Agony

Well. The post title looks a bit heavy for the topic, but believe me- living without a working, non-antique sewing machine is a perfect definition for the title.

At least for me.

It all began shortly before I finished During Quiet Time‘s Mini Dresden Coin Purse. When I tried to sew, the machine would cut my thread after a few stitches. I resorted to hand stitching to finish it, which wasn’t awful, but believe me- machine stitching would have been so much easier. At one point I had to get through six layers of fabric and interfacing with a partially dull needle!

Since then I haven’t been able to do anything with the machine. All of our small appliances seem to be malfunctioning, and unfortunately for me, the sewing machine is not the first priority. So I’ve turned to other projects to fill in the time.

In my hometown, we have a Farmer’s Market every summer, and this year I’m hoping to sell some of my various projects. I need some more to have an adequate collection, so I’ve been knitting. I’ve gotten a couple things done so far, but I still have a lot to go, so let’s hope I can get that sewing machine fixed in time! The market starts in a week, so it’s unlikely I’ll finish in time to start right then, but maybe when we get out of school. Believe it or not, there isn’t much time left!

Which happens to be another reason I haven’t posted. We’ve been going through standardized testing again this week, and I have other things that must be wrapped up soon. In short, it’s your typical end-of-school loose ends that must be tied. I have been sick for the past week or two, and I have missing work to catch up on. As much as I hate to say it, it’s a  common belief that homework takes precedence over sewing. Not very happy about that! 😉

Well, I’ll post when I can, but until then… have a good day!

Katie

The Search for the Perfect (insert object here)

Buttons. Names. Patterns. Recently, I’ve found myself looking for things all the time!

For example, as of now I’m attempting to sew a jumper from a pattern for a cousin of mine. After working on it for quite some time, I have definitely gotten impatient, and maybe cut some rather important corners. I did both of the buttonholes before I found a button. Disaster. So when I did find buttons that matched, they were far too big. So, for me, it’s back to the drawing board!

As for names… well, people who know me know how indecisive I am. I woke up last night, wondering why on earth my blog name and URL were different, and with a new one in my head: Jade Needle. Imagine my happiness when I saw it hadn’t been taken!

Lastly, patterns. Seeing as I’m still a student with no time, (almost) no money, and (most importantly) no drivers license, I am hard-pressed to get to the fabric store twenty miles away. When I don’t have anything new to work with, I get to use a variety of jungle/flower print quilting fabric (remnants, mainly) for my sewing needs/wants. If you sew, you’ll know what I mean. Besides quilting (of course) and the occasional bow tie, I haven’t found many uses for quilting fabric. Any ideas?

Well, I’m off to think up some of my own, so have a lovely night!

Katie

Summing things up

Last night I wrote out a long, detailed post on why I haven’t been posting and what I have been doing in the meantime, but accidently closed out the window without saving it. I didn’t even realize I had until a few minutes ago,  but as I don’t have the time to write it out all over again (and, frankly, I forgot most of it), I will try to hit the main points of it.

  • I have had a lot to worry about in the homework and project zone
  • My birthday was two days ago.
  • I received a laptop, which will allow me to blog more frequently- I hope.
  • I also received a copy of Just for You- Selfish Sewing with Your Favorite SewCanShe Bloggers.
  • I am utterly ecstatic
  • In deciding to do which project to do first, I may end up doing a poll
  •  Of course, I received other things, but these are the two that will concern you most.

Have a good evening!

Katie

Guest Blogger: A Cup of Sugar

Since I’m new to the sewing/whatever else (Does anyone know if there’s a category title?) blogging circle (or perhaps I started because of it) I have been reading a lot of other blogs. As in, a lot. Everything from delia creates to no big dill: you can say that I have been quite the blog-reader for the past few weeks.
Ever so often, I come across a guest blogger’s post, and today I wanted to experiment with that. Caroline has her own blog at Shutterfly (She’s a big fan of the Share Sites program. Personally, I like WordPress! 🙂 ) for her cooking, so I got her to post the eggs. It figures that she would use the puns- our family is big on them. Here she is!


Hi! In case you don’t know, this is Caroline. I am Katie’s sister, and she has given me permission to do a guest blog on her blog. This is the blog for my Easter eggs, from The Simple Life: acupofsugar.shutterfly.com. Check it out, and I hope you enjoy this entry!!

So, there are millions of types of blogs. When looking for a blog on blogspot by clicking Next blog, I find a bunch, most of which are in languages other than English. There are calender blogs, sewing, cooking, crafting, gardening, writing, etc. So why is my blog just a cooking blog when there are so many other things that I love doing that I can blog about? So, this is the start of the next chapter of a cup of sugar. I will try to blog about other things such as crafts and gardening as well as cooking. Therefore, you non-cookers can read about your interests, too.

First off, I want to tell you about this blog I adore. It is called Little House Living, but I won’t tell you the rest so you can check it out for yourself. Hope you like it!

Happy Easter! Yesterday, for Easter, we died eggs.(I know that it is dyed, but I like to say that they are dead, even though that is bad grammar) My teacher was telling me this cool way that you can die eggs using a scarf and white cloth, so yesterday, I thought I would try it. We turned out with gorgeous eggs that taste good, too. I’ll give you the recipe here:

Ingredients:
Hard Boiled Eggs
Easter egg die
Boiling Water

Tools:
Silk scarf
White cloth (I used a pillowcase)
Pot
Spoon Rest-er
Something to put finished eggs in
Cups for die
Twist-ties or string

  1.  Wrap the egg in the scarf. Then, the scarf in cotton, There should be a little bit of fabric above so you can dangle the egg. Wrap the top of the egg where you grip the cotton and scarf either with thread or twist tie. I didn’t like using the twist tie because it was a bit thick, so I would just rip more from my pillow case to use like a thread. Tie it.
  2. Dip the egg in boiling water. I usually waited for the pattern of the scarf to seep through the pillow case before I took it out.
  3. Dip the egg in die. Now, he is dead (JK). Let it sit for a while. In the meantime, you can prepare your next egg if you want.
  4. Then, take the egg out and let it drip. Then, I put mine in the spoon rest-er. Wait a while, then unwrap. It makes this really cool marble design, huh? It also kills (dies) the cloth, so I thought I could make a tiny blanket with my cloths, except that I am no good at sewing.

Either try this next year, or try it after Easter, because I’ll admit it: It’s Easter today, a bit late to make eggs. 🙂

Caroline


I’m glad that someone in my family is following me on the blog route! Caroline is in sixth grade, and we’re all proud of her creative cooking! She always is coming up with some new recipe, and unlike my attempts at from-scratch-recipe-writing, hers taste excellent for her age! More on that later.

Here’s some pictures of the final result:

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Hers are the marbled ones. Far left for the first picture, and top right-ish for the second. If your wondering, the gray-green egg with the yellow stripe was my Martha Stewart electrical-taped-egg. Didn’t work out so well, did it?

Whatever the outcome, remember that dying is only cosmetic! The eggs always will taste good.

Have fun!

Katie

Baby/Toddler bow ties!

I have been waiting to post this for ages. I never got around to it- I wonder why? I didn’t actually finish making this till two days ago, when I found the velcro. Can’t have a baby bow tie without velcro… or buttons. Resolution: make this with buttons.

Bow Ties

Supplies for bow:

  • 3/4 x at least 3″ strip of fabric
  • 5 x 3 1/2″ piece of fabric
  • Typical sewing supplies
  1.  Cut your fabric.
  2. Fold the 5 x 3 1/2 piece in half (right sides together) and sew on two of the three sides

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3. Turn right-side out, fold about a quarter inch in, and sew straight across. I found it much easier to iron it before. Trim loose threads as close as possible.

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4. Fold the long sides of the 3/4 x 3″ piece in to meet in the middle. Press so that it lies flat.

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Not sure if you will get the gist of it, but… I tried.

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5. Fold the larger piece in half, lengthwise (? never get those right) to find the middle. Crease it a little and place the strip over it.

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6. Fold the strip in half and pinch behind the bow to form the bow itself.

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7. Sew across the two sides as closely as possible, and trim excess. Adjust as needed.

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For the tie part:

I don’t have any during- pictures for this, sorry!

  1. Cut a strip of fabric 1 1/2″ x the measurement around the receiver’s neck + 2″.
  2. Fold in half (wrong sides together) and sew along raw edges. Trim as closely as possible.
  3. Attach bow to the middle by hand-sewing. Try to avoid having stitches on the outside front. Taking your time is the only way to do this right, so don’t rush!
  4. Attach non-sticky Velcro to each end, and sew on all four corners to secure.

Step four was my fatal flaw. I’d hoped that I could get by with the sticky kind, but no- it ruined two perfectly good needles. The Velcro gave me a hard time the whole time I had (and didn’t have) it. I couldn’t find any for a week (reason for delayed posting), and when I did, I was so eager to use it that I ruined those needles. I had to think for a bit on how I should position it-

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-before ultimately deciding to do one on either side. The picture explains much better than I do.

Other than the Velcro, I liked this project a lot. It takes all of ten minutes, as long as you’re not distracted, and the finished result (I think) looks as good as any ‘grown-up’ bow tie. In fact, I might just make one myself…

If you just make the bow, you could probably attach a hair clip to it, and use for a little clip. I’m hoping to do something like it soon for some birthday gifts! 🙂

Katie

Easter, Part 2

I’ve been wanting to post this since we left church around 10 this morning. Easter is, after all, one of my favorite holidays. The orchestra plays all of the favorites at church, the choir sings with the brass instruments, and to top it all off, we sing the Hallelujah Chorus.

Not to mention the chocolate.

I don’t think anyone in my family will ever grow out of the egg hunt. Sure, by now I’m less exuberant than Caroline and Hans (at one point, I had five eggs, Caroline had ten, and Hans had eighteen), but being able to look at the dark chocolate for months after and remember is just nice.

Caroline, always the most excited, got Hans and I up around eight, threatening to eat all of the chocolate. We had a wonderful (albeit rushed) breakfast, thanks to my mother, and finally, to Caroline’s utter joy, we were off on the hunt. Afterwards, we managed to divide the chocolate without any bloodshed (though we did come dangerously close!).

As I said before, church was great. The sanctuary was packed, and as our family coordinates Coffee & Connections, we saw it first-hand. I could swear we were getting out some new plate of baked goods once a minute.

We went over to my aunt and uncle’s home for Easter Lunch/Dinner.

All the food we brought survived the journey, thank heavens (minus the expected crushed eggs)

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Every year, my aunt makes a cake in the shape of a lamb.

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It’s just a typical white cake in the shape of a sheep, but somehow it never fails to taste special. Know what I mean?

Our friend Eric remarked that, once it was cut, it reminded him of the Great Sphinx.

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I’m not entirely sure if I agree. However, all the food turned out wonderfully.

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We celebrated my birthday a few days early, minus presents. (I had no idea!)

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All in all, it was an amazing Easter- lovely weather, lovely food, and, of course, lovely family time!

😀

Happy Easter,

Katie

Easter, Part 1 (Hopefully)

First of all, I changed my blog name for the third time today. I hope that seasoned bloggers will understand, but as the majority of current blog readers (are there any?) likely aren’t at this point, I don’t blame you. It’s hard to come up with a name that is well liked.

Second, it’s hard to believe that Easter is tomorrow! I only now realized that my good friend Olivia’s birthday is tomorrow, and I can’t help but laugh at my slowness. It always takes me forever to get puns, jokes, and the like. Now, I have Easter to prepare for (okay, my mom and I), birthday presents to make, and a baby blanket to knit for my cousin Page (yep- it’s number two for her!).

Last night, Mom and Dad went over to my aunt and uncle’s house to watch that new movie (The Imitation Game? I never remember…) about the Enigma Code. While they were gone, I was charged with guarding the marshmallows and chocolate chips, watching the 1968 (Oh, dear- almost wrote 1698. That would be a little off, wouldn’t it?) version of Romeo and Juliet, and hard-boiling the eggs. This morning we dyed them (pictures of everything tomorrow, I hope) all shades of gray (and that came out very wrong. I think I’m using too many parentheses. Remember what I said about cliches?), blue, purple, orange, and yellow. Caroline used a scarf-dyeing method that I might will beg her to post. It turned out amazing, and if I wasn’t so territorial about my scarfs, I might actually try it. Hans did the run-of-the-mill half-and-half kind of egg. I kind of liked the simplicity of that idea. It’s nice to go back to understated, isn’t it?

I attempted a Martha Stewart tape-dyeing method, in which electrical tape is used to cover previously dyed layers. It should have ended up like this:

Eggs

Far from it. At first, I was worried that the tape would be so sticky it would (a), leave a residue, or (b), peel off the shell when I took off the tape. Instead, it started peeling off in the dye, and ended up with an interesting tie-dye-ish effect. I still don’t know whether I like it or not, but, suffice to say, it did not end up as it should. I went back to the hand-dipping eggs. I still have a jaundiced finger from yellow dye.

We in the youth group (middle and high school) at our church are the egg-layers for our Spring Treasure Hunt, so Caroline, Hans, and I went out with two friends of ours to help. A couple hosts this every year, and it’s a highlight. Kids from two to eleven were swarming all over the place, picking up eggs, eating candy, getting their faces painted, playing soccer and frisbee- in short, typical Easter Egg hunt. Even us ‘big kids’ couldn’t help but have fun, watching the various games, roasting s’mores, and whatnot. My hair still reeks of smoke, and I’ve been reminded at least nine times to shower. Well. And I will! It’s just… blogging… must… do.

After that, we got to greet my grandfather, who is visiting from St. Louis for the holiday, and I made my grandmother’s black cherry Jell-o. It’s one of those foods you can not eat enough of. If it doesn’t turn out, I might just hit something. It’s just that good.

Finally, after dinner, Mom, Caroline, Hans and I decorated our Easter sugar cookies. Isn’t it fun to decorate each cookie, to place each individual sprinkle in place? It’s something Caroline and I were practically raised on, but I can’t remember us doing it for Easter before. We must have at some point, since we have the cookie cutters, but I don’t remember.

Finally, to end our Easter Saturday, we watched the Final Four. I know- but it’s a treat for Dad to have three basketball fans in the house, AND Wisconsin made it. I’m not a basketball fan in any way (though I may or may not have wanted to marry a choice Illinois player when I was four), but I have a soft spot in my heart for Wisconsin. Now that they’re going to the last game, I might have to wear red. 🙂

Have a blessed Easter Sunday!

Katie