My Publisher C&T posted this question yesterday on FaceBook, and thought I'd answer it here... As it's much longer answer then a Facebook post!
So here it goes...
How do I get it all done?
First, I work fast.
I do not worry about making a "wrong decision."
I work with what ever I have in front of me and I work on it until it works, "for me"
I alway look beyond the first impulse... Usually my first impulse is what I have already done,
so I ask myself, what can I do now that's different from anything I've done before?
And I incorporate whatever that is...
How many hours do I work a day?
average 10.5 hours a day.
I work on 10-12 quilts at a time.... every day.
The week before Quilt Market I clocked 80 hours, October was an insane month for me...
60-70 is my norm. (This is my job and my passion)
My average day, starts at 7:30am. When my daughter leaves for school. I work until 6 pm, nearly everyday in my Studio which is one building over from where I live.
I make dinner at 6pm, family time,
Then I often do hand work in the evenings or computer work until 9pm,
off to bed. I'm asleep by 10, and up early 6-6:30 with emails, breakfast, family time.
Rarely do I get out to enjoy NYC. I work 7 days a week.
I am 8 months behind on doctor/dentist visits.
I have a Juki long arm in my studio and at my house.
I have 10 JUKI TL2010 Sewing machines,
One, F600 Juki machine
and one JUKI Virtuoso 2200 sit down machine.
I make about 5-6 Quilt tops a week,
and work about one year in advance...
With my travel schedule, I have to send many quilts out for long arming.
My best Friend Shelly Pagliai quilts many, many of my quilts.
I made 17 quilts for Quilt market this year, start to finish in one month.
I designed them all, Kim, Laura and I pieced them, I quilted 8 of them, and sent the other 9 out.
I also make magazine quilts, and anything that pops up new on the radar.
Which happens often and 80% of this industry happens at the last minute,
on top of any other work I have scheduled in the works.
Do I have help?
I have had my business full time since 2008.
I have had my amazing assistant, Kim, part time, for almost 3 years.
She keeps me organized, packs me for my trips, does inventory
knows how I work, writes my patterns,
She does my computer work,
helps me cut fabric and binding so I can design and make them, and helps keeps my studio clean.
She's amazing, and I can not do what I do now, without her.
Because she is also an amazing teacher at FIT, I have her about 3-4 days a week.
This summer, since I started doing fabric again, I was in a panic, How will I get it all done?
I do 9 quilts and videos, twice a year my Sizzix just for Quilt Market Alone.
Another 3-4 for Marcus twice a year.
I continually make quilts from my own template line to inspire you,
5-7 magazine quilts a year
Then throw in a book worth of quilts, exhibition quilts, commission quilts...
I need more help.
I added Laura in September, a few hours each day, who does my shipping, cutting kits, cutting fabrics, cleaning studio, and I have hopes of her doing more of my computer work...
My website needs updates, I need all my quilts photographed and logged, contracts, paper work, online orders processed, book keeping etc, all need to be done, because I can't get to everything...
I am thinking I need one more person to do just my office stuff...
Who is really organized and really good at computers...
My Exhibition quilts, Show quilts and commission quilts, I piece myself.
Often I quit those myself also. Unless I have a quilter who can add specifically to the story of my quilt. (I talk about that in my Double Wedding Ring book)
Kim, Laura and myself both help sew with magazine quilts, & market quilts.
I design all my quilts, hands on, on the design wall. I can not design on paper.
Below is an old photo of my studio walls. At that time 8 quilts were in progress. Usually 10-12 are on the walls at one time.
I am known to cut out, sew and piece a quilt in a day.
I've done it, more times then I can count on my two hands.
I work average 10.5 hours a day regularly. Straight through.
I work to pay my assistants salaries, and I work to pay my rent.
I work to support my mother.
I do not have a salary.
I LOVE what I do.
I LOVE creating.
I LOVE sharing with you.
When I can jump from one project to another, I do NOT loose my connection to my process,
this helps me continually stay on a creative roll.
I hate deadlines, but I work very well under pressure.
I hate paper work.
I have a TO DO LIST 3 pages long, with everything due by March 1st.
I also have a note pad that says:
All the things I did not get done today.
_____(This is also three pages long)_____
My daily schedule?
went to the gym at 7:30am
8:30-4pm my day went like this:
Worked on colors for my next fabric line.
Made sleeves for my two QuiltCon quilts.
Photographed 3 Quilts for pattern packaging.
Cleaned out 150 emails from my email file.
Signed a contract and sent off for up coming Magazine pattern being published.
Sewed my class sample for Saturday-Sunday two day Double wedding ring class.
Unpacked from yesterday's workshop.
Finished my designs for Fall 2016 Sizzix Dies.
Misty-Fused 9 Elves to the rows for a quilt you will see very soon.
Planned fabrics for cutting tomorrow, another Booth Quilt at QuiltCon using Mostly Manor.
(Sorry can't show you yet)
Hand stitched a small block as a tester for an up coming take & teach.
Ordered products to ease my back pain from standing in front of my long arm.
(cushy pads to stand on)
Slipped out to shower at 4pm, to go meet two friends (RARE!) for dinner before going to
City Quilter for a Manhattan Quilt Guild meeting....
(where I also purchased $150 worth of fabric for the Double wedding ring KITS for the cruise classes that we need to start cutting tomorrow.
Came home at 8:30 saw Facebook post and spent an hour writing this blog post....
It's now 9:43,
I'm going to bed.
No bon bon eating going on over here...or grass growing between my toes.
This is my job, and my art/passion, not just a hobby.
Thanks Jane, for asking a good questions!