Friday, January 16, 2015

What I Learned While Starting 15 Projects in 15 Days

finish #1: freebie from Bent Creek
  1. Starting a project is the hardest part.  Aristotle said "well begun is half done" (maybe without the rhyming). Just getting all of the fibers and fabric organized for each project took weeks of effort.  But the payoff to all the careful organizing was a palate of great colors to work with and the perfect fabric all ready to go.
    A Christmas Carol by Cross Stitch Collection Magazine
  2. It's hard to make time for myself a priority.  I tried to get an hour of stitching in first thing in the morning after my routine chores were done.  I felt the pull of a dozen different things calling me all the time.  The payoff was huge though, in my sense of purpose and accomplishment each day.  
    Animal Advent # 9 by Brook's Books
  3. Everybody starts small.  It has been a revelation to see the other stitchers display their work on our facebook page.  Most of us only got a few dozen stitches in each start.  Yet some of these projects will go on to be enormous and epic.  I think in my mind I imagined that the people who do these types of projects have some superhuman power that lets them do thousands of stitches a day.  No.  We're actually all the same.  It's about showing up and sticking to it.
    "Gift of Peace" by Lavender and Lace
  4. New supplies are a lot of fun.  The multiple trips to the store for floss (I need to go again today!) has actually been as much fun as getting a new box of crayons used to be when I was a kid.  Luckily, it's a cheap thrill. 
    "Alice and the Mad Hatter" by The Floss Box
  5. I have enough cross stitch patterns in my stash to probably last me the rest of my life.  All the free patterns on Pinterest haven't helped.  I am confident that I will never need to search far for some new project to do.
    "Poinsettia Elegance" by Dimensions
  6. If I tell myself I'll take a break "just for a minute" I'll never get back to it.  Quick lunches turned into lunch/laundry/errand/read a book.  It takes a lot of self-discipline for me to sit back down and quiet my mind again once I've interrupted it.
    "Night Owl" by Prairie Schooler
  7. There are patterns for everybody.  See my ground hog day project above.  I have loved watching other stitchers display their work and their goals.  We all have different tastes, and I respect everyone who devotes so many many hours to this hobby.  I'm pretty sure a lot of my choices fall in the range of very silly.  I also seem to have an obsession with Christmas.
    Animal Advent #10
  8. I love my ott-light.  I could not live without it.  Some stitchers like to work by a sunny window, but I need bright, clear light to really see what I'm doing.  I also use the magnifier attachment a lot.  Some of these projects feel like doing brain surgery.
    "Bookseller" by Mill Hill
  9. I cannot stitch without some coffee in me.  I'm a morning person, but I really can't get my brain around fine details before some caffeine has hit my system.  I will miss you holiday blend.  Hello French Roast!
    "Once Upon a Time" by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  10. Facebook is my biggest distraction.  I can't even imagine how much I'd get done if I had the self-control to quit looking at everyone else's progress.  Also cat videos.  I'm an addict.
    "Give Thanks" by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  11. Every stitch matters.  I tried to get as far as I could each day.  Some days this didn't look like very much at all.  Family needs, cleaning routines, life, and sadly facebook all took time.  But every stitch that got done brings me closer to finishing everything. I'm especially reminded of this looking at the people who started enormous projects. Every minute is worthwhile.
    "Bless our Home" by Country Cottage Needleworks
  12. My quilting has fallen by the wayside.  Now that the initial 15 days are complete, I'm going to balance my work going forward and get back to doing some quilting.  It's fun to focus so much on one hobby, but I love my other pursuits too.
    "Haunted Hotel" by Mill Hill
  13. Making my brain switch gears every day seems like good exercise for it.  I worked on many different types of fabric, different types of charts, different levels of difficulty.  This is so different from how I usually work on a project.  I will enjoy going back to working on something intensely for days at a time, but I think it will also be fun to mix it up a bit more in the future.
    "Autumn Harvest Festival" by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  14. Working on this challenge has helped me deal with missing my oldest daughter who is so very very far away in Scotland right now.  My hobbies have always been my therapy, and this particular challenge was so absorbing for my brain and my time that I couldn't dwell on missing her.
    "Story Time Sampler" by the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

So now what's the plan?  I will work on whatever strikes my fancy that day, although at the moment I think I will get some of the smaller pieces done first so I don't actually have all of these in rotation at the same time.  It's nice to have one off the list already.  I'm a little behind on stitching up the Advent Animals.  If I want to finish it up this year, I have 17 more to complete.

4 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Suburban Correspondent said...

Oh, wow - I was seriously thinking of starting ALL my knitting projects for the year this month, because - as you said - starting is the hardest part. Maybe I will go ahead with that!

Alyssa F said...

What a lovely post! I really enjoyed reading it and seeing what you have done over the past 15 days. Bravo! :)

Rosemary said...

You certainly have accomplished a lot in the 15 days. I love the colour pallets of your threads for each project. I can't wait to see some of these when they are finished.

Tami said...

I don't seem to have any problem starting projects - but lots of issues with finishing them.

Cross-stitch used to be my obsession! I stitched every possible moment. I have tried getting aback to it lately and - between carpal tunnel and bifocals - it's not as enjoyable as it once was. But I keep starting projects in hopes that Ill get back into it. :)

Beautiful work! All of your projects are lovely.

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