is huge projects like wedding dresses or a finely tailored suit. Then I become measured — making the steps count. I LOVE the process, just getting one step at a time done, and move on to the next but not to rush through it. But if it is gift making, I am late night sewing. I remember one time when a co-worker was expecting their first baby and the office was throwing a baby shower for the expectant couple. I made a baby quilt that evening, staying up to finish it. It came out adorable and was a hit of course, but no one knew I had not took weeks to get it done. (She is still using that baby quilt even though she’s had a number of other children.) I love gift making… so much fun and lots of creative energy to let loose!