Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crafts - Finishing what you've started

I am notorious for starting up a multitude of craft projects and never finishing them, mostly because I either lose interest, life interferes or both. I know many of you aren't that much different than me when it comes to projects.

I was reminded of this last week when I was noodling through a magazine and saw an article for some craft project or other and thought, "hey! I need to do that!". Then I thought of all those other unfinished craft projects I have waiting for me so I made a resolution. I must finish at least one project before embarking on a new one.

I'm more than midway through finishing that rag rug I started a few months ago. I also never started the quilt I was making for Emma a couple of years ago. So, I decided to start back up on both of them, to keep me from getting too bored with one of them. Plus, I have the golden carrot of a new project dangling out there in the future to keep me motivated.

Of course, I'm failing to mention all the myriad knitting projects I have started and are patiently waiting on knitting needles. And the sewing projects, with the pieces cut out, ready to go, that have never seen the light of my sewing machine. I'm sure there are more.

Although this isn't an official challenge, I'm challenging you to admit to your list of unfinished projects and to pick one and commit to finishing it by the end of September.

So, are you a craft whore? What's your list of projects and which one are you going to tackle?


Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

I have several gallons of Low VOC paint that I'm waiting to magically appear on my kitchen walls. I also have a filing cabinet in the garage that needs repairing and repainting.

Unknown said...

I'm sure there are some I've forgotten about because it's been so long but here is my list:

- crochet rugs (bathmat sized, cotton yarn)
- various clothes from scratch or refashioned
- crochet lace
- braided rag rug and crochet rag rug
- linoleum print (block is carved and test prints have been pulled but I never pulled the whole edition)
- stuffed pig
- soap (I bought all the supplies and still it sits)
- owl embroidered napkins (christmas present from a few years ago...I gave her two of the four I intended)
- hand sewn quilt...I've sewn like 5 squares together
- stationary from some sketches I made...never got around to printing them up.
- embroidered bandannas (christmas gifts)
- embroidered towel (christmas gift)
- homemade knitting needles (also a christmas present)

good lord...that is a long list. And obviously no one got anything for christmas that year. I commit to finishing the soap by the end of september.

Anonymous said...

That was one of my goals this year for simplicity and frugality-- finish the pile of projects I already have instead of being enticed away by a shiny new one. To my credit, I just finished a two quilts for my sons that I've been working on since son #1 was four (now 10) and son #2 wasn't even born yet. On the other hand, I still have an embroidered Christmas thingy that I owe my husband from when we were dating (think mid-1990's), and my favorite craft blogger just came out with a new (and lovely) book, and I'm sorely tempted-- suddenly I think everyone needs a cross-stitch sampler. :) Wait, there's another goal-- everyone with a craft blog seems to have a book deal these days, so even if I love the blog, I'm not letting myself get all those books. :)

Robj98168 said...

Many many projects have gone unfinished around here, to many to list. I must admit to being a whore.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

Thanks for the reminder! Two months ago I promised my daughter-in-law to reupholster their couch. I better start looking for the material!

I also need to gather the materials for holiday gifts before I get stuck in a last minute crunch.

Currently, I'm switching out my wardrobe. I have nothing suitable for fall, so I'm re-fashioning thrift shop finds. It's been a fun project.

TexNan said...

Love all y'all's projects! Even your unfinished ones sound better than the ones I've completed. On my unfinished list--which I swear is longer than y'all's could ever dream of being--I'm in the process of remaking a straw bag I picked up at a thrift store. It's all done except putting in the new lining I decided it had to have. Another "OMG, why in the heck did I do that?"! Not to mention--except I'm going to--the button-monogrammed pillow I'm making for a friend's b'day and which I need by next Tuesday. S'pose I best concentrate on that one, yes?

Lovely blog, CC.

Billie said...

My name is Billie and I am a craft whore.

The list of projects I have bought stuff for and not started is quite long. The number of projects I am actually working on (ie started) is actually quite short. This is the list that I work from:

- Hand piecing and hand quilting two lap quilts. One is just about at the point of binding, the other has the front pieced only. We won't discuss that I actually cut the pieces out about 15 years ago.
- Rug Hooking Challenge from my guild. I have to do the proddy work then turn it into a handbag. This is actually moving along quite well because it has a deadline.
- Cross stitching an afghan-sized project. I hate this project with a passion so it spends much time being ignored. My goal is to finish this before I die.
- A baby sampler to be set into a box lid. I need to finish the box and add the name to the sampler. Awaiting the name of the baby.

All in all, not a bad list. Of course let us not mention the fabric gathered for two more quilts, a Christmas tree skirt, basket weaving, two hooked rugs, hooked 3 dimensional trees, stuffed cats, 3 dimensional crewel work bunny... and so on and so forth. These would be the items not started.

Katie @ Sew Many Mamas said...

I just posted about this very thing. In addition to the fun-crafty things I haven't finished yet, I am embarrassed to admit I also haven't hung pictures on my bedroom walls. We have lived in our house for two years now! YIKES

Amy said...

Thank you for this post! I have more UFOs(un-finished objects)than I can list here. I have vowed to get moving on them this fall, as we are returning to homeschooling, so I will have more time at home and time to focus on them.

thanks again!

simply_complicated said...

on top of the many-too-many rubbermaid tubs of yarns and fabrics that never got past the 'idea' stage, i have multiple pieces of reenactment kit (clothing) awaiting hand stitching, a half-finished play rug for the kids, and a not-yet-started rag rug, with all the rags torn into balls. Oh, and also my actual current project, a crochet lunch bag... believe me, you're NOT the only one!

Adrienne said...

Oh lord...
I have a sock that I just started knitting two nights ago, plus a sweater that I'm actively working on, but won't be able to wear 'til its cold out so I'm not in a rush.
A spinning project that's being ignored. I'm sewing a lunch bag/box that I'd really like to finish so I can use it. Also another sweater that's sort of almost done, but the button band isn't laying right so i'm going to have to undo and redo it for a THIRD time. But it's a fall-appropriate sweater so i need to do that soon. I'm also cutting fabric for another quilt, but that's more something that i do as I feel like it and am in no rush. I think that's it for projects that are actually started and not finished. That stupid button band needs to rise to the top of the priority list.

Farmer's Daughter said...

I can't count the number of times I've taken a half-finished project off my knitting needles to start a new one...

Luisa said...

Oh yes! I never thought of myself as a craft whore but I do suffer Craft ADD. Yeah I have a basket with a lid for my sewing skirts and coasters, I bought bandanas for a quilt 2 days ago, working on crochetting a scarf, I've had needlework thoughts and best of all can't wait to read the magazines or can't decide what book to start next. Ahhhh. I'm glad I got that off my chest. Thanks !

Jenny said...

I have a rag rug to finish too, as well as a chair I am refinishing for my craft room. It is my first furniture re-do and I don't like the way it is turning out--but I still need to finish it and use it till the next one comes along...
I also have a scarf started that I promised my sister (boring!)
I think that's it--but I have a list a mile long of things I want to start!

Anonymous said...

Getting actual oil out of the Piteba oil press.

Bullwinkle said...

Seriously sweetie, it's called 'aspirational clutter'. Upcycling-DIY-kewl projects that I just never have time to get to because the garden needs weeding, or tomatoes need canning or the dog needs walking.

I can hardly wait to retire.

I do try to limit the number of 'new' projects by cycling through a number of UFO's (unfinished objects) to keep boredom away.

And I have achieved STABLE (stash accumulation beyond life expectancy.)

Jennie said...

I was raised by a perpetual craft abandon-er. I made a vow early on in my forays into the world of crafting to finish what I start. :-)
That said, I'm a bit sporadic about when I work on things and so I have a few things sitting around right now. The main culprit is my quilt. The first one I ever started, (4 years ago) I am still making progress on it but OMG it's like watching a snail. I'm down to the last half of it for ties. Then bind and it's done.
Maybe it'll be done by winter. Who knows.

Libby said...

I am a more-or-less reformed craft whore. When we last moved, I sold and/or gave away all my unfinished projects, books, dressmaker's dummy and anything else that had been hovering around the fringes of my conscience for far too long.

I now have only a half-knitted hat in the works . . . and a plateful of dried lavender. Hmmm - that reminds me . . .

I now tend to farm projects out because I have learned what I really like to do.

koolchicken said...

I never really had a problem with finishing my various projects. I think that's more because I only start them because I want something. I have trouble breaking focus once I start so it's easy for me to finish it, I'll work all day if I have to skipping meals just to finish. Right now I'm working on reusable sandwich bags. My family and I will be meeting at Disney World after the holidays so I've been buying up Disney themed remnants at the fabric store. I already have the pieces for about 20 bags cut out, I only took a break cause I started to loose feeling in my hand.

Sarah C said...

I've completed all my crafty things, but the "make tortillas from scratch" has been on my to-do list for way too damn long.

I need them for a party this weekend, so tomorrow is go time!

And you can add finally "season cast iron skill" to the list of crap that I need to do.

Melissa Anderson said...

I have a beautiful blanket I started to crochet 18 years ago. Wow, 18 years. It is about half finished, so it's wide enough to cover a twin bed. I have no idea how to finish it and I'm not sure I could find the yarn!
How crazy is that?

Rachel B. said...

My ceiling needs to get painted.
My market bag needs to get finished, ran out of the yarn.
A cute chicken apron needs to get finished sewn but my machine died.
And in the sewing catergory again, my fleece blanket needs to get sewn. I've had it around for almost three years.

Mel said...

Not to sidetrack all you craft whores, but I've been considering buying a sewing machine and starting to sew again (it's been close to 15 years since I had a machine (a used Singer that finally became irreparably damaged)). Crunch and friends, what do you have? Do you like it, or do you recommend? I don't have a ton of money, but want something decent to do mending, curtains, slipcovers, etc. Help me be a whore, friends!!

Kate said...

I've actually been catching up on a few of my unfinished projects lately. I finally sewed up the furoshiki wraps that I cut and pieced last fall. And a pair of fingerless gloves. But there's a box of broken ceramics in the garage that are vaguely destined for a mosaic project. Several pallets that need to be trimmed and worked into a storage bin for the root cellar. And of course, more cold frames need building. Oh, and there's a truly ancient needlepoint project that I don't even know if I could finish if I chose to.

I sort of distinguish between hardware projects for garden or outdoors, and the more decorative/fiber projects. I enjoy them in very different ways, but I think I see the decorative/fiber stuff as frivolous on some level. Those are more of an indulgence, whereas the hardware projects are more utilitarian

Sonja said...

This is not a craft project, but I've been meaning to clean my bike since April.
Does that count?

Robbie @ Going Green Mama said...

You know, I gave up on the crafts for a while and found a new home for it. The random yarn went to some nuns who knit scarves for the poor. The fabrics and cross-stitch supplies went to the little old ladies at the hospital auxiliary to do their thing. The random papers and art supplies to day care and school. And I feel so much lighter with this things off my invisible to-do list!

Diana R.Smith said...

I'm admitting to buying a fancy new Phaff electronic sewing machine and getting so frustrated with trying to thread it I haven't used it in over 8 mos!...So darn hot last week I decided to not let it win so learned to thread and wind bobbins and already have 16 blocks done for the quilt I cut out last winter!!! And I love the machine. Only other big project is the socks I started.

I did go thru all my craft stuff last winter and gave away tons of yarn,fabric,cross stitch kids--what was I thinking with only one good eye??! Since I worked in a nursing home I knew the people that would love this stuff and it isn't guilting me out in the closet!
DEE who is also a great starter but getting better at finishing in my old age.......

Spiffypaws said...

Two knitting projects, both almost done that have languished:
1. sweater-only the neckline remains.
2. lace top, only part of the sleaves unfinished.

There is also a baby blanket that I started knitting for a girl that is now a teenager; I don't count this one anymore because the knitting statute of limitations has run out on it.

Thanks to your challenge, I'm def going to complete the sweater by the end of September. Even more embarrassing than this is the amount of really nice yarn that is sitting in a bin unused.

Azulao said...

Re-cushioning the antique dining room chairs.

Putting together a file cabinet (and then organizing our personal papers).

Coupla cross stitches.

Anonymous said...

For Mel-- I have a bare-bones Kenmore (yes, Sears) sewing machine from 10 or 11 years ago-- I think it cost $150 new. It has all the basic stitches, buttonholes, you name it, and is easy to thread and work with. I've only needed to have it serviced once, last year, at which point the sewing shop owner informed me that the Kenmores are nifty little machines and are made by Janome (spendy brand). I'm delighted with mine. That said, I get everything on Craigslist these days, so that might be another option. Have fun! :)

Anna said...

Flannel rag baby quilt - squares are cut and stacks in order...just need to sew and rag! I can finish that before end of September.

Then there is the hat that is 80% knit. And the afghan which is about 40% crocheted. By the end of the year for all? Sounds reasonable.

Unknown said...

Holy crud, you don't even want to start me on the list of UFO's I have around here. I'm absolutely a craft whore! On the list that I can think of right now are
-an afghan I started for my ex- husbands sister's wedding ( we were still together when I started it and we've been separated for over a year now)
-the ever-ongoing scrapbook
- fabric my mom bought me to make pj's out of together
- all the fairy wing-making stuff that I keep promising myself I will make so I dont have to do it the night before Fairy Fest (like I always do)
Anf there are probably a million more I want to do. The one thing I really would like to learn is how to quilt and crochet with something other than the one stitch I know. Im going to work on the afghan some more, but Im keeping it for myself. Going to try to have it at least halfway done by xmas. Better get going, Im only three skeins in an have about twelve more to go!

Robj98168 said...

Yeah but...
If you finish everything you will have nothing to do in the future!

Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate said...

I actually have been doing this. I have a show that's going to be filming at the house, so I have been madly finishing the million 90% completed projects that come with having bought a massive fixer-upper.

So far I have:

- Touched up the paint on the kitchen cupboards.
- Finally refinished a table I've had for 10+ years
- Painted the trim at the top of the stairs, which had been partially painted.
- Finally bought a range hood, which I've meant to do for 10+ years. (There had simply been a hole in the wall above the stove.)
- Repainted one of my living room walls, which was horribly grubby.
- Framed a beautiful art print using a garbage picked frame.
- Took down the paint smeared leaded glass doors to my built-in buffet and scraped and cleaned them. (This took hours and hours)
- Installed drawer pulls on the built-in drawers. I bought them on eBay, again . . . around 10 years ago.

The best part, (aside from the range hood) is that I already had everything I needed for these projects in my basement. So I get a nicer house without spending any money.

I'm not a "crafter," but it has been immensely satisfying to put these projects behind me. I look forward to someday living in a house that does not cry out for so much attention. (Which of course would mean it's time to move!)

Katy Wolk-Stanley
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without"