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.
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.
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 http://flickr.com 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
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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