I’m of two minds when it comes to finishing stuff—I both like and don’t like it.

I like finishing things I don’t like and don’t like finishing things I do like. Profound, eh?

Finished this just today

For example, I’ve been working on the above pin loom project for my young neighbor since May. I liked finishing it—not because I don’t like making things for my friends, but I don’t like having an obligation or assignment hanging over me. Makes me feel like I can’t work on anything else (even though I do anyway).

While I work on my projects I watch movies or listen to books. I’ve been watching Wild At Heart on Amazon Prime free TV. By the time the series neared the end, I felt like, “Enough already; just put us out of our misery.” Tired of watching Danny Trevanion act more like DCI Banks than his usual kind self, I liked finishing that show. (I’m feeling the same way about Heartland and McLeod’s Daughters as I get nearer the end of those series as well.) But I’m also listening to the Harry Potter books on CD. I’ve read the books and listened to them before, seen all the movies many times, but now that I’m about to begin the fourth book, I’m starting to not like it that soon I’ll be finishing them (again).

Finished in June

Last month I finished knitting this scarf, started a few years ago. (My interest in knitting waxes and wanes.) It’s not exactly scarf weather, but I sometimes throw it over my shoulders in the evening while I’m knitting, crocheting, or weaving something else. It’s very soft, but I wish it were wider. I knit VERY slowly, so I’m taking my time choosing my next project (want to REALLY like it when it’s finished, but also like it while I’m making it).

In the past couple of months my husband has been reading to me. This isn’t a new activity, he’s been reading to me off and on for years, but reading on a regular basis (most nights) is new. After he finished the third James Herriot book (which we’d been reading at an irregular rate, not for the first time), I asked him to read A Town Like Alice, by Nevil Shute. I’ve wanted to read the book for a long time, but had never got myself to do so. Sometime during or after the book we watched the movie starring Virginia McKenna and Peter Finch (which is brief but very good) and the miniseries (which is way more in depth and also very good—better because it’s longer).

I didn’t like finishing that.

Next we read Moby Dick by Herman Melville. It’s an interesting and odd book. Makes me wonder, “What makes a classic?” I have to admit that even though I liked it (and the two movies plus the Discovery Channel video we watched), I was glad to finish it.

Problem is, I can’t think of what I’d like to hear as much as A Town Like Alice, so I’m still sorry that’s finished. We have Adrift and Little Britches on deck. Hoping those will be enjoyable. Will I want them to end or not?

I usually drag my heels when finishing up a project. I don’t think it’s because I don’t want to use the thing I’m finishing, rather a sort of dread of beginning anew. It’s a lot of work to start things right. This is the time most mistakes happen, I suspect. This is the time we must practice the most care, the time we have the most energy and enthusiasm, the least desire for restraint. This is when we can still back up and get out. As if we would!

Start your engines. Cautiously. You may have to stop them again and again. But you’ll start them again and again too. Projects, ho!

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Here’s the process I used in making the pin loom flower…

Make a petal template that fits the 2″ square. I used a very lightweight cardstock—stiff enough to hold its shape, flexible enough to remove with ease.

Use the template to help you stitch the shape of the petal. (Research English paper piecing if you don’t know how to do this already.) Be sure to remove the template before finishing the petal shape.

Try to get a good point on one end and a flattish part on the other end of each petal.

Determine the correct size circle for the 2″ square.

Clip the pin loom square to the paper and stitch around it, easing in the fullness. Be sure to remove the paper before you tighten the stitches.

Pin all the petals to the background piece, then pin the flower center on. Make sure the petals all meet up with the center. (In this case, I tucked them all under the yellow circle.)
It’s a bit difficult, but make sure you get the flower pieces centered on the square.
I had to adjust petal positions a little bit while I sewed them in place. (Remove center while you sew on the petals.)

The hardest part is probably making the 8″ squares. Had to make my own loom, but luckily I’d made that a year or so ago. Make two 8″ squares—they take a lot of time to weave…

Sew the two 8″ squares together and stuff with fiber fill.

Slightly side view of the finished pillow

 

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