Nov 5, 2009


Your computer might blow up trying to open all of the pictures in this post. If that happens, feel free to curse at me and my stupid need to tell everybody everything I know. Oh, and please feel free to delete me from your Palm Pilot. (That line is from an episode of Sex and The City, but the exact context escapes me at the moment.)

Well, it's official. The annual Spinster Stitcher Christmas Stitching Nervous Breakdown has commenced.

Is it just me, or could it possibly be true that everybody and their uncle seems to be rushing the season this year. (Please note: By "everybody", I don't mean know, the ones who have started to decorate, bake, shop, etc. I mean THEM...the retailers who have started broadcasting their Christmas commercials in the hopes that we will forget about the economy and go buy lots of stuff from them before December 1st so that they can tell CNBC that the projections for this year are STUPENDOUS! and that they still have lots of good deals available for that last minute "twenty-five days before Christmas" rush.)

I had a plan. Really. I did.

Like a good little stitcher, I worked on WIP's for SEVENTEEN WHOLE YEARS without a break until November 1st. Then, I told myself, it would be OK to start new things. And, since I seem to love the colors of Autumn so much, I figured I'd do some autumnal stitching during the month of November, and maybe start Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. (An idea that I shamelessly stole from Aunt Chrissy.)

But like all of my plans, this one went awry as soon as my head hit the pillow last night and I started to think about the big ass Christmas Stitching basket that was lurking just above my head up in the studio.

When I went through the Christmas Stitching basket several weeks ago (in preparation only, I promise), I discovered that I only had three or four projects in progress for Christmas. Whaaa? Could it be? What the...?

Yes, for some strange reason I had either completed a lot of Christmas stitching last year, or I didn't do that much to begin with. But....I digress.

"Finishing these projects will be a breeze!" I thought, as I pondered which new basket to use. "I'll just finish these first and will then jump right in to a canvas or counted canvas piece and that way I will have finished several lovely pieces in time for the holiday."

So I checked out my progress from last year:

I started Prairie Schooler's Twelve Days:

Laura J. Perin's Christmas Quilt:
And Prairie Moon's Holiday Train:
I have to say, I was pretty pleased with myself that there were only these FEW pieces to be considered, and I immediately set about the task of patting myself on the back. (Not an easy thing to do when you're one corned beef sandwich away from being a circus freak, I might add.)

Sadly, this was right about the same time that I remembered that I am taking the Raymond Crawford Merry Christmas canvas class from Ruth at Bedecked and Beadazzled, and TWO lessons have already been taught! CRAP! I'm already behind schedule with a project that wasn't even in the damn basket to begin with!
Then I spied another canvas from Maggie that I've been trying to do for the last four years. I just can't seem to come up with the right threads or stitches for this one, but I'm determined to use this as a "learning piece" for myself and see if I can't just figure out how to embellish painted canvases after all.

Now these two things wouldn't have been so bad, but then I made the tragic mistake of flipping through the charts and kits that I have lovingly stored in a carefully labeled basket that matches all of the other carefully labeled baskets that comprise my stitchy stash.

(Cue the forehead slap and a big fat STOOOOPID coming out of my mouth.)

There's the Mirabilia Santa that takes my breath away, but has a chart that looks like it could construct the International Space Station.
There's the Birds of a Feather stockings that look sooooo funky and cool, but will probably NEVER realize their full potential since I wasn't smart enough to buy a piece of linen big enough to do them all and now it's no longer being made.
There's the Prairie Moon Collector's Edition Santas that I am determined to stitch in UNIFORM colors and linens (even though the kits come with different color palettes...see last year's "Matchy Matchy" post for angst over THAT situation.)

And then there's the Prairie Moon Christmas Eve that makes me want to go sit in a chair some place and not get up until this is kitted, stitched, framed, and hung over the fireplace.

And then, just to make it all worse, was the discovery of some Pat Thode Santas:

And this ADORABLE little Squatty Stitching Santa from Ruth Schmuff:

I would have gone further, but the resulting anxiety was just too much for one spinster to bear. I sat on the floor for a few minutes and decided not to be sad over all of this mess, but rather to REJOICE AND BE GLAD! that I have such a lovely pile of things from which to choose. I decided not to panic over the number of hours it would take to stitch these things, but rather to CELEBRATE the fact that this stuff will surely keep me off the streets for at LEAST another ten to fifteen years. Why view this as a negative? Why not think of it as...

Oh, who the hell am I kidding? Y'all know me well enough by now to know that I'll chew on this for the next two months and then I'll find something else to fret over. It's my process. Leave it alone. (Yet another line from a movie, I think.)

(Why can't I come up with my own stuff?!)

So that, my dear stitchy friends is the state of the Spinster Stitcher Stitchy Union at this very moment in time. Aunt Chrissy promises to pick me up after work for a trip to the Target pharmacy, so never fear...medications are near!!!

(Tee hee hee hee hee....sometimes I just crack my own self right up!)

Have a wonderful Thursday! I'm off to the mailbox to retreive my new Notre Dame Alumni Directory. I hereby promise not to look up my old classmates to see that they've published their eighteenth novel (thanks a lot, Nicholas Sparks) or solved the Middle East peace situation, or cured some mysterious disease in a forgotten country. I'll just wish them well and think of them fondly.


  1. Oh no! I am now feeling anxiety just from reading your post. I believe I should get my behind out of this computer chair and go look at my Christmas stash!!!!!

  2. gosh, I don't even know what to say....

  3. CHRISTMAS!! Hell, I'm not even finished with Halloween yet!!


  4. Oh my goodness, what an incredible amount of Christmas patterns you have. I recognize those Pat Thode pieces (I think I saw a couple of them lurking in my bin). You should be able to stitch Christmas for the next five years with all that stuff! I can't even wrap my arms the idea of stitching xmas things even though those commercials have begun to spring up and one of the radio stations is already playing Christmas music.

    Well, fret all you want Coni, but I think you're going to be having a great time while you're doing it!

  5. Welcome to my world! (The Christmas Panic starts in June at my house.

    And remember, Christmas comes every year.


  6. Why can't you come up with your own stuff? Because the good stuff has already been used by Hollywood, so why not just borrow!!! lol

    I am looking forward to the day when I have anxiety over what to stitch next. As a fairly new stitcher (took up the craft in 2004-ish), I have not yet acquired so much that I am beside myself. Plus, it will be so very nice to have my own place so I can have a room dedicated to my crafty-side.

  7. It is angst over our stitching that lets us know we are alive... there's a positive for you.
    I love some of those choices you have. You will have a fabulous time amid all the fretting.
    I think it is way too early for xmas stuff though...

  8. Welcome to the club! It was just this morning when I grabbed two smalls and thought "I really need to get these done for the Holiday." After all, how can we not feel rushed when K-mart and Sears' X-mas flyers have aready been leaked........AND ITS NOT EVEN THANKSGIVING YET!!!! Ahhhhhh......the days where Christmas decorations weren't a thought until the day AFTER Thanksgiving.

    BTW, love your reference to CNBC and projections. It makes this little accountant feel all warm and fuzzy! =)

  9. I feel your pain.

    I am also behind in an online class...haven't even of the VS classes.

    I have been puttering around working on other stuff and yeah have 2 projects that I am supposed to have done before X-mas (parents both have b-day's right before x-mas...but usually I get a few days grace cause I don't see them till x-mas)

    And yeah what am I doing...contemplating new starts too...thinking about pulling out some other WIPS.

    And yes I will be doing the panicked finishing on Christmas Eve...what is wrong with me? You are not alone!

  10. Dear Conni, I have been cleaning out and organizing (why is it that I spend more time organizing my stichy stuff than actually stitching it?). Anyway, I have TONS of painted canvas, plain canvas with counted designs and cross-stitch galore. Yet today I went out and got 2 new canvas pieces. I went into the store to get some varigated Vinyard Silk that I saw you using and of course they did not have any. So instead of leaving with my dignity and credit card intact, I bought two new canvas designs. TWO!!! Oh, and a Buddy Case by Namaste because we all have to have a buddy case for our scissors! Heaven forbid they just lie in the bottom of my stitchy tote all alone. Just my way of making you feel least you didn't ADD to your stash!

  11. Wow. You really must have some serious stash. Is your whole studio room filled, for real? I'm guessing Stewey was hiding when all of this was going on? But it's nice to know there is someone else out there who agonizes over colors and fabric and everything has to be just PERFECT! And thanks for the comment on Prairie Sampler on my blog, and yes the crescent colour threads are great.

  12. Hmmmm, I know I have some of those charts... I smell a case of startitis coming on.

    Great pictures Coni, thanks!

  13. Oh good grief Coni... I hadn't even started fretting about Christmas... until I read your blog. I'm still working on Witches Hollow... which I guess needs to be put away in favor of Holiday stitching.
    You're responsible for making my head spin...

    Oh... by the way.... why have you called Prairie Schooler designs Prairie Moon designs??? You better lay down and rest a bit. :-)

  14. I don't know if this will come as good news or bad news to you but the BOAF Sparrow linen for the stockings is still being produced. The BOAF linen is now being made by their former dyer and is now called (iirc) Linens by Design. I have serveral pieces of the old stuff and the new stuff and I can't tell the difference between them. I buy mine at Needle in a Haystack in Alameda.

  15. I was reading along, thinking that stash of yours was entirely reasonable. But as I scrolled I had to laugh - it seemed like it wasn't going to end! Thanks for the chuckles! You are far braver than I am - I'd rather not know how much I really have.

  16. Glad to see I am in good company...I did the same thing this weekend, pulled out all the Christmas wips, kitted projects, and charts. Filled almost every project bag I had with Christmas stitching. :) Fun stuff!! I love all of the projects (and pictures) in your post. I can't wait to hear what Stewey has to say about all this Christmas cheer/anxiety. LOL! I "think" Shakespeare's Peddler carries the BOAF linen still.

  17. Wow! that's a ton of Christmas stash...truly enough to boggle the mind's boggled and it's not even my stash!!! Now I'm afraid to even think of my christmas stash! Can't wait to see what you pick...just close your eyes and point!!!

  18. I loved the low down and all your stitching stuff. I am tired now.. but I am happy for you !! Better you than me. lol I bought all those new tombstone and Halloween charts that came out at market... lol. I will be stitching Halloween on into the Easter season. lol. You need to teach Stewey how to stitch !!! He can help you with all this Christmas. Take Care April

  19. O how marvelous; O how wonderful!!! My plan is to stitch on Autumn until the day after Thanksgiving. We'll see how that works out for me. I'm tickled pink to see your renewed stitchy enthusiasm. (not that you ever really lost it)

  20. I love all your Christmas stitching...both the stuff actually in progress and the stuff you are dreaming about. :-)

  21. He, he, he, I was so glad to read that you could avoid a panic attack, lol. And you are so right - celebrate all the possibilities you have with all those great projects. And if it'd be only the one to play with them, lol.

  22. How can you even pick? I love them all!!!!!

  23. Ooopppss! Nicholas Sparks, really?! Is he Catholic?

  24. My dear Coni, take a lesson from me -- a sufferer like you, and believe me, a *bad* sufferer -- and try to understand that you have *two* hobbies rather than one. ONE is collecting charts and looking at them and imagining what it would be like to stitch them and have them adorning your living space; and TWO is actually stitching. It helped me soooo much when I started looking at my stuff that way! Now I'm guilt free. Can you imagine that? Guilt free, guilt free, guilt free.

    Well, except for the SALs and the RRs and the gifts and the exchanges. Obviously.

  25. Try not to drive yourself crazy...I am the same way - I have annual ornaments from at least 5 or 6 years ago that I look at each year and buy something else I have to have. I try to stitch things for other people as gifts for Christmas - some people appreciate (expect) something handmade from me now every year. This year I am really crazy since I decided to stitch a Shepherd's Bush stocking for my new granddaughter...then I thought it would be nice to stitch one for my niece's new daughter and then I decided to stitch one for all my nieces and nephews children - you can't make one and not the I am working on my 9th Shepherd's Bush stocking with three more to go. I am determined to finish before Christmas...then of course wouldn't they all look so nice in one of the boxes from the Blackbird Designs blog...and I still have ornaments to make for my "annual" gift to friends. I do this every year - some years worse than others! So don't feel too bad - I think we all do this at this time of year.

  26. Make that determined to finish before Thanksgiving!

  27. I could finish all of those project...if I were to live until I was 350 years old!

  28. Ah, stashing collections! All the Santa's in more collections than you could think of, and nary a one started!! Sounds like a post over at my place ;-) Thanks for the giggles.

  29. I have to say I am in envy of all your wonderful x-mas stash. ooooh. I could play in your stash for days!

  30. Nah, you have no Christmas things to do at all! Hahahaha! Thank goodness you're here to show me again that I'm not alone. I love all of your projects and will be watching to see what pops up in the coming weeks.

  31. I have offically "cried" all my eye makeup off hee hawing at your post....And now, my poor husband is sitting in the other room wondering what in the world could possibly be this funny.... I have no energy left to explain it to him so I will shake my head and simply say " you had to be there...) Keep it up!~

  32. I will make the sacrifice and come to your home, sit in your marvelous studio, and help you with your xmas projects...just say the word! ;-)

  33. I love your blog, Coni!! Never ceases to make me laugh and turn green with envy over your stitchy treats. :)

  34. Dearest Stitchy Woman,

    Remember, it's not the destination, it's the trip. Just have a good time with your stash and use it to get you in a Christmas mood. After all, it's not as much FUN when it's finished! BTW, Birds of a Feather has those stockings in CANVAS now and I'm drooling over them. I want to collect them but SLOWLY. Theresa

  35. Hi Connie,

    Well, you know what I'm going to tell you...

    Stitch the Heartstrings Canvases!!! LOL!

    Windy Meadow
    President of the Pat Thode of Heartstrings Fan Club

  36. LOL!!! I'm back from Charlene's blog who linked to your blog which I didn't know yet (bookmarked!) and this post is sooooooooo right! I wish I could write as well as you do, it's just too funny and true. Thanks you for the good laugh, the beautiful pics, and that same feeling that I share: aren't we, stitchers, blessed with all that Xmas stitching we have to do? Lol!
    Hugs from France,