Sunday, 14 June 2015

Inspiration on Monday

From Trish at comes the idea of sharing the creative things in our lives that inspire us.

Every first and third Monday of the month, share your inspirations, and link back to Trish's blog.

For this week, I'm going to talk about cross-stitch. Again - lol.

Specifically, I'm going to talk about rotations.

The idea of a rotation is to give a project a set time - several hours for example, or a week, or whatever works for you, before switching it out for another project. And so on.

Here's a pretty good definition:

For myself, I have cycled through various types of rotations with various success. Or, really, failure. Which is my fault, because I'm terrible at focusing on anything. But a few years ago, I decided to give it a real, proper, grown-up shot.

This, of course, meant buying stationary.  I decided to go for an hours-based rotation because I find that easiest to keep track of. So I bought a spiral-bound exercise book and sallied forth.

On the left you can sort of see how I organise it. I break each hour down to 15-minute slots, and when I've filled a slot, I mark it out with highlighter. I strive (ha!) to do about half an hour at a time. It doesn't seem like much, but it can build quite quickly.

I put the rotation on pause in order to finish the X-Files cross-stitch I'm doing for a friend, but I only have the word "BELIEVE" to complete and then that will be done, so back to the rotation.

I've had large, small and medium-sized rotations over the years. I've had ...well, let's just say it took me a while to settle and focus on what I wanted to do.

These days, I stitch for myself, mostly. So I'm invested in the journey if you like, and not the destination. It's a calming hobby for the most part, and I feel reasonably productive. It's something I can do in front of the TV and it gives my hands something to do.

Because I'm ..... me, I have more WIPs than I really know what to do with, so it was important that I had a rotation that was manageable, and had projects I enjoy working on.

I will admit that I have changed out projects more than once. Sometimes, something I've been working on just makes me grit my teeth and I know it's time for a change.

The one project that has remained constant is Circe, which you can sort of see in the above picture, on the left. The finished product should look like this:

I've been working on it since about ...2003? 2004  I think? Very much off-and-on but it's a favourite and so it goes in the focus slot, which means that I cycle through 10 hours of Circe between 10 hours of other projects.

For me, the best rotation is a small one, so I try to stick to three projects. Apart from Circe, those projects have changed, for various reasons.

When the X-Files gift is done, my rotation will look like this:

Circe - 10 hours.
Autumn pic from Stoney Creek magazine (I love autumn colours and it's a really lovely picture) - 10 hours
Circe - 10 hours
Yet-to-be-started Dragon Age project - 10 hours
Circe - 10 hours

Lather, rinse, repeat as necessary.

When Circe is finished, I'll likely promote the autumn pic to the focus piece and dig through my other WIPs to keep my rotation constant.

What's inspiring you this week?


  1. Interesting!! I've never heard of this as a specific thing. I suppose I do the same with my quilting, though in a less structure method. I'm currently working on two quilts and have one top mostly done and am working on the other. Once I finish my current one, then I'll go back to the first and add on borders, then the second. Hopefully before I have to switch to work on my quilting class quilt (thank goodness for the class otherwise rotation would never happen)! Though...I guess I should also fit some of my other unfinished projects into the rotation as well.

    That large cross-stitch on the bottom in the second picture--did you stitch that or is that a pattern? You're such a tease!! ;)

  2. It can be really helpful in helping you focus, I find.

    That's Circe!! I'll do a post about her one day :)