In my part of the world we say you are a fool if your passion for a pursuit overcomes all practical sense. I am a stitching fool, and I stitch foolishness.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Going Around in Circles

There are forty-bazillion projects I want to stitch, now that Mary Otter is finished. I realized this when I was rummaging around the stash yesterday, trying to decide what I want to work on next.

I want to do ALL of them.

In the early years of the innerwebs, Carole Lake introduced me to the Rotation System. The idea was that you pick out ten projects you want to finish (or start). You put each project with all of its parts and tools into its own tote bag, so you have ten tote bags all lined up. You work on each project for ten hours, then put it back in its tote bag and move on to the next.

I tried it for about a year and it worked beautifully. It was very motivating to get some things done so I could add something new, and I did get some older projects finished. It was a little too restrictive after awhile, and I went back to work full-time, and I was doing a lot of pilot stitching, so it fell by the wayside.

Since then I've tried other rotation systems that have worked with varying degrees of success or lack thereof.  I resolved earlier this year that I was going to set up some kind of rotation system that I can live with. And I think I may have figured out how to work one.

So here are my loosey-goosey rules for my rotation, with their loopholes:

  • I have to work on each project in the list for at least ten hours during that cycle.  Loopholes: The ten hours don't have to be consecutive--some things are better to work on when there is an expanse of time, and some things can be done after a long day at work. Also, if I'm not at a good stopping point, or I get obsessed with something, I can continue to work on that project longer.
  • The list can have no more than twelve projects and no fewer than four, just because I need variety. I am not a monogamous stitcher.
  • If I go to a workshop or class and get a new project, it can immediately go on the rotation list and can be worked on for as long as I like. 
  • If a project is something that needs assembly after stitching, it stays on the rotation until it's finished. No loophole on this one. The finishing baskets are getting ridiculous.
  • Vacations, stay-cations, trips, and holidays are free, so I can work on whatever I want
  •  This is an institutionalized loophole: Even though I'm not putting them on the rotation list, there may be times when I want to work on something that is small and quick to stitch, or I feel the need to get some older projects assembled. If that happens, I give myself permission to take a break from the rotation.
  • This may be the most important. No deadlines or goals. Period. I want to get back to stitching for the sake of enjoying my stitching.
So, there are the rules. Now I had to decide what to put on the list.

Some of these projects are things that I have been postponing "until the time is right." I'm not sure when I expected that time to happen. It's a little like never using the good china and crystal and silver until there is an event momentous enough to warrant pulling them out of the china cupboard. It is unlikely that Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip are going to arrive for Sunday dinner. It is equally unlikely that all the Stitching Stars will be aligned for just the "right time" to work on some of these projects. So, with that in mind, I made sure to put some of them on the list.

So, in no particular order, here's the list:

I started working on this set during my Fourth of July Stay-cation last year. I have no idea why I set it aside. So it's definitely on the list.

I was working on this sampler before Mary Otter and I'm at the interesting part. While it's not technically 17th century, it's close in style and stitches.

I took this as a face-to-face class about ten years ago. This is another of those projects I wanted to work on when "the time was right." Well, it's right. Plus, I'd like to free up the slate frame so I can use it on one of my casket panels.

I've had the silk for this project mounted for a year. It is time to actually stitch the ornament.

I took this class last fall from Sherri Jones. It's one of my favorites from her and I'm really looking forward to stitching it.

You may have noticed that I love Jackie du Plessis's designs and classes and I take every class I can from her--which means I have a stack of projects in varying states of completion. I could not decide which one to do first, so I decided to start at the top of the stack and work my way down. This was the most recent class, so it gets first whack.

This is a recent purchase from Gay Ann Rogers's February Heart Sale. It definitely appealed to my prissy girly-girl side. It also should be a fairly fast stitch, and it will be nice to have something off the list fairly quickly.

If you've read this far, you should have no problems finishing War and Peace. I'm going to go and figure out which project I want to start first.


  1. This post is wonderful. So glad you are stitching for enjoyment rather than rules. Our art should be a happy time away from the challenges of life and where we cannot wait to get to. I like your new list of suggestions for how it will work. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Quite an array of projects..will be looking forward to seeing progress on them. Keep us posted if the rotation works out!

  3. Your rotation rules and loopholes seem quite manageable. I'm interested to see how it works for you - looking for inspiration here because I never have much luck with rotations. That's an excellent array of projects!

    (Frances Burwell! That's the one I was trying to remember yesterday, but brain supplied only "blue house")