Last Friday I wrote about The Gideon Method – a strategy for cycling through your unfinished projects. I’m not drowning in unfinished projects, which is the good thing. But I have so many interests and can find it difficult to settle on any one project. And then I begin to feel overwhelmed by whatever my current project is and think that I’ll never be able to work on anything else! I thought this method would help me cycle through some of my hobbies and give me an opportunity to give everything a little love.
So I set about the house, peeking into baskets and bins to decide where and how to start. I tried to think about the big picture and the types of hobbies I wanted to spend time with. I’ve decided not to include knitting in my rotation, at least for now. I’m at a point in my current knitting project where it can be quickly picked up and put down – so I’m able to work on it in little bits of time throughout the day. For this practice, I wanted to find the types of projects that require a bit more concentration and effort on my part, so these are the things I’ll be working on in my “quiet” evening time once all of the kids are in bed. (But I totally reserve the right to not spend my evening quiet time with any of these projects and choose to knit, read, or just wallow on the couch instead. It’s my prerogative!)
The four categories that I decided on are:
- Hand sewing
- Garment sewing
- Counted cross stitch
I chose this order because I wanted to vary my location and the body motion I’d be using. Quilting and garment sewing will require me to go down into the basement with my sewing machines. Hand sewing and counted cross stitch will see me hunched down on the couch with threads and fabric strewn all around. I decided to stagger each of these activities so that I won’t be in any one position or place for an extended period of time. Change is good!
Here’s the plan: I will cycle through each of these categories in 12 hour stints. 12 hours of quilting, 12 hours of hand sewing, 12 hours of garment sewing, and 12 hours of cross stitching. If I happen to finish, say, the quilting project, I’ll move to the hand sewing project and take that opportunity to decide on my next quilting project and ensure that I have all of the materials I need for it when the quilting category comes back around. Make sense?
If I decide I hate something, like garment sewing, then I’ll stop and move to the next category. I’ll take that time to consider taking the entire category off my list and either replacing it with a new hobby or keep rotating through my list with fewer categories.
I make things more complicated than they need to be. I know.
Okay, on to the list!
Quilting: Scrappy Crossroads Quilt
Currently in the quilting stage! It is literally under my Juki’s needle at this very moment. I’ve actually been working on this over the last couple of weeks and think I can get pretty far in the quilting in 12 hours. Probably not quilting, trimming, and binding, but that’s okay. It’s not about actually completing these projects in 12 hours, but giving them some attention.
Hand Sewing: Scrumptious Hexies
This is the project that I’ve been working on since 2014. I’m looking forward to spending some time with her! I’m not sure how much I can get done in 12 hours so I think she’ll still be hanging around for a while! That’s okay. That’s sort of the point of hand sewing!
This picture gives the project some scale – it’s basically the length and width of my dining table.
Garment Sewing: Dottie Angel Frock
I started this in 2015. I don’t have any idea when I worked on it last. Y’all – I’m never going to wear this in public. The shape just doesn’t work for this bodacious bod. But it will make a great apron to wear around the house and be super silly with. It’s nearly done, so I predict this to be a pretty quick category for me this rotation.
Counted Cross Stitch: Farmer’s Wife
My last post showed some ambivalence about counted cross stitch. But thanks to Sarah’s recent comment, I am obsessed with The Snow Queen. As in: I keep picturing this framed and in my daughter’s bedroom, along with dozens of other Mirabilia designs. But before spending a ton of money on the pattern and all of the supplies, I decided to pause (thank goodness that was my word of the year last year) and make sure that counted cross stitch is something that I want to spend any time with. I recently showed you my progress on Mysterious Halloweentown and thought I’d start by finishing that up, but I can’t find the pattern anywhere! I decided to finish this super simple Farmer’s Wife pattern. If I manage to keep up with the full 12 hours for this project, then I’m TOTALLY buying a Snow Queen kit. I’m so excited!!
I was planning to start last night, but bedtime took much longer than usual and I was beat by the time I came downstairs. I decided to knit and listen to an audiobook instead – my prerogative! But I hope to be able to report back on how this is going at some point next month even if I’m still on my first 12 hours without much to say!
I’m really excited to see what kind of progress I can make in each category in a set period of time. I’m going to try to remember to snap a picture before beginning each 12 hour stint just so that I can see the change in the project. What a great opportunity to see how small bursts of effort can add up to something big!
What about you? Could you see this revised version of the Gideon Method working anywhere in your life? Maybe to help balance your reading habits or baking projects? Even though this isn’t quite what the method intended, it seems like there’s a ton of ways to tweak it to help find balance in one’s creative life!