My best wishes for the holiday season to you and yours.

My best wishes for the holiday season to you and yours.

It is the time of year to wish all my readers my very best for the holiday season and new year. But before I give a big friendly wave and disappear for a week or so, I thought a review of key posts and freebies throughout the year was in order. So if you missed things first time around you have a little holiday reading! Make a cuppa settle back and have a read.

Details of past work

I am considering changing this series. Over the past couple of years on alternate days thorough out the year published details from my Band sampler and I dropped the Button box Crazy quilt. After 2 years I am very much in a routine but wondered if the pattern had become a bit stale. I am considering continuing these posts only 2-3 times a week to free up some time and blog about other stuff. Let me know what you think in the comments as I the feedback will help me decide.

TAST 2010

The second round of TAST is now done, as the last of the TAST 2010  stitches went online yesterday. I enjoyed this second challenge more than the first. I think because I knew what I was proposing when I started and I did a lot more planning ahead. I hope folks enjoyed it as much as I did!

Free stitch guide to download 

Early in the year I put together a Basic stitches PDF of 12 Surface stitches for beginners. It has proved to be very popular so incase you missed it here is a link to the free hand embroidery stitch guide to download

It is ideal for anyone new to hand embroidery as it covers 12 basic stitches.

Please note  this is a PDF file and you will need Adobe reader to read it. The PDF reader is free from Adobe you can get it from here

The Stitch Worksheets

Late in the year I jumped into a new project I have called The Stitch Worksheets. These  are designed to build into a hand embroiderer’s resource file. The files are part stitch dictionary, part inspiration, part storage format, part stimulus to explore new stitches, part lesson and part organisation method.

The first templates of basic stitches have been released free. The free files enable people to see what the worksheet modules are like.

Next year will be focusing on these and exploring new stitches, old favourites, stitches that have sparked my interest, or stitches that are strange, obscure and wonderful that I have yet to try out.  I think it will be a bit of an adventure.

I plan to continue producing these worksheets  in modules of 15-20 stitches priced at $10 a set

Included in the modules will be stitches from my stitch dictionary, stitches in TAST 1 and TAST 2010, stitches from my discontinued Personal Library of stitches class, plus even more stitches I have not yet put online.  I will also include documented variations on stitches. There are many varieties and once past the basics it can be a lot of fun exploring variations  as some look totally different from their parent. Future stitches will also include specialised stitches such as Silk ribbon embroidery, beaded stitches, pulled and drawn stitches, woven and canvas work stitches.

When modules are released people will know what is in them so they are not buying blind. As the project grows I will release a free index page that has common stitch names cross referenced.

There are a lot of stitches to be covered but I am just giving people the heads up as this can be a soft introduction or become a major needlework study if people want it.
stitch worksheets side
If you have not downloaded the free basic stitches I encourage you to as they are designed by a stitcher for people who stitch.

I have designed the stitch files with the name running down the side of the page. If you have ever looked through a large heavy file, and had to open each page to read the title you will know how awkward this can be.

I countered this by having the stitch name run down the side of the page so you can simply flick along the edge of the pages.

A small picture of each stitch is in the top right hand corner this hopefully will also be an aid in finding a stitch. How many times can you remember what a stitch looks like but have forgotten the name?

These little icons hopefully will hopefully act as a memory prod. As you can flick through the pictures in the top right hand corner, hopefully you will recognise the stitch and find what you are looking for.

Each stitch will have illustrated directions on how to work the stitch.

On the same page is a space for a sample along side area where you can record fabric, thread and needle used.

Each stitch file has the options for extra pages that have two or three areas for samples. People can choose which fits the size of their sample best and print the page that suits them.

Many of us make up our own ‘inspiration’ file of images found online. Images used for educational purposes like this are fine but what many people forget to do is to record where they saw it and whose work it is. There is  a section to store photos and note the source of who stitched it.  This section enables people to track what they have seen and where they saw it.

Finally there is a grid page as place to sketch out ideas or make further notes.

Anyway that is enough chatter about my next big project

Test for free

You can test the worksheets, work a few samples and see if this process suits you.

Please note: There are two versions one is A4 size and the other is US letter size.

These files are in PDF format and you will need Adobe reader to view them. The PDF reader is free from Adobe you can get it from here

Module 1 contains

  • Back Stitch
  • Buttonhole Stitch
  • Herringbone Stitch

Download A4 Module 1 free

Download US letter Module 1 free

Module 2 contains

  • Chevron Stitch
  • Cretan Stitch
  • Couching Stitch

Download A4 module 2 free

Download US letter module 2 free

Module 3 contains

  • Chain Stitch
  • Detached Chain Stitch
  • Fly Stitch

Download A4 module 3 free

Download US letter module 3 free

Module 4 contains

  • Feather Stitch
  • Running Stitch
  • Stem Stitch

Download A4 module 4 free

Download US Letter module 4 free

These files are in PDF format and you will need Adobe reader to view them. The PDF reader is free from Adobe you can get it from here

Free hand embroidery patterns

I published some cleaned up out of copyright patterns from the 1907 Herrschner Catalogue which can be found in the Antique pattern Library.  These proved to be very popular so I look for more next year too! You can find them all in the Free patterns category.

Free desktop wallpapers

Throughout the year I had a personal mini design challenge and published a free desktop calendar each month. These were most enjoyable to produce. So much so I am going to continue to produce desktop wallpapers but without the calendar.  The feedback I received was that although the calendar feature was handy if a liking developed for a particular desktop image it became useless after the end of the month. So as the mood strikes I will create free desktops and give them away here.

screen shot of site

Stitchin fingers has grown to a huge online community of fibre folks. As I write we have just over 3,700 members!

If you are a member but only occasionally swing by do take a look again as the community is dynamic and interesting with lots of variation in what people do, how they approach their work and what areas they focus on. Lots of skill sharing goes on and tips and advice are freely given and shared.

The site houses a good number of special interest groups. Interests cover areas such as fabric postcards, textile trading cards, fiber books, lace, freeform crochet (scrumbling), weaving, stash busting, cloth dolls, felt making, needlepoint, bargello, Japanese embroidery, cross stitch,  stumpwork, goldwork, Elizabethan and Jacobean embroidery, quilting, crazy quilting, beading, silk ribbon embroidery, hand embroidery,  pulled and drawn thread work, collecting vintage iron on embroidery patterns, surface design, design, digital desingers, studio journals.

Every morning  I spend an enjoyable half hour, coffee cup beside me, browsing the photos. Since the site now houses over 18,000 photos there is a little eye candy for everyone. As i say do swing by and visit if you have not done so in a while.

Next year 

Next year The really BIG news is that Maureen Greeson is organising  An Adventure in Crazy Quilting  in Glastonbury, Connecticut, of the United States.  I am teaching there! I am very much looking forward to this and no doubt you will hear all about it.

Online classes 

I am now running my own classes as a result my online classes will run differently. I have a full description on how the classes will run can be found under the classes online tab.

Class supplies are published along side the class description so that you can shop around long before the class starts.

Class numbers will have a limit as really large classes make it hard to track who is who. The trick will be to balance the number of students so there is enough of a group to establish a good group dynamic yet be small enough that I can give individuals attention.

New classes will be developed and some older classes will run next year and others will be retried.

I plan to take a little break … but will be back on the 9th

I will take a little break now as I have been sitting at my key board tapping away, most days for nearly 7 years! In fact I will return next year on my blog anniversary January 9th.  Do you think I will make it a decade? Who knows but I will see you in the New year bouncing around refreshed and full of energy.

Thanks for all the comments throughout the year. For those that swing by regularly thanks for simply being a reader as without readers there is not much point in writing! Obvious but true.

In the meanwhile have a safe holiday season and all the best for the new year.


  1. Liz I am sure you will gets lots of use out of this class – I am not saying this as sales pitch but knowing what you did in GIMp you will have a ball building on what we did there and folding it into the journal class.

    Sharon B
  2. Well, call me insane but I just signed up for your Studio Journal class. I'm hoping to be sneaky and combine it with a beading and an embroidery class I'm also about to sign up for. Plus throw in a bit of lacemaking and GIMP as well. Yeah, right!

    Happy New Year!

    liz o.

  3. Sharon,

    Happy New Year.. I know that you are looking forward to your well deserved rest, but I am looking forward to you coming back on the 9th 🙂 Enjoy a little time to yourself and we will still be here…

    Thanks for all of your inspiration this past year.


  4. sharon, i am just getting back into touch with your blog after about 18 months of near abstinence from blogging while working on my masters in art education. i just wanted to pop in and thank you for sharing your expertise. many of the projects i created during my studio work as a grad student were mixed media pieces. some of them included fabric and stitchery combined with traditional art media of painting, drawing and digital photo editing. while i had been involved with stitchery most of my life, your blog was inspirational in my work. thank you for sharing. now that i have completed my degree i will have a bit more free time to peruse the wealth of information you share with your readers. again thank you. merry christmas and a blessed new year

  5. I'm a frequent reader of your wonderful blog. I have enjoyed your "Details of past work" also and agree that 2-3 times a week would be great. Just a humble suggestion–maybe you could post 2 details at a time so as to keep the momentum going. Regardless, I will continue to follow your progressive updates. Merry Christmas and a big thank you for all that you share! Jan

    Jan Trivanovich
  6. Sharon,
    This is a great round up of the year. Thanks for all your inspiration and also for TAST 2010. As far as "Details of past work" goes, I would be happy with 2-3 times per week.

    Have a lovely Christmas break.

  7. After reading this big post I see why you need a break! It’s always a pleasure to read you posts. I especially enjoyed TAST (although I’m not finished yet) and the classes I took with you this year (that’s why I’m not finished yet). There’s always one of your wallpapers on my desktop and I’m glad I joined Stitchin Fingers. I like the regularity of your band sampler and CQ posts. Maybe you can alternated them with a day between them?
    I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  8. I'm sure you know already how very much I enjoy your blog, and how your stitches, etc. motivate my own creativity. However, I do like your suggestion of slowing down on the Button Box and the Band Sampler, and am ready for more of your other things more often. Please enjoy your holidays – I'm sure with friends and family.

  9. I've enjoyed seeing the band sampler over the last couple of years, and everything else. I knew it was big, but it was only when I saw it all in one photo that I realized HOW big! I'll have to check out the stitch junkies, I've gotten so behind in checking out the activities on Sitchin Fingers, it's not funny. Perhaps over the holidays I can catch up if I don't have to work.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years, "see" you next year!


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