Goals, Rotation

More stitching plans for 2015

After doing a quick rushed post the other day about my wishlist for 2015 stitching, I’ve had more time to think things through and formulate some more plans.  Other than working to a rotation of sorts, I thought it might be fun to join some other groups to give me more motivation to post progress each month.  As such I’ve chosen groups that already fit within my current stitching plans so it doesn’t become too much of a chore (although I’m shocking with deadlines/commitment stitching so it may do the opposite … in which case I’ll put the brakes on!).  So what have I decided to try for 2015?

2015 WIPocalypse

First up is the 2015 WIPocalypse challenge.  I’ve always loved this challenge, even though I haven’t always been good at posting on time over the last 12 months or so!   If nothing else, it reminds me to post a blog update once in a while, so it’s worth it just for that in itself! 😉

SFS button_2015A

The first new group is the Stitch from Stash group – sadly I missed out with the official sign-up for the group and can’t join properly until the middle of the year for round 2, but I figure I’ll just do it myself here every month in the meantime. As it is, my budget has been next-to-nothing (well in fact it has BEEN nothing) for the last few months, so it should be easy to maintain for a while longer 😉  The group lets you have $25 each month for stash which I think is very doable for replacing threads etc (I’ve got enough charts/kits to last me a few lifetimes).


Then there is the Smalls SAL group – I’ve been thinking over the last couple of days whether to add a slot into my rotation dedicated to stitching smalls, so this could work out well.  I’ve already got a slot for small-medium sized projects, which could still remain, but I have so many charts for needlerolls and scissor cases etc that I think it could be a good idea to dedicate some time to them each rotation and get some of those smalls stitched up!  I guess that also means my ‘stitched but awaiting finishing’ pile will be building higher this year all going well 😉

That means my rotation will now look like the following (with some current and next-in-line projects included):

  1. Focus piece
    – English Garden Sampler by Teresa Wentzler
    – Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine
  2. Medium-large projects
    – Autumn Leaves by Prairie Schooler
    – Christmas Elf Fairy by Mirabilia
    – Coffee & Tea series by Little House Needleworks
  3. Stitching smalls & needlework accessories
    – TBC
    – TBC
  4. WIPs & UFOs
    – Flight of the Bumblebees by Ruth Schmuff
    – Cottage Etui by C A Wells
  5. Focus piece
  6. Small-medium projects
    – The Formal Garden by Heritage Collection
    – Bliss by Bent Creek
    – Christmas bird by Heart in Hand
  7. Large-BAP projects
    – Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches
    – Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor
  8. Focus piece
  9. Canvaswork
  10. Christmas ornaments & freebies
  11. Finishing
2014 WIPocalypse, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Lizzie Kate, Mirabilia, Rotation, The Drawn Thread, Works in Progress

December WIPocalypse 2014

As normal, I totally missed the December deadline … truthfully I haven’t been doing too much stitching, with some more long hours at work that cropped up.  I’m finally enjoying a fortnight off work over the Christmas break, and catching up on some chores, including my final catch-up for the year here.  I spent Christmas Day with my closest friends in Sydney, which was wonderful – we sat superglued to the lounge sofas for 4 days and watched all 4 seasons of Game of Thrones – that also meant I got a bit of stitching done, although I was more distracted by the TV, 2 dogs and 2 cats to get any finishes under my belt 😉  So, here goes the most recent stitching recap, and the final one for the year:


The first finish I had was Poppy by Mirabilia – this is a gift for my hairdresser, whose favourite colour is red, and she asked me to stitch something for her.  I just need to frame it now for her and give it to her in the New Year 🙂

Mirabilia-Poppy“Poppy” by Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Belfast by Countrystitch ~ colour Winter Sky
with recommended threads and beads
Started Sep 2014 – Finished 30 Nov 2014

The Drawn Thread-Summer Arbor “Summer Arbor” by The Drawn Thread
Stitched on 32ct Light Mocha Belfast linen
with recommended threads but substituted the brown beads
Started 7 Dec 2014 – Finished 23 Dec 2014

Lizzie*Kate-The Greatest Gift is Love“The Greatest Gift is Love” by Lizzie*Kate
(from 2001 JCS Christmas ornie issue)

Stitched on 32ct Natural Belfast linen (I think)
with a mix of recommended and substituted threads
Started 23 Dec 2014 – Finished 23 Dec 2014

Works in Progress:

While I was away at Christmas I managed to start the following two new projects (I took those because they were relatively easy to stitch so I didn’t have to concentrate on them 100% while being distracted by the TV and chatting to company).

First up was Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread.  Sadly I ran out of thread for this one, stupidly thinking one skein of Gloriana silk would be enough, and no doubt a replacement skein won’t match the same dyelot, but I’ll have to wait and see once I get around to a stitching order. I was surprised just how quickly that design chewed through the skein of Gloriana! This will eventually be going to a new home (hence the hiding of the letter in the centre), so hopefully it won’t look too bad when the new skein arrives …  The only change I made was to use two strands of silk for the alphabet – I used one initially as per the design instructions, but I hated the look of it, so doubled the strands (sadly that wasn’t the reason for running out).


Then I ended up starting a Prairie Schooler design called Autumn Leaves. This has been in my stash forever! In hindsight I wish I’d chosen a lighter fabric so the colours pop more, but I chose 32ct Lambswool that I thought the design called for … presumably they used a different linen to the Lambswool I chose! :/ Oh well, I’m sure I’ll still love it when it’s finished … (sorry, but the weird colouring of the fabric is due to my bed’s duvet cover behind it!)


Recap of 2014 accomplishments:

It looks like I had a relatively poor stitching year compared to normal, thanks to some mental working hours.  Then again, though, some of the projects were quite large in comparison to other years, so all-in-all I’m still pretty stoked with my progress this year.  Here are all the projects I completed in 2014, including 1 older UFO and 2 WIPs carried over from 2013:

Crimson Fire Sampler by The Victoria Sampler LizzieKate-Cross Stitcher in Residence Mirabilia (Nora Corbett)-Valentine Fairy Lavender & Lace-Angel of Love Mirabilia-Poppy Periwinkle Promises-Blue Bell Sampler Accent Prairie Schooler-S is for Spring freebie Margaret Lee Rigiel-Starshine Penguin Poissons Bleus freebie by Si le Point Compte Lizzie*Kate-The Greatest Gift is Love Plum Pudding by JBW Designs Victoria Sampler-Christmas Heart Beyond XS 5-3 Shepherd's Bush-Joyful Night LHN-The Merry Skater Northern Pine Designs-Blue Bayou Butterfly Quartet by DMC Dance in the Rain-Lizzie*Kate Jardin Prive - Eiffel Quaker Green Apple Co-Chambered Nautilus M Designs-Thistle Needleroll pastels Northern Pine-Surf & Sand The Drawn Thread-Summer Arbor

Rotation plans for 2015:

When I was sticking to my rotation it really worked for me this year – and it gave me a place to start again when I did fall off the rotation wagon.  Therefore I’ve decided to keep going in 2015, but I’m leaving it as very much a ‘fluid’ rotation again – if I feel like stitching more than the allocated 10 hours for each slot, I’ll do so … whatever keeps me enjoying my stitching, and actually doing stitching, is what I’ll follow next year 🙂  In saying that, though, there are a few projects that I’d really love to work on during the year – I wouldn’t call them goals as such, rather a wishlist of sorts … but I know I change my mind on a whim where my stitching is concerned, so I won’t be too surprised if I change my mind again during the year!  Anyhoo, here are a few projects that are currently calling my name for my rotation next year:

Medium-Large projects:

  • Christmas Elf Fairy – Nora Corbett/Mirabilia
  • Trick or Treat Box – Just Nan
  • Three Friends – The Drawn Thread
  • Sweet Pea Pixie – Mirabilia
  • Lavender Rose Sewing Case – Fancy Work
  • Very Berry Needlework Accessories – Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches
  • Coffee & Tea series – Little House Needleworks
  • Witchy Way – Just Nan
  • Christmas Sampler – Jeanette Douglas
  • With My Needle – Just Nan

WIPs & UFOs:

  • Red Lace Sewing Case – The Drawn Thread
  • Autumn Leaves – The Prairie Schooler
  • Flight of the Bumblebees – Ruth Schmuff
  • Cottage Etui – C A Wells
  • Egyptian Garden Sampler – Chatelaine
  • English Garden Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  • Sailor’s Valentine – C A Wells

Small-Medium projects:

  • The Formal Garden – Heritage Collection
  • Wee one birds (various) – Heart in Hand
  • The Tea Room – Country Cottage Needleworks
  • Sitting Pretty – Valerie Pfeiffer
  • Bliss – Bent Creek

Large-BAP projects:

  • Quaker Christmas II – ByGone Stitches (carried over from this year)
  • Quaker Diamonds – Rosewood Manor
  • Christmas Flip-its – Lizzie*Kate
  • Bluebeard’s Princess – Mirabilia

I can’t see many of those getting done, but I can certainly see a few new starts from that list getting started! 😀  As long as I enjoy the journey and continue to enjoy what I’m stitching, I don’t really have any other ambitions other than that 🙂

2014 WIPocalypse, Canvaswork, Christmas Ornaments, Finishes, Framing, Lavender & Lace, Mirabilia, Northern Pine Designs, Prairie Schooler, Quilting & Sewing, Rotation, Works in Progress

Oct/Nov WIPocalypse


Life got crazy at work, with some major hours being put in, so I’ve been locking myself away from the online world for much of the last two months.  I’ve now taken two days off as time in lieu (even though I’m probably due about 2 weeks of time off!) and thought I’d make the most of the time to do a catch-up.  While I haven’t been having evening meals half the time during the working week, never mind stitching, I have managed to do a wee bit on the weekends – in fact some weekends I’ve had some major stitching marathons just to make me feel ‘normal’ and I didn’t have the energy to do anything else.  So this will probably be a big post stitching-wise, with a few finishes under my belt.  Here goes …

Stitching finishes:

The biggest stitching news was finally finished my version of Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace.  I have decided to leave off her wings and I think of her now as my ‘regency lady’ for some reason.  I have to say I absolutely adore her, and think she looks just fine without the angel wings.  I really really enjoyed doing the beading – apparently there are just over 4,000 beads in her, and I enjoyed stitching every single one of them on!  I’ve added a photo of the detail in her skirt – just stunning!!

Lavender & Lace-Angel of Love“Angel of Love” by Lavender & Lace
Stitched on 28ct hand-dyed linen by Silkweaver, colour Dark Tan
with mostly recommended threads and beads – I substituted the DMC metallic with Kreinik braid

L&L-Angel of Love beading

Another piece I absolutely ADORE is the result of completing my Canvaswork rotation slot – while I was a bit concerned about the high level of coral pink in this initially, the final result is a tremendous blend of colours that work so beautifully together … these pieces as such FUN to stitch, it’s almost always a disappointment when they’re finished …

Northern Pine-Surf & Sand
“Surf and Sand” by Northern Pine Designs
Stitched on 18ct Eggshell mono canvas
with recommended threads and beads

After finishing Angel of Love my next rotation slot was Christmas ornaments and freebies, where I managed to whip up a couple of finishes:

Prairie Schooler-S is for Spring freebie
“S is for Spring” freebie by The Prairie Schooler
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with DMC threads – I substituted the pink threads with blue ones (I bet you didn’t expect that from me LOL)

Margaret Lee Rigiel-Starshine Penguin
“Starshine Penguin” freebie by Margaret Lee Rigiel
Stitched on 32ct hand-dyed Lugana (can’t remember who the dyer is, sorry)
with a mix of recommended threads and substitutes

Poissons Bleus freebie by Si le Point Compte
“Poissons Bleus” freebie by Si le point compte (website no longer around)
Stitched on 32ct Ice Blue Belfast (I think)
with DMC variegated thread

Stitching WIPs:

I’ve tried to go back to my rotation as well, which means Quaker Christmas II saw the light of day again in September, and I’ve almost finished the top of the chart now.  Not sure if this will seen the light of day again before Christmas, but it will eventually get done for, say, 2018 … 😉

Quaker Christmas II 21Sep14

Next up in the rotation was Poppy by Mirabilia – she’s now become my focus piece as she’s a gift for my hairdresser, Giselle, whose favourite colour is red.

Poppy 5Oct14


Before my hours got mental crazy at work, I started putting together a quilt top for a lap quilt, to start getting used to my new machine (thanks again Alison), and using a cheap jelly roll I bought at a craft show a few years ago.  Sadly this is the state it remains in, but hopefully I’ll get around to finishing this one soon:


I also managed to frame my Bluebell pixie in a discounted white frame – sadly the joins aren’t perfect in the frame (I only realised when I was framing), but it’s for me so I think it’s fine:

 Bluebell framed

WIPocalypse Topics:

8 October – Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?

The answer is a yes on both counts … although I have to say that Halloween is one of my all-time favourite stitching themes.  I don’t even celebrate Halloween, but I just love the ghostly ghouly designs, and the bright colours.  I’ve been going through phases with my Christmas stitching – I used to stitch quite a few Christmas ornaments, but these have tended to tail off over recent years and I’m focusing more on larger pieces.

6 November – What are your favourite and least favourite materials to use in your stitching?

Least favourite would have to be rayon threads, DMC metallics and Kreinik Blending Filament – and perhaps even Weeks Dye Works.  As for favourites, I love all the different threads and textures of canvaswork, and adore stitching with silk threads (Gloriana, Belle Soie and Au Ver a Soie in particular).  Cotton threads I love Crescent Colours threads and Needle Necessities/Threadworx the most.

2014 WIPocalypse, Canvaswork, Charity Stitching, Finishes, Green Apple Co, Jardin Prive, Lavender & Lace, M Designs, Needlerolls, Northern Pine Designs, Periwinkle Promises, Rotation, Ruth Schmuff, Stoney Creek, Works in Progress

Aug/Sep WIPocalypse (late as normal!)


Only 2 days to go before the September WIPocalypse post is due … oops … life sure has a way to interfere with plans, and my memory is shocking, so yet again I’ve missed the deadline.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t been stitched, although I have to admit I haven’t been stitching as much as I normally do.  Work pressures have yet again put a hold of any mid-week stitching, although each weekend I’ve made sure I’ve had one day dedicated to stitching my little heart out.

So, here goes … here is what I’ve managed to get up to stitching-wise over the last two months.  I figure I may as well just have this as my September WIPocalypse post as well, as I can’t see me doing any further stitching between now and two days time that will be worth shouting from the rooftops 😉

First up I decided to just keep on stitching on my Eiffel Quaker until it was finished – I just love this one!

Jardin Prive - Eiffel Quaker
“Eiffel Quaker” by Jardin Privé
Started 11 January 2013 – Finished 28 July 2014
Stitched on 36ct antique white evenweave from Sewitall
with French Au Ver A Soie Soie d’Alger silk threads
Stitch count 150 wide x 143 high

I then decided to be responsible (unusual for me!) with my stitching and get a charity quilt block out of the way that I had committed to – I absolutely adore this one, and I’ve left the DMC threads etc all sitting with the chart in readiness to stitch this one again for myself … I love, love, love it! 🙂

Green Apple Co-Chambered Nautilus
“Chambered Nautilus” by Green Apple Co (artwork by Janet Powers)
Stitched for Love Quilts Australia
Stitched on 14ct white Aida with DMC threads

Then last weekend I started back loosely with my rotation, and picked up my pastel needleroll to finish off:

M Designs-Thistle Needleroll pastels
“Thistle Needleroll – Pale Colorway” by M Designs
Started 26 January 2014 – Finished 31 August 2014
Stitched on 32ct Lambswool linen by Wichelt
with a mix of Olde Willow, Crescent Colours and DMC threads
(I had to substitute some threads and mix the colours as my Olde Willow threads
had faded so much over the years they were almost white!)

And then my final finish took place yesterday – I only had about 3 hours of stitching left in my ‘small/medium projects’ slot, but I opted to just keep stitching until I finished it (hence my comment about ‘loosely’ following my rotation!). This was a real joy to stitch, with some good challenges, and it just needs to be made into a little pincushion now.

Periwinkle Promises-Blue Bell Sampler Accent
“Blue Bell Sampler Accent” by Periwinkle Promises
Started 31 August 2014 – Finished 6 September 2014
Stitched using kit threads (AVAS silks) and linen fabric

Inbetween working on my rotation slots, I have opted to leave my current focus piece project sitting in the lounge on my floor frame. Every 2nd weekend I spend one day stitching my little heart out on her while catching up on recorded TV … which means I’ve sort of taken her out of my rotation, and I just stitch on her when I feel like sitting in the lounge. The rest of my rotation stitching is done in my bedroom sat up in bed stitching (my most common stitching location these days – I got into the habit of that with my last flatmate as I hated spending any time in the lounge when he was home). Anyhoo, here she is in her current glory (well almost anyway, I’ve actually done a bit more since this photo was taken – she’ll definitely be finished by the end of this year, which is awesome). Angel of Love by Lavender & Lace:


After I’d finished my Victoria Sampler’s Crimson Fire Sampler, I needed to find another old UFO to take its place, and I chose this piece stitched on Congress Cloth. I managed to finally finish the darned bees on the left-hand side of the fabric, but my thread snapped while I was stitching the 2nd side of the hemstitching rows so I decided to give it a miss for a while and started stitching over on the main pain of the stitching. I hadn’t realised just how much metallic thread is used on this project, and it was a relief to finally get to the bee’s head and have something lovely and soft to stitch with. I opted to stop, though, at the end of the 10 hours rotation slot, but look forward to seeing that slot come around again in the future 🙂


And next up in my rotation is Quaker Christmas II – this hasn’t seen the light since I did one rotation slot on it back in February, so it will be nice to add a few more stitches to this one … and that’ll give me something to show for my October WIPocalypse post 🙂

Talking of which, I guess I also need to answer the WIPocalypse questions for these two months as well, so here goes:

10 August:

“Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.”
Well, I guess my oldest one now is probably Stoney Creek’s Natures Rest. This is possibly one that will never ever be finished – aside from making a massive blue on the tree stump and the need to frog a huge section, because I can’t work out what was wrong and what was right, it was also using some older threads that I no longer have so there’s every likelihood that I will have mis-matched dyelots and this will show, especially with the greys. I don’t have too much love for this old project (my first ever on evenweave fabric, and I didn’t follow the instructions properly so I used 2 strands of thread in the background instead of 1 strand …). Whatever could go wrong with this piece, it certainly did – and it remains relatively unloved because of it!

My newest WIP according to my rotation records is a canvaswork piece called Sand and Surf by Northern Pine Designs.  My canvaswork rotation is coming up soon, so I can’t wait to get back into working on this one again.  I have a feeling I won’t stop until this one is finished, as canvaswork tends to go quite quickly with some of the big chunky stitches.

Surf and Sand

9 September:

“Who is your favourite person to stitch for, or do you prefer to keep your stitching yourself?”
I have to admit over the years I’ve given most of my stitching away – over the last 10 years, though, I tend to stitch more for myself with the odd gift given out. I like to stitch gifts for people, but as soon as I make a commitment to do something my brain goes into meltdown and it removes the enjoyment of stitching for me – I’d much rather stitch something then decide after it’s finished to gift it to someone.

2014 WIPocalypse, Cross Stitch, Finishes, Rotation, Stitch-alongs, Works in Progress

February WIPocalypse

It’s been a reasonable month for both stitching and blog posts … probably the most regular I’ve been in quite a few years!  Who knows how long it will last for, but I’m enjoying it so far that’s for sure!

As for my stitching progress, here are the progress piccies from the last month’s efforts, and comparing how they looked last time vs this month:

First up is a new start, which is a gift for someone if I can get it stitched up quickly enough!  Unfortunately, though, I just noticed a mark on the fabric so it’s off to spend some time in a tub and hopefully it will come out … if not, I guess I’ll be ironing up some new fabric and starting again …

Fern by Nora Corbett
Fern by Nora Corbett

And my other WIPs/new starts were:

And then there were a couple of new starts that were also finishes:

All-in-all it was a pretty amazing month of stitching … my work department moving closer to home again is doing wonders for my productivity, that’s for sure!!

And now this month’s topic:  “Topic: 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 have to admit the high number of UFOs I have has started to bother me in recent years, so I’ve been making an effort to slowly work through them.  I’m starting to become more of a one-at-a-timer, but then when I get bored with a project I tend to just stop stitching, or I put it down and never come back to it again because I feel burnt out with that particular project.  This year I’ve tried to be more disciplined and have gone back to a formal rotation once again, and it’s really working on the whole.  I have 10-11 project slots, with a Focus Piece slot every 3-4 slots so that I can focus on one project to get stitched up more quickly (generally assigned to one of my BAPs or SAL commitments).  I’ve managed to stick to my rotation really well so far, although I’ve just decided to start a new gift for someone that needs to be stitched up really quickly before we meet up in early March, so my rotation has been temporarily put on hold.  It’s funny, though, I already miss my rotation and the discipline I’d built up, and I’m almost ‘resenting’ this project because of it … isn’t it funny how our minds work?  So far I’ve managed to finish up one old UFO this year thanks to my rotation slot and being disciplined … I’d like to see another 1-2 of my UFO list joining the finishing pile this year, but either way I’m just doing to enjoy working through my stash pile on a regular basis! 😀

As a matter of interest, here is my “rotation tub” … all of my projects are on their own scrollbars or Qsnaps, and sit in order of being stitched, along with their chart/threads in a plastic envelope or mesh project bag … this really helps me to keep organised during the rotation and I’m not running around each 10 hours trying to find the next project kit …

My rotation 'tub'
My rotation ‘tub’
Lavender & Lace, Rotation, Works in Progress

Angel of Love progress

Last night I put a few stitches into Angel of Love, and today I managed to stitch the entire day and finished my rotation slot for this project.  She’s coming along quite well, I think.  I prefer to stitch her without the wings, to make her more like a ‘regency lady’ of some sort … but I’ll decide at the end whether to leave her this way or to stitch the wings on.

Once again, it’s a crappy photo taken with my iPhone at 1am … not a clever thing to do, really!!


Rotation, Victoria Sampler, Works in Progress

It’s been a quiet week stitching-wise this week … it’s been too damned hot most days, even with the electric fan blaring … although I did manage to get a sum total of 3/4 hr stitching done on Tuesday night.  This is how Crimson Fire is looking now, at almost the half-way point in my rotation slot for it.  I did the teeny tiny (but quite pretty) gold sheaf stitch band with red beads and the lettering … oh well, every stitch is one step closer to a finish … slow and steady as she goes … 😉  This is a better photo colour-wise than the previous one, as it shows the fabric and threads more true to life 🙂 Crimson Fire 14Jan14

I’m hoping to get another hour done tonight if I can stay awake long enough!  I didn’t get much sleep last night – once again probably partly due to the heat, but also I was really quite anxious about having a bone scan done today at the Nuclear Medicine lab.  The scan was to check for a stress fracture in my left foot, as it’s been very uncomfortable since having my last cortisone injection in my heel … although the inflammation and discomfort has all been at the front half of the foot.  I needn’t have been worried, though, as the injection I had to have before the first scan was really similar to giving a blood sample (although perhaps a bit more uncomfortable) – and the scan was nothing at all compared to the MRI I had to have the last time at that hospital.  They did one set of scans before sending me away for 1 1/2 hours and coming back for the final set of scans.  It seems they didn’t find any clear stress fracture at all, which is good in one sense as it means not having to have a plaster cast or moon boot for 6-8 weeks, but it does of course mean that we still don’t have an answer as to the cause.  Oh well, back to the GP I go again next week – next stop (unless he thinks of something else) is to go speak to someone about special orthotics and/or special shoes … but I guess I’ll know more next week!

In the meantime I thought I’d share my rotation system that I use for my rotation – I’d mentioned this in a Facebook group I belong to, as someone asked what I did, and one of the ladies asked if I could do a PDF version so she could print it off and use it herself.  Anyway, I thought someone might find it of interest if I post it here too (I may have posted something about it years ago, but perhaps it’ll be useful to someone … or not … haha).  Zeb had also been asking questions about how people organise their lives, and I guess this is just part of my own organisation (my Day Planner is a different story and would need a post of its own, if I ever get around to that!!).

Rotation 2014 example

I have one document (on the left in the above photo) where I plan possible future projects that I’d like to stitch within a set rotation slot (obviously I had to decide on the 10 rotation slots first, which is the number I decided on this year).  Then the page on the right is what I use to actually track my progress within each slot.  I found this easier than using a spreadsheet, which some people prefer to use … I have different sized ‘blocks of 10 blocks’ on different pages, aimed at the different size of the projects in my rotation slots.  For example, I only have 3 blocks of 10 for the small-medium sized project slot, as most of those projects should be finished in under 30 hours of stitching.  I have a separate page printed for each rotation slot, and record the details of the project at the top of each group of blocks (I’ve also started scribbling the fabric type and stitch count of the project too in the side margin).  Then each block of 10 represents 10 hourly slots – I mark a “X” in the box once I’ve completed an hour of stitching … or just “\” if I’ve stitched half an hour.  Once I’ve got a block of 10 boxes with crosses I pack up that project and put it at the back of my rotation project tub, and put the rotation page to the back of the pile, then pick up the next in the pile/in the tub.  It may not work for everyone, but it certainly works for me 🙂 You can download my blank pages if you want to try it yourself … just print the page that you think would suit you the best … I put the rotation number and heading at the top of the page when I complete mine.

And on that note I guess I’d better pull my finger out and stop being lazy, and I should get another hour done on that rotation slot so I can move onto something less taxing on the brain cells … 😉

Jardin Prive, Lavender & Lace, Rotation, Works in Progress

Great start with my rotation

I’ve been working really well with my rotation so far this year – much better than any other recent attempts … perhaps this time I really will stick to it!

After washing poor old Angel of Love after the hand sanitizer accident, I put her back on the scroll bars to finish my rotation slot (10 hours each slot) … after stitching a fair bit, I had yet another accident with her!!  My sinuses were blocked up so I reached for my little jar of Tiger Balm so I could spread a bit under my nose to help to clear it … only to find when I tipped up the jar to dip my little finger in that the whole top of the jar had melted in the high heat in my bedroom, and dripped onto my stitching 😦  Now dropping hand sanitizer on it is one thing, but melted Tiger Balm that contains eucalyptus oil as well as other things is a whole different kettle of fish … I had ‘lovely’ splotches on my fabric all the way down in a little row thanks to it leaching through every fabric layer on the scroll bar!  Back she went into an overnight tub soak with some Orvus – the marks haven’t come out 100%, but almost … there will probably only be one part that may not be covered by stitching, but thankfully it looks like a bit of fabric mottling now so I should be able to get away with it.

Anyway, here she is looking sparkly clean after her many washes, at the end of her first rotation slot – the fabric is a lot lighter than it once was before I started stitching and washing her, but it still looks OK I think:

Angel of Love 1

Next up was the medium-sized projects slot, and I have just finished those 10 hours this afternoon – my choice for this slot is Eiffel Quaker, and it’s been lovely stitching on something so simplistic … nice easy blocks of only 3 colours … it’s stitched with one strand of Au Ver A Soie Soie d’Alger thread on a 36ct evenweave.  The hardest thing is putting it down to move on to my next rotation slot … one for UFOs …  I have a feeling the next 10 hours won’t go quite so quickly LOL.  In the meantime, though, here is my Eiffel Quaker as it goes to the back of the rotation tub:

Eiffel Quaker 1

2013 WIPocalypse, Finishes, Passione Ricamo, Rotation, Round Robins, Shepherd's Bush, Works in Progress

WIPocalypse update

Sadly this year to date I haven’t managed to put a single stitch into any old WIPs, but I have managed to get a little bit of stitching done on two projects that were originally on my Crazy January Challenge list … first up I managed to finish the stitching on Shepherd’s Bush Spooky Fob:


Then I managed to start and finish my choice for an Aussie-based Round Robin group – I decided to stitch an old freebie by Passione Ricamo:


Lucky last I used up the rest of the rotation slot from stitching Spooky fob by starting the Shepherd’s Bush Little Witch:


Work is mental busy, so I haven’t had much stitching energy this month – although last weekend I had a stitching marathon for 2 solid days, when I managed to stitch my RR piece.  Next week I’ll be flying home to be support for Mum and Dad after Dad has surgery – I’ll be working over there, so probably won’t have much down time either, and not much time for stitching … I’ll still be packing a few projects, though, just in case … I fully intend heading home with a much better prepared suitcase than I did last time!  And on that note I’d better hit the hay for the night, as I need to spend the day in the office tomorrow catching up on work before I fly out …

Crazy January 2013 Challenge, Rotation, Stitch-alongs

Time for a Rotation again?

I have signed up for so many different SALs and challenges this year that I think the best way for me to devote time for each one is to set up a rotation once again – the first time I tried a rotation it was amazingly successful, but later attempts have been disastrous … perhaps this time it will work … perhaps …

Then again, I also want to continue concentrating on older UFOs/WIPs to finally get them into the finished pile and not languishing around making me feel guilty and gathering dust bunnies …

I guess the first thing to do is to work out what SALs I have coming up this year, along with noting if any of those projects could be combined with the Crazy January Challenge or using existing WIPs/UFOs … then work out a schedule that could possibly work on a 10-hour slot basis.  Rightio then, let’s start by noting all the SALs coming up (including those already started while I’ve been in NZ) … here goes:

  • November 2012 – Quaker Christmas II SAL
  • 1 January – Nora Corbett’s Bluebell Pixie SAL
  • 1 January – Drawn Thread’s Sampler Gameboard SAL
  • 1 February – Aussie Round Robin
  • 14 February – Ink Circles Cirque des Coeurs SAL
  • 1 May – Teresa Wentzler SAL

Add to that the list of potential new starts for me this year as part of the Crazy January Challenge (the only difference is that I’m making up my own rules by choosing and kitting up 15 projects but not starting a new one every day, just rather working my way through the list).  I have to admit I grabbed a handful of my chosen 2013 new starts when I did a rushed packing job to come to NZ and ended up already starting and finishing two of them, so I definitely need to re-do that list of projects once again.  I am tempted to add the Quaker Christmas II sampler and Sampler Gameboard to the challenge list, but I’m not confident I can see either of them being finished by the end of the year and happy to just have them ‘in progress’ throughout the year.  My CJC pieces will be as follows (there are only 2 relatively large pieces in there, so I’m hoping it won’t be too unachievable, but that could be famous last words, if this year’s crappy stitching time is anything to go by!):

  1. Bluebell pixie – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
  2. Little Blue Potting Shed – Brown House Studio
  3. Blue Bayou – Northern Pine Designs
  4. Christmas Elf Fairy – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
  5. Bluebeard’s Princess – Mirabilia
  6. Moon & Stars – Little House Needleworks
  7. Trousse aux Fleur Bleues – CMon Monde
  8. Spooky Scissors Fob – Shepherd’s Bush
  9. Little Witch – Shepherd’s Bush
  10. Trick or Treat Box – Just Nan
  11. Acorn Hill – Little House Needleworks
  12. Valentine Fairy – Mirabilia/Nora Corbett
  13. Christmas double flip-its – Lizzie*Kate
  14. Ebb Tide – Northern Pine Designs
  15. Sky Blue Accent – Periwinkle Promises

As well as these projects, though, I’d dearly love to continue working on some of my older WIPs/UFOs, namely:

  • With My Needle – The Goode Huswife
  • Flight of the Bumblebees – Ruth Schmuff
  • English Garden Sampler – Teresa Wentzler
  • Enchanted Mermaid – Mirabilia
  • Egyptian Garden Mandala – Chatelaine

Taking all that into account, let’s see if I can work out a suitable rotation … hmmm, this might need a few days to think through, but easier putting it ‘in print’ and then reviewing again … and seeing as I don’t have any software loaded up on Mum’s computer at the moment, this is kinda my drawing board for now …

  1. Nora Corbett/Mirabilia
    (Bluebell pixie, Christmas Elf Fairy, Valentine Fairy, Bluebeard’s Princess, *Enchanted Mermaid (UFO))
  2. Halloween
    (Spooky Scissors Fob, Little Witch, Trick or Treat Box)
  3. Quaker Christmas II SAL
  4. Christmas Ornaments & Charity Quilt Squares
  5. Canvaswork
    (Blue Bayou, Ebb Tide, *Flight of the Bumblebees (UFO))
  6. Other Crazy January
    (Little Blue Potting Shed, Moon & Stars, Trousse aux Fleur Bleues, Acorn Hill, Christmas double flip-its, Sky Blue Accent)
  7. Sampler Gameboard SAL
  8. UFOs/WIPs
    (With My Needle, *Flight of the Bumblebees, English Garden Sampler, *Enchanted Mermaid, Egyptian Garden Mandala)
  9. Christmas Ornaments or Free Choice

That actually seems quite ‘do-able’ … but I guess the proof will be whether I manage to start it when I get home … which is now at least a week later than expected, depending on what Dad’s doctor has to say tomorrow.  I got the go-ahead from my boss to work over here ‘remotely’ for a while, so that’s good news and takes the pressure off a little bit 🙂

Plus Mum and I placed a small order with 123stitch to re-order the missing threads I need that are waiting for me back home – at least that way I can still continue to do some form of stitching over here, which I have to admit I’ve been loving at the moment … I can’t remember the last time I stitched every single day for over a week at a time … sheer bliss!!!