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Mary Corbet

writer and founder

 

I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Embroidery Projects in the Works

 

I’ve got embroidery projects coming out of my ears. Does this ever happen to you?

Right now, I feel a bit like Mr. Toad. I go careening down one path, soon to be distracted by yet another project, so I go careening off in that direction, until I’m all tied up with a million little things that I need to finish, and the result: confusion and mayhem!

For me, the best way to get through a situation like this is to sort out what needs to be done and put the Needful Things in order, according to when they need to be done. Those things that don’t have a specific deadline can be sorted in other categories.

Obviously, everyone’s situation is different. This is my current situation, and I’ll show you how I’m getting through it.

Lorum Ipsum Quote, Embroidered

Needle ‘n Thread Projects

First of all, there’s Needle ‘n Thread. I have two projects hanging on a perpetual string for you guys – the hummingbirds and the redwork runner.

They both need to be finished, photographed, and written up, to end those projects once and for all!

But they aren’t “specific deadline” projects. There’s no date attached to them.

Sometimes, having a date attached to a project is a good idea, and I tried to do that with my Feather a Day approach with the hummingbirds.

Unfortunately, I fell behind on the feathers when a flurry of Other Stuff took over, and I still have about 7 tail feathers to work.

Besides those two projects, I always have content to create for the website – stitch tutorials, small projects, project series, and so forth, that I try to plan ahead on. Right now, I have another series developing on paper, some small projects planned, and a two-mile-long list of tutorials.

Other Writing Gigs

Secondly, I have other writing commitments. These come in spurts, although I write for Craftsy pretty regularly. (You can find my profile and all my articles on Craftsy here.)

Right now, I have a few articles I need to complete for Craftsy. The Lorum Ipsum quote above is a small project (5″ x 5″) that I need to finish for an article deadline. The article is on embroidered quotes, to go along with an article soon to be published on embroidered handwriting.

(Those of you in publishing, web design, and so forth will probably get the whole point of that particular quote! For those who don’t know, Lorum Ipsum is the popular filler text used as content filler in publishing. So I’m not trying to show off my highfaluting Latin skills here. It’s just my sorry sense of humor!)

Following that deadline, the very next week, I have another project deadline – a small “how to” on making embroidered bookmarks.

So, for Craftsy, I also have two projects to finish – Lorum Ipsum and a bookmark.

Personal Projects

Then there are the personal projects. The embroidered book cover that I showed you yesterday is an example of a personal project. These are normally gifts that I’ve committed to making.

Right now, I have one other gift commitment – a baby ensemble hand embroidered on knit, which I’ll show you eventually. It’s due in 18 days. (Not the baby. The gift.)

I’d probably scrap this last one and opt for a purchased gift, but I partnered with my mom on it – she’s crocheting a yellow baby afghan and I’m working up a yellow duck theme on baby goods. There are certain people in the world you just can’t let down, and your mother is always one of them!

The Other Projects

Then there are those projects that don’t fall into any specific category – the ones just for pleasure – like Late Harvest.

I have two other projects I’ve set up that fit into this category, that I haven’t done anything with yet.

The nice thing about these “just for pleasure” projects is that I learn things from them, and I can share what I learn with you, which helps me create content for Needle ‘n Thread.

All of the projects in this category must languish until I clear up other pressing projects.

*Sigh*

Organizing it All

So, how to attack the list?

1. The small, quick obligatory ones go at the top of the list. These include the two Craftsy-related projects (Lorum Ipsum and the bookmark), the baby ensemble, and a couple stitch tutorials for Needle ‘n Thread, in that order.

2. The hummingbirds are next. They get top billing for large projects that must be completed. They’ve been hanging around far too long!

3. Then, project and content development for Needle ‘n Thread.

4. The Redwork Runner is next down the list, even though it’s the longest-running project here on the website. It was initially a grab-and-go, work-on-it-when-you-can project, and I still consider it that.

5. And finally, the Other Projects – projects for pleasure.

On the list above, 3, 4, and 5 can all be mixed up together, more or less, once 1 and 2 are out of the way.

It’s All Good!

Now, it may sound like I’m pulling my hair out. But in fact, I’m not!

I got behind over the past three weeks, especially finishing up Stitch Sampler Alphabet, so I’m pretty much just in catch-up mode right now. And while catch-up mode can seem frustrating, the fun thing about it is this: I have plenty to do, and plenty to share with you!

What About You?

So, that’s what I’m up to! How about you? Any projects going? Do you ever get yourself into these Mr. Toad situations, where you’ve jumped from thing to thing until you wind up in a mess? How do you get out of it? Feel free to share your project organization secrets below!

 
 

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(61) Comments

  1. Yes! Mr Toad’s ride it is with me, too. Though all my stuff is just for me for fun – nothing like what you have going on. Nice to know I’m not alone!

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  2. Dear Mary

    I can see you are a busy women with lots to do *sigh* and so many projects on the go, I do hope you are able to complete the above projects especially the hummingbird and the redwork runner which I would love to see completed. Your hand embroidered on knit sounds lovely I hope you decide that this will be on your list of projects would love to see it. I have just completed a pillow for my sister’s 60th birthday which was in January of this year (a bit late but she know that) I will send a photo. Next up is a lace journal for my twin niece who is getting married next year, I know I’m starting early but at the moment I researching lace journals and there is a lot of them out there, in between this I would like to embroider a book cover for some Bibles that are in the Chapel where I live and your design would be perfect for one of them. So thats my current projects not as busy as you but the researching of journals is taking up a lot of time. Thanks for sharing your projects with us and how you go about organising them.

    Regards Anita Simmance

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  3. I ask for help! I agreed to write a month of blog posts for the “and then we set it on fire…” blog and May seemed to jump out from behind a tree. In March and April I was consumed with prep and unpacking for an art camp and then a girl scout camp.

    Fortunately I’d asked two friends to help me with photos of their deconstructed screen printing so I was left with writing “only” 8 of the posts. Breathing room… 🙂

    Diane

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  4. Hi Mary — I’m still working on your “Tulips & Carnations” design. Some gardening and other work are taking me away from enjoying embroidery as much as I’d like to. However, the real slow-down is my addition of lots of tiny little beads onto the design, and also some gold Diamant. I tend to work one project at a time, and I’ll be busy on this one for quite a while yet. I’m compulsive!

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  5. Yep! Sounds about right. It seems like everything I have is divided up into projects that keep getting pushed to the back of the line. It also seems like everything I do is to satisfy others’ lists. Pretty soon I will be starting that Christmas stocking (Bucilla felt which is adorable), but the new curtains need to be made, but then I have to knit those two sweaters I promised for Christmas, but then my Late Harvest is collecting dust, but the (duplicate) lace shawl (the other one became a graduation present) I’m making (for myself, this time) isn’t going to knit itself and my house is in the middle of window replacement and the contractor disappeared so I only have insulation between myself and the great outdoors and….Crikey!

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  6. This is MY life! I will have my husband read this so he understands the many active projects in line. But, life is messy. We moved last week after 14 years of accumulation. Editorial comments galore on all Mom’s boxes. At my golden age I smile, turn a deaf ear and Carry On. I think along the lines of triage. Love that you share your life challenges.

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  7. Boy, does this article ever apply to me! I’ve got embroidery projects, sewing projects, quilt projects coming out the wazoo. And a full time job in the corporate world, which is why I need embroidery, sewing and quilting outlets to keep me semi-sane….it’s not nice to back-hand your co-workers lol! Sometimes, though, it gets to be too much. But, oh how I love a good list! I tend to break mine down similarly, with those deadline projects topping the list. I list by due date, and then break it down further: cutting, piecing, pattern transfer for embroidery, machine quilting, etc. I like to try and assembly line by activity whenever I can, like cutting multiple projects out at the same time. Doesn’t always work out that way because a full size quilt takes longer than an embroidered tea towel, for instance, but I try. Just having a list of my projects and the different parts of each lets me move those activities around but still keep track of what I’m doing.

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  8. Dear Mary,
    I have only one rule, when I start with a project, I will not stop until it is finished, before I start another one. I still have about 20 projects waiting for me. Reading your newsletter today, I decided I am going to make a list and sort them. I will try to give myself a bit of variety in the stuff I do.
    The fun part lately is I am dyeing my own threads and silk ribbons which make the embroidery piece even more of an accomplishment 🙂

    Kind regards,
    Elza Bester xxx

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    1. Oh Elza, I’m not sure you should change a process that seems to work so well for you! There’s a lot to be said for that kind of focus. 😀

  9. I organise a lot like you Mary, at present the hardanger bookmark cross for a first communion must be completed by Friday. But after the must dos I try and order things and put them in a box in order. Problem is, I keep looking thtough the box and changing my mind about the order, I get distracted and think, I really would love to do a bit on that one, so I have way too many partly done, my Phds and UFos ( projects half done and unfinished objects! Still its all good!

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  10. Oh my gosh – we all have an overload. Some days I am like a bird distracted by shiny objects. I also knit and do needlepoint – so I have outstanding projects in three categories with lots of commitments – babies, anniversaries, Christmas.
    Recently I just catalogued the WIP’s and ignored pending in stash. I prioritized by date due – a birthdays, finishing cut offs and then complexity. Can I do it in the evening while watching TV, do I need to pay close attention on small count, am I splitting threads. I could knit in the evening. Embroidery needed an hour in the morning for good light and clear head. The needlepoint I try to do for 30 minutes at lunch. By doing something every day on the key projects I am moving towards finishing! I also had to halt signing up for new classes for a while, although I did
    Sign up for Gay Ann Roger’s Catherine. ( but the test stitcher did it in 12 days so I figure an hour a day)). Part of it is knowing when to stop starting something new and also doing compromises – like embroidering a store bought item to give the personalization. Or simplifying a design or process ( don’t get me started on my quilts!

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  11. So glad to hear I’m not the only one! My problem exists over more than one genre though – I have unfinished embroidery projects, quilting, knitting and sewing projects. I feel faint just writing that down. However I have made some decisions in the past few months. Whatever I start ‘in a genre’ I have to finish before starting another one. The past unfinisheds have been sorted into appropriately sized ziplock bags or small boxes. Some were put into a ‘use as is’ box because there were no directions or name of project left with it. I can use unfinished knitted things in refashioning some clothes or making doll clothes. Soon, I’ll grab an unfinished bag and finish it. I haven’t tackled the prioritizing yet – nothing in my Unfinisheds are for anyone other than me or just because I liked the pattern. In order to complete them tho, I might change that, just to give myself a deadline. Always work better on a deadline!

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  12. There must be many of us out there, Mary! It’s so comforting.

    I keep each project with threads, and all relevant bits, in a separate see-through drawer. I have dozens of them. Well that’s the plan. But then the bags start collecting. They arrive home from a class; from a workshop; from a holiday; from a Craft fair….. Yesterday I went in search of a specific embroidery and was waylaid by a rather deep drawer with a label “Finish me PLEASE” Some of the things in there I didn’t even remember.

    Organisation? What’s that?

    Keep making me add to my collection – “Oh I’d love to try that” – and keep making me smile!

    Very many thanks. Your energy leaves me in awe.

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  13. Mary, I know you are a busy woman and I can appreciate that more than you know, I am still asking about the STITCH SAMPLER ALPHABET. I lost power while printing mine, I did not save it and I can’t download it again. I am sorry to keep asking about this, don’t you read your email? I thought at least you would answer mine. I paid for it thru PayPAL and so therefore I know you have the money. Please send this to me to download again, or just the pages 1–57, I have printed 58–114, so I have the ending and need the beginning. It is not my fault the power went out as we have been having terrible storms here in Georgia, I would deeply appreciate your help. Ginger

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    1. Hi, Ginger – thanks for your comment! In fact, I haven’t received any email from you about this problem. I’ve been very careful about answering emails relating to download difficulties and working out any problems. I sent you an email this morning and I reset your link and resent that, but I haven’t heard from you, so I don’t know if you received it. If you have not received the emails, please check your spam filter. Please let me know – I can’t help you if I don’t hear from you. Thanks!

  14. I have to laugh in empathy – I’m always overscheduling myself. I’ve got the following projects currently going on: 1) Commission Project for a friend; 2) Stumpwork embroidery example for my re-enactment group; 3) hardscape in my garden 4) finishing painting my guest room and hallways; 5) Various maintaining the yard things; 6) Dishwasher maintenance that I’ve been trying to get to since January; 7) 5-6 posts on my own blog about various things… some of which have been put off for 2 years!

    I have a ‘goal list’ of things I want to do every year; a lot of the items roll over from year to year, because to accomplish any one thing, I have to have time, energy, and necessary weather all come together. It’s not easy to for everything to come together in a convenient mix.

    In addition, I keep a weekly ‘To-Do’ list of things I’m trying to get done soon (this is what I quoted above). It’s based almost entirely on ‘what looks likely for me to get to this week’.

    I prioritize by house and yard projects. Most of my embroidery is hobby-time, which I deliberately don’t put a due date on. House and Yard stuff gets done as the weather and energy allows. Hobby/ embroidery stuff gets done as energy and time allows. Unless my truck’s in the shop again. Lately I’ve been working on my commission piece an awful lot at Goodyear…

    -Monika

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  15. I am happy to hear that you allow yourself some personal stitching time.

    Life dictates my stitching priorities. As people resign or retire from my work I embroider their initial as a good bye gift. Within the past month 3 people have put in their notice. Plus I am getting ready to move. Of course my stitching supplies will be the last thing to be packed. There is no way some of my co-workers will get their gift before June 4.

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  16. I’m sorry you have so much, but it is really a good thing. I am right there with you. I have my ongoing corn quilt, which people are waiting to see, but my commissioned projects like the T-Shirt quilt and pants hemming for others have to also get finished. And then there are those 6 memory teddy bears that I have taken on for my niece who lost her other grandma. Not to mention my two sewing students who I sew samples for and I couldn’t help myself, but I started a wall hanging for my friend for Christmas. (What was I thinking?) Priorities get listed out in order and then I must remember that I do not have all morning to “play” on the computer reading your blog or perusing new ideas. I’m off to finish embroidering the feet of my bears and will then need to water my garden before my afternoon class. Keep up the great work, hopefully we will both be caught up soon!

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  17. Current projects in the works, category obligatory with deadlines:
    –Four quits, in various stages…
    –Summer pjs for grandson, nephew, and niece…
    –Traveling cases for above mentioned little ones…
    –Laptop sleeve for the man of the house…
    –Two case sleeves for two sets of books…

    Current projects sort-of in the works, category no deadline/just for fun/just for me:
    –Embroidered monogram, inspired by the stitch sampler alphabet, of course…
    –Knitted scarf…
    –Knitting tote…
    –Denim jumper/sundress, possibly with embroidery added…
    –Cardboard castle #2 (supposedly for the kids, but who are we kidding, here?)…
    –Sashiko long vest…
    –Beaded embroidery practice piece…
    –Temari balls (NOT for Cat, no matter what Cat thinks)…

    Who needs sleep when you have coffee? 😀

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  18. Mary,

    You could write about the mechanics and technical details on HVAC systems and I’d still be engaged. Luckily, you happen to write about one of my favorite subjects! Embroidery! Double the fun. You are my role model!

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    1. “You could write about the mechanics and technical details on HVAC systems and I’d still be engaged.”

      Harper, you win the internet today!!!

    2. Yeah, I had to laugh at that one, too!!

      If I start writing about AC units, you’ll know the end of Needle ‘n Thread is near. All I know is how to turn ’em on, and how to turn ’em off! 🙂

  19. Mary – All you have to do is add a four-letter word to your Red Runner project to make it seem like you are finishing it faster. Call it the Redwork Roadrunner project. It will cross the finish line in no time, don’t you think?

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  20. My dear Mary, I have so many projects on the go I don’t know which way is up. And I do love to make lists, which I then ignore when something else takes my fancy. But I’ve decided that life is too short and if I don’t want to finish something then who will know or care, unless it’s important to someone I care about. I have finished Woodlands though and sent you some photos and that did require a major push from my conscience but it does make one feel very smug when it’s done. Take care and don’t stress.

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  21. I want to make just about everything you show us, but I had to put the hummingbirds aside just before Christmas. It’s sitting on top of my hoop now, screaming at me to put in the hoop and get back to work, but I’m suddenly very nervous about it. I’m relatively new at this kind of handwork and it’s intimidating me. But I’m not allowed to start any new embroidery until I’m at least caught up to you! the other problem is once I start in I won’t be able to put it down. It’s always one more stitch, or one more color, or I’ll just thread the needle so it’s ready for next time, or I better take a few stitches so I don’t lose a needle that’s not attached…..

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  22. I have more ideas than time, and more time than money. There’s always multiple projects going on. I like to be able to go from one to the other, keeps my interest and motivation going. Plus, each project is like a series of problems to be solved step by step. If I’m stuck on a step for one, I can get some distance by accomplishing a step on another.

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  23. Oh my gosh!!!! I don’t know how you do it! I am so boring, I start one and finish it before I start another!! I learnt my lesson a couple of years ago with quilting UFOs which all got water damage. I promised myself then no more projects started and waitng in the wings to be completed!!

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  24. I expect you’re about sick of the hummingbirds by now, but if it helps at all, that’s my favorite of all your lovely projects I’ve followed here. The colors and pattern are just a joy to look at, seeing each bit of your progress has been a treat. I love and enjoy your blog in general, but the hummingbirds especially make me smile. So go stitch a feather! 😀

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    1. I already stitched one today! 🙂 I wasn’t going to, but then I thought “One Little One” will be that much closer to the finish!

  25. I always have a lot of projects going. I also recently went through a period of several years (yes, years) where I did not get almost any embroidery and little else of nonessential life things done.

    When I decided to make an effort to fit in stitching again I set aside a time to do so – 11:30 pm to 2 am Thursday night to Friday morning. I still run into occasional problems that overlap into that time period and take away from my stitching time.

    Next I realized that, like you, I had to decide on an order to do projects as not knowing which project to do was keeping me from doing any. In addition I have home sewing (socks to darn, buttons to sew on, hems to stitch, that also needs to be done. To deal with guilt over not doing same, I decided to alternate weeks between needlework and house sewing.

    I started with a project which was needed to be completed for my EGA chapter. That took 2 sessions (4 weeks, including the alternate sewing weeks).

    I then went back to work on a gift I need to finish that is a few years past due. I finished most of the stitching on that and have to work out to add some writing to it, as my original plan did not work. In the interim I picked up a long time (started around 11 years ago) that is something different that I want to finish. One week in the middle of working on same, I took a week to do some needed starting of work on a new project for my EGA chapter.

    At least I am stitching again. I have a bag full of started EGA chapter projects to finish, some I would like to work on and finish, and some not.

    I also have a stitching project which I only work on at reenactments as a demonstration. (I am a 1770s-1780s reenactor and demonstrate embroidery at events when not stuck doing something else.)

    In the end everything gets done or I will be “done” and no longer care. In addition often, as I explained to one member of my reenactment unit when he asked why a prior stitching project was taking so long, it is the process, not the completion which matters.

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  26. I just started to do embroidery. I did a few (very few) pieces in childhood and decided to embroider again. For Christmas I received Trish Burr’s Needle Painting Embroidery, Fresh Ideas for Beginners; I am working my way through the projects and I am still doing the practice motifs.I dream that I will develop a skill half as nice as yours.
    Thank you for what you do. I am learning a lot from you tutorials. Thank you!

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  27. Loved reading the comments! Those of us who are embroiled in fabric arts will never be bored.
    for all of you out there. Keep your fingers nimble and busy, your minds quick and your hearts light.

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  28. Mary, it seems Mr. Toad is always at my door grabbing my arm! I’m happy I just finished up the second Wedding Piece, and now have a list of projects I can tackle, including finishing the Blackwork Butterfly class I won (thanks again!) with Tanja Berlin. I ran into vision problems on that one, so I had to set it aside while I waited for new lenses for my glasses, but then the lenses didn’t work. sigh…….Now I think I’ll be able to stitch it outside in natural light now it’s warm enough to do so. I have a pile of projects awaiting my attention, but none have any definite timetables, thank goodness! I usually work on several at a time if there’s no finish date looming. I do try to organize them in order of importance. Some projects seem to be perpetually shifted to the back burner, though, and they’re usually projects just for me……sigh. I’m going to have to stop doing that. yeah, right….lol….

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  29. I ‘sorta’ prioritize my projects. I listed them all and numbered them 1 – 8 in order of finishing importance. This of course gave me several number 1’s, several number 2’s, etc. But that’s ok with me. None of them have very stringent due dates except those that I need for my quilt guilt tomorrow (yes, really – tomorrow!) and those that I need for classes I’m teaching in January but must be compeleted now for advertising.

    This frees me to work on one of several number 1’s which makes me feel a bit more free. Since I retired, I really resent feeling that I HAVE to do anything. For example, I have several phone calls and orders to place – but none of them are more important than the others.

    Within sewing projects, I can work on one for an hour or two, then switch to another making the work a bit more interesting. I tend to get bored working on the same thing constantly. And as I finish one, I can stick another one in the group – eventually finishing a bunch.

    Some handwork projects get packed in a tote bag as ‘take along’ projects. They generally get a few hours a week of undivided attention at guilds, riding in a car, etc. One even got a lot of attention when I was stuck in traffic for several hours on I-40 due to a rock slide which closed the entire road except for one lane. Fortunately, the sewing tote was within easy reach!

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  30. Labor ipse voluptas.

    I no longer care if some projects are unfinished as long as I enjoy what I’m doing. “Making” fascinates me. None the less, i have been sorting and organizing books, notes, projects and raw materials.

    (LOL, You started with the Latin, Mary.)

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  31. I have a Bethelehem Dress (Folklore pattern, black sateen with brilliant cross-stitch) waiting for decades. Embroidery on knitted squares for a cyber-baby shower (real baby, worldwide cyber shower) got whipped out promptly. As did variegated grapes on the back of a boyfriend’s jeans jacket. Some punchneedle cats are waiting patiently; being antique, they won’t claw my face! I’m not a professional embroiderer or anything like that. When Real Life offers delicious experiences, handwork can wait.

    “Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit…”

    “There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain…”

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  32. I think creatives are always on Mr. Toad’s wild ride. But mostly, can handle the chaotic scheduling in our own way. I realized that I use a similar “tier” system that you do. To others, it makes no sense. But there is a method to the madness! Keep on!

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  33. Hi Mary-
    every day when I read your post I’ll get green with envy… so many gorgeous projects! It’s really a joy to look at them and to read your thoughts- to learn how you master the problems and of course to see the results!
    for my part I’m training needle painting with little projects on various silks- in summer I’ll start with a reproduction project of an 1780 embroidered waistcoat- so it’s really necessary to practise a lot- and it’s pure fun to do this. besides I’m from time to time (it should be a daily 30-minutes-project, this would be lovely…) on “the floral patio”-kit from Di van Nikerk to learn ribbon embroidery- my wish is to have more time for these fine things- but I’m counting on my summer holidays. I have to stay at home because my kitchen will be renewed… time to stitch??? I hope so!
    cheers from Switzerland
    Martina

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  34. I love the Lorum Ipsum piece. That is a great joke!

    I too have projects coming out of my ears. A fancy smocked baby dress for a baby due in a few weeks. A fun spring stitch-along. A large quilt and a small quilt…

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  35. Mary…

    I just finished a book cover in the paperback book size for Mother’s Day…and a quilt for the new baby in the family. I am still working both wings for both birds on the “Secret Garden” and I have…oh…maybe 10 more projects…and then, wow, there was Mary’s new Alphabet book which gave me at least 6 more projects for family and friends…and then…and then…

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  36. Well Mary, I sympathize and empathize. I straddle that toad very often myself. My 15 mins a day in my craft room hasn’t worked out either. HOWEVER: LOL….I do have three bookcases sorted and organized and I DO have a fairly large clear space on my cutting table…at least it’s somewhere to work. one thing I’ve wanted to do but couldn’t quite come up with a good way to do it, was to organize my fabric. Now mostly I buy small pieces i.e., fat quarters and half yard lengths with only an occasional piece of more than one yard. one day while I was killing time doing absolutely nothing except web surfing, I came across an article about how this woman organized her fabrics using comic book boards and then placed on a bookcase. well, it looked so pretty I found the nearest comic book store, went out the same day and bought a pack of 100 boards and started wrapping fabric. believe it or not I need to get another pack before too long….lol….yeah I’ve almost wrapped 100 small pieces of fabrics. I also need to get a small two shelf bookcase to hold more fabric. I have STARTED a cross stitch stocking for my newest gson, and I have a needlepoint Christmas piece I’ve been working on, sort of, and the list goes on but I guess it’s not a total waste, I am accomplishing baby steps. it’s always best to be able to locate a certain piece of fabric (i’m still looking for the grey satin I use as a backdrop for my ornament photos) when one needs it and as i’m gearing up for making Christmas tree ornaments; fabric is a huge part of it. as always thanks for your hard work. sharyn

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    1. Hello, Sharyn –

      I’m intrigued – what are comic book boards? I’ve not heard of them. (I live in England.)

      Regards,
      Helen Hicks

  37. Right now with trying to pack up a household, take care of dad, do a bit of art/needlework, yes, I do feel like Mr. Toad. Some days I just stand in the middle of the room and turn in circles. LOL.

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  38. I organize projects in several ways. I keep projects in Evernote and project ideas in a card file. Then I have a basket of the MOST IMPORTANT projects that I work from and another basket of secondary projects as well as a third basket for WIP that are not priority. Of course, then there’s a box of printed and paper patterns that I occasionally look through. Each month I make a list of projects I’d like to finish or an amount I want to do on a certain project. Might sound complex, but it really isn’t!

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  39. Over the years I’ve been into embroidery, I’ve tried to keep to only two decent sized WIPs. Decent sized = medium to large scale projects, although my definition of large may be smaller than others’. I’ve strayed from that once or twice and found it rather stressful, so I just keep it at two. Alongside that, I might work a quick and/or small piece as a gift (usually a bookmark) or to go into a greetings card, or even as an experiment, but beyond that, I make myself wait until one of the two regular projects is done. It may make for less variety on blog, but it works for me. 🙂 It means stuff gets completed, there are no real UFOs hanging around and I feel a regular sense of accomplishment.

    At the moment, I’m working on a 12″ square cross stitch picture and a Helen M Stevens’ butterflies surface embroidery piece. I’m trying to a do a little on each every day that I can (planning on doing a leaf on each today), and I want to get the butterflies done quite quickly now as it’s getting to be time to start on my pieces for this year’s Sheffield Fayre. More on today’s blog post, which I’m about to start editing photos etc for.

    Best wishes and well done on completing your last minute book cover! I could feel the stress….!!! 🙂

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  40. For me, I have to keep outstanding projects at a minimum. Recently I had 6 projects going and it was driving me insane!

    The only thing immediate for me is a pillow for my sister for this Christmas. Though I have not done a lot of needlework, I want to enter it into the French Needle contest before 05/15. It is cross stitch so it is easy!

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  41. I just wanted to say that I have been following you for a while. I have everything I need to start the “Hummingbird Project” but, like you, I have so many things in pipeline that it needed to be put on hold. Thank you for all you do. Your work is amazing and I have learned so much.

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  42. Over the years I have tried many methods of staying organized on all of the projects I have started and those that have gotten finished.
    Some lay in a large plastic storage box while several are in individual work bags. Recently I have picked up a suggestion from one of the on line groups I belong to and it is working fairly well for me. I have purchased plastic archival boxes for scrapbooking, one for each day of the week. Each are large enough to hold a project, instructions, and any special items needed for it. Unless the project contained is close to being finished (and I want to get it done) the projects are rotated according to the day of the week. This helps with the confusion that can occur, keeps things clean, and my work space relatively neat.

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  43. It’s funny how we seem to be on the same schedule, Mary! I have new projects sprouting all over. It does happen to me every spring (and fall — change of seasons, I think). This week I knew I had to make a change, and I wanted to make my decisions before I read about yours!

    I think I am appreciating my amateur status tonight, because it let me be a little more radical! We’ll see how it goes. 😀

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  44. I find billeting a visiting teacher works Well. I’ve done many workshops with wonderful teachers and of course the designs often languish in my Mae West pile. If she is staying in my home I couldn’t possibly admit I haven’t completed the workshop piece from 2-4-8 years ago. It works most times but I think the current Alison Cole may not quite make it. My impending first grandchild has taken over all priorities.
    Otherwise I pull out whichever strikes my interest at the moment so I have many PhDs and perversely I may do a piece just to get it done and out of my house as opposed to because I want to see it finished.
    And if you are wondering: “Come up and see me sometime” from I’m no Angel (1933)

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