Have Your Say

7th October 2022

To Plan or Not to Plan?

That was the question we raised in All Stitched Up! issue #347 when we unpacked Emily Naismith’s thoughts on meal planning. Emily’s ponderings had us considering whether our approach to the time we spend with needle and thread echoed Emily’s ‘not to plan’ method or whether we had our feet firmly set ‘to plan’.

It turns out the article inspired much pondering from the Inspirations Community!

In general, Carol is a planner, whose stitching is often driven by her desire to learn. As a result, there aren’t many stitching techniques she’s yet to put her hand to. 

Carol finds she has certain ‘comfort food’ stitches that she’ll readily put her needle and thread to, however she has come to recognise that time and practise is required to perfect a complicated technique she feels she struggles with. 

So, instead of always allowing the ‘comfort food’ to come first, Carol ensures she starts with one of her difficult projects for at least an hour, then rewards herself with some comfort stitching.

Her other rule is that she never starts a new project until her current one is finished.

Judith, on the other hand, prefers to go with the flow in not only her stitching, but also with her paper craft and meal preparation.

I check my supplies and cook what I feel like, usually with no recipe.

When starting a needlework project, Judith follows much the same process – she chooses her ribbon or thread as well as fabric to suit, then stitches without a pattern. Testament to finding this approach more creative, Judith recently crafted more than 70 gift cards and tags for family, with each one of them of unique. 

From going with the flow, to ‘definitely not being an Emily’, Cristina finds a lot of the enjoyment in her time with needle and thread is the planning and organising. When creating a perpetual calendar from PuntiniPuntini comprising of some 17 individual panels, Cristina wanted to organise her threads so she wouldn’t have to get them out and put them away at the end of each panel.

Her solution? An Excel Spreadsheet that allowed her to know which colours were needed for each panel and when their use had ended for the project before her.

Cristina recognises that for some, this method may seem cumbersome and ‘a waste of time and energy’, but she found it suited her so well she’s now applying it to her next big project – Hometown Holiday by Little House of Needlework.

Kim usually starts out following the pattern before her, but part way through changes her mind and follows her own instincts. She then finds she enjoys the embroidery before her even more!

Norleen found the question we posed, ‘Do you plan or simply start stitching and see where you end up?’ an interesting one that she had to spend some thinking about.

It turns out her husband has become well versed in that what Noreen says is for dinner at 6:30 in the morning has changed multiple times until the moment it hits the table at 5:30 that evening. But he doesn’t mind, as he knows that whatever Norleen puts on the table is always delicious! 

Norleen closed her email with the words of Robert Burns,

‘The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.’

As she recognises hers certainly do when it comes to menu planning!

Interestingly though, when it comes to her stitching, she is a strict planner, so concluded that it is indeed possible to have a foot in both camps.

Sharon is of the same mindset as Emily as she cannot think of anything worse than planning a meal only to find it’s the last thing she feels like eating when it comes time to serve it.

Interestingly, she finds the same thing is true when it comes to planning her wardrobe. Why set clothes out the night before when you may not feel like wearing them the next morning?!

Instead, Sharon’s planning includes making sure her fridge is full of healthy fruits and vegetables and her clothes are clean and ready to wear so the choices before her each day are all but limitless.

We love that the Inspirations Community is always so willing to share their thoughts as they continue the conversations we start each week. They always give us food for thought and this week is no exception. We’ve come to appreciate that when it comes to the question of whether to plan or not to plan, it really is possible to have a foot in both camps depending on what we find before us. So, here’s to planning or not planning subject to what we’re doing and/or how we’re feeling at any given time!

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