Distracted Quilting! Tips for a Quilter Who’s Also Babysitting

By Linda –

Here’s a glimpse into one of our “workspaces”:

Auburn fabrics on the cutting table.

This weekend I tried to babysit two of my little grand kids and I thought I’d be able to get in a little quilting (I’m working on an Auburn themed baby quilt).  Keeping an eye on those little tornadoes and not on my sewing threw me off my game, and  I realized that the BASICS of quilting are always important no matter how experienced and skilled you are!

Auburn Baby Quilt Layout
Auburn Baby Quilt Layout – Just Before the Grandgirls Tromped on It!

But I’m sure many of you are in the same boat as we are – strapped for time whether it’s work, kids, housework, family in general etc. etc.  For us, we both work full time – I am a “dinosaur” computer programmer and Jenn is in accounting.  We try to spend as much time with family as possible – so how do we get in our quilting time?  Usually during the babies’ naptimes and after they’re down for the night.  That’s why you’ll see lots of “darker” pictures from us – it’s hard to shoot decent pictures with babies ALL OVER YOUR SPACE!  But they sure are fun.

I made a sad attempt to babysit and sew and I have a few basic tips that will save you some time when you are distracted.

  • Be sure the right sides are together before you sew.   I sewed the right side to the wrong side twice!  Rats!
  •  Do not let the lower fabric slide.  The seam has to be ¼ inch for the top AND bottom pieces.  I only let this happen once.
  • Be sure the blocks are positioned correctly before sewing the blocks together.  I had three out of order.  Booooo.
  • Mitering my borders: I joined two border pieces together, lined them up beautifully and then I sewed the wrong angle!  Arg!
  •  And after about 5-10 seam rippings it’s time to throw in the towel and just enjoy those grand kids.
Mimi and the Girls
Time to “Relax”!

I know these “tips” are kind of “duh”, but quilting takes so much focus, the ultimate tip I have is that it’s probably better to focus on those little ones FIRST and quilt when I can.

As aggravating as it is, the seam ripper was my friend this weekend and he course corrected my mistakes.  I hope we spent enough time together and I won’t have to see him for a long while!




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