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1  "Shopping in my grandma's basement" dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by christian_cowgirlGSR on: August 16, 2015 12:37:20 PM
A little more than a week ago, I hear that my grandmother was having a garage sale, but it would be on a weekend where I wouldn't be able to go.  So, I went over to her place early and looked through some ofthe things she was going to put in her garage sale.  I found a whole bunch of fabric, one of which was a k-state purple double knit fabric.  It just so happens that k-state purple is my favorite color.  I knew what I wanted to do with this fabric as soon as I saw it.  I put it in "my pile" and took it home with me, and this dress was born.  I had a happy accident with this dress - I ran out of bobbin thread and figured I was close enough to the bottom of the dress to try it on.  That's when I realized that I should probably leave a slit so I could actually walk.    Grin   So, I refilled the bobbin thread and hemmed the edge there instead of finishing the seam.  It turned out to be in a perfect spot and makes the dress way easier to walk in!
On to the pictures!

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2  Nursery Set - curtains, bed skirts, diaper stacker, blanket PLUS dresser revamp in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by christian_cowgirlGSR on: October 26, 2013 01:53:06 PM
I am pregnant and due one week from tomorrow.  I have been working hard on getting the nursery set done.  So far, I've finished curtains for both windows, bed skirts for both beds (twin and crib), diaper stacker, and the crib blanket.  For the diaper stacker, I used the tutorial here: http://www.sewing.com/downloads/projects/bds6645.pdf.  Everything else is my own pattern.

Almost everything - missing the twin bed with the skirt and the other window with the other curtain

Another view of the crib blanket and window.

Diaper Stacker

My husband repaired and repainted an old dresser we got for free.  Looks SO MUCH better!  There's a couple places that he avoided when painting because he had to use wood putty to repair them and the wood putty wasn't quite dry yet.  He'll have to go back and touch those up later.
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3  Garage Sale fabric turned maxi dress in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by christian_cowgirlGSR on: January 14, 2013 10:17:15 AM
I happened upon a garage sale selling fabric for $1/yd.  I rummaged through boxes and boxes of fabric and found several that I liked that had enough I could make larger projects.  I took them home and stuck them in my fabric stash.  Fast forward a couple of years...  It has been quite cold here (highs in the 20's *F, without wind chill..  Lows in the negative single digits at night).  I have also recently completed several projects for other people and thought that it was time to do something for myself.  I had been looking at quite a few maxi dresses recently and had decided that I wanted one.  That's when I happened upon this fabric in my stash and decided it would be perfect for a maxi dress.  I found a tutorial that looked interesting and decided to go for it.

Here's a link to the tutorial I used: http://www.sew-much-ado.com/2011/08/soho-maxi-dress-tutorial.html.  I did have to change the tutorial some to make it work for my fabric.  First of all, I used cotton instead of knit fabric.  That in and of itself didn't require much change, but my fabric was only 40" wide, while the tutorial called for 60" wide fabric.  So,  I ended up having to use twice the length of fabric to make up for the lack of width.   Other than that, I followed the tutorial fairly closely, maybe almost too closely.  For the front of the dress, the tutorial shows a picture of a cami being laid on the fabric, with the fold of the cami on the opposite side as the fold of the fabric and then cutting the fabric.  I did this only to realize that I would then be matching the front center of the dress with the sides of the back.  I ended up modifying the "front" and making it the back because of this.  Overall, I think the dress turned out really well.  I really like the length.  In the pictures, I am wearing boots with ~1" heels.  The dress just barely touches the floor. 

I was running really short on time with this dress as I started it at about 2:30 pm on a Saturday afternoon and wanted to wear it to church the following morning.  I realized when I was nearly done with the dress (after I'd serged the seams) that I had wanted to add pockets.  That was at about 10pm Saturday night.  I am NOT a night owl, so I was pretty tired by that point.  I decided that I'd wear the dress as it was and add pockets later.   At the garage sale, I bought 4 yards of this fabric for $1/yd.  I used all but about a foot of the fabric, so this is my $4 dress!  Despite the lack of pockets, I really like the dress and would love to hear your comments/critiques!

My hubby's version of a close-up:   Grin

Side view:
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4  Cancer Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: December 29, 2012 08:43:12 PM
Around Thanksgiving 2012, we found out that my aunt had been diagnosed with stage 1-2 breast cancer.   Nearly 3 years ago, I made a quilt for a friend (see here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=368283.msg4328536#msg4328536) who had a reoccurence of cancer.  This friend died only days after receiving the quilt, but the quilt meant a lot to her family.  Armed with the knowledge of how much the quilt meant to my friend's family, I mentioned to my mother the idea of making a quilt for my aunt (my aunt is my mom's best friend and only older sister) while I was home on Thanksgiving/Christmas vacation.  My mom loved the idea.  While I was home, I sat down with my mom on the computer and picked fabrics from the wide selection at www.fabric.com.  Due to some unforeseen circumstances and, of course, procrastination on my part, washing and cutting the fabrics took longer than expected.  My goal was to have this quilt done and in my aunt's hands before her surgery on 1/3/2013.  I calculated in my head that I would have to send it by Friday 12/28/2012 to get it to her in time, taking the holidays into account.  Of course, that meant that I was pretty much doing all the work for the quilt the week before it was "due".  Many pinpricks and hours later, here are pictures of the completed quilt:

The top of the completed quilt.  In this picture, you can barely see the quilting lines running diagonally across the quilt.  I chose a very minimalistic quilting pattern for this quilt because of the tight timeline.

The back of the quilt.  All those who helped fund the quilt project signed the white squares between the red fabrics. 

The backing fabric ended up being black/cream instead of the black and white that I had hoped, but I think it turned out okay anyway.

A close-up of the front of the quilt:

I am quite proud of how the binding on this quilt came out.  The mitering on the corners looks better than it has on any of my previous quilts.  I think I've finally figured out how to attach the binding and make it look nice!

I did get the quilt sent on 12/28/2012.  My aunt received it today, 12/29/2012.  She called me this evening to thank me for making the quilt for her.  At one point in the conversation, she was in tears because she was so deeply touched by the quilt.  It makes me feel good to know that something I've made means so much to someone else.  My aunt will be able to take the quilt with her to the hospital for her surgery next week, which makes me very happy.

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5  Just in time for Valentines in Crochet: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: February 07, 2012 06:00:49 PM
A couple of months ago, I lost my full time job and haven't been able to find anything else.   While losing my job, in and of itself, was bad, it has given me more time to craft.  Thus, this afghan was born. 

My grandmother has made every one of her kids and (married) grandkids an afghan with a similar pattern.  I took the afghan I got from her and made a similar one, modifying the original pattern as I went along.  Mine isn't quite as frilly as hers was, but I am quite happy with it.  This afghan is approximately 43" X 65", and is made from Red Heart 100% acrylic yarn using a size I crochet hook.  I spent just over a week working on this.  It is made with a little more than 5 skeins of yarn.  It is the first afghan that I have both started AND finished (I bought a nearly finished afghan at a garage sale this past summer, finished it and gave it to my mom).

Anyway, on to the pictures of this afghan:

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6  My new favorite recipe for bread in Recipes and Cooking Tips by christian_cowgirlGSR on: November 02, 2011 08:37:02 AM
I recently got my Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day book back from a friend who was borrowing it.  I decided to try a recipe from it that I hadn't tried before.  After making it only once, it has become my new favorite recipe! 

It came out of the oven, and my husband immediately wanted some.  However, the directions say to wait 'till the bread is cool to cut into it.  That is not an easy task!  When I finally allowed my husband to cut into it, he was gonna eat the whole loaf with me standing there waiting for him to cut me a piece!    Wink   Needless to say, he approves. 

With the same batch of dough that I used to make the above loaf, I also made a loaf of cinnamon raisin bread, which also turned out REALLY well!  Probably because of the wheat flour in it, this loaf rose upwards more than outwards like my white bread cinnamon raisin loaves do.  This loaf, too, was a delicious success!

For those who would like to try to make this yourself, the recipe is the Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes A Day.  I highly recommend this recipe and this book!

C&C Welcome.
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7  Recovered Children's Glider in Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General by christian_cowgirlGSR on: October 04, 2011 08:54:46 AM
My sister called me up a couple weeks ago and asked if I would make some halloween costumes for their family.  She wanted them to go as the Flintstones, complete with Dino the dog.  I turned down this opportunity as I knew I'd be working a full time job and a part time job soon after the conversation with her.  She ended up buying Fred, Wilma and Dino's costumes off the internet.  For Pebbles, she got  out a pink shirt that had already been ruined and colored black spots on it.  Out of all of the costumes, that just left the bone for Pebble's hair that I needed to make. 

Teaser Photo: 

The day after our conversation about the Halloween costumes, she called me to say that she'd been to a garage sale and had found a kid-sized glider rocker.  She wanted to know if I'd recover it for her.  Then, she started listing off a bunch of other sewing projects she wanted me to get done (including the bone for their halloween costumes).  Things like fixing a pillow, reinforcing the ties on the crib bumper I'd made her and putting the ones that had fallen off back on (see here for the crib bumper:   https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=349321.msg4072160#msg4072160).  The projects other than the chair were small and simple.  I agreed to visit her at her house for a weekend to get everything done...  The week before I was supposed to be going to visit her, I called her to confirm our plans and found out that we'd had a small misunderstanding.  She thought I was going to order the fabric to re-cover the chair and I thought she was going to order it!   I ordered it very soon after that conversation, and thankfully, the fabric arrived the day before I left.



My sister didn't want me to take the current cushion covers apart to make a pattern.  So, I traced the cushion with the cover on it as best I could (twice).  Then I pinned and sewed the two pieces together, all except for the one side I wanted to put a zipper in.  The original cover was not removable.  My sister has a 1 year old daughter with a second child on the way, so she wanted the cover to be heavy enough to stand up to the wear and tear (we ordered denim), removable (I added zippers) and wipe-able (she didn't really get this wish, but hey, it's wash-able!).  She also wanted it to match her other furniture, which is all cream.  I ordered the fabric from fabric.com, and the fabric ended up being too light compared to her other furniture, but as she says it's "close enough". 

Overall, I think it came out well, especially considering that my sister had company (other than me) 2 of the 3 evenings I was there and refused to let me work when she had other company.  There are still some small refinements I would like to make to it, such as serging the inside seams, removing the excess seam allowance, putting a flap over the zippers to keep them from scratching the chair, washing it to remove my pencil markings, etc.  However, the covers are use-able and are currently on the chair.
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8  Skirts for Easter in Clothing for Kids: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: April 24, 2011 02:35:41 PM
A friend of mine came over a couple months ago so I could hem a dress she'd just gotten for herself.  The dress was on sale, but it was like 7 inches too long for her.  When she came over, she brought one of her daughters.  I happened to mention that I wanted to make myself a floor-length broomstick circle skirt once I finish the fundraiser quilt for the church (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=379063.0).  My friend's daughter asked what a broomstick circle skirt was.  When I described it to her, you could see her eyes get big...  She was obviously thinking of how much fun a skirt like that sounded.  Her next comment was something along the lines of "I want one".  I ended up volunteering to make one for her, took her measurements that day, calculated up how much fabric I'd need and told her mom.  When my friend came bringing me the fabric, I had two different sets of fabric - apparently my friend's other daughter wanted one too.   Cheesy   I suppose I should've known that I couldn't make something for one daughter without making something for the other...  Anyway, these skirts are the result of me opening my big mouth.   Roll Eyes  (I blacked the girls' faces out for privacy reasons.)

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9  "Hand-y" quilt *Updated to add fundraiser results in Quilting: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: April 24, 2011 02:21:56 PM
Early in 2010, I got the idea to make a quilt for the church, and I just couldn't get the idea out of my head (I call it a God-prod).  Anyway, I finally gave in and decided to make a quilt.  After having started it, this quilt got put on hold several times for other projects, such as Leslie's quilt (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=368283.msg4328536#msg4328536), towards the end of which my sewing machine died and forced me to get a new one (I got a Janome Sewist 500 - highly recommend it). After more than a year and a very frantic week this past week as I hurried to finish the quilt before our upcoming move, this quilt is the result.  My pictures aren't all that good 'cuz it was dark when I finished the quilt and the lamps in the house have already been packed and moved.   Roll Eyes  Anyway, on to the pictures!

A close-up of the hands after the quilting was done around them.

As much of the whole quilt as I could get in a picture.  Enough of our stuff has been packed that I didn't have anything to hang it with and no one was around to hold it up for me.  The borders say "Children of FBC".  

A better picture of the top half of the quilt

The quilt, with a corner flipped over so you can see the back.

The back of the quilt.  The only picture I had of the back was before I was done with it so I hadn't trimmed off the excess backing yet.  However, this picture shows the quilting better than the front does.  

From this quilt, I learned (the hard way) why long-arm quilting machines are so valuable.  There are a couple of sewed-in wrinkles on the quilt where I didn't notice them until it was already too late to go back and fix them.  Oh well, I guess it adds "character" to the quilt.  Smiley  

Feedback is welcomed and appreciated!

**EDIT:  The quilt was raffled off a couple weeks ago.  The couple that won it are good friends of my husband and I.  The picture below shows the pastor (left) with the gentleman who won it (right).  The winner's wife wasn't feeling good that day...  I was a bit disappointed with the amount the quilt fundraiser raised.  The total came to $107, and I put roughly $105-$110 into the quilt.  In retrospective, it would've been much easier to just donate the money to the church.  However, I guess I can be proud of  my accomplishments with this quilt, and my friends now have a quilt to remember me by (we moved just about the time i finished the quilt).
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10  Leslie's Quilt *Update* in Quilting: Completed Projects by christian_cowgirlGSR on: December 28, 2010 03:35:27 PM
My husband's job moved us to Wyoming from Kansas about a  year and a half ago.  When we moved, I left my horse in Kansas with my parents, knowing that the move and the dietary and geographical changes would be hard on her and that it would be in her best interest to leave her in Kansas.  My best interests on the other hand... well, let's just say that I'm a horse loving horse-addict who was surrounded by horses in the horse country of Wyoming and was going through horse withdrawals because I couldn't touch/play with/smell/love on ANY of the horses I saw.  My husband and I found a church fairly quickly after we moved.  One of the members (her name is Leslie) of the Sunday School class we decided  to join happened to hear of my plight and offered to let me do whatever I wanted with her horses.  She offered to let me treat them as if they were my own.  She told me that I could go to her house (where the horses are kept) and do whatever I wanted with them, whenever I wanted, even if neither she nor her husband were home.  She even offered to let me move one of her horses to a location closer to my house so I wouldn't have to drive clear out to her house to play with the horses.  Now, mind you, Leslie didn't know me.  I was a complete stranger who happened to show up in her Sunday School class one Sunday.  It is a rare person who will trust a stranger so thoroughly with something as valuable as a horse (or three).  It is true.  Leslie is a rare person who is always smiling, always caring, always kind.  
A tragic thing happened to this angel whose name is Leslie.  She was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer in June of 2010.  This was her second go-round with the horrible disease we call cancer.  She decided to call it "Bob".  It was only a few short months after her second diagnosis when the doctors told Leslie and her family that "Bob" was chronic, that she would never be rid of him again...  
In, roughly, October, I read a blog (sorry, I haven't been able to find it again since the first time I read it) that described how a person struggling with cancer had received a pair of prayer socks and how these socks had blessed her.  Someone had thought to send this person a pair of hand-knit socks.  While they were making the socks, they said a prayer for the recipient for each stitch they made.  I got the idea that maybe I should make a quilt for Leslie to let her know that she and her family are in our thoughts and prayers.  The idea was that after the quilt was finished, everyone in the Sunday School class would sign it and include an encouraging quote, Bible verse, etc.  However, I already had one quilt on my plate, in addition to numerous other projects, and I wasn't so thrilled about the idea of adding another item to my to-do list.  However, the idea of the quilt just wouldn't leave me alone (I call it a "God prod").  So, I talked to the Sunday School teacher and his wife about it.  They were thrilled about the idea and brought it up to the Sunday School class the following Sunday.  The Sunday School class agreed to fund the project if I would do the work.  
It wasn't long after I agreed to do the quilt that Leslie was put in the hospital for pain management.  She hasn't been home since.  In fact, on Christmas Eve it was decided to move her to hospice and to stop doing chemo treatments.  The doctors had thrown everything at Bob that they could and Bob continued to grow at an alarming rate (tripling in size in just one week).  Leslie was moved to hospice just yesterday.  On her blog on www.caringbridge.org, Leslie's husband wrote a heart-wrenching note about their decision to stop chemo treatments.  Through his written words, it's obvious how much he loves his wife and their six year old son and how much it hurts both of them to be going through this.  Leslie's husband has a way with words, so I'll use a couple of his quotes here:
"It's not that we're strong enough to stand, it's because we're supported well enough that we can't fall. Thank you."
"I LOVE my wife. I LOVE my son. I LOVE my family. And it is being ripped from my fingertips as I grip with all that I can give and I can do NOTHING to stop this from happening and I hate it."
"Jared keeps waiting for Mom to get better so she can come home and play. He loves to tell me when he sees her on good days that "Dad, Mommy sure looks good today, I think she's feeling better." As difficult as it's been to watch my wife through the hell of cancer... I'm still begging for the strength to explain this one to him. We meet with Pastor Jason from First Baptist Church tomorrow morning. Jason will help Jared understand that Mommy won't be coming home again. (Yea, I know....)"
"It is because of Leslie that I know what love feels like. It is because of Leslie that I am a father and husband and it is because of Leslie that I have known the greatest highs that a man can know. I know love; Deep, passionate, consuming, overwhelmingly joyous love. Because I know these tremendous highs I am capable of feeling the depths of despair caused by losing that joy. Im greedy; I dont want the wonderful world that we created to end. I dont want our life to end, I dont want her life to end and I dont want to see my son hurt by losing his mother. I love my wife. I love her enough to let all of that joy and love that weve created go with her into a peaceful rest that doesnt hurt her. I will gladly give her all the good in my world so that she might rest. And I will continue to be a father and husband. I will continue to love her and I will continue to do all that I can do to be the best man I can be and to raise the best son I can raise and to live a life that will honor her memory.
I promise.
" (bold font added)

"I called Leslie, angel as a pet name, she earned it. She saved my life when I thought my life was over. She gave me a son that I love more than I can describe. She gave joy to my life that I never thought I would know. She is still my angel.  Too soon she is becoming one for all of us."

After reading this blog post (posted on 12/27 - yep, that's right only a couple days after Christmas) and the ones before it, I am glad that I agreed to make the quilt.  I've realized that I'm probably making it more for Leslie's family than I am for Leslie herself, though I am glad that I've finished it in time that she can see it.  I finished it just days before they moved Leslie into hospice care, and I plan on taking it to her as a belated Christmas present tomorrow.  I hope that this quilt will let Leslie and her family know how much they are prayed for and cared for and that it will somehow be comforting to them in this time of terrible pain.

*Update*  Leslie passed away quietly in the presence of family and friends on Monday, January 3rd 2010 at 9:30 am MST, one week after moving into hospice care and less than five days after receiving the quilt.  She was a special lady and will be sorely missed.  I will leave you with one last quote from the blog that Leslie's husband kept through her fight with cancer.   This came from his post on Saturday, January 1st, 2011.

"Thank you, Leslie, for making my life so much better. On behalf of almost all the people I talk to, thank you for making this world a better place. Your smile, your enthusiasm and your incredible joy of life have brought a warmth to each of us that have known you.

Speaking of making the world a better place... Our son, Jared, got to come see his mommy once again. He certainly can't comprehend what is happening in a complete sense but he did have a rather astute observation today. When explaining what was happening to his mommy, Jared explained that she was going to be an angel.

That would be two for Jared, if you're keeping score: Cancer IS a big Dork and Mommy IS an angel. Perhaps the six-year old knows more than we give him credit for.

As far as Leslie's condition goes, not a lot to tell you. She is fading, to our knowledge she is not in any pain, her body will no longer let her speak more than a few words each day, she is nearly unable to drink and, because it would do more harm than good and create unnecessary pain, she is not on IV fluids. The tumor has moved up to the left side of her jaw and continues to grow at a pretty rapid rate.

I love my son, I love my wife, I will never forget the amazing angel that I married and I will hate cancer for the rest of my days with a burning rage that defies description.

Thank you all, once again, for all of the amazing support you have shown through this ordeal. Your thoughts, prayers, acts of love and your kindness remind me to see the beauty in this world and keep me from focusing on the darkness. You are all angels. Our family is blessed by each of you.

Here is the completed quilt after everyone  had signed it.  These were taken in the fading sunlight so the colors aren't as true to real life as I would like.

The back, pre-signing:

A close-up of one of the applique-d letters:

A close-up of the fabrics.  The colors in this picture are probably closest to real-life:
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