Brain-Free Sewing Zone Giveaway

I have a Brain-Free Sewing Zone.

This is a place I go when I’m too tired to be really creative and I don’t want to make any big decisions. I created it because I don’t want to waste precious sewing time, but sometimes I just don’t have the energy to tackle something more ambitious.

If I’m really tired, but I want to sew, I go to the Zone and can do whatever is there without really thinking. It’s pure quilty escapist bliss!

I always have something available and sitting out for the Brain-Free Sewing Zone. Recently it’s been the patches to make 4″ Little Windmill blocks. They are 1.5″ x 2.5″. Each block takes 4 patches of Color #1 and 4 patches of Color #2.

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Each #1 is sewn to a #2.

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The pairs are joined into sections.

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The sections are joined to complete the block.

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So easy—Brain-Free Sewing! For more on how I make and use these blocks, please see this related post.

Do you have any Brain-Free activities accomplished in your sewing space? Whether yes or no, leave a comment by noon Monday, Dec. 6 and I’ll give a pile of 1.5″ x 2.5″ patches to a random winner. The winner is Deb who left comment #26. Congratulations! Thanks to everyone for sharing their own Brain-Free ideas.

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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53 Responses to Brain-Free Sewing Zone Giveaway

  1. Pingback: It’s National Quilting Day: Giveaway | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  2. Maxine says:

    great ideas.

  3. Pat Halperin says:

    I just found this string. Thanks for the tips. I love doing handwork (hexagons and big stitch hand quilting)and have not done much lately. This will help me get back into the groove. BUT, thanks for the easy windmills pattern and for the idea to make crazy patches and … Well, you get the idea.

  4. Cathy R says:

    I didn’t have a Brain-Free Sewing Project before but I do now!

  5. Pingback: Understanding Scale: A Little Trick | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  6. Elizabeth P says:

    Yes, I always have a Brain-Free Sewing Project on hand. Often these turn out just as lovely as the more complicated quilts.

  7. Josefina says:

    When I’m exhausted, I buy fabric! I know its not sewing but it works for me.

  8. Love brainfree sewing, and such wonderful tips – thank you, Diane!

  9. Carol Hemmingsen says:

    Need more brain free stuff!!

  10. Maria Kievit says:

    I love the idea of having a brain free sewing time. There should always be a project handy that doesn’t require much thinking. I like this idea very much! thanks for sharing.

  11. Sandra Aiken says:

    My brain free quilt moments is to enjoy a good quilt magazine or a good novel about quilting usually a mystery. I have to zone completely out so I don’t have to use the seam ripper so much.

  12. Robin Peiffer says:

    I love it! Quick, easy and thought free, how can you pass it up? lol

  13. Nancy Currier says:

    Love the brain free quilting idea!! I think paper piecing is somewhat brain free :)

  14. Dawn Hollingsworth says:

    Great idea! I always put myself into “follow a pattern” mode and often times get so frustrated :( This is the perfect idea to let myself cool down from frustration yet keep sewing! Thank you!! :)

  15. Merrily Abels says:

    Wonderful project idea. With work schedules getting busier and life never getting quieter it is great to see a wonderful no brain idea that will have excellent output! Love it:)

  16. Margaret M Karnatz says:

    I most always cut my scraps into squares measuring from 2 1/2 inches to 6 1/2 inches. So when I just feel like sewing I am ready to sew without the cutting and measuring. I use these scraps mostly for world relief quilts . I did make my grandchildren quilts this last Christmas using many of the scraps I had previously cut. Guess what ? I still have some left.

  17. Pingback: Welcome to Quilty Pleasures! A Look Around, GIVEAWAY! | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  18. Lynda says:

    i am anxious to do one

  19. Cathy in KS says:

    String blocks are my go to, for brain free sewing. I have a drawer of precut foundations and stings waiting for me.

  20. AJ in AZ says:

    I make Log Cabin blocks when I need to have my brain at rest. A bin full of 1.5 inch strips can make hundreds of blocks without ever seeming to get less full. How does that happen?

  21. Deb says:

    Hi! I finally made my way back here to say a BIG THANK YOU for drawing my name!!! I will enjoy my prize!!! Merry Christmas!

  22. Donna says:

    I still have triangles left from when I made my first large quilt. I sew two of these triangles together at the end of each row I sew; it gives me a HST in addition to saving thread! “One of these days” I’ll sew a row of these together to embellish the cuff of a pillowcase to go with the quilt.

  23. I’m not sure if this counts as “activity” or not *smile* but I either sort my scraps or peruse my library for new ideas!

  24. Vicki T says:

    I usually set myself designs that are a bit hard so need to concentrate but I think every now and again doing a Brain Free pattern is a good thing…and a great way to use up scraps. Actually sewing hexagonals is a Brain Free sewing project

  25. Gill says:

    Every time I think I can go Brain-Free I end up using my stitch ripper after!

  26. Debbie says:

    I always have a stack of 2 1/2″ squares next to my sewing machine. I start off with sewing two together and finish up the same way. Gives me lots of nine-patch blocks and I use up my scraps at the same time!

  27. Deb says:

    No I don’t really have a brain free zone…it seems that I have to keep my mind on everything I sew or I’ll be using my seam ripper too much! I’d love to be entered for your giveaway.

  28. Gwen says:

    I usually make up some crazy patch blocks on top of phone book
    pages and accumulate those until I have enough to do a project.
    It is always fun to see what happens with all the special scraps that I have left from my other projects.

  29. Christine M says:

    I can’t think of anything brain-free. Perhaps my brain is free at the moment!

  30. Melissa says:

    With a new baby, everything I do is brain free at the moment!!! Love this idea… gonna have to try it out. Thanks for the chance to win :)

  31. becanne says:

    Hhmmm – my works-in-slow-progress pile is getting so enormous that I’m sure there are a few things in there that might fit the bill (buttons, hems, basting, unpicking etc) but this is a new idea to me. I have a mountain of scraps thet I can’t bring myself to discard….maybe this could be just the thing. Now I need a nice container to keep them in..,..

  32. Sandy A says:

    Oh how cute! No, I don’t have anything “brain-free” ready to go. I would love to win this so I could have something “brain-free”! :)
    Thanks for the chance to win!

  33. Marcia W. says:

    My brain free zones are washing and ironing yardage before I cut it, and cutting out papers for making hexagons. Thanks for the opportunity to try these windmills with some of your fabric combos.

  34. Lisa Garrett says:

    When I want to be brain free I just start cutting 5in. charms. I can do it for hours.

  35. SewLindaAnn says:

    My brain-free sewing thing is to keep a paper pieced pattern in several sizes along with a solid color fabric cut up in squares next to my current project. When I need to be brain free and still want to sew I just grab a handful of scraps and paper piece. Following the lines is a complete no brainer and I’ve got a large pile of all different size blocks growing. At the moment I’m into HST’s and printed off about 10 different sizes to use.

  36. Gidget says:

    I’m so backed up on my ‘get to’ projects I haven’t gotten to the brain-free sewing stage….give me a couple years!
    I have not made that little block before either, I will give it a try with my scraps Thanks!

  37. LouAnn says:

    I love to hand quilt. My mind can roam and I can relax. Thanks for the chance to win!

  38. I usually sew mini 4 patches or 9 patches just to sew something, they eventually end up in a project. ;)

  39. Barb Colvin says:

    Not yet! But I’m thinking this would be a good thing.

  40. Shannon says:

    I would say any time I work on a stitchery I am free from my brain. I just turn on a show I havw watch a 1,000 time and just zone out. I love it.

  41. Jorie says:

    Making a rag quilt has been my brain-free activity! Snipping all the edges while I am watching TV can be really peaceful and calming!

  42. lisa says:

    usuallyt my brain free stuff takes place in the living room, in front of the TV, either hand stitching the binding on the back of a quilt or working on my hexies. Those have not had a lot of attention lately! I need to get back to them!

  43. Jillian says:

    Brain-free sewing for me is hand-piecing hexagons. I use Inklingo so all I need to do is a running stitch, very mindless for me. When I need REALLY brain-free sewing, even a sewing machine can be too much ;) !

  44. melissa says:

    Right now I don’t have brain-free sewing, but I do have brain-free cutting as I am using my Go! cutter to cut out shapes for scrappy quilts from my stash!

  45. Jennifer says:

    My favorite brain-free “thing” is making strip sets from the scrap strip bin. Just pull a strip out of the bin and run it under the needle – no matching or caring what fabric is next to each other. Later, I’ll use those strips to make 9 patch or other strip set friendly blocks.

  46. Pingback: Little Christmas Windmills: Free Quilt Pattern | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  47. Claudia says:

    My “brain-free” zone is a shambles at the moment. Definitely going to have to find some time to straighten the place up so I can find my “brain”. But this little block is cute. Perhaps I can use it for a Project Linus quilt when I sew with kids in the spring.

  48. Nancy B from Many LA says:

    I think I’m always brain-free LOL!; but I don’t have a brain-free sewing area.

  49. Denniele says:

    No I don’t have a brain-free activity but your block makes me think I should.

  50. robin says:

    No. I haven’t sewn enough for anything in my sewing space to be brain free. Every time I make a project I’m learning something new, and my brain is fully engaged, learning, discovering, having fun! Ask me again in 20 years.

  51. Jocelyn says:

    I do have a brain free pattern that I could probably do in my sleep. I’ve made this lap size quilt so many times for gifts and for teaching someone how to quilt. It is definitely a no-brainer!

  52. I think this is a great Brain-Free activity. I hadn’t sewn much for a couple years and when I decided to quilt again I had piles of 5 and 6 inch blocks (still have tons) that I just used to make 9 patches with. Now I have a big pile of 9 patch that I am trying to figure out what to do with. Disappearing 9 patches have been interesting. I really like your Little Windmills, great idea!

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