Let’s get this party started, shall we? I’m super excited to get this year underway and accomplish all of the things. But, no epic journey starts without a beginning. So, let’s begin. I’ll start with the prompt for this inaugural post for WIPocalypse.
Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year!
Hello! My name is Jessica, though practically everybody calls me Jessie, and much of the stitching community knows me as Jessie Marie.
A little about myself. I am coming up on my 30th birthday which doesn’t scare me much. I am married to a wonderful man and our two year wedding anniversary is on June 4th of this year. We have a 5 1/2 year old English Bulldog named Thor and we live in Virginia, just outside of Fredericksburg. I grew up in Michigan, but my family moved to this area when I was in high school. After graduating high school, I attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech, go Hokies!), where I earned my Bachelor’s of Science degree in Biology. I am also three measly credits away from my Master’s in Secondary Education – Science + teaching license for the state of Virginia, but I doubt that’ll ever truly be a realized dream (for another day). At the moment, I run a very small home-based business, called The Storyteller Collection, for helping stitchers get organized. It’s in its infancy and I’m looking forward to all of the growth happening in 2018!
Stitching-wise, my little 5-year stitching anniversary is coming up this March! I stumbled upon stitching when I had my book blog all these years ago. And I’ve been nothing short of an addict ever since. Going to have to find some way to celebrate the anniversary! Roughly 6 months after learning to stitch and finding myself thoroughly enthralled, I began my Flosstube journey. However, back then, Flosstube didn’t have its name, and it was entirely possible to “keep up with your watch later list” because there were only a few of us crazy people. In the few years that I’ve been posting cross stitch videos to YouTube, the community has exploded and I’m overjoyed at that.
Okay. Enough about me. Let’s get on with the WIPs. Now, the prompt says to introduce you to all of my WIPs and if I were to do that, well… It would take an incredibly long time. How long? Well, how long would it take to read about my 70 current projects on the go? *grins* Yes, 70. Seventy. It’s a lot. It’s why I’ve got to tackle these babies here for WIPocalypse. So, let me introduce you to the projects I’ll be dreaming about finishing/working on for the next 365ish days.
Note: These projects are the same as those I’ll be using for the Year of WIPs 2.0/2018 Challenge hosted by Soulful Stitching on Facebook. So, if you follow me on YouTube, there will definitely be some overlap this year.
My first goal in planning on 2018 was to tackle my oldest WIPs. So I chose five projects that were started in either 2014 or 2015. These projects were also apart of my Year of WIPs 2017, but obviously didn’t make it to the pinnacle. So, let’s try again.
1. First up is my oldest WIP, Rose Fairy by Joan Elliott. I started her in 2014. The fabric is 28 count Lugana in Confetti by Picture This Plus.
2. Next is Under the Moonlight by Laura of Passione Ricamo. Poor dear has been just a torso-shy of beads and completion for over a year now. Time to get this done. My records are conflicting, but I *think* this is 32 count Belfast linen in Lady of the Lake by Hand Dyed Fabrics by Stephanie.
Not pictured: Her bottom half is completely stitched. Just “a few” beads to do south of her waistline and in that gorgeous tail.
3. Opus II by Long Dog Samplers, which I also fondly refer to as Maggie because of a dear friend and her love of both her dog Maggie, and this project every time I work on it. 🙂 Started early 2015, I thought this would be a “quick stitch”. LOL. Fabric is 32 count linen in Oyster by MCG Textiles (that’s how you know it’s old – I will not work on that fabric any longer after being burned too many times) and I’m using DMC 924. The origin of that color is a funny story that I may tell at a later date.
4. Up next is the Jingles series by Lizzie*Kate. Boy, would I love to have this framed and ready to go by Christmas, FINALLY. Fabric is 32 count linen in Amber by Wichelt and I’m using most of the called for Weeks Dye Works.
Target: FO – FFO by Christmas
5. Elephants by Jayne Netley Mayhew is one of those projects that I so badly want to finish and yet will be so incredibly sad when it’s done. This is on 32 count linen in Aqua by Fabric Flair (printed) and the design comes from Cross Stitch Safari by Jayne Netley Mayhew.
My next goal was to work on my pretty ladies. Of my 70 WIPs, 18 of them are pretty ladies from various designers, which is insane considering the fact that I have nine categories otherwise. So I chose three ladies to get done this year.
6. Starting with my oldest Mirabilia, we have The Raven Queen, started in 2015. This is being worked on 32 count Belfast linen in Haunted by Picture This Plus. I affectionately refer to her as Poe because of the “face” hidden there at the bottom of her skirt and all of the ravens. I lost steam on this project seeing so many fabulous conversions, whereas I’m doing the as-charted. But I do love these shades and I’m looking forward to finishing her.
7. Next up is one of my favorite WIPs to date. This is The Reader by Joan Elliott and the fabric is a 28 count Cashel linen in Gingerbread from Picture This Plus. Originally, I had thought to make my focus pile consist of only projects from 2015 and before. But I remember saying with regards to this piece that, if I participated in YOW 2.0, this project would have to make the list because I so love working this one. Another one that will be a bittersweet finish, for certain.
Target: FO – FFO
8. My newest lady is Lady of the Flag by Mirabilia. I know what you’re all thinking: “But Jessie. You said your “oldest” WIPs were your focus. Now you’re picking a newer project?!” Well. Yes, I am. But this is a finish goal out of necessity. This chart is on loan from a very dear friend who so generously sent her to me. I have every intention of finishing this as fast as I can so I can get this highly sought after chart returned to her proper home. She was started in December of 2017 on 32 count Belfast in Vintage Blue Whisper by Zweigart (printed). I’m doing all of the called for colors on this one, but I’m changing some small things – such as her skin is 1 over 1, and I’ll be using the Delica bead conversion since those are my favorite. Expect to see this one frequently as I have plans to work on her each and every month.
After seeing these projects, and the ones to come later, I started to get a little wary of my pile. These are large projects! Which is primarily what I’m drawn to to begin with, but still. I need to work on some smaller things, as palette-cleansers, if you will. Something to get finished to keep the motivation going!
9. This is Snowy Owl Snowman by Jim Shore for Mill Hill, my last Mill Hill kit, currently. I started this during Maynia (start-all-the-things event through Stitch Maynia on Facebook) 2016 so this progress is pitiful. Done on the provided 14 count perforated paper, this should be quick.
10. Next up is Afternoon in New York by Country Cottage Needleworks. I’m a teensy bit further than what’s showing here – part of the tree directly to the right of the Empire State Building is in progress. The fabric is 32 count Belfast in Aerial by Picture This Plus and I adore this design as well. I recently gifted my Pretty Little New York by Satsuma Street to my brother for Christmas. I would really like to have a New York piece for my own.
11. Next is April’s Daisy by Cottage Garden Samplings from their My Garden Journal monthly series. I adore this series and want to do them all, but I like having just one on the go at a time, regardless of the timeline. This, like all the others will be, is on 32 count Belfast in Platinum by Zweigart. I started this for my birthday in 2017 and also pays homage to a lot of other stitcher friends whose birthdays land in April. These, in my experience, stitch up relatively quick and I find myself addicted to them.
For those that know me, you know that I love my full coverage designs. And 2018 is a full coverage kind of year. But tackling a full size Heaven and Earth Design (for example) alongside all of the aforementioned? Check, please. No, thank you. This category is compiled of those types of designs, but with much more manageable goals, rather than project completion.
12. This is my oldest HAED and I am so far from finished, it’s laughable. But let’s make smaller goals. It is In This Moment by Jeremiah Ketner, charted, of course, by Heaven and Earth Designs. Started in 2015 on 25 count Lugana in Cream by Zweigart (1 over 1, full cross). In the image collage above, the first picture is my current progress with one page complete. The image directly to the right of it is the finished artwork. The five smaller images along the bottom with the moving red circles showcase my goal. I want to complete five more pages for a total of six completed pages by the end of the year.
Target: Five More Pages, for a total of ~19.5% complete
13. This is a crowd favorite and I’m embarrassed by this one, if I’m honest. She’s a mini and over two years old with just one page finished. Time to get this project in gear and get her closer to a finish. Artwork is Mini Pirate by Sabine Rich, also charted by Heaven and Earth Designs. My goal is smaller on this one, but the same principle applies.
Target: Two More Pages, for a total of ~42% complete
14. This is a 2015 WIP that I wanted to include as a try-to-finish piece but I just can’t commit. This is a large project and will take plenty of effort. So I broke it down into more chewable goals. This is the freebie Flower of the Month series by Ellen Maurer-Stroh (if you look that up on your favorite search engine, it should easily come up) and it’s being worked on 32 count Belfast in Cream by Zweigart.
Target: Four More Flowers, for a total of 42% complete
But why stop there. If we’re at 14, the push to 18 in 18 is a short distance. So here are some less tangible goals.
15. As previously stated, I have 70 current WIPs, though that 70th was my New Year New Start. So technically, I brought 69 WIPs from 2017 with me into the new year. At some point, for any length of time, I would like to work at least the littlest bit on the remaining 55 projects (70 – NYNS – 14 aforementioned).
16. New Starts. Of course, I’ll want to start things this year. And I already have a few things specified in the plans. Most notably are the following, from left to right: Fairy Moon by Mirabilia, Water Dragon by Heaven and Earth Designs, Give Thanks by The Drawn Thread, and Flower Dance by SodaStitch
17. Limited New Starts. I’ve said this a few times that my ultimate goal has become to make starts special again because I’ve been in the bad habit of starting things simply because I felt the urge. And that’s just not where my head is at the current time. But that’s less measurable. So, I would like to end the year with 10 more finishes than new starts. I think that’s achievable but we’ll she how the year shakes out.
18. Knitting. I have set a goal of six pairs of knitted socks this year. As I have never successfully knit any pairs of socks, let alone six, this is going to be a challenge. Fortunately, I have a plan and I think it is also very much achievable. I have additional knitting goals, but let’s stick to just this one for WIPocalypse 2018.
Okay, have I yammered enough? I think so. I love the start of a year. So much possibility and potential stretching out in front of the most ambitious among us. Let’s get stitching. Cheers to a fabulous 2018, stitching friends. I’m off to go burn through some needles. 😉