Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making Do...

Quote for the Day:
"There's more than one way to skin a cat"
~original author unknown
but quoted often by my dad!  :)

The story you about to hear is real.  Feel free to try this at home!  :)

On Sunday I decided that I needed to do something with these apples.  They had been sitting on the table for a while now and just weren't getting eaten.  Either I did something with them or they would probably end up in the trash.  :(  And I HATE to waste anything...a lesson taught me by my Depression-era parents!  :)

I decided that I wanted to make this...

But...uh oh...I only had less than 1/2 cup of brown sugar...

Without sending Andy to Walmart to pick up more, what's a girl to do???  (You didn't expect ME to go to Walmart, did you???)

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a distant land, (???)  I had read in a book of helpful, frugal hints that you could MAKE brown sugar...but just how currently eluded me.  Thank God for the internet...you can GOOGLE anything these day!  LOL

Here's what you need to make your own brown sugar...

Take one tablespoon of molasses and one cup of white sugar and mix together with a fork or beater.   The instructions I read said that either way you are still going to have to use a fork, so I just went for the fork instead of dirtying up the beaters AND a fork.  

It starts out like this...

...but after about 45 seconds, looks like this....

...and after about 2-3 minutes total of mixing, you can't tell the difference between the homemade and the store bought.

Nice and fluffy and moist!  Just like brown sugar when you first open the bag!  :)

I decided to add some dried cranberries and dried dates to the apples just to give it a little extra "spunk"...

And here it is...fresh out of the oven...
MMMMMMM...boy was it good, too!  (I think there's one helping left from when I made this on Sunday, LOL)

On Saturday, I had taken my primary sewing machine into the shop to be cleaned...a "Well Baby" check-up, they call it there because they know that these sewing machines are our "babies"!  :)  But Sunday afternoon I was feeling the need to cut fabric for a new quilt and start sewing on it.  What is a lady (and I use that term "lady" loosely, LOL) to do when her main sewing machine is away from home?  

Well...let's see...there are four other sewing machines for me to choose from!  LOL  So I chose to bring "Beyonce" out of her case and sew on her for a while.

Why did I name this machine "Beyonce"?  Because she is a beautiful, caramel-colored Singer with fine moves!  :):):)  

Yep, this is the vintage Singer 301 that I bought at an auction last summer for the grand total of $2.00!!!   I have a Singer Featherweight 221, too, but I actually like this machine better, I think.  The 301 sews so smoothly and seems faster than the 221.  Also, the whole "tininess" of the 221 is a little strange to get used to, but this one feels more like a regular sized machine, even though it's about 3/4's the size of a full-sized machine.  The other thing I like about this machine is that you don't have to turn the fly wheel to get the needle moving, and I recall that when I did a few test runs with the Featherweight, I always had to turn the fly wheel to start the needle. 

I've not done much sewing with either of these machines until now.  I had purchased them to take to quilting classes, but so far hadn't taken any classes.  This November, I'm taking a workshop from Bonnie Hunter, so I thought I'd pull out this one and experiment with it to find my perfect 1/4" stitch before actually trying to take a class with it.  It has taken some time to find my perfect 1/4", but I finally found it by having Andy break off the flange of a 1/4" flanged sewing foot.  :)  By using the flange, I couldn't get a "scant" 1/4" and the seam allowance was a couple threads to wide.  But by breaking off the flange and running the fabric directly down the right edge of the foot, I get the PERFECT 1/4" seam!  :)

On Sunday, I had cut out some blue and neutral pieces from my scrap bins to make a Blue Ridge Beauty quilt as a leader/ender project.  (Leader/enders are pieces of fabric you put under your needle when you finish sewing so you aren't always clipping threads.)   Instead of using just trash pieces of fabric, if you put precut pieces to a quilt through there, then you end up with a second quilt...eventually!   However, I wasn't able to just cut these pieces and let them be...I had to sew some together to see what the block looked like in person... and I now have 20 completed blocks!  LOL  I think this L/E project has quickly become my primary project!  :)


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