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Win a $25 gift certificate to Connecting Threads!

Can you believe it's November? The holidays are right around the corner, and I know the invites for cookie exchanges, family dinners, and holiday parties are going to start arriving in my mail box any day now! Plus, there's the holiday shopping to get done, gifts to make, cards to send, holiday recipes to bake... It feels like every year my holiday to-do list gets longer and longer!

How do you manage your holiday to-do lists and still get all your quilting done? Post a tip in the comments below, and you'll be entered to win one of 3 $25 Connecting Threads gift certificates. Winners will be picked at random on January 4th, 2010 and announced here in the Quilt With Us community. Winners will also be notified by private message, so be sure to check your inboxes in January.

And if you need ideas for quick and easy gifts to make or presents for the quilters on your list, visit our holiday store!

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Comment by Lisa in Md on December 10, 2009 at 6:40pm
Because I am also going to school to finish my grad degree and something had to give, I stopped doing housework :)
Comment by ranchmom/OR on December 10, 2009 at 8:00am
I do not make to do list. What gets done is what we have that year. I usually seem to manage to finish my sewing projects, get cookies and candies made, the house decorated, for me the hardest thing is having to do the christmas shopping. Shopping in town is a two hour drive one way in good weather and can be longer this time of year when you get home you are too tired to do anything else and the older I get the longer it takes me to recover from a day in town.
Comment by Regina DeMatteo on December 9, 2009 at 7:51pm
I have a simple plan. I never make to-do lists. I do as I go and if it doesn't get done, it wasn't that important. Or my family can be sure there will be gifts left over for next year. We are very laid back out here in the desert!
Comment by gardengirl/VA on December 9, 2009 at 7:10pm
It's been different from year to year, and now it depends on what my daughters have planned for the holidays.

Last year, my oldest was visiting her fiance in England, so her sister and I went to visit my mom in Florida. No time for quilting that year, but since both girls are going to be working, I should have some alone time to quilt!

I used to work on Christmas all year long -- finding things for my kids and family and friends as they appeared. It meant quite the "Santa-Stash" in my closet! And I used to wrap the presents for the kids on Christmas Eve... watching "A Christmas Story" as many times as I needed to in order to get them all done!

Cookies were done on the weekends -- and we used to get together with friends to build gingerbread houses and exchange cookies. There's nothing like a half-dozen sugar-wired elementary school age kids! We still have "standards" that the girls like... and I think I'll get to some of those this weekend!
Comment by Pat Cobb on December 9, 2009 at 3:52pm
I don't actually do a lot of quilting during the 6 weeks prior to Christmas. I reserve those 6 weeks for shopping and wrapping and just all a person has to do to "pull off Chistmas". The other 10 1/2 months of the year, I get into the sewing room and lay everything I'm going to need out including the pattern. I always make a trial block to see any mistakes I'm making and how the colors will work. And, if I get tired or frustrated, I simply leave the room and call it quits for a day. Oddly, when I return to the project next time, I have a fresh "take" and dive right in and whatever was so frustrating isn't anymore. After all, life's not a race and sewing should be rewarding. I just make sure I can give it my "all" and that I'm in the mood to sew. Some days, you couldn't pay me enough to sew and other days, I'm so fired up and ready it's like I have a whole new attitude. Never let a project put you on a drastic timetable. Never go into the sewing room with "I've got to get this done today" . Enjoy the activity. Don't create pressure.
Comment by Kathy Gaines on December 8, 2009 at 9:54pm
Every night after school I work on a top that I have othe longarm for somone. After a pass or two I take a sit break and work on a gift project. Of course praying for a snow day may work as it did today. Then I get a whole day to divide among my various projects. Have a teacher husband who can have coffee ready in the morning and lunch ready for that mid day break!
Comment by Cathy/IN on December 8, 2009 at 3:04pm
Most of my holiday-to-do-list is quilting!! I do quilting on tops for other people so that keeps me busy. I am also making some memory quilts for a friend from her late husband's shirts. It's just put one foot in front of the other. Fortunately, stitching is therapy for me! Keep it simple is my sanity tip!
Comment by Its Vic! on December 8, 2009 at 2:41pm
Okay, first, up by 5:30 am, Praise the Lord for another day, drink my coffee and catch Fox to make sure the country is still hanging in there. Then I flip to the HGTV and DIY network to see what if any cool crafty shows are on. They usually are that early. Since I am a good multi-tasker, I also grab my sketchbook and play a little while finishing my coffee and keeping an eye on the tube. By 6:15am, I am bringing up the P/C to check any important tidbits on there....especially important, check out Quilt With Us site! This has become a real life line to motivation, inspiration, socialization, and lots of other-tions.
By 9:30, I am following my Master Cleaning Plan - Monday I do...oh,forget that, who cares! I usually have to take a few minutes to think about how I could tweak that Plan a bit and so I go ahead and multi-task somemore - start sewing while rearranging in my thoughts my carefully laid out work schedule for that day. This in fact saves me a huge amount of time for quilting/sewing because everything "chore like" gets so nicely swept into the future! Nice cleaning trick I use often;) But, someone in this family has to quilt!!! So, I don't feel hugely guilty. I figure it is boosting my brain life by learning something new, and useful at the same time. I eventually will follow my own smart schedule since my brain will be getting smarter! But I think that part is a slow process, so I won't worry that much! teehee!
So, I guess overall to get my quilting done - Rise early, multi-task the little stuff, warm up my engine with some creative stuff, be flexible with some Master Minded scheduled stuff (dreaded cleaning), and then Sew Like The Wind on the most important stuff which is quilting my first ever quilt! The End!

Comment by Pinawa Quilter on December 8, 2009 at 2:19pm
I plan who I am going to make things for and try to keep it simple and straight forward. If possible, I also make another and put it away in case I have to take a gift somewhere.
Comment by AidaCJ/NH on December 8, 2009 at 12:56pm
I try to look for simple stuff to do as gifts, and try to get everything together before I start. Then I would sew late into the night. I also take the easy and lazy way of shopping - gift cards!

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