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Sometimes you (I) just have to face the truth

Sixty three. SIXTY THREE.

That would be the number of started projects I had. Not planned projects like pattern & fabric pairings, kits, or even orphan quilt blocks without a plan. Just the WIP, the stuff that already made it through one serious round of purging last fall.2017-01-17-08-46-24

I know what the number is because a couple weeks ago I pulled together every (neatly sorted) bin or bag of quilting, sewing and knitting and quickly photographed each and every project. I had a simple plan: print and tape the photos on the wall next to my design wall. And then FOCUS.


But I had to count the photos three times.

Once the shock passed I realized a few truths:

  • Even allowing for the realities of being multi-craftual, it’s overwhelming.
  • Even allowing that some are simple mending or finishing, it’s still overwhelming.
  • To believe that being organized (each craft in it’s own tidy storage bin) was getting it under control is classic magical thinking. Cue the unicorns and rainbows all you want, it still wasn’t done.

So after yet another round of getting real (sort of) and letting go (a bit), I got it down to 49. I could have given up a couple more, but I like the symmetry on the wall. Then again, I always eat my M&Ms in color-matched pairs so there may be some underlying issues.


There it is. My wall of shame and washi tape. And you know what? I also discovered one more truth:

While I never set out to bury myself in half-done projects, there’s a ton of work already done. Good, creative, skilled work that I deserve to give myself credit for. And perhaps that reminder is the most important of all.

I got this.

PS: If you’re even remotely surprised to see a post here, you’re not alone. I’m giving blogging another go and intentionally skipping the sincere but pointless excuses. It’s damned boring.




15 Comments Post a comment
  1. Krista lolabluemar #

    Crime scene wall. Magical thinking. Skeeter. I love u

    February 13, 2017
    • Skeeter’s keeping us real. Love ya back!

      February 13, 2017
  2. Bonny Schmid #

    My oh My! You are a brave soul! I don’t think I could ever count and take pictures of my unfinished projects. I just think you should think of it as multi-tasking 🙂

    February 13, 2017
  3. Bonny Schmid #

    When I entered my blog – it came back as stating ‘enter a url’
    Don’t know how to do that…

    February 13, 2017
    • No worries! Your comment posted just fine. Thank you for sharing!

      February 13, 2017
  4. Paula #

    Love this post! James think it is hilarious that my system (a spreadsheet) shows 48 UFOs/WIPS/PhDs … but he does encourage the magical thinking that more containers will fix it … No more trips to the Container Store! I’d be bankrupt if they were in Canada!

    February 13, 2017
    • There’s a good reason we all love James (and The Container Store). 😉

      February 13, 2017
  5. You’re an amazing writer. Keep it up, I need the inspiration;) xo

    February 13, 2017
  6. OuoiIGeWzL6lHbR6AffNxdg2iu4xLTqXhdzNrps0R1Q= #

    don’t feel bad, I have well over 150! But with the photos and labeling, I know where everythin is and if I need a quick project, I can pull one out and git it done! I also included fabric packets with no plan yet, scraps from completed projects that could turn into a baby quilt or table runner and clothing items. No guilt from me.

    February 14, 2017
  7. No excuses needed! Glad to see you here. Good luck facing that wall…

    February 14, 2017
  8. So glad to see you back. I have missed you, you’re always an inspiration to me.

    February 15, 2017
    • Thanks, Lady. Missing you, too!

      February 16, 2017
  9. It’s a beautiful wall!

    February 16, 2017
  10. Thankyou for that glorious confession and my morning coffee chuckle! I know there are quilters out there who dutifully finish each project before starting a new one…and don’t even have a stash. Oy. I am NOT one of those! So…how did the wall project go??

    October 7, 2019

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