Help stop the screaming….Pick a new start for me

I am about to finish a second WIP which means I get a new start – two finishes = 1 new start until I get down to 15 WIPs which is more manageable than 36.  I had planned to start Summer Queen by Mirabilia but until I find a better way to hold the scroll bars, I’m not that motivated to work on her or the other 3 queens.  Just so you know, I pulled my kitted projects and these are my choices –

Three Carousels – I’ve explained in my first flosstube that I have 3 kids so I tend to stitch things in threes so they each get one.  I have Carousel by Teresa Wentzler, Dragon Carousel by Patricia Allison and Wild Hunt by Fire Wing Designs.  Wild Hunt looks enough like a Carousel that it counts as one.

Goblin Market by Counted Illuminations – Based on the poem by Christina Rosetti, this cute Goblin man is offering his fruit to unsuspecting girls.

Tiger Lily by Nora Corbett – with Jo Mason’s help, she’s been converted to silk and I have all the supplies except the purple pony beads but they should be at 123Stitch for pickup on Tuesday afternoon.

Ristipisto kit from Finland – My father sent me a Christmas scene from Finland which would be a fun addition to my holiday decorations

New Year’s Fairy by Mirabilia – Have had the kit for ages, still deciding on Kiwi Illusions Cloudburst or Silkweaver snowstorm for the fabric.

DysFunctional – Sue Hillis – I’m probably going to stitch this one 3 times, maybe 4 if I give one to my parents.

Sleepy Hollow by Glendon Place – I’ve kitted this one up with Sullivans floss.  I haven’t used Sullivan floss before.

Toil and Trouble by La-D-Da – This is the 3rd in the Halloween series I’ve stitched for the kids.  The Raven was finished last year, I’m working on Something Wicked and this one will get modified to eliminate the nose and have a cauldron instead.

Please vote for which project you think I should start first.  The poll will be active for one week.

Usually when I’m coaching and people do things like this, I ask them what do you hope wins?  I can honestly say I’ve already eliminated the fully kitted pieces I don’t want to win (Fredrick the Literate, Iwo Jima, Sabrina, Elizabeth, Raven Queen, Emi Bishop’s Christmas Tree and 2 Just Nan patterns).

Discovered Stitch Maynia

It’s been awhile since I had a stitch in.  After all it’s more fun to stitch when you have people to talk with at the house.  Carleen came over and we had a stitch night and while she was here she introduced me to FlossTube and told me about the Stitch Maynia Facebook group.  Facebook isn’t the Yuku so things get lost easily but I’m really enjoying it so far especially the Flosstubes. (It was smart to show me Annette’s Acres first.)

One of the events on the page is Stitch May-nia – generally this is 15 starts in 15 days but I figure my justification for WIP’s only is I’m starting stitching on my own projects for this year and some of these WIPs are so old they might as well be new starts since I haven’t looked at them in years. I figure 2 days on each will still be a lot more progress than they’ve had in a lot of time. 

I’ve picked 15 WIPs to work on during the month.  I figure 2 days for each piece. Here’s the list:

  1. Autumn Queen – Mirabilia
  2. Overdyed Dragon – Dragon Dreams
  3. Dr. Who Quilt – Fandom in Stitches
  4. Fall Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler
  5. Fruit Bell Pull – Teresa Wentzler
  6. Fortunate Traveller – Teresa Wentzler – This might as well be a new start considering how long it’s been since I worked on it.
  7. TidePools – Ro Pace
  8. Anniversary Rose Sampler – Lauren Sauer
  9. Needlepoint Purse Kit from Mama’s Sewing room – Bucilla
  10. Sentinel – Fire Wing Designs
  11. Dragon Ride – Teresa Wentzler
  12. Crafter’s Paradise – Just CrossStitch Magazine
  13. Pegasus  – Dimensions Embroidery Kit
  14. Spring Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler
  15. Summer Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler

I figure that even one thread over 2 days will be more stitching time than many of these have seen in years and it fits in with this year’s theme of finishing things.   The one caveat for my joining is I need to finish the final Believe before May starts.

Stitch from Stash April Report

So I started the month of April by teaching in Logan.  The 2 hour drive to Logan means a visit to Donnett at Embroidery Central.

Through everyone’s Facebook progress pictures, I was falling in love with some of the new Mirabilia’s  and Donnett stocks more Mirabilia’s than any other retail location in Utah.  She also had a copy of My Christmas Quilt by Emie Bishop.  Which gives us a grand total spent of $24.00.  That was going to be my total spend for the month.  But then I started working on Fruit BellPull by Teresa Wentzler and realized that I was missing the 612 and the 3747 but it was okay, I could work around it for awhile.  I did get some progress done on the piece, not much though…

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I did get my Dr. Who quilt pieced and put together except for the outer border.

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I took it to ComicCon FanX with me and Hal the Archer added his signature to it.

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That wasn’t the only signature I got that weekend.  I have a nice start to my Star Trek quilt.

The start of my Star Trek quilt....

The start of my Star Trek quilt….

Seven signatures is a start.  It would be nice if I had been able to get William Shatner and Patrick Stewart for a full 9 blocks.  I’m sure that over time I’ll be able to add 2 more.  The husband would like me to get Dwight Schultz since he loved the character of Reginald Barclay.

So after getting the 7 signatures for my quilt, I wanted some #12 black perle to embroider them in place.  I’ve heard horror stories of people losing the signatures on T-shirts so I’ve pressed these in place and now it’s time to stitch over them, except I was out of #12 black perle cotton.  So I did hit JoAnn’s and I bought the 2 missing floss and a ball of #12 perle – Total $2.60.

That gives me a monthly total of $26.60 for April.  Good thing I didn’t spend all my money in previous months…

The only problem I have now is that I’m thinking the Star Trek signatures should be done in silk.  I think I have some black Subtlety in my stash if not, guess what I’m buying next month…

 

The ComicCon fitness report

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First day of ComicCon – Working with Team Trek and looking for Gates McFadden’s missing glasses.

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Working with Tom Kane and Roger Jackson.

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Back with Team Trek.  No panel, doing autographs and photo ops only

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Day after ComicCon.
All I could think was if I hurt this bad, what do the stars feel like after writing out over 500 autographs, standing for over 106 pictures per day, living on snacks because they didn’t want to disappoint fans in line by taking a break for lunch.

Wednesday WIP – Not as much as last week…

So I feel I haven’t done as much this week as last week but I did find a frame for my Circus Carousel.  And I seem to be missing one of the buttons for the carousel.  I’ve found the Elephant and the Giraffe but I’m not sure I remember what the 3rd animal was, I think it may have been a tiger.  Anyway here is the progress – I’m hoping to have it done by the time the Olympics are over.

Circus Carousel - Threaded Treasures

Circus Carousel – Threaded Treasures

I’m trying to decide if I should do the castle in gray DMC or a steel Krenik. Opinions?

I also did some work on my Autumn Queen by Mirabilia but I don’t feel like I got much done.  Here she is tonight.

Autumn Queen by Mirabilia 2/19/14

Autumn Queen by Mirabilia

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Mirabilia’s Autumn Queen on 2/12/14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compared side by side with where I was last week, well you can see that I’ve put in more time on the circus carousel. I won’t have much time to stitch this weekend since I’ll be teaching hunters’ education and doing some side contract work.

Thoughts on WIPs, WI(s)Ps and UFOs

How many projects do you generally feel comfortable having in progress at a time? Tell us about your one-at-a-time or rotation habits!

I cannot ever remember being a one at a time stitcher. The day my grandma drew my first sampler on gingham, we also got a small needlepoint kit at Kmart. I finished the needlepoint kit but never the sampler. I really wish I had kept the sampler but it was binned when I did a UFO clean-out about 18 years ago because I was losing my stash area. I’ve been lucky in almost always having space for UFO’s or WI(s)P’s or WIP’s and supplies everywhere I’ve lived. With space for stash, comes the ability to kit lots of things. This works for me since I tend to be an ADD crafter. I bounce from project to project as the urge hits. This does not help with getting things finished. I’ve had a subscription to Just Cross-stitch since it started in 1987. At some point I actually started reading the articles as well and one year there was an article about why projects become UFOs. The writer suggested that we quit working on things when we either run into something we don’t feel comfortable doing, a technique that bores us, or a stitch we don’t know. I would like to add to that, knowing you made a mistake and not being able to find it.
The author suggested creating a list (pronounced multiple tab spreadsheet in my case) of the unfinished projects and what is the next step toward completion. I found that most of my pieces had one of two issues – they either needed back-stitching or frogging. For the non-stitchers or beginning stitchers – it’s called frogging since you have to “rip-it, rip-it” to remove the floss you just put in to get back to where the error was made.

This taught me I need to backstitch as I go because I don’t like to backstitch, which is odd because I do enjoy blackwork. Maybe it’s the thought of piercing the threads which are already there that makes the difference. Anyway, that started the analytical part of my stitching. I now keep an excel sheet of my projects, my rotation, my finished work, the WIP and FUP lists and a separate inventory management system which crashed and new options are needed.

2014 Project List  (this is an excel file if you would like to see it)

When I started tracking I would have said I felt over 60 projects would be too many and made me panicked.  However, as I’ve worked on bring it under 60 I’ve found myself trying to justify new starts.  The goal is to lower it to a total of 30 WIP’s counting only those items on the FUPpy list that I can do myself.  [FUPpy is a finished unfinished project – the stitching is done but it needs to be framed, pillowed or ornamented).  I really don’t think I should count items where the only reason it’s on the list is I haven’t budgeted the cash to send it to a framer, finisher,  or machine quilter.  In fact as I write this post I made that change and added a tab called Cash Needed and while I was at that, I carried over the tab from 2 years ago for the old WIP Killers list.  I eliminated some things off it but I still have far to go.  It did feel good to see that a piece which was only 24% completed 2 years ago is now over 54%.  I also added a list of items which I have fully kitted and ready to start.  I thought this might be helpful as I consider more stitching from stash this year.  The interesting thing is that as I look at the list of things that I really wanted to start during the year of the TW Carousel horses, a couple of them don’t appeal to me anymore.

Anyway to get back on topic, the reorganization leaves me with 40 items on my WIP list which is a lot closer to where I wanted to be.  I’m itching to start on Spring Queen by Mirabilia but I have about 3 smalls I should start and complete first.   I currently have no small pieces at all on my WIP list – they’re all completed.  I really do want to complete at least 2 of the large pieces that I have going.

I tend to reorganize my rotation every year and this year, I’m using a category system.  You can read about it here or you can check out the link to the Stitch from Stash 2014 page at the top of the blog. It seems to be working for me.  One of the other new things I’m trying is a stitch journal where I record the amount of time and the project I worked on each day.  I have a ton of empty notebooks and this seemed like a good use for one and I think it’s helping.  I just quake at the thought of having to admit that I didn’t do anything for myself on a day.  So we’re two months into the year and I’m making progress and the rotation seems to be working for my short attention span.  Here’s to keeping it up for a full year…

Mid Olympics Wednesday update…

The stitching time during the Olympics is good to me.  I’m totally upset today about not getting to see any of the women fly for the first time because NBC decided to rebroadcast the luge.  I’m totally upset about after all the fights to get the sport into the Olympic games and NBC doesn’t broadcast the historic event.  I’m going to take it that NBC hates that women are finally allowed in an all male sport.  Yep, NBC hates women ski jumping.

So here is my progress this week.  I got 12 hours in on Fire and Ice…Image
I finished pages 2 and 3 and got quite a bit done on page 6.
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And here is my circus carousel. This was my travel piece for forever but I’ve had puppies want to stitch with me and that means working in hand instead of using the frame.
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And I got 5 hours done on my Autumn Queen. It doesn’t look like much got done but I put in a solid 2 hours of beads and metallic threads. Next week we should have much more progress.

A two and a half hour delay….

That’s right, I’m supposed to be working on fiscal reporting analysis for a client but I’ve already established that there is a disconnect between the checks issued list and the SQL reports, why can’t they kick it back to the report writer to figure out where she screwed up.  No, I have to go find what isn’t working for a SQL report when I don’t have database access or access to the report query.

So given this situation, what did I do – Put together the preliminary rotation for next year.  I have 42 total slots.  Yes, I know that is just far too many for a true rotation but I haven’t figured out a decent way to name things that would be a 5 to 10 slot rotation besides, I’m trying to look at everything I have in progress without starting anything new and if I gave slots to the type of craft then I wouldn’t hit everything before I could give myself more excuses to start new things  It’s not like I hit everything this year but, with this list I have hope, right?

If any of the rotation experts that see this have suggestions, I would love to hear them.  So without further ado, here is the the preliminary work list for 2014….

Slot Style Project Designer
1 Crochet Camo Afghan
2 Cross-stitch Be Naughty/ Too Late? Lizzie Kate
3 Cross-stitch Fruit Bell Pull TW
4 Piecing Dr. Who SAL Quilt Fandom in Stitches
5 GFJ PROJECT
6 Needlepoint Dragon Doorstop Dragon Dreams
7 Cross-stitch Summer Carousel Horse TW
8 Blackwork Blackwork Dragon Dragon Dreams
9 FUPPY
10 Piecing Jungle Quilt
11 Cross-stitch Autumn Queen Mirabilia
12 Embroidery Pegasus Dimensions
13 Cross-stitch Autumn Carousel Horse TW
14 Needlepoint Purse Kit from Mamas
15 Cross-stitch Fire and Ice (Kustom Krafts) KK
16 Crochet 63 Square Afghan
17 NEW PROJECT
18 Piecing Monster Quilt – hand turned
19 Piecing Monster Quilt – iron on
20 Cross-stitch Spring Carousel Horse TW
21 Embroidery Knotty Sheep EGA
22 Weaving Varigated Warp fabric
23 FUPPY
24 Piecing Garden Path
25 Cross-stitch Dragon Ride TW
26 Needlepoint Stars for a New Millennium Tony Mineri
27 Cross-stitch Sentinel Fire Wings Design
28 FUPPY
29 Piecing Star Struck Mystery Traditional
30 Embroidery Rainbow Unicorn Dimensions
31 Cross-stitch Fortunate Traveller TW
32 Piecing Scrap Pieced Wandering Foot
33 Cross-stitch O Christmas Tree MLI
34 FUPPY
35 Needlepoint Tide Pools Ro Pace
36 Piecing Mama’s UFO – Good Housekeeping
37 Cross-stitch Main Street: Crafter’s Paradise Marie Barber (JCS)
38 Needlepoint Victorian Stocking Peter Ashe
39 Piecing Mama’s UFO – Bonnie’s Quilt
40 Cross-stitch The Circus Carousel Threaded Treasures
41 Piecing Oriental Kaleidoscope
42 NEW PROJECT

A few clarifications:  FUPPY is my stack of Finished Unfinished projects – there are many of these that need to be worked on – a quilt on the quilt frame, ornaments, bellpulls, etc.  So for every 5 to 6 fun projects, I need to completely finish a finished object.  I know myself well enough to know that I will want some new starts during the year if only because I look at what I have and nothing screams “Work on me!”  and besides Salt Lake Comic Con is having a Star Trek Next Generation reunion and I want to make a signature block quilt if I can get them all.

Also, if I get myself in gear, #1 will be completed before New Years hits and maybe a good chunk of #2 but we’ll see.

Thoughts, Suggestions?

Wednesday WIP post (on time for once)

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So here is my progress for this week.  Apples are almost done and the leaves have progressed nicely. I didn’t have any scroll bars free so I’ve been working on it with a hoop and I left the hoop on the other night and I’ll need to do some ironing before I move to the next square. For a TW and limited stitching time it’s been moving quick.

If I haven’t been to bed, it’s still Wednesday – Right?

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Note, all warp threads are through the comb and through the correct (I hope) heddle and all that is left is remembering how to tie it off in back and tighten it up so I can weave.

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So this is what Fire and Ice looked like last week, and this is what it looks like this week –

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And I really wish I could figure out how to just drag and drop photos without losing the posts but that will be an issue for another day.