Pandemic Project – One Stitch at a Time (#The100DayProject)

I’m a crafter. It’s something I have to do. I’m rubbish at sitting still, and because my hands are the only thing I can move, I fiddle.

One of my aims for the year was to take part in #The100DayProject and what better time for it to fall than in the midst of a global pandemic and lockdown. I’d only ever thought of lockdown when referring to prison, I guess I wasn’t far off.

So with nowhere to go and also being a shielder and totally banned from all essential outings I had the whole of my current life to devote to the thread. Cross stitch thread. Or floss as it’s sometimes referred to. I’ve been flossing.

I came up with the fantastically ambitious plan of cross stitching a square a day, totalling 100 individual squares that would create a kind of patchwork. A pandemic patchwork if you like.

Inspired by anything or nothing I would choose colours and create a pattern everyday dependent on my mood of surroundings. I’d considered motifs or relatable imagery, but decided to keep it abstract. Give an atmosphere rather than a story.

After much deliberation and counting I decided to go for 21×21 crosses for each square. 441 tiny squares within a square. Large enough to create something interesting, compact enough that it wasn’t an unrealistic challenge.

I soon discovered I’m much slower at sewing than I thought and the square a day plan dissolved into a whatever I can do plan. Who knows what would have happened if I actually had a life at the same time and general stuffs to do.

Close up of three cross stitch designs. They are geometric and symmetrical repeat patterns in contrasting bright colours.

There were days when I couldn’t be bothered, wasn’t feeling it, or didn’t have any creative ideas. But I’m stubborn and no quitter. When I set myself something I stick to it and once I picked up the needle I was glad I did.

It passed time that I have way too much of even though I never feel there is enough. It gave focus.

Some designs came easy, I’d be eager to get to the next square that was already planned out in my head. On those days where creativity was sparse Pinterest finally earned it’s place and the years of pinning optimistic creations paid off as I used cross stitch templates and patterns for inspiration.

Close up of three cross stitch designs. They are geometric and symmetrical repeat patterns in contrasting bright colours.

Following others progress with #The100DayProject (getting ideas for next year!), I was becoming part of a little community.

It was great having a group of friends and followers getting involved. I’ve had some encouraging comments and people say it kept them going and entertained too. (I was more inclined to think I was becoming a bore and Instagram spammer!) Cheering me on and giving a boost from the sidelines. Like a cheerleading squad for crafting. It’s the closest I’ll come to a marathon anyway!

A massive chunk of life has been digital this year. It’s great to be able to combine the very hands on and delicate nature of sewing with a whole world via social media.

The project has given me a constant through all this. A daily task that is not only therapeutic but addictive. I’d get an idea for the next square in my head and need to do it.

Read: If you’re still shielding, isolating, or not ready to be adventurous yet, here are 9 ways to help you get through it.

This photo is taken at a distance from the cross stitch fabric. All the squares are in rows of 10 each one touching the next. Like a grid filled with patterns. A variety of every colour is used and each design is different.

This photo is taken at a distance from the cross stitch fabric. All the squares are in rows of 10 each one touching the next. Like a grid filled with patterns. A variety of every colour is used and each design is different.

I do realise I haven’t completed 100 squares. There are 53. I will. What else is there for me to do right now?

I didn’t fail though. I stitched on every single one of those 100 days.

I’m continuing with the project, although a bit more sporadically. I’ve got lots of reading and ranting to catch up on. It’s a Friday night now and I’m sewing away. I act as if that’s a new thing. That was my life pre Covid too. I’ve always been a trend setter.

Head over to my Instagram to take a look at my daily progress photos, past and future.

Did you take part in #The100DayProject ?

Has another hobby helped keep you going through this pandemic?

An image to pin. Top third of image is a photo of all the cross stitch squares as previously shown. Bottom two thirds are a cream background with grey text reading the blog post title Pandemic Project - One Stitch at a Time (#The100DayProject)

You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

22 thoughts on “Pandemic Project – One Stitch at a Time (#The100DayProject)”

  1. I love the pattern you’ve created with your squares. All so colourful! I didn’t come across them on Instagram, but I did see many of your painted stones. They’re beautiful. You’re very creative.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Yes it’s very hard to get focus at the moment. I’m glad I had this project to give me something to do daily. I’m the same, if I’ve got a task I’m ok. But it’s the limbo I struggle with.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Woohoo, huge congrats Gemma! I think you’ve done fantastic with your 100 day project. I’ve followed with your images on social media and I’ve really enjoyed seeing the different colours and designs. I find it very inspiring to see the creativity of others, even if I’m totally stuck and unable to do anything myself (not sure why, it’s just a total brick wall and has been for a while now). Maybe I’ll eventually get my zing back and do something even mildly creative. Stuck at home and I’ve nothing to show for any of this time, which is quite worrying.

    Does “getting ideas for next year” mean you’ll resolve to do round two in 2021? It’s a fantastic project to give you that sense of achievement and something to focus on, and it’s great the online world has not only the inspiration but a cheering squad too! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I hadn’t already planned to take part in this challenge I think I’d have hit a wall too. I have with my writing recently. Somehow the more time I have the less I do sometimes. It’s also been an odd ol’ time lately and a period none of us ever expected to deal with. I find it hard to focus.
      I do indeed plan on taking part again next year. Maybe your zing will have returned and you can join me. I’ll be there cheering you on!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been so thankful for this blogging community during the pandemic–and especially for those whose talents are way outside anything I do, so I can craft vicariously! Thanks for sharing this beautiful project with us, Gemma. I hope you do keep it up. Here’s hoping we can all get back to our regular routines before too long, while keeping some of our pandemic projects going.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I took a couple of days off but am back on it now, maybe not daily.
      We are so fortunate to be surrounded by so much creativity, with the written word and practical crafts. The community has been so supportive and positive during these odd times. Oh for the internet!

      Liked by 1 person

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