Monday, 2 January 2012


At the beginning of a new year, I'm thinking about finishing.

I've been puttering away at de-cluttering for the last while, and coming across some buried projects that were started and never finished. Quilt patches from a project I started oh, about 18 years ago. A Christmas table runner that I started maybe 11 years ago - just needs a bit of quilting and a binding. So close, but yet so far. A great recycled jean project that I saw in a magazine - a mat - that's ALMOST done. It just needs a binding. A couple of quilt tops that are waiting to be quilted or knotted. A hooking project that's 3/4 done that I started in France 2 years ago. Some good intentioned gifts for family members that never quite got done or mailed off. And a nice pile of mending that's been migrating all over my bedroom for many months.

What is my problem with finishing? So strange. I guess it's because there's just something so FINAL about it. This sometimes happens to me when I'm reading a book too. I'll stall near the end. Or I'll have 4 books on the go, each one half-read.

I can relate to this quote:

Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it. -- Greg Anderson

So yesterday on January 1st, I tackled that mending pile. I was determined to finish it. And I did! The whole pile - 12 articles - stitching up holes, attaching buttons - done in the time it took to watch a movie.

pile of mending - FINISHED!

What a great feeling!

And here's another idea I'm going to try for this new year. Every other Friday when both my daughters are in school will be FINISH UP FRIDAY. My sister and I will go to my mom's and work on finishing. Growing up, I'd often get my mom to finish my sewing projects. The plan is not to get her to do the work for me, but to have a time and a space dedicated to these lingering projects. I'm hoping that this unfinished project pile will be non-existent by the end of this year. And I hope I don't start too many other projects that end up sitting for years, just waiting. Wishful thinking? Well, isn't that what New Year's all about?


  1. I think that's a great idea - maybe I'll dig mine out too ;-)
    We will work at this together.

  2. LOVE the Finish Up Friday idea!!! Cheers to getting everything done and having a good time while you do it! Perhaps by mid year you'll be calling them Fashion It Friday or Forge Ahead Friday because you're done everything and have to come up with new things to do. Thanks for the inspiration.

  3. Love the ideas.
    A comment on mending. Mending and watching a movie go well together. Binding of quilts also can be done ---watching a movie. Wow, you will be so organized you will have time on your hands to do so many other projects. Great!
    Happy New Year, from your aunt Linda

  4. Yes! Dig yours out, Mom!

    Roseanne, I can only dream that these Fridays will morph into something besides finishing (which will be fun too). I love your fashion or forge ahead ideas. Wonderful!

    Linda: do you have any unfinished projects? Or do you keep everything finished while watching movies? And yes - that's my dream - time for other new projects. Some day...

  5. Rebecca - once again you have inspired some ideas in me.
    My problem with finishing is in maintaining organization. My finishing goal for this year is to put things back in their proper "home" the minute I see it out of place. Often the kitchen table or countertop is a holding place for me to put stuff away. (what do YOU do with all of the arts and crafts and school treasures when you've lost wall space?)
    As I was sorting through the basement storage area this break, I came across some boxes of fabric and half finished projects as well. I am keeping them, only to keep the hope that I will actually have time to do this fun work again sometime in the next 10 years!
    I love your idea of finishing stuff with your family, and setting a standing date to do it.
    Happy New Year!

  6. Oh yes, I have quite a number of unfinished projects - mostly quilts - I do what I can when I can. I see new fabric, new patterns and I get carried away, starting yet another quilt. No, I certainly do not get everything done but I also do not worry about it. They take space in the cupboards but I love looking at them. Now I am knitting frilly scarves which I will never wear!

  7. Rachel - I hear you. My organizational skills are lacking when it comes to the home. Something I'm working on too. I find the treasures hard to part with, but really - you can only keep so many, right? I find that when I ask Zoe and Eden to sort through them, they're much more ruthless than I am - so that's helpful. Then I have a bin for each of them in the basement. They periodically go through these bins and throw out more stuff. Hopefully by the time they're ready to move out (!) they won't have 18 bins to sort through... Happy New Year to you too!

    Linda: I would wear your frilly scarves if you don't have any other takers!