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? 


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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?

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.

wpid-20140823_202858.jpg

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.

Wipocalypse post – Where do you stitch?

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This is me stitching with my Princess Bo…  This is my stitching chair.    It has a magnifying lamp and wide arms for putting my stitching stuff on, patterns, floss, scissors, stopwatch, Tab with ice, all the important things…   Stitching has been going good this month, I’ve managed to make it through my entire rotation and I’m now starting over on round two.

Late Wednesday WIP

 

This week’s slot was new starts and re-starts – Here are the starts and finishes for this slot… IMG_1758

Both of these are Lizzie Kate designs and stitch up really fast. Be Naughty is ready for framing and I just have the clock to finish on Too Late and then it will be good to go.

IMG_1759

I have another finish that I can’t show off yet until the recipient receives it as part of an exchange…

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…

September Wipocalypse

So we are close to the end of the year and the goal for this month was 20 hours of stitching on Summer Carousel Horse.  I didn’t reach 20 hours but I did get 10 finished.
Teresa Wentzler Summer Carousel Horse

It doesn’t look like a lot got done but before I started this round there was no tail there and none of the roses down the side existed.

And other things did get finished.

Things haven't been the same

I picked this up as an impulse buy when I went in to check on the status of my order of Splendor 808 for Stars for the New Millennium.  It was a quick stitch – Under three hours and that includes converting from DMC to Anchor.

I also got all the blocks finished and put into rows for C’s Safari Quilt.

I have no choice but to finish this one in October since he leaves on the 31st and he wants to take it with him.  I’m thinking that I’ll get it finished during the next Netflix disk I get.

I also had two new starts.  Yes, the WIPocalypse was supposed to be a year of finishes with no new starts but, well when the EGA chapter that you pay dues to has a project….

You sort of end up working on it. All the stitching is finished. Now I just need to do the finishing part of it.

And Halloween hit and I thought Town of Halloween would be a quick stitch and so far this is what 3 hours looks like.

So for next month, I have Fall Carousel horse up on the stand and we’ll see how far it goes since the goal was finish the first quarter of the entire piece. I really want to get Town of Halloween finished and made into a pillow so Jack and Sally can sit next to it.

Here’s hoping for much stitching time between getting C ready to leave, the project approval process at work and life in general.

Blue Moon WIPocalypse post

It’s been a busy month with Olympic stitching and some framing and finishing – so we start with the Olympics this gave me much stitching time as we fast forwarded through the TIVO recording of the NBC coverage.  I don’t pay for television so there wasn’t much we got to watch.  Anyway, the first thing I worked on was a chatelaine for an exchange –

Chatelaine based on a picture I saw of an antique chatelaine on the internet.

Here is the back of the Chatelaine for the exchange

Part of the Chatelaine is the Assisi Scissor Case we got in our July EGA meeting.   This is designed by Alice Rathofer.

She used her favorite calligraphy alphabet to create the alphabet for stitching the names on the piece.  There are instructions for two types of scissor case with this pattern.  The slip case which I used here and a scissor pocket.

You can reach Alice at our EGA chapter page – http://egasegolilychapter.org/

But wait that’s not all during the 2012 Olympics, I worked on my final ornament from the 2002 Winter Olympics.  I had originally stitched 4 ornament because that is all the charms I had but when I went to frame them I realized that if I had 5 ornaments I could frame them in circles the color of the Olympic rings and hang them so they look like the rings.

So after finishing that for my Olympic stitching I figured I should go back to my WIPocalypse list and work on my Spring TW Carousel Horse.  I put about two hours in on it when I looked on my list and realized I was supposed to be working on my Dragon Dreams Dragon Doorstop.

I think working on Winter ran over and I managed to get my months mixed up – however since I did get some time on both, I can start my Summer TW Carousel Horse.

But that is not all that happened this month.  I got my TW Winter Carousel Horse back from Edgeline Framing along with the Fairy Tale Sampler which my older son claimed as his.

TW Winter Carousel Horse

Corner detail of the TW Carousel Horse frame – it’s designed so I can use the same frame for all 4 horses

C’s Fairy Tale Sampler

But after getting those back so I could take them to the State Fair it hit me that I didn’t have a Needlepoint piece to put in the Fair so I started looking for something I could stitch together quickly.  And I found an ornament in the Sept/October issue of JustCross Stitch by Plum Pudding Needlearts.  However when I pulled a piece of canvas and the fibers I didn’t really like the design so much so I started putting together a piece of my own based on the ornament I had seen in the magazine.  This is what it ended up looking like – 

I learned that I cannot call this an original design, and it’s not an adaptation since it was inspired by a stitched piece and not a different style of art.  That makes it a derivative work.  So this is my derivative of Plum Pudding Needleart’s Witch’s Pantry.

I didn’t get a picture of the frame I put it in before dropping it off at the fair.  But I did take pictures of the other pieces I framed this week.

I’m not too happy with the framing of Black Swan’s Fire and Ice since it doesn’t look like I got it quite even. And I also got two ornaments finished as well.

I made these because they reminded me of the ornaments I’ve seen on my aunt’s Finnish style tree.
But that’s not all I did this month…
My son is moving to the Philippines in October and he wanted to have a quilt to take with him so here is the start of the Safari quilt that he kitted up when he was in junior high.

This is what the blocks look like and here are the pieces I’m still working on –

It’s been a busy month. My completed projects list for this year is now at 24 items and my Rotation list is down to 64 items. If I finish up the ornaments I started earlier this week, then I could be under 60 items on the full list by the end of the long weekend. And we’re back on track with my original WIPocalypse list so I’ll be putting TW’s Summer Carousel Horse up on the stand.

July WIPocalypse post

I must have done more reading than stitching but looking at the pictures I do see some progress.  But considering how little there is of it, I think I probably spent more time on Zynga than I should have .

TW's Winter Carousel Horse July 3, 2012

Winter really should have been finished by now.  I can see the progress now that I look at the picture and compare it to last month but looking at the graph, I feel that I haven’t made any progress at all.

Fixed but not finished....

The loom saw some love, although it looks much the same as last month.  However, the error in the harness has been fixed and now it’s an issue of do I split the last diamond and do a half on each edge or do I pick one side and add a 4th diamond.  I’m  leaning toward the split pattern just because I tend to like patterns with an odd number of repeats.

Black Swan's Fire and Ice

What’s surprising is how much love and attention this little guy got.  I took him to the primary elections with me and worked on him in between chapters of Deadlocked.  He’s the next piece which should be getting time and attention but I think he’ll get alternated with the Pony.  It will be interesting to see how much stitching time I get with the Olympics coming up this month.