Saturday, 8 March 2014

Finished Projects, Framing, and Gift Giving

What does your UFO (Un-Finished-Object)/WIP (Work-In-Progress) pile look like?

Mine isn't too bad.  I tend to have a couple of projects on the go – a larger one and then a couple of smaller ones I can work on when I need a break from the larger one.  So I don’t throw it out the window!  I do have a large pile of “want to stitch” projects which grows larger by the day.

No.  Instead of a WIP/UFO pile, I have an FO pile – Finished-Object.  Stitching projects that I have finished but then done nothing with.  A pile of projects waiting to be framed, or turned into cushions/banners/something, or stuck onto cards, or just given away.

A couple of weeks ago I decided enough was enough.  That’s one of the good thing about moving house, and having limited storage space – I rediscovered all of my FOs and had nowhere to put them.  I'm now on a mission to get them framed or displayed.

Some of the stitches I've finally mounted on cards this week
The age-old question is of course how to display them?  Do you go for the standard frame or something different?  A wall hanging or other useful object, like a cushion or box cover?  Options are limited when you've already finished the project – you can’t turn a large project into a shirt emblem or a small project into a large wall hanging.  Some projects are easy – they’re designed as bookmarks or cards, and I've (finally!) managed to finish these off.  For a lot of my other FOs this time I've gone the standard frame or the stretched canvas.  I love the look professional framing, with the matting and wide frame, but that can get very expensive!  I have a few projects I’d love to get professionally framed eventually, but in the meantime I've done them myself.  It’s actually not that hard to frame your own projects, or stretch them over canvas (a new skill!), and I'm impressed with the way they've come up.  Keep an eye out for the next blog where I’ll share my framing tips with you.

Some frames, hoops and stretched canvas

I even managed to get some hung

I now have a pile of FFOs – Finished-Framed-Objects (I made that one up – anyone have a better idea?).   But then the question becomes what to do with them?  I don’t have enough wall space to display them all (and doubt I ever will!).  I've always been hesitant to give away finished projects though.  Not because I've fallen in love with them (although that is occasionally the case), but because I never think other people will appreciate them.  I never think they are good enough, or the right style/look for other people.

I'm getting better at it. My parents and brothers have received numerous stitchy gifts, as have a couple of good friends.  When I moved overseas a couple of years ago, I gave away a number of old projects to the girls in my bible-study group, which they all loved.  And whenever I've stitched something specific for someone, they've always been very appreciative of it and loved it – wedding and baby samplers especially.

Turns out, people do realise and value how much time and effort goes into these projects, and they are impressed by the skill of cross-stitching – this old fashioned art still has a place in the modern world!  It’s my attitude that needs to change – I need to have more faith in myself and my stitching abilities.

I think I've got presents and cards sorted for the next little while.

Happy Stitching!!

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