Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Recipe...Spicy Zucchini Soup

Yes, it's that time of year when zucchini and other summer squash as plentiful.  Sooo very plentiful that the neighbors don't want to see you coming.  So what do you do with all the great produce from the garden?  Look for new recipes!  I found a winner with this recipe.

This is Spicy Zucchini Soup and it is very good.  Not only does it use up the extra zucchini from the garden but it uses hot peppers and cilantro, too.  As usually, I didn't follow the directions exactly.  The changes that I made were minor but I didn't want to go to the store to pick up any ingredients.  Here are the changes that I made:

1.  substituted dried bread crumbs for the day old bread
2.  skipped the mint because I don't grow this type of mint and didn't want to make a trip to the grocery store for it
3.  used a whole jalapeno pepper

This makes a very nice creamy soup.  Since it is mostly veggies, it is fairly low in calories.  I would image that it would still be good soup without the hot pepper.

This also makes a fairly large quantity of soup which would make it a time saver.  This will result in more time for sewing or other hobbies.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Butterick Fall Patterns....

I'm beginning to feel better about the fall pattern offering.  The new fall Butterick patterns are online and I've found a few interesting items:

The first time is B6240.  Love this dress!  It will definitely be added to the stash with hopes of making something this fall.  You know it is the asymmetric details that have drawn me to this dress.  The only thing that has me a little concerned is that it is one of the patterns with the A-B-C-D cup sizes and in looking at the finished measurements the circumference is different for a/b, c, and d cups.  Really?  The circumference shouldn't change with the cup size.  So, I'm a little confused on how you would ever pick out the correct size.  Anyone used these patterns?

 This is B6245.  I am drawn to this silhouette.  It is a great way to use your see-through fabrics.  Maybe instead of purchasing another pattern, I will follow the directions that Peggy Sagers gave in one of videos on how to re-create this look with an existing pattern.  I have some voile that would work for this type of item.

This is B6233.  I love this silhouette.  It could be very slimming depending on the fabrics used.  I have a pattern very similar to this and made a top from it earlier in the year but it was a big dud.  In fact, that top has already been moved on.  The styling of the two patterns are kinda similar.  I do think that the necklines are very different and that is mostly what I had an issue with.  I will be adding this one to my pattern stash with the intentions of making at least one top.

There are many more cute patterns but I'm really try to pull out the ones that will work for me.  There is still many patterns showcasing zippers and vintage details.  Which patterns are you favorites?

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Cooking....Harissa Zucchini Spaghetti Skillet with Kale, Chickpeas and Poached Eggs

Oh, yeah, I'm still having fun with the spiralizer and using up those garden veggies.  Here's the newest recipe that I've found:

If hot and spicy are the flavors you like, then this is a good one.  This is Harissa Zucchini Spaghetti Skillet with Kale, Chickpeas, and Poached Eggs.  Yum!  This is very tasty.  I did make a couple of changes.  I increased the cumin from 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon and probably could have added more.  I also made my own Harissa sauce using dried peppers and garlic from my garden.  I have no idea if my Harissa is hotter than a purchased version.  I can only say that my version was plenty spicy.  I also had to cook the eggs a little bit longer to get them when the egg white was cooked.  Was it a speedy meal?  Absolutely, the cooking time even with adding the additional time for the eggs was probably 20 minutes.  That will definitely increase the sewing time if you're sewing in the summer.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Vogue Patterns Fall....

I just noticed today that Vogue has new patterns up and there are actually a couple that I might consider adding to the collection.  Here are my picks:

I love seeing the dresses with interesting seaming and this dress certainly belongs in that category.  This is Vogue 1457.  I would imagine that the vertical seams would be very slimming. The only thing I don't really care for is the neckline is a little bit low.

Here is another dress with interesting seaming.  This is Vogue 10458.  A very cute little dress.  This pattern will not be added to my pattern collection due to the length and the slit.  Yes, I know I can lengthen it but I don't really want to deal with that.

How about a classic blouse with a camisole?  This is V1462.  It is really meant for a light weight fabric. This particular pattern may just end up in my cart.

This cute little peasant dress is V9124.  It has such a 70s vibe.  I loved this look in the late 70s early 80s.  I wonder if I can pull if off again or if it would be too young.  What do you think?  This may end up in my cart.

Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Thud...More Fabric Has Arrived....

Why can't I resist the fabric sales?  I have enough fabric to last me a life time.  Here's some fabrics that caught my eye:

The top two fabrics on the left are meant for a gift.  Hopefully, that will work out.  The rest of the fabrics work right into the color pallet that I want to continue using.  Four of the fabrics are knit with two for causal and two for a bit dressier.  The fabric in the center is a black and white striped shirting.  I'm not sure what possessed me to get the black and white zigzag but hopefully, I will figure out something to do with it.  I think there is 3 yards.  That should be enough for a dress.

Happy Stitching!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Specialty Bobbin Case, Part II

After a weekend of playing and gardening, I finally got Behemoth set up and specialty bobbin case installed. For this test, I started with a fairly thick thread that I found stashed in one of the drawers in my little sewing cabinet.  My guess is that I originally purchased this with needle tatting in mind.  Someday, I will learn to tat.

This is a fairly thick thread. Here are the results of my playing:

This first picture of a basic utility stitch on my machine.  The first row of stitching at the bottom of the picture is with no changes to the upper tension or to the bobbin case.  Although it is not look I was going for, it reminds me a little of a hand embroidery stitch.  I could see that being used in a decorative way with a more decorative thread on top than the one I'm using.  I think the upper tension on this stitch started at 4.0.

In both of these pictures I was using a small serpentine stitch and a 4-step zigzag.  Playing with just the upper tension and going all the way 9.8 didn't result in a smooth looking stitch.  So, I decided to start playing with the bobbin tension.  Isn't that a scary thought?  Glad this one is meant to be played with.

Here I'm finally started to see some results that would actually be useful on something.  The top two rows are at 7.0 upper tension and the bobbin screw was turned 1 1/4 times to the left. I can see either one of those two stitches being used decoratively on a woven item.  Then, I decided to change stitches.  This is another utility stitch most likely meant for darning.  I stitched the third row and realized that the upper tension had defaulted to 4.0.  The fourth row is the same utility stitch with 7.0 upper tension.  I see some possibilities with this one, also.  Maybe length the stitch a bit.  It almost looks like a braid trim as it is.

Here I started playing with decorative stitches on my machine.  The top row has an upper tension of 7.  The middle row has an upper tension of 8. The last row has an upper tension of 9.  Not sure about this particular stitch.  It provides a lot of texture but might be too fussy for the bobbin work.

I played with a different decorative stitch on my machine.  The top row has a tension of 7 and the bottom row has a tension of 8.  This stitch might has some possibilities but I think that there is more playing involved with the bobbin tension.

Some stitches just don't work so well with bobbin work.  Although, I suppose it makes a nice machine French knot.

This is another decorative stitch except it bigger lengthwise and width wise than the previous stitches.  This stitch might has some possible with additional bobbin tension playing.

Things learned:

1.  Utility stitches may work a little bit with this weight of thread due to the thread knotting.
2.  Computerized machines are a bit of pain when playing with the tensions as every stitch will revert back to the programmed top tension.
3.  Bobbin work is a lot of trial and error.

I will continue to share the bobbin work as I play. If anyone finds someone else who shares information on bobbin work, please direct me as I very interested in look that the bobbin work gives.

Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June's Garden....

We had a very wet month of June.  Now, I'm not saying that the garden doesn't need a good supply of water but it rained almost daily the last two weeks of June.  Everything is soggy and lots of squash rotted. I should also mention that it has gotten cool also.  Here are the totals:

Chives - 1 oz

Cilantro - 3 7/8 oz - I strongly suspect that some of this may have been missed as I pick as needed.

Lettuce - 3 lbs 14 3/8 oz

Parsley - 2 1/2 oz - I strongly suspect that some of this may have been missed as I picked as needed.

Peas - 2 lbs 14 3/8 oz

Radishes - 1 lbs 4 3/4 oz

Spinach - 1 5/8 oz - This was a second planting and it bolted before we could pick much.  The weather was too hot early in June.

Grape tomatoes - 4 oz - This was our surprise for the month.  Generally, tomatoes are not seen till the end of July.  Much have been the hot weather.

Yellow squash - 1 lb 6 5/8 oz

Zucchini - 7 lbs 8 1/2 oz

I also made 16 jars of Nectarine/Mango jam.  The chive vinegar was finished and drained.  It is always so pretty. I ended up with 2 quarts of vinegar.

Here's few pictures around the gardens:

Mass of daisies and day lilies.  These are more or less a weed around my house. We've ended up with a bare spot in the front of this bed the last couple of years.  We get the early blooms but nothing after that.  I suspect that the trash cans end up in that spot a lot.

Oak leaf hydrangea.  Love this plant.

Cone flowers...another weedy plant but how can you resist something that comes back on it's own. There are other plants mixed in there.

More day lilies and other plants.

I couldn't resist taking the picture of the butterfly visiting the cone flower.

Happy Stitching or Gardening!