Choices for the next WIP to work on…

I am hours away from finishing Fruit Bell Pull by Teresa Wentzler.  I probably won’t finish it tonight but it will be finished tomorrow.  I have only a little backstitching and the border on the last block left.  That means it’s time to pick the next project or decide to move to an active rotation.

Being the data geek that I am I have multiple options when I sort my spreadsheet. If I go with the oldest projects I’m looking at Pegasus started in 1982.

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OR Rainbow Unicorn started in 1983

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or if I stick with Cross-stitch Dragon Ride from 2000

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If I sort by Percentage complete, I’m looking at the Dr. Who Quilt
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Or The French purse kit I inherited from my Grandma
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If I go with projects with the fewest remaining stitches. Those would be Tempest and Ecology
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Or I go with the Carousel Horses which are on the highest count fabric and my eyesight is going. (Summer is the closest to complete)
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It’s a good thing that I have an evening to decide what to work on next.

However, suggestions are appreciated.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

Wow that time flew by!

My goal this year was to keep up with participating in WIPocalypse and Stitch from Stash.  I haven’t posted since August.
However I have been stitching.  I finished Fire and Ice.

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And I let the kids pick out what I should work on next.  They gave me logical reasons to work on a quilt or a needlepoint piece.  We ended up selecting Memories of Tidepools by Ro Pace and I’ve done quite a bit on it this month.

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The way the pattern works as soon as I finish this corner, I am to rotate the canvas so I have a new blank corner to work on. If I made more stitching time by eliminating playing on the computer, then I could finish this by the end of the year.
And that is the stitching update.  Personally, I have picked up a case of the winter blues.  I really don’t want to decorate for Christmas. I really don’t care to even think about Christmas shopping. It’s a good thing the kids gave me links to what they want and I can do it all online. Anyone want to do the wrapping for me?

Combined monthly entry – WIPocalypse and Stitch from Stash

Just so you know, I’m combining the posts for the two stitching related groups I belong to this month.  The topic for WIPocalypse is tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.  My oldest WIP by date it was started is the purse I inherited from my grandmother’s house.  I finished the front piece of the purse and I was working on the side strip when I got bored.  I also found a great monogram to put an M on the back since we share that initial.  The oldest piece I have that I started is one of two Dimensions kits you can see at the top the list on the Stitch from Stash page shown at the top of the blog here.

The newest WIP I have is La-D-Da’s The Raven which I started so I could have a travel piece.  It’s a piece that my middle son asked me to do for him.  He’ll be home from the Philippines in November.  So this is as far as I’ve done on it.  wpid-20140823_202835.jpg

It’s part of three La-D-Da pieces I want to do for the kids.  The second is Something Wicked this Way Comes and the third is Toil and Trouble.  It’s hard to tell from the little that I’ve stitched that it’s the last word and the raven’s head.  I’m using a piece of hand dyed oops fabric from Picture this Plus that Marilyn gave me from their reject pile.  I’m stitching it with Fibers to Dye for silk threads which is all from my stash.  That leads me into the next blog entry that is needed for this month.  Stitch from Stash.

This month we got a free $25 to spend above the monthly budget of $25.  With that in mind and in order to support Laurel’s Stitchery’s move to Rainbow Stitchery I bought the 4 Nora Corbett witches which I’ve wanted.  If you remember, last month, I bought the fabric to do them with.  The total cost for the 4 patterns and the embellishment pack for Gigi came to 40.25.  The odd part is that it was originally charged to my credit card and then credited back.   So I have all four ladies in hand and nothing charged on my card.  I’ve emailed Laurel to make sure she got paid.

In the meantime, I’ve been going like gangbusters on Fire and Ice.  Here’s a progress picture from tonight.

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I’m only putting in 1-3 threads a night but it’s amazing the progress I see every day.  I’m sure that as I enter some of the more densely packed parts that progress feeling will flee.  However, I’m almost out of Anchor 897 so I needed to go pick up a new skein.  I’ve also been itching for a new start so I kitted up Goblin Market from Counted Illuminations and I was short a few threads.  While I was at Craft Center picking those up, I found that they had Toil and Trouble – the third La-D-Da piece in stock.  I’ve had it on my list for 2 years now and the shop requires a minimum of $10 if you want to use a debit card so I grabbed the pattern too.  The total for thread and the pattern was $11.54.  So my total for the month is 40.25 + 11.54 – $25 = 26.79  which is a little over budget but I’ve been under some months so I should still be good.

I’ll try to drop in more next month.

Wipocalypse Check in for May

What designs do you wish you could find?  Actually there isn’t anything really missing in my stash.  I have a few items on my wish list but I can’t think of anything that is burning in my head screaming “Why can’t you find me?” Okay maybe a beagle picture I can customize but I’m sure I could find one if I actually hit Google.

If I’m 100% honest with myself there haven’t been any designs in several years that I had to run out and buy except Persephone and Cassiopeia from Mirabilia and Christmas Quilt from Emie Bishop.
At this point in my stitching experience if I really wanted a design I couldn’t find, I would create it.

So what did I work on this month?

Well, I went up quite a few levels in Candy Crush Dreamworld, still stuck on Candy Crush level 500,  lots of levels  in Pet Rescue, and 4 scenarios in Gems Journey.  I ran out of black floss for my needlepoint purse.  And I did get work done on my TW Fruit Bellpull although it doesn’t look like much.   As the weather warms up, I may put a quilt up on a frame outside. Then I may have something finished to show off next month.