When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing FREE Printable via www.simplecreativehome.com

Bright Pink and Orange Quilt via www.simplecreativehome.com

I don’t know about you, but when I am coping with stress or difficult times, my sewing output goes way up. As in WAY WAY up. It’s not that I especially spend more time at the sewing machine, it’s just that I switch into stress-induced Full Production Mode. Do you know what I mean? I batch sew multiple projects and it’s pedal-to-the-metal. I’m all about getting things D.O.N.E., done.

I haven’t really figured out why production sewing in difficult times is so therapeutic, but it has always been that way for me and I have heard that it is true for many others as well. One of my favorite quilts, the pink and orange beauty to the right, was made when my Dad was in and out of the hospital all summer. The whole quilt, start to finish only took a couple of weeks, which is really fast for me.

My favorite technique when I am in Full Production Mode is to batch sew as much as possible. I will cut out 3, 4 or even 5 quilts and sew them all at once. Or, as is the case this (apparently stressful) month, I’ll cut out 1 or 2 new quilts but also dig into my stash of unfinished-but-already-cut-out-quilts and add those to the mix.

Right now I’ve got four quilts going.

Autumn-Inspiired Scrap Quilt via www.simplecreativehome.com

Quilt #1

This is kind of an improv-from-the-scrap-squares project where I am trying to use up an excess of yellow and going for kind of an autumnal feel.

Pinksplosion Pink Floral Nine-Patch Quilt via www.simplecreativehome.com

Quilt #2

A quilt for my daughter that we’re calling “Pinksplosion”—it has pink, pink, pink and pink. It’s just big nine-patches. This one is on the design wall now.

Purple Single Irish Chain Quilt via www.simplecreativehome.com

Quilt #3

I’m not usually one for purple, but a friend was making a civil-war-era inspired single Irish chain she saw at a museum and I had to join in!

Green and Black Plus Block Quilt via www.simplecreativehome.com

Quilt #4

This one is for my son. Green is his favorite color. I had to talk him into the black background, but it is going to turn out soooo well, I’m glad he went along with me.

At any rate, I was thinking about how I always gravitate toward sewing when things are tough, and the line, “When the going gets tough…” kept running through my head. Then it hit me: When the going gets tough, the tough get sewing!

Well, at least I do.

Naturally I had to make an art print in the style of the Keep Calm poster rage, plus a second more modern one for fun.

So, without further ado, I present to you:

Get Sewing
by Angela May Waller


The 8×10 size is available for FREE to download in the Simple Creative Home Notebook. Just sign up for access and you can download and print these and many other fun things for free including sewing and quilting patterns and DIY project checklists!

Now I’m off to deal with the aftermath of this much production sewing. Yikes! I have one messy sewing space!!

What about you? How do you cope with tough times?

Love, Angela



12 responses to “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Sewing”

  1. I love that you batch sew beautiful, stunning quilts, that is so awesome. You are quite an efficient and talented artist!

    1. Thank you, Jillian, you are so sweet! ~Angela~

  2. Perhaps you can tell by how long it’s been since I’ve commented, what a wild and crazy ride my life has been! But always know I’m out here! So…what is that you have the quilt ‘on the wall’ with? Is it a board? It doesn’t look like a quilting frame. So, give it up! What is it??Dona

    1. Hi Dona!! What has been going on in your life? Please tell me!! It’s a design wall made out of thin plywood covered with batting and cream-colored flannel. I don’t know how I ever lived without it now that I have it!! ~Angela~

  3. Oh, wow! I was checking out your stash. lol My neighbors next door (to the left and right) are both quilters. Like you, they have quilting area (room) and a huge stash of fabric. What a sight to behold. lol One even made a lovely quilt for our guest bedroom. I never knew just how much time can go in to quilting. Amazing. I am sure Tiger will love his new quilt. 🙂 Love those printables. Too cute!

    1. Thank you, Julie! I have been in a bit of a sewing frenzy lately! It’s time to calm down, though, and sew more thoughtfully. I find that I go through cycles where I need to go, go, go and then to really pause and consider. Always learning! 🙂 Thanks for visiting. ~Angela~

  4. Mary Truax Avatar
    Mary Truax

    Hi Angela. Hope you are finding some relief from the stress. Wish I could get some sewing done instead of turning to food for relief! Love the Pinksplosion and Rainbow of Greens quilts. Nine patch blocks are fun to make. Thanks for sharing the clever graphic!

    1. Thank you, Mary!! I used to be a real food-as-comfort kind of person. Well, who am I kidding? I am still a food-as-comfort kind of person, but I have such painful arthritis when I eat things I’m not supposed to that there’s not a ton of incentive to cheat and nothing left to eat!! The sewing is a much healthier way to relieve stress, though it’s not at all cheaper!! ~Angela~

  5. Thank you for your caring comment on my blog dear Angela :-)Your design wall is fab. I do love nine patch, it’s amazing how effective it can beTracey xxx

    1. Thank you, Tracey! I went so long without a design wall and now I can’t imagine how I ever lived without it. Highly recommended!! I hope you are well and that we’ll see your sunshiny self on the blogosphere again soon. Best, ~Angela~

  6. Oh my gosh Angela! Going through the same thing over at my place. Stress or rather life’s challenges are at an all time high for me right now. I do the same and hibernate in the studio for hours on end, just sewing whatever comes to mind. It helps me, to think and sort things out, to make good decisions on how to handle very trying situations. You said it exactly right! ” Control in the midst of all of the chaos” I love the sign you made and I am going to use it…if that’s okay….as a reminder that I have strength to get through this trying time!and I need to mention that your sewing & quilts are time well spent…lovely as always ;)xxx susie

    1. Susie, thank you! I hope that your stress is coming down to manageable levels! Mine isn’t, but I’m finding that I’m through the frenzied stage of just wanting to sew “pedal to the metal” every day and wanting to be more creative and sew more thoughtfully. I don’t really know why, but I do seem to have this cycle. Still sewing, though. I never stop doing that. Something about working through the sewing projects helps me work through everything else, too! ~Angela~