Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year Plans

In looking back on the past year, I feel pretty good about completing 80% of the Take It Further challenges on time.  I had a few personal criteria: the projects couldn't cost a lot and I had to have fun doing them.  I also wanted to try different techniques across a number of different crafts, and I wanted the monthly projects to be useful in some way if possible.

I can definitely attest to the having fun part.   The only two challenges I didn't complete came at the end of the year when I had some family issues to deal with.  As a result, not much of anything was fun, so I just set aside the final two TIFs for a later date.  I plan to do them - just not in the timeframe of the 2008 challenge.

Most of the projects used both stash and new materials, so on average over the year, I didn't spend much more than the $10 I allowed myself at the start of the challenge.  The exception was the fabric and batting I needed for the Elvis quilt.

The best project from someone else's point of view:  the Barbie clothes that resulted from the January TIF and the Elvis quilt (September).  The most personally wrenching:  the Alzheimer's clutch purse and bracelet from the February challenge and "Fear of Pretending" (April).   The most fulfilling from a design and execution point of view:  the fabric book pages I completed for the challenges in March, May, June, and July.

Only one TIF challenge didn't work out the way I had planned.  It was the teapot block in October.  I eventually ripped about half of the block and re-stitched it to coordinate it with another larger project.  I also haven't done anything with the fabric book pages.  I am thinking that I need to get some color cohesion going, so I'm setting them aside until I determine how best to put the book together.  

I've joined the 2009 Explorer project, and it comes as a relief actually.  I can concentrate on embroidery again and I have decided to make a companion piece to the 2007 TAST sampler.  It will be the same size as the 2007 piece, and the plan is to have 12 panels - one for each month of the project.  I've mounted and blocked out the 14-count Aida canvas and gotten my supplies together so I'm ready to go when Sharon gives us the first assignment.  I've even found the remaining Moleskine notebooks, so I'll record the sampler progress the same way I did for TAST.

My personal goal for this challenge is to be less constrained by how a stitch was used in the past.  I want to explore and experiment more.   I am going to use the panel size as a suggestion and see how each assignment develops as I work the stitches.   To help me get my mind ready, I'm reading Constance Howard's "Inspiration for Embroidery" (Anchor Press: Tiptree, Essex, Great Britain, 1976; first published 1966).  There are so many great examples of how to use stitches in designs that it's definitely getting me in the mood to get down to business and play! 


Miss 376 said...

I thoroughly enjoyed watching your TIF pieces last year. Looking for to seeing what you come up with this year. I am looking forward to seeing what the first assignment for this month will be too

IDESIGN said...

Happy New Year, Bernadette!
Are you planning to attend the Cyber Fyber opening Friday?? I would like to invite you to join Susan and on alternate Mondays for stitching! My daughter has just started art lessons with Michel McNinch at Vista Studios, from 6-8pm. So Susan, and I and various others are meeting to stitch while she is there, in class! Monday was her first class--but we didn't get any stitching done, but rather took in a preview of the fabulous works Susan has collected from around the world. It's such a neat exhibit! I hope to see you there! Can wait to see your New Year's Challenge posts!

Have fun!