Oct 21, 2009


I have no idea what possessed me.

There I was, minding my own business, when I got the urge to do a little "organizing" up in the studio.

For those of you who might be new to this hot mess of a life we call mine, allow me to explain. I seem to like organizing needlework better than I like stitching needlework. I'm not kidding. If I had to guess, I would say that I've spent at least 94.327% of my entire stitchy life sitting on the floor with piles and piles of stitchy crap all around me, and a determination to organize it to within an inch of its life.

Yesterday, apparently, was a day of reckoning, since I decided to pull every single project that I have ever put a stitch into and then abandoned. We shall henceforth refer to this as the "Work In Progress Pile of Death", or WIPPOD if you will.

Forty-eight. Yup, that's right. I pulled, sorted, bagged, and then counted a total of forty-eight projects that I have, at one time or another, had in my hot little hands with all good intentions of finishing before I go to that big LNS in the sky. Forty-eight.

The official Work In Progress Pile of Death, 2009

I must be pretty well medicated these days, since I found myself approaching this WIPPOD quite calmly, and I even managed to look at it as an anthropological record of my stitchy progress. There were a few pieces on 14-count Aida, a few Dimensions kits from Hobby Lobby, several pieces on linen that I swore were "just too hard for me to learn how to do", at least a dozen painted canvases, and a small handful of counted canvas pieces. All in all, a pretty good representation of my life as a wanna' be stitchy goddess. Let's look at it again, shall we?:

Normally, I would have dissolved into a puddle of angst over the WIPPOD, but for some strange reason, I decided to breathe and reboot and pull a few projects to play with until November 1st rolls around. No tears, no screaming or yelling that sent Stewey off on a pee-palooza. Just a calm consideration of the things before me and a quiet reflection on the various aspects of needlework that bring me such joy.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME????!!!!!!!!


Stewey called a cab and spent the night at the Marriott, and I'm pretty sure he opted for room service breakfast this morning, because he came home with waffles on his breath. He also snagged a robe, two hand towels, and a Kleenex dispenser, so now I'm going to have to drive over there and apologize profusely for raising a degenerate and write them a big check. Damn dog.

"Look Mommie! I'm sleeping in the sun AND I peed on the sofa!"

I didn't stitch at last night, and I don't think I've put any meaningful effort into anything since Wednesday or Thursday of last week. Does this qualify me for an official stitchy funk? Do I now need to limit myself to only stitching WIP's for the rest of the year? Should I decide that 2010 will be the Year of Unfinished Business and finally get these done? Should I stop reading blogs so that I'm not inspired and tempted to stitch every single thing on the planet? Should I....????

See? There I go again. Should-ing all over myself. Just when I think I've got a grip on "this thing of ours" and tell myself that it's all good -- no need to worry, I go and pull a stupid stunt like this and tailspin right back down into a weepy mess.

I swear, they should make pills for this.


  1. Perhaps we should try something like, "It's not about the destination, it's about the journey". At least, I think I might try that the next time I start to wonder why I can never finish anything.

  2. 48 its funny. At least the are organized. I love the dog - is that a jack russell, I have a jack russell.

  3. Coni, I have never sat down and counted WIP; mostly because I don't want to know. But I just wanted to tell you that, if you don't want to do something you started umpteen years ago, if your taste has changed, there are no stitchy police who will come and take you away. You can give away the project, or even (dare I say it) throw it away! Some of the things in your basket may not be worth finishing, please don't waste time on them.

  4. Yay, Jane. I was going to say the same thing. Some of your older projects, where you were learning, might not be worth your time now. And don't upset yourself over them. If you don't want to throw those projects away, give them to a women's shelter. Or pull out the good fibers, or good fabrics that you can use on other things. We all promise that there is NO stitching police that will run you in for having that many unfinished projects. If there had been, most of us would be sitting in jail waiting for you. Now, I know there are projects in that basket that still interest you. Keep those. If you don't see yourself finishing the Dimension kits, give them away, throw them away--talk to Linda at House of Stitches. She might know some beginners that might like them. Now, go stitch on something you really want to stitch on. I'm heading over to the finishing chair to get 4 fobs all sewn up and stuffed.

  5. WIPPOD - the most hilarious but accurate acronym I have ever heard! Bravo!

  6. Coni - I think that all of us have been there at one point - lost stitchy enthusiasm, puttered with all the stuff we have! But perhaps going through that pile again and eliminating those Hobby Lobby kits, etc., unless you really love them, will make it more manageable. I did that - threw them in a bin, closed the lid and they're going off to some other worthy stitcher. I'm not going to miss them. Not with all the enabling these blogs are doing!

    Sometimes we just have to play with our stuff to get re-energized. I saw myself all over this post and don't have any easy remedy. Okay, I'm done, I'm going to go play with some floss.

    And hell, I thought I was bad with 34 - you've got me beat by a long shot. Why do I feel better all of a sudden??

  7. I agree with some of the others that have commented. I suggest you go through the death pile and go with your first instinct on whether you will actually finish it or not. If it's a no, throw it away or give it way. And don't feel bad about it. Remember, that stitching is supposed to make you feel good. I go through the same insanity that you do. Obsessing about finishing things, should I get it framed, do it myself to save the money, stop buying things, why do I have so much, and it goes on and on, and then I stop and take a breath and realize that stitching is the only thing I do for MYSELF and I will not try to fit it into some box that is nice and neat. Cut yourself some slack. It's also okay to be in stitchy slump. Again, I say go with what you feel. But I also know that as soon as I put a few stitches in, I usually put in a few more, and then, voila, the slump is gone. Good luck and keep us blog readers informed.

  8. i find it funny that you went from a blog that said "who's happier than me" to one where you are ready to be shot on site for being a dumbass who has 48 unfinihsed projects. cracked me up. what a difference a day makes....
    BTW, what does SAL and TUSAL mean? i am still looking for definitions...
    has Master Stewey ever been trained to go outside or be fitted for the proper Depends size for his tush? maybe just waving a Depends in front of him will scare him into slidling open the patio door and stepping outside...

  9. Just think of it as stash with a little bit of stitching on it. :) I think you really need to start something new! It's almost November! You've done really well! :)

  10. Oh my goodness...you must be ME in a Coni skin!!! I love to organize my stitchy stuff to death and then fall into a blue funk about what a hopeless slacker I am...but after reading many many blogs...I'm of the opinion that WE are normal and those monogamous project stitchers are the anomaly :)

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  12. Pull up your socks, Lady. It's a hobby not a contest. I've had about 24 WIPs since I started blogging. I've sworn I would finish things and be better, but that number has held just about steady. Don't even talk to me about the quilt I started in 1988. Or the clothes I was going to make myself. Or the hundreds of dollars worth of silkscreening materials I threw away the last time I was at my parents. Relax. Pick up a needle.

  13. For me, the best part about leaving school was that no one, ever, could MAKE me read a book I didn't enjoy. Now, I love reading. I read everything and anything, and there really isn't much I don't enjoy. But, if I do pick up a book that just doesn't do it for me... I put it back down with a smile on my face. I didn't get there overnight. Many a time I struggled with the guilt, but I made it! You can make it too. No one can force you to stitch nothing but WIPPODs until they are all done if you don't want to. Rifle through them again and get rid of the ones you don't want to do. Life's too short, and you won't have time to do the stitching you want if you feel you have to do the stitching you changed your mind about. P.S. I love to organize my stitching stuff too... but nowhere near your stash!

  14. I deleted my first comment by accident... I am still amazed at 48 wips. I am only 44 years old... LOL I may have about 8 that I have decided to auction off on ebay.. Maybe that way someone would want them to finish and I can make a little money for new stash.. It is a never ending cycle.. I will buy more and so will you, coni.. LOL

  15. Oh, I bet I have you beat. Methinks I should have one of those stash days of reckoning... I'll let you know when I have enough courage to actually do it. But, your WIP efforts these past months have been inspiring, so it may be sooner than later! Just a thought though (and I know I'm stretching this, but bear with me)... has Steve Jobs come knocking about trademark and copyright infringement in any way? I mean, really... W-iPPOD? Does the "W" stand for "What the?...." and is the extra "P" really a subconscious effort to blame Stewey for all that stash (you know... "P" is for pee)? Hon, I have two dogs, so I'm only sayin' I can fling that stash guilt two different ways (in my case WIPPOD stands for work in progress pile of DOO cause there's plenty to shovel here). Or were you just trying to say you need a new iPod to use while you stitch up all that wonderfulness (including NEW pieces lady)? Hmmm, I'm with you... if you were.

  16. Are you an Aries? I am and this is me. You could suffer from false starts. In fact, you Aries are so good at starting things that you can be off onto your next project before completing the previous one. I just blame not finishing my stitching on my birthday!
    Don't beat yourself up on this one!

  17. Damn woman, just quite torturing yourself like this and do some stitching -- no pills required. This is a hobby. As soon as it starts making you unhappy you should change the way you go about it. Put that box of WIPs that will never be finished in a dark corner of the garden shed and be done with it. It worked wonders for me!

  18. Coni, Coni, Coni. Poor misguided girl. You obviously overlooked SM 1300.360B2 in your "Stitcher's Manual". It clearly states that "no stitcher shall ever take a complete count of WIPs". You are however allowed to prioritize WIPs, but only the top three. On behalf of the Stitchers Local 1147, I'd be glad to get you a copy of the manual, but you could probably just share Aunt Chrissy's. ;-) You should also have a sponsor assigned to you. A sponsor would have never let you count the WIPs in full. You are such a new stitchers, these offenses will be let go with a slap on the wrist. But, you should know, the last stitchers who actually valuated ($$) her WIPs, had to forfiet her membership card. So, DON'T GO THERE! :-D

    And, I think you should know, Carmen told me she was having a sleep over with girlfriends at the Marriott last night. She came home smelling like syrup. Hummmm....

  19. Coni
    From an old seasoned WIP stitcher, you are showing signs of WIP burnout. The MD prescribes a new project start...give it up and start something new. You will be smiling again!

  20. You are far braver than I am my friend, there is no way I want to know how many abandoned and good intentioned projects I have hanging around! EEK

  21. Con, who cares how many projects you have started versus how many you have finished?

    You had fun, didn't you?

    Put away the pile of unfinished projects and forget the guilt over not finishing them.

    The main thing is to enjoy yourself--not beat yourself up over something we've all done.

    Go watch a movie and stitch on something you like. Tomorrow will be better.

    The Other Jane, waving from CH

  22. I'm relatively new to your blog, but have to do your posts are a delight to read :) You had me LOL at this post! I think most of us are in the same position with our WIPs - I know I had 40+ a couple of years ago, but I've given myself a goal of trying to get 3 completed per year ... and I now do this as part of a rotation to make sure I really do stitch on one of my UFOs/WIPs regularly - I'm now down to 33 UFOs. But the rest of my stitching time is spent on stitching new pieces - gotta make that stitching time enjoyable or we'd never go back to it! :) And, as they say, Rome wasn't built in a day! :D

  23. Why, oh why, did you ever count them? Some things are best left unknown. :) I refuse to count mine anymore. Life is too short to finish projects you don't love. Besides, why finish old ufos when there are plenty of new, exciting projects to start?. Think of the smell of a new piece of fabric/canvas, the lovely feel of brand new threads, and the crispness of a new pattern book. Isn't that a much more pleasant thought than fretting over old projects?

  24. ARE YOU KIDDING!!!??? I can't give you any advise on this subject 'cause I am in the same boat! I surf more than I stitch (time flies) and I have too many WIPs. I DON'T want to count them or I will have to reach for that anxiety mediction - again.
    Maybe you could work a few older pieces you still want to do into the new pieces since you will be relased from your self-imposed "I must finish all these WIPs by Nov. 1" prison. Because, don't cha know, there are some really cool NEW stitching pieces out there just waiting for you, Coni!

  25. Coni, dear Coni, hasn't anyone ever enlightened you that stitching is a journey-and as with any journey a few incorrect turns are to be expected(even in this age of the GPS)? So, get over your self and go through those WIPs, weed out the ones you don't like and keep on stitching. You wouldn't be caught dead wearing that prom dress from high school would you? So why would you be stitching on something from last millinea?

    Love absolutely love your blog-and as for Stewey, well have you ever heard of belly bands? My friends with little boy Cresteds swear by them. But don't let Stewey read this!! Becki

  26. Hey Coni -

    I don't know which was funnier - reading your post or reading all the comments on this subject.

    Here's what I think:

    1) If you don't like the project and/or don't think you'll ever finish it, send it to the thrift store or throw it away!

    2) There are no rules, you are entitled to as many WIPs as you want to have!

    3) If you're having more fun organizing than stitching, go for it. I just have to do that sometimes too; helps me get my mojo back.

    4) Love Monica's comment about the Depends. Wonder what Master Stewey thinks about that idea?

    Don't be so hard on yourself Coni; just have fun!

  27. You've got to be kidding, you finish more projects than most people start. You buy bigger baskets to hold your stuff because you are a true-blue stitcher.

  28. Coni....look at me...ok, you can't *look* at me but listen!! There are 10 million ways to go about this hobby...once upon a time I was a 'one at a time-er' but now I start what I want and finish a few along the way. There's no harm in that! Hoarding stash, reading blogs, becoming inspired..that's all part of the very fun ride! So sit down and make yourself feel better....start something new!

    And get that puppy a drink! He needs a mojito or something! ;)

  29. Coni - This is all of us!!! I don't give a rat's backside about WIPS and I love to sit and go through my charts and stuff. I stitch when I stitch, finish what I finish and enjoy life and I love to try to figure out why I ever bought that chart back in 1987, LOL!
    PS: my kitty, Sterling B thinks you should get Stewey a litter box!
    Love your blog! XO

  30. Hi Coni,


    Actually 48 isn't that many as I know I have a few, okay many, more than that and I actually do finish projects. I haven't counted how many I have started as I don't really want to know! :-)

    Take a deep breath, take a bite out of your favorite chocolate, and tell yourself that this is how you have fun and relax and it doesn't matter if they ever get finished!

    You might be more interested in the process of stitching than of the project (finishing) and that's just fine!

    Or you can ask Stewey to dispose of those that you both don't want to see again. I'd love to see what he would blog about that little adventure! :-)

    What did the hotel have to say about Stewey? LOL!!!

    Windy Meadow

    There is a women's prison in Ohio who accepts donations. Let me know if you would like the address.

  31. Alrighty, Miss Coni!

    I think you need to revisit that post back in July and notice that back then you couldn't dare fit your WIPs in one box.. they would have never fit! You've been doing GREAT since then... lost of gorgeous projects finished!

    I think you're in need of some reframing. I think you have a gorgeous basket of options and possibilities... not a basket of failure. Stop beating yourself up! =)

    Although I must admit that I giggle with glee whenever I read these types of posts. LOL Your rants are priceless!! Hang in there!

  32. Wow!! No offense but I don't feel so bad about my small stash. (ha-ha). I have recently donated some charts and aida. It is really hard to let go. Why is that? Hopefully someone will enjoy them. Well atleast your WIP's are organized. I think that's a PLUS!

  33. You know, if you take all those WIP and put them wayyyyyy in the back of a closet they'll technically no longer exist, and your problem will be solved. Honest. :)

  34. Coni,

    How about if you take all the stash that you aren't interested in any longer and put it all up as a FREE GIVE AWAY on your blog?

    My guess is that there would be a lot of stitchers who would love to sign up in hopes of winning your WIPs. And what a nice way to share. There are still many of us out here that stitch on Aida, do Dimensions kits, etc.

    BTW ---------------all the
    Should of...........
    Would of............
    Could of............
    belong in the trash!

    Life is too short. Enjoy each and every day and don't question yesterday.

    I am owned by EIGHT English Bulldogs -- how about sending Master Stewey to us for a little vacation. I'm sure my girls could teach him a thing or three. :)

    Love your blog, your stitching and your sparking personality and sense of humor.

  35. Coni,
    Thanks for a laugh to start off the day. A stitchy friend told me about your blog, and I'm forever indebted to her. Love to hear about other stitchers. I used to be in an s&b group, but now I haven't found one, so I enjoy reading blogs like yours. I look forward to the ongoing saga.

  36. ROFL! Last time I counted my WIP I had forty-something, I stopped at 40. I've managed to finish a few but I figure one day when I'm in search of a new start I'll dig through that pile, find something half finished and it's new, but not, well this thought process works to keep my sanity in check. LOL

  37. OMG you crack me up!!!! I though I was the only one who starts and doesn't finish. Glad to hear I'm not alone.

  38. If you find pills for the condition, let me know... I've got 54 projects going right now myself (down from a high of 217..!). It's worse than dieting, trying to keep the starting under control!

  39. I find comfort in all of my stuff---finished and un-finished! It's just part of us and kind of like a security blanket! Life is good--enjoy all your finished and unfinished stitching! Amy

  40. Coni,
    Luv reading your blog - you're a hoot. As for your WIP, save, donate or throw away. They are good for practicing new stitches, techniques or for those days when you can't drive to the wonderful stitchy store (59 miles away in Illinois) due to weather, arthritis or old age.

    As for Stewey - accidents do happen but belly bands are a wonderful idea for small dogs. Our large bichon who was the same size as Stewey was abled to curbed his indoor impulses wearing his "shorts"

  41. Well, clearly we need a support group. I too suffer from the disease of startitis. I love to start things but then I see something else new and lovely and before I can stop myself I've started that, too. At least you are organized and more importantly, not hiding it. I purposely keep stash at different locations in the house to try to confuse my own family members about how many WIPs I actually have. Fortunately for me, none of them are as astute as Stewey.

  42. I have never counted my WIP's but I've been stitching for 35 years and I'm sure there are more than 48...and then there are the two quilts I have all the block done on and all the material I have purchased over the years because I know it will make a beautiful quilt and then there are the three large rubbermaid containers full of stamps, stamppads, blank cards, etc. for when I make my own Christmas, etc. cards which I haven't touched in 10 years and on and on. Right now I am working on 12 Shepherd's Bush Christmas stockings and they WILL be done for this Christmas - 7 are all stitched, one is in progress and four are waiting in the wings. I love to start cross-stitch projects but I usually know in a day or so whether or not it will EVER be finished - some things just aren't like you thought they would be.....don't count your WIP's and you will never know! I really do finish many things!

  43. Love your blog, I always smile while reading it. Don't worry about how many wips you have I think all stitchers have that same pile, but you were much braver and actually counted yours! I would rather just shove it further to the back of the closet :O)

  44. A woman's worth is measured by her WIPPOD ... the bigger the better

  45. I've almost gone too far the other way. I am so afraid of UFOs that I can have no more than 2 WIPs at a time so generally I am only working on 1 thing at a time. I guess I relate the unfinished projects to everything else in my life. Unfinished house, unfinished garden, unfinished relationships...you name it. That doesn't mean I don't have unfinished projects since most of the stitched pieces are stuck in a drawer. Some day, some day...

  46. All I can say at this point is....ROFLOL!!!
    Hmm, I wonder what's in my basket? Maybe it's better not to wonder ;)

    Fun blog, btw!