A post from the Lake {Introducing #SewTake20 – A New Experiment}

July 9, 2015

I am writing today from a little cottage by a small peaceful lake, some might call a pond.  It’s just big enough to kayak from one end to the other without worrying whether I can make it all the way back before my arms turn to jelly.

Sounds relaxing, doesn’t it?  Well, if you’ve read my blog for awhile, you’ll know that my life does not sit neatly on the corner of Relaxation and PeaceAndQuiet.  Ever.  My four children, 8 and under, are an extremely active bunch.  So although I can’t say we are relaxing, we are definitely enjoying ourselves.

It’s a lovely cottage, filled with the things that my parents adore.  Being here with them brings me great joy.

Here is the little desk in the cottage that I wish I could sit at and write for hours a day.  And someday, when the children are older, I will do just that.  There are so many things I want to write. But for now, I will play with them, swim in the icy water, clean up lots of mud, and sneak away for 20 minutes and quickly jot down my thoughts for a brief post.

2012-08-14 10.33.30


In the meantime, speaking of sneaking away for 20 minutes… I have a new project I’m going to be working on, an experiment, if you will, and I would like to share it with you.  In talking to my good friends, Kitty from Night Quilter and Mandy from Mandalei Quilts, I realize that as busy mothers, we all share the same challenges in finding time to work and sew.  Summer welcomes additional demands on our time.  We’ve decided together to begin a testable series of actions, called #SewTake20, and we will blog about the process and results.

We will each take our own personal quilting projects, and divide them into 20 minute increments of sewing time.  Just 20 minutes a day to pull fabrics, or prep, cut or sew.  We’ll each set the timer, focus our minds on the chosen task at hand, eliminate distractions (like social media!) during those minutes, and see what we can accomplish.

Of course, this will be separate from the time I need to spend quilting for customers…. Those obligations will still be fulfilled in the late night hours or the wee hours of the morning, as I always have done.  The time I dedicate to #SewTake20 will be reserved for other projects that I would like to attempt, but have yet to find a way to carve out time in the day. Not necessarily selfish sewing, as that concept has been called by many other bloggers.  It may be for projects that I make for others, or even for deadlines for publication.  But they are projects that for some reason or another have fallen to the bottom of my to-do list, even if my intentions have been otherwise.

I plan to begin the #SewTake20 experiment in late July when I return home.  I will let you know how it goes…

I had originally planned to stick to my blogging schedule this month, and post my Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays as normal while I traveled.  I hadn’t realized how many internet challenges I would have.  So please excuse the disruption in my schedule.  I will return to normal again next week. And my co-hosts for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Hop and I will also be posting our last two introductions to groups of new bloggers (and two new contests for prizes) very soon.

I’ll leave you now with some snapshots of the moments that have filled my days over the past two weeks.


2015-07-02 18.15.48

2015-07-04 17.50.31
2015-07-02 18.08.57

2015-07-06 16.35.14-1

2015-07-07 10.09.50


The Kaaterskill Inn, Catskill, NY. A beautiful place owned by my brother in law, Manhattan based-artist, Allen Hirsch.  It's a perfect for weddings, and family events

The Kaaterskill Inn, Catskill, NY. A beautiful place owned by my husband’s step-brother, Manhattan-based artist, Allen Hirsch and his wife, Belkis. It’s perfect for weddings, and family events.  Each room embraces the majesty of the surrounding Catskill mountains, and offers an eclectic mix of Allen’s artwork and antiquities from around the world.


  • Reply Judy Davis July 9, 2015 at 7:14 am

    I find that I can accomplish quite a lot doing my quilting tasks in small little increments. That is mostly the way I get most of my quilting done. I have a great sewing room which I go in at any time of the day to get my projects completed. It is organized for the most part and allows me to find what I need quickly to move on to the next step in my project. Good luck with your project!

  • Reply Anja @ Anja Quilts July 9, 2015 at 7:45 am

    Enjoy your vacation!

  • Reply Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl July 9, 2015 at 8:43 am

    I hope the #sewtake20 is a successful and enjoyable experiment, and I hope the rest of your time at the lake wraps up peacefully.

  • Reply Cheryl July 9, 2015 at 9:11 am

    I love the idea of seeing how much you can go by breaking projects up into 20 minute chunks. Have fun on vacation!

  • Reply Tish July 9, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Enjoy your vacation, it looks like a beautiful and quiet place to be. I will be interested to read how the SewTake20 works out. Sometimes when we have so many hats to wear and things pulling us in different directions it’s so hard to find time to do the things we want to do.

  • Reply The #sewtake20 experiment - mandalei quilts July 9, 2015 at 10:47 am

    […] when my friends and co-moderators Stephanie the Late Night Quilterand Kitty the Night Quilter suggested we all give a new idea a try, it seemed likes the perfect […]

  • Reply Little Black Cat Quilting July 9, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I was reading about the Sew 20 idea over at Night Quilter, such a good idea! I don’t even have kids and it can be a struggle to get in a little sewing each day sometimes. Your vacation spot looks absolutely wonderful!

  • Reply helen July 9, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    looks a fantastic place to spend a holiday, and great to build up all those happy memories. The sewing will be there when you get home, like the dust

  • Reply Jen July 9, 2015 at 5:44 pm

    Looks like you’re enjoying family time in that beautiful place! I think you’ve got something there with your 20 minute idea. I might have to give it a try!

  • Reply allisonreidnem July 10, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    I find the 20 minute thing works really well for chain piecing and sewing on binding. I have trouble making decisions so 20 minutes wouldn’t be enough time to gather fabrics! I hope you find the 20 minute experiment really satisfying. In the meantime enjoy being with your family.

  • Reply Chelsea Huckins July 13, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Summer is such a crazy time of year and with everything being so busy (even for us non-mothers) this concept is great. Breaking a project down into smaller pieces that can be done in 20 minutes time is genius and productive. If you don’t mind us non parents joining in, I would like to tag along 🙂 #awesomeidea

  • Reply 3 Tips on Making Time to Sew Daily: #sewtake20 | Night Quilter July 28, 2015 at 9:30 am

    […] friends Stephanie at Late Night Quilter and Mandy at Mandalei Quilts and I are trying a new project to help us make time for ourselves. […]

  • Leave Me a Note