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wip_button3I have learned the hard way, that I don’t do well with hard and fast goals these day. Between my health and Marcus’ needs, I can never be sure if I’ll be able to do things as I plan. It’s why I don’t commit to much these days, although I’ll do things if I can manage.

With it being New Years Day today, I’ve been considering over the last few days if I want to have any guidelines (not resolutions or goals) for my stitching and reading in 2014. I was going to say no, when I found WIPocalypse 2014 through Zeb’s blog Keep Calm and Cross Stitch.

I like this one. It doesn’t require me to plan to do huge numbers of projects, or work on a particular theme or stitch things from a particular designer. What it does do is encourage me to keep working on my current projects and have a chance to share and chat with other stitchers doing the same thing. That is exactly what I want to do.

So yes, I’m taking the plunge and signing up.

I have a few projects I want to focus on this year. Knowing my health issues, I’m not necessarily expecting to finish anything, but I want to make some progress, especially on the first three. (Links go to my Flickr album for each project.)

I am considering letting myself start one small project as well this year. If I finish that, I can start another, etc. Right now I have two things that would fit into this plan and I remain tempted by both, but don’t want another actual start right now. (Links go to the designers’ sites.)

On top of that I have several quilting projects I want to keep up with. Not cross stitch, but otherwise they fit the WIPocalypse category just like my big stitching projects do. (Links for the Flickr albums again.)

(If you sensed a theme in the quilts, that’s because 2013 was Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary year and lots of designers tempted me with cool things, although the hexgaon quilt I came up with on my own.)

Updates are to be posted around the full moon of each month and there will be a discussion topic as well. These are (as of the beginning of 2014) as follows:

Full moon dates and Topics for 2014:

  1. January  16- Topic: Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!
  2. February 14 – 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!
  3. March 16 – Topic:  Show us your favorite places to stitch.
  4. April 15 – Topic:  How do you keep your stash organized?
  5. May 14 – Topic:  What designs or themes do you really wish you could find?  What do you think is missing among stitching designs?
  6. June 13 – Topic:  Have you ever been to a stitch gathering such as a retreat or a festival? If so, tell us about it!
  7. July 12 – Topic:  It’s halfway to Christmas.  Do you start your holiday stitching this early?  If so, what do you hope to accomplish this year?
  8. August 10 – Topic:  Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs.
  9. September 9 – Topic:  TBD
  10. October 8 – Topic:  Are you a Halloween or Christmas stitcher?
  11. November 6 – Topic:  TBD
  12. December 6 – Theme: Recap your accomplishments for the year! (Your finishes, your final before/after photos, etc).

As always with something like this, I have no idea if I’ll be able to keep it up or not. I want to, but real life has a habit of getting in the way. We’ll see and I’ll give it my best shot.

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I’m so far behind with blogging my crafty projects, that I think I’m going to cheat and make a post for each project by linking to its Flickr album, as I am pretty much up to date over there. Before I do, I wanted to add a little background on each one, especially the new ones that I’ve started since my unintended blogging hiatus began.

Fandom in Stitches Doctor Who SAL

I can’t actually remember where I first heard about this one, but it was right as it was about to begin. I suspect it was through a link on Facebook though. Fandom in Stitches generally design foundation pieced quilt blocks of various fandom-related themes. (I now have file directories on my computer for a Harry Potter quilt, a The Hobbit quilt and part of a Lord of the Rings quilt as that one is still ongoing).

Differently, this quilt was to be made up of 12 embroidered blocks that could then be patched together however the stitcher chose, although there was a suggestion for the borders. A new pattern came out each week and I’m very proud of myself that I managed to keep up, including when I decided to redesign 3 of the blocks myself to make them more like the quilt I wanted to make. (That’s the 8th and 10th doctors and the final 12th block; see the PDF patterns category link in the sidebar to find them.) I’ve really enjoyed making this (I’m quilting it now) and look forward to showing it off once it is done.

Doctor Who Foundation Pieced QAL

If I heard about the previous project on Facebook, then this one was probably the same. It’s a foundation pieced quilt of 20 Doctor Who themed blocks. It had started just one week before the FiS one and its blocks come out on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month. So I wasn’t too far behind and I decided to take the plunge and join both. It’s been a little stressful now and then, but I’m having a lot of fun. I have never done a lot of foundation piecing and the first block was the TARDIS, which turned out to be rather a challenge. I’ve taken the lessons learnt on that one to heart and the later ones have, generally, been easier. I now have the TARDIS, a Time Lord, K9, SS M. de Pompadour, Bad Wolf and a Werewolf. This month’s task is the current sonic screwdriver. I have no idea what I’m going to do with this quilt when it’s finished, but I’ve decided that isn’t really the point, and if I’m enjoying making the blocks right now, that’s what counts.

Hexagons are Cool

Embarrassing as it to admit it, this quilt (started long before the two above) also has a (much more subtle) Doctor Who theme. I’m making a 900 hexagon small quilt made from scrap hexagons with Who themed ones scattered through it. Since I was last posting I have finished all the hexagons (I ended up with 923) and I have 8 strips of 10 hexagons sewn together.

Kiwiana Quilt for Marcus

When Marcus moved from his cot to a toddler bed, I quickly threw together a single bed sized quilt for him to have on the bed – ironically, I made if for the summer when it is more comfortable to sleep under a quilt that a full-blown duvet, and it’s been well used. (It has faded fabric patterns, which I consider a sign of good use.) Towards the beginning of this year, we faced up to the fact that he was getting too big for it – especially when he wanted one of us to lie beside him and we ended up on the floor. So we went looking for a bigger bed. After considering king singles and doubles, we took the leap and bought a queen size. We figured there was plenty of room if mum or dad needed to climb in with him and if we had a couple to stay, they could always use his bed while he slept on a camp bed in out room.

Only problem, the quilt was now way too small. So I started a full sized quilt for Marcus; my main requirement was that it not be too “childish” so that he could still use it as a teenager when dragons or trucks or lego or something similar might not be so cool. I finally found a lovely quilt that used Kiwi-themed motif fabrics in an issue of Australian Patchwork and Quilting and decided to go with that. In typical Kerry fashion I changed the pattern a bit and the colours a bit more, but I ended up with something I think I’ll be able to be proud of. I’ve started the quilting on it, but it is so big (the biggest quilt I’ve ever made) that I had to take a break – especially when I had Doctor Who embroidery and paper piecing to do to a deadline.

Did I tell you about Dirk the Dragon and the Weighted Blanket?

I so, I won’t bother you again. If I didn’t, let me know and I’ll add a “get up to date” post for that too.

Autumn Queen

By Mirabilia’s Nora Adams, this is the fourth in a series of seasonal queens. I have not only done the first three, but managed to slot all four into a Doctor Who (good grief, it shows up again) fanfic I wrote back in the late 1990s (I’m even willing to put that up if someone really wants me to). Somehow, I never got to the last one, so right now she’s lying about attached to some scroll rods, wondering is she’ll ever be stitched on again. I hope so, but I’m right out of cross stitch mojo right now, which is why I’m doing surface embroidery, hand piecing, paper piecing and quilting instead. I would like to get her done and finish the set one day though.

Defender of the Kingdom Restart and QS Garnet Restart

These are Heaven and Earth Designs charts that I (wisely? stupidly?) decided to restart as tent stitch 2 over 1 on 28-count instead of the 1 over 1 crosses I’d been doing on 25-count. The theory was that they would be a lot quicker to stitch that way, which would make up for the time I lost restarting. Maybe it would of worked, but that’s about where my stitching mojo went AWOL so I haven’t got all that far. I also had other issues with QS Garnet, that I’ll cover when I do an update post on that one.

Seekrit Project

The fact enthusiasm rules over sense will be confirmed with this one, where I started yet another HAED project (2 over 1 tent on 28-ct if you’re wondering) to be a present for Marcus. It’s run off with the stitching mojo and right now it’s at a stand still.

Cinderella and Illuminated Medieval Sampler

See all the above cross stitch projects that are currently unloved and uncompleted, but that I can’t put aside. I still really like both of these. I still want to finish them. I remain hopeful but realise it would be unwise to hold my breath for such a result. All the same, I’ve been smart enough not to restart either of these two.

So there you go. I think that covers the main projects. It’s my bedtime now, so I’ll work through my list and try to get some pictures up before too much time goes by. I’ll also try not to start anything else. (But there’s that dragon quilt for Marcus that’s still in the postage bag wanting to be done by this birthday in January…)

Really, I won’t start anything else. 🙂

It’s been driving me crazy, not having something to do with my hands when I’m sitting watching TV, even if it’s just the news.

I did get out Defender of the Kingdom, but at 1 over 1 on 25-count, it’s too small for me to see with my glasses on – and I can’t see the TV if I have my glasses off. It’s also a bit fiddly for my current metal and physical energy level.

After briefly considering picking up so long-abandoned Hardanger, I decided to hunt out Mirabilia’s Autumn Queen. I’ve already stitched the first three seasonal queens (Winter Queen, Summer Queen, Spring Queen) and I always wanted to do this one to finish the set. Unfortunately, it got caught up in my general stitching decline. Since I had started Cinderella, I felt I had to finish that before starting something else by Mirabilia. Having officially made Cinderella a UFO makes me more comfortable about starting a new project.

Autumn Queen Model

I knew I already had the fabric because I’d bought an entire strip of white Belfast when starting Spring Queen and only needed half of it, so the rest was waiting, all labelled for Autumn Queen. I had also pulled out the Kreinik for the design ages ago. I even managed to find it today. When I looked, it turned out I already had all the beads as well and most of the DMC. So I need to buy the crystal treasures, some DMC and (yuck) some Wisper thread for her cloak. I used that in Winter Queen and it’s horrible stuff to work with. But I’ll manage.

I picked this one to try to have as a current project because it’s 2 over 2 on 32-count so I should be able to see it with my glasses on, because a Mirabilia design is generally an easy stitch but makes up into something beautiful, and because I’d love to finally have all four queens finished. (Although we’ll have to take out a mortgage on the house we don’t own to pay to frame them all, as the other three are rolled up in the cupboard because I wanted all the frames to match.)

So far, I’ve stitched a grand total of 14 stitches. Hopefully there will be more.

8th January, 2012

I have, with a little more careful thought than the post title suggests, decided to make Mirabilia’s Cinderella officially a UFO.

Cinderella on 19th September 2011; now a UFO

As you can see, I didn’t get very far with the figure, but I did finish the castle. I still like the design a lot and I still love the fabric colour heaps. However, I just found I didn’t want to stitch it, and when I did pick it up I only ever did a few stitches before putting it down again.

I think the fabric is one issue. It is supposed to be hand-dyed 32-ct Belfast, but it went very soft and kind of fragile when it was dyed, making it fussy to stitch on. The rest, I’m not really sure about. The design, much as I like it when I look at it, isn’t working out as something I actually want to stitch on.

Having it stuck on the go also means I’m not comfortable starting something else as I don’t want my number of WIPs to get any higher than it is already. With this one put aside, it frees up a space if I want it. Right now, I have no intention of starting anything else, but it is nice to feel I can, should I wish to. If/when I do, it will probably be another Mirabilia as I still have Autumn Queen to do out of the four seasonal queens. The other three are rolled up in the cupboard waiting for me to finish the last one – and then win the lottery so I can afford to get them framed.

I may have to seriously consider scrapping/UFO-ifying a couple of other designs as well. They are things I still love and want to stitch, but maybe I need to let them go for a while. (That or start over on bigger fabric since my eyesight is nothing like what it was when I started them. I don’t know how I ever managed to stitch 1-over-1 on 32-ct fabric!)