November Take it Further

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!


  1. 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

  2. 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.


  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 . . .

  7. 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.

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