Christa’s Soapbox – The Tale of Two Hobbies

For about the last year and a half I’ve been hustling – working like crazy to get my first book published (with more in the works), expanding my teaching schedule, getting my patterns into print and growing our precut store into a long-term sustainable income source. It’s been good, productive work that feels immensely satisfying. However, a couple of things have fallen by the wayside which I am to ready to remedy now that I can catch my breath again. They are (1) the state of my house and (2) my overall health and fitness.

Here’s the “before” picture of my sewing studio about 2 years ago just after I had cleaned and organized it, knowing I would be working in this space full-time each day. Ironically, the quilt on the design wall and those hanging over the rails haven’t even been basted yet, while the one the table has been finished and made it into my book. Deadlines are everything around here, LOL!!

sewingroomThe Before Picture

Here is the state of my studio today. I do have to say I just finished up a couple of big deadlines, and will get this cleaned up before moving onto the next project! I like to be a clean person and don’t thrive in creative chaos like some do, but sometimes it just can’t be avoided!!

sewingroom_messyThe after picture – but not for long!!

The biggest thing that has suffered during all this creative chaos has been my fitness. In addition to my obsession with quilting, I love to run! I have logged two marathons and several half-marathons  over the last 6 years simply because I love the feeling of being outside running for long stretches of time. I really do get that runner’s high that people talk about. However during the high-point of my busy-ness it was so, so easy to get up each day and NOT run, heading into the studio instead. I’m not one of those girly-girls who’s into looks and fashion and all that.

However, I do love the feeling of being healthy and having enough energy for everything I like to accomplish in a day. Right now I can barely run a mile, but I decided it was as good a time as any to hop back on the treadmill and start over. I’ll mostly be sharing my running journey over on instagram (@christaquilts) if you want to check that out. There’s even a hashtag #sweatnsew for other sewing/fitness enthusiasts!!


The goal is to work my way back up to longer distances, one step at a time!

I plan to attack these two areas of improvement –  cleaning up and improving my fitness – with as much zeal and vigor as I’ve done with quilting. When I originally got into running, it was because I wasn’t quilting regularly and I needed a stress outlet. Once I got my sewing mojo back,  running began to take a back seat.  My hope is to now balance out both on a regular basis! Wish me luck. 🙂

19 thoughts on “Christa’s Soapbox – The Tale of Two Hobbies

  1. Johanna says:

    I don’t know if it’s a good thing that I can ignore the disaster of my sewing room, but it really doesn’t bother me. I’d rather sew or cycle than tidy!

  2. anudge says:

    Christa – you are not alone. I bet there are a lot of us quilter that need to work on both of those things. At least you have a before picture to which to refer to. Lots of us don’t. Am intrigued about your book!

  3. sminatrea1956 says:

    I too can’t sew in a mess for too long….but the congratulations is on finishing those projects AND allowing yourself the “acceptance” of the situation and knowing your core values will get you back to good on other things that are important as well! It took me 3 months on the Couch to 5K to be able to run my first one in March…developed a Neuroma, and today was my first day back – just walking!!! But today is a new day! Heard this yesterday….”You don’t have the authority to declare some thing or someone hopeless….You aren’t the God of hope!” So we pick up the broom, dust off the running shoes, and trust! 🙂

  4. Linda H says:

    I always enjoy seeing before and after pictures, and yours of your sewing room is quite dramatic! Glad you’ve determined to take better care of yourself, but take care about doing too much running. Even that can be hard on your body -your knees. I ran five days a week for more than a decade, and I’m paying for it now. All the best to you!

  5. kittywilkin says:

    Good luck! Finding balance is such a tricky thing. I’m hoping to get into a balance of exercise/quilting self-care in the coming year, too. It’s tough with young kids and a newborn, since there is no regularly predictable schedule, nor is there reliable “me” time. I’ve set my mind to MAKING time each day (#sewtake20) for sewing and creating, and once I get into that rhythm I really need to add exercising. Maybe watching your success will help motivate me to get my bum in gear, too! We can do it!

  6. Brenda says:

    I’m not a runner, but regular walking/lifting weights/stretching are part of my routine, and counteracts all that sitting from quilting and writing. Love you sewing space pix– mine looks more like your bottom pix. I also have a winding ways and double wedding ring quilt in process.

  7. Robin Dempsey says:

    Great post! It’s nice to know we are not alone and many of us share the same struggles. Thanks for sharing, and best of luck with the running! You can do it 🙂

  8. shecanquilt says:

    I also need to be fit again but it has been a longer hiatus for me. With moving, I am hoping to be able to be organized and also focus on fitness too. I urge you to schedule time for fitness into your days in a way that other projects do not intrude on it again.

  9. springleafstudios says:

    I do wish you luck Christa. Balance is everything and so hard to come by. I have never been a runner but do manage to get in my walking everyday on the treadmill. My bigger struggle is balancing quilting with computer related stuff. Need to sew more, produce more and plan and design less. Good luck. It’s always nice to hear about your journey.

  10. Stephanie says:

    Congratulations on your book! Honestly when you’ve got something that big in the works, if tidiness is the thing that falls by the wayside so be it, it’s well worth it.

  11. Pam says:

    I am moving to a new home which is smaller. I have a day bed in my sewing room and my room is getting a lot smaller every time I bring more fabric and supplies in the room. I walked/ran my first 5K in July. Not a fan. But I will keep on keepin’ on..

  12. Pat Sell says:

    If anyone can do it, you can! Remember when all the things you have accomplished this year were “impossibles” or at least “probably not going to get dones”? And here they are!! You can do this, just keep a good thought. We-all out here in Quilt-land will be pulling for you. 🙂

  13. Lucy @ charmaboutyou says:

    Good luck! They sound like great goals and I hope you find a happy balance! I’m also trying to get fitter but have a yucky cold right now so I’m giving myself a break. I plan on using the KonMari method to get my house in order and I highly recommend the book! 🙂

  14. Mary Roth says:

    Actually, I like your messy room better! It oozes creativity, excitement, and lots of fun.
    Good luck to you in all of the things you’re doing!

  15. vickievan says:

    Good Luck!! I admit to letting housework go and my exercise to. I did water aerobics, which I love but sewing got in the way. I will admit my room looks worse than yours! Way worse 😦 You will be my inspiration! Thanks!! I’ll be praying for your success while I get to work on mine.
    All the best to you.

  16. yvonnemenear says:

    I am exactly like you! Messy sewing room and let myself go. I don’t realize it until I see a video of myself. Yuck! I prefer walking over running because running hurts my knees. Like my doctor says—Just keep Moving!

    Good luck. I am rooting for you!

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