1st Wipocalypse post for 2017

Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Introduce yourself – I’m a woman who lives with 2 beagles and a husband.  2 of 3 children are out of the home, the middle one is attending school and will be living here for some time (2 years left of undergrad and 4 years of grad school).  I work as a product owner for a company which focuses on making banking easier for you through software improvements to the ATM and transforming how the branch is structured.  I just got my ScrumMaster certification and I’m looking for opportunities to move into a ScrumMaster position.  My hobbies are fiber arts, which includes stitching, quilting, weaving and needlepoint. My other hobby is volunteering for organizations I love such as the symphony, Salt Lake Comic Con, This is the Place Historic park and STEM organizations.

Introduce my projects – I currently have 31 WIPs across my hobbies.  I took the step of declaring 2 projects as UFOs this year.  They were 2 quilt tops from my grandmothers house that I haven’t actually touched since I got them. Since I haven’t actually put in any work, I’m going to move them to my kitted but not started list.  I have 13 cross-stitch projects.  I’m participating in Soulful Stitchings Year of WIPs and in the Stitch from Stash SAL 2017a and having an agile mindset, I’ve done some capacity planning and realized that I’m not going to be able to finish everything this year. So in order here are my cross-stitch WIPS, designer and year started, and status.

  1. Autumn Queen – Mirabilia – 2004 – I should finish this during the first week of January
  2. Ecology –  – 2016 – I’m doing this as an auction piece for my daughter’s boss.
  3. Fruit Bellpull – Teresa Wentzler – 1997 – Working on plum block, 2 blocks left, this is on my Year of Wips list
  4. Dragon Ride – Teresa Wentzler – 2000 – Capacity planning says I could finish this during this year
  5. Summer Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler – 2011 
  6. Spring Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler – 2011
  7. Fall Carousel Horse – Teresa Wentzler – 2010
  8. Fortunate Traveller – Teresa Wentzler – 2003
  9. Main Street: Crafter’s Paradise – Marie Barber (Just CrossStitch)- 2011
  10. Sentinel – Fire Wing Designs – 2013
  11. Anniversary Rose Sampler – Lauren Sauer – 2015
  12. Ristipisto Jouluha Kit – Ekelund and Esspe – 2016
  13. Wanted: Santa – Lizzie Kate – 2017 – This is my new year new start and I hope to complete it in January

I have 3 Embroidery WIPs, 4 Needlepoint canvases, one quilt up on a stand for quilting, and 15 quilt tops to be finished.

Goals for the  year –  Since I’m participating in the Year of WIPs SAL and it only includes cross-stitch, I’m not planning on working on my quilting WIPs at all this year. Based on the number of stitches that I completed during the last 2 years, I average about 3000 stitches per month.  That means, I can reasonably complete #1-4 and #13 during this year.  I do want to complete more of the TW’s so that I only have one TW WIP in my list.  My husband would like me to narrow down from 13 to 3 on my WIP list. 

Longer term Goals – I’m trying to work through several kitted projects.  One of the legacies I want to leave my children is I would like each to have a seasonal set of designs.  The TW Carousel horses, Mirabilia’s Queens and Joan Elliott Fairies are the 3 seasonal sets I’m doing.  The other trilogy I would like to do is a 3 Carousel set – one for each child: these are Patricia Allison’s Dragon Carousel, TW’s Carousel and Fire Wing Designs Wild Hunt. I have several other pieces that I want to stitch for me that are kitted and ready to go like Nora Corbett’s Tiger Lily, Mirabilia’s Raven Queen, TW’s Peaceable Kingdom, Mirabilia’s Mother’s Arms and 2 other shelves of kitted pieces.  In order to finish everything I want to do in the next decade, I need to increase the amount of time I spend stitching.  In 2016 I only spent 136.82 recorded hours.  I didn’t record my time for the first 4 months of the year so I’m only averaging about 17 hours stitching per month which is about 4.25 hours per week.  There is no reason I shouldn’t be able to double that during this year, especially if I cut down the time I spend playing computer games. I could use some tips on finding more stitching time this year. 

What time management techniques do you use to help you find stitching time? 


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).

Stitch May-nia results as of May 22

There is still one week of my May-nia left for this year but This is what I’ve accomplished: AutumnQueen2016
Mirabilia’s Autumn Queen 4.5 hours close to 1000 stitches
Overdyed Dragon
OverDyed Dragon by Dragon Dreams 2.75 hours
DrWho
Dr. Who Quilt 1.5 hours
FruitBellpull
Fruit Bellpull by Theresa Wentzler 1.5 hours
SomethingWicked
Something Wicked by La-D-Da
FortunateTraveller
Fortunate Traveller by Theresa Wenztler 1.25 hours stitching 1 hour sorting pattern
Tidepools
Reflections of TidePools by Ro Pace – 2 hours
Fall Carousel
Fall Carousel Horse by Theresa Wentzler 1 hour
Not pictured
Anniversary Roses by Lauren Sauer
Bucilla Purse Kit from 1943
Final picture –
Mardi Gras Quilt I’m working on…20160522_194808

For more information on my new stitching process – check out my new blog – Agile Crafter

 

Bringing Agile to my hobby….

I’ve been reading and implementing Scrum/Agile practices at work. I am advocating it to my team as a quicker way to work.  We use scrum boards at work and as I was updating my Excel spreadsheet which I use for my stitching, it hit me all these projects are my current backlog.  I have even more projects which are kitted and not started so those might be my roadmap.  The two filing cabinets of patterns are my ungroomed funnel.
It really hit home when I looked at the calendar I’m using for my plan for Stitch May-nia – It’s a planned sprint.

So some things I’m missing.

  • What is my definition of done?
  • What is the acceptance criteria for the stories?
  • What is the theme of this sprint?

As I’m typing the questions, the answers are coming.

  • The theme of this sprint is re-acquainting myself with the projects.
  • The acceptance criteria is 2 days of stitching and track the progress (so I have a starting metric).
  • The definition of the project done is displayed or gifted.

My husband has started to worry as the kids move out that I will continue to start projects and buy new patterns without finishing them.  He has asked that I cut my WIP list from 35 to under 10.  I can agree with this.  However, the thought of working on one piece at a time without any new starts makes me queasy and following his plan, I would end up with 2 large pieces at the end before doing any new starts.

I enjoy rotating pieces and I feel I make progress but the 10 hour block I’ve been using hasn’t been working for me. When I get to a stopping point, I want to stop and sometimes I want to keep going when I hit the end of the time slot.

I’m thinking instead, I’m going to start creating stitching stories for the projects in the rotation.  Things like a set number of stitches or a page or a segment of the design.  Then I’m going to story point them based on relative size. This way, I can start getting a cadence and a velocity.  I find if I have too much on my plate, I freeze up and don’t stitch or quilt or do anything except play games on my tablet.  Having things pointed and knowing what is achievable each sprint could help keep the anxiety from hitting.   And if things come up, I shouldn’t be afraid to call the sprint.

I’ve been thinking about monthly FlossTube videos so that could be both my demo and planning.  If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find something to use for my Kanban board.

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.

Finally a finish….and a contest.

JamesQuilt
I have friends who would say this is not finished because it doesn’t have a name and a label.
I created this quilt from the blocks in a beginning quilt class and it’s made for my son, J, who is on an LDS mission in St. Louis, MO. He wanted Red and Blue but not something patriotic which is why I went with a black background.  I need suggestions for names – I’m thinking about giving a prize for the name I select… Leave your name suggestions in the comments.

 

I love how many of the blocks have scriptural references.  The center block is known as Tree of Life, the house block has been nicknamed by my classmates – the wiseman’s house because it’s built upon the rock, the teacher said that a log cabin block with a black center stands for freedom from slavery which is what the gospel truth does to a tortured soul, The bottom center block is an anvil which is appropriate for the summer that J was an apprentice to a blacksmith. IMG_9496You can definitely see the relation of the block to the anvil he worked with.  He looks so young in that picture too.

This is what Elder Bates looks like in Missouri – James

So if you see him on the street with his black and white name tag- Ask to see his quilt.  Especially if you gave me the winning name!

I didn’t stitch much this month, but I did get a lot done….

Business first:

Spent: $0  Earned: $0

I didn’t stitch much this month.  Life got in the way.  I had two kids move out of the house one of which was a permanent move and one was off to college and so he’ll be back.  Anyway with the one leaving for good, the younger son decided to move out of his room and I got his room for my new craft room.  Which meant I did over 20,000 steps moving everything from the main floor, up the stairs to my new room.   I have 12 square feet more and a 2nd closet.  Here are pictures at the end of the first night before everything was moved in.

20150818_215610 20150818_215627 20150818_215658 20150818_215719

I’ve unpacked more since these pictures were taken.  I don’t want to take final pictures yet though because I don’t have pictures hung yet.

Oh and to add to the reason I’m not stitching… after the move, I had a lot of hand pain. So I went to a hand surgeon who told me I was getting old so now I’m looking for someone else to give me a 2nd opinion and might actually take an x-ray.

First check in for the second half of the year – Stitch from Stash

And we are now in part B of this year’s Stitch from Stash experience.  Business first – Spend $20.44 Earned $6.00 Total $14.44

The items I bought were beads and wisper for Raven Queen and the JCS Halloween issue.

The earn is for finishing the Lauren Sauer Basket of Roses Scissor Fob

Lauren Sauer fob

I found the monogram in a book I had in my stash.  It does look better from a distance than up close.  The current rotation slot is Summer Carousel Horse by Theresa Wentzler.  I’ve finished the first page of the working copy and I’m working on the 2nd page.  I would like to finish about 1/2 of this page during this rotation slot.

Summer715

I need to put the electronics down and stitch more.

Wipocalypse Check-In – Stuck in a rut?

February Topic: How do you overcome that feeling that you’re in a rut with a particular project?

Wait, you’re supposed to overcome that rut feeling? You mean you don’t just say, okay, time to move to the next project in the rotation and put that one back in storage?

Eventually though that time comes when that not so fun project comes back up in the rotation. That’s when that feeling of dread comes into play.  I can slog through 5 to 10 hours on any project doing 2 threads a night.  What I do in those situations is find something I really want to work on an promise myself, I can work on the fun project after I finish 2 threads on the boring project.   It’s that same principle of “you can have your pudding after you eat your meat.”  The thing is though that often, the 2 threads turn into more and, in some cases, I may even fall back in love with the dreaded piece.

The next analysis comes with why did I fall out of love with the piece. Sometimes a piece gets put up because I made a mistake and can’t find where it is and I start thinking if I let it sit then I’ll find it the next time I pick it up. Yeah, unless I leave a note, I forget that I put it up needing frogging and I’ll start stitching and have even more to frog.
Another reason for falling out of love is boredom. I don’t really like doing large blocks of the same color. Doing those large blocks is good for gauging if my tension is correct. However on the other end, too much confetti gets boring too. The bests designs have a mix of confetti and large color blocks.
On some occasions, I can no longer remember where I plan to hang the finished piece, or I have a falling out with the person to whom I was gifting the finished piece. I know that’s the case with “O Christmas Tree.” The person who chose it, called a silk and linen ornament “kitschy” not realizing the time and money I spent making it. Since then, I haven’t stitched anything for her.
Sometimes, I’m getting too close to finishing a piece and completion anxiety sets in. See I spend so much time with my pieces that they become friends and it’s hard to let them go. Those are cases where I just need to power through it and think about how lovely they will be completely finished. Knowing how they will be finished and visualizing them in their final space helps with that.

So why do you stop working on pieces?

January wrap up

So the month is over and I spent more time playing video games than stitching.  But I did make progress.  The goal was to finish the TWRR and get it mailed back.  It didn’t happen but I’m over half done.

image

There is still some back stitching to do on the left side and then it’s  just a matter of mirroring it on the other side.  I also did a little work on the Dr.Who quilt.

image

Eve’s signature is almost finished. Colin’s is started and after last weekend, I have Karen’s and Billie’s to stitch.  I think I’m done with the collection now.  Unless I could get Eccleston.

So going into February -goal is to finish the TWRR and either work on the Fruit Bellpull or Tidepools.