Saturday, 21 January 2012

Finishing What I Started

You would think that the winter months would be an ideal time to get on with inside jobs, but somehow this winter I have failed to make any progress with my 'works in progress'. I came very close to buying soap-making stuff today, thinking how lovely it would be to have a stash of home-made soap tucked away. But I looked deep within my heart and admitted - it would just add to the massive list of half finished 'projects' in my life. They are weighing heavy on my conscience, a bit like the chains that Dickens' Marley had to carry around for all eternity. So, I have decided that before I begin any other crafty projects this year, I am publicly vowing to FINISH WHAT I STARTED!

Read on and be appaulled...

Unfinished Project Number 1

So... the armchair. We had been making do with a tiny sofa in our living room and needed an armchair. So I put an add on Freecycle and persuaded myself that I was up for a bit of re-upholstery. I spent a couple of hours ripping off the naff faded red cover, only to loose interest halfway through. So, the puppy ripped most of the foam out of the sides and I bunged a throw over it to hide my shame - and that is how it has been ever since. I can't even sit on it because every now and again I get spiked by a half-removed staple!

I have found some lovely fabric cheaply on Ebay. The excuses are over! I will finish it this spring!

Unfinished Projet Number 2

The Quilt.

I have come so close with this beast. Last year I managed to stitch the squares together, add batting and a back cover. All it needs now is binding around the edges. The truth is that I think I have fallen out of love with it. The 'stitching in the ditch' part is really messy and the lines are not straight, so every time I look at it, all I see is faults.

My mum assures me these are not visible to the untrained eye. Anyway, nobody will ever see it if I don't get on and finish it. I could do it in an evening - so no more procrastination! I will buy the binding fabric (hope hobbycraft still make it!) and finish the damn thing!

Unfinished Project Number 3

The chest of drawers.

This was another Freecycle project. God the arguements Oli and I had trying to fit this into the back of the VW Golf... and I didn't even finish it. As you can see, I got halfway through, burned out the electric sander and had a strop, and have to use the damn thing in this hideous state every day, reminding me of my inertia. The drawers don't open and shut properly, and it is a mess.
But, it is lovely quality and I love the locks on the drawers. It must have a bit of a history - we recon it is 1930's. So I will finish sanding it, paint it a lovely eggshell colour and buy some nice new handles.

Unfinished Project Number 4

My albatross.

I bought this for £22 at an auction three years ago. Oli said at the time I would never finish it. I saw in it the potential to make a lovely and quirky hall chair - it had some original georgian fabric on it but was admittedly in a bit of a state. I insisted and so we bought it and got it find that it was actually a commode...and came complete with chamber pot under the flip-up seat cushion. Perfect! I thought. We can use it to hide keys in!

I spent many a lonely freezing night in the garage getting high on the fumes of Nitromors, burning the skin off my fingers...but the thick varnish took ages to scrub out of the intricate pattern with wire wool and I am sorry to say... I got bored. So now every time we have an arguement, or when poor Oli tries in vain to rein me in from yet another purchase that has 'potential' he only has to say one word: 'COMMODE'. So, this year I will sand it down to a nice natural wood colour, and finish it!

(I should say at the same auction, I also bought a 12ft long church pew, with a plan to slice it in half and stick the end on so that it fitted in our kitchen. After meticulously stripping the varnish off (more Nitromors) I did this, I found that the end didn't fit back on...and Oli promptly used the chainsaw to turn it into firewood - so his lack of faith is not that unreasonable).

Unfinished Project Number 5


This one should be an easy fix. I am very proud that I taught myself to knit socks in the autumn, and after much unpicking and swearing, they ended up looking like actual socks. Miracle! But the last step of sewing the toe up proved a step too far, and they are languishing on the giant safety pin. I recon I can do this in one this space.

Unfinished Project Number 6

Oh no! Thought I was finished but have just remembered... the bedside cabinets.

Yet another Freecycle impulse collection...they are a pair and I thought they would be really perfect for my planned french country chic guest bedroom. I bought some sparkly glass handles and planned to paint them eggshell blue and add some nice decorative feet. Instead I sanded one, left them in the garage and did nothing.

Phew! They say the key to getting things done is to do one thing at a time.... so I plan to start with the socks, then the armchair. Watch this space!


  1. We all have a collection of unfinished projects! you are brave to post them online. I also think most of what you have taken on would be beyond my practical skills..
    Can I just say that to my untrained eye the quilt looks LOVELY!

  2. Thanks Maria, sorry I only just saw your post.

    I think they are all beyond my practical skills too, that is the problem!

    There is nothing like the shame of public humiliation to focust the mind.