As many of you know, I have been doing some super sneaky sewing to prepare for Christmas. I thought it might be fun to share with you some tips or things I have learned through this experience. ;)
If you are doing some super sneaky sewing then...
- Start early. You never know how much time you will be able to find when they are otherwise occupied. (I purchased the fabric at the end of August and finished the first week in November.)
- Have more than one memory card for your digital camera. My boys like to look at all the pictures in the memory and do so any time they see the camera lying around. I had to keep putting in the "family" card every time I took pictures of "sneaky projects."
- You need to design the quilts after all the boys are asleep in bed. They always want to see what you are drawing.
- You need a babysitter when you purchase the fabric. Then you must hide it under a blanket in the back of the car when you pick them up. Carry it into the house after they are all asleep.
- A room with a locking door is extremely helpful. But you still need to find out of the way places to keep the special fabric. (bottom of cutting table covered by a bolt of white fabric or under batting in the closet)
- Cut out the fabric when they leave the house with daddy. (Father/son bike rides are awesome.)
- Be careful where you put the garbage. (My boys have been known to look at fabric trimmings in there--especially minky.)
- Be careful where you store the scraps. I wrapped a plain fabric around all of the animal prints before putting them with the rest of my scraps. (It's that big tan section in the container on the bottom right.)
- If you are cutting minky, have a lint roller handy. It is needed for both the fabric and you. (And remember to be careful with the garbage). My boys can tell when I have been cutting minky.
- Work on projects as often as you can when they are all out of the house. (Pillows were sewn when they went to Cabellas with daddy.)
- Be prepared to put things up and quickly take them down from the design wall. Labeled columns and chain sewing are your friend and extremely helpful.
- Work on other projects at the same time, even if you only like doing one WIP at a time. It keeps them from wondering too much what is going on. Choose small projects like bags and mini quilts.
- Baste quilts late at night when you are sure they are all in bed. (Cheetah, at 12 years, is the worst at coming out for one more thing.) You may need to do this in your locked craft room, even if it is tight.
- It is okay to hide a project under another quilt. (Especially if the child is home sick and watching a movie when you planned on quilting.)
- Take advantage of times you can work on the projects away from home. (I went to my first Free Sew at my LQS.)
- If you decide to blog about projects along the way: ban your family from your blog, blog late at night, and be careful when they need to use the Internet on your ipad for homework. Because they might see a picture like this (which is why all the posts start with a picture of the backing):
- Be prepared to make sacrifices. My cutting table broke when I was lowering one of the side flaps after moving it. At least it still fits my 24 x 36 inch mat. (I have had the table for more than 12 years and it had already been put through a lot. It was just the straw that broke the camel's back.)
- Have a special place to store the finished quilts where they won't look (in a trunk I normally store scrapbook supplies).
- Find different ways to wrap them so it isn't obvious they are all the same type of gift. (I'm still figuring out how to do this... any suggestions?)
All in all this has been quite the experience for me. I loved every minute of it, but probably won't do so many large sneaky projects all before Christmas again. I hope you also learned something from my experiences if you ever have to do some sneaky sewing (or at least had a laugh).
P.S. I am linking up with Let's Bee Social hosted by the amazing Lorna.