In this episode, I am talking about cross stitch theme days and how you can use these themes to fit in more cross stitch into your busy day!
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Why Theme Your Days?
The reason I love theming days for cross stitch is that they take the decision of what to stitch today away; I loathe making decisions so I love setting things up like this in my life so I’m not sat there fit 10 minutes wondering what to stitch next and wasting precious stitching time.
I theme my days for all sorts of things like Money Monday where I go through accounts and Skincare Saturday where I always do a face mask. But obviously today we’re talking cross stitch themes.
And themes like this along with scattering projects all over my house, just help me fit so much more stitching into my full life.
This only really works if you stitch multiple like me. Now you don’t have to work on 7 to make this work, it’s not necessarily 1 project per day. 1 might cross over into different themes and that’s a good thing as we usually want to work on a project more than once a week.
You’re probably wondering at this point what I’m actually talking about so let’s dive into my cross stitch theme days.
Cross Stitch Theme Days
Some of these themes already exist, as a hashtag on Instagram for example. But I apply them to cross stitch and other days I kind of just made up.
Monday is Motivation Monday which is already a hashtag on Instagram but you can apply it to cross stitch by stitching a quote or something that will motivate you for the week ahead. Something easy maybe or fun or something you really want to get finished such as a present for someone.
I’m currently working on quotes for the house. I like them pretty simple, like my Love Grows Here design, but they are motivating because of the words on the design, plus I can’t wait to hang them up!
This is something I made up; it’s not a hashtag on Instagram … yet. If you are a beginner to cross stitch this could be a good day to pick a design to stretch you or learn something new such as French Knots, beading, backstitch. Or stitch with a different kind of thread such as light effects thread or variations.
(Psst, I teach you most of this in my how to cross stitch course for beginners).
Work In Progress Wednesday
WIP Wednesday is another hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, etc, and one most of you probably already know about. WIP is all about picking up a project you are right in the middle of and working on it.
But this theme day can also cross over from other days. For example, if you are working on a quote on a Monday, you can also work on it on a Wednesday because it’s a project that’s currently in progress.
For me my Sunday and Wednesday cross over but I’ll talk more about that soon.
So Wednesday’s don’t need to be a certain kind of project, it just has to be a design you’re in the middle of stitching.
This is also a hashtag on social media, but probably not one you would link to cross stitch. I remember this hashtag being so popular around 8-10 years ago when you would share old photos of yourself and relive memories. I’m not sure if it’s still as popular now.
But you can use this to pull out an old project that’s not yet finished. Now, if you put that project away because you didn’t enjoy stitching it then please don’t get it back out because you feel like you should. One of my life’s mottos is to only stitch what you LOVE!
If it is something you want to get back out and work on again, then Thursday might be a nice day to get those UFO’s (unfinished object) out.
Which leads nicely to Friday which is …
This is another phrase that is popular already in the cross stitch space already and it’s a day people like to share a project they have just finished.
This is where your projects will move around. So, something you have been stitching on a Wednesday can move to a Friday when you’re nearly done.
Or another option, because sometimes you might not know when you will finish a design or project, is to stitch something on a Friday that you know will be made into a specific thing. It’s going to be finished off in a certain way like the Countdown to Christmas SAL where we are making an advent calendar.
Or you could get out projects that you have already stitched and they’re done but you haven’t actually done anything with them; they’re just sat in a box somewhere. Pop them in a frame, put them in a folder all in one place, or browse here for some finishing tutorials on the blog.
Lots of options for a Friday there!
This is something I made up and can go a couple of different ways. It could be where you stitch something for the season you are in right now or for a future season.
For example, the Christmas SAL starts soon but it’s not Christmas yet. But as cross stitch does take so long we have to start early so it’s finished if it’s for a specific event or holiday.
You could also stitch something for a particular season. So stitch designs that are for Summer, Spring, Autumn, or Winter on a Saturday to hang up when that season comes around.
Or you could stitch for the season you are in right now. You could find a quick stitch for the season you’re in for example this Flamingo for Summer stitching that you could stitch in 1 day. Sometimes it’s just nice to stitch something that matches the season you’re in. Sitting in the sunshine in the garden or around the pool with your flamingo design sounds much better than if it was a Christmas design (although I have totally done that because we need to get ahead on our Christmas stitching!)
I LOVE seasonal cross stitch pieces because I like to swap my decor out in my house for the different seasons and cross stitch is easy to roll up and store without breaking if it’s not in a glass frame. I rarely frame something in glass for this reason.
Stitching Sunday/Stitch-a-Long Sunday
My favorite day! I have 2 different themes for Sunday, and the first is Stitching Sunday. This is where basically anything goes and you can just stitch whatever you are in the mood for and I recommend giving yourself a whole hour to stitch on a Sunday if you can.
I personally stitch for an hour in the morning in bed, but I recognise my privilege here (a husband to watch the kids, no demanding job to get up early for, etc). If you can’t do this in the morning then try and do it in the evening after work, or get the kids in bed with you while you’re stitching.
I do believe that Sunday was made for some rest, but really this is less about the time spent and more about the fact that you are stitching a project that you are just so excited to work on and this can change week from week. Just go with your gut and work on whatever you feel like that day.
If you ever take part in stitch-a-longs (SAL) then Sunday could also change to Stitch-a-Long Sunday during those times (if you don’t know what a SAL is you can read about them here).
This is pretty self-explanatory but you are just stitching any SAL designs that you are working on that week. For me though, I’m usually running a SAL so I use Stitch-a-Long Sunday’s to release my pattern (and the reason I do this is because of that belief about Sunday’s being made for rest) and share photos of the SAL and just interact with everyone who’s taking part.
Cross Over Theme Days
I said at the beginning that some projects will cross over into different themes so let’s talk about some examples of this.
If you’re working on a Christmas SAL that can fall into Stitch-a-Long Sunday, Seasonal Saturday, WIP Wednesday, and eventually Finish Friday. So do you see how it’s always shifting and changing and it’s not about each project having a set day, it’s more about knowing what you could stitch that day? When you wake up on a Wednesday you just have to remember what project you are in the middle of stitch and that’s the one for WIP Wednesday.
Usually, if you don’t like a routine it’s because you think they’re too restrictive but I think they’re actually freeing. Routines and themes like this take away so much mental energy and leave room for more creativity, and TIME. The less time we’re thinking about what to stitch next the more time we have for stitching; which is what we all want, right?
Even if you just start with 1 theme day (I recommend a weekend), just try it and see if it helps with your stitching time. And if you enjoy it for 1 day, you will probably enjoy theming every day.
The Lazy Genius talks about deciding once in her book The Lazy Genius Way*. I love this idea, but it’s hard to do that with cross stitch because we can’t decide to just stitch 1 project every Monday forever; we will finish the project eventually and we will have to decide all over again.
Instead, theming your days like about allows you to fit in any kind of project and you only need to decide on the theme days once and they work for whatever project you are currently working on.
Of course, there are a few caveats such as if you really dislike routines, this might not work well for you. And if you like to only work on 1 project a time, again this won’t work but maybe you can get involved with the community aspect of these themes and share your work on those particular days mentioned.
If you aren’t really feeling the cross stitch theme days, really the point of this is to help you fit more cross stitch into your life every day. I truly believe we should all be taking time every single day for our own hobbies, and I know time can be an issue here. But these themes kind of trigger you into thinking “Oh, it’s Motivation Monday, maybe I can fit in 10 minutes to work on that quote design”.
You deserve time for yourself, so decide once that you will take it, and actually do take it.