Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Stash of Shame

The other thing I did last night (it was a restless night) was to go through my hope chest, which is where I keep my needlework stash. (No, no virtue in that - it  was because I was procrastinating on getting ornaments finished.. I really am not a fan of the finishing)

I discovered a couple things - first, I have enough fabric to keep myself busily stitching for hours every single day for the next three years.  In normal stitching terms, that's pretty much a lifetime supply - my fabric will be antique well before the stitching that ever goes on it, which is likely to totally confuse future archeologists. Bwa-hah-hah.

That was the good news.  The bad news is - I did a thorough examination of my collection of WIPS (works in progress) and UFOs (Un-Finished Objects), and it's embarrasing.

As a result of this, I'm modifying my Crazy January Challenge intentions and focusing mainly on working through at least some of these.  I'll filter in at least a couple new projects, too - because it would just feel depressing to make a commitment to the future be all about clearing away the past.  A bit of both.

Here is my Gallery of Shame:

Starting with the very worst of the worst - this is Deanna's baby blanket.  Yes, She Who is Turning 18 in June.  I began it when I was pregnant with her... a little alphabet bear in each square of a baby blanket afghan quilt... XYZ on the bottom right corner and her name and birth info on the top left just after she was born.  I got about as far as letter J, and then got busy with the baby and tucked the blanket away until life got a bit quieter.  At one point, around age 12, she took it - still quite unfinished - and hung it on her wall until I asked for it back so I could finish it up.  And I got this far - just beginning letter U, with only two more after that to go.  But then things got kind of awful - major surgery that required learning how to walk again, a long period of severe arthritis pain, a move... so it got tucked away until I pulled it out last night.

This will NOT be a part of my January challenge - because I'm going to get those last three squares done and put this under the Christmas tree for her.  Talk about better late than never.

This is my most frustrating UFO - and the second oldest.  I'd guess it's at least 10 years, and probably more.  It is very nearly complete (you can't see the head of this wizard because it's on rollers, but all that's left to do is the gold stars on his robe, some french knots at the hem of the robe and that half cross celestial background.

I really want to get this finished. Problem - it was a kit.  I no longer have the graph, the threads, or even any clue what the name of the kit was.  I'm guessing it was a Dimensions kit, but I'm having no luck finding it and it's probably way out of print by now. If anyone knows what this is, please let me know!  Better yet - if someone more on the ball than me ever bought it, actually completed it and still has the graph and wants to sell it to me, let me know that too.  It's way too much work to toss away and I don't feel confident about trying to just wing it on the completion without the graph.  Plus - after all this time, I'd really like to reclaim those  rollers.

IF I can get ahold of the graph, this will be a part of the January 15 Challenge.

This was a Vermillion Stitchery freebie a few years ago (they did a whole year of these bears for free) - this Fairy Godmother Bear was intended for one of my grandchildren, but I no longer remember who.  Still... I like it, will finish it, and figure out a recipient later.

This is a Leisure Arts kit Teresa Wentzler did a few years ago - you can see how it will look here.  And as you can see - I barely even got started on this one.  And in fact - it was intended for 18ct Aida in order to fit a 5x7 frame - but the chart includes a ton of quarter stitches which are so not fun on Aida.  I am going to include this as a part of my 15 - but I'm starting over again, on linen, as a graph of this caliber deserves.

Another kit that fell by he wayside - this one a lovely blue dolphin graph hat was started for my oldest daughter and then let go.  I'll finish it because it still looks like a fun stitch - and it will either be her gift on her birthday in October..or Christmas.. or someday, or I'll discover she no longer is so crazy about dolphins and then I'll keep it.

This is the newest kit I have, only a year or two old (Michael bought it for me) - lots of fun stitching to do on this one.  I don't consider it past due - just something to not neglect.

Ok this one is also only a year old, and I have to be honest - I'll have to force myself to keep working on it.  Not that it's not cute - it's a growth chart (the part of the chart you see there is half the chart) with insert areas for photoes and it's for Hailey.  But from a stitching perspective - that's cross stitch vinyl, and it feels and smells like rubber and simply isn't very pleasant to work with - especially in very large, never ending quantities.   Given my bad habits (see blanket, above) - Hailey will actually get this sometime around the time of her own child's birth (she is 17 months old now) unless I get on the stick and make myself work on it.  So... onto the January 15 list this goes.

So far that makes one to finish this year, one POSSIBLE if I can find the chart and five for sure.

So here's one that won't be included.  It's not even cross stitch - it's needlepoint, the kit was a gift and it's a pain in my butt - the pattern is stamped onto the canvas and you're supposed to..guess, I guess... at the subtle color variations by referring to that chart stamped at the side.  I managed the black, started work on the frame and then very quickly maxed out on my allotted amount of frustration.  I might finish it someday - but it won't be this next year.

This is a simple one that just needs to be finished - the graph was a freebie inserted into one of the UK stitching mags (Cross Stitch Crazy maybe?) - I wanted to use just a couple of the fish on perforated paper to make a card that could be framed for someone, with some text in the middle.  I've forgotten who it was for, or what I wanted to say, but it's still cute and ought to be finished.

So that's SIX out of fifteen.

These are two maybes... I want to mull if I want to get back into them or not right now.  Two problems with these - they're on Aida, so not nearly as nice up close as they could be - and way back when I was doing them, I was more bold than wise when it came to making floss substitutions.  So the colors aren't entirely great in places and I have no idea anymore what colors I used so matching it will be a major headache.  I'm going to think on these a few weeks - I may put them back into the crypt for another time.

Lastly on this walk of shame - and this isn't all of them, just what were in a baggie in my chest - a whole bunch of little motifs that need to be finished up as ornaments.  Many of which were cut and prepped in a not so great way, thus making the finishing a giant pain in the neck. Not a part of the challenge (the stitching is done), but I do need to get them completed once and for all.

So here's what I've learned from my stash:

1.  I don't have a lot of incompletes but some of them are insanely old.
2.  I need to stay away from kits - by far, kits are the most likely thing to go unfinished, and take up the most space.
3. Sadly, most of my incompletes were intended for other people, meaning that I do a lot more for others in my head then in actuality.
4. I really, really don't like finishing projects - I'm a stitcher not a, person who sews.  I dread messing up the stitching by finishing poorly.

So what I've got here is 4 large projects and 2 medium projects for sure, with 3 more possibly be added.  That leaves me with 6 new projects to start for sure (and possibly 9) - of those, I know 3 will be my own designs, 1 will be a Quaker sampler.  The rest will be *small* projects because enough is enough already!



  1. LOL!! OMG I had done the wizard kit when I was laid up sicker than sick at 17. Mom got it for me so I had something to do while on enforced bed rest.

    Anyway, this looks like the same pattern:,-Celestial,-Fantasy,-Magic/c6_26/p405/Laine-Gordon-Mystical-Wizard-Cross-Stitch-Kit-Magical-/product_info.html

  2. That's AWESOME!!! I can't believe how quickly someone ID'd it for me!

    And...laugh...another kit. Ah well, there's always a use for random extra thread, right?

    Ok, that goes on the list for sure now. Thank you!

  3. Wow! Good to know I am not the only one in the blogosphere that has way too many WIPS!! Good luck on finishing a couple up!