January 2017 WIPocalypse Check-in

WIPocalypse ButtonHello everyone!

January definitely flew by, didn’t it?  Thanks to some iffy weather weekends and lots of playoff football, it was a productive one on this end.  I hope that you found some quiet time to enjoy your projects as well.

I’ve heard some concern about the Facebook group, and whether or not it would take over the blog updates.  I want to assure those on the blogs that this is definitely not the case – WIPocalypse is, and will always be, a blog-focused Stitch-a-Long.  The Facebook group is merely an interactive social tool for the participants to communicate and share their progress in real-time, or get some encouragement if they’re feeling stuck.  If you’ve been in SAL for a while, you’ll recall I tried to do a message board forum back in 2012 and 2013, but it just didn’t work out.  Facebook is the place to go for the immediate gratification these days.  I know there are quite a few people in the Facebook group who do not do the check-ins because they don’t have blogs… and that’s okay.  We’ve always had several people “stitching in spirit” with us, all the way back to the first round in 2012.  Perhaps they’ll be interested in creating stitchy blogs themselves, or perhaps their comfort is simply stitching in spirit – and that is, of course, always welcomed.  The most important thing is that we’re having fun with our projects… and the more sharing, the better!

My cup of morning coffee needs to be refreshed, and I have a three-year-old who’s threatening to spread Legos all over the living room as barefoot mines… so I’d best get this post up and live.

I look forward to seeing your progress photos – have a wonderful, productive February!

Happy stitching,

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

Next posting date:  February 26, 2017

Topic for next time: What is your favorite stitch other than the standard cross stitch?  (bonus points if you provide a how-to link or diagram it on your blog post!)

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Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.


My January WIPocalypse Update…

I think this last Sunday of the month plan is going to work out much better.  At least right now, it’s going as envisioned… Max is playing and watching cartoons.  I’m enjoying my morning coffee and catching up on blog posting.  Perfect!

I had a very good January stitching-wise – two finishes!  The one I’m much more proud of has to be first, of course.  🙂

Blue Jeans and Daisies - FINISHED 1/22/17

Blue Jeans and Daisies, designed by Blue Ribbon Designs. Started Jan 1, 2013; completed Jan 22, 2017. Fabric and all threads per design. Stitched on 30ct WDW Blue Jeans with Weeks threads.

Yes – Blue Jeans and Daisies is finished!  I began that little birdhouse in the top left corner as my New Year’s start in 2013, when I was 7 months pregnant with Max.  The final stitch (the heart over the house in the center panel) was done last weekend.  A few months ago, I posted about how this piece has definitely been a journey.  I have an index card written with archival ink to tell about some of the different squares and what I was doing in life.  I plan on having it placed on the backside of the framing paper when I get this one professionally framed, so it serves as a memory record.

Overall – a very fun stitch.  Life just had a way of making this one a bit difficult for me.  The only time I really felt bogged down were those beautiful flowering trees in the center panel – they look lovely, but I stumbled through them for some reason.

So hooray!  Big finish!

My other finish of the month was for the Smalls SAL, and I talked about it in yesterday’s post.

Ornament - stitching completed 1/16/17

Smalls SAL – Drop Ornament. Stitched on 28 ct antique white with DMC 221.

I’ll get that put together in the next couple months. As long as it’s ready for the tree in December, I’m good!

I also did a little bit of stitching on a very old UFO, Smoky Mountain Cats, as part of the “Full Coverage on Fifth” SAL on January 5th in the Stitch Maynia group on Facebook.  Progress on that one really isn’t worth posting a photo of at this point, though, since I spent half of the evening trying to figure out my colors… since my key has gone wandering.  THAT was not fun.  But I think I have it resolved, so it’ll be my “Full on Fifth” piece for the rest of the year.

My final piece is what’s back on my frame right now – the Never Ending Sampler SAL.

Never Ending Sampler - as started 1/1/17

Started Jan 1, 2017. Stitched on an old piece of 32 ct Silkweavers (color name unknown) with DMC Ecru and Threadworx Hawaiian Flowers (#1068).

This is a free ongoing band sampler SAL created and hosted by Kitty and Me Designs. So far she has posted 15 bands. The first three went very quickly – I got them done in about 3-4 hours. I’m now working band 4, and I’d like to get another 5-6 bands done before I switch to another project again.

So yep, a very good month and good start to my WIPocalypse 2017 – I’ve already defeated two WIPs.  🙂  Not sure how my next month of stitching will go, but I have my three-day retreat to Stitcher’s Hideaway coming up, so I expect I’ll get a lot of stitching done.  I may intentionally find the pieces that I’m close to finishing so I have another finish to post!

So… onto the WIPocalypse Question of the month… What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

I’m participating in three year-long ones:  WIPocalypse (obviously… hard not to when you’re hosting it!), the Smalls SAL, and the Never Ending Sampler SAL (both linked above and on my sidebar).  I’ll also be participating in some event day and themed month SALs being hosted within the Stitch Maynia group on Facebook.

With the exception of the sampler SAL, everything else is intentionally tied into my WIPocalypse stitching… I figure the more motivation, the better!

And that’s my update for this month!

Smalls SAL – January

It’s time for the first monthly check-in for Heather’s Smalls SAL this year.  And I am happy to announce a finish!  (not a finishing finish… just a stitching finish).

This is a little kit that my local circle (New England Stitching Sisters) did as a group project a couple years ago.  We go on a group retreat every October, and we have one small kit that’s used as a mini teaching class and souvenir of the trip. I’d started it then, but didn’t have an appropriate sized hoop.  I started stitching in hand, but it’s just not the method that works for me… so the little thing got put aside until I got home (and then of course, mixed into the stash fray).

Ornament - stitching completed 1/16/17

This is stitched on simple white 28 ct linen with DMC 221.  I just have to get the backstitched line around the design, and like so many other finishing techniques, it will be used to construct the ornament.  Instead of a biscornu or another square-style finish, this will be built according to the original inspiration:  Sylvia’s Kreuzstich Liebe. I’ve been nicknaming it a “fan drop” ornament for my own usage.  It’s very different – and very pretty!

So hooray! First month’s Smalls SAL goal is accomplished. Next month, I hope to finish the stitching on You Were Hatched.  And maybe I’ll have this ornament constructed by then, too.  (but I’ll likely wait and do a bunch of them at once later this year).

Happy stitching everyone!

My Stitching Dreams and Goals for 2017

Max is getting a little older, and so I’m hoping that this year can be the one that I get back into my groove with my stitching. I’ve been in a bit of a chaotic “just grab that one” mode for a while, and it’s definitely not my preferred stitching style. I like a rotation, and I feel like I make more progress on a rotation, so I’m going back to one this year.

Part of the fun, of course, is going through your stash and projects and allowing yourself to dream about what you can do. I indulged myself on Friday to do just that. I wanted to give myself a mix of style and size, since I tend to be a big project stitcher.  I think I’ve succeeded.

Stitch-a-Longs
I’m participating in a few stitch-a-longs this year to keep things moving. 🙂 They include:
–  The WIPocalypse (obviously!)
–  2017 Smalls SAL, hosted by Stitching Lotus
–  The Never Ending Sampler SAL, hosted by Kitty and Me Designs
–  Stitch From Stash, via Facebook
–  Various “Event” Day SALs, hosted on Stitch Mania on Facebook

The only one that involved a new start was the Never Ending Sampler SAL. Everything else, I’ll be incorporating things that I’ve either already started or things that I own and have kitted.

Projects

I have waaay too many large unfinished projects, so my focus this year is on getting things done and moving a few pieces forward that have been neglected. I’m allowing myself the Sampler SAL above and one other moderate-sized start this year.  Otherwise any starts I have will be things from stash that will qualify for the Smalls SAL.

Photos of all of these were just taken tonight before I started my blog entry.  Please pardon any wrinkles!  These are my main focus this year.

Never Ending Sampler SAL - started 1/1/17
Never Ending Sampler SAL. This was started yesterday for my New Years 2017 start and is all of the progress I made yesterday. It’s stitched on 32 ct evenweave from Silkweavers with ecru DMC and Threadworx Hawaiian Flowers. Later panels will likely be other color combinations, to use stash that’s been lingering around the house.  There are no real goals for this – it’s just to play as time and interest allows.  Wherever I end is where it will end.  🙂

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To Have a Child, by Rosewood Manor.  This is Max’s birth sampler.  I’ve been stuck because the stitching font provided in the chart isn’t the same as what is on the model of the chart (it’s similar, but not the same height).  I need to graph out Max’s details and get this going again.  My main goal is to get the personalized information stitched, but I’d love to get this finished.

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Witches Wheel, by Glendon Place.  My never-ending stitching on orange fabric.  I plan to finish this by Halloween this year.  Yeah, I know… I say that every year.

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Blue Jeans and Daisies, by Blue Ribbon Designs.  I’ve been working on this piece exclusively since July.  I just have a few more flowers, a house, and the date to add to that center panel and it’s done.  If all goes well, I’ll have this done by the end of January.

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Noah’s Ark, by Teresa Wentzler.  I adopted this piece years ago from someone else, but I have a glut of Wentzlers and haven’t touched it that much.  My goal is to get the rest of the alphabet stitched in the center and the left vertical panel of animals done by the end of the year.

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Four Seasons of Mystic, by Jeannette Douglas Designs.  Last year I finished the summer panel (except for the boat rigging, which I’ll add at the end since it’s long stitches that’ll get snagged otherwise) and started autumn.  My goal is to finish at least Autumn this year.

Quaker Compass - as of 1/1/17
Quaker Compass, by Rosewood Manor.  I honestly have no real goals for this one… I just want to have a stress-free piece to throw stitches into with no worries about color changes.  🙂  This likely will be one of my travel pieces for work, since it’s low-maintenance on floss changing.

Leaping Cat - as of 1/1/17
Leaping Cat, by La-D-Da.  This was my New Year’s start last year.  It’s a smaller piece, so I hope to complete it sometime this year.

Floral Bellpull - as of 1/1/17
Floral Bellpull, by Teresa Wentzler.  I have had this piece so close to being done for so long!  But first I lost the pattern, then found it… and then lost my floss box.  But it’s now been found, so this baby’s getting done sometime this year!  I have one full plus one partial box to put full stitches in, plus the backstitching.

Book of Ink Circles - as of 1/1/17
Book of Ink Circles, by Ink Circles.  Last year I discovered some major counting errors in my outlining boxes and spent a bunch of time picking out about half of what I’d done.  Once frogged, I needed to step away from it for a while.  But in the meantime, I found a color palette (thanks to Rosewood Manor) that I absolutely adore, so this piece will get energized love this year.  No real goals – I just want to make progress.

You Were Hatched
You Were Hatched, by Teresa Wentzler.  I have this piece started, and it’s about 2/3 complete.  I plan to finish it as one of my monthly smalls projects – probably in February when I attend Stitcher’s Hideaway.

Zipper Pouches
Zipper Pouches, by It’s Fine-ally Finished (Jackie du Plessis).  Jackie stitches with our group whenever she’s free, and she used us as a testing group on this project that she’ll be teaching.  There are three pouches – strawberry, lavendar, and carnation.  I have all three of them.  Strawberry is currently in progress.  I plan on finishing at least one of them for the smalls SAL this year.

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Astrology Sampler, by Witches Stitches.  This long out of print project is one I’d been itching to start, and then Max happened.  🙂  No specific goals on this one this year – I just want to push it forward.  Since it’s on black, I know it will go slower.

Why I Love New England - as of 1/1/17
Why I Love New England, by The Sampler Needlework.  I bought this chart ages ago at the designer’s shop in Plymouth, Ma.  The shop is sadly now gone, and I’m still plugging away.  My goal this year is to get the top section (two pages across) complete.

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Alpha-Bits, by Wild-Heart Designs.  This will be my other start for the beginning of the year, and was planned last autumn.  A couple women in my local stitching circle have completed this design, and they’ve said it’s a lot of fun.  I don’t have a lot of experience on banding, so am diving in with this one.  The threads are Cherry Cola by Nina’s Threads.

I also have Deep Blue Sea, my Chatelaine.  I do hope to give it some love too, but won’t get to it until I get a couple of these projects completed.  Stitching on it is still a bit too nerve-wracking with Max around.

I don’t doubt there will be some other project work, and it’s possible that I’ll get to one or more of these and just not “feel” them, but that’s okay. I have more than enough to stitch on, and plenty to swap out if something’s not working.

Perhaps a bit lofty, but hey… that’s the dream, right?  🙂  Here’s to a productive crafty 2017!

~ Mel.

January 2017 WIPocalypse – Happy New Year!

WIPocalypse ButtonHappy New Year everyone!

I hope that your celebrations with family and friends were happy ones this holiday season.  It’s about noon here on New Year’s Day, and I’ve already enjoyed throwing some stitches into a new start for the year.

I’ve enjoyed a quiet week off between Christmas and New Year’s, in which I had the pleasure of sitting down and looking through all of the pieces I’ve started but not finished, or kitted (either fully or partially).  I love the whole process of dreaming and imagining what I might finish for the year, and discovering projects I forgot I had.  (the memory’s a bit fuzzy about stitching pre-Max, I have to admit!)  While I know the dreaming goes a bit out of control with how much time I’ll actually be able to sit with a needle, I’m feeling good about this year.  Max is a bit older, and I can safely stitch with him in the room now for small bursts.  I just need to plan the appropriate projects for those times, and I might actually get a good amount done!

This check-in post marks the beginning of the sixth edition of the WIPocalypse.  If you’re a veteran stitcher, welcome back to the (low-key) insanity!  🙂  And if you’re joining us for the first time, welcome!  You’ll find that this is a very easy-going, low-key stitch-a-long.  It’s here purely to celebrate our progress and accomplishments.  Anything goes!

If you missed the post last month, I just wanted to remind folks of the format for this year:

  • Monthly check-in posts will now go live on the final Sunday of each month (with the exception of this post, of course). The dates for this year’s postings are on the WIPocalypse Info Page.
  • Stitcher’s blogging questions will continue for 2017.  You can find those questions on the info page as well.  They remain optional, of course.  And as always, if you have any questions you’d like added to the queue, please let me know!
  • We now have a Facebook group!  Come join us for some everyday stitchy progress sharing and a comfortable atmosphere to meet your fellow stitchers.

 

There may be other surprises upcoming through the year, providing time and life doesn’t go completely haywire for me as it did in 2016.  So stay tuned!

I’ll finish this post here so we can get this SAL started.  Happy stitching, everyone!

Best,

Melissa

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Important SAL Announcements…

Question of the Month – Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!

Next posting date:  January 29, 2017

Topic for next time: What Stitch-a-Longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

*~~~~*~~~~~~*

Please remember that this stitch-a-long is intended to be fun – so if you’re too busy to post, too busy/ill/etc. to stitch – no worries. Post when you can and share what you have going, even if you’ve only been able to toss a single stitch into it. If you miss a few months, not a problem – just jump back in when you’re back with us! It’s not a race or a competition – we’re all just here to cheer each other on with our progress.

Due to different browsing software, some bloggers have found it difficult to check-in with their posts. There are three different ways to check in:

    • Via Auto-link
    • Via comments (make sure you include your blog address!)
    • Via email – to measiwitch(at)gmail.com, only if the other two options are not working. Again- make sure you include your blog address! I’ll add it to the auto-link myself when I have a free moment.