November Take it Further

As I sit down to write this I am amazed that the year is almost over as before we know it we will be in the throws of preparation for the holiday season. Here in Australia our summer break falls over the Christmas break, making it not only the season of religious celebration but a holiday time of year. So although it is November I am of course thinking about the challenge next year. During the month readers had prompted me to propose a challenge for next year and I discussed it here. In response to that discussion I will continue with a monthly challenge.

Each month I will post details of either a slightly unusual or lesser known stitch, or a style of embroidery. I will provide readers with enough information to enable them to explore, investigate and or adapt the stitch or style. Readers can work the challenge on any project they choose which means people can adapt the challenge to their needs.

It will the same way as my past challenges. In other words I would announce what the stitch is and when people have responded on either a blog, flickr account, or some sort of photo space on the web,  they can swing back here and leave their web address so people could visit, see what was done leave a comment. Since the idea is to share, if you want to participate you need a place online to share it. As suggested by Arlene I will title the challenge Stitch Explorer. Instead of being the first of the month I am going to make it mid month as in January I might be busy. So on the 14th of every month I will post details of the challenge that month. Feel free to leave a comment on this if you have any questions or ideas

This year over on Stitchin Fingers in the Hand Embroidery group I started a stitch-along. Just to avoid any confusion this stitch along will continue into next year and there is no reason why people can’t do both if they choose.  The stitch along is very lay back as participants can choose to work any stitch or any number of stitches from the list of stitches on what ever project they choose. This is a project you can pick up as you have time and work at what ever pace is comfortable as there is no timetable as such.

With that news, it’s time to move on with TIF…

This month the challenge is to use typography as inspiration for a piece. Many designers are inspired by letter forms in other words it is the forms of the letters and words themselves that they find visually stimulating. It is not using text, as in using a quote or a sentence that they find stimulating but the look of the letters as a design element.

There are also some online tools that may inspire you too. (Obviously you do not have to use these tools it is just an idea)  There is Wordle but be warned as it is one of those online tools that you can play with for hours. There is also Stitch points online text tool



The colour option this month is a palette taken from a bowl of flowers that I photographed at a flower show.


Remember that the colours can only ever be a suggestion as computer screens display colours differently. The aim is to be as close as possible to the colours on your screen. From ColourLovers you can download swatches to use is Photoshop, Illustrator, or in a CSS file.

As usual when you have worked the idea swing back to this page and leave a comment with blog or flickr address so that people can take a look at what you have been working on or done. There is a flickr group for the Take it Further Design Challenge and Debra Spincic has another TIF blog. Please remember if you use Debra’s TIF blog to swing by here too!

There is a Take it Further group over on the stitching fingers community.

One last little bit of news …

I am very busy at work and plan to be not blogging for a week or so. There is nothing wrong it is just a busy time of year for me as I have explained in my last post. Soon, when the work rush is over I am going to be moving my blog. There is a lot of my life tied up here and would hate to lose it. Not that I think WordPress is likely to go broke in hard economic times, but the economic situation does make you think about the number of free services people use online.  I want more control over my blog and although this free service has been simply wonderful it’s time to change.

So keep an eye on what is happening and  enjoy the challenge!

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42 Responses to November Take it Further

  1. Marjorie says:

    My November project is finally posted on Flickr and on TIF blog. I hope to get it onto my blog in a day or so. Marjorie

  2. Diane says:

    I’ve completed the November TIFC – a little late, but it feels good to have created a small fabric postcard with this month’s challenge in mind. I chose to work with the dark navy – as usual, it’s the color choices that inspire what I make. You can read more about it and see a a picture by going to my blog –

    It’s so satisifying to complete these challenges and I’m learning a lot about how and why I make anything fiber related. Thanks so much, Sharon for offering these challenges to us.

    Hugs, Diane

  3. My little November quilt is finished. I really enjoyed the November topic (and my new software.)

  4. memyni says:

    November Tif is finished and posted to my flickr site I used the colours and incorporated teh word spring inside the petals of a flower … I also played with chain stitch.

  5. Julie says:

    My offering for November is now on my blog at today. I have been wanting to work with text for a long time but did not find the time in November to explore this fully and will be returning to this theme.

  6. Magpie Sue says:

    Finished my November challenge piece a couple of days ago and now it’s on my blog at as well as the TIF blog. I ended up sort of working backwards, but it worked! December’s challenge is a doozy… Which I’ve come to learn means there will be a simple and straightforward response to it ;- )

  7. MagsR says:

    My finished November piece (based on printed word ‘Fire’) is on my blog

  8. Paule says:

    A very slow start for this month…

    I’m looking forward to the last TIF challenge…

  9. MargB says:

    Not sure it exactly qualifies as my TIF for November but my thoughts are on my blog – the month is over already and only one month to go and I am amazed that I have managed to hang in so far!

  10. Penny says:

    I have just finished my November TIF by the skin of my teeth and it it is on my blog, not sure if I got either the colors or the theme right this time but thanks for the free pattern Sharon it was just what I wanted.
    Has taken me a while to get myself to your web site our computer has had its problems, well the wireless transmission has. Penny

  11. Hi dear Sharon!
    I used the colors of the palette. Is a design for embroidery for to do on a cloth dyed with tea
    I hope yopu like it!
    Is here:

    Maria del Valle

  12. Susan says:

    Finally finished one! Here is the Nov TIF – a tribute to the letter S – my favourite letter of sll because of its delightful curvaceous nature.Have a liitle look at: to see what I did.
    Cheers, Susan

  13. lee says:

    I have two parts to the November TIF finished and posted to my blog at though I am still working on two more.

  14. neki rivera says:

    forgot to post a note here.i have already completed and posted this month’s challenge piece.
    see it at

    neki desu

  15. Sharon, I’m in awe of those hardy and conscientious people that’ve been faithfully keeping up with your monthly challenge this year. I’ve failed dismally too, but have tried to run with your suggestions each month when circumstances permit.

    I’ve enjoyed it immensely, I’m just not a very organised worker when it comes to stitching for pleasure. Actually, make that not very organised AT ALL !!

    I can’t promise to do better in 2009, but I WILL follow the new challenge, and dip my toes in and out of the water when I can.

    Please consider this the apology for no November challenge offering, too many reasons to go into here, a few hints on my blog.


  16. Doreen Grey says:

    Hi Sharon I have finished my November block and it is on my blog.
    Where has the year gone –only one more TIF left to do.
    Regards Doreen

  17. monique 28 says:

    My november challenge is finished . Yon can see

  18. Ruth Lane says:

    I’ve completed my piece for November. If you’d like to have a look go to my blog

  19. Michele says:

    My November TIF is finished and can be found here
    if you wish to take a peek.

  20. Hi dear Sharon
    I like your new ideas about next year!!
    I just put your blog on my blogroll, all the best for you at this new site

    A hug
    María del Valle

  21. Magpie Sue says:

    I spent a WHOLE DAY on this week, looking at various photographs that feature letters and numbers! That was fun! I stil haven’t settled on a plan for my postcard but am having a blast playing with all the ideas :- )

  22. Susan says:

    I always find that text just grabs my attention where ever it is in a piece. Sometime I’ve used to it to intentially distract people too! Type – Lets’ see what comes up!!
    Cheers, Susan

  23. Donna says:

    My initial ideas on the November challenge are here:

  24. Tyanne says:

    My November TIF is finished.
    You can see it and my thoughts on my blog.

  25. Kay Susan says:

    Hi Sharon,

    I really like the sound of next year’s challenge. I failed dismally with TIF – partly because I found some of the topics so difficult. I ‘bent’ some of them to suit me, but the things I make don’t have a ‘message’ and I don’t ‘express myself’ through them – I rarely ‘express myself’ at all! Just a personality thing, nothing amiss with the Design Challenge – did me good to try a different way of working and find I didn’t like it.

  26. Tyanne says:

    I have started my piece for the november TIF, it can be seen on my blog

  27. Dear Sharon
    I like very much your ideas about challenge for next year! I think to do experiments with new forms…my imagination is flying!
    The colours of november are beautiful.

    Maria del Valle

  28. JB Silks says:

    I really love those colors, so calm and mild. beautiful. I’ll see if i come up with something too

  29. Barbara says:

    I can’t wait till next year’s challenge either.

    Also, I’ve got my October TIF Challenge piece layed out ready for stitching. You can see my progress on my blog.


  30. neki rivera says:

    love this one, Sharon!
    i’ve managed to complete this year’s challenge(famous last words)and i’m excited about next year’s. but i think i’ll follow it a bit loosely as an opportunity to learn more stitches rather than to “produce” a sampler or such..time for more coffee.

    neki desu

  31. monique 28 says:

    Thank you for the link “stitch points online”.
    I am very exciting for the next year’s work.

  32. Vicki says:

    I like the sound of next year’s challenge. I’ll get organised and follow along.

  33. sharonb says:

    Tricia yes you have that right – take the design from the shape of the letters so it can be a nonsense word

  34. Tricia Cook says:

    So we are looking at the shape of words or text not the meaning, I hope that I have that right, emmm…. Tricky Iwonder if I can come up with anything on that one. :*)

  35. Paule says:

    Another coincidence : just before reading this post, I was browsing throught ebay, looking at printers letters !

    Colors are gorgeous and so refreshing… It’s almost summer here.

    Thanks for this challenge… and for the next one, Sharon. You can count on me !


  36. judy momenzadeh says:

    I too am amazed the year is almost over. I am excited about this challenge as I have been thinking about this idea for a while. I think we must all be connected on the same “energy thread”.

  37. celeste says:

    I don’t know if it’s ESP, the stars aligning or just coincidence but I’ve been working with these colors for the past few weeks, trying to match threads to stitch a Cape Plumbago blossom. It feels like cheating to be done already but I’m going to use my finished flower as my TIF. I made an inchie into a pendant for my daughter. I’ve posted a photo on flickr.


  38. I’m so excited about next year’s challenge. I’ve been disappointed with my own ability to keep up this year and have more or less dropped out of the loop with TIF. But I really want to explore more embroidery as it was one of my grandmother’s favorite arts. I would sit and watch her fingers and needle for hours!

    Beautiful colors for this month! Perhaps when my studio tour is over I will have time to play with those ones . . .

  39. Doreen G says:

    Hi Sharon
    No problems with next years challenge I will enjoy trying something different.
    I may try putting mine into a band sampler–I know it wont be long in the beginning but it will be a start.
    Doreen G

  40. sharonb says:

    For those that are a bit disappointed about the challenge next year I am sorry but I did call for comments. You could use the challenge stitch/style applied to a design so it’s still open to designers but I take the point that it is not open to all mediums.
    If you are in that position why not start a challenge on stitchinfingers? Or your blog? I will happily link to it and direct readers there. I would happily do so as I cant please all people all the time.

    Just let me know or better still start up a discussion on the forum in stitchinfingers or leave a comment. Make it a public conversation so everyone can read it and the news will spread about your challenge. As i said I will happily support it.

  41. Guzzisue says:

    I was so engrossed in reading about next years challenge that I completely forgot about the time difference which means that you are already in November. I like the subject and the colours, Thanks,

  42. Karen S says:

    These colors speak to me! I will try to work something up this weekend. I appreciate all your hard work and look forward to stitching along with you next year.

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