Tomorrow starts the countdown to the end of my year of stitching freebily.
A year ago, I set out on a vow to only start new projects if they were freebies. I could work on UFOs or already-started WIPs, and I allowed myself the "out" of continuing with SALs and stitching retail or magazine charts if they were needed for that. And there was the wedding pillow, and my fair project that never was, but those were the only exceptions to my rule.
I thought I would be limited, I thought I would rely very heavily on my UFO/WIP stash to keep me going, because I would hate just stitching free charts. Now I wish I'd gotten more free charts done. If I hadn't stitched those other charts, maybe I'd have had more time.
When I started this, I had very silly pre-conceived notions of freebies. They were simple. I wouldn't have a good selection to choose from. They wouldn't be as "nice" as a retail chart. But over the last year, I've learned there are some really GREAT charts out there for the mere price of printer ink and time invested in finding them. Charts that moved me, charts that inspire me, charts that make my heart happy. Charts that make me think we stitchers are pretty darn lucky, because the designers aren't making us pay for them. And there really truly is a freebie for everything; if I can find a dragon worshipping the baby Jesus, the sky is the limit.
What I have found this year that saddens me immensely is the number of charts shared on Multiply and other sites as freebie charts that were not intended to be free. That bothers me. Why steal a Mirabilia when Minguistitch does a free chart that is in the same vein, just as pretty, and LEGAL? Besides, everyone knows a Mirabilia; why not be the person who sets off a frenzy trying to locate the Minguistitch chart? It's just a thought . . .
But, for me, the thing that will mark this year is that I did it. I have a tendancy to set goals, then give up on them too easily when they require a little more effort than I want to put out. Discipline is doing something even when it's not always fun, and it did take some discipline, especially when the finishes weren't free-flowing early in the year. I know I could have easily said, "I don't want to do this anymore. I'm stopping the project," but I didn't. This feels important to me in my development as a stitcher and I wanted to get it accomplished. It feels good looking back and seeing that I'm so close to getting it done. I just have to stick it out through December, but I have confidence in myself.