Take it Further December Challenge

Take it Further December Challenge

I know everyone says this but I really can not believe it is the first of December.  I know that most people say this as it is a common lament, but for me the year has gone far too quickly and now that most people are well into the swing of preparations for the holiday season it will be 2009 before I blink. 

So before I go any further I want to thank everyone who has participated in this challenge, anyone who has read the comments, followed the links to see what others have done, and thanks particularly if you have left a comment on that blog. Everyone likes feedback, particularly with challenges. So if you have not necessarily actively made a challenge piece but have read and left comments on peoples blogs a big thank you to you too! I hope everyone has enjoyed the challenge and will consider next years challenge

For the final challenge of the year and since it is the gift giving season and many of us run ourselves ragged either making gifts or buying them I want to ask what is the idea of generosity to you. That is the theme for this month. So just take a few moments and think about what it is to give and how would you represent that visually.  

The colour scheme I think is quite predictable as I took it from the photograph above. It is part of an image of our Christmas tree.  I have suggested these colours as it might prove to be a practical option in such a busy time.  Being the dominant Holiday season colours that option is quite easy whereas the concept is quite difficult. 

For those who want an easy challenge or simply too busy to think, doing the colour scheme is not difficult and it can be applied to a seasonal project. If on the other hand, since this is the last challenge for the series a more difficult challenge is appealing then the question about what generosity is to you is will be interesting.    

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 even a Take it Further group over on the stitching fingers community.  The community has grown considerably to nearly 1200 members.  So do make a little time to visit it poke around and you are welcome to join in on the fun

Next year 

There will be a new challenge next year. Each month I will post details of either a slightly unusual or lesser known stitch, or a style of embroidery. Please note I will be looking at embroidery styles as well as stitches. Sometimes it will be both. Sometimes it will be one or the other. 

I  think anyone who did or watch TAST quickly realised that although a stitch can be worked in a traditional manner if you look at the structure of the stitch and its use the stitch can be changed completely.  Looking at how a stitch is constructed and adapting that makes for some interesting discoveries. The same holds true when we look at different embroidery styles. Looking at how and why a style might be worked in a particular manner and investigating that, makes many styles more versatile than people realise.

Each month I will provide readers with enough information to enable them to explore, investigate and or adapt the stitch or style. Readers can use the challenge stitch or style on any project they choose. This means people can adapt the challenge to their needs.  

It will run it in the same way as my past challenges. In other words I will post and when people had responded on either a blog, flickr account, or some sort of photo space on the web,  they could 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 people really would need a place online to share it. As suggested by Arlene I will title the challenge Stitch Explorer. Watch in the next few days as I will put a page up where people can indicate their interest. 

If there are any questions about next years Stitch Explorer challenge please leave a comment or a question as I am drafting the guidelines this week. Feedback now means clearer guidelines and I know I have explained myself clearly.  

Also Next Year 

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.   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. I plan to participate more in this particularly after February when our holiday season is done. I will be working on my band sampler but everybody is working on different projects. As I say it’s fairly free and easy which is why it is a stitch along rather than a challenge. 

Well that’s it for today. Enjoy! 


  1. I just posted my December TIF on my blog – and on the Take It Further blog, too. Thank you so much for leading this challenge, Sharon. It has been a real treat for me. Probably more thinking than I’ve done in the past couple of years! I really stretched my design skills and have developed a comfortable sense of where I excel and where I need more study. That is more than anyone could ask!

    Liz in Kansas

  2. Hi Sharon, On the last day of the month I have finally finished my December challenge. It was thought provoking but I liked the idea of hearts and hands.
    I will try to get it all into book form early in January, I am not quite as organised as
    Doreen, I hope to join in the fun next year. Thank you so much for this years challenges.

  3. Surprise! I’ve finished my December TIF block.

    I’m already thinking about the next block for this quilt, just don’t want the fun to be over. My blocks are hexagons, and I need to decide on just how to set them together. Meanwhile, a few more blocks. Maybe some can use the stitches for Sharon’s stitch challenge in 2009. Hard to tell right now what direction my project will take.

    Happy Stitching,

  4. Sharon thanks so much for some very interesting challenges this year. I have appreciated how they made me think. I will not be participating in next years challenge as I do not embroider, but I will stop in from time to time and watch everyone’s progress.

    On a different note: the only thing I do not like about your new blog is that the links in the comments are not active. It was nice to just be able to click on a link right from your comments section to see what a participant had done for the month.

  5. I’ve posted photos of my December TIF piece on the theme of generosity on Flickr site and further explantation on my blog. ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ is my interpretation of the need for environmental and human stewardship.
    Thanks very much to Sharon for setting the challenge and to everyone who has taken part, I’ve loved seeing the varied responses.

  6. I’ve just posted September, October and November to flickr


    I have the December block pieced, but I’m not sure if I’ll get it embroidered before the New Year. I don’t think I’m ready to stop dong these blocks. I have collected some pictures because of the colors, and I’m thinking about doing more color challenge blocks.


  7. Hi Sharon
    I have finished the December challenge block and the photo is on my blog.
    Now to construct them into a book although seeing them all laid out together I may change my mind and make a quilt.
    I am so pleased with myself for seeing the year through to the end for the second year in a row and look forward to the next one.
    I think I will start a band sampler with next years challenge.
    Thank you again Sharon for all the hard work that you put into arranging these challenges I for one really do appreciate it.

  8. Woo Hoo πŸ™‚ ! I finished this before the end of the month which means that I finished all 12 challenges before the end of the year … well the stitching part anyway. I am going to make each of these into little postcards and so have that left to do … possibly by the end of the year.

    This month once again I used the colours and created a small Christmas Tree.
    picture posted to flickr http://flickr.com/photos/memyni/

    Thanks Sharon I have had a lot of fun making my mini pictures over the past 12 months and even more in seeing what others haev made from the challenge each month. The variety and talent has been amazing and enjoyable to see each month thanks to everyone for sharing their work.


  9. I’ve enjoyed doing the challenges although I’m lagging behind. Hope to get them finished at some stage. The year has zipped by so quickly. I won’t be joining next year’s challenge as I’m no hand stitcher but wanted to say thanks for all your work including the interesting links you share. Will still be visiting!

  10. Talk about finishing up with a bang! It will truly be interesting to see what folks come up with for this month’s challenge (and how many end up participating at all!) :- )

    I have to say that the plan to explore embroidery styles in addition to specific stitches makes next year’s challenge more interesting to me. I will certainly be paying attention, if not playing along at home. Now that I’ve begun a band sampler, who knows? I may just end up stitching along with you in spite of myself!

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