Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The perils of finishing

#Finish It Friday has got me pondering why I'm so bad at finishing projects.

One of the problems I've found over the past few years with embroidery is that all the fun parts are at the start. I have a great time stitching, but then I'm left with a cool embroidery on a piece of fabric which I still need to turn into something. And planning and executing that is less engaging... so into the pine chest it goes.

Lately I've tried to complete some of those packed away projects to give as gifts or to use.  But they aren't always solutions I can keep using. I thought I'd go through some of the good and bad bits of these finishing techniques.

Always a traditional choice, I framed a tree and butterfly piece for a gift exchange.
This was a free kit with a cross-stitch magazine, and I feel that painting the frame to match makes it look nicer. Although clearly I needed to iron it more.

  • Huge variety of frames available, and can always paint cheap wooden ones to match anything.
  • Only requires a small amount of extra work (lacing, etc) unless as mentioned also changing frame.
  • Traditional.
  • Recipient has to find place to display frame.
  • Not very useful apart from the aesthetic lift.
I used a piece of stumpwork I completed at a Koala Conventions class in the lid of a wooden box to make a special present for my grandmother last Christmas.
As you can see, I also need to start photographing finished gifts before I give them. This photograph was taken on the day by my brother-in-law and I had to request a copy.

  • Looks beautiful and professional
  • Only requires a small amount of extra work (lacing, etc).
  • A potentially useful storage box.
  • To get a box worthy of the embroidery requires online ordering for many of us and it isn't cheap.
  • Can really only be used once per recipient.
Christmas tree ornaments
Over the years I've turned many small bits of cross-stitch into ornaments for people. Naturally I don't have any photographs. That would be too easy.

  • You can repeat this for the same recipient in different years - no one can have too many ornaments.
  • The finished work will be on display.
  • Only works for items that can be slanted as seasonal, holiday, etc and that are relatively small. 
  • Can be lots of extra work to finish. 

I've also made embroidered pieces into bags, tissue holders, and potpourri sachets. They all have the "can be lots of extra work to finish" disadvantage. Any other ideas?
How many unfinished items do you have hidden away?