In this post/episode, I’m going to share my opinions on whether you should worry about unfinished cross stitch projects.
If you listened to my episode on worrying about the back of your project you probably have an idea on my thoughts on this already but I thought this would be a good episode to share right after Christmas as many of you might have got new kits and projects as presents that you’re wanting to start but you’re worried about those other projects that you still need to finish.
You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the blog post instead.
Should you worry about UFOs?
My basic thought is that no we shouldn’t worry about unfinished cross stitch projects but let’s dive in a bit deeper.
Why you should worry about unfinished cross stitch projects
First of all, the 2 reasons I think you should worry about them are:
- If you are doing a work project, for example, if you stitch commissions. Then obviously you need to worry as if you don’t finish on time or at all then you will potentially lose money and a customer. And also get a bad review.
- If you are stitching a gift for someone else. Although you can stop stitching it if you want to, it probably won’t feel too good. But you can always get them something else. This happened to me last year when I didn’t get a cross stitch lamp finished for my mum for Christmas. I felt so bad not giving her it on Christmas even though she didn’t know she was even getting it. Luckily it’s her birthday in January and I got a big surge of motivation to finished it for her birthday instead.
Why you shouldn’t worry about unfinished cross stitch projects
- The project isn’t going anywhere. If you stop stitching you can always come back to it again later. I do this with many, many projects.
- Stitching should be joyful, not burdensome. If you aren’t feeling the love for a particular project anymore then put it down and pick something else up instead. The love for it might come back after a few months.
- Starting a new project is a good feeling and we all need extra good feelings. Now some of you might prefer the feeling of finishing and some are more leaned towards starting. I’m a bit of both but tend to enjoy starting a project more than finishing. If you prefer the start, don’t feel bad! Who says cross stitch has to be about finishing a project? I’ve said this before, but for me the act of stitching is why I stitch, not to have loads of finished pieces displayed around my house. You might be totally different and that’s OK too.
- It’s might not be the right season. You could be stitching a summer pattern then as it changes to autumn you don’t really want to be stitching a project of the seaside. The same with Christmas too. Many people love starting their Christmas projects in July, myself included. But I know a lot of you don’t. So when October arrives or even November you might realise you have to get your Christmas projects started to get them displayed over the season and need to drop all your other projects to work on Christmas ones instead. You can just pick them back up after Christmas.
To sum up, it’s ok to put a project down and wait and see if you feel like stitching it again in the future. The project police do not exist and no one will know if you dropped a project halfway through.
I also feel the same about books just FYI. I have no problem putting a book down that I’m not enjoying which I will talk about more in my next reading list episode.
The other kind of unfinished cross stitch project
Before we wrap this up I also want to mention a different kind of UFO. What about the designs you have completed stitching but not finished off or framed or really done anything with?
I have soooo many of these and this is totally an idea from someone in my Facebook group but I’m finally going to put them all in a scrapbook this year.
I’m going to iron them but not cut them down if I can help it and just stick them in with some washing tape in case I want to use the design in the future.
I’m also going to try and look through Instagram for when I shared them and see if I can put them in chronological order.
This is nothing fancy or complicated or particularly expensive, but just a nice way to give your projects some pride of place without needing to display them all.
If this has actually motivated you to dig out some old projects and you are wondering what to do with them I have a few finishing tutorials on my blog like the lampshade one I mentioned earlier, a cross stitch clock tutorial, a banner, etc. As well as an episode about 5 finishing ideas.
So go have a look through and see if inspiration strikes. And if not, just keep enjoying those new projects you start.
Extra links and resources:
- This episode of The Cross Stitch Podcast is sponsored by my signature How to Cross Stitch Course for Beginners which takes you through everything you need to know to learn to cross stitch step-by-step.
- Become a Patreon of Hannah Hand Makes and get some rewards!
- Join my Facebook group with over 1500 other stitchers.
- Should You Worry About the Back of Your Cross Stitch?
- Cross Stitch Clock Tutorial
- Cross Stitch Lampshade Tutorial
- Cross Stitch Banner Tutorial
- 5 Cross Stitch Finishing Ideas
6 thoughts on “Should You Worry About Unfinished Cross Stitch Projects/Objects? (UFOs) | S3E12”
Thank you for the wonderful article about unfinished projects. Better still, the great idea of putting finished pieces in a scrapbook. Brilliant idea, and I’m going to do just that. They are laying in a box collecting dust I’m sure. So, first opportunity, I will get a nice scrapbook for all my “stuff.”
I have just finished this evening a cross stitch I started years ago. I was determined to finish it before2020 began but I was laid low by a heavy cold. The relief of finishing is fabulous.I have done lots of projects in between .I lost heart when I decided I didn’t like it,but plodded on and it is growing on me!
I love the idea of putting pieces in a scrap book but am a little concerned about the tape marking the project. I have a photo album with sticky pages and plastic film that comes over the page to act as a cover. The pages are not so sticky that once something is put on the page you can’t lift it up again to move it! Maybe that’s a solution to the potential marking from tape? But thank you for the suggestion! 😊
I love the scrapbook idea. I’m only on my second project but my first is already in a ziplock in a tote bag lol
I’m interested to see what happens down the road with ufo’s and wips. As a knitter and crocheter, I was always monogamous. I can see how a small and a larger cross stitch would be good. Maybe even a stamped one when counting just won’t happen.
P.S. I tried emailing you back from emails you sent out and they come back.
Oh, no, that’s strange. I’ll let Hannah know your emails are bouncing back. ~Megh (Team Hannah Hand Makes)
I recently finished a small cross stitch project that I had started in 1987! It was an accompanying piece to a small Christmas bear I had cross stitched in 1986. I had totally forgotten about the accompanying piece until I was looking for a small project to carry on vacation in late June/early July of 2022. I didn’t get it finished while on vacation, but working on it motivated me to get it done. They look super cute together and I’m glad I took the opportunity to finish it. Thank you for your encouraging post; you helped me feel much better about taking 35 years to finish a 6 inch square, navy blue fabric cross stitch project!