This post is a summary of my progress over the year, along with how I went with my 2019 goals. Because of personal circumstances (major project at work meaning extra-long working hours, and Dad’s hospitalisation and then passing away meaning 3 1/2 months of carers/compassionate leave), my goals were far from met this year, but as long as I managed to get some craft time in during the year I still think of it as positive progress.
54 = Number of WIPs/UFOs @ 1 January 2019 (yikes!) – 6 = Number of WIPs/UFOs completed in 2019 + 7 = Number of new WIPs added in 2019 (ie started in 2019 but not finished) —- 55 = WIPs/UFOs balance (oops – not my finest hour!)
The 6 WIPs I managed to finish in 2019 were:
Glendon Place: City Sidewalks ornament (cross stitch)
Leisure Arts, Big Book of Dishcloths: #32 dishcloth
Leisure Arts, Big Book of Dischcloths: #70 dishcloth
Rosewood Manor: The Heart of Christmas (JCS ornie SAL)
New starts that are still WIPs:
Out of all of the new starts I had in 2019, six remain as WIPs at the end of the year:
Maria’s Blue Crayons: Coastal Indoor Rug
Hooked on Sunshine: Phoenix blanket
Laura J Perin: Lahaina Breezes
Crate Crochet: Hook Roll
Crate Crochet: Ripple Tote
Drawn Thread: Almost Halloween
Ronald McDonald house charity piece (just needs personalisation to be added at the bottom)
Other progress on WIPs:
While I didn’t manage to get these projects finished this year, I did manage a bit of progress – not sure they’ll be finished in 2020 either, but I’ll eventually keep chipping away at them slowly but surely.
2019 Goals – Review
Cross stitch and embroidery
Cross stitch WIPs:
X FAIL Quaker Diamonds by Rosewood Manor – I’d love to finish this one – Update: I didn’t finish this one, although I did make a tiny bit of progress.
X FAIL Egyptian Garden Mandala by Chatelaine – Entirely finish the stitching of at least one full corner (ie one full page of the chart) – This was a major fail because I decided to scrap it and start all over again on different fabric.
X FAIL Red Lace Sewing Case by The Drawn Thread – add the felt/beads and do the finishing … and finally gift it to the intended recipient. Update: not touched.
√ DONE Three Kings by Mill Hill/Jim Shore – finish the three kings in the centre
√ DONE Quaker Christmas II by ByGone Stitches – finish the Let There be Peace on Earth motif in the centre
X FAIL Progress on at least three other WIPs/UFOs
X IN PROGRESS Ronald McDonald House charity XS – managed to stitch everything except for the personalisation for the retreat house. Now I’ve heard back from the NZ Head Office, I’ll complete this in January 2020.
X FAIL 19 in 19 – Start a new HAED and stitch 19 colours on it – didn’t start one
X FAIL 19 in 19 – 19 new starts. Update: I managed 18!
X FAIL 19 in 19 – 19 finishes. Update: I managed 18!
X FAIL 19 in 19 – some progress on 19 existing WIPs carried over from 2019. Update: I managed 4
√ DONE Stitch a charity quilt block
√ DONE Stitch 12 Christmas ornaments
Other needlework WIPs:
√ DONE Travel Cord Buddy by Michelle Marvig – I’d like to finish putting this together
√ DONE Hearts & Berries by Marg Low – I’d like to finish putting this together
X FAIL Make a Christmas Wish by Marg Low – I’d like to finish putting this together and framed before Christmas
X FAIL Stumpwork – choose one old stumpwork UFO and make some progress
X FAIL Start a new project from Inspirations magazines
X FAIL Make some progress on one of the 2018 patchwork retreat projects
X FAIL Make a 1920s-style hat for the Napier Art Deco Festival
√ DONE Complete three crochet projects from “Crate Crochet”
√ DONE Start a shawl
X FAIL Finish my Atlanticus (mandala) blanket
X FAIL Restart my Spice of Life blanket
X FAIL Start a Briar Rose blanket
X FAIL Start a top (clothing)
√ DONE Start a crochet hook case
X FAIL Start a blanket for Brenda & Nigel
X FAIL Make a charity blanket for SPCA
X FAIL Start the Nuts About Squares CAL
X FAIL Make a small pincushion
X FAIL Start a queen-sized bed patchwork quilt for myself
X FAIL Start the Piece and Plenty BOM quilt
X FAIL Make a sewing machine cover
X FAIL Make a summer nightie
X FAIL Make a top (clothing)
X FAIL Choose three Pinterest projects to try (eg Project bags, Purses/pouches)
I think the two SALs that I did do only lasted 2-3 months for me – my intentions were good, but life just got in the way this year. Hopefully 2019 will be the year where I do much better!
Belatedly adding my update for November, even though I only have one small update to share. I decided to keep on stitching on Mill Hill’s Three Kings until I got that third king finished … thus ticking one more item off the ‘to-do-list/goal’ for the year. It’s now being put away until 2020 again, unless I get an urge to keep going on the border – never say never!
Question of the Month: What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year ?
This year hasn’t been a great year for learning stitching-wise, however I just started doing a couple of older subscription boxes from Crate Crochet and learning some new stitches and techniques in crochet. It’s been a nice change learning something new, and not being too stressed at work to enjoy some decent down-time on evenings and weekends. I’m hoping next year will see me doing these projects on time each month again, seeing as I’ve just resubscribed for another 12 months 🙂
Here are some of my projects I’ve been working on this last week or two – I even managed a mandala finish that I’m super proud of!
Belatedly adding my update for October, although it’s the first WIP update I’ve made for quite some time. I’ve gone crazy stitching quite a bit since my return home – it’s helped me to take my mind off Dad’s passing and Mum coping on her own. So without further ado, here are my WIP updates and some other finishes.
Just Cross Stitch ornament SAL
I managed to finish all the remaining ornaments for a 12-month long ornament challenge using the 2018 Just Cross Stitch ornament issue – I used my two wild cards to change out two of the ornaments where I didn’t like one or didn’t have all the required threads and nothing to substitute with. The ornies I finished in October were:
Works in Progress / UFOs
I dragged out a few older WIPs/UFOs that were in my to-do-list for the year but that I hadn’t touched yet … I’ve failed my goals this year miserably, but at least I’ve managed some progress on a few projects for the year, even if it’s really small progress …
When I first came home I decided to start a new canvaswork project – I managed great progress until my fingers got too sore to keep yanking the threads through the canvas, so it’s been put into time out for a while, and I’ll probably pick it up again in 2020 to finish it off, if not before.
After I finished my JCS ornie SAL challenge, I decided to pick up a quick project that’s been kitted up for years – and finished it in a couple of days.
Question of the Month: Do you prefer to stitch on a rotation or one project at a time?
It depends on my mood at the time, to be honest – I work well with a rotation when I’m in the mood, it helps me to progress through projects quickly as long as I have them all set up together ready for me to work through the order of projects without having to hunt for items, or frames, or threads etc. I’ve been doing a screaming rotation of sorts for a while now – just stitching on what I feel like stitching on and not counting the hours at all. I’d like to get back to a formal rotation again, but I think I’ll wait until the new year for that.
Those that are friends with me on Facebook will know that I’ve just returned home after 3 1/2 months of personal leave back in New Zealand. My beloved Dad had a fall and broke his hip towards the end of June, and his recovery was far from smooth-sailing. He developed numerous infections during his time there, and was eventually sent home with an untreated infection in his system that took his body over a week later. After 3 months (minus that one week at home after 2 months) he lost his battle in the hospital and passed away on 26 September. It was probably a blessing at that point because he was suffering so much 😦 RIP Dad – I love you and miss you so much, and I’ll miss our weekly phone calls catching up with all of your news. This photo is from his first day home from hospital before he became unwell again.
Not unexpectedly, my craft mojo was pretty absent while in NZ – I tried doing crochet but lost the ability to count and after a couple of weeks of attempting different shawl patterns had to frog everything back again. I also struggled to see the fabric holes properly to be able to do cross stitch so most of the projects I took with me to work on in the evenings wasn’t of any use. I finally settled on a charity piece of stitching that was stitched on 14-count Aida cloth, and it became the piece that I could stitch on in the hospital room while Dad was sleeping or doing crosswords.
Since returning home on the weekend I’ve managed to get a lot of stitching done, and it’s actually helped to calm my mind and give me a bit of peace after such a tumultuous few months. First of all I did a bit of the canvaswork piece I was working on before I had the phone call from NZ.
Then today I finished the Christmas ornament that I was struggling to see the fabric on while in NZ.
Not sure what’s up next – I really want to finish the JCS Christmas Ornament SAL on Facebook this year, so that’ll probably be my main focus for the remainder of the year, unless I throw in a larger WIP inbetween the ornies. Time will tell …
Progress on my WIPs had been very minimal during April until the Easter weekend. Still getting over that dratted virus (close to two months now it’s been hanging around!) – and at crunch time of a major project at work meaning some long hours and not much mental capacity left over at the end of the day. My poor old crafts have been neglected majorly, and I knew if I attempted any I’d just end up frogging at the end of it … then Easter weekend arrived and that all changed!
Over Easter I decided to have a binge weekend watching old movie DVDs and stitching. That saw me putting the final stitches into the Mirabilia retreat dragonfly from last year. I stitched this one differently to how I’d normally stitch – I did it as a rough mirror image, starting from the same starting point on each side for each strand of thread (particularly the overdyed silks). There’s a bit of variation in places, but it’s pretty symmetrical and I really like it. The darker silk actually has a heap of deep pinks and purples in it, but I managed to get a couple of strands of just the green and grey-blues and cut out the pinks.
I made a couple of small changes to the design as it was charted – I only used one strand of thread for the lettering and moved the lettering down slightly on the fabric. I also chose not to stitch the swirly date as charted so it didn’t take away from the dragonfly itself – instead I just added a smaller ‘2018’ in one strand of 310 to match the lettering above it. It’s a great memento of the weekend away, and the photos will never do it justice, it’s quite sparkly in real life.
This is how it looked at the start of the month, and in it’s finished glory 🙂
And I just quickly snuck in one other WIP update today before publishing my post! I recently had a small windfall from work, and my biggest splurge for myself was the purchase of a brand new Janome sewing machine. To christen it I dragged out a retreat project from 1 1/2 years ago that just needed to be turned into the actual bag (I finished the stitching a year ago) – one more WIP into the finish-finished pile, woohoo!!
Question of the month:
Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO.
Ah yes, my oldest UFO … I have so little love for this thing, I’m not sure it will ever get finished. I have made so many mistakes, it’s not funny! The first time I ever attempted stitching on linen, and the first time I’d come across a chart that didn’t use two strands of cotton for all stitches.
I stitched the top in two strands instead of one, which I can live with … but then I made a massive mistake on the big tree log or duck at the front, and I think I pretty much need to frog the entire section. Add to the fact that it’s using old threads that have since changed during the dying process and I don’t have enough old thread to restitch that log again anyway … yep, it’s a hot mess! I suppose I could always start stitching from the top down again and try to fudge the bottom, but I’m considering doing the backstitching of the parts I’ve already stitched, and cutting it up to have the deer or something else the focal point in a wee frame instead, or add it to a tote bag pocket or something.
Either way, I’m not sure this design will ever see the light of day as a fully finished piece! I don’t love it enough to worry about it – and it’ll never be framed and put on my walls (my tastes have majorly changed over the years) … the poor thing is a bit of a lost cause! Mind you, I guess I could finish it and give it to the SPCA to fundraise or something – maybe someone else would love it … maybe …
Over the Easter weekend I had an exceptionally lazy and indulgent four days stitching my little heart out while watching old movie DVDs. The result was to finish three projects that I started in February/March during my Mum’s recent visit to Australia. The dragonfly was an earlier WIP that’ll be the subject of my April WIPocalypse post 🙂
Yet again progress on my WIPs has been very minimal during March. Mainly due to feeling unwell for so long, and when I returned to work I just didn’t have any energy for stitching at the end of the day. I did manage to get a tiny bit of stitching done during the month, though, on an older WIP so at least I have something to post this month! 😉
This is the free chart we received at the 2018 Mirabilia Retreat on the Central Coast. I’m not entirely sure I like how the date appears so I decided to start my stitching session with unpicking the existing stitches. I’ve decided to stitch both sides at the same time and in the same stitching order, so the wings are going to turn out (hopefully) relatively symmetrical. Here’s the progress I’ve made so far, but I’m ready for a change, so I think it’ll be rotated out with something else in April.
Question of the month:
What newer designers and product creators (fabric or floss dyeing, etc) out there have you discovered and recommend?
Truthfully I haven’t really been looking for new designers or artisans, I’m a bit stuck in my ways and happy with the ones I already know – that’s not to say I don’t see the odd design that someone is stitching in one of the Facebook groups and might have a quick glance at their Etsy shop etc if I like what I see. I have to say, though, I haven’t found any so far that I’d add a “favourite” tag to. My favourite fabric dyer still remains as countrystitch.com, and my favourite designer this year is probably Needle Delights Originals (Kathy Rees) because I’ve bought a truckload of her canvaswork designs this year and kitted them up.