Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings

I want to wish all my readers a wonderful holiday season and great New Year. I have thoroughly enjoyed this year blogging and appreciate all those readers who swing by to read about what I have found online or what I have stitched. Thanks for reading and big thanks to all those who have left comments. I cant say how much I appreciate them even if I don’t always answer, comments and feedback is always appreciated.

I am going to  take a little blogging break  over the next couple of weeks. After Christmas Jerry and I are having a week in Melbourne to celebrate our 30th year together.

Any Melbourne folks want to get together in central city coffee shop meet and chat?  Drop me an email as I think it would be fun.

I plan to return to normal blog posts Monday 11th of January.

Before I go further I want to credit dci for  the free photoshop Christmas theme brushes that I used to create the image above. These have proved to be great fun and for anyone who is a digital scrap booker they will love them.

The stitchin fingers community

First up Stichin fingers grew to a huge online community of fibre folks. This year I have spent many an enjoyable hour coffee cup beside me, browsing the photos. As I write we have 2,571 members and it is a still a growing presence online. I want to say a special thanks to all the group leaders and all those who are active on the forums as these sites are simply a waste of pixels without people

Stitchin fingers is also still a free site to members but also to me. I know some people assume I run and get money from the advertising on this site but I do not. I run it but Ning  host the community and earn the advertising dollars. That said I am sure I will have to reconsider this next year because we will hit our space and traffic limits.

I have a few ideas for improving and making the site even better but I will wait until next year before I embark on that. I will have to decide then what and how I go about paying for it, but what ever changes happen I will put them to the community before I jump too far.

The stitch explorer challenge 

Of course 2009 was the stitch explorer challenge. If you would like revisit my samples are the links January,  February,  March,  April,  May,  June was a catch up month, July,  August, September was a catch up month, October, and here is my November, piece. As I have said my band sampler grew considerably with this challenge and for some childish reason, dont ask me why, I feel a silly sense of pride in this.

I had mixed feelings about this challenge particularly introducing catch up months as I felt it slowed down the challenge and and did not generate the same sense of excitement.

That said for those who worked the challenge there is some great samples posted to the Stitchexplorer group. Do browse the site as there is some great eye candy.

vic fires sampler

Looking back

For me the main project I completed was this quilt. If you are new to this blog you can see all the posts that relate to making of this quilt under the diamond block crazy quilt category. Just work your way back as all the story is there with loads of eye candy

Of course, this year much of my blog writing time has been taken up with running two series.

The first series is documenting my long hand embroidered band sampler, which grew even longer this year.

Next year I will  continue writing about this sampler with the exception of the sections that relate directly to my online classes. My classes and my blog cover different material and there are a few sections of this sampler that illustrate points I make in my lessons. If I publish them online would give away too much information and that is not fair to people who have paid for the class.

This year I have enjoyed sharing each band and it has made me view the sampler in a different light.

As a side effect of sharing I pick up my sampler stitching more often and I have become very enthused about it. I experimented more this year than I anticipated marking key events in the year. These include events like the Victorian fires. I made a Black Saturday sampler and it will be added along with the other samplers made this year.  I wrote about how I Extend and back the sampler but I let the samplers accumulate before I stitch them together and add them to the strip.

The autobiographical and journal aspect of sampler making has me really intrigued. When I piece the sections together and have a time line and over view I will share what I recorded this year. I plan to do it in January.

I hope readers have enjoyed this series.  For new readers there is more about the band sampler the the back story on this piece visit the Sampler FAQ page. All posts in the series are in the category  the Love of Stitching Band Sampler.

The other series I have been covering is a seam by seam description and illustration of the  “I dropped the button box” crazy quilt. This series has also made me look at the quilt with fresh eyes and I plan to piece a quilt using loads of lace  after being given a huge stash

New Challenge Next Year? 

2010 runs off the tongue so nicely it feels like it should have a good memorable challenge. I plan to run TAST 2 next year. I have found enough new stitches to run another challenge like TAST. They are all surface embroidery stitches. To make that clear they are not canvas, evenweave,  pulled or drawn thread stitches. This means many crazy quilters will be interested in these stitches. I am actually quite thrilled with these as I am sure many will prove to be new and interesting for people.

As I explained when I first floated this idea early 2010 is looking very busy for me so I will start this challenge the first week in March. Tuesday March 2nd will be the starting week for TAST 2 and I will run it every week of the whole year. I have yet to write the guidelines but it will be run as I ran TAST.

The Challenge:

Each week I will take  a stitch and suggest people experiment with it, push it a little and see what possibilities the stitch holds.

How to join:

To sign on leave a comment here with your name, and blog or flickr account.

If you don’t yet have a site to post images to you will need to set up one. You will need at least a flickr account or somewhere to have your images on the web. If you don’t have one go to and join it is free and not difficult to use. The point is the share what you do so other stitchers can see what you have done.

The way it will work is when you have experimented with stitch you come back here, and leave a comment to say where you can see what you have done.

The start date:

Tuesday March 2nd

Skill level: 

All skill levels are welcome

So if you have a blog, if you enjoyed TAST or simply reading about TAST, spread the word


Well, that is it for the moment Seasons greeting from me and don’t forget to spread the word about next years challenge!

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  1. Please include me for TAST 2. I’m getting to the end of TAST 1 which I’m participating in over at Stitchin Fingers.
    Looking forward to it.
    Thank you for running such great challenges.

    maya matthew
  2. Perfect. I had’nt found Pin Tangle when TAST first started so I’ve been roaming aournd in the Stitch Dictionary and try stitches from there. And now that I have two bunches of your fabulous threads I have lots of colours and textures to play with.
    Sign me up for TAST2
    Just waiting for you to get back to blogging. I check in every day. I hope you break has been a good one.
    Ricky in Winnipeg

    Ricky in Winnipeg
  3. Sharon, I was just on the phone with Doreen G. and she is a good saleswoman, LOL. Sign me up for TAST 2, I need to get back on track with stitching. I enjoyed TAST 1 and hope to be a little more prompt this time around, I need to get back to regular blogging too.

  4. Hi Sharon, a belated Merry Christmas,and a fabulously happy new year to you and your family.I will look at your TAST,but won’t join as I find that I don’t have that kind of discipline.
    Looking learn though.
    Best wishes

  5. Please sign me up for TAST 2. I am looking forward to doing this as a group. I have went through TAST on my own using the files, although I have not recorded them on my blog. I do have a stitch journal that I will use for future stitching projects.

  6. Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2010. I haven’t been able to do much stitching this year or participate much–New Years Resolution–must work on time management skills!!!
    Nevertheless I’ve loved popping in and reading and drooling over the blog and Sttichin Fingers.

    Judy Mellers
  7. Hi Sharon,
    Thanks for the work you do on this blog. I check it every morning, and probably spend more time at the computer than is productive for me. I want to join TAST 2 and since taking your class in Designer Journaling I want to make a point of spending time in my journal on a weekly basis at least.
    Thanks again for the direction your provide.
    Ricky in Winnipeg

    Ricky in Winnipeg
  8. Hi dear Sharon
    Thanks so much for everything you do! I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year with your family!
    On this new year I will finish everything before March because I’m eager to enter your new challenge (TAST) on 2010 . I would like to do your online class Sumptuous Surfaces, too!.(LOL!) and I’ll continue with my sampler, which started in your last class, of course! (After this Christmas and New year)
    So. I have many plans on this new year 2010, these are my wishes, many new things!!
    Just hope I can do it!

    Big hugs and love 🙂
    Maria del Valle

  9. Hi Sharon, Congratulations on surviving your busy, occasionally difficult but productive year and best wishes for a better 2010!

    I was hesitating about the TAST challenge, but I think I will just throw my hat into the ring and sign up, which might force me to find the time that I’m afraid I won’t have…

  10. I love your site, though I rarely comment. Your work is so inspiring and beautiful and I LOVE the stitch dictionary. I love the band sampler, too. It’s amazing to see it develop week to week. Thanks for sharing so much embroidered goodness.

    Happy holidays and enjoy your vacation!

  11. Dear Sharon,
    I check in often, tho I don’t leave comments. I always enjoy the beautiful work, and learn something new and wonderful each time I come. Thanks so much for all you do. It is greatly appreciated. Have a fabulous holiday, and Happy Anniversary! Suzie in Idaho

    Suzie In Idaho
  12. Although you state this TAST isn’t for evenweave canvas, etc., it interests me a lot, as this year, I’m working on advocating more surface embroidery stitches over needlepoint – for enhancement. I’ve used this on my crazy quilt replicas in needlepoint (inspired by you and by Allison Aller) and now want to move along further with it. Season’s Greetings to you also, and happy holiday!! It’s strange to think of this time of year being summer, as our northeastern states are buried under several feet of snow, and even Austin, Texas is very cold.

  13. What a great "Year in Review" post, Sharon!
    Thanks so much for another year of service to the online textile community of stitchers. You have done so much to bring us all together…
    World Peace Through Stitching!!!
    …and Happy New Year to you, Jerry, and Eve…..

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