Fabulous, Focused, 2014

WARNING: This post may contain rambling, confessions, grammatical horrification, a little guilt, and hopefully a few thought-provoking plans for 2014.

If you were to make a list of all your crafting/hobby Works in Progress (WIPs) or Unfinished Objects (UFOs) would it scare you, or cause you to be disappointed in yourself?  Are you still in love with every single one of them and want to finish them all?  Are you overwhelmed by that number and do not know where to start to get them all done?

That pretty much describes me.  I have ADD.  No, really, I do.  (I will give you a minute to get over your surprise.)  Because of that, in order to get practically anything accomplished, I have become a list maker in many areas of my life. Sometimes I have more than one list covering the same thing.  In other words I have to stay focused to get things accomplished.

For my needlework, if it is not in my face it is off my radar. I know I am not the only one who suffers from that.

Someone will mention they are working on a project and I am reminded that I have something similar that I started eons ago so I go looking for it.  I start digging through my WIPs and almost immediately start feeling guilty about all of my long-lost, and much-loved, projects that I want to finish.

Or a new something comes along and I jump on that bandwagon and I am adding 2 (or 5) more WIPs to a list and the guilt starts all over again.  (Of course, sometimes there is no guilt involved, but I still get a few heart palpitations over the amount of WIPs I have.)

Throw in having more than one hobby, craft, obsession, whatever you want to call it, and it really starts getting out of hand and the numbers go from single digit, to double-digit, and for some people, triple digits.

Well, I am determined that 2014 is going to be a FABulous year in a great many ways but for my hobbies it is going to be a FAB4FOCUS year.

I am going to focus on 4 projects at a time – for 4 quarters – in 2014 – in each of my two favorite obsessions – Quilting and Cross-stitch.

I have not worked out all of the kinks yet, but it will go something like this:

For my cross-stitch I am going to pick 4 WIPs that I want completely finished and either hanging on my wall or show-cased in my house somewhere.  I will ONLY work on one of those 4 projects until they are finished and by finished I mean take it to the framer, or stitch it up, make it into a box, whatever it takes to call it F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D.!

I have not yet decided on my cross-stitch projects.  I started a private sampler stitch-along yesterday that is goal-based.  It will be completed over 6 months so it will be the first item on my list and thus will be the first thing I stitch on each month until I stitch to our goal.  I am also hoping to finish And They Sinned before the end of the year but my two-month long stitching slump put me behind, so it may be on the list as well.

I also have a huge box of items that are completely stitched that need to be finished.  Many of them need to go to the framer, but many are ornaments that need to be finished.  Yup, they are going to make the list, too.

If I were to choose my 4 cross stitch projects today, my focus list might look like this:

1.  Elizabeth Sheffield (stitch toward goal)
2.  And They Sinned (20 hours a month and focus on this piece if everything else is finished)
3.  And A Sampler Grew – finish out pin pillow and scissor fob
4.  French Alphabet Sampler – find it, frog error in border, order new fiber to re-stitch border

I am also going to pick 4 quilting projects, but this list will be a little different from my cross-stitch list.

I have 2 Blocks of the Month (BOM) starting – one at the end of 2013 and one at the beginning of 2014 and they will count as one item.  If I keep them on my list that will help me stay on track to have all of the blocks stitched and 2 large quilts finished.  One is a 9-month program and one is a 12-month program.

I also have several Jo Morton Little Women club quilts that I want to finish so they will be one item on my list.

Another item will be the quilts I am making for my son, niece, and seven nephews – for a total of 9 quilts.

The last item will be determined closer to the beginning of the year, but I have plenty to choose from.  So today my example list would look like this:

1.  BOM
2.  JMLW club quilt
3.  Son’s quilt
4.  Sampler quilt table topper binding

I am a “quilt with your checkbook” gal, except for the JMLW quilts, so I still have some figuring out to do when a quilt is out for quilting and that slot is temporarily empty.

If I have finished something I will add something else in, but not to the neglect of what is already on the list.

I plan on doing 4 reviews during the year to see how I feel about my projects. I will decide to keep them on the list if they’re not finished, or I will get them OUT OF MY HOUSE.  I am a member of enough online groups that I know I can find someone who might love my project if I no longer do.

So why am I sharing this in August?  Well, since misery loves company I am hoping someone will either volunteer to ride roughshod over me to help keep me going, or will want to play along, too – which will also keep me going.

I am sharing this in July hoping others might share it on their blogs/forums and to give anyone who wants to play time to think about how they want to organize their own 4 projects.

And, I am sharing this now because once August gets here my year is over in a minute!

Last but not least, it is a list 😀

You do not have to have multiple hobbies to play.  Nor do your hobbies have to be cross-stitch or quilting.  Scrapbookers, card makers, knitters, crocheters, chain maillers, needlepointers, beaders, and any other hobbiest I might have left out, please come share!

Right now the plan is share a list on Sunday what was accomplished the previous Sunday-Saturday and what to accomplish the next Sunday-Saturday.  Review at the end of the quarter for any adjustment that needs to be made for the next quarter, i.e., get rid of something no longer loved, add in new start, etc.

No sign up will be necessary if anyone wants to join me.  Just jump in whenever you start, post your goals for your first Sunday – Saturday, and link up to my blog so we can encourage each other. Each week after that post your goals for next week, your accomplishments from last week, and link up so we can continue to encourage each other.

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7 responses to “Fabulous, Focused, 2014

  1. Fun and fabulous!!!!!!! Love all your plans :-). I do have several WIPs/UFOs that I still love and wouldn’t take much time to finish up. I am definitely a one hobby girl, LOL.

  2. I’m in 🙂 Now to play with a list… and figure out how to organize and what to put on it!

  3. I’m in! My stitching has been very hit and miss since I went back to school. Since I’ll be graduating in December, this is perfect timing for me! 😀

  4. Hmm, intriguing…. I will contemplate how I might adapt this as my challenges are slightly different. My WIP count is down to 6, but 4 of them are BAPs. I do have a largish number of unfinished finishes. That might work as a category for me. More thought needed….

    • Cheryl, they don’t have to fall in any category. Mine just look like that for now. As the year progresses you’ll see a change from that.

  5. Terri, I think this is a terrific idea! I haven’t set stitching goals for awhile as my job was just too demanding. Now that I’m retired, I’d like to get back to some of my BAPs and I think I will be joining you in Fab4Focus. I have a couple of Chatelaine projects that haven’t seen the light of day for years and at least one of them will go on my list.

  6. Ooo, excellent idea! I shall ponder….