on finishing what I started

I am an ideas person, I have new thoughts, new projects, new recipes, new ideas forming in my head every few minutes. I love starting new things. I love the excitement of conceiving of a new idea, feeling it grow and take form in my mind, nervously proposing it to others and seeing them catch a vision, and researching like a mad woman all I am going to need to do to get this idea out of my head and into the world.

I could start new things every day and be very happy.

The hard part comes with finishing anything. I can get quite far through, I can finish the main part of the work – see the event happen, see the cake made, the research done for the article, the website made for the business… but then the finishing part comes, and my mind is already on to the next thing. The finishing part is tedious and slow and I have better, more interesting things to do, to be a part of.

Rasmus rolls his eyes at my seeming inability to open any cupboard without then forgetting to close it, to make any cake without failing to wash up the bowls and tins after; he regularly picks up the trail of my activity around the house as I start one thing and then get distracted by something else.

It’s who I am and I am happy to embrace the fact that I’m better at starting than finishing. But I am trying to work on the finishing part too. Because loose ends never look pretty.

Last year I bought a sewing machine. It had been on my list of 26 things to do before I turned 27 and I think I sneaked it in a few weeks before my birthday. It then sat idle for much of the last year, wondering when I would get around to learning how to use it.

Then my sweet niece was born in October, and Rasmus and I were given the additional honour of standing as her Godparents. And I decided that this was the perfect reason to get the machine out again. I would make her something amazing!

Flower Baby Playmat

I chose what I thought was a simple pattern from a site I found online. Triangles are easy, right? There are just straight sides, I can figure them out. I bought the fabric from a great etsy store called Poppy Seed Fabrics and started cutting.

Well let’s just say it was not the easiest project I could have started with. If you look at the photos of the original project I was replicating, you might laugh out loud at my naivety…

I got started ok, and then ran straight into how difficult it is to get triangles to all fit together perfectly, especially when you’re still trying to figure out how to make the sewing machine work properly. My parents-in-law were here for a weekend and helped me figure some of the measurements out, but then once they were gone, the half-finished project languished in a basket, out of sight, because the thought of finishing it was suddenly a huge chore and difficulty rather than the excitement it had been at the start.

But then I suddenly only had one week until our trip to Denmark, and I knew I just had to dig it out and get it done. You cannot begin to imagine the number of stitches I had to unpick the next few days as I wrestled with the fabric to get it done! But finally, it was finished, and the feeling of accomplishment was immense!

I find myself already forgetting how hard it was, and planning multiple complicated sewing projects for everyone I know… but at least I finished this one 😉

Flower Baby Playmat