Thursday, October 14, 2010

dinner tonight

Since I've given myself a bit of a break from sewing for a while I have my nap times to do something that makes me happy..and cooking makes me very happy....especially when I am not rushed and can just enjoy each step. Tonight's dinner is my barely homemade but really good 3 bean chili...this is what i do:

saute an onion in a little bit of olive oil
add one red bell pepper chopped (today I used 3 small red and green peppers from my MIL's garden)
add about 10 pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
push veggies to the side once they are a bit soft and then add a package of ground turkey, brown it up
a package of chili seasoning mix, or if I don't have that I add a tablespoon of cumin, tablespoon of chili powder (mild) and salt and pepper
one jar of marinara sauce
one small can each of 3 different beans
water to desired thickness (about 1-2 cups)
let it simmer for 40 minutes

I sometimes serve this alone...what more can these people I live with expect from me?... or, if I'm feeling generous and kind I will make a salad and if I am positively relaxed, and possibly a little drunk, I will make cornbread, from the little blue box of course and add in some cheddar cheese and pickled jalapenos.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

let's start again

I feel almost a bit shy about posting on this's been such a long time since I've had the time to form any words that might make even a little bit of sense. It's been a long year, so far, and perhaps the most difficult one I have lived so far. My father in law passed away a couple of weeks ago, after a very long illness. In the end it was a blessing for him to not suffer any longer..but it is hard, most especially hard for my mother in law and my husband. The months of Jose's illness were so very, very sad and trying and frustrating, for so many ways. We are all in need of a little, or a lot of rest around here. So, one of the things to be put on hold for a while is my Little Birds Fly clothing business on Etsy....just for a few months ...just so we can enjoy the fall and holidays with our I can take the time to just sit and observe our 2, almost 3 year old and talk to my teenaged daughter and make plans with my college boy son...and try to just be. happy.

This morning started eeeeaaarly...4 am saw me awake and ready to go downstairs to enjoy a cup of tea in the dark and quiet. I know it's crazy but I will take those calm, quiet moments when I can...even in the ridiculously wee hours of the morning. Gives me a little time to think and to plan out what I'll show you today...

I was at Joann's the other day and I found this flannel while looking for other flannels to make burp cloths for a fair I have lined up this fall...the print was cool and reminded me of expensive Japanese fabric and very unlike most of the stuff I usually find at Joann's, my favorite fabric store to hate...just kidding...well, not ALWAYS but, you know how it is there...enough, moving on to the fabric, check it out:

cute huh? the photo doesn't do it any favors but it's a chocolate brown background with green line drawing print in the background and animals filled in with small graphic printing...LOVE IT...oh, AND it is super soft and thick. The cold weather really came quickly here and I found that I had no winter pajamas for I bought the last yard of the flannel and made some pajama pants with a jersey knit waistband and then I had to figure out a top..without spending any more money. H & M has these really soft organic cotton long sleeved onesies...for babies...but the 12-18 month size fits Lily beautifully even though she really wears a 3T...go figure...but, they are CHEAP and I bought a bunch during the summer. So, I cut the snap part off of a green one and appliqued a patch of the flannel on it like this:

To make the top a little longer, and to make it cuter, and to avoid having to hem jersey( ah, the truth comes out), which doesn't always work out too well without a serger, I cut a band from the hem of an old blue Tee of mine and added a strip of the hem of a red Tee too...I sewed the red strip onto the blue strip, right sides both facing up , sewed the short ends together to form a tube and then sewed the tube to the green shirt, right sides together like this:

I just want to say a couple of things about sewing with knits without a serger...

1. I have never had too much of a problem with this method: I sew the seam with a regular straight stitch and then zigzag stitch the edges...I know that this is supposed to be wrong because the stitching line can't stretch,but seriously, it has never NOTworked for me. This is how I put jersey waistbands onto denim and corduroy pants and I've never experienced ripped stitches.

2. I do lighten up the presser foot pressure when I sew with knits and I try to sew quickly at the beginning of the seam...both of these things will help to avoid the fabric being pushed down and jammed by the needle.

3. Use a needle specifically for knits/stretch fabric...just do it, you won't be sorry...if you use a regular needle I can tell you from experience that it is a crap shoot...sometimes it's ok and sometimes not...but a HUGE pain when it is just save yourself the aggravation and use the knit needle.

4. Avoid hemming , if you can ;) if you can't, then learn to love a little lettuce edge ruffle going on at the hem.

5. When you are appliqueing onto a t shirt don't try to make your zig zag stitches too close or you might end up jamming the fabric ...make it a loose zigzag and then if you want it to cover more of the edge of the applique just go around again.