Destination or Journey?

I posted a picture of my cross-stitch project on Instagram a month ago.  (I have since finished this project) My Instagram is auto connected to my Facebook feed so the picture showed up on my Facebook account too.

Mary from Chicken Scratch County Threads left a comment on the post that said, “So Jo – is it the destination or the journey for you?”

Hmm…I had to think about that.

What drives me to keep stitching?  Do I enjoy the journey along the way?  Or do I enjoy the destination more?

Some people have termed that process or product but I really like Mary’s way of saying it better.  What brings me the most joy…working on the project or having the finished product.

With quilting, that’s easy.  I am a process girl or a journey girl.  I love designing the quilt.  I love picking the colors.  I love cutting it out.  I love piecing.  I truly love piecing.  Machine quilting and binding are likely my least favorite part of the process but I still enjoy them.

Once the quilt is finished, I get a little high, but not a lot.  It doesn’t bother me if the dog runs on it.  It doesn’t bother me to gift it.  I don’t care if one of the grandkids pukes on it.  I’m really not possessive of the finished quilts at all….especially if it is a “quick sew”.

This is all me and everyone is different and I completely understand and respect the differences.  I think we have all seen or might ourselves be a person who would not let their quilt touch the ground.  Kelli one time was washing quilts and hung them on the line.  There was an unexpected shower that came through..just quick and the quilts got damp.  Kelli left them on the line overnight thinking they would dry the next day.  Someone drove by and saw them and ended up talking to Kelli about it thinking the quilts would fade and was worried about her quilts.

Kelli is like me…she’s not super picky with the finished quilts.  The person who drove by and saw the quilts on the clothesline was a product person.  She cared a lot about the finished quilt.

Destination or product people might enjoy the quilt-making process but their biggest enjoyment comes from having the finished product.  How many of you gasp when you see some of the quilt tops that blog readers send to me and donate to charity?  Do you think, “I would never donate a top like that?”  You are likely a product person.  The person making the quilt, she’s a process or journey person.

We all know a person who has stacks of unquilted tops…That person is a journey or process person.

There isn’t a right wrong way to be.  I think it’s good that we recognize and appreciate each type of person.

Now when it comes to cross stitch…I think I am really a true balance of both.  I am not when I am stitching these bigger pieces.  When I was stitching small season things or a smaller piece like this, I was more of a destination person.  I wanted it finished and up.  I didn’t relish in the stitching.  It was something I did when I couldn’t be quilting.

Now when I’ve converted to stitching big pieces…like Seeking Refuge, I love everything about it.  I love the quirky motifs.  I love stitching and seeing the colors come together.  I love the finished product.

I won’t let it sit after it’s stitched.  I want it done.  I want it hanging.  I want to walk passed it every day and see it again and again and again.  I want a sampler wall.

I love the journey and the destination when it comes to cross-stitch.  I don’t know if it has to do with the time that it takes to stitch that I love the completed project so much more for cross stitch than with quilting or what.

I’d love for you all to leave a comment…are you a journey or destination person?  If you do more than one craft, is it different for each?  Curious minds want to know.

41 thoughts on “Destination or Journey?”

  1. Hi Jo, I think when I’m sewing something new I’m a journey and destination person, but when it’s something I’ve done before I’m a destination person. With crochet, I’m the same :) Btw I love your cross stitch pieces xx

  2. Definitely a journey girl! I love working with the fabrics – deciding which ones to use, cutting, piecing. Love piecing! Once the quilt is completed I’m happy to enjoy it for a bit but just as happy to give it away. I want my quilts used and loved!! When it’s worn out I’ll make another! Hope your family has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  3. I absolutely love the process of making a quilt: selecting the pattern, the colors, the fabrics, piecing the blocks, sewing it together. Then I let it sit, some times for years. After I long arm and bind it, then I become very possessive of the quilt. And usually proud I made such a beautiful thing. So I’m not sure if I’m either a journey or destination person. No, I think I’m a journey person with quilting. I sit and knit wash cloths while watching TV. I like to knit these simple cloths and I store them all year to give away at Christmas. These are definitely a journey thing for me. I think now, being 75 years old, that almost everything I do, is a journey thing for me. I try and enjoy every single day. I just bought a 60 year old house that has fabulous bones but needs a great deal of work. Everyone says the silliest things about how happy I will be when it’s done, but I’m enjoying all of it right now. Today I’m driving all over our area getting new doors off of Marketplace. Fabulous doors for just pennies and meeting new people too. Such a lovely journey!

  4. I’ve thought about this and I’m not sure. I’m awfully particular about the quality of the work that goes into what I make. BUT, I have very few sewn or knitted items I’ve made and I’ve had a lot of years of making. So?

  5. Hmmm? I love choosing fabric, patterns and piecing the blocks. Once the blocks are done, I want the top done. I don’t enjoy the actual quilting and usually send the tops out to a long armer. But I love to bind and usually fall in love with the quilt again. I have given several away and enjoy seeing them being used but I also have a big pile of quilts I love and can’t bare to part with!

  6. Judith Fairchild

    I think I’m a journey person. I love choosing colors And pattern then working it out to suit my image of what it should be. But I do love seeing one of my quilts used to nearly tatters. Especially baby quilts. So may be both.

  7. We had a very similar conversation at a hunting camp a few weeks ago. My husband wants a ‘trophy’ buck. He is not going to shoot something that he doesn’t want just to fill his license. We are happy to enjoy the fellowship and company even if he goes home empty handed. Another gentleman said he was a results man and needed to get some meat for his money. The destination vs journey is an interesting conversation. I’m a journey quilter too though I love when the quilt sometimes becomes a destination and doesn’t hang in the closet as a top! Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Definitely a journey person. I have a stack of finished cross-stitched projects and a similar stack of started or finished quilt tops. I know they will all be tossed when I’m gone and don’t care. I just like doing it with no regard to what becomes of them. I wouldn’t have figured that out though until I read your post!

  9. I do think we are all a bit of both. Journey and destination. Sometimes we like to have a bigger, a bit more challenging project to just dig in and go. Maybe something that requires a bit more prep and has several stages before we get toward the finish line. But then in between these projects or taking a break from one we like a quick fix. A weekend project we can cut from precuts.
    I will say that what I feel while working on these types of projects is exactly like you described. Once a year I start a more complex project, usually hand appliqué and oodles of it. I dig in, the plan, the prepping and the stages of work. Then when I do get to the finish line and ready to quilt it I am a bit sad the journey is almost over. I wish I had more to do on it. Then there’s the quick precut project fix and pedal to the metal and I can’t wait to get it complete and I am already thinking on the next thing or I have already started one. Now I have to tell you Jo, my new interest is cross stitch. I love seeing what you are doing and I have been watching the floss tubers. I haven’t started one as I don’t know where and what to start with but I am intrigued, maybe a bit scared I will awaken another hobby.

  10. That’s such an interesting question. For quilting, I’m not sure. I guess I’d say it’s the process because I give most of my quilts away. If I do make a quilt that I keep, it would be the opposite. It’s because I really want that quilt. Now for cross stitch, it’s both. I love having something to keep my hands busy with while we watch TV at night. I also love having something to do while we are at our hunting lease. I also want the end project. I’m going to start a gift for a friend. I can’t wait to see it done! Interesting topic!

  11. Gayle in Tennessee

    For quilting and cross stitch I love the journey. I am happy with the finished product but I love the planning of a quilt, picking fabrics, and piecing. I love stitching on my cross stitch and watching the sampler or picture come together. Great question.

  12. I have discovered my type of quilting person today. I am a Journey Person. I enjoy planning the pattern, selecting the material and enjoy making the quilt top. I don’t get in a hurry when sewing (I am somewhat of a perfectionist when sewing). Yes, I do have several quilt tops waiting to be quilted. I seem to be disappointed when the quilt is totally finished, but ready to move on to the next project.

  13. I’m a journey person. If I’m not having fun on my journey, I stop traveling. Thus unfinished quilts. I consider a quilt finished when the top is done and not necessarily quilted. There are 3 steps. Piecing the top, quilting the quilt and sewing on the binding. I need to do some blogging today, just because. I have a box to send to you but it is filled with stuff that you may not appreciate. So I am going to edit before it goes. Maybe you could blog about what you really love in your boxes again. I know you love scraps but how many and what kind? Just a pile of scraps in a box isnt appealing.

  14. After thinking on this question I’d have to say I’m about evenly split. I love the process of creating across the board. Sewing, needlework, knitting, tatting, and the list goes on. But I equally love knowing where the piece will end up, whether I’m keeping it or giving it away. I really don’t want things to build up. I want everything I make to have a home.

  15. I’m a journey cross stitcher. I love having something in my hands to do. Watching the colors and design come together. Frequently some never get to be FFO’d. I guess I’m that same journey person with quilting, although quilts do get quilted and bound. Rarely do I stitch or quilt the same pattern twice. I want something new each time I’m ready to create.

  16. I love going to the fabric store…a separate hobby I think! I love to just sew quilts..another hobby! I love to make and send cards….should send you one, right? I also love to crossstitch and read…my journey…I do a little cooking in between and make planned left overs! Being retired does help with all these

  17. What a great question! In regard to quilting, it’s definitely the destination for me, as I’ve made way over 100 quilts and 99 percent of those were given to others. I made one quilt for me that was definitely the journey. I made it while I was undergoing tests and ultimately surgery for what was suspected ovarian cancer (it wasn’t!). At the end of that quilt after I’d bound it I felt this overwhelming urge to give it to a person who was very, very ill (and I suspect not long for this world). I really didn’t want to give up that quilt as it was a very emotional quilt for me, but felt an overwhelming urge anyway to give it to her husband to take home to her. He was overwhelmed with joy (gave me a big hug with tears in his eyes). He later said his wife absolutely loved it and cuddled up in the chair with it at every opportunity. I’ve got several in the works that I am making just for me, and I suspect it will be the journey that will be more important with those, too, as they are quilts of my memories of places my husband and I have lived near or been to & loved.

  18. Love this question. With quilting I’m definitely a journey person. I love every step that it takes to put a quilt together. The last quilt I made I even changed the borders so that it framed the quilt exactly like it needed. I still love to hand quilt and have fun finding or designing the exact quilt motif I want to make that portion of the quilt come alive. I do machine quilt too, but also look for ways to make the quilt special. With cross stitch I’m more of a destination person, since I’m following what someone else has designed.
    Thank you for all you do to keep your blog going. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  19. What a great question. I have only 4 quilts that I have ever kept for myself, those are truly destination quilts and I cant seem to give them away. I do use two of them and two hand in our home. Most of the quilting I do is a journey for me and then I want them to go away and be used. I don’t care if they get dragged outside, puked on or if the dog sleeps on it. Once its gone, its gone. I have given lots away over the years and I have one rule, please use it and show me that it is loved. Sometimes I start a quilt and I don’t know who I’m making it for but it comes to me when I’m stitching away, its part of the journey for me.
    I really enjoy seeing your cross stitching, so many tiny designs and beautiful pieces.

  20. Another great topic Jo. I am a journey person for sure. Picking the pattern, fabric, piecing, all bring me great joy. Quilting is my least favorite part. I don’t mind binding so much. I LOVE the creative process of making quilts. The freedom to make it the way I choose. I am a free spirit with my sewing, not limits for me.

  21. I am a journey person…..evidently I like to buy fabric, patterns and then plan. I love sewing all the pieces and I am so happy to send it out to be quilted. Then that is it. I have many quilts waiting to be bound and then I just stack them up. I have gifted many and I just can’t sew enough. I did copy the list of donation places and I’m looking that over.

  22. I’m all about the process and want to make ALL the quilts, Jo!!! However, I have trouble letting go of any quilt that I didn’t make for a specific recipient. At the end of the day, I guess that makes me all about the destination, doesn’t it? It’s a conundrum. :o))

  23. Depends on the project, If I know where it is going ( given or hung or ?) I am a destination person. Otherwise I enjoy the journey.

  24. I am both. I love the process of selecting an idea, selecting the fabrics, the cutting, the pressing, the assembly, the quilting, the binding and then? The photos of the finished quilt! I love it all and don’t think I have a favorite. I will say, once I have a finished top, I must quilt and bind-which I do by hand whether I keep or donate in my community. No stack of flimsies here. I love the creative process!

  25. With quilting and cross stitch I am definitely a journey person. I get just as much enjoyment over thinking, planning and pulling fabric as I do making. I savor the details and detail work. Binding is very enjoyable to me, especially finishing by hand. I discovered cross stitch mid-80’s and did it every night after the kids and my husband went to bed. Kids in bed by 8p, HH to bed at 9, I’d sit, stitch and watch tv until Johnny Carson finished his monolog.

    My MIL is exactly the opposite. If it needs doing, keeps at it until it’s done, then she can relax. She loves completing one of her knit baby blankets and gets the most joy out of giving them away to babies of all extended family and friends.

  26. I think I’m both. I make Prayer Quilts so the destination is already determined. Love picking out the design, the fabric choice, cutting and the piecing. And then the actual quilting on my domestic machine is not a joy but at least it means I’m almost done. Binding and labeling and a quick wash and I can send the quilt with a prayer to the recipient. I don’t have UFO’s because as I finish the quilt top it gets quilted and gifted. Praying for the person as I sew helps me stay focused on the importance of my faith. Prayers work and I have even had to make a second Prayer Quilt because the recipient literally used hers till threadbare!! Oh I love making quilts!!

  27. Jo, I have always enjoyed your posts but in the past year you have written several that were so wise and full of depth and insight, that I thought about those posts for days afterward.

    Some were very serious and really laying your soul bare in sharing your thoughts with us.
    This one is more light hearted in nature but still it opened my eyes to something so true it should have been obvious.

    Your writing just gets better and better all the time…perhaps fueled by your grief and seeing life from a different angle.

    I am going to back track and find those posts that have left such an impression on me and save them together in one place.

    Thank you for sharing your talent with us readers.

  28. I am a combination of both for quilting I am a destination person. I enjoy the journey but I really love the destination. When it comes to cross stitching or embroidery I love the journey and the destination. I am currently stitching “seasonal samplers” I have finished Fall and Spring and am currently working on Winter. I love how changing the floss and stitching just a few stitches “makes” the design and the outlining with straight stitches at the end of the project finishes it off.

    Thanks for sharing your life:)

  29. I think I’m a journey person. I love the stage of “lusting” over a project. I do not enjoy the color hunting process (I am basically a kit girl!). I am ok with the cutting. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the piecing part. I do not do the quilting part unless it’s table runner size and do not mind the binding process. Nine times out of 10, I do my binding all by machine. So, I’m not sure what I am really. I like seeing the finished project, but almost always give them away, so there’s no lingering looks usually. Thought provoking question!!!

  30. I really think I am a destination person. I struggle with picking just the right fabrics and patterns. What is in my mind doesn’t always come out the same. I love getting a quilt back from the long-armer. Binding is my favorite part. I used to not like that part until I learned how to actually do it. Now I love it! So I think destination is what I do. Enjoy the journey? Sometimes. Usually I just want to see it done. That is why I usually wait until Bonnie Hunter completes her mystery quilt before I start it. I want to see what it should look like first. I did do On Ringo Lake following along with her and that is actually the only one I’ve completed. Well, it still needs quilting. I am ready for Grassy Creek though! I am going to try to follow along and enjoy it step by step. Thank you for this question. It’s fun to see where others are at in their quilting journeys.

  31. Jo, I agree with you, I’m both. I love the cross stitching part but when I see the finished project, I know it’s time to visit my Florida winter framer. Then when I’m home back in Pennsylvania, it’s the product part of me that wants it on the wall, so that I can smile as I pass it every day. I cannot take credit for the pattern but I can take credit for a job well done. I stitch extensive patterns. I especially like Ursula Michael and Mike Vickery designs.

  32. Like you, it depends on what I’m doing. Once I gift a quilt, I’m happy that they use it – from making tents to using it at picnics or on the beach. To me that means they love it and that they were happy I thought of them to make one. The journey on a quilt is haphazard – if it’s going well, I’m happy, if it’s not, then I’m not so happy. :-)
    As for cross stitch, I do like to take my time unless it’s for a gift and then I want it done and gifted.
    So, a little of both I guess.
    Love and prayers

  33. I only sew but I’m right in the middle, I love all of it (although I hate sashing and send my out to be quilted) but I do make my quilts to be used!

  34. Jo, love the sentiments of this post. I am one who loves both. I thoroughly enjoy the journey finding my joys, blessings and being a witness along the way besides I love the finish/destination. Trying to truly live in the present and counting my Lord’s blessings along life’s path regardless of the test (and I’ve had many). Am still learning to keep my heart open, yet stay with my truth are my most current struggles, besides one stitching is off by one, not sure how I’ll be tending to that one yet either.

  35. For me, it’s all about the journey all the way through to the end. I love the whole process. I love to make quilts that are a challenge but I also need fun, easy quilts too. I learn from every quilt I make. I’m also a stitcher and Newcastle Bouquet will be started as soon as I purchase some linen.

  36. I think that is part of my problem. The journey or the destination. I have taken up knitting sorta, a few years ago…. knitted stuff then got onto socks. I have one pair almost finished, and can’t quite find the time to do it

  37. Never thought about it before, and the journey vs destination way of looking at it makes total sense! I’m a journey person – quilting for over 46 years, and I’ve given away 99% of what I’ve made. Some were simple quilts, and some had a great deal of work & detail. I’d run into someone who was at a crossroads in their life, or facing a tragedy or a major health issue, or in many cases, new moms and/or those with babies coming any time. I listen to that little voice in my head about what fabrics to use — and have heard a number of times “how did you know that my husband & I met in Oklahoma around the oil rigs” or “those are my favorite colors!” or in one case I did a very detailed I Spy adult quilt for my boss who was going in for surgery and would be laid up for a while. I made the offhand comment “this is the only quilt I’ve put a skunk and a fox into”….and it took her a while to find those two blocks, laughing about the whole thing. Must admit, though – I’ve got ONE that fits ‘destination’…for us! That one will have many memories featured in those blocks about one of the our most favorite places we lived in during our long marriage, Oregon.

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