I’m working on something that will be announced the beginning of July. I thought it would be a slam dunk, but instead it’s been full of little things that need to be corrected, or written, or drawn. These things fill up my days and, more importantly, sap me of both energy and creativity. When I stitch at night it’s about all I can do to stitch easy stuff. Thank God I have such a huge pile of UFO’s, sometimes it comes in handy. Even more amazingly sometimes I get things finished.
I’m hoping to finish at least one thing this weekend and that means choosing a new project. Thinking about it I realized that I actually have a system I use to pick new projects. I go through this list of questions and the first project I find that fits usually becomes my next project.
Here’s how I do it:
1. Do I need to make a project for a gift? How soon is the deadline? If it’s summer and I still need to make Christmas ornaments for my family, they go to the top of the list. In fact one of the projects I’ll finish this weekend is one of these.
2. Do I have stitching deadlines for a class or correspondence course? Deadlines again here. These also go to the top of my pile and may be at the top much of the time. The other canvas I’ll finish this weekend is here.
3. Do I have stitching for work deadlines? This may not apply to you, but if you teach, own a shop, write stitch guides or stitch models “work” stitching needs to be fitted into your stitching time. For me sometimes this is my favorite stitching but at other times, it’s a bore. But it must be done.
4. Is there something new I want to learn or try? The best way we improve our stitching and our knowledge is to try new things. I have two projects sitting on my desk that are like this. One of them will probably get started next week (if I get those two projects done).
5. Do I have so many ideas for a canvas I just “have to” stitch it? I call these “needlepoint fits.” If I get one I almost always start to stitch it. (This could be why I have so many UFO’s.) It’s a great way to pick your next project. With ideas in hand you’ll finish it faster.
By this time most of us will have found a project, but if I’m still looking, I think about two things to pick a project.
First off, I think about whether I could make this for someone as a gift. I have a charming Prairie Schooler canvas of vegetables I bought last year before they retired and closed. I saw some weighted needlepoint used as cookbook holders. This canvas would be perfect for that and would make a great gift. It’s a wonderful candidate for a new project. I have many canvases like this.
Second I look for a canvas I really love and feel like stitching. I’ve become pretty picky about what’s in my stash and cull it regularly, so I love all my canvases. When I pick for love it’s more because I feel like stitching that one today.
It is very rare that I don’t find one or two canvases to stitch when I go through this process.
How do you decide what to stitch?
About Janet M Perry
Janet Perry is the Internet's leading authority on needlepoint. She designs, teaches and writes, getting raves from her fans for her innovative techniques, extensive knowledge and generous teaching style. A leading writer of stitch guides, she blogs here and lives on an island in the northeast corner of the SF Bay with her family
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