Christa’s Soapbox – My Daily Routine

I’m often asked how I manage to get so much done. The simple answer is that the hubby and kids help out a lot, and I don’t watch a lot of TV (except when I’m hand-binding).

Hand Binding

I love hand-binding. It’s so relaxing!

If I were to give advice, it would be to prioritize what you want to do and then go do it! Because working in the quilting industry for me is a full-time business, I try to treat it as a job and stick to regular hours with (mostly) weekends off. 🙂

I am an early riser because I have more energy in the mornings than at night. I thank my 16 year old son for that – he trained the night owl out of me when he was a baby by constantly waking up at 6 AM no matter how late he went to bed. He only started sleeping in when he became a teenager and it was time to get up early for school. But that’s another story…..

Running in Utah

Running in Scenic Utah While Attending a Quilt Show

I usually start off the day with a quick bit of exercise. Jason is my workout buddy and even though we have a flexible schedule since he does this with me, I’ve found that if we don’t exercise first thing in the morning, it doesn’t happen. We try to run while on vacation, too.

We have breakfast and planning time in the morning with the kids to get them started on their daily assignments. (We home school the younger two while the older one attends a community college-high school charter program. So we are around each other a lot!)

Checking Email

I work on a laptop next to my sewing machine so it’s a good reminder to finish work on time and start sewing!

My favorite time of the day is mid-morning after the kids are settled. I like to spend a good hour or two before lunch responding to emails, read what’s happening on other blogs, and brainstorming new ideas. I’ll usually start several blog posts ahead of time and jot down my ideas while they are fresh. Then I’ll go back and finish them later on.

The kids are pretty well trained to work independently and come to us when they need help, so our flexible schedule works. Usually once a week I’ll take them to the park for some outside PE time which is a great chance for me to sit and read the latest quilting book or magazine outside in the sun while they play. (Yes – even in December!)

Park Day

Playing at the Park

The afternoon is usually when I get the bulk of my work done – designing, writing, or processing new precut shipments. I try to finalize the next day’s blog post so it can fire off on schedule, and I usually jot down my schedule for the next day.

Precuts

My daughter likes to earn extra money helping me bag precuts!

After dinner if there’s nothing else going on, I can plan on an hour or two of precious quilting time. It’s amazing what I can finish if I actually set aside time every day to sew. I will usually listen to an audio book or catch up on quilting podcasts while I sew.

Listening and Quilting

I love to multi-task – machine quilting while listening to quilting podcasts!

We get the kids to bed at a decent time so Jason and I can squeeze in an hour of down time to talk, read, or watch an episode of whatever our current Netflix show is. (We are taking turns watching past episodes of the Biggest Loser, Survivor, Downton Abbey and Arrested Development. It’s an eclectic mix!)

After that it’s early to bed so we can begin the routine all over again the next day!

By the way, this is just our weekday schedule. On weekends – all bets are off and we are all on our own schedules. 🙂

Board Game Fun

Weekend fun – we love playing board games with the kids!

22 thoughts on “Christa’s Soapbox – My Daily Routine

  1. Tamara Hampton says:

    I am asked alot about how I accomplish so much. The first thing i say is I dont watch TV.I tell them to figure out how many hours a day they spend watching tv and that is how many more hours in a day I have than them! My husband and I will put a movie on when we go to bed and I rarely see the end of a movie. Thanks for sharing your routine. I am struggling to find my routine that works.

  2. Renee says:

    The things you said first I totally relate to–how do I get anything done? Well, I don’t have a TV and I prioritize what I want to do and then do it. My kids are a lot younger, but I still find chunks of time throughout the day to do stuff, and it helps everyone to have a little routine!

  3. Sarah @ Berry Barn Designs says:

    I have a similar schedule (if I don’t workout before the day begins, it just never happens!), but my littles aren’t school-age yet. I’ve toyed with homeschooling and wonder how I’ll ever stay focused enough to work and simultaneously help with schoolwork, so I enjoy reading how you’re finding the balance. Focus seems to be the key… maybe I’m having such a hard time imagining that because right now my preschoolers seem only to have two goals in mind: interruption and chaos! lol Happy New Year to you and your family!

  4. sewsable says:

    I’ve found that I have to do the exercise first thing in the morning too; normally it’s the first thing I do after getting the boys to school. At the moment though it’s school holidays over here so I can get going straight after getting up.

  5. Karen says:

    You’ve inspired me to get my act in gear! I’ve retired after 42 years of teaching (mostly middle schoolers) and have “all the time in the world” but don’t get much of anything done. Now that I’ve had some “recovery time”, I’ll think about what you get accomplished in a day whenever I’m watching days drift by. Thanks for all the great blogs–and the beautiful insights into your life and your quilting.

  6. Linda Barker says:

    Hi Christa,
    What podcasts do you listen to? The only ones that I know are Creative Talk Radio with Pat Sloan, The Quildcast with Amy Ellis and Canadian Quilt Talk with Brandy Lynn Maslowski. I would be very interested to know what other quilting, (traditional, modern or art inspired) podcasts are out there.

    • Christa says:

      I enjoy Pat’s show and Amy’s show and there’s another one by Mark Lipinski. I haven’t heard of the one from Brandy but that will be on my list to check out. As someone suggested earlier, I think I’ll put together a blog post about them 🙂

  7. Melissa says:

    Love reading about other quilting mamas routines. I get asked the same question a lot and I also don’t watch much tv. It’s amazing how much time watching tv can suck up. I like to sew during naps and after dinner while we all hang out in the playroom where my sewing space resides as well.

  8. Lorraine whale says:

    Thanks for the post, it is great to get an early start with exercise. Can yo write something on suggested quilting podcasts sometime, thank you.

  9. Lea says:

    Thanks Christa for sharing. You have a lovely family. I love the last picture of your family at the table together. Like you I exercise (I walk don’t run, LOL!) in the morning. Once it’s done it’s done. If I wait till later it’s to easy to make excuses not to walk. And walking is important, to me. I love the outdoors, peaceful time and fresh air. It’s a wonderful way to begin a new day.

  10. Leigh Anne says:

    This was a great post to read. I’m trying to figure out a balance for my work day right now. Left to my own devices I would just sew all day but there are so many other parts to the business that need to happen! And it’s nice to read that things seem to simplify a bit as the kids get older 🙂 At 7 and 3 they still need a lot from me.

  11. GrandyKandy says:

    Howdy from Kansas Christa!
    I always love your blog posts! I just had a question… I noticed that you quilt with headphones on. I saw a video a week ago of Angela Walters quilting with headphones on too. I usually listen to an audio book when I quilt, but never with headphones on. (Question… How can you hear your machine?)
    Happy new Year to your family!

    • Janneke says:

      Loved the daily routine.And what a beautifull place you live with the mountains in the background. Prioritize and discipline… two things I would love to do if live did not get in the way….What keeps you ON track?

      • Christa says:

        Ha ha – great question! It’s hard for me to sit still and do nothing, so I’m always thinking, planning, or doing.

        Because our business is our only source of income, we are pretty motivated to ensure it’s success. 🙂

    • Christa says:

      Hi there! I enjoy listening to audio while quilting because it really helps me get into a good rhythm and makes the quilting time seem to fly by!

      I “feel” my machine rather than “listen” to it. I’m a very tactile person and can tell if things are running smoothly by how everything feels while my hands are moving the quilt along.

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