#100 Days of Finishing

I had lots of ideas for this year’s 100 Day Project, and the one I settled on comes straight from Cal Patch‘s book: 100 Days of Finishing Stitches (link will take you to my Instagram hashtag–follow along!). I have a LOT of projects (knit, crochet, sewn) that have stalled out over the years, and I decided it’s time to get a few of them finished. Some require only a few pesky seams or a fixed cable (I’m looking at you, knitting), while others cry out for sustained stitching time. Every one of them has a story–why I wanted to make the thing in the first place…why I put it down…why I want to finish it. Here’s the first story.

While staying with my pal Kirsten, I saw her hexagon pincushion crocheted in DMC perle cotton 5. Right up my alley–crochet, lots of color choices, practical, and pretty.

Then, in March 2016, Neal and I received the sad news that our dear friend Kurt had died. Too young, of course. We were devastated as one is at such moments. I came home from work the day after we got the news and, at a loss of what to do on a sunny early spring day when grief wound around me, I picked up my hook and some perle cotton. The pattern was no longer available, so I looked up a few hexies and mashed up my own pattern. Crochet was my first craft, and it’s the one that I turn to for comfort.

The first hexie I made was tiny, so I played around in those pretty spring yellows and pinks and greens until I got a size I liked. And I made hexies for days. The rhythm of hooking gave me time and space to sit in quiet, to think about Kurt, to allow myself to grieve.

And then, once I had eight hexies, I put them down. I wasn’t sure how to join (though now I see that the original pattern has you joining as you go–clever!), and I didn’t know what to stuff it with (I’ve since picked up a bag of nut shells that make a perfect pincushion center). So the parts sat in their decidedly unglamorous ziplock bag. Over the last three years, I’d see them and tell myself I’d finish that pincushion before the next anniversary of losing Kurt.

But I didn’t.

Until this year. It took me 13 days of stitching just a little bit every night. I made a muslin insert with nut shells, then a wool felt insert to put it in. I added some of dear Jani’s Starcroft felting wool for added robustness. And now the pincushion is done.

It will have a place of honor in my sewing room. I’ll think of Kurt with fondness when I use it. I’ll think of how stitching heals. I’ll think of friendship.

The trick now? Deciding what project is next! Stay tuned!


You know I love a project, right? For the past few years, I’ve taken on daily projects: the 2015 Postcard Project, in which I created and mailed 365 postcards around the world; the 2017 Stitch-a-Day Project, which had me embroidering a free-form sampler every day; my 2018 Remarkable People Project, where I’m drawing (on a postcard, natch) and reading about someone remarkable every day.

Starting on April 3, I’m embarking on a shorter-term project as part of the awesome #100dayproject movement. I’m calling it 100 Unconstrained Days. Each day, I’ll look for an image or idea that represents “unconstrained” to me, and I’ll translate it into a sketch. I’m so used to working on postcards that I’ve considered using them, but I probably will vary materials a bit more. I’ve been doing some work to free myself from some constraints I feel, and I’m excited to see how this helps me. Art therapy for the win!

Are you participating? If so, let me know how to find you on Instagram. I’ll be using the hashtag #100unconstraineddays and hope you check it out!