Wishing you and yours a wonderful 2014! May this year bring lots of stitching time and maybe even the occasional finish of a U.F.O.
I found this write-up posted to one of the Facebook groups that I belong to and I thought it was worth sharing. I will tackle my stitching room right after lunch and try fight my way through the mess that as accumulate on my table - not sure if I will have enough time today to organize my "works in progress".
No More UFO's by Rev. Chris Miller
"My house looks like the typical cross stitcher's house: the chest bookcase in the hobby room has stacks of leaflets, kits and magazines hiding behind the doors, and three shelves of cross stitch books. I have enough cross stitch patterns and ideas to last several lifetimes! In the dresser in the guest bedroom are two drawers full of fabrics and a fabric chart and order form. And under my bed is a long plastic craft box filled with DMC floss, Kreinik metallics and several other kinds of specialty things.
But one thing you will NOT find in my house are UFO's. You know, those dreaded UnFinished Objects: the one you started three years ago, and got so sick of that you hid it away behind the boxes in the back corner of the closet. I don't HAVE any UFO's. And I haven't had any for more than four years, ever since I started using the Rotation System for my stitching. I was working ona trio of Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum's angels for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, and I was getting angel overload. So I started switching off on the angels, and I found that the stitching went better. And the Rotation System began to evolve.
Over the past four years, I have refined my system, and now I never have a project I am sick of. Let me describe how my system works:
All of my current projects are stored in plastic vegetable storage bags -- the kind with the tiny holes, so the projects can breathe. Every project is numbered and I work on one project for ten hours stitching time, then move on to the next project. When I have completed ten hours on each of the ongoing projects, I get to start another project, adding it to the rotation. Then I go back to the top project and start over. This way, I start on a different project about every six to ten weeks, depending on how many projects are going on.
During some rotations, I may not finish a single project, but the next rotation, I may finish two or three. So the number of projects being worked on ranges from about four to no more than eight or nine. And those old UFO's? When I Have finished ten hours on that awful project, I can put it away with a clear conscience: I made ten hours of progress toward completion of the project, and I have permission to do something I like a lot better.
I devised a simple chart with a series of X-marks to show how many hours I have done. Each X represents ten hours of stitching time. My chart looks something like this:
1. Earth Angel XXXXXXX
2. Earth Sampler XXXXX
3. Literary Cat XXXX
4. I finished #4 last time
5. TW Castle XX
6. Wedding Sampler X
7. Casa de Cios
8. MLI Santa
9. Band Sampler
10. Goose Girl
I am currently working on #5, and when I reach the 10 hour mark, I will add an X to my chart and move on to the wedding sampler. Projects listed as 8-10 are ones I am thinking of starting. Before I get there, I may have changed my mind. That's part of the fun.
If this sounds like fun, how to get started? First, go on a treasure hunt. Find ALL of the UFO's in the house, even the ones in the bottom of the suitbag in the closet. Get them ALL out. Now choose four of these projects. Make a good variety among the ones you select. Unless you only do samplers, for instance, don't only select samplers. You might want to have some variety as you go from one to the next; you want some fun ones. So include Christmas ornaments, or something easy for some of them.
Number them in bags and write out your chart (make a separate list of UFO's you didn't put on your working list, and the new projects you want to do as a "seed list" from which to add new projects from your working list.) Then stitch ten hours on each of the four in turn. When you get to number four, decide which one you will add as number five, go back to number one, and do the cycle again, adding number six this time. Make some of these added projects totally new ones you have wanted to do as well as give yourself a treat. Repeat again. Even the project you are totally sick of looking at will eventually get done, and there's no guilt at putting down at the end of 10 hours. After all, you are ten hours closer to being done. And you will have started at least a couple of new projects. I think you will be excited about your stitching again.
But what if you have a project with a deadline? Work it into your rotation: do ten hours on number one, then ten on your urgent project, and go back to number two, then your urgent one, etc... The urgent one will work up quickly, and you can keep your rotation going.
One last comment: save all the dimes you get. You're going to be doing a lot of framing, and the dimes will come in handy to cover framing costs. Keep on stitching!" -- Rev. Chris Miller