August Quilting Challenge


I confess it’s been over three months since I last sewed anything.

A combination of crazy workdays and COVID have left me with no time or energy to sew.

I am a co-founder and recently appointed CEO of an international company that trains and certifies singing teachers worldwide. This year has been particularly challenging. We lost one of our founders to COVID, and the workload has been through the roof.

Add to that, we are working on several new products all at the same time, and I am left working 12-14 hours a day, sometimes seven days a week, to keep afloat.

Missing nearly three weeks of work due to COVID turned my to-do list into a toilet roll and left my inbox looking like a runaway train.

Things have gotten better recently. I&’ve been managing to delegate more work to my team. I have taken on several consultants to help ease my workload, and my working days are returning to a manageable 9-10 hours, with the occasional hour or two at the weekend.

I am also about 98% back to normal health with just a few lingering COVID symptoms. I’ve never had COVID before, so this seems to have hit me particularly hard despite being vaccinated and very careful.

Through all of this, I have been missing quilting. I have not touched my sewing machine since the end of April 2022, and that was only to move it as I needed the space to work.

I decided that this couldn’t continue. I miss quilting too much!

But I knew that if I tried to dive into sewing for long periods when my energy was low, I would skip it and not get anything done.

I realised the key was short 15-minute sessions that would give me some time to be creative but not so overwhelming that I ended up being too busy.

So the August Quilting Challenge was born.

Every day in August, I aim to sew for 15 minutes. I set a timer and sit down to do something quilting related. Piecing, cutting, pressing, or quilting doesn’t matter what, but I am going to relax and enjoy the process for 15-minutes. And when the timer goes off. I’ll pack up and go back to what I was working on.

The challenge is to fit this in either during my working day or after dinner at night. After dinner is tricky as usually, I’m pretty tired, need to walk the dog and want to read and relax with TV.

I think scheduling it during the working day is the key for me. It gives me a break from my screen, a chance to unwind a little bit and switch off, and I will have the energy to see it through.

So every day, I plan to sew and post a progress update on Instagram and Tiktok, and you can follow my progress on the hashtag #aututmquiltingchallenge.

I’ve been blown away by the support I’ve received from the community. I thought I’d get a few likes and comments, but we’re up to 22 people taking part, and I’ve received hundreds of likes and comments since I first posted.

If you want to take part and get your sewjo back, then all you need to do is this:

  • Make a list of things you can do or projects you can work on in 15 minutes increments
  • Make sure your space is set up and you have what you need to get started
  • Schedule a time every day, and have a timer to track your 15 minutes
  • Every day you can tick off your progress using this free calendar download
  • Post your progress and tag me @thecolourblindquilter so I can follow along

Remember, the idea is a short session of sewing. It is easy to go over the 15 minutes and sew for hours, but we are trying to establish a new routine.

So, it’s important to stop when the timer is done. Remember, you can always return to it later.

I hope you’ll join me, and I can wait to see your progress. Here’s to a month of sewing every day!

Photo of Tom
👋 I’m Tom, lover of all things #quilting 🏡 Living near Edinburgh, Scotland. ⬇️ Follow me for video, vlogs and more