My guess is that everyone reading this has some kind of hobby and I would also guess that it’s something either needlework related or sewing related and I suppose those are kinda in the same family – quilting, knitting, cross stitch, crochet, etc. So, I’m hoping you know the struggle between “should I finish a project” or “should I start something new” is real.
Vince’s only real hobby since I’ve known him has been woodworking and honestly, he’s never done much of that. He likes to buy the supplies so . . you see . . that excessive shopping habit runs in our family! 🙂 With woodworking you do have to buy or find the wood, let it dry, collect several pieces because one may be a better fit for different projects, then you sometimes cut it into “blanks’, then you do rough cutting, then you do the finish cutting, then the finish work where it’s all smoothed out and a finish is put on it. Obviously, I don’t know all the correct terms but for the small items like Vince makes, it does make sense to have multiple projects at multiple stages going at any given time.
The other day I was talking to him about whether to finish a project or start something new. I was hoping for sage advice and a good discussion but he said “do whatever makes you happy!” Good! I’ll just buy more charts. 🙂
Seriously, the last few days, especially after having to rip all those letters out, all I want to do is start a new project. I love the starts but I also want things finished and on the walls so I’ve resisted starting something else . . at least for now.
I watch flosstube while stitching and there are way more that I watch where the stitchers have many projects in the works and there are only a few . . very few . . where someone works on one project start to finish. It may just be that a flosstuber with one project would not have enough to share on a flosstube because anyone that disciplined probably doesn’t buy another chart til the current one is finished. My prayer should be that I become that person but it’s probably too late for me.
I definitely don’t lose sleep over this and it isn’t something that stresses me but there are things that keep repeating themselves in my head.
- I really love pulling floss and fabric and starting new things.
- I want finished things – something to show for my work.
- After about Day 5 of working on a project, I’m wanting a “change of scenery” so to speak.
I can’t have both but yet I can have both if I do it reasonably. There have been several suggestions as to how to do both. One I really liked was to have a long term project and do so many stitches or so many strands of floss in it per day. Then have a short term project or other project. I suppose I think that it’s not so much about starting a new project but more about continuing to work on what I’ve started and I have a few that have not been touched in months. That does bother me.
I’m not ready to commit to a plan but here’s what I’m thinking: I will have a long term project and a short term project (meaning a big and a small project) both upstairs and downstairs. That means I’ll always have four projects I’m seriously working on. Maybe I’ll say I have to spend so much time per week or a crtain of each week working on the oldest project.
I’m going to think about this for a few days and then decide if I’ve come up with a plan that seems like it might work for me. Any thoughts?
I know I’m going to start A Changed World on August 1 and I need to come up with a plan for Cross Stitch Camp. Those two will probably be the Basement Big and the Basement Small projects. There are several of us starting A Shepherd’s Sampler by Fox & Rabbit on August 12. That can be my Upstairs Small project.
To some, it may seem like I’m stressing about this. I’m really not. I just need a plan!
Shauna Trueblood says
I too like to have a system and/or plan. Do I always stick to it no, but it makes me feel more comfortable having an idea of what should happen. If I started everything I buy when I buy it I would have a gazillion projects going. And that would drive me nuts. I have found that I do like to have a small project going so that I can finish something and feel that sense of completion. If I’m only doing big projects I start to feel like I don’t get anything done. Right now I’m working on 3 large projects and 1 small. I give a week to each large project a month and a week to the small as well. Any extra days normally goes to one of the large projects since I need to have them done hopefully before Thanksgiving. But it has really helped me mentally to have at least one project get finished a month. I know it is silly, but it just makes me feel better. I like your idea as well and could see it working well.
Judy Laquidara says
You and I could be sisters. I love making plans and lists and stick with them but still love making the plans.
I also want to get some things finished – just to have something on my walls and it does give you a sense of accomplishment.
I know some knitters plan a project, buy the yarn for the project, knit the project, etc. When that one is complete, they go through the process again. (Definitely not me…I don’t want to talk about how many WIP’s I have. LOL) My mother was sort of a “Plan/knit/repeat” person, but back then yarn was a luxury expense, and she wanted to be able to return any un-used/un-needed skeins. I do best when I have a deadline, but when I’m stressed in general, I get “start-itis” and often give in. I’m with Vince–do whatever make you happy! There are no cross-stitch police! 🙂
I’m one of those people Joyce was referring to. I don’t have a huge stash of quilt fabric and I don’t have a stash of yarn at all–only the yarn I’ve bought to make a specific item. I start a project and knit until I’m finished. I did the same thing when I quilted except for the longarming–I longarmed for other people so their projects went ahead of my finished stuff.
I probably have as many WIPs as I do finished projects – both quilting and cross-stitch projects. I recently picked up cross-stitch again after years of focusing on quilting, so my poor sewing machine is feeling neglected, I’m sure. Much like you, I blame my WIPs on the fact that I’m a planner and I really enjoy pulling together the supplies for a project. Today in the mail I received A Quilting Life Monthly Planner by Sherri McConnell, which I bought from Fat Quarter Shop with a gift certificate I got for my birthday. There’s that word again: “Planner!” We’ll see if it makes any difference in the completion rate.
April Reeves says
I need a deadline or new and shiny is too tempting. But at some point, and it don’t take long, money becomes the issue. Only so many things in the to do pile before I cut myself off from more shopping till the things I have bought get made. Right now, I have got the pottery bug. I have some investment – tools $, things for a project or two $$, pottery wheel $$$, and some clay $. Still adds up to almost $500. Other than inexpensive clay to keep making something after I have used all, no more spending till I have some fully finished pieces to show for it or need something for a specific project in the works. There is always something out there I will like and want to buy so I feel more pressure and less motivation having a large stock pile of projects. I don’t have enough money to invest more when I haven’t used what I have. It won’t be long before I potentially have two boys in college. However planning and purchasing is the part I like the most and when that is all done and just projects to complete, well I feel less motivated. It is like I need that carrot of what’s next to keep me going. The piles of ready to go projects at my disposal doesn’t have the same pull for me. I got a bunch of those in the quilting department and I have no desire to sew. I’m not sure I ever will again but I’m holding out hope. With all your cross stitch, I’ve thought a lot about embroidery but have taken no action and that is telling that the pull is not strong enough. The idea of pottery making entered my brain and I’ve become obsessed but only to the point my bank account will tolerate and still get bills paid. lol. At the end of the day though, this is suppose to be fun and my creative outlet. I’m not going to beat myself up over uncompleted projects, hobbies left collecting dust. Right now I got some cleaning and organizing to make room to make pottery. Better strike hot cause it ain’t much that is going to drive me to clean in order to have fun.
Judy Laquidara says
I’ve always thought pottery looked like fun. I bet you really enjoy that. Keep me posted on how that goes. I think my dislike for getting my hands dirty would keep me from enjoying pottery. I also don’t worry about projects not completed. As far as quilting, I had fun designing, choosing the fabrics and starting the project. It’s not like we need any more quilts in this house.
You put way more thought into your planned projects than I do – I’m a ‘fly by the seat of my pants’ type. I seem to go in spurts – I always have more than one project going – currently I’m knitting on two sweaters, working on a quilt, and stitching a needlepoint belt. I’ve also got multiple WIPs, mostly knitting, that have been sitting for an extended length of time. Yesterday I completely ripped out a shawl that I started a couple years ago – I didn’t ‘love’ it anymore and figured I’d never get it done. Saturday I finished a knitted shawl that I started a few weeks ago – it was one of those patterns that grabbed me and I had yarn I wanted to use and I got it done in 3 weeks.
Did I mention the 3 cross stitch projects that I started when you got started cross stitching? (Thank you very much)! There’s just so many things I want to do – and it takes so long to get things done. I’ll be working on one project and someone will post a new pattern (doesn’t matter what the craft is) and I’m off and running.
Nancy H says
I don’t do this but I know someone that has 4 projects in progress. She works one one project for a week. Then the next week she goes to project two, then to three and four. That way she doesn’t get bored working on one thing but she limits her starts. When one project is completed she can introduce a new one into the rotation. I keep thinking I am going to try this but with a bajillion projects in the que already it is tough to see where to start.
I am trying to be more of a” start finish one project at a time ” person especially with cross stitch. I started stitching again after a 20+ year hiatus, and it was on two UFOs from that time period. I do have one more UFO, but I don’t want to stitch on it, it’s a large and boring piece with big areas of the same color. I enjoy kitting up projects, finding the charts, fabric and threads, I have five such kits ready to go right now. I only have one CS project going, Newcastle Bouquet, but I also have a BOM quilt with hand embroidered blocks, and a knitted shawl for hand work. I can keep the hand work under control, because the quilts are not, well, maybe a little, but there is a large pile of tops to be finished. I often do handwork while the machine is quilting, that’s my “justification”, and it makes me happy to think I am finishing two things at a time ?
Judy Laquidara says
I keep thinking about you and the way you stitch til it’s done (mostly) and that’s why I’m still working on this red piece. Thanks for being a good influence.
Donna in KS says
Back when I was doing cross stitch, well, I could share several stories but just one for now. The story of when I stopped. I had selected a special, lovely, large project for my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary to be celebrated in October. My dad died, suddenly, unexpectedly in August. There was no reason to finish, I put it away. I’m tempted as you talk about it now. I have gotten into the pattern file cabinet! But I’ve got fabric beyond two lifetimes and a little yarn too. I can hear my kids, ‘Mom had thousands of dollars tied up in fabric’! ‘there should have been more quilts’. WIPs? I think you are responsible for two of mine, no, three, actually! I looked at two of them last night, one for certain will get worked on because I still like my fabric choices. The other may go to the Quilters’ Corner at the next KS Mennonite Relief Sale. Work in the way that makes you the happiest!