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............. . ."She looks for wool and flax and works with her hands in delight" Proverbs 31:13 NAS

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Getting My WIPs in Order

As you know from a previous post, I created a list of my WIPs to see just what I had (not) been keeping up with. Then I decided to figure out a system to start whittling them down. I created an excel spreadsheet and my columns included a number – source – date – project name and the last column was location (in my studio). I can say everything is in one room anyway! I then decided on some categories, one of which was guild project, but when I saw by my source column that at least 90% were from guild classes or seminars I got rid of that category pretty fast. It was way too broad. I also see from it that my main source of WIPs are my guilds!!! Oh well, too fun to stop now.
So I came up with three categories – cross stitch/embroidery; needlepoint; specialty/beading and then color coded them – not 100% sure why it just seemed like a good idea and easy enough in excel. In case you are wondering my specialty category included some stumpwork, canvas that had photo transfer or painting that you add stitching too and other things along those lines.  Because I added beading my WIP list is now at 53 by the way!
I decided on a weekly rotation system stitching on one category for a week then moving to the next category. I decided to start with specialty/beading then move on to cross stitch/embroidery followed by needlepoint and then finally a category I call New/gifts after which I would start again with specialty/beading.  I then decided to use the random number generator ( to pick the first WIPs in the rotation. Not sure why just seemed like a novel way to do it. Ironically the needlepoint WIP came out to be my oldest one from around 1974 (more on that when it comes up in the rotation). I won't always choose the WIP to work on this way, but it gave me a place to start. I can see on my list I still want to finish them (expect perhaps one) so this helped me find a place to start.
Any way in this process I decided that the category New/gifts should be changed to New/gifts/stitcher’s choice. So if I don’t have a new project to start (is that possible given my stash*) or a gift to make, but there is a WIP I want to work on then I would do a “stitcher’s choice.” Looking at the list I saw a few projects that are almost done and they would make great stitcher’s choices. I like having a rotation category like New to give me a little wiggle room. Of course this could lead to a future WIP. And in retrospect maybe my list is a combination of WIPs and UFOs!! Just when does a WIP become a UFO anyway??
I have done these rotation things before and they have worked pretty well until something gets in the way – like in 2010 when work sent me to Boston for a month! So we will see how far I get this time. I would be happy if I stuck to it at least until the heavy gift stitching season starting in late October or early November. 
I will add it was interesting and enlightening to create this list. I know there is at least one thing that may become and remain a UFO since it is a technique I discovered I do not like – time will tell. I also learned that spell check does not like WIPs.

Here is the WIP I picked up for this week, a beading project that I got online during the peak of my bead work (2001-2004). It is called Delica Pendant with Spiral Rope from
You can see in the picture the pendant is done, I just need to finish the spiral rope. I did change the bead colors.

*Stash?? Now that would be a list of epic proportions!
Shhh, don’t tell the hubby.


Peggy Lee said...

Now THAT is a fine example of good organizational skills! It makes my head spin.

Debby said...

For the most part, that sounds like a great to go about finishing up WIPs/UFOs!!! No one should ever go so far as to make an organized list of stash - in my humble opinion!!! LOL