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Monthly Challenges?

rodezzy | Posted in General Discussion on

We have not been doing any challenges lately.  Let me get the ball rolling. 

October Challenge:  What are you sewing for Halloween?  What costumes are popular right now and are you making them or the old standbys? Who’s making Halloween dolls, toys, gifts?  What’s going on out there?

Those who don’t do Halloween, what are you sewing right now.  What are you trying to get done by the end of September, or what are you starting for the holidays to come?  Have you started your Thanksgiving decor?  Christmas gifts.  What’s up people, inquiring minds what to know……giggle.

Rodezzy, Fiber Artist


  1. damascusannie | | #1

    I MUST get my sister and brother in laws' anniversary quilt done this month so I can start on a wedding quilt for my nephew who's getting married in January.

    1. rodezzy | | #2

      Wow, that sounds great!  You are such a hard worker.  Have you decided on the wedding quilt design.  I would love to see it. 

      Oh, and what design are you using for the anniversary quilt?  Will you send pics when done?  Please do.

      Edited 9/9/2008 11:48 am ET by rodezzy

      1. damascusannie | | #16

        The anniversary quilt is a log cabin, the wedding quilt will be a Jacob's Ladder, since our nephew's name is Jacob (no brainer on this one!) They want blue and purple and I'm picturing a bold blues and purples against pastel blue and lavender. Gonna be pretty I think!I've tried posting pictures at different time and I can never get them to work. Very frustrating.

        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #17

          Can I help with posting the pics? Where are you having trouble? Cathy

          1. damascusannie | | #20

            Well that's the trouble, I don't know why the pictures won't post. I do what the instructions tell me to do, but nothing happens.

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #22

            Ok, when you open the window to attach files, click browse.
            find the file that you want, then click on it twice. Sometimes it will ask if you want to open it, say yes. The file name, with a whole bunch of file names (the file path) will appear in the window. You are telling it where it is. Press the upload window. You will have to wait until it has finished doing this. It can take a while. The little hourglass will dissappear when you are finished. If this is the only file, press the done. You can use the Preview button to see if it has worked. It will not show in the window of the screen you type in. That is confusing. It will show in the preview. If you are happy with it. Press post like regular. The problem happens when you do not wait long enough, or the name does not appear completely in the little window. Try a test post of something to see. Cathy

          3. damascusannie | | #23

            yep, that's what I do, only the file never actually begins downloading, no hourglass, no error message, just nothing at all. I'll try again.

        2. rodezzy | | #19

          Oh those are colors that I favor, it's going to be excellent!

          1. damascusannie | | #21

            Yeah, it is! They requested a great color combo. I always tell the kids that they are getting a quilt and give them the option of choosing their own colors. I vastily prefer to make them a quilt that I know they'll like than guess and guess wrong. So far, I'm batting .1000 according to the recipients.

  2. jane4878 | | #3

    Thanks for starting this up again.  As always I'm behind.  My daughter wants to make her own costume (Princess Monoake).  She needs a royal blue simple skirt and a vest that she can use muslin on the front and it'll need white faux fur on the back.  I'll help her fit and cut it out and she can sew it together.  I'm starting to think about Christmas dresses.  I have several yards of fabric I bought for my bridesmaids' dresses almost 18 years ago and I want to make Martha Pullen's Victorian Coattail Ensemble for the 8 y.o. and then something for the 14 y.o. with it.

    I DID, however, organize my sewing room as much as I could this summer.  I made up a fabric form and sorted and filed swatches on all my fabric.  I've got a small stash, but I have roughly 60 fabrics on hand.  I want my husband to make sort of dressers for the fabric with long shallow drawers, but he's not taking the hint! (like flat files for drafting)  I'm using plastic under the bed storage boxes for now.  Now I need to keep on top of it as I buy stuff.

    MUST NOT buy fabric for awhile!!!



    1. rodezzy | | #4

      No problem.  Just thought more people would want to share.  How old is the one that wants to make her own outfit, and I'll have to look up the Princess you mentioned.....giggle.  Just want to see it.  Looking forward to what you do with the others and the Princess outfit.  Sounds like a lot of fun sewing ahead. 

      Maybe you should just buy some shirting for DH and suggest that you need those drawers to stash his fabric until you make him some shirts. he he

      Can't wait to see your projects!


      1. jane4878 | | #5


        I mispelt her name-- check this site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Mononoke

        I think the painting on her face is that--not blood.  The DD might make the mask as well if she has time.  I'll need to watch it again--her description of the footwear is rather vague.  There's leather strips tied around her legs--I want DD to just wear high black boots instead.  I think it's rather ambitious of her to tackle this.  She has sewing issues due to her total lack of patience.  She can't cut with scissors (fine motor skill issues) so she'll have to use a rotary cutter and I'll help her.

        I'll work on the DH--the prospect of having stuff made for him doesn't work.  He couldn't care less.  I'll do a sulk before Christmas and see where I get. :^)


        1. rodezzy | | #6

          Wow, that is ambitious, but so creative.  This annime stuff is really big.  She's going to be so cute.

          Added thought.  She can use black ribbon around her legs instead of leather if she insists on the look, with black short boots or shoes.  Just a suggestion.....giggle.

          Edited 9/10/2008 12:33 pm ET by rodezzy

  3. MargieT | | #7

    I am busy making bags to sell on a craft stall.  I'm hoping to have 30 made by the end of October - started last week.  Wish me luck!

    1. rodezzy | | #8

      Wow, MargieT, that sounds wonderful.  An entrepreneur with the sewing.  Good job.  I need to make something to sell myself.  Are they embroidered?  Have a logo?  A special design?  What is your target group?  Grocery store shoppers, travel bags?  Christmas designs, Thanksgiving designs.

      Edited 9/10/2008 12:30 pm ET by rodezzy

      1. MargieT | | #9


        The bags are mainly handbags plus some tote bags.  Most of them will have machine embroidery - depending on the fabric.  I am making them for a craft stall at a local market.  I am sharing the stall with other members of my sewing group -`the ladies that lunch'.  This is my first stall - hopefully everything will work out alright.  I will post a photo of the finished bags.


        1. rodezzy | | #12

          Sounds like an excellent idea.  You have a group, that's so wonderful.  Do you guys meet every month, week?  I wish I had a dependable group, a crafting group I started working (I didn't start the group) with last year seems to have fell apart.  I would like to work along with others on a regular basis.  I will probably have to wait until I retire.  giggle.

          Edited 9/11/2008 11:55 am ET by rodezzy

          Edited 9/11/2008 11:55 am ET by rodezzy

          1. MargieT | | #24

            Our group used to meet for lunch & a gossip every 2 months. We are all owners of Janome machines and we actually met through Janome. This week we are changing things and are going to all make the same quilt,  using machine embroidery.  We are planning on getting together once a month to sew and have lunch.  It will be interesting to see how different each persons quilt is, even though we will all be following the same directions.  By the way, we are all retired.


          2. rodezzy | | #25

            Ah Ha!  You retired folks have all the fun.....giggle.

            Yes, it will be interesting to see the quilts, now you just make sure you take pictures so we can join in on the fun.  Deal.......?    Deal!

            That was great to have met like that and stick to one another for a sewing group.  I just heard from my craft group in an email this morning, we are going to resume our meetings, starting back on the 23 of this month.  Great, I've missed them over the summer.

      2. Ceeayche | | #11

        I'm working on a picture quilt for a women's group.  we mushroomed in membership from 45 to 65, and I got so frustrated with the math I'd put it aside.  But I'd like to try and finish it by September 20.  HA!  am I crazed or what?

        1. rodezzy | | #13

          ooooo What is a picture quilt?  Is it appliqued.  What kind of math, ooooo sounds complicated!  Yuck.  But you can do it.  I know you can.

          1. Ceeayche | | #15

            Well, there are now 65 members in our group.  I've taken "head shots" of each one of them.  Originally I'd arrange them for 48 members with a huge patch featuring the seal and the year.....   well we grew by almost 20 members since i started the quilt last year.  and i'd hate to present  something that omits almost a third of our group.... so I'm having to figure out how to add the rows so that they look deliberate without looking like an afterthought. 

          2. rodezzy | | #18

            You can do it, and you had better hurry, because you guys are stretching faster than spandex.

  4. cafms | | #10

    I just finished - except for buttons and buttonholes - a shirt for my husband.  It took much longer than I planned but sometimes other things get in the way.  Today I cut out a slinky knit cardigan jacket.  It took a lot of planning because that was not what I bought the fabric for a couple years ago.  But it is just the right color for the batik that I bought last year at the sewing show in Washington.  I only bought a yard of that too so it is going to take some planning also but I think I have it worked out.   I am really excited about this and hope it looks as good in real life as it does in my head. 

    1. rodezzy | | #14

      Man or man, your husband will look great in his new shirt, it was stitched with love and patience.  How lucky is he?! Lucky indeed.

      Now about that slinky knit cardigan.  You have more nerves than I, Missy.  Sounds so good.  Are you using a pattern?  Are you making your own.  I have to ask because, there so many extremely talented people on this thread, they make their own slopers (check it out, I learned what that word meant right here on Gatherings), create their own designs, pull energy from the air and create something from nothing.  I love it! 

      I fear slinky.  I have enough trouble making the few articles of clothing that I do make.  giggle.  And really, that's the truth. 

  5. pc3 | | #26

    My Daughter's best friend, is getting married and I am making her a quilt. I am using the Bible Verse that has all the attrabutes of love and broke it up into 30 squares. After it is done I am adding some 3 Dimentional flowers onto the squares. I don't have much time to hand quilt and can't afford a quilting machine, so I will probably tie the quilt when its all put together. But I think its going to be great.

    Pam Caldwell

    1. rodezzy | | #27

      It sounds great!  I can't wait to see it. 

      1. jane4878 | | #28

        I need a kick in the derriere--I've been non productive as usual.  The older both I and my kids get, the harder time I have getting Sept. under control.  I'll have to start yanking them out of lessons I think.  I swore I'd never be one of those over scheduled moms, but that's exactly what I've turned into.  I missed out on a lot of stuff when I was a kid and rather resented it, but these guys take some of it for granted.  Work has been grisly as well.  My last timecard had 12 call backs on it and 2 sessions of overtime.  I've been getting runs of 4 callbacks a night and I'm too old to be up all night, night after night.  I did however, get working at sewing last night.  I've been doing some preshrinking and pressing as well.

        I miss this thread when it's not busy--it does keep me moving and in touch witth other sewers.  How are the rest of you doing?

        Take care,


        1. User avater
          ThreadKoe | | #29

          We missed you too! I think Sept. is as bad as Dec. for some of us. Back to school and all for those with kids, end of summer pack away and all. Crops are coming off for us. Still not finished my June challenge, my summer dresses, tee hee. But getting there. Cathy

          1. jane4878 | | #31

            The crops are all off here--last week we had the most incredible weather. Nice as any summer weather. It's starting to rain now. I lurk quite a bit, but don't have much to contribute usually. My 8 y.o. has a psycho teacher. We have to correct and sign off all her homework and there's tons. I'm sorry, but I don't think I should have to be a part time school teacher as well. Perhaps she should take blood for me while I check the kid's home work!! Dec. usually is not too bad for me because I put very few expectations on myself and I have no family in the area other than a brother who might come for New Years. I'm working this Christmas, so I'm not even doing the turkey. Got the DH trained to do it. :^) Jane

          2. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #35

            Yeah, we had one of those, till we wrote her a letter, cc the principle, telling her what went on "after school" on a dairy farm, and what we refused to do. Had to, we were working, we had no time for more than basic homework. Even that was pushing it. Esp. in the fall.
            Rodezzy is right, what you do now with your children is more important than the other stuff. Family is more important than the trimmings. And who does what work does not matter, as long as it is shared and enjoyed together. Enjoy them now, the time is short, it passes so fast.
            You are doing a great job. Life is hectic. We do more for our kids than our parents ever did when we were growing up. We want them to have opportunities to learn and grow. But sometimes we forget ourselves, we need that opportunity too. You are allowed to take one night a week for you and hubby. And another for just yourself. It is called balance. Without it the load topples. Believe me. And if those nights just mean everyone just hangs out at home and does nothing but homework, watch TV together, talk, putter at hobbies, it is called FAMILY TIME. When you are the rock the family depends on, and you work also, you cannot afford to crumble. Take care my friend, and here is a hug ((())) and good wishes for you Cathy

            Edited 9/23/2008 12:37 pm ET by ThreadKoe

          3. Ceeayche | | #36

            Here's my hug!

            I encourage you to enjoy a few minutes just sitting with your fabric stash.  Sometimes I just go in there and spend a half hour with a cup of tea  and run my hands over fabric, or lay different pieces together and imagine my next project.  It used to stress me out that I wasn't getting anything anything finished.  But now it's a treat I give myself once a week, whether I can sew or not.  Just to spend time with the possibilities!  I actually find that it makes me much more effective when I do sit down to sew.

            And it's me time.... nobody else understands the chaos up there!

          4. jane4878 | | #37

            Thanks and a big hug to all you guys!  You've certainly cheered me up.  It's great to have some support out there.  I just about quit today I was so @#^%*())-!!!!  I have reached the point where I have decided that I WILL NOT DO ____ ANYMORE.  i.e. everyone elses' work for them.  It was great to finally catch my breath and read all your wonderful posts.  I have a wonderful husband, but as intelligent as he is--he walks around perpetually stunned. He also works fulltime and is always on call, so we're both stretched thin.

            Cathy, you're right about the teacher--I need to put my foot down. I live in a town where most moms stay at home and have the time to do all that stuff and I don't.  It's very hard at work for me to walk away when others don't care and do a half a...d job, because there's a sick human being at the other end.  Anyway today I walked away.  Unfortunately I came back from a 20 min lunch after 1 pm to find pretty well nothing had been done and I ended up doing most of it anyway.

            Well, I need to take a deep breath and fondle the stash.  I need to press some new fabric and unlike most people in the universe I actually enjoy ironing/pressing.  I find it totally mindless and provides instant gratification.  I'm going to dump some stuff in my home life too this week.  I had my 18th anniversary on the 22nd and spent it at work.  Saturday I think we owe each other a night out without the kids.

            Sorry for dumping, but it's so wonderful to have this community. Thanks, Jane

          5. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #38

            Yup, your rope ends are not meeting and you are stretched out too far right now. You really needed to vent.
            Got some very important words for you. They are: I NEED.
            You use them when you want your children to do a chore, NOW. Example-I NEED the dishwasher emptied.
            At work, when someone is not fulfilling their duties so you can do yours-I NEED you to.....so I can...
            Even your DH, will be happy to help when he hears that you NEED him. Mine actually said that it made him happy when he felt that he was needed. All I had said was "I really need you to move the corn seed in the back kitchen so I can get into the laundry room easier." I had been bugging him for weeks to do it. All the pleases and could yous did not work.
            You said it yourself, you need to fondle and press your stash. Now, if your kids or DH told you they needed something, you would provide it wouldn't you? Cathy

          6. jane4878 | | #39

            I'm feeling better today.  I've decided to dump a couple of things this week.  I was called in again last evening and didn't have an evening to do anything, again.  And the DH agreed to go out on a "date" this weekend.  I'm a cranky grouch when I work late shift and get a lot of call.  I'd be so happy if I could just be with my machines and not have to deal anything else.  I'll try the "need" approach.  I shouldn't have to ask at all--it should be done.  The mental exhaustion of having to organize and remember everything gets me more than the physical work.  DH and I also agreed to not mark and correct my daughter's homework. (Like what is THAT?--nothing like having the parents do their kid's work) :^)


          7. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #40

            Yes, in a perfect world we shouldn't have to ask. Sigh, but we do. And it is hard, esp. when we are tired. Just make sure you are in contact with the teacher about the homework, so your child does not have to deal with repercussions. Meantime, let a few things slide. No one ever died from unmade beds. Not that I know of anyways, tee hee. Cathy

        2. rodezzy | | #30

          Please don't push yourself into bad health, it's not worth it.  There's always October's Challenge. 

          I've done good to get lots of stuff done.  But I am an EMPTY NESTER, and most my time is for myself.  I only had one child and being a son and not with the mother, I don't see my grands a lot.  I have no complaints though.  I'm an only child and am used to being alone in most things that I do.  And now, at my age, I relish being alone.  giggle.  I get lots done.  When my son was young I was very busy with him, worked two jobs most of his school days to put him through Catholic school, and had a part-time silk floral business. 

          So, what you are doing now is priceless for the kids.  They will remember and be grateful when they are grown.  I was surprised when my son thanked me for being the mother I was, he was 20 by then.  He realized what role I played in his life and why I insisted on certain things outside what his friends were doing. 

          Blah, Blah, I do go on sometimes.  Just know that when you wake up in the morning you have another day to "start all over again".  giggle.

          1. jane4878 | | #32

            Thanks for the encouragement. I actually love being alone. A friend of mine told me once that it was a good thing I got married because I enjoyed being alone too much. I was the baby of 5(by 10 years plus) so I grew up on my own pretty much. I just don't have enough hours in the day. You must have done a good job for your son to be thoughtful and well mannered enough to thank you!! Jane

          2. rodezzy | | #33

            I guess!!!! giggle.  As his mother, looking at some other men at age 36, he's a great guy, he takes great care of his daughters.  He doesn't live with them, but he is at their beckon call.  He takes them shopping, out to dinner, to the laundry, school functions, makes sure they have their school supplies, personal supplies, and whatever else he can do.  He loves those girls with every breath in him.  He's a good father. 

            Now, with all that said.  Take some mental health time for yourself and get a breather.  Maybe give yourself a spa evening!  All for you.  Relax and get ready to start the next month with a new enthusiasm.  You can do it, I have faith in you.  giggle.

        3. sewslow67 | | #34

          Jane, I really feel I must respond to your message, as some of the thoughts you shared sent me back nearly 50-years.  I was married to a wonderful man then and we had two children.  There was an accident when the little one was just 6-weeks old, so I ended up raising my two by myself.

          Like you, I had a job, and I had to work long hours to support my little family.  I had always sewn all my own clothes, so for the first time in my life (well ...the first time since I was a girl - as I made all my own clothes from 12-years old on) I had to buy most of my clothes.  I still made some of the children's things as kids clothes seemed disproportionately expensive compared to adult clothing - esp. back then.  What I didn't have to do that you do, is: care for a husband (and we all know that is frequently a lot of work ...giggle); check their home work; take them to all sorts of activities (we didn't have many back then); take them to school (we lived near the schools); and ...the list of what I didn't have to do that so many parents do today continues ...

          So, my dear; go into the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror, and shout:  GOOD JOB SWEETIE!  You are doing everything the best you can and no doubt better than the average bear.  Give yourself a hug from each of us on this board (and include a few that think about responding but don't always take the time), and then breathe ...breathe ...breathe.  There will be time to sew ...trust me on this.  And when it comes, you can look back with great satisfaction that you did at the time that gave value to the lives of your little ones - and that nourishment will last them a lifetime, and come back to you in spades.  Those are some of the things I think about while sitting at my machine today ... a long awaited joy, and memories of years past in my mind as the hum of the sewing machine sings its song.

          Oh, dear; please forgive me for the length of this message.

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